Sunday, 15 September 2019

Computers and Demons

 I'm venturing into a field I know very little about here but I have some observations to make about the computer revolution and where it might lead that I believe are not as far-fetched as you might think. 

Computers reduce quality to quantity. That is the basis of their operations and completely in line with the materialistic view of the world. They are also a form of magic insofar as magic is the power to effect change by unusual methods not normally open to us. Much of modern technology could be called that but computers are the most extreme example up to now. 

Magic, it is said, can be white or black but, to all intents and purposes, it is largely the province of the demonic since it is overcoming nature by the will, specifically the will to power. 

I think that the computer revolution has been driven by demons. It has certainly been captured by them but it was probably instigated by them too. 

I think this for several reasons. Computers are wholly materialistic in conception, function and operation but they imitate the spiritual. The effect of computers is spuriously spiritual in that they give theoretical access to all knowledge and have the capacity to simulate reality on a virtual level. Also, there is the ability of a network of computers to create a kind of global oneness even if this is external only and largely artificial. 

The use of computers separates human beings from their source and renders their thinking mechanical. Our minds tend to adopt the form of the technology we use and this is certainly the case with computers. 

Computers distract us from reality, leading us into a rabbit warren of illusion and fantasy and making us less able to discriminate between the real and the unreal. I could go on but really you either see this or you don't. The only question is do the positives, too obvious to mention, outweigh the negatives or vice versa. Given that the positives are obvious and the negatives more subtle that is not such an easy question to answer though I know what I think.

If the IT revolution is demonically inspired the question is why? The immediate answer might be to distract people from the spiritual and make them more susceptible to evil using that word in its broadest sense to mean anti-spiritual. Not just conventionally bad but wrong, that which separates us from truth. Computers are seductive and create a world of glamour and enchantment that allures us. They lead us away from nature into dreams and artificiality.

But is there more?  It seems to be the case that the demons cannot take physical form except under certain very particular circumstances and for brief periods. UFO phenomena indicates that and stories from tradition about other-worldly beings inhabiting a kind of borderland between this world and the next say the same thing. Demons would probably like to incarnate directly on Earth because this would give them greater power over us. There might also be something about being in a body that they covet. Might the drive towards artificial intelligence, 
quantum computing and developing computers that are carbon-based actually be all about enabling demons to incarnate? CS Lewis explored ideas along these lines in his novel That Hideous Strength where the 'macrobes' sought to take a kind of embodiment through the severed head of an executed evil genius type.

Many people are aware of the problems associated with humanity's current addiction to IT. These are mostly to do with how it denatures us and reduces our ability to respond to the real world, never mind the spiritual world, properly. The increase in global surveillance is also a concern. But what if the true purpose of the computer revolution, the end game so to speak, was to enable the incarnation of demons in this world? Is this a possibility we should start taking seriously?

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Why Did Frodo Fail?

Apparently many readers of The Lord of the Rings are disappointed when Frodo, having struggled heroically to reach Mount Doom in the wastelands of Mordor, fails at the last and claims the ring for himself, refusing to destroy it. Since I first read the book 50 years ago I can't remember my reaction but I suspect I may have shared in the disappointment. I certainly understand it.  It's not what you expect to happen to a hero.

But this shows Tolkien's genius and ability to go more deeply into the reality of the human soul than many other more vaunted writers. More vaunted by academia anyway. Because, from a Christian perspective, it is absolutely the right thing to happen. For the Christian cannot claim complete goodness, still less holiness, for himself. All goodness comes from God and all we can do is turn ourselves, heart, mind and soul, over to God, letting him work through us. This we do by cleansing ourselves of sin, pride, anger and all the rest. Then God acts.

The point is we cannot become spiritual by our own efforts. Ultimately, we must rely on grace. Our own efforts are essential to bring us to the point where grace may operate, see Frodo's long and arduous trek to Mordor during the course of which he has to sacrifice nearly everything. But the final transformation of an earthly being into a real spiritual one depends on the grace of God.

Frodo did all that any mortal being could have done and it required an exceptionally high rate of personal purity and integrity even to do that. Nonetheless his personal qualities were not sufficient to accomplish an act the achievement of which went beyond mortal power. This is why Providence had to intervene at the last. But Providence was only able to intervene because of the mercy and compassion that Frodo had shown before to Gollum, and because of Frodo's personal heroism and sacrifice God was able to turn evil (Gollum in his fallen state) into good where good itself or human good was not able to finish the task.

Christianity has been criticised, most famously by Nietzsche, because it seems to favour the weak over the strong, supposedly leading in our day to the celebration of the perceived victim as the purest and most lacking in sin of any human being. The last will be first and all that. But actually Christianity does not favour the weak at all. Christianity has no time for weakness. It favours the strong. But it favours the spiritually strong not those who may be rich and powerful but who are steeped in sin and worldliness. Those people are the true weak when viewed correctly. Frodo may have been one of the little ones in the eyes of the world but seen with the eye of spirit he was a giant. Christianity has compassion for the weak and suffering but those who are highest in its estimation are the strong in spirit who fight and sacrifice and endure. There's nothing weak about these people. They are a vital bulwark against the evil that would otherwise overrun the world as it nearly did in Tolkien's story.

