Monday 29 January 2024

The Expansion of Consciousness

This is a phrase that has long been current in many esoteric and mystical circles as a description of the spiritual project. I've used it myself in the past because one normally expresses oneself in the language of the day but also because, let's be honest, I probably wasn't thinking too deeply about what it actually implies. 

So, what does it imply? To begin with, is expansion of consciousness necessarily a spiritual thing? One assumes so based on an evolutionary description of human unfoldment, and there is certainly the strong probability that the universe is, in one sense, a machine for the growth of consciousness. In that sense then it is spiritual. Human beings can grow out of their limited earthbound type of consciousness into higher states. But they can do this through drugs and there is nothing spiritual about drugs or the states they bestow. Drugs can give the impression of love, bliss, oneness and all that, as can some forms of mental illness, but this is not spiritual because it relates to effects not inner transformation. Meditation and other spiritual, so-called, techniques can also bring about heightened states of consciousness but the subject is not fundamentally changed by that. He may think he is and he may act in a particular way but deep inside he is not really changed at all for one may have many expansions of consciousness and still remain the same fallen, unredeemed human ego at core. This is true even if the expansionary experiences are, so to speak, not just extending the circumference of the circle but going from a circle to a sphere. In these cases the subject may act as though ego has been transcended but he is the same person, responding to his experience by imitating what he thinks is the type of being that would be stabilised in this experience. And note that these expansions of consciousness are all just temporary anyway.

That is why all proper spiritual teachers tell meditators not to imagine they can do without prayer. The old dream of fallen human nature is to think it can reach godhood without God. This is a wicked lie designed to appeal to the spiritually avaricious ego. It's what tempted Eve to bite the apple and it's what tempts many would-be mystics and esotericists today. Spirituality without God is not possible. That is the major drawback of Buddhism though God is often smuggled in through the back door in that religion.

On a simple linguistic level we can say that something that expands still has the same centre, and from the spiritual perspective it is the transformation of the centre that matters so the very concept of expanding consciousness is not spiritual. This doesn't mean that souls in heaven do not have a transfigured state of being but that is because they have taken on the mind of Christ and no spiritual practice can enable that. It depends of the soul giving itself to God through Christ and then becoming the recipient of grace. It may be argued that this is just a different way of expressing the same thing, expanding consciousness and taking on the mind of Christ is six of one and half a dozen of the other, but the way you express yourself matters because it both reflects and forms the way you think. If you think of the spiritual journey in terms of expanding consciousness you are thinking of it in terms of what the ego can gain and how it can grow. To reach a truly transfigured consciousness is only possible through taking on the mind of Christ and that can only happen through the soul loving Christ and asking nothing for itself other than to be allowed to do so.  Everything else is just to make the soul grow by applying growth stimulus from without. This alone grows the soul from within which is the only true way.

Thursday 25 January 2024

Repentance of Sin vs Going Beyond Ego

Secular humanists rule the world and secular humanists do not recognise any fundamental and unalterable moral failing in the human being. We are basically good even if we have the tendency to go wrong sometimes though if we do that is usually the fault of our environment or experiences rather than some inbuilt defect in our human nature. Evil, insofar as that is acknowledged at all, is caused by illness or bad circumstances.

The Christian Church has a different view. It teaches that as a result of the Fall when Adam and Eve disobeyed God humanity has inherited a strong inclination towards selfishness and sin of various kinds. Theologically this is called original sin. It means we have an indelible stain on our soul or one that was indelible until Christ offered us the chance of redemption through faith in him.

When a secular humanist takes to religion, or spirituality as they would probably prefer to think of it, they take a lot of their secular humanism with them. Thus, although they will usually acknowledge the fact that one needs to transcend the ego to realise spiritual knowledge, knowledge of the knowing by being sort, they will frame this idea in terms of freedom from ignorance or illusion. They will rarely think in terms of sin or spiritual responsibility. It's all more about what they can gain from the transaction rather than putting themselves right with their Creator.

But this is to misunderstand what the human self is and what we should be doing with it. It is not an illusion nor is it the result of ignorance. You might say that undue attachment to it, even over-identification with it, is the problem but the thing itself is real and meant to be. There is still a problem that needs to be addressed but this is not done by denying the real source of the problem. That source is not the self but the self gone wrong. In other words, the fallen self and this is something that needs to be cured rather than simply 'risen above'. You can attain certain mystical states in which the self has indeed been risen above but you will always, yes always, come back down to your self. Then the experience, or the memory of it, may make you feel that you have gone beyond self and your persona will adopt a particular  kind of mask to reflect that but you are just deceiving yourself. The sick or fallen self is still there.

