Wednesday, 29 June 2022

A Fairy Story by Marc Bolan



From the Tyrannosaurus Rex album - Unicorn - 1969. 

 Read aloud by John Peel


Lionel Lark was an alchemist by profession but he loved to quest.

Li and Mole were a romantic pair. Li, with his many-coloured Zodiac coat flapping about as he rode the Dawn Wind.... 

Rubbing his rimless spectacles, he lectured Mole in his larkish manner about the mythical Lily Pond and its latitude and longitude, and goofing sometimes, and mentioning the Hyperborians, the frozen folk who lived behind the North Wind. 

At eight 'o-clock, he scribbled little spells and directions on a dried mushroom parchment and Moley got proudly into his pigs-bladder balloon. Lionel took off, at first a little shakily, but soon as swift as the lordly eagle, The Emperor of the Sky-skinned Airships. 

Bopping through the morning clouds, Kingsley rocked to and fro, now and again straightening his course by adjusting the misty spider's-web rope which was harnessed around Lionel's little puffed-out chest. They made a wonderful sight, these animal Wright Brothers. 

A lonely elf crunched the autumn leaves and solemnly dictated to his mouse scribe long, winding spirals of wonderful runes which, in our heavy translation would awaken Ra at midnight, or unhibernate a legion of poley Albino-eyed Hedgehogs or even cause a chasm on the Deeply Swirl of Foxnecks to drown a blessed water lily. Pan be praised for elfish ability to know about wisdom and to use it wisely. 

The elf's autumn feet hidden in rose-pettled, pointed shoes walked into The Mighty Grove and his never-ending stream of merriment soared and gushed niagarally through the Wonderful Kingdom. But even as quick as it came, it had ceased. His wise eyes became beacons of true light. 

As the piggy bundle tumbled from the blessed heavens, the leaping elf hastily harnessed his beloved, tame nightingale and made for the point of ejection with a heart of many carats. Entangled in thorns and briars was Kingsley Mole... his snout sticking high in the splendoured air, tents of zodiac folds cascaded over Lionel's larkish dome. 

Despectacled, he moaned into Kingsley Mole's eyes and cursed all flying machines doomed to rely on the ficklety of piggish bladders. 

The two saddened creatures trundled from their rose-bush prison and lay scarlet and fatigued in the escaping afternoon. 

The handsome, elvin figure soared through dusking skies and upon landing, kissed the proud brow of his sky steed and called a greeting to Mole and Li. After tea from acorn cups and slices of blueberry pie, the handsome elf told all the large legends that he knew about the perilous pond and its scaley protectors. Also of its healing ability and how one draught of pond dew could put forests of tangling tufts on the baldest badger or field mouses' heads. 

After glow-worm talks and plans for the quest, the elf led the tired companions through the foreboding fairy wood until the reached a large, beautifully-worked leather fencing boot, which had a door in its heel. 

"My great grandfather," the elf said, as Lionel commented about image engraved on the door knob. "An alchemist you know," said the fairy one. 

"Mmmmm," said Li suspiciously. 

They were made very comfortable in beds of great expanse, spider web sheets, and towers of warm, wooly moss blankets... and, as always in an elvish abode, dreams of the gentlest texture.

**


This item was a particular favourite of mine aged about 13, and in the immediate run-up to first-reading The Hobbit; and a significant factor in my doing so. 

I also read Marc Bolan's book of poems from this year - entitled The Warlock of Love, which was consequence of my first usage of the magical method called Inter Library Loans - borrowed from the British Library (fill-in a card, and get any book you like sent free to your local branch... at that time). 

TWOL apparently sold 40,000 copies - which was A Lot for a book of poems; especially by a then-cultishly-obscure musician; but was not reprinted, and has largely been forgotten.

Very much of its time and place, and easily ridiculed; Bolan nonetheless had a way with words (and their sounds) that was his own, and which  left behind a rather appealing flavour. 

I find I can't nowadays bear Bolan's music - but I sometimes take another look at the poems: available here. Such as:

We stood there in the youth of our love, 
Me asparagus green, you with fortunate gloves. 
My rapier staff was of yielding summer oak 
And your toes were tongued with dynastys of foxgloves 
And we strode tall and long with the scowling winter 
Everso gone. 
And our hair was as one head, spiraled and twirly 
grotto-grieven red.


I am not sure whether all the 'mis-spellings' are deliberate - some are punnish like 'dynastys', but I corrected a couple ('yeilding'?) as probable transcription errors. Although Bolan was supposedly dyslexic, the editor would presumably have been able to correct accidental stuff.  

Yes, there is a lot of Dylan Thomas about it - but Dylan Thomas is good! What seems original and good are Bolan's alliterations (of consonants and vowel sounds) and the amusing or surreal little turns such as 'fortunate gloves' and 'yielding summer oak'; and the last line - which sounds autobiographical, coming from Mr Twirly Hair himself.  

Tuesday, 28 June 2022

The need for transformation before we can be truly happy

It was an ancient insight (going back to the earliest recorded philosophy) that Men as we are in this earthly mortal life; cannot be truly happy. 


Because; if Men (as we now are) were placed into 'Paradise' - then it would not be Paradise. 

We would not be fully happy there - and might even be more miserable. 

Furthermore; even if it had been Paradise before we arrived - we (as we now are) would soon wreck the place, to at least some degree -- in which case it would no longer be Paradise. 

Therefore; we our-selves are to blame for the ultimate unsatisfactoriness of mortal life on earth


Therefore, we have need for transformation before we can be truly happy; we our-selves must be first transformed before Paradise could be Paradise. 


Interestingly, this is recognized by the most advanced form of materialism so-far: transhumanism. This recognizes that Men need to transcend their current nature if they are to be fully happy, and free from suffering. 

But the transhumanist sees this as a material problem; and envisages Men as being transformed by physical means: drugs, surgery, implants, genetic engineering etc. But physical interventions can only operate within the constraint of this mortal world, which is entropic by nature; such that the desired order is always being-corrupted by chaos and any desirable state of being is temporary. 

Thus, even by its own lights - transhumanism can only at best yield amelioration of our condition - not Paradise. 


If Men are to be happy in Paradise it requires a spiritual - as well as material - transformation; indeed it requires that we understand the material to be part-of the spiritual, with the spiritual as primary. 

The Christian transformation that enables us to be wholly happy is termed resurrection; which can be understood as primarily a spiritual transformation to 'fit us for Heaven'/ Paradise - as well as the necessary physical transformation for such a life; such that we will have bodies, and yet also be immortal.  

Since Christians are called upon to have hope, and to follow Jesus to salvation; it seems to me that we need to be able to imagine what Heaven is like - sufficiently in order to desire it


Can we imagine the transformation of resurrection and a fully happy life in Heaven?

Some of us can. Those who recognize that some-times, at our best, this mortal life on earth is indeed Paradisal; thus wholly happy - albeit briefly. 

And we may also be able to recognize that these moments are also those times when we are most our-selves...


We may therefore be able to imagine, hence understand, that - in principle - we could be transformed such as to remain our-selves at our best; and become fit for Paradise. 

We may also be able to infer from such moments (and their basis in love) the nature of paradise. 

In sum - we may be able to know both that we require transformation to be truly happy; the nature of transformation needed; and that this kind of transformation is exactly what was offered by Jesus Christ. 

(After which we only need to determine whether Jesus's offer was valid.)


Note added. This post approaches the question from the bottom line moral assumption of mainstream modern secular materialist leftism - which is (roughly) that that is good which is most conducive to happiness - especially the elimination of suffering (the conceptualization of what-ought-to-be-happy vacillates, incoherently, between the individual - especially oppressed, victimized - person, and some abstract group entity that is regarded as oppressed/ victimized. But the scope of happiness is assumed to be that of this mortal life; and eternal life is disbelieved or disregarded. Thus all secular ideologies, including those that regard themselves as of The Right (conservative, republican, libertarian, alt-right etc), only differ in terms of suggested means to the same end: i.e. optimizing mortal earthly happiness.  

When the assumption is that we live eternally, the main rival to Christianity is that 'Oneness' spirituality which the West has extracted from Eastern religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism, and which is promoted via the New Age, Perennial philosophy, and officially-approved 'mindfulness' exhortations. These locate suffering in consciousness, and consciousness in the-self (plus/minus the-material); and aim at the alleviation of suffering (plus/minus the maximization of happiness) by the annihilation of The Self into immaterial spirit, and assimilation of that which was separate into the oneness of deity. 

My point is that there is a sense in which all religions and ideologies can be reduced - and this is a reduction - to the nature of their concern with happiness. And that these differ irreconcilably about the proper scope of happiness, and how it can or should be attained. In other words, there is no possible coherent way of creating a single spirituality/ religion/ ideology from these three fundamentally differing assumptions. 

Leftism, Oneness and Christianity cannot be combined coherently - neither as pairs nor as a single unity. All attempts to combine them are actually subordinating one or other; or else alternating between incompatibles. 

We must therefore actively and consciously choose what kind of happiness we really want - or else the choice will (passively unconsciously) be imposed upon us. 

