Friday, 18 August 2017

Prophecy versus numerology - And living well, here and now

I do not believe that divine destiny is organised in terms of numbers, therefore it cannot be predicted from numerical patterns. I don't believe that God follows a timetable for human salvation and theosis; nor do I believe that theological history is following an abstract geometrical master plan expressive of specific proportions.

I regard time as serial and sequential; as implied by the fact that Christianity is an historical religion and the fact of free agency (hence non-predictability).

And therefore, I am sure that all prophecies of divinely-ordained events which are tied to specific dates are intrinsically wrong - because derived from false premises.

However, the validity of prophecy as such is not ruled-out - indeed it would be difficult and inconsistent for a Christian to rule-out the validity of prophecy, considering its emphasis in the Gospels (as well as elsewhere in the Bible).

All that is uncertain concerning the validity of prophecy as a general phenomenon (not each specific prophecy, of course) is the mechanisms by which prophecy is made to be fulfilled - and here there are presumably many ways and means by which a prophesied event can be made to come to fulfilment - ranging from predictions based upon extrapolation from a very complete basis of knowledge, to direct divine interventions (whether explicit and miraculous, or behind-the-scenes imperceptible).

For me, the most impressive and overall-convincing prophecy I have encountered was by Rudolf Steiner in 1918; something I have extensively written about previously.

I believe that this was a true prophecy - and a vital one, which has primary implications for what we (individually - you and me) should be doing in our lives; as a major priority. However I would also emphasise that Steiner made many more prophecies which were not validated, or were indeed either nonsensical or incomprehensible - including many that were based upon exactly that kind of 'numerology' which I rejected in the first paragraph above.

Which goes to show that although Steiner was a real prophet, he was (like most other prophets) fallible and flawed: being a real prophet does not imply getting-it-right all-the-time (nor even, quantitatively, most of the time).

As usual - as, indeed, the world has been designed - we need to work-out such things, each for himself. Life isn't a matter of following a program; because each person is different - ultimately, not superficially different; and is meant to be different; and each has a different path of divine destiny that must be (and this is a vital part of it) discovered by personal effort.

(At the basis of creation is that we are all hoped/ intended/ given-the-choice to become divine sons and daughters of God; and like mortal sons and daughters, each divine son or daughter is (and is designed to be, supposed to be) unique in his or her divinity; this resulting from the over-time experience of God-within-us that we all share identically, interacting with our eternal/ unique/ divine selves.) 

My understanding of Steiner's 1918 prophecy is that he described what we ought to do - what God wanted us to do, and still does - and what would happen if we chose not to do it. (This was both a warning, at the time it was given - and is now a means of validating the prophecy.)

Steiner knew what God wanted us to do because he was (in this instance) unusually able to discern this from God-within-him; and he predicted, largely correctly, what would happen if we did not do it from his general understanding of Life and the powers at work in it.

(Steiner's other prophecies were wrong from the usual kind of human failings; especially a characterological reluctance to acknowledge past errors and the possibility of present error. Also from his Pythagorean/ Platonic tendencies towards strict numerology and God as a blueprint-planner. Steiner displayed a fairly common form of pride, especially in men - a fixed baseline assumption of de facto infallibility. One is hard-pressed to find a place when Steiner explicitly admitted to a significant mistake; at least not without also making so many explanations and excuses for his error that the admission is in effect undercut and reversed.)

The value of this and other real prophecies is to clarify causes and consequences; and therefore to clarify our priorities - the nature and direction of our efforts.

In the case of Steiner's 1918 prophecy, this clarifies that the Christianity of the future must be different from the Christianity of the past (which, with time as sequential and history as real, would necessarily be the case); and that we must be focused on re-establishing our individual and personal connection with the imperceptible, immaterial, spiritual world; but in a new and unprecedented way.

(Steiner made the specific recommendation that this be done by the general method of Anthroposophy - and in a general sense of the aim of the spiritual activity I regard this as correct; although Steiner's specific recommended techniques and meditative 'exercises', framed in terms of a stepwise process of 'initiation', are unconvincing, arbitrary and apparently ineffective - or even counter-productive in practice.) 

In my life this means that I keep-on trying to change my world view from the prevalent modern spirit-denying metaphysics of materialism/ reductionism/ positivism/ scientism - but not in the direction of trying to revive that early historical and childhood spirituality of immersion-in, and sensory-perception-of, the spiritual world. My aim is to develop the habit of experiencing the reality of the spiritual, immaterial and divine world in the domain and activity of thinking.

I seek a direct knowledge of reality - a knowledge located in my thinking, not my perceiving - of the divine and spiritual realities; such that I can live properly from my own resources even when all (or nearly all) significant social institutions are corrupted and inverted. 

In sum, we should not strive to see or hear (or touch, smell or taste) spirits and divinities and unseen realities; instead we should strive to know them in our thinking.

This, at any rate, is what I am doing.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

What is the significance of the upcoming US total eclipse?

On 21 August a total eclipse of the sun will sweep across the entirety of the USA. Does this event have any significance - aside from the astronomical angle?

Eclipses seem to have had a bad reputation in ancient times, being regarded as portents of disaster. Assuming that the world has long been in the grip of a spiritual war between god and evil, angelic and demonic powers - why might this be?

My interpretation is that evil powers are the ones who most like to plan and strategise, and use symbolism. This (I guess) is because they tend to ignore free agency - they try to overwhelm people's ability to perceive clearly, understand real significance, make good decisions. An eclipse is just the kind of thing they would look-forward to.

The sun is good, and a symbol of good (indeed of Christ) - so solar influence being blocked (even temporarily) is symbolically 'a bad thing'. There is also a tradition of evil, or at least ambivalent, symbolism of the moon - which is doing the blocking... however, I interpret this as a deceptive distortion of reality, and that the moon is also good, but in a different and complementary way from the sun.

