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.


Wurmbrand said...

They Have Murdered My Village

They have murdered my village,
My tree is cut down.
Over the tillage
Advances the town.
My father's gone cadging,
My mother is dead;
I try to imagine
What she would have said.

"A cut tree can grow faster.
Towns come and go.
Both saver and waster
Get buried in snow.
Go on, naked Pity,
All bleeding and sore,
Till you come to the City
Where change is no more."

Ruth Pitter, CBE, FRSL (1897-1992)

Dale Nelson

William Wildblood said...

I hadn't heard of Ruth Pitter so I looked her up. She sounds an interesting woman. Is she saying that our true home is heaven so we shouldn't worry about the trials and tribulations here below, the City being the Heavenly Jerusalem? She's right, of course, but I think we still have to point out evil and not just resign ourselves to it.

Wurmbrand said...

William, I start with this, that the speaker of the poem offers those words as what her mother might have said, had she lived to see the present day. The speaker finds consolation in "imagining" what her mother might have said, and I suppose that the mother is recalling that doctrine of Holy Church that is expressed in the Epistle to the Hebrews 13:14.

(No civilization, culture, society, something of passing time and limited space, can be the ultimate home for which the soul longs; and, if a people were to regard their country as perfect, that would mean that any change could only be for the worse. That seems to be a view satirized by Peake in his conception of Gormenghast. People like Sourdust (if I remember rightly) make an idol of Gormenghast, and, of course, idols will demand sacrifices -- at the least, of the happiness of their mournful worshipers.)

Conversely, though, each adult person has a vocation for love and service of others, first of all family and fellow communicants of the household of faith, but also of (other) neighbors, in space and time, as the Saviour taught and showed by example. Apart from such a way of life, I think the heavenly City becomes, for such a person, an unreal thing -- ultimately an idol of its own. This isn't something that Ruth Pitter takes up in this particular, elegiac poem.

On the relationship of the heavenly City and our earthly cities, etc., I think Charles Williams would probably be a good writer to read.

And one element of living the life of exchange that CW wrote about would be that of lamenting the loss of beauty -- so often, wantonly, unnecessarily. And another would be to try to prevent it, or at least to identify agencies that promote such loss.

Maybe occasional visitor here David Llewellyn Dodds will comment on the Charles Williams aspect.

Ruth Pitter was a poet of Albion, and one of the best of the 20th century, I expect. There is a new critical edition of her complete poems edited by Don King, who has written her life and edited her letters. When C. S. Lewis began to read her, his reaction was along the lines of: How could I note have heard of this poet? Why wasn't I told?

Dale Nelson

William Wildblood said...

Well, I agree with all that. It's rather like someone (I think it was Jewel the unicorn) pointing out in The Last Battle that everything they had loved about the 'earthly' Narnia they had only done so because it reminded them about something in this heavenly Narnia. We should never get attached to earthly things whatever they are. They are only transitory.

John Fitzgerald said...

Searing stuff, William. A devastating exposition of he malaise enveloping our country. You're on a really high plane at the moment. If there's a better writer in Britain at the moment, I haven't read him or her. I am currently wrestling with similar themes in my next piece for this blog, due up around the end of the month.

With regards to the Angel of this land. Do you take this to be an independent entity or a creation of the group soul that has been built up, as you say, over hundreds of years? And if a worst case scenario occurs and the people apostatise totally and Albion is forgotten, what happens to that Angel? Does he fade away and disappear due to a lack of the belief he needs to survive? Does he enter into dormitory, as it were, like Blake's Albion, waiting to be awoken by a future revival of interest? Does he go on being this country's Angel regardless of what goes on at ground level? Or is he given another job by God, Albion being therefore consigned to history?

Thanks again and best wishes,


William Wildblood said...

You're very generous, John. I have to say I often take inspiration from pieces you and Bruce have written, and other writings too.

Anyway, to answer your questions I don't know! But I approach these matters intuitively and from that perspective my feeling is that somehow both are true which is to say there is an independent guardian angel but that a group soul exists too. The former is a spiritual entity but the latter is more a psychic thing with a mixture of good and less good, reflecting the humans who have formed it. Maybe the angel also contributes to it so it really is a composite thing. I don't think the fate of the angel depends on us though that of the group soul does. The angel endures in the spiritual world which is the primary thing anyway. If he is said to sleep it is more that we have become unresponsive to him. But this is speculation though also based on intuition.

