Wednesday 28 October 2020

The State of Sin and the State of Grace

Sometimes a person who takes religion seriously and understands what it actually means in terms of belief and behaviour can be accused of being insensitive to the suffering of human beings in this world. But it is a spiritual trap that one can be diverted from a proper focus on God and the soul to an over-concern with mortal man and his preoccupations. That doesn't mean we should ignore mortal man but it is a question of priorities, and often to concentrate on what is good for mortal man means one does harm to him in his spiritual being because, while the two are certainly part of one whole, there is a hierarchical relationship between the different aspects of our nature, to ignore which is to sever communication between the higher and the lower.

Think of it like this. Human beings can exist in two states; the state of sin and the state of grace. The first can be compared to our normal earthly self. It is material man, that which we appear to be in an earthly context. Our everyday physical, emotional and intellectual self. We can continue in this state of a material being all our lives, and we will do unless we wake up to a deeper reality. Then we understand that our purpose is to become aware of and grow into the spiritual. What use is it doing everything we can, on an individual or political level, to make the material man happy and fulfilled (or seemingly happy and fulfilled) if he represents a false and fallen state? But this is what we do. Material man is not what we are, certainly not what we should be. In fact, all politics, all education, should be focussed on nurturing the spiritual, bringing that to the forefront of our consciousness and awakening us to the reality of our souls. This should not just be left to religion. It must encompass every aspect of our lives and be behind all else as it often was in traditional societies. That is something we have forgotten to our great detriment.

The trap I mentioned earlier is one that left-wing ideologues have fallen into and fallen deeply. Their belief system inevitably causes its partisans to regard human beings as material rather than spiritual beings, and this is why leftist ideas are invariably bad on a deeper level even when they may seem superficially or even naturally good. The spiritual harm that eventuates as that level is denied or reduced in import more than outweighs any putative material or humanitarian good. 

It might be countered that right wing ideas are also materialistic if they support and encourage greed and selfishness as certain forms of capitalism are said to do, and they are so in a worse way than those of the left which, at least, aim to eliminate material unfairness. This, at any rate, is a typical argument. It is perfectly true that the right without God is materialistic but the point is that the right with God sees man as a spiritual being above all while the left, even when it accepts some kind of spirituality, still puts its focus on the material and the worldly human. The spiritual is subsidiary to the material for the left, always. This may be denied but is actually the essence of leftism which is based on a levelling down and destruction of quality. A little drop of leftism will always contaminate anything else it is mixed with and reduce the whole, whatever other ingredients there might be, to materialism.

Is the task to make us happy in our state of sin, as material beings? Or is it to raise us up to the state of grace, enabling us to acquire full self-knowledge as spiritual beings? Don't ever interpret the spiritual in the light of the material as the left inevitably does. See it in its own light and see everything else in that light too.

Saturday 24 October 2020

Be Prepared

In the coming years as the world descends more deeply into the grip of atheistic materialism and (probably) some form of totalitarianism, we can react in two ways. We can either withdraw completely from the world to focus on our personal relationship with God.  Get our own spiritual house in order and leave the outer world to itself. Or we can engage and speak out against the spiritual desecration of the world and of human beings by adding our voice to those that attempt to provide some light in the darkness for individuals who may be seeking it but who cannot find guidance in a world of inverted values.

Whatever we do will depend on personal temperament and mission. Don't be put off by the word mission. Many of us come to this world with a task to perform and that may be great or small but, whatever it is, is still our task. What we are meant to do.

It is of course possible to do both, and I would say we should do both though the proportion of inner to outer activity will vary, and do so at different times. I personally spent 21 years leading a more or less contemplative kind of existence during which I paid very little attention to the world. Then circumstances changed and I was thrown back into the world. I stopped meditating and started to engage much more with outer reality. I acquired duties and responsibilities. I paid more attention to what was transpiring in terms of how the world was being actively corrupted whereas previously I was focussed only on inner things. But even when I wrote my first book in around 2010 I was still largely only concerned with spirituality in a pure sense, and, from my perspective then, the world just had to get along as best it could.

