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.

Monday, 18 September 2017

If communications are ineffective, how may Awakening be stimulated?

I have argued myself into the conviction that - here and now - normal methods of communication are ineffective when it comes to the most important matters. They are either ignored or misunderstood; or even used against that which they advocate.

Yet this is a communication - so what am I trying to achieve?

I am trying to make negative point that may lead to positive action.

My negative point is that (as you sometimes suspect) you live in a sea of mostly false and evil communications - which propagate fake facts and inculcate false concepts. And there is no sure way of discriminating between true and false communications - a matrix of lies makes the occasional nuggets of truth inaccessible and un-understandable; bad money drives-out good.

But there is a universally-available world of reality which you are equipped to access. I cannot describe this, nor tell you how to reach this, because 1. You are not even reading this (!); and 2. Anything you do hear me say, will be distorted unpredictably in the transmission...

But I can make the negative point that you dwell in falsehood when truth is available - If truth is actively sought.

Because there is a creator-God, because he loves us; there is always and everywhere a way of knowing the truths that you need to know.

But we are free agents, and can refuse the truth - and nearly-everybody does. 

And therefore (because of God being both creator and loving) - if you so choose - you will always be able to find and to know, that truth which is essential to your salvation and spiritual development.

(And if you don't seek and find and know - then this is ultimately because you, personally, have decided not-to seek/ find/ know; and to do something else instead...)


Thursday, 14 September 2017

Heralds of Restoration


Nicholas Roerich, Northern Midnight (1940)

*

The Northern Lights have been seen over Britain. The report I read in The Daily Telegraph of 9th September described the phenomenon in strictly scientific terms - a series of solar flares, visually stunning, for sure, but bearing no deeper significance.

An apocalyptic part of me wants to protest at this. Surely the coming of the Lights is a sign? A foreshadowing of some great event to come, as the appearance of Halley's Comet in April 1066 gave notice retrospectively of the impending Norman Conquest.

A balance needs to be struck, therefore, between a rationalistic, unimaginative reading of natural phenomena and a credulous 'signs and wonders' mentality, which leaves us finding messages in cloud formations and the like. C.S. Lewis gets this right I feel in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader:

'In our world,' said Eustace, 'a star is a huge ball of flaming gas.'
'Even in your world, my son,' said Ramandu, 'that is not what a star is but only what it is made of.'

The eye of imagination, the eye of faith, sees beyond the physical components that make up the universe. It does not deny their existence but neither does it view what something 'is made of' as its sole and absolute reality. It goes past the material level (the validity of which it respects) to the spiritual essence which lies at the heart of every created thing. William Blake expressed this wonderfully in his famous quote:

'I assert, for myself, that I do not behold the outward creation and that to me it is hindrance and not action. "What! it will be questioned, "when the sun rises do you not see a round disc of fire somewhat like a guinea!" "Oh! no, no! I see an innumerable company of the heavenly host crying 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty!" I question not my corporeal eye any more than I would question a window concerning a sight. I look through it, and not with it.'

This theme is illustrated superbly in the passage below from Rosemary Sutcliff's Arthurian novel Sword at Sunset (1963). Ambrosius Aurelianus, the High King, is dying of cancer. He takes his lieutenants, Artos (Arthur) and Aquila, on a winter retreat in a remote hunting lodge to secure the succession. A tense political discussion is interrupted by the appearance of the Northern Lights. The tone and flavour of the evening is altered dramatically as new perspectives open up for all three men.

Hearts start to soften. The display outside triggers deep-lying memories in Artos and Aquila and sparks a moment of fraternal understanding. Ambrosius, when he rejoins the conversation, speaks with an imaginative fluidity that was lacking before. The political becomes the mythical. Something hard and tight has been broken apart, creating a space for the deeper pattern behind the flow of surface events to emerge.

This is the lasting impression left on the reader by Sword at Sunset - the political transformed into the mythical. Artos, in the end, follows Ambrosius' recommendation and succeeds him after his death, though not as High King but Emperor of a restored Romano-British Empire. Artos has many scars - physical, emotional and spiritual - and gains little satisfaction from his twenty year reign. He does, however, bring peace and security to the land, and through his words, deeds and presence, sows the seeds of the great national myth that has sustained the imaginative life of our country ever since.

The Northern Lights, on this occasion, are heralds of restoration rather than harbingers of doom, signalling the advent of a mythic, archetypal hero and the flourishing of the realm. Let us hope that their most recent manifestation prophecies equally glad tidings. There is no reason why not. 'We live in a time of revelations,' wrote the maverick English mystic, John Michell. 'When our minds are ready, the pattern will appear.'

*******

... After we had sat in silence for a while, Ambrosius spoke again. "Artos, I have a sense of fate on me. It is not merely that our scouts report certain movements of the Saxons. I believe in my bones, in my very soul, that a Saxon thrust such as we have not seen before is coming this spring - by midsummer at latest: and when it comes, there will be a struggle compared to which the battles we have known will be but candles held to a beacon blaze. And believing that, I must believe that this, above all others, is not the time to be leaving Britain in the hands of an untried king, but rather in the hands of a strong and well proved war-leader. As to what comes after, so far as the question of my successor is concerned, the victory in such a struggle would be a mighty weapon in your hand, Bear Cub, and if you fail, then Britain will not need a High King again."

