Monday, 21 August 2017

Mind-Thinking versus Brain-Thinking

The major psychological concept of thinking is the 'cognitive model', which states that thinking is a kind of information processing done by the brain: let us call this model Brain-Thinking.

Brain-Thinking is an automatic, computer-like processing that has either been learnt, or else is instinctive (i.e. built-in by natural selection, on the basis of evolutionary history).

But reflection informs us that Brain-Thinking is a model; and being a model it necessarily leaves-out a great deal, consequently is partial and distorted. Furthermore, if Brain-Thinking has validity, the theory cannot itself be merely a consequence of Brain-Thinking - because Brain-Thinking is merely a consequence of learning experience or selection for whatever is reproductively-expedient.

If thinking is to be potentially valid (as I am assuming) then thinking needs to be true; and to be true the thinking process must be directly tied-to reality - without any steps in between where there may be errors or misunderstandings of communication.

In other words, thinking needs to be reality.

In other words, thinking cannot - ultimately - be regarded as merely 'thinking-about, nor 'a-picture-of reality', nor any kind of secondary 'representation' of reality - because any picturing/ representing process is uncertain.

For instance, if thinking is supposed to be derived from perceptions, then there are errors and distortions of the perceptual apparatus and of the stages of processing of raw perceptions into comprehensible representations - all of which detach thinking from reality. Or if thinking is derived from memories, then there are all the problems of making a representation from sensory perception, plus all the processes by which memories are made, stored, located and read...

No - for thinking to be valid, thinking needs to be actually real in-and-of-itself, unmediated, directly.

In sum, thinking must itself be reality - at least potentially. But clearly this cannot be the base for Brain-Thinking, as it is understood by Psychology - brain thinking is not regarded as itself-reality, but at most about-reality.

If Brain-Thinking is an automatic process - causally-determined and therefore without possibility of 'freedom' or 'agency' or genuine creativity; then Mind-Thinking is (by contrast) conscious, willed or purposive, creative and free.

A Mind-Thinking capable of being understood as actual reality therefore needs to be conceptualised as qualitatively different from Brain-Thinking. If Mind-Thinking is reality it cannot be a material process - therefore it must be immaterial; it cannot be 'in' the brain - because reality cannot be subjective/ unique to one person - therefore must be objective/ accessible to many persons, simultaneously.

Indeed, Mind-Thinking needs to be reality itself which is not merely 'accessible' but itself the world of reality in which our own personal thinking participates. Thus, as we think, we are actually engaged-with and participating-in reality as it unfolds.

In other words, with Mind-Thinking, any single person thinking is actively engaged in making reality - objective, permanent, universal reality - as well as knowing reality.

This is only apparent if we become aware of the nature, constraints and limitations of the mainstream psychological model of thinking; and take accounts of the pre-requisites of valid thinking.

Of course, we might try to contend that thinking is not valid, but is arbitrary and unlinked with reality; but then this would undermine the thinking which contends it, since it rules-out any possibility of validity in the thinking which led to the contention that thinking is invalid.

If thinking is indeed non-valid, and has no necessary relation to reality; then there is nothing to be said - nothing to be said about anything...

Being a Good Person is not enough - not here and not now...

There is a common and complacent attitude that if someone (such as the speaker...) is a basically Good Person (by world historical standards - i.e. not a murderer, rapist, thief... and at least somewhat altruistic), then they have no need to worry about ultimate things; such as the soul, salvation, eternal life, or God. Such stuff can be put-off until after death we can discover one way or the other...

But this is not true, not here and now, in the modern West; on the contrary there is a great deal to worry about.

Not for the usual reasons given by too-many Christians - e.g. that one must be a Christian because otherwise a vengeful God will send you to Hell; but for the much more serious reason that most modern people will actively, in full awareness, with open-eyes, choose to reject Heaven; because they have simply absorbed the mainstream, standard, positively-demonic view propagated by our entire leadership class and in the mass media.

In other words, modern people may well behave as Good People but their motivations for doing so are evil; and in these matters motivation is everything...

Motivation is everything because motivation is our true inner self, it reflects our evaluations, our aims, our hopes and wishes - and the normal attitude of normal people nowadays is one of inversion of the Good - virtue is inverted, beauty is inverted.