But sometimes you have to come down from the mountaintops. I would still say the spiritual is really the only thing that matters but the difference now is that the world has moved on to the point at which ordinary life is not just not spiritual. It has become actively anti-spiritual. I would put it like this. In the past, God and Caesar occupied different realms and Caesar kept to his own realm. However, now he has invaded God's realm and started to assume spiritual (actually of course anti-spiritual) rights. We must effectively worship him. His values are not just values relating to this world but absolute values that are supposed to reach into the mind and conscience. He claims the right to define goodness and truth. This is not a sudden change. It has been coming on for several decades but now a tipping point has been reached, and if you want to be true to spiritual values you cannot just ignore the world in a passive sense and get on with your life, unpestered. You have to actively reject the world. 

When was the last time this happened? It was probably the time of the early Christians when people were required to acknowledge Caesar as a god and worship him even if that only meant burning a bit of incense before an image. It would have been easy to do this and no doubt many did, telling themselves it was only a meaningless gesture that kept the authorities happy and they could then get on with their life undisturbed. But others realised that to do this would be to cross a threshold. Gesture or not, it was effectively accepting the primacy of this world over God. Once you have done that, it becomes harder and harder to keep God at the forefront of your life. One little gesture so easily leads to complete capitulation.

The contemplative might think that it doesn't really matter what he does outwardly, and sometimes it doesn't. But sometimes it does, and to accept an evil thing puts you on the side of evil. If you really have no choice, that is different but if you do have a choice you can make the right one or the wrong one.

I expect the time is coming when we will have to make that choice. Signs are in the air but the time is not yet. This is more a rehearsal, I would say. A rehearsal and a tilling of the soil. It is a preparation but we too should, in the immortal words of Robert Baden-Powell, "Be prepared".

Monday 19 October 2020

We are in a Spiritual War

It is obvious that we live in very dangerous times. Clearly, I am not referring to Covid-19 which I assume all readers of this blog realise is just a more or less conventional virus that is being used as a means to an end, that end being control and dominance. The virus is really the least of our worries. It will kill off some elderly people just as flu and pneumonia regularly do but it will not do much harm to the great majority. By all means, we should protect the vulnerable but it should be apparent to anyone by now who bothers to look beyond the official propaganda that our reaction has been totally disproportionate to the threat. Whether that is because of fear and panic or politicians, administrators and other figures of the establishment wanting to hold onto power or even something deliberate and planned is another matter. Whatever the cause of it all, the reality is that we have been deceived into giving up freedom.

The real danger is spiritual and this, I fear, is only the beginning. The groundwork has been carefully laid over the last few decades, centuries even. We have been gradually led away from the knowledge that our life is centred in God to a worldview which is totally materialistic and atheistic. This to the extent that even many people who think they are spiritual or religious still adapt most of their thinking to the materialistic ethos. I am not always exempt from this myself. It's the water in which we swim and it can be difficult to throw it off completely. But look at Christ and the prophets of old. They did not compromise with the worldly powers and worldly wisdom one iota. They grounded themselves totally in spiritual knowledge without any concession to the world. We too must do this. There can be no compromise with lies, even lies plausibly dressed up to look like partial truths. Why bother with partial truths when you have the truth? They are usually just means to smuggle in the lie anyway.

I say the danger is spiritual. What I mean by this is that we will be asked to give up more and more of our personal integrity. Our right to believe what we wish to believe, do what want to do, independent of any external authority. We will be made, through fear, desire for favour or money, to adopt a certain way of being. Many people are rightly concerned about the possibility of being obliged to accept a vaccination if they wish to lead a normal life. If this ever really does come about we will know that a line has been crossed and that freedom really has been lost. At the moment, that does seem to be the way things are heading but the more people who are alert to the dangers of spiritual slavery, the more difficult it will be for the powers that be to enforce their evil agenda. I use that word because that is what it is. Evil is that which seeks to control and dominate for its own benefit. It seeks to deny free will. It seeks to enslave. Evil is a spiritual reality that the modern world does not recognise but that just means that ordinary individuals, never mind the corrupt egotists and degenerate psychopaths who rule us, are more susceptible to it.