Frodo failed in one sense because he was unable to see his task through to the end by himself. But he succeeded in a greater sense because he brought his mission to the point at which the desired result could be effected. Tolkien's depiction of this spiritual struggle (which is obviously what it was) is all the subtler for showing us failure. "I can of myself do nothing". This is the lesson we must all eventually learn.

Saturday, 7 September 2019

The End of a World

Whenever we feel inclined to lament the deplorable spiritual state of the world we should remember one thing. Not only was this time predicted by many of the world's religions, most particularly Christianity with its doctrine of the Latter Days and Hinduism with its prophecies of the Kali Yuga, but it is also an inevitable part of a world age. It is the final point in a cycle when all forms built up during the course of that cycle start to disintegrate prior to the establishment of a new dispensation. Everything is dredged up from history (witness the unprecedented access we have to the contents of the past now) but in a spiritually redundant form, meaning we have the things themselves but their creative potency is no more. The body is there but the soul has departed, a point to bear in mind for those who seek to revive ancient religions.

The concept of a world cycle is familiar from both Indian and Greek mythology with the former positing a descent from the Satya Yuga down through the Treta, Dwapara and Kali Yugas, and the latter a similar progression from Gold to Silver, Bronze and Iron Ages (not to be confused with the periods when those last two metals began to be in general use). This is regarded as a descent because in earlier times humanity lived in close contact with the spiritual realm but as time passes and one age moves into another, that contact becomes fainter, no longer direct so that religions spring up to compensate for its loss. The material world assumes great prominence, physical matter itself becomes denser, weightier, more impenetrable. But there are compensations and these are mostly to do with the development of mind and the sense of self which come about as the feeling of separation increases. Nevertheless, later ages are always envisaged in terms of a loss, of spiritual awareness, of proximity to truth and of virtue. Eventually mankind lives for itself and denies God who is seen as an illusion of the past.

Creation might be said to come about when the two basic forces of spirit and matter are actively expressed in a relationship of polarity. God speaks the Word which brings form to matter, making order out of chaos. We can see this process as subject or consciousness and object or material appearance and the relation between them. The ideal is to hold these in balance though with spirit as the dominating principle. But spirit needs matter to express itself and to grow through that self-expression. Can God grow? Can the infinite and eternal source of all being become more than it already is? In one sense, no for it is and 'is-ness' does not grow. But in another, yes, it can grow through its self-expression because God may be the infinite and eternal but when he creates he is expressing himself in form and so development and change become possible. God plus one human being or even one blade of grass is more than God alone even though God is the all. And God delights to reveal himself through creation.

In earlier ages humanity still breathes the air of its origins in spirit. But as time passes the veil descends and matter becomes more opaque until finally substance, the objective world, obscures the direct perception of essence, the subjective reality.  Consciousness is still there, of course, but it is contracted and regarded as the secondary principle, an outcome of material processes. And everything associated with matter assumes greater significance.  Believe it or not, this fact is behind such modern day phenomena as socialism, egalitarianism and feminism, matter being the feminine polarity of being and also that which reduces all things to the horizontal axis with spirit being the vertical hierarchical principle. It is the Logos that gives quality to existence while matter is the principle behind quantity.

When matter has reached its furthest extremity from spirit it is a sure sign that the cycle is nearing its conclusion. That time (can it be doubted?) is now. We cannot know how much further this process has to go but we are surely in a late phase given the complete loss of spiritual awareness. This has created a reaction of sorts but most of the time this reaction takes place within a materialistic framework, witness the many distortions of spirituality we see today.

It might be asked what the point of all this is, why do we have to lose our spiritual awareness and 'descend' into materialism? The answer has to do with the evolution of consciousness and the conversion of spiritual babies into fully aware spiritual adults. In earlier times we may have been immersed in the wholeness of life, one with our environment and not conscious of ourselves as separate individuals with the many complications that entails. But all this was passive. We were not free.  The hardening of the cosmos (figuratively speaking) enables the development of the self and gives the opportunity for the self to return to God but this time in full consciousness, as a positive act in freedom and love, two conditions that were unknown in earlier times. However, this is not a foregone conclusion and depends on the individual soul being able to rise above its environment and the degenerative cosmic influences that are responsible for the descent into materialism.

We are living at the end of our world. Not the end of planet earth but the conclusion of a great cycle of thousands of years. This is a time of testing but also of opportunity. Those, sometimes called a remnant, who remain faithful to spiritual truths will move onwards to greater things, a life "which God has prepared for those that love him". Those who fail to do this will experience the consequences of that decision. Not all seeds that are sown sprout.

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

The Marriage of Being and Becoming

There have long been two strands of thought in religion, and these appear within as well as between individual religions. Boiled down to their essence, they relate to a different understanding of the relation between spirit and matter. That is to say, between the uncreated plane of existence and creation. Should we deny or abandon or suppress or try to rise above the latter or do we somehow incorporate it into the former to make something new that neither has on its own ? Traditional Buddhism would generally take the first path, though later versions of the Mahayana tend more to the second. Christianity has both strands within it, often fighting for dominance, and they can be seen in the different approaches to marriage and celibacy in the priesthood. The attitude to sex can sum up the conflict between the two approaches because sex is the outer manifestation at its most obvious of what this debate is all about. Desire. Is desire good or evil? Is it something to overcome or is it the seed from which, when purged of its lower and selfish elements, love can arise?

