Saturday 23 March 2019

It's Time to Build Your Ark

You've probably heard this before. These are the end times when humanity has turned so far away from God, and actually perceives the source of goodness and truth as, if not evil, then a product of ignorance, that judgement of some sort cannot be far away. The situation gets worse almost by the week. The hatred of those who set the agenda in politics and culture for spiritual truth is ever more apparent. The inversion of values as the transcendent is denied proceeds apace with fewer people able to perceive what is happening and more getting on board with the lie as is hard not to do since it is everywhere, in all things. And as people allow themselves to believe this lie their minds are poisoned and their hearts corrupted. The fact that this was foretold does not make it less of a tragedy. We may know, because we have been told, that good will eventually triumph but it's sometimes hard living in the middle of this time of spiritual darkness to hold on to that, though hold on we must. For those who have not abandoned God, it really is time to build an ark.

But what form can this ark take? Bear in mind that its chief purpose is of spiritual protection not physical safety as before. Therefore it has to be a mental ark this time, an ark of consciousness, you might say. It has to be constructed of faith and understanding which are the only things that can provide a bulwark against the oppression that is the modern orthodoxy of secular humanism based on materialistic atheism.

At the end of an age the world slides into chaos. The work of the age is to build up order out of chaos but when that order has reached its apogee (in the context of the intrinsic quality of the age) then there is nothing left but to run down and disintegrate back into chaos. That is what is now happening. Spiritual order is crumbling and chaos reasserting itself.

But there is a difference between the chaos at the beginning of an age and that at the end. At the beginning, chaos is unformed potential, akin to primal matter or the state of the world before it is touched by the Word. It is fruitful, capable of being organised. But at the end it has become sterile, its creative potential exhausted and its capacity to manifest and hold form of a higher nature so weakened that any attempt to impose this comes to naught. This is why nothing true or real 'sticks' now. The world has solidified around us so much that mass consciousness cannot respond to higher, spiritual states of being. It cannot hear the Word from above and so must react to lower voices but the structures these build are false and insubstantial and do not last for long. But then when they fail they are replaced by others just as unreal. 

However this only applies to mass consciousness. We all have the image of God within us, stamped on our heart, and individuals can always step away from the spirit of the times and respond to that divine image. But to do this, you have to be true to the reality of what is inside yourself and not be led astray by the noise of the world which will certainly drown out the inner voice unless you learn to step aside from the world and love the real Good.

In the coming years our hearts will be tested and the choices will be clearly defined but, at the same time, the right choice will not be easy precisely because it will be made difficult. You will have to make a positive effort and go against the flow, against the wisdom of the world and its best and brightest to make that right choice. However that does mean it will be real. Your choice will be yours, coming from within yourself, based on your own intuitive response to spiritual truth.  As time passes now lines will be drawn and there will be no room for the agnostic. As Christ said, "He who is not with me is against me." This might seem unreasonable but what is meant is that the heart must incline itself to the spirit of truth in a positive way and if it doesn't do that completely then it hasn't done it at all.

When you have made your choice, you must build your ark. An ark of faith and devotion to truth that will carry you through the downpour of worldly lies and deceit until that deluge stops and the spiritual sun arises once more which it will do. Until it does, though, make sure your ark is watertight.


John Fitzgerald said...

What a compelling post, William! Wise, bracing and perceptive. Essential reading in every way. Goodness me! My only caveat would be that I do feel there needs to be a collective element to the Ark you are rightly encouraging us to build. I'm thinking along the lines of the Company of St. Anne's in 'That Hideous Strength' and the order founded by Charles Williams, 'The Companions of the Co-Inherence.' It's an approach fraught with danger, of course. Williams himself fell a long way short of the high standards of Christian knighthood he was aiming for. But unless we band together in some concrete, tangible way, I feel we run the risk of privatising our faith as we stand alone in our induvidual arks (or silos, perhaps?) That, in my view, will make it far easier for the Father of Lies to confuse our minds and pick us off one by one.

