Wednesday 27 July 2016

Question on Justice and Mercy

Here's an interesting question prompted by the previous post.

Q. Why do you think so many spiritual people are left/liberal in outlook? I've noticed this over and over again. It seems to be the default position for many spiritually inclined people today who are shocked if you express any point of view other than the standard modern secular one. Don't they realise that their moral and/or political position is taken from non-spiritual sources and materialistic assumptions?

A. Perhaps the clue to the answer is in the word 'liberal'. The people you refer to are usually modern before they are spiritual and so tend to associate the right with old-fashioned, out-moded ways of thinking which should have been left behind as unenlightened and prejudiced. Piscean rather than Aquarian, as they might put it (see below). So for them the right is restrictive while the left is compassionate, humanitarian, inclusive and so on. What they fail to see is that the modern left is 
fundamentally anti-spiritual because it is anti-God. If it allows him at all it is only on its own terms. Leftism fits easily into the modern narrative because it is the modern narrative, and nobody likes to be thought old fashioned, out of date and anti-progress. But then you have to believe in progress to worry about that.

As you correctly say, the left/liberal point of view has been formed from beliefs that rejected God and spirituality so it might seem odd that it has been taken up by people who profess an interest in spiritual things. But I think this is because a lot of 'spiritual but not religious' people had their spirituality formed by a New Age type approach which came after they had already adopted a basically secular moral position. As a result of this they have a pantheistic attitude in which impersonal consciousness is deemed the highest state and a blanket oneness without distinction the deepest reality. This is a mistaken spiritual position because it ignores God or else relegates him to a subordinate place of little consequence, but it is very attractive to the modern mindset because it doesn't challenge that mindset too much. However the question must be which is more important to a sincere spiritual aspirant? Spiritual truth or modern secular morality? Which has to accommodate itself to which in their eyes? When they conflict which must give way? I would suggest that a major line of demarcation between the two arises from the contrast between the traditional spiritual idea of the human being as fallen and in need of salvation through humility and repentance, and the humanistic idea of people as basically good and not in need of fundamental structural alteration. 
The latter position is incompatible with true spiritual insight because it ignores the corruption inflicted by the Fall.

Many spiritually inclined people are under the dominance of the powerful modern thought forms of oneness and equality. They don't see that these are not operative, or not operative in the same way, on the material plane where multiplicity must also be taken into account. An understanding of the great chain of being would put things into better perspective. This is the totality of living beings that stretches from an archangel to an amoeba and, though all beings in this chain are united in God, the range of consciousness is clearly vast. Thus truth, properly considered, is not the one alone and it's not the many alone either. It is both together. The people you comment on are really only acknowledging oneness and overlooking the hierarchical element, the element of difference and distinction. Oneness is the underlying reality because we are all part of God's creation but it cannot be considered uniquely. It relates only to an aspect of our being but it does not comprise the totality of it. It must be viewed in tandem with the reality of creation in which, as the Masters say, men are by no means equal. 

The idea of a New Age governed by Aquarius is another strong thought form in the contemporary spiritual mind, and it is true that Aquarius does have certain things in common with the left/liberal position. However, even if we assume this influence is real, the fact is that genuine spiritual insight and behaviour has nothing, I repeat, nothing, to do with shifting astrological influences. The Aquarian state is not more 'advanced' than the Piscean one. It is merely different, and neither has any particular bearing on true spiritual understanding. In fact, if anything, the departing sign of Pisces has a greater spiritual impact on the psyche than Aquarius which is intellectual/scientific/humanitarian (in the horizontal sense of human beings perceived separately from God) in nature. But then, as I say, spiritual understanding is not an outcome of anything astrological. Think of it more as the pure white light behind the tints and shades that the astrological signs can only put on that light and you'll be closer to the truth.

