Tuesday, 7 July 2015

A Heavenly Family Church - a daydream about Western Christian revival

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I see little prospect of any of the large mainstream Christian denominations stimulating a modern Western revival. (And the small denominations are too small, too weak.)

Partly because they mostly do not want to - a Christian revival is not their priority - at least not the priority of their leadership - (their priority is Left Wing politics, obviously).  But beyond this there is the problem that the West has already developed immunity against the old churches - the West has resistance - it has antibodies directed against them - the mass of the population are pre-immunized against the old styles of Christianity.

1. The Catholic revival in England began with the Oxford Movement and the Anglo Catholics, and waxed powerful through the late nineteenth century until it dwindled in the early twentieth - but the Roman Catholic Church had a strong revival through the first half of the Twentieth Century.

The Catholic church life was based around the Mass - frequent Mass. But the Catholic revival has long-since ebbed, and there are too few and dwindling numbers of priests, even if people did want daily Mass. A Christian revival is not going to be led by Catholics.


2. The most recent Evangelical revival began in England about 1960, and was successful for a few decades - taking up some of the slack left by the decline of mainstream (Broad Church Anglican, and Nonconformist) and Catholic Christianity.

The Evangelical revival was based around the personality of Jesus and the study of scripture - backed up by a 'youth friendly' sociable, cheerful kind of church meeting ('Happy Clappy as its detractors called it).

However, this revival is clearly past - and most Evangelicals have lapsed into the mainstream, and taken the radical side (and accepted decline) in the culture wars. Evangelical churches still grow, bu there are ever fewer of them, and the general Christian decline is too rapid fro them to make up for it.

A Christian revival is not going to be led by Evangelicals.


3. Eastern Orthodoxy is.... Eastern. This is based on participation in the extensive Liturgy at weekends - and to be full and secure requires an Orthodox monarch organizing the whole of society around the church.

Orthodoxy has never got going in the West, there have been no new Orthodox countries for several centuries, and there is no sign that it will lead a revival.

There has been a very significant revival of Orthodoxy since 1989 in places like Russia and Romania; but that is ... the East.

A Christian revival is not going to be led by Orthodoxy.

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The following is, I presume, not going to happen - but I will allow myself to daydream a possible Christian revival in the West.

1. People begin to become Christian (Mere Christian) as individuals - by all sorts of means and from all sorts of directions.

So there is a mass of Christina individuals - the next step is for them to form strong churches.

2. The primary function of the new churches is to provide a serious spiritual environment.

This means that each church must provide some mixture of :

1. Ritual
2. Words
3. Music
4. Arts...

so as to connect with the divine.

In other words, the main reason people attend church is to come into contact with the divine.

This means that this new kind of church is not going to be happy-clappy, not political, not modern and cheerful, not informal and relaxed, not businesslike or bureaucratic, not distracting and hyper-stimulating.

3. The main secondary function of the church is to create and sustain loving and stable families.

Thus the new church is a place for meeting and marrying, and an environment to guide and support family life.

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So there you have it! - My idea for the kind of church that is capable of forming the backbone of a Western political revival - which gratifies several of Man's innate needs - and which is sufficiently novel that the forces of secular Leftism have not already pre-defeated it.

Plus it is the kind of church I myself would like best!

No need to point out it won't happen - but a man is allowed his dreams, isn't he?

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Monday, 6 July 2015

Mutation Accumulation and Intelligence Decline as an hypothetical modern equivalent of God's destruction of the Tower of Babel

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Who is in control of human destiny: God, or biology?

In other words, if post-industrial revolution mutation accumulation (aided by the inverse correlation between intelligence and fertility) will end global industrial civilization - is this ultimately a product of undirected natural selection, or is it part of divine destiny?

http://iqpersonalitygenius.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=mutation+accumulation+

The answer is that it is part of divine destiny.

