Saturday 30 September 2023

Did the birdemic succeed in destroying the churches? Pretty much...

At the start of the birdemic global coup in March 2020, I predicted that the Christian churches would (intentionally) be extremely hard hit by the lockdowns. The Church of England Bishops ensured maximum harm of their institution, by imposing what I think were the most extreme and irrational set of lockdown rules of any British institution

The above data suggests that this combined effort from the UK Government and Bishops was effective, to the tune of increasing the increment of already existing declining church attendance by an extra 25% approximately. 

When I became a Christian shortly before 2009, the Church of England had about a million a week attending church (from a population of around 60 million); and by 2022, without lockdown this would have been expected to have declined to about 810 thousand.

Whereas - thanks to lockdowns, masks, abolished sacraments etc - the actual decline was to 605 thousand. 

So, apparently, the anti-church birdemic measures successfully deleted a couple of hundred thousand church attenders - as if adding about a dozen extra years of decline...

Of course, the rate of decline of the CofE has been so fast anyway, that it is headed for extinction within a generation. 

And this numerical decline does not take into account the fact that most of church attenders in the CofE, as in all the other mainstream self-identified Christian churches, have explicitly taken the anti-Christian side (of global atheistic totalitarian leftism) when it comes to the decisive Litmus Test issues.

Causal trends are established; it is too late for reversal to be possible; and the organization is ruled and staffed (overwhelmingly) by generic politically-radical bureaucrats, whose actions betray very obvious hostility to religion. 

Indeed, we are seeing the unfolding 'karma' deriving from multiple wrong decisions made several decades ago - again, the same pattern and trends are seen across all the churches. 

My conclusion: The future of Christianity in the UK will either be located outside the churches, or else there will be no future. 

Direct-knowing is front-loaded

I become more convinced that "direct knowing" is required of us (unmediated intuiting, the sharing of common thoughts...); and indeed the only way of knowing that 'works' in a world where language, symbols, visions, and all kinds of perceptual experience are corrupted as well as weakened. 

Furthermore that this direct knowing is what might be called "front-loaded" - which means that most of the effort comes up-front and in terms of formulating the proper question: the question that we need to know, and the answer to which we can understand at a single grasp. 

Direct-knowing must be as simple as each of us, personally happens-to-be (and that will vary between people); simple enough to grasp in a single mental act of comprehension - because anything else is not real understanding, but merely a kind of parroting

It is all about asking the right question - because once the right question has been formulated, the answer is obvious - and valid. 

(Valid within the limits of our own personal comprehension and needs.)

Asking the right question is itself a very difficult thing. The right question is almost-never to be found in the public domain, nor in the standard discourse of traditionalism - because these are "back-loaded" discourses; in which the usual thing is for people to be utterly swamped upfront by vast volumes of mostly-incomprehensible "answers" - and nearly-all the effort goes into try to sort-between the answers, and understand their implications (consider the standard sermon, or equivalent teaching). 

Also, traditional Christian (and other) spiritual discourse is very often characterized by asking the wrong questions - for instance asking too many questions, or what should be subsidiary questions (when the fundamental questions have still not been answered).  

In a nutshell; the deep metaphysical questions of traditional Christianity are very seldom understood or correct - and this is why we still have the same problems with mainstream Christian theology as they did nearly 2000 years ago. 

Questions that have plagued me, personally, and for which I regard the traditional answers as inadequate, include: explaining the divine and human nature of Christ, the problem of 'monotheism' and the pseudo-solution of the Trinity, the origin of evil and suffering, the hardly-broached matter of the uniqueness of each Man, the aliveness of all created reality... 

Thus, the spiritual practice of direct-knowing can feel like it is going nowhere; since it is low volume - with few answers; and simple - the answers so easy that we can grasp them in a moment... 

But - we can only truly understand the answer and what it means, when we have ourselves formulated the question. 

Getting told the answer to somebody-else's question is usually incomprehensible - no matter how (apparently) simple that question may be; since we do not know (that is, know-from-within) the context of that question, its purpose and relevance.  

The quest for direct knowing can seem, and often is, a lot of work immediately and without much to show subsequently in terms of quantity of intuitively-solid knowledge. 

Whereas archaic and traditional practice provides apparently endless stimulation by inputs of many kinds; direct knowing instead expects to discard almost all of this (or even all of it, in some areas), sooner or later. But nobody except our-selves can do this work of this evaluating and selecting, and perhaps even creating

Yet if the answer we need and that is true is necessary, then we can be sure that we personally will have the creative capacity to generate, to create, invent it. 

Why and how can we be sure? Because this matching of question to answer happens (as it were) automatically; as a consequence of the very process itself.

Because what-we-seek must be wholly-comprehensible to us (as we are), and therefore - even if we are a very simple and ignorant person - we will necessarily* be able to discover exactly the kind of simple answer that is, after all, the only one we could fully-understand. 

*Necessarily because our God is the creator, is Good, and is our Heavenly Father (I would say Heavenly Parents) who loves us personally and individually. Therefore we can be absolutely sure that our condition in this mortal life will certainly contain everything required for our salvation and for learning whatever we need to learn. All of the requisite ingredients are there  - are Here - it is up to us to use them. 

Thursday 28 September 2023

The intrinsic validity of so-called AI is analogous to the authority of bureaucracy - that is, it has zero validity

AI - so-called Artificial Intelligence - is (just) the latest version of a phenomenon I have spent most of my working life understanding and arguing against: that phenomenon appears in various guises including bureaucracy, voting, statistics applied to understanding, quality management, guidelines...

I have given-up on trying to explain why all of these are wrong when used to make decisions, to achieve insights, to monitor and regulate practices, in government. 

I have given-up; because it has become evident that the belief in such technologies is a matter of faith; it is an expression of deep and self-destructive (as well as socially-destructive) ideals. 

Their wrongness is innate and objective, and can be proved - but first we need to understand these phenomena - and extremely few genuinely wish to understand. 

(If you are sufficiently interested to make the effort, word search these on this blog and read the links. But, really, this stuff would not need explaining; if Men were properly orientated.)  

Most people are happily under the spell cast by these technologies/ methods  and their apologists. They believe because they want to believe; therefore they are strongly resistant to understanding. 

This is a civilization that is killing itself; and one major manifestation of this 'death wish' is that people persist in seeking some kind of technological or methodological technique of making judgments

Thus; people under the spell of AI are obviously enchanted by the idea that we can have computers/ machines/ systems which will make judgments, do learning, create poems/ pictures/ stories, discover, 'implement' values, organize people etc. etc. 

Behind such claims, and the eager credulity that welcomes them, there is a not-so-covert desire for human self-annihilation. A lot of people apparently want to hand-over all the highest, greatest, most divine aspects of being a Man - and they are prepared to give their faith to anyone who claims that this can and should be done. 

Because all this is ultimately a matter of faith

We now have a world of bureaucracy, with most major decisions made by voting; because that is where people have put their faith - their ultimate faith! 

People's faith is to believe - without any coherent logic, or honest 'evidence', and contrary to vast experience! - that bureaucratic organization and voting are superior to the judgment of individual human beings. 

And so the world is organized; and whatever happens to the world, that faith remains intact. 

Our desire to be rid of human judgment is, at root, an expression of our rejection of God.

This is why it is so pervasive, why it is a matter of faith, and why it will destroy us. 

We cannot be awoken from a spell that we have chosen to succumb to. 

Note added 30 Sep 23: It strikes me that with the advent of AI we have (as it were) officially entered a world in which public discourse consists of parroting: of uncomprehending computer-parrots speaking to other parrots (some computers, some 'humans') who cannot comprehend the parroted stimuli (because, strictly, there is nothing to comprehend), but which generate even more parroted responses... On and on, until the night comes. 

Wednesday 27 September 2023

Signs of the effectiveness of an ideology or religion: thriving institution, life-changing, gratifying, or strengthening

What I look for in evaluating the 'success' or 'effectiveness' of an 'ideology' or religion or any kind of spiritual activity; is that it is strengthening

All the rest of the indices are pretty useless as of 2023; although they may well have been valid at various points in the past. 

A thriving institution is nowadays, nearly-always, merely a measure of its approval rating with the global totalitarian regime, since The System sustains only what advances its agenda of evil - and will otherwise keep an institution small and weak (in material terms), when it does not assimilate or destroy it. 

Therefore indices such as expansion, growth of numbers, profits, new building, approval ratings or viewings, increased influence, greater status (prizes, awards, prestige...); such things mean little more than that one is an insider-to-evil. 