In sum, I would not be surprised if the forces of evil had something planned for the eclipse. Yet, if the forces of evil are planning, then the forces of good will know that something is being planned; and perhaps will know what it is. The angelic strategy is, however, different - because the angels hope that Men will perceive and think clearly about reality, and exercise their agency to choose well - whatever happens.

And the eclipse is also a hazard for evil, because it is potentially a great big primary experience that may induce people to think about ultimates and realities... always something that favours Good.

So, the demons and their servants will - I guess - be very keen that people experience the eclipse only at second hand - via the mass media; and that the experience will be undermined by social media and technology (if someone is trying to get a good photograph of the eclipse, they will not be having a spiritual experience).

So, maybe what we ought to do is to experience the solar eclipse (whether the totality or more likely some degree of partial eclipse) in as simple, direct, quiet, thoughtful and solitary fashion as may be contrived...

Tolkien in Love

For those who can receive BBC Radio 4 there is an interesting programme this Saturday (19th August) at 2.30pm. Tolkien in Love is a radio drama about how the great man (or boy as he was then since he was only 16) met and fell in love with the 19 year Edith Bratt but was then separated from her for 3 years by his priest guardian in order to complete his education and prepare for an academic career.  The couple remained faithful to each other during the separation, and Tolkien wrote to Edith on his 21st birthday asking her to marry him. She accepted though there were still one or two obstacles along the way as one finds out during the course of this drama. The play is described as based on real events that would later inspire the tale of Beren and Luthien, featured in the Silmarillion.

One fears the worst when anything like this is produced nowadays but I've heard a preview of the programme and I enjoyed it. The acting is good, especially, I thought, that of Claudia Jessie who plays Edith but the actor playing Tolkien, Will Merrick, is fine too though it's a bit of a shock to hear Tolkien played as a very young man with a present day accent, so firmly fixed in the mind is the image of him as a tweed-suited old gentleman with a pipe. But the modernisms are not too jarring. All in all I would definitely recommend it.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Impression From Above

I was very interested to read Bruce Charlton's recent piece here 'That Hideous Strength Revisited' because it almost exactly coincides with what I think. I say 'almost' as there is one slight difference. Those who have read my personal blog will know that it derives from an experience I had that started in 1979 and continued, on and off, until 1999 in which I was spoken to by spiritual beings who instructed me in the ways of the spiritual path, particularly with regard to my own deficiencies in that respect. So this finished just before the start of the current millennium (and also just before the solar eclipse of 1999 which I see as a kind of punctuation mark in the story of recent human development).

Now these spiritual beings did not identify themselves but they were distinguished by a wisdom and love not of this world. They were not ostensibly Christian but the only spiritual teacher they ever referred to was Jesus and, as far as I was concerned, they spoke as disciples of Christ, emphasising above all the need for the aspirant to truth to acquire humility and love. They were clearly not Catholics or Protestants or whatever, such distinctions I feel must be left behind in Heaven, but, to me at any rate, they demonstrated the reality of theosis, of men of this world transformed into realised spiritual beings.

I am well aware that this is dodgy ground. The possibility, even likelihood, of illusion and deception in this area is huge. But I must speak as I found.

Anyway I only mention this because it is the slight area of disagreement I have with Bruce. It is possible that beings such as those who spoke to Ransom in That Hideous Strength may speak to us. Not that I regard those who spoke to me as mighty angels like the eldils but they were from the higher worlds. Having said that, I must add that these Masters, as I called them, never told me what to do, and I think Bruce is absolutely right to say that now, at this juncture in human unfoldment, we are on our own, outwardly at least. They gave me personal spiritual instruction on a fairly basic, though pertinent, level but that was all. The rest was up to me. And I do think it significant that this stopped at the turn of the millennium.

They did however tell me that when they stopped speaking to me they would communicate in a different way. They also told me that they tried to impress me with ideas which I would receive on the level of the intuition though it was up to me to learn to discriminate between the truth of that and what they termed wishful thinking. I think I am sometimes aware of this and can distinguish between the two but who knows? This is where purity of intent, devotion to truth and strict personal honesty come in and which of us is perfect in those respects? We can but try and through trying we learn and improve, both in what you might call spiritual transparency and sensitivity to truth. That is a far better thing than simply carrying out instructions. This way we learn to become masters ourselves - eventually. 

I think this is the same as Bruce means when he writes of angels communicating with us by joining their thinking with ours. They impress us on a spiritual plane and we translate that impression as best we can, according to the degree of our own receptivity. It is not the same thing as telepathy which operates on a lower level, a purely mental one. This process operates on the spiritual plane and requires a sensitivity to that plane on our part. Without that sensitivity, which is dependent to a large extent on inner purity and love of truth, we will not be able to respond to spiritual impression though we may well respond to impressions from lower levels which is why there is so much spiritual confusion in this world, and why it is often easier for false ideas to gain traction than true ones, necessarily more demanding in terms of our ability to live them.

It may be that there are genuine spiritual beings communicating directly with their disciples in this world nowadays, but I am not aware of such and from my own perspective the time for that is past. Bruce is right to say that now we are responsible for ourselves and must seek to live from the highest position we can while under constant bombardment from the prince of this world who has more or less taken over completely in terms of all aspects of the outer world. He dominates the political and cultural worlds, the educational and scientific ones too, and he has corrupted most forms of religion and spirituality. I'm afraid that is just how things are. 

But we are not alone. The spiritual world is always with us and seeks to inspire us, but we must cleanse our hearts and minds to be able to detect this. We must stand aside from 'this world' but not disdain it or our fellow men and women even when they are in thrall to the enemy (let's call a spade a spade). They are God's children just as we are. He wants to bring them to him however far they wander but, ultimately, it is their choice. God forces no one.

