Friday 29 June 2018

How and why England's lost mythology can be recovered

A much quoted Tolkien letter described his goal in writing his large and uncompleted 'Silmarillion' legendarium: I had a mind to make a body of more or less connected legend, ranging from the large and cosmogonic, to the level of romantic fairy-story-the larger founded on the lesser in contact with the earth, the lesser drawing splendour from the vast backcloths – which I could dedicate simply to: to England; to my country.

The need for Tolkien to embark on this vast project is described in another part of this letter: I was from early days grieved by the poverty of my own beloved country: it had no stories of its own (bound up with its tongue and soil), not of the quality I sought and found (as an ingredient) in legends of other lands.

What Tolkien meant specifically was the pre-Christian Anglo Saxon folklore, myths, legends and religion. But we could extend our regret to the whole vast era of pre-Roman (and indeed Roman) Britain - going back through the druids of the Iron Age 'Celts' through the transitional bronze age; to the builders of the megalithic monuments and that vast and elaborate sacred landscape of linked and orientated standing stones (and wooden structures), earthworks and enclosures, causeways, hills, ridgeways and tombs that occupies so much of southern and central England (as well as being found in many other parts of the British Isles).

So much has been lost! And we may feel, like Tolkien, that what was lost is important - indeed, that we really need to know what was lost, and because we don't know it we are impaired, stunted, unable to proceed to where we ought to gone.

The problem is most acute for England specifically; because of the Norman conquest, which eradicated, all-but obliterated, Anglo Saxon high culture. And was compounded by Henry VIII's depredations and the activities of Puritan iconoclasts.

The scholarly approach has recovered much of value - both from archaeology, from careful analyses and comparison of documents, place names, dialect words and other fragments (including the deployment of philology - Tolkien's discipline). Yet there is so much missed, which seems that it is probably important.

Why important? The unspoken aim of the yearning that all this triggers is perhaps that we feel a need to know in order that we might pick-up the broken threads, and resume a development that was prematurely broken-off... to our loss. Because it was broken-off, because the knowledge was lost, it feels like the deficit is incurable...

Well, leaving aside - or building-around - the world of scholarship and rational extrapolations of material 'evidence'; I think we can be confident that - in one way or another, and insofar as it is important and necessary - recovery of lost knowledge can be done. Indeed, not just 'can' but it will be done, if we sincerely seek it. (Sincerely = for the sake of destiny and not for our benefit.)

So we need not worry, but we should pay attention; pay attention to our own, personal, intuitive thinking which (by some version of synchronicity) will lead to to exactly what we need.

But why should we be confident of this? Very simply, because as Christians we can have faith in our loving God, the creator, our Father; who will arrange matters such that we (his children) are not thwarted by lack of knowledge which may be lost to us, but is known to him.

All God has to do is communicate it to us; all we have to do is seek and understand it.

Note: It may be asked why we need to seek for this knowledge, if it is important? Why don't we know it already, or why doesn't God ensure that everybody is told it explicitly? The answer is profound, and to do with the essence and purpose of this world; which is for our experience and learning. Striving, seeking, overcoming... these are vital aspects of our learning. Therefore the typical pattern is that God wants us to do as-much-as-possible for ourselves - and 'help' is only provided when absolutely required. 

Thursday 28 June 2018

Niceness is corrupted; niceness is not enough

As a strong generalisation among the British people - whether children through growing-up, or simply being adults across the decades: nice people will always become corrupted sooner or later by leftism and the sexual revolution, unless (sometimes) when they are religious.

Niceness is a virtue of sorts - but a minor virtue. When niceness is treated as if it were a major virtue, then - in a mostly-corrupt world - corruption is almost inevitable.

So (in Britain, now) nice kids (kids of good character), who are brought up well - 'well' according to mainstream secular ideas of kindly parenting and homelife, who are highly-educated, pleasant people, with loving parents and in stable and comfortable homes... such kids are highly prone to become corrupted... when corruption is measured by Christian standards of behaviour.

