Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Blogging suspended here

Blogging is suspended for the time being. I have blogged daily here for nearly seven years, at an average rate of about 1.5 posts per day - but at present I have nothing much to say and (linked with this) no imaginative sense of an 'audience'. It may be that this phase of my work is coming to an end, as so often happens in life after seven years. We shall see...

Monday, 13 February 2017

Repentance = Learning

The concept of repentance is a difficult one for even Christians to grasp, I think; and non-Christians seem to be baffled by it altogether.

Yet repentance is, if not at the core, then very near the centre of Christianity; because it is repentance which is required for salvation - and not virtuous behaviour nor sinlessness (which are regarded as impossibilities).

One way to think of repentance is as a kind of learning - and indeed, the set-up and purpose of human mortal life can be understood as being about learning.

Since humans are so weak and prone to err and sin; and the world is so full of temptations and suffering (as well as beauties and joys) - then it seems clear that we are not so much meant to behave perfectly as to learn from our experiences - and perhaps especially from our errors.

We learn by acknowledging our errors; indeed (thanks to the work of Jesus Christ) that is all that we need to do for salvation - but we do need to do it. We do need to acknowledge our errors.

The usual way of saying this, is that we need to repent our sins. Sin is another concept which modern people cannot grasp - and one way to think of sin is as errors... but errors that must be recognised as errors.

Thus sins may be errors resulting from various causes - such as doing what comes spontaneously, yielding to pressures, done from ignorance, done from wicked motivations, or by being too short-termist or selfish in choices or behaviour... but the vital thing is that after they have happened, they need to be seen as errors.

This means that errors must not be self-excused, nor denied.

Denial of errors is perhaps the commonest and most dangerous of modern problems - instead of acknowledging that X was an error, the modern tendency is to deny that it was an error - then, because neutrality is impossible, this denial rapidly slides-into asserting that the error was an intentional virtue.

Perhaps because errors are understandable - or because we could ourselves imagine doing them under certain circumstances - or because they seem excusable given an individual's situation... the inference is made that 'therefore' they are not errors at all!

From this, we get the situation in which errors are taught - and errors are taught to be superior modes of behaviour. Errors are taught, laws and rules are implemented to protect, promote and reward deliberate error. People are taught to have pride in error. (And conversely, virtue is punished.)

This situation is extremely dangerous - indeed it is hard to imagine a greater spiritual danger than one in which errors are denied and/ or asserted to be superior to virtue.

The solution is necessary, swift, simple and unstoppable: it is repentance. But repentance becomes impossible where errors are regarded as higher truths. And that is precisely our situation in The West.

So me must re-learn to acknowledge errors, and to repent them. It sounds simple - but from where we are, here-and-now, the prospect seems horribly remote.

Alan Garner's Elidor reviewed by John Fitzgerald

"Every word in Elidor is freighted with gold.

"Published in 1965, Alan Garner's third novel does for Manchester (and all cities by extension) what The Weirdstone of Brisingamen (1960) and Moon of Gomrath (1963) did for the valleys, woods and hills of Cheshire. He imbues the cityscape with a numinous depth charge. The stuff of everyday urban life - lamp posts, railway bridges, terraced houses - take on an almost sacramental glow, pointing to a level of understanding beyond the reach of materialist models of reality. One world segues into another. Take this passage, for instance":

Roland ran along the wider streets until his eyes were used to the dark. The moon had risen, and the glow of the city lightened the sky. He twisted down alleyways, running blindly, through crossroads, over bombed sites, and along the streets again. Roland stopped and listened. There was only the noise of the city, a low, constant rumble that was like silence.

He was in the demolition area. Roof skeletons made broken patterns against the sky. Roland searched for a place that would be safe to climb, and found a staircase on the exposed inner wall of a house. He sat on the top in the moonlight. It was freezing hard. Roofs and cobbles sparkled. The cold began to ache into him. He wondered if the others had decided to stay in one place and wait until he came.

This thought bothered him, and he was still trying to make up his mind when the unicorn appeared at the end of the street. His mane flowed like a river in the moon: the point of the horn drew fire from the stars. Roland shivered with the effort of looking. He wanted to fix every detail in his mind for ever, so that no matter what else happened there would always be this. (pp.188-192)

"Who can forget writing like this? No-one in my experience. I've never known a book, at least among my circle of friends, which retains its impact for so long in the reader's imagination. People can recall whole scenes. Either that or specific images, such as the fiddler in the slum clearance area, leap into their minds as soon as the book is mentioned."