The only cure for this is repentance which means genuine contrition for your fallen state. This must be a deeply personal response to a profound realisation of the goodness and perfection of God and the numerous ways in which you fall short. This is why true saints think of themselves as bad people. This is not a pose though obviously it can be when those who are not saints imitate what they think is saintly behaviour. But the true saint will have a sometimes agonising sense of his unworthiness. Clearly, this should not be taken too far to the point where it becomes almost a self-indulgence (all good and true things can be perverted), but the saint will feel the lowly nature of his self precisely because he is aware of the glory of God. This is why all true spiritual experiences lead to humility and reticence rather than the inflated sense of personal worth that the lesser variety of experience, significant as it may seem to the experiencer, may bestow on what you might think of as an unripe or immature soul, one that cannot process its experience in a proper context.

The path to spiritual understanding is not through trying to transcend the ego (what is trying and why?) but through repentance. It is only repentance that can purify the self of what is traditionally described as original sin. But we must go further and say that even repentance by itself is not enough. This is the self washing its dirty clothes but it actually needs a change of garment, and the garment in question is that of Christ which the soul must put on in order truly to be cleansed of the stains of self. These two things, repentance and full acceptance of Christ, are the only things that can cure the soul of its spiritual disease and render it whole. The attempt to transcend the ego without replacing it by the light of Christ can only ever lead to one of the many distorted reflections of the true spiritual world as they exist in the psychic and psychological states of being. It cannot reach the true spiritual level.

Sunday 21 January 2024

What Does it Matter if You Lose the Whole World but Gain Your Soul?

It's very strange that the majority of people still have no idea that Western civilisation is being purposefully destroyed. It's an ongoing project which involves the gradual erosion of freedom but since 2020 you would think it so obvious no one could miss it. Recent alarm in the UK about mass immigration and the fact that not only does that erode a nation's sense of self but is actually a net fiscal drain, well known but kept quiet, has done nothing to awaken people to the reality of the situation. The all pervasive leftism used to emasculate native Western populations along with the equally all pervasive feminism means we are robbed of the ability to defend ourselves. The ageing body politic in Western nations has a ravaged immune system and can no longer fend off harmful attacks. Indeed, in many cases it seems to welcome them.

I could go on but this is not a political or nationalist blog. The lesson to take away from all this is that our true life is not here but elsewhere. It is important to recognise the assault on our traditions and our very integrity as a people, and one should know that this is not merely incompetence, though there is certainly plenty of that, but deliberate. The political aim is to remove resistance to globalist control. So, one must recognise the outer attack.  But there is also the intention, now well advanced, of creating a universal cultural nihilism which will leave human beings complicit in their own spiritual disenfranchisement. The real attack is on the human soul.

Even though this world is important not so much for itself as for preparing us for heaven, human societies and cultures should still be modelled on the divine pattern of creation. The soul thrives and can grow as it should in such a scenario. There is a lot of scope for variety but there is still a basic model. The paradox is that in a time such as ours when it emphatically is not the case that this world reflects the higher world there may be fewer people saved as a result of the culture but those who are will be saved at a qualitatively deeper level because they have to go against prevailing winds and currents. This is the advantage of living at the present time. When you turn to God it must be because of your own free will not because society obliges you to do so. This is more authentic. It's a choice of the soul.

Western values, so-called, are now not Christian values which they were for centuries, or even traditional pagan values which at least honoured the gods. They are the fake humanitarian values of the French Revolution and communism, fake because these are not really aimed at human fulfilment which they would be if they actually were humanitarian, but seek the demolishing of previous structures and hierarchies based on a measure of insight into the reality of God, and their replacement by a mechanism to advance the tyrannical aims of the globalist agenda where a small technocratic elite presides over a controlled and servile mass. This is why they seek the destruction of the nations, or those with real traditions of freedom and self-determination, the abolition of the family and ever greater dependence on the state, the promotion of abnormal sexuality which separates us from our true divine nature, the undermining of masculinity which would resist much of this and consequent emphasis on women who tend to go along with the consensus whatever that is. Everywhere you turn nowadays there is this soft totalitarianism which is so much more effective than the jackbooted variety of the past because most people don't even notice they are being herded like sheep.

