Tuesday, 25 April 2017

From 21 April - somebody did something to this blog...

From 21 April, the traffic for this blog has suddenly and without precedent plummeted - halved from over 3000 to about 1500 daily views; and also the Google daily search listings for my name have halved. 

(Indeed this trend of - deliberately - declining sensitivity for Google searches has been going on for more than a year.)

I've no idea what happened - but somebody, somewhere apparently doesn't like me - or people like me - or blogs... and some kind of new block or delisting or whatever is now/ was put in place.

Not surprising, nor unexpected; and anything which reduces Mass Media impact in this way is overall a trend to be valued -

But I thought this should be noted; and that a new (and probably self-destructive - hooray!) phase of strategically anti-Christian Leftism via escalated web control is probably, recently, underway.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Who was the genius behind the Hunter Gatherer concept? Implications for Christian 'traditionalists'

Sometime in - perhaps - the middle 1960s, some genius, somewhere came up with the concept of hunter-gatherers (aka nomadic foragers) as a way of distinguishing the original type of human society and its more recent homologues.

Before that time; all the non-literate, tribal, simple or primitive societies were jumbled together - including herders, gardeners, sedentary gatherers (like the Pacific Northwest Amerindians) and small-scale mobile agriculturalists.

But once that genius - whoever it was - had drawn a line around the hunter gatherers - all sorts of important aspects about human nature and prehistory became much clearer.

Since I discovered this distinction in the middle 1990s, I have been fascinated by the perspective it brings to the human condition. An early paper looked at economics and the sense of 'justice':

https://www.hedweb.com/bgcharlton/evolpsych.html

But later I became focused on the spiritual side:

https://www.hedweb.com/bgcharlton/meaning-of-life.html

I have since been aware that many or most people's ideas of 'traditional' human life refer to the agricultural and settled existence which emerged only from about 12,000 years ago in the Middle East, and much more recently in other parts of the world.

The implications for Christianity are particularly relevant - since Christianity only emerged after the development of agriculture - and indeed in the context of the Roman Empire. Many of the features of Christian churches have reflected these 'middling' type, complex agriculturally-based societies; yet Christianity is a universal religion.

Many Christians have assumed that organisational and social aspects of complex agricultural societies are intrinsic and necessary to Christianity - and indeed that Christian eternity is to be spent in some Heavenly version of a Roman city... but it seems implausible.

I think it is valuable to do the thought experiment of imagining Christianity in the context of a simple, nomadic, illiterate hunter gatherer society without economic specialisation. And since this was how humans began, it could be that it will also be how will humans end - and there seems to be an important sense that the hunter gatherer life is the one most people feel is the most natural and spontaneous way of living.

This idea seems more and more convincing to me at present - that human history (perhaps extending into life beyond biological death) will describe a vast circle from then back-to the hunter gatherer way of life; but that our return will be qualitatively different in a spiritual and psychological sense; because Men have evolved in their consciousness, and Mankind has evolved in its cumulative experience.

In the meantime, and in a world where all major institutions - including nearly all major churches (including those with roots in the Roman Empire and its descendents) - are subverted, inverted, and corrupting to the point that they are anti-Christian and pro-materialist in net efffect; I find it inspiring to suppose that Christianity's future may be in a form that would be possible and powerful for any kind of human grouping: even the smallest scale, illiterate, simple band of nomadic foragers...

Saturday, 22 April 2017

We modern Westerners are the Have Nots of the world and history...

http://www.jrganymede.com/2017/04/22/the-haves-and-the-have-nots

One implication is that, instead of feeling paralysed with guilt at our privilege; we need to be energised to identify, survive and fight the unprecedented levels of spiritual poverty which it has been our fortune to be born-into.

Friday, 21 April 2017

The disgusting triviality with which prosperity has been used - an 'Outsider's perspective

It was way back in my early teens - and probably as a consequence of reading Tolkien, plus my high regard for literature, music and architecture - that I recognised prosperity ought to be (is 'intended' to be) used for higher goals than the cyclical search for more material goods (status symbols), distraction and amusement.

For a while, I thought that this view would become general, and it really would happen... that people would wake-up to the possibilities of using the peace and prosperity of The West to pursue whatever might be regarded as higher goals...

I soaked myself in the writings of those who had - even since the 1700s, but mainly in the 1800s and onwards - advocated such a perspective. The basic, simple idea was that we should have 'enough' - then we should pursue the life of the mind. By the 1970s we certainly had enough...

As an atheist; my idea of the highest goal was actually the arts and science; to be some kind of creative artist or scientist seemed like the highest goal. I chose the professional path of science - but it took a long time for me to find a branch of it where I could feel a genuine sense of vocation; and in the mean time I had a second string in trying to excel in one or other of the arts (acting, singing, folk and R&B music; writing scripts, poetry, stories, criticism, philosophy...).

But - to my credit - I never for long (although it did happen in the early 2000s) fell-into the mainstream materialist nonsense that the goal of life ought to be more and more material stuff, more and more travel, more pleasures and distraction... I felt that it was obvious we ought to move beyond this.

I still do - and I continue to be amazed and disgusted that this basic, simple, obvious insight remains so rare - and that so many people are utterly uninterested in understanding the meaning and purpose of life, the idea that they ought to be discovering and pursuing whatever they suppose to be the highest goals.

Even among those who are not merely passive consumers; some people spent literally hours every single day on pursuing their own health/ beauty/ fitness with great effort and straining - and not even five minutes per month seriously and strenuously thinking and working on higher things.

For me - this is an alien world; and it always has been. Hardly anybody I have ever met thinks as I do - but it was a great inspiration to discover some fellow spirits through reading - this formed the staple activity of my mid teen years: communing with such spirits.

It wasn't until I was 19 years old that I saw the whole phenomenon set-out and analysed explicitly by Colin Wilson in his introduction to William Arkle's A Geography of Consciousness and CW's own first book from 1956: The Outsider.


Thursday, 20 April 2017

Why is resurrection necessary?

http://www.jrganymede.com/2017/04/20/the-necessity-of-resurrection

The coming British General Election - what I hope will happen...



Note: The (ironically-deployed!) painting above is The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah by the Northumbrian painter John Martin (1759-1854)

Banging on-and-on about salvation but ignoring theosis

I think this may be counterproductive, overall, in the modern West.

Of course, salvation is the most essential - whereas theosis (spiritual progression, sanctification or deification - the becoming-more-divine while during mortal life) can seem like a sort of 'optional extra'; but that is not really the case, because one without the other leads to trouble.

Those of us who got beyond childhood must know what to do in our lives - and a purely salvation -orientated Christianity cannot tell us that. It is extraordinary how Christians know, on the one hand, that anybody may saved in a moment (by repentance and acceptance) - yet they also apparently assert that the whole of the rest of life is also about retaining, securing this salvation.

In fact the rest of life ought to be about becoming more divine - theosis.

But within theosis there is a large range of assertion - the Eastern Orthodox understand theosis mainly in terms of the primacy of the ascetic, monastic (or hermit) life; and how closely this can be approximated. Other traditions see theosis mainly in terms of Good Works of various types.

Furthermore, there is a tendency to regard theosis as a process of convergence upon a single template - all humans trying to become more like the great Saints or a specific Saint, or Christ - 'modelling' all human lives towards convergence upon what is known of the life of (say) Francis of Assisi or Jesus.

It depends what you suppose the ultimate purpose of creation to be. If you suppose that the creator wanted all humans to be the same-kind-of-perfect, like 'clones'; then theosis will indeed be a single model or pattern. Many Christians do understand Heaven to be a state in which all that is individual is discarded - included the sexes as well as whatever is distinctive about our ultimates selves...

- But, if you agree with the idea that God wants us each to develop towards being ultimately, a fully divine but utterly unique, and individual, and distinct son or daughter of God...

- Then you will need to regard your own theosis as (although, of course, constrained/ guided by the commandments and constraints of Christianity) ultimately an unique destiny which you, personally, must discover and develop.

This, is a worthy focus of a human life, no matter what is nature or length - a goal both in general and also in all particulars; a goal that is absolutely personal and also harmonious with the creation.


Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Prophecy and the future

Prophecy is not essentially about foretelling - it is really a matter of describing destinies and the consequences of refusing it. Because; when it comes to serious matters there are only two main choices - assent or refusal.

Prophecy is therefore a description of the destined path - and by 'destined' I mean the specific path that is a consequence of how the individual harmonises with the divine plan. This path may be functional and not precise: it may be that there are several functional possibilities that fulfil the divine plan and our own specific nature...

