Friday 29 December 2023

A Church Falling into Ruins

 I was slightly ill over Christmas, possibly with the dreaded 'Coughvid' since work colleagues who still (why?) test for it and who had similar symptoms did have that ailment. Basically, a nasty cold - no fun but hardly the end of the world. But it meant I didn't go to church on Christmas morning for the first time in many years. 

I'm afraid to say I was quite relieved not to have to do so. When my parents were still alive and I spent Christmas with them we would go to a small country church in Wiltshire. St Martin's in Bremhill was originally built around 1200, though not much is left from those days. It was altered in the mid 19th century but still has a 14th century tower and some Tudor stonework as well. The font is even older. When I went there, which was most Christmases between 1986 and 2006, the service was the traditional Church of England one using the Book of Common Prayer and the King James Bible. The vicar was a grey haired, red-cheeked ex-tax inspector (there is a good precedent for that) whom we would sometimes join for a drink in the local pub after the service. The atmosphere was cheerful but reverent, and the congregation was a mix of local country people plus a few outsiders like me. It was the sort of thing you might have seen in England for centuries. Most people there were probably not full believers but they respected and maybe even loved the tradition. They may not have been able to give themselves to it whole-heartedly but they knew it was better than anything that came after it.

Now, in the Church of England tradition is dead and most people think we are well rid of it. Of course, there are self-conscious attempts to maintain it here and there but that is completely artificial, and even many of the people involved still think that modernity is better. They would just like the cosmetic aspects of tradition but they are fully on board with the innovations, women priests, blessings for same-sex couples and all the rest of the dreary capitulations to secularism. Both the churches around where I live go in for all that stuff and consider themselves enlightened for doing so. Both were completely compromised during the 2020 lockdowns. Every time I have been, and I do only go at Christmas and Easter, I have felt dispirited and almost ashamed at contributing to such a desecration of true religion as these spiritually collapsed bodies provide. There is a Catholic Church near where I work in London, a beautiful 19th century building, and I go in there sometimes at lunchtime to pray and contemplate. That still has the old feeling of actually being a house of God that the C. of E. ones just do not have but even there I find that feeling is stronger when there is no service going on. Modern worship rarely adds to the sense of sanctity in a church. More usually it actually detracts from it.

There is a moral to this story. I believe that God is driving us inwards. When outer spiritual support is weakened or even collapses then we simply must go within to find proper truth. I am well used to people protesting about the risks of this, spiritual narcissism, egotism, pride, illusion, self-deception, etc.  Well, yes, all these exist and are genuine risks but we need to wake up. There's no virtue in remaining faithful to something that has abandoned or lost its connection to truth. Is it the Church we follow or God? You may think they are the same and sometimes, to a degree, never wholly, they are, but often in this fallen world they are most definitely not the same and we have to choose where our heart really lies. When the outer world is falling into ruin we must turn within and in so doing we will become spiritually stronger which is what God wants for us. Clearly, this is no excuse for anything goes but if our motivation is right God will direct us where we need to go. He always wants to bring us up not keep us in the same place.

My disillusionment with official religion does not mean I think we can do without it. Our spiritual state would be very much worse if the churches were no longer there. Inner spirituality needs outer structure to support it and make sure it doesn't stray into wild regions of eccentricity, fantasy and self-indulgence. And yet there comes a time when those who would really start to know Christ as a living inner reality must turn away from Peter and start to follow John.

Thursday 21 December 2023

Christmas Break

I shall be taking a short blogging break over Christmas. Many thanks to those who have supported this blog by reading and commenting over the last year. If you would like to deepen your acquaintance with some of the ideas behind it my latest book By No Means Equal is available. As the title suggests, it is an attack on the philosophy (there should really be inverted commas around that word) of modern ideology. Everything depends on getting first principles right, and we have got them badly wrong.

Specifically, the book seeks to show how equality, which has become the fundamental principle and basic assumption of Western liberal democracies, is a false doctrine founded on an illusion. Equality poses as a quasi-spiritual belief but is actually pure materialism. It's now regarded as a secular dogma with which any right thinking person should be in agreement, but it receives no mention in the Bible or any serious spiritual literature and that is understandable when one realises that, taken to a logical extreme, it would reduce the twin realities of creation and evolutionary unfoldment right back to the ground from whence they arose. For equality chops down the tree of life. It drags light back to darkness, reduces the individual to nothing and makes of a freedom a prison.

The modern obsession with equality as a universal good is a legacy of several strands of thought in Western civilisation but ultimately it comes from a denial of God and the natural order of creation. God is being and he creates to be something. All things, by definition, must be different to other things. They must be separate and that means they cannot be equal. To pretend otherwise in the name of a supposedly enlightened morality is to prioritise the material world over the spiritual since it seeks to establish a false outer oneness in place of an inner spiritual oneness which, it should be noted, always goes hand in glove with multiplicity of expression.

Reality is hierarchical as in this illustration from Robert Fludd's Utriusque Cosmi or Metaphysical History of the Two Worlds (i.e Universe and Man). At the top hidden in a cloud of unknowing, the Unmanifest beyond creation, dwells God whose hand reaches down through the heavens, the realm of Cherubim and Seraphim, through the unchanging world of the fixed stars and then the world of the planets (astral plane) and finally to the elemental world of animal, vegetable and mineral. There is a chain linking God's hand with the female figure who is the Anima Mundi or Soul of the World, similar to the Goddess of paganism who as this shows is still a creature not the Creator, and she in turn hold dominance over the ape-like creature perched on top of the world who may represent mortal man seemingly measuring a small globe with his scientific instruments while thinking he has the whole of life in his hands.

This is just a symbol of the macrocosm and it ignores the fact that Man has a direct link to God implanted within his own soul but it conveys the idea that the universe is founded on many levels of being from pure spirit to gross matter though all are bound together by their foundation in God who informs the whole even if he also stands above it all. Equality is nowhere present in such a scheme but the opportunity for the humblest part of creation to rise through the spheres most certainly is for everything comes from God and everything that accepts its spiritual destiny may return to him though that depends on its own free will and ability to make the required sacrifice of attachment to the lower elements in its nature.

By No Means Equal is subtitled Reclaiming the Soul because the modern dogma of equality does away with the spiritual integrity of the individual, its true and unique quality. Equality is materialism, the reduction of the spiritual to what can be measured. Putting it at the centre of our understanding of human life shows we have completely lost touch with what lies beyond the quantitative world. It's time we saw through the illusion and rediscovered our source in the divine.

Note: The publisher tells me I should solicit reviews on Amazon so if anyone would care to leave a few words there (preferably positive ones!) I should be very grateful.

Sunday 17 December 2023

A Christmas Meditation

 The older I get the more obvious it becomes that Jesus Christ really is the Way, the Truth and the Life.* When I was younger I felt this but was under the fashionable impression (or illusion) that all religions said more or less the same thing and were just different ways of bringing man to God if one practiced them seriously enough. I still do think that God and the messengers he sends work through many outlets but in all others he is to a greater or lesser extent hidden. Only in Jesus Christ is he revealed. Jesus is the light shining directly except that it is in a human form. In all other spiritual approaches the light is behind a veil of some sort and obscured in some way.

The Incarnation gave everything in the world that could receive it an irradiation of light from above, a spiritual boost.  Thus, beyond the obvious impact of Christianity, the light of Christ operating from the spiritual world and filtering down through the mental to the material affected all genuine forms of spirituality and revitalised them to the degree that they were open to that light. It is no accident that the Mahayana form of Buddhism with the Bodhisattva figure postdates Christ, and even Hinduism acquired extra spiritual force from Christ's arrival in this world and the spiritual power he released. This statement would be rejected by Hindus and Buddhists but I make it because it seems to me to be the simple truth. It doesn't diminish other religions to say that they stand in the shadow of Christ. They remain what they are which are vehicles given by God, or those that act on his behalf (since God delegates), to helps souls in this world become better aware of their source, but in them all there is still a shadow over the fullness of truth. That shadow was dispersed by Christ. Other religions are effective in their own way but they are incomplete. Only in Christ is the truth made complete.