So it's unity that's most important, to my mind, at this stage of the Kali Yuga. I'm not convinced that purely individual Arks will be strong enough to withstand the storm that is coming. Because a great deception, I feel, is undoubtedly on its way. And I wonder if I'm alone in suspecting that this deception might take the form of a pseudo-conservative reaction to the prevailing liberalism of our age. The Traditionalist poet and scholar, Charles Upton, writes brilliantly about this possibility in his magnum opus 'The System of the Antichrist.' The key for me is Christ's prophecy of the great tyranny that will immediately precede His second coming. Except that the days of this deception will be shortened, He says (loosely paraphrasing) then 'the elect' themselves could very well be deceived. For all the destructiveness of secular humanism it is hard to see a religious and spiritual 'elect' being seduced by such a blatantly anti-God system. But someone posing as a defender of civilisation, tradition and faith could conceivably garner much support, especially if people's backs had been pushed to the wall by the previous liberal regime.

Beyond the coming chastisement and collapse, however, lies the new dawn of the Golden Age to come, Another great Traditionalist poet and scholar, Martin Lings (a major influence on Upton), writes suggestively in his book, 'The Eleventh Hour', about how, as we approach the terminal point of the Age, the light of the Age to come will increasingly find a way of shining into the darkness of our times.

I was wondering, William, if you feel you might have seen or felt this light in any way in recent times? I'm not sure I have but I believe in its approach and I feel that this is the task before us - to discern this light, attune ourselves to it, contemplate the Divine in its presence, and radiate that out to the world, This, I am coming to feel, is the best way of countering the evil of our epoch.

Another Gospel line springs to mind, about 'the Son of Man coming on the clouds in great power and glory.' This is usually interpreted as a sudden apparition in the sky, coming out if nowhere, and which everyone in the world will see at the same time. But what if this image - this icon, you might say - is already active in the world, but only a few at the moment can perceive it? And what if, as the world grows darker, so the image of 'the Son of Man coming on the clouds in great power and glory' becomes brighter and brighter in counterpoint and counter-distinction to the dark? We are called, I am sure, to be witnesses to this phenomenon - forerunners and heralds - so that more and more people become able to discern truth from falsehood, and recognise and follow Christ, rather than passively letting themselves be swallowed up in the deluge of dissolution. This way, I hope, the transition from one Age to the next can be viewed as a fruitful rather than a purely destructive experience.

William Wildblood said...

Sorry not to have responded before, John. I've only just looked at the computer. I do agree that there does need to be a collective element to this idea of a spiritual ark. Perhaps that's what blogs like this and others seek to do? That way we can avoid falling into spiritual pride (or have a better chance of not doing so) which would be quite easy if you thought that you alone were on the right track and everyone else was lost. Also, there is a better chance of correcting mistakes where a group of like-minded people get together than just one alone.

Unfortunately I don't know anyone in my normal life who thinks along these lines. That's whyI am grateful for blogs even if I have a lot of reservations about the whole computer/internet way of life we seem to have fallen into.

I personally don't sense any light on the horizon but that could just be my lack of vision. I do feel that increasingly things are, as Bruce says, quoting CS Lewis, coming to a point. Regarding a pseudo conservative reaction, I think this every possible even likely but I don't think it would be so widespread as to influence a majority. But it could very well be a focused kind of thing, targeted on the religious to make them fall into shadow. In my forthcoming book (sorry for the self-publicity!) i talk about the two divine qualities of truth and love and how the left has deformed love. A movement from the right could very well deform truth, making people think they are preserving it but denying love in the process. I suppose we all have the defects of our qualities and we have to be alive as to the ways we can be led astray, falling into evil while thinking we are defending the good.

Bruce Charlton said...

@William - Whenever I try to do anything that seems analogous to building an ark, it fails for one reason or another. I can barely get any such project begun - it soon feels very dead and routine and 'wrong'.