The threatening side of prophecy, the consequences (usually dire) of refusing the destined path, describes what will happen if.

Any timescale attached to prophecy is also functional - a depends on future acts of agency - so the only way that highly specific dates, times and places can be attached to prophecy is when there is a direct divine intervention scheduled - and there aren't may situations when that is appropriate from a functional perspective.

True prophecy provides understanding of what we ought to do - and what happens if we don't do it.

Monday, 17 April 2017

The end of Western institutions? What next?

Almost all large, powerful, high status Western social institutions (including churches) are now very corrupt indeed, and getting even worse. This means that they are not even trying to do what is supposed to be their function.

(Schools and colleges are not trying to educate, military and police not trying to defend, philosophy and science not trying to discover truth, law not trying to to be just, art not trying to create beauty etc.)

For those who have noticed this and acknowledged the near completeness of destruction - especially at the level of leadership and management, who are broadly as strategically-evil-as-they-can-get-away-with - the usual proposal is either radical reform of existing institutions; or their abolition and replacement with new and functional institutions.

But maybe this is the end. After all, this corruption has been proceeding unabated for several generations. Maybe institutions are just a phase in the evolution of human consciousness - and the best imaginable future is post-institutional...

Institutions are all deeply flawed by the way that the institution comes first and individual persons must be moulded (or mould themselves) to fit-into them - this is fundamentally unideal in a creation where each man and woman is unique and has an unique destiny.

It seems that the original human societies - of small nomadic tribes - lacked institutions, and were built around the relationships, dispositions, talents and motivations of the individuals who constituted them - and maybe that is how humans are ideally meant to be; and maybe institutions are a regrettable necessity imposed by coercion as a response to violence and want...

Maybe the destiny of Man (one way or another, by an easy-pleasant way potentially, but more likely a path of extreme suffering imposed by our evil choices) is to go beyond institutions; for the wheel to turn full circle and return to a pre-institutional non-organisation - but this time 'inhabited' by very different people...

Such could only happen after Men have become better; after Men have become spiritual Christians advanced in consciousness; but if (or when) this eventually happens, I would suppose that the future is non-institutional.

Meanwhile - Men are not better (but instead worse) and we cannot do without institutions, and they need to be as good as we can make them - and we must strive to be honest and demand honesty and reality from the actually-existing institutions.

But it may well be that they are on-the-way-out, and that institutions are no more than a stop-gap, and fundamentally unsaveable - and therefore institutions may never be revitalised.

It makes a difference, I think. 

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Simple explanations are always wrong, and so are complex explanations - but complex explanations are more misleading

This is a view I have always held about science - that the best explanations are so simple that there is the least danger of us accepting them as literal truth. By contrast complex explanations are wrong but more likely to mislead us into supposing that they are complete... having struggled to understand and remembering them, we may develop an excessive devotion to their literal truthfulness.

All explanations are partial - the best explanations are valid but imprecise: a blurred picture, as it were. The blurriness ought to be a constant reminder that the image is not the thing itself.

But most explanations are partial and biased and highly precise - such as the statistical models and measurements so beloved by bureaucrats and pseudo-scientists. They are like tiny, sharp pictures of tiny, broken pieces of reality - with an implicit denial that anything else in reality matters apart from a single tiny sharp picture of a detached fragment.

Because the partial fragment is sharply seen, it is - in practice, although denied in theory - regarded as the only thing known, the only thing of importance. This is normal and usual in recent generations in philosophy, science, in management... in all modern institutions; and indeed the legalism ('Phariseeism') of ancient religions is another expression of the same phenomenon.

(So much 'logic' - and mathematics as applied to actual situations - has exactly this falsehood; the units of reasoning are apparently precise but actual broken fragments of arbitrarily-defined real-world significance.) 

Instead, we can adopt a very simple idea of 'the whole thing' - with a clear accompanying comprehension that it is only a blurry and imprecise vision of totality, with exceptions.

So - in terms of the divine plan and the human conditions; all we need is a simple idea of the nature of the divine (loving, personal) and purpose (to raise us towards divinity) - and an expectations that exact personal individual specifics cannot be clearly defined for all individuals in any comprehensive overview description.

These must necessarily be sorted-out, as best we can, using that inner guidance system which is another factor described in the simple idea. 


[The idea behind this is that of understanding the human condition in relation to matters such as our original creation, being children of God, pre-mortal life, incarnation and the possibility of re-incarnation, death and resurrection, the qualities of eternal life, the levels of consciousness... Any possible schema we may make to describe the actual situation is open to the true criticism that it over-simple. And yet the proper answer is not to increase the complexity of the schema in response to every criticism, to cover every eventuality... but instead to accept that - since we are each individual and unique persons - each destiny and trajectory is also unique and individual - so any possible expressible schema is inadequate to cover all actual and possible eventualities. Reality is both coherent And extraordinarily various!]   

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Personal revelations of God the Father and Jesus Christ need to come before understanding spiritual reality (the Holy Ghost)

Plenty of people in the world - indeed, most people in the world, and virtually everyone who ever lived until the past several generations - believed in spirits; and indeed they believed in deity.

But, here and now things are more constrained. For one who believes in the reality and necessity of a spiritual destiny of Man and of each individual man and woman (you and me included) there is a necessary order in which we must attain knowledge; and this knowledge must be by personal revelation - by individual conviction.

Because, following on many decades of accelerating subversion and destruction of traditional, unreflective, 'automatic' spirituality - modern spirituality must be conscious, explicit and indeed personal, individual; addressed at the free agent which is our truest self.

So, in modern conditions we are inculcated with unbelief - and as a consequnce we are insane, lost and alienated; and this must be re-built, step-wise - since we cannot do everything all at once.

We must rebuild our fundamental, metaphysical assumptions - rebuild from foundations upward. 

The foundation is to begin with deity, with God - that reality is is neither random nor are we merely a product of rigid causes... we each need to know that reality is created, hence has meaning and purpose. This must be the first revelation, our first personal conviction.

Then we need to know that this deity is God, that he is a person, that we are children of God - and therefore each of us may individually have direct knowledge of God (because we are like him; being offspring, we are of the same ultimate nature).

The revelation of Christ is necessary if we are to know that our future is one of meaningful purpose, genuine relationship and ultimate happiness; because it is Christ's gift to provide us with eternal life and the possibility of spiritual development after death.

(Without Christ, our fate is, at bottom, a bleak one - and this was easily understood 2000 years ago. The question then was whether the claims of Jesus were true - if they were true, then to 'believe in' then was 'a no brainer' assuming that happiness was wanted. Nowadays, largely because of atheism - that is, unbelief in deity and creation - people reject Christianity because it often interferes with optimising short term happiness in mortal life. However, we cannot believe in Christ by simple tradition and common sense - now we must have a solid, personal revelation of his truth.)

And only after the convictions of God and Christ are in-place, can we truly believe (that is actually live-by) the reality of the spiritual world - the Holy Ghost, as it were.

Here and now, our understanding of a revelation of the reality of the spiritual world can only be in the context or framework of God and Christ.

At this point - one is fully a Christian. 

What then of a church?

Clearly, it is possible to be a Christian without believeing in the claims of any particular Church - but there are potentially (although not necessarily in practice) advantages to some Christian Churches - and it is likely that most Christians will at least explore the claims of the churches, of the various Christian denominations...

Each church asks different things before acknowledging belief - and many have different layers or levels of committment. But, since Christianity is ultimately a matter of the heart, the first step is again a personal revelation - that is, one may have a personal revelation of the truth of a particular church.

Only if this happens there is a further choice of whether to seek to join that church of which one has a personal revelation.

Thus - the process of being a Christian under modern conditions is much more individual and multi-layered than it used to be; it is much more conscious, explicit and a consequence of deliberate effort.

This is harder work and has more pitfalls than things used to be - but on the other hand, that is how things are - and we simply have-to work with it.

Also, such results are very solid at a personal level; and the nature of this kind of individually-validated faith is precisely what is required to be Christian in these end times or latter days; where we cannot any longer depend on social and institutional support.

(Rather; modern society and institutions - including most self-identified 'Christian' churches - are overwhelmingly against Goodness, against truth, and against us - and indeed, propagate an inverted various deadly brews of atheism, Christ-denial, and unspiritual materialism.)  




Friday, 7 April 2017

Destiny is freedom (agency) and Freedom is in thinking - not passivity, nor freedom of action

What are we aiming at in life? What is our destiny?

Well, part of it is freedom, which implies agency: acting from our-selves, and more exactly from our true selves rather than from false, superficial or merely habitual selves.