Monday, 27 June 2022

What might winning the spiritual war look like?

Dominant, top-down evil is changing from bureaucratic-media/ totalitarian enforcement of value-inversion; towards nihilistic and spiteful destruction of God's creation (i.e. turning what I have called Ahrimanic to Sorathic). 

This means there will be a reduction in the capacity of the evil Establishment to enforce value-inversion (by regulation, law, education, propaganda...by its general saturation of communications. 


At one level, this will be regarded as 'wins' for the side of good - because the capability of demonic powers to impose evil behaviour - and also to an extent, to impose evil thinking - will diminish. It will be easier for Christians to do Christian things that were previously sanctioned. 

This may be spiritual gain; but only if it leads to more people being more motivated to take the side of good (=God and divine creation). 

However; a degree of collapse in the apparatus of surveillance and control does not - of itself - make people one-whit better; does not of itself bring a single person from the side of evil to good. 

A diminution in (necessarily evil) totalitarianism is permissive of greater Christian activity; but that's all. People must and will still be motivated and choose; one way or the other. 


And meanwhile the world will (unless present trends are reversed by something like a mass Christian awakening) continue to descend into nihilistic chaos via increased mutual hatred, spite, resentment, and delight in suffering, despair and death.

Except in our private lives and at a small scale - there is nothing substantive that most Christians can do to prevent such an evil-affiliated-Establishment-led civilizational collapse; because attempting to do so will instead serve to reinforce the greater evil of totalitarianism (since - as of now - they rule all major institutions, corporations, organizations). 

So; a great deal (and everything essential) will depend on how each of us, personally, understands and reacts-to such a descent into Apocalypse; how we choose spiritually to believe and behave, in a collapsing world civilization. 


In other words; spiritually winning victories in the fight against evil totalitarianism, might feel very much like losing - in terms of physical suffering. 

And this is why it is vital to discern and distinguish-between this mortal life, and the resurrected life to come; and to keep our hope pinned firmly on what is to come; which requires strong faith and deep trust in God. 

Our proper faith is in God's love for us as persons, as immortal souls; and not (therefore) for our institutions, nations, or civilization - nor even our planet. 

 

 

Sunday, 26 June 2022

Has Evil Santa turned good?

There is a kind of bemused delirium evident among pro-lifers. 

Suddenly! (they believe) Evil Santa has given them exactly what they have been asking-for for Christmas, over the past 50 years.

And therefore, they infer, Evil Santa must have secretly repented and become good.

Thus, since Evil Santa is so powerful, they dare to be optimistic that this means a better world has just begun...


On the contrary; I believe that Evil Santa is still just as evil (or more so) as he was a couple of months ago.

And therefore when ES gives us a surprise special present, a Gift Horse; this is not done for good reasons, nor with good intent.

Evil Santa's present will turn-out to contain a booby-trap.


What then? 

Christians need to recognize that this is a booby-trap, not a Gift Horse. That Santa is still Evil and has not covertly changed sides. That there is no realistic prospect of us being-saved by a benign top-down power from within the Establishment. 

And act accordingly. 


Review of a new book commemorating Christopher Tolkien (The Great Tales Never End)

The great tales never end: Essays in memory of Christopher Tolkien. Edited by Richard Ovenden & Catherine McIlwaine. Bodleian Library Publishing: Oxford, UK, 2022. pp. 231. 

I feel enormous gratitude to Christopher Tolkien (1924-2020) for the extraordinary work he did in editing and making available his father's unpublished works, and the drafts of his published works. These have vastly enhanced by enjoyment, and depth of appreciation, of JRR Tolkien over the past several decades. As Tom Shippey puts it in this volume:

It may be said without any qualification at all that no author has ever enjoyed a better or better-qualified literary executor than Tolkien found in his son Christopher.


Yet, although I 'know' and like his literary persona as well as almost anybody; I have until now been able to discover very little about Christopher's life. The Great Tales Never End at long last provides some of the key information I sought. 

My main criticism of this volume is, indeed, that there is not more focus on Christopher's life, and I would have liked more detail about the work he did in the decades before he began to edit his father's unpublished papers. 

I would also have appreciated extra in the way of memoirs of Christopher from friends and relations. TGTNE gives us a poem and a short memoir from sister Priscilla; but I would have enjoyed a lot more of this type of material (which could have been supplied by several of the contributors to later chapters). As things stand, Christopher's real-life personality is still rather obscure to me.  


The book takes the loose 'form' of a Festschrift - with work by eleven authors. It opens with a biographical introduction, timeline and bibliography of Christopher's life by Catherine McIlwaine. This was excellent, and included exciting quotes from thus-far unpublished correspondence; although I would have wished it several-fold longer!  

The information here confirms what I had previously heard but in confidence, and was implied by some remarks in a memoir; that Christopher's academic career was hampered and delayed by his third class bachelor's degree, when a first class was usually expected and required (and might lead swiftly to a permanent academic position). The unexpected failure to attain 'a first' is here explained by depression and ill-health following a failed love affair. 

Christopher then took the longer route to academic security of obtaining a BLitt degree, the research for which led to his only solo book - an edition of Heidrek's Saga. After which he published very little, according to the bibliography (although Google Scholar mentions a paper omitted here, called The Battle of the Goths and the Huns, in Saga-Book of 1953-7). 


As long ago as 1973 I myself studied The Nun's Priest's Tale in the excellent edition that Christopher produced with fellow ex-Inkling Nevill Coghill. It was an inspiring volume, which I have kept all these years - covered, as it now is, by my micrographic schoolboy pencil annotations.

Indeed; Christopher's academic reputation seems to have been based on a reputation for excellence as a teacher. He was a 'lecturer' (presumably on fixed-term contracts) for several years before being elected a Fellow of New College, Oxford in 1963 (at the rather late age of about thirty-nine). He remained in this secure and prestigious post until 1975 (aged about fifty one) when he resigned to work on editing his late father's works. 

From that point onwards, starting with his father's translation of 'Sir Gawain', and for the next 45 years - Christopher certainly 'made up for lost time' as a prolifically publishing scholar! 

In the end, Christopher Tolkien lived to complete his self-imposed task with The Fall of Gondolin in 2018 having been responsible for twenty-five books (according to the bibliography here); all of interest and importance to lovers of Tolkien; many of them containing the fruits of intense study and deep thought.


I shall now focus on particular aspects of a few of the chapters of TGTNE which made a particular impact on me. 

Vincent Ferre presents a detailed analysis of Christopher Tolkien as 'a writer' - whose role (especially in The Silmarillion of 1977) was sometimes required to go beyond 'normal' editing; to include selection from very different versions, rearrangement of passages, and composition of linking passages of prose (although presumably Guy Gavriel Kay - his helper for The Silmarillion - should also be credited with some of this). This gave me a new insight into what Christopher actually did, his process; in relation to the materials he had to work from. 

I took from Verlyn Flieger's chapter a fresh realization that the poetic description of the beginning of the world - as described in Ainulindale or Singing of the Ainur - comes to be reflected in what was originally the final words of The Lord of the Rings outside of Bag End (later moved to the Grey Havens) - where  "Sam heard suddenly the sigh and murmur of the sea on the shores of Middle Earth". 

The significance is that, slightly to paraphrase what the Silmarillion tells us: in water there yet lives the echo of the Music of the Ainur; so that later Men still hearken to the voices of the sea, but know not for what they listen. In a nutshell: The Silmarillion legends and LotR constitute "one long saga" - an arc from creation itself, to the eternal echoes of creation. 

John Garth's chapter reinforces the importance of this concept to Tolkien by describing the process of his meticulous earlier re-dating of this section of Lost Tales - which locates the Music of the Ainur as among the very earliest examples of Tolkien's creative flowering. 

Another example of the process of literary scholarship is in the chapter by Carl F Hostetter, who illustrates four examples of just how Christopher Tolkien - and himself - work on JRRT's primary manuscripts to provide vital information on dating; and therefore the compositional sequence, of drafts. This sequencing has been especially important in the case of Tolkien's draft material; since it often changed radically; spanning years, or sometimes decades, of composition. 


I was fascinated by Stuart D Lee's chapter on the 1955-6 BBC Radio dramatization of The Lord of the Rings; which used the letters between Tolkien and the BBC, drafts, and annotated scripts to provide a background to these - long lost - audio-broadcasts.  I was particularly struck by Tolkien's comment on the accents that he believed should be used to distinguish the characters. 

It was pleasing to see my own inferences confirmed that Merry and Pippin should not have 'rustical' accents, because they were "two young hobbits of the highest birth in the land". Tolkien suggested that the genuine rustic accents (e.g. for Sam or Butterbur) ought to be characterized mainly by the 'burred' pronunciation of 'r'. 

And further that elves (and other high folk) should 'trill' their 'r's in all positions of the letter (but not as much as do the Scots); whereas the dwarves should use a guttural 'r' from the soft palate (more like the Northumbrian dialect). 

