Friday, 30 September 2016

How do so many Christians get Christianity so very wrong? It is a matter of basic assumptions

My answer is that they fail to take account of the primary assumptions of God being creator, wholly-good and our wholly-loving Father.

It seems clear to me that many or most Christians - past and present - do not really believe these assumptions - becausse their world picture is grossly incompatible with them. But why do they not (really) believe the primary assumptions?

In the first place such assumptions can only be known by individuals, and by direct-knowledge, intuition, faith. There are no real 'arguments', no 'evidence' to support the idea that God is creator and loving Father - either you know this, or you don't.

Perhaps you don't know it because you have never asked the question - or you may know it but doubt the validity of this kind of knowledge (and need to alter your metaphysical understanding) ... Many billions of religious people who believe in a creator-God have not been able to feel or acknowledge that God is truly a personage - but instead they have an abstract view of God (as like a 'force' or described by abstract properties such as 'omnipotence'). For them God is a creator of total power, but they don't really know anything about God, cannot be sure of his nature and motivations - and therefore cannot infer anything about the world. They might believe in a monstrously horrific human situation - and yet not be sure that this is incompatible with a creator that is good, loving, our Father because the regard goodness, lovingness and Fatherhood as merely abstract metaphors; un-interpretable and not directly applicable to 'real life'.

Others believe in God's complete goodness, but their God not the creator - so their God has very limited power to set-up the world. The world might be set-up as a horrible place of torment, maybe even made or run by evil entities...

However, my point here is that Christians (supposedly) personally, fundamentally believe that God is wholly good, the creator and our Father (that is, intimately concerned with us, his children; and concerned that we grow up and grow up well). All of these.

And yet in actuality many/ most of these Christians have a concept of the human condition as one that ought to be lived in constant and dread-full awareness of the proximity of eternal torment in Hell as the natural, just and default end to mortal life. (Their primary argument is Believe or else. It is the fear of 'or else' which compels belief, not the positive consequences of Christianity. For them; Christ came to save us from a world set-up such that we were destined for eternal torture - that is the 'good' news.)

All this is bound up with notions of The Fall and Original Sin which are abstracted-from/ Imputed to the Bible - yet are far from clear in the Gospels. Why have they become so central, so indisputable, to so many people?

The short answer is that not many people have ever really believed that God is our good, creator Father.

Think about our own earthly Father or Mother - as a child, if we believe they are good, we trust them; and we interpret their actions (observed and imputed) in that light - in the light of knowing that they love us.

We don't let any specific action, or their average of actions, or anything we read, or anything which 'other people' say, have any influence AT ALL on the knowledge of the fact that they love us. 

So the mass of Christians do not assume the loving goodness of God, they de facto test it. For example, they test the gooodness of God by reading the Bible, or Church pronouncements. This is equivalent to a child starting each day agnostic as to the love of his parents, and weighing all their actions and statements about them to decide - day by day, moment by moment - whether his parents really do love him - or not.

The fact is, such a child could never reach a conclusion, because it is formally impossible to test whether somebody loves you or does not; whether they are good or not. These are matters of assumption - hence of direct knowledge (or if there is no direct knowledge then they are not known).

This is the craziness of trying to learn about the nature of God by reading the Bible, or reading the Church Fathers, or reading the documents of the church. By doing so we have already, implicitly, mistrusted God, put God on trial; have decided that God is NOT (not really ) our Heavenly Father and creator.

We are relying upon our fallible interpretation of fallible texts for our understanding of the fundamental nature of God and reality! - little wonder that nothing or nonsense are the typical consequences!

Little surprise that - at the end of such - such common - activities, people end up with a view of Christianity that is - at its most basic level - inverted. To focus on Hell instead of Heaven, to impute a Fall and original sin as the primary and focal points of the human condition... this is crazy stuff to anyone who really believes that God the creator set-up this world and that God loves us as a Heavenly Father and is wholly good - because such a one would obviously not have made such a world.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Geoffrey Ashe from 1982 on the pre-requisites of spiritual awakening

At the end of Avalonian Quest, an insightful book on Glastonbury as a phenomenon, Geoffrey Ashe closed with some wise words on what was needed (cica 1982) for there to be a spiritual awakening. 34 years on, it has not yet happened - but his words remain true:

http://albionawakening.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/geoffrey-ashe-1982-on-spiritual-rebirth.html

Poetry in prose - its rarity

Poetry in verse is - by my understanding - rare: very rare.