The same applies to almost all people in education, at work, unemployed, in retirement... as time goes by they become corrupt. Nothing (secular) seems to stop it: no type of character, no background in generic decency, neither riches nor poverty, comfort or hardship, oppression or supremacy.  

In what ways corrupt? They may be dishonest, promiscuous, self-mutilated (tattoos, piercings), active in evil causes (leftist projects, bureaucracy etc), self-hating, self-destructive, despairing, cowardly, unprincipled (much the same as cowardice)... the pattern of mainstream corruption is very common, indeed it is statistically-normal.  

It is clear that old standards, old ideas of common sense, of minor virtues, of 'fairness' and 'decency'... all are too feeble to resist corruption.

Why? Simply because these pro-social traits are counter-productive when the society is itself aimed-at evil. 

False metaphysics - false assumptions about the nature of reality - will win through in the end; and their falsity is what prevents long term strong resistance; because secular, hedonic materialism prevents any strong alternative which is Good; which is motivating, en-couraging, and loving.

Tuesday 26 June 2018

Can Albion Awaken?

It seems a valid question to ask if Albion can awaken when a large percentage of its population today has no racial, genetic, blood, cultural (call it what you like) relation to Albion. How can people who have no inner links to this country, yet have made their lives here, respond to the idea of Albion? I believe that some can through a sense of empathy, response to the landscape or to history or if they have a feeling of respect for the past of the country to which they have come, but how many recent arrivals genuinely have this? If it's even fading among the native population how can you expect outsiders to have it?

Back in the day when immigration accounted for a relatively small proportion of the total population of the country it was much easier for new arrivals to integrate. They either wanted to or they just had to. But since the 1990s when multiculturalism and diversity became the sacred cows of the left, this was no longer regarded as necessary. And when immigration became mass immigration it became much easier for new arrivals to remain ideologically and emotionally bound to their original communities. Instead of 'when in Rome do as the Romans do', it became Rome should accept me as I am and it has to change to accommodate me. Despite various pious platitudes sporadically uttered by the politicians and media movers and shakers to the effect that immigrants should integrate, everyone knows that this is for public consumption only. The host country has become too weak and too lacking in self-confidence to enforce what is basic common sense.

We can look upon this as part of a cycle that happens as civilisations enter their twilight years of decline and the increasing feminisation of a culture causes that culture to lose its driving force and sense of individual identity, or we can look upon it as the product of a cynical short-termism of insincere, vote-seeking politicians. Those who believe in a spiritual behind the scenes manipulation of the modern world can even see the original impulse as a demonic attempt to bring down what might stand in its way. It doesn't much matter what the cause is from this point of view. The effect is to separate a people from its traditional culture. Then a new culture can be constructed but this is not an organic development of the old. Rather it is an ideologically enforced thing that is imposed from the top down instead of being a natural growth over many centuries. In the current case, it has no spiritual component since it has actually arisen to replace the void caused by spiritual rejection.

Albion will find it harder to awaken in any meaningful way when its landscape is being destroyed, its history erased and its people either have no connection to the past and the inner realities of their country or else are being separated from these things. The vote to leave the EU was, in part, a response to this which is why the elites cannot understand it. They have completely separated themselves from their past, and they regard love of country in any deep sense as a sign of a lack of progressive thinking*. However, the response was largely unconscious and mixed in with many more materialistic factors so it is not really possible to harness it in any meaningful way. But, even if the country as a whole cannot awaken to its soul side, individuals can. This is where hope might lie though there is another alternative which nobody would want to see and that is economic collapse. I'm not predicting this. I'm just saying that sometimes such an event can lead to a spiritual revival of sorts.

We cannot really define Albion but we can say that it is linked to the soul of the country and intuited through its landscape, its history, its poetry, legends and myths. It is intangible but, in a way, more real to those who sense it than the solid three-dimensional world. The British population has been largely unchanged for hundreds of years and during that time has created a kind of group soul, as any other long-term concentration of peoples will have done. When that group soul is disrupted people tend to lose their identity, and that makes it harder for them to connect to the inner worlds unless they have a strong sense of religion which performs a similar function. The British are in the process of losing both their religion and their cultural and national identities.  That makes a spiritual awakening more complicated though it is always possible that there might be a reaction to this loss. But unless such a reaction is carefully 
managed it could easily be exploited and misdirected. 

