Sunday 31 December 2023

The Law of Direct Knowing: or, why book recommendations are (mostly) useless and best-friends non-transferable

Have you ever noticed, as I did even in my teens, that your best-friend's other best friends were usually people you found to be distinctly... underwhelming. Sometimes, I even disliked them. And my own best friends often did not get-along very well - lacking any genuine affinity. 

This might be supposed to be due to jealousy, or that that each friend represented a different aspect in me; but I think the reason runs deeper.

Something similar applies with authors that I regard as mentors; my absolute favourite writers: those with whom I had a strong relationship, and whose influence on me has been significant. 

It is natural to seek further such mentors by tackling those who my favorite author regarded as his favourite authors... 

Yet this was typically a blind alley. No matter how deeply I admired and empathized with writer X; I nearly always discovered writer X's favourite, most significant, influences were disappointing; and often completely unappealing.

Furthermore, books recommended me by friends who liked the same things as I did, were often duds; and my own recommendations of the "you will love this" type, typically fell upon stony ground. 

The same applies with classical music, and indeed folk music - an exploration of the "influences" behind my favourite artistes and composers was almost uniformly unsatisfying.     

Such instances can be put-together; and a lesson drawn from them to make a kind of law: The Law of Direct Knowing.  

This is: We can only truly-know a person or personage in a direct and dyadic fashion.

We can - in other words - only truly know in terms of a meeting of just-two minds; and this applies whether in everyday-life or in our intense imaginative thinking-life. 

Thus; friendship and influence must alike be directly inter-personal - without any degrees of separation. 

Indeed; it strikes me that with the Law of Direct Knowing we are perhaps confronted here by a fundamental principle of divine creation - because (as I understand it) creation is rooted in love: and, more exactly, in dyadic love - love between "twos".

Love is both what holds-creation-together; and what gives creation its dynamism: its motivation and direction. 

Creation originated (I believe) in the love of our Heavenly Parents to constitute that which we term God; and divine creation began with God's love of all the Beings of reality - each individually relating back to God, via love, in a dyadic fashion. 

Creation then proceeds by multiple (and overlapping, interlocking) instances of dyadic love between the Beings of divine creation - to make the whole of creation bound and motivated by many mutual links.

What this means is that our evanescent mundane love/ relationships are -- in their partial and often temporary ways; and while continually being un-done by the depredations of entropy and the motivations of evil -- instances of that "power of love" which make creation. 

This mortal world is therefore a dynamic equilibrium - which may be strengthening or else falling-apart, at various scales - between the binding and creative powers of love - and that-which opposes love.  

And (at least, for Christians) Heaven can be understood as the place where such dyadic relations are permanent and pure in their nature - such that creation becomes wholly positive and progressive...

So that more-and-more of Heaven, is always being bound more-and-more strongly, by the direct knowing of dyadic love. 


Saturday 30 December 2023

Why "as above, so below" (macrocosm-microcosm) relations and correlations?

"As above, so below" or "the microcosm (the inner realm) reflects the macrocosm (the universe)" - seems to be one of those insights or assertions that has a core of truth; even though not always and literally true.

Why should this be?  

By my understanding of reality; the reason is that we inhabit a universe of Beings; and therefore there is a relationship between our Beingness and that of all and any other Beings. 

As the assumed ultimate "units of reality"; Beings are irreducible, and are not constituted by any definition. They are recognized, rather than constructed. 

But we can validly discuss the attributes of Beings; and these include that all are eternal and continuous in their existence; all are alive, conscious and have motivations. And all Beings change sequentially - which is the attribute we call Time.    

(Such attributes can be regarded as valid distinctions, but - because Beings are primary hence irreducible - the distinct attributes Cannot be divided from their wholes. Thus Time is a non-detachable attribute of Beings, and not a distinct abstract entity.) 

Therefore understanding of any one Being, provides some valid insight into all other Beings.

But on the other hand - for instance - consciousness varies significantly in both its quality and magnitude between - for example - "animal, vegetable, and mineral"; between never-incarnated spiritual Beings such as angels or demons, and resurrected Men; between The Sun and an ancient oak tree; between the human embryo and the adult...  

Many differences of many degrees; yet underlying all is that all that is knowable, everything conceptualize-able... all that is of divine creation - is A Being; and a created Being can, in principle, have direct (empathic, co-experienced) knowledge of another Being - linking above and below, the large and the small. 

Learning about one Being is therefore, in some sense, learning about any and all Beings.


Thursday 28 December 2023

Predictions for this New Year

Now that we have passed the winter solstice, we are in the New Year - or would be if there was any secular coherence to the concept! 

(A religious New Year can be any time; and indeed it was, even in England, where the New Year was March 25th - Lady Day - until just a few brief centuries ago; the residue of which is the "financial year" beginning on April 6th after some extra days were added to the calendar in 1752.)

However... One thing I have learned since 2020, is that I am hopeless at predictions - at least in the medium-terms of months to years. No matter how I feel that some-thing will, or will not, happen soon; this means next to nothing when compared with what actually happens. 

So, predictions are, for me, merely an indication of how I feel about the way that things-in-general are shaping. 

What has wrong-footed me is that British people still have basically the same general attitudes as they did in 2019, or 2000. Astonishing things have happened, and keep happening; but the basic mindset, the explanatory system, the underlying interpretative assumptions, have not changed significantly. 

At some point, I guess there will be a change (on the basis that I understand the world, which I cannot help but hold, without creating a self-refuting paradox!); because the mismatch between reality as I know it, and reality as it is generally assumed, is vast and widening.

Maybe that will happen in 2024? But even-if-so that is not necessarily, or likely, to be A Good Thing; because without a prior and cataclysmic spiritual awakening the outcome will be a despair that is likely to enhance self-loathing and accelerate the established cultural suicide. 

As I have often said, it seems likely to me (and this is being officially encouraged) that an epidemic of suicide will sooner or later happen in the West; including urgent demands for medical assistance in making this a painless procedure.

On the flip-side, will be murderous cults rooted in prideful and resentment-fuelled self-assertion (and some of these will probably include self-described traditionalist Christians).   

That Pride is not a legitimate antidote for Despair ought to be obvious, especially to Christians - but it isn't obvious, or, at least, the sin of Pride is strong enough to overcome scruples. 

Again on the flip side, the sin of despair is also capable of subverting and destroying real Christianity.

What is actually needed is - presumably, mutatis mutandis - modelled by the life of Jesus Christ; which is that fear should be defeated by faith, rooted in hope, validated by God's love of each of us. 

Death is a serious business, and while we are sustained alive than we have important spiritual work to do; but we cannot allow ourselves to regard death as the worst possible outcome. From a Christian perspective there are many things worse than death (as evidence by the Sainted martyrs, among many others).

To put matters differently; we need to recognize that survival cannot, and should not, be our priority. Partly because survival merely means some delay in dying. And partly because the price of surviving may be evil - and, indeed, that we are each asked to pay the cost of prolonging personal survival by embracing evil in our heart - is all-too-likely in these End Times.   

Tuesday 26 December 2023

Above the nested agendas of human and group self-interest, there is the Sorathic agenda of destruction

From where I see things, it seems very clear that the powers of Sorathic evil have the whip-hand in globalist policy already and increasingly; and in nothing is this clearer than  the fact that their "friends" - those nations, entities (and persons) whom "They" support, are subject to escalating destruction. 

Thus the nation over whom The Fire Nation and NATO are at war; have been massively and monolithically supported by the Global Establishment - and that nation has been destroyed. 

In the ongoing Arrakis conflict, the CHOAM nation that is unconditionally-supported by the International Totalitarians, is in practice (surely this is obvious?) being set-up for complete annihilation. 

And the main base of operations for world-wide and multi-national evil - namely the USA - is itself being actively destroyed in a multi-pronged strategy of escalating an unwinnable world war, destruction by colossal cross-border invasion, and by the degradation then inversion of all major social institutions, encouragement of race war, and progressive elimination of sustainable native-population reproduction (social and biological). 

In other words - everywhere and always; the strategy is that nation gets pitted against nation, nations are subverted and encouraged/compelled to fight other nations, trade is inhibited/ prevented/ disrupted, socially harmful and anti-human policies are supported all-round and by many routes. 

It is facile but foolish to suppose that all this destruction can be explained by seeking to unmask self-interest; whether in terms of money or power; or by tracing the origins of evil to a particular nation or group. 

