Friday 11 December 2020

The Corruption of the Good & the Lack of Imagination

Whatever good there may once have been in leftism has long since been used to smuggle in greater evil, and the chief evil is materialism and the separation from God with the subsequent celebration of man as his own god. Thus, the concept of the good is changed radically. No longer does it relate to spiritual understanding and focus and to one's relationship with God, but to the human being as it exists in this world. And no longer is the good a matter of objective reality, something with its own independent quality and truth beyond the merely human, but what bring most benefit to most people in a purely worldly sense.

This is why when you talk to a committed leftist, you talk at cross purposes. His idea of good revolves around what increases happiness and reduces suffering in the here and now. He has an enormously limited view of what a human being actually is and that deforms his whole judgement. Even if he is religious or spiritual in some way this will always be subject to his determining leftism, and leftism is fundamentally materialistic in that it sees man as he is in his fallen, almost biological, state and not as a spiritual being.

The question then arises as to why is the leftist like that. Is he just labouring under a delusion through no fault of his own or is his attitude actually a reflection of his own mind and will?  For some it may be the former but for many it is the latter case. A leftist philosophy (ideology is a better word) is the outcome of the wilful rejection of God.

That much is clear but I believe there is often something more and that is a lack of imagination. It is amusing to think of the howls of outrage one would hear from leftists if they were accused of lacking imagination but what other conclusion can you reasonably draw? Imagination is not just conjuring up and playing with a bundle of images and ideas. It is sensitivity to the higher worlds. It is openness to a greater reality. It is, in its proper sense, a spiritual faculty and if you have it you will see that spiritual reality exists. You will, at the very least, be strongly pushed in that direction even if you hesitate to embrace the notion fully because of the limited presentation of religion in this world.

This takes us to the great problem with many church-going Christians which is that they too lack imagination so their idea of religion is restricted to the moral world or to the world of belief as stipulated by authority. But this is a desiccated kind of faith that does not inspire or transform. It leaves its members in the world. Imagination is the only thing that can get us out of this world. It is not enough on its own. It must be coupled with a proper religious understanding but it points to and begins to reveal the reality of higher dimensions of being, and a refusal to acknowledge these higher dimensions certainly indicates an unimaginative mind which is ipso facto an unspiritual mind.


Bruce Charlton said...

@William - That's very good - and important.

"This takes us to the great problem with many church-going Christians which is that they too lack imagination so their idea of religion is restricted to the moral world or to the world of belief as stipulated by authority. But this is a desiccated kind of faith that does not inspire or transform. It leaves its members in the world."

Haven't seen this so clearly noticed or so well expressed; but it struck me immediately as correct.

I had a rather horrible experience of this yesterday when attending my usual church for the first time in 9-10 months (since the lockdown) and finding the whole thing - materially and spiritually - reorganised as an empty exercise in over-zealous birdemic compliance. It was entirely pre-recorded (except for the initial 'safety' talk...) like watching a (not very good) TV production; made much worse by being present scattered through a near empty church of masked fools (such as myself).

William Wildblood said...

I think that when religion loses touch with its mythological element as Christianity clearly has for the most part it loses its soul and becomes just a thing of this world.

edwin faust said...

Most people now equate imagination with fantasy. Sense perception then becomes the guarantor of what is "real" and imagination becomes something akin to day-dreaming, picturing a world that is not nor could ever be. Imagination is one's personal Disneyland. Of course, you mean something else entirely. I wonder whether the word "reason" might be substituted for "imagination" in your blog piece. It seems to me that the ancients (mostly the Greeks) thought that spiritual realities - universals - could be approached through reason, through dialect. What the world now accepts as real was once considered the least substantial, and sense perception was believed capable of experiencing only in a fleeting and remote way what was eternally true. I sometimes think that faith was a shortcut, a way of arriving at belief in spiritual realities without the hard work of sustained reasoning, which is not the end but rather the beginning of understanding that transcends it.

William Wildblood said...

I wouldn't call it reason which is a different thing in my view. In a way, the word doesn't matter but in another sense it does. Imagination has been reduced, debased, from a poetic, visionary faculty to the ability to rearrange stuff already known through sense perception or else based on that. It is, properly speaking, something else, the mind's ability to perceive something of higher worlds.

Faculty X said...

You are speaking of opening the Third Eye -- the ability to perceive directly the Higher Intelligence Agency.