Apart from the figure of Christ, in which all spiritual truth is embodied and through which it stands revealed more clearly than anywhere else, and his gift of salvation to those who incline their hearts to him (not simply believe, as James 2 says, even the demons believe), there are two principal teachings in Christianity which take it further than any other form of religion. These have to do with the reality of the individual and the fact that God is Love. They are obviously connected. You might say that other religions include these but they don't in the same fully comprehensive way. Regarding love, Buddhism has its impersonal compassion but that is a mild thing compared to love especially in the context of the denial of the reality of the person. Even Hindu bhakti is not the same as agape in that it is an emotional or devotional thing, and love in the Christian sense is not an emotion but an act or condition of being.

My assertion that Christianity contains more of spiritual truth than any other religion might be dismissed as a simple product of the fact that I was born in a world formed and influenced by Christianity, and a Muslim might say the same about Islam, were it not for the fact that any unbiased mind should be able to see that in Christ there is a quality of goodness and purity and sheer holiness just not present elsewhere, not in any other prophet, saint, sage or even god. The light he brought illumined the whole world and spread even where his teachings were not outwardly known. It radiated out on a subtle or immaterial level to be picked up by those sensitive enough to respond to it and then interpreted according to their understanding. It is also, as he himself said, through him, and only through him, that all men now reach God even if they do so through another religion than Christianity which can happen if they pick up the spirit of Christ as it has infiltrated, if I can use that word, into that particular religion. Clearly, the spirit of Christ is more present and more discernible in Christianity though it can be veiled there as well, especially nowadays when all institutions  have fallen away from their core mission and been assimilated into the secular humanism of the materialistic and atheistic System.

The truth of Christ is also why Christmas is important. The first Christmas was the time when the light of God entered the world. That this light was for the whole world is demonstrated by the visit of the three Magi from the East, representing the pinnacle of previous spiritual knowledge, who came to pay their respects to the infant Jesus as the saviour of the world. They were not Jews but they came because they knew that the light embodied in this baby was universal. It repaired the damage done in the past and offered to all men the chance to free themselves from the bondage of matter not by effectively abandoning the relative world of individual beings, of love and beauty and goodness, all of which can only exist in a world of multiplicity and form, for the absolute of pure spirit as taught by the Buddha, but by reconciling spirit and matter, the One and the Many, through the holy mystery of love. This did not require rejecting suffering as the Buddha had done by rejecting the self that suffered, but fully accepting suffering and offering it up as a sacrifice to God. In this way the fallen self was redeemed and made holy instead of being jettisoned as a burden on existence. Thus was the purpose of creation fulfilled rather than being negated.

So, Christmas marks the time when God's reason for creating man is revealed and its fulfilment made possible. And the holy purity of the new born baby reminds us that Christianity goes beyond other spiritual approaches in that it alone fully validates the person, the person that other religions reject as the source of ignorance and a blot on the pure whiteness of naked existence. In Buddhism the person is a barrier to enlightenment and in Islam it exists but as little more than a slave which must submit and obey. Of course, even in Christianity the separate self must be given up, but what is given up is the false self, the self that by the barriers of its self-centredness blocks out God. The true God-given individuality remains and is then revealed as a shining being of light, a unique son of God born of the holy marriage between Spirit and Matter. And the possibility that we can become this being of light is what Christmas is all about.

* This is a slightly revised version of a piece I wrote 7 years ago. Now, of course, I am even older than I was then and the first sentence is even more the case than it was then.

Thursday 14 December 2023

Some Music for the Nativity

 This is Nesciens Mater by the 16th century composer Jean Mouton. Technically, it is a quadruple canon at the fifth with a delay of two bars between lower and higher voices but that's just the way it's constructed. The heart of it is its shimmering beauty in which time seems to be suspended and which conveys the awe and humility of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the face of the miracle of the Incarnation like nothing else. It is a halo of light in musical form.

Version 1

Nesciens mater virgo virum peperit sine dolore salvatorem saeculorum. Ipsum regem angelorum sola virgo lactabat, ubere de caelo pleno. Knowing no man, the Virgin mother bore, without pain, the Saviour of the world. Him, the king of angels, only the Virgin suckled, breasts filled by heaven.

The piece is so lovely it's worth hearing in 2 quite different versions. Surely this is music to convert the most hard-hearted of unbelievers.

Version 2

Saturday 9 December 2023

The Biter Bit

 There is a group of people that has been at the forefront of many intellectual advancements over the last 200 years, with both beneficial and harmful results. This group, or some of them, has also been responsible for much of the undermining of Western, and specifically Christian, civilisation and culture during that time. This is an undeniable fact but it's also the truth that dare not speak its name partly because of the historical suffering of this group and partly because of ideological restrictions, many of which have been promoted by the group themselves. Those who really care for truth and justice are placed in an awkward situation because of this. The fact has to be recognised but to do so publicly is impossible because of past association. The question I would like to ask is why is this? Why does this group behave as it does?

To begin with it does because it can. What I mean by that is that it has the freedom to do so, a freedom that historically has been lacking. And it also has the intellectual equipment to do so. Members of this group are among the more talented of humanity and they use their talent for good and ill. But why do some of them focus it so much on what amounts to moral corruption? Communism, atheism, feminism, anti-white attitudes masked as anti-racism, leftism in general in politics, the degradation of literature and art, the sexual revolution, all these and more feature a significantly high number of members of this group among their leading lights. Why are these people drawn to what amounts to spiritual desecration? I would suggest it is partly on account of what they have suffered at the hands of Western civilisation (is there an element of revenge involved?), and partly because the rejection of Christ still lies behind their world view.

Now this group is finding that intellectual and ideological trends it has set up and promoted are being turned against them. Emotions of antipathy and resentment it has fanned into flame are being directed back at them. Here is a classic example of being hoisted by your own petard. One can only hope that experiencing the results of their own propaganda may cause some of them to reflect more deeply. Sometimes God sends us back what we have sent out in order that we may learn the truth. But given that the only way anyone in this position learns the needed lesson is if he looks at his own motivations honestly that may not be easy.

Note: This post is not written in a spirit of antagonism. The group of which I am a member, British men, has probably done more than most to create the world of materialism in which we live. But God desires to save all souls and a prerequisite of that is an acknowledgment of both truth and our own fallen nature.

Thursday 7 December 2023

Wealth, Status and Power

These are the goods that most people want. Some want wealth more than power and some status more than wealth but most people want these things to various degrees. And yet the spiritual path is all about turning around and walking in a different direction and those who aspire to the mysteries of the Kingdom of God must learn to renounce worldly gifts and possessions. They must largely do without wealth and status and power. Traditionally, the way to do this was to follow the path of poverty, chastity and obedience which are more or less the contrary aspects of these things. This used to be well understood but many people nowadays seem to believe they can have the worldly goods and still lead a proper spiritual life. They would justify this by saying it's fine to have these things as long as you aren't attached to them. Some would even say that worldly gifts are a sign of God's approval which is patently absurd but then there's nothing so outlandish that somebody somewhere won't believe it if it suits him. As for non-attachment, it's a nice theory but generally if you have money, status and power you either are or you become attached to them. Self-deception is easy. Real renunciation not so much.

Jesus said no man can serve two masters, you cannot serve God and mammon. He also that it's harder for a rich man to get to heaven than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. Paul wrote to Timothy that the love of money is the root of all evil. These are very simple statements but we still shy away from facing the reality. There's no virtue in being poor and no sin in being rich as such but wealth is often or even usually a spiritually corrupting influence which fortifies the ego, and the ego is what we are trying to overcome. It's hard for a rich person to feel the full necessity of depending utterly on God and yet if you don't feel this then God is not the presence in your life that he should be. The same goes for status and power. If you have these things then you cannot help but feel you in some way merit them and that they reflect your authentic self. You will not feel your true debt to God as you should though you may convince yourself and others that you do. Not feeling a debt to God means not realising that you are as nothing and everything you are comes from him. These words can trip off the tongue but realising them to the depths of your soul is another matter.