Aside; I noticed that in 1956 the part of Ioreth (the wise woman of Gondor) was played by the young actress Prunella Scales, who later married actor Timothy West - who (some sixty years later) was the editorial voice of Christopher Tolkien himself in the recent audiobooks of Beren and Luthien and The Fall of Gondolin! (Their son Samuel West reads the actual texts.) 


Tom Shippey's chapter is titled King Sheave and the Lost Road; and discusses the especially powerful linked-concerns of Tolkien of a divine/ faery land in the west across the ocean; the once-existing sea-path to that land which is now lost but might be found again; and the idea of a 'higher/ nobler' Man (or Men) who came from the West by boat; bringing (for a while) gifts of good government, peace and prosperity in harmony with the gods' will. 

Shippey argues that the King Sheave character of (?) legend was seen by Tolkien as related to Jesus Christ in some spiritual fashion - perhaps as a partial vision of Jesus for the then-pagan North? 

Yet, as Shippey says, although this group ideas haunted Tolkien through his life, and although he several times tried to incorporate it into his imaginative fictions (for example in Lost Tales, The Lost Road, The Notion Club Papers, references to Earendil and the Great Wave in The Lord of the Rings, and the published poems of Imram and Looney/ The Sea Bell) - in the end Tolkien never succeeded in finding a satisfactory narrative form that would capture this deep emotion. 


I hope have said enough to indicate that there is a lot of 'good stuff' in this enjoyable, albeit heterogeneous, volume. 

At its recommended retail price of forty pounds Sterling; TGTNE is perhaps too costly for the general reader; but this is presumably due to its specialized nature and probably modest audience; as well as to its superb quality as a hardback volume - with good paper, stitched binding, and very impressive maps and colour plates. 

But if you are sufficiently wealthy, Tolkien-obsessed, or can get hold of a library (or secondhand, or review) copy of The Great Tales Never End; you will find a great deal of inspiration, valuable information, and plenty of fruitful novel perspectives; concerning both Christopher Tolkien and his father.


Saturday, 25 June 2022

Mozart's greatest crowd-pleaser? Opening movement of 'Paris' Symphony 31

 


From 1:23:20

Yesterday I listened to the first movement of Mozart's Paris Symphony 31 for the first time in a while; and was absolutely delighted by it - and found that I remembered almost everything. 

The piece was tailored for maximum impact on the Parisian audience, who apparently liked their music to be noisy and spectacular - and a large orchestra (with clarinets) was provided for the purpose. 

Mozart succeeded in this objective, and far beyond - because he wrote an utterly delightful piece, always interesting and masterly in structure - with many characteristic touches (especially with grouped-woodwinds contrasted with strings; something that he later did all-the-time). 

For me, this is the first symphony in which Mozart achieved first rank, and equaled the best of his predecessor Haydn. 

This performance is conducted by the Austrian Karl Bohm (1994-1981) who was - for me, when at his usual best - the best conductor of Mozart I have encountered.


Friday, 24 June 2022

Global Evil moves from Plan A (totalitarian inversion) towards Plan B (destructive chaos)

My interpretation of present global events (for what it's worth) is that we are seeing further confirmation that Evil Plan A for a global system of totalitarian value-inversion is collapsing. 

Plan A reached its peak of success in early-mid 2020 (before the antiracist, pro-chaotic, turn of that summer) - and Plan A has now failed.

The demonic masters are moving more and more decisively towards Evil Plan B - which is (just) spitefully-motivated destruction and maximum chaos

In other words, Plan A was an instance of Ahrimanic evil; and designed to impose by law and saturation-propaganda a value-system of positivism-materialism with the inversion of real-true-divine values. It was intended to make Men choose damnation because they had come to believe evil was good, and good was evil. 

Plan A was mainly concerned to make a world system leading to the greatest quantitative damnation of human souls - and the 'pleasure' of demons, and demon-possessed or demon-serving humans, therefore had to take second place to this strategy. 


Plan B is a much cruder, simpler, more short-termist - but more advanced-in-wickedness - form of evil than Plan A; Plan B is the outcome of that evil I have called Sorathic.

Plan B is mainly motivated by the sheerly spiteful enjoyment of its implementers: their simple 'personal' desire to destroy all that is good, of-God, of-creation, and true. 

Those demons and Men who pursue Plan B are consumed by hatred of divine creation; and are therefore somewhat reckless about whether the people who are tormented and killed by their policies are damned. 

These Plan B advocates enjoy inflicting suffering so much, get so carried-away by the process; that the fact their victims may cry to God from the depths of this suffering (De Profundis) is of secondary interest.  


It is Plan B that has engineered World War III - with its vast potential for suffering and deaths by violence, starvation and disease. 

In other words; we need to recognize that the recent break-up of the projected unipolar world of Plan A; the deliberate provocation of a WWIII; and the calculated, repeated, accelerating measures to escalate and spread this war... 

These actions are motivated by a sadistic desire for human and environmental destruction rather than control; and the progression of WWIII is an evil attempt to destroy, not enhance, the possibility of a totalitarian New World Order. 


This is my interpretation of the Global Establishment's behaviour towards the Fire Nation. 

In the early days of the birdemic-peck; the Fire Nation was apparently on-board with Plan A - the One-World, totalitarian Reset Agenda. But that Plan has not happened; and instead the vision of a single omni-surveillance, micro-controlled world, unified under One World government - has fallen into pieces. 

It seems that the Plan B-ites have tricked the Plan A-ites

The Plan B-ites apparently sold their Plan for starting and fuelling WWIII to the Plan A-ites as a mechanism for (quickly, easily) isolating and conquering the Fire Nation, eliminating all Establishment-hostile leadership; and fully-assimilating a broken-up Fire Nation into the New World Order in a subordinate role. 


Or maybe Plan B supporters did not need to mislead the Plan A-ites

Maybe the intrinsic processes of evil on Men (and demons) meant that many of the ex-totalitarians had 'progressed' to sheer destructiveness, and the residual totalitarians are reduced to pretending still to be in control by manufacturing excuses for the collapse of their strategy? I believe that this is, indeed, the exact way that evil feeds-upon-itself. 

For instance; some commenters interpret the recent break-up of the world and wildfire descent into multi-location war, as a 'cunning plan' version of Plan A. This would need to be a very long-term plan - still directed at the eventual establishment of the same unitary totalitarian global society described in the Great Reset and Agenda 2030. 

This amounts to explaining destruction as construction, interpreting chaos as order, insisting that fragmentation is just another kind of unity. 


I regard this as a serious misunderstanding. If we are indeed now in Plan B - as I suggest; all we really need to know is that (whatever soothing or 'high-minded' 'strategic'  lies they tell themselves) those who are ruling this mortal world are now, and increasingly, focused on an agenda of torment and destruction, reckless of the consequences. 

However, Plan A is still in place even as it disintegrates; and the globalist, totalitarian bureaucrats of the New World Order still have a great deal of influence and power.

But the direction of change seems to be established; and Plan A can now be regarded as dying.


What is my Christian interpretation of these events? From a perspective of human suffering, Plan B certainly accelerates and intensifies suffering in the short term - albeit maybe not in the longer term. 

But from a perspective of salvation; I think it probable that more souls would choose to be saved in a Plan B (WWIII) scenario; than if the worldwide system of surveillance-and 'thought control' of Plan A had been put into place. 


Thursday, 23 June 2022

Power corrupts - it really does...

I was brought-up on the idea that power corrupts; and that absolute power corrupts absolutely (paraphrasing historian Lord Acton). 

This seemed like the lesson of history - for example the Claudius novels by Robert Graves is largely a litany of exactly such corruption, which I read when I was thirteen, or the revolutions and leftist-dictators of the twentieth century; and their fictional analysis by George Orwell in his novels.  

Having observed human life for several decades, I think the adage that power corrupts is generally true; although I would expand 'power' to include the desire for power - and much the same for fame and status. Having worked in medicine, science and academia generally; I have seen this corruption happen to many people known to me personally, and sometimes very rapidly. 


[I have also been tempted into this type of corruption myself a few times, although I have never personally wanted to wield power, and never have done so. But I did desire (and at times achieved) what might be termed influence; and this led to immediate temptations to increase this influence, even at the cost of higher ideals. Fortunately for me; such notions were always, and quickly, sabotaged - willy-nilly - by intrinsic contrariness.]  


When I was a teenager, there were many media productions on the theme of power corrupting. For instance, the sixties counter-culture idea of 'selling-out' was a version of this insight - and all the sixties radicals have indeed sold-out: most swiftly becoming managerial-bureaucrats. The leftist trope of 'betrayal' of strikes and other radical movements by their leadership was likewise common currency. I can remember several TV series and plays on this topic.

Yet the understanding that power progressively encourages immorality was actually a relatively modern, post-Victorian, idea - that seems almost to have died-away over past decades. 

Despite innumerable confirmations of the theory; people nowadays do not seem to expect power to corrupt as they used-to expect it. Indeed, instead of expecting power to corrupt, expression of the idea is usually treated as an unjust accusation that requires a high (in practice impossibly high) standard of proof. 