So listen for the voice within. Blot out the noise of this world, however persuasive and confident it sounds. Know that the darkness of this time was prophesied and so was the light that eventually follows after. Keep faithful, watch and pray and don't worry if you appear to be alone. By and large the computer revolution is a weapon in the hands of the forces of materialism and atheism but you can take advantage of it too, as this blog does, if you recognise and stay alert to its predominantly negative aspect. Through this means you can connect to people around the world who think as you do and so know that there are others like you. You may be heavily outnumbered but you are not alone. Through enduring this time of trial you have the opportunity of making greater progress than you might have done living in a more spiritually congenial time.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

That Hideous Strength Revisited and Revised

I am currently halfway through listening to the excellent audiobook version of CS Lewis's That Hideous Strength ('THS'), read by Stephen Pacey (who played Del Tarrant in the excellent 1970s BBC Sci-Fi series Blake's 7).

From a perspective and through a lens derived from CS Lewis's best friend Owen Barfield; I can imagine a revised version of THS, in line with my understanding of our situation some seventy years on from the publication of THS in 1945...

One major difference would be that Lewis has his heroes (the St Anne's fellowship) essentially passive in their obedience to orders coming from the 'angelic' helpers. Nowadays, we would not receive these orders. We would have-to work things out for ourselves, as best we could. Or, more exactly, we would need to develop the spiritual perspective and abilities which would enable this working-out. We would need to develop what Barfield termed Final Participation.

Final Participation is something which can only come from the choice and will or each of us, as individuals. It cannot be conferred upon us - indeed the essence of it is that we are free and agent. Final Participation is precisely a personal, experiential effort-full thing. We need to look-within to seek god-in-us, to find our divine self - and to become aware of this. 

Here and now - we aren't going to be able to wait or hope for leadership; probably we will be literally on-our-own: alone... at least in many practical respects. This because our current situation is not a recapitulation of monasticism or the like; the destruction, subversion and inversion of groups is at the heart of the evil of our modern condition.

A modern THS would perhaps be about the good characters, the heroes of St Anne's, individually and dispersed. About moral choices made alone and in the context of an overwhelmingly large and powerful Establishment of Evil that is not recent (like The NICE in THS), but has been in place and in control for at least two generations.

The angels ('eldils') would not be perceptible in the necessary state of consciousness of Final Participation; they would not visit, we could not see them - and neither would we hear them speak in words; not even words formed in our minds. Instead, angels would communicate directly by joining their thinking with ours.

However, we - in our thinking - would always be free and agent - in control. Hence we could block contact with the angels, if we chose. And we could not (merely) open our minds to them. Rather, we would actively be thinking is such a way that we could share in their thoughts, and they in ours.

How could help come? In defeating a vast and powerful evil Establishment, clearly help is essential. THS had the Original Participation magic of Merlin, and direct and miraculous aid from the eldils/ angels. What might we have, now?

Well, it would be imperceptible to direct observation. It would be behind the scenes - by synchronicity. Natural phenomena (rain, wind, sun, tides, earth movements...) would - 'coincidentlally' - favour Good and be hostile to evil.

Enemies would be repenting (as the situation clarifies) and changing sides, ceasing to do their evil duties, turning to sabotage the evil plans.

There would be events of exceeding improbability - actually miracles, but always explicable in terms of chance. Perfect-Storms of 'luck' - both good and ill 'luck' - good fortune for the Good and adverse chance for the evil. Cumulatively piling-on, and on.

(These being proximal consequences of distal and subtle angelic interventions; behind-the-scenes changes of arrangements; altering small upstream occurrences to generate large downstream effects...)

How about our own personal strength, motivation, will - and love? How could these be sustained when we are on-our-own? I assume there will be positive-feedback reinforcements of such things. As the situation develops, evil becomes clearer, becomes un-masked. Because evil is a trial of our strength and a mode of spiritual development; it may be like exercising in a gym - immediate effort being rewarded, some time after, by greater strength.

The key and core is motivation; the guiding principle is honesty; and the goal is love (towards which we are pointed by the discernment of the heart; which knows truth, beauty and virtue - and their opposites).

We must be self-sufficient in terms of motivations; but this is only possible through the gift of repentance from Christ. Trial and error will get us where we need to be; but only when error is acknowledged and repented.

The war is between those who acknowledge and experience the spiritual world, the immaterial world, the world of God; and those who don't. Between those who know we are all children of God and destined to become free; and those who believe themselves and everyone else to be evolved automata subject to rigid determinism alleviated only by randomness. Between those who take ultimate responsibility and look to god-within; and those who hope for external intervention for rescue.

The happy ending of a new THS would be very happy indeed! A world of free, agent, people affiliated in loving families and with close friends; a world therefore open-ended, of creativity. Not a utopia; but an active, developing, expanding, deeply-rewarding world of perpetual interest, challenges, increasing awareness and understanding - making, doing and thinking.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Taliesin - Bard of Britain

'Time present and time past are both perhaps present in time future, and time future contained in time past.' So wrote the poet, T.S. Eliot, and I was by his side as he crafted his words. I guided the hands of Shakespeare, Blake and Milton too. I shouldered arms beside the great defenders of this realm -  from Churchill and Nelson to Alfred and Arthur. I was a hod carrier when the Cathedrals soared heavenwards and a Master Druid when the stone circles were made. I lit candles with the saints - Cuthbert and Bede, Boniface and Hilda, Alban and Kentigern - exemplars of this holy isle. I was a guide, my lantern carving a path through the mist as Joseph of Arimathea - on his second visit to Albion - brought the sacred chalice to Glastonbury. For I had stood on St. Michael's Mount thirty years before, a wild Prince of the West, welcoming him as a trader (along with his nephew, the boy Jesus) to these rocky shores.