When you get to Heaven you will have gifts compared to which wealth and status and power will be meaningless. But forgetting this there are many people who seek wealth, status and power in the spiritual domain. This is typical of the guru figure or the preacher who attracts a large congregation. Or maybe nowadays somebody with a big online presence. All have fallen victim to one of the tests of the spiritual path. It is not just the material version of these things you must renounce but their transpositions to the spiritual realm too.

This doesn't mean you have to don a hairshirt. In our day outer poverty, chastity and obedience are not generally required but the safest spiritual path is still to learn to do without worldly acclaim or reward. It's easy to be distracted and we often over-estimate our ability to remain indifferent to the temptations of the world and the ego. Yes, you aren't truly free until you are properly tested and it may be that your destiny puts you in the position where you have worldly success. At the same time, on the later stages of the path everything is stripped away and you must deal with the reality of just you without a worldly covering face to face with God, and then he will withdraw so it is just you, naked and alone. This is the dark night of the soul, a necessary purifying experience for the soul when it is cleansed of all remaining spiritual vanity and desire for wealth, status and power. Only then can it demonstrate that it merits being given these things as they truly are in the spiritual world.

Saturday 2 December 2023

A Dangerous Time to be a Woman

 From the spiritual point of view this is a dangerous time to be a woman. That might seem an odd thing to say since women have more power and freedom today than ever before, but that is just the point.  There is more power and freedom to reject God and the order of creation, and there is political and cultural support for doing so. A woman in the modern world must have a finely tuned spiritual sensibility to go against the prevailing winds. Plus an awareness of her natural tendencies towards vanity and entitlement. That doesn't mean reversion to traditional behaviour because there was always some truth and necessity in the idea of female emancipation and empowerment in the 19th century. To deny that would be to deny reality. All human beings were moving towards a greater awareness of self. Nonetheless, the truth that prompted the original ideas behind feminism do not justify its capitulation to forces of egotism, resentment, spiritual greed, pride and ignorance which is what has happened.

It should be obvious to an unbiased mind that contemporary trends in feminist ideology have led to the validation of female pathologies and the rebranding as positive virtues of such things as hatred of men, excessive self-assertion, extreme emotionalism, aggressive argumentativeness, narcissism (I'm worth it) and other familiar examples of what can reasonably be described as toxic femininity. The traditional and true feminine virtues such as kindness, humility, gentleness, ability to sacrifice, all summed up in the figure of the Blessed Virgin Mary, are derided as weak and submissive, concocted as ideals by men to keep women in check. At the same time, women are led into areas of life in which they have to suppress their natural femininity and develop more masculine traits which just separate them from their true selves and paths of spiritual fulfilment. You get what an acquaintance of mine once called the female cockerel. And yet, it has to be said, properly oriented women would not succumb to this. Those who do succumb do so because they are indulging an aspect of their fallen nature. A test has been given them and they have not proved equal to the temptations of egotism.

I know someone who has strong elements of what we now call borderline and narcissistic personality disorders and who, unsurprisingly, is a radical feminist because her radical feminism justifies and validates her psychological disorders. This may be thought an extreme example, but I wonder how many other times this scenario plays out in the minds of modern Western women who have been given the opportunity to sin in a way that has not been open to them before. I am reminded of Jesus's saying that it is harder for the rich to get into heaven than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. Riches is not just about money. It is also about power. Women have more of both these days and are correspondingly more at risk of spiritual loss.

This may not only be the fault of women though it must be said that it is mostly their fault because of female egotism and let's not pretend otherwise in the name of a misconceived sense of chivalry. Nevertheless, men have been weak and abandoned their natural responsibilities and duties. They have fallen for the temptation of wanting to be thought fair and progressive. So, in effect, both sexes have repeated the sin of the Garden of Eden, and the spiritual consequences are similar with increased separation from God the most significant.

I suspect that the degree to which a woman is or is not a feminist in the 21st century sense indicates the degree to which she is or is not in tune with the spirit of Christ. It's not the only measure but it is an important one. This doesn't mean that the ways of the past did not need to evolve. The development of consciousness means that the roles of the sexes did need to change at about the time they began to do so, but framing the discourse in terms of equality was a grave error. It should have required each sex seeking out its spiritual archetype and then conforming the soul to that. Women were meant to manifest greater personal autonomy but they were not meant to imitate men, still less seek to usurp their roles which increasingly they have and one of the consequences of that is the feminisation of institutions.

The feminisation of any institution always leads to its ineffectiveness as it first weakens and then eventually destroys the mission of that institution. This can be seen most obviously today in the fields of the university and the media. But it is also happening in science and religion which are both much diminished in our time as feelings replace facts and consensus trumps truth with hierarchical distinction broken down to egalitarian mediocrity.

The accusation of misogyny is often used to disarm and paint black those who simply point out the disorders of females while doing the same thing for men is fine. Those who uphold the traditional Christian (or just traditional) view of the roles of the two sexes are similarly dismissed. It's yet another weaponised word (racism, sexism etc) which is trotted out to shut down argument and score points without being required to demonstrate truth. All radical political movements seek to capture and control language and it is important in any fightback not to be bound by or respect the linguistic conventions of the new ideology which only exist to force the argument into certain predetermined channels.

It's also important not to fall for softer versions of the ideology which is a temptation as one might think these are not so bad as what else is on offer. I have noticed several books published recently by people describing themselves as ex-feminists or rational feminists who don't hate men and who wish to reclaim the territory that has been captured by the extreme version. One might feel relieved that sanity is reasserting itself but when you investigate these you find it is the same thing as before, just presented slightly differently. Often it is the sexual revolution that is rejected but that is only because it has advantaged men and disadvantaged women which may be true but it is a different question to that of the fundamentally misconceived basis of feminism itself.

Feminism can be regarded as a test for women. For both sexes but mostly for women. It is one that the great majority of them are failing. It is rather like giving someone a lot of money or power and seeing what they do with it, how they react to it. That is why I say this is a spiritually dangerous time to be a woman. You have been given what you want or what your ego wants. Of course, the other side of this is that those women who see through this worldly temptation will make considerable spiritual progress. As for men, they have to reject the spiritual sin of feminism while acknowledging that men and women both represent a fundamental aspect of God's creation though their roles are not the same, should not be confused (though there is overlap) and must be understood if harmony is to reign. The wise and the foolish understand this. The merely clever, of whom there are many these days, do not. Modern education has a lot to answer for.

Wednesday 29 November 2023

Reply to GunnerQ

 A blogger called GunnerQ has responded to my last post about the Masters. He was not impressed. As matter of fact, I don't actually disagree with a lot of what he says. The original article was one I wrote some years ago when I was more of a universalist than I am now and expressed myself a little differently to how I would today. At the same time, I do stand by the essentials of what the article says. There are spiritual beings who have won through the travails and tests of this world and they do stand ready to help those who are receptive to their impression. There are demons and imposters too, no doubt about that, and they are probably more readily accessible to the psychically inclined but why should we let the reality of lies deter us from the fact of truth?

GunnerQ quotes a few sections from the article and comments on them so I will do the same. He takes this passage

"the word (Master) describes souls who have mastered their lower nature, overcome the world, the flesh and the devil and passed out of the ordinary human kingdom into the fifth kingdom, that of souls united in full consciousness with God"

He responds that "we need a Savior because we cannot master ourselves and overcome the world. If you don’t know this then have you even tried to be good?"

I know what he means and he's not wrong but he has misunderstood me or I have expressed myself badly or perhaps we are just coming at things from a slightly different perspective. We assuredly cannot attain any kind of spiritual perfection by our own efforts. All comes from grace. However, it is by our own efforts that we make ourselves able to receive grace through purification of the heart and mind. That's surely standard Christian doctrine. Mastering the lower nature means controlling anger, lust, tendency to lie etc. Obeying the 10 Commandments and the injunctions to love God and love our neighbour. It means living a life of faith, hope and charity rather than one of disbelief, greed and selfishness. It's tilling the soil but obviously only God can plant the seed. Still, the ground must be well prepared if the seed is to grow as it should.

