Monday, 31 October 2016

Farewell to the legendary Riccy Road Flats...

The above rather unlovely edifice is 25E Richardson Road, one of the student flats in Newcastle that I inhabited for two years as a medical student - and just now I walked up the road to take a (perhaps) final look at it; since the whole complex is currently being demolished by the university to make way for a vast wall of high rise, high density accommodation.

For its many faults - especially noisiness (the discovery of effective ear plugs was an essential) - I have fond memories of living in this flat. It is associated with one of the happiest times of my pre-married adult life - especially with wide and deep explorations of music, opera, drama and literature (as well as medicine!).

The first year, in particular, was an extremely lively and stimulating group of students; and with many others very nearby. It was that era of 'things opening out' which is the great theme of coming-of-age novels and movies. It has the quality of myth in my memory.  

For example, I still have pleasant dreams about living in these flats - also 27F just around the corner where I spent about 3 rather idyllic months in the summer of 1979, just commencing my clinical studies but with an usually large amount of free time (a lot for a medical student).

Anyway, it is sad that these funny little flats, with their triangular kitchen windows,  are being mown down rather than smartened-up, when there is so much so more deserving of demolition that remains standing.

So it goes...


Is Christ's injunction to 'Love your enemies' pacifist?

“Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.”

Brett Stevens at Amerika.org said last week that this particular section of 'The sermon on the mount' was his least favourite part of Christianity - and he described it as 'pacifism'.

http://www.amerika.org/politics/snapshot-the-problem-of-christianity

I can certainly see how he would make this interpretation. There is a common, misleading and unfortunate habit - both from real Christians and anti-Christians - of supposing that the Bible (or the New Testament, or Gospels. at least) must be 100 percent true, when taken literally (i.e as statements of facts and universal laws) one sentence at a time.

I can see how this situation has arisen, given the tendency of Men (and nowadays especially 'liberal Christians') to distort Christianity to be compatible with those secular and political ideologies which are that person's primary motivation.

But really it is nonsense! Nonsense in general, and in this specific instance; because Jesus obviously did not intend this this statement to be taken as a universal law - for two reasons, one because he did not himself behave this way, and two because it is impossible to behave this way.

We could add that any specific virtue, pursued exclusively, leads to sin - and that therefore no statement or rule is universally applicable - but ought to be taken as part (typically a small part, given the large number of specific virtues) of that larger whole of 'Good'. Jesus was crystal clear that the Good human life is not one of passively obeying a list of rules (i.e. Phariseeism); it was the inner motivation that mattered supremely - plus of course a willingness to repent our many and frequent inevitable moral failures.  

Those three reasons  - Christ's example, impossibility and 'prudence'; the virtue of a balanced Good - should suffice to prevent us from regarding this passage as a stumbling block. We could, if required, add in that Christianity is about 2000 years old, while pacifism is only about 250 years old (arising first in England among some Nonconformist Protestants - esepcially the Quakers).

Is more needed? Not necessarily. Not every sentence in the Bible is relevant to our condition, whether as a society or as a person. Probably everything in the Bible has been, or will be relevant to some people at some time - but certainly not to all people at all times and not equally - the necessary emphasis, the primary moral problems and their solutions, will be very different in The West nowadays from - say - Rome AD 200, Constantinople in 500, England circa 800 or 1350, or New England circa 1750...

So weshould not expect to, do not need to - and almost certainly cannot - personally properly understand all the statements in the Bible. And indeed we do not always know how these statements were intended, nor in what sense they were meant.

For example, with the first chapters of Genesis, The Song of Solomon, the Book of Job and Revelations of St John it is very hard for us modern Westerners to understand what is being done - certainly the meanings and implications are not easy nor transparent.

So we could leave aside this particular passage; or we could try to understand what Christ was getting-at, now we know he was not compiling a set of bureaucratic instructions.

I think the meaning comes from the first sentence - which is indeed a universal truth (properly understood: i.e. we must indeed all and always strive for a state of love, which is the bond and unity of all life in God's reality; and must repent states of resentment, although they are inevitable).

“Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you."

And the last two sentences are vivid, memorable illustrations of specific situations that might illustrate the principle: these are things it may be necessary and best sometimes to do; things we must be prepared to do when that is overall Good.

"And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.”

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Tolkien on saving England

In Smith of Wootton Major, Tolkien wrote about a village which was losing its soul, through a breakdown in mythical thinking - his main task in life was to restore this as envisaged as the communication and love between the the world of Man and Faery:

http://albionawakening.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/tolkien-on-saving-england-out-of-touch.html

Non-Goodness in context of a wholly-Good reality? The basic, insoluble problem for Christianity, as traditionally conceived

There is a very glaring and obvious problem in Christianity as the situation is set-up by intellectual types - there is a gross mismatch.

The problem is real; but comes from a false assumption - which comes from the absoluteness of abstractions.

1. For most monotheists in general (including Christians); God is taken to be utterly powerful - having made everything from nothing, knowing and controlling everything absolutely according to his will down to the finest detail.

2. For Christians; God is wholly Good and our loving Father; who desires to raise us to become his Sons and Daughters.

3. If God is all-powerful and utterly loving - then why is the world he way it is? So obviously and grossly imperfect.

The problem, the contradiction, is non-Goodness in a wholly-Good reality.

*

One attempted solution is to say that it is not this world which is perfect, but the next: after death - however this raises the question of why we don't simply get born-into the next.

(Why not?... Go to Heaven. Go directly to Heaven. Do not pass mortality. Do not collect two hundred traumas.)

*

Another attempted solution is to say that everything in existence is Good except for Man - who had a Fall and (perhaps) Original Sin - and that is why an omnipotent, loving God cannot make the world Good - i.e. because Man has wrecked it.

But this is to make Man an exception to God's omnipotence; which the first assumption will not allow.

The Fall/ OS is merely to concentrate the problem of non-Goodness in a wholly-Good-reality into a single primordial exception to God's omnipotence - which isn't a solution at all.

*

Or it might be said that God is wholly Good, but the Devil and his minions are wrecking the world; but that again conflicts with the fact that a wholly Good God made and sustains the agents of evil.

*

My point is that the simple 1,2,3 is an absolutely genuine incoherence. Various more, or less, complex fixes have been put into place; but none of them really work - they are a sleight of hand, a self-fooling, they merely stop questioning by confusing or are kicking the can further down the road.

*

THE problem is regarding God as absolutely powerful, having created everything from nothing, and knowing and controlling absolutely everything all the time. If this is accepted as a necessary assumption - and God is necessarily Good; then Everything Is Good and there is nothing more to say about it.

We must simply submit to what is. The only evil is to question.

But wait! - this doesn't work either; because where does the disposition to our questioning come-from? Why does this problem arise in the first place? Why do we notice, or seem to notice, any problem about anything? (If God is utterly powerful and controls everything...)

Back to square one.

*

No - whichever way you twist or turn, there is no rational and convincing (i.e. simple and coherent) way of making omnipotence and Goodness compatible.

*

(If God does not need to be Good, then this problem is soluble; at the cost of reality being understood as an incomprehensible chaos and existence a pointless torment. In other words, the problem can be solved by denying the reality of Good. Everything just happens and nothing can be said about it... The problem then becomes that in such a universe we could never know that it was such a universe. If chaos, then no knowledge - hence no knowledge of chaos. Another insoluble contradiction.)

*

The solution is utterly simple - which is that God is utterly Good but not utterly powerful, all knowing etc. So, God is always working for Good; but things happen that are not God's will.

One major common objection to this is, partly but importantly, a visceral superstitious terror of 'insulting' God - which is itself clear evidence that the person does not genuinely believe in God's Goodness.

(Because to impute unloving attributes to the Christian God - such as resentment and hyper-sensitivity to disrespect - is, and always has been, very common; almost universal.)

Another objection to non-omnipotence is the 'my God is bigger than your God' boasting and clinging; the idea that my God should not only be more powerful than anybody else's God, but more powerful than anything and everything ever possible conceivable - and that worry is solved at a stroke by resorting to an infinite abstraction such as omnipotence.

(My God is better than your God by definition.)

In sum; the desire to regard God as an absolute of infinite power is itself evidence of the problem it attempts to solve. It is Christians' own unloving, untrusting, unfaithful, weak, boastful and immature nature which makes us fear to understand God as anything other than an omni-God.

This would not matter except that it stands in the path of the one thing needful which is knowing that God is wholly Good. We need to notice and repent that Christians often compromise, often dishonestly and evasively, on God's Goodness in their absolute (terrified?) refusal to compromise on his omnipotence.

All of which is certainly understandable - given the underlying lack of conviction in His Goodness - but absolutely deadly and perhaps fatal in terms of getting the fundamental Christian priorities wrong, and refusing to repent this wrongness; but instead doubling-down on un-necessary and (ultimately) contra-Christian assumptions.