Why should this be? Why should modern people fail to observe that power corrupts, when it seems so obviously true? 

I think there are several linked reasons. One is that power and influence are vastly more concentrated in the world today that ever before in human history - and secondly, that concentrated power is in service to evil. 

This leads to general fear - and, this time, fear without the compensating courage of religion. 


Fear is one reason why the corrupting effect of power was not visible to the ancient world. Even if one thought it, it was grossly risky to publicly state a theory that the Emperor/ King/ Lord/ Steward was corrupt and getting worse; when he held power of life or death!

Thus, the true-insight that power corrupts was restricted to a time and place in history when people felt safe enough from those with power to be able to articulate the fact. 

And we - here, now - are no longer in that time or place. 


But even if we cannot publicly and in practice act on the assumption that power corrupts; we ought, nonetheless, to know this in our hearts - and proceed accordingly. 


Wednesday, 22 June 2022

Land of Druids

They weren't all Mr Nice Guys - Druids probably performed human sacrifices as well as the good stuff

There is a famous passage in Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars, where he discusses the Druids; and describes their relationship to Britain:


Throughout all Gaul there are two orders of those men who are of any rank and dignity... But of these two orders, one is that of the Druids, the other that of the knights. The former are engaged in things sacred, conduct the public and the private sacrifices, and interpret all matters of religion. To these a large number of the young men resort for the purpose of instruction, and the Druids are in great honor among them. 

For they determine respecting almost all controversies, public and private; and if any crime has been perpetrated, if murder has been committed, if there be any dispute about an inheritance, if any about boundaries, these same persons decide it; they decree rewards and punishments; if any one, either in a private or public capacity, has not submitted to their decision, they interdict him from the sacrifices. 

This among them is the most heavy punishment. Those who have been thus interdicted are esteemed in the number of the impious and the criminal: all shun them, and avoid their society and conversation, lest they receive some evil from their contact; nor is justice administered to them when seeking it, nor is any dignity bestowed on them. 

Over all these Druids one presides, who possesses supreme authority among them. Upon his death, if any individual among the rest is pre-eminent in dignity, he succeeds; but, if there are many equal, the election is made by the suffrages of the Druids; sometimes they even contend for the presidency with arms. 

These assemble at a fixed period of the year in a consecrated place in the territories of the Carnutes, which is reckoned the central region of the whole of Gaul. Hither all, who have disputes, assemble from every part, and submit to their decrees and determinations. 

This institution is supposed to have been devised in Britain, and to have been brought over from it into Gaul; and now those who desire to gain a more accurate knowledge of that system generally proceed thither for the purpose of studying it.


From this reference, and other evidence; Britain was the centre of the Druids and their religion of eternal (probably reincarnating) life. It was the main place where Druids were trained by a complex and prolonged process of education and initiations - all done by word of  mouth and memorization, because writing this secret knowledge was forbidden. 

And the Druids were a problem for the Romans, because they organized and inspired the fiercest resistance they encountered in their invasions and eventual conquests of Gaul and Britain. Caesar comments that the druidic beliefs inspired the Britons with exceptional personal courage in battle, since they did not fear death. 

In Claudius the God, Graves makes the destruction of druidry the major objective of the inclusion of of Britain in the Empire - despite that Augustus had originally made it a principle that the boundary would be Gaul. So long as Britain existed to train and export Druids, then Gaul could never be securely subjugated. 

After the conquest, it was a major priority to extirpate the Druids and break their power; which is exactly what the legions were doing, a couple of decades later, in North Wales and Anglesey (as described by Tacitus) - when Boudicca mounted her massively destructive rebellion in the opposite corner of the country.   


Whether or not these Celtic Druids were in any way descended from the Neolithic/ Bronze Age priesthood who created the vast sacred landscape of southern England around the megalithic monument of Avebury, it is not known. 

But it seems clear that  there were several times in history - up to the 'Oxford Movement' of the 19th century - when the British Isles has been a major focus for religion, with international significance.

However, Britain was also the place where the industrial revolution began - and the way of thinking we could call 'positivism' or materialism began to be established, and where this eventually achieved perhaps its most thorough triumph; with, here-and-now, the all-but eradication of religion as a powerful motivator in human lives. 


Positivism has a fascinating role in the history of human consciousness, if we regard positivism as a development in human thinking - rather than as a response to changed conditions. In other words, if we regard the industrial revolution as a product of positivistic thinking (i.e. Not the cause of positivism). 

We need to recognize that positivism was - at first - experienced as a great liberation of the previously-passive human individual from the oppressive constraints of... well of all forms of communal immersion and control (good and bad). 

Positivism meant that its adherents felt able to think for themselves for the first time in history - and to experience life from a centre in the individual; and from this centre to evaluate and choose-between the ideas and instructions of the rest of society.

Positivism activated Men's thinking, and grounded it in his self.  


Of course we are now at the incoherent, alienated, and self-destroying end-stage of this process - and Britain has become (under the recent domination of its diaspora-nation the USA) an originating and generative centre of materialistic global totalitarianism and (therefore) evil.

But this has been our choice, and the choice of our ancestors

Exactly because of our individualistic consciousness, we could have chosen otherwise - and still can do - if we wished.  

Positivism is not necessarily evil when it is known to be what it was intended (by God) to be: a transitional phase of human consciousness. 


If the people of Britain had instead chosen to root their knowledge, lives, culture in God and the spirit - then we could have taken a very different and better path - and so could the rest of the world, if they too had chosen.

It is not a matter of eradicating the mind state of 'positivism' and trying (but failing) to go back to an earlier phase of consciousness; instead we ought to use our innate capacity (and doom) of individual knowing, evaluating, and choosing to create (because this freedom is precisely a form of creation) a world rooted in the spiritual, in God, in context of a perspective of resurrected eternal life - made possible by Jesus.

Consider; in the world here-and-now people believe/ know/ live-by all kinds of weird, nonsensical and evil stuff - and our communal, institutional world therefore operates on the basis of these beliefs; and (by our choice) forces them back upon us. 


If, instead, we choose to believe/ know/ live-by that which is true, beautiful and good; then... our world and the communal world would begin to operate on those beliefs. 

...It really is as simple, and as difficult, as doing that


Note added: Another way of thinking about this matter is that Positivism - as such - was actually an expression of divine destiny, and an intended aspect of that line-of-development initiated by Jesus Christ. Its many evils are a consequence of being cut-off from Christianity on the one hand; and also because the Christian Churches cut themselves off from the implications of this new mode of thinking - initially by the Churches excluding and resisting individualism and a spirituality rooted in originative intuition, later (and now) by these same Churches accepting and assimilating-to atheistic-positivism.

  

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

So - who is the Greatest Living Englishman Now?

Since the deaths of Geoffrey Ashe and then Gareth Knight earlier this year - I am scratching my head over who I should now regard as the Greatest Living Englishman? 

To qualify, a person (man or woman) would need to be broadly-within the Romantic Christian ideal - and his work should be 'about' England - or, more accurately, the mythic land of Albion. 

That is, he should contribute - through his work, mainly - to a romantic, spiritual and Christian awakening, revival, renewal of Albion. 


If I first exclude (because of my positive biases) the (English) members of the circle of bloggers of which I am a part - so I cannot propose William Wildblood, John Fitzgerald, Ama Bodenstein (or myself!) - likewise I exclude members of my family... Then, who is left? 

Jeremy Naydler is a strong candidate - but he does not focus much upon 'the matter of Britain'. Susanna Clarke is a possibility, since I regard Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell as a work of genius, and it is exactly about Romantic Christian England; but I feel that more than a single work is required. 


So that leaves Terry Boardman as the outstanding possibility.

Does anyone agree? Or can readers think of someone else more worthy of the GLE mantle?  


Who is capable of becoming a Christian (i.e. of following Jesus Christ through resurrection to eternal life)?

To be capable of becoming a Christian one must be capable of love. That's the basic necessity - and it seems most (but maybe not all) people are capable of love. 

This is necessary because Heaven is a place of love - Heaven is a family; and it is love that gives Heaven cohesion and direction


But Christian love is a personal love, a love between Beings, Christian love is Not abstract or diffuse, neither universal nor unspecific. 

Those for whom love is universal do not want Heaven, but (maybe) something more like Nirvana. 


However, love is not enough for a Christian; he must also want resurrected eternal life: he must want Heaven

Some people do not want resurrection - but prefer oblivion (or even annihilation); while others want to become a 'pure spirit' rather than be resurrected with a body - and Christianity is not for them


Life in Heaven is embodied, loving, personal - and essentially active, because personal love between incarnated Men leads to creation. 

Or, more exactly, creativity is an aspect of personal love; it can be understood as the free activity of agents, capable of originating, generative, genuinely-novel thought and other behaviours. 

Therefore those who instead want an eternal life of contemplative, passive, bliss - will not want Christian Heaven. 


In sum, although in principle 'open to all', Christianity is not 'a universal religion'; because some Men lack the capacity for love or disvalue love, some do not want resurrection, and some do not want Heaven. 