Jesus said when speaking about the End Times that, "except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved". This sounds grim. It implies that evil will grow so powerful in its scope that resistance becomes well-nigh impossible. But then he went on to say that, "for the elect's sake, those days shall be shortened".  So we must be prepared for things to get very bad but, at the same time, know that the eventual outcome is not in doubt. For those who remain steadfast and centred in God, victory is assured. This is spiritual victory, not necessarily to be known in this world, as it wasn't for Jesus himself, but it will be real and lasting victory.

The two qualities most important right now are courage and honesty. I am assuming a spiritual orientation. If you don't have, or don't soon acquire, that you will be completely at the mercy of the worldly powers. But even with a spiritual orientation you must have the courage to confront the evil that is being more clearly revealed with every week that passes. And you must be honest because in a world of lies all that can save us is the truth. These two qualities, it will be remarked, are those of the martyr and it seems very probable that in the days to come we will all be examined to see what stuff we are made of.  This should not be a frightening thought. It is actually a privilege to be alive at such a time. We are called to be soldiers in God's army. This army has to fight but it is a spiritual fight and the weapons must be the spiritual weapons of love and truth. However, don't be deceived by how the enemy has tried to disarm that first weapon by reducing it from something brave, bold and fiery to a bland universal acceptance of everything, good or bad, on its own terms. The highest love is the love of the good, the beautiful and the true, and this love will not stand by when these things are attacked. 

Friday 16 October 2020

Bruce Charlton's Litmus Test

Bruce Charlton has come up with a Litmus Test to determine what side a person is on in the current spiritual war. The test has three parts which comprise how you respond to the coronavirus scare, the anti-racism propaganda and the man-made climate change agenda. To accept these at face value as they are presented by official channels and the mainstream media indicates you are following the powers of this world rather than God. And it doesn't matter if you think you are religious or spiritual. Those are just words if they are not backed up with proper insight into the nature of reality.

This test is interesting because it is doing something more than simply seeing whether you go along with the idea that these three things are true in the way they are presented. It goes more deeply than whether the coronavirus is as serious as claimed or whether some ethnic groups have been treated better or worse than others, for whatever reasons, or whether the climate is hotting up as a result of human activity. There will be factors that seem to support the current official lines in all of these cases but there will also be factors that contradict these approved lines. For the layman it can be difficult to establish certainty one way or the other, and it is also difficult to argue effectively for the contrary position in the face of so much ideological pressure and unrelenting one-sided propaganda.

However, there is a greater point beyond whether any of these things actually have any truth in them or not or whether there is some truth but we are presented with a very one-sided picture. The real point is that the remedies proposed for these supposed material evils are Trojan horses which are used to bring about profound spiritual evils. This is what really matters and what a person of spiritual discernment should able to see. The evils of the virus, of racism and of climate change (real or unreal) are as nothing besides the evils of the proposed solutions to them. Shall I define these evils? Outwardly, it's a simple matter of totalitarianism and humanity reduced to controlled servitude. Inwardly, it is the closing tight shut of the door to spiritual freedom and truth. It is the absolute enforcement of materialism. 

If you care about freedom and truth and beauty and real goodness you are now on a collision course with the worldly powers. You can no longer be a passively good, decent, nice sort of person because if you are you will sooner or later be sucked into what is a kind of de facto Satanism. I realise that might seem a shocking thing to say but the reality is, or is becoming, that if you don't actively stand for God then you are against him, and there is, or soon will be, no neutral ground.

Tuesday 13 October 2020

The Culture Wars are Not a Christian Civil War

I recently saw a video clip in which a historian was saying that the present culture war (to use the commonly accepted term, in my view it's a spiritual war) was actually a civil war rooted in Christianity with one side favouring the moral teachings of the 10 Commandments and St Paul, while the other focused on the idea that the first shall be last and the last first, and took the story of God's chosen people being liberated from slavery as a guiding principle. I have to say I found this very unpersuasive. Obviously, there is some truth in it but it does not begin to unearth what is really going on.