When England is no longer England, what becomes of Albion? Albion is not dependent on England but England can become closer to or further away from its spiritual counterpart, and right now it is the latter of the two that is the case. A country has a soul, focused in, I believe, a guardian angel existing in higher worlds. Awakening to Albion means becoming responsive to the spiritual influence of this angel. This is not something that replaces general spiritual awakening but, if seen in that light, can add to it and lend it a particular quality. But it could also, if responded to wrongly, descend into nationalism.

This means that the phrase 'Albion Awakening' can be understood in two senses. One, a spiritual awakening which is not broadly different in one country to another. It is a recognition that life is spiritual, that God is real and that we have a purpose to fulfil in this world. We have spiritual duties and responsibilities. This, of course, is the prime need of the moment.

But there is a second sense and it is more specific. It has to do with the English (or the British, I am not really distinguishing between the two here) discovering that they have a spiritual legacy and a spiritual destiny connected to the inner qualities of their country, its soul side. The two ways the phrase can be understood are linked but they are not the same. The first may or may not be affected by the mass immigration of the last couple of decades. The second probably will be though it remains to be seen whether it will be delayed or completely thwarted. It is not helped unless, as I say, there is a reaction to the influx of foreigners who do not assimilate but that is a risky eventuality which could go badly wrong if it descends into the political.

I believe that it was the destiny of the English people to lead the world into a new spiritual understanding. Not their destiny alone but they were to be among the leaders of this higher understanding together with their American cousins. But things have not turned out as hoped. There has been a concerted spiritual attack on these two nations both from outside and from within their borders. Secondary truths have been presented as primary and primary ones subverted. Everywhere quantity is prioritised over quality, and at the moment there seems to be little that can be done to correct that. But evil often overplays its hand and it is possible that it is doing that now. Then the absurdity of the leftist position will be clearer to more and more people. And it is absurd because it denies transcendence, and without the idea of transcendence the human being is not even fully human. Unless there is the possibility of being more than ourselves we are likely to sink to something less. 

The great cause for optimism at the present time is that it was clearly foretold by Jesus. The time of mass apostasy was predicted but so was the final victory for those who kept faith. This is all we need to know to understand that, despite appearances, real truth and goodness will eventually triumph. It is much better to have held fast in difficult times then when that would have been the easy thing to do.

Love of country is both natural and right. A comment by Chiu ChunLing on Bruce Charlton's blog makes the excellent point that it can be linked to the commandment to honour thy father and thy mother.

Saturday 23 June 2018

A 'successful' modern life - William Arkle

One of the many reasons that I have an intense interest in William Arkle, is that he is just about the only modern person that I am sure had a successful life - in the most profound sense of 'successful'. I mean, he lived as he was supposed-to live: substantially lived his personal destiny.

In other words, Arkle was both a Christian, and he was at the same time (to a very significant degree) spiritual in his consciousness. This is that state I would most like to achieve - however, I can only do so briefly and intermittently; whereas William Arkle seems to have been living 'in this state' for much of the time.

From talking with his son (Nick), it seems that this was not always the situation. On the one hand, Arkle was naturally a spiritual man; but on the other he got into a bad situation in his twenties, after a first marriage rapidly broke down; and he was left in some kind of lonely, despairing, dishevelled and dysfunctional situation - in which was found, and from which he was rescued, by Elizabeth; with whom he then had a life-long marriage and two children.

From about that point, Arkle seemed to have lived as a Direct Christian - that is, a Christian whose faith was primarily based on direct empathic contact with the divine; but not a solitary mystic - instead because he lived in the context of an active, engaged family and social life; a 'world' that he and his wife built-around themselves and their children.

By my scale of evaluation, therefore, William Arkle's actually-experienced life was 'a success' in a way that I have failed to discover for anyone else.