This is important, because it rules out a common fantasy - and a fantasy common to both secular and religious people who both often yearn to be overwhelmed, to passively be swept-up by life and bundled along in a state of fulfilment; without need (or possibility) of freedom, or of conscious agency. Such a situation as may be recalled from a (happy) childhood, or imagined for an earlier and simpler state of culture.

Yet this is both impossible and undesirable. Impossible because the dream has been there for generations, probably for centuries - and we are no further toward achieving it, although it would apparently be quite simple to do so. Undesirable because to return to full passivity in practice means intoxication or psychosis - and anything short of full passivity entails an awareness of falseness.

And undesirable too because of our destiny... but of course, that is something which each must ascertain for himself or herself.

But if we are not meant to be passive, and are instead meant to be active in living by agency and in freedom - it is important to recognise that this is primarily achieved in thinking. We may be, at times and in some situations, wholly-free in our thinking in a way that does not apply to our actions.

Actions are always constrained - but thinking may be free.

This primacy of thinking is hard for us to grasp and take seriously - but it seems to be correct. It is, however, not easy to do often or for sustained periods. Because freedom of thinking is only possible when we are thinking with our real, true and divine self - and that happens less nowadays than at any time in human history.

Why less now? Because of our wrong metaphysics and because of the unprecedented levels of mind-control, by which our thinking becomes merely part of vast and pervasive processing systems such as the mass media and the interlinked bureaucracies - our modern minds are often little more than conduits for externally-generated material...

So, thinking from the real self is a considerable challenge - yet if we do not do it, then we are not free - we are merely caused.


What state of consciousness are we aiming for? The metaphysics of everyday Life, the Universe and Everything

One of the blockages to metaphysical renewal is that people tend to want the wrong thing.

Plenty of folk dislike the deadness and meaninglessness and alienation imposed by the modern metaphysics - but what they instead want is a visionary world in which they see things like spirits, elves and auras; hear things like voices and celestial or fay music...

Alienated modern people want to be overwhelmed by meanings and beauties - to have all their objections swept aside by the senses - because (the idea goes) seeing is believing - and if not seeing then at least hearing.

But that vision of the world is behind us, and cannot be restored except in dreams, intoxication or psychosis - experiences which are seldom pleasant and never functional. And if discovering meaning, purpose and relation was as easy as that - it would already have happened.

What, then, awaits - what are we aiming for?

The result of a new metaphysics is apparent at the levels of thinking and knowing... In effect, we perceive the same things, but interpret them differently; or, we have the same sensations but notice and pay attention to very different aspects. We have the same spontaneous thoughts, but there is a large difference in which ones we take seriously and which ones we reject.

The fact is that what we suppose to be 'objective' sensations and perceptions are grossly over-rated and misunderstood by the mainstream modern metaphysics. We already know, from science as well as our own experiences, that what is perceived depends on our own attitudes and preconceptions - yet we persist in behaving as if sensations are the only reality.

Most modern people are made impatient, bored or annoyed by metaphysics - they prefer 'hard facts' and 'evidence' and 'reality' - even though anyone who thinks consecutively for five minutes knows that all of these depend upon the underlying and structuring assumptions - tat is, on metaphysics.

So, the answer - what we seek - is actually very simple indeed; yet opposed by a lifetime of bad habits and the falsehood is enforced by the vast and all-pervading, immersive mass of modern culture: the mass media, bureaucracy; and most of art, science, literature... even poetry.

We need a change of mind, a change of assumptions, a change of interpretations. Yet these interpretations are not arbitrary, nor are they susceptible to wishful thinking - to avoid alienation and despair we cannot instead just interpret the world however we want-to, the way that 'makes us happy' because then we would know we were trying to fool ourselves, and it wouldn't work...

Metaphysical change only works when we regard it as real - and that involves taking another step back. .


Thursday, 6 April 2017

Ahriman: the demon of bureaucracy

Whenever Ahriman sees a committee at work compiling statues, he is in his element! Point 1, Point 2, Point 3... First this will be done, then that; thirdly this member has these rights, fourthly that member ought to do such-and-such. The member would not dream, of course, of respecting these rights, nor doing what it says at all... But this part of it does not matter. The important thing is to compile the statutes and cultivate the Ahrimanic spirit.

Ahriman would like people to be active, but everything must be run along programmed lines. Everything should be forced into legal terms... Every morning, a person should (as it were) find a list lying on his bedspread telling him what to do throughout the day, and he should do it mechanically...

We do, of course, now and again see modern human beings rebelling against the work of Ahriman; grumbling about bureaucracy, which is absolutely Ahrimanic - complaining about the stereotyping of education and so on. But as a rule they only fall deeper into what they are trying to get away from.

The only thing that can lead us out from all this, is a complete change of attitude; a turning towards knowledge of the spirit, to the kind of thing that will once more fill our thinking with genuine spirituality - so that the living spirit can take hold of our whole being, and not merely our head.

From a lecture by Rudolf Steiner - 1921.
http://albionawakening.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/bureaucracy-and-ahrimanic-influence.html

A walk in the country: The metaphysics of Life, the Universe and Everything

The vital importance of metaphysics in everyday Life can be seen by considering a typical walk in the country - first from the perspective of mainstream modern metaphysics, then from how things ought to be.

How modern metaphysics demeans life

Imagine walking on a beautiful day through beautiful countryside - and how everything that is experienced is undermined by our typical modern metaphysical assumptions...

The sky is a glorious, electric blue... and I feel elated; until I reflect that this apparent blueness is some kind of perceptual illusion caused by the interaction of the earth's atmosphere with light from the sun.

The sun is warm, and very air feels soft between my fingers and I am at peace... until I reflect that 'really' the sun is merely a ball of incandescent gas, of terrifying temperature; and the softness of the air merely an effect of some specific combination of moisture and temperature acting on the nerve endings of my skin.

I feel filled with well being... until I recognise that this must merely be due to some combination of neurotransmitters and hormones, a product of ancestral evolution which was shaped merely by traits that led to reproductive success.

That magnificent beech tree, with its translucent green leaves outlined against the blue of the sky, seems like a wise companion to this walk... until I reflect that it is just a plant with no feelings; and the leaves are only that colour due to the chlorophyll which is used in photosynthesis.

That sandstone boulder has a remarkable shape, which seems significant... until I reflect that it is just a dead lump of inert unconscious matter - shaped randomly by the forces of wind and water...

You get the idea? Modern metaphysics works to destroy the validity and significance of our best and highest moments - reducing them to contingent, random or merely-causal effects; and reducing our own responses to similarly meaningless factors.

Our metaphysics is that everything that happens is either merely the inevitable cause of something equally meaningless that happened before; or some random and pointless event. The ideas of meaning, purpose and the notion that any of this has anything significant to do with me and my hopes is written off as a delusion - a delusion that may be explained only in similarly meaningless terms.

But suppose we had a better metaphysics? How might things look then?

A better metaphysics

I walk in the country and I know that everything I perceive, everything I think, has meaning - even when I do not know what that meaning is exactly; even when I cannot understand it ever - I know that there is meaning.

I know that the meaning has to do with a divine purpose - that this world around me is in fact a creation - not just a collection of arbitrary stuff.

I know that the divine purpose has the unity which comes from creation being the product of a personal God - what is more, a God like myself, a God of whom I am a child.

And that, because I am a child of God; I too share in divinity; and indeed share in some knowledge of God's nature and purposes - I know that I can know enough of these matters such that I can lead my life well.

What, then, of all the specifics I have mentioned above - sky, sun, warm air, physical sensations, tree and rock? I know that they have meaning, purpose and relevance... but what, exactly?

Well, I don't necessarily know their individual meaning and purposes, and especially I don't know exactly. But I do know in a general sense that they are all alive in some shape or form; all conscious in some way and degree; and that they are all potentially beings with whom I can have a personal relationship of some kind.

I know this because they are all creations; and all of creation has to do with myself specifically, as one of God's children generally - our fates are interwoven.

Instead of nothing having any meaning or purpose - everything has meaning and purpose and is in communication and in relation... even though this is almost-wholly mysterious I know this is true, and that specific knowledge on such matters is possible, at some point or in some circumstances nothing meaningful is unknowable; everything is potentially knowable, experience-able.

That - then - is the difference metaphysics can make: all the difference in the world.
*
http://metaphysicsofeverydaylife.blogspot.co.uk

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Exit Polls are nonsense/ of unknown validity

We know for sure that pre-voting polling in elections is significantly inaccurate as a measure of actual voting.

