Friday 2 December 2022

What is the purpose of incarnation for evil-inclined souls? My own experience of choosing salvation

I have said, speculated, that the reason for the unique extremity and pervasiveness of evil-affiliation in these present times - especially the high prevalence and social dominance of value-inversion - is probably due to the nature of those souls being incarnated in recent generations

In other words, there seem to be a high number and proportion of people born who already have a tendency to reject God, and the gift of resurrection - such a tendency being part of their original makeup, and having continued in pre-mortal spirit-life. 

But why do such souls incarnate at all? 

Why allow evil-inclined souls to be incarnated; given that such souls may create and sustain the kind of world that we now inhabit: where global and national institutions and the mass media combine to be a kind-of machine for damnation...

Well, these are Not matters of predestination, because all Men have agency; any individual soul may repent and choose to join-with the side of divine creation. 

So, incarnation offers such souls a chance - and God (as creator) will engineer each life to provide experiences, learning from which may lead such souls to repentance. 

It seems that this mortal incarnate life - with its condensed consciousness providing a located-perspective on a world of constant inner and change and variation - is a better place for learning than pre-mortal spirit life. 

Indeed, I regard myself as exactly one such evil-inclined soul. 

I rejected God and became an atheist at a very early age; I think six years old - and with an eagerness and decisiveness that suggests it had 'always' been my unconscious intention to cut-loose from the solidly Christian framework within which I lived at school (although not at home). 

Without this mortal incarnate experience (if I had remained a pre-mortal spirit); I would have probably been something like a pantheistic pagan. That is, I would have rejected the opportunity to join-with God's plan to raise up Men towards divinity and a life of co-creation. 

Without this mortal experience; I would probably have 'handed back the ticket of consciousness and agency', and lapsed back towards a passive, un-personal state of mere Being: something like the ideal Nirvana of Eastern religions.  

But being incarnated, and entering-into the world as-is, also brought the hazard that my rejection of God's plan led instead to an incrementally-increasing affiliation (overall and substantial, although never whole-hearted) to the side of evil - as can be seen from many of my published writings before 2009. 

And I compounded my personal rejection of God and embrace of this-worldly evil by my writing (and teaching) - so, by the time I started to become a Christian, I was in a bad way - spiritually! 

...Not so much in terms of being a spectacular and Luciferic 'sinner' of lusts and greed - but certainly in terms of affiliation and motivations; and in my active and public support of the Ahrimanic System.  

And what of this current System of damnation, and the fact that this world is mostly ruled by evil affiliated Men who serve demonic powers? 

At an aggregate 'group level' - what is going-on from God's point of view? Why might God allow such a situation to develop and continue?

In particular; how can such an appalling general situation be of benefit to incarnated souls, many of whom are apparently - like me - disposed to reject the hopes of divine creation and the chance for eternal resurrected life? 

My best answer is the explanation of 'things coming to a point'. That Good and evil are increasingly-more separated (more polarized') and thus evil is more starkly revealed. 

Evil here-and-now is more absurd, as it becomes value-inverted, more clearly tyrannical, more obviously destructive.  

The excuses, or rationalizations, for evil have become thinner, more perfunctory, more labile and self-contradictory.

Of course, despite all this, most people still don't see through to what is really happening! 

Yet, if we accept the premise that the world is populated by especially evil-inclined souls; souls that are unusually (in historical terms) unusually hardened and fixed in their rejection of divine creation...

Then, from this point of view; we can regard the contemporary world as allowed by God because it represents extreme rescue measures; a spiritual shock designed to startle souls thrawn to evil into a sudden appalled recognition of what horrible things they are thinking, saying, believing...


Mortal incarnation is therefore a high risk business... 

Because it is a chance for learning: it is thereby a chance for learning evil, as well as Good. 

It is a chance for evil-inclined, God-indifferent souls to get spiritually worse, as well as to get better. 

This world we inhabit is a world planned and controlled by evil-inclined souls; so it cannot really be good of itself and overall. But, nonetheless; God has made use of the world's evil to provide an environment in which the spiritual war has been brought close to the surface; a world that serves the function of providing extreme learning conditions. 

Perhaps towards making a 'last chance' situation for even the worst of sinners; in which - for a moment - clarity is attained, and a final decision made. 

For some souls - such is apparently their only realistic possibility of avoiding their own prior-choice of damnation. 


ben said...

I suppose there's greater opportunity for everything in this world's 'concentration' or 'condensation', 'sublimation', relative to spirithood. This includes greater opportunity for Good and evil for souls interested in both; in fact, most people who fall on the evil side get something out of both.

Maybe God would consent to the incarnation of even very evilly inclined people, these people having no intention of ever resurrecting, just for his chance to pitch resurrection to them.

Bruce Charlton said...

@ben - Yes, this concentration seems to create distinctions and thereby clarify things - in particular a Being's awareness of itself as a Being, among Beings.

"these people having no intention of ever resurrecting"

By my understanding, each Being's innermost intentions are private - unknown even to God (and also, potentially, unknown to that individual). Therefore I don't think it can ever be known with certainty that a person (or other being) will reject salvation - until after it has happened.

Luke said...

You didn't answer your first question, why would such an individual choose incarnation, but Ben has provided a decent answer.

Alex said...

