Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Blake, Albion, Jerusalem and the nature of prophecy

The Last Judgement - by John Martin


People are unaware of their positive values, explicitly those which hold Albion together - they are, indeed, unaware of what is Albion; of our bounds and content.

These were made by past genius - and not by known work, but ultimately by the thinking of past genius; these discovered, remade, added to the soul of Albion.

William Blake wrote poems, such as Jerusalem - which is widely known and sung; he painted and illustrated, composed lyric poems, aphorisms, and vast prophetic verses... But Blake's true role in Albion was to remake the nation at so deep (or high) a level that it is beyond perception; and not fully-knowable as a communication.

The principle act of Blake was his direct knowledge of reality, and then his shaping of reality... The reality of God's creation; that reality which can be known directly by you, or by me, or by anybody (now, or in the future). This is the imperishable legacy of Blake - and there were other as well as Blake (Langland, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton...).

So Blake's poem Jerusalem (to take an example) is true - when it was conceived it became true because it was written-into creation; that is the nature of prophecy.

For you and I to talk or write or read about creation involves us in indirectness, in symbolism, in 'communication'. But we can understand each other when both of us stand-before the poem Jerusalem as it is written into creation.

(Everything else is indirect and second-order; to contemplate creation alone is primary, sure; because direct.)

**
And did those feet in ancient time,
Walk upon England's mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On England's pleasant pastures seen?
And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?

Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
Bring me my Arrows of desire;
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold;
Bring me my Chariot of fire.
I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In England's green & pleasant Land.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Jesus Was Left Wing

Or so we are sometimes told. But is it really true? Almost the definition of the left, certainly the modern left, is the denial of God. And even if God is allowed he is assuredly not the Father. Moreover Jesus taught that his kingdom was not of this world. This is a picture so far at odds with a leftist position, which ever seeks unrealisable utopias in the here and now, that really nothing more need be said to make clear that Jesus and the left have very different priorities.

But there is a lot more. We can set aside the point that Jesus's aims were purely spiritual and there are still no grounds for the statement made in the title of this piece. For a start, Jesus emphasised sin and the need for repentance, hardly a left wing preoccupation. He taught forgiveness but this was wholly dependent on turning to God. Its benefits were not to be handed out to everyone regardless of the state of their soul or whether they admitted their fault in terms of being a sinner or not. The forgiveness of sins demands acceptance of full individual responsibility and is not offered as a natural right.

The statement that Jesus was a liberal or leftist is meaningless anyway. There was no such thing until a little over 200 years ago. To make this claim is to project a contemporary ideology backwards to a time when it didn't exist and wouldn't have made any sense to anyone even if it did.

But again, let’s ignore that and assume that you can transport Jesus from 1st century Galilee to the 21st century West and quickly run through some of the reasons why people say he would have sympathised with the left of today.

They say he was a rebel who was against tradition and the establishment. The truth is the opposite. He was for tradition. He said "I have not come to abolish the Law and the Prophets, I have come to fulfil them". That's pretty clear.  He deepened and expanded the Law but he built on what came before. He did not seek to destroy it and build something new. That's not how God works. And the only establishment he condemned was the corrupt establishment of the day which went by the letter rather than the spirit of the law, and who exalted themselves over God. Besides, against the establishment? Jesus was the true establishment.

The protagonists of this point of view like to claim that Jesus belonged to the ‘live and let live’ fraternity, and didn't judge or condemn anyone. I don't know where they get this idea from. Well, perhaps I do but it's a distortion of his real teaching. Jesus told us not to judge because he knew the human tendency to go in for self-righteous criticism of others rather than look to oneself. This does not mean there is no right or wrong. No judgement means no truth. It means everything is relative, nothing is better, nothing is worse and, eventually, nothing is even good and nothing is bad. This is the antithesis of what Jesus taught. He constantly condemned the sinner and the unrighteous. He even threatened them with hell and destruction. But what he didn't want was for us to use the shortcomings of others to excuse or ignore our own, or to condemn with hate in our hearts. Certainly he loved the sinner but he was ruthless in his denunciation of sin. The leftist affects to love the sinner and, as a result, excuses or denies sin thereby leaving the sinner mired in his sin. If you really do love the sinner, as Jesus did, you seek to release him from his sin not encourage him in it on the spurious grounds of non-condemnation. That's not love. It's complicity in sin. Jesus admonished the crowd chasing the woman caught in adultery but he did not stop there. He told the woman to sin no more.

Liberals mistake being nice for loving but what is the greater love, that you support someone walking over a cliff or you turn him back? Love does not confirm someone in their errors but directs them towards the truth.

Next, the liberal tells us that Jesus was all about peace and love, and therefore he would support us rather than the war-mongering hate filled right. I’m sure that Jesus would not condone either war-mongering or hate coming from any quarter but it cannot be denied that he specifically said that he did not come to bring peace but a sword. That he would set husband against wife, daughter against mother and so on. Of course, Jesus taught peace and love but not peace and love on any terms, not fake peace and love. He taught real peace and love which can only come when you walk in the light of spiritual truth and give your heart to God, the living God before whom the liberal refuses to bend the knee.

Jesus did not teach equality. We may all be one in God but not as individual men and women.  He recognised and respected tradition. He was not a revolutionary.  That was Judas, the man who preferred radical politics to religion, the same Judas who ostensibly wanted to sell an ointment used to wipe Jesus’s feet and give the money to the poor. But what does St John tell us about that? “This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and took what was put therein.” If anyone ticked the left wing box it was surely Judas.



I'm not claiming that Jesus was what we would today call right wing but the concerns of traditional religion are surely closer to what he taught that those of the contemporary left which actually oppose them at many points, most specifically with regard to the centrality of God.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Saint Edward the Confessor


St. Edward the Confessor by Aidan Hart
www.aidanharticons.com

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Today, October 13th, is the feast of St. Edward the Confessor, King of England from 1042 to 1066. A 'confessor' is one who suffers for the faith but is not called upon to die for it. Edward is so-called to distinguish himself from St. Edward the Martyr, the boy king whose three year reign was brutally terminated by jealous nobles in 978.

