Saturday, 14 December 2019

The Demon of the Left

The only bishop in the Church of England with a public profile I know of who is actually a real Christian and fights for the truth of Christ is Gavin Ashenden. Just after the election I looked at his Twitter account where he had posted a couple of videos concerning reactions by the left to their defeat. The account is here and the videos are on 13th December, one beginning "This reminds me of a psychotic episode" and the other " The Left at work, celebrating their rejection of hate". 

Now, I didn't vote for reasons I have given in earlier posts but the result was clearly the best one possible. Seeing these reactions confirmed something I have known for a long while but rarely seen displayed so openly. The left is quite literally demonic. That is to say, there is a demon that animates their whole anti-God and nature ideology and feeds it with hatred and resentment, and those inclined to these negative states are susceptible to the influence of this demon and sometimes possessed by it. That is why great swathes of the English working classes abandoned Labour in this election and voted, quite possibly praying to their forefathers for forgiveness, for Boris Johnson. Their left was not demonic even if, as I would maintain, the seeds were there. But generally it was a party that fought for the working man. Fair enough. But the modern left has ignored, worse it's rejected, these people and looked for new groups through which it can push its agenda of spiritual destruction.  The modern left is demonic, witness its reaction to those who oppose it both in America and here, When they don't get their way they go slightly mad, a sure sign of possession. When the right lose they go away to lick their wounds but when the left lose they also lose their reason. The mask slips and the hatred is naked as it is in these two videos. 

Just after I'd written this I went back to the account to check the link worked and the bishop had posted a third video beginning "I advise not viewing this overflowing etc". It's possibly the worst of all, considering it's coming from a young girl who hopes to be a doctor. The chief emotion it stirs is pity that a person can debase herself to this degree. Hopefully in later life she will look back at this and shudder in embarrassment.

Thursday, 12 December 2019

Right and Left

Sometimes I amuse myself by trying to reduce the difference between right and left to just one basic thing. That's because I believe that what ultimately lies behind these two attitudes reflects a duality in reality that goes beyond mere politics. Manifested reality is built on complementary opposites and the interaction between them. Otherwise it could not be. If everything was one then nothing, no thing, could ever arise. There needs to be this duality in reality in order for creation to take place. This is why we speak of spirit and matter and why there is subject and object.

What is this fundamental difference? It can be equated to that between justice and mercy or hierarchy and oneness or quality and quantity or liberty and constraint or the individual and the group etc, etc. All these things reflect something of the essential divide between right and left, and you can see that when we put the question in these terms they both have something real as a foundation. I am not saying they are equally valid in this world but they are both built on something real even if they are at several removes from the thing itself.  They can be said to have a metaphysical foundation of sorts, however crooked the building on top of that might be.

There is another difference, though, which in modern times has come to the fore and this division is not a product of any existent thing in reality. This division is between truth and a lie. 

The difference between right and left now (with the proviso that much called right today is just a milder form of left) is between belief in objective truth and belief in truth that can be made into what you want it to be.

If you have one person who thinks that things have their own reality independent of anything we might believe or want, and another who thinks that we can make things into what we want them to be (which means they have no independent reality), there can be no meeting between the two. As each side takes its beliefs to their logical conclusions they will get further and further apart, and glib appeals to sit down and talk and find some kind of unity become meaningless. This is the situation we are in today and the matter is serious because if it continues it could lead to war. 

Is there any means of providing some kind of rapprochement between these two sides? In a world based on materialism, the answer must be no. They can never meet because they position themselves in exact opposition to each other. The only possible way to transcend their differences is to move to a spiritual level where all things can be reconciled but this would not affect each side equally. The spiritual position asserts that there is an objective reality so the right is correct and the left is wrong. However, the leftist desire to remake reality according to its own desires can be satisfied to an extent by recognising that in God all questions are answered and all suffering is removed. Problems associated with unfairness and inequality are resolved as each soul who turns to God is rewarded according to its measure and none is short-changed because of an excess to another. The promised land of milk and honey where everything is as it should ideally be does exist but it only exists on a spiritual level and in spiritual terms. It can never be brought about in the material world except as a consequence of spiritual seeing.

