Sunday, 22 October 2017

Transcending the sophisticated cynic: How modern Man needs to enter alienated consciousness and emerge from the other-side

This is continuing from earlier posts on the developmentally-necessary adolescent phase of the 'sophisticated cynic' - and the requirement to pass-beyond it (not to retreat-from it) My ideas here are mostly-derived from, and partly-developed from, page 160 of A Geography of Consciousness by William Arkle (1974).


Part of our spiritual growth from passive, obedient, group-dominated 'childhood' is to enter the 'adolescent' phase of the sophisticated cynic. This is a very dangerous phase, because it is the 'dead-centre' of consciousness - and it is possible to become paralysed and rendered-incapable by radical self-doubt; as has happened to almost every non-grown-up 'adult' in the Modern West. However, nonetheless, this phase is developmentally-necessary in the same way that adolescence is necessary: it is the only possible route from childhood to maturity.

The necessity arises from the requirement that we learn by experience knowledge that is vital for attaining spiritual adulthood.  This is the sequence:

1. Going-into the sophisticated cynical state we left-behind 'the pack' or 'the masses' - and overcame our passive, un-responsible subordination to those un-chosen groups that asserted their ultimate authority over our being. We left this behind, and thereby attained a freedom and we reconised the primacy of cosnciousness (since it was to develop consciousness that we entered the dead-centre state). 

2. Yet we discovered that life cannot be lived alone in existential alienation; we discovered that such a life is utterly demotivated; and that without real-relationships there is absolutely-nothing we can or may do that is of value to anybody. We discovered absolute and unsolvable despair.

3. In the dead-centre we experience the horror of total self-conscious self-determinism: the psychological feeling is that we are not a part of anything. This is existential alienation or nihilism; the experience that nothing is really-real. Especially that there are no real relationships, groups are delusions, we are individually isolated: on-our-own.  

4. We discover, in sum, that the single, alone consciousness is a self-contradiction. In attaining absolute supremacy, the single consciousness by-that-act destroys its possibility-of-knowing and its own reason-for-being. By experiencing this, we recognise the necessity of relationships.  We discover we simply must have real relationships.

5. Since this position is incoherent and intolerable both; and since we know from experience that our previous state was immature and unfree; we ought-to (but may not) infer that the only way-out is forward into new relationships on a different basis: relationships that are active, chosen and real rather than passive, contingent and delusional. (Many people try and fail to go-back-to a state of passive, obedient, dependence on some established group, institution, ideology or religion. It can at most only half-work; thus modern Man oscillates between child-ish un-conscious and adolescent self-conscious states.)

6. On the basis of a new set of basic, metaphysical assumptions affirming the (potential) reality of relationships; we then seek a new group in a state of full consciousness, and explicitly. Recognising that all sensory-based communications are intrinsically-uncertain; we must work to build from a basis of directly-known, intuited, metaphysically-assumed, real-relationships. This is the task. 

7. The three stages can be summarised: We begin as immature little-children of God; in spiritual adolescence we solipsistically assert ourselves to be the one-real-God in a universe made-up by our-selves; in maturity we recognise that we are products-of and inhabitants-of the framework of God's creation; destined to become a multiplicity of gods; destined to become God's grown-up children and loving companions both of each other and of the deity.

And this is the basis of new, real, permanent relationship.


Saturday, 21 October 2017

The magic of the ancient Egyptians

Ancient Egypt was a civilisation that lasted 3000 years, which is astonishing - most astonishing is that for more than a hundred generations they did not self-destruct.

The answer lies not in The System, but in the cohesion of the spirit of the people; in a word the religion. Religion kept the AEs cohesive - and the religion was headed by a god and priest-magicians.

It was a religion based-upon magic: magic that worked.

How do we know Egyptian magic worked? 3,000 years - and the surviving artifacts, which are of a greater scope, finish and precision than was again attained until the Renaissance.

Ancient Egyptian technology is literally incredible by mainstream historical understanding - therefore a vital explanatory factor is missing. And that factor (since there is no survival of technologies that could plausibly have made the artifacts) was presumably magic.

Even the Old Testament acknowledges that there was real magic:

Exodus 7:

And the Lord spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying,
When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Shew a miracle for you: then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent.
10 And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the Lord had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent.
11 Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.
12 For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods.

The account in Exodus takes it for granted that the Egyptian priests could do magic, and turn their 'staffs' into serpents - the difference between Aaron and the priests was that Aaron's rod made a more powerful serpent that consumed the others.

In other words; the Egyptian civilisation could only survive three millennia because it was (overall) reality based; therefore its essential knowledge claims were essentially correct: Pharaoh was a god (or demi-god), the Egyptian gods were real, and their priests really were magicians.

The account of Aaron's rod tells us that all these were subordinate to the One God, the creator and Father of the Hebrews - and the Ancient Egyptians knew that fact only implicitly and imperfectly; yet they knew a great deal about ultimate spiritual realities, and apparently fulfilled their destiny with great integrity.


Friday, 20 October 2017

The manager as Faust: How managers damn themselves by implementing The System


The 1960s Counterculture was spot-on when it talked of The System as The Problem - but the Counterculture hopelessly tried to oppose the System with self-gratifying instinctual goals - mostly sex.