No nation is exempted from the plan of destruction, all groups are included - and the more a nation or group is supported by the Global Totalitarian Establishment*, then the more that nation-group is controlled - and the more-complete the annihilation that is planned for it.  

*Note - Whatever human beings may involved at this top-hierarchical level; the core strategy is demonic in origin - for demons the humans are disposable tools. Also; demons are immortal spirits - hence they are not-human, and indeed (for various reasons) anti-human. No matter how total the annihilation of the human world, demons will personally survive - and the lethal corruption of Men to demonic purposes is indeed their main source of pleasure, as well as energetic sustenance

Seeking power entails opening ourselves to manipulation by power

It is seldom explained explicitly; but experience of life teaches that those who seek power are thereby made more vulnerable to power

In general terms: those who seek to manipulate the world thereby open-themselves to manipulation by the world. And this applies whether the power sought is physical-material, or spiritual.

There are many routes and reasons by which this happens; but the general principle seems solid. It is a Faustian-type bargain; as if reality tells us:

"Yes, you can impose your will on the world, to some extent; but the price you must pay for this privilege is that your will itself becomes subject to elements within the world". 

Why this should be a kind-of law is perhaps abstractly explicable in terms of engagement: insofar as we engage with the world (for whatever purpose), we are Just Are engaged-with the world! And influence flows both ways, whether we like it or not. 

Another way to consider this interaction is relevant to the role of churches and religious structures such as priestly hierarchy, ritual, symbolism and sacred scriptures. These structures can generically be considered as intermediary between human and divine: a set of intermediary media. And these media are charged with power by the religious believer, who then seeks to lead the religious life by their intermediary power. 

Thus a religious symbol is effective in achieving its life-changing goals, only when and if it is made powerful; and when we yield to that symbol the ability to affect us. In a Good religion, that symbolic power will (on the whole) be wielded upon-us for our net-Good, and that is why we open ourselves to symbolism. 

But when the religious symbolism is used with evil intent, it has power over those who have (to some significant extent) previously yielded to it that personal power, and implicitly opened-themselves to the power of that symbol. 

(This is the principle behind a Black Mass, or other forms of subversion using distorted but traditional Christian symbols and rituals.) 


If we consider this issue very generally; it also applies to secular and physical power. At a material level; anyone (say a monarch or dictator) who intends to impose his will on society, must do so via "human technologies" such as powerful armies, police, spies, and bureaucrats; and by doing so, he becomes the subject of manipulation (individually, and in combination) by these same powerful institutions. 

This is a Big Problem in a world and society of increasingly-evil corruption, where all intermediate institutions, media, symbols, rituals... that whole world of abstractions and things by which we have traditionally related to Reality - gets subverted, destroyed and/or inverted. 

In a corrupting world; those entities by-which we sought power to do Good, to our-selves and to the world, are turned-against us - and with a power that we have previously given to them. And that power strikes home exactly because we have previously (but originally for Good intentions) made ourselves open-to it. 

So; in battling the evil manipulations of The World; we are also turning-against our-selves: turning-against our own former convictions and intentions. 

We are (inevitably) dis-engaging-from The World; and eschewing power - even the attempt to impose power on the world.  

It strikes me that this perspective may help us to understand why so many people are incrementally apostatizing from Christianity - and also why they seldom realize they are doing-so.  

Monday 25 December 2023

Merry Christmas - Holly and the Ivy - Maddy Prior

Christmas has arrived! 

As usual, I am awake first, and the main business of the day has not yet begun - although my wife and I have exchanged stockings - she went back to sleep, and the kids are also asleep. 

It's still almost black dark outside (last I looked), and dry; although it rained a little during the early hours. I am warming the house, reading, writing notes; and listening to a CD of folk carols and medieval Christmas songs; from-which the above carol is taken - sung by the incomparable Maddy Prior. Exactly the right spirit for today. 

Ah! I hear sounds of movement upstairs... It begins. 

Merry Christmas to my co-bloggers, readers, and commenters. 

Sunday 24 December 2023

Is it "wishful thinking" to believe in continued existence after biological death?

It is more accurate to talk of “continued existence” after biological death, rather than an “after life” – because, while all pre-modern societies agreed that death was not the end; there was a very wide range of fates described. 

Even the post-mortal fate of “reincarnation” – which has probably been the majority view through the whole of history, due to its dominance in the East, as well as the earliest known societies – has multiple, and incompatible, sub-types. 

I find it very striking, and important, that most ancient and historical societies that believed in continued existence after death, anticipated a more-or-less miserable post-mortal fate – Sheol and Hades for example, or Ragnarok. 

This tells me that “wishful thinking” was certainly Not a major motivation through most of history and in most places; and to suppose it was is just a typical piece of modern self-willed ignorance and "projection": a consequence of our endemic incapacity for coherent thinking. 

And the Good News of resurrection and Heaven after death for those who followed Jesus Christ, was surely the single most powerful reason why Jews and early pagans embraced Christianity. 

If pagans or Jews came to believe that Jesus was divine, and that Jesus’s promises were true, then it was a “no brainer” to become a Christian because it was already assumed that there would be continued existence after death; and Christianity offered a far better continued existence than any other religion.

Note: The above came from a comment I made to a meditation on death by Bonald at the Orthosphere. Bonald responded to my comment thus: 

"Even Christianity and Islam only hold out heaven as a possibility, not a certainty. I can’t think of any religion whose idea of the afterlife matches what anyone would wish for". 

In other words; if religions really did manipulate the masses by offering to fulfil wishful thinking, then they could do a much better job of giving people exactly what they most wanted after death, and making this reward easier, surer, and more straightforward to obtain. 

If wishful thinking really was the basis of after-life claims; then it would be expected that religions would compete in offering better and better lives beyond death, on easier and easier terms. 

But this does not happen - to any significant degree, and not between the major religions.

This is one reason why I tend to believe that - in some overall sense - all religions are broadly accurate in terms of their claims for the after-life; because (within constraints) God gives people "what they ask for" or "what they want" after death. 

(What they want/desire provided subjectively, in his experience, for that person - not necessarily or usually in terms of what he wants for other persons: God does not sacrifice his children to each other. 

Damnation is therefore, in its essence, inducing an individual to ask-for and want damnation after his death; and annihilation is what (apparently) many or most modern people ask for and want, following death. 

Saturday 23 December 2023

It's metaphysically official: Father Christmas is real: Santa is true!

Exploring the goblin caves - from JRR Tolkien's documentary non-fiction collection of Father Christmas Letters

The Good News of Christmas includes that Father Christmas/ Santa Claus is neither a delusion nor a deception; but a living reality. 

For those of you who do not know of my earlier posts on this theme: here is a link

Why don't modern Christians want resurrected eternal Heavenly life as their first priority?

A few days ago I discussed why mainstream modern (mostly secular) people do not want the resurrected eternal Heavenly life that Jesus offered - especially in the Fourth ("John") Gospel.

But what applies to modern people also applies to Christians in the sense that eternal life features as such a low priority or interest for modern Christians, that it often gets left-out altogether!

(Whereas modern secular people don't want resurrection at all; modern Christians don't want resurrection all that much...)

I don't suppose any Christian would go so far as to deny resurrection after death; but it has been pushed a long way down the scale of importance (except, perhaps, for Mormons - at least in theory) - because it has been displaced by this-worldly concerns. 

Part of this relates to the word and concept of sin. If asked "what is Christianity?" most Christians will probably focus upon sin; and by sin they will mean (almost exclusively) moral transgressions. 

Therefore, the explanation of what Jesus Christ did for Men is focused upon how he negated the negation that is moral transgression. Behind this is typically an idea that moral transgressions will send us to hell by default - except that Jesus Christ has negated these through his work and The Church.  

Yet, if - like me - you regard the Fourth Gospel as the primary source; then it is evident that sin meant mostly death. When Jesus took away sin, he took away the necessity of death. And provided "everlasting" or "eternal" life. Jesus took away death by replacing it with resurrection into Heaven.   

However, in contrast, the actual everyday, and detailed theology and doctrines, of Christianity have apparently - for many, many centuries - concentrated upon moral behaviour in this mortal life. And, consequently, Christianity has neglected or relatively downplayed the purpose and endpoint of all this - which is resurrected eternal Heavenly life. 

For example, I recently attended a Christmas Carol concert at an evangelical church - in which many things were mentioned - Old Testament prophecies, the nativity story; virgin birth; angels, shepherds and wise men, Jesus as King, Jesus whose death saved us from sin etc. etc. - but never any explicit explanation that Christianity was directed-at and ultimately-about resurrected eternal Heavenly life.