But to focus on one specific: truth. It is not merely that modern people are thoroughly and habitually dishonest (especially in their public lives, and at work) - it is that they/ we regard many types of truthfulness as actually wicked.

Some of the most hated people in the modern world are those who insist on speaking truth as they honestly understand it, rather than what is politically-expedient. And anyone who tries to be consistently honest in modern Western public life will very soon be in very serious trouble. Even if you are truthful in private life, even in one sentence or just half a sentence; then you may be denounced, internationally vilified and punished with great severity.

It does not really matter whether you are a Good Person when, deep in your heart, you are devoted to the inversion of Good; and devoted to the point that you will not repent because you have come to regard the wickedness of your heart as virtue. After death, you will reject heaven with visceral loathing, absolutely insist on 'Hell', and join-in on the side of the demonic powers in the spiritual war.

By contrast, a Bad Person who knows the real nature of Good, and repents their sins, is assured of salvation - and of making the post-mortem choice for heaven rather than hell.

In the end it is mostly a matter of choosing sides; and almost everyone in the modern world has chosen to be on the wrong side. Unless this fact changes before they die, they are in severe danger of getting what they have explicitly asked for.


Thinking as a cure for alienation and a direct source of knowledge

Edited from a 1912 lecture by Rudolf Steiner:

1. The soul has a natural confidence in thinking. It feels that if it could not have this confidence, all stability in life would be lost.

2. The healthy life of the soul comes to an end when it begins to doubt about thinking. For even if we cannot arrive at a clear understanding of something through thought, we may yet have the consolation that clearness would result if we could only rouse ourselves to think with sufficient force and acuteness.


3. We can reassure ourselves with regard to our own incapacity to clear up a specific problem by thinking; but the thought is intolerable that thinking itself would not be able to bring satisfaction, even if we were to penetrate as far into its domain as was necessary for gaining full light on some definite situation in life.

4. The thinker who doubts the validity and power of thought itself is deceived about the fundamental state of his soul. For it is often really his acuteness of thought which, being overstrained, constructs doubts and perplexities. If he did not really rely on thinking, he would not be tormented with these doubts; doubts which themselves are the result of thinking.

5. Thought offers to the soul the consolation which it needs when face to face with the feeling of utter loneliness in the world

- It is possible to experience the feeling: “What am I?... considered in the current of universal cosmic events, flowing from one infinity to another? - What am I? With my petty feelings, desires, and will? - All this stuff can surely be of merely subjective importance, of concern to myself only?”

- Directly the life of thought has been rightly realised, this feeling is confronted by another: “I am living-in those events when I, through thinking, let their being flow-into me.” 

- It is then possible to feel oneself taken into the universe and secure therein.

6. It is but another step from this feeling to that in which the soul says: “It is not only I who think, but something thinks-in-me; the cosmic life expresses itself in me; my soul is the stage upon which the universe manifests itself as thought.”

7. It may be a good preparation for the apprehension of spiritual knowledge to have felt frequently what invigorating force there is in the attitude of soul which says: “I feel myself to be one, in thought, with the stream of cosmic events.”

It is not only a question of recognising what there is in a thought of this kind, but of experiencing it. The thought is recognised when once it has been present in the soul with sufficient power of conviction; but if it is to ripen and bear fruit, this thought must be made to live in the soul again and again.

**

Note:

If the power and scope of thinking can be grasped; if we can have confidence in the validity and potential of our thinking; if thinking can be clarified to its primary nature - the thinking of our true self: in full freedom, agency and creativity; if this thinking can then be practised - practised both in terms of repeated until habitual, and making it the basis of living  -- then we have the answer to many of the deepest yearnings and the solution to the most intractable deficiencies of modern Man.

That is, by such thinking, we may (potentially, over time, with effort) participate-in reality without restriction, know true reality in the fullness of which we are capable; and do so in a manner that is autonomous of the corruption and lies of the world. 


Sunday, 20 August 2017

You cannot do everything all of the time - from William Arkle

Experiment and waste go together and lead to discovery, so don't become anxious about results... 

More at Albion Awakening.