Thus, over the past 50 years, the consequence has been the rise of The Manager as the archetypal Modern Man - the manager is the cocrete terminus and manifestation of sixties spirituality. Indeed, the 60s-type rebels and cynics always become managers; and managers are the servants of The System - indeed managers are the dupes of The System.

The deal is that in return for creating and imposing The System - in return for working as-a-manager to extend the reach and power of The System via the expansion and linking of bureaucracy - the manager personally will be rewarded with wealth, power and status such that he can pursue his (or more usually her) selfish gratifications - sex, holidays, fashion, possessions...

All managers hate their work as such - and it is indeed hateful work; it being to collaborate in the intended long-term and permanent enslavement of others to a totalitarian agenda of materialism and inversion of the Good. (Bureaucracy just is totalitarianism.)

To be a manager is to be a junior demon - to work for the enslavement of others to evil in return for a deferral of one's own enslavement - to strengthen The System in return for a few temporary exemptions from it - yet/ consequently it is by far the commonest job for the educated classes.

More college graduates are managers than anything else; and all jobs of all kinds become increasingly, and then totally, managerial as the ladder of promotion is ascended.

No wonder the Modern world is so evil; no wonder that the inversion of Good (of truth, beauty and virtue) has become normal and official for the first time in history; no wonder that the recognition of this reality is so rare.

Faust is the manager - the manager is Faust. The selling of one's soul for short-term reward has become all-but universal...

Except that Faust knew and acknowledged what he was doing, and fought his damnation - which made him an interesting anti-heroic character capable of repentance. By contrast, the mass of modern managers are lobotomised-deluded-sub-Faustian idiots; in denial of reality, incapable of honesty, self-blocked from insight: insensibly and unresistingly planning and implementing their own damnations.


Thursday, 19 October 2017

The scandal of modern 'science' is that it is 99% dead/ fake/ dishonest

And what remains is merely a branch of the linked-bureaucracy - hence scientific success is no longer discovering something true, new and useful; but merely 'positional' success: careerism (status and its indices - jobs, prizes, money, power etc.)

Real science is essentially long-since dead and gone

But, as the few remaining real scientists retire and die; the current generation become unaware of the gross frauds they actually are - arguing that most scientists conform to the (bureaucratic) requirements (primarily of obedience to line-management and conformity to explicit regulations); and thus are 'no worse' than average when it comes to careerism, greed, self-promotion and dishonesty.

And missing the fact that in science, the 'workers' must be better than average - especially in terms of truth-seeking and truth-speaking - much better than average (indeed near perfection is required in this respect); or else it just-isn't-science (and is just a lying, misleading and colossal waste of time, energy and money).


Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Jerusalem in Albion: William Blake and prophecy

Prophecy comes-into the stream of primary thinking - and its expression should be in that context; which implies that the expression of prophecy intends to recreate the stream of thinking including intuitive and prophetic insights. Thinking and noting occur together; prophecy is creation in real-time - and perfectly consciously (no unconscious speaking or automatic writing here and now, however matters were in past eras...) The result may be, probably will be, first-draft, instantaneously recorded, and unexplained.


English people are unaware of their positive values, explicitly those which hold Albion together - they are, indeed, unaware of what is Albion; of our bounds and content.

These were made by past genius - and not by known work, but ultimately by the thinking of past genius; these discovered, remade, added to the soul of Albion.

William Blake wrote poems, such as Jerusalem - which is widely known and sung; he painted and illustrated, composed lyric poems, aphorisms, and vast prophetic verses... But Blake's true role in Albion was to remake the nation at so deep (or high) a level that it is beyond perception; and not fully-knowable as a communication.

The principle act of Blake was his direct knowledge of reality, and then his shaping of reality... The reality of God's creation; that reality which can be known directly by you, or by me, or by anybody (now, or in the future). This is the imperishable legacy of Blake - and there were other as well as Blake (Langland, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton...).

So Blake's poem Jerusalem (to take an example) is true - when it was conceived it became true because it was written-into creation; that is the nature of prophecy.

For you and I to talk or write or read about creation involves us in indirectness, in symbolism, in 'communication'. But we can understand each other when both of us stand-before the poem Jerusalem as it is written into creation.

(Everything else is indirect and second-order; to contemplate creation alone is primary, sure; because direct.)

**
And did those feet in ancient time,
Walk upon England's mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On England's pleasant pastures seen?
And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?

Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
Bring me my Arrows of desire;
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold;
Bring me my Chariot of fire.
I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In England's green and pleasant Land.

Priddy in Somerset; a green, cloudy, hilly place that the young Jesus is supposed to have visited in ancient time,
with his uncle Joseph (of Arimathea)
 

Sacrifice and reward: The Prodigal Son versus The Angels

I have edited the following italicised section from William Arkle’s A Geography of Consciousness pp. 123-4:

Mortal Man’s right to, and experience of, autonomy is a very destructive and dangerous process in that it is paved with ugly and inharmonious desires and ideas. If the Angelic stage of evolution was also open to this reactive phase, the result would be total destruction and collapse of the necessary field of earthly experience.