All agree that identification with this world or any of the goods of this world is a profound spiritual error. We are called to locate our being in the spiritual world. There is no dispute among religious people about that even if the vast majority of people nowadays would not go along with it. However, here we are talking about serious people orientated to the spiritual life, those who know that this world is not our true home and the body and earthly mind are not the true centre of our real being. But if this world and all that pertains to it, which must include our very self when you come down to it, are regarded as obstacles to a proper perception of reality, are they obstacles that must simply be discarded or are they to be included in a more all-embracing vision that accepts everything (everything not the product of sin and illusion, that is, which are basically no things) but accepts them in a hierarchical vision of reality with the greater being seen as greater yet the lesser also having its own place, subsidiary but vital, in the whole?

I have been attracted to the former position at times. It seems more absolute, more final, more what everything should ultimately lead up to. Gain spiritual truth by cutting everything else away. Strip the veils from reality until you are left with nothing but pure being or even non-being as some might phrase it. And I suppose this might be possible. The state of complete rest in absolute oneness exists. But does it exist as a permanent destination or is it only a temporary experience which it is not possible for man to remain in?

I submit the latter is the case. Many people have experienced the state of absolute oneness but I don't think any remain in it. The history of gurus bears witness to that. These people may once have been touched by grace but they cannot remain on that exalted plane so they have to pretend if they are to preserve their authority, pretend to their disciples but also to themselves. The one possible exception to this is Ramana Maharishi but I wonder? Did he perhaps identify with an experience and then preserve that in his mind? I don't doubt he was one of the true spiritual giants of the 20th century but his is not a path for Western people to follow because it was not balanced. He effectively rejected matter for pure abidance in spirit and that is not the way to go if we are to fulfil God's purpose in creation.

Why did God create if the goal for human beings is to return to spiritual oneness as though our life in the world was a complete irrelevance that contributed nothing? First of all, let me say that any spiritual person needs to understand that this is a creation and there is a Creator. Many people do not acknowledge that but I am writing here for people who have already come to that conclusion, the only rational one really. So God created and, we are told, saw that it was good. Creation is good. It is not an illusion. Something that is good is real. It may not represent ultimate reality, it is a creation after all, but it is real and it is good. Then God created us and he did so as a couple, two of us, two separate souls who find their fulfilment in each other. This is traditional teaching but it is also universal experience despite all the things that can go wrong. Now, the question is when we return to God, as all serious religions teach we must, do we do so by stepping out of creation completely, and remember that would include our individual selves, or do we bring creation and its fruits with us? That is to say, do we integrate our material and spirituals selves, obviously with the latter as the ruler in a hierarchical pairing (because it is the more fundamental and the closer to God himself) or do we jettison the former like the part of a rocket that carries the fuel load as it leaves the Earth's atmosphere?

The answer is given by Christ. When he ascended into heaven he took his body with him. He was not just reabsorbed into God but the human part of his being was retained, completely translated into light perhaps but retained not rejected. This tells us, or it should, that the true spiritual path demands the integration of spirit and matter not the dismissal of matter as illusion or evil. This is the mystic marriage and it is a greater thing than the spiritual celibacy of the Buddhist. It is important to realise that in this marriage spirit must be the dominant partner, the spiritual path is all about bringing the material self under the dominance of the spiritual, but the goods of creation are incorporated into the highest heaven at the end of time, not rejected. Time really does add to eternity as does becoming to being, and what they add are beauty, goodness as an active principle and love.

Thursday, 29 August 2019

I'm A Spiritual Person

Doesn't it make your toes curl slightly to hear someone say this?  I read it in a magazine recently, as spoken by an actress, and wanted to reply, no, you're not. You just have a vague idea of how wonderful it would be if everything was love and bliss and peace and we were all nice to each other as though we lived in a yoga retreat on a tropical island. You think materialism is crude and competitive, and you disapprove of argument and violence. We should all love each other and the world would be a better place.

I exaggerate to make a point but you get my drift. To call yourself a spiritual person is intended to show that you care and are not greedy but someone who is concerned for others and the environment because everything is one.  You are a good person, someone who sees beyond the selfishness of ordinary mortals. But what is this so-called spirituality? Does it include the fear of God which is the beginning of wisdom or does it see that as an insult to love? Does your spirituality mean you recognise yourself to be a fallen soul in need of salvation or do you see the mere acceptance of the idea of the spiritual enough to make you a spiritual person?

It's not what you believe that makes you spiritual. In fact, the only really spiritual people are the saints and they would never call themselves spiritual. They know that they of themselves are nothing and any good in them comes from God. This is the opposite attitude to the modern "spiritual person" who is happy to dub him or herself thus simply because he or she believes in some kind of undefined spiritual something or other beyond this world. You might think I am being over-critical here but I am trying to expose the falseness of much modern-day spirituality which wants to have its worldly cake but with a spiritual icing on top. If you do not reject the world you are not a spiritual person, and if you really are a spiritual person you would not dream of describing yourself as such because what you are effectively doing is saying I don't need God, I can do it on my own. My spirituality comes from me. This is the opposite to the truth.