I have a thing which I recognise as poetry - I can point at the passages where it occurs; and this thing is seldom found. Most 'poets' never once achieve it, and among the true poets, it is only ever to be found occasionaly or intermittently (and of some, I cannot decide).

But poetry in prose can happen too. How may it be defined? Well, most prose - almost all prose - is about things; but poetic prose is the thing itself: poetic prose is that which it describes.

Many writers strive for, or contrive to, impersonate poetic prose, by rhetorical tricks. And they may 'fool' us for a while (and the prose writers may also fool themselves that they have actually achieved poetry); but genuinely poetic prose is far beyond most prose writers, and repeated reading will reveal this, if it is allowed to.

The main repository of poetic prose in the English Language is in the Authorised ('King James') Version of the Bible. And there is also some in Shakespeare's plays. From the next generation, the 'Centuries' of Thomas Traherne stand-out. In the modern era, if we compare CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien; it seems clear to me that Lewis never writes poetic prose, but Tolkien sometimes does.

Interestingly. I first became aware of the distinction between poetry and prose in the prose writings of Roberts Graves (such as The White Goddess) - yet Graves's own prose is always prosaic (superb in quality, but always 'about' - never 'it' - and indeed the same applies to his verse: it never rises to real poetry (although Grave's himself hotly asserted otherwise).

My understanding is that real poetry, whether found in verse or in prose, is rare, intermittent, uncontrollable, and only somewhat related to overall literary quality (some genuine poetry is found among minor poets like WH Davies or Walter de la Mare, while absent from major writers like WH Auden or TS Eliot).

We live on prose, it is our bread-and-butter - our staple diet - but poetry is there if we are open to it. What poetry 'does' is hard to say; mostly it points to the sheer possibility of itself - of language also being what language is about. A world where people communicated in poetry rather than prose would certainly be a better place!


Wednesday, 28 September 2016

How to attain solid knowledge by Imagination (and where Rudolf Steiner 'went wrong')

This follows on from the post below...

1. The most solid knowledge - that is, least prone to error, external influence and wishful thinking - is that which comes to us spontaneously, unsought.

In other words, this is the imaginative knowledge that comes-into the mind without mediation either by five senses' information or of reasoning. It 'appears' - it is 'just there' - and we know it by intuition (of course, summarising and explaining imagination are extra, and fallible, processes).


2. By purposive concentration on a theme or question.

This knowledge is more prone to error, wishful thinking etc. What tends to guard against this is when we allow ourselves to 'brood' patiently on matters, without a deadline or sense of urgency.

This patient brooding allows the proper question to become clear, as well as the answer - because asking too-narrow a question is to introduce un-noticed assumptions that may not be correct.

Patient brooding is the proper way to fill gaps in our knowledge, or deal with personally vital questions.


3. Imagination becomes error prone when it is used against a short timeline to answer questions that we are not personally engaged by - when used to answer 'idle curiosity' or externally-originating commissions.

*

Note: This is where I think Rudolf Steiner went wrong in his later career as a clairvoyant: that is he used his imaginative ability urgently (against a deadline, such as a projected lecture course) to seek detailed answers to questions that were not of primary concern to him; and also questions which came from other people.

Biographers agree that much or most of Steiner's later work (including the vastly detailed historical material, training methods for doing Spiritual Science, work on medicine, agriculture, education etc.) was done in response to an external agenda.

In addition, the vast number of lectures he gave, from 1904 more than 150 increasing to more than 400 lectures per year - I believe led him to 'force' answers using a standardised psychological 'technique'.

Steiner came to believe that answers to anything and everything were to be had, instantly, and for the asking... These were then 'automatically' systematised - quite naturally for him, using his vast intelligence and memory, into the trained 'German Professorial' form in which they were recorded.