So, while we Humans make the great sacrifice of suffering and pain to achieve an autonomous and individual divine nature, so the Angels make the great sacrifice which is to create and maintain the necessary ground for our Human experience; and they clean up the mess we make in the course of this experience. This work requires them to remain always in harmony with the divine purpose and aspiration, and consequently does not properly allow them the experience of objective valuation which ultimate understanding requires.

Such is the interpretation given to the parable of the Prodigal Son. The Prodigal is the Human who is bound to sin for a reason he does not understand, but which – in the end – gives him knowledge of very great value.

But his Brother, who does not sin and who does not venture off into the wilds of poverty and hunger, does not experience the pain and misery of this hunger; and therefore does not value that which is hungered-for in quite the same way. The Brother [like the Angels] is never lost and never has cause to be rejoiced-over; for he never returns of his own accord with this priceless treasure, and his Father in Heaven never has anxiety about him.


The Prodigal Son represents us - represents mortal Men; the Brother represents the Angels.

Such Angels I conceive to be pre-mortal spirit Children of God (i.e. men and women such as ourselves, but before we were incarnated) – whose ‘job’ includes vital assistance in making and maintaining the earth and creation for incarnate mortal Men to inhabit.

Our world is where we may experience the consequences of our agency and sin; such that we may ultimately repent, return, and bring-home the precious treasures won from our sufferings and death.

That is the sacrifice of mortals.

The premortal Men/ Angels vital role is to help mortal Men, and to ‘clean-up the mess’ created by mortal Men so that mortal life does not rapidly self-destroy and collapse.

Such a job entails absolute concordance with the divine will and purpose; therefore the Angels must have limited agency and, consequently, delayed spiritual progression. They must patiently wait their turn for incarnation.

And that is the sacrifice of the Angels.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Idealist, Poet, Mystic - the higher stages of consciousness beyond the sophisticated cynic

In his book, A Geography of Consciousness (1974; pp 118-9) William Arkle discussed the stages of consciousness beyond the sophisticated cynic (discussed in the previous post); and leading towards the Higher Man - who thinks in the divine mode, and who is the product of spiritual progression or theosis.

7. Mystic
6. Poetic
5. Idealistic
4. Sophisticated cynical - the Dead-Centre
3. Responsible
2. Average
1. Lower man


Idealist
The idealist is the first step beyond the sophisticated cynic. He is motivated by 'ideas'; that is, by a theoretical understanding: specifically a set of metaphysical assumptions that acknowledge the possibility of a higher (and superior) mode of consciousness - above and beyond this-worldly materialism and emotions.

Poet
The poetic thinker adds imagination; that is, he 'pictures' or 'images' aspects of higher experience - not necessarily visually, but as an inner-generated perception of some kind. Thus the 'poet' has personal experience of higher things; not direct experience, but self-generated creative experience. More exactly, the poet has imagined the universal world of reality.

(The previous idealistic stage is necessary for the poet to regard his imaginations as real and significant - because if he is a metaphysical materialist, then he will not take-seriously his own imaginations.)

Mystic
The mystic has experienced actual, direct-contact with the underlying divine and universal reality; he has experienced the universal world of truth, virtue and beauty.

(The previous stages of idealism and imagination are necessary so that the mystic may recognise and acknowledge the reality of that divine world.)

Higher Man
The mystic has (merely) experienced the underlying divine and universal reality - but the higher man creatively-participates in this world - beyond experiencing he actively sustains, reshapes and adds-to that created-reality - in line with God's primary creation. This is a divine form of participation; hence the higher man has become a co-creator and collaborator in God's great work of creation.

Are you a sophisticated cynic? Stuck in dead-centre, alienated, demotivated consciousness

In his Geography of Consciousness ('GoC' - 1974), William Arkle describes eight levels of consciousness spanning the physical and ideal worlds - at the lowest end is Man as almost unconscious: passive, instinctive and immersed in the social group; at the highest level, Man's consciousness has become that of a god: free, agent, autonomous, participating in the work of creation.

But as probably only one or a very few have ever attained Higher Man stage (Saint John the Evangelist, may be an example); it is stages 1-7 which we need to consider...

Higher Man

7. Mystic
6. Poetic
5. Idealistic
4. Sophisticated cynical - the Dead-Centre
3. Responsible
2. Average
1. Lower man

And in particular I wish to focus on the sophisticated cynic of stage 4 - which is the typical and defining stage of Modern Western Man - or, at least, the intellectual and institutional leadership class of Modern Western Man.

To paraphrase Arkle (from pages 117-8 of GoC); the sophisticated cynic is at the Dead-Centre of the evolutionary scheme - poised, suspended, trapped between lower and higher consciousness. This is a state of wide awareness of options and possibilities; made possible by increased knowledge and learning - but experienced as a pervasive relativism.

Everything is known, but nothing known with confidence - all is suspect; one option is balanced and cancelled-out by the others. Movement upward, or downward, immediately leads to loss of confidence and a tendency to return to the Dead-Centre.

