Monday 30 January 2017


Most of us, even when we suspect that something is not quite right with it, try to compromise with the modern world. Many branches of Christianity have followed that path and effectively despiritualised themselves. They have become absorbed into the modern anti-spiritual mindset because they were not strong enough to resist it. The spirituality of the leaders and members of these branches of religion has been too shallow, too insubstantial and too little felt for them to be able to shake off the influences of 'this world'. Consequently they have accommodated themselves to it, become part of it and are now not only indistinguishable from it but actively fight on its side and against real religion if by that we mean, as we should, spiritual truth.

People whose instincts are sound are led astray by the zeitgeist of the present age and the propaganda emanating from all aspects of society, the media, education and the intelligentsia in general who all plough the same ignorant furrow. And what is this furrow? It is the rejection of a transcendent absolute and the restriction of reality to this world and of humanity to as it appears to be in this world. And that has led to the ideology of liberalism which is the defining doctrine of the modern age.

It is important to realise that liberalism is an ideology. It is not based on any kind of reality but on a false perception of reality resulting from the eradication of God and the preference for abstract theory over truth. But not only that. It also fundamentally misconceives human nature by ignoring the fact that, while human beings may originally have been created as good, we are all now corrupted by sin, that is to say, an innate selfishness. This may be an unpleasant truth but it is still a truth and to ignore it leads to illusion and worse. Whatever the benefits of liberalism as a reforming corrective to an established order that has allowed abuses or when decadence has set in (and it does have a validity in that context), it should never become, in its own right, a replacement for an established order based on the reality of God and the truth of religion. But that is exactly what has happened over the last hundred years or so. Liberalism, as the currently favoured moral philosophy of atheistic materialism, has become accepted truth and to oppose its premises is to deny goodness. That is why compromise is so tempting. Who wants to be thought a bad person? The problem is that liberalism does not lead to real goodness but a kind of by the book goodness which, of course, is not goodness at all. This is because it produces a conformist ideologically based mentality, opposed to any sort of real individuality which is necessarily non-egalitarian.

The trouble with compromise is that it tends to assume truth lies between two extremes. But does truth lie between the extremes of right and wrong? Does it lie between God and no God, between truth and a lie? Evidently not but when a lie is powerful enough and almost universally accepted it can take on the mantle of a truth. The only thing to do then is to reject it and point out its falseness. You cannot make a compromise with it or you will be infected by it and the infection will spread, eventually taking over completely. This is what has happened in the Western world which has more or less set the agenda for everywhere else.

However we live in the modern world and so we do have to compromise with it to an extent. This we can only do by being as wise as serpents, as advised by Jesus. But we also have to stand out against it or else we run the risk of becoming defined, and then defiled, by it ourselves. Even if we have to go along with it externally some of the time, we must make sure that our hearts and our minds stay free and are not co-opted into submission to its dictates. How best to do this? By seeking outer and inner support, the former through spiritual reading and companionship if we can find it (by no means easy), and the latter through prayer and remembrance of God. Jesus warned us (in Matthew 10:22) that those who followed him in spirit and in truth (not just verbally or nominally like many modern Christians) would be hated by everyone but, if they endured to the end, they would be saved. Here is both a test and an opportunity and what it means is this. Don't compromise with what you feel inside to be true however much it may conflict with commonly accepted wisdom. There's no need to be confrontational but be true to what you believe. Stick to your instincts. Clever words and arguments can always be spun to make instinctive feelings appear foolish or wrong, but these should be ignored though they can be helpful in that they can sometimes show up gaps in instinctive perception or reveal what is prejudice and what really is instinct. But intellectual argument or debate cannot be regarded as primary, especially if it goes against basic intuition. God has given us a mind in the heart which goes beyond all else. Stay faithful to that.

If you want to reassert intuition over liberal ideology, even when that appears rational and logical which it often does in the restricted context of this world and within the framework that it itself has set up, then you must go back to basic principles. Basic principle number one is the reality of God. You must start from that. It is fundamental. But then you should go further and reject the egalitarianism of liberalism for the very good reason that this reduces humanity from a qualitative (spiritual) to a quantitative (material) level. It also flies in the face of a common sense perception of reality. Men are by no means equal on the earth plane said the Masters of the title of this blog. Men are different, men and women are different and, while that is certainly not a cause for dismissing anybody, it does mean that intrinsic qualities are important and should be acknowledged. We live in a quantitative age. Diversity is allowed, and even encouraged (probably as a way to eradicate quality) but only on the basis that all diversities are equal. If we are all the product of material forces working blindly to no end or purpose then maybe we are all equal, all equally pointless, meaningless and valueless. But if we are individual souls created by God who, through our own endeavours and the function of our own free will, are working our way towards full spiritual understanding and expression then, at any one moment in time, we are very far from equal. Individuals, cultures, even nations will all have made greater or less progress towards that end.