Nathaniel said...

"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."

I have read the same applied, in more or less the same words, applied to changes in the Mass and practices of the Catholic church post Vatican II. It is quite true in both instances - and of the whole global post-60s cultural shift.

Chiu ChunLing said...

If England was what England seems
An' not the England of our dreams,
But only putty, brass, an' paint,
'Ow quick we'd chuck 'er! But she ain't!

I think that the required understanding of spiritual duty is not a new one but rather a very old one. And while it is not a duty specific to Christianity, it is still a Christian duty, more so than many of later invention.

Kipling is deliberately 'common' in his language, I doubt whether he once gives in verse any special significance to "Albion" beyond it being a name for the white chalk cliffs which can be seen from the sea in some places (he clearly knew of other associations). Nor does he devote many lines to defining what Christianity is, for him it was more a bedrock assumption, and embedded firmly in the English cultural context such that peculiar English practices seem as essential as fundamental doctrines to understanding his allusions.

Kipling was and remains a poet speaking to and in the vernacular of the fighting man, an ordinary grunt (he even often transliterates the manner of expression implied), and a champion of the raw physical expression of virtue rather than the literary description of it in refined language.

But he was no nationalist.

It's true that our dreams of the country of our origin are wrapped up with all the particular formative experiences of life in a given geographic and cultural context. But the center of that dream is not an earthly birthplace. It is a longing for our heavenly home.

There are many roads to the grim gate at the border between life and eternity. After that gate, there are few paths to follow, and while the road chosen through the fields of mortal endeavor is not determinative of the path one must trod in eternity, the habits of the prior choice will definitely influence the latter one.

One of those roads we should hesitate to trod without great need, but often must not decline. Can Albion awaken if it is actually, literally invaded by the declared enemies of Christ and of the British race and English language?

Perhaps I should ask, could anything else really awaken the slumbering soul of a people so glutted on material satisfactions in the modern era?

Bruce Charlton said...

@CCL - Orwell distinguished Nationalism from Patriotism (he being a patriot - ) - but the problem with Kipling and Orwell (both of whom I regard as first rate) is that neither was a serious Christian.

The other problem is that none of the traditional ways of 'doing' will work, or are suitable, now (from where we are) - so very old ideas can-be/ should-be learned-from but cannot be applied.

Tradition can be (has been) destroyed, but cannot be revived or re-established (even if people wanted to, which they don't) - because then it isn't tradition.

The Big Problem is the ruling class of Britain - they are the actively-anti-Christian, active-anti-patriots who strategically engineered and sustain mass open-ended immigration - choosing especially those most hostile to Christ and Albion.

But the ruling class are merely careerist, short-termist, selfish, bureuacratic cowards - and the Real Problem is that they *serve* (some of the important ones, serving heart and soul; possessed by) the forces of darkness - immortal demonic intelligences - who are responsible for the long termist plan and unwavering determination for subversion, destruction, and inversion of values.

The mass of British people (the ruled, not the rulers) are unwilling and unable to do anything effectual, because they are almost entirely de facto atheist, hence flaccid and easily corruputed by leftism - because 'why not?'.

I'm sure we would agree: destruction by invasion is therefore a consequence, not the cause.

Chiu ChunLing said...

While I think it is true that Kipling was not particularly focused on Christianity, and Orwell was barely a Christian at all, to say that each was not a serious Christian has to hinge on different definitions of "serious Christian".

Kipling took Christianity for granted, to anyone from the fully post-Christian era he would definitely be a Christian, and quite a serious one, but not one especially serious about Christianity as such.

However, I'm far from a serious Christian, in that sense...and so is Christ.

The Gospel is thus called because we start by taking something else much more seriously, and that something else is the bad news to which the Gospel is the divine response. Kipling, I think, took this bad news seriously, perhaps more so than I do. He does seem to have wondered whether there were any other response to this bad news than the Gospel of Christ, but I have no doubts that he relied on the Gospel of Christ as a suitable and providential answer.

