Tuesday, 17 May 2022

God and Man

 The great achievement of the West, culminating over the last 500 years, has been the creation of the full individual. In no other culture anywhere in the world has the individual had any real value, and although there are tributaries feeding into this river from classical times, essentially from Greece, its real source can be regarded as Christianity and specifically Christ, the God who became Man and was both fully human and fully divine. No doubt, the actual human type of Western man counted for a good deal as well but the philosophical, intellectual and spiritual underpinning of the importance of the individual was rooted in the Christian concept of the person.

It is sometimes said that Man adds nothing to God. God is the Absolute, the infinite and the eternal to which nothing can be added and from which nothing can be taken away. If that were the case, why creation? But let's not reduce God to a mathematical concept or an abstraction. He is the Living God and he is Love. Note we say he. This is no linguistic accident. God is not it (if he were, there would be no love) and he is not she as he is the impregnating spirit that gives life and form to matter. He stands outside creation which is generated by him not incubated in him, and all creation is receptive, i.e. feminine, to him.

God is a person, the Person, and we are made in the image of God. What is a person? It is a free individual. Many religions discount the idea of freedom and that of the individual, seeing man as either nothing in relation to God (Islam) or part of God in a way that completely emphasises the divine over the human (most Eastern religions). Only in Christianity, the religion in which God became man, is the individual and his intrinsic freedom truly valued. In this way, man, each individual man and woman, can add something to the spiritual life of the universe and therefore to God once they realign themselves with divine being. Our God-realised individual self makes the universe a richer, more creation filled place.


Friday, 13 May 2022

Evil is Evil

 There is a certain strain in esoteric thought that considers evil to be necessary for good to come about, a kind of resistance required for good to arise by virtue of being forced to push back against it. According to this understanding, evil is simply the darkness against which one can more clearly see the light. 

I completely reject that idea. Evil is evil, full stop. 

At the same time, God is God and can make good come out of evil but that does not justify evil in any way. It remains wrong and a result of the fallen ego. Lucifer is not Christ's dark twin in some mysterious way working with him for long term evolutionary benefit. He is not there to enable self-consciousness to arise and grow. He is not a misunderstood good guy. He is a rebel against God not a partner with him. It's important not to get sucked into this false idea. Sin does not have to be experienced in order to overcome it. Darkness does not have to be integrated in order for a person to be in some sense whole. Evil is not part of good. Judas was not Christ's true disciple doing his work as a form of self-sacrifice. These are all deceptions and have no part in proper holiness. To believe that evil is anything other than evil will corrupt the soul. It is like peering into the abyss. Do that and you risk being drawn in.

I was prompted to write this post after reading a comment that Bruce Charlton made on his blog disagreeing with Rudolf Steiner who apparently believed that Lucifer was 'not really evil' but a kind of evolutionary force that could go wrong but was fundamentally positive. See the comment here at 17.57.  Some of the Gnostics also thought this. I disagree with Steiner as well and so does someone else who knows better than any of us. "Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!" (Matthew 18:7)

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

On the Other Hand....

I don't mean to be deliberately contrarian, following on the last post with this one, but just to make a point. Everything depends on definition, after all. I still maintain that humanity is on a path of spiritual evolution and therefore cannot remain as it was. I believe in progress but I believe in spiritual progress which always builds on the past, even though it may introduce new dimensions of being. However, it is organic meaning it grows from its roots. Any growth, or imagined or claimed growth, that is not from the roots is a perversion and a deviation. It is a cancer. Our vaunted modern growth, what we call progress, is, for the most part, a cancer. It is a response to stimulation from the higher worlds but a response from lower being and self-will. The sun causes coarse weeds and beautiful flowers to grow. Modern civilisation is a powerful and choking weed that has flourished in the dark heavy manure of sin and is driving out more delicate and sensitive plants. 