If right and left are ever to find common ground, something that looks increasingly unlikely, they must raise their eyes from earth to heaven. The nature of this world is such that there can be no answer to the problems of life in terms of this world being its own cause or reward or truth. The two facets of created reality can only be united and reconciled on the spiritual level. 

Today is a General Election in the UK. I don't vote. Firstly because all parties are actively anti-spiritual and, though I don't say they're all as bad as each other (socialism, for instance, denies the individual and human freedom which is the whole point of creation), they're all bad now. But, secondly, I don't vote because I think universal franchise is insane. How can you decide how a country should be governed by a majority vote? You may as well just toss a coin. Voting is simply a way to make people think they have some influence in a system which is largely rigged anyway but even if it were all above board it would still be an absurd way to go about things. Universal suffrage is based on the idea of equality with everyone equally entitled to have an opinion on any particular issue but human beings are not equal. They never have been and never will be. They have equal potential as souls but how that potential is developed or manifested varies enormously. I would go so far as to say that equality is anti-religious in that it denies the order God has created. Naturally, this does not mean that all people should not be treated with justice.

The outcome of the election will make little real difference to the country. I don't say all outcomes are identical in impact because that is not the case but the solution to our current problems is not political. Continuing with the farce of modern democracy just puts off the day of reckoning. Truth is not determined by a majority opinion. That is why I will not be voting. 

Monday, 9 December 2019

A Walk Along the Downs

I used to live just outside Eastbourne on the Sussex coast and often walked along the downs between the town and Beachy Head, the notorious cliff favoured by would-be suicides because of the large sheer drop to the rocky beach below. But it is very beautiful and I chose it for the cover of my Meeting the Masters book. That stretch of coast with its white cliffs and soft downs with the open sea to one side is very evocative of Albion for me. There's something almost prehistoric about it.

I had cause to go to Eastbourne last week and, my business complete, thought I'd walk across the downs to Beachy Head as I used regularly to do 20 years before. I set off down the path that started where the parade along the beach front stopped. The weather was a little chilly and the sky cloudy but with a bit of sun peeping through now and then. Good walking weather. 

The path to the coast

After a few hundred yards I noticed I was being followed by several of what I like to think were ravens but which were probably crows. They were quite big though. The initial group were joined by more and more until there were over twenty. Some of them followed behind but others flew ahead and landed on the path just in front of me. Others kept to one side so I was almost surrounded by them. But they weren't menacing in any way. Nothing Hitchcockian about them. In fact, they actually seemed friendly and almost treating me as a guest on their territory. I had a sandwich with me and gave them a few crumbs of that which, of course, encouraged them.

The birds ahead of me

The birds behind me. They were nearer than it seems in the photos.

It was a strange and I have to say rather nice experience. The birds were almost like a little troop of friendly puppies, cawing away now and then but not excessively. I chatted to them, thanking them for their attention and asking them about their lives. They seemed to listen and I got some caws back.  I walked along and they kept pace with me by walking a bit themselves then flying a little and they kept this up all along the downs until we got to the hill which leads up to the top of Beachy Head. Then most of them peeled off and headed away on other business but 3 remained for a while and one stayed with me all the way to the top and even when I turned around to go back to the town which I did along the upper edge of the downs rather than by the coastal path which was the way I'd come.

Beachy Head lighthouse. A fuzzy photo because the wind on the exposed hill made my hands shake

I have to confess that I played a little game with myself during this walk with the ravens (oh all right, crows). Inspired by the Albion-like landscape of the downs and the sea which must have been just as it was thousands of years ago, I imagined myself as an ancient druid with his flock of familiars in the form of birds. Ridiculous, I know, but the fact is this little experience did summon up some primeval feelings of being in tune with the natural world before the material dimension started to close in on us and we commenced our journey to full separation of the outer world and inner consciousness. 

