Thursday, 21 November 2019

Mother Louis of Yercaud

When Michael Lord and I lived in India between 1980 and 1985 we became friendly with a nun called Mother Louis. We met her at the local convent school where Michael, as the nearest thing to a local celebrity, had been asked to give out the prizes on sports day. Yercaud, the small town in South India where we lived, was 5,000 feet up in the hills and, because of its climate, regarded as a good place for private schools of which there were a couple in the district, modelled on their English equivalents. Mother Louis was Irish and had the rosiest cheeks I've ever seen. She also had the merriest laugh and the sweetest nature. I have to say that sometimes nuns can seem rather sour and have seemingly taken the veil because their marriage prospects are dim. Mother Louis was nothing like that. She would have made a wonderful wife and mother but she had chosen God and I think he had got a pretty good deal.

I'm writing this post because I thought of Mother Louis just recently, probably for the first time in years. So, as you do nowadays, I googled her name with Yercaud at the end of it. I didn't expect to come up with anything but I did. It turns out that she died only a few weeks ago in September at the age of 90. Here are some pictures of her taken off the Facebook page where this was announced.

Elsewhere she is described as a Galway Mother Teresa which is a bit over the top but she spent more than 60 years in India working with children and the local poor and was loved by everyone who came into contact with her. Michael and I used to go to her convent every so often for tea and cakes. I wasn't a Catholic but she was as kind to me as she was to everyone else and she struck me as someone who simply loved human beings with a deep genuine love because of her love for Jesus. She radiated goodness and a visit to her was a sort of cleansing experience in that you felt that some people really do manifest the truths of their religion in a way that cuts straight through theology or ideology or anything intellectual. 

This is completely unlike my other posts here except for one thing. My current understanding of spirituality is that it is fundamentally all about the reality of the person but a person can only really grow into their true self when they are aligned with Christ. Mother Louis was a living example of that.

Monday, 18 November 2019

Intellect and Intuition

This is a revamped version of a post from 6 years ago. I'd forgotten about it until I received an email reminding me of it and that made me think the subject was worth looking at again. Probably the major factor in our current state of spiritual arrested development is that we have failed to move on from an intellectual focus to an intuitive one. Intelligence is a good thing but if it is not supplemented by intuition it can be turn against itself and work destructively. We can see this all around us in the modern world. Highly intelligent people are often (not always) more likely to be atheists but that's because their mental development is lop-sided. In a properly ordered society they would be encouraged to develop intuition so they would not get lured into cul de sacs of abstraction and theory.   I'm not a great enthusiast for Madame Blavatsky but when she said that the (intellectual) mind is the slayer of the real, she was right.

Our world view today is formed by reason and the intellectual approach. Theoretically, at least. In actual fact emotional reactions, even among those who regard themselves as intellectuals, are far more prevalent than usually admitted. Prejudice and wishful thinking are rife but still reason is meant to be our guiding star in the sense that it is the highest we are prepared to acknowledge. Let us, therefore, assume that we do really live by reason in the 21st century.

Now, to live your life on a rational basis is certainly much better than to live it according to unthinking automatic reactions based on physical or emotional responses because it is more or less objective and takes many different factors into account. But reason is still very limited because it is a mental activity and the mind (as we currently experience it) is restricted in its field of operation to the material level, that is, the level of form. This means that reason, on its own, is a quite inadequate way of appraising reality in its totality. Unsupported, it is unable to see that there is anything beyond the material level, and, as a result, will often deny that there is. 

But there is a transcendent dimension to life and knowledge of that puts everything else in an entirely different perspective. We don’t normally experience this higher dimension (the adjective is correct since it is a dimension of greater insight and freedom) because we are so identified in this world with our material selves, but, if we allow ourselves to do so, we can sense it, and we also have it revealed to us through religion. The expression that revelation takes may not appeal to the modern mind, precisely with its focus on the rational, but an unbiased sensibility should be able to see that the truth is there behind the possibly out-moded presentation. The question is, how can we move beyond simple faith and access that truth ourselves? Not through reason which largely relies for its data on input from the senses so cannot see behind the appearance of a thing to the thing in itself. We must try some other way.

There are really only two ways. Experience is one. Those who have been fortunate enough to have had a spiritual experience find that it takes them beyond the view of the world as described by reason alone while in no way conflicting with what is sane or rational. The other way is through the intuition, taking care to differentiate that from gut instinct which is a non-conscious response to external stimuli. Intuition, on the other hand, is fully conscious. It is the light of God reflected in the human soul and it is that faculty in us that enables us to know by direct perception.

