Thursday 31 August 2023

Set-aside the business of "Worshipping" God, if you want: What matters is whether or not you Take God's Side

The business of "worshipping" God, and positing a God that demands worship (maybe or-else doing bad things to us) is a thing that many people find an incomprehensible demand; and I tend to agree!

To me, the idea of a God that requires worship is un-Christian both in origin and its perpetuation (un-Christian although not-necessarily anti-Christian). 

It is often a hangover or assimilation from religions where God is not our Father and not Good; and therefore a God that both wants and needs to be propitiated - and, in general, treated like the most ruthless and powerful kind of despot. 

However, I understand that there are many (most?) people whom I regard as real Christians but who do feel that the worship of God is necessary, and perhaps central to their Christian lives. 

That's fine by me! - What matters to me is not whether somebody worships God, but whether he is on God's side in the spiritual war of this mortal world.  

There are plenty of people who worship God, but who - on key issues and overall in life - take the side against God. That is; they may go through all manner of prescribed activities that are traditionally reckoned (in their tradition) to constitute worship - study, prayer, rituals, professed beliefs etc. But at the bottom line - in thought, word and deed - these 'devout' people support Satan's agenda. 

Indeed; this combination of devout worship with Satanic-activism is so common in the Christian churches of 2023 as to be "the new normal" - and in some instances it is compulsory.  

On the other side; there are plenty of people who do Not worship God; but who instead love God, regard him as their Heavenly parent, and do the best to think, speak and live in accordance with God's destiny and the unfolding of divine creation. 

And there are plenty of people who desire above all to follow Jesus Christ to resurrected eternal life in Heaven; but who do not worship in accordance with any explicit group-ideal of exactly what that entails. 

Taking God's side and following Jesus is what matters; not whatever-is-meant-by "worshipping". 

The desire to live in bliss and without suffering is - ultimately - a desire for annihilation

To live always in bliss is a common enough ideal; yet it entails the removal of past and future (adverse past memories, feared possible futures) such that only the present is experienced and real. 

We may have experienced such bliss, briefly; as when it is said that eternity can be found in the moment - and some want it permanently. 

Yet to want permanent bliss is to want not-to-be; because the present moment does not exist: as a time-slice - with nothing before or after - it is infinitely small. 

To have (to experience, to know-of) neither past nor future is not-to-be.  

To want to escape suffering - wholly and forever - entails losing all awareness of every-thing. 

This would be to exist in the present moment without desire and without attachment - which means without sense of self. 

To escape suffering therefore requires not-to-be a distinct-being (or, at least, not to be aware of oneself as a being). One must become subjectively unaware that one exists. 

Not to suffer at-all or ever, is a state indistinguishable from complete and permanent annihilation. 

If this sounds like a reductio ad absurdum, reflect that it is very common - almost normal - to feel thus. 

It is perhaps only a kind of uncertainty about what will happen afterwards (a residual fear that death might not be annihilation), plus cowardice about the physical painfulness (suffering) of actually-doing-it; that stops many modern people from killing themselves...

Which is why so many of them clamour for the 'right' painlessly to be murdered (i.e. 'euthanasia') on demand. 

A rejoinder might be that what most people really want is neither complete nor permanent; but simply greater and more sustained happiness, and an end to severe suffering. This even sounds-like common sense...

But these are not an answer that has satisfied; and we know this because so many people already live that answer, and have done for many decades in the West. 

Many or most modern people already have experienced historically-unprecedented gratification of happiness and elimination of physical suffering; yet they are not satisfied by such quantitative improvements.

Indeed, more than in many times and places of the past (insofar as such things can be compared) modern people have been distinctive for their escalating fear, resentment and despair. They have in fact - whatever the theory - focused on the incompleteness of their bliss; and the unbearability of their residual suffering. 

Hence the apparently widespread (albeit often implicit - since modern Man usually refuses to think consciously and consecutively about fundamental matters) desire for total happiness and the absence of suffering; as the only proper, un-controversially Good goals of life. 

All of which goes to show that ideals which are normal and widespread, common-sensical and regarded as ethically-vital; can nonetheless be incoherent nonsense. 


"Anything but Christianity" is rooted in the rejection of resurrection

"Anything but Christianity" is axiomatic for modern mainstream culture. In other words, whatever the attitude towards religion and spirituality (from broad sympathy to total atheistic rejection); there is a special animus directed-against Christianity

And few are even explicitly aware of this in themselves. 

I speak from experience. For several decades before I became a Christian, I was a 'spiritual seeker'; and had regarded myself as (in some general way) broadly in favour of some aspects of Christianity; and I had read (and thought about) comparative religion, mythologies of the world, modern spirituality (New Age), and even modern Christian theology. 

Yet, in truth, my was attitude that I was looking for An Answer everywhere except in Christianity

When reading Christian material, I was always pleased to see it reinterpreted in the light of other religions or traditions. "If only Christianity were more Buddhist, or New Age spiritual - if only Christianity could admit it is just one of many paths to truth - then I might find a home there" was the sort of idea. 

But at the root of it, as I now see that what I was objecting to was resurrection. I did not want to be resurrected after death; I did not want to stay myself, in an eternal body: I did not want to repent my sins and dwell in a Heaven among other such resurrected Beings. 

Of course I didn't believe resurrection was even possible! I thought the idea was (very obviously!) childish wishful thinking to be found only among the weak-minded; or that nobody really believed it but pretended in order to reassure themselves or manipulate others. 

But believing that resurrection was impossible nonsense was not the root of it: the root of it was that I rejected it. And, because I rejected specifically what Jesus Christ achieved and offered us; naturally I rejected Christianity. 

I think that my own ex-views are not uncommon; I believe that many of those who reject Christianity do so in a specific way (i.e. "Anything but Christianity"); and that many of these people reject Christianity because they personally do not desire resurrection. 

Many desire, instead, some form of self-annihilation: whether the mainstream atheist-materialist view that the subjective-self ceases when the body dies; or the Western-Eastern religious view that our self-awareness dissolves (back) into the universe and a state of blissful Nirvana; or that we persist after death in an immaterial, disembodied form - spirits, ghosts, or whatever. To all of these; the offer of resurrection is unwanted, is rejected.   

A few people desire to reincarnate into mortal bodies on this earth; to come back over and again, and relive this kind of temporary life among in this entropic world; and these do not desire the final answer of resurrection with an eternal-body. 

In other words; the trend for unpopularity, and the increasing scarcity, of Christianity is rooted in what modern people do not want. As things stand, modern people do not want what Christianity has to offer - quite aside from whether they believe that the offer of Christianity is a true and valid one. 

The question is why modern people nowadays do not want and reject that which was, a couple of thousand years ago and for many centuries, regarded as the greatest possible Good News.  

Wednesday 30 August 2023

Why is the Western leadership class incapable not only of leadership - but even of reasoning?

It is very striking that the leaders of Western nations and major institutions and corporations are - in the first place - just not actual leaders: they are not capable of leadership, but are instead just over-promoted middle managers, or else selfish psychopaths. 

That has been the situation for several decades: real leaders are not sought, and indeed actively excluded from leadership. 

Perhaps more recently (and most obviously in the USA) the current "leaders" of nations and institutions are becoming cognitively incapable: they cannot reason, and therefore cannot make even simple inferences, or learn simple lessons from experience. 

One top of a generation of appointing followers (or front-men, empty suits) as pseudo-leaders; this more recent deliberate and strategic selection of mentally deficient leaders is conclusive evidence (for those who still need it) that the official leaders are Not Leading At All; but are following orders. 

Yet following orders is not enough anymore; the newer generation of pseudo-leaders must in addition Not be able to understand the relationship between decisions and consequences; they must Fail to learn from observing repeated cause and effect associations. 

Why has this suddenly become necessary? Why is mere managerial obedience to the evil agenda no longer sufficient? 

The reason is that - at the highest most-strategic level of the real world-leadership - i.e. the senior demonic - the plan has changed from the imposition of a bureaucratic-totalitarian global System (which reached its peak in the worldwide coup of early 2020); to the current increasingly "Sorathic" agenda of destruction: destruction of people, animals, plants and the planet (justified via the inversion of all true-values). 

This spiteful agenda has been smashing the world economy, finance and trade; it has started and is escalating WWIII; turned environmentalism against itself; exploded the sexual revolution; imposed the birdemic-peck; and is incrementally ratcheting-through the societally fissile effects of the current diversity-woke stuff. 

In other words; the senior real-leaders are making their servants do the opposite of what they were supposed (even just a few years ago) to be aiming-at. 

Given such dissonance; even the most servile managerial drone would, eventually, be able to work-out that he was being used to destroy himself and everything he valued...

This is a danger to the fulfilment of the top-level evil strategy for earth. 

A servile managerial drone might work-things-out... Unless, that is, he was so deeply defective in reasoning capacity that he was incapable of noticing that almost everything he did, actually had the inverse outcome from its supposed intention. 