I might have sub-titled the previous post "The Perversion of the Mother Principle" because if you think of what is driving the agenda in the world today in terms of the feminine aspect of God, whether that be as divine mercy or as matter itself, then much becomes clearer. On the one hand, this aspect is over-emphasised and taken out of its proper context, while, on the other, it is bent and twisted so that it no longer resembles itself in any natural way. The Father aspect can also be perverted, of course, but while this has happened in the past, it is not happening to the same extent today except perhaps in the Muslim world but that has no bearing on the immediate problems of the West other than as an external factor. Why do I mention this here? Because it is the Mother principle, disfigured and distorted, that is behind left wing ideology. Having been left out of the reckoning for so long the Mother principle is now coming back into the forefront of consciousness but, in the process of so doing, it has been captured and perverted by the demons who are corrupting the world at this time. Because it is new it is revealing things that have been obscured or overlooked in the past, and this attracts many people who wish to be at the cutting edge of thinking. Unfortunately, because they lack discrimination, they don't see that it is coming back in a corrupted form, and without the necessary balancing authority of the Father principle. 

The left is certainly anti-spiritual but take care. That does not mean you can call the right spiritual. A true (small c) conservative position would certainly be more in line with traditional spiritual attitudes than anything else, but the modern right has practically nothing of that about it. The real division, as I have said before, is not between left and right, both of which can be and are corrupted and both of which only arose at the time of the large scale rejection of spiritual truth anyway, but between those who love God and those who reject him. The left is the main means of corruption at the present time because it focuses on earthly goods at the expense of spiritual ones (and is insincere in that besides), but this could change so the spiritual aspirant has to keep both eyes open and work always at self-purification so that, whatever happens in the world, he keeps to the straight path. The one that bends neither to right nor to left but leads to God.

Wednesday 20 July 2016

Reflections on Justice and Mercy

Increasingly the world is a battleground for the forces of right and left, neither of which can see any good in the other. But what if both these viewpoints derive (ultimately and at a very great distance) from qualities that are traditionally associated with God, the two which form the title of this post and the two main pillars of his temple? These could also be regarded as Truth and Love, and when described like that it seems obvious that both are equally necessary and equally part of the whole, neither being complete without the other for there is no love without truth and no truth without love.

A great problem in the world today is that people can't reconcile love and truth but that is essential if one is to know real love and real truth, and not just ideas or mental images of them.

You might think that a sensible person would row their boat using both oars, as it were, but the situation is not that simple, not in practice anyway. Truly we need to be as wise as serpents at this point in history when the Kali Yuga is in full swing and the End Times approach. Thus we have to know that, while evil cannot create anything of itself, it can and does distort God's light. That's how it operates. It corrupts the good. Today the idea of love or mercy has been corrupted and is used as a weapon against truth. Both left and right pervert their originating principles but the corruption of love by the left is the most significant distortion of reality at the present time. Why? Because it takes love out of its context which is God. If it is not rooted in that it is just a transient emotion with no real substance to it and nothing to sustain it. Nor is it directed to its proper end.

The cultural left is clearly the main weapon in the great current rebellion against God. It uses the supposed good of the merely human in order to deny the divine. That is because its world view is based on materialism but this is not so much that it thinks materialism is true as that it wants to think materialism is true, and that is because it wants to deny God. Thus it pretends it is motivated by love or compassion when it is actually more often than not driven by hate, hatred of spiritual truth, even if this is usually disguised from and not admitted to itself. As such it attracts those who are themselves rebels against the divine order and who use a theoretical defence of the weak and oppressed as means to further their own egotism, rebellion against truth or search for power*. As for the right, while at its best it might seek to preserve tradition and spiritual authority (though this is increasingly rare), it can too easily descend into authoritarianism, literalism and injustice. However the right, traditionally understood rather than seen as a tool of reaction or a promoter of extreme forms of capitalism, has very little power nowadays. Culturally it has virtually none. This might change but at the moment it is so and is why the spiritual person should train his guns predominantly on the left since that has become the water in which we all swim, and its assumptions are the basic assumptions of what we think of as the civilised world.