Perhaps this was partly because such a focus does not "play well" with a modern secular audience; but I believe that it cuts much deeper than this - and that when a modern Christian tries to explain Christianity Made Simple, he does not recognize the promise of eternal life as the single key fact that absolutely must be put-across as the core and essence of the faith. 

There are, of course, also spiritual risks entailed by a strong and central emphasis on eternal life as the 'reward' of following Jesus. 

But there are always risks to any course - there is no "safe" way to be-a-Christian - certainly not in 2023 and in The West; and indeed we see all around us the appalling consequences of the Churches putting morality in this mortal life at the centre and as the main concern of Christianity. 

And expediency should not be the bottom-line: truth must be our ultimate guide. We each must decide for our-selves whether it is true that resurrected eternal life by following Jesus Christ really is the essence of Christianity; and that depends upon our assumptions as to where Christian truth lies, and how we as individuals may best get access to it, and know it once found. 

Friday 22 December 2023

Virtuoso Uilleann Pipes from Tiarnan Ó Duinnchinn - the Saturday Music post

First time I have seen this bloke playing, and he is superb. 

It is a set of Highland Reels - a fast dance in 4/4 time. He starts by just playing the melody on the chanter, then gradually introduces a little of the regulators (chords, levers played with the right wrist)), and accelerates; then the drone (continuous background from the longest pipes), before using the full range of regulators to support the melody - both as background chords and rhythmically.

Exciting, stunning, and heart-breaking at the same time. And live!

The Primal Self - what's in a name?

Last week I came up with a new name - the Primal Self - for a concept that I have been trying to grasp for about a decade. 

Ever since I discovered the writings of William Arkle, and Rudolf Steiner, I have wanted to be able to understand clearly that of ourselves which I have previously, variously, termed the Divine, True or Real Self - which is our permanent Self (or Ego or I); that is our essence in some way, and which is relevant to our relationship with God and Reality. 

The word Primal has connotations of old, original, most fundamental, and primary in importance - all of meanings which are intended to be a part of the understanding I am striving to clarify. 

The implicit contrast is with that mundane, "personality-level" self that is concerned with everyday and practical matters of life; of which we may spontaneously be aware-of as the stream of consciousness or inner voice; which is so changeable and easily manipulated... 

And which, pretty obviously, has nothing necessarily divine or true about it, and indeed typically (in the Modern West, at least) opposes God and divine creation. 

At one level, Primal Self is just a new name; but in fact it seems to have made an impression of being valuable and helpful - not only to myself (the new name felt like some kind of a breakthrough in my understanding) but also to some of my most valued commenters. 

I have since been puzzling why this should be; because I don't think it is merely an illusion of novelty.

Because it seems that a better name for an entity really can help! 

Perhaps this is obvious. Just as we observe in mundane mainstream life that a worse name - e.g. when propagated by the totalitarian leadership and their mass media - really can harm... Can really harm our capacity to understand, and harm our values. Conversely, a better name ought to be able to enhance our understanding of reality, and (if our motivations are Good) enhance thereby our apprehension of true values. 

My guess - at present - is that Primal is clarifying of the truth that there is in-us, as part-of-us, of all-of-us and always; a Self that has always-been and always shall-be.

And that this eternal Self can experience, learn, choose - and thereby be transformed (for better or worse). 

(This being my simple understanding of theosis, or its opposite: corruption into a chosen alliance with with the spiritual Beings of evil.) 

And it is that Self - i.e. the Primal Self - of which we need to become-aware, to acknowledge as real and vital; and from-which we need to work in our valid and Good spiritual strivings.     

Wednesday 20 December 2023

Why don't modern people want resurrected eternal life? Shallow, short-termist hedonism - mainly. (Tolkien on Beowulf.)

From Beowulf and the Critics by JRR Tolkien, edited by Michael DC Drout, 2002. 

[Drout:] Tolkien located civilization in the masculine institutions of the Beowulf poet (in particular the bright hall), outside of which the chaos-monsters ruled. The primary theme of Beowulf, Tolkien wrote, is "that man, each man and all men and all their works shall die." Beowulf is not subject to reproach for fighting with the dragon because he would have died anyway, albeit from a different sling or arrow of fortune. In Beowulf and the Critics Tolkien quotes from both the Seafarer and Hrothgar's words to Beowulf [translations by JRRT]: 


I believe not that the joys of earth will abide everlasting. Ever and in all cases will one of three things trouble his heart before the appointed day: sickness, or age, or the foeman's sword from the doomed men hastening hence will his life ravish


Soon hereafter it will come to pass that sickness or sword shall rob thee of strength, or grasping fire, or heaving flood, or biting blade, or flying spear, or dreadful age; or the flash of eyes shall foul and darken. Swiftly will it come that thee, o knight, shall death conquer


Comment. Thus it was and thus it is still...

Albeit that for us, in The West, death has recently conquered and the joys of earth been extinguished more by sickness or "dreadful age"; than by sword, fire, flood, or spear. 

Yet, it can been seen that our barbarian ancestors implicitly knew there was more to the world than the bright hall of mortal life and the chaos-monsters that surrounded such brief and fragile joys. Because these men had an ethic of courage; a morality that regarded death in battle against monsters, in obedience to duty to one's lord, in defence of one's people - as better ways to die than sickness or age.

There was therefore an unrecognized, implicit knowledge that - in spite of their belief that the monsters would eventually win, and chaos would consume the world of men; this ought to be resisted and delayed. 

In other words; although neither consciously known nor named, there was assumed to be some higher perspective, some point-of-view which stood above the apparent division of reality into temporary mortal joy and enveloping eternal chaos... 

And it was this higher perspective from-which came duty and values: and virtues. 

Such Men of the Dark Ages had an existential overview of reality and the human condition which is almost completely lacking in the modern West. 

We are, instead, so consumed by shallow, short-termist hedonic (utilitarian) concerns and fears; that we have genuinely lost sight of the reality and inevitability that all our joys and sufferings, our triumphs and disasters, are all temporary; and man, each man and all men and all their works shall die.

Knowing such facts-of life; to such men as Beowulf and his contemporaries; Jesus Christ's offer of the chance for resurrected eternal life in heaven; and a permanent escape from the tyranny of death, was a no-brainer!

Of course such Men wanted what Jesus Christ offered! 

That they wanted it was clear, certain and obvious - the only question was whether or not this "Jesus" really could fulfil his promises. Once convinced Jesus could do what he said - their decision was made. 

Once a pagan Anglo Saxon had been convinced that following Jesus really was a way to eternal Heavenly life; there was no question but he would seize the offer in both hands, and do whatever was required to obtain it.

(And the same applied to the Vikings who came some centuries after.) 

By contrast, modern Men of The West are so pathetically bound up in their everyday machinations, their hope for little pleasures and fears of possible suffering; that they cannot even comprehend the nature of Life; and failing to comprehend the problem, are indifferent to the solution. 

Consumed by trivia and selfish-utilitarianism; Modern Man is not sufficiently interested in the eternal questions to make an effort to investigate the real nature and potential validity of what Jesus offers. 

Our existential and spiritual inferiority to the Anglo Saxon pagans is an objective fact. We are so very inferior to them, that we have not even acknowledged the unavoidable existence of the question of Life - leave aside making an effort to evaluate the rightness of possible answers. 

Tuesday 19 December 2023

Self-blinded optimism and Christian convergence with The System

It is somewhat dismaying to see Christians embarking, again and again, decade after decade, on delusory projects of "re-taking culture", including the established churches - and instead ending-up fundamentally (and whether they realize it or not) assimilated-to ("converged-with") mainstream (left-totalitarian) ideology.

This is often associated with the Boromir Strategy: "Hey lads, let's use the One Ring to fight Sauron!" - either deliberately ("It's time we learned from the success of the Left"), or else by unconsciously and incrementally becoming more like the Left in order to infiltrate the structures of power and (so the original intention is) seize control

This usually begins with some local and small scale goal; like getting control of a magazine or journal, reforming a college or a school, placing "our people" in local government, or electing a single national politician. The idea is that this then serves as a base and bridgehead for the next step, and the next... and eventually the whole System will be re-orientated in a Christian direction...

There are two things to be said: firstly, people have been saying this and trying it for more than fifty years, and therefore by any realistic and this-worldly appraisal it has an effectively zero chance of working. 