His voice had died almost to a whisper, hoarse in his throat, and his brilliant eyes were haggard, clinging to my face. Yet still I was half resisting; and not from humility but from lack of courage. I had always been one who dreaded loneliness, the loneliness of the spirit. I needed the touch of other men's shoulders against mine, the warmth of comradeship. I was a fine war-leader, and I knew it, but I shrank from the very thought of what Ambrosius was asking of me. I did not want the loneliness of the mountain top.

Aquila had risen some time before, and tramped over to the window at the end of the room; he was something of a lone wolf, old Aquila, and his own deep reserve made him flinch from the least probing into the reserves of other men; and I suppose he did not want to see our faces while the last stages of the thing were fought out. Suddenly he spoke, without turning from the window. "Talk of beacon blazes, there's something big burning over yonder beyond Ink-Pen, by the look of it!"

I got up quickly and went over to him. "Saxons! Open the window, Aquila." He lifted the pin and swung wide the glazed leaf, and the cold and the smell of frost flowed in against my face. The window looked north, and as the dazzle of the firelight faded from my eyes, and the stars began to prick out in the clear sky, I could make out a dull red glow in the sky, like red reflection of a great fire.

Even as I watched, the glow was spreading, rising higher into the stars. "It would take a whole city burning to yield that glare," Aquila said, and I could hear the frown in his voice. And then the formless glow began to gather to itself a shape, a great blurred bow, and out of its brightness suddenly a streamer of light flickered up into the dark sky, and then another, and another; and I wondered why I had been such a fool not to know the thing at once - I suppose because in my mind it belonged to the North, and so I was blind to it here in the South Country. I laughed, and something in me lifted as though at the touch of a familiar magic. "No Saxons tonight, old wolf. It is the Northern Lights, the Crown of the North. Dear God, how many times I have watched those flying ribbons of fire from the ramparts of Trimontium!" I glanced aside at Aquila, whose exclamation told me that he had recognised the thing he looked at, at the same moment as myself. "Sa Sa! You too! You must have seen them often enough in your thrall winters in Juteland."

"Often enough," he said. "They used to grow and grow until they were like great banners of light flying all across the sky; and the old men would say that they could hear a rushing of great wings overhead ... But one scarcely ever sees them here in the South, and then no more than the red glow that might be a farm burning in the next valley."

There was a movement behind us, the scrape of a chair being thrust back, and a slow slurred step on the tesserae, and we moved apart to make room for Ambrosius between us. "What is this marvel? This Crown of the North?" He set a hand on my shoulder and the other on Aquila's, breathing quickly and painfully, as though even the effort to rise and cross the floor had been a day's labour to him. "So - o," he said, lingeringly, when he had got his breath back. "A marvel indeed, my brothers." For in that short while that we had been standing there, the light had strengthened and spread, until one got the impression of a vast arc spanning the whole night, if one could have but seen over the northernmost hills that hid it from view; and from that unseen arc, as though it were indeed the head-band of a crown, a myriad rays sprang out, darting and wheeling to and fro, flickering out half across the sky, like ribbons of coloured fire that licked and trembled and died and darted forth again, changing colour moment by moment from the red of blood to the green of ice, to the blue of the wild-fire that drips along the oar blades of the northern seas in summer nights.

"I too have seen the glow like a burning in the next valley, and a flicker or so in the northern sky, from the high shoulder of Yr Widdfa," Ambrosius said, in the tone in which a man speaks in the place where he worships his gods, "but never the like of this ... Never - the like of this."

Voices, scared and hushed and excited, were sounding in the courtyard, a babble of tongues and a running of feet. Down there they would be pointing and gesticulating, their faces awed and gaping in the strange flickering light. "The others have seen it now," Aquila said. "They could scarcely make more startling chatter if it were a golden dragon in the sky."

"There will be many pointing to the north and bidding each other to look, tonight," Ambrosius said musingly. "And later, all Britain will tell each other that there were strange lights in the sky on the night before Ambrosius Aurelianus died; and later still, it will become Aquila's dragon, or a sword of light with the seven stars of Orion set for jewels in the hilt."


Nicholas Roerich, Fires of Victory (1940)


Wednesday, 13 September 2017

My mistake after Brexit - yielding to the atavistic desire passively to be overwhelmed by reality

I am now clear that - in the aftermath of the Brexit vote - I yielded to a false and counter-productive wish to be swept-up by tidal changes, passively to be led to a better future; I yearned for some new kind of leadership to emerge from the shadows, to take charge of the nation, gather and inspire us, take us to where we ought-be-be...

I also acknowledged that this could not happen without first a general awakening of the people - a repentance of materialism and Leftism and a new spiritual Christianity; but there was certainly some degree of yearning that this whole process would be driven by some kind of externally-applied influence... Rather as if God was to shine a bright light on us and reveal things in a new clarity.

Clearly this hasn't happened, and equally clearly if anything of the sort had seemed to happen it would almost certainly have been a fake of some kind: a deception leading somewhere even worse.

What I have come to believe is that events are building and building upon each of us as free, agent individuals - Especially those (few?) who have not (yet?) capitulated to one or another of the varieties of materialist, secular Leftism which wholly dominate public discourse (including the discourse of nearly all self-identified 'right wing' people and parties, and the mainstream churches, who are apparently monolithically obsessed with economics, politics, power...).

This idea that if things are true, then we ought-to-be overwhelmed by feelings and driven by mass movements is exactly what we need to grow-out-of. And if we don't then we will - sooner or later - join the enemy, or at least fuel the enemy's strength.

I am struck by the fact that we regard thinking as an activity which can (and should) only destroy. It is thinking that has destroyed the unconscious and spontaneous spirituality of our childhood, and of earlier cultural epochs. So thinking is clearly powerful... yet we deny the validity of thinking when it is used to cure the ills of modernity.