So much for the past. I shape the present and future as well. It is all one, as Eliot knew - a seamless robe, a unified field. I see, hear, feel and experience it all. Nothing under Albion's moon and sun is strange to my eye or foreign to my heart. It is a burden both crushing and exhilarating - a  mixed chalice, a weight of glory.

It wasn't always like this though. My boyhood was simplicity itself. I was brought up in Deganwy on the Clwyd coast, midway between the Great Orme and Conwy Castle. Gwion was my name. My Mum and Dad (I miss them so much) were poor but loving. I wish those times would come back, I really do - throwing stones into the sea with my Mum at Llandudno, while my Dad carried me halfway up the Orme on his back. 

I ran errands in those days, in exchange for stickers and sweets, for a lady named Ceridwen who lived in a big house behind the bay. I was friends with her son, Afagddu, who was my age and blind. I honestly don't think his blindness bothered him at all. He was able to play ball (the ball had a bell in it), build dens and run on the sand without any hardship. But Miss Ceridwen (I never caught sight nor sound of any husband) fretted and fussed continually. I heard her tell Mrs. Griffiths next door that Afagddu's blindness would hold him back in life and that she wanted to compensate somehow. He was a quiet boy too, you see. His words, though well chosen, were few. His mother thought he was withdrawn - walling himself off from the world. She would sit with him for ages - looking at him, hugging him, talking to him - trying to prise open the secrets of his mind. 

As I say, I didn't think there was anything wrong, but Afagddu was my friend and I respected Ceridwen greatly. I was keen to help, so when she asked me to stay at the house for a year and a day and watch over a potion she was brewing for him I asked no questions but accepted gladly. She showed me a cauldron on the front room carpet - sapphire blue with a rim of pearls - then gave me a ladle and strict orders not to taste a drop.

That was an easy instruction, and I had no problem whatsoever until the last couple of days. The cauldron started to bubble and hiss, and no matter how much I stirred I couldn't calm it down. I was worried about the carpet getting wet, but what eventually happened knocked that into a cocked hat. It was the second last night, mid-summer's eve. I peered over the pearly rim to see if the ladle was needed when the water spat and leapt up, like it had a mind of its own, stinging my hand and splashing my thumb. 'Ow,' I exclaimed, 'that's hot.' I put my thumb to my mouth to cool it down and in that instant, there and then, saw and knew everything that ever was, is now and ever shall be - individually and collectively - my soul's journey through time and space and the whole history of this land, from the song of creation to the consummation of the age. Then Ceridwen appeared in the doorway, took one look and knew ...

Her scream rent the air as hands stretched out to tear my face to shreds. I saw the blow coming, jinked past and darted out the door onto the lamplit bay. I meant to turn left towards Holyhead and Ireland, but in my confusion turned right instead towards England. I ran by the light of the moon, Ceridwen gaining all the time, across the sand and shingle, until my legs turned to jelly and my knees began to buckle. 'If only I could change into a hare,' I thought, and as soon as I'd imagined it, there I was, a boy no more but a milk-white hare, bounding along the beach three times faster than before. But my spirits sank when I looked behind. Ceridwen had vanished but now there was a greyhound on my trail, sleek and slavering and four times as fast.

The chase continued for a night and a day, through wind and warmth and summer showers, under moon and sun and stars. Beyond Flint Castle, I grew weary. The dog snapped and snarled at my heels.

There was no way I could race her all the way to England. The Wirral peninsula loomed into view on my left. So I changed tack, turned into a salmon and sprang into the sea, only to be followed, swiftly and inevitably, by a gleaming, rapacious otter. 

I reached Liverpool at dawn, hoping to shimmy between the ships, become a boy again and lose my pursuer in the harbour buildings or down in the crypt of the Catholic Cathedral. I glanced up, saw a seagull circling the Radio City Tower and switched plans on the spot, turning into a pigeon and soaring into the sky like the kites I used to see over Colwyn Bay. It wasn't long, however, before I heard the thrum of wings behind me. Blast! There was a hawk on my tail now, poised and regal, sizing me up and waiting for the first sign of fatigue. 

The land drifted by below, a patchwork mosaic of rivers, motorways, medium-sized towns and parkland with more rugby posts - pointing up like white, accusatory fingers - than I'd ever seen before. By the time I got to Manchester I was flagging badly. I aimed for the city centre, thinking I could dive down into the throng, disguise myself as an ant and shake off my shadow in the urban mêlée. But the wind blew me off course, somewhere to the north and east. My strength failed. I could barely flap my wings. So I pinned them back and crash-landed into a haystack, changing at the last second into a grain of corn. I congratulated myself on my ingenuity. But not for long. A red and gold hen clattered through the hay, tossing yellow stalks aside with her scimitar-esque beak. I lay at the bottom, prostrate and forlorn. The hen saw me, stood over me, squawked in triumph, and swallowed me whole.

Darkness covered me. Warmth and wetness too. I no longer discerned the great themes so clearly - Albion's history, my own destiny and so forth - but I knew where I was - Ceridwen's womb - where we were - the Pennines - and what we were doing - wandering meditatively through the mountains, pausing often, sometimes for days on end, at wayside chapels and hidden wells, buried like treasure amidst the rocks and scree.

It was a quiet time - a time of rest, reflection and growth. I was an embryo, then a foetus, then an unborn babe, growing in awareness, strength and size, conscious of Ceridwen's sorrow and ongoing anxiety over her son. My intuition told me, however, that Afaggdu was doing just fine in her absence. Father Dafyd, the parish priest, would have taken him under his wing and he'd have Mrs. Griffiths' two sons, Pwyll and Arawn, to play catch with. But I felt bad on his account. as well. The potion was meant for Affagdu, after all, not me. But there was nothing I could do about it now, just wait to be born and trust that Ceridwen wouldn't kill me.