Heaven is for those who want to live in personal love, and to be active and creative - eternally

In other words: 1. We need love in order to be capable of Heaven; 2. We need to regard love as primary to be a suitable candidate for Heaven; and 3. We also need to want the life of Heaven... 

We need all three if we are actually to get-there.  


Monday, 20 June 2022

Gareth Knight (reigning Greatest Living Englishman) has died



I have just heard that Gareth Knight - real name Basil Wilby - died on 1 March of this year at the ripe old age of ninety-one. 

Knight was a continuation of the 'pantheon' of Romantic Christian writers - and was for me, after the death of Geoffrey Ashe, a strong candidate for Greatest Living Englishman; albeit holding that title only for a few weeks... 

And now that GK has left this mortal life, there are no obvious candidates to take over the role. 


I have written about his work several times on this blog; and William Wildblood wrote about his books on Albion Awakening. GK was a ritual magic practitioner, scholar and author - probably the most known and respected 'magician' in the British Isles. 

(Despite or because of which; his passing seems to have gone unremarked in the mainstream mass media.) 

William and I agree that Experience of the Inner Worlds is probably the best of his many worthwhile and enjoyable books. Others I especially liked included his autobiography I called it magic, and The magical world of the Inklings; also his books about Dion Fortune (to whom he was probably the spiritual successor); these served to introduce me to the life and work of this brilliant and appealing woman-genius. 


Knight convinced me of two things. 

First; by his life, writings and example; that magic could be a valid path of Romantic Christianity; albeit that the roots in Christianity seem substantially to have disappeared from contemporary magical practitioners - and indeed a hostility is more evident. 

(Like all institutions over the past century, the world of ritual magic practitioners has by-now 'converged', and substantially assimilated to (subordinated to) leftist politics.) 

Secondly; that the power of ritual magic dwindled through the twentieth century. 

Magic began as practiced by highly organized and hierarchical societies, practicing formal rituals that reliably producing highly objective-seeming results; and being almost a vocation (like a priesthood). But later, incrementally, magic became more improvisatory, more subjective; and more dependent on charisma, surprise, shock, even trangressions; in effect more like a dramatic pageant, a 'happening' or avant garde performance... and the effects more psychological and interpersonal.  


Therefore my conclusion, overall, is that magic was, but is no longer, a possible and effectual spiritual path for Christians. 

This because of the waning objective power of ritual, symbol, allegory, disciplined mental-training etc; but also because of the corruption of institutions and the consequent necessity (and waxing power) of individual human consciousness - of 'primary thinking' - which is free, generative, creative and more fundamental than externally, or socially, defined structures.  


Sunday, 19 June 2022

Angels, demons, exorcism and the mass media

It is interesting that there are plenty of mass media, indeed Hellmouth-Hollywood, products that depict the spiritual war of this world - in terms of angels and demons, and including what might be termed 'spiritual technologies' such as exorcism. And such matters have been the subject of best-selling novels for many decades. 

The provenance of these stories should alert us to the probability that many are evil-intentioned in one way or another (and, since it is negative by nature, there are numberless ways in which evil can oppose Good). 


But there is perhaps a deeper and more devious misleading going-on in terms of the basic quality of these depictions - which is nearly always of a 'medieval' nature. What I mean is that in these stories symbols have objective effectiveness in a quasi-technological fashion. 

The media spiritual world is one in which demons possess good people against their will; and when corrupted they can be saved (again, without consent) by physical objects such as Holy Water, Consecrated Host; or by expert exorcisms using specific Latin prayers and which must be performed by consecrated priests.   

Such aspects make spirituality into an almost materialist technology and down-play (or eliminate altogether) what is actually the core role of human freedom and choice in spiritual matters. 


I believe that human consciousness has changed since the medieval era, and therefore the 'objective' world as we know it - has also changed. 

In the middle ages, Men lived in a mental-world that we would experience as communal - they had not fully dissociated their consciousness from the group; and (to a significant extent) meanings and effects were taken-in with perceptions.  

What this meant was that symbols and language had an objective reality - perceived symbols affected the material world; because the material world was not separable from them. For example, a physical cross, or a picture or a vision of the cross; had reliable and powerful spiritual effects - on unbelievers, animals, disease - causally potent much as we would expect from a laser beam. 

Thus, demons could attack men who resisted them, because Men could not fully resist them due to their (partial but significant) absorption into the communal spiritual mind. And/ but these demons could be exorcised even without the consent of the possessed - for the same reason. 

Exorcism, done by those with authority and in the proper form of words and actions, therefore had the kind of objective efficacy we moderns might associate with penicillin or surgery.  


As the modern era dawned from around 1500 in Europe; these symbols began to lose their objective effect and the Reformation was a major result. This focused on whether the consecrated host was objectively spiritually-effectual - or whether there needed to be an inner 'subjective' act on the part of the believer. 

I believe this dispute arose exactly because the Eucharist began to lose the unquestioned and reliable objective effects it had possessed for many centuries.

My understanding is that the root cause of this change was a change in human consciousness - with the separating-out of the individual 'self' from the communal mind. Men no longer took in meaning with their perceptions, but also required that the outer symbol be met with a voluntary inner assent. 

And I believe this process has continued until now; when once-sacred and objectively-effective symbolism has become completely ineffectual and irrelevant for many modern people.  


The other side of this coin is that individuals are now responsible for their own spirituality. On the one hand (as I understand it, as a rule); nowadays demons cannot possess men unless they are invited, and can only stay in possession with consent... 

On the other hand, exorcism has lost its objective and reliable effectiveness. 

Nowadays an exorcism would not be something done-to a possessed person; but would need to be more like an attempt to persuade and encourage a possessed person to resist and repent - to withdraw consent and make an inward decision to refuse demonic control. 


The basic nature and conduct of the spiritual war has therefore changed since medieval times - and both the power and responsibility of the individual have increased greatly

Thus individuals are personally to blame for their own spiritual plight. And also, for the same reasons, people must do for-themselves what could once be done for-them.  

What I am saying is that in their depictions of angels, demons, and spiritual technologies; the mass media are encouraging a false understanding of the spiritual war as it (nearly always) applies here-and-now.  

They are encouraging an atavistic, obsolete spirituality - which is not true for these times; and therefore does not work


This has two kinds of bad effects: 

In the first place it absolves individuals of responsibility of their own spiritual corruption, and encourages a spiritual passivity that looks to other people, external actions and physical objects for their salvation. 

Yet none of this actually works. (Or, only seldom, and incompletely.)

In the second place; this atavistic spirituality is so alien to the actuality of modern life (and so ineffective) as to seem utterly absurd; and to encourage the rejection of spiritual belief altogether. 

When the depictions are so sensational, medieval and untrue to experience; naturally most people regard the whole subject as mere make-believe.  


Meanwhile, the real spiritual war proceeds and thrives unnoticed, denied; and unimpeded by that correct-understanding, acknowledged responsibility, and free-individual-choice - which are the demons only truly-powerful opponents.  


Note: The above perspective, especially on the developmental (evolutionary) changes in human consciousness through history - and causally-driving that history - is heavily indebted to Owen Barfield - in books such as Romanticism Comes of AgeSaving the Appearances and Worlds Apart - and also a selective reading from the vast (and uneven) corpus of Rudolf Steiner.

Saturday, 18 June 2022

What is the appropriate spiritual response to being-genocided?

Although it still seems to be a minority view; people are gradually, incrementally, awakening to the fact that the global totalitarian establishment (the same people who brought-us the birdemic-peck, the transagenda and QERTY, climate emergency, antiracism, and the other left-materialist strategies), are planning to kill us. 

That is, planning a genocide of some billions of the masses.

And that the plan is well-advanced.  


People are realizing this, and more-and-more are also predicting that (the way things are going) the process may begin within months.  

What not-so-many people have yet realized, but which I think is true; is that this genocide may not be stoppable - and once started is likely to accelerate by positive feedback. But that's just my opinion.  

So, if this does come to pass; and we start being genocided, and if there is nothing we can do about it except to delay the inevitable - how might we react spiritually?


The first and most vital spiritual response is acknowledgement: we need to recognize what is happening, that it is done on-purpose, and from evil intentions. 

Unless we can acknowledge the basic fact of deliberate evil, then we cannot oppose evil - but will, instead, find ourselves excusing, and aiding, it. 

Of course many people will probably remain on the side of evil, even as they are being tormented to death. They will believe one or more of the lies that displace the blame away from the guilty, or that it is all an accident, or due to a false-invented reason like 'global warming'. 

That is the worst possible response. 


Everybody will die sooner-or-later, death is a part of life; and for Christians it is the gateway to a better state of being.

Death cannot be avoided, and needs to be accepted by each Man when the time has come. 

Death is not the problem - spiritually. 

It is our spiritual response to the probability of impending death that matters - and that entails a basic truthfulness. 


Those who will ultimately suffer from death are those who embrace lies, who believe and affiliate with evil Men and their demonic masters. 