We assume that if something good needs thinking-about, then it is not really-real but only a kind of delusion of 'wishful' thinking. We assume that a Life cannot be built from thinking, that thinking is strong enough to destroy, but too weak to be a foundation of good living.

Of course, thinking can be and is manipulated all the time (but so is feeling, even more so!)

I now understand better that truth comes to us in thinking in a way that deliberately and necessarily does not 'overwhelm' us.

After all, is God overwhelmed by His feelings? Surely not! God is free; and so should we be.

We need to be free in the same way as God, and that means primarily by thinking, not feeling (although feeling is, secondarily, a part of valid thinking). Thinking comes to us 'horizontally' - one thought linked with others beside it; and what we should be looking-for is not to be overwhelmed but to experience a kind of 'mythic coherence', that 'insight' which we get when we think our way to a part of Truth.

This is a wonderful feeling, familiar to a scientist who has struggled for a long time to understand; then reaches an answer of simple clarity which coheres with his best knowledge.

Freedom is not really about choice, but about knowing from our true-divine self: we are free because our thinking is not caused by anything external (not by our perceptions, not by our memories; but it arises from our deepest nature -- this being a defining property of the divine... to think as an uncaused cause.)

In sum - instead of the attempt to return to an unfree, child-like state in which reality overwhelms and compels us; I now seek to understand reality as akin to such discoveries I have made in science; characterised by such features as insight, rationality, coherence; and that explanatory fertility which is a characteristic property of some-thing real.


Monday, 11 September 2017

The Temptation of Non-Duality

The spiritual philosophy of non-duality is increasingly popular today but, while it claims to give a pure and unvarnished description of reality, I believe it rests on a metaphysical mistake. It derives from India, where it is known as advaita, and it basically reduces everything to undifferentiated oneness, regarding anything other than that as, to all intents and purposes, illusion. Thus it is prepared to offer multiplicity a conditional reality for those in a state of ignorance but ultimately sees it as unreal. A subtler grasp of how things are sees oneness and differentiation existing right down to the wire, being two parts of the one whole with the latter not in any way unreal, though still seen in the overall light of God. God is the source of everything, of course, but what he creates is real. It is important to get this right because our understanding of spiritual reality affects everything we think and do and feel and are.

Non-duality is a very easy philosophy to adopt and consequently think one has 'cracked the cosmic code'. It's also convenient in that it does away with God which suits the modern mentality very well. But if understood to mean that there is the One and nothing else has any reality at all, it rests on an error. Certainly all serious religion acknowledges the unity of God and see all life as his but rather than using this to deny the reality in creation a more alert understanding sees that God gives his life to creatures and that they then have their own life, given by him but still theirs, and that this is perfectly real. The absolute oneness posited by non-dualists only exists in the realm of the complete unmanifest and unexpressed. Move one metaphorical (or metaphysical) inch away from that and this oneness, though underlying all, is immediately qualified by other expressions of truth which must always be considered if one is to understand the whole. In fact, for the created being, which we all are, they are in a certain sense primary.

The contemporary Westerner is so indoctrinated with the scientific world view and so much in reaction against traditional Christianity that when he belatedly turns to any kind of spirituality he frequently, wittingly or unwittingly, requires that to fit in with his pre-existing human-centric atheism. Consequently God has become something of a non-necessity in contemporary spirituality which is why Buddhism is so attractive to many people nowadays. It seems to offer spirituality without the disadvantage of God but this is precisely one of its flaws  and why, whatever its historical necessity and appropriateness in its original time and place, it is not so suitable for Western people today. The cultural context is different and Buddhism tends to fortify existing deficiencies rather than correcting them as it might have done in the theistic context in which it arose. So much does depend on cultural context which is why Zen Buddhism would have been helpful for culturally conservative medieval Japanese while not being so for beat poets in the 1950s who were reacting against conventionalism already. They needed something with more structure that would counteract their particular excesses and we do too. That is why we need God. Of course everyone, Buddhists included, needs God but he may perhaps be set aside for a while if the concept of him has solidified and the image become more important than the reality which was the case at the time of the Buddha.

Non-dualists and Buddhists don't sufficiently appreciate that our nature is not a unity but a trinity, all parts of which make up the whole. That is to say, they focus on the uncreated part of our being, the part that never leaves the divine world, ignoring that this is only a part of what we are. In reality we are not just spirit overlaid by various unreal 'sheathes' but spirit, soul and body, all of which contribute towards the wholeness of our being, and if we deny any part of this then we are not living in truth. To mistake the highest part of our being for the only real part is an error which you might categorize as a kind of intellectual absolutism. In fact, our spiritual goal is not to return to unmanifest existence as though our life in a body was an irrelevance but to learn the lessons of incarnation in a material world, the primary lesson being that of self-sacrifice in love, and this we can only do by giving all parts of reality their full significance.




Tuesday, 5 September 2017

A Steward of the Land - Prince Charles in the light of Shakespeare's Richard II


Richard II (1597) is not an action-packed play. It is spoken entirely in verse and has a still, reflective quality which renders it more akin - to my mind at least - to a stained glass window in a Medieval cathedral than the narrative cut and thrust of a conventional stage production. Like the window, Richard II is a heraldic work of art - emblematic rather than dramatic, a portrayal rather than an exposition. That is not to say, of course, that there is no story. There is. King Richard II is deposed by his cousin, Henry Bolingbroke, and subsequently murdered in captivity by a noble trying (and failing) to win the new king's approval. But the story is of secondary importance. It is what we are shown along the way and what Shakespeare asks us to reflect on that counts.