In a material way Arkle was fortunate to have a loving family life in a beautiful setting, and to work mainly on creative projects - especially painting. But the main thing was that he lived, mostly, in a state of awareness of God's creation; and that 'God' was loving divine-creator parents whose greatest hope to raise their children to fully-divine parity with themselves.

It is the fact of living this vision as experience that made the difference, I think; it was this experiential aspect that sets Arkle apart from other people who knew-about how best to live, what to aim-at; but could not themselves actually do it.

For example, Owen Barfield - who found it very difficult to live what he knew: he found it hard to go far towards putting metaphysical theory into actual practice.

As Barfield said, habit is our default, what we lapse-into; and Arkle seems to have established as habit what others (like Barfield, or myself for that matter) attain only in brief moments. In this, he was helped by a mystical temperament and suitable circumstances - but these are not enough. Arkle also developed a theoretical understanding, worked at creative expression, practiced various forms of meditation (including the process of painting), and created around-himself a conducive situation.

Also, Arkle did not make the common, and easy, mistake of conflating here-and-now happiness with spirituality: he was not a hedonist. His vision of Life is one of God teaching us by providing a world in which each person gets the full range of experiences they need in order to learn - suffering as well as pleasure, tough as well as euphoric, hatred as well as love. Life is not meant to be a utopia.

It seems to have been this process of experiencing and learning that Arkle enjoyed, and which he lived in-awareness-of.

On the one hand, the example of William Arkle shows that 'it can be done'; on the other hand, Arkle's uniqueness shows how rare and difficult it is to attain an overall-successful life of spiritual Christianity.

And we cannot use Arkle as a 'model' for living; indeed, according to Arkle's own teaching, we should not even try to do so.

For Arkle, it was of-the-essence that God wants each peron to 'quarry-out' his unique life in his unique way - because the glory of Heaven is that each person is ever more fully themselves. Heaven is not convergence on a single pattern; but a multiplicity of mature divine persons, each contributing something only they could contribute to creation.

Heaven is, in other words, like an idea extrapolation of family experience; in which each child grows to occupy an unique role, which they themselves co-create as they develop.

And all this dynamic diversity of everlasting creativity is bound-together by love.

That is life as it can be, should be, and actually exists; and William Arkle seems to have experienced life, much of the time, in awareness of that wonderful fact.

Thursday 21 June 2018

Those Whom The Gods Would Destroy They First Drive Mad

This phrase came to my mind recently as a perfect summing up of our present time. We have gone mad. There really can be no other description of what is going on today. In the Western world particularly but everywhere else is not far behind. We started off by denying God and now we are denying Nature. The deconstruction of sexual differences is just the latest step on this path of insanity. And everywhere we are rejecting the idea of some things being qualitatively better than others in the name of an all-purpose egalitarianism, of people, of cultures, of more or less everything. We no longer aspire to truth or real goodness or beauty or to a higher reality that gives meaning to this one.

I looked up the origin of this saying. I thought it came from the ancient Greek world and it seems it does but with various modifications along the way to the present. Here is what Wikipedia has to say about it.

"The phrase "Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad" is spoken by Prometheus in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem "The Masque of Pandora" (1875).

But the first version of this phrase appears in Antigone by Sophocles as "evil appears as good in the minds of those whom gods lead to destruction". Even this appears to be a borrowing from an earlier, lost play.

Subsequently the phrase was used in Latin, "Quem Iuppiter vult perdere, dementat prius" (Whom Jupiter would ruin, he first makes mad).

Another version ("Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad") is quoted as a "heathen proverb" in Daniel, a Model for Young Men (1854) by William Anderson Scott (1813–1885).

A Latin version is "Quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat" (Life of Samuel Johnson 1791) in which the gods become God."