I didn't think she would, if I'm honest. I didn't expect any favours but the nine months in the mountains had clearly done her good, softening her heart, taking the edge off her anger and easing, if only a little, her maternal fears. And so I was born, tied up in a brown cloth bag and left to float down a winding, mountain stream.

I let the waters take me, ceasing to worry and even to think. Many was the waterfall I tumbled down and many the bumpy landing, until the hour came when I felt strong hands pulling me out, untying the bag and holding me up to the light of day for the first time in a year.

Sunlight smashed through leaf and branch, the river danced and glinted. The mighty tower of Durham Cathedral rose steep and sheer above, while before me I saw the face a of a man - careworn but strong and lit from within with surprise and delight. 'Behold,' he cried. 'What do I see? A miraculous catch indeed. I will call the Taliesin - Shining Brow - for that is what thou art.'

I was baptised in the Cathedral's great font a week and a day later, next to the tomb of St. Cuthbert.  My new Dad, whose name was Elffin, carried me up the spiral staircase to the top of the tower straight after. His wife, Rhonnwyn, was there too. He held me aloft and I looked upon the land, rolling out before me like a magic carpet, all the way to Newcastle and the Silver Sea beyond. A light drizzle, like a second dose of holy water, splashed my bald baby head and my prophetic powers were instantly restored. 

The story of Britain unfolded before my inner eye, unfurling like a tapestry or scroll. It was a magnificent tale, tainted here and there by materialism and greed, but powered in the main by courage and creative flair. I saw as far as the Dark Time and the light that shines beyond it - the spiritual blindness that beset the land, the implosion of the House of Windsor, then the War of Contending Flags - black and multi-coloured - that laid the Island of the Mighty waste. And then that winter dawn when a King of ancient line returned from the East, stepping down from his ship at Thanet as the Romans did of old. A universal shout of joy rang out across the realm and that night Arthur's Beacons were relit, from St. Michael's Mount to Flamborough Head. Next day the rumours began - from Devon and Cornwall - that Jesus Himself was back, walking along the rocky shore, telling stories, healing the sick, and giving bread and wine to rich and poor and good and bad alike.

A veil descends and I see these things no more, just Afaggdu and myself on Llandudno beach, throwing a shining, tinkling ball back and forth in looping, parabolic arcs. Ceridwen watches on contentedly while my old Mum and Dad wave and take pictures from the crowded pier.

I think again of Eliot and of that most pure and noble of English mystics, Mother Julian of Norwich. For I was a cobbler in the city while she dwelt amongst us, and it was after I had come to her window one Friday afternoon to pour out my heart (as we all did) and receive her blessing that she wrote those famous words of sustenance and grace:

'All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.'

And I, Taliesin, Bard of Britain, I who see, feel, sense and know it all - the power and the glory, the sorrow and the shame - can vouch and testify that her vision holds the truth. 

Yea, and more than this. The fire and the rose, as the poet wrote, will be one again, and Jerusalem - that city of soldiers, saints and poets - will shine forth once more upon England's clouded hills - a beacon, a fountain, an iridescent jewel - the City of God and capital of the Golden Age to come. 


All images in this piece come courtesy of my friend and collaborator Rob Floyd. Rob's art is rich in religious and mythological symbolism. His work, I am sure, will prove a source of stimulation and inspiration for readers of Albion Awakening. His oeuvre can be viewed in full at his website -

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Spiritual Destruction or Awakening - The Choice is Ours.

Bruce Charlton has pointed out that Western economies would probably have collapsed some time ago if they weren't being artificially kept going by behind the scenes movers and shakers. He concludes, rightly I think, that this is because present day conditions are well nigh ideal for spiritual destruction. We have a comfortable material existence and a superficially plausible explanation for why life exists, plausible enough to satisfy those who aren't willing to look more deeply anyway, coupled with a technology that gives us an abundance of toys to distract us from our inner emptiness. 

Furthermore the sexual revolution has led to a spiritual desensitivity which would have shocked our ancestors, the wisest of whom knew that releasing the sexual energy from a proper constraint (constraint not repression) is profoundly destructive on many levels, both spiritual and material. The wisest knew and the rest more or less followed, certainly in terms of how society and culture were ordered which is the important thing. Laws will always be broken but without law there is chaos, and that's what we have today if you observe from the vantage point of the spiritual plane.

Now this deferment of collapse can't go on forever but it seems it will go on for as long as possible, the better to entrap as many souls as possible in a downward spiral. Where does this lead? Traditionally one would have said it leads to damnation but I must confess I have a hard time believing that to be the case, given God's love and his mercy. At the same time, I also have a hard time in seeing how souls that consistently reject God and prefer the bad, the ugly and the false to the Good, the Beautiful and the True, which is what the majority do today, can escape the consequences of their actions. You might say that most people simply go along with the status quo, and that is undoubtedly so. But that is to ignore the fact that we all have God within us, and we all have the spiritual teachings of the past to guide us, now more accessible than at any time if we can be bothered to make the effort to look. 

Yes, people, especially the young, live and are growing up during a period of terrible corruption. I was told in the 1990s that we were living at a time of the greatest vulgarity in the history of the planet. Vulgarity was the word used but, in the manner used, it implied a lot more than just simple coarseness. It meant decadence, corruption and spiritual ignorance. It meant declining taste, lack of dignity and ugliness. Now, of course, things are significantly worse. So people, in particular young people with a debased culture, both popular and intellectual, are subject to appalling influences and temptations. But still the way out exists for those who will pay attention to the voice of truth within them. Outer institutions are useless so the way out is actually the way in but ultimately that's what it's always been, even when institutions helped rather than hindered the spiritual quest as used to be the case.

