Thursday 28 December 2023

Predictions for this New Year

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Christopher Martin said...

On "A religious New Year can be any time": True. In fact in more traditional Christian bodies - Roman Catholic, Orthodox, even Anglican, I think - the year starts on the first Sunday of Advent, four Sundays before Christmas.

Thanks for the reminder about March 25th. Have you mentioned before that it's not a coincidence that Tolkien fixed that same day as the fall of Sauron?

It's also worth noticing that to get to April 6th as the day to pay rent, taxes, etc., the government *did* "give back" to protestors the eleven days that had been filched from the unfortunate day-labouring classes.

iya said...

Seems to me things will have to continue to get worse & more oppressive in order to facilitate more spiritual awakening. It appears to be a race between two sides, the accelerating blanketing of the earth in artificial radiation through satellites & on the ground powerful small cell wireless infrastructure in order to create a complete grid (or prison depending on how one sees it), versus an awakening of minds & hearts. Indeed a fate worse than death may be an artificial & never ending physical life extension through technology. Trapped in a physical body, conditioned to believe only the material world exists, not realising this life may be one part of a much bigger reality.
More planned chaos, although within it the possibility of changing direction in a good way, not the way that has been carefully planned.
Happy New Year.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Chris - Yes, Tolkien went to considerable lengths with the narrative, delaying things here and there - to make 25th March the day of the destruction of the Ring. It was clearly important to him.