Often today people take from Christianity what they want to take and ignore what doesn't fit in with their own ideas. This has always happened to an extent but to say that the culture wars are between different interpretations of Christianity just because their setting is a society that was originally formed by Christianity is idiotic. If the transcendent reality of God is not accepted, if Christ is not accepted, if the primacy of the spiritual over the material is not accepted, then we are not talking about something that has anything to do with Christianity. Christ said, "If you love me, keep my commandments". To bring the Christian message down to a purely secular level, as the left does, is to totally distort it and the result cannot be said to have anything to do with Christ. Of course, there are good grounds for saying that the left only takes anything from Christianity in the first place the better to attack its central message since its aim from the beginning has been destruction. I don't mean this was always the aim of every single left-leaning person. Many have been fired by a desire for justice and social improvement. But the aim of the powers behind the left that have used it as a battering ram at the gates of Western civilisation has always been destructive.

The wonderful thing about real Christianity is that the two absolutes of love and truth are both fully acknowledged and brought into harmony. Attempts to split them apart always lead to the loss of both and that is what has happened in the world. You are left with false truth and unloving love as we have now. The only solution is to restore the unity of these two and this can only be done when we raise them up from a material to a spiritual level but spiritual means spiritual understood spiritually not spiritual understood from a secular perspective which is the perspective of the earthly man and his priorities as an earthly man. That is the great mistake of the modern churches and why (see the last post) they are becoming increasingly redundant.

The culture wars have arisen in an ex-Christian society but that does not mean they are the responsibility of Christianity or some kind of inevitable outcome of Christianity. When you attack something, you must do it from where it is and often you do it by seeking to deform and distort it so that it eventually becomes something other than what it really is, retaining only the name. This is not a Christian civil war but a war on Christianity, and the fact that some of the weapons used are ostensibly Christian just proves the truth of the old adage that the corruption of the best is the worst.

Saturday 10 October 2020

The Outer Church and the Inner Church

 I have been a regular churchgoer four times in my life. Once when I was at school which was obviously not something I did as a matter of personal choice. But that gave me a good grounding in the Christian faith or the Church of England version of it, though it was fairly traditional at that time. I learnt the Bible, the Book of Common Prayer, about matins and evensong, and I still have a fondness for hymns.

The second time was when I began living with Michael Lord. He was Catholic and we went to Mass on Sunday. He took communion, I didn't. I had Catholic friends with whom I stayed occasionally as a child so the Mass wasn't unfamiliar to me but the "smells and bells" aspect was rather different to what I had been used to. This was also the time when the Masters first began talking to me and I was becoming familiar with various esoteric teachings. As a consequence, the conventionalism of orthodox religion seemed spiritually restricting to me and, though I could appreciate the beauty of the ritual, I could not avoid thinking of it as limiting, for me at any rate. I spoke of this to the Masters and this is what they said. Let me remind the reader that they spoke to me through the mediumship of Michael who was in unconscious trance at the time. 

I asked 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. 

I realise, as I think I have said before, that this would be quite enough to get the Masters condemned as demons in certain quarters. But wait a minute! What is being said here is that there is an inner religion and an outer one. By and large, the Church, meaning all churches, teaches the outer path. The Master is not condemning the Church. He says it is good. But he also says there is more and if we are to find the more we have to look for it. Some people can find the inner path through the Church but I think that is increasingly difficult as all outer institutions have become corrupt, losing touch with their animating spirit and calcifying into just the body, the organisation itself which is the thing that matters and must be preserved. The inner path is when we cease just to follow and start to make the truths of religion our own. It is the path in which intuition and personal insight must be developed, on which we must forge our own souls and not rely on anything external. Move from the external to the eternal. The dangers of inflation and egotism are obvious but just because we can fall does not mean we should not attempt to rise. 

The third time was when I was living in India. The Church of South India is an Anglican church and Michael and I attended services in the local church of our village partly in order to join the local community and partly as a way of affirming our spiritual beliefs publicly. It was a Victorian church built for 19th century English coffee planters and I have to say I learnt a lot about the Christian life there. Somewhat strange you might think as I was practising meditation for a couple of hours a day at the time, investigating Hinduism and talking to the Masters on two or three occasions a month as I think it was then. But it was all grist to my spiritual mill and possibly took me away from the potentially delusionary idea that spirituality in the advanced sense is only mysticism, meaning a concern with higher consciousness.