Biology is necessarily incomplete (it leaves out most of reality in its explanations), however we should also recognize that it does have some significant predictive validity. We cannot just forget about biology! Just that it only explains imperfectly a narrowish range of things.

So, how does the biological process of mutation accumulation fit into God's plan?

There are various possible way - but the simplest is probably that it is a Tower of Babel phenomenon: God is constraining Man's power, because He knows that Man will very probably misuse excessive power.

If Man had better used the power and capability generated since the industrial revolution (used prosperity for Christian goals), then perhaps things would have worked-out differently in ways we cannot comprehend - through non-biological factors, presumably,

However, we have misused our power - we have used power, efficiency, capability, prosperity, the abolition of absolute poverty etc - to deny God and adopt an anti-religion of moral inversion. Clearly Man is now extremely corrupt, is is, and will certainly abuse all his power - so Man must be, will be, stripped of power.

Mutation accumulation is the mechanism by which the Tower will be destroyed before any kind of ultimate spiritual catastrophe can occur (one mechanism among several).

I am not saying that the above is the correct explanation - probably it is not; but I offer it as the kind of explanation which includes both biology and Christianity.

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The Catholic Shakespeare - a TV documentary

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A recommendation for an excellent, detailed, evocative four-part TV documentary - In Search of Shakespeare, by that doyen of British TV historians, Michael Wood:

https://vimeo.com/95680023

As well as being just fascinating in general; a specific interest is that Wood takes seriously the thesis that Shakespeare was a secret and secretive Roman Catholic - an idea which lacks direct confirmation, but which is supported by a large amount of impressive indirect evidence.

What I also got from this documentary was confirmation that, for all its unmatched glories, Elizabethan England was a terrible place - suffocating in its religiously-inspired and -excused cruelty and terror.

(When Christian zeal and courage become contaminated by ambition, greed and hatred, then the consequences for human behaviour are horrific. This is why the Apostle Paul was so emphatic that, unless underpinned by love, every other virtue, all system, all perfection of doctrine and devoutness of observance is rendered worthless trash - or worse.)

Which makes all the more remarkable and admirable the unsurpassed excellence, and glorious warmth of human spirit, of Shakespeare and other great writers of that era.

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We are not separate, we are not accidental - synchronicity is the rule, not the exception

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Modern man is prone to destroy his own possibility of happiness by adopting a nihilistic framework of belief - that is, Man adopts a set of basic, metaphysical assumptions about reality, which makes-impossible anything more than momentary and unrelated 'incidents' of 'subjective' happiness.

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In contrast, we need to recognize that

1. We are not separate from reality, we personally are part of the whole manifestation of everything. What applies to reality, also applies to us as individuals.

2. We are not accidental. We are purposive; there is reason for things being the way they are, happening the way they do.

We are thus an intentional part of all the on-going schemes in the universe.

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We are also free agents within this scheme - we are each a source of causation, not just a passive consequence of other causes.

We are each an active part of a kaleidoscopically-evolving pattern.

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If we saw things aright, then the perception of synchronicity - that paradox of meaningful coincidence - would be normal, not exceptional. We would know it, not guess it: learn from it, not doubt it.

We would recognize that although life is a matter of problems; alienation and nihilism (subjective-isolation and meaningless-purposelessness) are neither of them real problems - they are modern pseudo-problems: implanted in us by a false, destructive, self-hating, self-annihilating impulse.

Having reduced modern man to despair, modernity then offers the palliatives of pleasure and self-forgetfulness via the mass media, self-medication and sex - that is, those momentary and unrelated 'incidents' of 'subjective' happiness we started-with.

If happiness is defined as subjective, and when happiness is momentary, and when each state of happiness is seen as detached from each other - neither linked in a pattern nor organized by a purpose - then happiness itself becomes a source of despair.

Which is the modern situation.

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You most probably already know all this, in your innermost true and real self - yet that real self is not in control; and instead the real you is being passively-carried from one state and situation to another, by a false personality self that was supposed to be a servant to your real self, but has ended up as master.