(Almost certainly because polling is even-more-corrupt than the electoral process – a case of ‘ntot even trying’ to be accurate - but also from the intrinsic defect that what people say is not the same as what people do or have-done.)

So why should I believe post-voting exit polls?

After all, they are just another poll…

Exit polls are not how people actually voted, but how a non-representative selection of people, sampled by biased organisations of proven incompetence, (supposedly) said they voted.

Even worse, while the predictive validity pre-election polls can be tested against election results (bearing in mind that elections are corrupt) - exit polls are untested and unvalidated against anything objective... Their potential for wrongness is unbounded. 

Speaking personally,  I don’t believe the ‘exit’ polls - why should I? They are merely a type of Public Relations, mass media fodder; and consequently their supposed-findings are exploited according to the usual mass media imperatives and motivations.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Could computers/ Artificial Intelligence take-over the world soon?

No - because they can't think; and they never will be able to think - BUT...

The totality of computers/ AI could make it possible for just a handful of humans (or other sentient entities) to take-over the world.

And indeed that is the present, rather than a possible future; especially in terms of the omnipresent social/ mass media/ linked-total-bureaucracy that is monitoring human behaviour and filling human minds all-but 24/7; such that ever-fewer people actually, ever, really think any more - they merely supply specialist parts of their intelligence and emotions to participate in the global system of information processing...

In the end, only those who think have agency - and only those with agency can rule - and the rulers will be those individuals (no matter how few, no matter how evil) who have agency. The rest will be either passively obedient, or shunted-aside into intoxication or psychosis.  

And that - Ladies and Gentlemen - is the demonic plan! So far, so 'good'...

What is myth? Barfield's answer is more deeply explanatory than those of Tolkien, CS Lewis or Charles Williams

[Paraphrased...]

Lewis and Tolkien and Williams speak of the possibility of all myths being 'true' in some other existence than our own. Williams adapts the Arthurian Myth as a kind of objective correlative for his religious views.

They use myth in various ways and with varying degrees of effectiveness, but they have not really said why this is necessary. And to the extent that myth can be reduced to a set of rational propositions, this must strike the reader as making myth into something closer to allegory than to true myth.

But Barfield explains the origin and force of true myth in a way that the others do not.  For Barfield, true myth is nearly impenetrable; because there are no 'ideas' in myth for the reader to penetrate to.

Myth is the closest thing in Man's mental life to pure pre-logical thought; meaning which the rational intellect has not yet ordered.

Myth is more of an experience than a 'thought': it is the form of unconscious meaning before the existence of any individual thinker.

Myth points back to pre-incarnate time when all that existed was un-individuated spirits...


More at:
http://notionclubpapers.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/what-is-myth-answers-from-tolkien-cs.html

Truth and Love (From William Wildblood)

From William Wildblood at Albion Awakening:

The devil exploits our sense of fairness and will to do good to the detriment of truth so that truth ends up being denied.

You might say that if love is observed what does truth matter? That's just sentimentality. If you do not honour truth above all, and seek to incline your being to it, you will have no chance of aligning yourself with the reality of God.

You will remain enclosed in the earthly mind and that means you won't even be observing love. All you will have will be a mental approximation of or idea about love. Just its shadow. Thus by pushing us too much towards an idea about love, a false image of it, the devil effectively cuts us off from truth.


Same sex marriage is a case in point. Any right thinking person, heterosexual or homosexual, can see that it is a complete contradiction in terms, a metaphysical impossibility, but we have been deceived into accepting it because we wish to be just and because we think that short term happiness of individuals in this world matters more than their education for eternity.

That is, of course, because we do not acknowledge eternity or, if we think we do, it's only an eternity that is seen in the light of the desires, aims and purposes of this world. We are putting the earthly personality ahead of the spiritual soul and either denying the latter or else seeing it as an extension of the former. None of this will get us anywhere except deeper into illusion and chaos.


More at:
http://albionawakening.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/truth-and-love_3.html

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Why reincarnation is not usually necessary - most people suffer enough, even in a single mortal life

Given that an extended human life (beyond merely being incarnated then dying - which is the minimum and vital requirement for eternal resurrected life) is about theosis - which is becoming more god-like, more divine... then the core argument in favour of the value of reincarnation is probably that it enables more life experience and learning to be accumulated; on the basis that it is hard to suppose that everybody would get enough valuable experience in a single lifespan to enable them to become a god.

Against this, I feel that the following are significant:

1. We existed pre-mortally as spirits, and came to incarnation on earth voluntarily; God placed us each, individually, in a situation which provided what we personally most need for our spiritual benefits. Some people need very little - those who live long lives need a lot.

2. Further spiritual progression is possible after death - so life is not the only experience we get.

3. The nature of the most essential experience we get during mortal earthly life is mostly negative.

What I mean is that, to become grown-up children of God; what we most need is what Heaven cannot well provide - that is experience of sins, vices and suffering; of ugliness and lies; of meaninglessness, purposelessness, and isolation... the many negative aspects of living.

The example of Jesus may be instructive - because his experience in mortal life entailed experiencing a great number of negative aspects.

It seems that negative aspects are necessary for us fully to understand the positive aspects of Good - fully to understand Love, Hope, Faith it is necessary to experience Pride, Fear and Hate; Despair and Nihilism. On earth we experience these primarily as temptations - we do not need to yield to them, but everybody - including Jesus - is tempted by evil; and if, as often happens, we do yield to them, Christ's atonement means that repentance is fully effective at undoing the harm.

So, to return to the idea that reincarnation seems necessary to get the experience needed for spiritual progression; it seems plausible to believe that people get enough suffering during a single mortal life, that not many would need to come back for more.


Note: My belief is that reincarnation is possible, and happens - but it is not usual. Most people have one mortal incarnate life. William Arkle is the main source of the above ideas - however, it should be noted that Arkle himself did belief in reincarnation as the norm.  

In a world where nothing is more important than feelings - nothing is more important than feelings

Many people seem mystified by the hyper-sensitivity of modern life - the snowflakes, requiring safe spaces and trigger-warnings; the professional vctims who live to take offence and be apologised-to and get awarded reparations, the institutionalised 'sensitivity' and the rest of it.

But this is precisely what is expected from a world where the metaphysical baseline is that nothing is really real and all truths are relative - a world where all mainstream politics is utilitarian, hence justified in terms of the minimisation of suffering (i.e. a feeling).

If nothing is more important than feelings - then there can be no reason good enough to justify causing suffering.

In a world where 'education' is not honest, not-even trying to be honest - nor is it trying to be Good (because the definition of Good varies year by year, and is currently pretty much the opposite of what it was fifty years ago) -- then the prime imperative is to avoid hurting feelings... at least among those 'victim' groups whose feelings especially ought-not be hurt.

When there is no truth, no virtue and no Good; then clearly there is no excuse for hurt feelings when claimed by even a single person who is defined in terms of his or her victim group status.

And since there is no objective measure of the reality or severity of hurt feelings, the resulting situation of imputed feelings will be bureaucratically-defined, monitored and manipulated in-line with what is the intrinsic bureaucratic motivation (i.e. total bureaucracy - totalitarian thought-control).

No surprises here. When you reject metaphysical reality, in order to reject religion, in order to justify the particular freedoms you desire - and when this happens en masse - it will destroy the ability to perceive and acknowledge reality; and you will get totalitarianism, whether you actively want it or not.

The choice is ours.


Saturday, 1 April 2017

The spiritual revolution starts with a million miracles

...A million miracles in a million minds - ten million! Not difficult, not unusual; in a sense it is happening already and is always happening - but until now people refuse to acknowledge the miraculous. People have been sure that miracles cannot happen, and always explain-them-away on the basis of that prior conviction. But once miracles are deemed possible; they will be noticed.... A million miracles every day - each personal, individual, each to awake, sustain or deepen faith. Each miracle personal, individual, invisible - a million such, cumulatively unstoppable!

More at: http://albionawakening.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/it-all-began-with-million-miracles.html

Friday, 31 March 2017

Do you, personally believe that you are reincarnated - or not-reincarnated

I personally am convinced that I am not reincarnated - that this is my first and only mortal life.

At the same time, people whom I trust are convinced that they are reincarnated.

I think that some people are reincarnates, others (like me) are not - in fact I think reincarnation is very probably unusual, but I'm not sure.

How about you? Do you know whether or not you personally are reincarnated?

If you haven't ever thought-about and reflected on the subject - why not do so now, and let me know your conclusion, please. 