Therefore, by all reasonably probabilities, the needful investment of time, energy and resources Will Fail to achieve the strategic and cultural objectives (although, in the short term and on a small scale, the attempt may make a living for a smaller group of people - which is perhaps why the strategy keeps getting revived). 

So there are large opportunity costs; because if you are prioritizing one thing, you are not prioritizing another thing*; and personal resources expended on pursuing futile (or selfish) ventures are unavailable for potentially valid and successful projects.   

(*There can only be one priority: therefore choose it well!)

The second and more important thing to be said is from an inferred spiritual perspective. 

All talk about re-taking the culture is essentially to do with the material and physical realm, and is framed in terms of a communal activity. 

Now, many Christians have assimilated and committed to the idea that Christianity is essentially a group, communal activity; that must be pursued via an intermediary and material, this-worldly social system (i.e. their favoured church or denomination) - so they are self-painted into an ever-shrinking corner from which they can only imagine (or will only entertain the possibility) of the same-old form of Boromir Strategic escape: no matter how often this has failed, no matter how counter-productive is the attempt in practice. 

My own understanding is almost the opposite; which is that Life is trying to teach us that retaking culture, taking-over The System, or any version of the Boromir Startegy... is not what we should be attempting; because we are spiritual Beings with a direct-line to God and direct guidance from the Holy Ghost. 

And this decision has been made easy for us, by the repeatedly proved fact that church-centred, institution-centred, collective strategies will not work, anyway - so it ought to be facile for us to abandon them.  

Of course; if one is indeed painted-into a this-worldly corner, then this sounds like a counsel of despair

But if we are instead prepared to learn from the divine teachings of this-world; we can be completely hope-full that pursuing the strategy which God has laid-out for us, will be far more successful (when success is defined correctly - i.e. spiritually) than the same old useless delusions. 

Indeed, we can be utterly confident that - in the long-term and where-it-matters - we certainly will be successful; so we ought to feel joy, not despair. 

In other words, the reaction of despair is a product of self-blinding and a delusion; but joy is a consequence of that hope which derives from faith in God the creator, our Heavenly Father+, and we His children. 

+This argument works equally well; whether one believes that God is our Heavenly Father only; or, as I believe, our Heavenly Parents.

Monday 18 December 2023

This-worldly pseudo-Christians cannot tolerate anything pessimistic, because that makes them feel despair

I have noticed that one of the barriers to (in the first place) valid Christian understanding, and (secondly) to a valid comprehension of how Very Bad things are in the world, now; is a mistakenly This-Worldly and Morality-Centred perspective

Furthermore, being this-worldly and morality-centred means that such Christians, almost-inevitably, are un-repentantly tainted by Residual Unresolved Leftism; since a TWMC perspective is also characteristics of the socio-political globalist totalitarian mainstream. 

Thus; this-worldly and morality-centred "Christians" gravitate towards a world view that could literally (non-pejoratively) be described as a type of Christianized fascism; since fascism was the early twentieth century's primarily-secular reaction against internationalist communism. 

Yet, of course, "fascism" is itself a species of Leftism - albeit a less complete and more-functional leftism than communism, socialism, or the current post-sixties "New Left"-ism.  

A Christianity that understands itself primarily in this-worldly and moral terms is catastrophically vulnerable to pessimism - where pessimism is understood as the belief that things in this world are already Very Bad Indeed, and most likely to continue getting worse. 

Anyone who is fundamentally this-worldly (whether self-identified as Christian, or not) will find it very difficult to avoid despair (which is, of course, a deadly sin) unless he is dogmatically and systematically optimistic; and this means that he cannot tolerate pessimism - no matter whether a pessimistic evaluation of this-world is valid or not. 

In other words, for the this-worldly "Christian" an optimistic understanding of this world is mandatory; and any pessimistic evaluation of current and future conditions is absolutely ruled-out, in-advance, by-assumption; otherwise the individual will be overwhelmed by despair.

This partly explains why so many Christians are so falsely optimistic about the condition of the world now, and its probably future; why they are so resistant to a realistic appraisal of this mortal life; and why they are so often drawn into advocating and supporting residually-Leftist and collectivist socio-political programs. 

Note: The answer to the impasse - which would enable Christians to be realistic about the nature and prospects of The World - would, of course, be to base one's Christianity primarily upon Jesus Christ's promise of  resurrected eternal life; as clearly set forth in the Fourth Gospel ("John").  

Sunday 17 December 2023

Residual Unresolved Collectivism (RUC)

Francis Berger: " I don't think speculating about consciousness development at the collective level is necessary or even helpful now."

My comment (edited): This articulates something that has been nagging at me for a while. In particular, I increasingly feel that the account of development of consciousness is valid for the past - and it is important to recognize that people have Not always been the same as now, nor are people the same everywhere at any particular time. 

But the Steiner/ Barfield theory of the Evolution of Consciousness went badly wrong in being used as a predictor. 

Thinking further about this exchange, I realize I have been guilty of significant Residual Unresolved Collectivism (RUC). 

In other words; while in-theory realizing that there is no legitimate optimism to be derived from expecting Good Leadership the The West or any of its constituent nations, institutions or churches; I still retain a residual expectation that there is a desirability hence need for some kind of communal or group-based spiritual awakening of the necessary kind. 

It is Residual because my habitual practice of thinking is different from what I believe (and even know) must be the case: the collectivism is left-over from an earlier set of assumptions and practices.  

And, to this extent, my habits sabotage my intentions. 

RUC is closely analogous-to, and indeed related-to, other left-over forms of wanting and thinking that I have previously described: Residual Unresolved Positivism (which I got from Owen Barfield), and Residual Unresolved Leftism

In other words; just as we have habits of considering the world as primarily material/ physical and abstract (e.g. as models) in terms of its reality and causes; and just as our values nowadays tend habitually to begin with leftist assumptions (such as equality, pacifism, antiracism) -- and just as these are difficult to eradicate even when that is our priority...

So, we tend to think about the human world primarily in terms of large human groupings; and understand the individual as a consequence of such groupings. 

The collective is how we analyze and understand problems; and the collective is where we seek for (or, at least hope-for) answers. 

Collective thinking is, indeed, woven-into Christianity from its historical basis; especially in the Old Testament where most things are conceptualized in terms of "a people": the nation (tribe) of Israel.

Even many relatively recent and current forms of Christianity (such as Mormonism) have usually adopted collective explanations of God's motivations, and tried to recreate collective dealings-with God - including envisaging salvation - and theosis - in collective terms of God's dealings with A People. 

As I have often explained on this blog over the past decade; this I regard as untrue for this time and place; and counter-productive in relation to what Christians (as the individuals we actually-are) ought to be doing here-and-now. 

I believe that we cannot, and should not attempt to, live collectively in terms of our relationship to God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost - but should take personal responsibility, and should act, now, from our-selves to do what is right and necessary (rather than waiting and hoping for some collective grouping to tell us what to do, and support us in the doing). 

I hope that now I have - with some help from Francis Berger! - been able to recognize and give a name to this tendency; I may begin to eradicate it more fully from my metaphysical assumptions and habits of thinking.  

Friday 15 December 2023

Theosis reconceptualized - the Primal Self transformed

Theosis (at root the same notion as sanctification, exaltation or deification) is the general idea that throughout our earthly mortal lives we are supposed to become (in some way) more like God, or perhaps more like "a god". 

"Supposed to" because this is why we are sustained alive -- After all, why stay-alive (in the past and now) rather than simply dying and achieving salvation as soon as we choose to follow Jesus Christ to eternal life?

(Because that would surely be a more certain salvation: To die at the split second we converted, at the instant we made a commitment to follow Jesus. There must therefore be a very important reason why it does not happen.)  

But theosis is difficult to conceptualize except in the rare instance of the greatest Saints; who have very obviously become more divine throughout their mortal lives (head in Heaven, feet still upon earth - as the Eastern Orthodox say). 

It has often, and truly, been observed that becoming a Christian does not (or only seldom) make somebody overall a better person - so that, if theosis is indeed an integral aspect of genuinely Christian living, then the process doesn't seem to work very well... 

I have, therefore, found it difficult to explain to myself - in some kind of comprehensible 'model' - what is supposedly going-on with theosis - but I now think I may have found a useful picture of the process, as it is intended to operate. 

My assumption is that we have a primal self - which could also be called our real, true or divine self; and it is this which is eternal, and has existed from eternity. My primal self is "encased" within a mortal and temporarily-incarnated self; which is (approximately) our body and our personality - that which other people observe, and which interacts with The World. 