And the centre is 'dead' because there is a state of demotivation. The longer a period of time that is spent in the dead centre; the harder it gets to escape. The modern sophisticated cynic may yearn either to become a higher man, to live by pure ideals and non-material values; or (perhaps more often) he yearns to discard sophistication and cynicism and simply lapse back into passivity, instinct, spontaneity and unreflectiveness - to become natural...

But both are equally impossible. His materialism and hedonism reduces and deconstructs all higher values - while he 'knows better' than the natural, spontaneous, instinctive Man - and he finds he just cannot forget or discard his sophistication, science, philosophy, ideology... They come back, again and again, to haunt him.

The sophisticated cynic is therefore pulled in both directions; and also repelled by both directions. The sophisticated cynic is the permanent adolescent - too mature to be a child, too immature to be an adult; too bored by both immaturity and maturity, seeing-through the innocence of childhood and the responsibility of adulthood. He is cut-off from the basic satisfactions of simply getting-by in practical, material life; and also from the spiritual satisfactions of living for ideals located outwith mortal life and human limitation.

As the sophisticated cynic remains trapped by his own pre-conceptions; he may create vast belief-structures of ideology... but although initially promising, these invariably always lead-back (sooner or later) to where he began-from.(All apparent escape tunnels turn-out to be loops.)

The sophisticated cynic knows that the world of communications - of nature, of other people, of his own evanescent thoughts - are doubtful and unreliable: he has often experienced this unreliability. This insight itself implies that some other and solid form of knowing exists (with which communication is implicitly being contrasted); but when it comes to any specific knowledge, the sophisticated cynic remains unsure: he lives in an atomsphere of doubt... Yet at the same time, he doubts his own doubts, suspects there is 'more to life', and cannot embrace a fully nihilistic skepticism. 

Thus the sophisticated cynic is trapped in the Dead Centre of consciousness.

The phase is a necessary point through-which Men must pass if they are to attain the autonomy required by higher consciousness; but if the lessons are to be learned, then the phase must feel real - must indeed be real - at the time it is being experienced. There must to be a pause in progression - and this pause may become prolonged and arrested into stasis.

(The ship must slow to a standstill, and actually stop - but once forward-momentum has been lost, the ship may become becalmed; at which point momentum and friction prevent it from moving again.)

Although many people do get stuck; some do escape - and in the right direction. What gets people out from the perpetual adolescence of sophisticated cynicism? That will be the subject of another post...


Monday, 16 October 2017

Was Jesus a Leftist Revolutionary?

William Wildblood examines the evidence at Albion Awakening...

Evaluating JRR Tolkien's acts of Subcreation - what are the relevant criteria?

I have found it difficult to understand exactly what JRR Tolkien meant by Subcreation in his essay On Fairy Stories. Indeed, I think that it is probably not possible to produce a coherent account of Subcreation within Tolkien's own (Roman Catholic) theology. Of course many RC Tolkien commentators have tried to do exactly this - explain how Subcreation works within the official theology of the Catholic church; what I am saying is that I have found all such attempts to be incoherent, hence unconvincing. The problem (as I see it) is to produce an account of Subcreation that applies to Tolkien's own work and is both genuinely 'sub' and also genuinely 'creation'...

Continued at my The Notion Club Papers blog...


Deep integrity - the only possible kind

An early watercolour sketch by William Arkle which I call 'The Floating Men'

Integrity - that is coherence of all aspects of our-selves - is only possible for sustained periods at a deep level: the level of the true self (or 'soul').

Most of us operate at the level of our 'personality' - which amounts to out actual patterns of behaviour. But the personality cannot ever be integrated, because it is a multiple thing of its nature - it is a mixture of automatic and inculcated patterns of behaviour that are consequences of different types of information-processing...

We learn to deal with situations at work, in social chit-chat, we may learn skills, we learn how t respond to music, or reading, or images... All of these are more-or-less automatic - because they need to be rapid-response systems.

Consider social chit-chat or 'small talk' (which is the sum total of social interaction for most people most of the time) - it has to be fast, almost instant, by its nature - considered answers and significant questions are simply inept. It is intrinsically 'glib' - TV interviewers and anchormen are the epitome - never lost for a comment or quip, instant in the response. Automatic.

At other times, in work, we need other instant patterns, different for each situation - if you can do it then you are socially competent. Social competence is multiple-personality disorder (which doesn't really exist as a psychopathology, but rather is the norm in modern Life). People are very different indeed in different situations.

By living - we just have incoherent personalities.

It is at a level deeper that personality where we cohere; and that is where it matters.

This coherence and integrity is repeatedly violated, especially in our interactions; this needs repenting but there isn't anything we can do to stop it.

On the other hand we need to know and experience when we are our-selves - that is, our true and integral selves; because that is what about us which is divine; and it is that about us which does/ is Primary Thinking... those times when when we really experience the reality and integrity of the world and know our own capacity to live-in-it as we ought.

We cannot (in mortal life) stay-in this state of integrity; but we need to spend some time in it; and to acknowledge its reality and primacy; and to accept and take-the-consequences, as we learn them through experience...




