Tuesday, 9 February 2016

The ideal of eternal - not merely life-long - marriage should be universal among Christians

This is LeGrand Richards speaking in a CJCLDS General Conference back in 1971

H/T Junior Ganymede: http://www.jrganymede.com/2016/02/09/love-wants-to-be-forever
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I just cannot understand … how marriages could be performed in the churches all over the world until death do you part. What a flimsy concept! 

Why don’t they go back to the time when God had finished the creation of this earth, and looked upon it and found it good, and placed Adam here, at which time he said: “It is not good that the man should be alone. He made a helpmeet for him, saying, “… and they shall be one flesh.” Now what God joins together and makes one flesh, you couldn’t separate without having two halves instead of two wholes... 

How could any man who has a true love for his wife and his children not want to believe that principle? 

I like the little verse written by Anderson M. Baten, “To His Wife Beulah,” in which he said: 
“I wed thee forever, not for now, 
Not for the sham of earth’s brief years, 
I wed thee for the life beyond the tears, 
Beyond the heart pain and clouded brow. 
Love knows no grave and it shall guide us dear 
When life’s spent candles flutter and burn low.” 

There are people like that who believe that marriage ought to be eternal, but there is no other church in all this world, outside of our church, as far as I know, that believes in the eternal duration of the marriage covenant. 

Just think what a difference it makes in our lives when we know that we are to live on and on forever and forever! I would just as soon believe that death is a complete annihilation of both body and spirit as to think that when death came it would separate me from my wife and from my children and that we would not know each other. I tell you, there wouldn’t be very much to look forward to. How could you want to live on and on forever without a continuation of the love ties that bind you together here? 

We see cases of kidnapping, when children are taken away. I remember years ago, I think it was in 1932, when Colonel Lindbergh’s little boy was kidnapped and a note was left asking for $50,000. He would gladly have paid what they asked if he could have gotten his boy back again. And yet here we come along with the knowledge of life eternal. 

We had four daughters before we had a son. We were sent to California to preside over a stake down there, and our boy went out with a member of the high council and his boys, and he lost his life in an accident. That is the greatest sorrow that ever came to us, but now we are getting up on the top of the ladder, so to speak, and we look forward, knowing that these love ties are intended by God, our Eternal Father, to endure throughout the eternities. It takes the sting away from death to know that we are going to meet those who are so dear and sacred to us. 

Thank God for this knowledge! 

**

I feel sure that eternal marriage and eternal families are a natural and spontaneous ideal for post-mortal life; and also something which naturally flows from the nature of Christian resurrection.

But this hope seems to have been one of those aspects of simple faith which have been (unneccesarily as well as artificially, as I perceive it) ridiculed, suppressed and in general squeezed out from Christian life by abstract theological arguments.

I find the earnest, open way of speaking of LeGrand Richards very clarifying in this regard - it is wholesome and stirs my heart.  

Why is Leftist metaphysics always self-destroying?

This is an interesting question - and the supposed answers I have encountered are unsatisfactory.

The fact that needs to be explained is that the metaphysics, that is the fundamental foundational beliefs of 'Leftism' are not only incoherent (which they are) but incoherent in a way that leads the system to consume-itself.

This self-destroying quality of Leftist metaphysics is apparent in the history of the political Left, and it is also apparent in the personal history of many Left-adherents.

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(Note: Leftism here includes not just communism, socialism, nationalism, national socialism, liberalism etc - but also all mainstream forms of conservatism, republicanism, libertarianism etc. The true polarity is between Leftism and Religion; and the commonly-asserted Left-Right polarity is interpreted here as merely different varieties of secularism, therefore different varieties of Leftism. In other words, the only way of being non-Left is to be religious. Various religions are possible. To be non-Left is necessarily to advocate that the state be primarily religious with all other activities and functions subordinated to religion.)

*
The temptation, which leads nowhere, is to try and construct a Leftist metaphysical system from some specific attributes - and in contrast with the pre-ceding and rival metaphysical systems of religion (different systems for various religions and denominations).

But this doesn't work, because the Left keeps changing. At one time it was plausible to assert that the Left was about equality, but that clearly is not the situation now. At another time - say 30-40 years ago - it was suggested that the Left was focused on reducing suffering and humiliation -  but again that can now be seen to be merely a temporary phase.

And an historical consideration shows that the root of Leftism is not some positive doctrine, but a negative subtraction.

*
If we suppose that natural, spontaneous human metaphysics is religious and (sufficiently for life) coherent and systematic - then Leftism comes into the life of a person or a culture by subtracting something from this religious metaphysics. What might that be?

The first suggestion might be God or the gods - but I don't think that is necessarily correct: God/s may be allowed to retain their place (for a while) but certainly the definition and scope of God/s is the thing that is change.

I think the specific change is related to the subtraction of purpose - or to 'teleology'. Leftism removes ultimate, objective purpose from the metaphysical system.

In consequence, because we cannot live without purpose, instead of a unity and reality of purpose we get several or many purposes, that are not unified, and are not objectively real or relevant and compelling.