He doesn't like the phrase" divinization of consciousness". Again, I take his point. It's a clumsy phrase and many seekers after higher consciousness are indulging in the satanic attempt to be spiritual without God. On the other hand, there clearly is higher consciousness. To think we will be as we are now when we reach heaven makes no sense at all. Heaven is not just a pretty place. That's the paradise of the other big religion.

GunnerQ also doesn't like the idea of achieving theosis. Fair enough, if it's taken to mean doing that by one's own efforts but that's not how I meant it or how it would be understood in Orthodox religion from where the concept comes. Becoming a saint is the hardest thing any human being can ever do. It does require work and great effort. It's not just a matter of believing in Jesus. But GunnerQ says that the only difference between sinner and saint is repentance and that is just wrong. Repentance is merely the beginning of the road to sainthood, and it's a long hard road.

There is quite a bit more and I don't want to go through it all but I would like to correct misunderstanding, some of which I acknowledge is my fault because the article is quite old and the ideas are expressed in language that comes more from esoteric terminology than I would normally use now. A major point is that GunnerQ seems to think that I am saying the Masters come from the astral plane whereas I am saying precisely the opposite. What is called the astral plane is the plane of illusion and is where the demons operate. Then he decides that I am claiming that “I am a wise, immortal Master Spirit who has transcended mortal limitations to achieve oneness with God Himself". Not sure where he got that from but may I reassure him that nothing is further from the truth. Like him, I am a human sinner struggling to make his way in life and be faithful to God.

He concludes "Mr. Wildblood needs to accept that demons got to him in his youth, and consequently, he filled his head with esoteric garbage for many years. He’ll never overcome his human nature… let alone achieve perfection… on his own efforts. Any spirit that says otherwise, is a demon wanting company in Hell. Any human who says otherwise, has rejected the only spiritual superman that he’ll ever encounter."

I cannot overcome my fallen human nature on my own. I need Christ to enable me to do that. However, Christ needs my help too. I have to fight the falseness within me on a daily basis. I cannot just say I believe in Jesus and leave it at that. I have to fight the evil in my heart and cultivate the good and it's a constant battle. I am sure GunnerQ would agree. 

Finally, I would say "by their fruits"etc. The spirits (for want of a better word) who spoke to me were pure and good and holy, full of wisdom and love. For GunnerQ to assume they were demons is rather presumptuous but I know he only does it to protect the truth as he sees it and that's reasonable enough.  I didn't accept them indiscriminately but to have rejected them out of fear or suspicion would have been quite wrong and increased experience only confirmed their authenticity as far as I am concerned. I am greatly indebted to them for their spiritual advice and for pointing out the flaws in my character I needed to work on. That's all they did though always lovingly, albeit sometimes sternly too. In the context of the relationship I was a novice and they acted like a kind of father superior. However, let me reassure readers of this blog that if obliged to choose between them and Jesus I would choose Jesus every time but then I believe they were and are working under the overall leadership of Christ. A monk in a monastery obeys his abbot but sees the abbot as representing Christ. That was my position.

Anyhow I am grateful to GunnerQ for giving me the opportunity to clear up any misunderstanding. I don't think he and I are as far apart as it might seem.

Monday 27 November 2023

Behind the Scenes Spiritual Guides

 It's possible that some readers of this blog who have only come to it recently are not aware of its initiating inspiration, referred to in the title of the blog. I am not saying the writings here have any special authority. For better or worse they are just me but they do derive in part from experiences I had as a young man when I was given instruction by beings from the spiritual world who are traditionally referred to as Masters. The word describes souls who have mastered their lower nature, overcome the world, the flesh and the devil and passed out of the ordinary human kingdom into the fifth kingdom, that of souls united in full consciousness with God. In Christian terminology this would be souls who have achieved theosis which is very different to salvation as it implies that the soul has not just turned to God but has actually made the spiritual journey that leads to the divinization of consciousness. Here's the difference. Salvation means to follow Christ. Theosis is to become like him in the sense of allowing him to be born and grow to maturity in your heart. This is a long and arduous process but the saints and other great spiritual figures of the past have proved it can be done by those prepared to make the necessary sacrifice of the earthly self. That is what the Crucifixion means.

There follows an article, slightly edited, from my book The Spiritual Crisis of Modern Man which explains something about these Masters. I know some people are suspicious of such beings, fearing demonic deception but we should not let the existence of fake coin blind us to the reality of authentic currency. At the same time, deception assuredly does exist but that is what we have intuition for, to sort out true from false.

What Are Masters?


In this article, I hope to shed some light on the idea of discarnate spiritual Masters as the enlightened guides of humanity, and to set out what they are and what they are not. This is an area in which there is a lot of illusion and confusion. The purpose of the article is to show why that is so and to clarify, for believer and sceptic alike, what remains a difficult subject.

For over a hundred years now the idea of spiritual Masters has been well established in Western esoteric thought and, one might add, myth. These are alleged to be beings who have gone beyond the need for the human experience and now exist in a state of elevated consciousness, free of the limitations of material form as we know it. They have realised their oneness with God. The Theosophical Mahatmas were probably the first of these Masters to be presented to the general public but many other groups and individuals have claimed contact with similar or identical beings since, and there are a number of teachings, received in various ways, supposedly deriving from them. Some of these teachings can be spiritually instructive. Others are clearly false. What is the reality behind all this, if indeed there is one?

The Masters as presented by the Theosophists started off as flesh and blood figures, enlightened but physically incarnate though dwelling in Himalayan remoteness. Recent research has suggested that they may originally have been based on actual people encountered by Madame Blavatsky on her wanderings; people she then used as models for the Masters who would therefore be largely her creation, in appearance at least. But that’s certainly not how they were thought of at the time and subsequent Theosophical leaders expanded on the original picture of the Masters considerably, elevating them to almost Christ-like figures which is slightly odd since they were essentially Buddhists. They promoted the young Krishnamurti as their intended mouthpiece only to be discomfited when he rejected the position intended for him, apparently turning his back on the whole idea of Masters. However, the concept of spiritual supermen did not go away. It was taken up by other groups and is now an intrinsic part of New Age thought with a variety of channelled communications purportedly emanating from what has come to be called the Spiritual Hierarchy. For the interested layperson separating fact from fiction in all this can be something of a challenge.

You might think that either such Masters exist or they don’t exist but it’s not quite that straightforward. In a famous passage, Dion Fortune said “The Masters as you picture them are all ‘imagination’. I did not say that the Masters were imagination (but) the Masters as they are supposed to be in popular would-be esoteric thought are pure fiction.” This remark makes clear that the Masters are real but they are not as we think they are or as presented by some of those claiming to represent them. This does not necessarily mean that such people are deliberately misleading us and to understand why this is so we have to understand something of the composition of the higher worlds from whence these people say they derive their inspiration.

Esoteric thought tells us that between the physical and purely spiritual worlds there exists a realm corresponding to the human psyche which is often called the astral plane. This is non-physical but still material in that it is a plane of form and multiplicity. It has no permanent reality but is formed of the wishes, desires and thoughts of human beings built up over thousands of years. It is the world to which belong the emotions and the imaginative impulses of humanity, and, significantly for our topic, the substance of which it is formed is readily responsive to thought. What this means is that the psychically sensitive person can either create, through imagination and aspiration, an image of a Master or else ‘tune in’ to a pre-existing one. If he lacks spiritual discernment he may mistake the image for the reality. This image or thought-form is not inert like a statue but may acquire a kind of life of its own. It may be capable of giving teachings that reflect its creator’s already existing spiritual knowledge and thus give the impression of a certain attainment.