He shows us England in 1399, a homogenous, hierarchically-ordered Catholic kingdom, whose only overseas commitments lie in the neighbouring realms of France and Ireland. King Richard rules and reigns as God's regent. He has every confidence that the sacred chrism of kingship will shield him from Bolingbroke's insurgency:

Not all the water in the rough rude sea
Can wash the balm off from an anointed king.
The breath of worldly men cannot depose
The deputy elected by the Lord.
For every man that Bolingbroke hath pressed
To lift shrewd steel against our golden crown,
God for his Richard hath in heavenly pay 
A glorious angel. Then if angels fight,
Weak men must fall; for heaven still guards the right. (III.2)

What Richard neglects, however, is his side of the deal. He fails to act as a king should, as a steward of the land. Richard is no blood-soaked tyrant à la Macbeth. On the contrary, he cuts a charming and cultivated figure. Nonetheless, he surrounds himself with flatterers, spends extravagantly and levies provocatively high taxes. Most damagingly of all, at the death of John of Gaunt, Bolingbroke's father, Richard seizes the properties and monies of both father and son, inviting thereby Bolingbroke's return from exile and encouraging the English nobility to rally to his standard.

Richard is deposed and subsequently slain. Bolingbroke is crowned King Henry IV. Yet it is a hollow crown he wears. Though a capable and respected ruler, Henry knows deep down he is a usurper and that it was Richard, for all his extravagance, who was God's anointed sovereign. Guilt weighs on him:

Lords, I protest, my soul is full of woe
That blood should sprinkle me to make me grow. 
Come mourn with me for what I do lament,
And put on sullen black incontinent.
I'll make a voyage to the Holy Land
To wash this blood off from my guilty hand. (V.2)

It presses on his son, Henry V, as well, who, in the famous play of that name offers this prayer of reparation on the eve of the battle of Agincourt:

O not today, think upon the fault
My father made in compassing the crown!
I Richard's body have interrèd new,
And on it have bestowed more contrite tears
Than it issued forcèd drops of blood.
Five hundred poor I have in yearly pay,
Who twice a day their withered hands hold up
Toward heaven, to pardon blood: and I have built
Two chantries wear the sad and solemn priests
Still sing for Richard's soul. (IV.1)

Richard's deposition and death prefigure the fate of Charles I in 1649, another monarch with a knack of making enemies who relied overmuch on his divine right to rule. Charles, unlike Richard, was succeeded not by a usurper king but by no king at all. Oliver Cromwell ruled as Lord Protector for a decade and when the monarchy was eventually restored, in the person of Charles's son, Charles II, it was with its powers severely curtailed. Charles's martyrdom foreshadows in turn the executions of Louis XVI of France and Nicholas II of Russia (along with his family) in 1793 and 1918 respectively. Aggressive, totalitarian regimes assumed control in both countries, a significant step down from Cromwell's principled, if austere, autocracy, which in itself represented a decline from the ousting of Richard, who was at least replaced by a fellow sovereign in Henry IV. 

All this shows that the real aim in killing a king is to kill God. Everywhere, in all times and places, when the natural pattern and harmony is disturbed, civil strife and bloodletting follow. The Bishop of Carlisle's prophecy, in Richard II, of the Wars of the Roses (and by extension the violence of the Reformation and the English Civil War) rings true throughout the ages:

The blood of English shall manure the ground,
And future ages groan for this foul act.
Peace shall go to sleep with Turks and infidels,
And in this seat of peace tumultuous wars
Shall kin with kin, and kind with kind, confound. (IV.1)

*******

Any spiritual revival in his land will go hand in hand, I feel, with a renewed appreciation of the monarch as a sign and symbol of God's covenant with the country. The archetype of the king or queen runs deeply in hearts and minds. The huge crowds lining the streets of Leicester (Britain's most multicultural city, it should be noted) for the reburial of Richard III in 2015 bear potent witness to this.


The potential for national renewal already exists therefore. I also believe that the presence of Prince Charles on the national stage offers further hope and encouragement for a spiritual, cultural and political renaissance. 

Charles is a controversial figure. Like Richard II and Charles I before him he appears adept at losing friends and alienating allies, though in the Prince's case this has been due more to personal failings than political miscalculation. Despite this, he takes his role and responsibilities with high seriousness and displays an acute appreciation of what is required from a steward of the land. In a January 1993 letter to Tom Shebbeare, then director of the Prince's Trust (quoted on pages 493-494 of Jonathan Dimbleby's biography), Charles declares:

'For the past 15 years I have been entirely motivated by a desperate desire to put the “Great” back into Great Britain. Everything I have tried to do—all the projects, speeches, schemes, etc.—have been with this end in mind. And none of it has worked, as you can see too obviously! In order to put the “Great” back I have always felt it was vital to bring people together, and I began to realise that the one advantage my position has over anyone else’s is that I can act as a catalyst to help produce a better and more balanced response to various problems. 

I have no “political” agenda—only a desire to see people achieve their potential; to be decently housed in a decent, civilised environment that respects the cultural and vernacular character of the nation; to see this country’s real talents (especially inventiveness and engineering skills) put to best use in the best interests of the country and the world (at present they are being disgracefully wasted through lack of co-ordination and strategic thinking); to retain and value the infrastructure and cultural integrity of rural communities (where they still exist) because of the vital role they play in the very framework of the nation and the care and management of the countryside; to value and nurture the highest standards of military integrity and professionalism, as displayed by our armed forces, because of the role they play as an insurance scheme in case of disaster; and to value and retain our uniquely special broadcasting standards which are renowned throughout the world. 

