Monday 28 October 2019

Separation from God

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday 25 October 2019

Negative Theology

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday 21 October 2019

Are The Masters Demons? A second look.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday 17 October 2019

Meeting the Masters Talk

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

Hello everybody

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here's another talk from around the same time.

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

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

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

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

Here's the next talk.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here's an excerpt from another talk.

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

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

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

Next talk.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you for listening. 

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

Monday 14 October 2019

The Vision of Albion

I recently went to a small conference which was called the Vision of Albion. It was loosely based on the Albion Awakening blog. There were several very interesting speakers and absorbing discussion afterwards around the theme. But on the way home as I looked around me on the train I wondered how many fellow passengers had any idea of what Albion might be. In contemporary Britain does Albion mean anything at all to most people? I fear the answer is no and that's a shame because I believe a connection to Albion, or just to the thought behind it, would be a great help in getting us out of our current crisis over the EU. An acknowledgement of this great underlying reality to the country might help to bring together those on both sides of the divide because it would take us beyond ideas of nationalism or globalism to something much deeper than either of those political ideologies.

Albion is first and foremost a country of the imagination. That doesn't mean it is not real. It's a spiritual counterpart to the land of Britain. In Platonic terms you might see it as an archetype though I use that term non-literally. We will leave the debate as to how much of Britain and Ireland Albion comprises to others. For myself, being by blood half English, a quarter Scottish and a quarter Irish, I see it as centred in England but touching, though not incorporating, Caledonia and Hibernia (and Wales I'm sure!) which have their own spiritual identities. But it is important to understand that on this level there is no conflict between angels of the land. Behind every real thing there is a being and I see Albion as not just the spirit of the land but also a great national angel. 

This, incidentally, is why countries, perhaps not all but ones that endure for a reasonable span and have their own proper identity, are not merely made up political entities without any real substance but true individual realities. The person who doesn't love his country is unlikely to be capable of loving anything. This, it should go without saying, does not mean you hate other countries. In fact, it may well make you more appreciative of them. Nor does it mean you don't recognise the failings of your country. But these failings are on a lower level. Albion cannot fail though Britain might (and does).

The quality of the spirit of Albion breaks through in the landscape and also the imaginative products of the inhabitants, especially poetry. That does not imply that everything that is produced is stamped with the mark of Albion. Nowadays very little is, especially if you look at what becomes popular or well-known. But it is still there as an undercurrent. Industrialisation, the rise of the city and modern technology have all been very destructive of Albion (which is not the same as Englishness though there are overlaps) and this is one of the reasons that so many people are unaware of it. Another, of course, is the widespread materialism of the British people and their current fixation on money and entertainment which may not be new but appears to be all-embracing now. There's nothing wrong with money and entertainment but they have their place and that place should not be what it has become.

I can see a time coming when to proclaim the reality of Albion will be regarded as a sign of racism because it appears to exclude by its very nature. In a certain sense everything excludes in one way or another. The basic fact of form means boundaries. But Albion requires some kind of inner allegiance to an ethnic past which is being airbrushed out of history. In my experience children are not properly taught history now, not in the sense of an ongoing history of this country stretching from Neolithic times up to the present day. That would require identifying with an idea of being English or British at odds with the attempt to construct a new sense of cultural identity which owes nothing to the past and everything to liberal multiculturalism, so called European values which are really just the values of the enlightenment as filtered through the French Revolution.

But Albion does not exclude and I will tell you why. Anyone can belong to Albion who responds to it imaginatively. If you love Albion then you are part of it. Now, this will certainly be more difficult for those whose ethnicity is from elsewhere but if you live in Albion, certainly if you were born in Albion, you have a connection to it. This would have been easier in the past when you ate food grown from its soil but it is still possible now, given the desire. I have lived in France and India and, though I was always an outsider, I could understand and respond to their equivalents of Albion, especially in India.

What of the future? I'm not going to speculate about Brexit other than to say it must be important or there would not be such determined attempts to stop it. But even if it went ahead little would really change if we carried on in the same hedonistic and materialistic ways and exchanged the developing totalitarian bureacracy of the EU for a money and power obsessed unrestrained free market globalism. Brexit is no use without Albion.

There was in the 1970s the idea that Britain was going to be the birthplace of a new spiritual consciousness, perhaps something following on from and developing ideas of the romantic poets such as Coleridge, Wordsworth and Blake though centred in the reality of Christ who is supposed to have visited this land. Channeled books of the time often mentioned this. But something went wrong and the spiritual potential was diverted into political and other channels or else just dissipated because, to be frank, people didn’t measure up to the task. There was the New Age but it wasn't really spiritual. It wanted to be but never rose much above a concern with signs and wonders or transformed its desire for heaven into the love of God. There was too much falseness and insincerity, largely because of the sexual revolution of the 1960s which corrupted souls because it ratified selfish desire and body consciousness and removed ideas of honour, sacrifice, duty and real love from the modern mentality. A classic example of freedom being misapplied to the ego and its concerns rather than the true self.

Will we get another chance? Can Brexit enable Britain to stand as a beacon to other countries and enable them to throw off the yoke of materialism and atheism? Only, I would say, if we rediscover for ourselves the inner truths of Albion.

