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.

Friday, 1 November 2019

What Are The Causes of Atheism?

I imagine most people reading this blog would agree that atheism is an unnatural state. Unnatural because wrong and a normally constituted human being would, on some level, sense this. What, then, are the reasons for atheism and for such a large number of atheists at the present time? Are they genetic or cultural or to do with intelligence or something else? Let us consider the various possibilities.

Religiousness, apparently, is heritable to a degree. Irreligiousness would, therefore, also be heritable. However, history, not to mention common sense, tells us that religiousness is natural for human beings so it may be that the lack of it is caused by a genetic mutation that harms our normal way of thinking and, effectively, sends us slightly mad, causing us to believe a lie or lack the instinctive wherewithal to know the truth. This mutation has been enabled and spread by the massive decline of infant mortality since the Industrial Revolution, affecting first the upper classes and then everyone which is why atheism began amongst the richer and more educated section of the populace before spreading everywhere else. Previously people who suffered from such genetic mutations would simply not survive. Now they do and they have children themselves, spreading the virus if one can put it like that.

Another reason for the growth of atheism might be cultural and there are two strands to this aspect of the situation. Material science has grown vastly over the last two hundred years, telling us things about the world that previously we would have turned to religion to explain. This inevitably undermines religion in all its aspects. The fact that science cannot explain life or consciousness is conveniently side-lined with the excuse that, no doubt, one day it will be able to do so. For most people, science has replaced religion as the authority to which human beings should defer and, since science is materialistic, atheism is the natural consequence.

The second cultural explanation is the decline of the spiritual power of the churches as they have all, to various degrees but without exception, descended into institutionalism.  Their capacity to inspire is so reduced that, in many people's eyes, they have become no more than museum pieces which we only tolerate because of their rich artistic legacy. But they don't even produce decent art nowadays and their intellectual representatives, the ones that are on public view anyway, are, for the most part, feeble. Once the churches began to accommodate themselves to temporal secular fashions their day was over, their weaknesses were exposed and their relevance destroyed.

It seems that higher intelligence tends to indicate the likelihood of atheism. I would qualify this by saying that in the modern world higher intelligence does this. The greatest people of history were not atheists. But now when you have high intelligence you think for yourself (to a certain extent, it seems strange that so many intelligent people follow liberalism like sheep) and you reject traditionally held values partly because they are traditional and we are supposed to be more enlightened now. You also want to demarcate yourself from the ordinary souls who follow the same old paths. You are better than that. So there is a degree of arrogance involved. There is also a rejection of instinct and a preference for ideology and theory. Instinctive reactions are seen as the mark of the primitive and the unenlightened which in some cases they may be but they have a wisdom too.

However, if intelligence is accompanied by a degree of spiritual insight or real imagination then the whole position is reversed. You begin to see the wisdom of tradition and the past. So, I would suggest that it is not intelligence that correlates with atheism but intelligence without intuition. If we surmise that humanity has three modes of cognition, which develop in an individual as that individual evolves, then we can stay that first comes instinct, then intellect and then intuition which is instinct on a higher level, a more self-aware and insightful level in which you respond consciously rather than automatically to what is perceived, and you do so because your conscious self is beginning to grow out of its own self-limitation into a greater identity. If you fail to develop intuition after a certain level of intellectual attainment then your intelligence actually becomes counter-productive and from being a good thing that functions in an evolutionary progressive way becomes harmful, maladaptive you might even say. This is the position for a sizeable chunk of the intelligentsia in our time. They suffer from arrested development hence their atheism.

We come now to the something else explanations for atheism. First of all, linking back to the genetic explanation, could it be a mental illness? We have seen the rise of all kinds of psychological pathologies in recent decades, affecting all areas of the mind. I don't agree that this is just because we now have better descriptive terms for them and are more able to diagnose them. That's true, but I believe they are also on the rise in the populace, perhaps a populace weakened by relative ease, even luxury, and lack of real stress. Atheism could be a consequence of this, a psychological sickness.

And now I come to the most controversial part of this essay. Might some people alive today have no souls? In normal circumstances, men and women are spiritual beings come to Earth to learn the lessons that will fit them for the life of a fully conscious son or daughter of God in heaven. Their material form is something they, as souls, inhabit in order to incarnate into this world. It is not them or not the whole of them. But at a time of vastly expanded population it is possible that some human beings do not fall into this category. They are their physical and mental selves, their material selves, and actually have to build the spiritual component of their being, to bring their self to the point at which it can receive the divine spark. Instead of being top down constructions, they are bottom up constructions. There is no reason for all human beings to have the same origin. They are all creations of God but who is to say God always creates in the same way? It is possible that some human beings are directly created by God while others are formed as a result of creative processes in the world that God, or his agents, have set up. Clearly this speculation of mine is open to misuse so I need to stress again that all beings spring from God. But do they all spring from God in the same way? 

Atheism is a spiritual sickness but there are different sorts of atheists. There are those who simply do not 'get' the idea of God and can't see how to fit that into their experience of the world. I would call this simply ignorance. But then there are those who actively deny God and this is more in the nature of a sin because it relates to the will. Such people don't want there to be a God because of the damage that would entail (in their eyes) to their sense of a fully autonomous self. These people are actively anti-God and are the true atheists.

Monday, 28 October 2019

Separation from God

The end game of the unseen powers behind the corruption of the world is now becoming clearer. It is to turn this world into an outpost of hell. We have the idea that hell is place of torment and cruelty, darkness and fire and suffering. So it may be in one sense but that is not a definition of hell that encapsulates what it really is all about. Hell is separation from God.