The process called theosis describes the transformation of my primal self, across a timescale of eternity; but at present intended to be achieved by interaction-with, and learning-from, the experiences of my mortal self in this world. 

So -- if I succeed in my God-given task of learning from the experiences God has set-up for me in this mortal world; then it is my primal self that is positively-transformed by this learning. 

And it is this process of positive transformation of the primal self that can be called theosis. 

This model may explain why it is that theosis is not necessarily (or usually) observable in a Christian individual. 

What is happening is that the primal self is being-transformed positively and eternally - but the bodily behaviour and actions, and personality level motivations and thoughts; are Not (or not usually) being transformed. 

So the primal self is getting-better when we learn Godly-lessons from our life experiences  - whether or not the mortal self improves... or even gets worse!

This depiction maybe explains why and how it is that we may know someone who we are convinced has a Good Heart (i.e. the primal self); despite that his behaviour is clearly sinful and not improving; or exhibits grossly inconsistent, incoherent or chaotic behaviour.  

And, on the other side; why it often seems (to our intuitive inference) that someone who leads "a Christian life", who seems to think and do the Right Things, who is nice, socially responsible, devout, a good neighbour etc.; may strike us as heartless, cold, unloving - and certainly Not improving as a result of his continued-living. 

Or why we perhaps are sure that we our-selves are being made better by being-a-Christian; despite that we continue to sin in the same ways as much as ever, or in new ways, or backslide repeatedly - or even behave (to an external observer) overall worse than we did before becoming a Christian.  

Another aspect of this mismatch between primal self and mortal self, is that it becomes understandable why God would allow (or even want) such a divergence. 

The reason why we are sustained alive is to challenge us with repeated and multiple interactions with this world: experiences that are intended as learning opportunities. 

And this situation may be easier to arrange if our mortal selves are Not (or not much, or only unevenly) positively transformed by life. 

After all; the ultimate value of this mortal life is not within this temporary world, where nothing lasts and everything dies; its ultimate value is found in Heavenly life everlasting. 

Awareness versus knowledge of Beings

It seems like a high priority that we acknowledge that this is a living and conscious "universe", which (I think) means that creation is constituted by a multitude of Beings. 

Therefore, at some level, we need to experience this reality; which seems to mean some kind of personal awareness of Beings. 

In other words; when we contemplate or look-out-upon the world; we ought to know that this is made up of Beings; this includes the mineral and plant, as well as animal and human, realms. And it includes that many of these are Beings are immaterial: spiritual in nature. . 

This business of becoming aware of this reality-of-beings should probably be regarded as a separate matter from "contacting" (including potentially communicating with) Beings. 

Insofar as we do make personal contact with the multitude of non-human and not-incarnated Beings (including spiritual Beings) we probably ought to focus upon what might be termed "social" contacts with Beings of various kinds. These are rather analogous to the low-level but frequent communications between people that occur in casual everyday life (interactions with people at work, in shops, on line - and the like). 

These social interactions are mostly just "human contact"; and may be reassuring, or stimulating - but we are not relying upon the exact validity of what is being said or otherwise communicated. For instance, we do not expect exchanged remarks on the weather, or responses to "how are you?", to be of objective validity and relevance. 

In sum: We are not trying to learn from such interactions. We are mainly just maintaining a general awareness of living in human society. 

I think that much of the awareness that we need with respect to the world of Beings, including Spiritual Beings, is of the same kind. 

We should not (mostly not) be seeking to have deep and meaningful interactions; should not assume that everything we receive from such interactions is profound and valid teaching.

The main purpose should be to maintain a general awareness of eternally living in a society of living and conscious Beings; therefore a world of motivations and meanings - instead of (as is "officially" the case) temporarily inhabiting a dead, causally-determined and purposelessly-random reality. 

This seems like an essential basis for seeking more spiritually-significant interactions with particular personages from the wide world of Beings. 

Thursday 14 December 2023

A message to "preppers" who expect to survive the upcoming collapse of Western Civilization

It takes a lot to keep us alive*; but only one thing to kill us. 

*Almost certainly; far more than you realize or could conceivably plan for

The take-home message: Spiritual preparation is what is vital for all without exception and starting now; anything else is mere prudence.


Life is neither cumulative nor futile - but some "events" are (potentially) eternally significant

It seems to me that we have to make a decision about the significance of life: more exactly we need to discover what it is that we personally really feel about the significance of the "events" of this our mortal life. 

There are various "philosophies" of this life that are knocking-around; but none of the standard ones that we are likely to encounter seem to be validated by my own deepest and most lasting intuitions, insofar as I am conscious of them. 

For instance; some people sometimes talk as if life is a cumulative process, a matter of building towards - so someone might look back on their life as if it was all working towards who (and what) he is now. 

This is often a way used for structuring obituaries and biographies (whether informal and verbal, or written) - the idea of encapsulating what somebody's life was "about"... but it is hard to say how seriously it is taken by most people. 

It often seems like an as-if and ironic kind of activity; just "something to say", as in a funeral eulogy. 

On, the other hand; it does seem like some people actually live in order to make what they regard as an impressive obituary - the idea that their lived-life is validated by their post-mortal official reputation. 

(I should note, here, that (even just five years into retirement) the various academic/ scientific/ educational achievements of my own working-life, seem hollower, and are experienced as far less satisfying, than I had ever imagined at the times they happened!) 

At the opposite extreme is the idea that each person's life is ultimately futile; amounting to nothing and ended by annihilation of the self. 

This may be softened by stuff about "living-on" in the memories or hearts of others... But even to the extent this is true, it merely "kicks the can" a generation or two downstream; since we cannot thus survive beyond the lifespan of those who really-knew the real-us.  

The annihilation story is the underlying official and global metaphysical assumption; the one that lies behind all modern social institutions. It goes with the idea that individual people exists to serve the social systems. 

But the idea that an individual life is futile is also the implication of oneness spirituality in its various manifestations; including such ideas that this mortal life is an illusion, a deception, a simulation. That we are not really individuals at all, we only think we are. I mean the idea that we never really had or have an independent reality as "agents" as beings with the capacity for freedom...

People quite often talk in this way; although, again, it is hard to say how deeply they really believe what they are saying - often it just seems like a social status game.

My own deepest intuition is that this life is not futile; or rather that life is not necessarily futile - although we can choose to make it so. 

But that is merely a double-negative: I would go further and say that life is purposive and meaningful - but not in the way of an obituary. 

Rather; some events in life strike me as innately "of eternal significance". 

That feeling or belief is a kind of psychological fact-of-life for me - some things that happen in my life, combined with the way I responded to these happenings, are experienced as having a quality that seems to stretch-out into the eternal future; as if (from my point of view) everything has been changed by them.

I said a "psychological" fact, but part of this psychological fact is that this significance of some "events" goes beyond my own psychology, that the significance is objective - it is part of reality. 

Now this is a strange intuition! at least when compared with the kind of interpretative explanations that are knocking around the world nowadays. 

It is a strange thing to suppose that an-event-as-I-personally-experienced-it might form one of the building blocks of eternal reality; yet that is indeed how it seems. 

It is a secondary matter, coming after this intuition, to devise some model of the world in which this is possible; a moving-picture of the world in which it makes sense that an-event-as-I-personally-experienced-it could have a real, eternal significance.

Furthermore, this intuition includes that the significance is both objective and personal - that is, both important to me personally (so that, somehow, "I" am still going to be around to appreciate this importance) - as well as of continued, everlasting significance to "reality in general".* 

And that is one of the motivators behind my philosophical, metaphysical, activity - and also a reason why the theology to which I adhere - Romantic Christianity, as I call it - has ended-up being different from all the mainstream options. 

That is, in sum: None of the mainstream explanatory options make coherent sense of my intuition that an-event-as-I-personally-experienced-it could be a thing of eternal, and indeed personal, significance. One of my (self-motivated) tasks is therefore to devise a scheme by which the validity this intuition is explained. 

*I should emphasize that I do not have this intuition of eternal significance for every-thing that happens, but only for some things that happen. 

Wednesday 13 December 2023

If you underestimate how Very Bad things are here-and-now; then you are complicit in the evil of these times

In times like this, it is - I suppose - understandable, maybe even "natural" to seek for some reason to be optimistic, or at least positive about the-world; and to seek also for some task with which you can cooperate to "save the world" - or, make a better world. 