That something is measurably life-changing is of somewhat more relevance; but only when the induced change is for the good. 

There are plenty of life-changing events, artifacts etc that are merely increasing conformity to the agenda, or corrupting people into greater acceptance and approval of sin. 

It is much easier to make people worse than to make them better. For instance it is easy (given enough resources) to increase peoples' fear, resentment or despair; but very difficult indeed to improve their lovingness, courage, and transcendental hope. 

Much the same applies to some-thing that improves happiness, gratification, satisfaction, motivation. 

This is again somewhat closer to where we want to be; yet in the world as it is now, most things that make people feel better and more energetic are bad-things that will lead then to a much worse situation. 

Such is clearly the case for the 'liberations' and 'rights' of the sexual revolution: short term people feel better, have more fun - but long-term: nihilism. Or any modern political movement that engages peoples and sets them to work. At first there is a sense of community, belonging, a mission... But pretty soon 'activists' become among the very worst of people; characterized by shame, guilt, self-hatred, self-destructiveness... 

Desirous of escape, insensibility, death, and their own (plus general) destruction. 

The most valid - although still incomplete - benefit seems to me to be strengthening in the cause of Good. The strength can be most readily seen negatively, in terms of Not being enlisted into the agendas of totalitarian evil - of passing the Litmus Tests for example. 

Conversely, the utter uselessness of most institutions, churches, religious systems, spiritual disciplines (such as meditation) etc. can now be clearly seen by the fact that the organizations and their adherents fail the Litmus Tests en masse; that they always go-along-with whatever current evil-policy is being pushed; they always believe what the Establishment currently most want them to believe; they are self-blinded-against, uninterested by, and in-denial-of whatever is truly important and most-threatening in the world (preferring instead to focus on imaginary threats and Total Lies). 

It is harder to discern, and measure, positive strengthening in others - without a direct (and loving) personal relationship; but it is necessary to have such strength in order to pursue Good, and to live by one's destiny, in a world endemically evil. 

Such strengthening is what we should seek for ourselves.

Because to be useful here-and-now, as-things-are; it seems to me that our choices of affiliation, religion, spiritual practice - whatever - need not only to be abstractly (and overall) correct by our best evaluations...

But - if our beliefs are to be of real use, they must also be personally (and, if this is possible, institutionally) strengthening

Without positive strength, however right our religion, we shall be lost - if indeed it has not already happened. 

The spiritual consequences of truth-indifference

I have been contemplating again (albeit not yet re-reading) the highly suggestive series of World War I lectures by Rudolf Steiner entitled The Karma of Untruthfulness - which might be translated as "the spiritual consequences of truth-indifference".

One of Steiner's core ideas is that the Great War was a direct consequence (i.e. "karmic" outcome) of the preceding decades of "untruthfulness" - untruthfulness being a highly-useful term that encompasses deliberate misrepresentaions, distortion, cover-ups, and all forms of ignoring realities; as well as outright lies.   

Well, I suppose that there has never been a time in history when there have been so many, such large Untruthfulnesses, so widely believed as Now. And by Steiner's understanding (and my own) this must and shall have very large and negative "karmic" consequences - at every level at which untruthfulness is propagated and believed: from the global and national, down to institutional and individual. 

This is inescapable. Untruthfulness has been built-into so many civilizations, societies, institutions and lives; that its consequences are unavoidable; and are-being, will-be encountered for considerable time to come.

What this means - initially for each of us as individuals, but also for every form of organization, corporation, bureaucracy - is that the quest for truth; leading toward explicit repentance based-on understanding of untruthfulness; ought to be a primary and core activity of every life.

No matter how 'truthful' you currently regard yourself (e.g. by comparison with 'other people'); there is A Lot of work for you to do! 

In doing the work of truth, we not only benefit our-selves (spiritually), but (because right-thinking is a kind of power) we benefit every-body, and every-thing, else. 

Monday 25 September 2023

Review of Twenty-First Century Tolkien by Nick Groom (2023)

Over at my Notion Club Papers blog, I review a recent book that focuses on the Tolkien Phenomenon (and Tolkien Industry) as it developed over the past decades since the publication of The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings. 

Sunday 24 September 2023

So-called AI represents a judgement on the degradation of post-millennial life

I recently watched yet another (this time video) presentation on the wonders and dangers of the "new" kinds of AI ("Artificial Intelligence") - and yet again felt that this phenomenon mostly reveals how degraded, and unhuman, has our world become over the past thirty years...

Degraded, bureaucritized, dehumanized, and de-skilled to such an extent that mediocre simulations can 'replace' people without very much loss of discernible quality... 

Which just goes to show that when creativity and judgment are systemically excluded, personnel are systematically degraded, real human contact is displaced by the virtual, and quality is driven sufficiently far down - then computers can (almost undetectably) substitute-for the resulting output. 

Saturday 23 September 2023

Doctors, academics and scientists have objectively ceased to exist in the UK - we are all generic bureaucratic functionaries now

The three professions of which I was member have, in reality, long since ceased to exist; but this can now be seen objectively since they are perpetually "on strike".

Striking means hurting the general public (i.e. patients and students - because nearly all scientists are employed by educational establishments) - ostensibly as a (stupid, self-destructive) way of trying to persuade monopoly employers to give them more pay and better conditions. But in actuality, most as a futile way of venting general frustration at their meaningless and purposeless existence.  

Professionals don't go on strike because it hurts the people who they (supposedly) exist to serve. 

So that the endemic state of strike demonstrates that doctors and academics/ scientists no longer think of themselves as professionals - and are making a public demonstration of that established fact. They think of themselves as they actually are: bureaucratic functionaries whose core responsibility is to improve their position within their particular bureaucracy...

Current 'industrial action' is invariably directed against the public, rather than the managers! The strikers always cooperate, never resist and refuse, whatever bureaucratic nonsense the managers currently are imposing. While patients and students suffer; these medical/ academic/ scientific employees don't really want to hurt the managers, or alienate them - because it is managerial favour they are seeking.  

And the particular bureaucracies of the National Health Service and UK universities are merely sub-departments of the single, cross-linked global-bureaucracy - The System, The Matrix - so most people are in exactly the same situation, and behave with identical servile, short-termist, stupid selfishness as the ex-professionals - so lets not hear any arguing from assumed superiority! Whatever apparent superiority currently exists in other jobs is merely temporary and situational.


In other words - because of multiple laws and regulations relating to employment, taxes, subsidies, 'safety', racism/ feminism/ sexual-stuff/ disability, sanctions, 'climate'-drivel and so on, and on, and ever-increasing; all large employers are de facto a single employer; and all those who work for them are generic functionaries - whose job is to do: whatever the managers tell them

Therefore, except temporarily, there is no difference between a doctor and anyone else who works for the NHS (nurse, therapist, cleaner, porter, shop assistant etc); and no difference between someone who works for the NHS and someone who works for any other large government department, multinational corporation, NGO - or whatever. 

And therefore the doctors 'job' is to do - whatever his bosses currently tell him is his job. Same with academics: same with scientists. 

There is no essence to their work - only obedience. 

Very-nearly-all of the ex-professions that I was a member of, now actually do jobs that have almost (or actually) zero overlap with what these professions did fifty years ago. 

They are all doing different things; because they are doing what managers tell them to do.

And the managers do what the politicians (and media moguls) tell them to do; and the politicians do what the real rulers tell them.

This is how the world wags...


Such is life - such it has been for a couple of decades at least - and, although officially denied, such reality is becoming clearer with each passing year. 

If God, nowadays, requires us to be active-seekers - this means that the blockages are in-Me

Modern adult Men are not spontaneously religious or (seriously) spiritual - and we are trapped in the alienated state of purposelessness and meaninglessness by our fundamental assumptions concerning the nature of reality. 

Any Westerner who is a real Christian, has had to achieve this by his own efforts. 

Whereas, in the past, it seems that God imposed his reality upon most people; and it took effort to reject God; nowadays we must make the effort. 

The same applies to much that is true: it does not come naturally. 

Truth does not overwhelm us, but needs to be sought and won. 

We must not only meet God 'halfway' - but must, indeed, do most of the work! If (for instance) a modern man wants to perceive God in this world, to know God is real, or to know this world as a creation - he will need to work at it: and this work will quite likely be hard and long: he will need to be persistent.

This is the flip-side of our freedom. 