The final point is that I want to roll back some of the more ludicrous frontiers of the '60s in terms of education, architecture, art, music, and literature, not to mention agriculture! Having read this through, no wonder they want to destroy me, or get rid of me …'

In his eulogy for the poet and founder of the Temenos Academy, Kathleen Raine (1908-2003), Charles goes one step further and reveals a deep understanding of the spiritual essence of what Raine called the 'Great Battle', the sacred task of waking Albion from materialistic sleep:

'I would hazard a guess within these hallowed walls that for all of us here Kathleen was, in essence, a kindred spirit whose brightly burning personality drew us, like moths, to her irresistible flame. We will remember her for the way in which she was cast in the mould of her master, William Blake; to the extent that she did her utmost to re-awaken an Albion 'sunk in a deadly sleep' and to remind us that what Blake 'wished to bring about was nothing less than a reversal of the premisses of materialism; not that people should be a little more "spiritual" and a little more "imaginative", but that we should understand that the cosmos is not a mechanism, but a living, sacred universe and that "Everything that lives is holy."' 

A flawed vessel without a doubt. Like all of us. But the prospect of an individual capable of such thoughts ascending to the throne should surely bring good cheer to all of us engaged in the holy (and uphill) task of rousing Albion from sleep.


The investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales at Caernarfon Castle in 1969


Sunday, 3 September 2017

False thinking, False knowledge - and a possible scenario for individual Awakening

Awakening cannot be compelled - nor is it a mass phenomenon. It is a consequence of individual freedom, it must be chosen.

What, then, could compel people - I mean individual persons - to a situation in which the choice of Awakening was stark and simple, and evasion become all-but impossible?

*

Due to the subversion, corruption and inversion of the mass media and all major social institutions - communication (via the senses - via visual and auditory channels) is nowadays useless.

What remains is direct knowing. In which pure thinking (of an individual) participates-in universal reality - thereby knowing other people, places, times, things... directly.

Direct knowing is an attribute of the real self... (that is the deep, true and divine self - as contrasted with the multiplicity of superficial, false selves developed for reasons of expediency, or induced by interaction with modern life).

Only the real self can have real knowledge - yet we are unstable complexes of false selves: fake selves.

Only real knowledge is valid - yet we live in a world of false knowledge: fake knowledge. Only the real thinking or our real self is true; yet we live in a world which inculcates that reality is fake, and only the fake is real.

*

In The West, we go further and further into the false knowledge of false selves: this is our public world; and (with mass media, social media, propaganda) our public world is more and more pervasive.

We inhabit a vast superstructure of deliberately-manufactured and elaborately-sustained falseness, irrelevance, uselessness: a fake world.

But if this fake world is not continuously sustained, imposed, fuelled, repaired; then it will collapse within the mind - and an individual will be confronted by its opposite: which is intuitive knowing.

So, awakening may come to a person when he or she is confronted by the fake knowledge of their fake selves. The two go together: the self and the knowledge. Both the self and our knowledge need to be recognised as fake simultaneously

The superficiality and evil of our times are a consequence of the fact that we are superficial people who are merely processing reality (not thinking and knowing reality); we are not thinking, but instead using processing-routines drilled-into-us by the pervasive world of mass and social media, institutions and propaganda and advertising.

Our mental processing is merely-habitual, and incoherent rather than valid. It is evil because false in knowledge - we accept false information and draw false conclusions.

*

In a world were communication is pervasive and addictive and fake - communication is the core of evil. The enemy of communication is direct knowing.

Our primary task is therefore to know directly; which entails to live from the primary thinking of our true selves.

We will all, sooner or later, be confronted by this reality: confronted but not compelled - we cannot be compelled to reject the fake and embrace the truth.

But we can be compelled to make the choice in a situation of maximum clarity about the issue at stake; that issue being the salvation of our souls.


Saturday, 2 September 2017

What is Spiritual Awakening?

In the second epistle to the Thessalonians St Paul writes of a 'strong delusion' that God will send to those who refuse to love truth. This seems a little unfair. Why make things harder for those who are already erring? But it echoes Jesus's statement that more will be given to those who already have while those who do not have will lose even what little they do have. 

What's going on here? I think Jesus is saying that the act of opening one's heart to God allows you to receive all kinds of spiritual benefits while closing your heart to God will cut you off from the spiritual world so you plunge further and further into darkness and delusion. Note that spiritual benefits does not mean the good things of life. It may entail suffering and hardship but you will be brought closer to truth and eventual release from the chains of this world. You will be led to liberation.

What St Paul says is something similar. Those who deny God are given what they want. Which is a lie. Their initial act is a rejection of the truth that is both within them and also proclaimed in both nature and scripture if we look with unprejudiced eyes. This rejection is caused by egotism. It is an act of will not intellect. They have chosen untruth so God sends them more of that, not to punish them but to give them the results of their decision. Obviously God does not punish in a mean, vengeful sense but acts and choices have consequences, and the strong delusion is the consequence of the denial of truth. You might say that God gives you enough rope to hang yourself with if that's what you want to do. You have a test of your spiritual integrity and if you are not equal to that because of what ultimately amounts to a moral failing (yes it does) then the strong delusion is provided for you to confirm you in your ignorance. Your heart could not be tested if there was not a plausible alternative to belief in God. The strong delusion is an (apparently) viable alternative that can be used to justify unbelief if that's what you want to do even if, when examined with honesty and clarity, it does not hold up.