I'm sure a lot of this comes down to naivety and ignorance because we have virtually no proper spiritual education these days and the field is wide open to charlatans with books to sell. Nevertheless it is important to make clear that what the world needs now is not spirituality but proper spirituality which is spirituality grounded in a proper understanding of God. Unfocused spirituality can be exploited in just the same way good intentions can be. Remind me where they lead.

Sunday, 25 August 2019

What Is the Devil Most Seeking to Destroy?

I think it is the natural order of being. If this were still intact our spiritual loss would not be so grave and would be relatively easily recoverable. But once it is undermined, as now, anything goes. When we are separated from our own human nature and regard said separation as progress then we are indeed lost souls heading for destruction in one way or another.

The devil has sought to dismantle hierarchy which is the basis upon which the universe is built, the greater having its place in the scheme of things and the lesser having its own, maybe not equally important, but still vital place. This hierarchical destruction includes the erosion of spiritual authority, the attack on the natural order with regard to male and female, old and young, intellectual and instinctual, the destruction of the sense of transcendence, the relativisation of values of higher and lower, more and less evolved and so on.  All done in the name of equality which is a false concept, existing only at the level of absolute oneness which is an abstract level of pure theory. Creation itself depends on an initial inequality and imbalance for without that nothing could be, the nature of being requiring separation and difference which means that things must be particular things. The search for equality is ultimately a search to return cosmic order to primeval chaos.

Hierarchy can be abused, become inflexible and corrupted. All levels have their rights and their duties, both of which can be ignored or forgotten. But a properly functioning hierarchy is essential for a properly functioning civilisation with its roots in heaven and potential for growth in this world. Spiritual hierarchy sees all men as brothers but knows there are older and younger brothers who all live under one Father God and one Mother Nature. This union of spirit and matter produces souls, and souls all have individuality. Individuality is the opposite of equality which exists only in the ant hill and, actually, not even there.

The devil is far advanced along his path of the destruction of the natural order of being. This time he has acted not by overt force as in the two World Wars but by persuading a softened-up humanity (softened up by the rejection of God and an intelligence uncoupled from wisdom) that moral goodness means recognising everyone as equal, whatever they are, because we are all human beings. But this denies the soul for it is the soul that gives quality to life. We who live in a quantitative age, in which the transcendent is denied and the material seen as all there is, matter being the principle of quantity, are unable to perceive quality, not proper quality at any rate. Therefore we are ripe for the picking. And picked we will be unless we start to wake up and no longer allow ourselves to be led astray by ideas that might sound reasonable on the surface but deny the deeper parts of our nature.

When God is denied spiritual truth, which is basically truth itself, is lost. God doesn't force himself on us if we don't want him so he might be said to be at his weakest at this time. However, when the devil is denied he can be at his strongest because we take no precautions against him and easily fall into his traps which are just as effective against the clever as against the foolish. In fact, they are more effective against the clever, who are never as clever as they think they are, if they are not inoculated against error by some kind of genuine religious understanding. The foolish at least have instinct. The foolish would never think a man was a woman or that it's a sin to love your own sort above others. 

We need to protect ourselves against the devil, both individually and collectively. Collectively requires religion which is now more or less moribund in most parts of the world and, where it exists, so undermined by political attitudes that its spiritual power is minimal. But we can protect ourselves individually and since this is a time when we are called upon to make the search for God within ourselves and our own minds (which does not negate the communal aspect but that is not longer sufficient if we are to take the next step), I will focus on that.

It's actually quite simple. The most important things are prayer and humility, as has always been known. But right up there with those two, especially today, is discrimination. The ability to judge. To judge between real good and real evil, not surface-level good and evil. To judge between the truth and lies, and to see the latter plainly, however cunningly it has been dressed up to look attractive. If this is too vague and abstract for you then I would say take Christ as your yardstick, and the whole of Christ not selected bits. 

Nowadays we emphasise Christ the merciful but he was judgemental too, sometimes very much so, and if you don't believe that go back to your Bible. He was judgemental because he knew that we try to sneak into heaven carrying our sins with us but that simply won't work. Sins are like heavy spiritual weights that will drag us down. So Christ was judgemental precisely because he was merciful. True mercy does not pander to darkness just so as not to have to be unpleasant. The devil knows how to use mercy to advance his agenda which is why it always has to be balanced with judgement or discrimination. The opposite is the case too, of course.

Thursday, 22 August 2019


Creativity or art can be seen as man engaged in one of his highest divine functions. He is acting according to the image of the Creator planted within him and fulfilling his office as God's vice-regent or representative inside the creation. 

But there are rules.  When man creates he should do so as an expression of his own unique individual nature thus bringing something into the world no other being can. At the same time, he should not create purely as an individual. This is the major and spiritually disastrous mistake of so much art and science and invention of the 20th century and beyond. Creating from the self as opposed to through the self is where it has all gone wrong. The true creator creates in accordance with God's laws, though since the word law implies a certain rigidity and lack of freedom, patterns would be a better word. But these are the laws of creation, the parameters that God set up at the beginning, and to go against them is to go against the order of creation and thus God himself. If we do this we are not so much creating as anti-creating, being creatively destructive as it has been described.