Because we are not spontaneous/ passively-absorptive; we are free to accept or reject, embrace or ignore. 

This applies to knowing God as to our politics and ideology - we Just Are responsible for our beliefs; and responsible in ways that did not apply in the deep past, or even the relatively recent past of a couple of generations ago.

(We may yearn to provide the kind of "good-values environment" for our children that will enable them, passively and spontaneously, to assimilate Christianity as natural - but usually even this is denied us. And even when it is achieved during childhood, and the child grows surrounded by good-influences; the effects seldom survive adolescence, or early adulthood. In 2023 and The West; sooner or later, every real Christian must do it for himself - or else not really be Christian, like the 100s of millions of devout Churchgoers who actively and fundamentally support the agenda of totalitarian evil.)  

The point we need to grasp is that God has not retreated, creation is still as present as ever (even in a modern city) - the blockages are in us

We are the problem. What prevents us knowing God is inside ourselves. 

And this is why it is so difficult! When the blockages are in our own basic assumptions about reality (i.e. our 'metaphysics'), our own habits of thinking, our unconsciously absorbed wrong-values etc; then only we can remove these blockages! 

When we are unable to perceive most of reality, are unable to comprehend the obvious, are dedicated to inversions of the truth and goodness - and when all chance of cure is blocked; then nobody can do the job of correcting these problems except ourselves. 

That is what it means to be free

It is seldom easy to removes one's own blockages; it usually takes time, effort, and repeated attempts. These blockages, including the most devastating, are hard to discover; because so common, so accepted, such 'common sense', so (apparently) supported by 'science'. 

(Only if you really dig-down to your own deepest assumptions; or maybe notice and take seriously that these blocking ideas are actually modern and local,rather than eternal and universal; are you likely to discover them, and recognize that they are Not necessary-truths.)  

And the process is not only unsupported by other people who are satisfied with a blocked-life; others will often discourage such efforts, and punish the consequences. 

In 2023; to live without a common-blockage is to live in ways that seem stupid, crazy or evil to the majority who choose to remain blocked, and who have decided not to make the significant effort to remove blockages. 

On the other hand - nobody and nothing can stop you removing the blockages, and perceiving real-reality - if you thus choose. 

That also is the nature of freedom. 


Is misunderstanding the nature of evil the greatest of errors?

I have little doubt that for most people in the modern world, evil is defined in terms of inflicting suffering upon other people

Modern attitudes to abortion and euthanasia suggest that the infliction of suffering is regarded as worse than killing*; and even the grossest harms of the transagenda - mutilation, poisoning, physical suffering of children - are 'justified' in terms of supposedly reducing mental suffering. 

Christians - or at least, strongly self-identified Christians - have often felt the same way; despite whatever contrary lip-service they pay to Christ's Kingdom being "Not of this world". 

As well as personal hopes, there has been a vast and complexly-abstract theology purporting to explain how this-world is to be "redeemed", re-made in ways that include the elimination of all suffering - or indeed assertions that the resurrection of Jesus Christ has actually already improved this world by ways including the reduction of suffering.

(i.e. The common Christian belief that there has been less suffering in the world because of Jesus than there would have been without Jesus; or that there has been less suffering in Christian societies than in non-Christian.)  

The belief that suffering is the worst evil is certainly sincere, heartfelt - and indeed seems often to overwhelm people with an urgent craving for the elimination (or at least substantial reduction) of suffering in this world; or to overwhelm them with despair that this is no so, and that suffering continues.

So far as I can tell, the only answer to such a conviction, to this state of being overwhelmed by the horror of suffering that afflicts so many people; is to stay with the conviction and take it further, until you come out of the other side. 

The only convincing answer is to imagine - as fully, realistically, and honestly as possible - what kind of a world there would be, or would Not be, if the elimination of suffering really were the primary value. 

Because Not Being is, indeed, the destination of a morality that intends to eliminate suffering in this world, as this world is constituted - which is, a world in which entropy rules, and death will always eventually prevail.  

How it is that the imperative of Not Suffering interacts with our actual mortal world to produce an ethic of Not Being, is something that each person needs to work-through for himself; because humans have an infinite capacity for resisting arguments they do not want to be true. 

Nonetheless; such is the insight that awaits anyone who allows himself to step out-from that state of being overwhelmed, and either frenzied or paralyzed, by the pervasiveness of suffering. 

I think that only then can we properly understand what Jesus Christ actually offered Mankind; which was not directed at this world, but at another. 

Jesus is indeed reported as saying as-much, many times, in the Gospels; but that other-worldliness, that fulfilment in Heaven and only in Heaven, that Second Creation, needs to become the basis of our Christian understanding.

*This is true, even though the amount of evil is commonly measured in terms of dead bodies: e.g. the evil of Hitler or Lenin-Stalin is asserted or compared primarily in terms of the numbers of people they deliberately exterminated. Political power, nowadays, is mainly rooted in the authority to define whose suffering matters the most; because this suffering (and its purported alleviation) is the basis of most of the major leftist agendas such as socialism, feminism, prohomosexualism, the transagenda, and antiracism. 

Friday 22 September 2023

The Litmus Tests revisited - or, what do we need to know about some-one/ some-institution?

The Litmus Tests* may seem crude and formulaic as a way of discernment applied to a person or institutions; but in reality they are almost the opposite. 

The Litmus Tests include the birdemic-peck 'healthism' agenda; support of the opponents of the Fire Nation in the ongoing war; antiracism; pro-sexual revolution; CO2 Climate-change/ warming; and any other form of leftism such as socialism, environmentalism, equality, diversity, libertarianism etc. 

The Litmus Tests refer not so much to specific beliefs, but to the core agenda items of the global totalitarian System, which - properly understood, from a Christian perspective - is evil in its intent -- i.e. the dominant System ultimately seeks the damnation of souls; which requires that (in the end) each soul desires and chooses to be damned. 

Therefore, to fail a Litmus Test means to be subordinated - in at least one major aspect, although typically many or most of the tests are failed - to the external ideology of evil

When somebody, or some institution, supports one of the Litmus test agenda items; this is evidence of value-inversion; which is evidence that they are self-subordinated to the dominant external agenda. 

In a sense, from the perspective of making an overall evaluation of somebody's (or some organization's) affiliation in the spiritual war of this world; this affiliation tells us all we need to know: Are they on the side of God/ divine creation/ The Good -- or are they opposed? 

Anyone who accepts, defends, follows, actively advances any of the Litmus Tests - has placed his motivations, thinking and actions under external control from those powers who oppose The Good.

This matter of external control is very significant. 

Because the world (here, now) is so pervasively and top-down corrupted by evil; all powerful external influences are evil. 

Therefore; to be externally-motivated - including by any large or mainstream church, of any denomination) is to be a part of the agenda of evil.  

(This is evil. Evil is Not about niceness or good works or devoutness... Evil is about taking the side of Satan against God. Simple as that. One on-the-side-of Good is Good; no matter what his personal sins - because anyone on the side of Good will/ must have repented his sins; will know, acknowledge, and reject his sins. That is what it means to "be Good".)

Such is the nature of Litmus Tests: they function as an index of whether some person or group has chosen subordination to fundamental, ultimate, external control

As of here-and-now; only one who seriously seeks to detach himself from external control can be on the side of God, divine creation and The Good. 

Such a detached person may Not be on the Good side - because he might choose evil from his own inner motivations; but only a detached person can affiliate to Good. 

In our totalitarian and media-saturated world; only inner evaluation and motivation can be a source of commitment to the motivation of Goodness. 

We are Good as individuals - from our inner choices - or not-at-all. 

Affiliation to any external authority is to subscribe to one, more, or many of the negative, incoherent, and oppositional Litmus Tests; and this represents a decisive affiliation to the work of Satan. 

Note added: It should not really be necessary to say so; but maybe it needs saying anyway: that the state of someone's soul now - e.g. affiliation to the Satanic agenda, as evidenced by Litmus Test failure - does not mean that they will choose damnation at the last. Indeed; I think it almost certain that an individual person is only sustained alive for as long as he is judged capable of repentance; which means that where there is life there is hope. However; the same does not necessarily apply to institutions/ groups/ corporations - including churches. Whereas there are many (including recent) examples of individual persons (and, presumably, other Beings) who seem very likely to have repented and chosen salvation despite previous servitude to evil - and done so very late, very near to death; there seem to be none among recent institutions. This may be because the kind of corruption that afflicts most modern institutions is one that excludes the ultimacy of the kind of "presiding spiritual Being" that used-to stand-behind traditional institutions (variously conceptualized as patron saints, angels, and the like). I would guess that so long as there is a presiding spiritual Being, then repentance is possible. But when there has been a hollowing-out, bureaucritization, self-subordination of an institution to external influences, then there can be no basis for repentance. 