As for justice and mercy, each must absolutely and always include the other. They are the Father and Mother of Truth and go together. If that does not happen either one is liable to become a tool of the devil who can use both left and right for his own ends. But he will find that hard to do if we hold these twin principles in a complementary way because then the excesses and imbalances that either one may have if taken on its own or perverted are preventable. And we will find it easy to hold a balanced view of justice and mercy if we are honest about our own motivations, and subject our thoughts and desires to the higher authority that is God. This authority is not a tyrannical one as sometimes ignorantly depicted. It is the authority of the truth of what we actually are so more like the authority of air requiring us to breathe it than something more powerful than us coercing obedience. The Book of Common Prayer says that 'In his service is perfect freedom', and this apparently paradoxical statement sums up what the authority of God really means. Obedience to divine will is freedom but this obedience is never demanded. It is the fulfilment of our being and so should be given, as it will be received, in love.

I have said that the roots of modern political division lie in the focus that each side has on a particular divine quality. Assuming good will, therefore, a rapprochement should be easy. Unfortunately you can't assume good will because the dominant ethos, that of the left, has taken a truth and corrupted it to further an unholy agenda. That is, its unseen masters behind the scenes have done this and their human dupes in this world, many of them no doubt well-intentioned (though many not), have just responded to the impressions that are fed them - though they have only responded as they have because they themselves have not allowed the truth to take hold within them. But then left and right is a false dichotomy. The only real battle is between those who recognise God, or at least who are honestly seeking him in one way or another even if they are not fully aware of that themselves, and those who deny or rebel against the divine order. All other oppositions must be seen in the light of that.

I condemn the left in this post because it is the main tool used by the infernal powers at this time to deconstruct the human image and deny the reality of God and all that springs from that. It is possible that this could be done from a right wing point of view but that is not what is actually happening now. Not for the most part anyway. The only real basis for left wing thought is compassion for the downtrodden but if this is not seen in the context of the reality of God it becomes just another means of oppression. And who was the first person to show this compassion? Who did it at a time when to do so was almost unheard of? From whom does the idea actually originate? Jesus Christ taught that the first should be last and the last first, and that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to go to heaven, but he did not do this from what we would now call a left wing perspective. He did it from the love and knowledge of God. To do otherwise is a pretence, and to put man's well being in this world ahead of the development of his relationship with God is a reversal of priorities that can only come from one place. If you get the priorities right (and work at developing that relationship), the former will be taken care of, but if you get it wrong, as we do now, then neither one of them will go well.

* Note: Of course many ordinary individuals who follow the left/liberal point of view do so chiefly because it is the currently acceptable way of thinking but even they are denying God to a greater or lesser degree.

Saturday 16 July 2016

A Question on How to Believe

This question was asked as a comment in response to the previous post but because comments can sometimes get overlooked I thought I would include it here as well since it is a fundamental question that cuts right to the point of everything.

Q. You say "allow yourself to acknowledge the reality of a Creator who is all love and all goodness, and who is the source of all truth".

 I have been dwelling on -- perhaps obsessing over -- this idea for years now, giving it as sympathetic a hearing as I know how, but always with the same frustrating result: it means nothing to me, explains nothing, makes no sense, produces no fruit, and I just can't get myself to assent to it. I can say the words "God is real," but in my heart of hearts I don't really believe it for a second and I don't know how to. Do you have any suggestions?

A. Thanks for your comment which expresses something very real for many people. 
First of all, let me say that I do appreciate the problem because it is a problem, especially now when the whole culture is against God. Or else the image of God presented by believers is too often clearly a projection of their own ideas, hopes, dreams, fantasies etc. But the point I started from was that the hankering in the heart for something real that was beyond the multiplicity of outer things, and that answered one's cravings (not too strong a word) for goodness, beauty, justice, truth and so on must be based on something solid. You just don't feel thirst if water doesn't exist. 

Then one has to approach the matter through the imagination and intuition rather than thought. This might need faith to begin with but can develop into intellectual insight when nourished by prayer and meditation, if you are that way inclined. Nothing new there, you might say, and you'd be right but how could there be? It's the same old path even if it often gets overgrown. I was told by my teachers that it was important to stay simple and not over-complicate things with excessive thought which tends to go round in circles and get nowhere. Which doesn't mean don't think, but don't think too much. You don't reach truth through thinking, though thinking can help formulate understanding.