It is necessary to recognize the lesser importance of such questions as whether these individuals might (as a 'reward' for the treachery to humankind) be rewarded with a few extra months or years of mortal existence, perhaps hunkered in a compound, perhaps engaged in looting, rape, murder (according to taste). 

Whether we physically, materially resist our impending death and that of those we love is a matter of personal ability and circumstance. 

Some will do it for good motivations, many more will resist death for evil motivations. Some ill acquiesce to death for spiritual reasons because their time has come; others from fear, despair, and self-hatred. The material axis of Good-Evil will thus vary widely. 

But spiritual resistance is within everybody's grasp, and always possible - and that is what we must do. 


Life beyond virtue-charades: Watch-out for moral intuition - flying in the face of consequentialism-utilitarianism

The mainstream notion of morality is typically some (vague) idea of what might be termed consequentialism-utilitarianism - meaning that the morally-right decision is that which leads to the best consequences or outcomes; where 'best' is understood in terms of 'utility', or the most-gratification/ least-suffering of those people of most significance (e.g. the majority of people, deserving people, oppressed people, 'victims' or whatever).


(Another term for mainstream morality is expediency - "That is good which is most expedient."... Expediency being defined in terms of the various values of different possible outcomes; these values being reducible to psychological states of ourselves and others - variously weighted. This is just kicking the can down the road - because the moral valuations of these predicted psychological states is taken for granted, but covertly and dishonestly. Thus, it is tacitly implied that being-happy is morally superior to being-miserable, because 'making' someone happy - supposedly - by ones choices, is accorded the highest moral value.) 


But although this kind of moral arguing is mainstream and expected; it is both inadequate and immoral

Inadequate because we cannot know consequences of actions (as illustrated by 'the palantir problem'). Further, we cannot know what provides the greatest utility for other people (especially those remote in time or space, and who we have never met).

And inadequate also because the circle-of-concern of utilitarianism (the conceptual grouping people who 'matter', or who matter the most) is 'arbitrary' - in the sense of being undefined by the assumptions. And it turns out there is not even a stable consensus as to who this group of concern ought to be.  

Immoral; because optimizing happiness/ minimizing suffering (even if we could do it, which we can't) Is Not Morality - but some combination of medicine, psychology - and social engineering. When morality is reducible to valuations of imputed psychological states - we have simply deleted morality - at least, as morality has been traditionally understood, and is still understood by (real) Christians. 

Despite this, people are expected to participate in the frequent public 'virtue charades' by which we pretend to understand the causality of the world, affect to predict alternative futures, and know what other people want and is good for them...


None of this has anything to do with real morality or virtue; so we need to be on the look-out for situations in which the Real Thing is apparent and in conflict with the consequentialist-utilitarian propaganda and waffle. 

Doing the right thing, making the good decision, will tend to come to us in a highly specific fashion - rather than as an instance of following some general rule - and even when virtue can be justified by general rules/ laws/ commandments; there is always the possibility of dispute over the meaning and applicability of the principle. 

We can, in complete contrast (and if we ask for and allow it) sometimes Know what we Ought to think, say, choose or do - and know it in an absolutely specific (here-and-now, this situation, this crux). 

We may know by a direct moral intuition.


As Christians; we may know that moral intuition comes from the divine within us, and/or from direct intuitive contact with eth Holy Ghost without us (and, preferably, both!). 

That is the basis of morality - because it tells us what is right for Me-Here-Now, and not merely in generic terms. 

And if this moral intuition is lacking, then so is the possibility of morality. 


My point is that moral intuition may well conflict with the other forms of morality; and when it does we may find that we cannot 'explain' our decisions - at least not without the inaccuracy of pretending the decision is based on consequentialist-utilitarian considerations, or else is the mere application of some generic and universal rule. 

So be it. After all, most people (especially those in leadership positions) do not really want an explanation from us; except 'rhetorically'; as a way of making us change our decisions and instead do what They want us to do. 

But these moral intuitions are the Real Thing, when it comes to virtue - and if we do not follow them, then we have sinned - regardless of how 'convincingly' our decisions can be justified using general principles, or defended on the basis of expediency ("I had to do it - or else...). 


Note: I found Rudolf Steiner's book The Philosophy of Freedom to be helpful in understanding the nature of a moral intuition; and to distinguish it from generic rule-following. 

Friday, 17 June 2022

Nothing can stop the Duke of Earl - but is that a good thing?



As I walk through this world
Nothing can stop the Duke of Earl
And-a you, you are my girl
And no one can hurt you, oh no

Yes-a, I, oh I'm gonna love you, oh oh
Come on let me hold you darlin'
'Cause I'm the Duke of Earl
So hey yea yea yeah

And when I hold you
You'll be my Duchess, Duchess of Earl
We'll walk through my dukedom
And a paradise we will share

Yes-a, I, oh I'm gonna love you, oh oh
Nothing can stop me now
'Cause I'm the Duke of Earl
So hey yeah yeah yeah

Well, I, oh I'm gonna love you, oh oh
Nothing can stop me now
'Cause I'm the Duke of Earl
So hey yeah yeah yeah


It has been known for more than sixty years that nothing can stop the Duke of Earl

Although many have tried, they always fail - even when powerful agents of the totalitarian establishment

So the Duke can do anything he wants... but what is it that the Duke wants? 

(Aside from holding his girl, and walking with her in paradise.)  


As more people begin to look for a Strong Man to heal this chaotic earth and unite the fractured nations; some are starting to ask whether the Duke of Earl is exactly what we need - hidden in plain sight for all this time? 

Certainly he could do it, even if nobody else could. 

But others qualify such hopes by pointing-out that - although the Duke makes absolutely certain that no one can hurt his girl; he has never yet offered to extend this security guarantee beyond his dukedom and to a global level.  


We need to find out! - and as a matter of urgency - What Are His Intentions? We all assume they are benign, but do we really know?

And, if necessary, we must try to persuade the Duke of Earl to take a larger role in world governance. 

Obviously desirable. Easily said. But how?  


Note: I personally suspect that the Duke of Earl - like Tom Bombadil - has no interest in power; and is satisfied by his Earlship of the Dukedom and the fact that wherever walks through this world, nothing can stop him. Even if he was persuaded to become the absolute ruler of the world - because all the free peoples begged him - he would probably forget to turn-up for work.

Thursday, 16 June 2022

The Totalitarian Consciousness - propaganda has replaced divine inspiration

In ancient times, it seems that Men lived in mainly in a 'clairvoyant' consciousness; that is, Men did not regard thought as coming from themselves, but as 'inspiration' breathed-in from the gods. 

Instead of Man thinking, the gods thought in ancient Man

This required Man's thinking to be open to the gods - and this openness happened naturally, spontaneously - and indeed it could not be blocked. 


Through history, 'the self' became more dominant in thinking - leading to the 'modern condition' of the self being almost-solely aware of itself: being trapped in Consciousness-of-Consciousness

This can be envisaged as a divine plan for Man to become more free, that is to say more creative and originative of his own thinking. 

But although that was the plan - it seldom happens; because it requires modern Men choosing to resume belief-in/ knowledge-of/ communication-with 'the gods' - whereas modern Man's assumption is that there are no gods, and 'the spiritual' is subjective, hence unreal.


To escape the subjective misery of CofC isolation; modern Man has again opened his thinking - but this time voluntarily.

But modern Man denies the reality of the gods. To what, then, is modern Man opening his mind? 

The answer is that he has opened his thinking to The System: to bureaucracy, corporations and the mass media. 

Instead of Man thinking, The System thinks in modern Man


In Sum: Whereas ancient Man experienced the gods thinking in him; modern Man experiences The System thinking in him. 

Where ancient Man's mind was spontaneously and unstoppably open to the gods - and his choice was between gods (i.e. between angels or demons, God or Satan); modern Man's mind is open to Totalitarian Propaganda - and his choice is between today's permissible variations in the message (i.e. between Labour/ Democrat or Conservative/ Republican; between focusing on antiracism, birdemic-healthism or the transagenda). 

Thus; when modern Man thinks - he is trapped in the closed-loop of fluctuating hypothetical models; when he tries to escape into communal solidarity he stops thinking - and his mind is opened to totalitarian propaganda. 


For as long as 'the gods' and 'the spirit' are rejected-by-assumption; for so long, modern Man's mind will oscillate between a prison-of-mirrors, and an open sewer for evil. 


Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Life and Consciousness - two aspects of Beings

Consider the phenomenon of consciousness, of self-awareness; which is part of mainstream culture in the form of official, corporate and media outputs concerning Artificial Intelligence, the possibility of Sentient computers, robots, vehicles etc. 

It is clear that the mainstream culture has abstractly defined consciousness and abstracted it from the context of living beings; and is now off into the reals of untrammeled speculation about where it might or does exist in some electronic or informational kind, independent of life and of humans. 


But my baseline metaphysical assumption - which is apparently the built-in assumption of all (?) human beings as young children - is that everything is alive (or part of a living being) - and that consciousness is an aspect of being alive. 