Friday, 13 October 2017

Understanding and learning-from the experience of primary thinking

Primary Thinking is the term I have devised for what Owen Barfield called Final Participation and Rudolf Steiner the Imaginative Soul - as a state it would also include some examples of Jung's active imagination, Gurdjieff's self-remembering, Maslow's peak experience, and alert types of shamanic, poetic and creative trances.

I regard the attainment of primary thinking to be the main task of modern Man - but clearly, since the state has been so widely noticed, and is experienced by so many people - merely experiencing primary thinking is ineffectual.

This is because primary thinking is firstly nearly-always brief and very intermittent, and secondly the experience of primary thinking nearly-always misunderstood by normal every day consciousness when that state resumes.

Primary thinking ought to be understood as an experience of the divine way of thinking, intrinsically Good and valid - and superior to other and lower types of normal existence. In primary thinking we know - and we know directly - truth, beauty and virtue; and in this state we are intrinsically creative; because primary thinking is that which is divine in us, active within the realm of universal knowledge.

However, most people who experience primary thinking most of the time will misinterpret the experience; or will try to use it for their own worldly expediency. Jung and Maslow, for example, regard it as therapeutic - in effect a branch of medicine, aiming at making people feel and function better. While mainstream New Agers tend to regard primary thinking as a source of pleasure and gratification - part of a satisfying lifestyle.

And of course most of us are substantially evil; so despite that the primary thinking state is intrinsically Good; once they 'snap out of it', people will try to use the knowledge attained during primary thinking for selfish and short-termist reasons, or else for actively-evil purposes - using their knowledge of Good to try and destroy Good.

(This is presumably what devils and demons do: i.e. a kind of inverted black magic.)

Mainstream secular leftist people usually regard primary thinking as a pleasant but foolish delusion - and make fun of, or scorn, those who take it seriously.

So the challenge of primary thinking is not so much to do it, but - when we are not doing it - to 1. understand it correctly, 2. learn from it, and 3. put those lessons into practice as best we can. 


Thursday, 12 October 2017

Justin Welby - Archbishop of Canterbury: a four year retrospective...

I notice that it is now more than four years since Justin Welby was enthroned as Archbishop of Canterbury and 'leader' of the Anglican communion - which is the third biggest denomination of the largest religion in the world.

Throughout this time I have often commented on the chap - the collection of posts can be viewed via this link - and I thought, in particular, it was interesting to re-post one of my earliest evaluations - from 22 March 2013 - to see how well I was able to predict what was to come...

Much is made, by the media, of the supposed fact that Justin Welby - the Archbishop of Canterbury who was enthroned yesterday - is an 'evangelical'.

But, what does this really mean?

For example, what does it mean in contrast with his predecessor, Rowan Williams?

Well, both are Leftist bureaucrats first and foremost - but Williams was like a university administrator while Welby is more of a health service manager.

Furthermore, Williams was so hostile to Christianity that he would avoid talking about it altogether, if possible.

But Welby, being an 'evangelical' is quite happy to mention Christian themes from time to time - woven into his socialist propaganda.

So that is the definition of an evangelical - as applied to Church of England Bishops and Priests: an 'evangelical' is a Leftist bureaucrat who is not actively hostile to Christianity; while the others are Leftist bureaucrats, pure and simple - and mention Christianity only to discredit or invert it.

From Justin Welby's inaugural sermon:

http://www.archbishopofcanterbury.org/articles.php/5038/out-of-our-own-traditions-and-into-the-waves-the-archbishop-of-canterburys-inaugural-sermon 

For more than a thousand years this country has to one degree or another sought to recognise that Jesus is the Son of God; by the ordering of its society, by its laws, by its sense of community. Sometimes we have done better, sometimes worse. When we do better we make space for our own courage to be liberated, for God to act among us and for human beings to flourish. Slaves were freed, Factory Acts passed, and the NHS and social care established through Christ-liberated courage. The present challenges of environment and economy, of human development and global poverty, can only be faced with extraordinary courage.

You see? The primary achievements of Christianity in 2000 years have been Abolition, Health and Safety, the health service bureaucracy and dole for most of the population.

The future of Christianity is fighting Global Warming, Fair Trade and making-Africans-smile.

What extraordinary 'courage' and liberation it takes for JW to articulate such counter-cultural sentiments!... Not.     

Yet at the same time the church transforms society when it takes the risks of renewal in prayer, of reconciliation and of confident declaration of the good news of Jesus Christ. In England alone the churches together run innumerable food banks, shelter the homeless, educate a million children, offer debt counselling, comfort the bereaved, and far, far more. All this comes from heeding the call of Jesus Christ. Internationally, churches run refugee camps, mediate civil wars, organise elections, set up hospitals. All of it happens because of heeding the call to go to Jesus through the storms and across the waves.

What is Welby's Church of England, anyway?

Well, apparently it is a really important part of the welfare state. It provides food banks (but I thought the poor were dying of obesity?); shelters the 'homeless' (to be 'homeless' is an official category which does not preclude someone having a 'shelter' such as a house or caravan - indeed being one of the thousands of 'homeless' selling the The Big Issue magazine is such an attractive job that it is hotly competed-for and has attracted Roma from a thousand miles distant to become 'homeless' in Britain); it educates millions - just like local governments; it provides financial advice (!).. and so on and drearily-on.