The devil is father of lies - those who lie are the devil's children; and they cannot even hear the truth

The essence of lying is not in asserting false facts or denying true fact; the essence of lying is at the level of motivation - of concealed motivation, or faked motivation.

To be A Liar is not to be motivated by truth; and to lie about that fact. 

Considered thus; our society is riddled-with, and permeated-by and structured-on lies. Very, very few individuals and zero mainstream institutions are truth-motivated. 

Jesus was clear that lying is definitive of the devil - it follows that our society is demonic in its essence.

We need look no further (although clearly lying is not the only prevalent sin) - this is sufficient. To be A Liar - that is to live in a lying society and not to notice, to deny the fact, and not to repent - puts us into the devil's party.

And if we are liars we cannot hear the truth: we have already decided against the truth; and against salvation.

To be a liar is to be self-damned and with no way out

It really is as simple as that.

To seek and speak truth, and repent all lies, is perhaps the single most radically Christian act imaginable: here-and-now.

Lacking-which, nothing can be done.  

**

John 8: 31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. 33 They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? 34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. 36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. 37 I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. 38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father. 39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham. 40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham. 41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. 42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. 43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. 44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. 45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. 46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me? 47 He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

In the modern West we live in an insane world of lies. We absolutely-must notice the fact and awaken to spiritual activity

The fact is that we modern people in The West live in an insane world of lies; therefore if we adopt a passive attitude to human existence we will develop and endorse and end-up deliberately choosing an insane and lying eternity - which we can do, because we are free agents. 

More at Albion Awakening.



Assuming before knowing - You (probably) cannot know the reality of God until you have assumed the nature of that reality

People are often, and correctly, advised to seek direct knowledge of the reality of God by direct revelation.

But the process of direct revelation is 'cognitively' very simple - I mean that it can be considered to be something like a binary or yes-no kind of answer.

That is, in general, for most people (and perhaps especially the kind of spiritual 'beginners' who would be seeking knowledge concerning the reality of God) - direct knowing of fundamental matters is only solid when we are seeking an answer to a question that can be framed in a form more-or-less like: Is This True?

This matter of making assumptions concerning the nature and motivations of God before seeking knowledge by revelation/ direct knowing is therefore crucially important. If we want to know whether 'God' is real, then we need to become clear in our minds as to what kind of God we are enquiring about.

In other words: There can be no satisfactory answer to the very general question of: Is there a God? - because it depends what we mean by God.

It would be perfectly reasonable and expected to seek of knowledge of the reality of God and be convinced that No, there is no 'God'.

Assuming there is a God; then if we were actually enquiring about a false conception of God, or if we are so unclear/ confused/ imprecise what we mean by God - then it may well be more true to say: No, there is no God (if that is what you mean by God); or, more likely, no knowledge at all will be forthcoming: no answer.

This was certainly my own experience through decades of being an atheist. Advise from Christians (and others) to pray for an answer was useless or even counter-productive; because people seemed unwilling or unable to be precise enough about what they meant by God (perhaps because they were unwilling to 'limit' the concept of God); perhaps because they themselves lacked genuine knowledge of God - and/ or perhaps because they themselves had a false or contradictory idea of God.

At any rate, once I had a reasonably clear and correct idea of the nature and motivations of actual God, then I rapidly received revelation and knowledge of its (overall) correctness; and then I was gradually able to become clearer and clearer about such matters by subsequent more precise questioning.

Thus faith was established, strengthened and developed.


Friday, 18 August 2017

Living well, here and now, in the light of prophecy...

I do not believe that divine destiny is organised in terms of numbers, therefore it cannot be predicted from numerical patterns. I don't believe that God follows a timetable for human salvation and theosis; nor do I believe that theological history is following an abstract geometrical master plan expressive of specific proportions.

I regard time as serial and sequential; as implied by the fact that Christianity is an historical religion and the fact of free agency (hence non-predictability).

And therefore, I am sure that all prophecies of divinely-ordained events which are tied to specific dates are intrinsically wrong - because derived from false premises.

However, the validity of prophecy as such is not ruled-out - indeed it would be difficult and inconsistent for a Christian to rule-out the validity of prophecy, considering its emphasis in the Gospels (as well as elsewhere in the Bible).