Sunday, 12 February 2017

Conceptualising Heaven (and Hell): salvation- versus theosis-based Christianity

It seems that many Christians are and have been focused on the problem of achieving salvation by faith and right choices during mortal life: this links-up with an understanding of Heaven as a reward for those who have achieved salvation - and Hell as the place of punishment for those who do not.

Mortal life is then seen as a battle to attain salvation and/ or to avoid damnation (the emphasis varies) - and a good life beyond death is the reward for good performance. From this perspective nothing much important 'happens' in Heaven - it is a state of being.

But if we instead take the view that Jesus won salvation as a gift for everyone, by his life and death - then salvation is there for us, and the primary condition is simply that we accept it.

Of course, accepting salvation entails more than merely saying 'yes, okay' - because salvation is into God's world and God's plan, and entails accepting and embracing these. And this is something that, apparently, some people - probably many people - do not want and will not accept.

If salvation is a gift to those who will accept it, then salvation is straightforward and secure (for those who want it); and the main purpose of mortal life is not salvation but theosis - the process of striving to become more God-like; or more exactly the voluntary process of becoming more God-like on the basis that we begin as partly divine (being children of God) and end-up as being brothers and sisters of Christ - of the same nature as him.

Heaven is the not a reward but the place where people who have chosen theosis continue to work on this - Heaven is a place of striving, of change, of work.

Hell, by contrast, is the place for people are are not aiming at theosis - people who are not trying to become more divine, more like Jesus Christ.

Which is the reward and which the punishment depends on what is wanted.

God was creator and has a plan for his creation - this plan includes creating possibilities for those who want-to 'join' God as a god; to become fully-divine sons and daughters of God - being able to 'work on' this goal, co-operatively and with love - partly during mortal life, but also necessarily after it.

By this account, God's main concern is theosis - so that men and women may choose to become divine, and may incrementally (and over a long timescale) achieve this by being born incarnated, dying and resurrecting; and also by learning from their experiences throughout.

Our primary choice is whether to join God's plan - or not. Hell is the place of nay-sayers. Not joining the plan may mean going-it-alone, or it may mean living among the others who rejected God's plan - and seeking what solutions and satisfactions that company may bring in a universe without meaning or purpose.

In sum, since the 'Mormon Restoration' of Christianity, and the change in understanding it brings; there has been a qualitative change in explaining the basic nature and purpose of Heaven and Hell.

(The extent to which Mormonism was a cause of these general changes in understanding Heaven and Hell, and to what extent it was a shared consequence of underlying spiritual causes, I don't know - something of both I expect.)

I don't think many Christians have fully 'taken on board' this change, aside from feeling a deepening dissatisfaction with the idea of Heaven and Hell as merely reward and punishment, and mortal life as merely a kind of qualifying exam.

But if (thanks to Christ) salvation is there for for the accepting, and on conditions no more onerous than repentance; then theosis is the main business of human existence - theosis in pre-mortal, mortal and post-mortal life - then the nature and purpose of Heaven and Hell are profoundly different.

Heaven and Hell are not states of being, but domains distinguished by the positive or negative purpose of those who choose them. Their 'state' is a consequence of this choice, and of the make-up of the populations that result from that choice.   

Heaven is not a fixed state of being, but the place of mutual love where a particular purpose of divine destiny is being actively, voluntarily and joyfully pursued - and Hell is... well, all the rest.



Saturday, 11 February 2017

How to inspire spiritual awakening - a suggestion



The steel mesh of bureaucracy: your personal microcosm is part of the macrocosm of totalitarian evil

In modern life, there are many asymmetries; one is that 'the personal is political' is applied to monitor and control the smallest and most casual of human interactions, in the public and increasingly the private sphere - but only in a Leftward direction.

The breaking of even the smallest of politically correct taboos is never regarded as trivial - and indeed a single sentence in private, a single word has been enough to end many a career (only a few of which you will have been aware-of).

Yet there is near-zero resistance to the imposition of totalitarianism.