In fact to go against them is also to go against our own being since these laws are the template according to which we are made.  Thus it is no coincidence that it is only when human beings abandoned belief in a transcendent reality that they started to create outside of and actually against nature.

And what was the effect of this? It certainly wasn't any real happiness or fulfilment. To begin with there was a sense of liberation, the rush of energy you get when a container is shattered and its contents released. But then the energy is dissipated and there is nothing left.  The feeling of emptiness results and that is what we currently live with and what we try to fill with novelty (the 'news') and distraction. But this never works and like all drugs we need more and more to achieve less and less. All this from abandoning reality and seeing ourselves as self-created which is what materialism really amounts to for if we have no creator we are responsible to no one.

Art to achieve its proper function must be moral. Of course, you can have art without morality but it always, however good, and most is not, falls short. But what is morality? It might be defined in several ways according to one's beliefs about the nature of reality. For the Aztecs even human sacrifice may have been seen as moral. But there are clearly true and false beliefs, those based on truth and those based on illusion. Fundamental to real morality, however, is the acknowledgment of God and the recognition of cosmic good and evil. I use that adjective to differentiate between what is good in a spiritual sense and what is good materially. Today we see material good used to justify spiritual evil and it deceives many. The current obsession with climate change, for example, uses a legitimate though probably overstated concern to advance an agenda of totalitarian control and substitutes faith in God with repositioning ourselves as God. Let me explain what I mean by that.  Being responsible stewards of creation under God is right and proper and what we are called to be. Being the ultimate arbiters of creation as the climate change lobby imagines we can be is blasphemous. As I said in my previous post we are meant to be gardeners of the planet but under God who is the head gardener.

So real morality involves two things. The recognition of God and the understanding that he has set up an order of being in creation with its own proper rules. To go with these is morality. To go against them is immoral. You might just as well say good and evil. This order of being is not an inflexible system with no give or room for creative expression but it does have laws, some of which, like justice and mercy for example, cannot be obeyed slavishly or in a bureaucratic rule-following way for they complement each other and so have to be interpreted on a spiritual level by the discerning mind that has adapted itself to truth through striving to love the Creator.

This brings us back to art and creativity and the fact that to be an artist of a kind is one of our primary roles. But we need to create according to the rules and patterns of creation and the natural order of being. If we don't, we are following Satan not God and that is what humanity in the mass is currently doing.

Sunday, 18 August 2019


What a long and unsympathetic sounding word for something that should be very simple, namely a love of nature centred on the understanding that it is the creation of a Creator. The environment? Is that a word that conjures up in your mind birds, trees, plants, flowers, animals, fish? Does it speak of mountains, rivers, valleys, hills, fields and hedgerows? Are the wind or the sky or the sea or the desert the environment? Of course, in one sense they are but the point is that something real, life-giving, even alive in a way, and beautiful is often reduced to an object of science, and not just in the minds of professional scientists who analyse and dissect either. It is so too for activists (another terrible word speaking of aggressive ideology) who are supposed to be fighting (again, note the word) for its preservation.

There was a time when people who spoke out against the destruction of what we now call the environment did so from love of nature and a strong awareness of its beauty. Often, on some level at least even if that was only because they came from a world in which a divine reality had long been accepted, they were conscious that it was a gift, a garden to be tended, and though we were workers in the garden we were not the head gardener. Now the situation seems to have changed. Now, many people who would call themselves environmentalists don't believe in God and don't see nature as a creation. Sometimes their approach is purely pragmatic which is to say they want to preserve nature so that human beings can continue to exploit it only more sustainably, the utilitarian attitude. But sometimes much of their motivation seems to come not from love of God but a kind of hatred of mankind and this hatred they can best express by attacking mankind for what it is doing to the environment. They want human beings to take a hit because they don't like human beings or certain sectors of humanity anyway who are perceived as rich and powerful. Not because they love nature. Granted this is a simplification because motives are often mixed, but it is clearly a factor and sometimes a major one.

In the spiritual world (which is the real world) motivation is all-important. Why you do what you do matters much more than what you do though, clearly, the two are interlinked. And fundamentally the only good motivation to do anything is love of God. In the final analysis, what is not inspired by this is not well motivated. Trying to preserve nature or make a 'sustainable environment' if you do not know what (or who) created this is still all part of the rebellion against God. It is part of evil. When all is said and done, good can only flow from love of God. There is no good, none whatsoever, without God.

I have loved the natural world all my life. To begin with, just for itself but even then I felt there was this aspect of a veil to it and that behind it there was something more real and truer, the response to which is where this love came from. I never learnt how to drive a car, partly because of the noise and stink they made, partly because I suspect I am not really someone who can focus on mechanical things (this is not meant as a badge of honour, I see it as a defect), but very largely because I hated what roads had done to the countryside and the town. To nature. Don't get me wrong. I like roads as in tracks and paths that lead to new places and join separated people. But I hate them as metalled scars that deface the environment (appropriate use I would say) and don't blend in to their surroundings. And that take far too many vehicles on them which travel far too fast.

So I would regard myself as a lover of nature, as is any sane and normally constituted person, though now I see it as a creation. Which doesn't lessen it in itself. To see a saint as a person through whom God works doesn't lessen the individuality of that saint. It actually augments it and so it is with regard to nature as creation. 