A deluded individual may be in a kind of hell and not realise it. If he is physically comfortable and entertained or distracted in some way, he may be oblivious to the fact that he is in spiritual darkness. You might ask if that matters if he is happy and content. But he is neither happy nor content, not really. He is just numbed to truth and goodness and exists in a kind of emptiness that he may not recognise with his surface mind but the effects of which will be gnawing away at him inside because his spiritual self will be ignored and suppressed. He may not even know he is suffering but he will be suffering just as so many are today.

For several centuries there has been an ongoing attempt to detach man from his spiritual roots and to remake him as a purely material being. This has been planned with precision. Matter became more important than spirit which, as a result, eventually was denied altogether. But the natural man still existed. Now, however, we are in the process of deconstructing even the natural man with the transsexual agenda just the latest twist in a story which has taken in feminism, same sex marriage and so on, all steps in the dismantling of the human form which, let us remember, was made in the image of God.

But the story does not stop there. The aim is not just to separate man from his spirit but to separate him from his body as well. This is the purpose of transhumanism in which man and machine are melded with consciousness uploaded into an artificial construction which, in theory, could be made immortal. This nightmare would potentially involve consciousness being trapped on the physical plane. If that happened hell would have arrived on earth.

I don't believe it will happen because the spiritual powers would step in. But the process might be allowed to run quite a long way before they did to give human beings, or as many of them as possible, the chance to turn away from evil to good. Even now there is a growing repugnance to what is taking place in the world. The problem is people don't know where to turn because so many avenues, of religion, of proper spirituality, of good traditions and common sense, are being closed off. The young are targeted what with non-education (i.e. programming children instead of teaching them how to think for themselves), trashy entertainment, corrupt music, computer technology and hysterical scare stories that distract them from real problems. However, the human spirit cannot be denied and I believe will triumph in the end. What those of us who are alive to the situation of today, and who know that the solution is in God and Christ, must do is keep some kind of flame burning in these times of darkness. Yes, I know that's a cliché. It's no less true.

The scenario I have depicted sounds grim but it is important to have no fear. Take refuge in God and there is nothing that can harm you. Whatever transpires in the world, you will be secure.  And even the world will be restored to truth at the end of it all. The darkness of the present time can never stand against the light of Christ.

Friday, 25 October 2019

Negative Theology

This post arose out of an email conversation with Bruce Charlton during which he expressed the opinion that negative theology was unsuitable for our times. I agreed though I would say it's especially unsuitable for now as I believe it to have shortcomings which render it of limited use at any time. It certainly makes important points but it also has the defects of its qualities so would always need to be balanced by a more positive attitude to God and the universe.

In negative or apophatic theology God is considered in terms of his unknowability. He is divine darkness rather than light, the inexpressible truth beyond form, the unmanifest Void behind the created world. This approach to God, springing from Neo-Platonism rather than anything Jesus taught, has always been attractive to a certain type of intellectual but, unless it is balanced by an approach that focuses on the positive qualities of God, it can potentially mislead the would-be mystic. The sort of temperament drawn to it might be confirmed in its own weaknesses and take refuge in a reductionist spirituality which ignores the truth in creation and in ourselves as created beings.  We are meant to fully embrace creation though always seeing it in the light of the Creator.

Negative theology can be a useful corrective in a culture which sees God in strong anthropomorphic terms or else one over-fixated on ritual and commandment. It can help to reduce focus on the form of God when that becomes too prominent. But in a basically God-denying society such as ours it can become an escape into abstraction and an evasion of spiritual responsibility. From a certain perspective there is a  profound truth in it but if negative theology were what really mattered then the life story of Christ would have ended at the Crucifixion. However, it went on to the Resurrection and the Ascension, both of which involved the validation of the body which in a negative theology can have no real meaning or purpose. 

The Buddha last words were, ‘Work hard to gain your own salvation’. Sound advice but not very inspiring and somewhat dry. This is negative theology. Christ's last words to his disciples were, "I am with you even unto the end of days". What could be more beautiful and full of love? That's the opposite to negative theology.

If you are tempted in the direction of negative theology, be aware of its shortcomings. Seemingly a philosophy pointing to a high spiritual state, it can actually be a rejection of the goodness in creation and the idea of a personally loving Creator. Its Christian advocates try to fit Jesus into their scheme of things but really they go against what he taught. Jesus’s first miracle was changing water into wine. In their worldview there's no real difference between water and wine so he was wasting his time.

What the negative theologians miss is the importance in spirituality of quality. God is in everything but he is not in everything equally. That is the apparent paradox which they do not resolve but it is easy to resolve if you accept creation as real. And people as real for that matter because people are not really real in a negative theology universe. They are outgrown when you see the truth just as in certain forms of Indian philosophy.

When all is said and done, negative theology, the theology of darkness, is reductionist and, being the polar opposite to materialism, has a lot in common with it. The materialistic atheist and the non-theistic negative theologian both miss that life is not just spirit and not just matter but a creative union of the two together which is much richer than either on its own.

God is not unknowable. We can never comprehend the totality of him but we are made in his image and we certainly can know him when we turn to him in our hearts. He is there, not as impersonal being but as our loving Father. "Show us the Father" said the apostle Philip, to which Jesus replied "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father."

It might be said that I have argued in this piece not against negative theology itself but against the misuse or misunderstanding of negative theology. Possibly so, but the fact is by its very nature this doctrine lends itself to misuse. Unless counterbalanced by a strong awareness of God as Creator and the reality of the human soul and the truth in creation plus an awareness of the hierarchical nature of the divine qualities of goodness, beauty and truth, it can result in the extinction of the self rather than its raising up into spiritual glory which is God’s purpose in creating us as demonstrated at the Ascension. Jesus did not rise up into darkness. He rose into light. This is the purpose of creation. To make darkness into light not to return to darkness.