Wednesday 20 September 2023

Those on-side with the Establishment-woke-totalitarian agenda have utterly lost the capacity to evaluate even minimal standards of competence and functionality

Most people, probably nearly everybody who contributes to mainstream public discourse, are on-board with the Establishment-woke-totalitarian agenda - especially when it comes to the sexual revolution, antiracism, carbon-climate and the other Litmus Test issues that provide the means for top-down strategic socio-political implementation. 

Precisely because they put The Agenda first and central in their value systems, these people - who are, I stress, most people: "normal people", Nice people - as well as those with managerial roles and leadership responsibilities - are unable to judge quality

Not just un-willing, but un-able. The ability is gone, drowned, dead. 

They cannot see when people or institutions have failed to reach even the bare minimum of (what should be) acceptable standards of functionality or ability.

They cannot see when some venture (project, movie, war, policy...) has been a catastrophic failure - and are very likely to celebrate it's exemplary success.  

They cannot see when someone is a bad actor, a not-scientists or hopeless engineer, a rubbish artist or mediocre musician; they cannot tell when a corporation is not just failing to be be good but actively becoming bad; they cannot even notice when political parties or managers are actively (and by many devices) engage the in destruction of nations, organizations, institutions over which they have power. 

It is futile to argue to with such people, or to try and convince them. We need to understand that this is a case of cannot: they cannot discern good from evil, truth seeking from gross lies, they regard deliberate ugliness as a higher form of beauty; they regard whatever is most fully leftist as intrinsically high in quality. 

The totalitarian-woke agenda is at the root of their sense of being, their motivations, their world view - and anyone who tries to discuss values as realities will be regarded as vile, loathsome, and so stupid that they ought never to be listened to. 

If or when anyone attempts to apply discernment of quality, or to seek the true, virtuous or lovely - and gains the slightest rational or emotional traction - they will feel a kind of slippage of the mind, will become overwhelmed by a suffocating sensation, convulsed by visceral disgust, nausea and loathing, such that the urgent and absolute need is to stop the assault, silence the perpetrator, slander and destroy. 

It is impossible to overestimate the severity of this condition. Utterly useless, embarrassingly incompetent people, groups and companies can and shall be praised to the skies as paragons of brilliance and originality - and every expression of this crazed ridiculousness will be carried on a tide of warm, fuzzy, floaty, feel-good peer-solidarity -- the more inverted the expression, the more wonderful the feelings. 

Welcome to mass and social media - and the mass human intercourse so completely enslaved to it - of  2023! 

This is what it means to be in thrall to Satanic values, inverted-values; an anti-system of valuations that are motivated by opposition to God, divine creation, and The Good. 

Why did the sixties/ seventies counter-culture makes things worse instead of better?

At the time of the late sixties and early 1970s; there was a general feeling that - even if the specific content of the counter-culture (e.g. mysticism, radical politics, 'mind-expanding' drugs, astrology, tarot, magic, neopaganism andwitchcraft, crystals, geomancy, flying saucers etc.) was not valid, and was risky to health and sanity; such activities might well serve as a first step towards a genuine answer to the problem of alienation and totalitarian bureaucracy (The System).   

But this did not happen, and instead the counter-culture became the New Age, and converged with mainstream-leftist socio-politics; usually by embracing the sexual revolution through its continual mutations, and then picking the wrong side with later Litmus Test issues that were being used strategically towards the totalitarian world government that eventually emerged into the open in early 2020. 

There were what, at the time, sounded-like reasonable and plausible arguments as to why the negative critique of The System, and the attempt to achieve an integrated wholeness of personality, were beneficial in themselves and would tend towards even better things. Experience, however, showed that in general this was not happen, is not happening. 

The reason is quite simple, which is that socio-political movements such as the counter-culture are operating at a relatively superficial level, beneath which are metaphysical assumptions concerning the nature of reality. 

When these assumptions (which are usually unconscious, and/or regarded as being empirically-derived - e.g. from 'science' - rather than the assumptions they actually are) are such as to sustain the totalitarian-System, then that is what will emerge; no matter how seemingly radical may be a person's surface opinions and lifestyle.   

That, I believe, is why the sixties radicals became the bureaucrats of the 80s, 90s and into the millennium. And why this process continues. 


Tuesday 19 September 2023

What makes a successful pilgrimage, and why?

View of Glastonbury Tor from Wearyall Hill (where boats would arrive when Avalon was an island) 

In relation to my post from earlier today, which emphasized the role of individual, autonomous thinking in the world; a recent visit to Glastonbury seems relevant. Glastonbury has unsurpassed importance in the deep (and mythical, as well as historical) nature of Christianity in the British Isles. 

Yet since the 1970s, it has become a magnet for a New Age neo-paganism that is "anything-but-Christianity" in its basic stance. 

This -- even when New Age neo-paganism weaves-in versions of Christian legends about Jesus visiting Somerset as a child; the site of the first Christian church in Britain (and perhaps the first outside Palestine); a foundational role of Joseph of Arimathea; and the influences of the Holy Grail (also, perhaps, the Spear of Destiny). 

Thus, many of the people encountered in and around Glastonbury are on the anti-Christian side in the spiritual war of this world. 

On the other hand, Glastonbury was the chosen residence (and spiritual focus) of the recently deceased writer Geoffrey Ashe - which counts for something positive in my book. 

So, the situation is that the surface and social aspects of Glastonbury are mostly hostile and aversive to my kind of Christian spirituality; while the depths and resonances are tremendous. 

A visit therefore depends (even more than visits usually do) on the attitude we bring to the place. I think this is the case now days, with our autonomous consciousness, than it was in the past. For example, in ancient times and into the middle ages, it seems that a place of Holy pilgrimage would have an objective and essentially-irresistible beneficial effect on the pilgrim. 

But, even if so, that is certainly not the case anymore: to physically move oneself to what was called the Holyest Erthe in England is no longer beneficial unless one brings the right frame of mind. So much is clear from observing modern 'pilgrims', or hearing them talking about their experiences. 

This recent visit was with my brother; and focused on the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey, seeking books by Dion Fortune and Gareth Knight in the esoteric bookshops, the Chalice Well, and the Holy Thorn on Wearyall Hill. 

For, no doubt, a combination of reasons; our visit to Glastonbury was successful in terms of pilgrimage. We were able to see through whatever was aversive about the surface and many of the people; and experience what lay deeper. 

The question that comes to me now, is whether this benefit was wholly explicable in terms of perceiving the past shining through the present. And I think not. 

I think that the past as such has not this power; and what we are actually experiencing in such situations is the effect of living thinking of the alive (and the so-called dead) people for whom Glastonbury is a living spiritual resource. 

In other words; perhaps we are dealing with something much like what ritual magicians term 'thought-forms', or something like Jung implied by Archetypes. The positive, holy, creative thoughts of Christians have made a living, always-present spiritual resource that may be tapped-into by those who share such motivations. 

To tap-into such thought-forms does not require geographical proximity; yet the complex of attitudes and actions required to place oneself in Glastonbury, and to move around it in an attitude of expectation, can shape the mind to become especially receptive.

And, not only receptive. Having linked to a thought-form, our own thinking will (to some extent) modify, add-to, enhance that thought-form; and it is our experience of this participation that is exactly what makes a pilgrimage special and beneficial. 

The primary and essential role of personal understanding in these times of seismic change

How is it that we can live in a world where people's ideas are so very wrong, where their aspirations are so distorted and trivial (when not actually evil - which is common enough); where there is not even the most basic awareness of these times as ones of seismic spiritual and geopolitical change - and insofar as there is awareness is is a kind-of value inversion, leading to the opposite of virtue, truth and beauty...

How come all this can be true; and yet there be so much virtue in the world, beauty in our surroundings, decent truthfulness between people - even strangers; enough people doing a good job that things continue? 

How can this be, when the entirety of public discourse, officialdom, the mass media, gossip and chit-chat... is so utterly wrong?

What is the origin of the undoubted but invisible good that is implied by so much of our world; when there is no much - so much more obvious - evil?    