But take comfort from the fact that all of this was prophesied in numerous traditions from the Christian (Last Times) to the Indian (Kali Yuga). The lesson to take away is that it is inevitable but it doesn't ultimately matter. That doesn't mean you lie down and accept it. You absolutely do not. You must fight it but fight it mostly on the spiritual level by keeping your soul free of the corrupting poison of modern ideologies that deny God or only accept him on their own terms. See what is going on but lay up your treasure elsewhere. Never give in to the lies but know that they are going to increase and will drag down many souls. Make sure you are not one of them by preserving the truth in your heart whatever is said out there. I believe that it is alright to hate evil, I imagine God does, as long as what inspires that hate is love of the good, the beautiful and the true and this is always uppermost in your mind. Don't let hatred overwhelm love and embitter you. It must always be love that guides you.

Actually, this is the difference between a healthy human soul and a leftist, by definition an unhealthy soul because God denying and motivated by resentment. The former hates what he hates because there is something real and good that he loves, and what he hates opposes that. The latter only loves if you can call it that, you might say he only supports something, because firstly there is some aspect of the good that he hates or fears, and what he supports opposes that. He has allowed his soul to be soured. If there is a lesson now for the lonely pilgrim struggling in today's world it is to keep your soul from being soured by focus on the true good which is imperishable. If the world burns, it was always going to do so, besides which that is a necessary stage in the process of alchemical purification. All the bad stuff has to come to the surface in order to be cleaned off.

Wednesday 17 January 2024

No Self

 Is the highest spiritual state one in which the sense of separation between the soul and God has been so obliterated that there is no separation at all and the soul has, in effect, become God? There remains no self at all. This is the basic theme of Buddhism and certain forms of Hinduism. As it is of the modern derivation of ancient Eastern mysticism which is Oneness spirituality though that is usually an excessive simplification of its inspiring models. There are Christian versions of this too which I suspect are heavily influenced by Zen with a dash of Meister Eckhart and a pinch of Plotinus. In these beliefs (and they are beliefs notwithstanding the fact that there is some kind of experience in which self seems to be dissolved), self is the cause of sin and what needs to be eradicated is not just sin but the very possibility of it. This can seem to be the highest form of mysticism, the one at the apex of the triangle on the base line of which stand all the different religions. But is that really so or is this just a particular mystical experience which may point to an aspect of the soul's relationship with God but by no means covers it in its totality or indicates its intended destiny?

Are we not here just killing the patient in order to save him? Self may be the cause of everything bad but it is also the cause of so much that is good, including goodness itself. And love. God created for a reason and that reason was for the joy of relationship. The no self advocates would deny the purpose of creation. They would return us to the non-manifest state of darkness or limitless light. It makes no difference how you envision it as it is the boiling down of everything to nothing. It is possible to return consciousness to the pool of infinity whence it arose but that is not what God wants and nor is it what Christ offers and why he came to redeem the world from spiritual darkness. Christ came to heal the soul rather than kill it. God and creation is more than just God by himself and no self means no love, no beauty, no goodness, no expression and growth through time. Nothing but resting in eternal peace. That is fine if you have a limited view of spiritual life but there is so much more and to know this so much more the self must not be destroyed but transformed. The no self advocates are turning their back on God in his creative, expressive mode and retreating to a passive form of consciousness which is really just the spiritual womb. But God wants us to be born and to be alive and to partake in his creative glory. He wants us to know day as well as night and then add to the beauty of creation ourselves. This we cannot do if we do not have a self. Then we add precisely nothing.

Saturday 13 January 2024

Antichrist and the End Times

 Christians await the Antichrist who comes to deceive the faithful and non-believer alike at the end times, the faithful to lead them away from Christ and the non-believers to confirm and justify them in their non-belief. Sinning is one thing but denying the sinfulness of sin quite another. Getting human beings to do this is one of his chief aims. Who is this person and when are the end times? In a certain sense, it is always the end times because the world is always winding down and there is always corruption, sin and death. However, more specifically, the end times are said occur when the Gospel has been preached all over the world, and that surely is now. At the same time, there is predicted to be a general falling away from the truths of Christianity as mankind abandons the Gospel en masse, and that also seems to be the case today. Whatever the reality of the situation, and we cannot know, it makes sense to be prepared as were the wise virgins in the parable. It certainly seems as though we are in an end times scenario but it may be now or it may not. Either way there is no doubt that we are in an end times period, whether it be the main event or simply a precursor of it.