Monday, 21 October 2019

Are The Masters Demons? A second look.

I'm taking the unusual step of repeating a post from 4 years ago. I'm doing so because this question came up again after the talk I gave at the conference which I reproduced in the previous post. As far as I am concerned, it's a fair question, given the fact that demons certainly do communicate through channelling

Basically the issue here is the difference between the psychic and the spiritual which is a difference not sufficiently appreciated in our day when anything that is not material is often regarded as spiritual, taking that word to mean intrinsically good as opposed to just non-physical. But traditionally it was understood that there are many beings in the spiritual world which comprises a vast range of different types ranging from the very high to the very low. Anyone contacted by one of these beings was expected to exercise prudence and discrimination.

Here's the original question which is almost identical to the one I was asked just recently.

Q. "I'm a Christian and, according to my beliefs, most of the beings contacted by spiritualistic methods are actually demons whatever they may pretend to be. I must admit that your Masters don't seem to fall into this category but can you say anything to alleviate my concerns? I know that the fallen spiritual powers can be very deceptive and can even appear, as we are taught, as angels of light."

A. It may surprise you to hear that I actually have a lot of sympathy with your attitude which is by no means as alarmist as some people might think. I share your belief that some of the spirits that communicate through channeling, or by other means, are what you call demons, and are seeking to lead genuine seekers astray, whether that be in order to absorb energy from them or to sully spiritual truth by mixing it with enough falsehood to poison the well. Of course, not all are 'demons', the majority being simply discarnate spirits of varying levels of insight and understanding just as exist in this world, but some assuredly are though what a demon might actually be is open to discussion. When I asked the Masters about that they simply said that they were 'erring souls'. However, I think that we can reasonably speculate, given religious tradition and the frankly mad state of much of the world today, that there are forces of division and deceit, spiritual powers of darkness to use a term that may sound melodramatic but which is literally accurate, that work against the upliftment and enlightenment of the world. And, yes, they can certainly present themselves as wise and benevolent beings dedicated to truth.

For, at the moment, there is an all out assault on humanity's understanding of the spiritual. This manifests itself as the stimulating of atheism and materialistic science, together with increasing reliance on machine technology, on the one hand, and the corruption of religion and distortion of spirituality on the other. There is also a gradual falling away from traditional morality, with its sense of responsibility and obligation to a higher power, and encouragement of attachment to the senses, the self and the independent, thinking mind. All potential points of weakness are targeted by these fallen spiritual powers which have as their ultimate agenda the separating of man from God. I appreciate this sounds like nothing so much as an occult conspiracy theory, but I consider the Christian view that Earth is a battleground for the souls of men to be the truth, unfashionable as such a belief might be today to the intellectually sophisticated but spiritually unawakened. If it is asked why this is permitted, the answer would be that it is only through exposure to danger that one can learn courage. Only through the struggle to know truth from falsehood can an individual actually become truth.

So, are the Masters demons? Well, of course, they are not, though naturally I would say that! However, I don't believe that anyone who reads their words in an objective state of mind could possibly think so. Quite apart from the quality of their presence, something of which I hope comes through in the book, their constant emphasis on the need to acquire humility and love seems to me to be the approach to spirituality most consistent with the teachings of Christ. Indeed, the only spiritual figure from the past they mentioned was Christ, and they did not mention him or stress what he stressed simply to slip in other teachings that might cause one to wander off into sidetracks and end up in a marshy bog as some discarnate speakers certainly do, whether intentionally or not. Catholics might not be happy to hear them refer to Catholicism (like any outward form of religion) as good for souls on a certain level but we now need a new and higher understanding of life, but this reflected their attitude that the spiritual path is an inner path, though they would add that only those who have fully assimilated the lessons of the outer path are truly ready for the inner. By their fruits you will know them, and the fruits of the Masters' words can surely be seen to be truth and goodness. So, far from beings demons or the like, they are, using conventional Christian terminology, members of the company of saints in heaven.

There are many channeled teachings. As a Christian you will be aware of the instruction in the epistle of St John to 'try the spirits, whether they are of God'. This is sound advice. You try (or test) them with  your head and with your heart, and if they pass that test then you may give them your attention. Always remember, though, that no external being should ever replace the inner connection you have with your Creator.

Christianity in its essence is the purest expression of spiritual teaching to appear on this planet and, in the figure of Christ, it contains the highest representation of a spiritual being. He was the incarnation of the Logos, just as St John says. But with its understandable desire to protect itself from lower influences, arising from the time when it was struggling to establish itself in a pagan world, Christianity can sometimes reject other approaches to truth that are perfectly valid. One should always exercise discrimination with respect to anything purporting to come from the spiritual world, but to write off anything that is not specifically Christian as demonic is a mistake that can lead to narrowed vision and unnecessary fear. It is certainly both arrogant and foolish to say that we are entering a new age so can throw off the superstitions and restrictions of the past (the ego always wants spirituality on its own terms), but the ways of the past can always be supplemented by new understanding as long as you see that understanding, like Christ said of himself, as coming not to abolish but to fulfil the law and the prophets.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Meeting the Masters Talk

I recently gave a talk at a conference based on the theme of the Vision of Albion (mentioned in this post). I thought I would put the text of the talk up here for anyone who might be interested. It will be familiar stuff for those who have read my book but those who haven't might be interested to learn about the initial inspiration for this blog.

Hello everybody

Thank you for inviting me here today. The subject of my talk this morning is not directly related to the theme of this conference but I was kindly invited to give a presentation due to my involvement with the Albion Awakening blog started by Bruce Charlton, which I believe was one of the inspirations for the conference, and that involvement was partly due to what I
 am going to talk about. So there is some kind of connection and I hope to bring out a link or two along the way.