What struck me from this is how the first known version, that of Sophocles, describes precisely the contemporary inversion of true values. This is obviously a phenomenon that has happened before (though I would doubt on such a massive scale) and something well-known to the wise. But one of the signs of our present madness is that we have dismissed the wisdom of the past as ignorance. In fact, not only do we dismiss it, we no longer seriously study it. For many children today history is primarily the 20th century with, it seems, only a small amount of time devoted to the several millennia before that. It's as though we are being separated from our past in order to be remade according to the leftist ideology of recent times. If people no longer know the past they will think that it was just a time of ignorance and they will be unable to compare current attitudes with anything else. 

The phrase prompts the question, are the gods trying to destroy us and, if so, why? I actually think it puts things the wrong way round. When humanity starts to deny the gods then it becomes mad and that leads to destruction. So it's not that the gods want to destroy us but when we turn our backs on them we start to evict ourselves from reality and from then on it's a downward path. There is not some implacable fate driving us to destruction for obscure reasons of its own but it is all the result of decisions we have taken by ourselves.

Madness means losing touch with reality. This is what we are doing. We have replaced our natural contact with reality with twisted ideas of how reality should be according to our materialistic ideology. But when the very ground of truth is rejected then everything else falls out of place. And then, as it has been said, from the one who has not, even what he does have will be taken away from him. This is the path we have set ourselves on. It is why our madness will lead to our destruction unless we repent. The gods are not destroying us. We are destroying ourselves.

Monday 18 June 2018

When Are We Going To Start Thinking Big About Brexit?

If Parliament - that bourgeois institution - neuters the People's Brexit, it will be the darkest day in our island-nation's story since the death of King Harold. The same administrative and bureaucratic elites that carried the day at Hastings will once again have licence to impose their will on a largely unwilling population. This is the antithesis of what the great defenders of our realm - from Arthur to Athelstan, and Charles I to Churchill - fought like cornered tigers to protect and preserve.

None of what I write, I hasten to add, should be read as an anti-European diatribe. Quite the reverse. This post is meant as a wake-up call. A shot across the bows. Not to let our imaginations become so narrow and constricted that we conflate European civilisation with the EU - that drab, technocratic institution which seeks to flatten down and hollow out the variety and depth of our continent's constituent parts. 

Charles de Gaulle, that great enemy of barbarism and tyranny, famously called for a 'Europe of Nations', a fellowship of countries united by a shared spiritual and cultural lineage but rejoicing at the same time in the colour, individuality, quirks and idiosyncrasies that those different nations bring. The European Union in 2018 - godless, high-handed, unimaginative and philosophically incoherent - stands at the antipodes of such a generous, richly inclusive vision.

The precious soul of this blessed isle is at stake. Let's not trade it in for a mess of pottage.

Sunday 17 June 2018

Mere Christians

If there were patrons of this blog, in the sense of guiding lights, they might well be C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien with an honourable mention, particularly in Bruce Charlton's case, of Owen Barfield. The stories of Lewis and Tolkien were an inspiration to us when growing up, as they have been to countless others in a world starved of spirituality and real imagination. In my case I know, and in the case of my co-conspirators here I suspect, they were a real lifeline to something beyond the mundane, and their power has not diminished with age or familiarity. My opinion of Lewis and Tolkien, expressed here, has not changed. In fact, the more time goes by, the more respect I have for them and their extraordinary achievements, all the greater for being made against the flow of contemporary thought.

Now, it is interesting to note that all three of these men were Christians but they were different sorts of Christians. Tolkien was Catholic, Lewis was Anglican and Barfield, while a follower of the anthroposophist Rudolph Steiner, was certainly orientated to the full reality of Christ. Funnily enough, this is reflected in the three of us in that (as far as I know since we haven't actually met) John Fitzgerald was born and raised Catholic, Bruce Charlton is a Christian who leans towards Mormon theology, and I was raised in the Church of England and now don't have any official affiliation but am definitely Christian in that I acknowledge Jesus Christ as supreme Lord and Saviour. Some may regard a Christian universalism of this sort as a weakness but I see it as a potential strength insofar as it can actually enable one to go more deeply into the vastness of spiritual truth. I have argued about this many times and don't want to go into it here. Suffice it to say that it is neither the much and justly derided pick and mix version of religion nor is it an 'anything goes' attitude. The fullest truth is in Christ but official Christianity does not contain everything of Christ. It is, of course, quite enough for salvation (if observed properly) but it does not exhaust the wholeness of truth. Moreover, there are solid grounds for thinking that the Christianity of the past, based predominantly on faith, is no longer adequate and that we now need to seek a more direct insight into the nature of things. This does not deny the past but moves it forward, and I will go into it a little more further on in the post.