So now, your automatic responses to the world have become organized and linked-together to make a formidable obstacle to your real happiness. Something which is, and ought to seem easy - i.e. recognizing that we are apart of a purposeful reality - has come to seem absurd and impossible.

The simple act of recognition of the meaningfulness and purposefulness of all things and our intrinsic place in this scheme... this simple mental act has to work-against a net of linked illusions and the inertia of entrenched habit - it is so 'natural' to lapse back into the prevalent illusions of nihilism and alienation; and if you don't you will be seen as dumb/ crazy/ dangerous by those who are paralysed and passive.

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In the end, it is up-to-you and your-responsibility; only you - the real you - has the power to make the necessary decision to recognize and acknowledge your true situation.

You have the power both to recognize it or to deny it. 

And the worst of all uses of this power is to deny-to-yourself that you-yourself have this power - but instead to pretend-to-yourself that you are merely a passive, contingent, sense-less, self-deluded, momentary spark in a void.

That is the ultimate in alienation and nihilism; and it is ultimately self-imposed. 

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Saturday, 4 July 2015

IQ Age - A better way of expressing intelligence in children

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http://iqpersonalitygenius.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/intelligence-should-be-expressed-as-iq.html
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The ingratitude of the world - Thomas Traherne

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From the First Century, Number 32:


Can any ingratitude be more damned than that which is fed by benefits? Or folly greater than that which bereaveth us of infinite treasures?

They despise them merely because they have them: And invent ways to make themselves miserable in the presence of riches.

They study a thousand newfangled treasures, which God never made : and then grieve and repine that they be not happy. They dote on their own works, and neglect God's, which are full of majesty, riches, and wisdom.

And having fled away from them because they are solid, divine, and true, greedily pursuing tinselled vanities, they walk on in darkness, and will not understand. They do the works of darkness, and delight in the riches of the Prince of Darkness, and follow them till they come into Eternal Darkness.

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These words follow a hymn to how we ought to be:

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Your enjoyment of the world is never right, till every morning you awake in Heaven; see yourself in your Father's Palace; and look upon the skies, the earth, and the air as Celestial Joys: having such a reverend esteem of all, as if you were among the Angels. The bride of a monarch, in her husband's chamber, hath too such causes of delight as you.
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You never enjoy the world aright, till the Sea itself floweth in your veins, till you are clothed with the heavens, and crowned with the stars: and perceive yourself to be the sole heir of the whole world, and more than so, because men are in it who are every one sole heirs as well as you. Till you can sing and rejoice and delight in God, as misers do in gold, and Kings in sceptres, you never enjoy the world.

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Yet further, you never enjoy the world aright; till you so love the beauty of enjoying it, that you are covetous and earnest to persuade others to enjoy it. And so perfectly hate the abominable corruption of men in despising it, that you had rather suffer the flames of Hell than willingly be guilty of their error. There is so much blindness and ingratitude and damned folly in it. The world is a mirror of infinite beauty, yet no man sees it.


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Friday, 3 July 2015

What does it mean for a Christian to hate the sin, and love the sinner - and what does it *not* mean?

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This saying means that it is never right, and always wrong, for a Christian to hate any person - and even when that person is (or is regarded as) evil, this does not make any difference.

Hatred is a sin and therefore must be repented.

It also means that it is okay for a Christian to love any person, no matter how evil his behaviour. 


This is the opposite of the prevailing secular mainstream ethic, which is to Love everybody equally in an abstract and impersonal sense; but to engage in unrestrained hatred towards specific persons who behave in a way that is (or is regarded as) evil; this modern ethic also prohibits its adherents from loving any specific person whose behaviour is (or is regarded as) evil.

So for Christians, hating the sin does not mean hating the sinner - but prohibits this; loving the sinner does not mean condoning, tolerating, approving, encouraging, promoting or legally (or by other means) enforcing his sin.