Friday 11 October 2019

Climate Change Protestors

Like many people I find the climate change protesters distinctly unsympathetic. These are people I theoretically have something in common with because I firmly believe that mankind has desecrated the environment and polluted the natural world and that we use our resources wastefully with little thought for the long term. I'm not saying the environment isn't ours to use but we are stewards not owners and should be wise stewards. We haven't been.

But the climate change demonstrators are marked by monumental dogmatism and self-righteousness. They indulge in the usual juvenile behaviour which puts sensible people off. And many of them show an unnatural self-hatred which they mask as compassion or concern for the environment but is actually the wish to bring down their own civilisation which certainly has its faults but which has done more to relieve suffering and increase understanding than any other.

The protestors are being used by forces that seek to damage the West. They go along with these forces because they have a romanticised idea of peaceful traditional societies living in harmony with nature. This fantasy goes back at least as far as Rousseau but you won't find these idyllic societies anywhere. What you will find are societies circumscribed by their own lack of know-how. Given the opportunity they would behave just as Western society has as is proved by the fact that when such societies do get the advantages of Western technology and invention that's just what they do. It's often pointed out that the protestors damn the West but are far more reticent when it comes to places like India and China. The excuse that one must clean up one's own backyard first won't wash. Nor will the strange belief that developing countries have the right to reach the point of Western development. Why if the West is so evil?  If this is a global problem, it needs a global solution.

People in an industrial society often have a hankering for a more primitive time when humanity lived close to nature and, supposedly, in harmony with it, but the wish to return to such a time is atavistic. Human beings who have moved on to the self-conscious phase of evolution cannot and should not return to the phase of immersion in nature. This is anti-evolutionary and fundamentally unspiritual taking the word spiritual to mean that which makes a human being into a fully functional son or daughter of God. Consciousness is supposed to follow a path of unfoldment as it grows and expands to include an ever-greater capacity to respond to life. This means growing from an unself-conscious oneness with nature and the environment to the separative state of self-consciousness and then on to oneness with God in which the developed self attains a conscious unity with the transcendent spiritual source of all. In Christian terms, we are not meant to return to the pre-experience condition of the Garden of Eden but to move onwards to the post-experience world of the Heavenly City of the New Jerusalem where each individual has a full and personal relationship with God.

And here's the problem with all this. Where is God?  Climate change is not the problem.  Capitalism is not the problem.  The problem is we have forgotten God. You might think that climate change is the immediate problem but even if the position was as dire as the protestors say (and not at all a consequence of cyclical trends), and even if we took the most extreme measures possible, that would not make a blind bit of difference to what really matters. We would still be the same fallen human beings in need of salvation.  I am not saying that those who pollute the environment and wilfully destroy the natural world are blameless. Far from it but the fact is that Satan stands behind both the polluters and the protesters against the pollution. The truth is not to be found in either of them and nor is the remedy for the troubled state of the world. The remedy is only in God but when I say God I mean the real God as he is in himself not some image of him that we have conjured up in our own minds. The old crack that God made man in his own image and ever since man has been returning the compliment is very appropriate.

The climate may be changing due to man-made causes. I don't believe anyone really knows that but it's very possible.  This change may lead to problems in the future. We are certainly behaving irresponsibly. But the real battle is between those who see Nature as God's creation to be responded to accordingly and those who see it as either a resource to be exploited without concern or as somehow sacred in its own right and maybe even something better than humanity. These last two, much as it might shock them to know it, are fundamentally two versions of the same atheistic thing and both wrong.

I don't think climate change protesters care for the environment as God's creation which is what it is. What they care for is their group ideology and the comforting feeling of spiritual superiority it gives them.

Added note: People compare the climate change protesters to a religious cult what with their ideas of the virtuous versus the wicked and the need to purge ourselves of sin to be saved from the coming apocalypse. I think this is only half true. They certainly exhibit many of the signs of a fanatical cult and some of the characteristics they display are ones that also express themselves in certain types of maladapted religion but these characteristics are not truly religious in origin. They come from mental imbalance, fear and the wish to divide tribally into us and them. The only god for the protestors would be the earth or their idea of it.

Monday 7 October 2019

End Times Testing

In the discussion after my last post on universalism the point was made that there was something special about these times. Special as in unusual not good. Really that should be blazingly obvious but the significance is not often realised by the mainstream though many Christians regard our current world as ticking many of the boxes associated with the End Times prophesied in scripture.

What is special is the widespread spiritual apostasy. How can we explain this? We could say that the historical process in the West has led up to it with science, philosophy and human development all contributing to a greater focus on the physical world and what we can know intellectually, but I don't think that is sufficient. Of course, it is a factor, a large one, but there are still plenty of intelligent people who do believe in God so it is not enough on its own. My diagnosis is that the quality of people has changed. Putting it in its bluntest possible terms, there are more bad people incarnating in the world.