Edward was born around 1005 in Islip, Oxfordshire. His mother was Emma of Normandy and his father Edward the Martyr's infamous successor, Ethelred the Unready (978-1016). Ethelred was a weak and vacillating king. Under his disastrous stewardship, the country lay exposed to sustained and ferocious Viking attack and was eventually conquered by Canute the Dane in 1016. Edward and his mother took refuge in Normandy, remaining there until 1041 when invited to return by Hardicanute (1040-1042), Canute's son and last representative of the Danish conqueror's English dynasty.

Edward became king in 1042 upon Hardicanute's premature death. He reigned for 24 years, a long time by Anglo Saxon standards. Opinion is divided as to the merits of his reign. Some historians view him as an astute, sharp-minded ruler, while others criticise the passivity and indecisiveness that created such confusion around the succession paving the way for the William the Conquerors's seizure of the crown nine months after Edward's death.

Edward did little during the first half of his reign to endear himself to the English nobility. He surrounded himself with Norman advisers, excluding the powerful Anglo-Danish Earls from his inner circle. In 1051 a party of Norman visitors sparked a riot in Dover. Edward ordered Godwin, Earl of Wessex, to punish the English offenders. When Godwin refused, Edward sent him into exile along with his family. The following year Godwin returned at the head of an army. The Witan (the Anglo Saxon parliament) declined to support the king and Edward was forced to back down. His Norman advisers were sent home and Edward began to withdraw from public affairs, leaving the administration of the realm - including a series of wars against the Welsh - first to Godwin and then,  after his death in 1053, to his son, Harold. He focused his energies instead on the construction of a great church in the heart of London. Dedicated to St. Peter, it became known as Westminster Abbey and stands today as Edward's lasting legacy to his kingdom.

Edward, first and foremost, was a man of God. Religion was his passion and he may, in many respects, have found greater fulfilment as a monk than a king. His wife, Godwin's daughter, Edith, might have concurred. Edward had taken a vow of celibacy in his youth and this, extraordinarily, appears to have remained in place even after his marriage in 1045. He had a great reputation for holiness amongst the people, however, as illustrated in this legend. Edward, it is said, was riding one day to a chapel dedicated to St. John the Evangelist when a beggar asked for alms. Edward had no money with him so he took off his ring and gave it to the man instead. A few years later, in the summer of 1065, two English pilgrims were travelling through the Holy Land and became stranded. They were helped by an old man who told him he was St. John the Evangelist. He was carrying the ring Edward had given to the beggar some years previously. He asked the pilgrims to return it to the king, telling him that in six months time he would meet St. John in Heaven.

Edward was also believed to have been blessed with the gift of healing. He began the royal custom of touching sick people to cure them, a tradition which continued for nearly 700 years until the advent of George I in 1714. In Shakespeare's Macbeth, written some 550 years after Edward's reign, we see this exact property discussed by Malcolm and Macduff as they plot their return to Scotland from the safe harbour of Edward's court:

MALCOLM: 
Comes the king forth, I pray you?

DOCTOR: 
Ay, sir; there are a crew of wretched souls
That stay his cure: their malady convinces 
The great assay of art; but at his touch -
Such sanctity hath heaven given his hand -
They presently amend.

MALCOLM:
I thank you, doctor.

MACDUFF:
What's the disease he means?

MALCOLM:
'Tis called the evil:
A most miraculous work in this good king;
Which often, since my home-remain in England,
I have seen him do. How he solicits heaven,
Himself best knows: but stranegly-visited people,
All swoln and ulcerous, pitiful to the eye,
The mere despair of surgery, he cures,
Hanging a golden stamp about their necks,
Put on with holy prayers; and 'tis spoken,
To the succeeding royalty he leaves 
The healing benediction. With this strange virtue,
He hath a heavenly gift of prophecy,
And sundry blessings hang about his throne,
That speak him full of grace. (Act IV, Scene III)

Shakespeare's perception, as always, is razor sharp here. It isn't so much what Edward did or didn't do as a political leader that counts, but the impression he made on the hearts and minds around him. Something in his person, some quality of his being, spoke to people on a deep and meaningful level, bringing a measure of healing and serenity to those he met. He exuded peace, and by his very presence made others feel close to God. The legends surrounding him grew, therefore, out of this innate spiritual radiance.

Edward was canonised in 1161 and was considered one of England's patron saints until Edward III adopted St. George in 1351. Like ourselves, he lived and acted in challenging and uncertain times. In many ways, however, our situation feels more precipitous. Contemporary England no longer knows or enjoys the protecting, nurturing shelter of a shared faith. The idea of a common good, guaranteed by the monarch, in which everyone has a stake, is fast disappearing. English society is atomised and fragmented. People are losing faith - in God, in their country, in themselves. Politics and culture grow increasingly polarised, while all manner of instability - financial, emotional, intellectual - runs amok across the land.

Let us turn to St. Edward then, today especially, that he may bless our country and pray for her inhabitants, ourselves - that our hurts may be healed, our hearts softened and our minds redirected towards that abiding Truth which animated him in his life and brought such solace and such an indelible sense of the holy to the men and women he encountered.

This is the reorientation our fractured society cries out for - a restoration and restatement of what is eternal and real - the natural pattern, order and harmony of God's creation.

St. Edward the Confessor, pray for us.
St. Edward the Confessor, pray for England.


Wednesday, 11 October 2017

What does Freedom mean?

In a world that is already substantially totalitarian - in terms of the high level of thought-monitoring and thought-control - and where trends are towards more totalitarianism; it is necessary to be clear about the nature and purpose of freedom.

Firstly - what freedom is Not:

Freedom is neither freedom-from; nor is it freedom-to...

Because freedom-from influence is merely what people mean by 'random' - while freedom-to do something refers to this-worldly and material factors, which are always and inevitably constrained.

We need to be clear that freedom is freedom of thought; and freedom of thought means what it says - freedom in thinking (not in doing, which is never free).

And freedom from influence is missing the point - because the point is Not to be free of any influence; but to understand where free thinking comes from: what is its origin?

The origin of free thinking is the self: specifically the real self; and the real self is that which is capable of creating thought. Creation means that thought comes neither as merely a consequence of outside influence, nor randomly, nor a combination of determined and random -- but instead creation is the thinking of a thinking-entity; the thinking of a being capable of creative thought...