And that is exactly what we now have: a Western leadership class who don't even notice that what happens as a result of their policies is the opposite of what these policies are supposed to achieve

Get this: They don't even notice! 

In a nutshell: it is necessary that current leaders operate in a perpetual present-moment which they are constitutionally incapable of comprehending, because they cannot relate it either to the past or to the future. 

To be safe; it is now necessary that the Establishment-allocated official-leaders are unable to notice even the grossest and most immediate destructive consequences. 

Thus has functional-dementia and/or deranging intoxication (of various degrees, types and flavours) become a positive requirement and qualification for occupying senior "leadership" positions in the modern West. 


Tuesday 29 August 2023

Stunning numbers - How successful were the Axis powers in World War II?

The Axis powers (Germany, Japan, Italy) were on the losing side at the end of World War II; but how successful were they at the height of their success? 

I came across a stunning statistic that at their maximum extent during the war, Japan ruled 20% of the world's population, and Germany ruled 13% (reference see this video, from 2:30 - Italy and its empire was not mentioned, but would need to be added). 

This means that - during the course of WWII, more than one third of the world's population was ruled by either Japan or Germany! 

I found this a very surprising, indeed stunning, statistic; which shows just how very successful the Axis powers were, before their defeat. 

"Going it alone" as a Secret Christian

Continuing the PKD-inspired theme of living as-if a "Secret Christian" (versus The-Empire-that-never-ended); this is rooted in the conviction that we each can - when necessary - do this work alone,  without the assistance of a church, or indeed "other people". 

Also related is the further conviction (from Rudolf Steiner and Owen Barfield) that clear and true thinking - thinking derived from our true and divine "self" - positively affects the world of creation - including if this thinking is never communicated.  

What is missing from this description of an "asocial" Christian life is some kind of feedback cycle; that essential to-and-fro, trial-and-error interaction characteristic of the best social interactions; by which our understanding is stated, evaluated, developed, and (it is hoped) improved.  

When there are no people on one's side that can be trusted at the deepest level; then the feedback cycle must-be mystical, supernatural, 'magical' - in a word 'divine'; and exactly that has been provided by Jesus Christ as the Holy Ghost

This guidance is a case of "must-be", exactly because it is needed - we may be alone as a follower of Jesus Christ among the people around us, but we cannot actually "go it alone" in an ultimate sense; since we are all prone to error and corruption. 

We all need correction; and when there are no suitable people, and no valid institutions, to provide it - then, of course, God will ensure all necessary guidance is available by other means. 

The main question is whether we genuinely want divine guidance. If we are merely seeking validation, and will not listen to anything but validation, then we cut ourselves off from divine guidance. But assuming we really do want guidance, how might we reasonably expect to get it?

With modern human consciousness, such things are different from in the past; and - because of our agency and freedom; we moderns must actively seek and consciously choose that which was more passively and un-consciously imposed-upon more ancient Men. 

A good way to think about this may be to assume that (here-and-now) we must do most of the work of understanding for ourselves

Having worked-out some kind of understanding, we need to ensure that we really do understand it; in other words, we need to articulate it clearly and as simply as possible, so that we can fully grasp what it is that we think we know.  

And then we seek feedback by whatever works for us as an individual: through prayer, meditation, or even by doing what I am now doing - by articulating the understanding in writing as clearly and simply as possible.

And then we adopt a receptive frame of mind, a spirit of honest enquiry, of attuned-responsiveness... We make our proposal and then await - in a state of awareness - to experience how it plays-out*.  

And thereby; although we may lack personal help, we will find that "we are not alone". 


To expand a little: We should not expect understanding to pour-in upon us as divine inspiration; but should expect to do the work of understanding for ourselves. That is the way to learn, and to-learn is, substantially, what we are here for. We look to the Holy Ghost simply to confirm, or to deny, what we have proposed. 

And we should not expect to attain answers that are perfectly and eternally true - but answers that will suffice for our current needs. Thus answers may change over time, as we and our needs change. An answer may suffice for a while, and then later we get sent "back to the drawing board" Furthermore, it may be that it is in striving for ever-better answers, rather than in receiving stable and certain affirmations, that we are doing what God most wants from us and what we most need

After all, understanding is seldom easy in a world full of lies and distractions; and we may never hit-upon the right answer, despite what seems like our best efforts. And again, ultimately, all answers that we can arrive-at must-be wrong because finite and the product of limited minds. It doesn't really matter. 

What does matter is that we know enough for salvation, and live and learn towards resurrected life-eternal.  

Monday 28 August 2023

Christian evangelism via Death

Goodness only knows how best to practice Christian evangelism in these time! 

It seems clear that the old (tried-and-tested) methods for winning converts no longer work, at least in The West, and may even do more harm than good. 

The biggest problem for genuine Christian evangelism is among self-identified church-affiliated Christians, whose behaviour and concerns make it obvious that their idea of being-a-Christian has far more to do with enlisting on the side of totalitarian globalist evil -  i.e. with actively supporting and focusing-on one or more of the core leftist agenda items; than the pursuit of anything transformatively spiritual or religious. 

So even what would have been regarded as "successful" evangelism would actually be harmful - if it leads the new convert to accept Christianity as defined by Western church-leaders; and to believe that obedience to his chosen-church constitutes his primary Christian duty. 

Yet, of course, church-Christians are (overwhelmingly) the people who most potential converts will most likely encounter; who the 'seeker' will regard as the real Christians; and who will be most likely to provide the up-front explanations of what Christianity is, and how Christians ought-to live

Well... nothing direct can be done to remedy this, since the mismatch in power and influence over the public arena is so vast, that a simple and true message about Jesus Christ cannot begin to compete in the domain of mass communication. 

As so often, it boils down to abandoning generic strategies, and making the best of individual encounters if, or when, they happen. 

(And maybe such encounters will be enabled to happen, despite the infinite distractions; whenever a seeker is sincere; since I would assume that divine intervention would be operating behind-the-scenes to ensure that every person who wants to know the nature of Christianity, will sooner-or-later be guided to find what he needs. After that, it is up to him.) 

But what then? What is the first thing that ought-to come to mind as worth mentioning about Jesus, in response to a query or an opening? (Not that this has happened to me for a long time 'in real life' for a while.)

I hope that I will remember to talk first about the positive choice of resurrection to dwell eternally in Heaven, as The goal of Christian life. I mean, deciding that that is what we personally want to happen to us after we die.

I hope I remember to make clear that the essence of Christianity is about death, about what happens after death; and that Christianity is therefore primarily "not of this world". 

Unless somebody actually wants resurrection for himself - and positively wants resurrection more than anything else that might happen after death; then it is probably not worth trying to take matters any further by discussing how this goal might be achieved.   

Positive spiritual reasons for resisting the Empire-that-never-ended, for striving to escape the Black Iron Prison

Further considering the possibilities of life as a "secret Christian" - broadly along the lines of Philip K Dick's insight-fantasy - I am struck by the need for this to be more than merely a form of resistance to the oppressive power of the Empire-that-never-ended. To resist for long and without the support of others (which, nowadays, cannot be relied-upon); we need to be resisting for a reason; and that reason should be clear, positive and personal. 

Such double-negative day-dreams have been all-too dominant for the past couple of centuries; and have failed to provide either sufficient motivation to remain true to the Good, or to provide sufficient clarity and coherence of direction to overcome the temptations of an increasingly evil and System-dominated world. 

From my experiences and observations; the only thing that can positively motivate genuine resistance strongly and over a long timespan; is having some-thing/s innerly-motivated that one spiritually-needs to get done in life - but when this thing is opposed by the Empire. 

And this some-thing (or things) needs to be discovered in oneself, made explicit, and freely-given inward endorsement. 

Having something from within-oneself, and that thing regarded as Good, and contributing to divine creation... All this is a very powerful core motivator, and a motivation that may prevent inward acquiescence to the unrelenting and escalating System demands for ultimate obedience and thought-control. 

Of course; such a specific factor can only make a general difference when our understanding is generalized; as when one's own inward motivation is recognized as a part of that something much larger which is divine creation; when this apparently-distinct factor is understood as in truth a manifestation (real, however tiny) of love of God and fellow Men. 

In personal terms; this might mean that the basis of resistance could be the seed of recognizing that The System wants to crush exactly that within you that is most important and Good; that The System insatiably desires to enlist you personally to a very different, external - and evil - agenda. 

And that this external-evil agenda is in practice imposed-upon us, by the method of getting us to welcome it voluntarily; which is usually achieved by tapping-into that internal agenda of potential-for-evil which we all carry within us. 

The external-evil agenda is put-forward to our evaluation, as the best (or only possible) means to some internal goal - a goal that is usually evil, but may in fact be overall-Good... 

When, for instance (and this happened to me many times, and I saw it many times) service to the system Now, is depicted as the best way to achieve one's own best and inner objectives at some point in 'the future'... 

