Sunday 28 April 2024

Space is Contracting, Time is Accelerating

I suggest this is a real phenomenon. You may say space appears to contract because technology has reduced distance while time seems to rush by because life has become so fast and rapidly changing, and I would not dispute that but I would also maintain that this is more than an impression because of our circumstances. It is actually happening though it cannot be measured because any instruments we have would be subject to the same forces that are bringing it about. And the reason it is happening is that we are deep in the Kali Yuga or End Times when spirit withdraws from the world and matter becomes more dominant. This means the very stuff of our current world, now old and worn, is less resistant to the forces of decay and entropy. Consciousness, too, is affected becoming more constricted.

The idea of there being four ages in a cycle is well established in religious cosmology. Many traditions speak of this. Egyptian, Indian and Greek myths all refer to it, and these are only the best known. The ages can be characterised as Gold, Silver, Bronze and Iron, and in every case there is a descent from a high spiritual state of being to a low material one. At the beginning space is vast and time moves extremely slowly. This is why there are the stories of men living for several centuries back in prehistory. It is also why change only comes about after great spans of time. There is no sense of history since the patterns of life just repeat.

But as the ages proceed people's sense of time changes. Everything is cyclical for early man, each new year resembles the one before, but gradually there arises the notion of linear time. The material aspect of the world condenses and the spiritual moves further away from perception. The process gathers pace until, as the end of the whole cycle approaches, the cosmic framework in which we live has reached such a point of degeneration that it becomes unstable.

This world was originally structured on the pattern of the heavens. What that means is that the eternal realities of the higher worlds of being, somewhat like Platonic Forms, were the template on which human life was based. We can see this clearly in the case of ancient Egypt and India but it would apply everywhere to the degree that it could, based on the human consciousness of the period. A principal principle, as one might say, was the idea of a complementary duality which was the source of creation, heaven and earth, spirit and matter and, in biological terms, male and female. In the beginning there is a correct relationship between these two polarities and they function harmoniously and creatively, but towards the end of the cycle, due to the widening gulf between higher and lower states of being, this relationship is disrupted and becomes antagonistic. This leads to both an inversion of the hierarchy and also attempts to flatten any kind of hierarchy, indeed any kind of difference, at all. This is all in line with the rapidly developing predominance of matter over spirit. When the active and receptive poles of being are functioning correctly and according to their proper nature, all is well. But in a decaying environment everything starts to break down, matter seeks to usurp the rights of spirit and the relationship between the two ceases to operate creatively. The end approaches.

Back in the day advocates of New Age theory looked forward to the world entering the Age of Aquarius when people would experience a so-called quantum leap shift of consciousness. They acknowledged there would be earth changes as the old age crumbled but appeared to think they and many others would be around to enter into a glorious New Age once that had occurred without facing death. This was fundamentally to misunderstand the doctrine of the ages. It is not like winter turning to spring and a new year carries on in more or less the same way. The end of an age is an end. A new beginning is precisely that. It is a fresh start, perhaps on a higher turn of the evolutionary spiral but the past is completely cleared away. When a new heaven and a new earth arrive everything that belongs to the old order must die. Perhaps to be reborn if it has oriented itself correctly, but still it must first go through death. Transformation always requires death.

You might wonder where Jesus Christ comes into this scenario since, as depicted in tradition, it is a universal phenomenon, independent of him. What Christ adds to the teaching of cyclical ages is the idea of a linear progression to the End Times and a glorious new creation. The Kali Yuga and the End Times have much in common in how they play out. The Kali Yuga even concludes with the incarnation of Kalki, an avatar of Vishnu, who ushers in a new Golden Age or Satya Yuga. However, this is still part of an ongoing cycle which doesn't really have a conclusion except in Mahapralaya which is the complete dissolution of the cosmos and return to non-manifestation. What Christ offers is different. It is a new creation, a new heaven and earth. This is not just another Golden Age which will inevitably degenerate. It is a radical restructuring of reality in which evil and suffering, decay and death no longer have any part, and it is open to all those who wish to partake in it with the proviso that they must also restructure themselves in accord with it. This, of course, is impossible in the literal sense but we can at least allow ourselves to be restructured by opening ourselves up completely to Christ. This entails not just belief but love.