Note added: See William Wildblood's recent reflections on Reincarnation:

http://meetingthemasters.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/more-thoughts-on-reincarnation.html


Past and actually-existing Christianity as a Middle (agrarian) society form of religion

I seem to spend much of my life thinking about matters that most other people never think about even once; and for more than a couple of decades I have intermittently mulled-over a concern that Christianity - as it has been thus far - is a typical product of a middle society.

By middle society I mean coming in-between the simple hunter-gatherer form of organisation and the modern societies that have been most evident since the industrial revolution. (I got this division from reading in anthropology, and perhaps especially from the work of Ernest Gellner.)

In terms of religion - hunter gatherer societies without food storage don't really have any - they are intensely and wholly spiritual but they are not religious. They are typically animistic with fluid beliefs and rituals, no priests - but individual, charismatic, improvisatory shamans, no scriptures (being illiterate) - no alienation, lots of meaning but no purpose to life (because life Just Is - with some cyclical aspects - including recycling/ transformative type of reincarnation)... and so on

https://www.hedweb.com/bgcharlton/animism.html

Religions that are associated with agricultural societies (and some more complex hunter gatherers - like North West Pacific Amerindians, and Australian Aborigines) are 'totemic - with fixed beliefs and rituals, priests in a hierarchy - and, when there is literacy; scriptures, laws, legals procedures... all actually-existing and viable (not collapsing) religions for millenia are of this form.

Since modernity, we have had the variable survival of middle society type religion in a context of general collapse of religious viability, and weakening of religion as a factor in life.

The implication therefore seems to be that middle society religion is the only kind of religion; and therefore for a Christian the implication seems to be that modernity must be abandoned, and society should recur to an agrarian level - we should go back to the kind of life of the dark ages, the middle ages, or the Christian Roman Empires (Byzantium, Holy Russia etc).

That was pretty much how I was thinking when I wrote Thought Prison (published in 2011) - but I was not able to convince myself of the validity of this perspective. Mostly, this was because I could not regard the middle society Christianity as being good enough.

There seem to have been many aspects of those Christian societies that were wrong, un-Christian - in particular the way in which the religion was centred in the institutional priesthood, with the individual's primary role being obedience. This fault was addressed by the Reformation - but not effectively.

This was also associated with an idea of God that retained many aspects of the un-loving pagan deities - the Christian God was (not always, but far too often) being treated implicitly as if he were a tyrant rather than a loving Father. This fault was not addressed by the Reformation - indeed the Calvinists were more extreme in this fault than the Roman Catholics.

In a nutshell, while on the one hand almost any Christian society of the past was better than the current state of hedonic, nihilistic despairing modernity - with its officially sanctioned inversions of Good; on the other hand, there was no time or place in history when Christianity had good enough for me to regard a return to the society of that era as something I would embrace with whole-hearted enthusiasm...

My conclusion is that we Christians have no alternative but to move forwards into the unknown and a new form of Christianity that is neither the evil present, nor yet the suboptimal past of the middle societies.

This almost certainly sounds vague, wishy washy, wishful thinking, pie-in-the-sky - and there isn't much that can be done to dispel that criticism since there are no examples to point-to (just individuals who seem to embody it - those Romantic Christians like Blake, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Steiner, Barfield and Arkle who I so often mention on this blog) - yet it seems a solid and sustaining conviction to me - able to support a life of faith and courage.

Either way, this is the position I have been forced-into by self-critique and the attempt to be honest and to avoid self-deception.

In sum: Christianity is true, so we must be Christian - but no previous or actually-existing institutional form of Christianity is a suitable model for the future (although one or more may be a suitable basis).

There will be (and needs to be, and should be) a process of evolutionary change in the direction of greater individuality of spiritual life - greater contact with the divine, greater awareness of the divine within -  and a pervasive awareness of God as our wholly loving Father. An evolution (or unfolding) that is an enhancement of the strength of faith, not a dilution.

And if this is good and necessary - and if I and other people sincerely want it - then it will happen; even if if I don't know how...




So please you sir we much regret... The Mikado

This little-noticed but wonderful quartet opens the title sequence of Migh Leigh's Topsy Turvy movie about Gilbert and Sullivan's writing of The Mikado - one of my absolute favourite movies of all time.

Here half the song is done done in a piano accompanied 'rehearsal' version:



Here is the whole thing:


When I sang in the Mikado the second time, playing the minor role of Pish Tush (the character who speaks at the beginning of the above clip); my brother, who was directing, was kind enough to write me into this song, sharing the lines with Pooh Bah.

I loved doing it; but couln't manage to do the tra la las as fast as necessary - so had to find a way to 'fake' them with traddle laddles instead...

See also: https://charltonteaching.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=mikado

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Evil has become invisible without alternatives - or The Matrix as Paradise

Evil is more prevalent now in The West than at any time or place, for the simple reason that it has become invisible - and this invisibility is due to the lack of any perceived alternatives.

Since the mass decline in religion - there is nothing to provide a contrast with what is: almost nobody with power now believes in life beyond mortality, hence this is excluded from public discourse even as a possibility.

Few even believe in the possibility of 'utopia' - except perhaps the Transhumanists who see life only in terms of here-and-now feelings, and who yearn for technological 'solutions' from breakthroughs in medicine, drugs, genetic engineering - and perhaps the provision of wholly-satisfying (but fake) alternative virtual realities. For such people, The Matrix movie scenario of human consciousness living in pleasurable dreams while their bodies are exploited depicts a paradise not a hell; because as long as people think they are happy, it does not matter what is really happening.

But the sincere Transhumanists are desperate fools, because the emerging reality is of a malign-motivated totalitarian mind control more comprehensive than humans previously could imagine - a society where electronic technology enables surveillance to be mandatory, continuous and inescapable - and linked with continual inputs of stimuli and control of emotions. There is zero indication that any such system would then be used to make men continually feel happy... 

Fortunately, it looks as if science, technology (and economic efficiency) has plateaued and begun to decline, and this will probably trigger collapse of the global bureaucracy before we have the ability to impose on ourselves what we seem unable to recognise as universal enslavement.

There are, of course, real alternatives that we could imagine, if we allowed ourselves - including better futures; better futures than any past... from a spiritual and Christian perspective; and in a timeframe which extends beyond death.

It seems clear that human life is not meant to be mere pleasure; but must and does entail some kind of struggle with experience; and from that perspective the experience of life here and now is extraordinary in its capacity to educate us, to make us more insightful and wiser... but only if we take a perspective that includes the spiritual as well as the material, and which does not equate Man's freedom and agency with isolation and relativistic nihilism. As I have often said: we can aspire to be both spiritual and Christian - a Christianity rooted-in and guided-by the freedom and truth of our partly-divine self in direct communication with full-divinity.

In some ways we seem almost infinitely far away from such a renewed perception... Yet in other ways it seems like it could happen in an instant; by a simple and sudden change in those fundamental assumptions that we have faith-in; leading instantly to a shattering alteration in the way we perceive...

Mouse Utopia and Human Extinction? - A reader-friendly summary

In the late 1960s, US scientist John B Calhoun created a ‘Mouse Utopia’ – an artificial environment which provided what he regarded as the perfect breeding conditions. To everyone’s amazement, and without any signs of disease or hardship; after a few months of rapid population growth, the mouse colony ceased to reproduce at all; and soon became extinct – every single mouse dying within three years.
 
Could Mouse Utopia have lessons for humans? Well, that depends on the explanation for extinction – but if Michael A Woodley’s hypothesis that the mice died of ‘mutational meltdown’ is correct, then humanity’s days could be numbered.
 
Woodley’s hypothesis, which seems to be the only one to fit the facts (unlike Calhoun’s own explanation of ‘overcrowding’), is that it was exactly the utopian perfection of conditions which killed all the mice.
 
The idea is that mice depend upon a very high death rate (mostly from predation) to filter-out new and harmful genetic mutations which spontaneously arise each generation. When nearly all of each mouse generation survives and breeds, then the harmful mutations rapidly build-up to produce genetically unfit mice who lack desire to breed, and who neglect their young.
 
Exactly the same explanation could apply to Western humans since the industrial revolution; because the average premature death rate, both pre-natally and in childhood, has declined from about two-thirds to only one percent. If we assume that most of the uterine and childhood deaths occurred among those least-fit children with the most mutational damage – this must mean that Western Man has accumulated something like eight generations worth of damaged genes.
 
The  irony is that probably greatest triumph of the industrial revolution - the saving of so many lives of children - was perhaps therefore also the cause of a future 'Mouse Utopia' scenario...
 