*

We are all aware of the personal experiences of being-controlled - yet any slight effort to link this personal to a long-term, pervasive, powerful, unrelenting Grand Plan for Man is dismissed as paranoid conspiracy theorising...

Nonetheless, the Plan proceeds apace - the world is ever more comprehensively monitored, brought under control and subjected to sanctions - rewards (including the highest - e.g. in the UK royal medals, knighthoods, peerages) go to those who are most diligent and effective in justifying and building the totalitarian control system.

Why does the Plan seek this control? For the sake of our damnation. The control is used to fill our minds with lies and false motivations, and distract our attention from realities with trivilality and wickedness; to corrupt us with sinful excitements (pride, greed, envy esepcially) and oppress us with crushing dullness, futility, despair.

*

What is totalitarianism? It is the coercive monitoring and control of all aspects of life, down to the smallest - with the objective of controlling thought. In our society it is being achieved by modifying the 'iron cage' of bureaucracy (Weber's phrase) into a smaller-and-smaller steel mesh.

The steel mesh of bureaucracy is a matter of daily, hourly, experience for nearly everybody in The West - and not only does everybody experience it, but an ever-larger proportion of people are actively engaged in its construction and imposition.

Probably, more people are 'managers' and 'officials' than any other paid job, such personnel now dominate numerically and in power all large organisations in all systems and sectors of society - and these jobs are ultimately all about devising and implementing the steel mesh of totalitarianism.

Almost everybody wants more bureaucracy for their own purposes - the equation of managerial control with responsibility, safety, how things 'ought' to be done is almost complete. The unmanaged is regarded as bad in and of itself.

Bureaucracy is the systematic embodiment of Schadenfreude. 

*

And this is why bureaucracy just grows and grows - and the lack of resistance is evidence of the very great, and unrepented, evil of our society - almost everybody is actively complicit in making, repairing, tightening their own corner of the steel mesh - and apparently this prevents them noticing or objecting to the totality of the mesh.

Everybody wants everybody-else except themselves to be 'regulated' - and everybody gets their own way with the exception of their own exemption. And indeed there are plenty who want themselves regulated - yet who live lives of quiet desperation as a consequence.

For the sake of our souls, this is something that everybody ought to notice; notice, acknowledge and repent - even if they cannot (or simply do not) resist it.

*

A world of endless and proliferating mutually-exploitative managing; of ever tighter thought regulation; unnoticed, collaborated, profited-from, and unresisted... this is Hell on Earth - universal evil incarnate.

Why? Because bureaucracy is the very instantiation of falsehood - the physical implementaion of multiple false assumptions, priorities and practices regarding the fundamental nature of Man, Society, and Reality.

Bureaucracy is materialism and denial of the realm beyond the senses and therefore it is active atheism and ultimate dis-order; it is denial of the validity of human judgment; it is denial of the reality of the transcendental goods of truth, beauty and virtue; it is the breaking of unity and coherence and thus bureaucracy is the inevitable destruction of meaning and purpose in Life. 

And as soon as we cease to be aware of the fact, we are in Hell; because to regard the false as true and the contingent as inevitable is of itself a choice to align with the domain of evil. 

The very least we must do (to save our souls from self-damnation) is to notice, acknowledge and repent the fact we dwell in and sustain a steel mesh of bureaucracy; a mesh that closes-in upon us, year by year!


Friday, 10 February 2017

The fundamental purpose of creation - the great insight of William Arkle

The primary great and simple insight of William Arkle, in which respect he excels - beyond any other source I have discovered (ancient or modern) - is the clarity with which he understand the primary purpose for which God created Man and the rest of reality.

http://williamarkle.blogspot.co.uk/

His point is that God created, in order to have divine friends.

God is - indeed - Heavenly Father and Mother; and men and women were created so that eventually and ultimately they may (via experience, striving and learning) choose to become beings of the same nature; therefore not only children of God, but grown-up children of God. Grown-up to full divinity.

If this is accepted and embraced as truth (which can only be a consequence of personal revelation; not of evidence, reason or any other 'proof' - but as a simple consequence of the traditional Christian understanding of God as creator and loving parent) this single insight changes 'everything'.

Well, not everything - the basics of Christianity remain identical; but what those basics are is clarified, and what they mean and how they interact are transformed; furthermore it can be seen that a great deal of assertion and interpretation of the past is mistaken (often understandably and justifiably so - but mistaken nonetheless).