I would guess that the fact you're thinking about this so much means you're like a fruit coming to ripening, if you don't mind me putting it that way! But you don't want to do something stupid or deceive yourself just because your desires are pointing you in a certain direction. Maybe you've seen other people do just that. Because people often do believe in God for the wrong reasons, there's no doubt about it. But you don't have to surrender common sense to have faith. You can have a wise faith or a foolish one. 

What you could do is take the idea of a creator as a working hypothesis and see where you go from there. Maybe call it that (the Creator) rather than God as the latter may have a lot of baggage for you. It does for many of us. 

Anyway, try to see the world as an environment in which consciousness can experiment and grow to become more aligned with the intelligence that is at the heart of the universe. You could use the teachings and person of Christ as tools to help you do this but it's not essential. And trust your heart. It's a cliché but it's true. That doesn't mean your feelings as in emotions but what your heart thinks. Honestly, look around you. Where did all this come from? The materialistic idea is frankly preposterous. It all popped into being from nothing? Who could believe that unless the weight of our contemporary culture was insisting on it? Where did you come from? Your mind, your feelings, your very sense of self? Just random mutation of a pile of dust? Believing in that is a far greater stretch than believing in God. You don't have to know what God is. Just see that there is an intelligence and a purpose in the universe but it's not immediately obvious because if it were we wouldn't have to work towards it which means we would not grow. There would be no struggle, no conflict, no testing and spiritual growth comes from these.

Furthermore, we need to understand that there are cycles in the human experience of this world. Now we are in one when the sense of physical matter, the outer world, is emphasised and the sense of spirit is diminished. It's as though the environment had solidified, making it harder to see past it. This may be a natural thing that occurs as time goes by or it may be part of the means whereby we develop the mind. Either way it obscures spirit but if we know what’s taking place it makes it easier to deal with and adjust ourselves to without letting the obscurity lead to blindness.

I’ve gone on too long and am sure won't have said anything you haven't heard before, but sometimes hearing the same thing from a different perspective gives one a new way of looking at old problems. There's no magic button that can be pressed though. This is something we all have to work through on our own if it is to be real for us. The fact that you are doing that suggests to me that you are doing the seeking without which nothing can be found, and that you just need the light to fall at the right angle to make things clear.

                    -                          -                         -                  -                       -

That was my answer to the question at the time. I'd just like to add here that very few people are so certain of the existence of God that they never have the slightest moment of doubt. (Some who think they are certain may be victims of a sort of idée fixe or obsession). It is natural to waver occasionally. It's even healthy to a degree because that way our conception of the divine is given room to grow and doesn't calcify. But we mustn't let our doubts overwhelm our faith. Clouds pass over the sun, and often block it out completely, but the clouds evaporate. It is the sun that is the lasting reality. It just requires a bit more effort to get there when the clouds are out, and the contemporary world is very cloudy. 

When you are surrounded by the almost universal assumption that the material world is all there is, it becomes very hard to see that that is just an assumption founded on nothing. This is particularly the case when one lives a largely artificial life in a largely artificial environment as most of us do today. But when you free your mind from the constraints imposed on it by modernity (not to mention post-modernity), and try to release yourself from fear, fear of being wrong, fear of being foolish, fear of being different, then it is much easier to have faith in a wise and benevolent Creator who gives us the experience of living in this physical world in order that we may more perfectly come to an understanding of our true spiritual being. This does not mean turning aside from intellectual enquiry but real faith does require going beyond using the everyday mind alone - see above.

And if your doubts are brought about by the fact that pain and suffering are in the world you might ask yourself what is this world for? Is it meant to be a playground or a school? Earth is Earth and heaven is heaven, the two have different roles and one is not meant to be the other. Why come to Earth if it is the same as heaven? Perhaps at the end of time Earth and heaven will be made one in a kind of cosmic marriage in which matter is completely spiritualised by virtue of the beings within it who raise it up by their own perfection, rather like Jesus at the Ascension. But that time is not yet so for the moment we have to understand and accept that this world exists to make us fit for full participation in the heavenly reality. Thus it is not perfect because we are not.