In the previous post I said I was not a conservative but I don't completely deny that label. A conservative such as myself values the past and is loyal to the best of the past while not being blind to its failings. He sees how the beauty and wisdom of past achievement was a sincere response to divine impulse and an attempt to express the truth and dignity of God. He also sees how much of humanity's artistic and philosophical productions of the last, shall we say, two centuries has been a response to the devil, celebrating ugliness, sin and perversion. He doesn't want to return to the past because he is a modern man with a modern man's awareness of self but he regards it, for the most part and with provisos but certainly in respect of its higher elements, as a genuine attempt to engage with the spiritual life. We are not the people we were and can never be again, nor should we be, but we can certainly recognise that we were going along a path that led, more or less, in the right direction albeit with many twists and turns, came to a fork in the road and took the wrong turning. We should have gone straight ahead but turned left and the path we took is leading downwards.

This is the sense in which I am a conservative. As someone who recognises that the past for all its faults was usually an attempt to engage with God, and that tradition sought to preserve that in a fallen world. Whereas, in the present time for all our undoubted achievements we have largely succumbed to spiritual corruption and are putting up an increasing number of impenetrable barriers in our consciousness to goodness, beauty and truth.


Sunday, 8 May 2022

Why I am not a Conservative

 I know that many people who read this blog would regard themselves as on the right but I don't think of myself in those terms. I am certainly not on the left and never have been, not even in my youth when that approach is generally fashionable, but I don't see myself as a conservative (even with a small 'c') either. There are many things from the past that I would wish to conserve and I do see leftism, for want of a better word, as the main source through which evil and spiritual destruction have been brought into the world and continue to be brought into the world, but that does not mean that we should return to a time before the leftist monster reared its ugly head. For one thing, the past was very imperfect which is why the spirit of reform was justified, but more significantly, human consciousness evolves and what was right at one time ceases to be right at another.

I am reading a book by Nikolai Berdyaev about Dostoyevsky who was my favourite author back in the days when I read fiction. Him and Tolkien anyway, a strange couple if ever there was one! Berdyaev says of Dostoyevsky that he should "not be regarded as a conservative or reactionary in the current sense. He was revolutionary-minded in a deeper way. He saw no possibility of a return to the conception of life, a static and immovable form, that existed before the arising of the revolutionary spirit. He was the first to notice how movements gain impetus in the world, the whole tending towards an end. "The end of the world is coming," he wrote in his notebook. This is not the attitude of a conservative. His hostility against revolution was not that of a man with a stale mind who takes some interest or other in the old social order, but the hostility of an apocalyptic being who takes the side of Christ in his supreme struggle with Antichrist. Now he who marches with Christ with his face towards the last great battle at the end of time is a man of the future and not of the past, every bit as much as him who marches with Antichrist. The conflict between revolutionaries and counter-revolutionaries is a superficial affair between the has-beens who have been supplanted and the supplanters who now have the first places at feasts. Dostoyevsky stood aside from that contest and was ranged among those for whom revolution of  the spirit opposes the spirit of revolution."

There is more in this vein but the point I wish to make is this. The past has gone. Much that was good has been destroyed but it cannot be restored in the form in which it existed any more than we can bring back the glories of ancient Egypt. What we need to do is reestablish the spirit that built the form of the past but find new ways in which to express it. And that spirit will also be different because we are different. Human consciousness has changed. It is more self-aware and that is a necessary development. It is why the past cannot be brought back.

Conservatives favour a return to or preservation of the form of the past. Whilst agreeing that much has been jettisoned that was noble and beautiful we must make a clear distinction between form and spirit. What really matters is that the connection to spirit is maintained or, in our case, restored. If and when that happens a new form will arise that grows out of the new spiritual awareness but, at the same time, will obviously be built on the same principles as the structures of the past. Materialistic revolutionaries destroy in order to completely remake but spiritual evolutionists seek to fulfil the law and the prophets not to overturn them.

The battle is not between right and left and those that think it is will find themselves in one way or another on the side of the left. The battle is between the forces of Christ and those of the Antichrist, between divine creation and that which attempts to undermine, reframe or destroy divine creation. We have to keep our eyes fixed on the spiritual ball and not be led astray by what are ultimately only worldly things. It's because conservatives often are so led astray, and also because they don't properly appreciate the evolutionary nature of human consciousness and unfoldment, that I am not a conservative.