The person limited to reason will usually deny the existence of direct perception or else claim that what is called that just falls into the hunch or vague feeling category. Hence that it is purely subjective. However, the fact that such a person may be right about that in many cases does not invalidate the reality of true intuition. It simply means that in our current state of spiritual development (or spiritual ignorance) imitations of it abound, and the lower is regularly mistaken for the higher.

Reason is always dualistic. There is always the thinker and the thought, and the thinker thinks his thought. But the intuition is not like that. It comes into being seemingly independent of the person in whose consciousness it appears. It is not born of experience, either personal or collective, for it is not the product of the past but arises spontaneously out of the living present, the ever-existing moment. It links the individual to the universal and the source of all things. It is objective, whole and, most of all, illuminating. Reason seeks to dispel darkness bit by bit and never succeeds totally but the intuition lights up the mind with complete clarity, revealing truth in its pristine purity. Furthermore, what we know through reason is always external to ourselves but with the intuition knowing is part of being for it comes from identification with what you truly are.

Once we accept the reality of the spiritual intuition we will naturally wish to know how to develop a proper response to it. It’s really quite simple. As implied above, intuition will open up to the degree you coordinate your being to the reality of the higher worlds; that is to say, to the extent you bring yourself into harmony with the intrinsic quality of those worlds. This requires a radical reassessment of your life’s purpose followed by realignment of all the levels of your being. Thus, it is not simply a question of believing in spiritual things and hoping for the best but of truly perceiving what is higher and of God and what is lower and of man, and then living according to the former. It is not a matter of passively sitting in meditation and waiting for insights to pop into your head nor does it involve ‘raising your consciousness’ (whatever that means). It is an active thing and it requires, first, purifying yourself of worldly desires and ambitions, and then doing exactly the same thing on the spiritual level. Many aspirants to the divine mysteries merely transfer the focus of their egotistical attention from one plane to another but it is still the ego seeking reward for itself and no spiritual benefit will come from that. I don’t wish to sound harsh here but the first requirement for any serious spiritual aspirant is honesty. If you aspire to truth you must start by being completely truthful with yourself. Anything less and you are simply wasting your time.

Just as we identify thought with the head and instinct with the gut so we can identify the seat of the intuition as the heart. The heart is the centre of our being. It is where we are joined to all creation and, symbolically speaking, where spirit is anchored in the body. The sun can also be regarded as a symbol for the spiritual intelligence with the moon, shining by reflected light, standing for the ordinary mind. Taking this analogy further, we can compare the darkness of night with our current state of spiritual unawareness, illumined only by a few pale shafts of light here and there, while the dawning of the day foreshadows the awakening of spiritual knowledge.

All seekers need to develop intuitive sensibility but this is not the work of a few months or even a few years and during that time they should bear in mind that, while we should learn to trust our intuition, we must also be careful to distinguish between that and wishful thinking. Those of us who have started the climb out of this world into the next need to be alert to the fact that, while we may be becoming more sensitive to spiritual truth, we are still limited by our mental attachments and our conditioning. We still have our desires, fears and prejudices, and our intuitive awareness will not be perfect until we have surmounted these. Always remember that the intuition is not personal. It will enable you to see the truth but, for as long as you are identified with your lower self, it comes to you filtered through the mind.

Reason is a God-given faculty which helps us to make sense of this world and shape it to our will. But it tells us nothing about ultimate things. It knows nothing about the world beyond this one and cannot reveal where we have come from or where we should be going.  A person limited to reason is spiritually blind and ontologically ignorant and will remain so until their inner eye starts to open. This is the eye of the Intuition, the organ of spiritual vision, and only when the mind is illumined by the light from that eye can it be said to have truly awakened.

Friday, 15 November 2019

Freud and Jung

I would say these two men did a great deal of harm to human beings in the 20th century. I believe neither of them are generally regarded with that much respect nowadays in the profession they more or less established but, nonetheless, many of their ideas have become absorbed into the general consciousness and continue to do their nefarious work.

If the sexual revolution of the 1960s can be laid at the door of any one man, it would be Freud. Although still not recognised as the destructive force it can be, because we are such materialists, we will one day be forced to recognise that if the sexual instinct is not ruled by a religious understanding then human beings will no longer be able to look up to the sky to see what lies beyond it, and civilisation will start unravelling. We will return to the mud. Freud gave spurious authority to that mud by presenting it as foundational to the reality of what we are. But we were formed of the dust of the earth and the breath of God.

