The philosopher Seneca who lived during the time of the Roman emperor Nero, sometimes regarded as a forerunner or type of the Antichrist, said that when the state was corrupt beyond repair and degenerate to the core, the wise man would not pointlessly battle against it but look beyond it to the greater cosmos and become a citizen of that. He would detach himself from worldly passions and remain rooted in reason, and so find his freedom in living above the messy disorder of the lower world.
An admirable point of view and almost certainly the one we should take during these distracted times. And yet there is something in me that says we can't just turn our backs on the world. We have to continue, however fruitlessly it may seem, to point out its many and deep flaws. For if even one person is sustained and encouraged by that, it is worthwhile. If people who know the truth don't speak out against its destruction, how can those who are struggling against the corruptions of the modern world ever find support? We may be shouting into the blast of a mighty gale but to remain silent in the face of such a desecration of what is sacred and true is almost an act of complicity.
Sometimes people ask themselves how they might have behaved under the Nazis. Would we have been enthusiastic collaborators or would we merely have gone along with the regime without questioning anything too much? Most of us like to think we would have stood out against the tyranny. But that's easier said than done when practically the whole of society is pushing in one direction and goodness is defined as conforming to that direction with evil being resisting it. Because, you see, a very similar thing is happening today. That may seem absurd to many people but the fact is we are being led down ideological garden paths, indoctrinated with lies and falsehood, and most of us tamely follow the party line. In fact, we don't just follow. We believe it.
It has occurred to me that the supernatural forces behind the Nazis might not have been too unhappy when they lost that battle because they knew they could regroup and corrupt humanity using different tactics. This time they switched from a hard assault to a soft one. We were still to be made slaves but willing slaves this time for we would so react against the Nazi excesses that we would go the opposite way and throw out practically any kind of discrimination against anybody or anything. What is anybody called who fails to adopt the leftist ideology now? Why, a Nazi, of course! And that despite the fact that it is clear that most people who actually fought against the Nazis, such as my own grandfather and father, would probably be branded Nazis today for the opinions they held if these had remained what they were at the time of World War Two. Amusing, no?
When people are wrong about something, you have to ask why they are wrong. What is making them wrong? After all, truth should really be something to which our own nature responds almost automatically because it is true. What is true is right. It's that simple. But we have been gifted with free will and that means we can go wrong, go against truth. We have that choice. I would say there are two reasons for error, one centred in the mind and the other in the will. So first there is ignorance and then there is sin. Today much error is to do with the will, that is to say it derives from the rebellion initially against God and then against Nature, so first the Creator is rejected and then the creation and the natural order. This is all to do with the attempt by a created being to be its own god and create its own reality.
The rebellion against nature is one of the signs of a decadent civilisation. How does this manifest in our present age? Firstly, in the toppling of traditional hierarchies, those based on the natural order. Now these hierarchies can certainly be abused and become tyrannical but that does not alter the fact that they are based in reality. A thing cannot be defined by its corruption. So they might need to be reformed but they should not be overturned.
The rebellion against nature follows on from the rebellion against God, the creator of nature. This is shown nowadays in the almost total legitimisation of homosexuality and in feminism or what feminism has become for it had a certain validity at first as a correction to an over-balance on the masculine side. But it has progressed from seeking a fair opportunity to express a person's talents to a grab for ever greater power and 'top dog' position as the female seeks to usurp the male (just as the male sought to usurp God). But feminism has had a highly detrimental effect on women, above all spiritually but evident to the alert eye in their manner and even their appearance. It has caused them to betray their true nature in pursuit of a false reality. It has also been responsible for the reduction of grace, beauty, magic, mystery and love in the world, all of which are linked to the feminine (not the female) which is what feminism most despises. Unfortunately, this ideology is supported and promoted by those who wish to overturn the natural order of being to their own advantage and also because of resentment and envy. The cry of equality is a red herring. Equality does not exist in the universe and nor should it for the only true equality would be in a universe in which nothing was expressed. In a created universe, everything reaches its fulfilment by conforming to its archetype and not by seeking to appropriate the archetype of another. The idea of equality between the sexes is an irrelevancy. The sexes are not meant to be equal which is why there are two of them.
Western civilisation is currently pursuing its own destruction whether through mass immigration and below replacement fertility or through relativising its cultural achievements, easily the greatest of any civilisation ever, or through allowing lower standards to prevail in the name of fairness, diversity and equality. Boundaries, which protect as much as they exclude, are being smashed in the name of a spurious unity with the inevitable consequence of a vulgarisation of taste and culture. These are clear signs of a society that has lost its confidence and become tired of its own existence. Most critically of all, it is mindlessly allowing the destruction, both from within and outside, of Christianity which is its primary inspiration and the basic glue that holds it all together.
So this is a call to repentance, both individual and collective. We have to turn away from ourselves and back to God or we are lost. I started this piece by referring to Seneca and saying where I disagreed with him, but I will conclude by saying that basically he was right. In these days when the world is burning we have to detach ourselves from the always transient lower worlds of change and decay, and focus our hearts and minds in the higher world of eternal goodness and truth. We may not like being alive at a time of such spiritual decline but we wouldn't be here unless we were meant to be. It is quite possible that we asked or were, at least, willing to be born in these times so we should learn the lessons that they provide. Sometimes it's easier to turn to God in a world that turns away from him.