Monday, 28 May 2018

Worry is anti-Christian

Worry is fear-spread-thin; and fear is the opposite of Love.

(Fear is, indeed, cast-out by Love - and the injunction Not to fear is almost a refrain in the New Testament.)

Yet we can, and many do, spend their entire conscious lives worrying; and if they accidentally stop worrying for a few moments, then they feel guilty - they apparently suppose that the world is being held-up by their worrying.


But this is evil - by which I mean to worry is to Be evil: to spend life worrying is evil, it is a state of sin.

Worry is (therefore) anti-Christian.


But what if I can't Help It! - what when can't help worrying?

Of course you can't help it, neither can I - but that doesn't stop worry being evil - it means we must repent the fact that we worry, instead of feeling guilty if we don't worry.


Worrying about stuff, being worried about 'other people'/ the environment/ poverty/ freedom/ global warming/ disease/ death... this doesn't make you a good person - but the opposite.

Because Fear is A Bad Thing, then it doesn't matter what you fear - choosing a worthy subject for your fears does not change fear into a virtue; any more than it would make resentment or spite into a virtue.
 
Re-naming fear as 'concern' does not make it good!


The false rationalisation is that Not to worry is to be Uncaring... You've heard this...

Hah! So, if somebody, somewhere, has had or might-have something bad happen to them - then we ought to worry about it! Yeah, right...

It is time for you to stop thinking you have a duty to worry; and instead think about your duty to Be Not Afraid.


Jesus 'without sin' is a red herring... Jesus was actually confrontational to the point of scathing

Pondering the Fourth Gospel has clarified that the extreme importance placed on Jesus being 'without sin' is either misleading or an error.

Jesus being without sin means that his motivations, thoughts and  actions - what he did, was wholly aligned with the Father's will. Thus, sin would be to be unaligned-with, opposed-to, God's creation and God's intentions.

This was intrinsic to Jesus's work, because he was sent by the Father and was faithful to his mission; but it is an unhelpful error to make this be about sinlessness - the idea of sinlessness seems to come from an inappropriate focus on the need for a perfect sacrificial animal in the ancient Hebrew religion - an equation is made between the sacrificial lamb being, ideally, a perfect example of its species, and Jesus being a similarly perfect example of our species - to make the sacrifice effective.

To put this interpretation at the centre of explaining the work of Jesus is to grasp the wrong end of the stick, and to refuse to let-go.

The Fourth Gospel is clear that the main thing about Jesus was his identity: who he was. It was not about what he did, but who he was.

What Jesus actually did was to prove his identity (by various means - miracles, testimony, fulfilment of prophecy) and to confront a lot of different people, in a lot of situations - and confront them usually in a confrontational manner! Just read the gospel: in almost every reported interaction, Jesus is dominant, distinctly sharp-tongued, accusing and convicting.

Most often, indeed Jesus is distinctly scathing in his comments to others!... Dismissive of the real motivations of the five thousand whom he fed, mocking about the dishonesty the Samaritan Woman, short-tempered with those who asked the same question more than once, and accusing the Pharisees of serving Satan.

Jesus went around hurting people's feelings all the time - even his disciples. The put-downs of Simon Peter are extreme, Nathanael is greeted with sarcasm, 'Doubting Thomas' is shamed... 

Jesus does not seem to have been going around Being-perfect and Not-sinning; but going around proving his identity, his love; and stating what this meant for us - what people needed to do about him.


Note added: It seems to me that, from the Fourth Gospel; someone at the time - an informed and reliable witness, if asked about Jesus and 'what is he like?' surely would never had summarised him by emphasising negative-qualities such as 'he is without sin' or 'he is perfect'... He would have talked of positive and dynamic attributes such as Jesus's natural authority, power, wisdom... the way he said and did surprising things which were then recognised as exactly right... 

Sunday, 27 May 2018

Why magic doesn't happen in modern England (or, hardly-ever)

If magic was currently possible in England, in any widespread fashion, it would be a disaster - since the people are so corrupt, and so often aligned with evil.

The only safe and beneficial way in which personal magical power could happen, could be, if it were tied-to Christian motivations; if the two were made inextricable.

Magic could not be allowed as a kind of craft, skill or technique - because then it would be misused on a huge scale - since all forms of formal, abstract organisation are corrupt, depraved, evil-seeking (this is the era of the demonic-aspect 'Ahriman' - in which purposive evil takes the form of bureaucracy, systems-thinking, transhumanism, technology).

Magic would need to be - and in fact is, something that arises quite naturally and spontaneously in the course of living - and not by anybody setting-out to Do Magic. This is because magic is driven only by motivations that are in harmony with divine creation.


There is a very general frustration of 'powerlessness' felt by people - especially by young and virile people - for change, improvement, a better world. But these people are deeply corrupted by selfish and short-termist motivations; and that is why they need to be thwarted. They need to learn-from their misery, not try to attain personal power that they would certainly misuse, which they would certainly be corrupted-by.

