Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Plan B: The extremity of the current situation - and its divine purpose

The current situation in Britain is extremely bad - one measure of which is that this statement of fact would be regarded as extreme and unrealistic by most Britons.

Yet it seems that many or most people are self-damned, since they regard their own lives as meaningless and purposeless - and their role in Life as merely to feel good about themselves in the short term until their consciousness is utterly extinguished by inevitable death.

This is because the mass of modern people are fully secular, materialistic and hedonic in outlook. And this world-view is propagated and enforced 24/7 by the official public discourse - in politics, law, officialdom, education, the police and military, science and the arts and - above all - the mass media (to which so many are addictively enslaved).

But how can such a situation be explained if it is accepted that we (each, personally) were deliberately placed in this dire time and desperate spiritual circumstance by God? How does this fit with the intended divine destiny for the people of Britain?

My understanding is that it does make sense - but as a Plan B.

Plan A was that we, the first industrialised people in the history of the world - and starting around 1800 - were supposed-to experience in the most complete way the sense of complete self-consciousness in isolation from the world - we were supposed-to go-fully-into the situation where we doubt God and doubt our-very selves...

And we did. 

But then we were supposed-to touch rock bottom and experience utter alienation - recognise and know from inside its unviability; and then to move-through this state (or bounce-off it); to come out of the other side, and to move to ever higher levels of divine faith, spiritual awareness and conscious engagement with the whole of created reality.

Our experience of modernity was intended to be a transitional phase, analogous to adolescence, after which we would grow-up. That was Plan A.

Instead we - as a culture - made a different choice refused to grow-up, and stayed permanently a the phase of adolescent alienation, angst, self-doubting self-consciousness, solipsism, and perpetual rebellion against God.

Since we refused Plan A, after a suitable period to make sure; Britain moved to Plan B - which was to allow us to take the consequences of the national decision to reject all spiritual realities, including God.

So - Plan B is that we be allowed to experience the fullest extremity of a secular and unspiritual life - a life in which human consciousness is cut-off from meaning, purpose and and real relationship with other people and our environment - for us to live in a world that is (because we choose to regard it so) dead, accidental, arbitrary and utterly pointless.

The people alive today, you and I included, are those for whom such an extremity, such an absurdity, is necessary for us to learn. The consequences of a materialist life without God are there for all to see, impinging in the most aggressive way on every person's life, growing more extreme every decade... and this is a situation in which eventually even such foolish and self-deluded people as myself can eventually be brought to his senses.

Anything less extreme, sustained and absurd would probably not have been enough to snap me out of my false metaphysical assumptions - and I am not the only one. Indeed it is clear that even our present unprecedented level of insanity is not enough for most people yet to recognise.

From a Christian understanding; we can never be compelled to accept God, and God would not wish to compel us even if he could. Therefore, God so arranges things to make 'life' most conducive to our learning from experience, seeing things most clearly, and making the right choices (especially un-making our earlier wrong choices, which now trap us).

You and I are among those spirits whose obtuseness was judged to be most extreme; who required the simplest, starkest and most extreme lessons from life; because we would not learn from gentler and more complex education.

(Of course, some among us are not of the desperately pig-headed and complacently stupid type as myself - the type that this modern world is 'designed' to teach. These are instead meant to be our teachers, guides, and Good examples.)

That - broadly - is what I think is currently going-on.

It is crude and it is not ideal. It was not Plan A; but instead is a second chance, a Plan B for modern Man who refused Plan A.

Life as it is now is our responsibility; but the situation is allowed by God for our own ultimate good - because modern officially-sanctioned and encouraged and implemented British life may sufficiently 'rub our noses' in the consequences of our own collective choices, that eventually at least some of us will stop denying, pretending, and lying  - and instead smell what is really there.

Even someone as stubbornly, self-destructively idiotic as myself.  

Monday, 20 February 2017

Building soil... the benefits of waiting to publish

I have stopped blogging daily - my reason?