In other words, consciousness cannot be separated from life. All living things are conscious to some degree and in some way; and all conscious things are living. 

Therefore; if/when a non-being seems to be conscious, then this consciousness is either not real, or else coming from a living being. 

 

A separate question is why our culture has assiduously implanted the idea that non-beings can or will be conscious. This has been portrayed in fiction, or wrongly claimed in media, so often that many people believe it is true - or at least possible and imminent. 

The answer to 'why' is partly because of the innate error of modern consciousness, which allows people to believe the false idea. 

And partly because of purposive, strategic evil supernatural beings; which aim to confuse and/or brainwash people, for purposes tending to make them choose their own damnation by desiring it. 

 

Freedom of will (agency) is Creativity is God (is Man). Joseph Beuys's Romantic Christianity

JB: If Man is conditioned by the environment, by what is already there, he can't be free; he can only be free if he is not governed by his environment. Of course man is always influenced by his environment, but if he is completely governed by it, then he is no longer free. 

Interviewer: But man himself is a part of the environment.

JB: Yes, but only in material terms, only in respect of his physical being. What I am concerned with is the part of myself which is not connected with the environment... 

When talking about freedom, one has to determine its foundations, and that can only be done by ascertaining its limits. We can say that freedom is possible, but freedom cannot come from the environment: it has to come from creativity... 

I said that freedom = creativity = man. And that freedom is achieved on the basis of the creative principle. And in that case, who else could be God except Man?

If we don't want to go quite this far; we could say that God is a 'generator'. 


From Joseph Beuys's interview with Achille Bonito Oliva, in Energy Plan for the Western Man (1990) writings and interviews compiled by Carin Kuoni. 

**

My comment:  

Here Joseph Beuys gets to essentially the same understanding of freedom/ free will/ agency that I reached (but some decades later). 

Genuine freedom of Man entails a divine concept of creativity. We are free only when we are being-creative, and creativity is an attribute of the divine. Thus man is, when free and being-creative, divine: a god.  

Freedom is not a physical but a spiritual attribute; and we cannot observe freedom if we deny the spiritual. 

Also, freedom's expression is spiritual not physical - that is, freedom may be found in thinking, but not (or not fully) in physical action; because physical action is always analyzable as a product of environment. 


This is an important insight for the Christian (here-and-now) because Christianity entails that he who is saved, the believer, the resurrected - is genuinely free: free to choose or reject salvation. 

Christianity is (or should be) built-around this absolute, existential, metaphysical freedom - yet such freedom is not satisfactorily explained by traditional theology, which sees God as utterly different from Man and the omnipotent creator of everything - leaving no room for other sources of divine creative freedom. 

Modern Man experiences absolute agency; but typically abuses (from the perspective of divine purpose) it in order (passively and unconsciously) to believe what could be termed leftist-materialism; which ideology then subverts freedom by denying God and the spiritual realm. 

Modern Man therefore chooses to regard himself as unfree - his action a product of the physical/ material environment, his thinking an irrelevant epiphenomenon... 

Hence Modern Man uses his freedom tacitly to assent to a totalitarian system of evil lies; on the basis that 'there is no alternative'. 


For Beuys as for myself; this creative freedom ought instead to be used creatively - as Beuys said "Everyone is an artist". 

(We are therefore free to deny our freedom: but this denial has the consequence that we then oppose God's creative goals.)

We can now see that this 'artistry' is to be in the realm of the spiritual, of thinking (it can be nowhere else!); and the intent is that it directed 'at-God', at the divine in a conscious way, to work in harmony with God's creative purposes expressed through the person of Jesus Christ. 


Man now needs to become aware of his God-nature, and of the nature and scope (and limits) of this God-nature; and that this life is (and is meant to be - meant By God to be) a struggle between those who deploy their creativity actively and in harmony with God...

And against that: those who remain unconscious, ignore or suppress their potential freedom, and passively-align with those who oppose God (i.e. spiritual demonic powers). 

The struggle of this mortal life is needed for us to learn... We learn by and from this struggle. 


[The fact of death is very much a part of the mortal living struggle; which means we should - consciously, actively -  take death into account in this life. Death - our death, and also death as an incisive event in world history and for all Men - is central to Christianity. Beuys wrote about this matter specifically, and I intend to quote some of his reflections on the matter in a later post.]

Tuesday, 14 June 2022

Modern Man trapped a closed-loop of consciousness-of-consciousness (CofC)

Mainstream, mundane modern consciousness could be summarized as a closed-loop comprising consciousness-of-consciousness - CofC - that is, Modern Man is aware primarily of his own awareness. 

From all else he is removed: consciousness stands between awareness and other Beings, and even between awareness and himself. This is an extreme form of abstraction - we are thinking about ourselves-thinking! 

Thus other-people, the world - even one's own living self! - these things are not experienced directly. They do not strike the observing consciousness as absolutely real. Thus we get the characteristic 'relativism' of modernity: exactly because nothing seems really-real. 


So, because nothing seem livingly-real, nothing is experienced as palpably alive - Modern Man inhabits what feels like a dead universe; and that deadness includes his own Being. (Leading to the common idea that consciousness is itself an illusion, or a functionless-epiphenomenon.) 

Knowledge in CofC is indirect - a matter of 'theories', of 'models' - concepts that have been (mostly) passively-absorbed with ideology; all soon revealed as unsatisfactory, all over-simplified and dubiously-applicable - yet models-of-reality are all we have inside closed-loop CofC. 

Lacking experiential contact with life, others, the self - Modern Man is easily persuaded that consciousness is separable from life... That non-Beings (computers, robots) are just-as-alive as Beings - hence the assumptions of Artificial Intelligence and sentient androids etc. 


The closed-loop of CofC lacks contact with creation, therefore consciousness decays entropically - needs continually to be sustained by stimulatory inputs. 

Hence our addiction to distraction; Modern Man's requirement to be plugged-into mass and social media, to sensory and energy inputs. 

Hence MM's belief that death is extinction, annihilation. 

Because from inside the CofC loop the innate tendency is to cessation; CofC is self-experienced as slipping-away, as corrupting towards dysfunction, as dying.

 

The answer? Primary Thinking, Direct Knowing, Intuition... 

Yes; but the key is that  - instead of consciously-directing CofC and trying to make our-selves experience the world as real, alive and conscious; instead of learning some technique of meditation...

Instead of trying and training - which are just another kind of modelling, and still in the closed-loop - we need to be led by love. And love is not something that can be directed, or had by effort. 


Therefore we start-with love - some specific love we actually have for some specific Being... some entity (person, living-thing, grouping of persons etc) whom we already but unconsciously regard as alive. 

And from that love of the unconsciously-alive, the CofC-loop brings something new; which is consciousness of this love, and consciousness of the life

And this leads on to engagement, the two-way communication, the 'final participation' which is, of itself, a joining-with divine creation. 

  

Positive and Good motivations cannot be *given* to people, from externally

One of the Big Problems of modern life (at least, many people regard it as a problem; although it is probably in truth a vital learning experience) is that nowadays Positive and Good motivations cannot be given to people. 

And external motivations are either bad, negative - or both. 


In general, the Godless aspiritual modern people in the West are very weakly motivated compared with the past- to the point that they do not even recognize (instead dishonestly deny) when their personal and direct interests are threatened, nor do they have even the courage to defend their children. 

It remains possible, however, to motivate people negatively and to desire harm. 

This is, typically, done by monolithic instruction and incentives from official bureaucracies (government, 'legal', 'educational', 'scientific' etc); combined with pervasive and coordinated propaganda from the mass (including social) media. 

There are plenty of effective negative motivations - e.g. based on fear, resentment, greed, lust. 

And there are plenty of motivations to affiliate with the side of evil - since purposive-evil controls (essentially) all Western and Global nations and institutions; and therefore access to money, status, power, influence...


Thus the typical 'motivated' modern person is atheistic and leftist - evil and negative: which is to say: affiliated to Satanic goals directed against divine creation; and exclusively focused on negative, oppositional purposes (such as socialism, feminism, antiracism, healthism, environmentalism etc) - sustained by negative emotions and sinful desires (two sides of a coin). 


What about Christianity - how does that motivate people?

We can see that it used to be possible - indeed normal - for Christianity to motivate people externally. That is, people were invited to participated in the life of a church - with its sociality, rituals, cohesion etc. 

But church seems to have little appeal to modern people; while the actuality (and indeed potential) of external religiousness has declined sharply; and for many months since 2020 has been absent - with churches closed and essential activities suspended (by the active choice of churches).


What this means is quite simple: anyone who wants positive and Good motivations for life; must find these for himself. 

This requires individuals taking responsibility and being active with respect to their own spiritual destinies. 

And not many people seem to be willing to do that? They want motivations and gratifications to be presented to them, or imposed upon them - requiring merely passive consent. And thus they choose negativity and evil. 


So we cannot supply motivations of the right sort. We may suggest - but at bottom such suggestions are for each to embark on a personal quest. 

How then can we encourage the individuals we love to take personal responsibility and an active spiritual role in life? 