Antichrist types have appeared throughout history but these are just forerunners. They are charismatic, persuasive, powerful figures who may even appear to do good but they lead their followers away from Christ and towards themselves, and that is the case even for those who proclaim some kind of spirituality. I would speculate that the spiritual field is rife with little antichrists and the individual who fulfils the prophecy may well appear in that field teaching a spirituality that offers godlike powers but is hollow at the centre and that precludes Christ. Perhaps he will include Christ but as one of many, a great prophet but not the only begotten Son of God because that would be divisive and exclusive and God speaks to everyone in their own language. Or so he will say. We know he will be subtle, "able to deceive the very elect", and so we can be certain he will not be obviously wicked except to those whose inner vision is fully operative, and that may not be as many of us as we might like to think.

At the moment a great deal of spiritual evil comes through the left. It is the source of many things that are anti-God and anti-nature though packaged under that meaningless word 'progressive'. (Progress means progress towards a destination but where is that destination?). Then there is the idea of the New World Order in which a One World government takes control, ostensibly to benefit humanity and bring us all together but really to enslave us. I don't doubt that certain elites are working to bring this about and that the events of 2020 formed part of their attempts at control. They, or those at the top of the pile, are working in cohort with supernatural demonic beings to impose a spiritual death sentence on humanity. But what do we know about demons? They lie, they deceive. They would have no problem lying to their servants. What if these elites are being used just to be thrown under the bus at the due moment? Already, many people are waking up to the potential tyranny of a New World Order and some speculate that the Antichrist will be someone who reveals the materialism and atheism of an anti-spiritual NWO and offers in its place a spirituality of heightened consciousness and love and brotherhood. What's wrong with that you might think? Simply this. The fact is that love and brotherhood, to be real and not facsimiles of the real, must be grounded in Christ. He is their only source and without him they are spurious copies. The Antichrist is not called the Antichrist for nothing. He will not seem to be against goodness and truth, even love. But he will be against Christ, maybe not overtly but in practise. He will promise the deification of humanity, somewhat like the serpent did to Eve back in the day. He will teach human beings they are intrinsically divine and simply have to realise that or bring it out, salvation without repentance. Materialism is bad but false spirituality is worse because it corrupts us at a deeper level of our being.

This is just speculation and the main purpose for raising the point is to remind us that we must be constantly alert to deception which will always attack us through some chink in our armour, meaning some personal weakness or preferred and insufficiently acknowledged sin. At the same time, we must not let a fear of being deceived blind us to the reality of spiritual growth and renewal or we will remain stranded in the past. This is why it is so important to develop intuition, our inner guide to reality. There are those who recognise the pitfalls of personal understanding without also seeing the absolute necessity for it if one is to attain a closer connection to Christ for he is not just the Jesus of the Gospels. He is also the absolute heart of spiritual reality and that can only be known in your own heart which means you must include but go beyond conventional religious teaching. There is nothing else for it if you would really know Christ and not just remain in the world of images and symbols which is where most of the conventionally religious stay.

Perhaps these are the End Times, perhaps not. But it certainly seems as though they might be in which case it is all the more necessary to be suspicious of all promises and apparent revelations and to construct the inner bridge that leads from your heart to God which bridge is that of the spiritual form of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday 9 January 2024

Tradition and Growth

 There is a balance to be struck between being open to the new and faithful to tradition. Too much of one and you lose connection to roots and what grounds you in truth. Too much of the other and you become set in your ways, unable to grow and develop, stuck in a calcifying rigidity, bound by form and convention and without the freedom required for creativity.

A tree is planted in the ground but it must aspire up to the sky, ever seeking to stretch towards the light into new heights. It cannot stay close to the safety of the ground or it will remain a little shrivelled bush. But as it grows its roots must go deeper into the earth in search of life giving nourishment. Again, a balance must be struck. 

In fact, to respect tradition and be open to the new, both and at the same time, is easy. More than that, it is natural. But it is only natural to the natural man by which I do not mean the man responsive only to natural instincts and impulses but the man who is not caught up in the machinations of the earthly mind which analyses and separates. Unfortunately, now in the 21st century none of us are free. We are all far too self-conscious, and our excessive self-consciousness makes us fake. None of us is natural. None of us is innocent but that is what we must become. To be innocent in this sense does not mean to lack experience but not to be defined by it. We can learn from experience but the clarity of our vision should not be determined by it and our mind must be clean from the stains of the past. To be innocent is to live from moment to moment, to be aware of the past but not limited by it.  This is freedom and from freedom comes spiritual growth.

At the same time, if this growth is to be in the right direction it must be guided and constrained by something to stop it becoming a jungle of weeds. The mind should be a beautiful garden which means order and freedom have to work together. Tradition is what gives structure and form to personal intuition and inspiration but these two are what provides the impetus for inner growth.