My subject today is spiritual teachers and when I say spiritual I mean those who speak from the spiritual world and who can be thought of, by virtue of that, as messengers from God, bearing witness to his existence. I know this field is full of all sorts of weird and wonderful things, a lot more weird than wonderful if we're honest, but let me tell you something of my own experience which I'd like to share because I think that if we knew there were genuine spiritual beings who watched over us and guided us as far as they were able to within the confines of spiritual law and free will, well that would be a great encouragement to us in our labours in this world.

My story goes back 40 years. At the time I was a young man dissatisfied with conventional life. I had a job that bored me, prospects of a sort that didn't interest me and I was searching for something more than a mundane existence dedicated to material success which was pretty much all that was on offer then as far as I knew. I had a limited knowledge of the spiritual movements that were beginning to coalesce into what became known as the New Age but found them fairly shallow, full of extravagant claims that were not borne out either by the followers or the leaders. Religion, such as I knew it, seemed moribund and concerned with something far off. I wasn't particularly interested in what happened after death.  I wanted life to have some real meaning and purpose now. 

One day in my lunch hour I wandered into a metaphysical bookshop near where I worked in South Kensington and began to browse, looking for something that might provide answers to questions I hadn't even properly framed yet. As I searched through the shelves a man beside me spoke asking whether he might make a recommendation or two. He'd seen I didn't really know what I was looking for and wondered if I'd like some help. Overcoming my natural reticence in such circumstances, I agreed. He was friendly and we got talking and I was sufficiently interested to accept his offer of lunch during which we discussed such subjects as meditation, vegetarianism, even reincarnation, none of which were quite as mainstream then as they are now. 

It turned out that this man, Michael Lord by name, had led quite an interesting life. He was then 58 years old and had packed a lot into his time. Born in 1919 he spent his childhood in England, France and Switzerland before being sent to India at the outbreak of the Second World War where, amongst other things, he was ADC to Lord Wavell who was the Viceroy before Mountbatten. When the war was over he went to America where he ran some kind of fashionable country club near New York. But after a few years he got fed up with high society life (and high society people) and returned to England. Going from one extreme to the other, which seemed to be a pattern of his life, he converted to Catholicism and became a Benedictine monk at Ealing Abbey. But this didn't work out because in that particular order he would have had to have become a priest which he didn't want to do so he left. The other problem was that he was interested in Eastern religion which didn't really sit well in that time and place. He had nothing but praise for his fellow monks but knew that life was not for him.

Going back into the world he became the secretary of a political club in London during the '60s, though a less political person I can't imagine, where he again mixed with the establishment elite of the day. He then went to India and was initiated by a swami in the Ramakrishna order. He stayed there for several months then returned to England. He lived in Cornwall for a bit as an antiques dealer, ran a shop selling crystals just before the fashion for them took off and then went back to India. He used to say that though he was born in England he had been conceived in India and that had left its mark on him. When I met him he had just come back from Bombay, as it was known then, where he had run a guest house for the Hare Krishnas (as a non-member) but left because he got fed up with the infighting and jockeying for position. The last straw apparently was a knife fight outside the temple. 

I've given you a brief resumé of Michael's background in view of what comes later on in this story. He was a typical what used to be called seeker after truth and had looked in many places but never found what he was looking for. Unlike most people who either give up or make do and stay where they are, he had always moved on. You might think that shows a certain restlessness or even superficiality on his part but some people have an inner drive that won't let them be satisfied with what doesn't feel right, and I think that was his case. 

So that's Michael. After our initial encounter in the bookshop I met up with him a few more times for further discussions and the eventual outcome of all that was that six months later the two of us were living in Bath, running an antiques shop by day and meditating in the evening. I had given up my job and decided to throw in my lot with him, the two of us leading a life dedicated to the spiritual quest though, it has to be said, without much outer structure. He was 59 and I was 23 so as you can imagine my family and friends were not enthusiastic. In fact, "Are you mad?" was one of the more restrained responses. Michael's family consisted of one cousin who was a retired army colonel and who reacted as you might think a retired army colonel might react but we became friends later on when we got to know each other. In spite of all this opposition sometimes you have to do what you feel is right and, for me, this was one of those times. Michael, I think, was also quite taken aback by how things had turned out but he had lived much of his life by instinct and followed the path as it appeared before him so he was more used to unconventional ways. 

For a few weeks we led this life uneventfully. I enjoyed living in Bath which I think is certainly one of the places where the sense of Albion can break through now and then, and the antiques world has rather more colourful characters in it than the Civil Service where I had worked before. I was reading spiritual books and learning about the various approaches to the search for God and I was practising meditation with the vague idea that one day I might break through into some kind of higher consciousness though I remember Michael tactfully warning me that things weren't quite that simple. But I had the enthusiasm and naivety of the neophyte. And then something rather unusual happened.

We were sitting in meditation as we did every evening at around 9 o'clock when Michael suddenly began to chant what sounded like the OM, the Hindu sacred sound that is supposed to symbolise ultimate truth. It's very similar to the ison or drone in Byzantine chant. He had never done this before and it resonated throughout the room in our small flat. The sound went on and on, becoming louder in the process. I remember feeling slightly concerned about the neighbours as well as being impressed that he could do such a thing. When the chant eventually ceased the room had a totally different atmosphere as though it had been ritually cleansed and purified. There was a presence to it and the silence that ensued seemed a real thing rather than a simple absence of noise. Then Michael began to speak. Except it wasn't him speaking.