This is one source of confusion, one that relates to the imagination spoken of by Dion Fortune, but the matter is further complicated by the fact that there exist on this astral plane disembodied beings who may pose as, or even consider themselves to be, Masters. These beings may have a sophisticated knowledge of the inner worlds but that does not mean they have transcended identification with the ego self which would be the case with a genuine Master. This is why they still function at lower levels. They may give teachings which to the intellect seem good and true but which will lack the transformative impulse that would come from one who might give similar teachings having personally realised their essence. Moreover, these lesser teachings will always contain flaws that act like vinegar in milk, souring the whole.

The Masters are not focused in the psychic worlds. They are not, except in the rarest of cases, the beings that communicate through channelling. Their field of operation is the spiritual world which transcends the phenomenal realms of change and multiplicity of which the psychic is still a part. Only very seldom do they descend below this level. They are not the exotically named and elaborately titled figures of occult fantasy.

What then are they? They are men made perfect who have overcome all attachments to the material world and, putting the matter in good old-fashioned terms, cleansed their souls of sin. They are human souls, like us, but they are at one with their source in God as we are not. For them the earthly mind is no longer the focal point of consciousness but that which gives form to consciousness, and their teachings and methods of teaching reflect this reality. Hence, their preferred means of communication is not mind to mind but soul to soul which is to say, on an intuitive rather than a mental level, through impression not words. They teach spirituality spiritually.

Now this does not mean that the Masters never communicate more directly. Most certainly not everything that is claimed to emanate from them does so but there are occasions when they approach incarnate humanity on a less rarefied level, and a small number of teachings have been transmitted that do bear their imprint. It is not for me to say what may or may not be authentic. That is something we must work out for ourselves since this is how we develop spiritual discernment, and the awakening of the mind in the heart is the principal goal of all spiritual endeavour. One thing I would say though. The Masters teach of and from the soul by which I mean the spiritual component of our being which exists beyond form and the mind as normally conceived. They certainly do not deny the individual but the bedrock of their teaching is that we should forget our everyday, earthly self, the ego, and strive to live in God. Any teaching which does not have this at its heart is not from them.


If we would hear the Master's voice we must learn to step out of the worldly mind and disentangle ourselves from attachment to material things, not just objects but ideas as well. If we wish to respond to the true Masters and not their astral reflection then we must subdue what relates to the astral plane within us, self-centred desire, wishful thinking, pre-conceived ideas and the like. We must be able to remain faithful to the highest that is within us regardless of pressures from outside which can take many forms and include even the apparently wise.

What motivates the Masters as teachers is love. If we can summon up in ourselves just a fraction of that love they can draw near to us. We may not be consciously aware of their presence but they will be able to inspire us and bring us into a closer union with our own soul which, after all, is the real goal of the spiritual path.

Christians who are dubious about such matters should know that this is just another term for the Company of Saints. We should certainly be alert to demonic deception as we should to fake gurus in the spiritual world, of whom there are plenty. We should always ask how much of the spirit of Christ is present here. The advice given by St John in chapter 4 of his 1st epistle remains the touchstone.


Thursday 23 November 2023

What is Leftism?

Premise: Leftism is the putrefaction that arises from the decaying body of a once creative and correctly ordered civilisation that has abandoned or lost touch with its guiding principles.

Response: A less harsh appraisal might be to say that leftism is what arises when a society loses proper spiritual understanding and transfers the energies that pertain to the spiritual level to the material. So in its distorted way it is a response to spiritual impulse but on the wrong level and, as such, is anti-spiritual since it purloins what applies to a higher area of life and misapplies it to a lower, thereby effectively shutting out the higher. Its fundamental principle is egalitarianism and the end result of this, indeed its intention when you understand that it is put forward and encouraged by demonic powers, is to shut out access to the higher and reduce everything to the lower.

But why does all this come about? The answer is that leftism is at root a rebellion against God and the natural order of creation. We may dress it up and say it's a desire for fairness prompted by compassion which, of course, is how it would define itself, but much of that is window dressing and masks an underlying motive of spiritual rebellion. I believe research has shown that leftists are often more selfish and unfeeling in their personal behaviour once you take them out of the warm waters of ideological abstract theory.

I was thinking the other day of the English Civil War which was one of the earliest manifestations of what became leftism. The old joke was that the Roundheads (the leftists of their day) were right but repulsive and the Cavaliers were wrong but romantic. However, in a situation such as this right and wrong are not so easily assigned. There was moral right and wrong on both sides. Also, both sides would have believed, or believed they believed, in God. And yet despite the relative good and bad of each side's moral position in worldly terms there was a fundamental difference and one that brings out the division between the two sides today. One side saw this world in terms of the higher reality. Down here should conform to up there. King Charles' belief in the divine right of kings comes from this. We may not share this belief but we can recognise someone for whom all power flowed from the divine and who saw this world in terms of the next. The other side saw the higher world to a large extent in terms of this world. Its priorities, despite its strong religious convictions, were to do with justice in this world. I say they had strong religious convictions and they did but their descendants today do not for the most part and this is precisely because of their antecedents' priorities. They have inherited the worldly focus and as a result lost the religious sensibility because that was always secondary. Even though the Roundheads would have seen themselves as highly religious their religion had lost its proper supernatural grounding.

This pattern repeated itself in various ways throughout the ensuing battles between left and right but the right henceforth was never pure as such. It always absorbed more and more of the leftist ethos as it fought one losing battle after another. Every time it lost it regrouped, took on some of its opponent's ideology and the damage to spiritual focus became more severe. This is what I mean by leftism being a rebellion against God. Its ends are to further the human being's growth in a context voided of a true spiritual centre which would be in God. They will adopt a false spiritual centre to fit in with their self-serving ends but it is always secondary, never primary.

Of course, rebellion against God is not the only motivating force behind leftism. There are praiseworthy elements such as the desire to help the poor, the weak and other victims of society. It could never have taken root and spread so widely if that were not the case, and that is why it is difficult to criticise in a world that doesn't recognise God. But the good in it should not disguise its basic spiritual rottenness.

I haven't attempted a full definition of leftism here because its focus constantly changes as does the ground on which it situates itself. But basically any world view which does not have God at its centre is leftist and when I say God I mean the true God who has a spiritual purpose for human souls and who puts them on this Earth to fulfil that purpose. There are many false gods who come about to answer various human desires and deficiencies.

Conclusion: Leftism is a spiritual disease akin to atheism. It can only end in nihilism.

Cure: The reorientation of the human heart to spiritual reality.

Monday 20 November 2023

Islam in the West

God, being God, can bring good out of evil but to what extent does the good he is able to create mitigate the initial evil and would it be better just to do away with that evil? This is the problem we are faced with in Islam in the West. The religion came about as a Christian heresy or, since it did not come from within Christianity itself but from outside, appropriation might be a better word to use. It based itself on a huge simplification of Christian doctrine which is at once its strength and its weakness. Strength because it makes it easier to comprehend for ordinary people and weakness because it sacrifices depth for surface. Its prophet clearly had some kind of supernatural experience but since his level of spiritual understanding was not very high so the level of inspiration he received as well as his ability to interpret it were also not very high. The first contact he had with the spirit he identified as Gabriel when this spirit choked and nearly suffocated him sounds more demonic than angelic.

Well-meaning people want to find common ground between religions. They will say we all worship the same God only in different ways but just because there are similarities between religions, as there inevitably must be, does not mean they all have equal access to truth. You have to examine the ground from which they grew. The ground of Buddhism was the Buddha, a man of great spiritual insight who gave birth to a profound psychological and philosophical system that reflects his own supreme attainment. Christianity has Christ, the Son of God, who has given the highest spiritual revelation so far to mankind and who, it surely cannot be doubted by the unprejudiced mind, summed up divine being in his person as no one else has. That's even without taking the resurrection into account. Islam has Muhammad, a warlord who broke several of the 10 commandments on a regular basis but who nonetheless preached a form of monotheism to pagan polytheists. However, a comparison between Jesus and Muhammad is so spiritually one-sided it's absurd to think that the religions they inspired can be regarded as in any way equal.