How does God try to create a conducive environment for His children to do the same? 

Not easy, nor comfortable. 


Mostly, the sorry tale must be played-out to its bitter end; when the consequences of individuals and groups choosing to be motivated negatively and to affiliate with evil, become starkly apparent. 

And the choice is between despair and death, on the one hand; or, on the other hand, an active choice of salvation, resurrection, eternal life in Heaven.  

Sometimes... usually, people will only learn from harsh lessons.


Monday, 13 June 2022

Two things are needed: Doing the right things, and knowing that these things are right

I've said it before, but it's a hard truth to grasp and hold onto; that our terminal condition of being is caused by a twofold error/sin, and can only be escaped by a twofold correction/repentance. 


Our basic beliefs are false and evil, such that our good impulses and experiences are ignored, explaied-away or (increasingly) inverted in meaning. 

At the same time, our actual lived experiences are defective. We think in a crude and unsustainable way - which means that we seek and value experiences that are needed to perpetuate this defective consciousness. 

That is, we seek constant affirmation and stimulation to keep the wrong ideas going; and/or we seek to obliterate our consciousness of the wrongness of things - e.g. by intoxication and other forms of dulling or obliteration. 


Escape is yearned-for but in a mistaken form. We passively seek to have the answer imposed-upon-us; because only thus are we prepared to believe it. Yet, simultaneously, we are aware that all the answers within our kind of consciousness are merely hypothetical models; that we pickup and discard with high frequency. 

Modern consciousness is so obviously shallow, labile, provisional... defective that we have lost trust in our capacity to know. 

We disbelieve our-selves - because we hardly know our-selves. We have no direct and experiential contact with other people, or other Beings (including deities) that comprise the living universe; therefore all of these are unreal, and unmotivating. 

And if  they are, briefly, experienced as real and compelling, we doubt this insight and suspect the motivations. We cannot chose, because all choices seem feeble and short-lived conjectures. 

In the end, the only safe thing is to assimilate to the currently-dominant external inputs...

   

Therefore escape requires a twofold move: to know the reality of ourselves and divine creation, and at the same time to direct our feeble and sustainable consciousness to participate in our-selves, other men and the Beings that comprise reality. 

But this cannot be done be any technique or method - because these are aspects of the very Modern Consciousness that we wish to escape. This doing can only be accomplished by Love, which is the basis of creation. 

Since we intend to re-connect our consciousness with creation - this entails Love. 

And again we meet with false understandings; since the passive modern consciousness believes real love, or the highest love, to be universal an impersonal, abstract and ideal - whereas real-actual love is particular and personal, 'concrete' and particular. 


The notion of ideal, impersonal and universal love is indeed another evil-absorbed-hypothesis of modern consciousness. 

So we must start-from actual, 'given', specific love of a person or other Being: that is the only basis of genuine escape; of re-connection with reality and the sustaining power of creation. We need to be guided-by love; not attempting to guide love by using that Modern Conscious which is causing the problem.  

Not technique but love; and love as specific and 'personal'; together with the conviction that this is indeed the ultimate reality of this creation in which we dwell. 

Both together and at the same time.  


Sunday, 12 June 2022

Mouse and spider flavoured cat food?

What! Seriously?...


Cats are fussy eaters - prone to turn-up their furry noses at even sachet-treats of expensive, exotically flavoured food (beef and liver, poultry and lamb... mmm!). What a waste!

So, why don't cat food manufacturers actually make (or, at least flavour) their product with the things cats actually like to eat? Mice, spiders, pigeons, grass, bluebottles, mashed banana, little bits of debris lying on the floor? 

The problem is that the makers are trying to appeal to humans - not to cats; on the basis of "who actually buys the stuff?" So we get claims the food contains the kind of meat that people enjoy. 

A deeper consideration reveals that the proper question to ask is: "But who controls the purse-strings in a cat-inhabited house?" 

That query has a very different answer. 


Saturday, 11 June 2022

I can't believe somebody actually did this, on purpose



We have a tumble drier with a "buzzer" alarm (five ascending notes with a needly kind of electronic tone) that tells you when the washing is as dry as you want it to be. 

So, you hear the buzzer, go to the machine, open the door to get the dry washing... and the alarm sounds again: triggered by the opening of the door

Get this: you are actually in the process of opening the door - and the alarm sounds to tell you to open the door...


What kind of person decided that it was a good idea to install such a mechanism? 

What kind of person then sits down to design a device to tell people to do something that they are actually in the middle of doing? 

What kind of consumer expert imagines that this will be a popular feature? 


What kind of a world are we living-in - that such things happen, yet nobody is called to account? 


Joseph Beuys's Romantic Christianity


Note: All text consists of quotations from Joseph Beuys, made in an interview with Louwrien Wijers, November 22nd 1979; published in Writing as Sculpture (1996). 

I have edited the text for clarity based on my understanding of what was intended - for which I take responsibility. Because although Beuys was fluent in English - he was not idiomatic; and often deployed German grammatical constructions - plus some personal terminology, and some from Rudolf Steiner. It is probably best to try and get an overview (Gestalt) of his meaning, rather than trying to build understanding from the accumulation of specific statements. 

Also, because this was a conversation the recorded and transcribed words benefit, I believe, from some re-arrangement, excision, and slight verbal expansion. 


My point here is to emphasize - and this surprised me considerably! - that Joseph Beuys was a serious, and tough-minded, hard-nosed, Christian; in his primary motivations, and his understanding of art, politics, society... 

And he was a romantic Christian, because he saw that (here-and-now) Christianity depends on the individual human being, personally choosing to take an active and conscious role in addressing the problems of mundane modern existence: materialism, meaninglessness, purposelessness - dead life in a dead world. 

And Beuys saw that the escape from dead-ly materialism was forward-and-through - and out the other side - by a spiritual repetition (individually, and socially) of Christ's death and resurrection.   


Christ is not symbolized: he is real! 

Christ is not a symbol for something else. He is the substance in himself. It means life, it means power - the power of life. 

Christ has already brought life. Without the substance of Christ the earth would already have died. 

So Christ is not a symbol of something... I always fear this application of 'symbols'. 

 

The most important power exists in Christ, in the elements and substance of Christ. He is a germination: the idea of the Son coming-out from spiritual entities (abstractly called 'God'). 

In the Christ element, the spiritual entities are showing the reality that this element also exists in humankind itself. We can speak of the human being because this element exists in him. 

The most important declaration of Christ in that Man is the spiritual co-operator*. This shifts the whole energy-problem to the spiritual abilities of the people, of humankind. 

Interviewer: When you say we do not need mediators between gods and people in our times, do you mean that this is a task we have to do ourselves, now?

Beuys: Yes, sure: certainly. 

And we can do it ourselves. But there must first appear, or should appear - and in fact appears already in humankind - a kind of interest to ask; and that is surely a necessity. 


To approach an understanding of world, and Man, and nature; asks for a very individual methodology. An individual mentality or ability...

At present the churches avoid speaking about the possibilities of humankind using such soul-powers, will-powers; powers of thought; and intuition, imagination and inspiration - and to come with this kind of 'ability' towards such an understanding.  

 

We need to understand that to reach the earthly condition of materialism, and to get incarnated with this idea of death; there must be a resurrection...

The Christ spirit was related to the development of the idea of analysis [leading to materialism]. 

The whole range of philosophy throughout the Western world shows more and more this analytic way, and reaches a materialist consciousness. Thus it comes to death, like Christ. 

So, in the Western world there is a kind of repetition of the mystery of Christ's life and death. It ends with the fact that we now have a materialist understanding of the world. And because of this spiritual declaration of the material intention, materialism (as a whole) is a spiritual thing...


First the earth was dead in part; but Men have long been giving death to death - they have added death articles to death principles. 

So now our earth is dead! How can this death be surpassed, renewed, regenerated? That is the great question.

Only humankind can do this. Only. Nobody else. People must do it. Men are now totally responsible for the fate of the earth and for life on earth. 

We must see that all is alive - and surpass death. 


Solving the problem of life and death is the mission of the methodology of materialism. 

People have to die, in a way; have to feel what death means - have to reach the earth. 

Death belongs to life, you know! In the spiritual meaning, life is not possible without death. 

That sounds like mysticism, but is not, because this mystery is experienced by everybody. 

People have to have, and to develop, another understanding than the materialistic understanding - which is only looking for power to exploit, with a distorting and debasing understanding of energies.


Everything depends on us

It is absolutely necessary to see that everything depends on us; and that we can do it! 

Very easily we can do it - it is not so difficult to do.

The whole power exists with the people. But if the the people do not use it, then the regressive powers will get stronger. 


In future; we need the strongest of human spirits - those who are able to resist in the middle of the shit! 

Who live in the midst of things; and who feel that their own abilities can only grow in the midst of problems. 

Not those who want a kind-of weak environment with a kind-of 'spiritual feeling'... 


*Meaning - Man's cooperation with God has been necessary since the time of Christ, and is ever more necessary. This is clear from (too spread-out to summarize) remarks made elsewhere.