And none of this would matter expect that the above 1,2,3 argument is what keeps many thinking people out of Christianity and excludes so many others and confuses and weakens the faith of countless more - because here we are not dealing with a mere paradox or mystery or misunderstanding, but a stark contradiction.

Friday, 28 October 2016

The contiguity of Love: Christians should not seek to extinguish the Self, nor to destroy the Ego - but to transcend a strong Self in Love

This is controversial; but I regard it as a serious error for Christians to be trying to extinguish their Self or Ego - I think it a serious error because Christianity is par excellence the religion which retains the Self: the divine Self was, indeed, incarnated as a mortal Man to emphasise the point...

What Christians often do, what they feel they are instructed to do, is to press down the Self - so that they may become utterly un-selfish, may live for others.

They do this by a weird, paradoxical self-monitoring (the self keeping watch on the Self; the Self trying to suppress the Self - a futile activity); and by trying not-to-think - for example living a life of absolute Obedience (never making one's own decisions, regarding one's life as dictated and mapped out by scripture, the church, a religious superior...).

Others do this by habit - by trying to ingrain good habits so deeply that they just happen, automatically, without intervention of the Self.

All of these common strategies seem to be ways of un-Manning - ways of making ourselves into less-than Men.

And they all seem to be based on the idea that the Self is intrinsically and always depraved - so that (they argue) we cannot become wholly Good without altogether getting rid of it.

Against this, I would emphasise that the Self is indeed depraved to some extent; yet it is also partly divine - and for us each to become a Son of God the divine without must join with that divine within.

This means we must retain the Self.

Yet clearly the Self or Ego is a problem - that is where Love comes-in.

In Christianity Love is primary, and Love is what enables us to retain the Self without being selfish; to be united without losing distinctness...

The model is a husband and wife in close and perfect embrace: they are united by Love, and that Love depends on their separateness (the spouse must be another person for us to love them).

Abstractly put: Love is neither separateness nor merging; but contiguous.

Anthony Burgess reviewed - by John Fitzgerald

Returning to school days ... I recall the frequency with which we were exhorted to 'stand on your own two feet.'

'But what am I supposed to do,' I remember asking, 'once I'm on my two feet? Just stand here?'

These are the questions, behind the literary pyrotechnics, that this novel plays with...

The full post is at Albion Awakening:

http://albionawakening.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/war-in-heaven.html

The Big Issue is *not* poverty (for Western Christians)

So I argue at Junior Ganymede.

I could have added that the deficiency of Western material poverty should not be seen as the trigger to scour the world - especially Africa - seeking material poverty; still less for Westerners to create and sustain endemic severe poverty and famine in Africa by keeping people just alive with modern medicine and 'aid'.

(Before Western intervention, Africans were among the most prosperous and best-fed people in the world - per capita; since high mortality from infectious diseases kept the population density low.) 

http://www.jrganymede.com/2016/10/27/material-poverty-is-not-the-big-issue-in-the-modern-west

Thursday, 27 October 2016

The world through rose-coloured light - something Good happened yesterday mid-afternoon

This morning as I stepped out of the house, the world was aglow with pinkish rosy light from a glorious sunrise that took-up nearly half of the sky.

This reminded me that yesterday mid-afternoon, I think about 4pm, I felt very strongly that something Good had happened. It was like a disturbance in The Force: perfectly solid and palpable to the mind, but not to the senses.

What was it? Something in me, something lifted from me, or something in The World?

And, if so, what? And in what part of the world?

I shall be very interested to discover - and in the meantime, I am feeling more than usually excited and hopeful.

Albion - the white island

Meditations on this picture of Beachy Head from William Wildblood:
http://albionawakening.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/beachy-head-and-albion.html

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

This mortal life in context of eternity

Modern Man believes that this earthly, mortal life is the only life - and when we die we are extinguished utterly; only to live-on in memory (which is also extinguished).

Therefore absolutely everything is destined for oblivion, as if it never had been. Hence modern nihilism and despair.

Some religious people believe that earthly mortal life is an illusion - and that reality is eternal, spiritual, infinite. Nothing that happens, or ever could possible happen, during earthly mortal life really matters at all - because it is a drop in an infinite ocean - hence of infinitely-minor significance.

From our mortal perspective, this amounts to much the same, in the end, as mainstream modern secularism which says that mortal life is everything but finite - because either way this actual mortal life is rendered utterly trivial, meaningless, pointless.

These two are the usual world-views of modern non--religious people: the first is materialism the second is modern New Age spirituality - derived from a sampling of Hinduism and Buddhism.

Christianity tries to make important both this mortal earthly life, and eternal life beyond the grave - so that mortal life is significant eternally. (This makes Christianity the religion we should most want to be true!)

But most Christian explanations are unsatisfactory - giving either too much significance to the contingencies of mortal life (eg. that the specific state of mind at the instant of death determines eternal salvation or damnation); or not enough importance to mortality (eg. that most mortal life is so depraved and corrupt - due to original sin - that life is 'a bad thing', and such Christians yearn for death, try to approximate Heavenly death-in-life, and at root feel it would be better never to have been born into mortality).

Such metaphysical problems are built-into mainstream Christianity from the early centuries of the church, and I personally feel they have been overcome by the Mormon revelations concerning theology - but either way, what Christianity wants to be, and strives to explain to itself, is as follows:

  • Our mortal incarnate life is important, because it has permanent effects on our eternal life.
  • But this effect of mortality on eternity is qualitatively transformed by the work of Christ - so that our eternal lives have, as it were, all the good memories of mortal life perfectly preserved and made real forever; but none of the bad. 
  • So Heaven is not just 'me living in a Paradise'; it is a transformed me, yet still me living in a Paradise... and that is the difference. 




Astrology...

A thoughtful piece on this topic from the always-worth-reading William Wildblood:

http://meetingthemasters.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/astrology.html

Like most scientists, I used to regard Astology as utterly ridiculous; but having discovered more about the real medieval context (from reading CS Lewis, especially The Discarded Image); and then finding the subject treated by authors I respect such as William Arkle and William Wildblood himself - I tend to think that there 'must be something in it', although it isn't a thing I am personally attracted to.

Anyway, William W. and I had an email exchange last weekend, during which he very generously offered to do my personal 'character' horoscope based on the exact time and place of birth (but not a full interpretation - which would have taken a very long time).

The result was something like a detailed personality evaluation. I then spent a day brooding over it, and discussing it with my wife - and the conclusion was that it was more right than wrong by a comfortable ratio of about 2:1.

So, 'something in it', it seems. 

Modern Man is metaphysically insane

Indeed, metaphysically insanity is the only true madness - it is the madness of having false assumptions about the basic nature of reality.

Modern man is sure of only one thing: that there is no God. That is why he is insane - because this metaphysical assumption leads to nihilism (unbelief in reality).

Once he is unsure of anything; he loses all possibility of a scale of judgment: so modern Man utterly believes things that not only aren't true, but cannot be true - and what is more he knows they are not true and cannot be true - but he believes them anyway (sort of) because, ultimately, nothing is true.

And he disbelieves common sense and his own experience because, after all - he might be insane, deluded, hallucinating... indeed Modern Man knows, deep down, that he is insane.

And therefore he cannot believe anything - or rather, he can disbelieve anything; no matter how obvious, no matter how much evidence or logic agrees with it.

Modern Man knows he is insane because he knows that he has made himself insane - by choice, by choosing to be sure of only one thing: that there is no God.

Therefore, Modern Man is completely to blame and responsible for his condition and situation - he initiated and perpetuates it; and fights tooth and nail to retain his insanity against the hourly onslaught of counter-evidence, rationality and basic conviction.

He could change at any moment in the twinkling of an eye - but he does not. So this is a moral insanity - insanity based upon evil.

The basic answer (not the complete answer - but the necessary start) is itself very basic - acknowledge the reality of God, of Deity.

Nothing else will suffice. Lacking it, all the rest is not merely a waste of time but ever more deeply insane.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Personal experience of super-sensible perception

I have come to believe that it is essential for modern Man to develop super-sensible perception; in other words, to develop the ability to (and habit of) perceiving some of the reality of the world beyond the sense-perceptible/ scientistic/ materialistic.

http://charltonteaching.blogspot.co.uk/search?q=steiner+prophecy

This all sounds very spiritual, mystical and woo-woo - and of course it is; by mainstream contemporary standards of public discourse - yet super-sensible perception is also pretty much an everyday occurrence for many (not all) people.

Super-sensible perception may be identified because we perceive something; yet we know that what are perceiving is not a part of the sensory data.

To show what I mean I will give examples from my personal experience.