It probably also needs pointing-out that 'loving the sinner' is compatible with - and indeed has often entailed - resisting him, warning others against him, fighting him, and even at times killing him.

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Is doing philosophy a good or bad thing, usually?

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I came across an interesting early post from this blog:

http://charltonteaching.blogspot.co.uk/2010/09/what-have-philosophers-ever-done-for-us.html

Which makes the good point that - at least from where I stand now - it is arguable that philosophy/ philosophers have mostly had bad consequences.

Of course this blog is full of philosophizing - but that might be more like a disease; indeed that is what it is like for me: philosophy leads to problems which I try to treat using philosophy. Sometimes it helps, often when I solve the pressing difficulty to my satisfaction, another equally bad problems pops-up somewhere else.

So, I am very ambivalent about the value of philosophy. I would not even say it was neutral, and dependant upon how people used it (like a tool) - because I think it may not be as good as neutral: doing philosophy may be intrinsically harmful, as Wittgenstein believed.

I am sure that professional philosophy, philosophy as an academic discourse, is harmful (when it is not simply an ineffectual waste of time and money) - philosophers ought not to be paid to do it, nor even to teach it - except as part of history; and philosophy ought to be done by amateurs from love, or compulsion.

And philosophy needs to be creative, in the sense that it must be alive, experienced, and put to work. 

And doing real philosophy, as a public discourse, is a bit like being in a self-help group for addicts. If I talk philosophy with somebody similarly afflicted... well, the damage has been done, and we are just helping each other cope.

But to 'push' philosophy on other people, perhaps with the covert intent of creating more addicts ...well, that is pretty likely to harm them.

Philosophy, as a circumscribed discourse, is a bit like psychotherapy: if it did-not exist, it would not be necessary to invent it. 

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Reader's Question: Why is poetry no longer important to Western society?

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Reader's Question: Poetry was an important part of the intellectual life and literature for every society which we have records. But not ours. What has happened?

My Response: A good question.

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On the one hand, to put it crudely: there are no modern poets worth reading, so it would be absurd to regard poetry as an important thing in contemporary life.

Of course I am only talking about English language - but since 1985, all the really significant English poets have been dead. None have emerged to take their places.

There have been vast attempts to promote and popularize poetry through multiple media - books have been sold, careers made, 'creative writing' professors abound where there were none in 85 - but there are no important poems or poets.

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On the other hand, there are no serious readers of poetry. Well, not so many nor so serious as they used to be.

There are not so many people who read poems, qua poems (they read them as socio-political statements or exemplars),. There are not many people, not even so many as when I was young, who are powerfully moved by poems - carry small volumes of verse or walk around with poems running in their heads in the way that was so common one or two hundred years ago. Romanticism is both weaker and rarer.

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If it was just poetry, I will think this was random fluctuation - because there are never many real poets, and there have been earlier periods in England (although not for about 400 years, since Elizabethan times) when we lacked any 'major' living poets.

But there have been similar collapses of genius in classical music, fine art and pretty much everywhere except novels. So the collapse of significant poetry must be partly related to the decline and disappearance of geniuses-in-general which has been seen in all Western activities.

And this is probably due to tidal genetic changes, in particular the decline of intelligence: because to be a major poet requires extremely high intelligence as well as several other unusual qualities, and there are very few people capable of it - in the past two hundred years very few has reduced to (almost) 'none'.

This in itself is not surprising, but is striking in England, which used to excel in poetry - and was a nest of lyrical songbirds for hundreds of years.

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But a major factor which has affected poetry, along with the arts in general, has been destructive abstraction: the incremental sowing of confusion in the minds of readers and poets about what poetry is.

Poetry is primarily supposed to be memorable, indeed it is literally supposed to be easily memorizable - poetry was originally the way in which an oral (non-literate) culture passed on words. That is the prime directive.

So poetry must have something like regular rhythm, regular rhyme, or regular alliteration - because regularity is what make it memorizable.