But deep down I know it was probably all to do with the sandwich in my pocket.

Friday, 6 December 2019

Evil is Not Good

I regard it as a major error to see evil as a tool wielded by God to bring about greater understanding and development. This is a fairly common trope, whether as a Christian heresy, a variation on Eastern monism or an example of the sort of Western occultism that seeks to present itself as more 'advanced' than religion for the unenlightened masses. But it is wrong.

Roughly speaking, the theory goes that without darkness you could not know light so certain angels act on behalf of God as forces of darkness and contraction. They do what we, in our short-sightedness, call evil but they are working for the spread of good. Lucifer, of course, means Light Bearer and, according to this idea, that is what he still is. He is the force that brings about individuality and breaks down spiritual inertia so that new growth may arise. He is sometimes even thought of as Christ's dark twin, the two working in tandem to bring about spiritual evolution as the One splits into the Many before recombining as the One.

I think this is pernicious nonsense. Tolkien (as usual) had it right. In his creation myth, the One God teaches the archangels who are the children of his thought to sing creation into being which they proceed to do along the harmonious guidelines laid down by God. But they have a certain amount of freedom too and one archangel brings in discordant elements, the product of his incipient egotism. Several times God corrects this by introducing new themes that balance it out but it seems that the end product, Earth, is still somewhat corrupted. Evil has come through the pride of the rebellious archangel and though God can use that evil to bring about some new good, the evil is certainly not the source of the good or the necessary means for it. It's more a matter of making a virtue out of necessity. Evil here is not a form of good but a perversion of it.

It is important to see this correctly or you can fall into the trap of justifying evil and not standing against it as the enemy of good rather than its accomplice. And that means you will become an apologist for evil or even an enabler of it. This is the philosophy of people who eschew divine simplicity in favour of over-elaborate cosmologies that appeal to the intellect. It can be dispelled by a proper understanding of Christ who leaves us in doubt that evil is not good. It is evil.

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

The Soul's Choice

My last post talked about the soul or spiritual self and its earthly representative which is us as we feel ourselves to be down here in the world. A question I thought of at the time, and even wrote a partial response to but didn't publish, was what happens to the soul if the earthly self rejects God. Bruce Charlton's recent post (see here) asking where evil comes from and setting out his vision of the whole spiritual process has brought that question back into focus for me.

The soul may be defined as our spiritual self but that is in relation to the earthly, phenomenal self. The soul is not perfect or, at least, not brought to full perfection. As Bruce points out, it lacks agency and this is why it needs to experience life in the material world, the world that is perceived as separate from God. If the soul through its earthly persona turns to God, at a time when it knows separation from God, that demonstrates that its inner compass is true. It has a choice which it does not have on its own level and it has chosen well. Its choice is in harmony with life. But if the soul, again through its earthly persona, does not turn to God that demonstrates it has chosen evil (evil being defined as non-God) as opposed to good. Its inner orientation has been shown to be false, basically pointing to itself as prior rather than God. This cannot be demonstrated on its own level where there is no choice. It is only when the soul descends to a world of good and evil that its essential nature can be brought out through revealing how it reacts to the choice of God or no God. Both possibilities are given to it in this world. The fact of God should be clear to the unclouded mind but we are given grounds for plausible deniability. If you don't want to believe, you don't have to.

The soul may be spiritual but it is not, in Christian parlance, resurrected. I would make the distinction in this context between spiritual and divine with the one conceived merely as non-material while the other is fully and consciously aligned with God. If the soul through its worldly self choses God then that soul is saved and will eventually, when fully purified of all residual sin, be resurrected. It will ascend to heaven. It is not currently in heaven but in a spiritual zone between earth and heaven. This is a zone of peace and goodness but one in which God is felt rather than known. There is bliss and love but these are largely passive in contradistinction to the creative freedom and active love of the heavenly world. In terms of luminescence you might envisage it as a place of moonlight rather than radiant sunlight.