But, what I see, is a lot of people who so grossly underestimate the severity of the spiritual condition of The West (and, apparently, nearly all of the world) that this must be evidence of their own lack of understanding

I am saying here that the practical-minded positivity of too-many commenters derived from a radically inadequate grasp of the breadth and depth of corruption already established in-place; from top to bottom in The West. 

And this lack of understanding must itself be evidence that they personally are complicit with the main-stream of evil in the world

This underestimation of evil has, itself, many causes - perhaps the most important being that people get distracted from understanding reality by an overwhelming focus upon their lives here and now, the question of what they are "going to do"; and a fear or fascination with The Future: a desire to know in advance what is going to happen

They put the "cart" of physical-action, before the "horse" of spiritual-understanding.  

So people shear-away from a recognition of the truly appalling, by far the worst ever in history, spiritual state of the world - because this seems too pessimistic, despairing or defeatist... 

In reality; the refusal to confront the scale of evil in the world now - and the consequent tendency massively to overestimate the possibilities of Doing Good on some social or community level; some larger than individual scale - this refusal itself comes from a this-worldly perspective which is itself evidence of being so deeply complicit in the evils of the world that they have become invisible.

The terrible danger of unconscious complicity is that repentance becomes impossible. We cannot repent a sin that we do not recognize. 

And that is the very-worst, most spiritually-lethal, problem with holding to a positive, optimistic, Can Do kind of attitude to the socio-political scene of this world 2023. 

It is a form of self-blinding, which is being used to justify a worldliness of attitude that cannot help but be deeply caught-up in the ideology of a purposively evil world.   

It is easily understandable why people would deceive themselves about the severity of our actual condition; because if the world was still (as it was just a few generations ago) divided between a significant proportion of people and institutions on the side of God and divine creation - and those against them; then we could indeed engage in "business as usual" - by working-with the Good-forces, by the kind of organizing and politicking that humans have been doing for centuries (if not millennia)... 

However; now there are no "good forces" of sufficient size and cohesion for this strategy to do anything other than encourage one form of evil against another. 

Look around you! It is impossible to find any genuinely-good cause for us in The West to support that has more than a handful of adherents; those large (or even medium) scale causes that are put forward as good are always deeply enmeshed in the denial of evil

This denial of evil, this calculated auto-blinkering, is inevitable because it is the pre-requisite for worldly activity with the world as it is now. 

Yet it is spiritually lethal - so long as it lasts. 

Our primary and essential task in these times is to be aware, to be conscious of what is, to know evil wherever and whenever it is present. 

Only after this has been accomplished should we become concerned about "what to do" about it; and that any "what-to-do" answer will (by the nature of our condition) very likely be personal and spiritual and immediate - rather than communal and political, or to do with strategies and plans. 

Tuesday 12 December 2023

The strategic murder of The West - currently in a "death by a thousand cuts" phase

Compared with the birdemic-peck era, or the height of anti-Fire Nation Mania; at the time of writing there is no major policy thrust afoot driven by the demonic totalitarian Establishment. 

Of course this could change very rapidly, and I would not be surprised if it does! Yet at present the murder of Western Culture* proceeds by a thousand cuts rather than by the swinging blows of  suicidal lockdowns or self-destroying "sanctions". 

*(Which culture, let's face it, richly deserves to be murdered - and ASAP - for its multiple engrained, accelerating, and un-repented value-inversions -- albeit that the death-justifying inversions were suggested and implemented by "those same people" who are now killing what they originally created.)

Instead of a single Big Message; official pronouncements and the media have been chock-full of micro-issues and multiple, incoherent, lies/ cover-ups/ misrepresentations and fake disputes and scandals. It is currently more a matter of dividing and pitting-against; rather than with crushing monolithic surveillance-control. 

Except at the level of individual persons (and, I suspect, very few of them) it is clear that nothing true and important is being learned as the West implodes; to the point that the crust of delusional optimism is still surprisingly intact. 

People still talk about "sensible reforms" to social systems, as if there was any motivation for them, or any possibility whatsoever of them happening. 

People still talk about choices between politicians as if they were on different sides;and still hope to be rescued (from an imaginary crisis) by some leader or party. 

People still focus exclusively on feeling good about themselves, and trying to impress others by their compassion and concern; and still act as if there was a realistic expectation of having a successful 20th century style professional career and a rewarding personal life in a nation that is being incrementally picked apart; and stirred into chaos, violence, poverty, oppression and disease. 

People - including religious professionals - still regard the spiritual as irrelevant, airy-fairy, idiotic nonsense; and the only "real life" as the bureaucratic/ managerial/ financial/ social imperatives of short-term institutional subsistence.   

The spectacle of such colossal triviality and endemic dishonesty and blinkered utilitarianism; is astonishing and horrifying. 

Whether we end with a bang or a whimper... With a massive and fatal hemorrhage, or slumping into unconsciousness from the seepage of hundreds of small wounds, seems not to matter...

Since there seems not be even the slightest grasp of why we are ending; and the extent to which we in the West have done, and continue to do, all this to ourselves

The answer is, of course, to step-back from all this (as far as possible); and live in a world of eternal significance; as befits eternal Beings participating in an eternal Quest. 

It's as simple, and as extremely difficult, as that. 

That gorgeous transitional passage in The Magic Flute - Act One


For me, this section of The Magic Flute by Mozart is one of the supreme passages of opera; which is all melodies yet moves the plot along like recitative (if only Wagner had based his seamless style on this aria-based continuity; rather than making everything more like recit!). As always with the best of Mozart opera, on a second go it is wise to listen to what is going on in the orchestra; the delicate aptness of which is supernatural.  

It's from the Ingmar Bergman movie, which is in Swedish; and sheer delight throughout. It is not the most musical "Flute" (that would be Solti's recording) but is surely the most enjoyable. 

This begins with Papageno getting his "gag" removed by the three ladies, the gifts of the magical flute and bells, and then the introduction of three boys who take-over as guides for the hero and his sidekick.

Note: The second (blonde) lady is played by Kirstin Vaupel, who is surely one of the loveliest singers I have seen - in a characteristically Swedish style.   

Saturday 9 December 2023

The holly bears a berry - a Christmas carol from The Watersons

Nothing says "Christmas" better than The Watersons - from Hull, Yorkshire; and there is no better carol than this one.

I absolutely love this harmonization, and the way it is sung. Everything about it - the tone, the dialect, the sliding harmonies, the open chords... just incredible. 

It evokes in me a genuinely ancient quality; a medieval, or even dark ages, feel.  

This was recorded during the Watersons' first incarnation, from the 1960s; the group consisting of (left to right) two sisters Norma and Lal, brother Mike (lead vocal); and cousin John (bass) standing to the left. 

Why Zooey (by JD Salinger) made such an impact

Zooey, depicted by David Richardson - catches the character nicely, although Zooey is meant to be a handsome actor and juvenile leading man on TV

I have written before about JD Salinger's novella Zooey; and how it has fascinated me, off and on, ever since I encountered it in the summer of 1981. Well, I have again been dipping into it, and as usual it has triggered some associations and notions. 

Zooey struck me as a deep book, when I first read it - as if it might contain the "secret of life" somewhere embedded. It probably had this effect because this was the first time in my life that I had met with "spiritual stuff" that really interested and excited me. 

I was very taken by the way that some of the characters talked about spiritual and religious matters; in a personal and engaged way; this was obviously the most important thing for them (and implicitly the author). 

Maybe this was the first sense I got of the possibility of a personal and inwardly-driven spiritual/ religious quest for people of my broad type, people with whom I could identify. 

The Glass family did plenty of quoting and name-dropping, true; but clearly they were not just repeating what "other people" had said. 

And also, they were trying to use these insights in living their lives: giving it their Best Shot. 

My reaction was, I now perceive, a kind of recapitulation of the way in which, from the late-1800s and with the emergence of Theosophy; many Western people were attracted to the esoteric spirituality and religions of the East - mainly philosophical Hinduism and Zen Buddhism. 

(Mainstream Christianity was largely irrelevant to this quest - it simply did not address the driving motivations of such people.) 

And the way, also, that this Eastern perspective was then brought-back and applied to "Christianity" -  because Zooey (and the short story Franny that precedes it) is focused on the Jesus Prayer, and the Russian Orthodox book "The way of a pilgrim" - which is about the use of this prayer as the centre of a religious life. 

Zooey is permeated-by, and culminates-in, what I found at the time to be an appealing positive presentation of Jesus Christ - and that was something I had seldom encountered before.