All that is uncertain concerning the validity of prophecy as a general phenomenon (not each specific prophecy, of course) is the mechanisms by which prophecy is made to be fulfilled - and here there are presumably many ways and means by which a prophesied event can be made to come to fulfilment - ranging from predictions based upon extrapolation from a very complete basis of knowledge, to direct divine interventions (whether explicit and miraculous, or behind-the-scenes imperceptible)...


More specific aspects of exactly which prophecy I currently live by, and the aim of my living, can be found in the rest of this essay, at Albion Awakening

 

Thursday, 17 August 2017

How can loving God be *commanded* as more important than anything else?

Matthew: Chapter 22: 34-40. But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.


There is no doubt that The Bible, including the Old Testament Ten Commandments and the Gospels, commands us to Love God as the first, greatest and most important thing we must do...

But how is this possible? How may love be commanded?

The apparent problem is that we assume Love is a feeling, and a feeling cannot be manufactured; but even if it could, what would be the good of manufacturing a feeling of Love for God?

My understanding is that the The First and Great Commandment is about metaphysics, not feelings; it is about our first principles as a Christian, our most basic assumptions concerning how things truly are, how reality works.

Therefore, we are being told that everything in the Christian life 'hangs' on our assumption that God loves us. That is why God made everything, why God made this earth, why God made men and women, why we are incarnated and placed in mortal lives, and why we experience all the things we experience including death. All this is because God loves us.

It implies also the the nature of God is such that he loves - however we envisage God, we must represent the deity in a way compatible with love being God's primary characteristic.

How we may do this is set-out: because the most frequent term for God in the Gospels is 'Father'; and we are described as Sons and Daughters of God.

In sum, the Christian must interpret life and the world in this way - as a product of God's love. And this is non-negotiable - it is not put forward as a proposition to be tested by experience or reason; it is a metaphysical assumption.

If we ever interpret anything as contradictory to the fact and assumption of God loving us; we are definitely making a mistake.

But how can each of us, personally, reach such an assumption? Well, how did we, as (let's assume) a child of a real life loving Father and Mother, reach a similar assumption about our parents? Not from evidence, clearly - not from some kind of balance-sheet.

Such convictions come from direct, intuitive knowing - beyond the senses, beyond logic, beyond measurement. And that this direct form of intuitive knowledge is valid, is therefore required by Christianity.

If you want to be a Christian, you must know that God loves us; and know it in the same kind of way that you know your Father and Mother love you. And live life on that basis. That is the first and great commandment.

And you must find this out by introspection, by intuition; you must just-know-it above and beyond and behind all other things you know; this solid assumption framing and interpreting all other things you know.

And that this direct knowing of God's love is possible and valid and achievable is also implied by the first and great commandment. 


Wednesday, 16 August 2017

What to do in the forthcoming eclipse?

Demons and their servants will - I guess - be very keen that people experience the eclipse only at second hand - via the mass media; and that the experience will be undermined by social media and technology (if someone is trying to get a good photograph of the eclipse, they will not be having a spiritual experience).

So, maybe what we ought to do is to experience the solar eclipse (whether the totality or more likely some degree of partial eclipse) in as simple, direct, quiet, thoughtful and solitary fashion as may be contrived...

More background can be found at Albion Awakening.

Fake news is good news: We should want a worse (not better) mass media: Spiritual repentance and awakening cannot come via the mass media - only in reaction against it

The mass media is a distraction from what Western Man ought to be thinking, experiencing, understanding, aiming-at.

Spiritual repentance and awakening must be an individual choice; a choice of each individual - and would constitute an extreme turn-around from current attitudes and assumptions. Because it amounts to a metaphysical revolution, this would either happen rapidly or not at all.

Awakening would require a disengagement from the mass media, based upon a recognition of its net-evil; and a turning-to the true-self and God-within.

The individual must attend to the most direct experience. Awakening therefore cannot come from anything which is second-hand, and reported in the virtual/ fake world of the mass media.

The mass media is (and must be recognised as) a demonic tool (overall); and the strategy of evil is therefore to keep everybody possible fixated-upon the media for as much time as possible - naturally there will then take their overall world picture from it.