Just because Christians, Jews and Muslims claim the same origins does not mean they have the same spiritual authority for their religions. The latter two are formed from human interpretation of archaic revelation that has been superseded. They have failed to take into account the higher revelation of Christ, and not just by neglect but by deliberate rejection in both cases. This marks them out as founded in error, to say the least. Now, God can straighten a crooked branch, to an extent maybe not completely, and there will presumably be as many potentially good people from these religious backgrounds as there are in Christianity and good people can get the best from their religion. But they will still be working with an inferior product and this should be recognised. Just because there are good and bad people in all religions does not mean that all religions are equally good or bad or equally efficacious in the business of religions which is saving souls, guiding them to the true God.

In modern times all religions have lost most of whatever spiritual power they once had. This means that more and more people if they would get to grips with their spiritual destiny need to start to become aware of the inner path. There are doorways to the inner path in all religions but only Christianity has Christ and Christ is the true light that illuminates the path. He makes it easier to tread and it is also him that awaits at the end. Islam by downgrading Christ to a mere human prophet does not know what it should be working towards. It has no light at the end of its path unlike Christianity. It is true that official church religion is moribund but the figure of Christ is always there to act as a personal saviour. Islam has nothing like this which is why it is a spiritual dead end.

I have written this series of posts about Islam because recent protests around the world have reminded us of the idea, long scoffed at by the smart people, that unless the West wakes up it risks being submerged by an alien and backward culture. The European nations, if they would preserve their cultural and spiritual integrity, urgently need to rediscover their Christian soul. The secular leftism they have embraced will not be strong enough to defend itself against the growth of an ideology which can never tolerate anything that is not itself. 

Thursday 16 November 2023


 Some people would say that any religion is better than none. Any acknowledgement of God is better than rejecting him. I would say, it depends. For one thing it depends on what sort of God you follow. What are his demands and expectations, how does he frame the good? My last two posts have been about Islam which is the second most followed religion in the world, reaching about 25% of humanity. There are many good things in Islam such as faith in God, prayer, almsgiving, fasting, pilgrimage, the so called 5 pillars. These are undoubtedly beneficial to the soul on a certain level, turning it away from worldly preoccupation and setting it facing the spiritual world. But in the form in which they are presented and followed they are good for child souls, souls who need external and strict guidance, souls who have not yet separated from the herd. They are not so good for more developed souls who are beginning to take spiritual responsibility for themselves and who seek something more than a codified, outward form of religion. Then they become restrictive. Sufism was provided for such souls but it never really established itself other than on the peripheries of the Muslim world, and was often condemned by the mainstream as heretical.

If Islam is to become a spiritually positive force in the world instead of being the largely negative force it often is then it must change. But first of all, why negative? For reasons already given. It is intellectually and morally one-dimensional and restrictive. It functions as a rigid and unbending, therefore not open to creative growth, system for people who are relatively undeveloped, both mentally and spiritually. So, although it is good for souls on a certain level, it forces the mind into a small box from which it is forbidden to escape. It is closed off to the fresh, revivifying winds of spirit having ordained that the whole truth was spoken once and for all 1400 years ago. Nothing can ever change from that.

But that is not all. Islam must renounce its intellectual and political territorial ambitions and its religious exclusivism. Like Marxism, it is a totalitarian ideology, one that demands complete control and absolute authority. It has sought to propagate itself through violence and this is sanctioned in its source texts. It must completely abandon that aspect of its supposed mission and stick to the 5 pillars. But that is not all either. Even these 5 pillars must be seen in a different light, as signposts to inner understanding rather than rules and regulations to be followed without thought. In religion there is an outer path and an inner path. Islam has always given the outer path even more importance than most other religions and goodness knows that this is a fault common to them all. Christianity has been guilty of the same thing though, I would maintain, to a lesser extent.

Islam was born in warfare and it spread through the sword. One cannot pretend otherwise. This aspect of its heritage must be completely renounced if it is to serve the will of God, but that will be very difficult because it will mean a radical reinterpretation of its core beliefs and an acceptance that its prophet was not the perfect image of a man they say he was. Jesus said he did not come to bring peace but a sword, but quite obviously he meant by this the sword of truth which separates truth from lies, good from evil, love from hate. He also said those who live by the sword, die by the sword. Unfortunately, it is the second usage that Islam has followed.

In the days when I studied the various mystical traditions I found Sufism one of the most interesting, full of wisdom and insight and including many souls of great spiritual power and authority. Sufism contains the inner principles behind Islam and interprets the fairly simplistic injunctions of the Qur'an on a genuinely spiritual level. Muslims who wish to be closer to the guiding impulse behind their faith should explore Sufi teachings more deeply and give up once and for all the intolerant political side of the religion. They should also know that Islam is not and never was intended for the West. Those who try to enforce it on Western countries are not doing the will of God but going directly against it

Monday 13 November 2023

When God Becomes Caesar

 If the religion that was the subject of the last post were just a religion it would still be a somewhat crude simplification of more profound spiritual teachings promulgated by a charismatic medium with a powerful sense of self, but it would not be a problem for those outside the circle of the faithful. But it is not just a religion. It aims to encompass every aspect of life leaving nothing to the individual human being whose only task is to submit. As a result, there is no separation between religion and politics. There is not a religious version of this religion and a political one. These are two aspects of the same thing. Christ said "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto God what is God's" drawing a clear distinction between the spiritual and temporal aspects of life, but for this religion God is Caesar and the effect of that is to reduce the human to nothing, stripping him of proper agency, creative potential and freedom.

This religion must dominate every single aspect of the life of its believers, not just the spiritual, not just the political but the social too. It even forbids certain forms of artistic expression which you might think a good idea seeing where complete freedom in that regard has got us to in the West over the last century, but the result in this case has been spiritually crippling not ennobling. To be sure, there is some beautiful architecture and design and poetry produced by the adherents of this religion but these are often produced in spite of it not inspired by it. The fact that it is forbidden to show the human form is very revealing. It demonstrates that humanity is effectively banned. For the Christian, God is revealed in the human form but in this religion he remains totally transcendent and cannot be approached except in a servile way.

The faithful in this religion are under instruction to convert everyone to their cause and not to rest until they have done so. They are even authorised to lie and deceive to this end as long as that is to the unbeliever. That is regarded as a virtuous act and history shows that they will go along with their hosts when in a minority only to enforce their will when their numbers are sufficient. It is naive to ignore this reality but that is just what the West has been doing. 

What is the solution to this problem, since a problem it is and one that will get worse? From the point of view of the West it is to recognise the reality of the situation. These believers believe in their religion and they will obey its diktats so we should know what these are. For the believers themselves the only way forward is religious reform. Their focus on prayer is commendable but they have to abandon those aspects of their religion that may have been appropriate 1300 years ago but are not now. Actually, I doubt they were even then but anyway humanity has evolved. If you have any understanding of the way God works you will see that his aim is to bring us up, not to crystallise us in ways of the past but to spiritualise our understanding. Therefore, these believers need to pay much more attention to the mystical path of their religion, to Sufism, for God has sent them this in an attempt to remedy foundational mistakes.The letter kills but the spirit gives life. This is the primary lesson the followers of this religion need to learn.

If the modern world demonstrates the tragic results of banishing God from the world and giving all power and authority to man then this religion has precisely the opposite problem. That may tempt some people to see it as solution to the problems of modernity. In fact, as opposites reflect each other, it is equally flawed, just in a different way. The only real solution is to see God and man as partners working together creatively though with God, of course, as the senior partner. And where do we see this brought to perfection? In Christ who remains the template for genuine spiritual understanding.