It feels like I am being shaped into something quite different - which is much more of a moment by moment, non-strategic kind of thing.

I think what I am supposed to be doing, is be thinking in the right kind of way - and then see what happens. And my attempts at ark building seem to get in the way of this, by making me try to stick to a plan.

William Wildblood said...

What I mean by an ark, Bruce, is just a kind of spiritual self-protection. A dedication to truth which doesn't succumb to the apparent wisdom of the world. Because the time is coming I think when the true good will be regarded as bad and it will be hard to stay the course without having a firm foundation, based on reason and faith, that can withstand that.

So not a project particularly but something like an armour of light that you can visualise around yourself.

Bruce Charlton said...

@William - I suppose this is what I find I can't seem to do.

But what I sometimes can do - is inwardly find my real (divine) self, and/or bring this into a communication with the Holy Ghost - and in that kind of way find direction and guidance in a public world of lies and orientated towards evil. This is always brief, and often I can't achieve it. Nonetheless, it is what I rate most highly in life.

So - for me it is nearly always something inside me, rather than around me.

William Wildblood said...

In a way, inside and around amount to more or less the same thing since in both cases it is an act of the imagination. As a matter of fact, like you I find it easier to try to find the point of divine contact within than build this armour of light around myself. I was advised to do that but have always found it hard to do except briefly.

The point is though that the waters out there are getting rougher by the day so we need something to help us withstand the storm. Prayer, meditation, scripture reading, all these can help build what I've called our ark in this post.

Wurmbrand said...

An armour of light to protect oneself is one thing, but an ark is another, at least if the allusion is to the Old Testament. Noah's ark was the ark for Noah, his sons, and their wives (and, yes, the animals, as everyone does remember). It would be interesting to see Mr. Wildblood take the ark image and develop it further, along these lines. What about the kids?

William Wildblood said...

The ark idea was just a metaphor for the need for spiritual protection in these days of mass spiritual apostasy. The idea was that we should build a kind of mental ark that can shelter us from the ideological distortions of reality that rain down on us.

I have two children and am very concerned that they will be led astray by the world they are growing up in, by their schooling, the culture they absorb and so on. When they were younger that was relatively easy but now they are teenagers it is hard. But at the end of the day, you can only do what you can and the rest is up to God and the individual concerned. You can't force spiritual understanding. You can only give the opportunity for it to develop.

JMSmith said...

There is a curious synchronicity between this post and my recent "Fellaheen Feeling" post on the Orthosphere. There I describe it in terms of nostalgia for the mud and sinking back into life "in the flesh." With respect to this post, though, I wonder if the hardest part of building an ark isn't simply accepting that an ark must be built. Noah had first to accept the alarming idea that the world he knew was about to change radically, and that, very shortly, he and his family would not be able to walk around on dry land.

I don't know if news of the movie "Unplanned" is known over there, but it's more evidence that the flood is upon us. The movie tells the story of a young women who grew up a few miles from here, worked for the old Planned Parenthood mill in this town, and then had a life-changing revelation that abortion was evil. It's a low-budget film made for Christian audiences, but television stations have refused to carry advertisements and Twitter has blocked any mention of it. People are waiting to see if Facebook will do likewise. Thus it is now very difficult to publicize a true story about a young woman who came to agree with the majority of Americans and every Western moralist from the fall of Rome to the First World War.

Similar examples are not hard to find. American traditionalists enjoy some constitutional protections against government harassment, but in the rising floodwaters of private harassment, they are on their own.

William Wildblood said...

I read your post yesterday and thought it really excellent and so pertinent. Nice pictures too! I believe you are right about the hardest part of this process being accepting that an ark needs to be built. We are told that people have always predicted the end of the world but it never happens so what's new now? What's new is the fact that humanity, in Christian countries, at least, has always known it was in a fallen condition and regretted that, but now we both deny it on the one hand and actually celebrate it on the other as your point about that movie makes clear. This shows the degree of our rupture from divine truth like nothing else.