Christ is the lifeboat that rescues us from the spiritual wreckage of the Kali Yuga. Increasingly, all people who regard themselves as on the spiritual path or who are just looking for answers in these times of universal decline, value inversion and all-pervasive spread of evil will find they have to turn to him. As time rushes on towards its final destination there really is no other solution.

Tuesday 23 April 2024

Ex Nihilo or Ex Deo?

 "I repent me of the ignorance wherein I ever said that God made men out of nothing: there is no nothing out of which to make anything: God is all in all, and he made us out of himself. He who is parted from God has no original nothingness with which to take refuge."

George MacDonald, Weighed and Wanting.

George MacDonald was one of the first important writers of fantasy and a great influence on C.S. Lewis and G.K. Chesterton, among many others. I was given some of his children's books more or less as soon as I could read properly. The Princess and the Goblin, The Princess and Curdie and At the Back of the North Wind played a large part in forming my imagination as a child though I can't remember much about them now, other than that they had a magical atmosphere to them. Then as a teenager, hungry for more Lord of the Rings-type novels, I came across Phantastes and Lilith which, again, I don't recall much of other than I found them rather obscure and definitely not Tolkien. His complete works in an online version run to over 14,000 pages and include children's books, fantasy, regular novels and sermons but I haven't read anything more by him since my teenage years though, as my great grandmother was a MacDonald from George's part of Scotland and he died in Ashtead, Surrey, just a few miles from where I now live, I feel almost obligated to investigate further.

I came across this quote of his in a book by the Catholic writer Stratford Caldecott. It struck a chord with me because it took me back to a time when I was about 8 years old when I wondered to myself what would there be if there was nothing. I can actually still see myself having this thought for the first time. The human mind can't imagine nothing. All we can come up with is empty space or darkness but that is still something. I'm sure we've all had this thought. It's not uncommon as we start to think about the world, what it is, why it is or even where it is. In fact, I would go so far as to say that anyone who hasn't thought about this is a bit of a dullard! For most people it passes but for some it can provide an entry into deeper considerations on the subject of God, the only important subject one might justifiably say.

Does God create out of nothing as Christianity teaches or is it as George MacDonald says and he creates out of himself? Perhaps we can resolve this conundrum by saying it is both, but the nothingness out of which God creates is not outside him but within him. He makes a space in himself, in fact, forget the article, he just makes space, and then projects his being into that space. As George MacDonald says, there is no nothingness out of which God can make us. There is nothing apart from God. You might say there are no things in God until he creates them but there is never nothing. God is indeed all in all but he creates things that are other than himself in order to give expression to love, beauty and the good and to become more than himself. He is never other than perfect but through creation he becomes more perfect.

That is not all. The human soul is a created thing, created by and out of God, but within that soul, giving it its life and being, there is an uncreated part. This is our spirit which is God within us and explains why we can be united with God. There is a part of us that already is God but we cannot knowingly become this part until through grace but also through our own efforts, the two factors are both required, we go beyond our identification with the soul and replace self at the centre of our being with God. Then we know that we ourselves are indeed as nothing and everything we are comes from God.

Friday 19 April 2024

Satanic Feminism

 This is the title of what looks an interesting book but I haven't read it and I'm not going to because it is an academic treatise and I am more concerned with the basic thesis than a trawl through history to make a point. The sub-title is Lucifer as the Liberator of Women in Nineteenth-Century Culture, and the book appears to be about the link between feminism and Satan which goes right back to Eve. As far as I can tell, the book is not written from a Christian point of view and no moral conclusions are drawn. If anything, I would imagine this particular Lucifer is cast as the Promethean hero who awakens consciousness as he is regarded in certain schools of occultism, but it more likely that it is simply a scholarly look at an obscure subject.