*
The earliest defined form of Leftism, setting itself up as rival to religion, was Marxism - and in that early Leftism there was a kind-of residual purpose that was was taken from the idealistic philosophy of Hegel in the form of an abstraction related to the direction of history. History had an inevitability of progression - and if someone wanted to be on the same side as history - that is, the 'winning side' - then he should be a communist. However, there was a major hole in the system in that there was no ultimate reason why it was good or necessary to be on the winning side - especially in the short term it may well be 'better' (yielding more pleasure and/or less suffering) for someone personally to oppose history.

So, even in its earliest and most 'religious' phase, Leftism did not provide an individual purpose - although it did provide a goal and direction.

*
It seems to be that it is this subtraction of purpose from our underlying metaphysical system characterizes Leftism - but the question arises of why anybody, or any culture or civilization, would want to subtract purpose from their foundational beliefs?

Since we have, most of us, experienced this for ourselves at some point in our lives, I think the answer is available to introspection (after which is can be checked against experience and evidence) - and that answer is liberation, freedom, escape from aspects of purpose that we find thwarting, oppressive, or in some way aversive.

This is the reason why sexual revolution is so often integral to Leftism - a fact difficult to explain otherwise. Because there are few people who do not feel, in some way and to some significant extent, constrained by the sexual rules and exclusions of religion. Likewise, people feel constrained by their social position, class or status; by actual or relative material insufficiency; by their nation of origin or residence; by their appearance or by some deficit... there are many possible reasons.

Leftism offers a liberation from the necessity of such constraints and others by its removal of purpose from ultimate understanding - there can be no ultimate reason for constraint if there is no ultimate and unifying purpose: so that particular problem is solved, whatever the problem may be. Constraint is removed, or else there is hope for this - and there is liberation.

*
Thus Leftism has a universal message and a universal appeal.

Whatever your personal grievance against Life, Leftism offers actual or potential liberation from it by means of the removal of ultimate purpose and removal of our ultimate obligations to that purpose. 

And this seems to explain why Leftism is always unstable, always moves from one liberation/ destruction to another, is always - sooner or later - hostile to any religion; and always ends-up in approaching nihilism.

Because nihilism (which is the conviction that nothing is really-real) is necessarily the end-point of any world view that lacks 1. ultimate purpose and 2. an ultimate rationale for each person to subscribe to that purpose.

Monday, 8 February 2016

The relationship between evolution of human consciousness and reincarnation - a consideration of Steiner and Barfield

The idea of an evolution of human consciousness throughout history has been a part of spiritual thinking for more than a century - I know it mainly through considering the work of Rudolf Steiner, Owen Barfield and William Arkle over the past couple of years.

(I encountered the idea over thirty years ago summarized in the work of Colin Wilson, but did not then pay much attention.)

The idea of an historical evolution of consciousness seems to go-with a belief in reincarnation, because reincarnation allows each person to participate in the different stages of evolution that are aiming-at a fully divine form of consciousness.

Steiner and Barfield describe this aimed-at state in some detail - in essence it combines on the one hand a direct involvement with, and participation in, reality such as was characteristic of early man and remains characteristic of early childhood; with, on the other hand, a fully alert, self-aware, purposive and analytic consciousness which is characteristic of the adult consciousness and the modern phase of Western history. 

So, the idea is that I am personally experiencing the distinctive modern, alienated consciousness now - including the knowledge and aspiration towards a future state; however, in earlier lives I have also personally experienced, and benefited from, earlier phases of human consciousness. At some point later this life, and perhaps further lives, I may incrementally, a step at a time, learn how to combine the positive qualities of all phases. This aimed-at fully divine conscious state is what Barfield calls Final Participation.

According to Steiner and Barfield, these earlier life phases include non-incarnated lives - lives when we were conscious but had no body. So the theory is really one of multiple lives, rather than re incarnation.

Therefore the human spirit or soul (i.e. that entity which is reincarnated) is here conceptualized as undergoing an educational process toward which each life is contributing.

Repeated lives, many lives, seem to be necessary in order to allow for the very large amount of experience and learning required to bridge the gap between being a man and becoming a god. Certainly, one mortal life seems grossly inadequate for this, especially given that most human lives in history were terminated either in the womb or in early infancy - a small minority of humans have reached adulthood, and even fewer of these have had a full experience of marriage, family, maturity and growing old etc.

So, evolution of consciousness and reincarnation seem to make a neat package. However, this package is, if not incompatible with Christianity, at least somewhat alien to the structure of Christianity; which places a great deal of emphasis on the individual life which we are experiencing now, and sees 'this life' as having potentially decisive consequences for eternity.

And certainly, while reincarnation seems to described in the Bible - most notably in the case of John the Baptist apparently being a reincarnated Prophet Elijah - there isn't any scriptural description of a scheme of reincarnation as the norm. And especially not of multiple lives.

My interpretation is that ancient Christianity saw reincarnation as true, but as an exceptional possibility, done in exceptional cases and for specific purposes - rather than as the standard procedure for the majority of people.