So, the real self can be imagined as a complex, coherent, autonomous entity with attributes such as character, motivations, inbuilt knowledge, instincts, a capacity for reason... and so forth. the self is what we find, by introspection , behind everything.

The real self therefore has divine attributes - because this kind of entity is precisely what is meant by a personal deity: a god the origin of purposes.

*

So, if this is freedom - then why is freedom good?

The answer is that freedom is not good except for Christians (and even then, only for Christians of a certain kind). For everybody else, freedom is merely a means to an end; and expediency...

Why is freedom a good for Christians, specifically? Because Christianity can only be chosen, and because obedience (law-following) is not enough: Christianity teaches that motivation for action is primary, which entails freedom.

Why is totalitarianism bad? Because (by maximal monitoring and control) it tries to stop freedom of thinking, and thereby tries to stop people being Christian. As well as censoring, and filling the mind, and creating continual distractions; this ultimately aims to induce people to choose inversion of The Good.

Inversion of Good is (mostly) reversal of what might be termed Natural Law - that is the universal, innate, spontaneous ideal morality of mankind (typically, this is asserted even by people who do evil things - they regard their own motivations as good).

*

If we are reasonably clear as to the nature of freedom, and if we subscribe to a transcendental world view (that is, a world view extending beyond emotional gratification during mortal life), and if this view is Christian - then we can understand that totalitarianism is always and necessarily evil.

There cannot be a Christian totalitarianism, therefore all totalitarianisms are anti-Christian (even/ especially when they falsely self-identify as Christian).


Friday, 6 October 2017

Atheists and Believers

The self is a prison from which we all yearn to escape. But at the same time it is also that which frees us from fate and necessity and opens us up to the reality of love. How can we reconcile these two things? There is only one way and that is through God.

What is the difference between the self-hatred of the nihilist and the recognition that he is a sinner of the saint? Both are reacting to the reality of their selfhood and its enclosed nature in different ways, but one reacts from the self itself while the other reacts from awareness of a truth beyond the self.

The difference is that between despair and hope, hatred and love, denial and faith. It is the difference between the refusal to see there is anything more than me of the nihilist and the trust in a higher power of the saint. The nihilist rejects while the sinner accepts. The one is closed and the other is open.

But why even say nihilist and saint, why go to extremes? The exact same contrast exists between the atheist and the believer. When all is said and done, these are the two types of human being and this is the major line of demarcation between human beings.

Whence arises this difference between the two types? The answer is that in the one there is the trace, however small it may be, of humility and love while in the other there is pride and denial. Of course, we all have these contradictory elements within us but it is the side we incline to in our hearts that makes the difference.

So I would say that the atheist denies and rejects because of pride while the believer accepts because of love. Perhaps this sounds too simplistic, and it may well be so, but there is still something to be said for reducing complexities and mixed motivations to their simplest state because then we get down to basic truths and the reality of the heart.

When our teachers assess our spiritual state it is the heart they look at. An open heart is open to God but a closed heart denies God. However moral you may be in the eyes of the world if you deny God your heart is closed. It really is that simple.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Gareth Knight and Experience of the Inner Worlds

Gareth Knight is a highly respected writer on the occult who works, roughly speaking, in the tradition of Dion Fortune, see here and here. His book Experience of the Inner Worlds is an excellent overview of Western esotericism from a Christian perspective and is recommended to readers of this blog who might be interested in such a subject. Those who shy away from the word 'occult' should know that it really just refers to the inner side of creation and is no more concerned with black magic than any other science of which it might be considered a branch. So exploring this path could, potentially, lead you into trouble, especially if pride and ambition are involved, but in itself it is neutral. All depends on purity of intent. That having been said, you could still say that the game is not worth the candle and you could well be right. When it comes down to it only one thing matters and that is, of course, seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven.

The part of the book I want to draw attention to here, though, is purely religious in content. It concerns the stages of ascent on the spiritual path as they are expressed in terms of Sufism, though really they are more or less exactly the same in Christianity. Who influenced whom in this respect is an interesting question and not one I am qualified to answer though I would always point to the Gospels as a primary source for the ideas expressed here. I do believe that the Sufis inherited the idea of love from the Christians since there is not much for them to go on in that regard in their holy book. In my view Islam was a return to Old Testament ideas of religion and thus several steps down in spiritual terms from Christianity and the New Testament, never mind its misunderstanding and rejection of Christ as the Son of God. Sufism was an attempt to correct that and to introduce a mysticism of love to a religion of law. That's why it's still regarded with suspicion within orthodox Muslim circles.

The stages are as follows:

Conversion and repentance. 
This is the necessary first step. It is the acknowledgement that we have not been walking in the light of God and the determination to change our ways. Conversion is not just adopting a new belief system. It means a complete uprooting of our old ways of thinking and doing, and an opening up of the heart and mind to hitherto denied realities. Repentance means a deep and sincere regret of our previous sinful ways based on a real recognition of them and how they are an insult to our Maker. This is not self-hatred for at the same time we accept that we are made in God's image so that when we turn to him we can start to become like him. That is a long journey though. There is no point being deceived on that account and thinking conversion and repentance are anything more than the start of a road that leads uphill and through some very hard terrain before we get to the top of the mountain. Nevertheless the beginning of a journey is in many ways the most important part.

Fear of the Lord.
This is fear in the sense of the overwhelming recognition of the power and glory of the Creator and the appreciation that he is the source of our being. So not fear as in being frightened but a recognition that there is something so far above us as to make our own little ego insignificant. Again, though, this is a matter of insight into reality so it includes the knowledge that we are loved and treasured for ourselves, though not so much for our personality (as we judge it in this world ) but our unique individuality.

Detachment.
This is the understanding that God is reality and this world subsists entirely in him. He should be the focus of our thoughts and desires not anything that lies in the created world and is not him. We do not have to reject creation but we do have to see it as secondary. So detachment means not having idols of any kind, not setting our thoughts or desires on objects which can be physical or mental. We seek the Subject.

