Monday 31 October 2022

Are a handful of Romantic Christians of any possible real-world use?

I find myself fascinated, these days, by tales and legends of a small group working against apparently insuperable odds, ridiculously overmatched... yet succeeding (overall, mostly) with the help of divine providence. 

This may explain my interest in such stories as The Journey to the West/ Monkey, the Lord of the Rings, That Hideous Strength, or the Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson. There have also been real life examples such as the 'Lake Poets', Tolkien's youthful TCBS club of school friends and later the Inklings

It is a familiar trope; and is usually associated with action and adventure. But I feel that the deep fascination of this scenario is at the level of thinking, not doing - and it about a spiritual rather than material quest. 

At any rate; the current situation is a quest for something uncertain, in an unknown place, and without any clear idea of how to achieve it...

Consider the blogs linked on the sidebar - the 'Romantic Christian' grouping. There is no way that a handful of people writing on obscure blogs could causally make a positive difference to a world of billions, or even just The West - many of whom are addicted to the mass media and overwhelmingly hostile to anything which might interfere with their pleasures, or which might threaten their comfort, convenience and self-esteem.

But a blog is merely the surface, communicating, aspect of a motivation that exists primarily in hearts and minds, in our thinking; and which can work by a direct and unmediated process of knowing - a mind-to-mind mutuality of knowledge; rather than being reliant upon the process of sending out signals and having them received and understood in line with our hoped for meanings...

Furthermore, the 'odds' of Romantic Christianity being utterly ignored and ineffectual, are balanced by divine assistance insofar as we are indeed pursuing a quest that is in-line-with God's hopes and plans... 

And if we are not doing what would please God, then such assistance will be withheld; so the harm is limited.

Divine assistance seemingly works by means of 'providence', or synchronicity - that is to say a 'behind the scenes' arrangement of events to produce the most hopeful juxtapositions of persons and incidents. 

But God can only do so-much when it comes to human affairs, since our 'free will' can and does often oppose God's will... Nonetheless; providence is known for recurrently leading to as-many-as-possible opportunities for us to 'make the right decision', and thereby to nudge things in the right direction.

So providence can ensure that something is noticed, but not that it is reacted-to; nor that it is reacted-to in a positive and constructive fashion. 

Providence can use communications to point-at a truth - but cannot ensure that a person grasps that truth intuitively (ie directly); nor that he acts-upon it.

Anyway; I personally feel vastly encouraged by the idea of a hopeless quest against the odds, of a type that could only succeed by 'luck'/ wildly improbable 'coincidences'!

Encouraged by the idea that we should simply get-on-with trying to do what we ought to do, as best we can determine and and best we can pursue that quest; and accept that that is all that we can do - but that is enough. 

(Despite that we almost certainly will never know the full outcome of our endeavor even if we did - improbably, overall - succeed.)

I also feel encouraged by the conviction that such a quest cannot fail, because it has intrinsic value in the doing; and that any genuine achievement in the realm of real-thinking (thinking by and of our divine selves) is permanent and eternally available. 

It contributes to the sum of divine creation. 

It makes a difference forever.

Note: This was adapted from a piece featured in Albion Awakening some four and a half years ago. 


Jeffrey Cantrell said...

Bruce, you are on a roll. Great thoughts. WRT this comment, I am reminded of the Apostles, all of whom preached the word of God without ever knowing what would become f it, yet here we are.

a_probst said...

'Arthur Denniston and Mark Studdock spend a fair bit of time in the library of the rebuilt Bracton College, reading their professional journals. "Studdock, isn't this the Thornfield I've heard you railing against?" says Arthur, looking over Mark's shoulder and pointing at the table of contents.

"That's the man. Started his own field of sociology. Calls it 'mass behaviorism' and claims to have a mathematical basis for it. Very nice ideas," he says with an emphasis Arthur understands. "Let's see what he can do for my blood-pressure today." He flips to the article, reads, and discovers it to be based on a line of research exploded shortly before the War. He writes a letter to the journal about it.

Thornfield answers, wittily; Mark does not reply, but a heavy gun in mass psychology does, starting an exchange that discredits Thornfield. If anyone had ever bothered to write a biography of Thornfield (which no one ever did), they might have noted "the Studdock letter" as the point where "mass behaviorism" started to head down the drain.'


SanSaba1 said...

I think this group of writers is planting some seeds. I know it has inspired me greatly, and I've noticed a real shift in my thinking as a result of reading these blogs. Even when at times I may not agree with all points and views expressed on these blogs, there is something in the writing that feels to me like it's coming from a place where the spell of modernity has been broken. I hope to see these ideas continue to develop and grow stronger in this world.