This is my explanation as to why the great bulk of Steiner's output is wrong, irrelevant and off-putting - but nonetheless (and especially the early material, but intermittently through his life) he also produced basic and essential insights and knowledge.

The hierarchy of knowledge - a coherent metaphysics

From highest to lowest...

Imagination --- attained by Intuition
Rationality --- attained by Reasoning, including Logic ( 'Philosophy')
Empirical Evidence ('facts') --- attained by Observation, including Experiment ('Science')


(Note: an older division, before the development of Science as a separate domain, combined Rational and Empirical as Natural Philosophy

The above hierarchy is, I think, the only coherent set of metaphysical assumptions for arranging these types of knowledge - in the sense that 'facts' depend on reasoning, and reasoning is validated by intuition.

What, then, validates 'Imagination/ Intuition'? The further assumption of divine revelation - which needs to be both internal and external - we need to have something divine within in order to respond to divine revelations from without.

Once these assumptions, and this scheme, is in place - then everything necessary seems to follow.

Any other arrangement of the elements seems to be self-refuting.


Implications...
1. Imaginative knowledge can be tested by reasoning and observation (tested to some extent, although almost-never conclusively so) - but imaginative knowledge is primary.
2. Facts need to be tested by their coherence with other facts - i.e. by reasoning - and also and ultimately by imagination (although this imaginative test cannot be forced; the answer may come slowly or not at all; and at any cross-sectional point in time, intuition is likewise variable in validity and reliability).
3. Reasoning needs to be tested by imagination - since we are very prone to errors in reasoning, and correct reasoning is not fully and un-distortedly known in any explicit and reliably-transmissible fashion.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Serious talking: What could and should people actually *do* in a Christian revival?

In an essay entitled 'God in the Dock', CS Lewis comments that the British working class men he lectured during the 1939-45 war were impervious to historical arguments: they did not really believe history, did not believe it was known or relevant.

On top of this, he mentions that discussions of the meaning of words created suspicion rather than clarity; and instant turn-off. I would add to this that for most people multi-step logical argument creates a mixture of boredom and hostility; people find it excruciatingly dull and suppose that they are being hoodwinked with verbal trickery.

I suspect that these negatives relating to history and logic are even more strongly and widely the case now, after 50 years of political correctness; so that arguments in favour of religion that depend on the validity and relevance of history are likely to be ineffective.

By contrast, looking at the relatively high continued effectiveness of evangelism from Pentecostal and Charismatic churches; I suspect that the approach to modern evangelism needs to be through personal revelation, direct spiritual experience, and the seeking of guidance by meditation (inner) and prayer (outer) communications.

On top of this: If there is a spiritual revival afoot or imminent, I think it will be fuelled by a revulsion against The System; and will therefore include a revulsion against both history and logic (which have long since been captured and perverted by The Establishment).

So. The path to revival...

1. The true path is intuition (but not instinct)

2. Seeking and gaining Revelations from the divine (but not 'what you will' and not 'gut instinct')

3. Anti-materialistic (not economic, not socialism in any form, not focused on worldly action)

4. Concrete - not abstract (again, because abstraction - like logic - has been captured by The System)

Then what should people actually do? (in a world where the old instructions are seldom possible - they cannot be asked to join a church, because probably that church will stop them being a Christian; they cannot be told to 'read the Bible', because that experience will probably also be counterproductive.

(But I might venture to suggest that someone read with care the Gospel of John in the King James Version, and then pray and meditate as to whether it is true. It might work. But there is really no 'method' either to prayer or meditation - so even such a simple instruction might be counterproductive.)

If Christian revival is to be more than something happening in people's head; people need to talk.

That is how I think a modern revival might be perceived - in terms of talk. People talking about spiritual and religious matters. Talking among husband and wife and in families, among friends; teachers, doctors, therapists being asked questions serious questions, and then being judged on the seriousness of their answers (and impatiently rejected if they are unable to respond, instantly and directly, with commensurate seriousness).

