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.


Chris said...

Since authentic spirituality entails self-abnegation and renunciation (at least to some degree), I see very little hope that Modernity will change course- not without a good dose of suffering.

Cererean said...

In my NaNoWriMo novel this year, I have Albion being the whole island, though the Realm of Logres covers only England. Mirror Ireland (Tir na nOg) is a different Realm. The novel (working title, A Fairytale of Logres - yes, it comes from Charles Williams via That Hideous Strength) only focuses on Logres, and the quest of four children to place the sword back in the stone to dispel despair from the land, which was abandoned by its inhabitants in 1954.

After reading the Wikipedia article on the Roaring 20s, I'm quite certain that Christendom was killed off by the First World War and England became/began to become post-Christian. Which actually gives me hope - if we have laid fallow for such a long time time, a new bloom cannot be far off. Particularly if Edward the Confessors prophecy applies to this situation (I don't see it as three centuries, but three generations of forty rods/years). I have hope that things will turn around in twenty years time, though they could get very rough before that. The Yew is not yet rotten through.

William Wildblood said...

Yes, WW1 killed off most of the past and ever since we have followed the siren voice of progress aka the abandonment of God. The seeds were sown before but that's when they sprouted and they have now borne fruit. But it's a poisonous fruit however sweet it might taste to the jaded palate.

I'd better stop there before I get too carried away with my metaphor!

Bruce Charlton said...

Terry Boardman has written, and presented lecture videos, on the causes of the First World War; which go into considerable detail (quoting contemporary documents) to show that the war was intended and planned by the British for a couple of decades at least, before it actually happened. These ideas were quite explicitly stated at the time. - look at relevant sections under Articles and Videos.

His main point is that the dominant globalists of the late 1800s hoped to have such a war, in order to advance their agenda for atheism, world authoritarian government etc. League of Nations, United Nations, European Union are all part of this strategy which has been set out in detail for several generations.

I think this can be seen in the conclusions that writers, artist, journalists etc drew from WW I - it was used in a very illogical and contradictory fashion to rationalise all kinds of destructive trends - modernism in the arts, the beginnings of the sexual revolution (including fashionable drunkenness, smoking, promiscuity), utopian communism, class warfare, feminism, nihilism and despair... all were supposed to be a consequence of The Great War.

William Wildblood said...

It does seem as though the 20s were a trial run for the 60s. First it was just among the upper classes but then it spread throughout society. The forces behind all this have laid the groundwork over a long period which is one of the things that clearly shows this is not just human in origin but directed from non-human sources.

Astraea said...

I read somewhere that WWI caused a rip in the veil between this world and the higher worlds, and made possible an upswing in demonic activity here on earth. If that is true it would seem that the rip is now a large hole.

William Wildblood said...

That's probably true but at the same time it may have been allowed to a degree in order that the boil of evil could ultimately be lanced. The poison has to come out in order, eventually, that the disease (sin) might be cured. We're in the middle of a sickness, a spiritual sickness, but perhaps humanity has to experience that in order one day to be properly cured.