Does an exclusion of reincarnation then rule-out the evolution of consciousness throughout human history? No, but denial of reincarnation with multiple lives does limit the role of evolution of consciousness in the lives of individual spirits or souls - it breaks the link between the evolution of consciousness in history and the evolution of my consciousness and the specific consciousnesses of every other individual.

Put differently, the arguments which (in particular) Owen Barfield makes for different types of consciousness in human history, such as his insights into the changing scope and meaning of words, may well be true; but they lose their relevance to the evolution of my consciousness and your consciousness if we were not present (in earlier lives) actually to experience the several stages of this historical evolution.

In sum, the historical evolution of consciousness is a matter of historical but not personal interest, if we ourselves were not present during that history.

My own belief is therefore that I accept Barfield's description of human consciousness having changed throughout history and in broadly the way he describes; and I also accept that we are meant (or destined) to achieve that mode of consciousness Barfield terms 'Final Participation'. But I do not accept that the two are causally linked - for instance I do not believe that I have, myself, personally participated in the historical phases of the evolution of consciousness during previous lives.   

Rather, I see the evolution of consciousness as a sequence which is recapitulated in different scales in different situations: e.g. through human history, in each person's individual development from childhood to maturity, and also in the largest cosmic scale of our salvation and divination across eternity.

(To clarify this last point: the Barfieldian sequence of Original Participation, the Consciousness Soul and Final Participation can be mapped onto the Mormon theological sequence of pre-mortal spirit life, mortal incarnate life, and post-mortal eternal incarnate life.)

I therefore would modify the Steiner/ Barfield model, since I regard this evolutionary sequence of consciousness as a basic and necessary process in terms of Man as a whole and also individual men working towards fuller divinity. And I think it is because the process is basic and necessary that we see it appearing and re-appearing here and there throughout reality; operating at many scales and across many time-frames.

Note: Previous posts on reincarnation
http://charltonteaching.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=reincarnation

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Which religion would you support to rule your nation? Choose - or have the choice made for you (Note added today)

It is currently inconceivable that we in the West could have a government which regarded Christianity as the first and central principle of organizing life. A large majority of the population would oppose this, would indeed regard the idea as utterly monstrous.

And yet, of course, all long term stable and authoritative governments throughout history have put some religion as the first and central part of organizing all aspects of human life: politics was based-on religion.

Examples would include the Kingdoms of Ancient Egypt - which lasted 3,000 years, and the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire - which lasted 1,000 year; both of which were permeated by religion in their ideals - and often in their attainment.

The idea that decent government can be attained without religion is still just an idea - since what we currently have would neither be regarded as stable nor as government by people in the past.

It is very clear now that the Western elites want to destroy their societies - one way or another; the favoured methods currently seems to include (but not be restricted to) the destruction of marriage and family, chosen reproductive sterility with an ever-ageing population, and unrestricted mass inward-migration including a high proportion of dependents and aggressors.

But at the root of this is the negative decision to dispense with religion as the unifying aspect of government - and the utter failure to find any other positive principle with which to replace it. 

So the West is characterized by implacable hostility to real Christianity, and a focus on the permanent revolution of destroying the Christian legacy including inverting the transcendental Goods of Truth, Beauty and Virtue.

Since the Leftist project is in its essence negative and destructive, it will necessarily be replaced by some positive polity (at the point when the Left has so weakened the power, will and morale of the West in a particular place that some local religious group becomes by default more powerful, and is motivated to take-over). So we will get religion at the centre of politics again; the only question is which religion, and this will vary from place to place.

Trends are in place which often allow the outcome to be predicted in a particular situation; but there remains scope for summated individual choices to change the predicted outcome.

The most important political question of our day is therefore to determine which religion you, personally, would and should support as the basis of your government.

You can - of course - opt-out of the choice, and forgo even any possibility of influencing the outcome. But that is, in effect, still a choice: it is the choice to allow other people to decide which religion should be the basis of your country.

**

Note added: This post is focused on the decision of which religion you choose to support. This, of course, goes far beyond the scope of the adherents of a religion. It is possible (and such things have happened, quite often indeed) that a large proportion of the population support rule by religion X in preference to religion Y, despite that the adherents of religion X are only a small minority. 

Likewise, given the actual available choices and trends; it may be that atheists, agnostics, and various non-Christian religions would support Christianity as the basis for government, having made the judgment that:

1. There must be a religion as the basis of government; and 

2. Christianity is the best religion.  

Indeed, even if there is a large and powerful Christian awakening and revival (which there absolutely must be for matters to improve in The West), for Christianity to make a difference at the worldly and secular level would require at least the consent - if not active support - of a much larger number of people than the actual Christians. 

(Or, should I say, 'probably' the above; because there are unknown and unseen factors at work in the world - not least the possibility of direct divine interventions - and hope comes from the most unexpected quarters.)

Friday, 5 February 2016

"Free will" = uncaused causation = "Agency" = a divine attribute. (Mainstream and Mormon Christianity compared)

When people talk about 'free will' they are implicitly referring to an uncaused cause - in other words, the ability to act (e.g. to think a thought) without that act being caused but coming from within.