These times of Western civilizational collapse are Not, in any deep or significant way, a recapitulation of any earlier civilizational collapse - and, indeed, I think it is probable that each earlier collapse was at heart unique, with only superficial similarities. 

Here and now; I feel that the role of individual understanding is primary: it is what we ought to be doing. And, insofar as there are good things in life now, it is because of understanding (rather than, for instance, because of 'actions'). 

What I mean is that human consciousness is currently operating in uncharted territory. By adulthood we each have, all-but, lost that spontaneous and immersive groupishness that our ancestors experienced (the further back in time, the more groupish, and the less individually autonomous).

There are many consequences. One is that the traditional forms of groupishness (e.g. extended familie/ clans, guilds and unions, professions, villages, occupations) are either absent (destroyed or neglected to death), or weak, and/or assimilated to totalitarian bureaucracy. 

(In other words, spontaneous groupisness has been displaced and replaced by top-down bureaucracy - and there is no other form of effective groupishness.) 

Ultimately; this is because people do not now spontaneously and inevitable fall-into groupishness as they once did; and people have chosen instead to grasp-at whatever groupishness is most easily on offer. And what is on offer her-and-now is... the groups created and sustained by the totalitarian Establishment.     

So, we find-ourselves as natural/ inevitable individualists; we don't fall into groups naturally; and the overwhelming response in the West has been a choice to ally with... whatever non-spontaneous groups are in our environment. 

And all of these groups are already, and increasingly, part of the global System. 

However; if we regard the waxing individualism and autonomy of Men through known-history as part of divine destiny; then in the first place we see that individual freedom and choice - and therefore personal responsibility - has become unavoidable; and secondly that it is of essential significance how we choose. 

Since we now just-are individuals, and because God makes this world; then individuals have (thrust upon them!) a much greater significance than in the past. 

The actual nature of the 2023 world can be seen as directing-us (herding-us, channeling-us...) each towards what we ought to be doing; while of course, the decision of what specifically to do (which way to jump!) necessarily remains our own. 

(The world brings us to the point of choice; and then we each choose. God has a definite preference how we should choose, but God cannot compel us to make that choice - and would not wish to compel us.) 

So we find-ourselves in a world where any group we might decide to join is either too weak to make a physical difference, or else a part of the problem. Any effective action we might take, has been pre-emptively neutralized, or indeed weaponized against us. 

This sounds bad; but if we simply accept this reality, and start from where we actually-are; then we can see that other possibilities have opened-up, even as the old groupish ones have closed. 

If only we become aware of, then reject, the assumption (so widely held) that our thoughts do not matter, and do not affect the world; then we may realize that individual autonomy enables each person to affect the world by his own thinking, in ways that were never possible before - because thinking was never previously so individual, was always previously (to a significant extent, increasing as we move further back into the past) a part of groupishness. 

In the past; people could not, and did not want to (could not even conceptualize), thinking as individuals. But now we can hardly avoid doing so. 

We now (for the first time, in a widespread fashion) have the ability to understand as individuals, evaluate as individuals, and personally decide upon what we want and where our allegiance is allocated. 

And, so long as we recognize that thinking just-is effectual in changing the world: that thinking changes that world: that every choice has real-life outcomes; this automatically and inevitably means that when we understand some-thing and, after evaluating it, make a choice as to whether we personally endorse or oppose it -- we are making a difference. 

That process of thinking, that sequence of thinking, makes a difference to reality; and in the direction we choose.

Each individual has immense power located in his thinking... But, that power is only individual - only our power - when thinking is individual, when we take responsibility for our thinking and our choices!

The vast changes of society towards individualism can therefore be understood as putting each of us into a position where we are confronted by choices which we can either embrace and learn-from; or else deny and hide-from. 

It hinges on understanding. Do we recognize that understanding is the most important (and necessary) think we can do, when confronted by Life? The pre-requisite of any possibility of Good? 

Or do we accept the Establishment line that thoughts are just in-the-head and it is only by effective physical action (and therefore by action in groups) that we may live well?

Tuesday 12 September 2023

To be overwhelmed by the evil, pain, and suffering of this mortal world; is a demonic temptation

It happens sometimes - whether from something in one's own life; or (more often, nowadays) a depiction in the mass media, a novel, movie or TV show; or maybe after wakening from a nightmare... We become acutely, or chronically - obsessively; preoccupied with the evil, pain and suffering of this mortal world. 

For the past two or three centuries, such a conviction or obsession in a person (or institution) has generally been regarded as a sign of admirable moral sensitivity, and perhaps of actual ethical superiority. 

The belief could be summarized as: this is the ultimate reality of our world, it is intolerable; and something must urgently and as the number-one priority, be done to reform the situation with a view to eliminating the problem. 

Such a conviction has become the focus and bedrock of a wide range of 'reformist'/ leftist socio-political movements (abolition, pacifism, socialism, feminism, antiracism, healthism, environmentalism, and the sexual revolution for instance). Such a conviction has, indeed, become universal in all mainstream politics, the media, large corporations of all sorts; and among the ultra-rich-and-most-powerful. 

Such a conviction has also become the focus and bedrock of Christianity, for large numbers of self-identified Christians of all denominations and none - including most of the most influential Christian leaders. 

Theology, scripture, Christian history and everything else has been re-interpreted in this light, such that it is increasingly difficult to find anything else in the mainstream of churches.  

Jesus Christ Himself is usually regarded as having done something (what exactly he did, varies widely) towards remedying, or at least reducing, this vast weight of evil/ pain/ suffering.  

Yet, it strikes me with considerable force, that this line of thinking is a vast demonic temptation

This kind of insight and awareness is of-the-devil, not of-God

This provenance in-evil would be well worth bearing in mind, when such considerations seem compelling, and especially when we realize that the powers of propaganda and persuasion are trying to overwhelm us with exactly such a conviction.  

Death is a type of evil, and the only path to pure Good

Entropy (the tendency to decay, the inevitability of death) is dominant in this mortal world and the known universe. 

Entropy is a type of evil: because so long as entropy is, then whatever is Good will decay, will die. 

Thus decay and death are an evil. 

And yet, since Jesus Christ; death is also potentially a path to everlasting life in Heaven... In other words, to a mode of existence without entropy, without decay or death.

(Because all evil - including entropy - has been left-behind.) 

Indeed, death is the only path to eternal, sinless life. 

Therefore; while death is an evil, for a Christian death of the mortal body it is also the death of evil: the one and only path to Good. 

Exactly such is the Christian's experience of the fact of death: 

For us; death is a terrible and unavoidable evil. 

And death is our necessary path to an otherwise unattainable everlasting, wholly-Good, way of being. 

Monday 11 September 2023

Secret personal resistance probably works better than politics

Organized politics is an energy-trap. 

The Establishment do what they want, without regard to law or rules; but sometimes they declare a law which confirms what they are already doing - and those who oppose are thereby "invited" to organize and oppose it. 

But such campaigns against evil rules are an energy-trap for those who try to oppose them. It takes a great deal of effort from lots of people to stop a law, and if if this "succeeds" then it will make no discernable improvement on what we currently have. 

This is what happened with Brexit. It took vast and exhausting effort for the UK to "leave" the EU - and now that it has supposedly happened, we find that it makes zero difference! We have had a Brexit-in-name-only (BRINO) - and the proponents of Brexit are demoralized. Probably this was always planned.

Or Trump versus Biden. From the perspective of those who oppose global totalitarianism, Trump was supposedly a better president than Biden... Yet the fact is that with Trump as President, and after three years in power, we got 2020: with the international coup, the bidemic-peck, and "MLB". 2020 was the worst period of time since WWII. 

Politics here and now is full of energy-traps; which depend on people believing subtle and speculative calculations; such as that the UK post-BRINO is even-worse than it would have been without Brexit; or that Trump staying President would have led to things being significantly better than they are now. 

And yet, and yet...

I think a significant number of British people must be resisting in various quiet ways, because things have not been getting worse as quickly as I expected they would be, back in 2020. 

If one judged by the public discourse, there is zero perceptible resistance to the totalitarian agenda. However, a good deal of the surveillance and control apparatus from the 2020 era has been removed; whereas I fully expected it would be permanent, and increased. (As was explicitly and frequently announced.) 

Such a minor reversal is nonetheless a reversal. 

Why did it happen? 

It was clearly not due to the leadership class having become better people, or abandoning the totalitarian agenda! - So, I suppose there must be significant invisible, unreported, maybe secret resistance.

That seems to be what They assume, and what They are trying to stamp-out. 