There is another point to add. You may wish to avoid compromise but nevertheless be forced into it because of the language and terms in which any discussion is framed. For if you express yourself or even think using the language and terms of the modern world, as is difficult not to do, you are defeated before you start since these carry certain inbuilt assumptions. So avoid human rights but stick to justice and mercy, forget democracy and choice as arbiters of how things should be but propose instead proper authority (divine and natural) and objective truth as yardsticks. Don't discuss or think in terms of sexism, racism or feminism or any other -ism but in the context of goodness, truth, love and spiritual unfoldment as seen in the light of a divine Creator. This is reality, the rest is ideological theory which may intersect with reality at certain points but deviates from it at many more. Bear in mind that if you express yourself using the vocabulary of the reigning liberal ideology in an attempt to expose its flaws you will fail and probably end up looking like an ignorant bigot.

Compromise is often necessary in the case of day to day life, of course. But when it comes to truth it must be resisted. Especially now in this time of universal spiritual decline and demonic attempts to subvert and invert reality.

Thursday 26 January 2017

The Magical Battle of Britain

I have put another post about Dion Fortune on Albion Awakening. This time it is about her organising of a psychic defence against the Nazis during the Second World War.

Tuesday 24 January 2017

The Need of the Hour

The need of the hour is for repentance.  Of course, the need is always for repentance but it is more essential now than ever because we are so unrepentant. We don't see the need for it because we are convinced of our own rectitude.  A perfect example of this comes from the recent marches against President Trump. Without going into the theoretical rights and wrongs of the new American president it is quite evident that those demonstrating see themselves as pillars of goodness. This is one of the most spiritually dangerous of places to be. It leads to pride, usually unrecognised and even regarded as a sign of virtue, self-satisfaction and so deep sin.

Repentance is acknowledgement that you of yourself are not a good person. You need forgiveness for your sinful (i.e. fundamentally egotistical) nature and you have to recognise that need and ask for it as a humble penitent. It's always on offer but you have to ask for it. It is essential for any sort of spiritual progress. The people on the anti-Trump demonstrations (like most demonstrators) are excellent examples of the unrepentant. To a man (or woman) they are convinced that they are good people. In fact they are projecting their own fears, hatreds and insecurities onto someone who is probably more bluster than anything else. Their spiritual pride is plain to see, as is their refusal to consider the possibility that they are acting egotistically. I repeat that the actual rights and wrongs of the object of their ire is relatively unimportant. It is their assumption of personal and group virtue that makes them such good examples of the spiritually unrepentant and shows their fundamental lack of love and forgiveness. They are like the crowd chasing the woman caught in adultery. Though they take the moral high ground it is transparently obvious that their real motivations are more to do with anger and self-righteousness than anything else.

Modern man is heading for spiritual disaster. Unless he stops his denial of God and renounces the belief in his own goodness, independent of his Creator, this world will increasingly become a battleground of divisions and hatreds. The state of our souls is so parlous because the disease is either undiagnosed or else its symptoms are seen as a sign of health. We are building monuments to ourselves and worshipping numerous man-made idols whether these be systems of science, philosophy or politics. We are in the final stages of hubris. The only cure for our disordered state is repentance.

Repentance is not a one off once in a lifetime matter but something that needs to be practiced on a daily basis until the day we leave this world. Old habits die hard and the ego constantly reasserts itself in a myriad different forms.