Poverty,
This is letting go of worldly concerns and being content with little and sometimes even nothing. It is connected to detachment and it leads to freedom. Ultimately we will find that we have access to everything but to reach that stage we must learn to desire nothing. This word desire sometimes causes misunderstanding. A person quite devoid of desire is dead. Desire is immature love. So enjoyment of God's gifts is not wrong at all, but it should be a non-grasping desire that is able to enjoy spontaneously without seeking to repeat or prolong the experience or reduce it to egotistic self-seeking or satisfaction. 

Patience. 
Patience means acceptance of God's will and knowing that where you are and what you experience is what you need here and now. It is waiting on God's good time and not trying to force his hand. It is being able to live in the moment without trying to turn that into the future. Really it is knowing that God is always with you even if you can't see or feel him, and so all will be well.

Self-surrender.
Give yourself entirely to God.This is the precursor to union. You must let go of self, holding nothing back, and open your heart fully to God, your Creator. It is a kind of self-emptying but not in the sense of an annihilation or denial of self but of a gift of self. You are returning what God gave you to him and he will give it back filled with himself.

Union with God.
The final stage of the spiritual journey. The union of the individual soul with the Universal Soul. But it is not an abstract thing as that might suggest and nor is it an absorption, a 'dewdrop slipping into the shining sea'. Or rather the dewdrop does slip into the sea but it retains its 'dewdropness', and the sea is not a vast cosmic ocean of impersonal life but the living God of love and goodness and truth. Thus the fruits of incarnation and experience of the material world are retained not simply let go and abandoned as though they had never been. The self, purified and transformed, is united with God and the journey from spirit to matter and back to spirit is complete but the individual self remains as a glorified new creation. The end is the beginning but with all the benefits of the journey made between the two. Initial oneness is made more by its transformation into relationship.

Those are the stages in the spiritual journey according to the mystical path of Sufism with my commentaries on them. I would say the Christian way is no different but I would also say that a Christian theology makes more sense of this path of love than the Islamic one and has probably been a strong influence on it.



Sunday, 1 October 2017

What can be done towards awakening Albion?

Christ's troubled sleep by William Blake

This summer I did some travelling in England, keeping aware (as best I could) of the spiritual situation.

My solid impression is that there remain considerable reservoirs of instinctive goodness; but there is near-zero consciousness of the nature of things.

All explicit knowledge is secular, materialistic, and mostly Leftist.

So there is, in Albion, a split between intellect (atheist, materialist, net-evil) and inarticulate gut-feelings (spontaneously pagan supplemented with memories of Christianity) which are the basis of Good.

What is utterly lacking in Albion is precisely what I regard as most necessary: a conscious awareness of the current situation derived from the intuitive knowledge of the heart; a clear, simple, chosen knowledge of how things are and what is (personally) required of each-of-us...

Lacking-which Albion cannot awaken because she cannot repent; and she cannot repent because she does not understand.

She is asleep - drugged, anaesthetised, tranquillised - and in a nightmare; but lacks knowledge of her state, and lacks even the desire to awaken. 

*

So, what is to be done? I mean done now, by you and by me - not waiting on some national scheme; not waiting for some kind of organisation or institution.

We are restricted to the mode of 'communication' (by the normal channels, by the senses and by media) because shared direct knowing would require that participants be awake; and Albion is asleep...

Given that The Problem is exactly that the modes of communication - mass media, official channels, public discourse, and increasingly even personal conversations - are all monitored, controlled, and hedged by threats and sanctions... this makes matters difficult. Consequently, there can be no general advice, no standard schemes or systems of how to awaken Albion.

We must await the arrangements initiated by imperceptible divine spiritual beings - and ready for these when they do occur - which is only intermittently; windows of opportunity opening when circumstances have been shaped and put into place. Such alignments of circumstance are potential fruitful because there may be sufficient genuine communication to enable direct sharing of knowledge.

On that basis, individual people of Albion may find themselves confronted with an informed, aware, free choice to discover reality, repent, awaken...

We need to be in readiness for such moments - to develop habits conducive to recognising and living-in such moments - habits of discernment, intuitive awareness, honesty and so on.

There is no formula for making best use of such moments - indeed, what is required is precisely the opposite of a formula. But we may trust that there will be such moments, and be ready for them.


Friday, 29 September 2017

What is wrong with (real) Christians?

It would be better - indeed it is ultimately necessary - that people become real Christians; but in the modern world, nearly real Christians are fundamentally (i.e. deeply) terribly deficient and defective.

And I am not talking about failing to live-up to ideals of Christian morality - I mean that their whole way of thinking and being is anti-Christian, contradicts Christianity.

In sum, modern Christians believe as Christians, but think as materialist atheists.


Indeed, much of the problem is exactly this disconnection between believing and thinking - Christians 'believe' all sorts of things - but their actual living at the level of thinking is all-but unaffected by those beliefs. I don't just mean that Christian thinking fails to match up to Christian beliefs, but that their beliefs don't affect their thinking At All.

The awareness of this problem is typically unarticulated - the grumbling unease and dissatisfaction that Christians feel about not becoming a New Person; the way that the world around and other people seem unreal and meaningless - a mere shadow play. Their inability to know what is really going-on, and what they ought to do about it...


Leftism

Why are so many modern Christians Leftists?

Many are quite extreme Leftists; but nearly all are adherents and supporters of mainstream politics of one sort or another, accepting the secualr ideas of what is significant and important (e.g. The News).

And all mainstream politics is Leftist (everything in public discourse, in official communications and the the mass media - including all the supposedly 'Right' wing groups and parties - all are fundamentally secular-materialist in ideology and thought-structures).

Yet Leftism is literally demonic; a systematically and strategically anti-Christian ideology - purposively destructive of The Good.

How is it that Christians cannot just see that, know that? Something is terribly wrong...


Dishonesty

Why are so many Christians so deeply dishonest in their work? And why can't they perceive this?

Modern work demands systematic dishonesty - especially at the managerial level. Surely this is obvious? - yet many Christians occupy leadership and managerial roles which they occupy because they are good-at dishonesty, and where they are dishonest for a living; and there is no sign they feel they have anything to repent.