My message here is not one of optimism: I remain very pessimistic. 

But realistically, it seems that British "people" in 2023 are not quite as beaten as they were (or seemed to be) in 2020. 

Why this is so, I don't understand - not least because the whole thing seems very secret because unorganized and individual. 

At any rate, it seems that secret personal resistance works better than politics.  

Sunday 10 September 2023

Distinguish but don't Divide: The problem of abstracting (the example of Time)

Owen Barfield, in What Coleridge Thought, provided a useful terminology that can be used to help define legitimate from illegitimate abstraction. 

It is always permissible and sometimes useful (or even necessary) to distinguish, that is to 'analyze' and discuss; but when we 'divide' along the lines distinguished, we have done something that may lead to immediate error, and will always lead to problems if pushed far enough. 

Negatively expressed: Just because a distinction is 'valid' (i.e. useful in 'real life') does Not mean that it is valid to divide (abstract) along the lines of that distinction. 

Positively expressed: Reality can be distinguished and analyzed in open-endedly many ways. But dividing along the lines of such distinctions is always ultimately wrong, when that division is made in a way that violates reality.  

This is the problem of abstraction; indeed distinguish versus divide could be used as a way of separating good-abstracting from bad-abstracting. 

An example I've already discussed on this blog is Time

The nature of Time depends, ultimately, on our ultimate metaphysical assumptions concerning the nature of reality. My assumption is that ultimate reality is Beings - that reality consists of living, conscious, purposive Beings (such as humans, animals, plants, and including entities that are nowadays regarded as non-living such as - probably - stars, perhaps planets. The assumption I make is that every-thing is either a Being in its own right, or part of a Being.  

If this is reality, then Time must be an aspect of a Being. Time must be something to do with the livingness and consciousness of a purposive Being.

This means that it is OK (in principle) to discuss and analyze Time in relation to a Being or some Beings; but that if we divide Time off from any reference to Beings - then we have committed an abstraction, and are no longer dealing with reality. 

In other words, when we treat Time abstractly, and divided from Beings; we have made a model. It is not necessarily wrong to make a model, and of course models of reality may be useful in many ways - after all, that's what science and engineering are all about. 

But they are only useful when we know that they are models; and in our modern Godless society, where most people believe (mostly on the basis of abstract physics models and biological models, that are assumed to be reality) that ultimate reality is a purposeless accident; it is clear that people believe models, and only models!

What I am saying here; is that the deep reason that so many abstractions (including models, and - importantly - including a great deal of Christian theology) are wrong and harmful (in so many ways!); is that they are not just distinguished as sub-aspects of reality - but in conceptualization and practice, these abstractions have-been divided from their ultimate and real basis in Beings.   

Saturday 9 September 2023

Why do so many people talk so much about Psychopaths nowadays?

I notice that the term "psychopath" is being used a lot more frequently now than in the past*; and I think the underlying reason is that the mainstream modern 'materialistic' ideology has no way of defining or explaining evil - and psychopathy is being used as a secular substitute. 

Why? At one level, probably because, as a diagnosis, psychopathy has pretty solid pragmatic value (the term dates back into the 19th century when it was 'moral insanity') in terms of having some hereditary basis, and predictive value. Most observant people recognize the type when it is described, and can confirm its validity from personal experience. 

Also (perhaps) because although all societies in the past seem to have had psychopaths, at a low level of prevalence - psychopaths have almost certainly become more common and much more successful all-round in modern societies.

This because of several factors. One is that psychopaths have considerably more offspring than average. More offspring in modern societies - but not traditional/ tribal societies. There are more niches in modern societies where psychopaths can thrive, and which perhaps encourage mild psychopaths to become more extreme. 

The rate of psychopathy was kept low in the past because they would be killed by the societies upon-whom they preyed - killed one way or another (by execution, or ostracism and exile - which would usually do the same only more slowly). 

Without paternal support (which psychopaths never provide) the offspring of psychopaths would seldom survive. Since the condition is significantly hereditary, such culling of psychopaths and their offspring would keep the prevalence low. 

Psychopathy is something that the majority of people can agree is A Bad Thing, at least at the superficial level of public discourse and gossip; because it is selfish rather than altruistic, and seeks immediate gratification rather than long term benefit... 

On the other hand; this also gives the idea of being a psychopath some appeal - and there exists a kind of envy of someone who can operate successfully in such a fashion - successfully exploiting other people to satisfy their own wants. 

Such characters are quite often an archetypal anti-hero in modern media and society (e.g. a life dedicated to "sex and drugs and rock and roll" - so popular an aspiration for adolescents and young adults - is basically validating a psychopathic life). 

Therefore, psychopath is a term that performs an up-front function of coordinating the majority of cooperative (and perhaps pathologically-altruistic) people against a minority of parasites - without solving the problem itself, because modern society encourages psychopathy. Such are the favourite kind of strategies of totalitarian bureaucrats and the mass media: to encourage hand-wringing concern over a problem while actually making it worse. 

And then there is the covert agenda, of encouraging psychopath-envy and -emulation by a soft-sell of the psychopath lifestyle as fun and cool - which appeals to the increasingly Sorathic mindset of the Western ruling class. 

But psychopathy does not really solve the problem of evil, because it just kicks the can a bit further down the road. 

After all, why - from a mainstream secular materialist perspective - is psychopathy regarded as a Bad Thing? 

Because it is selfish and short-termist - yes; but then why is selfishness a bad thing (if you can get away with it)? 

And why is long-termism better - when nobody really knows what will happen in the future, and in the long term we will all be dead? 

If psychopathy is supposed to be bad because it cares nothing for the group - then why is the group supposed to be more important than the individual? And who decides what is best for the group?... Well, we know the answer in practice: the Establishment (governments, media, bureaucrats, corporations) are the ones who decides what matters to the group - as everyone saw in 2020. 

The Establishment are very keen on a morality that places the group above the individual, since in practice They get to dictate which group matters most, and what counts as being for that group's benefit of harm. 

(e.g. According to Them; the supposed prevention of even just one death attributed to the Birdemic, was worth sacrificing the entirety of the economy, freedom, well--being, and all deaths from other causes to achieve. Disability, disease and deaths from the Peck were deemed not to exist, and not to matter if they did.) 

My point is that the concept of the psychopath cannot replace the need for an understanding of evil. 

When psychopathy is used for that purpose, then the concept is readily adaptable to advancing the totalitarian/ globalist/ Establishment agenda - which is itself innately evil.

In other words, when psychopathy is used to replace evil; we get more evil

Which is, I assume, exactly why so many people are talking about psychopaths so much, nowadays. 

*A sharp increase increase in usage was broadly coincident with the publication and media splash of "The Psychopath Test" by Jon Ronson in 2011. Since the author seems to be a professional "mouthpiece" for the mainstream ideology, and the book was made a Bestseller, I presume that this terminological seeding and growth was Establishment engineered.  

From perception-dominated thinking, to thinking-dominated perception

It seems that Men mostly still hanker after the past era when perception dominated our thinking, when thinking was passively 'imposed' on us by the environment; and there is a great reluctance to come to terms with the reality that nowadays perceptions are dominated by thinking. 

In a nutshell: for Modern Man subjective and inner concepts dominate perceptions... 

Yet we Modern Men recurrently and persistently refuse to take personal responsibility for the metaphysical assumptions that dictate our interpretations - meanwhile continually asserting and pretending that the external (perceptions: 'environment', 'facts', 'evidence', the 'objective' world 'out-there' etc.) is the primary reality. 

Partly the failure is sheer habit, partly a kind of laziness, partly it is due to sins such as (in particular) fear and resentment - and in general it is because we have trapped-ourselves in a self-stoking cycle of mutually-reinforcing errors, from which perspective it seems impossible to break-out.

But for whatever reason, it is evident that Modern Men will expend weeks, months or even years of time - and massive monetary resources - moving their bodies into situations in which they hope that the surrounding inputs will solve their ultimate problems...

While declining to spend even ten minutes of serious and consecutive thought about their core assumptions concerning reality. 

Wednesday 6 September 2023

What do "the people" want in Western Nations?

Something that comes-up again and again in all the media (mainstream and not) and in conversations; is the question of what "the people" want, in any particular situation. 

And the true answer is that We Just Don't Know; and, in a world permeated and dominated by lies and corruption, reinforced by massive censorship and punishment of thought-crimes and other dissent: there is no way of finding-out

We in the West are by-now so used to the idea that "public opinion" is, or at any rate ought-to-be, the basis of all good policies, that this blind spot is very unsettling to those who are honest about such matters.