The idea of an atheist pronouncing on the mysteries of the human mind is so absurd you would have thought that Freud's pretensions to knowledge on the subject would be seen as incoherent, but they had enough plausibility to convince a generation softened up by the retreat of religion in the face of materialistic science that he was onto something. It's the old story of a half-truth being worse than a lie. Perhaps the part of the mind he defined as the unconscious had been neglected by earlier generations but to give it such a prominent role in human psychology, and to build a theory of repression on top of it, only serves to encourage and release instincts which are meant to be superseded by first rational and then spiritual impulses. It is not a question of denying the past or the lower or the more primitive but of seeing it in the light of the higher. If it is the higher that is denied then the lower assumes much more importance than it should have. Freud did deny the higher and that fact undermines his whole system.

Jung supposedly reacted to that and tried to re-establish a spiritual sensibility. But did he really? Not in my view. What he did was reduce the spiritual to the psychological which means see the transcendent in the light of the immanent. He reduced God to Man. He might have corrected Freud's reductionism but he established his own which is almost more harmful in the sense that the corruption of the best is the worst. Jung employed pseudo-spiritual terminology and hijacked certain ancient spiritual techniques to bring the divine down to the level of the human mind where it becomes enclosed in our own limitations instead of breaking down those limitations and enabling us to rise above them which it can only do when it remains on its own plane. God is not the image of the Self. He is God.

Jung's big mistake opened the door to many spiritual forms in the late 20th century which sought to steal spirituality from God. They thought they could be more than religion but ended up being less. Both Freud and Jung were false prophets. Their influence was huge but it was only possible in a world that had lost touch with spiritual truth and needed a substitute to compensate for that. They are examples of materialism and the false spirituality that arises as a result of materialism, and although they are no longer regarded with the reverence of earlier decades the damage they did with their ideas has entered the mainstream and carries on undermining the truth.

Monday, 11 November 2019

The Gods of the Copybook Headings

I'm not sure if we ever mentioned Rudyard Kipling on Albion Awakening but if we didn't let me rectify that now because he certainly belongs there. Puck of Pooks Hill is all about Albion, and even The Jungle Book and Kim have a taste of it, especially the latter, despite being set in India. Here, though, I want to look at his poem 'The Gods of the Copybook Headings' which, in a certain manner, is all about the times we live in. Here it is.

AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.
We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.
We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.
With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.
When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "Stick to the Devil you know."
On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "The Wages of Sin is Death."
In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: "If you don't work you die."
Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.
As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wobbling back to the Fire;
And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

Who are these Gods? As far as I understand it, they represent common sense and native instinct as opposed to fanciful ideology and utopian theory. They are constantly neglected but they always return when the fancy stuff leads to disaster as it unfailingly does. As it is doing now. Clever, unwise people think they know better than the dunderheads of the past. They think human beings can be improved from without, that they can be coerced into goodness, but every experiment in this direction denies inbuilt reality, the reality that water is wet and fire burns, and instead of the promised Utopia we get a version of hell. 

Look at that line 'all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins'. Is that not where we are today? Then there is the Fuller Life which starts by loving your neighbour and ends by loving his wife until women had no more children and men lost reason and faith. That's liberalism in a nutshell. And note that it's not just faith that is lost. Reason goes too as it is doing in our day. When you cut yourself off from truth, you have nothing to anchor you in reality. You go mad. 

The poem was published 100 years ago this year. Already the direction was indicated but I don't suppose Kipling could have imagined where it would end up. But he knew the path it would take.

Copybooks were books in which you wrote down the same thing many times. This was partly to improve your handwriting but also to impress the lines, a maxim maybe or a rule, on your memory. Dismissed as parrot learning but it actually worked. Naturally, the virtue of the thing depends on what you are writing but, if it is a piece of sage advice, as it usually was, this is probably the best way to get it to stick in your mind and protect you against the fashionable raving of experimentalists who always believe they can improve the world but don't bother finding out first what the world actually is.

Beware the smooth-talking Gods of the Market Place. What they have to sell is spiritual poison.

Saturday, 9 November 2019

File under You Couldn't Make It Up

I have a Facebook account which I never look at but I thought I'd mention the publication of my new book there. When I'd written my message I glanced at the posts below where my 'friends' (hardly any of whom I actually know) had written various things to do with this and that. One of these was so incredible I have to share it here. It's a report from the magazine Psychology Today which is a popular psychology magazine apparently. This is what the report said.

"An interesting effect happens as people watch pornography. They become more egalitarian, and more supportive of men and women sharing roles and work, less accepting of gender-discrimination. They also become more accepting of sexual diversity and less stigmatizing towards homosexuality. They become less religious, and may even experience more crises of faith. (Pornography) leads to people changing their beliefs about sex and gender,...... and watching porn may in some cases lead to people being more accepting and less judgmental, both of themselves and others."