Enlightenment cannot come even from the tiny minority of good bits of the mass media - except insofar as they trigger a withdrawal from the mass media in its totality. 

Therefore, the worse the mass media becomes - the more extreme its fakery and oppression and censorship of truth, beauty and virtue; the more insistent and sickening its promotion of lies, ugliness, short-term selfishness and pride; the more its manufactured dishonesty clashes with directly-known reality etc. - the better is the prospect of stimulating revulsion and Awakening.

We shouldn't want a better mass media, but a more-obviously-worse one.

The media's only catastrophic error would be over-reach and premature extremism - such that too-many people too-quickly recognised it for what it is; and withdrew. 

Of course, we are free agents - and many or most people might still decide to stick with media reality instead of what they know, no matter how bad the mass media becomes - and predictable consequences will follow; but the more clearly people recognise that that is the decision they are making - the more likely that they will repent and awaken.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Wonderful new Facebook resource on William Arkle

Provided by his son Nick Arkle - this resource has some amazing new pictures and photographs



Some more pictures are at my William Arkle blog.

"We are not alone" - Indeed; but how may we detect the fact? Advice from William Wildblood

We are not alone.

The spiritual world is always with us and seeks to inspire us, but we must cleanse our hearts and minds to be able to detect this.

We must stand aside from 'this world' but not disdain it or our fellow men and women even when they are in thrall to the enemy (let's call a spade a spade). They are God's children just as we are. He wants to bring them to him however far they wander but, ultimately, it is their choice. God forces no one.

So listen for the voice within. Blot out the noise of this world, however persuasive and confident it sounds. Know that the darkness of this time was prophesied and so was the light that eventually follows after. Keep faithful, watch and pray and don't worry if you appear to be alone.

By and large the computer revolution is a weapon in the hands of the forces of materialism and atheism but you can take advantage of it too, as this blog does, if you recognise and stay alert to its predominantly negative aspect. Through this means you can connect to people around the world who think as you do and so know that there are others like you.

You may be heavily outnumbered but you are not alone. Through enduring this time of trial you have the opportunity of making greater progress than you might have done living in a more spiritually congenial time.

More of William Wildblood's essay, and a discussion in the comments, can be found at Albion Awakening.



Look to motives, not to words: Ignore the 'facts', attack the motives

The mainstream secular Left lies, all the time - in every paragraph; and that is an evil: both in itself, and because its creates a world where public truth is impossible.

But one thing they do which is right is to look behind the words and to the motivations of their enemies  - and this is why their lies are effective.

They ignore what we actually say (the facts) and attack our motives. And that is exactly the correct thing to do.

(Correct assuming we are honest, which they are not.)

There is no point in arguing with the words of the secular Left - because they are liars. Their supreme idea of truth is the legal one of deniable-misleading.

It does not matter what people say, it does not matter what the official and media sources 'report', their statistics do not matter: the 'evidence' does not matter. It is all poisoned from its very root.

We need to focus on motivations. We must focus on motivations. We ask: 'What are the motivations driving what these people are saying and doing?' (Because everything they say and do is a product of these motivations.)

That is where the primary inference is made, which guides all other evaluations: what are the motivations of the mainstream secular leadership of this, our society?

This is what we must each of us decide, what we must infer (because nobody 'authoritative' can tell us - at least not until after we have evaluated/ inferred who is authoritative).

You don't need to - indeed should not - look at The News; unless you believe that the people who produce it are well-motivated. There are a limitless number of ways to lie and mislead - and if that is their motivation, that is what they will be doing.

When it comes to important matters (and indeed most matters) - Don't take any notice of the media, or of bureaucrats, or of the leadership class: Christians know (or ought to know) they are corrupt, liars who have actively-evil motivations or who serve the agenda of active evil - inverting of Goods: destructive of truth, beauty, virtue.

Focus on motivations; not 'facts'/ lies. Attack the motivations, not the specifics.

(And when people cannot or will not recognise evil motivations; there is nothing that can be done to convince them, no evidence, no logic - that is their decision, and they will take the spiritual consequences. Pass on.)

Monday, 14 August 2017

The surest kind of knowledge

The surest kind of knowledge is inner, direct, unmediated - intuitive.