So we may be living in a time of spiritual darkness and deprivation but that is the test. Will we allow ourselves to fall into line with that because of a willful (and the will is always involved) lack of response to truth or will we listen to God's voice within? Will we follow the herd and the line of least resistance or will we acknowledge conscience and hearken to the intuition? We have the choice and if the choice is hard that is only because it must be to be a true test of our mettle, our spiritual quality and our good will. I believe that now we have, as probably never before, not on the same scale anyway, a sorting out of the sheep from the goats or, if you like, of the good seed from the bad. Today there is a real sifting of souls.

The good seed will go on as intended to the spiritual worlds there to blossom and flower, doubtless after more tests and purification even if the main test is here, but the bad seed will not. As I said earlier, I can't bring myself to believe in a permanent damnation, not in most cases. Most people who don't turn to God are not that bad and they do have good within them, sometimes a lot of good. (You might say many have more good within them than many who do turn to God but then I would reply that these people have not really turned to God, not in the heart). So some of this bad or, shall we say, unsprouted, seed could be burnt and the life within it/them recycled, but I think that is relatively rare. Most might be replanted elsewhere to learn the lessons they have refused to learn here, probably under stricter conditions. They are given another chance to become what they should be but they will still have to experience the results of their wrong choices in this world. I don't think it will be easy for them, given their rejection of truth in this life.

The dark powers, of course, want to keep as many souls from God as possible and that is why they are working so hard now. Whether lost souls benefit them directly, as some sort of accumulation of spiritual energy which they can tap, or whether they simply derive pleasure in corruption, destruction and attempting to spite God, I don't know. Perhaps both so they find a perverse satisfaction in diverting souls from their proper spiritual path, which, let's face it, is most these days, but their main goal is spiritual destruction, to separate souls as far as possible from God.

The question is why has the devil chosen now to strike in this manner? And why has God allowed it? It is clear that this time in history has been known about for ages. It has been predicted in most religions, this falling away from God into spiritual desolation. As regards the second question, it seems to me that God has allowed it because it constitutes a good test for the seeds as spoken of above. Out of evil can come good. But it is also a perfect time for the devil to make his strongest move yet because it is a time when his words will be most heeded, and that for two reasons. One, we are at the end of an age, the time of the so called Kali Yuga when the distance matter has travelled from initiating spirit is at its greatest. That means the barriers between the spiritual and the material worlds are denser than they have ever been so it is much easier to deny the existence of the spiritual and believe the material is all there is. It is easier to think that mind and consciousness derive from matter rather than the other way round which is the correct view. You do have to make a positive choice.

The second reason has to do with the spiritual adolescence of humanity. We have left behind our childhood and moved into the rebellious teenage phase, a perfect time for the devil. We are now sufficiently free to make consciously wrong decisions and to pursue egotistic short-sighted ends. In the past not enough of us would have been conscious enough to do this. Now humanity as a whole is conscious enough to rebel and to defy but not sufficiently conscious to realize what it is doing - even though it should, that is not meant as an excuse. We can take a big step forward into a freer, more conscious existence in which we start to become participators with God in a more active sense than heretofore. We can be consciously, positively spiritual and not just passive taggers along with the energies of creation. Or we can refuse to do that and follow our own wills. So there's a risk, greater consciousness and freedom, or, if we don't follow the God within and listen only to our lower mind and ego, potential spiritual disaster.

There's a lot to play for and at the moment the game is not going very well. But then nor did it seem to be at the time of the Crucifixion and God still had a few tricks up his sleeve, if you'll forgive the expression. All we can do is keep the faith, remembering that the devil does not just foster materialism and atheism, he also seeks to pervert and corrupt any nascent spirituality both outwardly as in religions and teachings, and inwardly as in how we respond to truth once we start to awaken, whether pridefully or humbly, superficially or with depth of insight. Awakening is just the beginning. Once awake we can still make any number of bad choices and will do unless we seek always to walk in the light of Christ.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

Comments invited - readers speak-out!

After a year; the readership, of this blog as measured by page views, is disproportionately British (compared with my personal blogs, which are all numerically and proportionately dominated by a US readership)  - and there seem to be several hundred views per day, roughly 5,000 per month (86K in total).

So far, so good...

But I have very little idea of who is reading this blog, and why?

Would regular readers of Albion Awakening care to step forward into the comments section below, and let us know? 

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Our rulers are waging a spiritual war, they are not trying to provoke civil war or social collapse

There is as much evidence as ever there has been in history that our rulers are actively and strategically evil, plotting the spiritual damnation of their societies by officially imposed inversions of The Good - but therefore they are not plotting the economic/ material destruction of The West (not least because they could have achieved this long ago, but have chosen to prop-up the economy and sustain civil order).

What seems to be desired, aimed-at strategically, is a continual state of paralysing existential fear and resentment; rather than any overpowering emotion, or actual war or collapse - because that sort of thing might lead to repentance and action.

So, our (demonically-controlled) leadership class want an incremental and sustained crumbling of society into a long-term state of fear and resentment, of Christian rejection and the embrace of a hedonic, short-termist ethic; a love of ugliness; a discourse of continual and pervasive dishonesty... that kind of thing.  

This is after all spiritual warfare, with different goals than physical war (physical war has sometimes been, overall, spiritually healthy - or so it seems).

Unfortunately, Albion regards spiritual warfare as non-existent nonsense; hence it is invisible - and the conspiracy theorist accusations of  a hidden elite maximising this-worldly human suffering are clearly untrue.

Therefore nothing can or will be done; unless or until Albion awakens to awareness of the spiritual realm.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Reject the World

To know a true spirituality you must go against the world. That is why all forms of spirituality that fall into line with the world and adopt its ways fail.