Obscure it may be in the overall context of 19th century history but it has had a massive impact on the modern world. Feminism according to the official narrative is a natural result of Enlightenment concern with egalitarianism and reason, and a consequence of the changes in consciousness that accentuated individuality and the sense of agency. But what if it is also part of an attack on the human race and attempt to unmake the natural order of creation by something that we may as well call by the traditional name of Satan? For Christians this is an evil force that acts against the will of God and seeks to increase disorder, chaos and, ultimately, bring about spiritual dissolution, but for some people it is a liberating force that brings freedom from oppression. There are reasonable grounds for thinking it likes to present itself in this way and make an appeal thereby to human egotism even if those who succumb to the temptation offered would cast the appeal as one to strength and individuality.

Is the devil the evil being he is depicted as in Christianity or is he a misunderstood champion of universal life who seeks to bring about evolutionary advancement in those who are bold enough to accept his challenges? Does he liberate us from servitude or does he lure us to destruction? (Sidenote: You can see how this could also be applied to feminism.) The answer to a proper spiritual sensibility should be obvious. The Christian view is the correct one and those who fall for his blandishments do so because of their own egotism. They are greedy for power and he offers it to them but the old stories tell us that, while he may give something in the short term, it is of worldly benefit only and he always claims something in return, and that something is the soul.

The devil always prefers a half-truth to a lie. It is much more persuasive, much more seductive. The truth that really is in it can blind us to the lie that is smuggled in and contaminates the whole idea like a worm in an apple. Where feminism is concerned, the time had come for certain changes in line with the changes in consciousness, but they should still have been in the overall context of the eternal nature of things. That may evolve but it does not change fundamentally. Just as feminists are wrong in their pursuit of equality (which anyway is often just a front for seeking to dominate men) so dyed-in-the-wool traditionalists are mistaken in thinking that the situation should revert to a time when women were regarded as purely passive and completely subordinate to men - if there ever really was such a time which I doubt. What was required was a deeper understanding of both masculinity and femininity in their spiritual and creative aspects which can be gained by meditation on the relationship between spirit and matter or life and form which relationship contains both a hierarchical element and a complementary one, and is above all the source of creativity. Modern feminism is like an attempt to make two suns from a sun and a moon or even, in its more demented aspects, an attempt by the moon to swap places with the sun. It turns what should be a loving relationship of two complementary halves making a whole greater than the sum of its parts into a competitive rivalry which is spiritually destructive to them both.

If Satan really is the inspiration behind feminism there are only two options to which I have already referred. By being an attack on the human form, it is an attack on the human soul. An attempt to separate us from the reality of our being and thereby separate us from God. This would be the Christian view. Or else Satan is the great liberator who comes to free us from oppression, first women from men and then all humanity from a capricious and tyrannical deity. That is how he would depict himself but this freedom is an illusion because it makes us slaves to our ego and worldly desires. The feminist is betraying her higher, spiritual self to further the ends of her earthly ego. She is reverting to Eve or even Lilith when she should be following Mary.

Sunday 14 April 2024

What's the Solution to the Current Crisis?

 Everyone recognises that we live at a time of crisis, whether that be spiritual or material. We might call it by different names and have different degrees of insight into the reality of our present predicament but any thinking person knows we are in trouble. Talk about the massive amount of government and private debt, about societal breakdown or climate change (if you believe in that) or about the complete loss of direction of Western societies. All these, real or imagined, are indicative of some sort of crisis but they are just the froth on the surface. Everyone reading this blog will know that the true crisis is spiritual but even those who don't recognise that realise that something is amiss and badly so.

So, what's the solution?

There is no solution and those who look for one or, worse, try to enforce one will only increase the chaos and confusion. There is no solution because we live at the end of an age or cycle which means we are in a phase of universal decline and increasing disorder. To say this is not to be pessimistic or negative. It's just a plain fact. The world goes through cycles which follow the natural pattern of spring, summer, autumn or fall and winter. To recognise we are deep in winter is simply to see the truth. To seek a solution to that is like an old person pretending to be young and, not coincidentally, that is something we do often see nowadays. In the case of modern man there is a mass falling away from spiritual belief which leads to materialism and atheism to begin with and then in many cases to various false spiritualities. This is the way the world goes when the initial burst of spiritual energy behind the forces that set it in motion starts to fade away and humans make their own reality.