Anyway, the point is that the three of us involved in this blog are all Christian but differ in externals, and probably in some beliefs as well, just like the Inklings mentioned above. Obviously I am not comparing us to them but it might be fair to say that we are standing on their shoulders and trying to follow in their footsteps if you'll forgive the rather clumsy mixed metaphors there. Quite frankly, the world is in such a sorry spiritual state at the moment that it is time for anyone who can to put his or her hands to the pumps. We write for those who see the disastrous spiritual condition of the modern world and often feel isolated or that there is nothing that can be done about it. We write to support such people and, at the same time, ourselves since it is a truism that getting stuff down on paper helps the writer himself to understand it better. That's true in my case certainly. The world can be a very lonely place for anyone who sees through its falseness and knows that what it calls good is often anything but. I think of people like that, among whom I number myself, as exiles, and exiles who are often not even sure if their dreams of home are real. One of the purposes of this blog is to affirm, categorically and without ambiguity, that these dreams are not fantasies or wishful thinking but solid and real intuitions of truth.

As I say, all three of us here value the Christianity of the past but at the same time believe that, as it stands, it is no longer enough for the future. Times change, consciousness evolves and we are not the same now as we were in the Middle Ages. The roots of our religion remain the same but there needs to be new growth from those roots. We are now called upon to realise some of the inner truths of religion directly and for ourselves. This is not a matter of redesigning the basic picture but of making it more real by adding depth and perspective, maybe even some extra dimensions that will bring it to greater life. The fundamental truths are the same but we should now be going more deeply into them. Imagine that truth can be represented by a tree. We start off with a crude drawing of a straight line, the trunk, and a few more lines sticking out above that, the branches. As time passes we can develop that and fill in more detail. The trunk becomes more recognisably a trunk with bark and so on; the branches grow and sprout leaves. We add colour, perspective and maybe some fruit and flowers. Eventually the picture becomes real. We start to climb.

Christ is the living embodiment of truth. When he said "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life" that is what he meant. He does not teach truth like any other spiritual teacher. He is truth. Therefore, opening oneself up to him as a person is all that is required to bring one to the fullness of eternal life. But we can only receive as much of him as our own spiritual unfoldment allows. We are vessels waiting to be filled. Once we remove the cork of ego we can be filled but only with as much spiritual light (spiritual wine is light not liquid) as we are able to take. That is why anyone at any level of spiritual development can turn to Christ and be fulfilled spiritually. Nevertheless, the more spiritually aware we are ourselves, the more we can gain. A saint and an ordinary person can both go to heaven but the saint will be able to get more out of it because he can respond to it at deeper levels. At the same time, the ordinary person will be completed in his way too, and maybe, I don't doubt, develop further so that he can eventually get to where the saint is now.

I am a Christian but I am not an exclusivist. I think that some people from other religions can be closer to Christ than nominal Christians, even many nominal Christians, if they live by the highest truths in their religions. They may be following Christ even if they don't know it for, after all, Christ is not just the historical person. He is also the spiritual reality that is stamped on our hearts and which we have to learn to respond to and then become like. Some people may not give this reality the name of Christ but, if they follow it faithfully, then they are serving him. 

This doesn't mean that all religions are equally efficacious. Some express Christ better than others and, of course, he is to be found revealed in Christianity while in other religions, if he is there, he is veiled. But the Incarnation spread a new spiritual force throughout the entire world, and this could be sensed and picked up by individuals or cultures not necessarily Christian and expressed in various ways. The outer form would not be Christian but the inner inspiration might be. Christ is universal. He is the only saviour but it is my belief that he can operate through religions that do not bear his name in addition to the ones that do. That being said, it should be obvious that he can operate best and most effectively where he is most acknowledged.