People in private, at work, in cafes or bars - having (or trying to have) serious talks about ultimate matters; impatiently shrugging-off the artificial and manipulative concerns of the mass media and the daily psychodramas and sexual strategising, the mind-numbing restrictions of political correctness. 

And a reck-less-ness about all this - because it will need to overcome the inculcated fear to keep people on track and in line; supplemented by engineered crises, contrived states of 'emergency', persecutions disguised as philanthropy...

But all such matters thrust-aside with a single gesture as worldly system stuff...

Spiritual awakening therefore first evident in the form of Serious Talk.... Who will be able to respond, and feed the spiritual hunger?


Sunday, 25 September 2016

What is the biggest coming threat to modern salvation? Probably implanted 'smart' technology

I think that computers and the internet may represent the biggest threat to humanity ever - the transhumanist nightmare - because people want them and they are addictive: a lethal combination (far more dangerous to the soul than coercion).

As the technology gets 'smart' so the actual people get dumber - and in a subtly deceptive way: they can (to an extent) fool other people by passing-off the external data as their own knowledge - as with cut-and-paste or memorise-and-parrot.

And modern evaluations are seldom able to tell the difference between personal knowledge and re-presented stuff (only human judgement in sustained interaction can do that - and such evaluations are deemed subjective hence personally-biased).

If we consider the cognitive psychological division of input-processing-output - then the input is already almost monopolised by the mass media; the current step is for more and more processing/ thinking to be done online (in 'the cloud') with humans as small scale participants.

When both input and processing are determined - then output - i.e. human behaviour - is also determined.

In other words if/ when the Establishment are controlling what goes into thinking, and if thinking is being done by programmable computers - then everything that happens will be controlled.

At present most people voluntarily carry smartphones and use them nearly all the time - the next step is to make them wearable - but this may be leapfrogged and the technology will become implanted into the body - for extra convenience, and because people are addicted to distraction and want never to be separated from their internet and social media access.

And of course once the technology is implanted it cannot be avoided - so by controlling input and processing then humans will (so the theory of cognitive psychology goes) be controlled by whoever, or whatever, controls the computers.

Will modern man mind about this; or will he continue to labour and queue and pay to be the first and get the latest and most controlling tech? Will there be campaigns, demonstrations and riots protesting that some people are excluded from the implant revolution? Quite likely - if things ever get that far.

On the positive side, cognitive psychology is just a model, certainly not the whole truth - so there are many factors left out of the input-processing-output description that are important; and control of input and processing will not (when it comes to it) fully control human behaviour.

Nonetheless the degree of success of the mass media control of input is striking; and when processing is added onto it - it is likely that humans will indeed become highly, if not completely, controllable.

Against this actually being achieved is the decline in human intelligence and creativity combined with the exclusion of intelligence and creativity from modern institutions; then there is the ineffectiveness and inefficiency of the ever more pervasive bureaucracy (now constituting one massive, multi-system, linked bureaucracy) - which is further contaminated by endemic dishonesty.

And then there is the interdependence and fragility of the global system; self-paralysed increasingly by self-loathing and the covert wish for self-destruction and civilisational suicide. 

Technological capability is already declining - and this may go so far and so fast as to prevent the transhumanist nightmare. 

Like so many catastrophes - it is a race against time - and the only thing that stops it may need to be failure, rather than good sense or good morals.

More on this at: https://charltonteaching.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/beyond-smartphone-and-wearable-computer.html

Why did the Hippie/ New Age romantic revolution turn bad?

I put forward my understanding of this business in course of a review of a Hippie era novel set in Glastonbury, written by the Arthurian expert Geoffrey Ashe.

I identify three reasons (in reverse order): Sex & Drugs & Anti-Christianity:

http://albionawakening.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/review-of-geoffrey-ashe-novel-finger.html

Friday, 23 September 2016

Three months on... we have Brexit-In-Name-Only

It is hardly a surprise, but we are now three months after the Brexit vote and nothing has happened - zilch, zip, nada...

Lots has been said - but since all mainstream politicians are liars, then these words mean nothing - zilch, zip, nada...