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But generations of school children and students have been trained to believe that poetry is anything written in short-ish lines; even when it lacks any kind of regularity of other aids to memory.

I was fortunate to be encouraged, as a young school-kid -  to write 'dreadful doggerel' - in other words poems that rhymed and scanned. One consequence is that I still remember some of it!

(All children's poems are dreadful - but at least doggerel is memorably dreadful.)

Small kids are instead encouraged to write 'poems' which are just flowery expressive ejaculations. Older kids and students are encouraged to read the likes of Whitman, or TS Eliot, or post-WW II 'poets' whose 'poems' lack any obviously discernible structural regularity.

The good modernist not-poems, of course, do have principles of construction, and of course some of them are worthwhile or even major writings. But they are not really poetry - or else they should be regarded as extreme 'sports' of poetry - rare and weird, exceptions rather than setting the rule.

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So poetry is no longer important because people have become hopelessly confused about what a poem is. Even cultural conservatives do not want to lose William Blake's prophetic verse, Whitman, or Eliot, or Seamus Heaney - and in order to accommodate these and similar writings which break the prime directive of poetry; they have left the whole subject of poetry deeply confused.

It is much clearer and simpler not to call this kind of writing poetry, and not to call this kind of writer poets. And this chucks-out nearly all of the completely unmemorable stuff which gets published by modern poetry presses, and chucks out nearly all of the people who get called poets. 

Whether something that has regular rhythm, rhymes or alliteration is any good is another matter - most of it isn't. But unless is does one of these, then it isn't poetry, and the person who does it isn't a poet.

The century-long, and still not finished, modernist obsession with definition, redefinition, and pushing at the boundaries of definition of 'art' - including poetry - is rightly regarded as utterly boring and pretentious by sensible people with lives to lead. 

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Until people are clear about what poetry is, from childhood, then there will not be any good poetry and readers - en masse -  will continue to be indifferent to what gets called poems written by people labelled as poets.

We cannot expect to have good poems, or people who regard poems as important, when we misunderstand what poetry actually is.

And until we understand that what poetry actually is, is not a matter of opinion, but a matter of what works.

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Thursday, 2 July 2015

Beyond the Benedict option - exile, Deseret, dhimmi, meta-church, Hasidic, Amish etc.

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This article is by far the most thorough and thought-provoking examination of the various future options for serious Christians in an increasingly-hostile West: 

http://www.jrganymede.com/2015/07/02/the-benedict-option/

If you agree, please re-post this link elsewhere, and continue the discussion.


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Why is Jesus Christ necessary to the resurrection of Men? (Why is God the Father not sufficient?)

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The question can also be phrased as: why cannot Men be resurrected by God the Father; because the necessity of The Son seems to imply that The Father could not achieve the resurrection of Man.

The Father resurrected The Son, but (it seems) could not resurrect Men; or, at least, could not resurrect Men to a desirable state - for this, the work of The Son was needed.

(Here we Christians may perceive the abhorrence of some 'pure monotheists' for Christianity; the significant limitation that Christianity places-upon the power of God the Father in saying that Jesus Christ was necessary to the resurrection and salvation of man.)

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It may be seen as follows:

The Father was able to resurrect The Son - because the Son was divine, as well as being a Man. This entails that The Father can resurrect the divine, but cannot resurrect the mortal.

(The problem for God the Father was therefore: how to resurrect mortal Men?)

The Son is able to resurrect Man, because he is Man (as well as divine) and has himself been resurrected. Christ has been mortal, he has died as a mortal, and Christ has been resurrected; therefore Christ can resurrect mortals.

Jesus Christ needed to be incarnated and die as a mortal, in order that he could be resurrected by The Father - and this event of Christ's resurrection by The Father  (long planned and foreseen) would create the new possibility of Christ being empowered to resurrect Men.