What is good about the C of E, apparently, is that it is almost as useful as the municipal council.

So at the end of this litany of socialist triumphs, we perceive that the C of E is 'transforming' society in exactly the same direction and by exactly the same means as Leftists everywhere - it is part of the precisely same project as the United Nations, Western governments, the civil service, the NGOs...

But all of these are aggressively atheist - so how come Welby is arguing that All of it happens because of heeding the call to go to Jesus? 

And why does Welby suppose it requires the CoE to go through storms and across waves to do this kind of stuff, when all he is asking the church to do is to float along with the mainstream current of secular Leftism?

The theme of the sermon is 'courage' and 'be not afraid'; but none of this stuff requires courage - rather, it is precisely what The Politically-Correct Establishment propagandizes, rewards, enforces.

What really would take courage, but what Welby of course never mentions, is to use his enthronement speech to make a clear Christian statement of opposition to the sexual revolution.

It is the opponents of bureaucratic Leftism and the sexual revolution who need to be told: be not afraid; because they are the ones who are afraid (and with good reason).   

There is every possible reason for optimism about the future of Christian faith in our world and in this country. Optimism does not come from us, but because to us and to all people Jesus comes and says “Take heart, it is I, do not be afraid”. We are called to step out of the comfort of our own traditions and places, and go into the waves, reaching for the hand of Christ. Let us provoke each other to heed the call of Christ, to be clear in our declaration of Christ, committed in prayer to Christ, and we will see a world transformed.

(He means, of course, a world 'transformed' into a socialist utopia.)

But does this man know anything about the state of Christianity in 'this country', this England? If so how could he be optimistic?

Does this man understand words? Does he know the meaning of 'optimism'? Or does he think optimism means the same as 'hope'?

If he does not understand the word he is an ignorant fool, and if he does understand it but misuses it then he is a liar - or perhaps insane.

Happy Easter! (22 March 2013)
 

Evaluation (12 October 2017): I wuz right! Welby combines dishonest mendacity, servility, and managerial incompetence in exactly the manner expected from an over-promoted Leftist ideologue. Thus, he fits seamlessly into the modern British Establishment.


Creativity as the Polarity of Preservation and Ruin (and Natural Selection)

Re-reading the final pages of Brandon Sanderson's marvellous 'Mistborn' fantasy-fiction trilogy; I realised that the author was describing an example of Polarity.

(No spoilers follow - except in the most indirect and abstract, non-narrative sense.)

From the primary forces of Preservation/ Order and Ruin/ Chaos there can be no real creativity - not from either individually (Preservation leading to crystalline stasis; Ruin to a Brownian motion of homogeneous disorder).

But while Preservation and Ruin are indeed distinguishable polar opposites of Creativity; it can be seen that Creativity is more than any possible combination or alternation of Preservation and Ruin. Creation uses both Order and Chaos to create.

But Creation is itself something more than can be captured by Order and Chaos - creation is an uncaused cause, a primary purpose.

Creation (as it were) stands-behind Preservation and Ruin, directing them in the process of creating towards the goals of creation.

*

There is an analogy (and a fundamental identity) with the limited explanatory power of the process of evolution by Natural Selection. Natural Selection can Preserve, and it can Destroy, but not Create.

Natural Selection operates by Preservation of functionality - sieving-out the deleterious consequences of undirected genetic change (Destruction) - i.e. mutation-selection balance, or balancing selection. And it produces adaptations by Preservation of the rare reproductively advantageous mutations thrown-up (un-intentionally) by forces leading-to mutation/ Destruction.

But this is not Creation - it takes for granted that Creation has already-happened.

*

A further example is in the Natural Selection based models of Creativity itself - such as those of HJ Eysenck or Dean Simonton in their discussions of genius. They regard the creative process as an undirected ('random') generation of ideas (perhaps produced, as in Eysenck, by partial brain/ mind pathology - by loose associations characteristic of psychotic/ dreamlike thinking)...

So Destruction/ 'free association' (supposedly) produces multiple ideas, from-which a process of Preservation (such as the analytic and rational processes of high general intelligence, or practical implementation and observation of consequences) then selects the minority of ideas that are useful/ 'true'.

But, a closer metaphysical examination of these assumptions reveals that this is not a genuine creative process (unless we have already decided, as an assumption, that it is the only possible explanation) because it rules-out the purposive nature of creation, which is intrinsic to the concept.

(Modern Biology indeed rules-out 'teleology' as a basic assumption.)

In particular, to explain genius creativity with only natural selection makes it an undirected, 'random', motiveless, inhuman procedure - and it also makes the evaluation of genius into an analogously 'random' process.

Since the selection process is necessarily imprecise, and indeed merely selects the best-reproducing idea in particular circumstances over a finite timescale; there is no valid means of knowing which concepts are right and which are wrong - a different answer will emerge in each different situation; and an answer that seemed correct for hundreds of years (Aristotelian Physics, Newtonian Physics) is always liable to revision or rejection (Einsteinian Physics/ quantum theory).

In the end, creativity and genius has been re-conceptualised away - it is just absorbed into the account of ongoing Natural Selection of everything, all the time.