The world always tries to coerce and co-opt the spiritual and bend it to its own aims and ambitions, but if you are serious about truth you must reject the world. I don't mean you must abandon the world and become a monk but you must reject the 'wisdom' of the world.  This was never more true than it is today when practically all forms of spirituality and religion have, in one way or another, allowed themselves to be heavily influenced, if not corrupted, by the world. This makes life easier for them but it also means they fail in their function of offering a valid path to spiritual truth. How can they when they have been absorbed by that which is the enemy from which they are trying to escape?

This doesn't mean that everything in the world is wrong but it is the world that should conform to spiritual truth not vice versa as is all too often the case now. Nor does it mean there is nothing good that can come from the world but when it concerns truths about reality, about the meaning of life and the facts of human nature, then the world must always conform to the teachings of religion and to spiritual insight.

It might seem from this that I am recommending a religious fundamentalism but not at all. I see that as the opposite extreme to worldliness and no answer to the question of how to attain a real spiritual sensibility. Fundamentalism is too concerned with the letter of religion and not enough with its heart or essence. It focuses too much on the outer aspects of religion and therefore, in its own way, is worldly even if it is religious. The true rejection of the world goes beyond the world. It does not just react to it.

If Albion is ever to awaken from its spiritual paralysis caused by the E.U. and the U.K. and all the politics and culture and science and art of contemporary civilisation, it must open its eyes, wipe away the grime that has overlaid its vision and shake off the slavery of the worldly mind. Wake up! Ultimately the spiritual and the material, God and the world, are both part of the same oneness but that can only be known when the whole is seen from the top down, when all is seen in the light of the spiritual. Now we have the reverse of that and the spiritual is seen, if it is seen at all, in the light of the material which kills it. And that is why we must reject the world.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Jerusalem in Albion - What would a national awakening look like?

A terrific realisation of the reality of life... A recognition that we live in a world of beings; that we personally are placed here for a purpose.

(To know our true thoughts; that all such thoughts are true. To realise that such thinking is imagination; to recognise imagination and know it as true thinking. And truth as universal - to live from that knowledge.)


When the change came there were signs. The sun was different, the moon also - the airs and winds and waters... because all are sentient and knew (in their way) that the time had come. The very earth, too - in its slow vast movements.

Invisible waves, forces, radiations also changed. Everywhere there were signs - for those who could think, and knew their thinking to be true.

As for the others - well, their dreams knew; whenever their egos were stripped away, their emotions knew.

The children knew - the younger they were, the more they perceived it.

But the change was primarily in Men - because that is reality; that is how creation is organised...

There was change - the choice was recognising this change - and it was a change in thinking. It was not, essentially, out-there - and it did not impose itself on people. It was deniable...

Some Men inverted their thinking, systematically inverted their evaluations, inverted their discernment. Shielded their real selves and thought by inculcated habits - or refused to think for themselves, to know for themselves.

True thinking was consciously prevented.


The great awakening we all await (or have been pre-programmed to ignore) is mostly a sudden and convinced awareness of the true nature of life; and a rapid, decisive, appalled turning-away-from the ubiquity of superficial, pointless distractions and lies.

We first must know the way things are, understand the great issues that confront us, the nature of our situation.

Then we will each decide.

Decide which side we will join - or opt-out.

Shakespeare, Blake and Albion's mission

Portrait of Wm. Shakespeare by Wm. Blake

The nations and races, and certain historical individuals born into them, have their special relation to each stage in the evolution of consciousness. Thus Rudolf Steiner often said that the English nation is the nation of the Consciousness Soul.

[Consciousness Soul = the modern, materialist, alienated state]. 

England is the island nation; it is England whose greatest writer creates a marvellous gallery of individual 'characters' - every conceivable type of man except the mystic; it is England out of which the scientific spirit arises; it is England who, alike in sport and economics, sees the world as an aggregate of free competing units; and it is the English speaking peoples who, for good or ill, are taking the lead in the present age; which is the age of the Consciousness Soul.

To say this about the English nation is not to suggest that it is ultimately more important in the scheme of things than any other nation; it is to suggest that in the present age it bears a specially heavy responsibility. 

What signs are there that England may live up to her responsibility and perform her mission? She can only do this by a right development of her consciousness; for out of consciousness all free actions spring. 

If there are any signs at all that England may live up to her responsibility and perform her mission  [written before 1944], these are at present to be found not in the centre but at the periphery; not in the public man but in a few private men; and not so much in the town as in the country. 

Perhaps the growing popularity of Blake's 'Jerusalem' heralds a dim awakening of purpose? The problem of the right action of England must be connected with the right development of the Consciousness Soul; and Blake seems, in a remarkable way, to have felt himself the spokesman of this development. 

Blake is really complementary to Shakespeare; because if Shakespeare represented every kind of man except the mystic, Blake could apparently conceive of no other!

To Blake, logic is something that has to be, not ignored, but conquered: overcome. Imagination and the redeemer are almost synonymous; and Albion is a symbol for universal Man. 

Logic and the experience of Nature as 'matter' and unfree morality based on the law emanate from the Daughters of Memory. But the Daughters of Memory are to be overcome by the Daughters of Inspiration, who are also Jerusalem. 

Nature is to be redeemed by Imagination, is to become Imagination. 

What does it mean to 'build Jerusalem in England's green and pleasant land'? What can it mean except to rise from the Consciousness Soul to the Imaginative Soul?

[Imaginative Soul = what Barfield later called Final Participation.]

The 'Satanic Mills' which have arisen in England since Blake's time, will never be thrust down from their hideous tyranny until those Mills of which he actually sang (that is, the dead thinking of Newton, Locke and Hobbes) have been burst asunder from within.