The answer is given, allegorically, in a poem called Build Soil, by Robert Frost - written in 1932:


...To market 'tis our destiny to go.
But much as in the end we bring for sale there
There is still more we never bring or should bring;
More that should be kept back - the soil for instance
In my opinion, though we both know poets
Who fall all over each other to bring soil
And even subsoil and hardpan to market.

To sell the hay off, let alone the soil,
Is an unpardonable sin in farming.
The moral is, make a late start to market...

Let none assume to till the land but farmers.
I only speak to you as one of them.
You shall go to your run-out mountain farm,
Poor cast-away of commerce, and so live
That none shall ever see you come to market-
Not for a long long time. Plant, breed, produce,
But what you raise or grow, why feed it out,
Eat it or plow it under where it stands
To build the soil.

...For what is more accursed
Than an impoverished soil pale and metallic?
What cries more to our kind for sympathy? ...

Build soil. Turn the farm in upon itself
Until it can contain itself no more,
But sweating-full, drips wine and oil a little.

I will go to my run-out social mind
And be as unsocial with it as I can.
The thought I have, and my first impulse is
To take to market— I will turn it under.
The thought from that thought—I will turn it under
And so on to the limit of my nature.

We are too much out, and if we won't draw in
We shall be driven in...



Typically, for me, writing is thinking - and publishing just a part of the process. But as of now (for how long, who can say.. to the limit of my nature?)...

Well, just now I am building soil; turning my thoughts under to fertilise the next crop.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

The future is Freedom - but spiritual, not political, Freedom

The work of Rudolf Steiner and Owen Barfield has been extremely helpful to me in understanding Western Man's spiritual destiny - and thus the divinely-intended future of Christianity in Albion.

In particular I have been tremendously impressed by Steiner's prophecy of 1918 as published under the distinctly un-promising title of  'The work of the angels in Man's astral body'.


In essence, as I understand it; our destiny is to be truly free - which means to be free in our true thinking, from our true selves.

'True' thinking is thinking which we personally originate - not thinking caused by external factors but thinking which comes from that-which-is-divine within us.

(That which is divine in us is the true self - to be distinguished from the fake personalities we passively absorb or get inculcated by socialisation, sin and error.)

This is - or would be - a grown-up, wholly-individual (unique to each person), fully-responsible Christianity

- and not, therefore, the relatively child-like, passive, rule-following obedience to external pressures and rules of traditional and historical Christianity; and not the social-sexual freedom-from-Christianity of perpetually-adolescent modern left-liberalism.

The religion of the future - the fully-developed and adult Christianity - is not a church-derived religion; it is the directly-experienced religion of an individual spiritually in a loving relationship with the divine and other people.

What lies between us-now, and the attainment of this future spiritual Christianity, is our spiritual ignorance, rejection and incompetence; the solution to which is to discover what we are aiming for and then, by some process of trial and error and repentance the specific details of which will be unique to each individual person - due to their unique constitution and circumstances.

So there is no generally-applicable program of readings, rituals, exercises, prayers, meditations - and no institutional structure - which we can depend-upon for this - each must do it for him- or her-self.

This sound either impossible or a recipe for blundering, wishful thinking, being manipulated and self-deception; however we have each been equipped (by the creator, our loving Father) with an inner guidance system and an inner capacity of evaluation and judgement (i.e. discernment).

Neither the guidance system nor the discernment are perfect - but each is of divine nature - and together they will suffice to do the job, when backed-up by a willingness to acknowledge and repent our errors.

But what 'proof' do I have that this is indeed what we ought to be doing; what is my evidence?

The answer is that it is a matter of personal revelation; which itself depends on a solid personal belief in the validity of inner-guidance and discernment - and that past ideas of the primacy of 'the church' (or any other external, objective source) are no longer applicable at this point in Western human evolution.

So - the present is a perpetual adolescence which is evil and un-viable; but the past is neither possible to re-attained nor is it desirable that we should return to it - the future is something new, imprecise in its details, and uncharted in its consequences.