Christians are too ready to excuse-themselves on grounds of pragmatism, and to try and distinguish in their actions between a stark made-up lie (regarded as bad) and the deniable deliberate misleading of others (regarded as part of life...) - when in fact the deniable misleading of others, often pursued through many stages and levels of organisation, is a far worse (because more calculated) sin than is making-stuff-up on the spur of the moment.

The problem, as usual, is not the sinning, but the making of excuses to oneself and others - it is the failure to repent, because the sin has been reframed as necessary, hence 'actually good' (in an inverted way)...

In sum, to be dishonest and deny it is literally to do the work of the devil - and to do it systematically and strategically. This is a measure of the extreme spiritual hazard of the dishonesty of modern Christians


Bureaucracy

The modern world is bureaucratic, and bureaucracy is death. Yet modern Christians are bureaucratic - they believe-in bureaucracy as the best and proper way to do things - from government down to the local jumble sale. Their churches are bureaucratic - everywhere and in all things is the implicit assumption is that the organisation is right, the group is right, committees are right, the vote is right... All this is obviously and profoundly anti-Christian (because Christianity is rooted in individual agency, and only individuals can be moral or know The Good) - and yet Christians cannot see it!


Nihilists

Modern Christians - even the real Christians - regard the world reductionistically, materialistically, as positivists.

Events are seen as either mechanically caused or else random - even one's own thoughts are thus seen; the world of the modern Christian is drained of meaning at the finest and most exact level of analysis. They theoretically-believe that the world is God's creation, but in their moment-by moment thoughts they regard the world just as described by 'science' (maybe sometimes externally-shaped by God).

In sum, modern Christians think as nihilists - actual-believers in nothing, deniers of the reality of the real. They do not see the world as alive and full of purpose, and they do not even want-to - they don't think this is important. They think the only thing important is what they believe, what they profess, how they live by the rules.

And the fact that everything around them and within-them is - in practice - regarded as unconscious, dead and pointless is (if thought-about at all) regarded as a sign of progress in Christianity, an escape from superstition; and indeed a positive good since it avoids the deceptive and demonic hazards of 'spirituality'.


Literalism

In sum, modern real Christians are deadly-literal, superficial, fearful - and wrong.

Their literalism shows in how they regard themselves as mechanical effect; agency merely as a craving to be externally-controlled and compelled by rules, bureaucracies, drilled-in habits of behaviour. They are superficial, lack spontaneity, are phony and manipulative in their interactions - and this is because they are thinking like modern materialists while trying to live by a set of beliefs and practices that are merely stuck onto the surface of this purpose-denying, meaning-denying, life-denying set of fundamental assumptions.

Modern Christians are like crude Robots who say and do the right things - but inside are merely whirring circuits following rigid programmes. And they like that way.  Because, technically, modern real Christians are, at the deepest level, metaphysically atheist materialists; and their Christianity is a stuck-on lifestyle choice at the level of professed beliefs and sticking to the rules.


But nobody is perfect! It is, indeed, very difficult indeed Not to be a materialist atheist at the metaphysical level, in the modern world - our upbringing, our history, and present society all inculcate and enforce it.

However, it is essential that modern Christians become aware of this very serious, very important, and indeed lethal defect of their faith.

They must not ignore their own gnawing, endemic dissatisfactions at the shallowness and meaninglessness of their lives. They must notice and acknowledge their profound state of alienation and the superficiality of their beliefs and practices. The mismatch between what they profess and how they think...

Only if these facts are known can they be repented; and only if they are repented can they (even potentially) be overcome.

The demonic spirituality that rules Albion

The paradox of modern Western life is usually missed. Officially we live in a materialist and secular world, in which the religious and spiritual is excluded from all serious and official public discourse; and where public priorities are selfish personal values such as prosperity, comfort, convenience, thrills and entertainment.

Yet if this was the whole story then public discourse would be much more Right Wing than it actually is - because materialism implies some form of selfishness - probably enlightened self-interest.

However, as we all know - in fact even the secular Right perspective (traditional patriotic conservatism or Republicanism, even libertarianism) is excluded from public discourse by harshly imposed censorship backed by multiple personal sanctions. To the very limited extent it is allowed, the Right perspective is never engaged-with at the level of argument (but only by ignoring, misrepresenting, changing the subject, demonising, attacking etc.)

What this tells us is that the secular-materialist perspective is not the ultimate one in the Modern West - because it is only allowed to operate within a 'higher', much more powerfully-enforced ideological-ethical framework.

Since this overall framework is not materialist - it is in fact necessarily immaterial, indeed the framework is spiritual. However, this ruling spiritual framework which constrains materialism denies its own existence. It is there, it is pervasive, it is compulsory, it is enforced by rewards and sanctions... and yet it denies its own existence!

What kind of 'people' would, or could, actively and consciously pursue long-term plans and policies (stretching over many decades) that lead to the destruction of precisely those material values which they simultaneously say are the only true values... This is surely a recipe for absolute spiritual despair, and rejection of all values... Surely a recipe for self-hatred and spiritual-suicide...

To me this seems obviously the work of immortal demons who seek the self-chosen damnation of Men; and that therefore I infer that demons rule this world: at the highest level, they are in control.

Read the whole thing at Bruce Charlton's Notions...

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Metaphysical attitudes


Metaphysics is the most important thing in the modern world. But for most modern people metaphysics is gibberish - even worse, metaphysics is boring and irrelevant gibberish...

The usual attitude in English society, as in The West generally, is that the ultimate explanation for everything is a matter of science - of physics, chemistry and biology. It is obvious to everybody that everything began with some kind of big bang as described by physics; with the formation of the stars, solar system, and earth; then chemistry kicked-in until biology emerged; and biology led to plants, animals, intelligence, consciousness then eventually Man - who then developed with the emergence of society, into each of us here and now...

On that basis, there isn't any purpose or meaning to life; and our strivings and relationships are consequences of undirected chance plus past evolutionary pressures. There isn't anything to be said about why we are here, or what we 'ought' to do. Things just are as they are; and n conclusions can be drawn about anything.

Hence the pervasive nihilism of modernity, and the consequent undercurrent of despair. Our dissatisfaction with the pointless futility of everything can be explained, but never gratified.