This applies equally to the people who push for plans and schemes and systems of power that they claim are objective, impersonal, necessarily-benign - such as markets or selection processes, or idealised polities... These are motivated by the prevalent demonic forces; and are forbidden, excluded, ruled-out intrinsically - because they would be the triumph of evil.

Especially consistent power is ruled-out, Magic On Demand! - but Magic does happen unpredictably, unsought and briefly - when a persons motivation is temporarily aligned with the divine. This prevents misuse and ensures only proper use - and this quite naturally and organically...


Magic is actually 'Final Participation' - the conscious engagement with reality of a person's real self. It is the alignment of the individual self with the continuing process of divine creation. Thus, for a moment at least, a person will - by their thinking - have their originality incorporated (permanently) into creation... Thus a single individual act will be solidified and 'amplified' to become absolutely general...

In such a situation, when or if it happens, magic quite naturally follows; in the sense that the individual's real self is active and contributes some-thing new, conscious, willed - to manifestation.

This while magic is not a methodology; on the other side of the same coin if/ when a person is 'ready' (even if just for a moment) that is - when he or she is properly-motivated (which is to say a Christian, a knower and follower of Jesus - rare enough, and also one who is thinking from and with their divine self in harmony with creation - something considerably rarer, and indeed explicitly rejected by many/ most Christians)... Then it will Just Happen - it will be as-if that person's thoughts and acts were amplified beyond comprehension or rational possibility!

And yet, to an outsider (non-Christian, or Christian who chooses not to have this relationship with God) deniably so; since it would be harmonious with divine creation, hence deniable. Yet again, anyone capable (who fulfils the criteria, as it were) may recognise the provenance of creation - it doesn't all blend into one; it was, is, remains personal.


(Because Heaven - as Christians understand it - is eternal relationships between persons, between selves; not any kind of 'reabsorption' of all persons/ selves back-into divinity.)


What we have sometimes seen in history, is the remarkable 'magical' influence of aligned-men - even when they are flawed at other times, or most of the time.

Inspiration and prophecy means to be aligned (whether unconsciously, but sometimes consciously) with creative manifestation. Cinsequently the human creativity is amplified astonishingly - by its harmony with that of God the primary creator. 


A modern folk ballad - A Shropshire Lad


This is sung by a favourite folk duo of the 1970s - John Kirkpatrick and Sue Harris; and Kirkpatrick accompanies on the Anglo-Concertina, an instrument of which he was the greatest master I have ever heard.

The poem was written by the then poet laureate John Betjeman (and the title references a very influential collection of poems by AE Houseman) - the music was written by Jim Parker.

The story is about Captain Webb - once famous as the first man to swim the English Channel; and the supposed return of his ghost to his birthplace - en route to Heaven.

The words and music are each excellent, and matched perfectly - and I particularly like the many local details, the names - very characteristic of Betjeman.

BTW if you don't already know Betjeman's work, you should; because it is full of delights. Most of it is verse, rather than poetry; quite a bit is humorous, satrical or nostalgic - but he was a real poet too, and this peeps through in some places and some poems - often quite suddently and suprisingly:


In A Bath Teashop by John Betjeman

"Let us not speak, for the love we bear one another
Let us hold hands and look."
She such a very ordinary little woman;
He such a thumping crook;
But both, for a moment, little lower than the angels
In the teashop's ingle-nook.

**

Of course, Betjeman himself was one of the greatest ever TV 'characters' - here is a taste from his blank verse autobiography, which I watched on its original broadcast. 

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Christians are Never commanded to love Everybody in the Fourth Gospel

The following are (in order of occurrence) the verses when love is mentioned in the Fourth Gospel (of 'John') - leaving out the times when the author describes himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved.

What can be seen - and what is very striking, I think, is that Jesus does not ever advocate everybody loving everybody else. He is always talking in specific terms, mostly about the love of and for the Father and Jesus himself; or specifically of love for and among the disciples. I have noted this for  each verse in italics

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
God's love for the world

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Men's preference for darkness, evil

The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.
The Father's love of the Son

For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.
The Father's love of the Son

But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.
Lack of Men's love for God

Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
Lack of Men's love for Jesus

Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
The Father's love of the Son

Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.
Jesus's love of Lazarus

Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.
Jesus's love of Martha

Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!
Jesus's love of Lazarus

He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
Love as a metaphor for 'giving highest priority to'

For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.
Men's lack of love for God

Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.
Jesus's love of his disciples

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Disciples' love of each other

If ye love me, keep my commandments.
Disciples' love of Jesus

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
Men's love of Son and of Father

For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.
The Father's love of the disciples

I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
The Father's love of the disciples and of Jesus

So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
Simon Peter's love of Jesus

**

In conclusion - the Fourth Gospel has plenty about the need for love, the centrality of love - but this is always love in relation to 1. God the Father, 2. Jesus and 3. the disciples as a group, and specific followers of Jesus.

Whereas, in modern Christianity, the love that is talked about most - almost exclusively, ad nauseam - is the love of all Men for each other, indiscriminately.

Love of neighbour is indeed important in some of the other Gospels - as the second 'great' commandment. Much hinges on what is implied by 'neighbour' - from the Fourth Gospel, assuming these are valid; it is likely that neighbour here has some specific meaning... 