The words were coming from his mouth but they were not in his voice. They were spoken without hesitation and with an authority that should have quelled doubt. But, of course, I did doubt. I was and remain a fairly sceptical person. That was what put me off the New Age type teachers I mentioned earlier. At first I thought Michael might be putting on a show but the words, the sense of presence, never mind subsequent experiences and my knowledge of his character, showed this to be impossible. It wasn't Michael. Then I thought that maybe the voice could be that of a real spirit but of the kind contacted in spiritualism, that's to say, not a very elevated being. I had once been to a seance at the Spiritualist Association in London so had encountered this sort of thing before. But that wasn't possible either. The whole tone of the communication, the power, the deep sense of wisdom and love, all showed this to be a spirit of real substance, an exemplar of deep truth. You'll have to take my word for this but I am not someone who is easily impressed. I was more than impressed by this. I was humbled.

I don't much remember much of what was said on that first occasion. Thereafter I kept notes scribbled down after the talk had ended while it was still fresh in my mind but I didn't think it would be very respectful to dash out of the room for pen and paper while it was still going on. However, I do recall that it was mostly an introductory talk. I was greeted not by my name but simply as 'my child'. Interestingly, in all the years they spoke to me they never used my name and nor did they ever use Michael's name when they referred to him, generally calling him 'our brother'. The essence of what he said was that he was pleased Michael and I had made the decision to live together. We had been sent to each other and we would be guided in our spiritual endeavours. I got the impression this was something that had been set up long ago. 

From then on this being and others like him spoke to me through Michael on a regular basis. They would come during our period of meditation and speak for between 10 and 20 minutes. Their subject was mostly the lessons I was here to learn, and they were compassionate but exacting teachers. When I asked them who or what they were they told me to think of them as messengers from God but never gave a name though I did ask. Actually on one occasion I was told a name of which more later. But I think the general no name policy was because names would bring the experience down to a more mundane level and so detract from the spiritual message. Look at some of the fancy names and grandiose titles supposedly higher beings do give themselves in the channelling literature. But names aside, from certain things they said, I understood they were souls who lived beyond this mortal world existing in higher spheres which they described in terms of light, beauty, colour and spiritual glory. They were what is known as Masters.

Now unfortunately this word Masters has a certain amount of baggage attached to it as, of course, do spiritualist or channelling type communications. Regarding the word, they used it of themselves and as I stood to them in the role of a pupil it's appropriate. But it calls to mind the Theosophists and groups deriving from that line of occult thought, and the beings who spoke to me don't seem to have much in common with those worthies. They didn't give me any elaborate esoteric teachings, as people are often disappointed to find, or talk about a New Age or higher consciousness or anything of that sort of thing. No big revelations or world-transforming philosophies. Nothing dramatic. Most of the time they restricted themselves to specific spiritual instruction, tailored to my needs. 

As for the connection with channelling and spiritualism, this is something I have always fought shy of. You might wonder why given there clearly is a connection in terms of the mechanism of the operation but it comes down to the quality of the communication. In my experience the great majority of channelled messages have very limited value and can even be serious distractions if not lures into spiritual blind alleys. Even when you might accept there is something genuine going on, not influenced by the medium's own mind, the communicating entities do not seem of a very high spiritual standard. They may exist in a world beyond this one but that does not mean they have a real proximity to God.

It is often stated by esotericists that high spiritual beings do not communicate through mediums, that being an atavistic practice restricted to spirits still functioning in the lower levels of non-physical reality.  And I agree with this statement. The goal of teachers of this sort is to educate their pupils spiritually not intellectually and so they teach through impressing ideas on the pupil's brain which it is then the pupil's responsibility to pick up on and interpret according to his capacity. Indeed, my instructors told me that this was their aim. But there are exceptions to the general rule and I am bound to say I believe this to be one of them. Of course, such an assertion can't be proved but I do think that anyone who reads their words should be able to sense something of their quality. When studying channelled messages one should know that spiritual teachings have two levels. There are the words and the information conveyed. But there is an inner quality too which is the tone of the teaching, its feel. A teaching coming from a higher source will carry a deeper truth and be more potentially transformative than one from a lower, even if the words are similar. In fact, even if the words are simpler. I've learnt that just because something appears profound does not mean it's true. I know not everyone likes the words higher and lower in this context but they do describe something real.

I should mention something of the nature of Michael's mediumship. He was quite unconscious during the process. He told me he would be lifted out of his body and then feel surrounded by an atmosphere of love before returning which was always painful for him, a jarring re-entry to lower vibrations to use that terminology. Sometimes he would have fallen over if I hadn't been prepared to catch him as I was told by the Masters to be ready to do. He'd ask for a drink of water and it took him several minutes to come to. When he was gone his body would sit bolt upright like one of those ancient Egyptian statues. His eyes would be closed and he remained completely still except for the moving of his lips. The voice that spoke was not his at all, not the timbre, not the accent, nothing. Michael had a middle class English accent but the accent of the Masters speaking through him was not an English one. But then it was not an identifiably foreign one either. It was of someone who spoke perfect English in an idiomatic English style but who you could tell wasn't a native Englishman. They didn't all speak in the same way, I could generally tell the difference, but there was a similarity of tone.  In the book I wrote about them I said that their vocal delivery was strong, measured and assured, almost solemn on occasion but never in the slightest bit stiff or pompous. They never rushed and they never hesitated. 

I have heard recordings of mediumistic seances in which a spirit is supposedly talking. Often it seems to be in quite a mechanical tone of voice or ponderous and stilted, not really human sometimes. This was nothing like that. It was perfectly natural without any portentousness to it. It wasn't
 normal but it was natural.

