Sunday, 15 September 2019

Computers and Demons

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Why Did Frodo Fail?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, 7 September 2019

The End of a World

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

The Marriage of Being and Becoming

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, 29 August 2019

I'm A Spiritual Person

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

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

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

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

Sunday, 25 August 2019

What Is the Devil Most Seeking to Destroy?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, 22 August 2019


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

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

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

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

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

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

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