But our eye witness source, the author of the Fourth Gospel, the disciple who Jesus especially loved, does not mention this At All; and certainly he did Not make universal, indiscriminate love between people into the single and sufficient definition of being a follower of Jesus - which is the common and false understanding of 'Christianity'.

What does free will Look Like?

Free will looks like A Body - your body or my body.

(Maybe other kinds, forms, of body too? But this kind, at least).

Free will (or agency - better word) is an immaterial thing; it is a property of some-thing which is not a solid thing; yet a solid thing is the... expression of it.

If reality had nothing solid, if free will was dispersed across everything, equally present everywhere - then one agency could not be distinguished from another agency; it would all be a single universal entity.

Free will of a person means that person must be separated, must be focused; yet the agent is not a material thing (it is not a part of the brain, for example). And the agent thing was present before mortal life, and it will continue after death (although not to the same degree, necessarily)...

Yet in some way it is linked with the body, and a resurrected body is needed after death for it to be divinely effectual (in the way needed).

I assume that the separation of agent during pre-mortal, un-bodied life, is only partial; and when free will is potentially complete, a body is a necessary part of this kind of functionality.

Anyway, it seems that free will is not a product of and kind of solid body; but a solid body is needed for true, full, divine agency.


Thursday, 24 May 2018

Bread of Heaven etc: Jesus requires Two things of us (with a third as background assumption)

The Fourth Gospel ('of 'John') mostly works by having fairly extended sections in which an important point is made by multiple uses of paired words/ concepts (indeed, Gospel as a whole, excluding the last Chapter - works this way). An example is the discussion following 'the feeding of the five thousand'. (I cite the relevant Bible passage at the end.)

What I wish to draw-out here, is that Jesus says, in different ways, that two things are required of those who are to attain everlasting life: I have termed these believing-in and believing-on Jesus; by which I mean approximately that we first need to recognise Jesus as who-he-is (the Son of God, sent by the Father, doing the Father's will) and secondly that we need to trust and have faith in him to lead us to everlasting life.

What this means is expressed in the various pairings of this passage; and in relation to bread/ food/ flesh/ blood and hunger; as contrasted with drink/ blood and thirst. It really is quite hard to explain more clearly or accurately than in the actual Gospel! - but you can see that there is a pattern of some-thing, and Also some other thing. 

Then, there is the other matter (mentioned elsewhere in the Gospel several other times) that "No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him" and again "no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father".

My understanding of this, is that Men are divided into those who are for creation, and those against it; those who regard God as Good, and those who do not; God's party and the devil's party; those who acknowledge God as their Father, and those who have chosen Satan.

Unless a man already be of Jesus's Father's party, and regard God as Good, and wishes to be of-creation - then Jesus is irrelevant: that is the necessary background assumption to Jesus's gift.

So three things: 1. Believe in the goodness and desirability of the Father and of Creation; 2. Believe that Jesus the Son sent by The Father; 3. Belief/ Faith/ Trust in Jesus to lead us to everlasting life (Heaven).


John 6:26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. 27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. 28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. 30 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? 31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. 32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. 34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. 35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. 36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. 37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. 41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. 42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven? 43 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves. 44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. 46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. 47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. 48 I am that bread of life. 49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. 52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. 59 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum. 60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? 61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? 62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? 63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. 64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. 65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.


Lazarus was resurrected (not just brought back to life)

This seems plainly stated in the Fourth Gospel, here:

John 11:17-27 Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already. Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off: And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house. Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

Well, that seems conclusive to me; but the mainstream view is that Lazarus cannot have been resurrected because Jesus was the first to be resurrected - therefore this passage must be explained-away; and it is.

When we regard Lazarus as having been resurrected, it does change a great deal of the 'standard' understanding of what Jesus did, and how he did it. It seems that being resurrected 'at the last day' was already expected among Jesus' followers, and was not an achievement of Jesus.

What new thing Jesus brought was not resurrection; but the quality of that resurrected life; which is probably the main subject of the Fourth Gospel - in its many 'metaphors' (water, wine, bread, light etc) contrasting this mortal life with 'everlasting' life.

It was already expected that Men would be resurrected to dwell in Paradise (ie. a better after-life, but qualitatively similar to mortal life); and what Jesus newly-brought was resurrection into Heaven.


Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Reverse engineering the meaning and purpose of Life - general and specific

When we think about the purpose of Life, there is an element of 'reverse engineering' - by which we try to infer the function from its nature. This, in turn, involves a basic decision about whether this world is - on the whole - the way God wants it; or else a failure.

If we regard this world as the way God wants it; then I think we are forced to recognise that Life is essentially and for everybody about incarnation and death: that is, about being born in a body and dying, because these are the only things that everybody does.

Most humans throughout history have, indeed, done this only, and not much more - because most people have died in the womb, during or shortly after birth.

If the world is well-designed for divine purpose, then this brief life must be sufficient (in general) - for those people who experience such lives.


Beyond the general meaning/ purpose of incarnation and death? Well, each and every life is different - and often very different indeed.