So what is this strong delusion? Assuming we are living in the end times what could it be? By the way, it seems more and more likely that we are indeed living in something approximating to the end times since however far man has fallen in the past he has always known that he has fallen whereas now he likes to think he is progressing, so much has he lost sight of his origins and destiny. It is only recently that he has sunk so low from a spiritual perspective he believes himself to be higher than ever. Assuming, then, that these are the end times, what is the delusion? There are several candidates ranging from general atheism to materialism to Marxism (hard or soft) to Darwinian evolution which sees intelligent conscious life as arising from dead matter through random mutation of its component parts. It could be any of these but today there is actually something that combines them all and that is Leftism, the popular belief system of the modern world.

The strong delusion must be shared by many, if not most, people. It must be the accepted wisdom of the worldly elite. It must be anti-Christian in spirit. It must corrupt nature. And it must be thought of as good in the light of how we see the world. All these things apply to Leftism. Leftism is the strong delusion of the modern world.

This leads us to the question in the title of this piece. What is spiritual awakening? And the answer to that, or a good part of it, surely is awakening to the truth that modern Leftist thought is a 'strong delusion'. This doesn't mean abandoning the humanitarianism that is the supposed justification of the Leftist claim to truth but seeing that in the light of the reality of God not man.

For the religion of Man, which is what Leftism is, is a false religion that steals concepts relating to the spiritual plane and misapplies them to worldly levels without acknowledging the higher world from whence they derive and without which they have no meaning. 

To take just one example, pertinent at the moment, Leftism sees it as the right thing to do to help a man who wants to become a woman to do so because a person has the right to be what he wants to be.  But the spiritual view sees this as a rebellion against God's will for you and a refusal to live your life as intended. In terms of Hinduism it is rejecting your karma (destined path) and your dharma (duty in life). And, as it is said, it's better to do your own dharma badly than somebody else's well.

Furthermore to fight nature is to fight God who made nature. Nature is meant to be transformed by grace not deformed by man.


So we must awaken from the false idea that man is meant for man and see men and women as meant for God which means see them in the light of the reality of God not the false reality of their own light. Spiritual awakening means acknowledging the reality of the vertical axis which we have completely lost contact with, seeing everything as only existing on a horizontal plane. It means acknowledging transcendence. The strong delusion is the denial of transcendence.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Christ's return in the etheric? - making sense of Rudolf Steiner's false prophecy

Rudolf Steiner gave many lectures in which he announced and elaborated upon a prophecy that Christ would return to earth in about 1933, but not as an incarnate but instead in the etheric realm; where he would be perceptible only to those of spiritual discernment.

http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/ReapChrist/ReaChr_index.html

To me, this prophecy was wrong in so many levels that my inclination is to reject it outright. For example, I do not believe for a moment that God unfolds his plans according to pre-specified dates, and it seems crystal clear from the gospels that the second coming cannot be foretold.

But given my basic respect for Steiner, my preference is to try and make sense of this prophecy in terms of him having sensed something true, but misinterpreted its meaning because of his personal quirks relating to numerology and his fixed conviction that Man's destiny was pre-specified in terms of sequential eras of fixed length and function, extending over millennia...

What I infer happened, was that - by his sensitive spiritual discernment, and his profound understanding of the history of Man's consciousness - Steiner realised that it was God's hope, and the time was ripe, for modern Western Man to move to a new kind of intuitive spirituality of thinking, of which Goethe's life gave a foretaste.

It was therefore Man's destiny to move forward from the dominant materialism, and spiritual blindness, of the modern era; and if this happened then there would be new and expanded possibilities of direct, intuitive knowing.

One vital and crucial aspect of this was that If Man developed this new spirituality, Then he would come to experience Christ as a living and active personal presence in the world - not by seeing, hearing or touching Christ in a body (this would have to be an imagined Christ, an hallucinated Christ); but instead by a direct, intuitive knowing of Christ in thinking.

 What this means, in practice, is that for modern Man it is more important to become spiritual than to become 'a Christian' because to become a non-spiritual Christian is not enough; while to become truly spiritual (in the intuitive, thinking-based way described by Steiner) will also, inevitably, sooner-or-later, lead to becoming a Christian by direct personal experience.

To be clear: this is not what Steiner actually said, but my interpretation of what underlay it, but could this be true?

Could it really be that - here and now, in this modern world - well-motivated sincere spirituality of the true self will lead to true Christianity for any serious, seeking individual, without any other input being necessary?

Yes, I think so.

This sounds outrageous at first; but it is clear that merely 'being a Christian' in the usual sense is not enough now (if it ever was).

Modern Christians are often terribly lacking in discernment, and wide-open to demonic deceptions, corruptions and inversions.

The traditions of the churches are wrecked, Biblical interpretation deeply distorted, philosophy riddled with false assumptions; the general culture is one of lies, ugliness and sin-enforced as virtue; many or most church leaders, priests and pastors are primarily secular Left materialists working strategically to harness Christianity to politics; Good to evil...

There are so few safe and reliable sources of Christianity that it seems we must have direct knowledge of the truth - or else what we learn may be worse than nothing.

If that is what we absolutely need, then that is what God will surely have provided. We need direct knowledge of spiritual truths, and that is now available to us; and the method by which this is made possible should therefore be our first priority.