We are in the Kali Yuga or End Times which were predicted and were predictable because the tendencies to decline, loss and value inversion are typical of matter replacing spirit as the predominating force, that being a basic definition of the Kali Yuga. The beginning of a cycle sees the injection of spirit into the world system. This determines the path to be followed but over time its force decreases though the framework it has built remains and can even be developed. But eventually material conditions overwhelm that and then they begin to dominate. There is no solution to this other than to build an inner ark and that is the test of these times. To maintain faith in a world which has either lost it or corrupted it. But this is how the wheat is sorted out from the chaff which you may find an objectionable metaphor given its implications but take that up with John the Baptist.

The world is primarily designed to develop consciousness but at certain times it also has the function of testing the soul. This is one of those times. The test now is for the soul to acknowledge and turn to God as its Creator but also to recognise evil as that which opposes God and his purpose for creation. It is no good simply believing in God if you are not on his side. That just means the God you choose to believe in is one of your own imagining which is the case for many. Humanity has reached a point at which it must make a conscious choice to align itself with God, and the nature of the world today is that this must take place on an individual level. In the past we operated collectively because the culture inclined us in a certain direction but now the culture is in the service of anti-God forces and we have to stand against that if we are to succeed spiritually.

Don't be deceived by people who say that a spiritual person has above all else to be a good person. Good by what criteria? First and foremost, we have to recognise what spiritual good is and consciously, completely, align ourselves with that. It is the full acknowledgement of God. No more and no less. Obviously, we should try to behave in the way that befits a disciple of Christ. Faith alone is not an excuse for bad behaviour or a justification for antinomianism. If you love me, keep my commandments. If you don't keep the commandments you surely do not love he who gave them.  Besides which, proper recognition of God will automatically incline a person to seek to be like him. But to be good as the world sees good is not the same thing. Moreover, we all fall short. That does not matter as long as we sincerely try at every moment of the day to "walk humbly with thy God" in the simple but profound words of the prophet Micah.

There is no outer solution but there is an inner solution. Know yourself to be a soul born in the world at this time to prove you are able to turn your spiritual compass to true north in a world in which all outer influences mitigate against that. Not south, materialism and atheism, not east or west, false forms of spirituality, and not even north east or north west. True north. You have to find the way to God within yourself and that is the case even if you follow an established form of religion which is no longer sufficient on its own and can often be a diversion from the true inner path. Now there has to be a real inner connection. And when you have attained that you simply follow where you are led, wherever that may be.

Sunday 7 April 2024

How to Save The West

Anyone can see that Western civilisation is on the way out. Let me rephrase that. Anyone should be able to see that Western civilisation is on the way out, but most people don't because they are too wedded to their own paltry pleasures or selfish resentments or greedy desires or shallow ambitions. The list continues but it basically encompasses all those who do not place the good, the beautiful and the true above their own egos, and that is the majority. If ever a civilisation deserved to collapse, it is ours because we are not worthy of those who established that civilisation. We, who place the temporal above the eternal, put ourselves at the mercy of the temporal and our time has passed.

There is a solution but we will never take it. The solution is to return to tradition and the soul of Christianity. That would include a form of what is now dismissed as patriarchy since, by and large, it is only men who are willing to fight for truth and to preserve it in the face of the inevitable attacks on it, inevitable because Satan exists and wages an ongoing war against creation. This has become so apparent in our day, and especially over the last 25 years, that anyone who wishes to tread the spiritual path has to see that path in terms of the war of good and evil. If you refuse to recognise that and retreat to an 'everything is one' position you are simply being spiritually blind, not to mention irresponsible. The mask is almost completely off now and the face of evil beginning to be seen for what it is.

Satan has weakened the West with, among many other things, the debasement of culture, mass immigration and feminism. In a society that wished to preserve itself immigrants would not be given a say in how the country was run (in other words, a vote) for at least 2 generations, and their number would be restricted. The number of immigrants that flood (the word is fair) into Western countries now will inevitably change them utterly. This may have good or bad results in the long term (I'm being diplomatic), but clearly for the host nation to permit it is borderline insanity because it will destroy itself thereby. A basic instinct is self-preservation. To go against this instinct is to succumb to the unnatural and the anti-spiritual. The failure to reproduce and the desire to kill yourself are ungodly.