Aside from the differences due to being born in different times and places, and to different parents (or without one or both parents); every life differs in smaller but important details to do with family, friends, people around us, jobs, children, events, health...

So; it seems that - in such a world as actually is - each individual life, if it is meaningful, must be uniquely tailored to the needs of each individual.


In sum, we have two levels of meaning and purpose in our lives; that which is general and universal; and that which is utterly our own.

The first we can know, the second we can also know - but, because there are seven billion current lives, and similarly vast numbers in the past - we can know the specifics, if at all, then very-probably only for our-own-selves.

What we cannot know is the specific personal meaning of Life for all other people, especially for people we don't know, have never met, and don't love (people we know about only via the mass media, or gossip).

So when we are asked the question of 'why' does such and such a specific-thing happen-to a specific-person, at a specific-time... some-body drawn as an example from the seven billion unique lives some-place... this is nearly-always an unanswerable question.

Obviously!


Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Why traditionalism has become impossible in an age of corrupted instinct

There are various lines of argument that point to the since fact: modern Man has corrupted instincts.

By this I mean that when modern Man does 'what comes naturally' he does not behave in an adaptive way. Adaptive means fitness enhancing; means increasing of reproductive success.

So modern Man, behaving 'naturally' is Not a 'healthy animal' but a sick one, a demented being, a crazy creature.


This is something new. There used-to-be a thing called the Natural Man, who had a natural morality - and upon-whom Christian morality could build; but this is no longer the case.

There are several materialist/ scientific reasons why this might be so; such as mutation accumulation, the multiple and combined toxicities (chemical, hormonal, electromagnetic...) of the industrial society, the evolutionary 'mismatch' between the society we evolved-in and the society we live-in, and the saturation propaganda for evil and unnatural behaviour from The System of bureaucracy and the Mass Media.

There are also spiritual reasons: the idea that we are meant to, divinely destined to, be attaining a higher form of spiritual consciousness; but are (en masse) refusing to do this; and are therefore unwitting victims of unconscious and distorted instincts.    


The corruption of instinct is the end of traditional forms of religion - of those many forms of religion based upon an authoritative church structure and the obedience of the adherents: the large-scale traditional forms of (for example) Eastern and Western Catholicism, Anglicanism, Calvinism and the Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist and other churches.

To varying but vital degrees - all of these depend upon a baseline of unconscious consensus about 'natural' Good and evil, beauty and ugliness, truth and dishonesty. This consensus has been destroyed along with the instincts that supported it.

And this corruption of instinct has happened soonest, most powerfully and more thoroughly among the church leaders; thereby accelerating and increasing the problem among the masses, the laity, the followers.

Thus, everyone is corrupt; but the corruption is made worse by the fact of its being worst among those with power, status and wealth. 


Nowadays, everything must be made explicit and fully conscious; including the assumptions which used to be taken-for-granted.

This has become most obvious in the area of sex and sexuality, where what used to be regarded as good, desirable, virtuous on the basis of common sense assumptions; are now subverted and inverted because the common sense is either become feeble or itself inverted.


We need to go as deep as our primary (metaphysical) assumptions, to know them; discern and decide - decide not not by common sense, nor by instinct - which is gut feeling; but by intuition which is the discernment of fully conscious, primary thinking of the real and divine self.

Indeed, before we can even attempt this, we each need to have decided that it is coherent and possible; that there is a part of ourself which is divine  and which can know - know directly and without mediation - the truth of things.

We must - that is - be able to distinguish between instinct - which is thing of the animal in us; and intuition, which is a thing of the divine in us.

Instinct cannot save us - but will, on the contrary, direct and drive us into damnation and death; but divine intuition can save us; and it is the only thing that can save us.

 

Magic - good and evil

There are two wrong attitudes to magic - currently prevalent. The obvious one is a fascination with magic, used as a means of personal (usually sexual, but sometimes power related) gratification. This was the version that corrupted (and consolidated the corruption of) Charles Williams as it has, and does, so many others who propagate it.

But it is also wrong to shun-as-evil all forms of magic, and reference to magic - which is the path adopted by too many Christians; who render their religion merely materialistic, legalistic - and who render the supernatural incomprehensible, arbitrary; a thing to be submitted-to and obeyed merely; and in practice a mask for worldly structures of totalitarian authority.

As nearly-always with Christianity; the path of goodness resembles a middle path found by discernment - or rather, it is in actuality the path of love. Love naturally refuses to be captured or  constrained by simple rules regarding means and methods.

The problem is with magic-rejectors is that Christianity is an objectively magical religion - with Jesus Christ known (by disciples and enemies alike) as a doer of all sorts of supernatural feats, including raising a dead man - which, to one who did not regard Jesus as the Son of God, is simple necromancy: the worst kind of black magic.

So, the only reasonable stance a Christian can have towards magic is to support good, and oppose evil, magic; and the Gospels tell us that the difference is in whether the supernatural serves God's will and destiny, or is done with the aid of, and ultimately in service to, demons.