This can be termed Agency - the property of an entity being an Agent, which is self-motivated (in which motivation originates from within, and is not merely passively caused-by something acting upon the entity.

If this is accepted, then it can be seen that free will and agency are not attributes of the 'material universe' of mainstream modern discourse (nor of science - in which everything either has a cause or else is 'random' and presumed to be unmotivated - like some aspects of quantum physics).
*


For Christians, indeed, free will and Agency are divine attributes; attributes characteristic of divinity.

Since, for Christians it is assumed (on the basis of revelation), that Men have free will and therefore Agency - this implies that Men are to this extent divine; by which I mean actual mortal incarnate Men are divine.

Which means that God made us as little gods - partial gods, gods in embryo: this is simply a fact, and neither a cause for pride or despair.

For mainstream Christians adhering to Classical theology, this implies that God created us ex nihilo (from nothing; presumably at some time between our conception and birth) as Agents , as beings whose wills are independent from him - so, to that extent, we are mini-gods who are out-of-control of God.

The aim is (by theosis) to become more like God but - since we are created/ creatures - theosis can never go very far towards God-ness. It is an eternal fact that only God can create from nothing, and the main fact of our relationship with him is that asymmetry.
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For Mormon Christians, Agency is explained by our essence having been in its origins eternal and independent of God - we 'later' became God's spirit children in a pre-mortal life, and then were (voluntarily) incarnated as mortals.

God as the Creator is a shaper and organizer - he does not (because it is impossible) create from nothing.

Because we were agents from eternity, theosis is seen as an (in principle) unbounded process of progression towards becoming the same as God in nature.

The asymmetry between God and Man that remains eternally is not in terms of creative potential - since Man may become a creator in the same sense as God - but a difference of relationship. An earthly Father and his Son may be of the same nature, but the Father remains the father.

Thus: For Mormonism, relationship has an ultimate, vital and structuring metaphysical role.

This is an essentially unique attribute of Mormonism (unshared with any non-Christian religion and un-shared with any pre-Mormon Christian heresy) and this needs to be understood if Mormon theology is to be understood.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Blue Pill, Red Pill & Christianity compared using Tolkien

Blue Pill = Wormtongue's whisperings

Red Pill = Orc Draught

Christianity = Mirovor: The Cordial of Imladris

*

Blue Pill  
(i.e. Anti-Christian Leftism, Political Correctness, the propaganda of The Cathedral, the emanations of Social Justice Warriors)

[Gandalf]: Ever Wormtongue's whispering was in your ears, poisoning your thought, chilling your heart, weakening your limbs... Dulling men's wariness, or working on their fears, as served occasion.
[Theoden]: Indeed, my eyes were almost blind...

Red Pill 
(i.e. Secular Neoreaction, Dark Enlightenment, Alt-Right, Moldbuggism)

Ugluck thrust a flask between Pippin's teeth and pured some burning liquid down his throat: Pippin felt a hot fierce glow flow through him. The pain in his legs and ankles vanished. He could stand.

Christianity

As soon as Frodo had swallowed a little of the warm and fragrant liquor he felt a new strength of heart and the heavy drowsiness left his limbs. The others also revived and found fresh hope and vigour.

Lesson: Red Pill thinking is to Christianity as Orc Draught is to Miruvor: both awaken from debilitating delusions, give energy, and get you on your feet - the one with searing anger and aggression; the other by a sustained warming of the heart.

Don't debate the dishonest - Maxims for bloggers

Don't publish comments from, or debate with, the dishonest (and where somebody is dishonest is a thing you will need to judge for yourself).

The dishonest have an agenda, a reason for commenting - and they are using your blog to propagate it.

What is the point of a traditional Christian blog publishing comments that seeks to undermine and subvert its blog posts? What is the point of overwhelming the Christian blog posts with following comments that are anti-Christian - and pro some secular agenda that is nearly always secular Left, nearly always pro-sexual revolution?

That would be taking one step forward and two steps back.

You may believe that you are publishing comments to refute them - but that may not be how the exchange appears.

When a commenter is dishonest, and when his aim is destructive, he has a massive advantage in debate - He can raise problems and doubts more simply and easily than they can be dealt-with; he can ask questions faster than you can answer them (a short and easily-understood question often needs a long and involved answer that is difficult to follow and needs concentration to follow - hence your answer will - often - not be followed).

When a commenter is parroting mainstream mass media opinion, he also has the advantage that his view is backed-up by what people (usually unconsciously) regard as 'evidence' (i.e. 1001 things they have heard, seen or read, somewhere - they aren't sure where - and sort-of accept as presumably valid).

A dishonest and subversive commenter can destroy certainty, belief and hope much more readily than you can patch-them-up.

Don't give them space and airplay, don't give them attention, don't waste your time on them. It will do more harm than good.

Education versus fertility - our revealed existential preferences

When it comes to women, the strong correlation (over many years) is years in formal education are inversely associated with fertility: more education = less babies.

That is not the whole story - because in the modern West even the uneducated are usually considerably sub-replacement in fertility (fewer than two children per woman) - but it is a significant part of the story.