We have an Anti-Brexit Prime Minister leading a group of Anti-Brexit or sell-out ministers, and all the parliamentary parties and all the British elite are Anti-Brexit... so it is unremarkable that they are working towards some change that is no change; some way that Britain can 'leave' the EU without actually leaving.

('Leaving' the EU but so that the elite corruption  and bribes are intact, and so that the British subsidy of and subordination to the EU remains; and Britain remains securely on its partly driven/ partly suicidal downward-path to spiritual and cultural oblivion.)

So, what next?

If I am correct; then now that the large majority of English realise that the Establishment has no intention of giving them what they voted for; some-thing is about to happen which will, in some way, reveal (to those with eyes to see) that the British Establishment is systematically lying to the British people and has malign intentions towards them.

What this 'thing' will be, I do not know - no doubt it will come from some unexpected and unguarded direction - because we are now dealing with divine intervention, lining-things-up behind the scenes.

But (if I am correct) it will happen and we will know it when it has happened.

And what then? Well, that depends on how people choose after they know...

People will know, they will choose, and they will then have to live-with the consequences of their choice.


How to set-about achieving a higher consciousness

by William Arkle

I am convinced by the overall validity of Rudolf Steiner's 1918 prophecy concerning the spiritual future of Western Man:
http://charltonteaching.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=steiner+prophecy

The bottom line of this insight is that within a Christian context the number one priority for modern Western Man is to expand and enhance consciousness such that we become aware of the spiritual world beyond the 'five senses', including the divinity of our fellow Men.

This enhanced consciousness aimed-at is not a matter of the kind of hallucinatory, dream or trance-state we associate with shamans and other mystics of former eras - but is to be achieved in and by lucid, alert and purposive thinking.

Overall, not so much about seeing new (and previously unseen) things, so much as seeing old things anew (see Arkle's painting above).

In other words, it is a particular kind of thinking which is to provide us with valid knowledge - but not just abstractly 'knowing about' stuff; but actual experience of the reality of knowledge.

(Why? My understanding is currently that there is a kind of thinking which is primary, spontaneous, and does not depend upon perception or any other kind of 'input' - and this comes form God-within-us, that which makes is children of God: and that is the reason why it is intrinsically valid thinking.)

The 64,000 dollar question is how do we do this? How do we raise our thinking to this level, and keep it there? Where do we even start on this task?

Having been reading Colin Wilson's Beyond the Occult recently, I think one general answer may be that we should start with any of the spiritual, paranormal or enhanced types of consciousness that we personally spontaneously experience. These go by many names, but could include peak experiences, synchronicity, self-remembering, clairvoyance, fore-sight, the sense of being transported to another time or place (what Wilson termed Faculty X)...

Or (especially) those 'magical' (or holiday) times of several or many minutes when we seem to be living inside a narrative or story or tableau, and in a state of awareness of connections and a providential unfolding...

In a nutshell, we can start with those moments or times when the ordinary and the everyday are felt to be meaningful, purposive and we are engaged by them.When this happens, we are inside the kind of thinking we are aiming-at, the kind of thinking we most need - these phenomena are (often) a sign that this is it.

That is the kind of thing we start-with, and what we need to remember, take seriously, and endeavour to build-upon.

Nothing we might do is more important - the task deserves our best efforts.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Tolkien's visionary Legendarium - an essay by Charles Ridoux

An essay by Charles Ridoux, translated from the French by John Fitzgerald:

https://notionclubpapers.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/charles-ridoux-essay-on-tolkiens.html


Why all the Alt-Right excitement? Because people are sniffing the chance of a lucrative sell-out; and selling-out is what the secular Right intellectuals *always* do (given the chance)...

The (online) excitement among the Alt-Right since they were mentioned in a speech by Hillary Clinton - and since it becomes clear that Donald Trump is (de facto) running unopposed - is palpable.

And it is natural; since the secular Right always sells-out, and opportunities for the secular Right intellectuals to be bought-off, co-opted and in general sell-out (for power, status, cash, sexual opportunity etc.) are looking very good, just at present.
http://charltonteaching.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/political-correctness-beats.html

No wonder the leading Alt-Right bloggers are so cheerful!