On the other hand, if the soul through its earthly self rejects God then that soul will, in terms of spiritual consciousness, fall instead of rise and it will find itself in a world that reflects its internal state. Hell as an environment is the reflection of the inner consciousness of the individual soul who goes there. A darkened mind will find itself in a corresponding locale.

To ascend to heaven the soul needs to fill itself with light. This light must come from Christ. Within each soul there is an image of Christ but this image can only become spiritually alive when, like a candle lit by a flame, it is lit by Christ himself and that can only happen when the soul in this world opens itself up to Christ. But this must be the true Christ not some mind-created sentimentalised facsimile of him and that means that the individual human mind must be responding to the true soul image which it can only do by going beyond itself to the spiritual reality within.

Sunday, 1 December 2019

The Higher Self

Seen in its own light this world has never seemed completely real to me and nor have I, as I am, seemed completely real to myself. Now, I definitely don't mean that it is all an illusion. That is not the case. But I would say that both the world and I (and you, of course) are but the outermost parts of something much more substantial. The illusion is to identify this world with the whole world and yourself solely with your outer parts meaning mind as well as body. For instance, I don't think the person called William Wildblood is my whole self. He is real enough but he only represents a limited aspect of the true self. He is the expressed part on Earth of something more fundamental. A few people identify themselves largely with their bodies, many more identify themselves with their minds, their thoughts, desires and so on. But the true self is a spiritual being of which the earthly self is but a projected part, something like a multidimensional thing squeezed into a three-dimensional pot. It is the phenomenal representative of a spiritual being.

Even most people who call themselves spiritual identify themselves with their material selves and worldly personality. They seek to make that better. But this approach can lead to a kind of materialistic spirituality in which the earthly ego is regarded as the one to be saved when in fact it is the earthly ego and its goals and desires that must be put in their place before anyone can be born again in the spirit.

The higher self is our real spiritual being, the central sun, which, as it were, sends down a ray of itself to the physical world in order to gain the experience of life in matter which it needs in order to grow.  As the old adage has it, it is separation that leads to completion. You need to break up unity in order to become aware of unity. This earthly representative of the soul in matter consists of mental, emotional and physical parts but with connections to higher levels, principally through the conscience and the imagination, that can be opened up and developed with proper practice and right motivation.

It is probable that the soul on its own level cannot grow or cannot grow in as comprehensive a way as it can in the physical world where it is largely on its own so obliged to develop its mental side and also become a full individual therefore more independent and freer. So we need to leave the spiritual security of the soul to become fully conscious of it and to develop its creative powers. This we do through the earthly personality but that it is more the vessel for our endeavours. It should not be the main focus for them. At the same time, to regard the earthly personality as spiritually irrelevant and as something to be left behind is also wrong. The idea is to combine the two. They are both part of our whole self. Nevertheless it is the soul or higher self that is the centre of our true being. That is the core of our identity.

When the Masters told me that "the greater part of you remains with us" they were referring to the soul. Note that they call it the greater part. They do not call it the real part or the true part. The earthly personality is part of what we are but it is not the whole of what we are.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Why Did the New Age Movement Fail?

Because it did fail.

Whether the revival of interest in mysticism, esotericism and the occult that fell under the umbrella term of the New Age, roughly lasting from the 1960s to the end of the millennium, was something that was divinely inspired which went awry because of a failure to live up to its ideals or whether it was just a response to natural cycles or maybe an attempt by dark powers to divert spiritual aspiration into psychic channels, one would have to say it was not a resounding success in terms of fostering real spirituality. For some people it might have been an inspiration to higher things but only if they went beyond it as it was in itself, using it as a springboard to greater understanding and leaving it behind like milk to meat in St Paul's analogy. But there is no doubt that, in itself and its attitude to the spiritual world, it was shallow and self-indulgent.