So, on the one hand, the native Westerners are going extinct by choice, and have already created the most  old-age skewed population in history and matters are continuing to get worse. On the other hand, an ever greater proportion of ever less-able, less-motivated, and less-benefitting women are staying ever more years at places that call themselves 'a college' (and getting - or sometimes not - something called a 'degree').

Which is more important? 

This is, or ought to be, a non-problem - since there are 1000 ways of solving it while saving time, money and effort as well. 

The fact we do nothing about it except to continue to make matters worse, shows our priorities - no, worse that that, it reveals our preferences. We get what we want.

Real, actual, existing college is (for the overwhelming majority) a (literal) waste of time - in that it takes time, and actively-wastes it - which is evil. (Same with resources.) And it takes more and more time from more and more people and destroys it (while lying and misleading and concealing what is going on).

This is not neutral - this is evil. Yet this is our preference. This is what we celebrate - individually and culturally. Our moral imperative, unchallengeable in its authority...

By contrast, this situation reveals that we fear and hate our own potential babies, our unborn children and the ways and means by which they come among us: loving, stable marriage and family.

We must hate them because we will do nothing for them, not even speak-out in their favour; indeed we are - as a civiization, for our own selfish reasons - wrecking their future in ways both deep and serious, and superficial and immediate.

On the one hand, the primary form of human relationship -- on the other hand, a few more desultory years pretending to learm things that have neither interest nor relevance; pretending to have acquired skills that have really never even been attenpted, staving off loneliness and boredom by distraction with recreational sex, drink, drugs, and other miserable but addictive indulgences.

All this means - in brief summary - that as a culture, as revealed by what we actually do and celebrate and try to do more of: we fear, loath and want to destroy ourselves.

Okay that is the situation - and it IS the situation. What are we going to do about it?

Are we going to continue to pretend that there is no real problem except that we do not get enough of those things we supposedly want? (Like college, sex freedom and frequency, enjoyable distractions).

We already have more of this stuff than anyone ever in the history of everything. Is our lack of even-more really the big problem?

So - given that we are deep in a hole and still digging, and the walls will sooner or later collapse and crush us -- what are we going to do about it? What are you going to do about it? 


Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Where does modern poverty come from?

Modern poverty is different from ancient poverty - and this is true whether we are talking about 'relative poverty' in The West (where the poor do not work, are overweight and tend to overuse drugs); and 'absolute poverty in the Third World (where people work long hours, are thin and malnourished, and cannot afford any inessentials).

200 years ago, the modern poor would have been dead.

In other words, as a generalisation, the people who are poorest nowadays would not have been alive in the past.

(Socialism probably got its start and its moral force from observing the 'new poor' - and misunderstanding their origin. Socialists assumed that the new poor had been immiserated by capitalism from the old prosperous working class. But they had in fact been created by saving some of the children of the poor from death: but saving them from death to only-just-subsist in extreme poverty.) 

In The West, instead of being part of a chronically unemployed/ sick/ unemployable and socially pathological underclass, the modern poor would have been long-since dead - probably in the womb or in early childhood; plus quite a lot more in the teens. 

In the Third World  - they modern poor would have been dead from infectious diseases, or predation, or starved to death, or by violence (all of which have now been significantly prevented or cured by importing technology and expertise and other resources from The West).

The average poor woman woman 200 years ago would have had close to zero children surviving to sexually fertile adulthood on average (no matter how many babies were born). And if she personally did not raise the children, they would even-more-certainly die.

Nowadays, even in the poorest areas the average woman can expect to raise a majority of her children.

And in The West, she can expect that very nearly as many children as she gives birth to, will reach adulthood in a condition to have their own children (even if she personally does not rear them, someone else will be paid to do so - and there is no limit to the number).  

This analysis seems to suggest that the problems of modern poverty are essentially ineradicable - since there is no compelling reason to believe, no precedent to assume, that the problems can be solved.

Maybe they can be solved? - or substantially ameliorated? But, if we are hard-nosed and sceptical, we would have to acknowledge that that is just a wish and a hope, and - as yet - there is nothing at all to support the idea.   


Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Rainbow clouds today

From http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3428242/Devastatingly-beautiful-Rare-rainbow-clouds-seen-painting-skies-UK-despite-splendour-formations-cause-holes-ozone-layer.html

This morning from about eight o'clock and for more than half an hour in Newcastle upon Tyne (and other parts of the region), we had the most extraordinary skies I have ever seen - I stood and watched in amazement and wonder at the changing display. The colours were such as I have never seen in nature before - and yet of course they were natural. It really looked as if something tremendous, apocalyptic, was about to happen. But, of course, the tremendous thing was actually already happening - right there in front of me. 

Why fix your metaphysics - negative and positive reasons

If religion means for you the idea of a real constructive change of life - rather than (just) a new set of beliefs in the context of exactly the same general way of relating to the world; then you probably need to fix your metaphysics.

Your metaphysics is, in this sense, your deepest and most fundamental set of assumptions about how reality is organized.

Getting this right does not, in and of itself, change you experience of being alive. But it is often the first and necessary step towards making that possible. And, for sure, some assumptions will pretty much sabotage any prospect of a significant and sustained enhancement of your life.