*

To conclude; the reality is Creation, and Preservation/ Order and Destruction/ Chaos are merely some of its components. To quite Owen Barfield, they can be distinguished but not divided; and if they are divided - if they are treated as separable - this will be false.

(Unless we have a priori made the metaphysical assumption that it must be true; whatever the consequences.)


Wednesday, 11 October 2017

The meaning of Freedom (in context of the current totalitarianism)

In a world that is already substantially totalitarian - in terms of the high level of thought-monitoring and thought-control - and where trends are towards more totalitarianism; it is necessary to be clear about the nature and purpose of freedom...

Continued at Albion Awakening

Metaphysical mismatch and the 'shallow hypocrisy' of Christians living in modernity

Modern, mainstream social discourse and behaviour is dishonest, insane, incoherent and (at root) overall-evil in its motivation -- thus for any real Christian involved with modernity, there will be not merely be conflict; but intrinsically a state of near-total opposition.

Christianity cannot be integrated with mainstream modern life - with the mass media, the interlinked bureaucracies, and social discourse/ social media - since modern culture is materialistic, utilitarian (hedonistic) and regards exclusively-this-worldly Leftist ideology as the deepest virtue.

Insofar as a real Christian has public dealings - so much will that Christian have a fake public facade.

Consequently, to those mainstream people whose ideology embraces modernity (that is, the mass majority of Westerners); Christians will appear like smiling automata - superficial and divided in their nature. That is: Hypocritical (by the modern definition.)

Superficial because their surface public interactions are not underpinned by their deepest convictions; and this is the division in their natures; and this division is understood as a fake public facade masking reality - which is hypocrisy...

It is a fact that a real Christian cannot participate in the modern world whole-heartedly, with the whole of his nature. And when he does, when is is compelled to do so, then the existence of duality, of splitting between surface and depth, is interpreted as a deception, manipulation, a lie, a fake. And this is correct in the sense that the real Christian is not the Christian that we see.

In modernity, one goal is to be authentic, a 'together' kind of personality, naturally integrated across all behaviours and situations, effortlessly yourself...

But real Christians cannot be authentic in their dealings with the modern world - because it would require integrating with purposive ugliness, sin and lies: integrating with the aims of those strategically-evil beings who dominate the Global, especially Western, leadership.

So the problem is intractable. We can only acknowledge and live-with-it; as best we may.

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Theological implications of the fact that the statistically-normal human life is an embryo-fetus-infant

Through most of human history through most of the world; most people dies in the womb or during infancy - plus significant numbers died throughout childhood and adolescence. Only a small proportion reached mature adulthood.

This seems a neglected fact in theology - which generally assumes that Men live a full lifespan.

So - the usual, typical, statistically-normal human condition is to be incarnated (ie. to have a physical body); and then to die either almost immediately (miscarriage); during fetal life (spontaneous abortion); just-before, during or just-after birth (neonatal death), or death in infancy (first year of life - generally before the dawn of consciousness).

This is the human condition. This is the Life that Christian doctrine needs to explain. This is what religious metaphysics or theology primarily ought to make-sense-of...

On the whole; I would say that most versions of Christians do a poor job of it! Mormonism, on the other hand, explains that our pre-mortal spirit selves need to be incarnated, to receive a body - in order to progress to god-hood. (That is small 'g' god-hood.)

Thus, incarnation is vital in and of itself, and regardless of how long someone lives, or how much experience they have in Life. SImply to be incarnated as a embryo and then to die is sufficient for this purpose - after this, the person may be resurrected to eternal life, and it becomes possible that they can (if they choose) progress to full godhood; but without incarnation this is not possible.

For Mormonism, incarnation is superior to spiritual life in that sense of enabling full progression; because incarnation is linked to free agency, to divine personhood.

But the superiority of an incarnate is Not in the sense that incarnated persons are superior in virtue to pre-incarnate spirits - that is Not true.

A pre-mortal spirit may be, probably usually is, far more-Good than an incarnate human - but for a spirit theosis is limited, whereas the mortal incarnate has taken the next step.

For Mormonism, to have received a body is therefore Good from the perspective of enabling further progression towards divinisation, in and of itself; no matter what happens next. And the mass-majority of humans who died in the womb or as children have thereby attained something of crucial value.

The experiences of a long-life offer further opportunities and choices and possibilities - for good and for ill; but in the divine plan and scheme of creation as modified for each of God's billions of children, adult maturity and a full lifespan is Not necessary for most individuals.

People such as you and I are therefore an exceptional case...


Is Life Maya (illusion)?

'Eastern' religions - primarily Hinduism, also Buddhism, have it that life, the world, experience are Maya - illusion. The Western Platonic tradition has much the same core.

By my understanding; the purpose of experience is for us to grow towards divinity. and this is the 'function' of Life, or The World, of Creation.

It is true that this world of experience is not the world of primary reality; in the sense that it is a world of indirect communication rather than direct knowledge. Nonetheless, it is via this world of indirect communications that we are able to grow.

If the world of experience is discounted, is regarded as merely illusion, then Man cannot become A god; and this is indeed the case for Eastern religions - in which the purpose or hope is not to become A god, but to lose the Self and 'fuse' with the divine.