Friday, 6 May 2022

Earth is a School review request

 The publisher of Earth is a School has reminded me that it has received no reviews on Amazon yet and reviews generate sales, to put it bluntly. Bruce Charlton and J.M. Smith of the Orthosphere were kind enough to provide endorsements and it has received a few favourable reviews elsewhere for which see below but nothing on Amazon so if anyone has read and appreciated it and doesn't mind saying so, I would be very grateful.

Lynne Jordal Martin at foxnews.com reviewed Earth is a School on NetGalley  
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. "I will consider inviting the author to write an op-ed for Fox News Opinion based on this book. It's a thought provoking, intriguing perspective on life that deserves a wide audience"

David Lorimer, the Programme Director and Editor at Paradigm Explorer, also reviewed the book. “Many spiritual teachers see Earth as the school, and in this book the author suggests that we are in an end of term examination period. It is based on 40 years of study and experience, arguing that we ignore invisible spiritual forces at our peril in a dense age of materialistic bureaucracy. There are valuable discussions of the nature of spirituality, cycles of change, reincarnation and evolution, and the role of Christ. We are encouraged to follow the line of most rather than least resistance, holding fast to our spiritual core while balancing immanence with transcendence. In this way, we can light a candle in the darkness.

Ana Isabel of the In the Light-Growing Your Soul podcast reviewed the book on Good Reads and gave it a 4 (out of 5) star rating.

Why are we here? This is possibly one of the oldest and asked questions in history. In this book, William Wildblood presents his understanding learned through communication with Ascended Masters. He looks at how each Soul develops and grows through each life on Earth. This is a deep and thought provoking book which can inspire us to be the best that we can be.”

 

Tuesday, 3 May 2022

Cyclical Time and Linear Time

In many traditional spiritualities time was regarded as flowing in cycles with a primeval Golden Age when man walks with the gods descending to a spiritually darkened time in which matter becomes more dense and impenetrable and consciousness collapses in on itself. Then the process concludes in cosmic destruction and a new era commences with another Golden Age.

Christianity rejected that idea, presenting a new understanding in which time progresses in a linear fashion from creation in the Garden of Eden leading eventually through a historical process to the city of the New Jerusalem in which creation is transformed and drawn up into divine reality.

Many people in the spiritual world nowadays reject the Christian view and prefer the cyclical one, seeing it as making more metaphysical sense. Strangely enough, one approach that roughly mirrors the Christian idea is the modern materialistic understanding of human life which would maintain we are progressing to a better human form in which science and technology correct all the faults of our physical bodies and give us, if not immortality, at least a more perfect vehicle to house our consciousness which will also be tweaked and improved though technological means whether that be drugs or even by blending us with machines. This is transhumanism, a great spiritual evil because it denies the spirit replacing it entirely with matter, but one to which the modern world seems inevitably to be tending.

Which of these two ideas about time is the more accurate? My answer is that both are true. Time is indeed cyclical but it also moves forward and if there is a spiritual descent the purpose of that is to bring about conditions in which consciousness can become more individualised with a greater sense of personal freedom in the constricted material conditions. Then there can be a reascent but with the fruits of greater self-awareness.

Most people interested in traditionalist metaphysics believe that all religions convey the same essential truths. There is a perennial philosophy which is the root of them all and they differ only in externals and certain relatively unimportant doctrines. I think this is a mistake. There is something qualitatively different about Christianity and what Christ brought to human consciousness. It has to do with freedom, it has to do with love and it has to do with time. In traditional metaphysics time is something to be transcended. One goes beyond all aspects of the material to enter into complete spiritual consciousness. But Christ redeemed creation which means the qualities of the relative world are not completely transcended and effectively lost but they are spiritualised and thereby add something to divine reality, something that was not there before.