In other words, pornography corrupts the mind but to an already corrupted mind this corruption indicates a moral progression. The person who put this up made the comment that this showed how "Liberalism is literally rationalised sexual misbehaviour" which I thought summed it up well. The implication almost seems to be that watching pornography is a moral act. I'm not sure you can take inversion much further.

The modern world really needs to rediscover the idea of sin and not project that onto actions against political correctness. Otherwise it is lost.

Wednesday, 6 November 2019

The Spiritual Crisis of Modern Man

This is the title of a new book I have just published. It's actually not so much a new book as a collection of slightly edited essays from this blog plus one or two original pieces, all arranged into 12 sections that relate to the title.

The promotional blurb reads as follows:

"The world today is in crisis. We all recognise this but see it as political or environmental or social or economic or something along those lines. In other words, something material using that word to include the intellectual realm of ideas and ideologies. It is none of those or, if it incorporates them, they are symptomatic of something deeper and more serious. The crisis is spiritual. It is the result of wrong decisions collectively taken over several hundred years, each one of which builds on and worsens the last. 

Consisting of over 100 essays arranged thematically, and ranging in subject from God to modern times, this book examines the crisis, looking at its cause, contemporary manifestations and means of resolution. 

Our future is poised in the balance and each individual has a part to play in determining what that future might be. The Spiritual Crisis of Modern Man will help you make the right choices."

Well, I did say promotional blurb!

A link to the book on amazon UK is here.

to the Kindle version here

to the book on here

and to the Kindle on here

At the moment you can only look inside the Kindle versions which went up first but I hope that will be changed soon.

I've only just realised that the title echoes René Guénon's classic The Crisis of the Modern World. That was not intentional but it shows that the crisis has not gone away. In fact, I would say it's got worse.

Monday, 4 November 2019

The Left and the Good

If you were to tell an ordinary person that leftism is evil (not that I go around saying this), most would look at you as though you were mad. The standard modern view of both self-identified left and so-called right is that liberal values, which are those of the left, are enlightened values. Even most spiritual but not religious people would think like this. But they're wrong and here's why.

What leftism does is transfer the idea of the good from the spiritual realm to the material plane. That is what actually defines it. This means that the good, insofar as it concerns humanity, now relates almost completely to the body and the emotions, with what pleases me and gives me happiness being seen as good as long as it doesn't interfere with someone else's body or emotions. Correspondingly, evil is what causes suffering on a bodily or emotional level. This makes God, if he exists, either evil himself or uncaring. This spiritual sleight of hand is only accomplished by totally ignoring the higher world or, if it is accepted, it is seen only in the light of this one. The consequence of that is that the transcendental values of the Good, the Beautiful and the True are denied, with the vision of the absolute dismissed so that everything becomes relative and this worldly. In this way leftism denies the real good and replaces it with a false one. What denies good is evil.

The modern world has no understanding of good and evil. But since good and evil exist it must necessarily project the fact of these realities onto something else. So, it thinks it knows good and evil but it assigns their being in the wrong place and not infrequently actually inverts them. This all comes down to a false understanding of what man is. If man is identified as a material being then good is what benefits him in that aspect. However, if he is identified as a spiritual being, a soul, then the situation is very different. Good is what advances him as a spiritual being with evil what hinders or prevents that advance. Treating him as a material being and taking steps to encourage and support that identification would certainly hinder the spiritual side of things. This makes it evil.

To know real good, you must acknowledge God. If you have no understanding of an absolute good, something real in which good is focused, then any concept of good is purely relative which means it is an arbitrary thing with no substance. We no longer know good because we don't acknowledge God, and, not knowing good, we don't know evil which means we are easily vulnerable to it.

Over many decades the left has been used to deny reality. As Bruce Charlton pointed out in a post today (see here), it has consistently set about labelling most of humanity's natural intuitions about life as bad because in some way they exclude though everything excludes on some level. If it didn't there would be nothing. Exclusion is the very nature of form. This, it must be stressed, is not just an honest mistake. It is a quite deliberate attempt to mislead and corrupt. If not on the part of the ordinary man or woman then very definitely on a supernatural level which is the level from where the whole thing is organised. And even the ordinary person is not blameless for if their heart was in the right place and their mind correctly ordered they would not go along with the distortion of truth.

Leftism is the attempt by forces antithetical to God to turn human beings away from spiritual truth towards atheism and materialism. It has been extraordinarily successful. There is no longer any point in being polite about this or looking for excuses. The situation has gone too far and seeks to go further with every year that goes by. The left is demonic and if you don't see that you need to start waking up.