*
1. Music

When hearing great music, I am aware that what I most value is not in the composition, nor is it captured by the performance: it is not simply a product of sound perceived by hearing. This is a fact, and the fact is obvious - but not trivial. Even when the music is nothing but arpeggio block chords, as with the piece above.
*
2. Pictures
 

When viewing a great painting (the above being of Salisbury Cathedral by John Constable) I feel far more than the depiction or the paint, is doing - there is a definite and solid sense of mystery about what I perceive.
*
Poems

My love he built me a bonny bower,
And clad it a’ wi’ lilye flour;
A brawer bower ye ne’er did see,
Than my true love he built for me.

There came a man, by middle day,
He spied his sport, and went away;
And brought the King that very night,
Who brake my bower, and slew my knight.

(The beginning of the Lament of the Border Widow, an anonymous Scottish-English Border Ballad.)

The above poetry is simple, crude, un-literate - the first verse uses many conventional and clich├ęd phrases, the second verse is literalistic in its description... Yet super-sensible perception tells me, with rock-solidity and stark factuality - that this poem is as beautiful and profound as can be told.
*
4. Stories



Please don't ask me to explain what on earth (or off it) The Little Prince story is about - I only know it is about much much more than my sense perceive.
*

5. Paranormal phenomena

A large majority of the population feel quite sure that some dreams mean something beyond the dream; or that they sometimes foresee future events; or that the sometimes experience telepathic communications - that such experiences are sometimes valid - and they equally sure that these valid experiences cannot always be explained by five-sense, 'objective' perception. I agree.
*

6. The night sky

When I look at the night sky, on a clear night (only on a clear night, with darkness between the stars) a can see a network of fine silver lines radiating from and joining the heavenly bodies, stretching across considerable segments of the sky: I see not so much a spray of detached stars, as a luminous gossamer web over the dome.

I know that I see these threads by super-sensible means - because they are not seen by other observers (i.e. they are not an optical illusion), they are not recordable by binoculars - yet the lines are there, quite definite; present but not originating from vision.

In sum, super-sensible perception is something common and everyday that most people experience already - they only need to notice it, take it seriously, and regard it as real.

Be not afraid (and *don't* protect yourself!) - The Way of The Fool and David Icke

In this short video David Icke begins with responding to a question about whether he has bodyguards; whether he takes steps to protect himself.

The answer is no - and Icke explains why, and how this relates to his philosophy of life. I found this short discussion overall inspiring, and have watched it several times.


My feeling is that this relates to Icke spiritually living 'The Way of the Fool' - https://charltonteaching.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/the-way-ahead-is-via-foolishness.html

The fear-less Fool is one who leads a 'charmed life' - and is able to speak the truth as he sees it.

Of course, The Fool also speaks a lot of 'nonsense' - but there are times (and this is one) when a peck of truth outweights a bushel of nonsense; because (as Icke says below): "They can't unhear what you have said".


Sunday, 23 October 2016

A wood joke

What do you call a man with wood on his head?
I don't know.
Edward.

What do you call a man with two bits of wood on his head?
I don't know.
Edward Wood.

What do you call a man with three bits of wood on his head?
I don't know.
Edward Woodward.

What do you call a man with four bits of wood on his head?
I don't know.
Neither do I - but Edward Woodward would.

For this (excellent!) joke to work in the USA, it helps to know that in England (and for the purposes of this joke) the name 'Edward' can be pronounced as Ed-wood.

And that the actor Edward Woodward (Callan, The Equalizer, Breaker Morant etc) was famously dubbed Ed-Wood Wood-Wood on a Morecombe and Wise TV show - and the name stuck.

So the rapid fire answers are pronounced: Ed Wood, Ed Wood Wood, Ed Wood Wood Wood, and Ed Wood Wood Wood Wood...

Saturday, 22 October 2016

'Gone mental': The deep meaning of upper middle class post-Brexit vote catastrophizing

The response of the upper middle (professional, higher-educated, willing-servants-of-evil) class to the Brexit vote has been astonishing to behold - they have (to use Ron Weasley's favourite phrase) 'Gone mental'.

I am directly aware of this both in the professional communications I receive as circulars, and in the many conversations I overhear - as well as in the mass media (which is of course not reliable, because manipulative).

At first I thought that this was a sham of some kind - people pretending; but I have gradually become convinced that it is genuine - despite all the evidence and common sense and personal experience - these people are really afraid that if a country is not a member of the European Union, then everything they value will become impossible.

Maybe they are right - in a deep sense; maybe for Britain actually to leave the EU would be the end of that comfort, convenience, sexual possibility and distraction to which The West is addicted and which it cannot see beyond?

But why? Why should should a thing be regarded as a realistic consequence of Brexit? After all, Switzerland, Norway, the USA, Canada - plenty of secular Leftist places are not EU members?

Ah, but that is not the same as leaving. Leaving would be a reversal and overturning of decades of 'progress' towards an Establishment-controlled materialist nihilist totalitarian world government; and that would really be a catastrophe, which might not end there but might be the first and crucial strand to break in that vast web of lies in which - the elite recognise - they have made, sustain and in which we all dwell.

One broken thread - and the UK is a very thick and structural thread - strains all the other threads; snapping the UK thread may lead to a chain reaction. 

So far, the signs (judged not by words but actual actions) are that the Brexit catastrophizers have nothing to worry about; since nothing at all has happened to begin Brexit - and it must be assumed that the government has zero intention of a genuine Brexit, but is implementing some kind of 'Brexit-in-name-only' which will leave core matters unchanged, and the web of lies intact.

Will they get away with this? That is unclear at present - certainly the Establishment will get away with Brexit-in-name-only on current trends, since there is currently no significant perceptible pro-Brexit group, or activity, or movement - or, at least, none that I can detect... 

But anyone who doubted the significance of a real Brexit should be convinced by what happened since the pro-Brexit vote: the sheer 'mental' terror of the Establishment lackeys and minions reveals that if Brexit happened fully and soon, it really would strike a blow against the culture of death which is deliberately driving us towards willed spiritual suicide.

The line of beauty in English country dancing

"The lines, which a number of people together form, in country dancing, make a delightful play upon the eye, especially when the whole figure is to be seen at one view as at the playhouse from a gallery.... One of the most pleasing movements in country dancing which answers to all the principles of varying at once, is what they call the "hey."

http://albionawakening.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/what-they-call-hey-serpentine-lines-in.html

Friday, 21 October 2016

Albion and Russia?

A lyrical and original musing on Anglo-Russian (and other) matters from John Fitzpatrick at Albion Awakening:
http://albionawakening.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/albion-and-russia.html

Conspiracy theories and theory of mind - what The System most fears

1. We are all conspiracy theorists - insofar as we join-the-dots to make sense of the world; the only alternative is nihilism and despair. To 'make sense' of reality, we must assume that there is a comprehensible will at work.

It is merely a choice between 'conspiracies' to believe; and the choice whether to regard as conspiracy as good or evil.

2. This kind of 'making sense' thinking is based upon inferred assumptions about the Intentions, Dispositions and Motivations (In brief the 'Intentionality') of others - other people, groups, nations etc.

3. In other words,conspiracy theorising, which is what we all do, depends on 'theory of mind' - the social ability and the necessity of assuming that there is coherent personality at work in the world.

4. Therefore our understanding of 'evidence' comes from our assumption of intentionality. Evidence does not tell us who has good, and who had evil, intentions - nor does evidence tell us what those intentions actually are. Rather, it is our assumption of intentionality which leads us to interpret the meaning of evidence.

We assume that a given conspiracy is either good or evil in intentionality; we interpret evidence in this light - the evidence then seems to confirm the assumption (as it must). Changing evidence, new evidence, does not change the assumption, because evidence only has meaning in light of the assumption. 

5. The reason why mainstream modern people believe the world of lies from The System (eg. the mainstream mass media, politics and the large institutions and corporations) is in essence that mainstream modern people believe in the good intentions of The System.

That is mainstream modern people assume The System is a good conspiracy - and they interpret all evidence based-on this assumption - the watch the news and read the media and understand the stories and ideas on the basis that it derives from a good-conspiracy.

(People may deny this, but it is true - people believe The System has good intentions.)

6. If people stop believing in the good intentions of the System, if they come to believe The System is an evil conspiracy; their world will change, and The System as-is will be unsustainable.

That, above all else, is what The System most fears:

The System most fears that people en masse will assume that The System is one, and that intentions are bad, wicked, evil.

That fear explains much. 

Specifically - the great fear is that people will realise:

1. The Establishment is ultimately one. There is no division between the mass media, politics, government, corporations - at the highest level they are unified - the conflicts are ot fundamental, inter-office squabbles between functionaries.

2. And the modern Establishment - i.e. The System considered as an intentional personality - is ultimately evil in its nature and intent - that is, it operates strategically to subvert and invert Good.


How differently the world looks from such an angle! How differently appear the facts and theories of public discourse! How differently, how easily, the dots rejoin to make an utterly different pattern!

If this were to happen, if it does happen?...