However, the destined future of Christianity in Albion is clear enough, and our competence is sufficient, that we can get there - if we aim in the right direction and proceed with the proper motivation.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

We Are Not Alone

Astronomers have long wondered whether we are alone in the universe or if there are other life forms or even intelligent civilisations somewhere out there in deep space. They have searched for signs of life over several decades but so far found nothing. No indication that we are not alone in the universe. But are they searching in the right place or the right way? Naturally they are materialists. They are scientists after all and science is wedded to materialism in a contract so binding that nothing it seems can break it. So they can only conceive of one direction in which to look, but this means they ignore other possible avenues of research. For example, what if the world extended in a vertical plane as well as the customary three dimensional horizontal one? There are ample indications that it does from many sources including, most obviously, religion, myth and folklore. These may not be taken seriously nowadays but what if we really are, as these imply, surrounded by life forms who may not be apparent to our sensory based perception yet who can, under certain conditions, make themselves known to us?

Having asked the question I'll answer it. Yes, this is exactly how things are. The physical world we are aware of is something like the outermost crust of a sphere of being which has many levels corresponding, no doubt, to the many mansions that Jesus told us were in his Father's house. There is this difference though. Whereas in, say, the case of an orange the outer skin is the largest part of the whole, the exact opposite is the case with this order of reality. Every inner section or plane is greater than the one external to it, and, not only that, but it includes further dimensions beyond the three we know as well. Language fails here or, at least mine certainly does, but the idea that the inner is greater than the outer should not be so difficult to grasp if we think of the outer as essentially projected from the inner or a more limited version of it.

Inner and outer, though, like up and down, are relative terms and another way to envisage the higher worlds is suggested by this famous image.

Here the circles of higher being surround the physical world which is the innermost, densest and most limited section of being. When, as the man in the picture is shown doing, we go beyond the physical, we enter the next worlds and there are many of these, as the spheres in the picture illustrate, ranging from those not too dissimilar to this world (though non-physical) on up to higher worlds of incomparable beauty, purity and spiritual glory. What this picture doesn't show is that from one perspective all these spheres are in the same place, interpenetrating each other rather like, to use a crude analogy, water does a sponge. The picture, being a two dimensional representation of a many dimensional reality, can only suggest this.

All these spheres of being have inhabitants whose spiritual state corresponds to the nature of their locality. Thus those nearer this physical world have a consciousness not unlike that of man as he is here while those further removed from our world think and relate and are aware in a very different manner to us. Their faculties of feeling and knowing have been considerably expanded and developed to encompass and respond to the spiritual realities of their worlds, once described to me as a sea of azure blue and gold where all is poetry, music and colour. Through spiritual discipline and sacrifice of the self they have attuned their minds to what one is bound to call higher vibrations, and their mode of consciousness has moved from a self-centred form to a God-centred one.

Theoretically the nearer these localities or planes are to this world, the easier it is for their dwellers to communicate with us. This explains why spiritualist mediums (if genuine) generally contact those who have only recently 'passed over'. It is also why people who use psychic or magical means to explore the next world are more likely to encounter demonic beings than spiritually elevated ones. Purity of intention is always a safeguard but even with the best of intentions a psychic explorer can, if not careful, leave himself open to unfriendly spirits and even possession. The best way to contact higher spirits remains prayer and meditation practised in the context of dedication and service to God, submitting oneself to his guidance, care and protection. But in these cases the contact is usually on a spiritual/intuitive level and need not be registered as such by the physical brain.

We are not alone. We do have guides and helpers on the higher planes and there are angelic spirits there too though I have no experience of these. I do, however, have some experience of spiritual guides and that is why I feel I can write about this subject from a more than theoretical position. My knowledge is slight but sufficient to confirm that there is a body of saintly beings who act as the spiritual guides to humanity and who can and sometimes do communicate with people in this world.