Saturday, 26 August 2017

The Problem of Susan

I think CS Lewis was very wise in deciding that Susan was not going to make it to heaven when he had her preferring nylons and lipstick to Narnia thereby rejecting the spiritual world for the material one. We don't know what eventually happened to her but it may be that her choice was decisive or then again it may not since she would perhaps have had time to regret her decision.

For those who haven't read The Last Battle, the final story in the Narnia series, let me just explain what I am referring to here. The Pevensey children, who once came to Narnia from this world and ruled for a full life span as kings and queens, are involved in a train crash in England and they all die except Susan who was not on the train. They return to Narnia but not the Narnia they knew before. This is the higher, more archetypal Narnia which remains after the created, or more worldly, version is destroyed at the end of time. It is now a heavenly realm, or the approach to such, and the children have earned the right to be here because they have stayed faithful to Narnia and the principles of which Narnia is an embodiment. Susan, however, the eldest sister, has not. She has renounced imagination for reality or what she thinks of as reality. Basically the here and now, what's in front of your eyes and can be touched, tasted and so on sort of reality. The reality that everyone agrees is reality and what really matters. Susan has grown up but in growing up she has lost her soul.

Lewis was wise because there are many people like that, people who, when young, are still sensitive to spiritual things but as they grow up and the world closes in around them forget. Why do they forget? They forget for various reasons but two of the most common ones are that their inner perception was not that strong to begin with while their propensity to be attracted to worldly things was strong because of a spiritual deficiency within them. There was a materialism in their soul which is brought out by the temptations and distractions of the world so they lose contact with deeper reality.

These are hard words but nothing is gained by soft-soaping the truth. Susan was spiritually weak but Peter, Edmund and Lucy were spiritually strong, especially Lucy who was always the closest to Aslan/Christ, exonerating Lewis of any silly charges of sexism. We should note that Edmund had started off badly in the first story, siding with the witch through greed and ambition, but came good in the end so Lewis allows for both eventualities, the sinner who repents and the believer who loses her belief because of the pull of the world.

Susan could be any one of us. If we fall away from truth then an initial awakening is not going to help us. Yes, we must awaken to the spiritual world and see it as the true world but then we must keep faithful to that however hard it gets and however separated from it in our consciousness we seem to become. Susan had had the immense good fortune to have what amounts to a spiritual experience when young but she lost contact with that. She lost contact because she now regarded it as make believe as she had become distracted by worldly things, but we can also lose contact if we, while still believing with our outer mind, don't live up to it. We can believe in God but if we live as though this world is the proper or prime reality, as many outwardly religious people do, then it is as if we did not believe. For what use is belief if it doesn't transform us or, at least, totally reorient us? So many people profess religious belief but act and behave little differently from those who don't. Their heart is still in this world. Their belief is shallow. They may seem good people in a conventional sense but they do not have any real love of God in them and that, when all is said and done, is the only true spiritual virtue.

Susan not only lacked this love (unlike Lucy who had it in abundance) but she had lost belief altogether because her priorities were elsewhere, in her case possibly sensual satisfaction and the pleasure of being admired. She can serve as a warning to us all, that the spiritual path is a life long journey which must be constantly worked at and deepened or it will just lead back to the world even if externally all seems well. If we would really build the truths of the spiritual world into our consciousness then that must always take absolute precedence over everything else.

Susan admired and was admired by the world but she had lost the one thing that really matters.



Tuesday, 22 August 2017

The Rebellion of the Left


Here's a question. As ideas pertaining to the left are fundamentally anti-God (which they are since they replace the centrality of God with the centrality of Man who is regarded as sufficient unto himself, effectively his own creator with responsibility to no one but himself and free to make his own decisions based on his own desires and will), are people on the left bad people? As they have turned their faces from the true good to a false good does that make them bad?


We live in a world where everyone has the right to be what they want as long as they are not (apparently) harming anyone else, and so it is very hard to say that someone is a bad person who isn't obviously so because of cruelty or extreme selfishness. Live and let live we say, and that's a good thing up to a point. But I think that anyone attracted to left wing ideology, especially as it is now when it is no longer the economic thing it largely was in the past but goes right to the roots of what a human being is supposed to be and to think, does have a spiritual defect which, when analysed, can often be seen as rebellion against the Creator. And this I'm afraid does have the potential to make them a bad person inasmuch as anyone can be described as that. At the very least they are spiritually deficient and seemingly celebrating that rather than seeking to redress it.


Now I don't say this applies to anyone just mildly left wing in their approach because we live in an ignorant age when people are largely cut off from the truth and fed lies, and most follow the status quo. But it does apply to many activists of the modern left. These people are basically rebels against God and you can clearly see this since their prime motivation, when you strip away the fine words on the surface, is often a mixture of hatred, resentment and anger. Their urge is to destroy even when they are being creative (see much 20th century art and philosophy), and what they seek to destroy is the natural order of the universe.


Before I go any further I should acknowledge that we are all sinners. We all have the stain of egotism. That's a fact of being born into this world. But some of us attempt to put that right by following spiritual teachings designed to help us out of this situation. We recognise that we are not right with our Maker and try to put ourselves right. But others, and this very much applies to those on the left in my experience, do not acknowledge this and actually regard their sinful separation from God as a virtue. They are the wise and noble and truthful and good ones. I fear that in this deluded posturing they follow the first leftist who sought to justify his rebellion against God as something heroic.