Not a 'communication' - not perceived in words, writing or images (all of which need to be interpreted; there is always a gap between seeing and believing).

But instead occurring in thinking, as knowing. Simple, known-fully and with no gap.

Requiring no 'evidence' because all evidence is uncertain, all inference is prone to error, all reasoning depends on the assuming of mapping reasoning onto reality...

But this is typically ignored, or explained away, nowadays - because modern metaphysics says intuition has zero reality and objectivity.


Saturday, 12 August 2017

A modern fairy-tale of winning the spiritual war - adapted from CS Lewis's That Hideous Strength

I am currently halfway through listening to the excellent audiobook version of CS Lewis's That Hideous Strength ('THS'), read by Stephen Pacey (who played Del Tarrant in the excellent 1970s BBC Sci-Fi series Blake's 7).

From a perspective and through a lens derived from CS Lewis's best friend Owen Barfield; I can imagine a revised version of THS, in line with my understanding of our situation some seventy years on from the publication of THS in 1945...

One major difference would be that Lewis has his heroes (the St Anne's fellowship) essentially passive in their obedience to orders coming from the 'angelic' helpers. Nowadays, we would not receive these orders. We would have-to work things out for ourselves, as best we could. Or, more exactly, we would need to develop the spiritual perspective and abilities which would enable this working-out. We would need to develop what Barfield termed Final Participation.

Final Participation is something which can only come from the choice and will or each of us, as individuals. It cannot be conferred upon us - indeed the essence of it is that we are free and agent. Final Participation is precisely a personal, experiential effort-full thing. We need to look-within to seek god-in-us, to find our divine self - and to become aware of this.

Here and now - we aren't going to be able to wait or hope for leadership; probably we will be literally on-our-own: alone... at least in many practical respects. This because our current situation is not a recapitulation of monasticism or the like; the destruction, subversion and inversion of groups is at the heart of the evil of our modern condition.

A modern THS would perhaps be about the good characters, the heroes of St Anne's, individually and dispersed. About moral choices made alone and in the context of an overwhelmingly large and powerful Establishment of Evil that is not recent (like The NICE in THS), but has been in place and in control for at least two generations.

The angels ('eldils') would not be perceptible in the necessary state of consciousness of Final Participation; they would not visit, we could not see them - and neither would we hear them speak in words; not even words formed in our minds. Instead, angels would communicate directly by joining their thinking with ours.

However, we - in our thinking - would always be free and agent - in control. Hence we could block contact with the angels, if we chose. And we could not (merely) open our minds to them. Rather, we would actively be thinking is such a way that we could share in their thoughts, and they in ours.

How could help come? In defeating a vast and powerful evil Establishment, clearly help is essential. THS had the Original Participation magic of Merlin, and direct and miraculous aid from the eldils/ angels. What might we have, now?

Well, it would be imperceptible to direct observation. It would be behind the scenes - by synchronicity. Natural phenomena (rain, wind, sun, tides, earth movements...) would - 'coincidentlally' - favour Good and be hostile to evil.

Enemies would be repenting (as the situation clarifies) and changing sides, ceasing to do their evil duties, turning to sabotage the evil plans.

There would be events of exceeding improbability - actually miracles, but always explicable in terms of chance. Perfect-Storms of 'luck' - both good and ill 'luck' - good fortune for the Good and adverse chance for the evil. Cumulatively piling-on, and on.

(These being proximal consequences of distal and subtle angelic interventions; behind-the-scenes changes of arrangements; altering small upstream occurrences to generate large downstream effects...)

How about our own personal strength, motivation, will - and love? How could these be sustained when we are on-our-own? I assume there will be positive-feedback reinforcements of such things. As the situation develops, evil becomes clearer, becomes un-masked. Because evil is a trial of our strength and a mode of spiritual development; it may be like exercising in a gym - immediate effort being rewarded, some time after, by greater strength.

The key and core is motivation; the guiding principle is honesty; and the goal is love (towards which we are pointed by the discernment of the heart; which knows truth, beauty and virtue - and their opposites).

We must be self-sufficient in terms of motivations; but this is only possible through the gift of repentance from Christ. Trial and error will get us where we need to be; but only when error is acknowledged and repented.