We don't know what 'people' in war areas, or what they think about their wars, nor do we know what they 'want' to happen; we don't know what 'people' in our own countries think about our own governments, our politicians and the choice of parties. Typically, the majority of people who work for large bureaucracies and corporations don't even know the real views of people in our workplaces. 

What, then, should we do about it?

In the first place: we ought to give-up the idea that what people want is what ought to happen. 

This was always anti-moral nonsense; but especially now that it turns-out that 'what people think' is not worth a penny in modern societies; since opinion is so easily manipulated; and can undergo 180 degree turns in the space of days, or even hours - and without any acknowledgment that this have even happened!  

Also, many people want several or many incompatible things.  

And even when 'the people' hold opinions that are very much opposed to actual policies (e.g about the death penalty, to quote a famous example); that doesn't matter either -- since we know for sure that the leadership class can and does... whatever it is instructed to do by its totalitarian masters; utterly regardless of public opinion and in the teeth of long-term and solid opposition.

(Long-term and solid opposition at most slows an Establishment-driven trend; but has never yet reversed it.)

Instead, we should focus on what is right; regardless of what people may, or may not, think or want. 

Of course; those who are genuinely concerned about virtue do not have the power to manifest this into policies, nor to induce 'the people' to do what is right. But we ought to be clear about what is right, regardless of whether we think it makes any difference. 

I personally am sure that when someone, anyone, gets clear in his mind what is right and why; then this does have some kind of general effect - even though this effect is incalculable, and not measurable. 

I believe this on the basis that it is innate common sense - throughout history, and still in much of the world - that our conscious thoughts and whether we endorse or oppose these thoughts, is something that necessarily affects 'the world' - including 'other people'. 

So, I personally am going to try and disregard, and decline to join-in, conversations about 'what people want'; and focus instead on clarifying the specifics of what is right

Note added: Another reason why it is bad to give people what they want; is that so many people's desires are evil; and this especially applies here-and-now in Western nations: where the level and extremity of corrupted desire (corrupted to the point of inversion) has reached world-historical heights.

Monday 4 September 2023

What happened when the pagan Roman-Britons converted to Christianity?

A favourite theme of the late, great Geoffrey Ashe was that the transition between paganism and Christianity went smoothly and peacefully in Britain. 

Unlike on the European continent; the British pagans (whether Druidic or Roman in their religion) did not seem to persecute the new Christian religion; and later-on the Christians did not persecute the pagans when they got the upper hand. 

What seems to have happened is that the Christians took-over the sacred pagan sites, and 'repurposed' or rebuilt them as churches; while the pagan Gods were replaced with Jesus, Mary, and the Saints on the basis of analogous religious functions.

(Most famously; the pagan British goddess Brigid, was replaced by the Irish Saint Brigid.) 

As well as its socio-political significance; this is theologically interesting; because it suggests that there is no fundamental conflict between paganism and Christianity; that - somehow or another - people could move from pagan to Christian without major spiritual or societal upheaval. 

I think this gives us a clue to the essence of Christianity; or, more exactly, what distinguishes it from paganism. 

What the smooth-transition tells us on the one side, is that (despite what so many people have said, and what is still asserted) there was not much to distinguish paganism and Christianity in terms of morality and lifestyle

The everyday and societal practice of paganism and Christianity don't seem to have been very different. 

What is very different between paganism and Christianity, is what happens after death! 

It seems to me that the Big Message of Christian missionaries; the "unique selling point' that Christians had to offer over and above anything the pagans said; was the prospect of resurrected eternal life in Heaven

Whereas the pagan religions could point at either some kind of afterlife life as depersonalized spirits - in an underworld or maybe as ghosts lurking in this world; or else some kind of reincarnation into the same kind of life all-over-again but as a different person...

Christians came along with their account of Jesus Christ who died and rose again and ascended to Heaven; and who offered the same possibility to those who would follow him

And this prospect apparently appealed greatly as a possibility superior to anything in paganism

I think it would have been obvious to ancient Britons, as it was later to the Anglo-Saxons and Norsemen; that what Christians offered was superior if it was true

But how could people know it was true - above and beyond trusting the historical stories of the missionaries?

One form of validation was miracles: when the missionaries were Saints who could perform miracles, then this validated their claims, because it proved they had a link to the divine.

But a second, and probably more widespread, form of experiential proof was by participation in the Mass, the Eucharist, Holy Communion.  

Following-up an insight from Philip K Dick; I think we can imagine that Men, at that earlier stage in the development of consciousness, would spontaneously, passively, overwhelmingly experience participation in the Mass as a literal re-living of Jesus's death and resurrection

In the Mass; Jesus died and came to life, and was actually-present here-and-now to those participating. 

This (or something spiritually analogous) would surely have been a compelling validation of the actuality of what Jesus offered. 

In sum; I think the conversion from Paganism to Christianity as it was actually experienced by people in the early centuries AD (people, it should be noted, whose consciousness was significantly different from you and me) was essentially very simple, which was why it could be very quick - and why mass-conversions, and even mandatory conversion, made sense at the time

It was an expression of the desire for resurrection after death, as preferable-to/ better-than anything paganism could offer. 

And the method of achieving this desired goal, was to be admitted to the community who ritually re-enacted Jesus's death and resurrection, such that he became actually present to the believer.


Note added: This post comes after a whole bunch of earlier posts in which - as a result of reading the Fourth Gospel as the primary and most authoritative source about Jesus's teaching - I became increasingly convinced that the core message of Christianity (i.e. the offer of resurrected eternal life in Heaven) had become de-emphasized and somewhat buried throughout the history of the Christian churches. In my opinion; the advent of Mormonism from 1830 was, to a significant extent, made possible by Joseph Smith's "re-discovery" of resurrection as the core promise of Christianity. Mormonism also brought a completely new and fundamentally different set of fundamental metaphysical theological assumptions concerning reality as pluralistic, developmental etc. But I believe that the main appeal of the new type of Christianity in its early decades was its clarity-about, and focus-upon, post-mortal life - treated very 'realistically' and as something that could (with certain conditions) confidently be anticipated - and with potential for continuation of loving mortal relationships.  

Sunday 3 September 2023

"Boomers" are just as bad as their worst critics say; but the following generations are even-worse

I'm afraid I regard the bulk of the "anti-Boomer" genre as strictly delusional; not because I disagree with all the nasty things they say about the post-1945 generation* - indeed in this respect, I don't think most anti-Boomers go anything like far enough, because they focus on physical-material flaws, whereas it is the spiritual sins of the Boomers that are most serious. 

Where I totally disagree with the genre is the inbuilt assumption - sometimes implicit, often explicit - that the later generations are superior to Boomers; including that later generations have learned from Boomer excesses and errors. 

This seems so utterly mistaken and truth-inverted that I must regard it as delusional. The fact is that that, generationally, things have Very Obviously gotten worse and worse; although not in exactly the same ways that Boomers went so wrong. 

Because leftist-materialism is an oppositional ideology, it contains many contradictory and incoherent strands. So, while Boomers were keen on divorce and "heterosexual" promiscuity then feminism; later generations are much keener on other sexual sins and lies. Whereas Boomers were mad for socialism/ communism, later generations are keen on Climate Change and Diversity... Boomers are selfish and cling to life, but later generations are more prone to suicide and despair. 

And so on. 

But - changing the theme of evil is not a move-towards Good!

If later generations really were better than the Boomers, then we would be seeing a pendulum-swing back towards sanity - whereas we are seeing the opposite: the pendulum swings further-and-further away-from common sense and basic decency. 

I think the problem arises from the great sin of our era, which is resentment. While it is fine and factually-correct to hate Boomers and get angry at what they/we have done as a generation; once resentment enters-in, then we are into the realms of the master sin of Christianity: which is Pride. 

Delusional Anti-Boomerism is a form of Pride, which is why it feeds-upon-itself, is so insatiable, and so corrupting to those who hold it. 

Resentment doesn't just oppose, it assumes self-superiority; such that every criticism of Boomers becomes an implied self-aggrandizement. The worse the Boomers are painted - the better (tacitly suggested) seem later generations. 

In other words, resentment-driven Anti-Boomerism becomes just another Poor-Me/ Evil-You leftist victimology; unless contained within a realistic understanding that the worst legacy of the Boomers was the corruption of later generations. Which means that later generations need to accept that they are even-worse than the worst they can say about Boomers.  