The fourth time was when my children were young. Their mother is Catholic and I was happy for them to be baptised as Catholics since by then the Church of England had more or less become the benevolent society it now is, that is to say, a leftist political body only really concerned with good works. I wanted them to have some kind of spiritual education in our godless world and church attendance seemed the best way to go about that. I'm not sure how much they got out of it (it lasted for about 4 or 5 years) but at least they know something about Christianity which an alarming number of their contemporaries do not.

I am no longer a churchgoer and doubt I will be again except for the occasional festivals such as Christmas and Easter. I would say that I haven't left the church but the church has left me. When you find more spiritual sustenance in an empty church than the actual service, something has gone badly wrong. This is my case and I think it is the case of many other believing Christians. The light has gone out and the beauty and truth are in the past now.

This may seem a terrible thing but there is another way to look at it. The spiritual path is fundamentally an inner path as the Master implied. When the outer path has become overgrown with weeds as it now has and effectively leads into a swamp, you have to turn inwards and start to look for God within yourself, remembering, of course, that God is not in you so much as you are in him so it is not in your own self you should be looking so much as just within. Or within and beyond at the same time. Now it may be that a new age really is dawning when the path of Peter, the church of Peter, must be replaced by that of John. Or perhaps I should say be fulfilled in rather than replaced by. At any rate, it is John we should be looking to today as our principal spiritual guide.

Monday 5 October 2020


Last week I went to the Tantra exhibition at the British Museum. Tantra is an Indian esoteric system that is not based on the Vedas, as are most orthodox forms of Hinduism, but instead goes back to pre-Aryan roots though, as is the way with all Indian religion, there are many admixtures along the way to end up with what now exists under that name.

The basis of Tantra is that the universe is made up of the interaction between male and female powers, personified as Siva and Sakti. Siva is Ultimate Reality or pure consciousness and Sakti is his dynamic aspect. She is Cosmic Energy, visualised as a goddess. Effectively, these represent spirit and matter in the system, taking spirit as being and matter as the world in all its forms, the Father and Mother of the Universe. The practitioner aims to unite these two within himself, drawing up the power in matter within his own body to the top of the head where it unites with spirit to produce enlightenment. This is just the bare bones of the philosophy, but the idea is that, rather than rejecting the material world, the follower of Tantra uses it, even embraces it, to reach spiritual insight. All life is one and nothing is to be rejected. Thus, certain practises which are regarded as profane in more conventional religious teachings, such as the consumption of alcohol and participation in sexual activity, are used in a ritualistic way to demonstrate that nothing is impure and all is part of the whole. Sex is understood as symbolic of divine unity and, though this is only taken symbolically on the so-called right-hand path, is engaged in literally on the left-hand path.

One sees a certain logic in this but there are problems. From the Christian perspective, it ignores the fact of the Fall. The material world has been corrupted and can only be redeemed in Christ. Tantra appears to have no understanding of this. Of course, motivation is crucial in any practice but even the best motivation in the world cannot turn error into truth. In fact, the attraction of Tantra for many is the same as the attraction of occultism in general. Power. Whether magical or spiritual, it is often power that the follower of these paths seeks and with such a motivation the temptation to succumb to the demons who lurk in the dark corners of these systems is always present. Demons are actually openly present in Tantra, whether disguised as deities with a wrathful aspect as in some forms of Buddhist Tantra or as the goddess Kali who is depicted as the Great Mother but is clearly demonic in origin. I am not saying that a certain mindset cannot indeed transform the images of these demons to a more spiritual state but that is going against their form, and form and function are not so clearly demarcated or differentiated as some might like to think. Ugliness is not beauty. Violence is not peace. The form of Kali very obviously goes back to a demon that was propitiated by blood, not a good image for the spiritual aspirant to focus on however much you seek to justify it by abstruse symbolism. I can appreciate the wisdom in Tantra in that it fully accepts the created world rather than denying or dismissing it but I would object that it accepts it too much. The profane and the sacred are not the same thing and seeing them as such does not make it so.

There is truth in Tantra. The idea that we need to accept the material world of creation as part of the whole and not dismiss it as illusion as certain forms of Hinduism do is correct. But we should not take it on its own terms. It should always be seen in the light of spirit. The creation should never be set on the same footing as the Creator. The two are not equal. But the created world is a true world and we are part of it and it is part of us. As Christ showed, it should be included in our understanding of spiritual reality. Nonetheless, matter must always be subordinated to spirit as the Virgin Mary offered herself up completely to the Will of God. You don't conquer matter through matter as Tantra might lead one to believe. You conquer it through spirit. Then, once conquered, the beauty within it is revealed and it serves to glorify God.

