Saturday 21 October 2017


I was born and brought up in London and lived there for the first 23 years of my life before leaving, vowing never to go back. However 21 years later I did go back and here I have been, living and working, ever since.

The reason I left was that I had become aware of the spiritual path and London epitomised worldliness to me at that time. The people and the place, their goals and its atmosphere, were materialistic through and through or so it seemed to me in the light of my new approach to life.

I spent the next 21 years leading what I suppose I have to term a contemplative life though that description does seem a little grand. But it was a quiet life largely centred around prayer and meditation and the attempt to lead an existence dedicated to the spiritual quest. I was a vegetarian and had no social life to speak of. I lived on not much and was without a proper job though I was not idle doing occasional part time work in museums and teaching English, depending on where I was.  I read, wrote a bit, walked a lot, gardened when I had a garden and so on. But I allowed nothing to interfere with my main purpose. Sometimes I felt a little concerned that I should be doing more but when I asked my spiritual instructors about that was told that for now this was my task.

As implied by that statement this period came to end and many years after I had left London I found myself back there again, living and, for the first time in a while, working full time. It was quite a change, I can tell you. If London had seemed worldly before now it was a veritable Babylon. It hardly even felt part of England, such had been the enormous demographic changes over the past couple of decades but the cultural and political changes had eaten away at it too. Babylon was presumably a city without a heart. London has surely become that now.

Let me come to the point. Actually I have two points.  Point one is that sometimes God puts us in a decidedly unspiritual environment either to test us or perhaps to see what we can put back, in however small a way it might be. 

Point two concerns London itself. In many ways I had been very attached to the city in the way that anyone is attached to where they are born and bred, but also because certain parts of it did seem rather magical to me when young. Most particularly some of the parks and gardens but there were also little areas full of character all over the city. These seemed far fewer to me on my return, partly no doubt because I was older but also because modernism and modernization had done their best to destroy much that was individual. 

When I was at school I had the good fortune to attend a service at Westminster Abbey six days a week every morning for four years, getting there by walking through the East Cloister. For one year I even sat in the Choir, and probably the most terrifying moment of my life was when, aged about 13, I had to read a lesson to about 400 people from a lectern up by the High Altar. Inevitably as a schoolboy I took all this for granted but now, looking back, I am very grateful for the experience and feel that Westminster Abbey is the spiritual heart of London and has deep national significance.

And here (not before time) I come to my reason for writing this piece. I believe there are important places, spiritual power points if you like, all over the planet and London is one of them. It is for this reason I think that the demons who seek dominion over this world have done their best to destroy it. They have done the same with England as a whole and they are currently hell-bent on doing the same to the United States. Of course they do this everywhere but their primary focus is always on undermining those places where there is most potential for good. It is just so obvious that certain places have been marked for attention and that they are being brought low and corrupted so that their spiritually leavening effect is diminished. It is not chauvinism to recognise this but plain common sense. There's not much we as individuals can do about it other than to point it out and try, as best we can, to stand against the spiritual degradation of those places in the Western world that have the potential to awaken humanity to higher ways of being. Both Great Britain and America (though not only them, of course) have, however imperfectly, played that role in the past, and the fact that so much energy is expended on trying to destroy them rather indicates that they have the potential to do so again in the future. (See here for a prophecy saying as much.) 

I have no idea what the future holds but one thing I do feel sure about is that both Britain and America stand for real freedom and it would be to humanity's great loss if that were allowed to be overwhelmed by a kind of internationalism that pretends freedom but is really about conforming to a bland secular uniformity in which control, though disguised, is everywhere.


Bruce Charlton said...

A fine piece. I don't know London well, but have lived and worked for a few weeks in and around St Bartholemew's Hospital in the ancient City area; and certainly there was a magic about that place, in the stones, it seemed - but not in the people.

What also strikes me is that things are not as bad as I would expect them to be given the surface materialism and lack of courage. The people of England seem almost-wholly to lack the necessary qualities to survive and move-ahead to embrace and attain our spiritual destiny, and yet... *something* certainly is active and at work, the effects of which can be seen in sheer survival, but the thing itself can't be seen. I can only presume 'it' is supernatural, supersensible...

William Wildblood said...

Let's hope you're right, Bruce. I didn't know London before it was bombed in the 2nd World War but people who did told me there was an even greater sense of character and history about it, as one would expect, of course. That was particularly the case as regards the City.

John Fitzgerald said...

I'm not a very frequent visitor to London but it's churches (of all denominations) are remarkable and I've always enjoyed walking around Blooksbury and Fitzrovia. There's something very suggestive about the buildings and the squares.

Charles Willimas writes magnificently about London in All Hallows' Eve I think. He brings the city alive spiritually and it's the perfect mise en scene for his dpowerful drama of redemption and damnation.

Peter Ackroyd's written well on Lomdon too, but the best book I've read on te city is the musician Jah Wobble's autobiography 'Memoirs of a Geezer' (2010). Wobble's a deeply spiritual man, a 'Stepney geezer', as he describes himself, very much in the lineage of Blake. Amongst many other things his book is a superb evocation of the spiritual essence of a city which, who knows, might be all the more potent the more it is driven underground by contemporary ideology and market forces.

William Wildblood said...

Let's hope your last point is true too, John! I do sometimes wonder whether there is anything spiritually significant about the fact that Greenwich, which is another fascinating place, serves as the meridian for the entire world.

Chiu ChunLing said...

I seriously doubt whether the locations that commonly attract the building of cities are ever of great innate spiritual value. There are forces that we may call mystical at work in the gathering of large concentrations of any population, that much is clear. But the mystical forces that gather enough people to build a city are typically appealing to the baser instincts rather than the higher nature of humanity.

It is rare enough for even a monument to be built on a place of true spiritual power, because those really sensitive to it regard the ground as already sacred and such spots offer little to attract the venal mind. I have walked barefoot on rocky peaks it would be sacrilege to place under my bootheel, let alone a crudity of mortar and bricks.

But not every instinct is bad of itself, and the most common, being oriented towards the survival and felicity of human life, are more often good than not. This I believe to be the case of many a city located on the banks of a broad flowing river, with approaches over fertile land suitable for cultivation and the keeping of flocks, and a horizon which gladdens the heart of the husbandman. I do not mistake these for especially spiritual motives of themselves, but to the spiritual eye they seem the better part of human nature.

And it is abundantly clear that the enemy seeks to destroy them.

William Wildblood said...

CCL, you may be right but perhaps it is a question of focal points of energy (very vague term I know) which can be utilised for good or ill depending on the quality of the people. Several ancient cities , though not London I think, do have stories of their foundation because of some miraculous local occurrence or other or even direction by a god.

But I would just like to quote a section from William Blake's Jerusalem which is apposite here. Blake, of course, if the prophet of Albion and seer of London if anyone is.

The Fields from Islington to Marybone,
To Primrose Hill and Saint John’s Wood,
Were builded over with pillars of gold;
And there Jerusalem’s pillars stood.

Her Little Ones ran on the fields,
The Lamb of God among them seen,
And fair Jerusalem, His Bride,
Among the little meadows green.

Pancras and Kentish Town repose
Among her golden pillars high,
Among her golden arches which
Shine upon the starry sky.