Thus have I (and many scientists, academics and doctors of my acquaintance) often been seduced by expedient evil options; actually inviting evil into our hearts; while telling ourselves that - by serving The System in the short-term, and thereby doing mediocre or even harmful work; we will (at some point in the longer term, not too far off) become better placed to escape The System demands...

If only (They say) you will consent to assist in building and staffing the Black Iron Prison for a little while; then soon you can become strong enough to escape, and set-up your own free community somewhere outside its reach!

And Then (at last!) we can really do that best work of which we are capable; and which we have carried in our hearts through the compromised-times of abetting-evil... 

Yet all too often, and indeed nearly always, the short-term service to the evil System is what actually happens in reality; and the long-term state of freedom to do what is right and best... never arrives - or, at least, is never actually implemented. 

The reasons are obvious enough; but the root is often that the person did not have some-thing that he really wanted to do: that his motivation was too weak to resist the manifold and unrelenting temptations to serve. 

I have come to believe that - in these modern conditions of human consciousness (because this was Not always the case in the past) - this is because: 1. our inner motivations and goals must be discovered by ourselves; 2. the motivations and goals must become clear and explicit to us; and 3. we need to take personal spiritual responsibility for pursuing those goals towards which our motivations are pointing. 

As I have already said; this is only a beginning in transforming negative-resistance into a positive life - but it is a beginning: potentially, if we choose to make it so. 

(And then the fantasy may become a reality - because each of us will then have become one of the "secret Christians" - always present, always active, never overcome!)


Sunday 27 August 2023

Transtemporal Secret Christians versus "the Empire that never ended" (aka. the Black Iron Prison) - the Exegesis of Philip K Dick

Edited slightly (cuts, punctuation, expanding abbreviations) from from Exegesis by Philip K Dick

[18:84] I state: the passage of time since “Acts of the Apostles” is spurious. That is it. That is the premise derived from empirical experience. Whatever our senses tell us means nothing. Circular time, not linear time, is involved. 

When St. Sophia (Christ) returns it will be in apostolic times, as promised. The 1,900 intervening years are a spurious interpolation by the Black Iron Prison (BIP)... 

[18:86] What a realization! Transtemporal-constant secret Christians, originating in apostolic times, and lying within humans in succeeding generations — reactivated by external disinhibiting stimuli (but before this or without this can covertly direct the persons they inhabit, like the way Thomas secretly masterminded my writing). Hot dog! 

But this is exactly what I’m not supposed to talk about! These underlying, co-habitating, secretly still living apostolic Christians want to stay secret! 

What I must concentrate on is not the irreality of our world or worlds plural, but the absolute transtemporal-constant: the apostolic secret Christians still alive and at work. 

This fits-in with my flash of insight [in February 1974] upon seeing the golden fish sign: I saw the secret early Christians hurrying about their business

Then the answer is: Thomas is an immortal apostolic Christian, and Rome c. A.D. 45 is the real present world, and Thomas co-inhabits my head, locked into the real world. 

“Acts” is not a past world — v. Tears, it is the noumenal matrix of this world. We are not dealing with either the past or a past life and personality, but the urwelt lying under the Dokos. Thomas and his world is here and now, and he knows it. [. . .] 

So I am, so to speak, a front — a face — for an immortal, transtemporal secret early Christian who is operating — undoubtedly in conjunction with others like him — in contemporary history. 

This is behind-the-scenes stuff, thrilling and scary. I certainly see Thomas’ hand or mind in my writing. Yes indeed, he is with me, not is me — in my head. But “living in another century.”


In this exciting sequence of insights; Philip K Dick is looking-back, after several years, to his religious experiences of February and March 1974  ("2-3-74"). He has long since concluded that these experiences led him to realize that the Roman Empire, conceptualized as a Black Iron Prison of bureaucratic totalitarianism, never ended; but persisted through transformations and translocations to the USA - for PKD the Nixon administration in particular, and the civilized world more generally. 

In some way (he tried-out many theories) PKD believed that he had some kind of direct and experiential relationship with the time around AD 45, and the places of Acts of the Apostles; perhaps (in some way) via an alter ego-type person called Thomas who might be one of the named Apostles - or someone else. 

At that time and place (according to PKD's visions); the early Christians constituted a small, secretive and indomitable sect. These kept alive faith in Jesus Christ in their hearts, and (in some rather vague way) also operated cooperatively as a covert resistance against the Empire. 

(PKD's visions had been triggered, or his latent understanding disinhibited, by seeing a golden ICHTHYS fish-pendant catching the sunlight; and being told by the girl who was wearing it, that this was a symbol of the early Christians; a sign by which, PKD inferred, they recognized each other.) 

PKD regarded this basic situation as a continuing one: secret Christians versus the Empire (a hostile Empire who acted constantly to assimilate and neutralize, or else annihilate, the Christians). 

For Dick; the secret early Christians were, and are, the real Christians; the other kind being sometimes more-, sometimes less-, corrupted and assimilated to the Empire agenda of the Black Iron Prison. 

As Dick comments; this way of understanding is indeed both "thrilling and scary"! But, maybe, in some kind of overall and exact but approximate way; PKD was here expressing an essential truth for Christians; which is broadly as he states it. 

Real Christians always have been ("transtemporally") in something-like this situation - few, secret, seldom meeting, sustained by direct experience and knowledge; always opposed by The System, and most of the self-identified official Christians. 

Recognizing each other only by signs that flash-out briefly and intermittently; and reveal something they have always known. 

Note added: Of course; regular readers will have guessed that I am here thinking that PKD's vision, or fantasy, of the secret Christians; in its essence, matches the conceptual basis (if not so much the metaphysics or theology) of Romantic Christianity.  

Saturday 26 August 2023

The Charles Williams attitude to life... Tried and failed

Thinking lately about a way of living (or something aimed-at in living) that I associate with the work and practice of Charles Williams - by which the mundane world is understood as (what I have termed) a palimpsest - as when a new medieval text is written on a secondhand parchment, and the pre-existing manuscript can sometimes be seen shining-through. 

The idea is that we are at first aware only of the mundane 'natural' and surface level of meanings; but underneath these, there is a super-natural reality, of eternal and archetypal forms.  

Thus; for Williams the City of London (or any city) represents the City of God; and its mercantile exchanges of goods and money, represent the Christian spiritual "exchange" between "co-inherent" Men. In his novels and poems, and also apparently in his own life and that of his 'disciples', this seems to have been the daily practice of Charles Williams - anything in the passing show, might be experienced as a symbol of some-thing archetypal and eternal.  

From long before I counted myself a Christian, this had a strong initial appeal to me; as an attitude that seemed to lend depth and meaning to a mundane, everyday world that so-often, so-badly lacked depth and meaning (consisting of dull bureaucracy, transient distractions, the pursuit of low motivations and rejection of high). 

It came naturally too: I suspected, sometimes detected, much going-on beneath the surface; including good things of which people seemed often unconscious, and good influences that were unnoticed, unintended, unsuspected... 

In other words; the reality was largely negative and implicit in in its effects; and my idea was that to make it positive ought to enhance its power to enhance life. 

"Power" was indeed a part of the concept - including Will Power. I was sympathetic to the idea that there could be a collective focusing of will power for Good; and that this kind of activity might do good in ways that were again unnoticed and unconscious. 

(Indeed, such ideas were prevalent a few decades ago, and people would often organize mass activities of 'will power' - such as prayer, meditation, and many varieties of ceremonial activity; with the expressed aim of doing some-Good to the world... In a sense, the underlying idea was that Good could be done-to masses of people - "whether they liked it or not"! 

So there were ideas of a realler-reality beneath the surface; and ideas of the Good-stuff being present and operative without awareness, working-away in all kinds of positive ways, but unknown and unsuspected. And maybe "some way" of tapping into this underlying world by those (relatively  few) who recognized the nature-of-things; and thereby influencing things-in-general for the better - although they probably would never know it. 

And so I continued for many a year. 

And I gained satisfactions by it: both an immediate satisfaction of seeing beyond or below, and the motivation of doing more so. 

Yet, of course, there was no purpose to it. Ultimately, it was hedonic in its intent - a way of making life more enjoyable, but without making life qualitatively different. 

And there were disadvantages - because regarding actuality as a palimpsest devalues it relative to the deep past and the hoped-for future. Indeed, the surface seems ever-thinner, as the mind penetrates to 'eternal verities' beneath; and this life itself - mortal life, full of ephemeral objects and ideas - seems futile. It is going nowhere - but to change, corruption, death; so why do we linger in this vale of mere shadows when there is a bright and pure and flawless world awaiting us on the other side? 

Indeed, why did we ever come here at all - when there exists a world so much better; and a world which we will (apparently) experience as wholly satisfying? 

What is the point, if temporarily incarnating into such a mixed and messy world of temporary stuff; if/when there is an archetypal and timeless reality to which we might in principle have dwelt-within? 

And when we try to abolish time and sequence, and start believing that what is now is always, what was is also now, and what is to come has already-happened - then various terrible implications begin to sink-in. 