I love nature but I don't like the environmental lobby who often, not all but many and the most vociferous, use nature to advance a political agenda or an ideology that, when looked at clearly, denies God. If you deny the Creator of nature your understanding and appreciation of the natural world is much diminished, whatever wonders you may claim to find in it. And you are not on the side of the angels, not the good ones anyway.

Monday, 5 August 2019

Passing Thoughts

I shall be taking a break from this blog for a couple of weeks so I thought I would jot down a few brief thoughts which I might have developed into full posts in time but which probably say just as much (or as little) as they are here.

  • Truth comes before love which is why repentance is necessary for forgiveness.
  • Even God can't save those who don't want to be saved.
  • We all seek happiness but what part of us is seeking happiness? The fallen self with its shallow desires and selfish greed for worldly pleasure or the soul with its connection to deeper realities and truths? Do we seek for our happiness in creation or in God? 
  • God or religion is not there to make you happy in your fallen self which is the false self but to help you step out of that aspect of your being into your true self.
  • What is the great sin of modernity? It is to seek personal autonomy and fulfilment rather than to coordinate your being to the reality of the Creator. Ironically enough, only by turning to God can we really find the freedom we desire because he is the source of our being and the reality of what we truly are.
  • The teachings of Christ without Christ himself do not work because reality is personal not abstract so he is his teachings and they are him.
  • Christianity has been corrupted in modern times because its central doctrine of love has been separated from the teachings about sin and the need for repentance. The two have been prised apart and the distortions of leftism are the result. Christianity itself is not at fault here. It's more that modern men and women refuse to pay the price of real goodness and want its rewards without making the sacrifices required.
  • A materialist is someone who thinks that object preceded subject. 
  • Those who would stand for the true good which is the truth of Christ must stand against the false good which is the truth of this world. And, strange as it might at first sight seem, the true good divides while the false good unites. It divides truth from falsehood, greater truth from lesser truth, beauty from ugliness, good from evil and higher good from lower good. The false good unites all things in the name of a higher truth. But this means that evil is effectively denied and the material is put on the same footing as the spiritual.
  • The modern world applies truths that relate to the pure spiritual world of oneness to the material world of duality and multiplicity where they do not apply. 
  • Buddhism and similar philosophies are powerless against the attacks on the world by evil because they use essential oneness to deny proper reality in creation.
  • Are we male and female in heaven? The Masters were all definitely male except one who was definitely female. To those who say that spirit transcends sex I would reply that no doubt it does, but we are not just spirit. We are a triplicate of spirit, soul and body and cannot be restricted to the most fundamental aspect alone. As long as we are a being, we are a particular kind of being.
  • When you deny God you seek for the absolute elsewhere but in things that can never deliver. But until you realise that you become obsessive about the thing in which you have invested your desire for the absolute. Hence the fanaticism of political revolutionaries, utopian idealists and many atheistic artists.
  • For Westerners today Buddhism, despite its profundities, is something of a spiritual dead end. At best it can be a psychological preparation for giving up the ego in a Christian context. This is because the real spiritual goal is not to renounce the reality in creation, which encompasses beauty, goodness and love, and retreat into the oneness of pure unmanifest spirit, but to unite the worlds of becoming and being in full consciousness, bringing matter, purified and exalted, up into spirit. Marriage is better than celibacy.

I'll be back posting towards the end of August.

Friday, 2 August 2019

Are You Prepared to Die?

I was recently present at a conversation in which someone asked if old people were ever happy to die or if they would cling onto life regardless, even when they were ill and in pain. The general view was that, whatever their physical and mental condition, most people would try to live for as long as they could. There are certainly some who do seek to die because of long-term sickness and extreme pain or incapacity but, by and large, the old people today hold on to life for as long as possible even when they are unable to enjoy much about it. This, it was agreed, is because of the natural human desire for self-preservation, and is universal.

I disagreed. I thought that the fact, if true, simply showed the lack of belief in God and the absolute refusal of modern men and women to think in terms of an afterlife. We are indoctrinated to believe this to be wishful thinking and so we reject it as fantasy. I said that the reluctance to face and accept death is the mark of a person completely out of harmony with reality, someone who has cut himself off from not only the spiritual but the natural too. For, even if the spiritual is ignored, we should accept natural cycles and know that there is a time to let go and depart this life. For myself, I said, I would not be concerned about death once I felt I had done what I was supposed to do and fulfilled my obligations. I would be nervous because it is a tremendous step into the unknown and I do believe in some kind of post-mortem judgement when your earthly life has to be accounted for, but I would not be frightened nor would I try to resist it or prolong life beyond its natural point.

Death is the summation of life and should be completely accepted. If you submit to God's will in this matter and resign yourself to his keeping in humility then whatever you may or may not have done in your life you will be all right. The creature is returning to the Creator and that is a tremendous thing to be faced with a sense of awe but also wonder and excitement. It is only the person who rejects his Creator who need fear death.