Slightly off-topic, but you really ought to study and write about St Faustina Kowalska, who was one of the great Saints of the 20th century.

She was given many visions and messages by Jesus Christ, including a rosary-style prayer called the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

Some quotes from her diary:

"Priests will recommend it to sinners as their last hope of salvation. Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this chaplet only once, he would receive grace from My infinite mercy." (Diary, 687)

“When they say this chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person, not as a just Judge but as a merciful Savior.” (Diary, 1541)

“The souls that say this chaplet will be embraced by My mercy during their lifetime and especially at the hour of their death.” (Diary, 754)

“When hardened sinners say it, I will fill their souls with peace, and the hour of their death will be a happy one.” (Diary, 1541)

"It pleases me to grant everything souls ask of me by saying the chaplet. When hardened sinners say it, I will fill their souls with peace, and the hour of their death will be a happy one. Write this for the benefit of distressed souls; when a soul sees and realizes the gravity of its sins, when the whole abyss of the misery into which it immersed itself is displayed before its eyes, let it not despair, but with trust, let it throw itself into the arms of My mercy, as a child into the arms of its beloved mother. Tell them no soul that has called upon My mercy has been disappointed or brought to shame. I delight particularly in a soul that has placed its trust in My goodness. Write that when they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My father and the dying person, not as the Just Judge but as the Merciful Saviour." (Diary, 1541)

"At the hour of their death, I defend every soul that will say this Chaplet as I do my own glory. When this Chaplet is said by the bedside of a dying person, God's anger is placated and His unfathomable mercy envelops the soul." (Diary, 811)

“My mercy is greater than your sins and those of the entire world.” (Diary, 1485)

The Feast of the Divine Mercy is an occasion where Catholic Christians can obtain FULL forgiveness for all the effects of their sin, including the "temporal punishment" that leads to Purgatory:

Bruce Charlton said...

@Luke - I can't cover all angles in a short blog post - these daily posts are building on earlier foundations, covered in earlier posts. I can only advise using the word search facility to find out about background.

I did make an archive blog about the main aspects of Mormon theology - or those aspects of it which I have adopted:

This covers - in a somewhat systematic way - matters such as pre-mortal spirit life, why incarnation/ embodiment is a higher state than the spirit, etc.

@Alex - I have never heard of St Faustina or a chaplet. I am, of course, sympathetic to much of Roman Catholic Christianity (I frequently attended a traditionalist Anglo Catholic for a couple of years; until the church appointed a new pony-tailed vicar who was a Zen Buddhist), and have read a fair bit on the topic over several decades, and try to keep abreast of the good stuff that goes on in that largest and most powerful and influential of Christian denominations.

But this is never going to be a go-to blog for detailed Roman Catholic devotional practices! Although there are some such blogs, including some apparently good ones, listed on the aggregator - which I check regularly.

ben said...

My understanding is that people are incarnating 'as themselves', meaning mostly unmodified in their basic nature. They need to know what it is to be incarnated as themselves, first, so they can then consent to the modification or permanent orientation toward Good.

So the picture would be so evil partly because these people need to know what it's like to live by their evil natures, before they can know what they're doing in choosing Good-orienting resurrection.

It's also conceivable to me that if massive Good is offered after death, even pretty evil people might accept it. If the equation becomes massive Good vs continued (or even lesser, if returned to spirithood) evil. This is with the understanding that many Good-opposing people are in some way valuing Good, and in fact this is the source of their interest in opposing it. Like swapping out milk (sweet) chocolate for dark (bitter), in one's own valuing of milk chocolate.

Bruce Charlton said...

@ben - "Like swapping out milk (sweet) chocolate for dark (bitter), in one's own valuing of milk chocolate."

I see what you did there.

Luke said...

@Bruce I'm familiar with what you've written, although I don't think I've thoroughly read that blog.
I was curious to learn and sort of expecting a more individual and personal answer this time, since you went into so much biographical detail for the second question. I had a longer comment that sort of explained/asked that, but cut it off because Ben's idea on the opportunity available fixed my perspective. I still wanted to prompt you and see how you would reply, but I didn't think it was polite to ask for a personal account of why you may have chosen incarnation so I opted to point that omission out instead.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Luke - "why you may have chosen incarnation"

I could not answer that - even if I wanted to - which I don't! I feel about such matters much as I feel about (personal, everyday) miracles.

Such events and knowledge are (nearly always) individually intended, and I think ought not to be shared; not least because that leads to trying to make them convincing to skeptics, defend them against criticism and alternative explanations etc. which is counter-productive.

Also, I usually find myself embarrassed when other people share their experience of miracles, mystical experiences, or their convictions about divine providence as it applies to themselves. It sounds like they are claiming special status, that they are trying to manipulate my response, justify themselves... or something of that sort.

So I don't do it, as a rule (though I may have slipped-up at times).

David Earle said...

> Also, I usually find myself embarrassed when other people share their experience of miracles, mystical experiences, or their convictions about divine providence as it applies to themselves. It sounds like they are claiming special status, that they are trying to manipulate my response, justify themselves... or something of that sort.

Apologizes if I am guilty of this!

I often embarrass myself by most comments I leave on the internet, which is why I don't often do it! As for here, it is usually a feeble attempt to express gratitude.