Direct communication is rare and probably only used when a subject either has a particular task to accomplish or else is somewhat spiritually obtuse and cannot respond to the preferred approach on an intuitive level or else needs a spiritual kick start as it were, which I rather think was my case. That said, I do believe any spiritually sincere person of pure aspiration can contact his spiritual guides on the higher planes by attempting to raise his consciousness up to that level. Visualise a saint or holy person to whom you feel attracted and concentrate on that, imagining light pouring out from them down to you. Dedicate yourself humbly to God and pray for guidance. Naturally you can pray to God directly but he does use intermediaries and sometimes these are more accessible to the human mind. Success is not guaranteed and it is also probable that any contact that is made is unlikely to be known consciously by the outer mind. It will be registered spiritually and the results conveyed through the intuition in the form of heightened understanding and clearer insight but it is unlikely to be perceived in terms of a direct encounter. But the former way can be of greater spiritual benefit because it makes the resultant understanding one's own rather than something that is second hand and not necessarily absorbed properly.

You might say this is all theory and quite unprovable. So it is but one usually starts from theory and then experiments and waits to see how things go from there. It is quite in order with orthodox tradition that higher beings can direct and guide us and are there to respond to our supplications when these are earnestly and prayerfully made. We do all have a personal connection to God but God also works through his saints and messengers and these are there to help us come closer to our divine source if we call on them with sincere aspiration. I can vouch for that. It is true that the opportunity for deception exists but that simply means that you must cleanse your heart. You will not be deceived if your motive is pure.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

This Charged Land: Alan Garner's 'Elidor'

The prophet breathes the air of freedom. He smothers in the hardened world about him, but in his own spiritual world he breathes freely. He always visions a free spiritual world and awaits its penetration into this stifling world.

Nicholas Berdyaev, Freedom and the Spirit.


Every word in Elidor is freighted with gold. Published in 1965, Alan Garner's third novel does for Manchester (and all cities by extension) what The Weirdstone of Brisingamen (1960) and Moon of Gomrath (1963) did for the valleys, woods and hills of Cheshire. He imbues the cityscape with a numinous depth charge. The stuff of everyday urban life - lamp posts, railway bridges, terraced houses - take on an almost sacramental glow, pointing to a level of understanding beyond the reach of materialist models of reality. One world segues into another. Take this passage, for instance:

Roland ran along the wider streets until his eyes were used to the dark. The moon had risen, and the glow of the city lightened the sky. He twisted down alleyways, running blindly, through crossroads, over bombed sites, and along the streets again. Roland stopped and listened. There was only the noise of the city, a low, constant rumble that was like silence.

He was in the demolition area. Roof skeletons made broken patterns against the sky. Roland searched for a place that would be safe to climb, and found a staircase on the exposed inner wall of a house. He sat on the top in the moonlight. It was freezing hard. Roofs and cobbles sparkled. The cold began to ache into him. He wondered if the others had decided to stay in one place and wait until he came.

This thought bothered him, and he was still trying to make up his mind when the unicorn appeared at the end of the street. His mane flowed like a river in the moon: the point of the horn drew fire from the stars. Roland shivered with the effort of looking. He wanted to fix every detail in his mind for ever, so that no matter what else happened there would always be this. (pp.188-192)

Who can forget writing like this? No-one in my experience. I've never known a book, at least among my circle of friends, which retains its impact for so long in the reader's imagination. People can recall whole scenes. Either that or specific images, such as the fiddler in the slum clearance area, leap into their minds as soon as the book is mentioned. Garner's story, in this respect, has much in common with Andrei Tarkovsky's 1979 film Stalker, another quest for meaning through a magical but treacherous landscape. Tarkovsky calls his liminal space the 'Zone', and Elidor has two such 'Zones' - both wastelands - sites of blight and dereliction - the parallel world of Elidor itself and a mid-1960s Manchester which bears absolutely no resemblance to the 'swinging sixties' of popular imagination.

Malebron, Elidor's 'king in exile', disguises himself as a fiddler to lure the Watson children into his world through the portal of a North Manchester church on the brink of demolition. Once there, the children encounter a pre-industrial mirror image of their home city - the bitter legacy of moral and spiritual decline:

"The darkness grew," said Malebron. "It is always there. We did not watch, and the power of night closed on Elidor. We had so much of ease that we did not mark the signs - a crop blighted, a spring failed, a man killed. Then it was too late - war and siege, and betrayal, and the dying of the light." (p.44)

The children are charged with rescuing the four Treasures of Elidor - a spear, a sword, a stone and a bowl - from within the sinister Mound of Vandwy. Their next task is to take the Treasures back to Manchester and guard them until Malebron sends word. The difficulty is that there are clearly other powers at work in Elidor than Malebron, determined to seize the Treasures for their own ends. Their attempts to break into the genteel suburban milieu created by the Watsons' parents form the substance of the second half of the book.