We have bought meaningfulness as a terrible cost; the cost of abolishing purpose hence choice - leading to paralysis as we contemplate an essentially tragic state of being. 

So, in the end I found - as, I believe, did Charles Williams - that despite the immediate allure and benefits of regarding this mortal life as a palimpsest written over an eternal and ideal world that can be accessed by the determined adept; when taken seriously and over the long term, such an attitude detracts-from and devalues (rather than enhances and validates) the mundane life.  

Ring-necked parakeets in my garden!


I have, at last, solved the mystery of loud, insistent and unfamiliar bird (kee-kee) calls from nesting birds in big trees around my garden; with occasional very rapid flights in which - silhouetted against the evening sky - I could see what looked rather like a hawk, with long curved and pointed wings; and a short curved beak.   

(From where I was, from underneath, as the birds flashed-by at dusk, wings flapping - they did not look anything like the picture above - the colour seemed blackish, and the beak did not look red...)

Then, this morning, in better light (and at a time of high swooping activity) I spotted one that had, to my amazement, what seemed to be a green back! On checking a UK identification website from the RSPB, I saw the only possible bird was: a ring-necked parakeet...

On using this as my search term, plus Newcastle upon Tyne, it instantly emerged that this is a known-thing; that ring-necked parakeets have been nesting and breeding in urban Tyneside for at least five years; and that they are spreading and increasing. It has been in the local newspapers. 

So, that is the answer. It seems bizarre, but now I know the answer to the mystery birds is... obvious. Sort of. 

Wednesday 23 August 2023

A theory of Romanticism - Yes, it's needed (but we must frame our question properly)

It was the summer of 1976 that I first read Robert M Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (ZAMM), and first came-across what he described as the Classic versus Romantic division in world-views. 

The Classic was Pirsig's term for what was already termed The System (i.e. The Matrix, the Single-Global-Bureaucracy/ Mediaplex), or what I have here sometimes termed the Ahrimanic form of evil. The Romantic was the instinctive, impulsive, 

In ZAMM; Pirsig's proposed solution to the division was Quality; and I certainly gave Quality my best shot over the next years, and for a couple of decades. 

Quality did not work as a solution; and in practice was just a part of the Romantic side of the divide: inevitably Quality got overwhelmed, and over-written, by the Classic-System-Bureaucratic imperatives that were so much stronger and more persistent through the late-twentieth century onwards.  

Part of the problem was that Quality in ZAMM was tied to oneness metaphysics; (deriving from oneness). 

Another part of the problem was that Quality was pre-thinking thus non-thinking (so that as soon as one thought about Quality, Quality had gone...).

And part of the problem was that the Romantic was defined in Classic terms, such that the Romantic was made a time-less and abstracted set of defining attributes - and so, Quality was immediately captured by the Classic - where it could be enslaved (as in "Quality" management) and then killed with what the Classic mind regards as overwhelming reason (as in 2020, and by the Litmus Test imperatives generally). 

A further and decisive problem in ZAMM was the detachment of Romanticism from its Christian origins. Indeed; already from the early 19th century, and much more later, there was a turning of Romanticism against Christianity. 

But the Romantic can, and should, be seen as a phenomenon in time, in human history and in the lives of Men. 

Thus, Romanticism arose in the later 1700s and peaked over the following decades. 

Romanticism is usually described as having arisen as a reaction-against the rationalism and empiricism of the new era of science, epitomized by Newton, Descartes etc. Then; Romanticism is seen as re-emerging through the following centuries in response to new phases of increasing social organization, bureaucracy, state propaganda etc. 

For instance, there was a major resurgence of Romanticism in the 1950s (existentialism and the Beat Generation) increasing through the 1960s counter-culture; in response to the post-WW II Western social trends. 

And the Romantic phase of many individual Men, is likewise usually described as a reaction-against the pressures during adolescence to become absorbed into The System.

But Romanticism can be regarded as more than a reaction - and can instead be regarded as the emergence of something that ought-to-have-been the proper path of development - of society and of Men; something which keeps re-emerging (exactly because it was and is Man's proper destiny) but which keeps getting defeated, for various reasons.  

Thus, Romanticism is always time-related. It should therefore be seen as dynamic and developmental - a part of the life of people and peoples; and therefore we ought to resist trying to capture it in timeless and abstract definitions; which must distort and fatally weaken Romanticism, and will ensure it is again defeated. 

My ideas for saving and strengthening Romanticism - including a robust understanding of Quality, and restoring what I regard as the proper line of Man's developments - include:

1. Restoring the primarily Christian basis of Romanticism.

2. Putting Romanticism into a context of a pluralist (not oneness) metaphysics.

3. Always understanding Romanticism as 'in time', as a dynamic and developmental thing.

4. Making thinking (with increased - not diminished - consciousness, alertness, freedom - a stronger sense of the self) a focus of what is aimed-at in the Romantic experience. In other words: the archetypal Romantic 'religious experience' should be actively creative, and not passively contemplative.  

Tuesday 22 August 2023

Is death an unjustifiable violation?

JRR Tolkien quoting - with agreement - Simone de Beauvoir:

[De Beauvoir]: "There is no such thing as a natural death: nothing that happens to a man is ever natural, since his presence calls the whole world into question. All men must die: but for every man his death is an accident and, even if he knows it and consents to it, an unjustifiable violation." 

[JRR Tolkien]: Well, you may agree with the words or not, but those are the key spring of The Lord of the Rings.

On the one hand, death is universal and thus, apparently, natural; on the other hand, death is also experienced as profoundly un-natural, accidental, a violation. 

Traditional Christian theology has attempted to deal with this using the concept of Original Sin; but I find this unsatisfactory - both for having been (I would have thought obviously) inserted post-Jesus and therefore not genuinely Christian; and also because Original Sin theory fails to do what it claims, which is to explain the prevalence of evil among Men without implicating God

Instead; my understanding of death is that it is experienced as both natural and unnatural because of our situation in mortal incarnation - which I regard as (for Christians) situated between a potentially deathless pre-mortal spirit existence; and the post-mortal incarnated state of resurrection. 

This mortal life of ours is temporary, a phase not an end-state - but our basic expectations deriving from pre-mortal spirit life are that we 'ought to be' eternal and deathless. Furthermore, since the life and work of Jesus Christ, Christians have hope of an eternal and deathless state to follow this mortal life. 

Yet, the actuality of this mortal life and its inevitable termination - is unnatural. It is also not under our control; since other factors (primarily God, but also Men and other Beings and happening) influence how and when we die. 

We cannot, therefore, take death for granted. Death comes, and will be a time of transformation. It is a severing of soul from body, as the body dies - and (because we are incarnate Beings) the body's death changes us, removing part of our-selves - and what remains after death is naturally-speaking incomplete. 

In other words; the spirit after death - which has been variously conceptualized throughout history - is significantly like a different person, and (it has been believed) is often severely diminished in its coherence, identity, agency etc. 

I think we sense exactly this (mostly implicitly), when we consider death. It probably lies behind the yearnings for 'peace' after mortal-death, which are so often the wish of non-Christians (including many self-identified Christians who do not want the resurrection that Christ actually offered). 

...Anyone who felt sure that death will certainly annihilation would not be concerned to ask for peace; anyone who was confident that death was naturally a peaceful state would not feel compelled to pray for peace.  

There is a fear (clearly expressed by Hamlet in his famous "To be, or not to be" soliloquy) that after our death we will experience a state of inescapable nightmare; and that this may be the 'default' condition - unless... something else happens, or we take some particular actions or make choices.  

Thus, from our perspective here-and-now in mortal life; death is indeed the threat of a violation that seems unjustifiable; unless made-sense-of by resurrection - or some other desired outcome. And that death seems to be non-optional makes matters worse. 

Original sin was and is an attempt to make sense of this, but since it does not work then we need something else - and the explanation ought to be a clear and graspable kind of truth (as indeed it surely would be, given the nature of our God).  


Sunday 20 August 2023

Why are we, here, now; so much more vulnerable to wrong ideas than Men of the past?

It seem clear to me that Men of the past could believe all kinds of wrong things (and even have massively contrasting religions), without coming to serious harm. 

There was a very broad area of what seemed like common sense that meant almost all people, everywhere, shared broadly the same ideas of The Good.  

But that now wrong ideas, and almost any wrong idea seems to suffice, leads to the grossest evil of value-inversions; such that people nowadays consciously, actively and strategically pursue lies, ugliness and sin (and persecute truth, beauty and virtue) in ways that simply did not happen in the past.  

The best explanation for this difference of which I know, is Owen Barfield's account of Original Participation

What this suggests is that originally Men were spontaneously, and mostly un-consciously, immersed-in and controlled-by the divine and spirit world - from birth and through their lives. 

This influence came-through in all kinds of natural instincts; and these instincts shaped all traditional social practices - without awareness or planning. 