Of course, if one is hoping for some positive change in direction of The West, and the chance to step-off the down-escalator to mass damnation and cultural suicide... well, then all this is utterly irrelevant; since Trump and the Alt-Right are merely a part of the Leftist Media Establishment Fake Reality (they are on the same side, controlled by the same forces, as the Clinton/ Democrat Left and SJWs) - all of which we must see-through and repent before any positive change is possible.
http://charltonteaching.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/what-do-i-think-about-alt-right-it-is.html
**

NOTE: It might be wondered why I am attacking the sincerity, strength and value of the Secular/ Alt-Right yet again (and I have been doing so since 2010 when this blog started, including in Thought Prison which was written from this blog - http://thoughtprison-pc.blogspot.co.uk
The reason is that I believe (on mostly intuitive, rather than evidential, grounds) we are now in a time when there is a chance of genuine, existential change in The West - which would require us to dump secularism and take a path which is initially spiritual and eventually religious. Triumphalism over yet another pseudo-Right movement - based on the identical utilitarian and this-worldly bottom line as the mainstream Left - makes such a genuine change less likely. This is why I wish to point out the motivational feebleness and covertly self-seeking nature of the Alt-Right (etc) movement.

Problems with re-incarnation

It is not that I regard reincarnation as impossible, rather that I believe it is probably very rare - and the reason I believe this is related to incarnation being irreversible.

We start-out as pre-mortal spirits - and we incarnate in order to make progress towards full divinity.

All Christians at least implicitly believe that to be resurrected - that is, to be incarnate, to die and then to be incarnated again with a perfected body - is 'better' in some vital way than simply to be 'a spirit'. That to be resurrected is a higher state than to be a spirit - otherwise why go to the bother of incarnation and death.

It also seems that there is a very general folk wisdom, spread across many religions and spiritual practises - that to die is to separate spirit from body, but that to be a spirit whose body has died is to be in some way maimed, incomplete, miserable, and indeed to be unselfed. This leads to the 'underworld' of post-mortem spirits - Hades, Sheol and the like - a world of partial and demented spirits, living in an eternal and unpleasant present.

What I take from this is that incarnation is progression, and it is also irreversible - once a spirit has had a body, the body cannot afterwards be detached from that spirit without some maiming, some irreparable damage.

Now - what this seems to mean for reincarnation is that it has to involve 'the same' person coming back. I think this is entailed, because the body would (I think) have to be remade from the surviving spirit - in something I imagine to resemble a complementary process.

In other words after death there is a maimed and incomplete spirit, and resurrection entails re-completing it with 'the same' body it had during life, but this time an immortal, perfect and pure body.

If this person was reincarnated then either they would have to return to earth with this immortal body - in which case they would be an incarnate angel rather than a resurrected human. An example would be the Moroni; who is an important human character featured in The Book of Mormon, and who then becomes the angelic agent for the rediscovery and traslation of the book by Joseph Smith.

(Note: There are also thought to be angels who are pre-incarnate or never-incarnated spirits.) 

A reincarnated human would, I take it, have to be re-born to human parents - and if a post-mortem spirit was indeed reborn in this way he would need to be provided with a new body that was nonetheless in some essential way the same body he had before - not necessarily the same in appearance, but the same in some essential fashion; because otherwise he would remain maimed; and also otherwise because if he had a different body when reincarnated, then he would not be the same person somehow reborn, but someone fundamentally different.

So I can imagine that a reincarnate might arise when (for whatever reason, perhaps a premature death such as being murdered - premature in terms of what they had been incarnated to accomplish, in a spiritual sense) - would instead of being resurrected, have their spirit 're-cycled' t be born again - but this recycling would be the same person, with a body that was the same in its ultimate essential quality (even if it did not look identical).

I expect that this thing has happened, and continues to happen - but such an idea of reincarnation apparently rules out some of the attributes and things it is supposed to achieve in Eastern religions.  It seems to rule out incarnation as other (non human) beings, and also the idea of reincarnation as a way of gathering very different experiences of being different kinds of person.