But what must change is fundamental, it is metaphysical, it is religious. How to induce such a change? I do not know.

On the other hand, such a change cannot be prevented - if the situation (somehow) dicates it; because, of course, sometimes things provoke the opposite consequences of those intended - indeed, that it probably the usual way metaphysocal change is triggered.

From an unexpected, opposite, unseen and unforeseen direction... 

Hence the great fear of The Establishment.

**
Some in-depth discussion of these psychological mechanisms, and examples from psychiatry, can be found at:
https://www.hedweb.com/bgcharlton/delusions.html

Thursday, 20 October 2016

The Sun is alive and conscious - Rupert Sheldrake's argument (from physics)

Here, in a dialogue form, Rupert Sheldrake puts forward his developed argument that we could and should regard the Sun as alive and conscious - based on arguments he derives from physics, information theory and the like.

http://www.sheldrake.org/audios/science-set-free-podcast

Also: Is the Sun Conscious on this page:

http://www.sheldrake.org/audios

He goes on to draw out the implications of assuming the Sun is alive - what other things are therefore likely to be alive, and how they may influence us (and we them, presumably).

I think Sheldrake makes a decent case - from his Platonic/ Aristotelian/ Christian/ Biologist perspective - Although the reason why I myself regard the Sun as (in some way, poorly understood) alive, conscious and purposive is metaphysical rather than scientific: since we cannot draw a line between alive and not-alive, therefore either everything is alive or nothing is alive - therefore (since we know we personally are alive) everything is alive.

[PS: the other participant in the conversation, Mark Vernon, seems like what he actually is - primarily a secular Leftist activist who uses religious (often Christian) language and concepts. His understanding of Barfield is, consequently, partial and distorted.]

A modern Platonist at home - John Michell videoed

With yesterday's discussion of modern Platonism in mind - here is an example of the species in the late John Michell (aged 70), recorded for ten minutes excerpted from an unbuttoned and relaxed - somewhat intoxicated - conversation with dinner guests about his basic and motivating spiritual beliefs.

https://vimeo.com/5968393


Wednesday, 19 October 2016

More good news from the US elections - Traditionalising and maybe spiritualising the 'hacker' community

The increasingly gloves-off lying and persecutions of the Democrat Party in the upcoming US election - and their targeting of Julian Assange - is probably having an effect on the 'hacker' community which may become highly significant.

Mostly, for the past half-century this community has sided with ultra-progressives and the sexual revolution; and against religion and tradition - and they have gullibly believed the rhetoric of the Left rather than observing the reality. But now they find that the mainstream media-bureaucratic Left are their prime enemies, and the increasingly Christian, reactionary and traditionalist Russians are their protectors.

Although the hackers do not wholly subscribe to the positive aspirations of Russian morality, they are discovering that at least the Russians do aim at a stable morality and their restricted national interest. While, in contrast, the US mainstream media Establishment and the Democrat Party Machine do not; but instead regard morality as an expediently-malleable means to increasingly destructive ends -- up-to and including increasingly obvious efforts to initiate World War Three.

The big question is whether the hackers will recognise that the root of these differences is spiritual - specifically religious.

It is hard to imagine such a materialist and secular group as hackers becoming traditionally religious - at least from where they are now - but maybe they might become deist, Platonist; and regard Good as an objective transcendental reality, and Life as government by ideal principles such as number, musical harmony, and archetypal forms?

It could happen very suddenly; and then the world will be changed; as the single most powerful micro-elite group abandons the mainstream secular Leftist project that they have, mostly in ignorance and naivete, been sustaining for the past two generations...  

Everybody is some kind of conspiracy theorist

So-called conspiracy theorising is merely joining the dots, and inferring a unifying meaning behind the surface of apparent randomness. It is necessary to do this to be a functional person, and society.

The failure to join the dots for oneself simply means accepting someone else's version of reality, and rationalising that choice to oneself as necessary, or expedient, or whatever...

Or else it means trying to function in a universe where nothing has meaning or purpose, including oneself; and necessarily failing. (To the extent people truly do this they are neutralised by despair.)

The biggest modern conspiracy theorists are those on the secular Left Mainstream who interpret everything that has ever happened or could happen as evidence to support what they already believe; and ignoring/ attacking as not-evidence anything which seems too difficult to include; and manufacturing (then forgetting you have manufactured) evidence which one knows to be true but is (currently) not obvious or visible.

The ones (like us) who get accused of being conspiracy theorists are those who insist on joining the dots on the basis of a different set of metaphysical assumptions and who therefore infer a conspiracy theory different from the official one.

At root, the differences are metaphysical. We ought to join the dots, and in a sense have-to - and that can only be done on the basis of fundamental assumptions (i.e. metaphysics) - and it is these assumptions which need to be analysed and compared.

Lacking which; quibbling over how specific units of 'evidence' being brought into discussion 'ought' to be interpreted and acted-upon is just futile. Because it is the underlying metaphysics which defines what counts as evidence - and what (if anything) to 'do about it'.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

The objective power of repeated rituals

Obviously, repeated rituals have power to change the psychology of participants; the question is whether they have power 'objectively' to affect things beyond the participant, beyond those who even know about the rituals - can rituals change 'reality'?

The typical modern materialist view would be - certainly not; the typical view of most times and places in human society would be - yes, of course!

The historical consensus would also be that rituals can do harm or good (or a mixture); and that to be more effective rituals should be done 'correctly', repeated, and done with concentration and sincerity (ie. with a strong motivation appropriate to the desired outcome).

But rituals do not inevitably have an effect - rather they induce a kind of pressure towards an effect; yet the pressure of rituals may be resisted, and also some things and people are either immune to these ritual pressures or else are protected against them.

Supposing all this is true, and that rituals (done in the proper way) are an effective way of tending to change reality in a desired direction - what are the strengths and limitations of such induced change?

My general impression is that the changes produced by ritual tend to be rather narrow and specific. A 'good' ritual cannot make people all-round-good, but may make them behave better in some specific way (either doing some thing, or not doing some other thing).

And the same for evil rituals. They may harm people, torment them, put ideas into their heads, make them do something bad - but none of these or similar can make a person evil (especially if they repent what they have thought or done).

So evil rituals - even when they 'work' are more like temptations than actually imposed evil.

And - because of protections and immunities - there is a sense in which evil rituals must be invited-in or at least consented-to.

The relevance is that evil rituals are being repeated all over the world and most of the time - for example among the Establishment global cabal; in government and public administration; in innumerable bureaucracies and social systems; and in the mass media administration.

In nearly all large, powerful wealthy institutions evil rituals are 'on the agenda' in a literal sense, and on a weekly, daily - sometimes hourly basis. My contention is that this has an effect - objectively - in making the world a worse place.

And, because Men are fallible, weak, prone to sin and made blind and helpless by secular materialism... the immunities and protections are grossly inadequate; the effects of evil rituals are significantly damaging.

This is where the special and unique strength of Christianity comes in; because no matter how effective evil rituals actually are; Christ's gift of repentance is infinite in power and scope; and can never be overwhelmed by them.



The attack on The Nation State

William Wildblood discusses some reasons for the Western Establishment strategy of destroying the Nation State; and he defends the idea of the Nation State as both necessary and good.  

http://albionawakening.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/the-nation-state.html

Why do most Christians insist that they are monotheists?

It is an old question - revived for me by listening to an audiobook CS Lewis essay on the topic, where he makes a rational argument for the necessity of monotheism.

On the face of it, Christianity is not a monotheistic religion because of Jesus Christ; who is God - but not the only God, not the same God as the already-existing God of the Ancient Jews to whom Jesus frequently refers, defers and prays.

But for some reason earlyish (probably the second century of the religion) many of the most intellectually sophisticated Christian theologians began to regard it as absolutely necessary that Christianity should be monotheistic as well as having at least two Gods.

The question is, why did they feel that way? I infer that it was because the philosopher-theologians were also (and already) embarked on a philosophical quest to explain the coherence of reality and the necessity of God; they wanted to unite all reality in a single unity that was also deity.  They were engaged in a conflation of Christian theology with philosophy, because they simply took the absolute necessity of their philosophy for granted.

(And they ended by shoe-horning Christian theology into classical philosophy; while also modifying that philosophy somewhat in the process.)

It seems to me that many philosophical Christians simply assume that this is necessary to the religion - i.e. that for Christians God must be ultimately necessary to be the source of everything and all order, and also that for reality to hang together requires that God be not only one, but indivisibly one. Hence monotheism.

I don't accept this line of argument, because - like all lines of argument - it has assumptions; points at which we must assert It Just Is - but these assumptions are not intrinsic to Christianity and instead come from outside it.

And there are other assumptions which work just as well as Christian explanations, are simpler, more comprehensible and have better implications.