How can that be? Aren't we more moral than ever now, less violent, more concerned with the weak and the poor, more likely to see humanity as one? My response to this is that yes, very possibly all these things are true in theory but they are all counterbalanced by our monumental focus on ourselves and our rejection of our Creator. Besides we often go along with the morality of the day because we want to benefit from it or else as a means to assert our superiority or perhaps because we hate the past and its hierarchical structuring which put others over us. When we say we want equality it's because we don't want anyone over us. 

Another reason for the perceived greater morality of the present day is that man is a moral creature. When he rejects the spiritual he must construct a materialistic kind of morality which inevitably will appear to a spirit-denying person as better than a morality that was centred on the reality of God. But it's not. It functions only on the horizontal axis and totally ignores the vertical. Consequently it might fulfil the moral needs of a stunted being but it does not by any means for a whole and healthy one.

The population of the world is far greater than it has ever been. This may be because many souls are being born now to experience the current world conditions. It's a time of great testing, a sifting out of sheep and goats with each group moving on to different spheres of being, higher and lower. Among those who are born today are a large number of souls who have rejected God in the past, either in this world in previous lives or in other worlds. They are being given a chance to convert using that word in its literal sense of to turn around. They are facing the wrong direction, towards themselves. They need to turn round to face God. It is not made easy for them because what is easy is not a true test and this is a test of inner motivation not outer beliefs. They are given other options to God because if you do pick God you must do so because you want to not because you have to. Otherwise you haven't really picked him.

Having said that the decision to choose God rather than self is not made easy, I should qualify that slightly. It may not be easy as in the reality of God is plainly presented to you but events are unfolding which will make the choice between God and nihilism (for really that's the only other choice) more and more stark. As the consequences of atheism actually start to manifest themselves in the real world, rather than merely intellectually or theoretically as has largely been the case up to the last 2 or 3 decades, the true significance of rejecting God becomes apparent. For after you have rejected God the rejection of Nature as creation cannot be far behind. Everything becomes open to interpretation and absolutes are meaningless. Indeed, meaning itself disappears and we have to fill the void that leaves with all sorts of artificial distractions and false realities. This is the situation we are currently faced with. The choice between God and not God will soon become as clear as one would be between black and white. Then, if we have not done so before, we must make our decision.

Thursday 3 October 2019


One of the strands of Christian thought maintains that God's mercy is such that everybody will eventually be saved. This is called universalism and goes back at least as far as the 3rd century theologian Origen. It's a tempting doctrine, especially for those who focus on the love of God more than the truth of God, but it does have certain problems.

Before considering those, let's look at its attractions and how it might work. The main attraction is obviously that everything is working for the good and no one will be left behind. Somehow every human soul will be brought to salvation. However long it takes, everyone gets to heaven. This might work through a long period of purgatory or it could work through reincarnation with souls continuously coming back until they learn their lessons and are purified of their sins. God has all the time he wants to bring this about and so there is no reason why it cannot come to pass.

The chief objection to universalism is that it comes close to making a mockery of free will which is the defining characteristic of a spiritual being and the reason why God created human souls. It's why we live in a world of good and evil where we have to make a positive choice and the fact of God is not self-evident. We have to incline our hearts to him of our own accord.

This objection might be got around by saying that all those who are saved do eventually have to choose God and not reject him, but if you reject God constantly and only finally accept him because circumstances force you to do so, is this really free will? Surely the whole point is that you choose God when you don't have to, when there are other options that might seem preferable? This act of choice, freely made without coercion or experiencing the results of wrong choices, indicates what you are like inside as a person. If it is only endless experiences in purgatory or a sequence of earthly lives that finally bring you round to God when you have more or less exhausted every other possibility, is that really your own choice, your free choice? Does it reflect who and what you are? You see the problem. If all are saved then salvation is devalued. If it happens anyway then why bother to make spiritual efforts? You might get there earlier but so what? Sin away in perfect freedom, thumb your nose at God who is just a benevolent old uncle who tut tuts affectionately but doesn't really mind what you get up to.

There is something unusual about the present time. It does seem, more than in the past, as if human beings are being called to make a definitive choice, though whether this is for all time or the foreseeable future is a moot point. But it could be that there is a parting of the ways with those who do choose to follow God being taken to higher ways of being while those who either actively deny him or just can't make the leap of faith being held back and left on lower levels. Jesus talks of sheep and goats. He didn't seem to be a universalist. He warns us of the perils of hell in language that leaves no room for doubt. On the other hand, God is merciful and the parable of the prodigal son might offer hope to everyone.

Perhaps to think in terms of salvation and damnation is a mistake. Which is not to say those two conditions do not exist. I'm sure they do and we'd better believe it. But maybe there are many worlds between these two extremes where souls that have neither embraced the reality of God nor sunk to total rejection of him experience external environments that correspond to the inner state of their souls. Until such time as they change that inner state though that may be more difficult in worlds other than this one which is specifically set up for the purpose of choice and change. 

What this all comes down to is time. How much time are we allowed? Endless time or a certain period? I can think of reasons for either but only God knows. There is surely a sense, though, that it would be wrong to allow time to play no part in the process. A soul that either ignores or rejects God constantly must one day be called to account in a world in which justice has any meaning. God's mercy may precede his wrath but does it completely obviate it?