But how bad are human mutations? Geneticist Michael Lynch estimates that there may be dozens of slightly-harmful mutations per human generation, among which approximately one to three mutations will be significantly harmful. So, lacking the harsh and cruel filter of high child mortality rates, each modern human generation would be expected to accumulate a couple of extra harmful genes.
 
What effect might these accumulating mutations have? Well, in a word they will reduce ‘fitness’ – Lynch suggests each harmful mutation might reduce reproduction by one percent - which means they will in multiple ways reduce reproductive potential for a given environment (multiple ways according to the chance of which gene is mutated).
 
So, it seems that the average modern human surely must be less genetically fit than his ancestor of two hundred years ago. Then, why isn’t this more obvious?
 
One reason may be that the most sensitive measure of reduced fitness is psychological, rather than physical. We are therefore first likely to see biologically-damaging changes in social, sexual and offspring-rearing behaviours; before we see any clear increased rate of diseases (although an increased rate in genetic disease would eventually be observable).
 
However, on the other side of the coin; reduced fitness would only be directly measurable if the environment had stayed exactly the same as in 1800; whereas we know that the modern environment is much less harsh. There is less starvation and less infectious disease; there have been breakthroughs in medicine and surgery, the expansion of the welfare state – and so on. It seems likely that a softer and more comfortable modern environment is mostly concealing a decline in modern fitness – and life expectancy has been rising for many decades.
 
But declining fitness is evident in the most fundamental biological measure – which is reproduction. It was declining reproduction that caused the extinction of Mouse Utopia; and the same pattern can be seen in the prosperous developed nations today.
 
For example, the age-adjusted native population size has been declining in Britain for several decades, since deaths exceeded births in the 1980s. The average number of children per women is now much less than two, especially among the wealthiest and most highly educated (ie. those best able to care for children). Median average age (excluding recent migrants) is probably into the late forties, which means that a large majority of native Brits are beyond reproductive age. 
 
In brief, the British population is headed for extinction – and for psychological rather than physical reasons; and the same applies across all developed nations. Woodley’s ‘mutational meltdown’ scenario would be expected to kick-in as population decline combines with mutation-cased fitness decline to make a down-spiral of ever fewer, ever more damaged people.  
 
What are the prospects? In a way the human situation may be worse-off than Calhoun’s mice; because we are in the position of having to maintain our own ‘utopia’.  But mutation accumulation will progressively erode our ability to sustain a modern civilisation – as average health, adaptiveness and abilities decline with each generation. Sooner or later, the older mutated population will become unsupportable by the even-more-mutated younger generation.
 
On the positive side, it seems likely that something important is missing from the simplified biological model underlying the above calculations; and there are positive, cohesive forces at work which may tend to compensate for mutation accumulation. I personally believe that there are as-yet undiscovered factors which tend to work in opposition to the degenerating effects of natural selection.  
 
The question is whether any such positive factors will be strong enough and rapid enough to let us escape from the collapse of ‘Mouse Utopia’ which otherwise seems inevitable.  
 
More on Mouse Utopia can be found at Bruce Charlton’s web pages:
 mouseutopia.blogspot.co.uk
 
 
 

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Brexit trigger day...

...The past nine months have been valuable in revealing the main reason why the rest of the EU wanted Britain to remain. It is what the Eurocrats call 'the free movement of people' but which in practice means that the UK is valued primarily as the major dumping-group for people that the rest of the EU does not want... That the EU does not want these people is clear from their behaviour towards them. 

We need to ask why it is so very important to the EU rulers that Britain specifically should get more unwanted people sent to us (passing through Europe, in preference to the rest of Europe) than anywhere else, year after year, decade after decade...

It must surely mean that the destruction of the British nation is a major priority for the global elites?...

More at:
http://albionawakening.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/brexit-trigger-day-end-of-uk-being-eu.html

Be prepared to entertain the *possibility* that...


1. We live in a creation - that this world is created.

2. The creator is loving.

3. We are the creator's children.

Unless you are prepared to entertain these as genuine possibilities; then you have not even begun to evaluate Christianity.

The picture is The Seeker - by William Arkle. The artist provides the following explanation: "The person who takes the trouble to know and understand the more ethereal and subtle realities of his nature is rewarded with an inner vision which transforms the significance of the world about him. This picture does not suggest that the vision is seen in this way with our physical sight, it can only try to communicate an intuitive apprehension for which there is no language. In this, as in many of the other pictures, the demand on the viewer is great since he must enter into the spirit of the attempted interpretation of dimensions of light, space and spiritual atmosphere."

The silence of Jesus on trial - a matter of truth

The Gospels describe that Jesus refuses to say anything at various points in his 'trial' with Pilate, Herod and the Jewish elders; and this puzzles and annoys the authorities.

The silence of Jesus when confronted with his accusers is also something that many later people have found confusing - perhaps especially given that in other parts of the Gospels Jesus is shown to be a brilliant rhetorician and arguer.

Did Jesus, perhaps, 'refuse to defend himself' - was he 'courting martyrdom', or was it something else?

(And when Jesus was not being silent, he often refused to answer his accusers; either by responding to a question with another question - or by saying something 'irrelevant' to the question.)

My feeling is that the silence of Jesus was necessary because of the falsehood of the bureaucratic and legal process to which he was subjected.

The 'trial' made so many false assumptions - was indeed structured on the basis of selective and biased assumptions that were nonetheless being regarded as the only things that matter. Merely to participate in the, by saying anything at all, was therefore implicitly to endorse a lie.

Since Jesus was without sin, he could not lie; therefore he could not answer.

*

We have likely experienced for ourselves an exactly analogous phenomenon in modern societies; because false assumptions are deeply-woven into mainstream public discourse - woven into bureaucratic processes, legalism or media discourse.

We find ourselves - and often - in situations where the assumptions are false and the procedures do not allow for truth. For example when you are required to answer yes or no to a tendentious question, to place a tick or cross in a box, to provide a unit of fact which is intrinsically embedded in a falsifying context or meaning...

The procedure is evil: the procedure is a lie - to participate in the procedure is to endorse the lie.

*

Modern public life is therefore a set of trick questions and traps; and all possible answers lead straight back into the trap.

In such situations, the aim is to force us (each, individually, without exceptions) to become complicit in the process - to force us to participate in The Lie.

No honest answer is possible, because all honest answers must challenge the assumptions behind the question - honest answers are not accepted as data.

In such situations the only honest answer may be silence. 

   

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Leftism is utilitarianism is despair

Leftism is, pretty much, utilitarianism - I mean, the idea that the fundamental aim of all public policy ought to be (in some - vague - sense):

1. The optimisation of human happiness and minimisation of suffering...

2. In a quantitative sense - with the assumption that it makes sense to summate happiness and suffering across groups...

3. In this world and during mortal life.

Thus - utilitarians include all mainstream politics of all parties and Western nations, all bureaucracy, all functional social systems (law, civil administration, health, education, police, military, mainstream churches...) and all the mass media

The implicit assumption of utilitarianism is therefore always and necessarily atheist, materialist, positivist, modern and Leftist - no matter what individuals may say about their personal religious or spiritual beliefs; or whether they may imagine themselves to be reactionaries or Right Wingers.

Modern utilitarianism is so pervasive that most people simply cannot envisage that most of the world and all societies in the past had transcendental goals - usually religious, or to do with concepts such as honour, the family, clan, tribe or nation; the land...

Many things - but a hedonic pleasure-pain quantitative calculus was never the bottom-line until modernity.

In modernity, utilitarianism is both the public ideology (what people ought to believe, according to mainstream propaganda) and the actuality (in the sense that other motivations are enfeebled and ineffectual).

Yet utilitarianism is demonstrably incapable of motivating a coherent society or human life - and instead there is a pervasive despair, self-hatred, and desire of self-annihilation.

Utilitarianism is, indeed, merely one-step away from nihilism - that is from the denial of reality; from the conviction that reality is-not-real.

By trying to base life on feelings, and by pretending that feelings can be meaningfully predicted, manipulated, measured and summated - utilitarianism has built modernity upon sheer incoherent nonsense: that is the foundation of everything.

In sum; utilitarianism is a false and deadly metaphysics - a set of nonsensical and wicked assumptions.

Unless or until we recognise this as a fact, and change it; we shall remain locked-onto the cultural destination of willed damnation.

  

Monday, 27 March 2017

How is our will related to our purpose? (William Arkle)

The consciousness of our real self is largely beyond the understanding of our more familiar 'personality self'. 