So we can drop the necessity for monotheism and suggest that the coherence of reality comes from other sources - especially that there is one creation (not creation by one, but one creation) in which we dwell. This creation (and its creator/s) is, of course, not logically entailed; but a thing which happened-to-have-happened.

We then understand the one-ness of God as described in scripture to be the one-ness of a King, a reference to primacy not unity of identity - and we find that this fits comfortably with the Old Testament culture, language and descriptions.

And Christians are to understand the cohesion of reality to be due to Love - in some sense of Love (and I tried to describe my own understanding in a post yesterday); which is a inter-personal thing, which means that the universe of reality is personal from top (from God) to bottom ('non-living' matter): an alive and conscious universe of manifold entities, cohering by love. 

So we end with a very different world picture from classical theology. And this world picture is not monotheistic - but instead explains monotheism as a consequence of philosophical (not Christian) compulsioins.

But, as an explanation non-monotheism works at-least-equally well: indeed I would assert that it works better for Christians.

 

Monday, 17 October 2016

People don't always want to be saved...

The Saviour by William Arkle
http://www.billarkle.co.uk/greatgift/pictureseq/fset034.html
We see the beautiful head of compassionate love, which is neither young nor old, looking down with sorrow and affection upon the smoke and grime of a big city and endeavouring to enfold it all within him and gather it up, like a hen gathers up her chickens beneath her wing. Although we would often save people from a miserable and wretched environment, we discover it is not easy, neither do they always want to be saved from it anyway. In a deeper way we know we must exercise great patience in our compassion without losing the heart of its attitudes; for the object of our compassion is often a most delicate teaching situation which our Creator is using in the classroom of His university. The ones we feel compassion for may never be able to gather the content of that painful situation any other way.
**
Note: People often do not want to be saved-from that which they need to be saved-from - and people can only be saved with their own consent, when they are willing.

It seems that, ultimately, evil does always lead to suffering - self-inflicted suffering.

Those who do not want to be saved, who fight being saved; who reject the Gift of the Saviour... they will typically suffer. In a sense they should suffer, because suffering is their only hope.

We, as individual people, should not make them suffer - they do that for themselves - but we should not unthinkingly or always strive actively to alleviate self-imposed suffering - that may well be to harm the other person: harm them soon and forever.

Alleviation of suffering is not an imperative - and we should never allow ourselves to be persuaded that it is. There are worse things than suffering and indeed suffering is, in practice, often a necessity for Good. More to the point, every parent knows that short-term alleviation of all suffering in all circumstances leads to terrible outcomes.

We should always aim to love, pray and allow ourselves empathically to experience compassion for those whose sufferings are self-inflicted and who resist being saved. Yet we must also recognise that we are in this mortal life to learn; yet learning is very difficult, often prolonged, often requiring repetition, often resisted and rejected; and we know that for some people to learn requires suffering.

We must exercise great patience in our compassion without losing the heart of its attitudes.




Question: Why are politicians, bureaucrats, executives and officials paid *so much* to make such utterly worthless speeches?

Answer: It is a bribe.

The speech itself means nothing; it is merely an acceptable excuse for handing-over large amounts of cash to influence powerful individuals - for all the many and usual reasons that bribes are given to such people.

The audience to such speeches are just warm bodies necessary to supply face legitimacy to the process.

What is Love? (For Christians)

Love is the most important thing for Christians, the primary reality (as it relates to all that is Good) - yet Christians have mostly been terribly confused about the metaphysics, that is the deepest level of understanding about, Love.

This is because of the Greek and Roman classical philosophy into which Christianity was squeezed and twisted in the early years of the church - which make something that ought to be, needs to be, clear - into something abstract, paradoxical and sometimes just incoherent.

(For example, the first commandment is to love God - yet the God of classical theology is all-but un-loveable - being mostly a collection of incomprehensible abstractions such as omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, one-ness and indivisibility; unchanging, wanting nothing, without passions or desires, living outside of time etc. One might rationally submit to such a God, but how to love him?)

What follows are notes on how I currently make (ultimate) sense of Love - for what it's worth.

Conjugal love has primacy: that is, love between husband and wife; and from this all other love derives.

So, the first love was between God, our Heavenly Parents - and from this came the love between God the Father and the Mother and their children, of their children towards the divine parents , between their children (i.e. love of 'neighbour'); and the love of creation... all of which eventuated from this first loving union.

Or, the first creative act was the voluntary mutual love of our Heavenly Father and Mother.

That was the model of all other loves - and the source of all cohesion and cooperation and creativity.

Love is therefore active, dynamic, purposive - hence creative. Therefore Life and Reality is an unfolding, a development, a growth and an increase...

So love has a past, present and future; it is a living quality that gives rise to all positive qualities, it is the source of harmony - potentially in everything (and that which is outside the love by choice, is outside the harmony - alone); and the nature of everything comes from the nature of love.

**

From this can be seen that the Classical Christian errors relate to love being conceptualised as static or unchanging, being unitary and unsexed. These errors are partly addressed by the mystical doctrine of the Trinity (making deity multiple and dynamic, while somehow still unitary and unchanging), and also by the Catholic theology of Mary the Mother of God (to reintroduce the feminine, and the reality of two sexes) - but not fully addressed; and only at the cost of complexity, confusion and difficulty/ impossibility of understanding. This has sufficed to satisfy many in the past - but the problems are nonetheless intractable. 

I believe that love - for Christians - ought to be (if properly understood) simple, lucid, universally comprehensible - love at the divine level ought to be known as of the same nature and quality (if not scope and power) as human love. 

The main post is dependent upon the validity of the revelations of the Mormon Prophet, Joseph Smith; as validated by the following general Authorities of the Mormon Church - although not necessarily what many or most Mormons currently believe. William Arkle has also been a big influence.  http://williamarkle.blogspot.co.uk
 

She's Having a Baby (1988) - my favourite Rom Com?

Why is the best (most funny, warm, inspiring) Romantic Comedy movie of recent years so generally ignored, so widely dismissed and mostly forgotten?

As you might expect: for all the wrong reasons...

http://www.jrganymede.com/2016/10/17/shes-having-a-baby-1988-most-under-rated-movie-ever/

The Norman Yoke

I explain why it is an objective fact that the Norman invaders of England, from 1066 and for generations afterwards, were not true Kings, but merely arrogant, successful and self-glorified gangsters, thugs and thieves. They were effective in their brutality; but grossly inefficient in their destructiveness (of people and land) and endemic disloyal infighting over the rulershipship of a nation they looted like pirates. William the Conquerer was well named - because that was how he and his kin behaved.

http://albionawakening.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/the-norman-kings-bad-because.html

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Intensity in literature, music and elsewhere (c1978-81)

Intensity (my own term for it) was what I sought above all in my late teens, early twenties - epitomised for me by the composer JS Bach as performed by the pianist Glenn Gould.

Interestingly, initially I knew of Gould's intense engagement with Bach only via LP recordings, and liner notes - later by a few journalistic pieces. But I never had seen the video recordings which actually show Gould's intensity of absorption in the work.

[Note if you go to five minutes, you will see some of Gould's trademark syncopated (or triplet) trills in the right hand - which apparently enabled him to phrase the trill rather than just letting it provide a drone.]

Gould's engagement is 100 percent from beginning to end - almost exhausting to behold - and it makes you realise how seldom this happens - even among the greats of the concert hall.

So there was my word intensity, and then there was the word 'inspired' which I got from a musical friend - if a performance was judged to be inspired, then that was all that needed to be said in its favour; and if it was not then blah... Inspiration was what was sought - accurate mechanical reproduction was just a waste of time.

Intensity in literature and life as in music - but it was so hard to find and so hard to keep: so hard as to be impossible in practise, as I later discovered from the life of Glenn Gould (which involved such dissipation as hours long rambling telephone conversations, and hours long random drives around the city... filling in time, not intense).

In literature, intensity for me peaked in Hamlet; but not in the whole play - I regarded most of it as padding, and liked best the shortened movie version starring Nicol Williamson, because it was almost all intensity.

Among people, intensity of the kind I craved was in short supply - with most people it never happened at all. I would travel the length of the country to converse with a friend if I thought we might have a really intense talk.

In retrospect, there was something noble in this aspiration for intensity; but also something profoundly misguided. Because when intensity was achieved, for seconds or sometimes minutes, then the self was lost - so it was either the self or intensity but not both; and if intensity is achieved in the absence of the self then, well, it wasn't achieved by me - it was almost like being asleep.

So life was brief flashes of intensity then brooding on them, trying to honour them, recapture them or at least remember them (memory itself difficult and rare or absent, when completely absorbed - I would remember that I had been intensely absorbed, but not anything of what went on during it).

Also, as soon as the intensity was over then I was back to square one; because the fact that I had had an intense experience in the past was no use if I was not intense now. So life was an endless seeking after that which was of supposedly infinite value while it happened, yet no value at all when it was not happening...