With this single primary insight, we have a way of judging and evaluating the mass of apparently contradictory assertions accumulated by history, and by our own inferences.

It is a key that makes possible much else. From where we are here-and-now (a world full of dominant and deliberate disinformation; in which original na├»ve innocence is so generally corrupted, subverted, inverted) - that key seems ever-more essential.

Is the mind a valve or a voyager? Passive or active?

In his essay The Doors of Perception, Aldous Huxley compared the human mind to a valve which operates to keep-out the total knowledge of everything which would otherwise flood into us and render us unable to function.

This corresponds to Owen Barfield's category of Original Participation - the primordial state in which the mind of Man is immersed in the totality of being, and which therefore has a potential access to everything - yet in practice this mind is not differentiated from the totality, so it is more a passive thing.


Thus in Original Participation are thoughts are caused, and our thinking is not truly free except in potential.

*

The modern condition (which can be called the Consciousness Soul) is that the mind is separate from the rest of reality; cut-off from it - the condition of alienation in which we doubt eve our own thoughts, along with the validity of our perceptions, the validity of reason, the existence of anything else - including, eventually, the self itself which seems to depend on our thinking it (a process which, presumably, might cease).

*

In Final Participation - the future divine destination of Man, currently only partially achieved and only by a few individuals (probably); is one in which the mind is not a valve but a voyager. The mind has been freed by the process culminating in the Consciousness Soul and then becomes a Self-Motivated, Free and exploratory vehicle for active exploration of the totality, by thinking.


In principle, all knowledge is the possible - but only in a linear and sequential and selective fashion, and only when sought and thought.

**

The assumption must be that all news is fake - the wisdom is in knowing the exceptions

We have now had two solid months of propaganda about 'fake news' the real lie being that some news is not fake.

By creating a discourse over which news, or which news sources, count as 'fake'; the false assumption has been reinforced that some news and sources are 'real'.

As always with corrupt modernity, the discussion is brought down to factual specifics - when facts are strictly meaningless and consequently endlessly debatable. With fake news (all news) it is the intent, the motivations behind the facts which are fake - and these are typically crystal clear.

And that is the really big lie - the biggest fake of all.

A news source could only, even potentially, be real if it was trying its best to be truthful... Now we would surely agree that that does not apply to a single one of the mainstream, named, large news sources. In none of them is truthfulness the primary priority, which means, as a minimum, that other factors (profit, ideology, careerism - whatever) are more important than truth on any particular issue.

They will always, always, Always be trying to mislead. 

What chance that we can rely on them to be truthful? Realistically - none.

News is fake. That must be the baseline assumption, the habitual assumption - at minimum the assumption when it comes to important stuff.

What then isn't fake? Well, truth can only come from a person - not an organisation. (Maybe in the past some organisations were truthful - but not any more.) And truth on a theme could only come from somebody who was honest and competent.

So, we must make a judgement of who is both well-motivated, and in a position to know - and that should be our chosen source on any particular theme.

And if we can't find such a person - then we will not be able to be told - and if we are called upon to act will have to do our best alone... by meditation, reflection, intuition. These are very difficult to accomplish without our own (perhaps covert) agenda distorting the outcome - but are at least potentially truthful - but the news is not: not even potentially.

This is not specific to news. All science is fake science, all art is fake art, all education is fake, same with law, medicine and everything else. That is the correct baseline assumption.

All fake except for the exceptions - and it is how we locate and evaluate the exceptions which determines whether we ourselves are fake.


Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Freedom in Thinking: the essence of Final Participation (and the destiny of modern Man)

Continued from: http://charltonteaching.blogspot.co.uk/2017/02/modernity-is-do-not-try-to-join-dots-in.html

Final Participation is simple to summarise in its essence - it is Freedom in Thinking.

This is why Rudolf Steiner's most important book was entitled The Philosophy of Freedom - but of course Freedom here is of an ultimate and existential nature: it is, indeed, the Freedom in Thinking with agency, from the Self.

Freedom, by this account, was in general not possible to Men at any time in the past - such freedom is the destiny of the future; but as yet Man has not embraced but rather denied and rejected this freedom (from wickedness, ignorance and wrong ideas).

Freedom of thinking is possible because Man is a child of God, hence has the divine creative capacity to originate - to be an uncaused cause.