Friday 10 November 2023

The Abolition of Man

 I was flipping through The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis recently, a book I last read quite a long time ago and the contents of which I had forgotten. It's a short work, based on lectures he gave in 1943 and is not overtly religious in theme even though it is in essence. What it does is defend universal spiritual values against the contemporary assault on them, specifically in the field of education, which denied that moral and aesthetic values were grounded in something objective. It was the beginning of the moral relativism, now so firmly established, which dismisses the idea that there are universal truths and these are rooted in an absolute reality. Lewis argues for something he calls in this book the Tao, the word deriving, of course, from ancient Chinese philosophy, which is something like Ma'at in ancient Egypt or just objective reality, the foundation truth of the universe and of being in general. The Tao is not provable by materialistic, rational, intellectual, logical, scientific means because it derives from a ground much deeper than can be accessed by these on their own. It is recognised, known, accepted, seen (or not by the spiritually blind) but it is not verifiable by empirical evidence as that phrase is normally understood. It should be self-evident but cannot be proved by any of the ways materialists demand proof.

At the end of these lectures Lewis provides a compendium of sayings illustrative of Natural Law drawn from many different sources and traditions ranging from Egyptian, Roman, Greek and Chinese to Christian, Hindu and Jewish to Norse, Anglo-Saxon, Babylonian, American Indian and Australian Aborigine. But there is nothing from the second main monotheistic religion. 

This might seem a strange oversight, if oversight it is, but it reminded me of the time I first became interested in spiritual matters and studied scriptures from all the main traditions. I already knew the Bible reasonably well but reread the New Testament in the light of my new-found interests and beliefs. I read Hindu and Buddhist scriptures, the classics of Taoism and Zen and also some collections of wise words similar to Lewis's compendium. All these spoke of mystical understanding, perhaps in different ways and on different levels and some more than others but they all had an insight into higher reality. Then I read the holy book of the second main monotheistic religion expecting to find more of the same. What a disappointment. There was nothing in this frankly hotch-potch collection of writings that approached the profundity of other scriptures. It barely reached the level of Old Testament spiritual understanding, never mind the New Testament. It was clear that the compiler of this text, which seemed like a New Age channelling, albeit in the context of its time and place, was nowhere near the spiritual level of the founders of other religions. 

Now, maybe these teachings were a step forward for the people of that time and place but they have little to say to us today unlike other scriptures which can transcend time and place and still speak to us across the centuries. It is often said that the three monotheistic religions worship the same God but they approach him in such different ways that that is hard to maintain in any seriousness. For the Christian, God is a loving Father but the God depicted in this holy book demands total allegiance as a despot does from a slave. He may be a benign despot if you obey him but he leaves no room for you as a free individual.

I'm not disputing there are many pious worshippers of God in this religion but there are also encouragements to violence and though these are often glossed over and excused by believers they are plainly there in the source texts which are the holy book and the recorded sayings of its founder who was a war leader as much as he was a prophet. The extremism in this religion is fundamental to it. The West used to know that, and from hard won experience.

Despite what you might be thinking I am not writing this in the context of the present conflict in the Middle East. It's not the Middle East I am concerned about but the West. The second main monotheistic religion is not willing to share power. It will accommodate itself to its perceived rivals in the short term only for long term advantage. That has been demonstrated historically repeatedly. If the modernist ethos of relativism, as described by C.S. Lewis, is one way of abolishing man so too is an absolutist religion which gives all power to the deity and leaves no freedom for the individual human soul. It must obey. It must submit. It's in the name. But God does not want obedience. He wants love. 


Monday 6 November 2023

Tolkien's Letters

 It seems that the collection of letters written by Tolkien to various family members, friends and Lord of the Rings enthusiasts that was published in 1981 was only the tip of his correspondence iceberg. Like many of his generation he was a prolific letter writer, and an expanded edition which includes hundreds of previously unseen letters is due out this month. See here. I would expect the cream of the crop to have appeared already but I don't doubt there will be treasures of wisdom in the new batch. Even in the few extracts in the linked article there are some tellings insights. For example, he talks of birthdays and says that "Very few men, but practically all women set great store by dates and anniversaries". This after one of his sons had forgotten his mother's birthday. So true!

Then, very pertinently for the present time, he writes in 1956 about the reaction in the country to the Suez crisis. He says "I am really alarmed at the hysteria in this country. It may well be a prelude to mob-rule! Half Oxford is in a kind of screaming frenzy" and then talks of "Armed “pacifism”, destroying the vehicles of innocent citizens" and "Dons yelling “fascist”, at high table, at colleagues who in mild voices venture to disagree with them". It seems the academic world was already well on the way to its present state of spiritual corruption. He sums it all up by writing the profound truth that "What a rot and stink is left by liberalism devoid of religion". This is our modern world in a nutshell though, of course, we are much more advanced than was the case in Tolkien's day. Further on in this same letter he comments that "All leftists are anti-philology" which is an interesting observation.

In 1961 he writes that "Oxford continues to suffer from the ravages of the machine-worshippers. I remember it as a little old university town nestling in the country – and it had about 55,000 inhabitants. It now has nearly 100,000 more, sprawls in every direction, and is jammed with noise and smell; and every now & again the most ­hideous buildings go up." He does praise the removal of slum dwellings on the edge of town but there is no doubt that in his mind the cons are worse than the pros.

Later on he tells us that "Orc I derived from Anglo-Saxon, a word meaning a demon, usually supposed to be derived from the Latin Orcus – Hell. But I doubt this, though the ­matter is too involved to set out here. Warg is simple. It is an old word for wolf, which also had the sense of an outlaw or hunted criminal." I have alway thought these words and many others in Tolkien's creation actually speak of what they are. His genius extended into many fields but perhaps manifested most strongly in that of language which is not surprising since language was his business. Anyway, every word and every name too in Tolkien just seems right. No other author comes close to him in this respect.

Friday 3 November 2023

Book Published

My new book By No Means Equal was published in the US on November 1st. It came out last Friday in the UK. If I worked in marketing and had a flexible relationship with the truth I could say it contains definitive proof of the soul but I don't and it doesn't. What it does do, though, is lay out the grounds for the spiritual primacy of individuality and freedom, and say how the reality of these fundamental principles stands in direct opposition to the contemporary ideology of equality. Which, it could be argued, amounts to almost the same thing as my imaginary marketing man is saying. For my contention is that the current obsession with equality, which sometimes presents itself as an almost spiritual belief, is in fact deeply materialistic as it reduces the individual to a unit in the collective, a unit that can be weighed, measured and slotted into the System. A controllable and controlled unit. It robs the human being of its humanity.

I suppose one of the reasons the belief in equality has taken root is because it seems to offer a degree of fairness. It also assuages the guilt of the rich and powerful who can carry on being rich and powerful as long as they are seen to disapprove of such things in theory. It is also a more feminine way of looking at the world and society has become increasingly feminised over the last few decades. Men are more naturally hierarchical and competitive but women tend more to cooperation which fits better with the equality dogma. But one could just as well say it has come about because of the desire of those at the lower end of the scale of whatever it might be to chop down those with more. This is certainly a factor but only one of many, some rooted in the desire to be fair and some in envy.

However, all of that is besides the point. The simple question to ask about equality is, "Is it true?". Everything else is irrelevant. We might want it to be true for whatever reason but if it's not true there's an end of it. And the fact is it's not true. Those who see themselves as superior might feel guilty about that and those who see themselves as inferior might feel resentment but these emotions do not alter reality. Equality is a lie.

Of course, an argument might be that equality may not exist now but we should work towards it for a fairer and better society. But what are you saying if you argue that? That society should be built on a palpable falsehood? This could never work as reality would sooner or later break through. In the meantime the inevitable result of your foolish experiment would be a lowering of standards because that is what enforced equality means. The only way you can bring it about is to bring down the higher to the level of the lower. Destroy the ladder of hierarchy and there is nothing left to climb. You remain earthbound. Examined properly, equality is just about the most anti-spiritual doctrine you could have.

This is what the book is about.