And how to achieve it, anyway? Was there a 'method' to it? My only notion was artistic - performance or the actual business of creation; and I lacked the ability in either realm (or, at least, sufficient ability). So intensity was - conversation with rare people aside - a passive engagement with the work of others; which seemed like intensity-at-second-hand - almost parasitic; certainly second rate (yet, as I said above, this was in fact the case for everyone, even those who seemed best at being intense).

And how could I earn a living from being intense? Especially in medicine - where it was either unwanted or a positive hazard!

So what was I doing or aiming at? I was trying to find meaning and purpose while denying, metaphysically, the possibility of meaning or purpose - by being alert but 'lost' in meaning and purpose-full art. Yet art was a creation of Man, which meant that its meaning and purpose was a segment of a Man's life - the life of a Man being, (according to my metaphysics) itself meaningless and purposeless.

(Although Gould and Bach would have disagreed - both believing that reality has meaning and purpose as a consequence of deity; yet, apparently irrationally, I readily assumed that they were both self-deluded about this primary fact, despite that I was pinning my own life on their creativity...)

So intensity was a kind of evasion or confusion - but it did sustain in me an engagement with music and literature which has never been surpassed and seldom equalled in my life.


Saturday, 15 October 2016

Harold Godwinson the once and future king?

Over at Albion Awakening, John Fitzgerald writes an inspiring and lyrical appreciation of the English king, so unfortunately defeated at the Battle of Hastings, 950 years ago yesterday:
https://albionawakening.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/king-harold-godwinson_63.html


Friday, 14 October 2016

Tough, honest talk from English priest Father Andrew Phillips (Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia)

The situation in the UK is no different from anywhere else in the Western world. It is not normal to be a Christian in today’s UK, let alone to belong to the tiny minority here that is composed of Orthodox Christians.

The State ignores Christians and Christianity. We are totally irrelevant to it and its anti-Christian agenda. As far as they are concerned, we are an anachronism and we should die out and disappear as soon as possible.

Having said that, there is no active persecution as such, just indifference and underlying hostility, disguised by the hypocritical politeness typical of the British Establishment...

In the UK today, there are only really two forms of Christianity that are alive, both immigrant: Eastern European and Black African. The rest is fundamentally on its death-bed: it is far worse than ‘serious decline’...

Quite simply, Western people have lost their faith. Since Western civilization was founded on faith, this means that Western civilization is also on its death-bed. Western civilization is today just a series of historical monuments for tourists to visit: the soul has gone out of it.

http://katehon.com/article/fr-andrew-phillips-problems-pan-orthodox-council
I would also recommend perusing Fr Andrew's books - some of which are available online:
http://orthodoxengland.org.uk/trust.htm#books

How two good friends getting 'cool jobs' changed my life (but not that much...)

It was 1986 and I was trying to decide my future. As usual, I knew that I did not want to continue on the line I was pursuing, but not what I did want to do.

The previous year, I had (briefly) arranged to study philosophy at Trinity College, Cambridge - with some notion of following in Wittgenstein's footsteps (why would anyone want to do that? - indeed...); but had veered away and turned-down the place, due to the cost of college fees, plus an inarticulate aversion that it was not the right thing. But I lacked any alternative plan.

Then, on the same evening of the same day, I heard that two good friends had got 'cool' jobs - one as a musical director for the Royal Shakespeare Company, the other as a producer for BBC Radio Three (the classical music channel). I was of course very pleased for them, but I also realised that no conceivable success in my mapped-out future could give me anything like the satisfactions which they would get from these jobs.

I steeled myself, therefore, to make a break - and things went well and easily when I arranged to do an English Literature Masters Degree by research at University College, Durham.

The experience was, on the whole, very good; and I ended up doing a lot of philosophy, and it launched a parallel to my academic career - in journalism, and humanities work - but I can also see that I did not do then (in that one year in Durham) what I was supposed to have done, and for which I received many synchronicitous hints and nudges: I did not become a real Christian (nothing like).

But I only became a very relativistic, postmodern, 'cultural' kind of 'Christian'/ agnostic - such that I would more often look at church architecture, sporadically attend choral evensong, later got married in a church, etc; but not any kind of Christian, not with a faith, not such that it made any significant difference to my real life. And as late as the late 1990s I spoke in a public debate about how Christianity was unnecessary (made obsolete by Darwin etc).

Indeed, this dire spiritual state continued for another TWO DECADES!

So, friends getting cool jobs changed my life - but did not change it in the way it was meant to change it, nor in any deep or essential fashion.   


Thursday, 13 October 2016

Beyond secular conspiracy theories towards Christian recognition of spiritual warfare

Conspiracy theorists are correct in that there is an evil global cabal - but incorrect concerning the motivation of this cabal.

We live in a state of spiritual warfare - and to my mind it is intensifying palpably. I find it increasingly strange to see so many people going-about-their-business and apparently unaware of the momentous changes that are afoot, and indeed obvious.

(e.g. There has never in my lifespan been a time in which the elites behind the Western Powers seem so eager to trigger and escalate a major physical war; and with the flimsiest and least convincing of excuses.)

Of course, modern Western populations are only semi-human in their mass perceptions and responses - since they lack the stable centre of religion, and are metaphysically incoherent; they live inside an artificial and distorted world; and their minds are continually filled-with and distracted-by lying nonsense - all of this in an unprecedented fashion and degree.

So, the true agenda of evil is not just beyond their belief, but beyond their comprehension - lacking God, they cannot recognise nor understand the nature of evil (and are, indeed, inclined to deny its truth and rationality).

So, the conspiracy theorists are correct to recognise a malign will behind the main events of the world - and this enables them to function in a more realistic way despite the official illusions, as compared with the mainstream of duped and deluded people (including especially, it must be said, the liberal intellectuals - whose disconnect from reality is probably the most extreme ever by any group in the whole of human history); but they are wrong abut what the conspiracy are aiming-at.

Secular people regard evil in terms of human suffering on one side, motivated by pleasure (and its proxies of sex, power, wealth etc) on the other hand - and they assume that that is what the conspiracy are aiming-at - i.e. misery for us, pleasure for them...

Christians should know better that purposive evil ultimately aims at the damnation of souls for eternity, not the torment of people on earth (although of course demons like that too).

So Christians need to accept the basic stance, the basic assumptions concerning evil elites and their motivations, from the conspiracy theorists; but go beyond this to full recognition of the aims of spiritual warfare.

But if you do this, if you adopt this correct Christian interpretative stance - you will very likely find yourself pretty much on your own - you won't find much in the way of media such as books, web sites or even social groups to help explain and support you in this stance.

You will need to work things out for yourself... So be it. 


Wednesday, 12 October 2016

A visit to (composer) Ed Williams in Bristol c1980

I once visited the studio of Ed Williams (1921-2013), who was a classical composer of modern music - a memorable and enjoyable experience.

He had just done the background score for David Attenborough's mega-hit documentary Life on Earth (which spawned a hundred imitators) and showed us how he had recorded orchestral musicians on a series of linked reel-to-reel tapes, and mixed the sounds in strange combinations.


I remember him as a genial, welcoming and fricndly character; apparently very absorbed in his work and keen to describe it. And his studio was an enviable work environment - just the kind of place I imagined I would have enjoyed spending creative days - full of exotic electronic and accoustic equipment, notebooks - and a corner with a kettle and some snacks.

The reason why this brief visit stuck in my memory was that deep down I yearned to be involved in some creative activity, rather than the practice of medicine for which I was being trained.

From later knowledge, I over-estimated the satisfactions of this kind of life; nonetheless it is not all that far from my current mode of thinking and writing (and teaching) - which does indeed suit me better than being a doctor. 

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Crisis? Bring it on! (Better now than later)

The global conspiracy is piling-on contrived crises, apparently pushing for full-scale proxy war in the Middle East and creating divisive social chaos at home. The use of false flag operations, remote/ deniable assassins, saboteurs and thugs, and subversion by fifth columnists is becoming more blatant. The media propaganda has taken its gloves off, and moved from subtle soft- to in-your-face hard-sell.

It certainly looks like the Establishment are in a hurry to provoke a collapse of international order by whatever means necessary - presumably so that they will then be 'asked' (or allowed) to intervene by ramping-up the system of totalitarian tyranny and mind-control.

But the sheer urgency of their current activities, suggest that the conditions are probably not yet fully conducive to their success; they seem to be working faster than planned, preparing to unleash their intended knock-out blow before all their preparations have been made - before all the pieces are in place.

The increasing rate of destructive change seems just too rapid to go un-noticed and unopposed, it is indeed provoking perceptible (albeit as yet feeble) backlash for the first time in many years  - which may well imply that the Establishment are afraid of delay.

Their urgency is our opportunity. If the Establishment strike too early - before the masses of The West are fully docile to their plans, they are much less likely to succeed.