In early Men, and in childhood; the self was not autonomous - and thinking was a consequence of immersion in other causes.

With the evolution of consciousness, Man's thinking became incrementally cut-off from the environment (for example, in very different ways; the abstract philosophy of the Ancient Greeks, the detachment from immersion in God and nature and forbidding of representations of God and nature of the Ancient Hebrews).

Man became in a sense more free - less influenced by externals; but at the cost of this freedom being cut-off from participation in reality. The end point was modern alienation, meaninglessness, purposelessness. The self cut-off even from its own thinking...

The future is for Man to be free in thinking: thinking that is primary and uncaused, thinking from the real self (not any social construct), thinking of unbounded scope - thinking which encompasses and integrates all. This is Final Participation - in Owen Barfield's term - 'final' because it is the divine mode of thinking.

Naturally, Man's divine thinking would be partial and distorted compared with God's thinking (which is whole and true); nonetheless it is the next and necessary step.

So, when confronted with a modern world of isolated, meaningless, purposeless, incoherent 'dots'; and experiencing the need to 'join' these dots and attain wholeness and understanding - this is Not a matter of actually taking these dots as they currently-are and joining them. These existing dots are partial, distorted, dishonest... the task is near infinite in scope - overwhelming in complexity...

Rather, the task is much simpler. It is first to attain real, true, thinking and then confront all of reality (sensations, perceptions, feelings, memories, intuitions... everything) - on the basis that everything is significant - and to think them.

Suppose yourself to be looking at the night sky. With Final Participation what we do Not do is to think about the stars as a scientist might; we do not and cannot be un-self-consciously immersed in the experience as our ancestors might; neither do we think concepts of the meaning of stars as a philosopher or theologian might...

With Final Participation we think the stars, we think with the stars. The stars are real, objective and universally-accessible things that are included-in the stream of thinking along with... whatever might be other foci of attention such as the garden, the trees, our memories, our intuitions and imaginations... All are part of thinking, and this thinking is free because it originates in the self, and the self is agent and uncaused.

Such thinking is primary, all-encompassing; and we are not detached from anything that may be thought-about, because we think with it; but we rather participate-in anything, in this thinking.

This is what we need to do, we need to practise doing it until it is voluntary and habitual. This is metaphysics - first philosophy - and we should not be distracted from it, at least not initially, by second-order and 'epistemological' questions about the validity of the various bits and pieces of thinking.

(Naturally, even if our thinking is pure and uncontaminated by external causes, or by wrong motivations - and much thinking will, sooner or later, be so contaminated; our personal thinking will be partial and incomplete as compared with God's thinking. But to demand to know exactly how our own thinking matches up to God's - exactly where it is true and where it is not - is in fact to demand to know as much as God! Epistemology is therefore a fool's errand, a snare and a pitfall. Leave it alone!)

Insofar as we attain to this concept of Freedom in Thinking we are doing what is most important for us to do - that is for us to do, here and now. It is the essential next step in the primary purpose of the saved Christian - which is theosis, to become more divine, to become more like to Jesus Christ.

Purcell's funeral music for Queen Mary: The finest, noblest and most sincere piece of British music - ever?


Modernity is "do not try to join the dots... in fact, don't even notice most of the dots!"

More than 200 years ago - in Britain first - a new consciousness emerged at about the time the Industrial Revolution got going. Its philosopher was Coleridge, but the influence did not come from him (his prose-work is extremely difficult to understand and has never been much read), but rather Coleridge was an articulation of it.

However, things did not unfold at all as they were intended. (Intended or destined by God, I mean.)

The intention was that Men would move to a fully-integrated world-view, but for the first time via thinking that is conscious, alert, purposive - a unity taking place in the realm of thinking which would itself be thinking of great clarity, rigour, honesty, sincerity etc. - thinking from the true self and unbounded in its scope and validity.

Divine thinking - albeit very much partially and selectively. Free thinking - the thinking of self-aware in-essence-divine agents.


Instead, and ever since; all the ingredients for the intended consciousness can be found in modern culture and experience - but scattered, detached, and many of them denied.

The dark powers have achieved this - they could not prevent the elements emerging (God's work), but they succeeded in creating a world in which thought is ultra-fragmented - a thought-disordered world (to use a psychiatric term).