I think reincarnation is more of a second chance (or maybe third, fourth etc chance) to do what needs to be done - rather than a mechanism for incremental, stepwise spiritual progress. And this conviction of mine comes from my understanding of what happens to the spirit at death and resurrection.


Wednesday, 21 September 2016

The persistence of Pan in my back garden

The Wildest Place on Earth was published by John Hanson Mitchell in 2002. It is about the figure of Pan, including how he is manifested in the modern world.

JHM is a writer mostly about nature; whose best book is Ceremonial Time (1984), which I have discussed and reviewed (the first is from 2001 - before I became a Christian):

http://www.hedweb.com/bgcharlton/ceremonialtime.html

http://charltonteaching.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/living-on-in-memory-solves-nothing.html 

'Wildest Place' is very well written, and certainly worth reading - however, it is also undercut by a kind of post-modern irony whereby Mitchell both takes-seriously and simultaneously brackets and mocks the idea of Pan - trying to have it both ways, which is (of course) ultimately impossible...

The final chapter of the book takes the stance that Pan, and the panic which is hallmark of his presence, is still a part of the modern world; but it likely to be found in familiar places under unfamiliar circumstances, rather than in true 'wilderness'. 

This conforms to my experience earlier today. I usually get up at 05:00h, and at this time of year it is completely dark at that time. This morning, while I was drinking my coffee and reading, I heard a 'blood-curdling' noise from nearby - so I went outside ('armed' with a torch) to investigate.

The sound was coming from two or three back-gardens away, and was a bit like a goose (or more than one goose) being slowly strangled to death - except that it stopped and restarted a few times over a period of about 10 minutes. I think it very likely to have been fox cubs playing - since they make a strange noise, and we have quite a lot of them in our part of the city and they will use our back gardens for foraging and recreation - unless they are sealed-off by intact fences (which mine, currently, is - I got sick of them digging holes in my lawn).

Nonetheless, I was beginning to feel unnerved - and this was just standing in the dark some six feet away from my back door, looking up at the gibbous moon and constellations: I was beginning to get a sense of having stepped into a primal world, where I didn't really belong and was unwelcome.

Then I heard some animal crashing through the treees or shrubs at the bottom of my garden and the probably through into nearby gardens.

I should point out to US readers that there are no dangerous animals (except for humans and pet dogs) in the city of Newcastle upon Tyne, or indeed in England. And any animal capable of crashing through adjacent garden trees must have been a bird, and probably just a wood pigeon (they make a heck of a noise clapping their wings together and flapping branches around).

That is what I told myself... but I couldn't really convince myself that these noises were harmless; and I felt a slowly mouting congested panic welling-up in me. This in my own back garden standing just next to the back door!

After a minute or two, I gave up the struggle with myself, and slipped back indoors, quickly bolting my door against the night and sighing with relief!

That was exactly the kind of thing JHM was talking about. I didn't believe that Pan or one of his wild and dangerous servants was really present in my garden, and threatening my life; but neither could I convince myself that there was nothing to worry about.

I had slipped back into the primal mindset of a hunter gathere keeping watch in the night around the fire on the savannah, or in a clearing in the jungle or forest - alert and tingling with readiness to fight or run.

Civilisation does not run all that deep - it does not take all that much for us to reconnect with the animated world and the pagan gods.

How to do research into the spirit of a nation?

How do you set about discovering what has really happened in your country, or is happening, at the deepest level? A 'supersensible' level unreported in the media and unnitoced by the great majority of peopel?

One possible strategy is described by JRR Tolkien in The Notion Club Papers:

http://albionawakening.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/how-to-do-research-into-spirit-of.html

 

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

More on Albion's spiritual history and destiny from Chesterton and Wildblood

Daily encouragement for those working for spiritual Christian revival continues at Albion Awakening

http://albionawakening.blogspot.co.uk/

All anti-Leftists (including Christians) want theocracy - but what kind of theocracy?

Theocracy: a form of government in which a deity is the source from which all authority derives.

1. All Christians want theocracy (properly understood).

2. Theocracy in the sense that the national life - its laws, rules and regulations, customs and habits, social practises - should be at-least compatible-with, and in practise supportive-of, Christian life.