So, we are not created as gods, and therefore must become gods; and it is by experience, by Life in The World, that we may become gods (and there is no other way).

Therefore, despite that Life is not ultimate reality - and in that sense might correctly be termed Maya; Life is not merely illusion - and is that sense Life is Not Maya.

Life is (mostly) illusory in terms of knowledge, but (potentially) real in terms of function.


Monday, 9 October 2017

Metaphysical denialism - Daniel C Dennett and 'Skyhooks'

Let us understand that a skyhook is a "mind-first" force or power or process, an exception to the principle that all design, and apparent design, is ultimately the result of mindless, motiveless mechanicity. A crane, in contrast, is a subprocess or special feature of a design process that can be demonstrated to permit the local speeding up of the basic, slow process of natural selection, and that can be demonstrated to be itself the predictable (or retrospectively explicable) product of the basic process.

From Darwin's Dangerous Idea by Daniel C Dennett, 1995, The full argument can be read on pages 73-84.


Dennett's Skyhook argument/ joke is famous and popular among 'Skeptic'/ atheists - the sort of person who finds it endlessly amusing to refer to Christianity as a cult of the Flying Spaghetti Monster - as a put-down of religion.

However, if you review the argument and reflect on it, what it amounts to is a denial that metaphysical assumptions are necessary. That metaphysical assumptions are skyhooks, hence nonsense.

By calling them skyhooks, metaphysical assumptions of any and all kinds are being mocked as imaginary, arbitrary, impossible. incoherent, ridiculous.

By contrast, natural selection is put forward as a theory without metaphysical assumptions - here terned a 'crane': that is a theory that builds entirely from the evidentially-known ie. from science. A crane is therefore, is asserted not to be based on any metaphysical assumptions at all.

'Cranes' are an example of metaphysical denialism.

The assertion is made that there exists a 'crane' mechanism for progressive change that does not require any metaphysical assumptions; and - unlike a 'skyhook' a crane is real and actually works...

Whether Dennett truly believes that natural selection in particular, and science in general, are (somehow?) not built-upon metaphysical assumptions is unclear to me.

But I don't think Dennett really cares whether his argument is true; because his motivations are quite obviously, and gleefully, destructive of Christianity in particular and religion in general. To club them to death, any false argument is welcome.


In reality - Dennet must be ignorant, dishonest or evil - or some combination thereof. And Dennett's self-styled skeptik/ atheist fanboys likewise.

If we want to name-call metaphysical assumptions 'skyhooks', then everybody and all theories and all ideologies are necessarily hanging-from skyhooks all of the time - the difference is that some religious people recognise and acknowledge their assumptions, while atheists Never Do.


Sunday, 8 October 2017

What is communication, what is communication actually for? (Ultimately)

Communication is experience, of a sort.

(Communication is Not about knowledge; communication is Not about the transmission of 'information' from one person to another. That can only be done by direct knowing, by Primary Thinking.) 

First - it is the experience of the one doing the communication; for instance, the writer. Secondly it is experience for those who engage with a communication - such as the reader.

Communication is much like a relationship: there is one side and another side. Intentions on one side is part of it; then, whether the communication is recognised, in what way recognised, whether acknowledged, whether made a basis for other and reciprocal relationships &c. Much like the range of possibilities of a friendship.

Somebody writes. That is the first experience (it may go no further, but experience is why we live) - and the experience includes whatever and everything that goes-into that writing.

Another person comes-across the writing; perhaps passively, or from seeking; and reads... Perhaps it affects him? Then, there are possibilities in how is it received, how understood, what affect that has, what actions are consequent... (this being a joint act: what went-into the writing and what comes-out - but not directly causal or constrained).

So the life of a writier (qua writer) is primarily the life of writing; and the question is ask is whether that life is Good? Is the experience of writing Good?

The life of a reader (qua reader - because all writers are also readers) is a life of experience from reading - that is, of experience as such.

The questions to ask of writing and reading - i.e. the question to ask of any communication - are the same as for any other kind of experience; e.g. friendship.

(For instance, is it - and if so where is it - Good, Deep, Free and so forth.)

*

Conventional wisdom has it wrong. Our communication is a matter of us providing other-people with experiences. Our responsibility is to provide them with Good and valuable experiences. But it is not to transmit knowledge, concepts or the like - because communication cannot achieve this

More exactly, we can never know whether communication has trasmitted knowledge, concepts or anything else. Communication is disconnected, indirect, multi-step, interpretational and so on and so forth - as a way of transmitting truth it is hope-less...

It is - in contrast - by our thinking (our thinking of the real self) that we may directly share in knowledge; and by our thinking that we make and simultaneously shape reality (and that reality is permanent and universal - including universally accessible).

In sum; it is Thinking (i.e. primary thinking) that actually does what most poeple suppose communication does; and communication really does something altogether very different.

(One implication is that writing is never creative - communication in general is not creative; but thinking may be.)


High Impact scientific journals are merely the mass media, fake news merchants, of Professional Research (I call it 'research' because it isn't 'science')

That's it.

Background in Not Even Trying; my mini-book about the corruption of science.