Tuesday 12 July 2016

The Spiritual Decay of the West

The whole ideology of the modern West (and increasingly the East as it falls under the shadow of the West) is built on the denial of God. Sometimes we try to convince ourselves that this is a rational response to the world as we see it but that is just not true. There is no proof, as science sees proof, of God but there never has been. Indeed there never could be because, by definition, God is outside the realm of material science. He is not a physical thing and cannot be such because something cannot be the creator of itself.  No, the truth is that we do not want there to be a God because we do not want our freedom, as we see it, to be in any way curtailed. We are against God because we are for ourselves. That is the truth which we cover up by all sorts of grand sounding words and theories but the fact is that if you look into the heart of someone who denies God you will find an egotist. Of course, many religious people are also egotists (as, in some sense, we all are) but, if they are sincere in their religion, and have adopted it for the right reasons, they have taken a step towards recognising that within themselves and trying to do something about it.

It is clear from history that human beings have often rejected God in an attempt to be free but this freedom is merely that of the human ego and so is just another and deeper form of bondage. However the nature of the human being is such that when you have no God to worship you look for something else to satisfy that need (the need for self-transcendence) within yourself. Now we have taken to all sorts of false ideologies and beliefs in order to do this but they all prove hollow and insubstantial because their roots are not in truth. And, strangely enough, we actually know this but cannot bring ourselves to accept the conclusion so we persist in our fantasies. We construct belief systems that pretend that man is primarily a social being or a sexual being or a political being or whatever else it may be, and we base our attitudes on that. But man is first and foremost a spiritual being. Everything else springs from this. If that is denied or ignored the result will be that we live a lie and our hearts and minds will not conform to each other. There will be an alienation caused by this split which will only deepen the wider the split becomes. This is the situation we find ourselves in today.

Modern man has gone mad and doesn't recognises his madness which increases by the day with the result that he needs to build more and more elaborate houses of cards (in science, politics, the arts, even certain forms of spirituality) to hide the reality from himself of his rejection of truth. This resembles nothing so much as an adolescent rebellion, and we are indeed like the prodigal son when he was at his furthest distance from his father. The question is will we, like him, eventually repent and turn back or will we carry on our self-indulgent ways to their inevitable conclusion? This question can be posed both individually and collectively. There's not much we can do about the latter but the former is of crucial importance, and the answer is entirely up to us. The good news is that wherever we are we can start to turn around now, from this very minute. Nothing can stop us except our own lack of will.

This post is called the spiritual decay of the West but one cannot say with any certainty that the decay started at such and such a time. There has practically always been an eroding of spiritual truth even if it is restored from time to time. But perhaps one can date the start of the decay in its current form to the end of the Middle Ages when God began no longer to be viewed as at centre stage and humanism became the predominating ethos. The creature took over from the Creator. This, of course, did bring advances in certain areas but against that we must set the fact that, as time went by, we lost the sense of truth as an absolute; an objective reality that stood above us and to which we should co-ordinate our being. We accepted the idea that reality depended on our interpretation of it and that, as a consequence, there was no such thing as reality. It became malleable. So our roots were in shifting sand. Is it any wonder we have become so fundamentally restless and confused? How could we be otherwise given the unspoken assumption that there is nothing real, nothing true, nothing absolute? Only the understanding that God is real can give our lives that fixed immovable centre that we need to feel secure. Without it we are hollow men who can be blown about in any direction but never find peace.

Decay means that something that was healthy is rotting and normally this is a one way process which cannot be reversed. However in spiritual terms it can if it receives (to put this in modern terms) some energy from outside the system. The birth of Christ was the supreme example of that. But on a smaller scale this can happen to each one of us individually if we open ourselves up to it, and that means (putting it this time in traditional terms) if we repent of our past ways and have faith. Faith in what, you might ask. How can I have faith in God if I don't even know what that means? I would say you don't have to know what it means. You just have to allow yourself to acknowledge the reality of a Creator who is all love and all goodness, and who is the source of all truth. I say 'allow yourself' because this is the reality and all that is preventing you from recognising that fact are the obstructions you put up with your self-centred thought and ego. That's all. Without your suspicious mind (which you are not asked to suspend but to see as something that interprets more than it perceives, perception being an instant thing, not taking place in time like mental processes) you would see the reality of God intuitively and then you could build on that. In this matter it is the mind that blocks perception though when it is correctly guided by intuition then it can help to deepen awareness and understanding.