These ancient Men were less free, less consciously aware - and they just accepted and followed all kinds of behaviours which - ultimately - derived from the nature of divine creation. Men were mentally part-of divine creation, and therefore what they thought and did was broadly concordant with divine creation.    

However; across the ages and through the centuries this has dwindled. 

Men have become more conscious and autonomous of the natural and created; and in recent generations the immersive and unconscious, instinctive, controlling link between the divine and spiritual, and each Man's thinking, has been all-but severed (except during early childhood). We are cut-off from God and divine creation. 

This phase we currently inhabit is what Barfield calls the Consciousness Soul; and it explains why bad/ wrong/ evil ideas now have such a devastatingly inversional and weird effect on individuals and societies. 

There is still a sense in which we all still already-know (naturally, spontaneously, instinctively) what is Good (i.e. true, beautiful, virtuous, in harmony with God and creation) -- Yet that knowledge lacks the automatic regulatory power it used to possess. Instead, we are often deeply suspicious of this innate kind of knowing. 

At any rate, such knowing is far more easily confused or over-written than ever before in history - often as a prelude to its inversion.   


If all this is so - what does it mean and imply? 

It means that, in some sense, we can and should return to living in harmony with God and creation and in connection with the world of spirit. 

But it does not imply that we should recreate the behaviours and societies of the past. Indeed that is strictly impossible; since we are now so utterly, radically, different from the Human Beings that used to inhabit such societies. 

A society based-upon the natural and spontaneous connectedness of people to God, cannot happen when people are - as a matter of fact - Not spontaneously connected to God!

If not, then what? If not the impossible reversion - how instead might we move towards the harmony with God that Christians desire? Well, one helpful step is to identify and correct wrong ideas of our own

The fact that these wrong ideas were (pretty much) harmless to Men of the past does not mean that these same ideas will not harm us now. 

Bad ideas now are widely and deeply toxic to our whole alignment with the world of divine creation - therefore we absolutely need to become aware of them, and correct them.  

It's a big job - for a Christian to identify that which used-to-be regarded as harmless, or even as necessary, to his faith - and then reject it as incompatible with the basic aim of Christian life! 

Yet something like that, seems to be the special and vital spiritual task of this time and place. 

Thursday 17 August 2023

Effects of an illness - temptation to sin

I've just had a couple of days of debilitating illness (flu-ish thing); with the coincident bonus of a migraine throughout; and this was severe and unremitting enough to switch-off my powers of concentration and consecutive thinking. I was only really alive to the present moment, and that present was actively unpleasant. 

Several effects were noticeable. One was that I - almost instantly - fell-into a double-negative "defensive posture" in my basic attitude to life. In other words, I was focused on getting relief from the various pains and aches and other symptoms. It was hard to pray sincerely for anything much else!

When I have that kind of illness I find that I get even more selfish than usual; I can't be bothered by anything outside of a narrow radius of what might palliate my situation. I couldn't think seriously about other people, or positive spiritual goals of life - but, and this seems significant, I was still worried about the future. 

All of which shows that an illness of that kind is a pretty significant temptation to sin; and that I was incapable of resisting these temptations. All I could do was recognize what was going-on, recognize that my attitude was wrong and bad - and repent it. 

A microcosm of life - in other words. Everybody succumbs to sins; and potentially, any of these sins could develop into a mind-set that would block salvation. 

If I was stuck for very long in the kind of condition I experienced a couple of days ago - and that was nothing very special or severe in the scale of things - then I may not be able to meet and "rise above" the challenge; and would likely become very negative and demanding in my attitude to life. 

But, the great thing about being a Christian, is that this is not fatal; because no matter how weak we are or how badly we fail - it is repentance that is decisive.   

Of course it is better to meet-and-beat a sin - and the benefits of having overcome a temptation will be carried through to eternity. 

However; the fact is that life is too tough for anybody to beat every sin; sooner or later (and typically several times a day at least) everybody gets beaten by life.

Ultimately, that is the nature of mortal life - and it doesn't matter: so long as we acknowledge the spiritual facts.


Tuesday 15 August 2023

Understanding the nature of "creation" by comparing human creative genius with divine creation

I think it would be fair to say that most people haven't thought very much about what "creation" is, or might be; beyond either assuming that there is really nothing special about it, or assuming that it is a wholly mysterious "black box". 

And I believe that there is truth in both of these perspectives - in the sense that (while some particular Beings are much more often and more intensely creative than others) potentially all Beings are creative in some degree and way because it is an attribute of being-ness; while there is an irreducible mystery in being-ness, including the creativity of any particular Being. 

My long term interest in human creativity and the phenomenon of genius was behind the process of thinking that is recorded in my blog Intelligence, Personality and Genius; and which culminated in The Genius Famine book (co-written with Edward Dutton). 

In these books I both assumed that creativity was, on the one hand, on a quantitative continuum among humans; but also that some humans had a lot more of it (i.e. the qualitative category of "geniuses"); and this was related to a characterological (or 'personality') trait of the Endogenous personality

This I envisaged as a type of person whose attention and motivations were highly-innerly-generated (rather than being in response to external stimuli) - endo-genous can mean "generated from-within". 

(The Endogenous personality also explains many of the characteristic unusual personality traits of geniuses. On the one hand; there is not one standard genius personality type, on the other hand, the various unusual traits, as well as the averages for geniuses as a group, can be understood as various expressions of an unusually strong domination by innerly-generated motivations.)

However, these writings of mine were within the field of science, and did not, therefore, address the ultimate questions that lie out-with science. In particular, the origins of creativity were not mentioned. 

Science cannot, of course, discuss where creativity comes-from, except to assume it comes from the other entities and phenomena that are a part of science. 

Therefore, the best theories of creativity in science can only assume that creativity is a process of selections and recombination, interpolation and extrapolation, of what is 'already known' to science - and that the genius is therefore someone with exceptional ability to generate 'random' hypotheses from pre-existing materials, and then rapidly to sort-through and evaluate them. 

The assumed process of creativity therefore (and not by accident) resembles natural selection: undirected generation of variants, followed by a selection among these variants, based upon some functional criterion.  

But it can be seen that such a notion of 'creativity' means that there is ultimately nothing really new about what is created. From the perspective of science; all creation is (by assumption, hence by definition) just selection, recombination etc. 

Such an idea of creation fits-with the understanding of classical Christian theology which draws a qualitative line between God-The-Creator (the one-and-only creator of everything from nothing, in a once-for all act); and Man the "creature" whose creating can only be a matter of selecting and re-shuffling what already exists in God's creation. 

Thus God is the only really-real creator, and Man can only mimic divine creation in a kind of 'paint-by-numbers' process; as a creature wholly made by God and using materials and instructions provided entirely by God. 

From this point-of-view; divine creation is a done deal: it already contains everything, and therefore cannot be added to. 

But if we consider the creative act itself, and assume that there must be the possibility of genuinely original creation - a creation which does indeed make something new; then we come down to the idea of creation as a property of any Being - much like life, consciousness and purpose are other attributes of a being. 

In other words, we can (it is possible, if we wish) assume that creativity is one of the attributes of all Beings - including God and including all other Beings.  

And that is, indeed, what I assume!

But what is creativity? 

In the first place, it can be defined double-negatively (using terms form medieval Christian theology), as an example of uncaused cause or a first mover. 

Another, more positive, way of thinking about it; is that genius is "generative" (as the etymology implies) -- that is, genius is a kind of "spontaneous generation", originating in a Being, whereby what emerges could be regarded as an expression of the Being from-which it emerges. 

It is also helpful to remember that Beings were unembodied spirits before there was incarnation. And, if we assume that spirits (as Beings) are potentially creative; then the primary kind of creativity is thinking rather than doing something to the material world. Genius relates primarily to thought, not artifact. 

(But, by the same account; this concept of thinking is real, thinking is a part of the world; such thinking has an effect on the world.) 

This clarifies that the essence of a human creative genius is not a book, painting or a piece of music; but the thinking from-which an artefact may, or may not, later be derived.   

At the end of this line of reasoning; I arrived at an understanding of creating which includes divine creation and also the potential creativity of Man and all other Beings - God, Man and Beings within a single reality to which all these Beings may (in principle) contribute their creativity. 

Such creativity is potentially originative, generative, genuinely novel - such that whenever God 'enlists' another unique Being into his creative project, that will expand the possibilities of creation-as-a-whole. 

And - because creation is originative in each Being; this understanding makes of creation something potentially open-ended and everlasting. There is no reason why creativity would ever 'run-out'; since it is (potentially) an attribute of any Being.

This also fits with my other understanding of the nature of divine creation as being a process of exactly such 'enlistment'; a process of God creating the universe by securing the harmonious cooperation of other Beings

I imagine the primordial situation ()before divine creation) as one in which each Being pursued its own unique and selfish creating; so that the whole did not add-up to anything - the individual purposes just 'cancelled-out' each other. 

God's first act of creation was (by various means, differing through history) to 'recruit' more and more Beings to his creative project; so that these Beings began to share purposes and to cooperate in these purposes. 