Michael was not aware of what was spoken through him and if I asked did he want to know he expressed no interest. It was for me, he said. I asked him how long he had known of the existence of the Masters, and if and how they spoke to him. He said they had contacted him first around the time of our meeting but not fully made themselves known to him until we started living together. They spoke to him clairaudiently or sometimes he would just hear a voice 'inside his head'. On occasion he also saw beautiful faces. Michael was not an intellectual type of person by any means and he didn't analyse what he experienced but he had good spiritual instincts and, most of all, a great capacity for love. It was that, so the Masters told me, that enabled them to use him as their medium. 

I don't know if any of you are familiar with a couple of books written by Swami Omananda, actually an Irishwoman called Maud McCarthy. They describe how a protegé of hers, known simply as the Boy, was used as a medium by the Masters, though much more extensively and publicly than Michael was, during the 1930s and '40s. His character, its simplicity, straight-forwardness and integrity, coupled with a spiritual temperament quite uninterested in abstract speculation and theory, reminds me very much of how Michael was. The Boy was from a working class background whereas Michael was upper middle class and had led quite a sophisticated life, mixing on familiar terms with many of the well-known people of his day, but there always remained a kind of innocence about him which endeared him to some people but made others think he was a bit of a fool. I prefer to say he retained a child-like quality all his life and I think that's what made him useable by the Masters. Our analytical brain is a great gift if we want to get things done in the physical world but it can block out the pure simplicity of spiritual truth if it gets out of hand as it certainly has done in our day.

People ask me how do I know Michael wasn't just faking the whole thing. It's a fair question but it does presuppose a particularly devious personality and I know that just wasn't him. Besides, if he could have faked the depth of wisdom and spiritual authority that came through him he could have cleaned up on the guru trail. I'm not joking. I've seen a fair number of gurus and holy men in this world and none of them could hold a candle to the Masters. Moreover, this carried on from 1979 to 1999 though it was much reduced after the early years. There would have been no reason for him to keep doing it other than some kind of deep-rooted psychological problem which it was obvious he didn't have. I didn't live with Michael because supernatural voices told me to. They did say that was their desire for our mutual benefit but they left me free to do as I wished. They also pointed to flaws in his character that I might be able to help him with though the chief aim of that was to teach me how to talk to others without criticising them which they regarded as one of my faults.

If he wasn't faking could it have been some kind of multiple personality thing or dissociative identity disorder as it's now called? Well, it was multiple personality in that there were several beings who spoke through Michael but they were not split off aspects of his own self. I can say this with confidence because of the profound qualitative differences there were between them and him. These were not different personalities along a horizontal plane but along a vertical one. They were far beyond him by every measurement. Michael had no history of mental illness nor had there been any childhood trauma or abuse. He said he'd had a happy childhood and he gave no sign of being bipolar or depressive or schizophrenic or anything like that. He could be emotional at times but the Masters actually mentioned that this aspect of his character was linked to his mediumship.

I am firmly of the opinion that any unusual experience should be subjected to rigorous scrutiny but on this occasion it does seem as though the explanation offered by the voices themselves, the most straight-forward one really, is the true one.

I think at this point I should read out some of the things that were said to me by the Masters. As I said earlier, their intention was to instruct me spiritually. They didn't say much about themselves and they didn't give me any theoretical stuff, metaphysics about God or the universe or whatever. They left that for me to sort out for myself though it was assumed that God was real and that the spiritual world was the true ground of this one. But their purpose was practical spiritual training. I kept notes of most of their talks during the first year when they were at their most frequent. I did this less later on and I have lost the notebooks I used after the first one but the general themes were similar so that's not as unfortunate as it might be.

Here's my log of one of the early talks. I had moved in with Michael on January 1st 1979 and this talk is dated 15th February so the talks might have been going on for a week or two at this stage. I was still being broken in as one might put it.

The Master said he was pleased with my progress. He stressed the need to remain diligent and conscientious, and told me to keep on striving and forging ahead. My next trial would be in my relationship with Michael. Due to various experiences in his life, and the sort of life he has led, he has had to present a front to the world. This is necessary as, in his evolved state, lower vibrations could harm him. As I have not led a sophisticated life I might find this acting a role difficult to understand but it is with my assistance that Michael can find his true self. It is the will of the Masters that Michael and I help each other. I can help him find his true self through respect, understanding and love while he can train me in the outer spiritual path. The Master said it was not necessary to inform Michael of the contents of this talk as they communicated with him separately.

I wrote down the Masters' words after the talk so although I tried to keep their exact words as much as possible it's inevitable that some of this is expressed in my language. On the other hand, I did want to preserve the form of their delivery as best I could as well as the substance and I would say most of this is as they spoke albeit trimmed down to the essential.

What is being said here is twofold. There is encouragement and the attempt to stiffen my resolve for the life ahead which is not going to be as rosy as I might have imagined. Like many people I had thought that leading a spiritual life would be a matter of a speedy progression to the sunny uplands of joy and bliss etc. Ah, the naivety of the innocent! It's actually much more about a dredging up of all the darkness in one's soul and the confrontation with the reality of who you are. This is going to entail suffering and that's just how it is.

The second thing relates to me and Michael and our life together. We had joined forces but we were two very different people. Different generations but also different types. Sometimes his behaviour annoyed me. It could seem worldly and at odds with our spiritual intentions. The Masters explained why that might be but I was being told to develop tolerance. 

Here's another talk from around the same time.