Fixing metaphysics has two aspects:


1. Negative
2. Positive


Negative - means to break bad habits, compulsions or unwarranted/ unnecessary convictions. Such beliefs include the assumption of insignificance - that that nothing really means anything. That all good things are subjective only. That all experiences - no matter how wonderful they feel - are ephemeral only- and will be terminated utterly by death.

That what you thin you know is rendered unreliable by the intrinsic inaccuracies of the senses, by the possibility of illusions, by the tendency towards delusions and wishful thinking.

That we will never know for sure that the whole world and all the people and things in it, and the sense we make of it - isn't just a kind of dream or nightmare.


Positive - means the possibility of building your life around assumptions of significance, meaning, purpose. These would probably include assumptions that you personally, and what you do or don't do, matter in the large scheme of things.

That life has a purpose, and that this purpose includes a role for you specifically. That things (significant in themselves) also add-up to something even greater.

And that you have the possibility of real and valid communication with other people, and things.


The thing we must recognize about metaphysics, is that the metaphysical framework is neither validated nor contradicted by experience. That modern metaphysical assumptions are not the consequence of knowledge, or science, or logic. That traditional or religious metaphysics have never been refuted nor disproved.
We can choose to change are metaphysics, and (by repetition and self-monitoring) work to make the new metaphysics a spontaneous habit.

Is metaphysics then all just a matter of arbitrary opinion?  Well, it can be  but it need not be.

1. We can examine our metaphysical assumptions to see whether they are internally consistent and coherent.

2. We can trace the provenance, i.e. the origin, of the metaphysics we currently hold-to and see whether we regard that source as good, reliable, trustworthy (for example, if the metaphysics comes from people whose motives or character we regard as bad, then there is a good reason not to accept their metaphysics).

3. We can explore and compare the consequences of different metaphysical systems and evaluate which we think is the most Good: that is, the most true, beautiful and virtuous.

In other words, we can approach metaphysics with the conviction that some systems are better than others, and deploy our deepest and most fundamental mode of evaluation to compare systems and choose that which is best; and choose to try and live by it.

Why does God want so many of us to become divine, like him? The play and music of creation - From Arkle's Letter from a Father

...Another question you would like to ask me is why I should need so many children around about me in this scheme of mine. Why would not twenty or fifty be enough?

To begin with you do not yet know the depth of my nature. You do not yet know just how much I have to give. If what I had to give were just a simple thing it would not require an elaborate situation to give it in, but what I have to give is most elaborate, and so, to create the necessary width of understanding, I need to find expression for all my qualities, and lay them all out for you to see.

As many of these qualities have to be lived, so I need many different children to live amongst one another. My plan was vast in your sight because my being is vast also, but do not let that be a cause to think that any of you do not matter to me; you matter to me all as individual children and also as players in my play.

If you do not play your part, who is to do it for you? No one can, and it thus leaves a gap in my book. As my book is a long one it needs many words and you are both my children and my words to one another.

You are all players in my orchestra, and I cannot make the sounds I had hoped for if any of you are unable to play the individual parts that make up the whole piece of music. My orchestra is not like yours. In my orchestra no two parts are the same but they are all needed to make up the true beauty of the sound I have visioned...

I need a large family because I need to express a large number of characters, so do not think only of rushing to my heaven, for it is not necessarily in heaven that you will be able to learn the part you have to play. Remember that where character is concerned it is the hardest experiences that stamp the deepest patterns, and, when you think of my music, try to remember that it is a continuous creation and not a single piece that is to be repeated.

I have no desire to repeat my music, rather do I spin it newly all the while, so what you add to it now, and at any other time, is continually affecting the performance. You and I are making this music now, and each of your sounds is valuable to the effect, and I am the one who all the time gathers them in and weaves them together into a whole of constantly changing music. Thus I even make use of the discordant sounds since they all express in some way the reality of the complete situation.

Not that I would have you think that I sit back and coldly conduct this music, or feel any pleasure from discordant notes. I am doing many things at the same time in ways that you would not yet understand, and each discordant note pulls at my heart and my sympathy.

My music is not made to entertain, it is the expression of our endeavour, and effort, and suffering, woven together with the beauty of the beginning and the end. It is the sound of the whole book as it is being read by you all. It is this very music that I use to order and adapt my school to the needs that I sense in it. It reports to my sensitive ear the exact condition of my whole work and my nature responds to its beauty and its needs.


http://billarkle.co.uk/prose/letterfromafather4.html

Monday, 1 February 2016

Death - why is it necessary?

It is my primary assumption that death is necessary for spiritual progression toward a higher and fuller state of divinity - but how does this work?

If the purpose of mortal life is incarnation (to get a body) then why? One answer may be that the body brings us irresistibly into contact with 'the world' - because the body is unavoidably part of the world.

(Whereas, as pre-mortal spirits, we were not in direct contact with the world, and our spiritual body - if we had one - was not subject to the world.)