(As a child and adolescent I had always found the character Jesus to be uninteresting, alien and irrelevant to my problems and concerns.)  

I can nowadays see that the version of Jesus Christ, the Jesus Prayer and "Christianity" that are featured in Zooey are primarily Hindu/ Buddhist/ Eastern. For instance; the Jesus Prayer is presented as a mantra, pure and simple; and Salinger's Jesus is a very different and almost opposite phenomenon from that of what I now regard as real Christianity. 

Salinger's Jesus is indeed much more like Buddha than the Jesus of the IV Gospel; and Salinger's Jesus's concerns and aims are in-line with Oneness spirituality; rather than being focused upon life after death, salvation, resurrection - and Heaven. 

But this understanding of mine is all retrospective. At the time of reading, my concerns and demands were much like those of the Glass family children. 

What, then, were these demands and concerns?

The big problem for the Glass children is that this mortal life on earth cannot live up to the aspirations and perceived possibilities of youth

This afflicts all the children we encounter in the main Glass stories: Franny, Zooey, Seymour, and Buddy (the author's persona) - and, implicitly the others too. They all seem to have a yearned-for ideal of what life could and should be - but later discover that whatever they do (and, between them, the children try a range of strategies)...

Whatever they try: life just doesn't match up with these intense hopes. 

Therefore, there is an underlying pessimism about the Glass family saga; even when the specific stories end in an upbeat fashion - upon what seems like an epiphany, an insight, an answer (as do both Zooey and Raise high the roof beam, carpenters) - the reader senses that it will be a very temporary and partial triumph.

This pessimism comes across primarily because the oldest child, Seymour, committed suicide; shot himself with a gun (in A perfect day for bananafish). 

Yet Seymour was (at least to his family) a spiritual genius, the best of the children - a man we are told was both far-advanced and deeply-into the actual practice of Eastern spirituality. 

Therefore, despite that Seymour, like Salinger himself, suffered from Combat Fatigue (true PTSD, not the watered-down modern usage) as a consequence of prolonged front-line participation in the World War II invasion of Europe - we feel that Seymour should, nonetheless - as a kind of saint, have been able to overcome whatever horrors life threw at him. 

The background - and deeply-sad - implication and conclusion; is that there is no answer to the problem of that between life-as-it-might-be and life-as-it is; because not even Seymour could find one. Seymor's failure in this mortal life casts across all the Glass stories a shadow of the inevitability of failure.  

The young Glasses may not grasp this, when they are still growing-up, extraverted, when life is apparently opening-out - and they have the delusional confidence that they will be the first to find this answer. 

But this will always fail; and will lead either to an abandonment of the spiritual quest (as with sister "Boo-Boo" - a socially-integrated housewife and family woman; or else to a frustration and dismay that increases with age (Seymour, and Buddy).

Then there is Waker, who is described as having become a Carthusian monk, vowed to silence for much of the time. It may be that we are supposed to infer that Waker has candidly acknowledged to himself the insufficiency of this mortal life; and looks therefore to the life beyond. 

My interpretation of Waker is that Salinger saw him more as an Eastern monk than a Christian. One who regards this life as suffering and an illusion, from-which we should seek to detach ourselves - awaiting a kind of re-absorption into universal and impersonal divinity. 

In other words; (IMO) Salinger had neither an understanding-of, nor belief-in, the Christian idea (well, some Christians believe it) that this mortal life and our death are real, necessary steps en route to a state of post-mortal divinity that is personal.  

So, I agree with Salinger that this mortal life is inevitably insufficient; and I agree with his implicit conclusion that there is no answer to this problem within the scope of Eastern religion.

(Since; to regard this mortal life as a tragedy of suffering and attachment is not a solution; and to cure our sense of tragic insufficiency with annihilation of "the self" and consciousness is to avoid, but not to solve, the problem.) 

In conclusion, I continue to regard Zooey as a valuable and honest - as well as interesting and exciting - "spiritual story" - but I no longer believe it contains "the answer" to this mortal life!

Rather, Zooey and the other Glass stories show us what are Not the answers... 

But more than just "showing"; through participation in these stories, we potentially live-out putative answers, and experience for ourselves their (noble!) failures; and they leave us to continue the quest for ourselves and in different directions. 

Friday 8 December 2023

Projection is the New Normal! Or, how to infer what They are doing...

The handy psychological term "projection" derives from the nonsensical world of Sigmund Freud's psychodynamics - but, albeit for extremely different reasons than Freud suggested,  the actual phenomenon of accusing others of one's own motivations contains a great deal of validity. 

The reason for projection is that we use "our-self" - how we see the world, how we are personally motivated, what we are trying-to-do - as the basic model by which we understand "other people" and the world generally. 

Of course, knowing this phenomenon, it is possible to do otherwise - or even do the opposite; but the level of self-awareness in the managerial and leadership class of The West is... well, it is extremely low

The people running things are essentially either bureaucrats - obediently trying to please their bosses; or else psychopaths - self-centred and short-termist types - who don't care enough about other people to realize that they may be differently motivated. 

Therefore, unless they are continually watched and controlled; They will continually be giving themselves away, will repeatedly be revealing their real and underlying motivations, by their criticisms and accusations against others

That is what I mean by the term "projection". 

Examples abound!

During the birdemic - anyone who objected to the state bureaucrats and media Moghuls was labelled as a science denier; while the accusers were simply inverting or throwing-out a century of medical knowledge concerning epidemics and respiratory viruses. 

Those who objected to mass pecking with an unnecessary, ineffective and dangerous agent; were labelled as being dangerous gamblers with the public health! Parent who cared about the safety of their children, were labelled as selfish and short-termist - by those whose interests (money, jobs, status, promotion) was enhanced by pushing the peck. 

When the Fire Nation war came along; the inversions were legion. The Fire Nation were accusing of provoking the war, deliberate escalation, suffering massive casualties from "human wave" tactics, of imminently running-out of munitions, etc (continuing) - all of which were knowingly being done by the side making the accusations. 

More generally; They accuse anyone who notices, publicizes and opposes the explicit (UN Agenda 2030, Great-Reset) and massively-documented for decades global plan for totalitarian omni-surveillance and micro-control of everyone except an "elite" of (implicitly) wise and just leaders; variously, as "climate denialist" and as a "conspiracy theorist". 

In a nutshell; Their projections are an insight into their own natures, their motivations, their intentions. 

We can easily understand the way that They regard us, and regard the world, by observing that of which They accuse their enemies. 


Explanatory and Contextual Note: 

It might be asked how it is possible to escape from the accusation of projection - after all, it could and will be said that someone like myself is also projecting ("You are projecting!". "No, it's You who are projecting!... &c."- Maybe I am projecting even more and worse than Them! 

That is what inevitably (because intrinsically) happens to someone whose explanatory model goes no deeper than "psychology" - one who uses psychology as their ultimate and bottom-line explanatory model... Everything is ultimately reduced to "a matter of opinion", which itself reduces to whoever has the greatest power and influence... And we are back to square one! 

The "answer" is that we all need to become explicitly aware of our own most-basic (metaphysical - including religious) assumptions concerning the nature of reality. In public discourse, we can and should expect that such assumption be made clear. 

Metaphysical assumptions are the true bottom-line and ultimate distinctions; while psychology (or politics, or economics, or whatever) is only ever a proximate explanation; only valid insofar as the metaphysical assumptions are known, and are coherent. 

In this regard; They will not make clear their metaphysical assumptions, and will indeed deny the validity of metaphysics - stoutly maintaining all discourse on a surface and "sound bite" level of emotive manipulations and assertions about "evidence" and "facts" - which They can easily control. 

Projection is such a problem - here and now - exactly because the mainstream, official, mandatory modern discourse is a futile cycle of ungrounded assertions; that exclude metaphysics; and that operates entirely at the surface and proximate level, and with sound-bite (two step) logic. 

In a nutshell: the leadership/ managerial class are themselves slaves to projection because (by assumption) they see no deeper than psychology and its manipulations; and all possible depth is excluded by the anti-spiritual, atheistic materialism/ positivism/ scientism/ reductionism that permeates (and is enforced by) the whole official world. 

Thursday 7 December 2023

Spiritual scaremongering is covert materialism/ positivism - a surrender to Ahrimanic totalitarianism

The mainstream orthodox Christian stance of extreme suspicion against anything "spiritual" (what I recently dubbed spiritual scaremongering) is a deadly error - that leads indirectly but almost-inevitably into embracing the "Ahrimanic", bureaucratic totalitarianism of "this world" - but especially The West. 