What saves us? Well, first of all, what are we being saved from? I think we are being saved from identification with matter. This means that we are being saved from identification with our own little selves. Sin is born of this identification. If we associate ourselves with our material being we are trapped in matter. Our material being is not just our body. It is also the self-centred mind and 'my' feelings that I regard as me. If they are happy, I am. If they're not then I am not. But this is all part of the self-enclosed personality. Salvation is liberation from this personality into the broader world of divine truth which is the God-centred world. Now, God is a Person. In fact, he is the Person, the Divine Archetype from which our personhood is derived. Recognition of this truth is salvation. It is release from the little self into the greater Self. That does not mean the little self is abandoned or destroyed. Rather it is transformed by its union with its Parent and it is transformed into something rather like that Parent.

What this means is that real salvation demands something more than simple belief though that is an essential beginning. It demands love. So, to answer my question of the previous paragraph, I would say that what saves us is love, love of God. This is not an emotional feeling but a deep recognition of God within one's heart. It is only this love that can take us out of ourselves, and that is what we must be saved from. You might argue that we are saved by faith not love. I don't disagree but in that case I would differentiate true faith from mere belief. Real faith in God necessarily means love of God. If you don't have this love of God then your faith is probably intellectual only. You need to work on it to deepen it but then that applies to all of us.

I don't think that those who are not saved in this way go to hell. Some particularly rebellious souls may find themselves in something corresponding to hell after their death in this world. This will be a reflection of their own state of consciousness. Hell is separation from God and, if that is what you want, no doubt that is what you will get. But most neither too good nor too bad people will probably find themselves in a world that is a continuation of this one, though non-physical in nature. They are not saved, that is to say, saved from matter, and they carry on in an environment that, again, is an externalisation of their own consciousness. God has given them what they want, or what they think they want, but they might also have the chance to want something more as Lewis depicts in his short novel The Great Divorce in which dwellers in hell are sometimes given the chance of a trip to higher worlds and the opportunity to change if they are willing. Who can know for sure but a God of love would presumably want to give his erring children, at least those who might still awaken, the chance to mend their ways and reorient their minds. Whether they do or not is up to them.

Before concluding let me return to the theme of this post. Mere Christians. I believe that Christianity needs to evolve. From being a communal religion with a central authority, it needs to move into something in which every man must learn to become his own authority though within the general framework of Christianity. When I say that I know alarm bells will instantly go off. People will point to heresies and illusions and false trails and deceptions and so on, and they will be right. These are all the very real risks of the approach I have just outlined. But, if we are to grow spiritually, we need to make the truths of the spiritual life our own, and this means following the inner path. That path will be individual for each one of us. It must be if it is to be ours. But that does not mean that it will be individualistic. It must be individual but it must also be grounded in truth. The former without the latter leads to the heresies of which we have seen many examples throughout history but especially in the 20th century. The individuality required is that of the soul, the inner spiritual self, not the outer personality, the material separate self. Therefore to be individual in this proper sense requires a genuine spiritual sensibility. But that sensibility has to be grounded in Christ. If it turns away from Christ it becomes severed from its roots and this is where the heresies and spiritual falsehoods come from. We can only discover our true self when we look for it in Christ.

The Christianity of the past was that of Peter. But there is a deeper Christianity, one which has always been there but was only followed by a few. Now the time has come when many more people must discover this more mystical Christianity which is that of the apostle John. The religion of authority and obedience is to be superseded by one of love, vision and intuitive insight but, and it's a big but, you cannot move on to this new religion unless and until you have fully absorbed the lessons of the old which are not dismissed but built on. If you try to construct the new without basing it on the foundation of the old your edifice will collapse as so many have over the last hundred years. They responded to the inspiration of the new light dawning on the horizon but they did so from the perspective of the unreconstructed lower self and sought to eat the fruits without tending the roots.  Those who reject tradition will have to relearn it before they can advance beyond it.