It is true, yes, that this ability is in sharp decline. The material reality is enmeshing all in its claws.

It was written decades ago that opening the Third Eye and the latent faculties of man was essential to the next step in evolution. That has not occurred and instead the solidification of the Kali Yuga has.

Now all that can be done is to push forward into the Truth as it reveals itself to Be.

William Wildblood said...

I don't know whether I am or not speaking of the third eye. That sounds something more esoteric and developed than what I am referring to which is a simple matter of imaginative perception.

edwin faust said...

Confusion arises when one uses the words perception and imagination without accompanying definitions (they have so many meanings now). Perception has usually meant what can be received through the senses. Imagination denotes the correlation of sense data and the emergence of a resulting coherent picture (image). This is, I believe, how the scholastics used the words. I think you are talking about knowledge that transcends sense perception and imagination as traditionally understood in philosophy and theology. I may be wrong, but it seems you are moving toward something like the intelligible forms, the archetypal spiritual realities that are reflected in material creation. The loss of imagination, then, might be understood as the failure to distinguish between a reflection and its source: to not realize that we are seeing things "in a glass darkly." I don't mean to be presumptuous and interpret your own words to you but am merely trying to understand and contribute to understanding. As for the Third Eye: this has been referred to as the ajna chakra or a lost function of the pineal gland. The notion is that it is possible to acquire a kind of spiritual vision analogous to perception and imagination on the physical plane - to see into a higher world, so to speak. It is a way of expressing something but it lends itself to a material interpretation, so that methods are devised for opening the Third Eye as though it were amenable to mechanical processes, a kind of spiritual muscle-building with various meditation techniques as the weights and isometrics.

Faculty X said...

I wonder if it is the absence of spiritual perception or if it is the direction of it that is the problem.

The Directionality of Inner Spiritual Perception : Is it to the Left? Or to the Right?

Traditionally the True Right was aligned with the One True God.

With the Leftist the State comes first, or the latest trendy fake cause.
But always nothing but a black void spiritually, an anti-force, a debaser.

Thus all Leftists are servants of a false god.

So as it was in the past so it is today -- there are many false gods.

And from that misdirection of consciousness can only come collapse.

Bruce Charlton said...

@William - This era really is a exposure of all kinds of flaws and unrepetented sins. As you say, it is the materialism, moral focus, and the institutional bias of mainstream Christianity - i.e. that churches encourage obedience to external authority, namely themselves - which has proved their undoing.

Because all external authorities have-been corrupted by now, and have changed sides.

And yet the churches (even the best of them) have no response except to double-down on the need for greater obedience to external authority - whether that authority be the church hierarchy, tradition, the Bible (in particular prescribed interpretations), or a particular theology.

Of course, without external authority, each Christian is on his own, more than ever before, except for some Saints and Martyrs; and resistance must primarily be individual - which requires a high level of faith in God's creation and Christ's resurrection if despair is to be avoided and hope sustained.

A stern test indeed.

Chris said...

Yes indeed Bruce. This morning in church I, out of wanting to know, about the picture of a couple of slices of warburtons and a small goblet of red on the front of the service order, asked the priestess at the end if we were doing do-it-yourself communion now. We hadn’t been for a while. Apparently so... because people find it feels better than just watching so why not, ...but the church won’t catch up in our lifetime....
Little do they know.
It took my best charm to slide nicely sideways as soon as I noticed the whole masked congregation of 8 turn to me ...
Then I remembered that we hadnt done collection. So I asked. There was a long explanation about why we couldn’t. I did better that time.

MagnusStout said...

Well said.

I like to think of each of us as being musical instruments in God's symphony. Our action--like the playing of an instrument--expresses our love to Him and each other. True expression must involve individuality. The precious gift of free will permits this reality. We waste this gift by insisting on rigid forms of spiritual expression.

It seems self-evident that God appreciates variety (just look at nature). We all have unique "sounds." The point is not that one instrument is better than another, or that you must only play one kind of music, but that your music must reflect the authentic song of your heart towards our Creator.

To make another analogy, many Christian services remind me of a "paint-by-number" class I took my young daughter to once for her birthday. They provided the class identical canvas, paint and the design. While many people seemed comforted at first, we found it smothering and boring. At the end, the project felt "hollow." Perhaps this was because there was no individuality nor sacrifice (as to the struggle to imagine & create).

True worship should be a reflection--however dim--of heaven.