Feminism is the devil's secret weapon because, while ostensibly based on reason and justice, it actually seeks to reverse natural hierarchies and turn the two sexes, meant to be complementary, into rivals on the same ground. The promotion of women to previously male spheres damages society because establishing harmony and consensus becomes more important than the search for truth and excellence. This again is one of those things that its so obvious it shouldn't need saying but the ideologically committed will never acknowledge it. That having been said, feminism is not the cause of the collapse but a symptom of it though it does hurry it along as well.

I say the remedy would be a return to some sort of modified patriarchy, meaning one that takes into account the evolution of consciousness and agency of both men and women, but I am not recommending this even if it were possible which it isn't as things stand.  The West must die and that is right and proper. The energies that sustained it are now weak and feeble and it has come to the end of its life. It is becoming a corpse on which the parasites will feed as it dies. But in the greater scheme of things that is not a problem because everything in this world only exists to serve spiritual needs. As the West collapses there are great spiritual opportunities for those who know how to take advantage of them. We may lament the collapse because of past good but everything dies and the West has rejected God so become evil. There is no more to be said. It must go but since the primary function of this world is as a school for consciousness and sphere in which the soul may choose or reject God and be tested thereby that is no great loss. All that is good and true and right exists in the higher worlds eternally.

Wednesday 3 April 2024

The Fruit of Religion but not its Obligations

 The title comes from a quote by George Gallup Jr, son of the founder of the famous polling organisation, who wrote that "Americans want the fruit of religion but not its obligations".  Nowadays this pithy aphorism can be extended to include many spiritual seekers in the West who have transferred a basic consumerism from the material to the spiritual sphere. Such people would say they are no longer satisfied with an external religion but seek inner experience and that is undoubtedly true. They do seek answers to the existential questions life poses, but, at the same time, they can be spiritual pleasure seekers who are looking for spiritual possessions, whether that be in the fields of mind, power, consciousness or personality augmentation.

There is a stage in the development of the soul when one moves from acceptance of authority to the desire to experience something of the spiritual world for oneself. This is a good and necessary progression but it has its traps, chief of which is that it is the worldly ego that is seeking this for its own ends. It is as though the caterpillar wants to be able to fly but won't let go of its caterpillarness. The ego wants the gifts of God but wants them for itself. Theoretically, it may understand this is impossible because it is mysticism 101 to say that the ego is what bars the way to God, but still it is very difficult to separate egotistical desire from sincere aspiration and to be honest about what really motivates us. Is it love of God or desire for his gifts? 

It is precisely to separate the two that the lives of so many of the saints are filled with suffering and spiritual darkness when God withdraws completely from them. It is interesting to read that the writings of St Thérèse of Lisieux, in some respects the patron saint of Victorian sentimentality or the French version thereof, were altered before publication to reflect a more saccharine ideal of piety. In fact, she experienced many spiritual trials and even the loss of faith which are related in her Story of a Soul. She speaks of travelling through a dark tunnel from which she had not come out, and feeling that she lived in a country covered by a thick fog while longing for the beautiful land that was her true home. "When I sing of the happiness of heaven" she writes, "I feel no joy in this. I sing simply what I want to believe." But then she goes on to say with a wisdom that belies her youth that she understands why God did not send this trial until he knew she was capable of bearing it. She realises that her suffering is God's greatest gift to her because it is preparing her soul for heaven. She is renouncing the fruit of religion to accept its obligations.

The word obligations is perhaps not the best as it implies duty borne for no particular reason. Actually, it is the so-called obligations which strip all egotism and even self-reliance from the soul and make it fit to receive divine grace. There is no real fruit without the obligations and those who look for spiritual gifts without being joyfully prepared to make spiritual sacrifices, the main one being the sacrifice of self, may encounter their own soul but they will not know God, and the two are not the same despite the popular esoteric fiction that maintains they are.