Time is certainly a great mystery in that there is a state beyond earthly time which is the state of divine being. But it is not simply an illusion from the spiritual point of view. It is not just swallowed up in eternity. Through time creation is brought to fulfilment but then at the end of worldly time something happens that is similar to what happened to Christ's body at the Ascension. Time will be taken up into eternity but it will thereby enrich eternity, its quality sweetening eternity as sugar when dissolved sweetens tea.

Thursday, 28 April 2022

A Dehumanised Future

 We supposedly live in a humanistic age, one in which mankind is central and owes nothing to anything or indeed anyone beyond itself. We are our own justification. We celebrate ourselves, and our art, politics and science are all based on expanding our knowledge and deepening our fulfilment of ourselves as ourselves. For some our potential is limitless but it is still our potential as human beings even if we bring the universe into it on some abstract or quasi-spiritual level.

What we don't realise is that humanity restricted to humanity is doomed to a solipsistic nihilism, however much we may give our fundamental emptiness a false glamour. The human being can only find any real fulfilment when it goes beyond itself. In fact, the human being is only properly human when it understands itself to be more than human. Humanism actually means separation from God so it is an anti-spiritual philosophy. Truth to tell, it is an anti-human philosophy because the human being without God is destined for death.

We don't live in a humanistic age. We live in an inhuman age. We cover up that grim reality with technological distractions and false ideas about ourself. We are lost, on our own, floating off into the void. We are so insane that people who are aware of this are regarded as mad or childish because they, so it is said, cling onto fantasies. But the biggest fantasy and the greatest arrogance is that we can live without God. Remove the artificial supports that modern human beings have, take away the elaborate structures we have built up to keep out reality and most people might reflect a little more deeply on what they are and what they should be.

The ground is being prepared for the incarnation of a being known as the antichrist by Christians who is probably the same as the one named Ahriman by the spiritual philosopher Rudolf Steiner. This is that aspect of evil which seeks to bind human beings to the material world and cut them off completely from the spiritual. The advent of this being has been prepared by our reduction of life to what can be weighed and measured. Our modern arts, science, politics and philosophy and even medicine have all been pressed into service to accommodate the ends of this individual who may already have been born. Even religion, which now focuses on materialistic humanitarianism more than true spirituality, serves the ends of antichrist/Ahriman. When he appears he will not be obviously evil like some of the despots of the 20th century. He may even appear benign by the materialistic standards we have built up over the last 2 centuries. But he will seek to divert us from true divine understanding and spiritual life. We need to understand that anything or anyone that promises happiness and fulfilment in this world, whatever it calls itself, is not of God. That doesn't mean that hardship and suffering are good in themselves. That also can be a false path. But this life is intended to serve the greater life and can never be justified in itself. 

The current state of the world has been brought about to make us ripe for the picking when the antichrist arrives. But God has not abandoned us. If we can see through the lies we become spiritually stronger. The lies are permitted because they must be brought out into the open in order for us to overcome them and that which corresponds to them in our own souls. If they were not made manifest and outwardly present in this way we would not be able to defeat them and nor could we deal with the same tendencies that exist within ourselves. There is risk involved. The darkness can overwhelm us or we can use it to see the light more clearly. But we are, or should be, spiritual adults now and we can only progress spiritually by facing reality and dealing with it. God will protect us but he will not overprotect us for then we would never grow up.

Ahriman/antichrist has many servants in the modern world, most of whom don't know they are his servants even though they serve his agenda and prepare his way. I would go so far as to say that more or less everyone in the public eye who has any form of power serves his agenda. If they didn't they wouldn't be there. This will only become more so. The plans are laid for complete control of human consciousness. That's not just control of human beings but control of human consciousness. The best slaves are willing slaves and that is what Ahriman wants and what his agents are currently working for in preparation for his appearance. We have to be aware of this. Preserve your freedom. God gave us complete freedom, making us free even to reject him. No one and nothing can take that away but you can give it away. Never sell your birthright, no matter what is offered in exchange for whatever is offered is worthless really. Stay free.