This is because spiritual scaremongering is a species of materialism/ positivism/ scientism/ reductionism - and that is what has delivered the whole world of global and (almost entirely) national social institutions and public discourse into the rulership of demonic evil. 

As modern Men have become individual consciousnesses (alienated, cut-off - but also more free, potentially spiritual agents), so that we are no longer unconsciously and spontaneously immersed-in the consciousness of each other; so has dwindled to insignificance the ancient and medieval way that an exemplary Christian monarch - and Christian priests, monks and nuns of valid churches - could act for the community in spiritual matters. 

When in the past (and the further past, the more this is so) we all shared in each others consciousness, one (or a small group) could indeed act for all a spiritual community.

So that there was no necessity for all Men to have spiritual contact with the divine or with spiritual Beings; since the spiritual work of a small proportion of selected, trained, supervised persons could do this on behalf of the community - as with the Medieval monastic ideal of intercession. 

No longer. 

We do not feel spontaneously and powerfully participators in, parts of, a spiritual community. 

All such immersive group phenomena have declined, catastrophically - and those who insist upon them, who insist upon obedience to an institution (including a church - those who will not deploy their own spiritual potential... Such persons are either left bereft (by their own choices - not by God); or else have de facto substituted the material for the spiritual. 

...They have, in effect, delivered themselves up to "society" in a world where "society" is net-evil and ruled by evil imperatives.  

Here and now; we cannot rely on other people (past or present) for the benefits of spiritual and divine contact - and if we try to do this, we will merely be "secondhand Christians" - which means (because of the corruption of social discourse and institutions) we will Not Be Christians.  

Spirit is primary - and contains all: The physical realm is indeed always and necessarily spiritual, but the physical is a subset of the spiritual realm

And the divine is a subset of the spiritual

We ought therefore, I believe, to consider spiritual contact - i.e. contact with the spiritual aspects of this world - as a necessary participation in the whole world

Lacking which we have self-excluded from participation in the whole world; and cut-off the possibility of our own escape from the totalitarian evils of The System.

Therefore, spiritual scaremongering is a covert form of materialism; a species of metaphysical self-blinding against the spiritual; hence the divine. 

As I said a few days ago: Demons want all religion to be mediated by human institutions, because demons can (and currently do) control institutions.

In sum: we must take the risks of seeking spiritual contact - we have no alternative if we wish to become and remain Christian in a world where the demons have taken over net-control of social institutions - including the churches (and where this evil corruption is worsening). 

Because we now need to become Christians our-selves, first-hand; therefore rooted in spiritual contacts generally - and divine contacts in particular. 

Note added: The reason for the "hard-line" urgency of this blog post, is that I seem to see far too many serious orthodox and traditionalist Christians who are following their churches away from the warm-hearted, loving, personal nature - of the truth of following Jesus Christ. And instead descending-into the hard-hearted, this-worldly literalism/ legalism/ Pharisee-ism that modern church-based Christianity becomes when its adherents eschews personal responsibility for faith and metaphysical choices. The trajectory leads away from the spirit and into a material world dominated, as never before, by the spirit of Satan. This trajectory is, I think, consequent upon the necessary goal of seeking courage to hold-the-line; but doing so by accusation and doubling-down on obedience to a church as their primary (non-negotiable) virtue. 

Wednesday 6 December 2023

Why is Heaven necessary? Because: evil accumulates. Because *this* world is based on vampirism (life feeds on life)

This is how I see it...

Some people perceive no need for Heaven. They either this this life in this world suffices; or else they want to give back to God their entrance ticket to mortal life - they desire to cease to exist as separate souls, and to become reabsorbed-into the the divine - into the totality. 

But there are ineradicable problems with this life in this world - not matter how ideally things might be arranged; because this is a world where entropy - death - has the upper hand, and wins in the long run with respect to every Being. 

Beings are eternal, and have agency - but in this mortal world, bodies and all physical manifestations are temporary.  

Therefore, over time, there are more and more once-embodied, now dis-embodied, but eternal spirits - and some of these will have made the choice of evil. 

Yes, dead (discarnate) Beings can be replaced by more (incarnate) Beings. Yes, additional creation can keep pace with disease, decline, ageing, death... 

But the problem is that evil accumulates - and that is why the world keeps getting worse. 

(By evil, I mean that which opposes God, and divine creation - which has made that choice.) 

The trouble is that in order to live - life feeds on life. 

And this applies to the spiritual as well as the physical. "Vampirism" is the rule of this world - for all those who are unwilling to accept oblivion - and there are always some of these (and, apparently, more and more). 

What happens is that there are spirits who maintain conscious and agentic (motivated) life by feeding off the "life energies" of other Beings; and some of these are Men. They spiritually vampirize other Men in life, and - unless there is repentance - this continues after death - when they become spirits. So, these evil-spirits of once-incarnate Men accumulate in this world; at least for so long as there are living Men for them to feed-upon. 

Some others are Men who never incarnated - what we term demons. These also maintain their consciousness, energy, power - by consuming others.

What this means is that while God can keep creating, and adding new beings to this world; this also has the side effect of increasing the 'food supply' of demons and evil-men (alive and post-mortal) of the Vampiric type. 

Thus evil accumulates in this-world. 

I think this was understood by the ancient Christian (and other) prophets who foretold "end-time" when evil would have the upper hand (the world was "net-evil"), and where the longer things continued - the worse (more evil, overall) they would get. 

They foresaw that the only way-out was that there must be a "second creation" - one that excluded death and "entropy" - a second creation of pure creation.  

And this is what Jesus Christ made for us with Heaven - that Heaven which we enter via death and resurrection. 

Because at resurrection we (choose to) leave-behind all this is evil, all that opposes divine creation - and we become Beings of pure creation - which is pure love. 

Thus Heaven is "necessary" in the sense that otherwise the world will just keep getting worse and worse; the longer it continues.  

Monday 4 December 2023

"In the beginning was the Word"; but "the Word" does not mean Jesus (plus Note Added)

[1] In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 

[2] The same was in the beginning with God. 

[3] All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 

[4] In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 

[5] And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. 

Since this beautiful passage from Chapter One at the beginning of John's Gospel (especially in the Authorized Version translation) is a part of nearly every Christmas carol service I have ever attended; it seems like an opportunity to remind anyone interested of my alternative understanding of what this great poetry really means.

(Derived from my belief in the primacy of the IV Gospel.)  

And to re-emphasize that "the Word" does not refer to Jesus - as so many have claimed. 


Note added (5th December 2023):

I had always loved this passage at the beginning of John, from long before I became a Christian in my late forties. 

I got a fair bit of Christian teaching as a child, because I was educated at a rural Church of England school aged 5-11 - the local Rector was Chairman of Governors, and we would quite often attend services - the church was just a few yards away. I began to become very interested in Christianity from my middle twenties (reading many books of theology and apologetics, both Protestant and Roman Catholic. I even subscribed to the UK Dominican friar's "Blackfriars" magazine for a year in my late twenties!). What I never encountered was detailed, line-by-line and word-by-word Biblical exegesis. 

Anyway; my point is that - despite such a lot of Christian exposure, and multiple readings and listenings-to John's early verses, and indeed the whole Gospel - it never crossed my mind that "the Word" was supposed to mean Jesus! 

When I came across this idea (in a Protestant, Evangelical, context) I was flabbergasted! For a while I passively accepted that this "must be" true, because so many textual expositors were saying it; but I never felt "comfortable" with the equation - my conscience pricked - it always seemed forced and "bogus". 

I was pleased eventually to arrive at an explanation that fitted with the rest of the Gospel. The key is the poetic parallelism - which I (somehow!) hadn't noticed; probably due to viewing the passage through spectacles that insisted it was dogmatic metaphysical philosophy, to be taken literally...

For instance; when I read "the Word was with God, and the Word was God" I assumed that this slight difference in wording must mean we were being taught a subtle and vital theological distinction - rather than its being a poetic form

So, what exactly the Word/ Logos means in this passage, is not possible to make explicit since human consciousness, hence language, has changed (see Owen Barfield's Poetic Diction). Then words had multiple simultaneous references incorporating spiritual realities; but now our words are narrowly precise and 'objective' - so that no number of our words can mean what a single word meant to the ancients. Now they  - we can only talk around it with a paraphrase. 

But I think we can consider "the Word"/ Logos to be God... but God with an emphasis on His creative nature; his attributes as The Creator.