We must not therefore fear the crisis. It will come, and it should come; because the social trends are so powerfully adverse to Good and must be reversed; if crisis comes sooner then we will be better able to resist and defeat it than if it comes later.

Bring it on! Fear not. 

So - let us assume that there will be a significant backlash against the secular Liberal agenda, and as individuals we need to be psychologically and spiritually ready for it.

Because any backlash will only be Good if it is well-motivated (overall); which for a Christian means motivated by Love, backed by a spirit of creativity and courage.

If, on the other hand, the backlash is motivated by fear, hatred and resentment; then it will certainly fail to be Good; it will merely loop-back into the demonic secular Left agenda -  it will simply mean a change of personnel, and not induce the necessary reversal of direction.

For Christians (as usual, as always) it is motivation, motivation, motivation that matters. And in the end motivation cannot be imposed but only inspired, cannot be from-without but only from-within.

(Who better to monitor and correct our own motivations than our-selves? Only then may we have the discernment to do the same for others.) 

What can be helpful to other people, crucially so, is to clarify the issues and choices - and maybe that is where we can each make a significant contribution.


Also cross-posted, with an introduction, at:
http://albionawakening.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/the-evil-establishment-are-creating.html

Monday, 10 October 2016

Yearning for Middle Earth

Today, a small incident re-awoke that old emotion:

http://notionclubpapers.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/living-in-bree.html

The thing *most* needful...

Here and now - is something considerably less than Christianity, but open to further developments in that direction:

http://www.jrganymede.com/2016/10/10/what-is-the-thing-most-needful/

Moving into Aquarius - a collection of essays by Michael Tippett

I have recently re-read a collection of essays by the English composer Michael Tippett that was a big influence on me during student years; which led to today's posting at Albion Awakening:

http://albionawakening.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/michael-tippett-1905-1998.html

Now is the time for (urgent) patient brooding

As the world is being panicked, stampeded and manipulated on a daily basis by the ultra-elite Establishment in politics, corporations and the media; funnelling us into a pre-prepared corrall; what should we - personally - do?

There is a temptation to rush from place to place, fighting the fires of false information and interpretation - which is exactly what they would most like us to do; because it is much easier to start than to extinguish fires, and because we are bound to fail with so corrupted a population as exists in The West.

The root of the problem is that Western people have no centres, no core, no ballast - we are 'the hollow men': and to a greater extent than any body ever before. The mass of the people (essentially from their own fault, by their own choices) have no principles, no strong or stable convictions, no hope and no belief in meaning or purpose.

Such people cannot be argued-with or persuaded towards a good they deny: as things stand, they cannot be helped to save their souls and become real Men because they do not want to be helped: they merely want to be distracted, entertained, reassured, intoxicated... Their aims are merely psychological, and the enemy have all the psychological weapons and medicines.

Where do we start, what could we advise?

If you agree that the root of the distinctive modern problem is the pervasive 24/7 propaganda, arriving via official channels, the workplace and (mainly) the mass and social media; then the answer is simple: it is withdrawal.

If people retreat from the indoctrination and socialisation, automatic spiritual processes will come into play; people will (because god is within them, as well as outside) begin to correct-themselves. Counter-propaganda, while useful in theory, is not strictly necessary.

'Normal' in our world is grossly and increasingly unnatural - therefore there is a spontaneous power of self-correction, which will begin to happen if allowed to happen.

The world is very confusing and most things we think we know are manipulative lies - the answer is some version of that Patient Brooding which I believe underlies true creativity of all kinds - whatever most concerns us, that we ought patient to brood on.

That is what is most necessary, and will be sufficient, to begin to reverse the evil spell that rests upon our souls. Take the first step back from the precipice, and further steps will become possible - then easier.

https://thewinnower.com/papers/5506-deep-science-creative-science-patient-brooding-versus-evidence-reason-based-techniques

Friday, 7 October 2016

The essence of Albion?

A really wonderful new essay by John Fitzgerald, inspired by his love of the East-West train journey between Newcastle upon Tyne and Liverpool, through Durham and York, and across 'the backbone of England':

http://albionawakening.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/voyage-to-west.html

Are Western people fooled? If not, what holds them back? Sexual fantasies...

I wonder, most days, whether people really are fooled by the stuff in the public domain - the media, the official channels, the bureaucraies, the outputs of powerful corporations...

For example, are they fooled by 'tough talk' about Brexit into supposing that anything has actually happened - or do they notice that nothing whatsoever has happened? Do they imagine that the Conservative party is going to lead Britain out for the European Union in any real, meaningful and hopeful sense?

Of course, the Brexit vote itself is evidence that people are not entirely fooled - that they see-through some if it; but in almost all other respects English people (and those in all other Western and developed nations) behave exactly as if they are fooled.

And, if people aren't fooled, why don't they actually do something about it - in what they say and in their own lives? Why is it undetectable?

My best guess is that - at present - people en masse are held captive by their decision to cling to the sexual revolution; by which I mean that their lives are - deep down - organised around sexual fantasies made possible by, socially supported by, the sexual revolution of the past 50 years.

This is not a rational thing, but a gut-level thing - mostly inexplicit and denied. But fundamentally, peoples' hopes are pinned to some kind of sexual Nirvana. They are fantasies of overwhelming and consciousness-obliterating pleasure; freedom, growth, power, status...

These fantasies are very various between people, often in opposition between people and in one person; which is why the coalition of the Left is so large.

But for people to deny these fantasies - in the modern context of secular materialism - is to fall into demotivation and despair; they cannot even entertain the prospect.

Which is why people are fooled and trapped. Ultimately, they are existentially desperate - and desperately want to be fooled and trapped. People build and maintain their own prison in order to retain the privileges of a prisoner.

Since nothing is deeper than sex except religion; this situation will continue unless or until there is a spiritual revival.

Review version of 'Patient Brooding' essay now online at The Winnower

http://charltonteaching.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/deep-science-more-on-patient-brooding.html

Thursday, 6 October 2016

The Angry Young Men - review of The Angry Years by Colin Wilson (2007)

The Angry Young Men was a largely nonsensical media coinage for what was supposed to be the new generation of post WWII writers - the term was launched in 1956 by the play Look Back in Anger by John Osborne and The Outsider by Colin Wilson.

I became aware of the Angries only after discovering The Outsider in the summer of 1978, having read Kingsley Amis's novel Lucky Jim a year before (which, although from 1953 is usually regarded as an 'Angry' book; it is one of the funniest books I have ever read). For some reason I became very interested in the general idea of the 1950s at this point; and took to listening to Trad Jazz and wearing a corduroy jacket with leather patches - with or without trademark polo neck sweater.

I sampled a wide range of the literary output of the fifties - but aside from Colin Wilson I must admit I did not find very much to enjoy. Among those mentioned in this book I did not take to John Wain, Stuart Holroyd, JP Donleavy, Samuel Beckett, Arnold Wesker, Alan Sillitoe - and I never read John Braine or Kenneth Tynan.

I wasted a lot of time reading Amis, without finding anything else anything like as good as Lucky Jim - although his second and third novels (That Uncertain Feeling and I Like It Here) both had good stuff in them. Look Back In Anger was certainly original and had a kind of energy - but watching it was a torment; and Osborne's other works were entirely without interest.

I don't like it nowadays, but Iris Murdoch's first novel - Under The Net - was a favourite re-read for several years. And of course that miserable so-and-so Phillip Larkin (who is sometimes, absurdly, regarded as an Angry) was our last really worthwhile English poet.

Despite this long term interest, I have only just read Colin Wilson's account of the era. Especially considering the book was written in his mid-seventies - there is a lot of detail and energy in it - and I found it well-organised. Although I should warn that this book is certainly depressing in its sordid litany of lives ruined by drink, drugs, dissipation, sexual promiscuity and marital infidelities - Wilson is actually pursuing a thesis throughout: he clearly had a philosophical, almost spiritual reason for writing the book about his contemporaries and their successes and failures.

Indeed, as he approached the end of his life, Wilson seemed to be returning to the same focus as his second philosophical book: Religion and the Rebel - the necessity of a spiritual awakening, that Man needed a religion in order to live well. At times Wilson seems to argue himself right up to the very edge of theism, especially when analysing the demotivation and despair which overwhelmed so many of his friends, colleagues and acquaintances.

But to return to the theme of sex - and there is a lot about it; my conviction was again reinforced that sex has always been the nemesis of the recurrent romanticism revivals since 1800 - and that is what the Angry Young Men were. They were the British equivalent of the US Beat Generation, or the French Existentialists; and therefore in origin an 'attempted' or embryonic spiritual revival.

Whatever high ideals and ambitions were harboured by the best of these writers was wrecked on the writers unrepentant embrace and celebration of the sexual revolution. This took away much of the energy, created an atmosphere of exploitation and dishonesty, and blocked-off the only answer they could ever have found: Christianity. Consequently, they largely wasted their time and lives, running round in circles, showing off, and making excuses.