So, acknowledge the Creator. For people in the West the best way to do that remains the Christian way, or, as I would rather put it, the way of Christ. He is the Illuminator of the Way. For those who might not be comfortable with aligning themselves with a particular branch of Christianity (all much diminished in modern times) Christ can still be, should still be, the centre of their spiritual life as he is the human face of God and in his person transmits the essence of the divine. This is not a recommendation for a pick and mix approach to religion but a recognition that all religions, including Christianity, have lost much of their spiritual force in this day and age but Christ has not. He remains what he has always been which is the Way, the Truth and the Life, though I mean this in a universal sense not a narrow sectarian one. Everybody, except perhaps the greatest saints, needs a form for their belief or it will peter out into emptiness. The form of Christ is the best because it embodies the formless truth to the highest and most perfect extent that has yet been known in this world. Christ will arrest decay.

Thursday 7 July 2016

The Spiritual Corruption of the Elite

This is a blog about spirituality and I usually stay away from political or social matters because they distract from the main issue, and only have any relevance in the light of that main issue anyway. But sometimes the two overlap. The recent referendum in the United Kingdom about whether to remain in the European Union or leave seems to be a case in point. It has brought certain issues to the fore which go beyond the purely mundane or economic which is why so many people in the establishment cannot comprehend the result. That's a positive thing but I still regard the whole process as potentially a lose-lose situation because, whatever the result had been, the outcome was always likely to be further division, more polarisation and nothing good. As it is, the establishment may be shaken by the result but they will probably soon get themselves back into pole position in one form or another.

If the remain side had won the political and intellectual elites would have tightened their grip on society, and the European project of dissolving individuality into uniformity, with the subsequent certainty of greater control by an anonymous centre dedicated to an atheistic liberal/left programme, would have been given the green light to be taken a step further. But the fact that the leave side won, and did so by a very narrow margin, does not bode well either. First of all, the narrowness of the margin draws out and highlights the divisions in society with the consequence of greater antagonism between the two sides.  But secondly, because the leave side is made up of people with widely different and conflicting agendas, there is no way to satisfy one part of it without further alienating another. The most probable outcome now is that the elites will retrench, in maybe a slightly different form but motivated by similar forces, and the situation will carry on, to all intents and purposes, as before. Plus, of course, there is the question of whether these same elites, or ones similar to them but based elsewhere, will wish to punish the errant erstwhile member of their club (or "prove" it made the wrong decision) by subjecting it to economic discipline.

Some see this result as a rebellion by the ordinary man and woman and hope it might even lead to a kind of spiritual revival. I can't see much likelihood of this. I'm sure that a small minority of leave voters were motivated by a desire to reassert divine principles in a society that has abandoned them and replaced them by soulless humanistic aims and goals, but the majority were not acting from this perspective. They were either wishing to recreate an England of the past but with no spiritual aspect to it (the secular right) or else simply rebelling against an elite that has ignored, marginalised and taken for granted, if not actively despised, them (the traditional left). Fair enough, but this is not the basis for any kind of spiritual rebirth. Let's be honest. Voters on both sides are equally in thrall to the materialist ethos of the present day. They are hardly ready to turn away from their goods which is what a proper spiritual revival would require.

What everything really comes down to is who holds the reins of power nowadays and what their motivations are, and the way I see this is that on all sides there is basically the same intellectual and political elite who may seem to have different agendas outwardly but who are all, at root, part of the same process. They have all made the same Faustian pact and are dedicated to different forms of the same anti-spiritual end.