Monday, 29 July 2019

Mass Immigration and Christianity

A common criticism people who condemn the mass immigration of recent years face is that they are unchristian. This has always struck me as a particularly insincere argument, and goodness knows we get plenty of those nowadays, because it completely reframes Christianity into something else entirely. No longer is it a spiritual path centred on the supernatural reality of God who became man in order to open up a way out of the material world for those who would accept it. It is now just a form of secular humanism.

The fact that there is no Jew nor Greek nor male nor female nor free nor slave in Jesus Christ does not mean we are all the same and all equal. It means that all human beings can find salvation in Christ. So it means that there is a kind of unity but the unity is in those who have turned to God through Christ. It is not spoken of as universal for all human beings under any circumstances. Besides, there are still Jews, Greeks, men, women and so on. There is now something that unites them at a higher level but on the ordinary, everyday level they remain what they are. They are not suddenly an amorphous, identikit mass. What is more, that quote from St Paul might be read in tandem with another from Acts chapter 17 verse 26 where he says, "From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands." I am not saying this proves anything one way or the other but if you are seeking to make a point through Biblical quotes you can't just select the ones you like and ignore the ones that don't back up your already formed convictions.

Christianity is concerned with the salvation of the soul. That's all. Christ's kingdom is not of this world. So the immigration question, which is a worldly matter, is peripheral to the core purpose of Christianity. That means that the opening up of a country's borders to large numbers of foreign people to the degree that the country is radically transformed does not form part of a Christian's essential duties. However, the soul that would be saved must clearly behave in a certain way concordant with that, part of which is to love his neighbour. In obeying this commandment great Christians have made enormous self-sacrifices to benefit others. But what is right on an individual level is not necessarily so on a national one, and if you think loving your neighbour means allowing unlimited immigration then you must determine who your neighbours are. Are they the people thousands of miles away you don't know or are they your actual countrymen, many of whom might have their lives severely impacted by the arrival of newcomers? You see, glib generalities are not so simple after all and even sayings of Christ have to be understood with discrimination and wisdom, and not forced into inappropriate context.

On one occasion Christ fed the 5,000 but he didn't do that all the time. He left plenty of people hungry during his ministry. He healed the sick but he didn't heal everybody, and when he was asked why the man to whom he restored sight was born blind, he said it was so that the works of God might be made manifest. In other words, his miracles were mainly to demonstrate God's power and reality. If Christianity really were principally about healing the sick and feeding the poor then Christ didn't do very well. As he himself said, "The poor will always be with you." That doesn't mean don't heal the sick or feed the poor but it does mean don't claim that Christ would automatically say we should welcome all immigrants with open arms, no matter how many of them come. The principal focus of his teaching was spiritual not humanistic. It was heaven not earth.

This debate reminds me of something I read recently on Bruce Charlton's blog where he discussed sexual morality and made the point that sexual sin, although not the greatest of sins in itself, has the effect, if unrepented, of dulling the mind to proper morality in general. See here. In the post by Ed Feser which inspired Bruce's post someone had commented to dispute this point that we are far more advanced in matters of gender equality and racial equality than earlier generations were and this happened after the sexual revolution of the 1960s. Point disproved according to him but I don't think so. He took these things to be moral matters but that just reflected his own prejudices and his assumptions that they are true and that someone holding these attitudes is more moral than someone who does not. But actually these are ideological attitudes not moral ones. Of course, there is overlap, sometimes considerable overlap, but real morality is based on the truth of God as manifested in the order of being expressed through creation. It is not a question of human opinion. Gender and racial equality are not spiritual beliefs, they are political ones. There is certainly no foundation for them, as understood nowadays, in either traditional religion or scripture.

By the same token, the idea of mass immigration being something a Christian must accept, even accept with joy, is not based on anything in traditional religion or scripture. Love and justice are part of the spiritual life but cultural self-destruction is not a religious obligation and those who claim that it is, or that which causes it is, are distorting Christianity and reducing it to a materialistic level  to suit a leftist agenda which is primary. Which does not mean that the opposite is true, that Christianity by default must be against mass immigration; only that other criteria must be brought to bear to provide an answer. Bringing comfort to the suffering is a spiritual duty and no religion has approached Christianity in doing this. But you are instructed to love your neighbour as yourself which rather implies that you must first love yourself. Mass immigration is a kind of self-hatred since it will inevitably lead to a nation's destruction as the cultural entity it traditionally has been. It is, and I think has been conceived as such, an attack on a nation's soul disguised as humanitarianism. 

Saturday, 27 July 2019

Mass Immigration

Does the mass immigration that has taken place in the West over the last 60 years, gathering considerable pace over the last 25, have a spiritual purpose or is it intended to effectively destroy the traditions of the West by dissolving the sense of national identity and connection to the past, and then construct a new culture based exclusively on secular/liberal principles?  

First of all, what would any spiritual purpose be? I can think of two potential ones. It could be to introduce and establish the idea that humanity is one. We are all brothers and sisters with divisions external only. Of course, this is the popular trope and, because nothing is based on nothing, it has much truth to it. Which necessarily makes it harder to argue against. But is it so true that it overrides all other truths or does it need to be counterbalanced by less generalised considerations?

Then there is the idea which is summed up by something the Masters once told me that sometimes the less evolved can only advance through the sacrifice of the more evolved. This also makes sense because (I'm speaking frankly here) the less civilised groups and races can often only progress by mixing with the more developed. This is a hard fact that takes no notice of anyone's pride, self-image or sensitivities.