But, we need to be clear that the above scenario is not a discovery but an assumption. The physics, chemistry, biology explanation did not come from science; instead modern science came from that explanation. Modern science operates within the metaphysical assumption that only modern science is real - nothing else exists.

Science cannot discover any meaning or purpose - neither can science disprove the reality of meaning and purpose; because meaning and purpose are excluded from science by its founding assumptions.

For example, there is no point in trying to claim that random chance plus Natural Selection is insufficient to explain the full range of observed phenomena; because these are the only permissible explanations within modern biology. Anything not currently understood on the basis of randomness and selection is merely something for which the evidence is not yet available.  

*

Upon such foundations are constructed the entire structure of the modern world - in other words, the modern world in all its vast complexity has no foundations. None At All.

It is this Big Secret which is denied and defended by the vast apparatus of distractions and lies which form modern society and culture. The Big Secret is that there is nothing and no reason and no point to anything...

But why then is the secret kept secret - why not just be explicit about it; why not let people know the meaning of their metaphysics? Why not just let them utterly and upfront despair, and give-up, and die?

Because the beings who ultimately control the modern world know for sure that the reality is utterly different from the assumptions of 'science'. They know this because these ruling beings are demons who have lived in Heaven and who have rejected God and Creation and are engaged in engineering the destruction of creation and self-damnation of Men. And for this purpose, the creed of denied-nihilism has proved itself to be very valuable.

*

The most important first step in the modern world is to reveal modern metaphysical assumptions as being assumptions.

That might be easy, if it was acknowledged that there are metaphysical assumptions, but 150 years of philosophical discussion has concluded that the distinguishing feature of modern'scientific' thought is that it has no metaphysical assumptions - but that it is empirical and purely evidence-based. Having metaphysics is regarded as obsolete religious obfuscation - modern Man is too hard-nosed to be 'fooled' by metaphysical mumbo-jumbo.

So modern opinion denies the validity of metaphysical discussion: modern opinion denies that it has any fundamental assumptions at all - it is merely practical, merely trying to 'make life better', just 'getting on with the job' instead of wasting time and confusing or manipulating people with airy-fairy nonsense about 'metaphysics'.

This is why the modern predicament has proved so difficult to solve. The problem is buried at the foundation, but the conventional wisdom is that there are no foundations.

If metaphysical assumptions were acknowledged as real and inevitable, then we would have a good chance of changing them. But since they are regarded as imaginary - then we seem to be stuck with modern metaphysics.

And modern metaphysics is killing us - but, more importantly, damning us.



Tuesday, 26 September 2017

The difficulties of being strategically evil

Fortunately, life isn't easy for the powers pursuing strategic evil (that is to say the planned destruction, and ideally inversion, of good - aiming at a world without good).

There is a basic contradiction in trying to be wholly evil. The end point is to be the last remaining 'being', enjoying the terminal satisfaction of having annihilated everything else... And then annihilating oneself. Because 'oneself' is the final remnant of good (since all beings are God's children).

But short of this envisaged final non-event; we need to be careful not to overvalue the achievements of evil: evil can only convince people that it can exclude good - it cannot actually achieve this. The persistence of good can be seen by the fact that evil must continually deploy bribery and coercion to suppress what would otherwise be the spontaneous arising of good here and there.

Even if a global totalitarian society is achieved by the evil-Establishment: a society of complete and universal monitoring and physical control, a compulsory virtual world... Even if each individual is flooded with distractions, and their thoughts and emotions continually manipulated... Even if all thinking is superficial, fake, inculcated, automatic...

Even if all this seems to be the case; we must remember that this world is the creation of a loving God and it is inconceivable that he would ever, under any circumstance, leave a single one of his children without possibility of salvation - when that child is capable of wanting it.

No matter how complete worldly manipulation may seem to be, total manipulation cannot be a reality - there will be made (by God's power) the actuality of freedom and the possibility of agency - specifically there will be chances to think in free agency from our real selves; escaping all manipulations.

Of this we can be sure; and to believe otherwise is merely to choose to believe otherwise.

We inhabit a world where all institutions and nearly-all once-good individuals have been subverted and corrupted; and insofar as the subversion and corruption are systematic then they cannot be contained, channelled and directed only against The Good - therefore sooner or later systematic undermining and inversion will affect the institutions and persons of evil.

People will then become cynical about evil; in the same way and for the same reasons that they have been corrupted into cynicism about Christianity, marriage, families etc.

The triumph of evil will, in and of itself, engineer people into the situation where they find themselves utterly isolated - hence very difficult to influence in any predictable fashion: individuals will stand in awareness of little more than their existential essence - and that, in itself, is a state highly conducive to the intuitive recognition of the reality of God.

In a sense, at the extreme the reality of God becomes unavoidable and each faces the stark choice of accepting or rejecting his creation and love. This choice cannot be compelled either way - and each has the resources to choose God, if he so chooses - a situation of extreme hazard for evil!

Therefore, the closer evil comes to a situation of final victory, the more brittle and vulnerable that triumph becomes.

We need to keep this in mind, and not succumb to despair in face of the incremental world-takeover by evil; but instead to hope - and understand that this hope is solid, realistic, hard-headed.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

The Battle of Stamford Bridge


Today, September 25th, is the anniversary of the Battle of Stamford Bridge, fought in North Yorkshire on this day in 1066. King Harold's rout of Harald Hardrada's colossal pirate army stands as one one of the most spectacular military triumphs in Medieval history. To my mind it ranks alongside Trafalgar and the Battle of Britain as an epoch-making defence of the realm. The Vikings had been ravaging English shores on and off for nearly three hundred years. The Battle of Stamford Bridge brought that chapter to a sudden and definitive end.

King Harold's triumph has been overshadowed, unfortunately, by his loss of crown and kingdom nineteen days later at the Battle of Hastings. One can only wonder what might have been had Harold not been so desperately unlucky. With both the Normans and the Vikings sent packing Harold would have stood as undisputed master of a confident, united realm. At the age of just 44, he could have looked forward to a reign of a quarter of a century or more and the establishment of his dynasty on the English throne. He had all the makings of a great King. His reign, I'm sure, would have inaugurated a third Anglo-Saxon 'golden age' of religion, law, art and learning, following those of Alfred (871-900) and Edgar (959-975). 