3. The Christian life is (necessarily and always) individual, opt-in and voluntary - but it is susceptible to incentive: positive and negative.

4. So - Although Christianity cannot be enforced upon anybody (and even the attempt should not be made); and despite than any genuinely Christian society will always contain non-Christians (at least in this world) (and probably in a considerable proportion); given that there is a stark choice between either a pro- or an anti-Christian society (a steady-state of neutrality being logically- as well as practically-impossible) - All Christians may be presumed to want a theocracy.

5. Different types of Christian will, presumably, want different types of theocracy. The best known would be the divine monarchy of Byzantium or Holy Russia; or the dual system of Pope and his anointed monarch under spiritual authority; but have also been decentralised and non-episcopal and non-priestly models of theocracy such as Calvin's Geneva and other 'puritan' polities (eg. in New England up to the early 1800s) - and Brigham Young's Prophet-led Mormon republic of Deseret.

6. Many other versions of Christian theocracy are, in principle, possible. But one or another theocracy is the only viable destiny of any possible future Christian society.


Monday, 19 September 2016

The Old Magic

If you like fantasy fiction, The Moon of Gomrath by Alan Garner (1963) is a must-read. It is not necessary to read the prequel The Weirdstone of Brisingamen - I didn't, when I first encountered Gomrath.

What I find most exciting about this book is that it is about the re-emergence of The Old Magic into the modern world; and what this implies:

http://albionawakening.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/the-old-magic-from-alan-garners-moon-of.html

Would it be 'a good thing' if The Old Magic came back into this world? Well, it would not be the best possible thing, for sure (we are supposed to go forward not return) - but maybe it would not be the worst thing.

It would be, essentially, turning the clock back and trying again from the perspective of human destiny  - but at least it would be an acknowledgement that we had failed: which would be psychologically healthy.

Was the decline and extinction of the Roman Empire a sign of its deep spiritual malaise - should be have rejected that more decisively? It sometimes seems that the Renaissance was (overall, in net effect) a rebirth of the worst of ancient knowledge - rather than the best; a regression rather than the progression it is commonly depicted to be. That was associated with a resurgence in the High Magic such as astrology and alchemy - which seems like an error, overall and in effect.

Anyway - we can all thrill at the Old Magic - in fiction, at least; and it is never all that far away in fact.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Christianity by steps and stages

If or when there is to be a spiritual revival (soon) - then it will not be Christian from the get-go - even if (as it would need to) it eventually or even quickly becomes Christian; it would start-out as something not-fully-or-perfectly-Christian - and only become Christian by steps and stages.

This should be expected, and not fought-against. The difficulty, the trick, is to be able to discern the real thing of an embryonic Christian revival from the impersonations of it.

http://albionawakening.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/problems-in-christianising-albion.html


Why God is not always and obviously present in our lives - from William Arkle

There are three aspects to the great gift of God to his children: 
1. the separate life given to us out of the Creator’s own life; 
2. the intelligent understanding of the significance of the qualities inherent in that life; and lastly 
3. the strength and integrity to carry and sustain that life. 

The more these facts are considered and realised, the more we come to realise the value of our earthly life, and the Creator’s thoughtfulness in not being present in a dominant personal form which would have prevented us knowing about and developing individual independent characteristics and identity.

Because, how could we have gathered such an important part of the gift if the strong and dominant person of the Creator had been at our side in a form which we could have recognised? We would have been merged into duplicates of his own nature if our God had done that, and then what value could we have for him as friends? 

But if we are being given such a great and real gift then there must also be a risk that we will not enter into the spirit of the gift sufficiently to take it. There must be a possibility that we will wilt and fade in our spirit.

If we can have real success we must also be able to have real failure, and I think this is why we sense that there is a beautiful heroic yet tragic element in life. We must become aware of its failure as well as its success. 

Only our Creator can know what is real failure, but we can share the grief which he must feel for his children that he nearly wins, but who then slip away from life and from his love.

Edited from the essay Creative Friendship - The Great Gift, by William Arkle (1977)
http://williamarkle.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/creative-friendship-from-great-gift.html