Set against this the reality that when you do add a large number of people of a lower culture with those more advanced you run the risk of bringing down the higher culture. This understanding was the rationale behind the Indian caste system, and often when it has occurred in the past it has seen the collapse of a civilisation.  I'm not going to argue about the words lower and higher.  If you don't accept that these describe something real, you are blinding yourself to reality for ideological reasons. That the lower may have things the higher lacks is beside the point and no excuse for ignoring the essential superiority of the higher. Some animals are faster or stronger than man but that doesn't alter human superiority. To those who say it is merely the degree of adaptation to environment that can objectively determine whether something is better or worse, I would ask do you really think an ant is equal to a man or a shark to Shakespeare?  It is consciousness that indicates what is higher or lower, and the degree to which that can respond to and express higher realities. Naturally this statement implies the existence of higher realities but I am not writing for materialists here but for those who think a little more deeply about life and what it is. Materialism is just an excuse not to accept your spiritual responsibilities.

Western civilisation was more advanced than any other, scientifically, artistically and even spiritually because, despite the highly developed Indian and Chinese cultures, the West had Christianity. But it lost its way when it abandoned God and that meant that all its advances elsewhere became worthless, just cosmetic decorations covering up emptiness. However, the West did develop something that was supposed to be the next evolutionary step forwards, and that was the sense of the individual.  If this could have been harnessed to the spiritual impulse centred in Christ then great advances could have been made. Men could really have started to have become gods just as Jesus promised. Christ could have been born in us, not just in the popular religious sense which really just refers to belief in Jesus as saviour, but Christ himself in the sense that we would start to become him.  "Whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do greater things." But this was derailed by human weakness, selfishness, stupidity and greed, not to forget demonic subversion. So now we have individualistic atheism on the one hand or, on the other, spirituality seen either as a personal quest for enlightenment (the New Age sort) or existing in the form of conventional religion with God envisaged as basically separate from humanity. Neither of these represents the true path which is found by recognising that God is within the human soul but accessed through Christ.

This spiritual advance I describe can still take place on an individual level but, given the wrong turning taken by humanity over the last 200 years, that is the only level on which it can now happen. Quite probably this is all that was ever expected, going by predictions of the end times and the profound spiritual loss that would occur then. It also makes sense, given the nature of the new spirituality, that it must be forged and won on an individual basis. It is not gained by participation in a group but in the depths of one's own soul. It is a lonely quest but one that will eventually bring a person to union with God.

Back to immigration, mass immigration, that is, which is a completely different beast to small amounts of incoming people relatively easily absorbed by the host population without suffering dramatic change. Is it spiritually progressive or damaging? It has clearly been forced on Western countries by their elites, those on the (economic) right wanting cheap labour and those on the left wanting to damage traditional ideas of the nation and get more voters for themselves. So the motives for it are largely negative even if advocates can point to the willingness of immigrants to do jobs the populace are reluctant to do (for low wages) and bring skills that governments have neglected to train for sufficiently in the indigenous population.

The heavily pushed multicultural diversity might have both creative and destructive elements but generally it tends to bring short-term and relatively superficial gains in the sense of novelty and 'exotic' stimulation, but long-term losses of cultural depth and stability. Of course, much depends on how and how well all these elements are integrated and whether clashing attitudes can be reconciled without spiritual harm. But to view everything on the basis of equality as we are supposed to do now is clearly a grave mistake since it means the lower is not acknowledged as such and will therefore impact on the higher, also not acknowledged as such, to the latter's great detriment.

It is evident that the past is dead. We will not progress in a more or less unbroken line as has largely been the case before with Christianity the binding thread. But whether something new will emerge from the current tumult or whether it will lead to chaos and destruction remains to be seen. This could be a divine experiment but it is safe to say that, if it is, it has been captured and exploited by evil powers. That having been said, the ends that God is seeking to bring about may be realised anyway. We cannot know what those ends are. What we can do is remain faithful to the truth and not allow ourselves to be led astray by the illusion of modernity. Indeed, that may be the point of the whole thing. To test for those who can maintain true vision at a time of universal lies and deceit.

I realise I haven't answered the question I posed at the beginning of this piece. Before I do let me first say that, good or bad, mass immigration has been hugely enabled by modern technology which has provided easy access to everywhere from anywhere. And then it has been facilitated by the loss of confidence in its own way of the West, not to mention the sentimentality caused by a femininisation of attitudes. This immigration either has or soon will destroy the nations as they were, but then we are approaching the end of a major cycle and several minor cycles are also ending. 

What I am saying is that mass immigration was probably inevitable. It is part of a general dissolution of everything prior to a new beginning. This does not mean it contains the seeds of a new beginning in itself. I see its purpose as largely destructive, though it may have benefits for the people involved on both sides as outlined above. But it represents a summing up and a conclusion of the past, and the new will arise from another, a spiritual, source. So the way to look at it is as a symptom and a consequence of the Kali Yuga. It is the triumph of materialism which we must expect at the end of an age. Is it good or bad? I'm not sure either of these words apply in the ordinary sense in this case. It is a phase in a cycle that comes as that cycle approaches its conclusion.