*"Boomers" (an American term, never used in Britain until recently) are presumably those born up to about 1970, on the biological basis of the length of a generation being the average date of childbirth. For most of history (among demographers); "one generation" used conventionally to be 25 years (with, therefore, four generations per century) - on the basis that about half the surviving children were born to the average woman before that age, half afterwards. More recent generations in The West/ developed world are therefore more than 30 years, since currently the average date of first child is greater than 30 years.   

Are scientific geniuses dispensable in a way that artistic geniuses are not?

Watson and Crick and the model of DNA - a great image that captures the joy and wonder of real science!

It is a commonplace assertion that because science is a social activity, and (supposedly) objective; scientific geniuses do not leave a personal stamp upon their work in the way that (it is assumed) artistic geniuses do. For instance, it might be said that nobody else but Shakespeare could have written Hamlet, while if Newton had not lived, then everything he accomplished would have been done by others. 

I have come to regard this as profoundly false - on both sides, scientific and artistic! The nature of creative genius is essentially the same, and intensely personal and individual, in whatever the domain it is operating. 

This generalization derives from the fact that - whenever one has sufficient information to understand a major work of genius; then the individuality of the creative contribution is evident. 

What generally happens is that the genius, in making the 'breakthrough' work, is able to 'see' something, to 'know' something, that is very difficult or impossible for him to communicate to others. 

Indeed, this extreme difficulty of communicating that which is qualitatively new is something like a definition of a work of genius. If the genius can find one other person who understands, who follows the chain of reasoning or grasps the way something 'works' - then he is unusual and fortunate. 

Because usually geniuses do their work alone, and if that work is taken-up more widely, then it is often without real understanding - simply by 'applying' some partially-grasped or selective aspect of the whole. 

That a work of genius, like Hamlet, is uniquely linked to its creator turns-out, on closer examination, to be much less straightforward than it seems. After all, what do we mean by Hamlet? 

There are many textual versions, of widely varied lengths, derived from various sources by multiple editors and scholars. And then there is the question of whether the real Hamlet is indeed a text, or a play being-performed by a particular set of actors, on a particular day (or in a particular recorded medium) - and therefore, which of the multi-thousands of performed versions is the real Hamlet? 

My point here is that: yes, of course, Hamlet is an unique work of genius that depended on a specific person for its special quality; but also it shares the same social and collaborative quality that is more evident in scientific creation.   

And on the other hand genuine scientific creativity seems always to be distinctively personal. 

This struck me yesterday when reconsidering Crick and Watson's discovery of the double-helix structure of DNA*; which is a famous example of a major scientific breakthrough that is generally assumed to have been merely an instance of the discoverers "getting there first". That is even how Watson presents the story in his The Double Helix book: as a race against Linus Pauling. 

I have read widely and deeply behind this discovery, and realize that it involved the work of a very large number of people from many countries, plus a particular and focal bringing together of the right people in the right places. So at first it seems like a collaborative effort in which the individuals are dispensable.

Yet, such an assertion is post hoc, after the fact of the discovery; a retrospective judgment that slides-over and mashes-together what were specifically individual and creative insights. 

For instance it is well known that Rosalind Franklin could not perceive the significance of her technical work; not least because she regarded DNA as 'just another' chemical to be analyzed using the best of established procedures, rather than of interest essentially because of having a vital biological function. 

In other words, the DNA structure could only be understood and discovered by someone who was asking the right questions, because thinking "biologically".  

In contrast, Francis Crick had (apparently) developed a (literally) unique ability to understand the relationship between molecular structures and the images from X-Ray crystallography. This gave him (and nobody else!) an ability to perceive what structures could and could-not be inferred from images, and what images would be expected from different types of molecule. This was a vital aspect of the discovery of the DNA double-helix. 

What is interesting is that Crick couldn't explain what he was doing to anybody else, not even to Watson. Or, to put it differently, Watson could not understand what Crick was doing, how he was reasoning, despite many attempts at explaining - nor could anyone else. 

Only later, looking back, was the fact of Crick's ability acknowledged; yet, even that acknowledgement does not mean what Crick was doing was genuinely understood.  

My point is that works of scientific genius seem always to contain such very personal, and seemingly unique, insights and abilities. My conclusion is that without such people, then the qualitative breakthroughs just don't happen.   

Most people simply can-not (plus will-not - i.e. they do not want to) think or work in genuinely new, different, distinctive ways - they cannot-willnot go-it-alone. (They function socially, and are motivated externally - whereas the genius's motivation is substantially endogenous.)  

So far as I can tell (where there is sufficient information) all geniuses of all kinds are in the position of doing some-thing that takes them our and away from social support, social acceptance, social understanding. 

Of course, as such, this is merely a negative attainment - but it is also the inevitable consequence of exceptional individual creativity, successfully at-work. 

The ultimate point of this; is that creativity is the product of an individual, and is indeed a divine attribute; therefore ultimately inexplicable - which is why it cannot ever really be understood by others. Great scientific achievements like the discovery of the DNA structure can be seen necessarily to include such elements of creativity, sometimes more than one such, sometimes from several people. In contrast; the idea that "science" can be set-up and administered and function as a bureaucracy (operating by 'objective' consensus) naturally denies this essential creative reality; and the consequence is that no real science is actually being done


*I recommend that you watch the 1987 BBC Horizon movie drama starring called originally Life Story, later confusingly (because there is a documentary with the same title) re-titled The Race for the Double Helix

The drama stars Jeff Goldblum as Watson, Tim Pigott-Smith as Crick, and Juliette Stevenson as Franklin. A superb, all-time-great, musical score was done by Peter Howell of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Life Story is simply The Best drama I have ever seen about real science, and moves me to tears every time I watch it (last time was yesterday).

Thanks very much to commentefurudo.erika for letting me know that a nice crisp copy of Life Story can be found On Vimeo:

Saturday 2 September 2023

Why death? (And other taboo questions)

Why are so many people unwilling to ask "why?" In particular why is there death? Why do people die - why will you die? 

But people don't like talking (seriously) about death; but when they do it's all about how to delay death; or how to reduce the suffering of death for the person dying and others. 

(It seems that death 'always' entails suffering; that seems to be a built-in fact of life. At any rate that is how nearly-everybody behaves: how they react to the prospect and actuality of death. Attempts to pretend death is properly-considered Not suffering are common through history - but have near zero traction.) 

And people don't like asking, seriously, "why?" In fact, its a kind of taboo. To ask it is to be revealed and childish, stupid or evil. 

Why is there death? This is a question that spontaneously occurs to most children; and seems to have been asked by almost-every society through history and around the world... 

But not in The West for the past few generations, when we have decided that it is a stupid question; unanswerable because meaningless. 

We are prepared to discuss how death - i.e. processes involved. Or how we might modify such processes - but not "why is there death?". 


What does the inevitability of death tell us about reality? In other words: what does death presuppose

In other words: how is death possible? 

The answer seems obvious enough when the question is asked: Death is possible because, in the first place, there is life

Death can only be inevitable and universal, because there already is life. 

For there to be death: Life must come first

It seems obvious, put that way. And putting it that way seems to be valid and necessary - I mean, surely we could not have a universe of death without it first being alive - could we? 

Yet how often is the question put that way? 

Have you ever heard the question put that way? 

Death is inevitable (so far as we know) yet this cannot be a reality built-upon death... 

Which seems to mean that this is a reality built-upon life. 

If so, then this strikes me as something that is very important to make clear and to know. I mean; that we inhabit a reality built upon life!

This is (to my way of thinking) just another way of saying that this Must Be a created reality; if the universe is built on life, then in some essential way we inhabit "a creation"... By which I mean that creation, the 'process' of life, the tendency towards life - needs to come first. And only then, after life is, could death emerge 'everywhere'.

Life is the host, death is the parasite. 

(And you need a host before you can get a parasite.)

One conclusion is that - because life is primary - then it is possible to imagine life without death. Indeed, there must have been a time (however brief) when there was life without death: that must have been how things started. 

And if there was life once without death; then - in principle - there could be again; and life everlasting and eternal is not just conceivable, but - in principle - possible. 

So what Jesus Christ offered (to those who wanted it, and would 'follow' Him) is potentially something that we could imagine being delivered. Not impossible, at any rate. 

The Biggest Question is whether we actually want it! 

We could, and should, ask: is our allegiance to life, or to death? 

We need to ask: Why death?