In public life, thought is in micro-units called sound bites - each of which individually makes no sense, but the joining of which is not even attempted; and the same applies to the 'professional' worlds such as law, science, academia...

Thought is done and presented and operates in tiny systems - micro-specialisms; each detached from all other systems, and the noticing or joining of these meaningless units is not attempted - people have not just got-used-to this, but believe it is vital in some quasi-ethical, actually-superstitious, way (although in another way, they don't believe anything is vital).

In sum, they are socially, personally, existentially afraid of the consequences of dot-joining. It is taboo.


So modernity is dots, and the dots are not joined - and the fact of not joining is not even noticed or aggressively insisted-upon - people just move from one dot to another; inhabiting each micro-thought-world in sequence, each one being utterly dominant for a moment... then some other dot takes-over.

But most of the dots are denied, unnoticed, ridiculed or carefully ignored - I mean anything spiritual, anything real and religious - the whole world of things like dreams and intuitions.

Materialist dot joiners are ultra radicals and conspiracy theorists - but they typically despise the spiritual and religious dots, and the unmade connections between them: they are highly-selective dot-joiners, which is so distorted as to satisfy the dark powers almost as much as mainstream denial of coherence.

These are dots that are not only un-joined, but denied - and after all - each of the dots is indeed, strictly, meaningless - so it is easy to deny the reality or importance of any single one of them, if that is wanted, or convenient.


So - this is our situation. Around us we have all the 'ingredients' of that new and more purposive/ alert/ cognitive form of engaged and unified consciousness - but as mere disconnected dots; half of which we ignore and the other half of which we assiduously refuse even to attempt connecting.

The great hope is that if, or when, we eventually start noticing and connecting - we will break free and move forward to a higher and more god-like way of being - while mortal and yet on earth.

If we do not notice and connect - life will continue to be meaningless, purposeless - there will be no real knowledge, no real reality - and we shall succumb to hedonism en route to despair.

But the solution is in our own hands... or rather minds.   


Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Our era is one of intellectual passivity - the opposite of what is necessary

For whatever combination of reasons; The West has become a society of consumers - and this is most damaging when it comes to our of ideas about things in general: our 'ideology'.

Because we are so mentally-passive, we are in effect radically and ultimately un-free - our minds are colonised from without.

People passively absorb not just fashions and advertisements, but their ideas about everything - their way of perceiving and interpreting the world, their ideas of good and bad, their motivations and aims.

This happens pretty much everywhere.

In spirituality and religion, people have a belief that their convictions ought passively to be absorbed - New Agers believe that the universe will tell us everything if we just open our minds and let it; all too many of the religious passively absorb... whether from the hierarchy, tradition, a holy book...

(People confuse sponge-like passivity with humility and obedience; confuse passivity with altruism and social concern...)

And having passively allowed their own minds to be colonised, their imperative is to ensure everybody else does the same - differences and similarities derived merely from differences between and similarities of that which is absorbed.

In professions; careerism and bureaucracy rule everywhere - and what counts as true and what leads to success are alike externally defined and passively absorbed. He who absorbs fastest and most accurately wins the status game.

Rebellious teens and youth absorb their rebellion and their opinions and their acts from outside sources... He who rebels most vigorously in closest conformity with the dominant ideology is a revolutionary hero.

No surprise that all these people and pretty much everybody else has - more or less - the same materialist, secular Leftist ideology - this is yet another things they just passively absorb.
 

(What is - instead - needed is the opposite to passive absorption and the craving for yet more passive absorption (the only choice being the choice of what passively to absorb) - what is needed is to think, consciously and actively, from our source of inner freedom, which is our unique (eternal and divine) self. This is the task. From here and starting now; of value is only that which is freely chosen and imaginatively appropriated, with the true self and by discernment of the heart. This applies to obvious, platitudinous and orthodox truths - as much as to everything else.)

Reasons for the need to wake-up


Awakening is a good term; because it is clear that we cannot sleep through the necessary spiritual awakening - else Life will continue to develop as a living nightmare of conflicted instincts.

We must acknowledge the reality of the spiritual; which entails repenting the error of materialism. None of this can happen unconsciously; especially when public discourse is inculcating and enforcing our blindness and falsehood.