So, it is a matter of motivation. And I mean real motivation - what a person's motivation really is; not what they tell other people, nor even what they tell-themselves - but what their motivation really is.

How can we know motivation? Well, on the one hand, we can't know another person's motivation for sure in any way that can compel agreement of others (there cannot be compelling, undeniable, evidence); although we may know it for ourselves with certainly - due to intuition.

On the other hand, we must judge the motivation of others, as best we can. Yet this judgement is - like all true discernments - a thing which cannot be done by the mere algorithmic application of a flow chart. We are back to intuition - the bottom line of all judgement.

Thus is life. Because motivation is the most important aspect of Life; the most important matters are ones that are least amenable to 'proof' and procedure.

And we should embrace the fact, not try to avoid the truth, and distort it, by arbitrary application of simplistic schemes.

Magic is real: some is Good, some is evil; and we need to/ must decide for ourselves which is which... Taking-into-account what seems to be relevant evidence and what we (intuitively) regard as authoritative opinion...

But in the end making an explicitly intuitive discernment.


Monday, 21 May 2018

Setting out on a (modern) Fellowship Quest...

Pigsy, Sandy, The (transformed) Horse, Tripitaka and Monkey from Journey to the West - en route to finding and bringing-home the sacred texts

I am often stirred by the idea of a 'fellowship quest' - a small group who go on a journey to find, discover, destroy something; for the good of all. A band of brothers against overwhelming odds - the sort of thing seen in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, of Lewis's That Hideous Strength - and which links back to medieval examples such as Malory's King Arthur and Wu Cheng'en's Journey to the West.

When I consider what might be our modern equivalent, I am initially faced by a via negativa of what it would Not be - rather than any clear idea of what it should be; because it does seem clear to me that the old style heroic quest has been made impossible (or rather useless) by modern materialism, and the modern tendency to reduce spirituality to psychology...

The kind of journey we need to embark upon is one where we don't go to any particular place, and are not accompanied by any physical persons; we seek something that can be known only by an inner and direct intuition - and which will save only those who grasp it for themselves - the most that the heroes can do is point at it, or at least point in the direction where other people might fruitfully start looking...

The companions are as likely to be drawn from the imagination as from the address book; and are more likely to communicate in meditative convictions as by words or writings or gestures...

Read the whole thing at Albion Awakening

A negative re-appraisal of the work and life of the Third Inkling, Charles Williams

Triggered by re-reading Grevel Lindop's biography...


Sunday, 20 May 2018

The Holy Ghost in the Fourth Gospel

Fourth Gospel 'John' 7:39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)...

14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you....

19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.

25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. 29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe...

15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: 27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning...

16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you...

20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.

**

Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Ghost to the disciples, seems to come with And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.

But on the other hand, Jesus has several times indicated that the Holy Ghost will not come until he is glorified, until he is ascended - that the Holy Ghost cannot come until then.  It seems to me that the Holy Ghost is Jesus's presence after the ascension: I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

Perhaps, then, Jesus breathing upon the disciples prepared them to receive the Holy Ghost, that is to receive his presence, after his ascension; in the well-known episode described in Acts that is celebrated today.


Lapwing, Plover and Curlew

We had a lovely walk on the North Pennines in Northumberland today - and out on top of the heather moorlands the birds were more obvious than ever before: mating season, I suppose.

Lapwings were doing stunt flying, chasing each other; and making all kinds of weird, electronic-sounding noises - as well as the occasional pee-wit; which gives them their other name.



A single Golden Plover was first identified by its plaintive, sweet single note; then seen running around with its head down - very wary of us.



Curlews are the emblem of the National Park, and they were doing their usual long glides and long warbling calls - but also swooping in circles. One was landing, circling and landing - very bold, and making quite a variety of strange sounds, and swooping close to give us a good view.



There were also skylarks, and gurgling grouse; many hundreds of Swaledale and Cheviot sheep and their lambs; warm weather, and lovely views out to distant horizons. A glorious day...



Saturday, 19 May 2018

Why was Jesus necessary, what did he do?

Christians need to be able to explain (mostly to themselves, but if possible to others) why Jesus was necessary - what Jesus did that God the Father could Not do.

Traditional explanations for this have never satisfied me - they seem incoherent, inadequate or orthogonal to the problem. So here is my attempt:


Jesus is what enables us to know - and to know 'as gods'.

Without Jesus, God and Reality are incomprehensible.

Now, it is a fact that some people either do not want to know about God, or else regard the desire to be intrinsically blasphemous - and Christianity Is Not For Them.


Christianity is for those who want to know God, for themselves, by direct personal experience...

Why? Why would or should people want to know God? What is the point?

Because Christianity is about us becoming fully Sons of God - that is, on a parity (not equality, not sameness - but of the same 'kind') with Jesus Christ.

To become Sons of Gods we must grow-up towards becoming 'a god' (because a Son of God is a god - small 'g' indicating the distinction from God who is The Father and Creator); and as part of becoming a god we must know in the same way as a god knows.

(We can't just follow instincts, we can't just obey - we must know, for our-selves.) 