Friday 5 January 2024

Feet on the Earth, Head in the Sky

 If you are born in this world it is because you are meant to be. The development of your soul requires you to experience and negotiate the material world. In order to unfold its divine potential your spiritual self needs to meet the challenges, demands and opportunities of physical plane existence, the main one of which being the separation from God. The spiritual self exists in a state of non-separation. I don't say union because this is not fully conscious as true union is. To reach the state of conscious union is the whole point of the exercise.

You are meant to be in the world and therefore the tendency some spiritually sensitive individuals have to escape the pressures and exigencies of material life is, however understandable, wrong. We are in the world to be in the world. At the same time, the opposite form of behaviour which is to see this world as valid in its own right is also wrong. We have to take the world seriously but we also have to understand that, in itself, it is not important. This is what Jesus meant when he said we need to be in the world but not of the world.

Many religious people nowadays are of the world. They do not have their head in the sky. They may talk about the sky but they do not behave as though that is where they have come from or even where they particularly want to go. Why come from? To be truly religious means to be aware of yourself as having your origin on a higher plane of being. There is something in you that already is with God and you know it and with all your heart wish to get back to that. But God has sent you to the world. Maybe he is testing you to see if your desire to be with him is stronger than your desire for worldly goods when these are before you. Or maybe there are lessons you need to learn to do with service or love or humility. You are a seed planted in the darkness of the earth. You need to use the nutrients of the good earth to help you grow but you will only grow if there is that in you that stretches up towards the light. Then your worldly death will be the moment you break through the surface and see the sun. Unlike those seeds that never stretched towards the light and so do not sprout as they should so remain in darkness.

Tuesday 2 January 2024

Worship on the Horizontal and Vertical Planes

My last post observed that there seems a greater sense of the divine presence in churches when there is no service going on and no congregation in attendance. I was pleased to see that J.M. Smith of the Orthosphere agreed, and he wrote a splendid poem expressing the same sentiment. The obvious thing to ask is why is this?

Some people are solitary types who simply don't like crowds. I am one but this is not the whole answer though it may be part of it. Others find a greater closeness to God in silent contemplation than in public worship. This also is a partial explanation but, again, it does not satisfy as the full reason. It may always have been the case that the tall pillars, lofty roofs, statues of saints and stained glass depictions of episodes from the Bible spoke more loudly to the visitor when there was no human distraction but I believe that there is a deeper reason for this today than simply that a more inwardly focused nature feels closer to God in quietness and solitude.

The key lies in understanding Matthew 7:21-23. How many people who profess Christianity really are followers of Jesus Christ? I know one cannot presume to judge the state of another person's soul but one must ask how many believers really believe? Christianity is a supernatural religion, one whose whole purpose lies in what is beyond this world but these days it is often reduced to a form of secular humanism with some added on spiritual trimmings. There is a social aspect to Christianity but it is vanishingly small compared to the spiritual. Love your neighbour as yourself must be one of the most misunderstood teachings. It does not mean love everyone. It does not even mean love your neighbour in the generally understood sense. If it did then God clearly does not love us. It must be seen in the light of the commandment to love God. That is primary. Then, loving your neighbour means acting and behaving for his spiritual good. To reduce this love to the material plane is to radically misunderstand it. The material plane is not excluded but it is very much subsidiary to the spiritual.

If the people performing an act of worship are not stretching with their whole being towards the divine is it any wonder that the resultant worship is spiritually sterile? They may mean well but if their hearts are not really oriented to the true God and if their minds are not clearly focused on the meaning of the divine message and its overwhelmingly spiritual sense then the atmosphere that is created by their worship will be flat, literally so for it will lack the multi-dimensional quality of a spirituality that aspires up to the heavens. If worship is not animated by love of God and a real yearning for Him then it has no flavour. You might say this has always been so but at one time we would have been less distracted by the world and the reduction of the religious message to the field of human relationships. We looked up instead of around us or towards the altar instead of towards our neighbours.

Christianity has been brought down to earth and many Christians follow a religion in which there are no towers or spires stretching heavenwards. It is a religion that has a flat roof and does not rise. If we enter a church in which the architectural features pull us away from the earth and towards the heavens then we are temporarily uplifted and ennobled. If the hearts of the worshippers are in tune with that then all is well. For an effective ritual needs a proper form to give it expression but it also requires that the hearts and minds of its participants are fully open to the higher worlds. Without that there is no material for the divine spark to ignite.