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The main objection to the above scheme is probably the limitation placed upon God the Father - but some such limitation is intrinsic to Christianity, due to the Christian insistence on the necessity of Christ.

It is a matter of focus. There is some indication in the New Testament that the resurrection was the focus of early Christian teaching - was indeed the Good News of the Gospels.

I get a sense of there being an analogy implied, indeed stated, between the fact of Christ's death and resurrection, and the new possibility that Men who died can now be resurrected.

Therefore the main explanation for the divine Christ having died at all, was that by his going-through death; and a real death - including the helplessness and despair induced by being sundered from The Father. So that Christ entered death knowing that he could only be saved from death by the action of his Father.

All this is a precise analogy for how Men must enter death, and be saved from death; but we Men are saved from death and resurrected by The Son, not The Father - the Father cannot do this; but Jesus can, and will. 

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Reader's Question: Do you think our personalities, traits, and gifts are primarily determined by spirit or genetics

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My response: The two are linked.

Parental inheritance - mostly, but not entirely, from genetics - of factors such as intelligence, personality, some special abilities, plus physical attributes and diseases - is very important; and there are also ways in which 'spirit' - i.e. divine plan - is significant. However, these spiritual factors we either do not know, or cannot usually access (although personal revelation is a possibility).

This non-hereditary influence is most obvious when a child - perhaps one among siblings - is very different from his parents; but the situation applies to everyone to some extent, because each human is distinct. 

I mean that the identity of our parents is influenced by things like our pre-mortal relationships as spirits, and the fact that we were divinely 'placed' with certain parents - in certain general situations of time and place - for our own good.

By 'our own good' I do not mean our health and happiness during mortal life; but in terms of the secondary purpose of mortal life. The primary purpose is to incarnate and die: everybody achieves that purpose. The secondary purpose is the hope of what we may accomplish, spiritually, during life - what we most need in order to progress towards divinity.

So, common observation - backed up by research - tells us that heredity accounts for much of human differences, but our parents were chosen for us, they are not random - so the spiritual aspect is primary.

This dual influence is vital in binding the universe. We are first sons and daughters of God, and that relationship is literal and makes everyone part of one divine family; then secondly we are sons and daughters of our parents, which is also a real and literal relationship, and gathers our spirits into multiple specific human families.

Then, thirdly, there may be a possibility of marriage, which incrementally links the various human families; and creates further combinations and possibilities.

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Reader's Question: What's your favorite meal?

My response: I am a 'morning person', so my favourite meal would be a breakfast. And the context of the meal helps.

So, one favourite would be, while staying at a good Bed and Breakfast with the family, to eat a full English breakfast with the prospect of a country walk ahead.

The full English would have bacon and two eggs, pork sausages, black pudding (a sausage made of blood), mushrooms and fried bread. Followed by toast with honey. And I would drink orange juice and (maybe) three cups of coffee.

The main danger is if I eat so much that I can't climb the hills - nearly all the blood having been sent to the gastro-intenstinal tract with not enough left over for the muscles...

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Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Divine Love seems to modern perception merely simplistic, childish and sickly sweet

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The Face of Love by William Arkle
Note by the painter: This is another attempt to portray the almost shocking quality of pure Divine Love, which to us who are unprepared for it appears to be both childish, and perhaps even sickly sweet.

But we must realise how diminished our sense of spiritual judgement has become and it is most important that we learn to read and respect this purity of attitude and recognise the value and strength which it contains.

We may even say that this is the quality of love we all dimly seek but have become ashamed of and have hidden away behind a substitute forms of aspiration.

From The Great Gift, by William Arkle (1977). 
William Arkle is probably indirectly responding here to some comments of Colin Wilson in the Introduction to his earlier book A Geography of Consciousness (1974). Although generally very positive about Arkle, Wilson is critical of the paintings, with comments such as:

Although it was striking... it was not, in the last analysis, a good painting... in spite of its abstract nature, it lacked real complexity. [The paintings] all revealed the kind of mysticism that Blake communicates... the feeling that the world is basically a beautiful and good place, and that man only fails to see this because he shuts his eyes to it... I still found them unconvincing. 