The principle of this cooperation was what we call Love

Loving Beings align their creativity towards the fulfilment of Love - and this is why Love is the very heart of the Christian understanding of God. 

So, an interest in human creativity and the phenomenon of genius - which preceded my conversion to Christianity; ended by feeding back into my core understanding of the metaphysics of Christianity and the human condition!

Monday 14 August 2023

The ultimate uselessness of Wittgenstein: Ludwig Wittgenstein by Miles Hollingworth (2018)

I came across a recent book - Ludwig Wittgenstein, by Miles Hollingworth Oxford University Press, 2018), via a podcast interview entitled "Wittgenstein as mystic" - which I found intriguing in several ways; including the Holligworth seemed rather more interesting and personally committed than the usual run of academic philosophers. 

Consequently, I got hold of and read the book with pretty intense concentration; and, at first, was stimulated and excited by the sense of some Big Thing emerging throughout. 

But, in the end, I felt very let-down. The book seemed to promise much, some kind of break-out into something free and creative and beyond the constraints of the usual... But it delivered me back to the same-old/ same-old world of mainstream academia and its solid linkage to The System - as evidenced by the insidious and soul-sapping inversional values that underlie this book, and lurk behind everything mainstream. 

It set me to reflecting, yet again, about that unusual quality in Wittgenstein; the way that he seems to hold-out the possibility of a genuinely alternative answer and 'escape' - and yet does not. And to wondering why this is.

My conclusion is that - for all his rigorous skepticism about The System (about the dominant and superficially-compelling discourse of logic, mathematics, science etc.), and for all the mysticism of that world of the unspeakable, the religiousness of that which lies beyond or behind what can be said (etc) - the whole of Wittgenstein takes-place within the core assumptions of "Western Philosophy", and so of course it cannot escape the implications of Western Philosophy. 

One needs to go deeper than W. went in order to see where we are, and thereby become inwardly free from it. 

In other words, we need to go as deep as our primary assumptions concerning the nature of reality - that is, metaphysics; and Wittgenstein shared the deep aversion to doing this which characterized his era - indeed the refusal to do this. Something which has, to very varying degrees and in different domains, characterized Western philosophy since at least Ancient Greek times when several core assumptions became habitual.  

And Hollingworth needs to go deeper than he does. He mistakes a degree of detachment from the career structures of academia for intellectual and spiritual independence. Yet it is again and again clear that he is himself a (partly explicit, more fully implicit) supporter and sustainer of several aspects of the core and mainstream 'liberalizing' agenda of the globalist-leftist-materialist System.

The explanatory 'climax' of the book purports to be a distinction between physical and mental philosophy, thinking and doing (which is itself a vast metaphysical assumptions!) and a series of reflections of sex/sexuality in relation to Wittgenstein. 

This whole section rings false, is full of strong but wrong assertions, inconsistencies, and - this is the problem - it is bounded by the very recent and local sex-conceptualizations of political correctness... Thus the foundation of the thesis is just A Mess. And since the key explanation is an incoherent mash-up, the whole of the rest of the books structure retrospectively collapses into less than the sum of its parts.

Wittgenstein's mysticism is ultimately a oneness mysticism, because his assumption is that God must be one, and one who created everything from nothing (ex nihilo) - so that everything is of God and one. 

The failure is that W. does not recognize the asserted oneness and this nature of creation as assumptions - therefore he fails to acknowledge metaphysics.

W. also shares the assumption that the world is made of Things as well as Beings; Things that include all manner of physical abstractions (relating to such as matter, forces, fields, and their mathematical descriptions). 

For instance, one major discussed philosophical example of 'freedom' is making moves on a chessboard: i.e. an abstract mathematical game of un-alive pieces within the bounds of a fixed and unified 'world'. Such a model begs all the vital questions concerning freedom. 

The failure is that to assume un-aliveness as ultimate to reality has such downstream consequences of that Beings, such as ourselves, are ultimately constrained by the un-alive. We are regarded as dwelling among un-aliveness. Un-aliveness even permeates the understanding of God (since Wittgenstein's assumed God, as with many mainstream Christians, must be the ultimate source of un-aliveness). 

By my understanding; a fundamental (albeit common!) misunderstanding of Christianity is almost inevitable given such assumptions. Indeed Wittgenstein's reflections of Christ and Christianity are ethically focused, and to do with conduct in this life - as evidenced by W.'s focus on Tolstoy's version of Christianity. Such entails a Great Deal of moral agonizing about the human condition, and its paradoxical impossibilities. 

That Christianity - on different metaphysical assumptions - might instead be about everlasting life versus death, resurrection versus spirit; and love as creation... such cosmic transformations are out-with the scheme created by Wittgenstein's ultimate assumptions.

In all this Wittgenstein is not distinctive nor unusual, but absolutely mainstream within Western philosophy. He brought a new quality to the conversation, as I say a kind of agonized and confessional quality; and the feeling (partly from his own subjectivity, partly asserted) that he was cutting deeper and making a fresh start on thinking - but this is ultimately an illusion.  

(The fact of Wittgenstein's immediate and sustained success among high status and upper-class British intellectuals of a modernists, anti-Christian (pro-evil) type (e.g. the Bloomsbury group and the Cambridge Apostles) - all this ought to be a red flag waving against the idea of Wittgenstein as a genuinely effective mystical or Christian thinker.   

Therefore, once again (and this has happened to me three or more times before), I leave this latest encounter with Wittgenstein once again regarding him as a rather fascinating character, indeed a somewhat addictive character! -- but one whose actual work is ultimately deeply-conventional and therefore useless to our fundamental needs here-and-now: not just useless but (due to its implicit promises) actually misleading.

Wittgenstein famously stated that the philosopher's job ought to be show a trapped fly the way out of a fly-bottle. The bottle was a container into which the fly had strayed (e.g. in search of aromatic food, being used as bait) but once inside the fly could not escape. Instead, he just buzzed about in a panic. To me, this seems like projection - in that Wittgenstein and his philosophy has served as a fly-trap for many people - both at the time, and since. His personality and work is baited with the promise of autonomy of thinking and escape from system; and the philosophy offers certain, limited, satisfactions. Yet once inside the Wittgensteinian bottle - all genuine escape routes are self-blocked by unexamined assumptions. 

So Wittgenstein will be discovered, eventually, to be as useless and misleading as is the work of the entirety of Western Philosophy - being - as it is - rooted in metaphysical assumptions that are unnoticed, denied; or regarded not as assumptions but as necessary truths of existence. 

Such is our situation. 

The reason for the intractability of our civilizational decline, and why the causes of decline are defended, sustained and abetted (at various levels) by Almost Everybody; is exactly that our ideological/ philosophical roots lie so deep... 

As deep as roots can be, which is as deep as our primary assumptions concerning the nature of reality.  

Note: I should give credit to the fact that - for about two-thirds its length - I was pretty gripped by Hollingworth's account of Wittgenstein's life and work. As academic books go, it is a superior product.

Yet the whole basis of the book is that it is more than just another academic book on Wittgenstein: thus it engages in various 'breaking the fourth wall' and Tristram Shandy-esque strategies of authorial insertion. These are seemingly expressive of sincerity and a perspective from 'life' rather than 'career'. 

But, by the end and overall, I felt instead the gravitational pull of the ordinary academic values, and the modern-Western socio-political assumptions into which academia is now locked by bureaucratic structures - as well as the pervasive leftism of the intellectual class. This constrains all official instances of 'rebellion' by the need to ingratiate oneself to the ethical arbiters of The System - of which the Oxford University Press is an integral element! 

So the initial promise - and the scattered and stimulating insights - only made worse my frustration at the eventual let-down: as if I had been 'taken for a ride', fallen for a line of speil... 

Sunday 13 August 2023

It is Very Difficult to do Difficult Things, therefore... (A sort-of definition of Leftists*)

Not many people try to do difficult things; either that or else they don't learn anything from their experience. 

If they learned from their own experience of doing something difficult; they would soon realize that if you really want to do something difficult: you have to make doing that thing the major priority

And - if you do not make doing it the priority; then either the thing will be done badly, or it won't be done at all. 

Not doing it at all means that it won't be done... 

Or, at any rate it means that the 'function' it would have done will not be accomplished. 

What would have happened if the thing had been done, will not happen...

However (and this is the complication): Not doing it at all is not necessarily or usually fatal to people on the inside, people or organizations backed by power and influence; because the failure will be covered-up and celebrated as success anyway - because most people don't really know or care about the thing. 

Indeed; I have often seen that people who try to do something difficult, and fail, and instead make that thing worse! are celebrated for their work. 

So long as the people say - over and over and loudly - that they are working and trying to do the difficult thing - they can be funded and praised for actually making it worse, pretty much forever.   

Anyway, the main point of this is that it is actually - for obvious reasons, when you think about it - very difficult to do difficult things; but the fact that this is not obvious, or denied, or covered-up - means that someone who really is trying to do something difficult will find himself required to do a lot of other stuff as well; and the other stuff will be regarded as more important than the difficult thing. 