Monday 23 January 2017

Modern Religion

I wrote 'Meeting the Masters' seven years ago and inevitably there are some things I would express a little differently if I wrote it today. The account of my experiences with the Masters themselves, which is the main point of the book, would remain the same, of course. It was as it was. But I would put some of the more metaphysical speculations slightly differently or with a different emphasis. The main one concerns the nature of God where I would now stress his personal aspect over the so called impersonal, see here. When I wrote the book my intellectual position was that I was trying to reconcile all spiritual approaches in a kind of higher unity, but I think (and hope) my real feelings kept peeping through. I mean by this that my instincts are fundamentally Christian even though I have always been drawn to Eastern mysticism as well not to mention Western esotericism and many other spiritual traditions too, most of which have something to offer. Often one can supplement another by filling in gaps that the other might have. But I would still go along with G.K. Chesterton when he wrote that paganism was the greatest thing but Christianity was greater. It really does include more of reality and it can't be absorbed into a general 'spirituality' without something absolutely essential being lost. That doesn't mean that other religions might not have elements in them that Christians can learn from, but I still believe that the vision of truth presented by Christ is the highest there is. And I also believe that his appearance in the world changed something radically. It really was the Incarnation of the Word and did redeem mankind and nature or, at least, make the redemption of mankind and nature now possible.

When writing the book I was trying to appeal to a wide variety of spiritual seekers while knowing that many people nowadays in the West look everywhere but to Christianity perhaps because its familiarity means they neglect its profundity. So I was hoping to incorporate bits of Christianity while taking a more general approach overall. Incidentally, I should say that the Masters themselves gave no theological teaching as such. They assumed the reality of God but left me to work out the details myself, presumably because their purpose is to enable their disciples to develop their inner insight and intuition themselves. As far as I was concerned they contented themselves with practical spiritual training.

Anyhow, with that out of the way, what I want to comment on here is the remark made by the Masters in response to a question of mine about Michael Lord (their medium, or python as I like to think of it) and his attachment to the Catholic Church. He had been a Benedictine monk in the 1950s and, though he had left the monastery, citing as one reason that he did not want to become a priest which apparently he would have had to have done in that order, he still had a strong feeling for the church. At the time I was rather against conventional religion which I viewed as focusing only on the outer aspects of spirituality. I still tend to that belief though, with the greater tolerance that comes with age, I can now see that it is by no means necessarily so. But even so, from my perspective, Christianity (some branches more than others) does seem to have lost some of its inner spiritual light over the centuries, and that is especially so in the 20th century.

Here is the passage in question.
I asked the Master if it was wrong of me to try to ease Michael away from the Catholic Church and he replied that he had told me before to trust my instinct. He said that the Catholic Church, like any outward form of religion, was good for souls on a certain level but it was time to lead Michael away from it into a new and higher understanding of life.  He told me not to be intolerant but to do this with love and patience.

My comment on this passage was as follows:
'The remarks about the Catholic Church relate to discussions Michael and I had been having about organised religion and its place in the mystical life. Although not born a Catholic, Michael had converted in order to become a monk in the Benedictine order and he retained a soft spot for that way of life even though he had abandoned it because he found it restricting. But he still tended to idealise religion and overlook its faults whereas I was more inclined to view as it was, and as it was now rather than as it might have been in the past in a possibly purer form. Although he had turned away from it himself, Michael still considered that organised religion continued to have a role to play in modern spirituality, but I thought that one needed to go beyond it and that it would bind its members as much as it would release them. I did occasionally go to church with Michael and could respond to the ritual and traditional element, but my feeling was that Catholicism, or certain aspects of it at least, tended to crush the human spirit with its authoritarian dogmas and conviction that it alone offered a path to salvation.'

These are the remarks of someone who was reacting against a modern form of religion that, in his opinion, had lost touch with its roots and focused more on the letter than the spirit, and they should be taken in that light. I think the distinction between salvation and theosis is helpful here. If we wish to do what is necessary to qualify for simple admittance to the heavenly kingdom then the outer observances of religion should be enough, though obviously our inner life and motivations should not contradict these. However this is just a beginning. For those who would not just believe in Christ but who actively seek to become as he is, more is required. My feeling at the time was that Michael was limiting himself by adherence to an outer form of truth and consequently not opening himself up sufficiently to the inner reality behind it, a not uncommon phenomenon. The Masters confirmed that to the extent that they said that following an outward form of religion was a step that needed to be gone beyond. However they were not saying that it could not be gone beyond in the context of a religion only that there was a new and higher understanding of life to be found once one had gone beyond outer things. Quite clearly that can be done within a religious context and in the past practically always was. But the 20th century is unusual in that it was a time of spiritual decay so sometimes the inner path could be pursued more easily outside of the context of religion.