I hesitate to the use word naive, but that is certainly one of the artist's faults. The trouble is that we live in a complex age, and affirmation - whether in music, painting or poetry - has to take account of the discords as well as the harmonies...

The major writers, artists and musicians of the past hundred years have tended towards pessimism, and their pessimism has seemed more convincing than the optimism of the eighteenth century rationalists...

[One painting] is a tall, castle-like building in a landscape... but the colours are all too light and glowing; pinks and pale-blues and apple-greens. It is all sweetness and light... it reminded me of a Sunlight Soap advertisment...

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Colin Wilson's comments are not malicious, and they do describe exactly the secular impression of many of William Arkle's paintings.

http://www.billarkle.co.uk/greatgift/pictureseq/thumbs.html

But the fact is that Arkle was a well-informed individual who had trained as an engineer, served in the military during world war two, and was indeed a tough-minded mystic  - as can be heard from a lecture, discussion and question session here recorded:

http://www.wessexresearchgroup.org/digital_08.html

So we can assume that Arkle knew exactly what he was doing in making the painiting so simple, childish, 'soapy' clean and sweet - and that he was doing it for a reason which seemed to him more important than the obvious objections.

Arkle's paintings strike us as simple and child-like because that he precisely how he understood divine love. And, the fact that we may regard his pictures as naive, child-ish, simpl-is-tic, sickly sweet and one-sidedly optimistic in a complex and pessimistic age... well, that is because we are corrupt.

Our sophistication is decadence; sophomoric, not adult. Our demand for pessimism, complexity, ambiguity is due to our selective-blindness to hope and goodness.

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If Arkle is correct; then one major reason that we live in a secular, nihilistic, alienated, pessimistic age is that we have come to regard with a mixture of disgust and disdain the purity, simplicity and child-like nature of divine love.

To us, the real truth seems too easy to be true - in our pride, we covertly want truth to be so difficult that only an expert, intellectual, aesthetic elite can perceive it (with - naturally -  ourselves, as an integral part of that elite).

In a world where actual divine love is Kitsch - we are pre-immunized against life, meaning, purpose, hope, and God.

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Some (more) balanced wisdom from John C Wright

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http://www.scifiwright.com/2015/06/the-feast-of-sts-peter-and-paul/#comment-117193

Wright reminds us that the problem of the sexual revolution is not the gravity of the sins. Other sins are far worse. That is not the problem.

Wright does not say it here, but it is the fact that sexual sins and diseases are being actively promoted and enforced as higher goods that makes the sexual revolution such a deep and damaging problem - not the unique depravity of sexual activities out-with real marriage.

And he makes the point that the problem began fifty years ago; when people began to advocate, indeed glamorize, a life of respectful serial promiscuity as superior to to 'slavery/ tyranny of marriage.

...When divorce without blame or rancour began to be advocated as morally superior to the monotony of monogamy; when the most solemn promise-breaking (and ripping up without hesitation the most carefully regulated, pondered and multiply-witnessed of all legal contracts - i.e the marriage contract) - was seen as admirable if it 'made people happy', or enabled their 'growth' (or, in actual practice, when it was what either of the parties - usually the woman - said she wanted at that time).

Over just a few decades, secular marriage became so debased as to make it almost indefensible; and we live in a secular society. For anyone not religious, what was there to defend. A piece of paper that did not even have normal everyday contractual status - less than a mortgage, a hire-purchase agreement, or a cheque.

But the real problem of the incremental legal destruction of marriage is that it was driven by - and led to the increase of - open, explicit, aggressive, enforced moral inversion: imposing the worse as the better, the pathological as healthy, the sin as a virtue.

And arguing to justify evil is the worst evil - worse by far than actually doing evil (because Men are weak, and often cannot help but do evil in particular circumstances).