Whether the members of this intellectual elite are actively evil, as in hate the good and work to subvert it, or passively so in that they have no feeling for the good and simply will do what is required for their personal advancement, and so are easily used and exploited by the demonic powers, makes not much difference. The agenda of the destruction of truth, beauty and virtue continues through them. (No doubt most are only passive participators in this but they participate all the same, and, as we have been told, "He who is not with me is against me".) One of the difficulties of countering this dismantling of higher truth is that it is presented as a good (as it must be because few would follow evil if it is plainly labeled as such), and so the spiritually naïve and ignorant will go along with it, thinking they are being virtuous or at least falling into line with contemporary morality. All this arises from the denial of God or, if he is theoretically accepted, from his demotion to a being whose goal is merely our happiness in the context of the reality of this world.

To understand what is going on in the world today we have to look behind the scenes. We can't take things at face value. So I will just state that much of what is taking place is due to the machinations of demonic powers whose agenda is the destruction of spiritual truth and the promotion of beliefs that will separate man from God with potentially disastrous consequences for human souls. I know this idea will not be acceptable to most modern educated Westerners but that's because we imagine ourselves to be cleverer than we are and so think the idea of demonic influence is superstitious ignorance. However anyone who knows anything about spirituality knows it exists. There may be some individuals who are willing accomplices of these powers of darkness but there are many more who aid their plans unwittingly though, it has to be said, that is only possible because of their own character flaws which make them impressionable and more easily manipulated. Thus there is no organised human conspiracy but there is a demonic one, and this has been understood by all serious Christians since the beginning. But it is coming to a head at the present time, and it is important for all spiritually inclined people to recognise it for what it is and not allow themselves to be deceived by the pseudo-spiritual idea that everything is good, and evil does not exist. It does exist and it must be recognised as such.

However there may not be much that we, as individuals, can do about it other than not allow ourselves to get caught up in its lies and illusions. Even that is not easy, so widespread are they and so cunningly presented are they as good. But if we are true to our hearts and our conscience, and if we have the courage to hold out against the opinion of this world and are not concerned by its praise or its blame, then we will be able to stand firm in the face of what can often seem an irresistible force. Through prayer and dedicating ourselves to God we can resist the outer dominance of the Prince of this World.

The modern intellectual elite is, by and large, completely under the power of all that is summed up in that biblical phrase though they know it not. Hence I describe them as spiritually corrupt. This does not mean that every individual in the elite is corrupt but the body as a whole is, and it will be hard for anyone to succeed in that milieu unless they make compromises. No doubt that has always been the case to some degree but it is overwhelmingly the case now when we live in a world in which the reality of God is denied, if not in theory then certainly in practice. Which brings me back to the European Union. This organisation is certainly not on the side of divine truth (its hollow flag without a centre is strangely appropriate), but leaving it without a very clear idea of the reality and nature of divine truth is likely to be a case of exchanging one set of lies for another. 

Realistically speaking, that is the probable outcome but it is not the certain outcome. If the awakened spirit of patriotic self-belief can be harnessed without falling into separatism or nationalism (and, despite liberal prejudices, the two are quite different things) there is a chance that some kind of renewal can take place. There will be formidable forces ranged against it, some to block, some to pervert, and there is no obvious channel through which it might manifest. Moreover it could only work if the motivations animating it were positive and not merely against someone or something. Possibly only if it were the result of some kind of genuine metanoia, perhaps, dare one say it, caused by economic hardship. Frankly I would be surprised if this did happen but at least the ruling powers, both incarnate and discarnate, have had a salutary shot across their bows. They have been served notice that they cannot have everything their own way and that can only be a good thing.

Some of what I have written here may seem to give the impression that there is no hope and things will only get worse as the powers of nihilism increase their stranglehold on the world. On the contrary! They may indeed increase in outer power. That has been prophesied and is not unexpected. But their end is assured for, despite appearances, they have no real power. All is in God's hands and, when the time is right, he will disperse the darkness. Besides, it must never be forgotten that the real conflict is spiritual and on the level of the soul. What happens in the outer world, though not unimportant, is incomparably less important than what takes place in the soul of each individual, and there, believe it or not, we have complete control. If we want it.