But the point is that our adherence to a religion must be more than an external thing and should never be allowed to limit our conception of truth. True religion is an inner thing and the lamp should never be mistaken for the light. At the same time, as I mentioned in the book, few of us are sufficiently deeply spiritually rooted to be able to do without religious support and direction of some kind. The last 150 years have seen far too many people wandering off the spiritual straight and narrow because they thought they had found a 'new and higher understanding of life' but were actually straying into paths of illusion and self-deception.

It's a delicate balancing act, this one between proper authority and personal vision, but it's one we must get right if we are to progress and become truly spiritual ourselves. We should not reject either but give to each its proper due in the overall scheme of things.

Wednesday 18 January 2017

Are We Intrinsically Good or Fallen?

This question is at the heart of the modern deviation. For the common belief these days is that human beings are basically good unless they have the bad luck to grow up in an environment that stunts this or prevents it coming out in some way And, like all the best lies, this contains elements of truth. But, also like all the best lies, it leaves out something crucial. We certainly have the capacity for goodness and an unfortunate environment when growing up clearly has the potential to turn us into bad ways. However we are not intrinsically good. You only have to see a baby to realise that. Good and bad run through all of us together and if we would bring out the former we must work at it. Proper goodness is not something that is effortless and natural but something that must be developed, even struggled for. To achieve real goodness it is not enough to walk along the flat. We have to climb uphill and the hill is steep.

I think the Christian doctrine of the Fall of Man is the one that best explains how human beings are. It tells us that we may have been created in one way but have become another through the misuse of the gift of free will. Before the Fall we were innocent and therefore neither good nor bad. Afterwards we became capable of both but nevertheless there was now something rotten at our hearts which was the self-centred ego, the distortion of individuality. We had become corrupt and needed mending.

Today the idea of original sin is rejected as a sort of self-hating abasement before a dominating authority figure, and there is a degree of truth in that. The doctrine can be twisted to become that, and I certainly don't go along with the idea, present in some forms of religion, that human beings are entirely worthless and corrupt. But the opposite is also wrong. We surely are children of God but we have taken a wrong turn and that is reflected at the deepest level of our psychology and requires something truly profound to root it out. Christians would say it required the Incarnation and that the advent of Jesus offered the chance for those who would accept it of a way back to goodness. But this goodness cannot be ours since it is precisely the sense of ourselves as autonomous, separate individuals that blocks it out. It can only come when we stand aside from ourselves and know that, of ourselves, we are nothing and that all we are comes from God. If even Jesus said that 'I of myself can do nothing' how much more does that apply to us?

Since the Fall all human beings have a tendency to deny the reality of God, preferring the pseudo-reality of our own separate selves. Thus walking the path of holiness requires effort and often means swimming against the tide of our nature, or that aspect of it with which we are most identified. It is not a totally natural way of being as might have been the case had we not fallen into the duality of sin. For the reality is that all of us are born in a state of sin, meaning separation from God, because of our innate self-centredness. This truth needs to be set beside the idea that we are also all sons and daughters of the Most High and made in His image but it is still the position that, in this life, we all start from. And we can only get out of it through the spiritualising process summed up in the words repentance, humility and grace. Thus any true goodness we might eventually have comes not from us but from God. Personal goodness enters in only to the degree that we acknowledge God.

If you ask a saint, or any true-hearted person, if he thinks of himself as good he will answer no and this is not because of disingenuousness or false humility but because he perceives the innate egotism in his being. Of course, to us he might appear good, or even be good, but that is precisely because he is aware of his own lack of personal goodness and taken the necessary steps to allow God into his heart. One of the tragedies of the modern world is that so many of us walk around thinking we are good people with no sense of our fallen condition. That doesn't mean we should be beating our breasts thinking we are miserable sinners. That's self-concern of a sort too and we need to walk upright, facing the world with confidence. But we should know the truth about ourselves and strive to put it right through humble acceptance of God, and recognition that we are indeed hollow men without him, though with him we can accomplish miracles.

Modern forms of religion that tell us we are loveable in ourselves are wrong, ignorantly, foolishly wrong, even pridefully wrong. We may be loved by God but we are certainly not loveable as we are. We are corrupt. There's no getting away from this and unless we accept it we cannot make any progress on the spiritual path.  But once we do accept it and realise that all real goodness is in God then we can advance towards becoming a repository of goodness ourselves.