Much glory and goodness has emanated from this country since 1066. My intuition tells me, however, in a way I can't quantitatively account for, that if Harold had won at Hastings, England would have been more like the Albion we hope to awaken and less like the hard-nosed powerhouse she so often became - materialistic, mercantile, rapacious and exploitative. 

This is why I always shed a tear on 'Hastings Day', October 14th. I mourn what might have been and should have been but never was. The door to the 'third golden age' stayed shut. One day, I believe, it will open again. How and why I don't know, but it comforts me to know that J.R.R. Tolkien shared my sense of loss at Harold's death and the subjugation of Old England. Let us leave the last word to another fine storyteller then, the historian R.J. Unstead and his account of Harold's mighty victory in The Story of England (pp.62-63).

Happy Stamford Bridge Day!

*******

'When William of Normandy heard the news that Harold had been crowned King, he broke into a rage and proclaimed a crusade to win his "rights". While an invasion fleet was being built, hundreds of knights rode in to join his army, attracted like flies to honeybee the thoughts of plunder and land. The Pope himself sent his blessing and a banner, for William had made his tale good, although his claim to England was no more than an excuse for a military adventure.

Harold did not fear the Normans. Indeed he longed for them to come all through the summer of 1066, for he had a splendid army assembled in the southern counties, far stronger than any seaborne force that William might bring. He was as good a soldier as the Duke, though more hot-headed, and he had an excellent fleet that would have given the Norman ships a rough passage in the channel.

The summer wore on and the Normans still did not come, for the wind blew steadily from the north and kept their ships from sailing. As the corn grew ripe, the English soldiers became restive, thinking of their farms and harvest-time. Surely the Normans would not come so late to risk the autumn storms and a winter campaign?

Harold had just disbanded his army and sent the fleet to the Thames, when a call for help came from the north. Three hundred longships had sailed into the Humber and an army of Norsemen, led by Harald Hardrada, King of Norway, was ravaging the land like a pack of wolves. Earl Tostig was there with the invaders, for he had invited Harald Hardrada, the giant Viking who had fought all over Europe, to come and take his brother's throne.

Hardrada defeated the Earls of Mercia and Northumbria, and made them promise to help him against Harold. Then they waited for the English King at Stamford Bridge, a wooden bridge that crossed the Derwent, seven miles from York.

With housecarls and as many fighting-men as he could gather, Harold came north at furious speed. In York, he learned that the enemy was only a short distance off, so, refusing to rest, he drove his tired men on without a pause. They came to Stamford Bridge, where the Norwegian host was camped on both banks, their armour laid aside and their ranks unformed.

Harold sent a message to Tostig. He would pardon him and restore his earldom if he came across to the English side.

"And what land will my brother give to Harald Hardrada?"

Angrily, Harold replied, "To the King of Norway, I will give six feet of English earth. No, seven feet, seeing that he is taller than other men and needs a longer grave!"

Then he gave the order to attack. The English broke through the forces on the west bank of the river but were checked by a gigantic Viking who held the bridge until he was speared from below by a soldier who had crept under the timbers. Once across the river, the English infantry cut the host to pieces and, as Harald Hardrada and Tostig lay dead on the field, they chased the remnant back to their ships.

Harold had kept his word. The most famous war-captain lay in his seven-foot grave, the pirate army was destroyed and only a few survivors were sailing ruefully back to Norway. The English buried their dead and tended the wounded, as the monks sang the Thanksgiving in York Minster.

But the wind that carried the Norwegians away brought the Normans to the coast of Sussex, where William landed his army without so much as a fishing-boat or a ploughboy to oppose him ... '


Thursday, 21 September 2017

What should be done and why should we do it?

It is taken for granted here that we need to be Christian - that is the essential frame if we want to be sane and positive.

(But, my understanding is that if we adopt the proper way of thinking and being, and pursue it honestly and with the proper intentions - it will sooner-or-later lead us to Christianity.)

What is needed is a metamorphosis of thinking - a qualitative change in the form of thinking.

(Because modern thinking is intrinsically incoherent, pathological and anti-Christian: we really must change it. Modern Man has tried and tried to believe in Christianity while thinking like a nihilist - it doesn't work. The thinking weakens, erodes, subverts the belief.)

But specifically why must we change thinking? Aside from its fundamentally anti-Christian structure and assumptions and implications; what are the reasons?

1. We have the urge and the need to change it

Positively, we want more and better than life can have with the way we currently think; negatively we are experiencing alienation and all the consequent nihilism (lack of meaning, purpose and relation).

I say 'we' have this urge and need... well I do - and that inner drive is sufficient for me; but not everybody does. Indeed, probably only few people have the urge and need, so...

2. Consequences

It is our divine destiny to move beyond our current way of thinking; this is the path of theosis by which we become more-god-like, more fully gods. We need to think the way God thinks - qualitatively.

And if we do not, then our fate will be one of corruption, decline away from the divine; and ultimately of deliberate, purposive, self-chosen degradation, god-rejection hence damnation.

(We may, or may not, experience greater suffering - but it is possible that our souls may become ruined, our spirits poisoned; even while our minds, bodies and feelings are pampered and indulged.)

3. Freedom

We want to be free - we want, that is, to be awake, conscious, self-aware and active in thought; and not to be unconscious, constrained and compelled, asleep, distracted, and passive in our thinking. The new mode of thinking is for those who really want real freedom - as a priority.  

4. We want to grow-up

At present our culture is wilfully stuck in adolescence, clinging to perpetual youth; or else we turn back from this horror and attempt (only ever with partial success, because it is doomed to fail) to return to the mode of being of childhood. But we may wish instead to grow-up, to become more-and-more intensely and frequently as-God-is in thinking: the spiritually adult way of thinking and being.

5. Living in thinking

We may wish to live in our thinking; in our newly active state of knowing; and not, as is currently usual, to live in our feelings or in our minds. We may wish to know directly and inwardly, rather than at secondhand via communications and media. We may wish to live personally, familially, uniquely and specifically; rather than generally, generically, abstractly, institutionally. And by judgement; rather than by committees, votes, procedures, consensus, coercion, laws, rules, principles, protocols...