By and large, the problem with modern anti-christians (and the overwhelming majority of 'squishy' modern Christians), is that they have forgotten the bad news...indeed, in the current generation many of them have never realized it in the first place. They simply don't realize how utterly merciless the universe would be without God. Not that anyone can, it's hard enough for most people to comprehend how merciless the universe remains even with God. But they are positing a universe without a God while ignoring what this would really mean.

I don't agree that tradition must be continuous or even particularly contiguous, but I do see that a wide and deep interruption in a tradition substantially undermines its power to keep people away from temptations. It takes a certain virtue to revive and reestablish a broken tradition, and our traditions are currently broken because of a lack of the pertinent virtues.

But I think that Britain, at least, will not be destroyed. Threatened with destruction, yes. Terribly marred by the invasion, no doubt. But I believe there is still strength to fight and win, once it is fully roused.

It may be considered a pyrrhic victory, but a victory all the same. It may be that much that some regard as essential to Christianity shall be among what is burned away in the coming conflagration of civil war, but not much that was really essential...or even really Christian at all, if you ask me.

True Christianity thrives where the blood of martyrs is shed for their testimony of Christ.

It always has, and Christ Himself is the great exemplar in this, as in all else.

William Wildblood said...

CCL, I think you make a very good point that we have forgotten the bad news and that's why we ignore the good news. Possibly the advances of technology have blinded us to the fact of the mercilessness of the universe as you put it.

And yes, the example of Christ shows us that apparent catastrophic loss can actually contain the seeds of a more profound victory. After all, it's not as if what we are losing was that perfect anyway. We might lose Western civilisation but that was only ever a very imperfect approach to truth. To go forwards we may have to go backwards first and then when the falseness of the present day burns and crashes as it must we can start afresh and plant the seeds that remain from the good fruits of the past.

Chiu ChunLing said...

I feel that there is no question that we must go back a little ways at least, we must retreat from the century of modernism (and post-modernism) with its Marxist underpinnings before we can get back to anything like a foundation for real progress again.

Part of that retreat will be driven by cruel necessities of survival...but, paradoxically, it shall also be led by the pure, sacrificial and thus sanctified, efforts of those who never lost their connection to the Christian foundation of Western Civilization.

As I said of Kipling, his sentiments just don't work without that fundamentally Christian bedrock of morally sound tradition to stand on. Pressed to a desperate defense, a soldier needs defensible ground.

Anonymous said...

Taking up Ruth Pitter's little poem (and thinking aloud) that called-for going on of "naked Pity" could be either going forth, or continuing in situ: the speaker, formed (in whatever way) to the evaluation of the situation, persevering as occasion permits. I think Macbeth, I.vii, the imagery of his opening soliloquy, comes into this - "pity, like a naked new-born babe, / striding the blast, or heaven's cherubim, hors'd [...]". There are two possibilities (not mutually exclusive): pity being born, moving from within, despite it's littleness and weakness, and an angel calling from 'outside'. Macbeth sees this, and acts destructively despite that! - destroying his society, his country, as well as himself - but his 'prophetic' insight is correct - rescue comes.

That snowy imagery makes me think of Williams's poem, 'The Calling of Arthur', where, in a chaotically disordered, including, locally abusively ordered, island, Merlin calls Arthur to lead the common people and minor lords already stirring, and he does, effectively. That Merlin comes from without, as in a different way, does the vitally helpful, serviceable Taliessin.

There is an interesting parallel, here, in Gandalf, especially in the Lord of the Rings, who really is an angel sent, but acting in humble appearance, to call hobbits for the sake of the Shire, and more - to aid Aragorn.

Both Logres and the Empire in Williams are temporary, as is Gondor in Tolkien, and, presumably, the near-future Britain saved from NICE in Lewis - yet there are lasting good effects - and things have not (as in Narnia) gone so far as that the world is ended.

In the past century, it was especially American that arrived from outside to the aid of Britain which had held out, and so (temporarily) largely to liberate and restore (much of) Europe - two times.

Is American awakening enough to help similarly, again, like the England of Shakespeare's Macbeth?

David Llewellyn Dodds

William Wildblood said...

DLD, in response to the question in your last paragraph, one can but hope! At the moment in both countries there is reaction but that is a long way from awakening.