(Indeed, it is exactly this public discourse which ensures we will learn the lesson that we need to learn to be saved; awareness is what is required of us, and to bring forth and compel full awareness entails opposition.)

Rescue, therefore, may come (and would come, if it happened) from an undetectable and denied source - but rescue will not come from people who don't know what they are doing. The rescuers must know what they are doing, and know that they know - or they will be a part of the problem.

The situation (here, now) is one in which awareness is the point at issue.

The spiritual dimension may be expressed simply - too simply for the intellectual elite to 'take seriously'... the repudiation of error may be regarded as crude, slashing - and lacking in nuance and precision.

None of that matters a jot. Public discourse is painted with a broad brush - always and everywhere. What matters is the nature and subject of the painting, and that its painting is purposive, deliberate, self-aware.

  

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Christianity is not a means to the end of saving The West (because without first a spiritual and Christian revival, the West is not worth saving)

Edited from:
http://albionawakening.blogspot.co.uk/2017/02/christianity-not-means-to-end-of-saving.html

Although Christianity is necessary to saving The West; and Christianity must come first - before any programme of  political, economic, or social changes; that does Not mean that we can or should use Christianity as a 'means to the end' of saving The West.

The situation is that we must have spiritual Christianity first, because otherwise we will not know what to do, nor how properly to do it.

To put is another way, without a spiritual Christian revival, The West will not be especially worth saving.

This is harsh but true. All that was good about The West will be lost - as much of it already has been lost, and indeed inverted, unless we first recover our spirituality.


Saturday, 4 February 2017

My experiences with meditation...

...Began in the late 1990s, when I became fascinated by hunter gatherer spirituality ('animism') and then actively interested by New Age spiritual writings.

My main problem was alienation - feeling cut-off from from Life, inside the nutshell of my mind; and my understanding was that there were two main possibilities to escape this - both of which I attempted in meditation.


1. Hypnosis

The first aim was 'hypnosis', more exactly auto-hypnosis - which was tending towards deep, dreamless sleep. I did this by allowing myself to drift toward sleep, and diminishing the control and awareness of my 'self'; but trying to hold myself halfway.

(Of course; sooner or later I would fall-asleep or wake-up.)

 The idea was that self-consciousness was diminished, to allow a return to a dream-like cognition.

This solves the problem of alienation but at the cost of no consciousness - and little or no memory. So it was pure escape - but that period of escape was just take out of life. And there was no 'meaning' in life - just an indifference to meaning - and not even the possibility of purposive in life.

I could not be integrated with 'real life' but was, at most, 'time-out' for recreation.


2. Shamanism

The second aim was 'shamanism' - which seemed similar to Jung's idea of active imagination, and was closely related to lucid dreaming (which I knew about, but had not experienced).

The idea was to relax my body completely but to keep my awareness awake - so that the body would sleep, but the mind remain alert - to create a dissociation in psychological terms.

This produced a state of waking dreams, of a kind of temporary psychosis-with-insight - hallucinatory, delusional and thought-disordered - but I found this was completely 'random' and uncontrollable.

It was rather like watching disorganised, cut-together movie snippets on multiple topics - and the experience was mostly trivial and boring. Certainly it did not provide any interesting answers or insights.


3. Magical times

A much earlier feeling I had experienced throughout life were periods of minutes or a few hours when I seemed to be in a meaningful, beautiful, purposively-unfolding world where everything was integrated and flowed-together: feeling, thinking, being, perception, memory...

This could not be forced - but would sometimes happen on holidays in, or visits to, certain places that had some special external meaning for me - the Park Street area of Bristol, Keswick, Oxford, Berwick upon Tweed - even, a few times, abroad: Berne, Girona, Freiburg, Cambridge Massachusetts...

But these came-upon-me and could not be controlled or held-onto - I couldn't do anything with them except remember them as a possibility that made life more hope-full. I could not achieve them through meditation.


4. Communion with God

When I became a Christian I found the work of Seraphim Rose - and via him Eastern Orthodoxy - and tried to meditate in that fashion - aiming at a communion with God, a kind of immersion with the divine; again with loss of the self.

Insofar as I touched-upon this, once or twice in divine liturgy, and in Mass at an Anglo-Catholic church -  I found the state very moving; but in a sense paralysing - it was, again, time-out-of ordinary life. I could find no way to integrate the state of consciousness with everyday consciousness - and while I did find meaning, I did not find purpose... except to the extent that I had a vague notion that if I was serious then I should be more like an ascetic monk.