Edited from pages 63-66 of Owen Barfield's essay 'Speech, Reason and Imagination' from Romanticism Comes of Age, 1944. My notes are in square brackets.

The assuaging of the waters - by John Martin

Saturday, 29 July 2017

We must go it alone - no institution will serve...

This is, indeed, the impossibility I confront: that modernity (secular Leftism) is the tool of evil, and orientated ultimately to destruction of The Good; yet traditional religion has become an impossibility at the mass social level, partly for reason of wrong choices (such as the sexual revolution); but not entirely so.

It is consistent with observation (but of course not evidentially-proven; that being impossible) that the grounds for mass religiousness in The West have simply, inexorably, dissolved-away over the past couple of centuries and the Christian churches are now either fundamentally-corrupt or else intrinsically-elite --- that is my interpretation.

That around 1800, in the industrialising nations, a new impulse came upon Men that we usually term Romanticism; which was (at its heart, and at its best) against both the unspirituality of traditional Christianity and also against the arising materialism and Leftism. Romanticism was supposed to be the spiritualisation of all life in context of Christianity; but unfortunately it split into (approximately) anti-spiritual Christianity as a form of social organisation on the one hand; versus an unChristian spirituality that ran in-parallel-to (unintegrated with) materialism in the political sphere and the gratification of non-spiritual emotions (the desire for prosperity, novelty, sex etc).

Romanticism is unfinished business. It was supposed (and by supposed I mean divinely-destined) to be the future of humanity; but that path of spiritual, 'magical' Christianity was refused.

Since then, Life has become compartmentalised; the great mass of people (rulers and ruled alike) have become ever more alienated, unrealistic, incoherent; distracting emotional escapism and pragmatic matter-of-fact despair have become the twin mainstream cultural expressions.

The only possible future is to finish the business of Romanticism. And, at this point n history, there is no group or institution doing this in The West; so if we want to do it - if we regard this as our divine destiny, then we must each do it solo.

And we cannot follow a path, because no path is laid down; we need to find our own path. We know where we want to be: that is living the Christian life in clear, coherent and continuous awareness of both the spiritual context of creation and creator; and within this the living, conscious nature of ourselves and the world around us: in a phrase animistic Christianity...

But we don't know how to get there - or even how to take the next step towards that goal. This situation is the cumulative consequence of two centuries of evasion and corruption; the consequence of living in a society of lies where any advice we take is almost certain to be wrong; any knowledge we acquire is almost certain to be wrong; and directions we are given almost certain to be pointing back down the same path on the down-conveyor belt, or into the abyss.

We may take clues from the insightful early romantics: Blake, Wordsworth and Coleridge; Goethe and his interpreter Rudolf Steiner - and Coleridge and Steiner's interpreter Owen Barfield... but they do not yield a blueprint or program.

It seems that part of the divine plan is that we each develop spiritual autonomy and Christianity both; that we do this for ourselves and from ourselves - and do so without any clear knowledge or assurances or examples of where we are going or how we might get there.

Instead of clear knowledge we have hints and lustres, and an awareness of our inner freedom or agency yielding direct conviction - which is not solid and insistent in the same way that social institutions are, due to their material power and simplistic inertia. To withstand these pressures, and do do so without fear and with faith, requires a very solid and strong trust in God and his love; and our capacity to know God's nature and motivations - and that can originate only from personal experience.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Seeing is Not believing (only direct knowing is true, potentially)

Why don't we see angels anymore, like people used to do in the past?

Well, some people do sometimes - but most people can't ever; and among those that do see angels, the results are not usually impressive, so it doesn't seem to do them any good (at least, not so as convince other people).

The idea is seeing is believing, is related more generally to the common modern belief that perception is reality; the idea that what is real is what we see, hear, touch, taste, smell - and perceiving is how we know it is real. And, if God, angels, divine things were real, then we would perceive them; and if God was real he would therefore show himself, give signs...

So modern people point at the lack of 'evidence' for God... Yet when there is the evidence of people reporting sensory contact, it is disbelieved - it is put down to hallucination, self-deception, fraud...

Indeed, people disbelieve their own perceptions, quite routinely. They believe the mass media rather than what they perceive, what they experience...

Furthermore, in science, what is perceived directly is of very little relevance - and the 'observations' are done with machines of various types, and often after very complex statistical manipulations. The validity of the machines and statistics is a matter of faith (faith that is generally misplaced).  

So the situation is that people use the notion that seeing is believing to reject things that they want to reject - like God, or angels; but lack of perceptual evidence is no barrier to accepting things that are socially sanctioned (like the belief in reversible anthropogenic global warming, which has transformed all of our lives - for the worse) .


But seeing is Not believing, and perceptions are not the bottom line - we know that! We know that perceptions provide only indirect knowledge, that they are partial and distorted; and may be unique to the individual (hallucinated). We know about optimal illusions, we know that we can't see ultra-violet light but it is there, we know that colour depends on our physical makeup and can be altered by ambient light or tinted spectacles... we know that seeing is not believing - or should not be.

Indeed, we know that we are being manipulated by fake images all the time - whether in the movies or in the 'news'. If we believed what we saw, we could be made to believe anything!


Taking this further, many people are aware that most of the whole world of public discourse is manufactured. That much of what we are shown, much of what we are provided with 'evidence' for, is fake, false, manipulative. There are systematic forces at work behind the scenes to create virtual realities using images, fake evidence, false logic and so on...

All perceptually-derived knowledge is mediated - and this enables it to be manipulated. 


So what should we believe? In principle, only what we directly know. Only what we know without mediation.

What we believe ought to be that we we do not perceive, for which we have zero evidence; that which is now without use of reason, logic or inference.

That which is intuited.

Think about it.