What - exactly - should we do?

Do one thing - and that thing is Primary Thinking; or by another name, Final Participation (Owen Barfield); or by another name Pure Thinking, or the Imaginative Soul (Rudolf Steiner).

But what does this entail? How would thinking actually change? In short it is thinking of the real/ deep/ divine self - and it is thinking that we recognise as valid and unbounded (it is heady stuff this thinking!).

Many, many things would result - here collected under eight headings...

1. Metaphysics - a new set of fundamental assumptions concerning the nature of reality. This is the basis for taking primary thinking seriously - as valid; and it is also the consequence of primary thinking, seriously pursued.(A virtuous cycle.)

2. Healing - therapy for the chronic sickness of our soul, the split between self and environment - between experience and theory; which has afflicted Man ever since the commencement of modernity with its self-consciousness.

(The problem always was there, but as a child and in earlier eras were were not aware of it; we simply took experience for granted.)

Thinking has (so far) been our plague; but primary thinking can become the cure of its own disease. 

3. Meaning, purpose and relationship built-into our way of thinking (instead of being excluded by it).

4. A transformation, a beginning of evolution - the experience (and expectation of) a moving-towards the goal of metamorphosis, of a changed and better way of thinking and being.

5. Motivation. At present Western, modern Man is profoundly demotivated - he does not want to do anything very much, very far ahead or to make sacrifices for something better...

Primary thinking will be - by contrast - a joy, an enthusiasm, an excitement and an expectation; a recovery of deep and lasting motivation.

(So freedom and motivation both... that is good.)

6. Positivity, optimism. These are products of faith in the goodness of God as loving parent; and the trust that our actual lives are, therefore, adequate to fulfilling his deepest wishes for our eternal well-being. This we can know directly - unmediated - by primary thinking. With Christ's gift of repentance, we are then immune to everything life may throw at us; anything can be turned to good...

7. Agency and Freedom. Do we truly want to be free - free in our deepest thought? Live from our-selves, not coerced or passive but generative, creative? Pursuit of freedom, agency, creativity all become possible, indeed inevitable - in the deepest sense. In primary thinking, freedom is directly experienced - we can observe our freedom in-action.

8. Autonomy. Because our (true) self is divine, because God is within us, because we have direct knowledge of God; then we have a solid and certain basis for everything.

We are not dependent on the chances of institutions, society, books, preserved traditions or uncorrupted authorities... even when these are all lacking, we can survive and thrive - by trial/ error/ repentance we can develop, and move towards The Good.

We need not go it alone - we can and should accept genuine help when available and needed; but we are not dependent on the external.


Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Albion Still Asleep

This blog is called Albion Awakening. However if we identify this idea with the notion of the majority of the inhabitants of the United Kingdom waking up to spiritual truth it's clear that Albion is not going to awaken at any time soon. We are too drugged by entertainment and the media, too brainwashed by atheist/materialist propaganda, too in thrall to technology and machines and too comfortably established in our artificial (both mental and physical) environments to wake up without being forced to by pain and suffering. That may come if we really show no sign of stirring but I’m sure the powers that be only use pain as a last resort.

But if the spirit of Albion is awakened in the country that might be a different matter. I am not interested in Brexit. The EU is obviously an organisation that pursues an anti-spiritual agenda wrapped up in a liberal, humanist package. No wonder it is so popular with the educated elite who can pursue their self-indulgent way of life without disturbance. But Brexit, if it happens, will probably lead to a situation that is little different spiritually but may be worse economically. It is a red herring. However Albion, England’s spiritual alter ego, could waken from slumber as it (he? she?) has done occasionally in the past when roused by threat or great need or some other circumstance which calls out to the depths of the national soul.

If this does happen it will be on a mental or psychological level. What form could it take? Perhaps there might be an increasing disgust with the shallow superficiality of modern entertainment and a search for deeper meaning. Perhaps there might be a rediscovery of history not viewed through the distorting, self-hating lens of political correctness. Perhaps there might be a sudden realization that we are destroying our country in both its physical and natural form and in terms of its people. Or perhaps there might be a revival of interest in the stories surrounding King Arthur and other luminaries of the British past, one that responds to the true meaning of these kings, saints, poets and heroes without distortion by modernist prejudices.  But however it comes any awakening will be sensed by us through the imagination. This is why it is the imagination that it most under attack by demonic powers through the perversion of art and culture inter alia.

One thing I can guarantee though is that any incipient awakening would immediately be attacked by those powers. What I mean by this is that the demons who are currently trying to manipulate our reality to their advantage and our great loss would try to co-opt and derail any awakening as they have done in the past. As they did in the1960s, for example, when they corrupted the nascent spiritual revival with the agenda of the sexual revolution and as they did in the 1980s when New Age ideas were channeled into psychic rather than spiritual channels. Even the green movement, which had a lot of potential at one time, was hijacked and turned aside from any true spiritual direction by a left wing ideology which effectively neutralized it. 

Whenever truth appears the attempt to corrupt that truth follows. That is why we must remain vigilant whatever happens and never rest on our spiritual laurels. The dark powers always try to drag spiritual revivals down to a lower level so that the essence of the revival is lost though the form may remain. That is why purity of mind and heart is so important. Any weak spot will be sought out and exploited, whether that be lust or pride or greed or hate or fear, whatever. It is up to us to guard against these vices within ourselves. We can protect ourselves through prayer and visualization of Jesus or a favourite saint or other spiritual ideal but it is also important to be completely honest with ourselves. The devil is a liar and he works through lies and deception. He will try to get us to lie to ourselves about our motivations for example, but if we try to walk at all times in the path of love and humility while at the same time aspiring to truth at its highest then we are well protected. 

That’s hard, I know, but it’s what we have to do if we are to prevent any awakening, either personal or more general, from fizzling out into deception and disappointment. 

God needs his foot soldiers in this world and if you are called to that position, as most people reading this blog probably are, then you are fortunate indeed even if you suffer in your worldly life as it is more than likely you will. We have been assured that any hardship here and now will be more than compensated for later on.