How does what I am saying here differ from someone who demonises his opponents in the attempt to justify destroying them? We know where that leads. Am I not doing that or else what the left does when it paints its ideological enemies as either mentally ill or wicked? I don't believe I am. I am not trying to slander or silence the left but to point to the roots of their failings and to say that these are spiritual. As I have said, we are all sinners but there is a difference between acknowledging your sinful state and representing it as virtue. And then there is the matter of truth. Not all points of view are equal. If one person argues from truth and another from falsehood they are not doing the same thing and cannot be given the same consideration. You might say that motive matters and so, of course, it does but I would submit that anyone who takes a stand against truth is by that very fact ill motivated. The truth is in us and it is proclaimed loud and clear in religion. We have no excuse to reject it. Naturally earthly religions are far from perfect but most have enough of the truth in them to guide us to some kind of understanding. To reject that is to reject truth and a person of sound mind and good heart cannot reject truth. He can misconstrue it or misinterpret it due to personal limitations but, if his heart is true, he cannot totally distort it.


Who's to say what is truth, you might counter, to which I would respond that truth proclaims itself. It is of our nature. It is not an ideology or a relativistic point of view but the very fabric of our being. If we are true, we know the truth, to an extent at least. Jesus said that those who were his would recognise him, and he was the truth. But if we, or something in us, are false, well that's another matter. And that is my reproach to the left.


Besides leftism cannot be true due to its origin.For it is basically a reaction to something, inspired by hatred of that thing, whereas the spiritual understanding that opposes it comes from love of something, something higher than ourselves. The left recognises nothing higher than ourselves.


So when I point to what I regard as the moral failings of the left I am not speaking from hatred of the left but from love of God  or as much of that as I am capable of responding to. So I am saying that those who follow the ideological precepts of the left are spiritually deficient and usually that is because of a perversion of the will since it is the will rather than the mind that is at the heart of everything we do. That's why God seeks people of good will before those of high intellect. After all no one is smarter than Satan in a strictly intellectual sense. The ideological left does not have good will, though that is hidden behind its outwardly fine sounding humanitarian agendas. But how can you be a humanitarian when you are denying that which fulfils our true humanity which is God? To be a real human being always requires going beyond the merely human since the real human being is a multi-dimensional creature, one not restricted to material levels and appetites, aims and goals. The real human being has his home and his destiny elsewhere than here.


Therefore I do condemn those on the left because they have departed from the path of truth and, worse, seek to drag others with them. But there is a way back for them. The same way back that there is for all of us. It is repentance. However to repent you have to accept that you are in the wrong, and how many on the left ever do that? They are too enamoured of their sin, too identified with the false virtues of their rebellion, to acknowledge its rotten roots. So there is hope, there's always hope, but to avail themselves of it they will have to become humble, like little children, and return to their Father with a chastened spirit. They will have to acknowledge their perverted will. Then (who knows?) they may be amongst the best of God's servants.



Saturday, 19 August 2017

The Game of life requires forgetting and letting go - a perspective from William Arkle


ME: "My cup runneth over" and I am concerned to catch the valuable life experience and not allow it to go to waste doing the wrong thing at the wrong time. There are so many possibilities to choose from in my creative play.

GOD: You simply cannot do everything all of the time. 

Experiment and waste go together and lead to discovery, so don't become anxious about results.

Try to enjoy the process itself which allows for lateral thinking and lateral diversions. The new things are not found where you expect them to be.

We can't live "new beginnings" without letting go of the "old beginnings" and allowing them to slip away. All that is really valuable will come back to you when it is needed.

This is part of The Game of life which requires forgetting and letting go with good grace and a sense of non-importance of ones valuable Self.

So do not fear to waste your time and energy, you will never run out of them and the "Crisis" in the World is only solved by those who follow the best instincts of their Spiritual Nature.


From a short piece by William Arkle written just before he died.

Friday, 18 August 2017

How do we know that awakening is needed?

...Because we live, in all mainstream public discourse, in an insane world of lies.

The insanity can be seen in the kind of things we talk about and what is avoided/ excluded from conversation.

The lies can be seen in that all our insane conversations are built on lies - in deliberate lies: that is, on strategically dishonest, selective, distorted, misrepresentation ad misleading (as can be seen if ever we can compare public discourse with reality as experienced directly).

We categorically live in a world where what is treated as of primary importance is either trivial or false; or when genuinely important is permeated with very obvious distortions and taboos.

Now, all this is perfectly obvious to everyone who is genuine in their spiritual Christianity; but in fact very few people indeed are genuine in their spiritual Christianity - very, very few. (Not because they try and fail; but because they are not even trying.)

And those who are not actively seeking to live in a spiritual way in the context of Christianity, are - here-and-now - in great peril; because for the first time in history the mainstream public discourse is positively leading to chosen self-damnation.

I mean, normal modern people disbelieve in anything other than the material world and see no need to seek for anything other; and/ or when they are spiritual - eg. New Age, Perennial Philosophy/ Eastern Religious people, they disbelieve in the reality of purposive evil in this world and the possibility that they themselves are on course deliberately to blight their own eternal life beyond mortal death by choosing to side-against God. 

The fact is that we modern people in The West live in an insane world of lies; therefore if we adopt a passive attitude to human existence we will develop and endorse and end-up deliberately choosing an insane and lying eternity - which we can do, because we are free agents.

We simply must notice our pervasive environment of insane lies, must awake to the reality of our situation, and must acknowledge the fact of our own personal agency - our freedom...

We simply must become spiritually active, striving; must take our personal life and the nature of existence seriously and truthfully, and then (but only then) can we do something constructive about our situation. 



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.