For Roland, the youngest and most sensitive of the children, this is a particularly heavy burden. He is greatly impressed by Elidor and more in sympathy with Malebron than any of his siblings. Malebron's goodness and Elidor's physical reality mean everything to him. When his brothers, Nicholas and David, attempt to rationalise what happened in the church, Roland is uncompromising in his defence of Elidor's veracity:

"But you're pretending it doesn't matter," said Roland. "Didn't it mean anything to you - Malebron and the Treasures, and that golden castle, and - everything."
"Listen," said David, "Nick's not all that dim, although you think he is. A lot of what he says makes sense, even if I don't agree with everything myself."
"What does he say, then? That there's no such place as Elidor, and we dreamed it?"
"In a way," said David.
"He's off his head."
"No, he's gone into it more than any of us," said David. "And he's been reading books. He says it could all have been what he calls 'mass hallucination', perhaps something to do with the shock after the church nearly fell on us. He says it does happen."
"if you can believe that, you can believe in the Treasures," said Roland. (pp.116-17)

Roland is proved right in the end, but his vindication comes at a price and brings him no joy. Roland is a prophet, and he shares in the eternal lot of prophets - sidelined, patronised, and seen as no more, even by his own mother, than a temperamental, overly-wrought schoolboy:

"I did see somebody!" said Roland. "I did!"
"Now come along inside, Roland," said Mrs Watson. "You know you're own worst enemy."
"But Mum, I did see somebody!"
"I don't doubt it," said Mrs Watson. "But you mustn't let you imagination run away with you. You're too highly strung, that's your trouble. You'll make yourself ill if you're not careful." (p.122)

The consensus among my friends is that Roland does indeed make himself ill and that, by the end of the book, he is close to 'cracking up' or 'losing it'. I'm not so sure. Roland's only mistake, as far as I can tell is to confuse Elidor - a parallel world to our own and nothing more - with Heaven itself. It is an error which comes from a good place, however, born out of Roland's great capacity for spiritual insight. It is exactly this ability to see what her older siblings cannot see that guides Lucy Pevensie to Aslan before anyone else in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and Prince Caspian. It is worth bearing in mind as well that participating in the final two chapters of Elidor would be an intense experience for anyone, let alone one so finely tuned as Roland. Nonetheless, I don't find anything in the text to suggest that he can't recover, go on to fulfil his potential and live a life of value and meaning. I take encouragement from Malebron's commendation after Roland has succeeded where his brothers and sister fail in the Mound of Vanwy: "Remember, I have said the worlds are linked ... and what you have done here will be reflected in some way, at some time, in your world."

Roland is a lantern bearer. He unfurls the banner of the Imagination, in both Elidor and Manchester, at the points where disenchantment and desacralisation seem strongest. I also see in him a herald of the coming spiritual resurgence, the Age of the Holy Spirit prophecied by Joachim de Flore in the twelfth century and Nicholas Berdyaev in the twentieth. Roland stands in the High Places, watching and waiting for the signs of this imaginative renaissance. It is a fine and noble calling, and possibly all that can be achieved at this time. Because who can say with certainty if the 'reflection' promised by Malebron has already been revealed, is currently with us, or still to come? The impact made by Elidor these last fifty-two years serves as sign and symbol enough, perhaps, that the greening of the wasteland - the recharging and resacralisation of our imaginations - might be nearer than we think.