One could, indeed, define Leftists as those people who think the other stuff is more important than the difficult thing; and therefore destroy the possibility of accomplishing anything and everything difficult. 

Leftists just take for granted that the difficult stuff will... happen. And therefore they can concentrate on making all the other stuff a pre-requisite of doing the difficult thing. And before long, everybody is talking all the time about other stuff - and wondering vaguely why the difficult things don't happen any more...

Until they read the mass media; and learn that actually the difficult stuff is still happening (yay!), more than ever (whoop!); and the difficult stuff is happening exactly because of all the other stuff! (huzzah!...)

Two worlds emerge: the world of other stuff and the mass of people who care most about other stuff; and the micro-minority world of difficult things - about which only the few people who really care about that difficult thing are concerned. 

So (here is the moral or this story) if you want to do something difficult, and care about it - then either you work for yourself and the (very few!) folk who really care about that difficult thing...

Or else You Won't Do It - for the simple reason that you are Not Even Trying to do it. 

*Note. I mean Leftists 2023. That is, when Leftism (and its basis in atheistic materialism) is the official ideology of The World; but especially all 'international/ multi-national' institutions and Western nations. Leftists of the past and in other places were/are (by contrast) partial and/or rooted (to some significant degree) in human instinct and common sense; which is Not true here and now. Leftist ideology is (here and now) rooted-in a incrementally-increasing inversion of instinct and common sense (and, increasingly explicit, opposition to The Good): a virtual-world unto itself.

Saturday 12 August 2023

The sacred kingship of Arthur, and the role of Merlin (from Gareth Knight)

Having magically engineered his conception; Merlin carries Arthur, son of Uther and Igraine, into hiding.  

From The Secret Tradition in Arthurian Legend: the archetypal themes, images and characters of the Arthurian cycle and their place in the Western magical tradition. Gareth Knight, 1983. Excerpted from pp 123-4.

In the matter of Britain the days of the dawn of our epoch, man was far less individualized than he is now. Man was more group-minded and open to inner plane influences. Those who could best guide the destiny of their particular group were those who could be most readily receptive to teachings of a higher order of consciousness from the inner planes. 

Certain blood lines had a natural clairvoyance which was an important corollary of power and vision. This was the foundation of the concept of aristocracy and the 'divine right of kings' - a concept so deeply ingrained in human consciousness that Charles I was proud to be a martyr in defense of it. 

The importance of this sacred kingship, and our inherited ease of contact with the inner planes, is clearly demonstrated in the Arthurian legend of Arthur's conception and birth, which reveal a specific policy of genetic engineering on the part of Merlin. 

Arthur, according to Merlin's intention, was meant to be a priest-king in the ancient tradition of Atlantis, chosen before birth, as a result of a mating carefully planned in the light of esoteric genetic considerations. 

Merlin chose the two parents with great care. Arthur's father was to be Uther Pendragon, of the ancient British royal lines. On his mothers side, Arthur had the blood of an Atlantean princess, Igraine. She was one of the Sacred Clan, who had come to Cornwall and become the wife of the local chieftain; known as Gorlois, the Duke of Cornwall or Duke of Tintagel.


Gareth Knight was a scholar of Owen Barfield, and aware of the idea that human consciousness had developed through the centuries, in a particular direction from groupish to individualized, from obedience towards freedom; and in accordance with a 'divine plan'. Here he explains and imagines this in terms of the Arthurian legendarium - with the purpose of using the result as a focus for ceremonial magical activities. 

In particular, GK homes in on the transitional stage of human consciousness - the 'classical and medieval' centuries which came in-between the remote era of immersive and unselfconscious groupishness of tribal Man, and the current individualism of modern Man. 

This was a time when group-identity and clairvoyance could be found most strongly in certain blood-lines of inheritance; and when contact with the spiritual world was still achievable - but only by such people, and/or by the use of initiation, ritual, symbol and other 'technologies' and disciplines. 

This passage triggered thoughts of the English then British monarchy, and the occasional rulership of monarchs who - to some degree - approximated to the 'priest-king' ideal. There were several such in the Anglo-Saxon era - most notably Alfred; but the Norman invasion, which was an alien and hostile takeover, caused a considerable disruption. 

Not until Henry II (the first Plantagenet) do we find a monarch that might be supposed to have had some 'magical' attributes - mainly by the female influences of his mother Matilda (who was descended from the Saxon kings) and his wife Eleanor of Aquitane (who had many of the attributes of an fairy enchantress). 

From then, through to the end of the Stuart line (with the death of Anne), there were from time to time English kings or queens with a touch of magic about them, and an apparent capacity sometimes to connect 'clairvoyantly' with higher guidance: e.g. Richard I, Edward III, Elizabeth I.   

By my understanding, this form of natural magic gradually but inexorably dwindled, but persisted as at least a possibility into the 20th century - however it is now so weak a stream that it has become ineffectual. 

Such is the nature of these times, and of our predicament. 

There are three basic possibilities: 

We can yearn for, and try to restore, ancient ways -including the group-ish enchantment of those times; including to hope for the restoration of a sacred monarch, with divine right and naturally 'clairvoyant'  who serves his people by his own subjection to divine guidance. 

We can (and this has been the response of our official and mainstream culture) dispense altogether with the magical and spiritual aspects of life - except maybe as a hobby and lifestyle choice that does not affect our primary motivations (and these motivations are some mixture of political ideology with whatever is currently hedonically-expedient: i.e. the bureaucrat-careerist archetype). 

Or... we can look forward, through, and beyond the present aspiritual, mundane, ideological and hedonic world; and consciously seek as individuals for a qualitatively-different kind of spiritual knowledge and guidance. 

Friday 11 August 2023

The great (and attainable) task of becoming more conscious

It seems impossible (for many reasons) for us to make ourselves feel good, or even better, most of the time - certainly not all of the time. Indeed, to focus on our feelings seems like the wrong approach altogether. And indeed it is! (although our feelings are nonetheless always relevant). 

Higher consciousness (i.e. a more god-like awareness and perspective) sounds to be working along better lines, with better goals; but it is hardly more attainable in practice - if higher consciousness is regarded as a more divine way of being. 

It does not take much adversity to prevent us achieving higher consciousness (or even imagining that we do), or to knock us off such a perch. And our own sinful natures will do the same, sooner or later.  

Yet if we recognize that consciousness is a kind of awareness, then more consciousness is a frequently attainable goal. 

In the first place we can be aware that more consciousness is needed in general; 

Secondly we can be aware that greater consciousness is desirable in some particular; 

And thirdly; at best we might actually experience that consciousness

Rudolf Steiner and Owen Barfield both regarded this as perhaps the most important task of Western Man in the Twentieth Century - and that fact that Western Man did not even attempt that task, is a deep and primary cause of that profoundly self-hating, and self-destructive civilizational trend that continues to increase. 

Of course, consciousness is a means or a mode; and to become more conscious means conscious of something. That bit often gets left-out when people talk about consciousness. 

The first step therefore needs to be gaining an understanding of that reality of which we desire to become more conscious - and that implies metaphysical reflection which is itself a form of consciousness. 

The first goal (for most people) is to become conscious of our own primary assumptions concerning the basic nature of reality - how reality is 'structured', how things-in-general work... whatever these assumptions may be (and they are likely to be negations, about what is Not; since that is what our culture inculcates).   

Only after we are aware of them, can we decide whether or not our metaphysical assumptions should be allowed to stand, or should be changed. 

For example, yesterday I was writing that I personally want to regard (assume) reality, the universe, this world... as alive, and composed of Beings. And that I want this - because I regard it as true, and because regarding the universe as made of things leads to great evil. 

Such a recognition (a specific wanting) is at the second stage I described above; it is a recognition of some specific awareness that I desire to develop. 

Even of itself, despite that this form of consciousness is known-about rather than actually achieved, this is progress - and it potentially enables discernment and evaluation of the world.  

From this recognition, I can then strive actually to experience this consciousness of the living universe; actually to see things that way, from that perspective. 

This may be achieved to a partial degree, or for a limited period of time; and we should aim to be aware of this achieved degree of success as well. 

At this phase of Man's development; self-awareness, consciousness, is a vital concern; because without it we cannot escape from this arrested spiritual-adolescence that afflicts so many Western people so severely (and indeed - apparently - nearly everybody everywhere to some significant degree). We have painted ourselves into a corner by our fundamental assumptions - and there can be no escape until after these assumptions are revealed and challenged - otherwise we will just set-about rebuilding our own prison. 

There is therefore a necessary inward turn; rooted in a recognition that our external culture is making things worse; but an inward turn that enables and should be followed by an outward turn, whereby we strive for consciousness of this/ then that/ then the other. 

As a task; it has no obvious end point, and is the task of a lifetime potentially. 

However, what it is that we become conscious about, is a thing that will vary between individuals, and at different stages of life. 