Deep science (more on patient brooding) - a draft essay for comment

7th October 2016: Review version online at:

https://thewinnower.com/papers/5506-deep-science-creative-science-patient-brooding-versus-evidence-reason-based-techniques

Text:

Deep science, creative science: Patient brooding versus evidence-reason based techniques

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Abstract It may seem odd to assert that patient brooding and waiting for imaginative validation is the proper way of doing science; after all, most professional scientists and philosophers believe that the essence of science is ‘evidence’ derived from observations and experiments, synthesized by some kind of logical and rational method. But personal experience, history and theoretical considerations all suggest that a prolonged state of ‘patient brooding’ is the hallmark and prerequisite of ‘deep science’; a practical necessity for the most creative and significant breakthroughs.

*

Looking back over the thirty years since I published my first papers; it is clear that there are a few publications that I regard as deep science (that is significant, creative and valid science) – and these were the product of what I would term ‘patient brooding’ and an intuitive-imaginative validation. These writings continue to please me, seem to be valuable, and are a source of personal satisfaction.

However, on the other hand, there are publications that – while honest, in a negative sense of not being dishonest - seem to have been ‘manufactured’ (or ‘squeezed-out’) by the mere application of technique (‘scientific method’). These include things like summaries of data that I had collected and didn’t want to ‘waste’ – and which I vaguely hoped ‘might be useful’ to someone-or-other, sooner-or-later; ideas that I regarded as potentially ‘stimulating’; favours to colleagues; and theories that had been assembled (like a mosaic) from cited bits and pieces of other people’s evidence and ideas…

These publications I am retrospectively not so pleased with. At best I regard them as part of a learning process, stepping stones to something valid that came later; but sometimes they were merely careerist place-holders or tokens. It may seem odd to assert that patient brooding and waiting for imaginative validation is the proper way of doing science – or at least deep science; after all, most professional scientists and philosophers believe that the essence of science is ‘evidence’ derived from observations and experiments; synthesized by some kind of logical and rational process.

Even those ‘Popperians’ (followers of philosopher Karl Popper: 1902-1994) who regard science as driven by hypotheses, tend to emphasise that the crucial aspect is the ‘testing’ of hypotheses; with this process being conceptualised as a matter of stating clear predictions and performing rigorous evaluations; with prior criteria (preferably quantitatively defined) set-out for passing or failing each test. Some regard this as the ‘scientific method’ – and infer that if the method is not followed, then the activity is not really science…

Nonetheless, from personal experience I have concluded something very different, and almost the opposite; which is that in practice - and inevitably - evidence is so slippery and contextual a phenomenon as to be at best controversial and at worst almost worthless when taken in isolation; and much the same applies to what are regarded as the ‘proper’ processes of logic or reason. In sum; evidence and logic are not ‘objective’; and when regarded as such they become profoundly misleading. More is needed.

The problem, if it is really a problem, is that science does not and cannot itself validate science. Science is inevitably based-on a restricted, partial and biased set of assumptions – that is its strength, but it is also an unavoidable constraint. Science is therefore embedded in a larger world; and the validity of science depends utterly on relating science to that larger world.

So any assertion about how science ought to be conducted must be taken from outside of science – and such assertions are ‘metaphysical’ in nature. That science is based on metaphysical assumptions has been denied by theory since the days of the ‘logical positivists’ about a century ago (who regarded metaphysics as strictly non-sense), and is denied in practice by many or most practising scientists, who typically refuse to acknowledge any non-scientific assumptions, or fundamental constraints to the validity and applicability of science (and who regard metaphysics as sheer nonsense).

I don’t propose to go into the specifics of the wide-ranging metaphysical assumptions of science; indeed, I do not think these assumptions are well understood, neither are they easy to summarise, and certainly they are not widely agreed-upon. But rather I want to suggest that in the practical life of a scientist they have their impact in the activity I have dubbed ‘patient brooding’. In particular, I propose that patient brooding is the hallmark and necessity of pretty much all significant creative science.

I will analyse the phenomenon of ‘patient brooding’. Firstly ‘patient’. This word is intended to convey that the pace of insight cannot be forced. The scientist must wait for imaginative validation of his work and ideas; and he must be prepared to wait for as long as it takes. This is necessary, because it is only in the imagination that ‘the whole person’ is brought to bear on the matter in hand. I regard the imagination as the most complete form of cognition; since imagination includes the emotional and the implicit, as well as the rational and factual.

The imagination of a scientist (after – it goes without saying - sufficient and appropriate education and experience) contains not just the evidence which he knows he knows; but imagination (over time, and with attention) brings forward especially that evidence that he most needs and values; discarding that which is irrelevant and unreliable (this happening, to the extent of his personal scientific ability and judgment).

This ‘trained-imagination’ of a scientist is not just logical and rational, but includes all kinds and types of thinking – such as emotions of euphoria or well-being, angst or despondency; gut-feelings; the discernment of the heart and so on – these being the kind of ‘sensations’ that creative people report experiencing as evaluations of their own performance. In sum, patient imagination, over time, will bring to bear the total scientist upon his subject. What then of ‘brooding’?

What do I mean by that? By ‘brooding’ I intend to convey that creative science is about reflecting on relatively broad themes – and not about answering very specific and pre-defined questions. This breadth is necessary because a highly specific question will nearly-always pre-judge the answer too narrowly to include the valid answer. The brooding means that the creative scientist is seeking the correct question, at the same time as he is seeking the correct answer – and the valid question and the valid answer both come at the same time.

What happens while patiently brooding? This is surely unpredictable, and must vary case-by-case, person-by-person. But as the most extreme example of my experience, I spent some 15-20 years brooding on the twin questions: What is the cause of melancholia (or endogenous depression)? And why are antidepressants effective? During that long time (during which I worked at many other things) the pieces of the jigsaw making-up what eventually became the answer came gradually, a piece at a time. (This was published as The malaise theory of depression in Medical Hypotheses, 2000; 54: 126-130.)

For instance, I learned of the depressant effect of glandular fever from my own experience as a student; about the pain relieving effects of antidepressant from my medical training; I met patients with disseminated cancer and autoimmune disease who had depressive symptoms while a junior physician; I encountered depressed patients who complained of ‘feeling ill’ while I was a trainee psychiatrist; I read of the immune abnormalities in depression during my doctoral studies; I read the idea that recovering from depression was similar to recovering from influenza in a book I found in a second-hand shop on holiday; while studying evolutionary psychology I encountered the theories of Antonio Damasio concerning the nature of emotion; and so forth…

Because I was alert and interested, these and other clues were noticed and remembered, until they crystallised in a particular ‘eureka moment’ in 1999 – after which I spent some further brooding time checking the predictions and implications, and my own state of conviction; before proceeding to publication.

Another term I have used above is ‘intuition’. This simply means introspection, looking-within – and taking it seriously. A creative scientist who (after patience) is rewarded by an insight, then needs to develop the ability to look within himself, and to become aware of the content of his own imagination. To become aware of this imagination in an explicit form is one step, the next is to take what is perceived and make it into a linguistic form which can be communicated to other people.
Communication may be in such forms as a conversation, seminar, lecture, letter, paper, monograph, a textbook...

Patient brooding cannot be faked, forced or contrived; although deliberate it is a spontaneous consequence of strong and sustained inner motivation. In sum, it is the antithesis of expediency and careerism – and the apotheosis of dedication to truth and knowledge. It is a personal vocation from within; not just ‘a job’, to which you are allocated.

But – having said that evidence and logic are inadequate - why should patient brooding be regarded as a valid method of seeking truth in science, or indeed in any other domain of human activity?

In answering this, firstly it must be made clear there is absolutely no guarantee that patient brooding will yield deep science. It is not a ‘truth-machine’ – and its value depends on the individual scientist’s capability, circumstances, efforts and luck. Secondly, patient brooding ought to include science and logical, rational thinking – they certainly are a part of the ‘recipe’ for valid science.

Following on; thirdly, the special quality of patient brooding is that it recognises that creative science does not know exactly where it is going, nor how. We do not know in advance what evidence is important, nor what evidence is false, misleading or fake; we do not know how to set-about formulating an answer nor what kind of an answer needs formulating.

And fourthly, the idea of patient brooding places the individual scientist at the heart of science. One reason that creative science cannot be captured in an algorithm is that it is done by people, not computers. Computers may be patient, but they cannot ‘brood’.

From surveying the history of human achievement, it looks as if every significant breakthrough in knowledge about which details are known – whether in science or any other difficult human activity – seems to have been preceded by a prolonged search, and this search is relatively wide-ranging with respect to subject and methods.

In a sense patient brooding is the opposite of a ‘method’ – but if there is any consistent psychological strategy to deep science, then it is probably patient brooding.