Monday 30 October 2023

An Astrological Case Study

 Some 25 years ago I made a serious study of astrology and found, beyond any possible doubt, that it is a true science. I use that word but in reality astrology is a mixture of science and art which is why the materialistic scientist will always have a problem with it. A horoscope requires interpretation which is not to say that anything goes, but astrology is a symbol system and symbols can work out in more than one way depending on the subject. However, anyone who seriously engages with astrology on the more than rudimentary sun sign level will find that it offers a genuine description of many aspects of reality. The branch I found most interesting was that which describes an individual's personality based on the position of the planets at his birth, otherwise known as psychological astrology. Thus you have the Sun, Moon and various planets in the solar system all representing different aspects of human nature, and their position in the sky in the various constellations tells us what form those aspects will take. There is a lot more to it than that and I won't go into detail here. I will just say that of the many birth charts I studied not one was inaccurate as a map of the concerned individual's psyche, and many people expressed surprise that I had described them so well. This was not down to any skill of mine. I just said what I saw in the chart. Knowing my own birth chart has also given me greater insight into and understanding of my own character, and this, I think, is the most useful part of astrology. "Know thyself" is the old maxim. Astrology is one of the best ways to do just that.

I never had much interest in predictive astrology. For one thing, I don't think the current state of astrological knowledge is far enough advanced to be very helpful in this regard but, more importantly, I don't think God wishes us to know our future except, possibly, in the vaguest of terms. And I have no time for the fatalistic, superstitious side of astrology but that is not the fault of astrology itself. It is ignorant, self-seeking human reaction to it. You may as well blame love for jealousy.

Having said that, I certainly do think astrology can be used as a predictive method, and sometimes I have looked at the astrological significators after a particularly momentous event to see if the event could have been foreseen or, better put, was described in the planetary pattern. In my book Meeting the Masters I related how the solar eclipse of 1999 coincided with a heart attack and subsequent death of a friend of mine whose Jupiter was right on the point of the eclipse. More recently I was involved (peripherally) in an incident which also brought out the profound interconnection between the signs in the heavens and events on Earth.

A person I know  was involved in a bad accident. He was cycling round a roundabout when a car drove straight into him and knocked him over. The driver, who was a woman in her 90s (surely, incidentally, such people should not be allowed to drive or, at the very least, have to take regular tests?) was completely at fault. The right of way was his. She had been stationary, waiting for a car to go round the roundabout and presumably didn't see the cyclist directly behind that car and just drove right into him. The person's injuries were considerable. He had to be airlifted to hospital where it was found he had broken his ribs, collarbone, shoulder, femur and hip and in addition his spinal column was severely damaged. He was placed in an induced coma for 48 hours, underwent several operations, one of which lasted for 9 hours, and his chances of ever walking again are slim.

I happened to know this person's horoscope, having once done his chart. It occurred to me that something as life-changing and dramatic as this should be shown in the chart so after it was clear that he was beginning to make some kind of recovery (it would not have seemed decent to do so before) I looked at the progressions and transits for that day to see what they indicated. If astrology had any kind of substance to it they would surely have indicated something. Even with my limited knowledge it seemed obvious that Mars should be involved.

And it was, heavily involved. Before I describe exactly how I should briefly go over just what progressions and transits are for the uninitiated. These are the two main methods of prognostication. Transits are simple. You just compare the current position of the planets with their positions in the natal chart. On your birthday every year the sun makes a conjunction with where it was when you were born as should be obvious since we have a solar calendar. But every planet will have some sort of angular relationship with all the other planets in the birth chart at any given time. The most important are conjunctions (same place), squares (90 degree angle), oppositions (opposite or 180 degrees) and trines (120 degrees). Some of these are harmonious and some challenging but that also depends on the nature of the planets. It is also important to realise that the ways in which interactions may work out often depend on the person and how well or badly he or she is able to handle and channel the energies involved. This is one reason why the same thing will work out differently for different people. Every soul is unique and no two souls react in quite the same way to the same thing.

That's transits. Progressions are slightly more technical but not complicated. The theory behind progressions is that the greater is contained in the lesser and cycles repeat themselves. Thus, in the most usual form employed, every day of your life starting from birth has the same basic pattern as the equivalent  year. So one day after you are born contains the pattern for the first year of your life, the second day contains the patterns for the second year, the third day for the third year and so on. To see what is going on in your 50th year you would look at the chart for 50 days after you were born. Then you would compare that chart to the birth chart or else to the transits for the time in question, what the planets are actually doing now, or else subject it to internal analysis to see how the planets are interacting between themselves in the progressed chart. It would have been quite time-consuming to draw all this up before the advent of computers but now it is very simple even if I believe all would-be astrologers should certainly know how to draw up a chart themselves by hand using an ephemeris. That will give them a better insight into the mechanics of the thing. That, at any rate, was my experience when I started.

Another predictive technique is to use what are called solar returns. This is to cast the horoscope for that time when the sun returns to its natal position, i.e. your birthday, and use that as a forecasting device for the ensuing year. I've never used this before but when I applied it to the present case it did have something interesting to say.

I looked at the progressions for the time of the accident and the first thing I saw was that Mars was indeed very active. It formed an exact (less than 1 degree of difference) opposition to the progressed Sun. Standard interpretations of this would point to a time of anger, irritability and conflict on the one hand and, externally speaking, a tendency to suffer accidents and danger of injury on the other. What makes this worse is that both these planets are square, again to the degree, to progressed Jupiter which would have the effect of blowing up and exaggerating any of these tendencies, Jupiter normally inflating what it touches. In this case, with the 90 degree angle, negatively. The precise placements are Sun at 25 degrees Aries, Mars at 24 degrees Libra, less than a degree off the Sun, and Jupiter at 25 degrees Cancer. This makes a very tight T square, as it is known, which is regarded as one of the most challenging configurations in astrology. 

Now, one has to be careful. In terms of the progressed chart which, let us recall, moves one day for each year, this very close configuration will have been in place for a couple of years and it has another year to run. It may have been even tighter a few months ago. But this just means that psychologically the subject may have felt an inner anger and frustration. I believe this was the case though it wasn't expressed and that may have been the problem. What is bottled up and suppressed (which is quite different to controlled) has a tendency to burst out and manifest externally. But why, if this configuration had been in operation for almost 2 years, did it express itself with such violence on the day it did?

The answer again lies with Mars. I mentioned transits. On the day of the accident Mars was at 24 degrees of Libra making an exact conjunction with progressed Mars and therefore an exact opposition with the Sun and square to Jupiter. This triggered the whole thing and you could not ask for a more dramatic demonstration of the truth behind astrology. Astrologer Robert Hand in his book Planets in Transit says of Mars conjunct Mars that that any repressed aggressive energies, which will be running high at this time, will out "either physically through an accident or by projection: that is, you will experience the energy through another. This means that you may have to endure another person's aggressive acts, which may bring you harm." Another work speaks of violent acts and tendency to suffer injuries. The point could not be more clear. This is just what one would have expected to see. Astrology is not always so precise but here it reveals itself plainly.

Earlier I spoke of the solar return, that being the chart cast for the ensuing year on one's birthday. When I looked at this what jumped out was an exact (to the degree again) conjunction between the Sun and Saturn and, with less than 2 degrees of separation, another between the Moon and Pluto. This speaks without the slightest ambiguity of hardship and trial in the year ahead with deep emotional upheaval and upset involved. It could not be more plainly stated that there will be suffering in the year to come.

Possibly some readers will not be interested in the subject of this post. Some may even disapprove of it. But if the heavens declare the glory of the Lord they also show his wisdom. Astrology is not a substitute for religion or spiritual understanding but it can be a very helpful adjunct to it. The signs displayed in creation are ways to help us engage with it and understand it on a deeper level. At the very least, they can show us that there is pattern and purpose. In this case, the person involved is not a believer in astrology. Indeed, he specifically rejects it as superstitious nonsense, and from a scientific rather than religious point of view. However, it is possible that if, somewhere down the line when he has come to terms with what has happened to him, he engaged with it then it might help him see his new situation in a slightly different light and be able to find a positive aspect to an otherwise wholly negative experience. I hope so while recognising the enormous challenge anyone in this position would face. May God bless him and help him recover from his traumatic experience both physically and emotionally.