So long as we are awake, alert and purposive in thinking - our body is spontaneously and by-default part of reality. And our consciousness (our spirit) identifies with the body (including the body's senses).

We spontaneously get-away-from the body during sleep - and especially in dreaming sleep when we are all-but cut-off-from the senses, and paralysed; in dreams we remain influenced by the body (e.g. illness can influence dreams) but we are no longer constrained by the body (we can dream anything, and be anywhere).

Much mysticism is trying to get away from the body - but insofar as this includes drowsiness or sleep, undirected or free-associative thinking, thinking directed by external cues etc. then this represents (merely) a regression towards the situation of pre-mortal spirit existence - which is fine, but regression is not the reason why we became incarnate mortals (otherwise we would simply have remained in our pre-mortal state).

Minimally we are incarnated for our spirit/ consciousness to identify with the body - and then die (this applies, for instance, to those people who die in the womb, or around the time of birth - they experience little more than the bare fact of incarnation).

Beyond this minimum, some people survive into childhood, adulthood - perhaps for many decades... what is that for? The purpose of prolonged life seem to be spiritual progression, divinization, theosis, sanctification (variously conceptualized) during mortal life.

I think this divinization necessarily entails a development, or evolution, of consciousness - of a type which is a foretaste of the post-mortal resurrected state.

This state of advanced consciousness has been variously termed a particular type of clairvoyance by Rudolf Steiner (also called Final Participation by Owen Barfield), or 'self-remembering' by Gurdjieff or Colin Wilson), or Active Imagination by Jung, or some versions of Abraham Maslow's Peak Experiences.

In essence, this is an awareness of ourselves as spiritual beings simultaneous with identification with the body and its senses.
Death is therefore the separation of spirit from body, the spirit having experienced the identification of spirit with body.

So there are three stages in spiritual progression in relation to mortality:
1. The spirit is identified with the body (mortal life)
2. The spirit separated from the body (death)
3. The spirit rejoined with the body from which it had separated

This three-stage process of incarnation, death and resurrection was - of course - established and made possible for us by Jesus Christ.

It leads to the post-mortal state of a permanent and habitual attainment of that state of consciousness which is typically only glimpsed (if experienced at all) during mortal life.

This is the divine mode of consciousness - which can then embark on further development.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Because human sexual selection is parental - individual sexual preferences (charming, good-looking, sexy and fun) may be compensatory

Since it seems that parental choice is dominant in choosing marriage partners in nearly all societies organised on traditional lines:

http://charltonteaching.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/the-science-of-sex-most-important.html

This suggests that sexual selection operates substantially via parental choice. In other words, sexually selected traits would be expected to have evolved to appeal to parent-in-law primarily - rather than to the prospective sexual partner.

This model seems to account for many of the major trait differences between men and women - and accounts for the poor choices of marriage partner made by so many modern individuals: unaided individual people often make bad partner choices because humans are not 'designed' (by natural selection) to choose their own marriage partners.

(i.e. People make bad choices because they lack the instincts to make good ones.) 

Indeed, the model may also explain the nature of the bad choices typically made.

Parental choice would be expected to give most weight to 'sensible' criteria such as a man's economic prospects, a woman's youth and health, family background and so forth; but would tend relatively to neglect individual, personal qualities such as being charming, good-looking, sexy and fun-to-be-with.

Parental choice alone would often lead to dull spouses. 

In a system of parental choice - where all individual choices of spouse operate withing a 'field' of pre-approved candidates; it might therefore be expected that the individual woman and man would tend to focus on exactly these compensatory aspects. In other words, individual choice would tend to pick the most charming, good-looking, sexy and fun of the possible, parentally-chosen, candidates.

This would work pretty well, with the parents choosing potential spouses of solid, grand-children-rearing quality; and the individual husband and wife being able to pick the one who is most enjoyable to be with.

But take away the framework of parental choice, as we have in the modern West, and leave choice purely to individuals and you get... well, exactly the kind of sexual choices which people make in the modern West; where they go for the most charming, good-looking, sexy and fun-to-be-with of available people, regardless of who is a sensible, solid choice of child-rearing partner. 

What are the main reasons so many people are now living beyond their natural biological lifespan?

These are some guesses:

1. Antibiotics

These are now used so routinely that we forget they are life-extending treatments. In the past, many people, throughout life but especially in old age, were carried off by overwhelming infections - especially pneumonia, but also things like cellulitis (skin infections), septicaemia (blood infections). These are now unthinkingly nipped in the bud by antibiotics, with the result that people survive to get the various types of dementia.

2. Starvation

Many old people lose their appetites and would not spontaneously feed themselves adequately - they would naturally waste away to the point of being easily carried off by any unusual physiological stressor. Nowadays there is a combination of ready prepared food, food brought to the elderly, and food being put in front of old people and them being encouraged to eat.

3. Warmth

Cold stress means that core temperature must be maintained by increased metabolism and shivering - further exacerbating the problem of self-starvation and rendering individuals vulnerable to any further stress like an infection. Nowadays central heating is normal, and houses are kept well above outdoor temperatures.