The Master warned me that from now on I must guard against great joys as well as great depressions and should keep an even keel at all times. He said I should also guard against negative entities which will attack when I least expect it in ways that I least expect. He told me to listen to Michael and remain with him for the present. It is they, the Masters, who have arranged this life together and though I may not understand it all now, things will become clearer later on. Michael is as he is because the Masters have arranged it for the purposes of teaching me. All is proceeding well and is guided and arranged by God and His Masters who look forward to being reunited with me. He said it is not wrong for me to talk to Michael about aspects of his personality I think could be improved on but do it for his sake and the love of God not because I want to change him or am irritated by him.

Here again there is encouragement and warning. What these write ups don't include are the questions I asked the Masters though I incorporate their response. As I hinted I sometimes found it difficult to get on with Michael in our daily life because of our different characters and also because I was somewhat judgemental. I had probably asked for some advice on this score. But the Masters never pandered to my weaknesses. I was told that anything I said or did had to be for the right reason or else it just wouldn't work. 

There is also a mention of negative entities and that these might attack. The Masters fully accepted the reality of evil, including supernatural evil, in our universe. They mentioned this on several occasions and warned that the more progress one made on the spiritual path the more one would be attacked by evil. The form of attack might vary but was usually psychological as in fanning the flames of negative characteristics such as anger, irritation, depression, hatred, etc until you get to the point where you identify with the emotion and start to become it. I was told to be aware of this and watch out for it within my mind. Evil can only work with what's there. If you expunge evil from your own heart it is helpless but evil is very subtle and as, the Master said, will attack in ways you least expect at times when your defences might be down. I should add that once after a talk something really nasty got into Michael and physically attacked me. This apparently was a possibility due to his mediumistic tendency and the fact that after the Master left an evil spirit could, as it were, nip in before Michael got back. The Masters had helpers who functioned on lower planes than they themselves did and who were responsible for the smooth running of the operation but sometimes things could go wrong though I only remember this happening once or twice. On this occasion it was soon dealt with by the helpers and the spirit expelled. This might sound rather outlandish but it's just how things are. In our day few people are physically possessed by demons due to the lower levels of psychic polarisation. We are more mentally focused. On the other hand, I would say demons can influence us on both the intellectual and emotional levels and this is not uncommon. CS Lewis's book The Screwtape Letters might be fiction but it's not fantasy.

The Master says that he looks forward to being reunited with me. What this points to is the pre-existence of the soul. As far as I know this is not accepted by Christianity but it makes sense. Do we really think we began only in this life? Personally I never have thought that and always regarded myself as having come here from somewhere else. I am not talking about reincarnation necessarily but the truth is we are spiritual beings in earthly form and we need to start coming to terms with the implications and responsibilities of that.

Here's the next talk.

The Master said I must have more control over my moodiness which was due to the fact I was in a young body. Rather than being swayed by moods I should ignore them. He said that this would be the last talk for a while as Michael was getting too weak to be used as a medium for a while. The Masters would guide and protect us as long as we did their will which was to live together in love and harmony. He would watch over our progress and come back at a later date. He said at this stage I should regard the Masters not as individuals but as messengers from God. He sent his love and blessings and the love of the higher Masters. 

The Masters made clear that mediumship of this sort took a lot out of Michael and that I should never start taking it for granted. In this talk they also mention what they call the higher Masters confirming that there is hierarchy even in heaven which is the traditional understanding as well. In fact, these higher Masters did talk to me as well occasionally, not often but now and then, and here is a record of a talk given by one of them.

I was talked to by one of the higher Masters. The feeling of power and majesty was almost overwhelming but he spoke kindly and unusually even gave his name though it was not one I was familiar with. He told me that the body is a frame and its functions are not to be feared. He said it was designed for beings of a lesser evolution than myself and was more suited to their needs. He said that sometimes it is the will and not the action that counts, and stressed I should avoid lassitude as I have important work to do. He told me to have faith, courage and determination and said that I was always protected by his helpers.

I need to say first of all that the important work referred to just means the lessons I was learning at the time with Michael. Then I should say a word or two about the phrase 'lesser evolution'. It is a tenet of many spiritual philosophies that we come to Earth to develop our spiritual potential. So this is not like random Darwinian evolution but more the gradual unfolding of qualities already present in embryo. As the Masters told me at other times, Earth is a school and we are here to learn. There are souls at different stages of learning just as a school has different classes. Systems like the Indian caste system were originally based on that idea and though we have rejected these in favour of egalitarian democracy nowadays we need to understand that they were not just systems based on power and oppression but said something important about how human beings are.

When I wrote the book about my experience with the Masters I didn't mention the name I was given here but earlier this year I was reading Tolkien's translation of the old English poem Beowulf and there is a section in the poem where Beowulf is compared to an ancient hero who was also a dragon slayer. That hero's name was Sigemund and this was the name given by the higher Master. At the time I wasn't familiar with the name and it meant nothing to me in particular. I wrote it down phonetically as ' Siggermund'.

What I find intriguing in Tolkien's notes on the reference to Sigemund in his Beowulf translation is that he says this "is the oldest reference to the Sigemund story that is now extant, even in point of manuscript date." He makes this point because in later versions it is Sigemund's son Siegfried who kills the dragon, as also in Wagner. But Tolkien thinks these later accounts have embellished the story, as often happened with myths and legends which grew as they moved through time, and that Sigemund acquired a son who took over his exploits. So, for Tolkien, Sigemund not Siegfried is the original dragon slayer.

This is interesting to me because it gives the name extra significance. Sigemund is a kind of original hero of Northern European civilisation and the fact that this is the only name any of the Masters gave seems to have some relevance, to me at any rate. What is more, it was the name of one who was described as a higher Master and whose tone and manner were certainly that of a being of extraordinary power and authority. He didn't speak to me much but I can still remember that it was like being in the presence of a great king.