At its most fundamental level, the real will is divine; and at this level the purpose of the real will mixes perfectly with the purposes of other divine beings. 

The real will is the manifesting of this already-harmonised divine purpose throughout the lower levels of creation, and eventually right down to the physical level. 

Thus our real self witnesses itself as it becomes more fully mature and at the same time helps to perfect the purposes of others. The real self has this power in it as a part of our divine heritage. 

All nature responds to the proper command of the real will of the real self. But the will does not command 'willfully' - it achieves command by being more fully what it is. Thus the 'sound' of the quality of its individual being mingles more loudly with the creative sound of God. 

What we usually call 'will' is actually more like 'desire power' and 'idea power', through which our lower self focuses on things it feels it wants or needs. 

But what we feel as a need in the deepest sense is not something we can 'make a decision about', we just pretend that it is a decision. Our real will has already-decided, and is something we can only be either true-to, or untrue-to: the real will is not something we are in a position to use.

Edited - for clarity, punctuation, emphasis and language - from the Summary of chapter sixteen - The Will; from A Geography of Consciousness, by William Arkle, 1974.

Notes:

1. The true individual nature of each person is divine - that is, it belongs to the nature and function of the absolute - as a consequence of all men and women being God's children.

2. Therefore, we are, each of us, directly in touch with the power and purpose of the absolute, with the divine nature - at least potentially; simply because some of the divine nature is within us.

3. However, although the divine is active within us; we are initially (personally and culturally - in childhood and in early tribal societies) unconscious of the divine within ourselves. It affects us - but we are not aware of the fact.

4. As human consciousness evolves towards higher (ie. including more self-aware) levels - we get to a 'dead centre' of total self-consciousness cut off fro awareness of the divine. This state has been called the 'dead centre' of consciousness, or the consciousness soul - it is the adolescence of human personal and cultural evolution - a necessary transition phase. This position must be moved-through before we can become actively aware of the divine within us; that is the actual experience of the divine within us (not merely the abstract fact of their being a divine element in us). 

5. But, even before we are actively aware of the divine within-us; it may be at work in an unconscious way - expressing itself (or at least trying to express itself) as may be evident implicitly. For example, our behaviours may be shaped against our conscious will - our superficial and intellectually- or socially-moulded plans and schemes may be self-sabotaged; or synchronicities may channel us in certain directions.

6. The real self - that is, the divine self, is attuned-with the divine level of action. Each person is, in this way, an essential part of the divine plan of creation. However, to participate; he or she must freely opt-in to this plan, on the basis of love and awareness of the divine plan (made possible by the incarnation, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ).

7. At the highest and deepest level our Life is a destiny - and indeed an unique destiny - yet that destiny is a gift, and as-such it may be declined.

8. At the deepest and highest level the true 'will'  of our true self is not chosen by us - because only at this divine level - in which the wills of many beings are harmonised.

9. Thus, because of this high-level harmonisation; the will of any one individual cannot 'sabotage' the divine plan of creation by any act or will at a lower level of consciousness. Each individual can either join in the work of creation, bringing his or her unique nature to the open-ended task; or he or she may decline to participate - leaving a gap in the original divine plan, and causing a change in the unfolding of creation.

10. The divine plan cannot be sabotaged in its character and aim (the specific plan is optional, non-mandatory, freely chosen); but it can be changed in its specifics (the plan is not a blueprint but evolutionary, pluralist, endlessly creative).  


Saturday, 25 March 2017

The (apparent) wastefulness of Life... Steiner and Arkle

It is important to realize that much of what may appear unnecessary in a human being for outer life, nevertheless, plays an important part — similar to the way we see outer nature. 

Just compare the infinite number of herring eggs, distributed all over the seas, with the number of herrings actually born , and you could easily reproach nature for being tremendously wasteful. 

However, this could only be the opinion of those who do not know of the powerful spiritual effects the dead herring eggs have on the growing herrings. A certain number of eggs have to die so that a certain number of eggs may thrive. 

These things are all interconnected. 

Rudolf Steiner.
https://www.rsarchive.org/Download/Childs_Changing_Consciousness-Rudolf_Steiner-306.pdf

GOD: You simply cannot do everything all of the time. Experiment and waste go together and lead to discovery, so don't become anxious about results. 

Try to enjoy the process itself which allows for lateral thinking and lateral diversions. The new things are not found where you expect them to be. We can't live "new beginnings" without letting go of the "old beginnings" and allowing them to slip away. All that is really valuable will come back to you when it is needed

This is part of The Game of life which requires forgetting and letting go with good grace and a sense of non-importance of ones valuable Self. 

Do not fear to waste your time and energy, you will never run out of them and the "Crisis" in the World is only solved by those who follow the best instincts of their Spiritual Nature. 

As these work out all together, so each one of you finds yourself holding and demonstrating a bit of the necessary jig-saw puzzle of life coming into a new and better expression of itself, Myself-Ourself. 

Be with the big, fearless love which smiles on everything from its sense of Everlastingness and the Completeness that lies behind all Living Reality. For Reality is complete in one sense although it strives to play at Itself in another sense. 

Life Games are set up for playfulness and not because our being nature is frightened of losing anything. We think we can lose but we can't. There are safety nets around everything since all comes from perfect Love, Joy, Fun, Bliss, Wisdom and Humour! 

What you see as misery in the World is what you see in your child as it lives from crisis to crisis each hour of the day with each one being "the end of the world" in severity. Your world is like this child, it is the way young things grow...only the scale is different. They will both grow out of it.

William Arkle.
http://williamarkle.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/late-prose.html

 

Implications of Mormonism for Romantic Religion

The Mormon Restoration, from 1830 onwards, can be seen as a move towards the state that Barfield terms Final Participation – which is one where Man carries-through self-consciousness into an understanding of spiritual progression towards divinity.

Final Participation is, indeed, qualitatively the same state as full-divinity – which is why it is ‘final’ – because God is both agent (self-conscious) and also fully-participating in all of creation. It is the state in which there is no limit to knowledge, and all knowledge is potentially explicit.

Mormonism – conceptualised in terms of its theology – can be seen as a very conscious process of spiritual progression; in which – layer-by-layer – cumulative prophetic and personal revelations will clarify and make explicit much that was previously an incomprehensible ‘mystery’ in Christianity.

The first step came with the additional scriptures and revealed doctrines provided by Joseph Smith; but there was a built-in expectation that the process would continue with an unfolding of implications and more specific details.

This has been concisely stated in the LDS church’s summaries of God’s Plan of Salvation (or of Happiness) – with (as examples) greater knowledge of the nature of God; the insight that men and women are metaphysically distinct, and existed as primordial ‘intelligences’ in pre-mortal life before becoming (literal) children of Heavenly Father and Mother; the description of pre-mortal, mortal incarnate, and post-mortal resurrected states – with spiritual progression towards divinity possible in all phases; the doctrine of celestial marriage and a permanent dyadic, creative and fertile relationship of a deified man and woman as necessary for ultimate divine status – and so on.

Implicit in Joseph Smith’s revelations was a completely new metaphysics underpinning the theology – a pluralist, evolutionary, open-ended metaphysics – that has gradually become more evident (for those interested by it) with each generation.


More of this article can be found at:
http://www.jrganymede.com/2017/03/23/impact-of-the-restoration-on-the-evolution-of-human-consciousness-from-a-bafieldian-perspective

 

Friday, 24 March 2017

Why are we resurrected? Why are bodies better than being spirits?

Although all Christians 'believe' (in some sense) that after death, at some point, Men are resurrected- this fact has not permeated very deeply into Christian reflection - because there is almost always an implicit assumption that it is better to be a spirit than to have a body.

Yet, if that was so, why would the Creator our loving Father have resurrected us, when he could instead have had us reborn as immaterial spirits?

Maybe many Christians would deny that that they have the built-in assumption spirit-good-body bad - but it is all over the place. Christ is seen as decending into incarnation in a human body, and many are amazed that a pure spirit would condescend to do this.

Going back to the first philosophers of Ancient Greece - the body is seen as subject to disease, corruption, ageing and death... naturally the spirit was more highly prized; naturally the eternal real was seen as immaterial spirit, where there could be no decay because no 'matter'...

Yet Christianity insists we will be resurrected into bodies - albeit perfected bodies that are immune to decay, destruction or death. But why? Why bother mucking-around 'confined' in bodies when we might we free-ranging spirits...?

Mormonism goes a considerable way towards explaining this, by the insight that God the Father (as well as Jesus Christ) is embodied - and that this is a necessary part of attaining the highest level of creative divinity. (For example, while creation does not require a body, and Jesus Christ created - or co-created - this world; divine procreation - the begetting of spirit children - requires the body; in some way.)