4. Trauma

Even nowadays, an elderly person's life is often terminated by a fall and broken hip or other bone (alternatively, they may be saved but dementia becomes evident from that point - perhaps due to anaesthetic and drug effects). In the past these would not have been treated effectively and would have accounted for more.

In nomadic hunter gatherer conditions, seventy years seems to be about the limit of lifespan for most people. In agricultural conditions this was extended in some people who were looked-after in sedentary (stationary) societies - and who were prevented from injuring themselves and protected from infections.

Nowadays, many more people in the developed countries are kept alive by the above means - plus others including resuscitation and life-support, intensive therapy, advanced vascular surgery (including heart surgery) and life-extending drugs and surgery.

It is striking that even in the early 1980s, sixty was the maximum age limit for the (cutting edge) coronary care unit which I used to cover on-call - nowadays people routinely get heart and vascular surgery up into their eighties (plus 'heroic' cancer resections and chemo/ radio-therapy), even when they already have dementia. (And such treatments themselves often induce dementia - although this is seldom admitted, noticed or remarked)

It is in this context of routine and unreflective life-extension far beyond the natural lifespan and regardless of 'quality of life' (because all this life-extension now regarded as a 'human right') that the intellectual elites of the UK are pushing and pushing for a system of humane murder by medical means.

I saw an advertisment that an example of this is going to be televised by the BBC, as part of the propaganda for... What is the catchphrase? Ah yes... dignified death.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Colin Wilson's role in preparing for publication Arkle's Geography of Consciousness

http://williamarkle.blogspot.co.uk/2016/01/the-writing-of-william-arkles-geography.html

Pity and horror as weapons of evil

Any virtue become a vice when pursued in isolation - and the virtue of pity has surely been exploited to the hilt in this fashion.Likewise horror - evoked by the horrible things of the world.

These are standard weapons for the mass media, politics, government, artists, educators and those who seek to manipulate and corrupt us to their own nihilistic agenda.

Unbounded pity is evoked (usually with an implicit threat against those who fail to go along with it); horror is shown or created with the (again totalizing) intention that it cancels, makes a mockery of, any claims of goodness anywhere.

By the power of depiction, aided by the power of imgination, pity and terror are induced and enhanced to stun, transfix and thereby divert or dissipate any attempt at understanding - any attempt at the virtue of prudence which balances virtues and vices - any attempt to attain the comprehension of order and achieve the greatest Goodness.

Thus the prevalence of that special evil of despair - a sin which does no good, but merely evokes even-more pity and horror.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Double-repentance and beyond...

The power of Christian repentance is unbounded.

If we sin, we should repent. If we cannot undertake not to commit that sin again, then we should repent that failure too (double-repentance).

If we sin, and we cannot resolve not to commit that sin again, and we cannot even find the resolution to want not-to commit that sin again - then we should repent that failure too (triple-repentance).

There is no limit to this - it is all possible, and indeed all necessary if we are to be clear about the nature of sin and of our personal failure.

But this is not paradoxical, complex, weird nor even difficult: the rule is that we simply repent every sin - everyone can do this, can do it now; and nobody is excluded by any personal deficiency.

It is a great gift - for by it any person can clear-the-decks, shrug-off paralysis and despair; enjoy the assured hope of salvation; and embark on the adventure of being a Chrstian as best they may.

(And with all kinds of divine helps and aids coming to awareness, that were unseen before - which may well lead to unexpected successes.)  

Why do the Left win every public dispute? Because they have an irresistible argument

It does not matter what argument Christians use to defend themselves - none of them work. Rationality is suspended, evidence deemed irrelevant, the outcome pre-determined.

The argument by which the Left win every battle is simple and single:

God is dead and everything is permitted. 

*

This fact was first noted by Dostoevsky, a long time ago.

The assumption in all modern public discourse is that God is dead - God is not a reason for anything.

And the, correct, inference is that therefore - in an ultimate and bottom-line sense - everything is permitted. 

*

Because God is dead in the West, and in particular in the public domain - the arena of general discourse; therefore everything is permitted, nothing is forbidden.

Because everything is permitted and nothing is forbidden, there is no reason to do or not do, allow or not allow, tolerate or coerce - and this is precisely the backdrop of assumptions which makes a trend to Leftism inevitable.

Even on the few and rare occasions when Christianity beats secular Leftism, it does so using secular Leftist arguments such as free speech, religious freedom, human rights, diminution of suffering, emotional manipulations, legalism and loopholes... and every such victory strengthens the principle that that is how public disputes ought to be settled. The exclusion of Christianity from the public arena is further solidified.

*

This brings clarity.

Tactics are doomed - so, focus on strategy.

Don't waste time finding the perfect argument - it doesn't matter, may do more harm than good.

Strength of personal faith and life, conversion of the nation - Christian priorities are the essentials, and they must also be the priority.


The Genius Famine, my new book, is now published

Edward Dutton & Bruce G Charlton. The Genius Famine: Why we need geniuses, Why they're dying out, Why we must rescue them. University of Buckingham Press: Buckingham, England. 2016

http://geniusfamine.blogspot.co.uk/

Amazon.co.uk
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Amazon.com
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