Growing towards divinity is called theosis; but... not everybody wants theosis - and Christianity Is Not For Them.


What about our condition after death? In the first place, the Christian expects to be resurrected after death - to have an immortal body; but that is not an unique selling-point for Christianity.

For Christians there is more. When Jesus talked about Life Everlasting, he made clear that it was qualitatively better-than and different-from this earthly, mortal Life.

In the Fourth Gospel this difference is indicated in multiple comparisons relating to water, wine, bread, flesh/ body, blood and so on. For example, when Jesus explains to the Samaritan woman the difference between water from the well and the 'living water' he offers.

Thus, for Christians, after death they expect to be resurrected and for their state to be qualitatively greater than on earth; and to become gods.

Not everybody wants this - some people want oblivion after death (permanent sleep); others want a life just like this earthly life, but with more of the pleasurable and none of the miserable aspects (i.e. Paradise). Others want to become a spirit - freed from a body. Others want to remain as-children. Others want to rest forever, in bliss - others to be assimilated-into God (Nirvanah). And Christianity Is Not For Them. 


The point I feel I need to take seriously is that Jesus was an incision in reality; Jesus changed 'history'; changed The Universe forever - All things, everywhere, and for every-body after Jesus, are different from how they were before Jesus. He was a transformation.

We first need to understand this, and second to decide whether or not to 'join'.

Because Christianity is an opt-in religion. Unless you have actively-chosen to opt-in, you are Not 'in'.


(Of course this 'choosing' is not a mere matter of conscious psychology, like choosing a cake from a shop! Choosing is an alignment at the deepest level of objective reality. And this is something we need to recognise - that there such a things as real, objective, permanent reality - regardless of our state of mind or knowledge-of-it - and this is the level at which Christianity is operating.)


Friday, 18 May 2018

Why was Jesus The Word? The answer tells us the reason for his incarnation

"In the beginning was the Word" - we know that the word was Jesus, before he incarnated - but until just-now, I never understood why he was The Word (that is I never found the explanations adequate, nor did I comprehend what 'word' was here supposed to mean).


From reading Owen Barfield, I realise that to understand words we need to understand concepts; and that concepts change through history. The concept of The Word, as it is used in the King James Bible and the Fourth Gospel, needs to be understood by its usage. So, I did a word search for 'word' and read all the usages in the Fourth Gospel.

From that I realised something of the scope of the term, and that 'word' in the Fourth Gospel meant (in part) something more like knowledge - but an objective knowledge that was permanent.

And from my reading and brooding on Rudolf Steiner's Philosophy of Freedom (1894); I knew what kind of knowledge that needed to be.


The Fourth Gospel tells us that we need to acknowledge that Jesus was the Son of God, sent by the Father. Why did the Father need to send him? The answer is that Jesus was The Word, and he became The Word incarnate; that is, The Word in This World.

Until Jesus was incarnated, Man did not have direct access to The Word - but only by indirect communications; however, by incarnating Jesus gave Man access to The Word - directly, objectively, permanently; if Men recognised Jesus as the Son of God.

Jesus would not have been much use if he was 'a teacher' merely, because a teacher needs to be listened to, heard, understood... and even when correct the understanding may be forgotten or distorted.

What was/ is needed is direct and permanent knowing; and this entails that when two people know something, they must know it direct and unmediated, and it must be exactly the same thing that they know. They must know the true-concept, not merely a copy or version of it...

We might picture this (as a simplified model) in the form that knowledge is located in a realm we can all access, and when someone thinks an objective thought he 'borrows' a thought from this realm, while he is thinking it - after which it returns to the realm to be available for anybody else to think.

This model is merely meant to emphasise that objective knowledge cannot depend on communication, or copying. Objective implies it is shared, public, identical between individuals. It is also necessarily true - which is another meaning of objective.


So, why do we need to acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God?  Because he is the only source of direct knowledge; it was incarnated with him - he is the source from-which we may know directly.

It is knowing that Jesus is the Son of God that 'points us at' the source of direct knowledge. (Because Jesus is The Word, we know that The Word is real, we know its location, we know what to do to find it.)

If we do Not acknowledge that Jesus is The Word, then we will 'die in our sins'. This is not meant as a threat, but as a simple fact. Jesus brings us immortality by resurrection; but unless we know and follow Jesus, that resurrection will merely be of our-selves as we-are here-and-now; that is, 'in' our corruption and sins (mixed in with purity and love - the mixture will vary between people).

Our 'heaven' will then be our-selves in a place with similar people to our-selves. Qualitatively, this heaven will be the same kind of place as this earth - but eternally.

But what about Hell? Jesus brought Hell into the world - as many have noticed.

Well, when knowledge is understood as objective and permanent and dwelling-in the soul (this being an implied property of The Word, in the Fourth Gospel); this means that once a person has known Jesus, has known him as the Son of God, this is permanent.

To know Jesus is to be 'born again' as Jesus describes it to Nicodemus. It is permanently to be transformed. We cannot ever be the same as we were before, because (as I said) The Word is objective - it does not depend on memory or attention, it cannot be eroded by disease or death. We cannot un-know that which we know.