But there is not much indication of why this should be - why 'bodies are better' - whereas three thousand years or more of philosophical and religious history suggest that bodies are a limitation, not an advantage.

Why, then, are bodies better - as it seems they must be?

To answer this seems to require a sense of divine limitation which is anathema to most Christians - even though the Bible is full of it... full, that is, of an apparently accepted implicit assumption that God can only achieve certain purposes by certain linear and sequential actions - that God is limited in how he can achieve things, and that God achieving things requires time as well as the consent of Men.

Well, it looks-as-if God cannot achieve the highest level of divinity, even for Jesus Christ, without incarnation and death followed by resurrection; because, of course, Jesus was resurrected - and that was how he attained his perfection.

(Interestingly, Jesus was not the first Man to be resurrected, he was the first 'god' to be resurrected; Lazarus, who was resurrected by Jesus and before his own resurrection, was the first Man. This fact seems very significant - and it is given great significance in John's Gospel - but its implications seem under-appreciated.)

My conclusion is that - even despite all their disadvantages which we know so well - bodies are better than spirits; when 'better' is understood as developmentally or evolutionarily more-advanced.

Why? I think the reason is related to agency; that an incarnate has greater agency than a spirit - that somehow the diffuse and unlocalised nature of a spirit means that a spiritual being cannot fully discriminate between self and not-self - and therefore there is a limitation and impairment of agency, or 'free will'.

A spirit, I suggest, cannot exclude causes from his or her thinking; the spirit mind is permeable. So, when a spirit thinks, the thoughts may not be his or her own thoughts. (Note that spirits, like bodies, are always either male or female.)

The essence of incarnation is the possibility of full agency - presumably that is what bodies ultimately are: methods or mechanisms by which minds are 'insulated' from other minds, and concentrated.

I say possibility, not necessity - because agency may be feeble, is infrequent, may be displaced by external causes - including 'possession'.  

But without full agency, hence incarnation, the higher levels of divinity are unattainable.

So, bodies are better - which is why our eternal life is to be spent incarnated - and not as spirits...


Thursday, 23 March 2017

What Kind-of-Thing is the universal realm of truth?

If we are to account for true knowledge, we cannot be reliant upon some multi-stage and approximate process like 'communication'.

There must be direct access of our minds to truths; and this has usually been conceptualised as some single realm of universal truth, to which all people potentially have direct access - a realm that contains... well what, exactly?

This is a kind of 'model' of reality - not reality itself - but assuming we do want a model, then there are two questions that spring to my mind.

The first is to ask where is this realm; such that it is at the same time a single realm and yet every mind can have access to it?

Various answers have been given - but of course, none of the answers maps-onto a materialist world picture of modernity. For example, the universal realm is inside everybody, yet each inside is the same place.

This (or something similar) was an answer found acceptable by many people for many centuries - or indeed millennia - but is now supposedly incoherent. Yet its 'incoherence' is merely a matter of working from abitrary and materialist metaphysical assumptions.

The second question is relatively neglected - which is what kind of ultimate truths are in the universal realm?

Typically, (e.g Plato at the beginning, or Rudolf Steiner and Own Barfield in recent years) the realm is conceptualised as a place of Ideas or Concepts - in other words, by such accounts, universal truth is Abstract.

But this won't do for me; because my understanding is that the universal truth of God's creation is Love - and love is not abstract but Love is the cohesion of reality

Love is therefore not an emotion, nor is it a physical 'force' - love is the ultimate cohesion between the beings of creation (and creation consists of beings, and their products).

So ultimate reality is God and God's children (Men, and the various levels and types of angels and other beings - animal, vegetable and mineral as we modern people usually term them) and the Love between them - these beings 'cohere' by love; and love is between living, conscious beings.

So; if we want to be philosophers or scientists, and to know more specifically about creation - our ultimate answer will be in terms of Love - and we can only get access to this knowledge by ourselves being a part of this vast and intricate, family-like network of Love.

But what about evil? Well, evil rejects Love and can never truly know - because for evil all knowledge is ultimately a personal delusion. Evil has rejected God's creation and the network of relationships - the Pride of evil is to rely upon its own, specific, cut-off understanding and motivations.

Furthermore, evil is un-understandable - since it is outside the realm of truth , reality, knowledge - evil is sealed-off in its own world. We know what evil is not - but can never know what it is - because there is no truth in evil... what this means is that truth is a universal, evil is not universal. Therefore, we should never 'believe' evil for the simple reason that evil cannot know; and the assertions of evil are merely delusional manipulations. That is, the devil is a liar, and father of lies, and so are all who have set themselves up as the ultimate source of 'reality'.

So... my notion of the universal realm - or, at least the one I strive to live-by - should ultimately be one of loving human relationships. These might be approximated by 'concepts', 'ideas', 'facts'... but such abstractions are not the bottom line reality.

Creation is Not held-together by concepts or any other abstractions - creation is held-together and structured by divine Love between living conscious beings.



Tuesday, 21 March 2017

What blocks higher states of consciousness? Back to the drawing board...

Alienation is the modern problem - lack of meaning, purpose, a sense of being isolated and detached from life, the world, reality...

The lack of success among those who have explained the necessity for a transformation in consciousness has been near total - a few individuals have done it, to a significant extent - but nobody has been able to pass on the secret, nor train others.

Why? What is blocking it?

I think the answer is - no single thing, but many things; such that when we overcome one block, then there is another right behind it.

As children, we are participants in the world around us - but as we grow we are socialised into alienation. This works by means of inculcating a materialist/ positivist/ scientist metaphysical system through-which we perceive the world; a set of basic assumptions which impose and ensure alienation.

When we are children we see the world whole - we understand it as-a-whole, and feel at home in it - but we understand very little specifically.

As we mature, we are fed the world divided into bits and pieces - and we are given an understanding of it in bits and pieces. These divisions are justified by their short-termist, pragmatic value in achieving the socially sanctioned purposes of living. They built the modern world...

But the divisions by which we experience the world are unreal and dead - they are, essentially, false because arbitrary divisions - not organic, not endorsed by our deepest intuitions - they change and transform and they contradict each other.

The world thus broken-up can never be reanimated, and can never be reassembled - we are given the world in dead dots, and the dots cannot be connected - and even if we did (somehow) connect the dots, they would still be dead dots.

So - if we want to participate in the world again - we must go back to the drawing board; must reject virtually all of our specific knowledge about the world divided into bits and pieces - and re-build our specific understanding in a fashion which acknowledges the world as alive conscious and endorsed by our deepest intuitions.

This is a huge task, and the the short to medium term there is an enormous loss of 'materialist' understanding - an understanding that is unreal, unsatisfactory, deathly... but of pragmatic value in keeping things going.

This is a big ask - it is necessary but it will utterly change our lives. That is why there has been so little progress. We are locked-into a false, dead materialistic understanding that alienates us - but to cure the problem requires radical surgery... to cut-out modernity... and the prospect has, so far, been just too intimidating.

So we prefer not to think about it - and live lives of distraction and intoxication, and existential solitude.

 

Monday, 20 March 2017

Everything 'successful' and new, and all managerial/ political changes, are about surveillance

Just something I've noticed - whenever there is a thing which is suddenly everywhere or everybody (in the media) is talking about - mobile phones, Facebook and the other social media, quality assurance management, smart cards, smart phones, smart TVs, wearable computers, Uber taxicabs, transhumanism, electronic implants, self-drive cars, drone deliveries...

It is always about surveillance. Bottom-line.

Presumably that is the main demonic plan - 24/ 7 surveillance/ stimuli to addict and to fill and distract the mind - so no agency, no possibility of 'noticing', no chance of repentance, no awareness of metaphysical incoherence to life...

Self-damnation (rejection of salvation) all-but guaranteed.

And so far as I can see - the mass public are all-for the program; mad keen, clamouring to get it faster (anything to distract and amuse us while we wait for death-and-supposed-extinction, is welcomed with open arms and joyous smiles) - so I suppose it will happen.

Totalitarian brain-washing by choice. 


And perfectly rational - given the mainstream belief that there is no God, no real-Reality, no life beyond death; that Life is meaningless and purposeless, most of the world is dead and everything but (some) humans is unconscious; and truth, beauty and morality are just stuff we make-up... Well, with such a basic perspective - then anyone who offers a state of more-or-less-pleasant permanent mental distraction is naturally to be welcomed with open arms etc.