The New Age was born from two things. The descent of religion into dull conventionalism and outer observance and the increasing desire of a substantial minority to experience something of the reality that was thought to be behind the original religious impulse. I have no doubt that the widespread consumption of psychedelic drugs fed into the process too. The whole thing was given a boost by the increasing availability of spiritual books written from the perspective of a variety of traditions and also the exposure to Eastern religion of large numbers of people. This had all happened before, coincidentally or not during the same decades at the end of the 19th century and then to a limited extent and only amongst the intelligentsia in the 1920s. But at the end of the 20th century it was more widespread and open to most sections of society.

The keyword of the New Age would be experience. People wanted spiritual experience. This is fine up to a point. Personal experience can give the subject greater individual insight into the structure of reality and confirm what religion only teaches about. But the important thing about experience is the experiencer. Why is he seeking experience and what does he do with it once it has passed? Does he seek to repeat it for the pleasure he gets from it (even if he calls that 'bliss') or does he use it to learn more about himself and the world? If the latter, what sort of things is he looking for? Knowledge, power, higher consciousness? This was the primary problem with the New Age. It attracted people to higher things who were motivated by their lower nature and it did not do enough to discourage that or instruct its adherents in the proper traditional ways of spiritual development, particularly when it came to the purification of the aforementioned lower nature.

People were in it for what they could get out of it. That is not a good approach to the spiritual path which should be based on the love of God.

The New Age emphasised immanence over transcendence. As a corrective to past over-emphasis on transcendence, this was good but it had a fatal flaw. The focus on human potential and subsequent demotion of God left it exposed to self-absorption and narcissism. It may have talked about transcending the ego but if it's the ego itself who is behind this then it's like trying to make yourself taller by standing on your head. There is also the problem that when you prioritise the immanent nature of divinity you fall into the ludicrous trap of believing that you make your own reality. There is no real objective truth to which you have to coordinate your being. Reality can be what you want it to be. This was another widespread illusion associated with New Age thought.

This dismantling of the objective nature of reality was a major contributory factor for the strong correlation there is between the New Age and leftism with its Utopian idealism based on bending truth to ideology. It also partially explains why the New Age was so easily corrupted by the sexual revolution, not seeing any real conflict between sex and spirituality or even regarding the two as somehow interlinked so you can have such travesties as sacred sexuality with no recognition of the inherent absurdity of such a thing. That's because there is a relationship between sex and spirituality in that they involve the same energy but going in different directions. Either up to head and heart or down to the sexual centres. Just as water cannot run in two directions at the same time in the same river nor can the creative energy. This doesn't mean celibacy is required for spiritual aspirants but control and the submission of lust to love certainly is.

And there is one final fatal flaw in most New Age spirituality. The absence of Christ who is either ignored altogether or just reduced to a spiritual teacher, one among many, teaching higher consciousness like a guru. For us in the West (and maybe elsewhere but the New Age was a Western thing), genuine spiritual transformation, call it salvation, is only possible through the Logos as incarnated, spiritually as well as physically, in Christ. There are other forms of spirituality but none that actually save the soul in the sense of redeeming it from this world which term I use to include the psychic dimensions that surround the physical realm just as much as the physical realm itself.

In many ways the New Age was a return to pre-Christian forms of religion but there is a big problem with that. These forms, call them paganism, served a purpose in the time before Christ but Christ's advent changed everything. The necessary approach to spirituality changed which is why you cannot go back. Christ really did bring something different and new and better and all earlier religions were put in his shade. They had served their purpose but they now lacked something vital. The institutional shortcomings of the Christian religion are well-known but its essence remains as true as ever and there is nothing else that can substitute for it. And there is no substitute for Christ. The New Age ignored this which is the primary reason for its failure.