We will know the day when it comes. Like Elidor, it will be freighted with gold:

Roland screwed up his eyes, and after a while he thought he could make out a form that was more substantial than the shifting cloud, away to his left. 
A castle. Black. Dead loss. There's got to be something. 
But the view showed only desolation. Plain, ridge, forest, sea, all were spent. Even colour had been drained from the light, and Roland saw everything, his own flesh and clothes, in shades of grey, as if in a photograph. 
Three castles.
He looked to his right. Here the dark was like thunder, impenetrable. Then - It came, and went, and came again.
It's a light. On a hill. Very faint - like - a candle - dying - towers! Golden towers!
Roland could never remember whether he saw it, or whether it was a picture in his mind, but as he strained to pierce the haze, his vision seemed to narrow and to draw the castle towards him. It shone as if the stones had soaked in light, as if stone could be amber. People were moving on the walls: metal glinted. Then clouds drifted over. 
Roland was back on the hill-top, but that spark in the mist across the plain had driven away the exhaustion, the hopelessness. It was the voice outside the keep; it was a tear of the sun.

* The illustrations for Elidor were drawn by Charles Keeping (1924-1988), who also illustrated many of Rosemary Sutcliffe's children's stories set in late-Roman and early Anglo-Saxon England, such as The Silver Branch, The Lantern Bearers and Dawn Wind. This provides a nice link, I feel, between one era of 'decline' and another.

** The edition of Elidor I have used in this essay was published by HarperCollins Children's Books in 2008, in the essential modern classics imprint.

How to inspire people?

This is the nub of the problem.

I don't personally believe that stinging critiques are going to help evoke a spiritual awakening - yet nearly everybody in modern Britain is heavily pre-immunised against the spiritual perspective; indeed multiply immunised by layers of ignoring, mocking, disinformation and sheer incomprehension: when one defence of materialism fails, another kicks-in.

Then again, most people who are 'spiritual but not religious' seem indistinguishable from the mainstream leftist materialistic masses; probably because the spirituality is not the true bottom-line or bedrock of their conviction- it is too feeble, too vague, too ironic; too much a self-therapy rather than a metaphysical framework.

Probably, one cannot be truly aware of and living-by spiritual (non-material) values unless these are explained and sustained by metaphysics - and that usually implies religion.

The difficulty is apparently that we need religion to sustained a spirituality which is real; and we need spirituality for a religion which addresses the main modern problem of alienation - yet getting them both at the same time is difficult and unlikely, and either alone will seldom suffice.

It can't really be done by argument; but it can sometimes be done by presenting an imaginative vision; when the whole 'picture' is seen simultaneously, in a 'flash'.

That is perhaps what we should strive for - something brief enough to be taken in in one go; and deep enough to have the necessary impact.

Monday, 6 February 2017

What are the forces at work in the Zeitgeist?

(Even the word 'force' is a prejudgment!)

It is so much against the spirit of this age, that I find it very difficult really to interpret things by my belief that this is ultimately a world of conscious beings - and not a world of abstract forces.

At the top of everything is the intention of God - but it seems clear that there are a multitude of other conscious beings - some incarnate, others not; with varying degrees of consciousness and agency; and some are allied with God's plans while other are pursuing their own agendas - or have banded together to pursue another agenda.

This seems to be a world in which it is difficult to learn and progress towards divinity; and a world in which conflict is sometimes a necessity (and in which there are no guarantees of success).

I feel that the divine intention is that Albion should awaken from his slumbering nightmare sleepwalk to self-damnation and death; and I am sure that making this kind of thing happen (or making it possible) is way too complicated for me to understand and that the most important factors are imperceptible.

Yet, for all the unknowns and uncertainties, the ultimate situation is one of conscious beings in cooperation and in conflict and in pursuit of agendas and so should not be impossible to discover.

The difficulty is not that such things can't be known; but that they are the kind of thing which modern people such as myself have great difficulty in discovering due to our trained blindness and insensitivity, and large capacity for wishful thinking, self-deception and despair...

Apart from that, it should be easy!

It used to be called the Zeitgeist, and it is a real thing - as real and significant as the morale of an infantry unit in frontline warfare.

I get peeks, hear snatches and feel hunches concerning the spirit of this time; but I really would love to know more about what is going-on unseen, unheard and imperceptibly.