All men do evil, but only the most depraved argue - strategically, and over many years - that evil is good; good is evil.

Luckily, any evil can be repented at any time. Unluckily, there seems no perceptible sign that this is about to happen - indeed, quite the opposite.

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Reader's question: Kenneth Clarke's 1970's Civilisation series, what do you think?

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My response: I bought this fairly recently. There is much good in it, and - compared with nowadays - the ambition, density and scope are very impressive, the style uncompromising.

However, I do feel a bit disappointed. My feeling was that overall the series does not go anywhere or point at anything.

Ultimately, Clarke comes across as 'an aesthete' albeit highly knowledgeable and sensitive to quality - and this an ultimately weak and ineffectual position; I know, in retrospect, that it was easily corrupted among those whose priority was to remain within the establishment.

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Readers question: Is England as much of a draconian politically correct society as it appears in the media?

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My response: Yes. Since the 1980s England has caught-up-with then overtaken the USA wrt PC. And in England, unlike the US, there is no significant opposition.

Because English people are so docile/ cowardly about such matters, and so advanced in their apostasy from Christianity (which is what makes them so docile/ cowardly) conversation of a non-PC type has simply shut-down. There is now almost nothing non-PC in the mass media of UK origin, and no Christian group of non-PC views that is other than tiny and almost powerless.

Interestingly, the main victims of PC witch-hunts nowadays are insufficiently-PC Leftists. There are so few people who are genuinely 'Right wing' in the UK (a fraction of one percent, I would guess) - and no organized powerful group that is not Left wing - so that the exemplary victims, the scapegoats, which the system needs can only be found among those among the Leftist mainstream who are showing some glimmers of residual common sense.

The idea of an 'extreme Right wing' party in Modern England is a group that is atheist, explicitly socialist in economics, and pro-sexual revolution - but exhibits some kind of minor deviation from the mainstream in the direction of patriotism or racial politics.

Yet, somehow I sense that all is not lost - a strength remains, latent. Since it is not in the people, maybe it is in the books, the buildings and the land?

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Reader's Question: What do you think about the 'scientific' idea that all of our ideas are illusory and reducible to chemical reactions in our brains

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My answer: This idea is metaphysics, not science. In other words, it is an assumption, not a finding. The assumption of this idea is that the assumptions of science are ultimate.

So, the assumptions of biology, of brain research, exclude all supernatural factors, exclude anything which is not detectable or measurable - and therefore, not matter how much brain research is done, none of these things will ever be found because they are not included in the methods.

Brain research has not failed to discover the soul, it has assumed the soul is not relevant.

In history, when brain research believed that the soul was potentially detectable, people would often say that they had located it - for example in the pineal gland.

In sum, if you believe (before doing any research) that chemical reactions and wiring are a complete explanation of all ideas, then that is what you will find.

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Reader's question: Can anything useful to the Christian be learned from modernist literature?

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Question: "Having read some Milan Kundera and his essays on modern literature and art has made me wonder the following -- Modern literature is said to go to the core of manhood or the existential experience of being a man, yet it clearly leads to (or amounts to the same thing as) what you would call, if I'm not mistaken, the demonic perspective. Can something/anything/nothing useful/beautiful/true be learned from this so called modernist world literature movement of the 20th century (Kafka, Joyce, Proust, Musil etc.)?"

My response: Yes, much that is positive can be learned from this genre of writing - so long as the metaphysical perspective of secular modernism is rejected.

The content is often profoundly insightful (e.g. Kafka, Musil, Proust), the quality of the prose may be superb (Joyce) and so on. It is also a document of the nature of the malaise, especially as it affected elites.

The main danger from this writing, and it is a very real danger, is in confirming people in their pessimistic, alienated, secular nihilism - making it seem inevitable, necessary, sophisticated...  

My angle on modernism is therefore much the same as Colin Wilson - although he was not Christian.

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