Yet my real life was first of of a family man, a husband and father; and secondly someone engaged in a creative exploration of philosophy and science; and this was in practice - and by my conviction of the heart - far more important to me than the idea of solitary, ascetic striving for communion.


5. The current situation

About four years ago I developed a solid conviction that the Mormon religion was true, and the distinctive theology was a valid Christian theory.

(I regard the Christian religion as separate from the theories about it - and theology and metaphysics are ultimate theories about Christianity - so none are true in the same sense as the religion is true - all are at least somewhat partial and distorted by our human limitations. So Mormonisn is - for me - the best and truest; but I regard several other theologies - some extremely different - as equally Christian.)

But my meditative practice has been influenced mainly by William Arkle, then Owen Barfield, then (via Barfield, mostly) by Rudolf Steiner; in particular I now strive for a meditation in which I remain fully alter, conscious, self-aware, purposive...

In sum, I am trying to meditate by thinking - and to make this thinking align with my deepest self and include all possibilities.

I strive for a thinking which is an active process that moves fluidly between the external perceptions via the senses, internal perceptions (feelings), memories, and (vitally) that direct knowledge which enters thinking from super-sensory, extra-perceptual sources. 

My conviction is that - to the extent my motivations are Good - then this kind of meditative thinking is also Good; and has an unbounded scope for discerning truth, beauty and virtue.

There are no limits to what this thinking can do, in principle. By it we may know everything which can be known (this 'everything' does not, however, include the content of other agents minds, nor of God's mind, except insofar as these are purposively shared by them.)

So my meditation operates from a belief in the potential for absolute freedom and agency of the thinking mind.

My actual practice is that such thinking can only be attained sometimes and for short periods; and that it tends to be contaminated by my own evil motivations (ranging widely and including a desire for power or prestige, to pride - to a desire for present pleasure and the tendency for seeking wish-fulfilment rather than reality).

I have not found any 'method' for this meditation - except that it is sometimes helped by reflective note-taking and reading (sitting at a table, or lying on a bed propped up on an elbow), and by ambling walks though areas I find sympathetic (which luckily includes several walks near to my home, and many more in the countryside nearby).

In two words, what I am now seeking, primarily, is exactly Owen Barfield's concept of Final Participation (as described, for instance, in his book Saving the Appearances) - and my understanding is that Final Participation is actually the divine mode of thinking (which is why it is 'final') - therefore seeking FP is the path of theosis appropriate to my metaphysical and theological understanding of Christianity.


Friday, 3 February 2017

Trump and Brexit are a step-back from self-hating slow-suicide - but Not a step in-the-right-direction

Trump's first couple of weeks have shown that he meant what he said in his campaign, and he has implemented his expressed intentions with the effectiveness of a new-broom CEO revitalising a flagging corporation.

Trump is a step back from a positive ideology of self-hatred and a covert policy of personal self-damnation and the active pursuit of national suicide; but he is not providing a new goal. Trump may revitalise the corporation, but will not turn-it-around to point in a new direction.

The mission statement of USA-Inc. remains the same: (approximately) peace, prosperity and comfort - and all of it in this mortal life.

But this idea of the USA is not about what it needs to be about - salvation and theosis - nor does it provide the necessary eternal perspective.

Even if Trump was wholly successful in achieving all his core objectives - it would still leave the fundamental problem untouched: even this degree of success would not Save The USA, not remotely - and indeed the USA would not be especially worth saving; because it would still be based upon a metaphysical neglect of The Good and the pursuit of material, hedonic goals.

(Neglect of The Good is preferable to Inversion of the Good - but Neglect is not good enough.)

Trump will probably provide secular, this-worldly outcomes more effectively than his recent predecessors; but the USA is still on the road to damnation and self-destruction - because that is the inevitable outcome of any and all secular polities.

Much the same for Britain and Brexit - a very valuable step-back from actively and deliberately implementing a totalitarian atheist super-state dedicated to evil...

But Britain still utterly lacks a positive religious awakening (in this respect much worse-off than the USA) - Christianity is the only thing that could potentially set us on the proper path; the only thing that might save us from what is otherwise certain destruction.