As an amusing aside, when I went to this exhibition I did not wear a mask. Everyone else was wearing one. I respected the social distancing rules because I didn't want to upset anybody but there is a profound spiritual symbolism in covering your face and I do not want to be a party to that, especially for a disease that is far less deadly for most people than we have been led to believe. I have worn a mask on a couple of occasions so as not to upset other people but both times felt a sense of shame and that I was contributing to the degradation of humanity.  You might think that an over the top reaction but such a practice, once accepted, is hard to stop. One of the other people at the exhibition complained to an attendant that I wasn't wearing a mask but was told that certain people are exempt though no one actually asked me whether I did indeed fit into that category. What I found amusing was that the whole idea of Tantra is that nothing is impure. Tantrics would meditate in graveyards and cover themselves with the ashes of dead bodies. Not wearing a mask should surely, in that sense, be perfectly in tune with the Tantric ethos!

I understand that there is a temptation to spiritual pride in not wearing one of these face coverings. We should be alert to that. We should also respect the concerns of others and, if not wearing a mask in a space where one is now supposed to be wearing one, keep a reasonable distance from others unless that is impossible. Nevertheless, I do see the imposition of masks as an attack on individual freedom. It is of profound spiritual significance and should not be dismissed as just something to keep us safe. One lesson that can be drawn from Tantra is that God is everywhere. That doesn't mean we should abandon common sense because that can be the voice of God too. But it does mean we should learn to be free of fear and have trust in our Creator.

Friday 2 October 2020

End Times Choice

My last post might have seemed pessimistic but it was not, not really. Perhaps from a purely worldly point of view it was pessimistic but the worldly point of view is very limited and, ultimately, irrelevant. The only important things are the spiritual lessons that can be learned from the current crisis, and there are plenty of positive things we can take from it if we look at it in the right way.

To begin with, the end of it all for anyone who remains faithful to God is heaven. You can't get more positive than that. But that's the long term. However, even in the short term we can find occasion for optimism. When you understand the world process to have a beginning, middle and end then you see that what is happening now is what must happen at the end. It is necessary and inevitable. If you believe the line of history to be progressing ever onwards into always better times, you misunderstand the process. There are ages that arise and fall as part of an ongoing greater cycle. We are now in a terminal phase of a particular cycle but that is all part of the evolutionary scheme of things. At this time in the decadent phase the waters of history are being stirred up and all the detritus rises to the surface where it may be skimmed off. This may seem rather a laboured analogy but see the process at work. The depths, hitherto to some degree suppressed and kept down, have been awakened and are coming into full manifestation. This is true of the planet as a whole, of humanity considered as a group and for each individual. It applies to our civilisation and to you and me. Everywhere the same activity is at work as part of a great cleansing operation.

We cannot be tested for our ability to hold the light save in times of darkness. The very testing enables the light to be kindled in people who have to seek it inwardly when outer circumstances become so dark. The outer darkness actually brings out, or has the potential to bring out, inner light. We call on God and turn to him when he is no longer perceived to be there operating in the world. So the spiritual darkness has a twofold purpose. Those who are dark accept or even welcome it. They get what they want. Those who are open to the light are driven to seek it, and they are not left comfortless. All sincere seekers will be directed to guidance.

It is no longer fashionable to think that people are good or bad. We are all a mixture of the two, it is said. And this is perfectly true. But at the same time, we also all have a leaning towards God or away from him. Present times are stimulating this tendency within our souls and there is coming a point at which we may well be able to say that a person is good or bad in that if you are not for God, you are against him. This is a hard saying that will not be welcome everywhere in our relativistic world but that is immaterial. Truth is not dependent on fashion. It is not democratic and does not care for your feelings. The truth of the present time is that God is calling all those who wish to be with him. We respond to his voice or not as the case may be. There are plenty of excuses we can make to ignore it but these are just so many self-justifications. It is the heart that is being examined.