This may clarify: To believe 'in' Jesus is to know he is the Son of God; to believe 'on' Jesus is to love, trust and follow him.

Both believing-in and believing-on are choices, they cannot be compelled upon anyone but must be freely chosen. However they are knowledge, as well as choices; and objective knowledge is permanent and cannot be undone.

Furthermore, objective knowledge is public - and our belief in and on Jesus is itself objectively-knowable; it is not private - God knows what we each know.

(Men do not know what other men know, and can indeed lie to themselves about what they themselves know; but the knowledge is objective, permanent. We must learn to distinguish objective knowing from our 'current psychological states'.)

Hell is when somebody knows that Jesus is the Son of God; but does not love him, does not trust him, will not follow him.

More exactly, Hell is an active rejection of what Jesus offered - it is to know and hate Jesus, to regard his promises as lies, to regard his heaven as a Hell...

It is to know and invert the scale of Good and Evil established by the Father and endorsed by the Son. And thus to prefer a life in company with those who think likewise - which is Hell.


In sum; Jesus was The Word - which is approximately objective knowledge.

By being born Jesus brought objective knowledge into this world - and Jesus's primary teaching was simply to 'point at himself', and who he was; and invite us to love him and have faith in him, because he loved us and would die for us.

By bringing objective knowledge into this world, Jesus made it possible to become Sons of God, like himself - on a par with himself. Because such a Son of God must know - merely doing is insufficient. A 'god' must know the truth; and know it explicitly.


But The Word/ objective knowledge - while real and permanent in this world - is a possibility; it is not compelled nor is it coerced. The Word must first be recognised, then embraced - if it is fully to be believed and to be effectual.

The 'system' was established between Jesus and his disciples - in Chapters 13-17 of 'John's' Gospel we can see Jesus describing how this has worked. The disciples have first done what others can now do - they believed in and on Jesus.

From that point, and the coming fo the Holy Ghost; direct and objective knowledge has been available to all - as it never was before that moment; that is available to all if they want it, and when they choose to believe what they find.


But all this is conditional upon having the necessary concepts - the necessary metaophysical understandings and assumptions. Because the wrong ones will block the possibility of knowing.

Modern people absolutely-need to know that knowledge can be direct, objective and permanent - utterly independent of the contingencies of communication, perception, comprehension, brains, biology, age and illness... and indeed independent of death.


Note added: The purpose of a satisfactory explanation of Jesus's incarnation, death and resurrection needs to include both objective and voluntary aspects. There needs to be some understanding of how these events changed objective reality in a permanent fashion (regardless of human knowledge), and also an understanding of how human freedom interacts with that reality. 


Why does political correctness lie even when it doesn't need to lie?

This is one of those questions to which the answer has several levels, but goes deep.

In every single political correctness witch-hunt of scientists and scholars of which I have inside knowledge (and these are many, because of my interests in both evolution and intelligence), the media lies - lies grossly and qualitatively, deliberately misrepresents the nature of what was said or written.

Furthermore, as many have noticed, even the question of 'what happened' is removed from the table - I mean that what is true is not a part of the discourse, and is kept-out of the discourse.

It used to surprise me in the sense that even if it was known accurately and honestly what was true, and what was said would still offend the dictates of political correctness; such that there was no point in the victim defending himself because the truth of the situation was still unacceptable  - yet they lied.

At one level this is simply so that people will regard the victim as a 'abd person' and therefore guilty until proven Innocent (and innocence never can be proven when bad intent is assumed).

At another level, this is quite simply because political correctness, social justice warriors, Leftist activists - Are Evil. And Evil lies, always have, always will - reflexively, and under all circumstances. 

Because honesty is a homage to God; and lying is what evil does - even when 'unneccessary'; it is a gratuitous act, done from sheer evilness! It needs no reason - it is a habit, a Bad habit.

But it is by this habit, reflex, pervasiveness, gratuitousness we know evil.


 

Thursday, 17 May 2018

The brittle, hardness of traditional forms of Christianity

The traditional forms of Christianity - the main denominations or churches, are - it seems to me - extremely brittle. They are all or nothing, unreformable without starting a collapse leading-to destruction - they lead to, and seem to require, hardness among those who administer them.

Unfortunately, this characteristic brittle-hardness and imposition upon the individual is, I firmly believe, intrinsically and irreducibly anti-Christian.

So that, while we might say that overall and on average, many or most traditionalist churches have been - for significant periods, net-Christian (overall Christian, more than 50% Christian...); they have also had times, places and persons when they were certainly net-anti-Christian; because, whatever their practices, however 'correct' their behaviours; their motivations have been sinful.


This applies in different ways to Calvinist protestantism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Anglicanism... but the clearest example is the Roman Catholic Church.

Old style Roman Catholicism - as seen in Ireland or Spain up to the 1970s; or in parts of Britain with Irish communities such as Glasgow and Liverpool - was a sustainable religion; but it had plenty of oppressive and dead-ly aspects. Very 'school dinners'. It had strong elements of arbitrary authoritarianism, oppression, harshness...