For the young adult; love, sex, work are likely to be subjects about-which to become more conscious of our assumptions, and what we would desire our assumptions to be. Such concerns are spontaneous and unavoidable. 

Whereas for an older person; sleep, death and "the dead" may well become much more important subjects than they were for the young adult. Again; such concerns tend to arise spontaneously.  

In general, the subject matter is not chosen but presses upon us spontaneously. However, the formulation of the pressing problem or recurring question is almost certainly wrong (and therefore unanswerable) - unless the earliest stage of metaphysical reflection has been successfully accomplished. 

It may seem that the task of becoming more conscious is a futile and quietistic bit of private piety - irrelevant to the world, and symptomatic of extreme decadence and selfishness! 

But that is itself an assumption based upon metaphysical convictions that are (very likely) to be unknown and unexamined. 

Before validly discarding the ideal of increased consciousness as a valid goal - for you yourself, here-and-now - you would need to understand explicitly what you would regard as a valid goal and why - in an ultimate (not merely short-term expedient) sense. And become conscious, too, of the nature (and 'mechanisms') of relationship between the individual person and society. 

The thing is to Make A Start; from then, the next problem you ought to address will reveal itself - and one thing will lead to another. 

Thursday 10 August 2023

Things instead of Beings... The worst metaphysical mistake of all?

The whole of Western Philosophy (and, more importantly, everything else) is rooted in a metaphysical error - a choice of assumption concerning reality that has accumulated in its damaging effect until now - when we are inhabiting a world in which humans, animals, plants and everything else is being enslaved to serve... Things

[Well, not really... Because the Things are merely tools of demons - but the assumed-Things are the excuse by which the demons do the enslaving. And people don't merely go-along with this, but regard it as Good, as moral - and anyone who opposes or even quibbles with this agenda is regarded as evil and need to be eliminated from public discourse (one way or another)! Such is the nature and effect of metaphysical error.]

Even worse (or, in fact, what makes it possible) is that the Things are abstractions - such as... well the Litmus Test issues (to mention only a few of the most influential); but also Things like the modern virtues of altruism and compassion for suffering.

The mass addiction-to, and participation-in, media; has made matters more blurred and therefore worse: the media sustains the virtual reality, and in this virtuality (which is reality for most people most of the time) Things are beings - and yet they are still Things...

So, what about this metaphysical error? We all started-out assuming and experiencing that our life, the world, the universe consisted of living entities. That it was alive because made of Beings; and that Beings had attributes such as being-alive, conscious, having purposes, and so on...

And then... We all started to assume, instead, that the universe had Things in it: Things that were not alive (unalive), dead, inert, without life, purpose and certainly without consciousness... Until it eventually seemed just silly, absurd, ridiculous! that such Things were alive. 

And then... Well, we began to think that maybe plants, animals, people were also not really alive in the way we used to think. 

(I mean, nobody can define life after all - not even biologists? We started to believe that all which was 'alive' was evolved or developed from unalive Things, and so was not qualitatively different from Things.) 

We started to believe that Things were caused by other Things, or happened randomly for no reason, and that Therefore plants, animal, people were also Things that were nothing more than the results of of things happening to Things. 

And so on. 

And then this world of Things got priority over what had once been Beings. 

We now serve Things: we serve abstract Things such as the government, the media, the economy. 

(People are Human resources and then just resources; animals and plants are part of "the environment" - and the environment is not "nature" but most importantly consists of CO2, Nitrogen and the like; agriculture just one "industry" among many.) 

Computers and "AI" have now taken over the world, and people serve their convenience; or rather, currently we serve, but only until we are replaced by them - eventually eliminated. 

The future we are promised is that Things will look-after The Earth - and Earth is itself be regarded as a Thing. People, animals and plants will be manipulated or eliminated according to the needs of Things. 

It seems that when we allowed Things into the world, we could not stop them taking over the world. We do this to ourselves. Precisely because we believe-in the reality of Thingness; we now cannot believe in the reality of people, nature, life, consciousness...

We need to revisit this very early metaphysical error. 

We need to make a choice: Either this is a world of Beings, or else it is a world of Things. 

So long as both exist; both cannot rule, one must serve, both cannot survive. 

Things or Beings - not both.

Either this life is a Fantastic Voyage of living Beings travelling through a living world; or else it is a strictly meaning-less and purpose-less world of Things; in which we are Things interacting blindly with Things; for no reason - but just because that is how it is.

We each need to revisit the young child that is still within each of us: revisit that early and deadly choice to allow Things into our 'animistic' alive and purpose world. 

Without some such revision, all of philosophy, science and - yes! - religion (including Christianity), will merely re-deliver us to the world of Things; with Things displacing God and Christ, as well as Things displacing you and me. 

Because in a world with Things; sooner or later God and Jesus will also become Things - hence subjected to the authority of world ruling Things.  

(And, standing outside this delusory system, rubbing their hands and laughing as they egg us on to ever-more Thing-ness: Satan and the demons.)

Wednesday 9 August 2023

What is basically-wrong with The World? (suffering versus entropy)

Although I harp-on about the dangers of double-negative theology for Christians; nonetheless the positive achievement of Jesus Christ (and his 'message') would not have much traction unless people felt that there was some-thing basically, fundamentally, ultimately wrong with The World - some thing which Jesus (at least potentially) set right.  

And what I mean here is at the level of our personal feelings of what is wrong: What is it (what kind of a thing) that we personally feel is wrong about our life and the world?

(What problem to which Jesus offers a solution?)

There are probably any number of things that might in theory be thus regarded; but I think there are just two apparently common but distinct wrong-feelings that seem to dominate people. 

Probably the commonest (in the Western civilization at any rate) is that suffering is the main problem, the main thing wrong with the world. So widespread and powerful is this idea that it hardly requires explaining - but anyway...

Any or all kinds of suffering might be meant: pain, misery, disablement, fear, despair, humiliation -- different people mostly experience, are most susceptible to, or focus on; different kinds of suffering. 

And the wrongness of suffering my be my suffering, the suffering of particular loved others - whether human, animal, or something else; it may be the totality of suffering in the world; or it may be the wrongness of suffering of any Beings anywhere, ever (i.e. that there ought never to be any suffering).

In sum: this is the idea that the suffering - whether its existence, its prevalence, or its severity - is what is basically wrong with this world. 

This seems to be a hugely powerful and widespread conviction - it is apparently the basis of several religions, and what they claim to cure. Suffering as the main problem to be addressed is the basis of almost all public moral discourse nowadays; the rationale of preventing, reducing, or stopping various kinds-of-suffering (or putative suffering) is the basis of a great deal of all mainstream policy and political action.  

But there is another idea of basic wrongness - less often expressed, but just as real; and that is that the main thing wrong with this world is that nothing lasts.   

Anything that we value will not last; everything will die, or in some other way be destroyed. 

...No matter how large, strong, how long it has existed - it will crumble, it will come to an end. 

All that we value the most - our love, those we love the most, whatever we most love doing, our achievements - will change, will end. All that is most virtuous or beautiful will end. 

And Be Forgotten Utterly.

We ourselves will die, everybody will die; all the animals and plants will die; our living planet, and the mineral planet, the sun and solar system - all will change, crumble, end.  

This aspect of the nature of our world, I often term 'entropy'; and entropy in this sense, is a rival to suffering as the major candidate for what is wrong with the world. 

The "weight of entropy" may be the tragedy of life.  

Yet suffering and entropy as the main problem of life, are each very different in their nature and consequences. 

For example, a selfish person might feel there is nothing wrong with the world at times when he is personally completely-happy (i.e. when he personally is not suffering); and someone might also assume that if suffering could be abolished from the world - then there would be essentially nothing wrong with it. 

But someone who believed that entropy was the main problem would perhaps be most aware of the wrongness of the world at exactly those times when he was most happy, and did not suffer. Because he would realize that this state could not last

(Have we not felt this ourselves, in the first full flush of falling in love? Perfect happiness... all-too-soon undercut by the fear and conviction that it Will Not Last?)

Indeed, the more 'successful' was a Man's life - the more joyous and fulfilled, the more loving and creative -- the more strongly would the fact of entropy weigh upon him; because he would be ever-aware that all this would, for sure, be lost.  

One who regards entropy as the main problem in this life, this world; cannot envisage any this-worldly way in which the situation could be cured - because this world is 'ruled' by entropy. 

No conceivable political program or psychological treatment would make any difference. The better that things became - the more tragic the sense that none of it would last...

This circles back to Jesus Christ; because Jesus did not claim to eliminate or even diminish suffering in this world...

Or, even if you think Jesus did claim this, then the past 2000 years have (surely?) been a massive refutation that He could deliver it! 

Consequently; those who focus the most on suffering as that which is basically wrong with the world, are often those most hostile to Jesus and Christianity. 

But Jesus did claim to offer a way of escape from entropy: this is what Jesus meant by resurrection, eternal life, and heaven.