There is one other incident connected with Sigemund which I can't help mentioning in the context of this conference even though I could justifiably be accused of straying into the realms of fantasy. That is the similarity of something in his story with something in the story of Arthur. I don't know if this incident occurs anywhere else and is a staple of myth or if it is unique to these two. I am referring to the successful drawing of a sword from a solid foundation (a stone in one case, a tree in the other), a task that has defeated all those who have tried before. This is confirmation that the hero is the true son of a divine or royal father, and is both an initiation and acceptance of destiny. Sigemund and Arthur are, in this sense, related.

So, for what it is worth, Sigemund was the name of one of the Masters who spoke to me, the only one I was ever given. 

Here's an excerpt from another talk.

I was told that it was very important that I always remembered the Creator, keeping Him in my thoughts at all times. Throughout the day I should constantly visualise a white light surrounding and protecting me. This is a very crucial period for me and I was vulnerable to attacks from outward evil that would affect my thoughts if I let it. If antagonistic thoughts did arise I should dispel them by concentrating on the Masters. I had to do my work in the market but should remain unattached to it. What we needed would be provided. 

This speaks for itself for the most part. I would just draw attention to a couple of things. One is, remember the creator. This is the simplest instruction but actually covers almost everything you need if you really do it. By fixing your mind on God you start to draw close to him and that very thought acts as a kind of purifying agent.

The second point is the remark that what we needed would be provided. We worked in an antiques market and had to make a profit through buying and selling antiques. That was the only source of our income so we had to take it seriously. At the same time, it was only a means of making a living. The real work lay elsewhere. The fact is what we needed was provided and I take this to mean that if you do dedicate yourself to God he'll look after you though you should never just sit back and assume things will drop into your lap. Have confidence in God but don't ever take him for granted.

Next talk.

I was told that my life must continue in a routine, in fact, until I left my physical body. The Master said that they always knew what was in my mind but it was up to me to broach a subject if I wanted to discuss it. They impressed things on me but it was my responsibility to act on them. When I speak to Michael about things that I thought important I should at all times do so calmly so he would know that what I was saying came from deep intuition and not petty caprice. No-one can accept something that he is told angrily even if in his heart he knows that it is true.

As a point of interest, petty caprice is not a phrase Michael would ever have used. That's the case with a lot of words and phrases the Masters used.

I think I am running out of time so I won't comment any further on the talks but here are excerpts from a few more. I haven't selected these for any particular reason. They are fairly typical.

The Master’s message was that I should occupy myself during the day and not think so much. He said I dream and moon about too much and live too much in the mental. I must be more practical and learn to live on the earth plane. Again he said that I should work using my hands. Simple tasks were enough but I should use them regularly. This was the best way for me to conquer my lack of humility. The Masters would think for me and I should follow them and not bother myself with a lot of theory. He was pleased by what he called my great love for Michael as he said that we would be together for quite a while on Earth. My black moods are caused by the evil forces attacking me so I must keep myself busy allowing myself no time to brood.

Michael and I were together for 21 years which is quite a while. 

The Master said that at night we should attune ourselves to the higher planes by meditation or prayer so that when we left our bodies we could go there quickly and easily. He said that music was a wonderful medium but I should not listen to it to excess as it tended to make me listless and dreamy. Earth is a school and I have work to do here. The wish to experience the glories of the higher planes was understandable but should not be indulged or the reason for being on Earth would be neglected. Now I needed to be earthed and that was one thing that Michael was there to help me with. He told me to be more simple and childlike adding. “Do not be as those who seek to penetrate to every corner of the universe but do not know themselves. It is not necessary to chase after the many mysteries of existence. Live simply in the heart and all mysteries will in time become known to you.”  

Many spiritually inclined people seek to escape the hard fact of this world but we are here for a reason, to learn and to serve God wherever he may put us. Joy may come but we should not have it as a priority or reason to seek God.

I asked if constantly thinking of beauty was an unwise habit and he replied that this was natural in a spiritual person but that I should project beauty and not dwell on it. He told me that beauty is everywhere. It varies in degrees according to its closeness to God but there is God in everything and that means beauty. Do not love one thing and despise everything else because it does not match up to what you love. Accept everything on its merits, not judging it or comparing it with more evolved things or the higher planes. Be detached from your surroundings and feel the humility of accepting gratefully whatever God offers you.

Well, there we are. These are a few excerpts from some of the talks that took place during the first year of the process. The fact of the reality of these beings I have called Masters tells us something about the universe. It is a spiritual universe. The physical world in which we live is merely the lowest level of a multi-dimensional reality with the higher worlds being worlds of greater light, freedom, beauty and consciousness. We can attain these higher worlds through proper spiritual development and we have help in this, let's be frank, difficult task. We may not be aware of this help in our conscious minds but if we seek to attune ourselves correctly through humility, meditation and prayer, then we can render ourselves susceptible to divine influence which will prompt us along the right path. But this is not a passive thing. We are only ever guided. Our will is our own. The most important thing we can do is to make the right choices.

The book I wrote about this I called
 Meeting the Masters. It describes the first year of the experience when the communications were at their most frequent. They actually lasted for 21 years and stopped just before the end of the last millennium when Michael died. Since then I have had no outer contact with the Masters nor sought any but I try to put into practice what they taught me and that is a constantly ongoing process. I have been fortunate enough to have had living proof of the reality of the spiritual world and would like to pass that on to anyone else who might be interested.

Thank you for listening. 

That was my talk. The three other speakers were John Fitzgerald, Terry Boardman and Andy Thomas who all gave fascinating talks with lots to think about. John's talk is here. It's called Resistance and Renewal: The Restoration of Logres in a Time of Dissolution, and is very much worth reading. Bruce Charlton calls it a major piece of work and it is.