The hope among some sincere and real Christians seems to have been that Roman Catholicism could be sweetened, warmed, made more fluid and organic... but the attempt to do this was instantly subverted into dilution, apostasy, and assimilation to secular leftist politics. So, in the late-1960s there was Vatican II implemented, the replacement of beautiful Latin with bureaucratic vernacular, an explosion of Marxism among religious orders, a release and facilitation of sexual abuse from among the radical priests; and overall less practice, less belief, less Christianity.

I feel that with the RCC it is all or nothing - to be viable it needs to be authoritarian, heavy-handed, and anti-individual; and any attempt to reform the undesirable aspects will just smash it.

This has also been the case for the other big Christian churches; although the decline has tended to be less immediately obvious than with Roman Catholics. The Church of England and international Anglican communion seems to have been unaware that it was held together mainly by the Book of Common Prayer and Authorised Version of the Bible. This was highly prescriptive, and the language was becoming less comprehensible... so from the 1920s it began incrementally destroying these unifying texts until nothing now holds the church together but its secular bureaucratic structure.

The big Nonconformist churches - such as Presbytarians, Methodists and Baptists - were known for their strict ethics, plain living, detachment from hazardous activities such as gambling, drinking, and mass media. The life was narrow and rather colourless and lacking in culture... but when the restrictions were eased, the nonconformist churches crumbled to dust; either disappearing or becoming de facto social clubs.


If this argument is true, which I believe it is (and Christian traditionalists agree that there is no such thing as reform, and that all pretended reforms are actually destruction); then it is a real problem if there is going to be no going back to the old practices. If, that is, there cannot be a return to any form of traditional religion of any kind; then Christianity is doomed...

This cannot might mean three things. 1. It might mean that, for various socio-political reasons, it is extremely improbable that the mainstream churches can, in practice, recover from their current shrunken and corrupted states... that there is just not enough to build-on; the baddies out-number and out-rank the goodies several-fold.

2. It might mean that we are now so deeply sinful that we have ceased even to want salvation, that we have come (en masse) actively to desire our own damnation and those of others; and we have entered the end times; and the world will move-into the state of general depravity that precedes the end of the earth and the second coming of Jesus.

Or, 3. which is my understanding, that 'cannot be a return' may be because God's destiny for mankind is linear and sequential, and the traditional era of a hard-brittle Christian religion is now left-behind us; and our only options are either to stay in the current phase of progressive collapse and corruption or else to move forward to some unprecedented form of Christianity - something real, devout, primary, central to life and living; and something that has never previously been seen on this earth.

To traditionalists, who identify Christianity with one or another Church, and for whom Christianity outwith that Church (or some Church) is an oxymoron (self-refuting nonsense) this is just a version of 2. - that we moderns are too sinful to want what we need.


My conviction is that - for many modern people in many modern situations - the Christian possibilities within a Church is worse than the possibilities outside. But more accurate is to say that churches are, or ought to be, secondary; most people cannot and should not depend on them primarily. When a Christianly-helpful church is available and possible, then support it; when not, get on with being a Christian on your own.

I think the best possibilities of a Christian future will depend on those who take responsibility for their own Christian faith. But the 'mechanism' by which this will take effect (if it does) will not be socio-political; but will instead be spiritual-mystical - and observable in terms of remarkable 'coincidences' and unforeseen 'luck' - due to God arranging things invisibly, in the background.

If we, each as an individual, really are pushing in the direction that divine destiny wishes us to proceed; then this is exactly what will happen. We can be sure of it.


William Arkle on Wiki

There is now a Wikipedia page for William Arkle, which I drafted and submitted - the process took two months! Here 'tis:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Arkle

It currently reads:

William Arkle (1924 – 2000) was an English painter, esoteric philosopher and composer. He was described by Colin Wilson as "among the half dozen most remarkable men I have ever met..."[1]

William Arkle was born and educated in Bristol. During World War II he served as an engineering officer in the Royal Navy. After the war he trained as a painter at the Royal West of England Academy. Arkle's recognition as an artist culminated in his work being the major exhibit at the first Mind Body Spirit Festival in 1977. In the same year Arkle was the subject of a BBC television documentary in the series Life Story [2]. His first book "A Geography of Consciousness" (1974) was focused on spiritual and philosophical themes [3]. A second book was published in 1977, "The Great Gift", which concentrated on his paintings and poetry [4]. Arkle composed music which was a precursor of the later ambient style. He collaborated with Robert John Godfrey and The Enid in providing artwork for their 1976 album In the Region of the Summer Stars. Godfrey later orchestrated three of Arkle's compositions for a 1986 album "The Music of William Arkle": this was re-released on CD in 2017.

References
[1] William Arkle (1974). A Geography of Consciousness. London: Neville Spearman.
[2] "Genome: Radio Times 1923-2009". Retrieved 13 March 2018.
[3] William Arkle (1974). A Geography of Consciousness. London: Neville Spearman.
[4] William Arkle (1977). The Great Gift : the paintings of William Arkle. London: Neville Spearman.