The war is between those who acknowledge and experience the spiritual world, the immaterial world, the world of God; and those who don't. Between those who know we are all children of God and destined to become free; and those who believe themselves and everyone else to be evolved automata subject to rigid determinism alleviated only by randomness. Between those who take ultimate responsibility and look to god-within; and those who hope for external intervention for rescue.

The happy ending of a new THS would be very happy indeed! A world of free, agent, people affiliated in loving families and with close friends; a world therefore open-ended, of creativity. Not a utopia; but an active, developing, expanding, deeply-rewarding world of perpetual interest, challenges, increasing awareness and understanding - making, doing and thinking.


Friday, 11 August 2017

Who - exactly - are the (evil-motivated) Global Conspiracy/ Establishment/ Hidden Hand?

Why is it so hard (given the colossal amount of supporting evidence) for the Western population to believe that there is a group of very powerful people in the world who are not just trying to enrich themselves, not just incompetent fools - but who are strategically evil - that is, actively and explicitly pursuing an agenda designed to harm?

There are at least several reasons - and they are related to mass secularism, atheism, the rejection of Christianity - and the consequent incoherence, alienation, nihilism and despair.

1. Spiritual not material

The first is that the evil they do is primarily spiritual, not material.

Most conspiracy theorists assert that the Global Elite are trying to cause death, disease, poverty and misery - but they are not going to convince many people in a world where the opposite trends have been in place for decades: massive world population growth continuing, extending average lifespans, excess production of food and other essentials - as well as trivialities and luxuries, Western medicine everywhere, including the poorest places - the populations of which therefore continue to grow rapidly...

Either such an elite is not very powerful, grossly incompetent, or counter productive!

2. Minds not bodies

Only from a Christian perspective can we perceive that the trend is not material but spiritual; and towards a state of value inversion rather than physical suffering.

For instance; we can all recognise that we are living in a society of near-total surveillance (for most of the population - e.g. nearly every social media user with a smart phone) - but hardly anybody understands why.

The reason is quite simple: surveillance leads onto control - but it is minds that are to be controlled, primarily (not bodies). The System intends to convert humans minds into conduits for externally-derived information and stimulation; and has apparently persuaded the mass  public that this is precisely what it most wants to happen.

When there is sufficiently high volume and rapid throughput of attention-grabbing stimuli - then humans will be unable to think for-themselves and will be completely at the mercy of those who control the throughput.

3. Damnation not death

The evil Establishment are, at some level and in some ways, demonically controlled - which means that their objective is spiritual warfare, not physical warfare; and their ultimate aim is damnation of souls, not the suffering or death of bodies.

So the Hidden Hand is quite happy to promote pleasure and prosperity, extend lifespan, pursue World Peace or anything else that may help in achieving their real goal of damning souls.

4. Damnation is difficult

It is, however, difficult to attain the damnation of souls - because the world was created and is sustained by a loving God, whose children we are. Since the time of Jesus Christ; there are many ways that we can escape damnation and accept eternal life and spiritual growth to becomes full sons and daughters of God.

The basic fact is that all damnation is self-damnation; so the problem for demonic powers is to induce people to reject salvation and thereby damn themselves.

The most potent cure for this world (in some way established, made effectual, by the life/ death/ resurrection of Jesus) is repentance - which is an acknowledgement of the rightness and desirability of God's plan for men and women.

5. Repentance

The big problem of the Enemy is that at any time, in any place, anybody may repent and accept the gift of Jesus - and escape the fate of damnation which is prepared for them. How, then, to stop Men repenting?

This is where totalitarian surveillance and control comes in. Once thought has been taken-over; then its content can be subverted then inverted. Good and bad are reverse; truth and lies, beauty and ugliness, virtue and sin... all can be upended and Men made actively to desire damnation on the basis that they judge it to be superior to salvation.

When effective, this pre-treatment will ensure that someone given a clear choice, knowing all the outcomes, will choose damnation in preference to salvation; will indeed regard salvation as evil.


So, who exactly are the Global Conspiracy? The answer is that it doesn't matter - what does matter is that you yourself are standing upon firm ground from which you can validly evaluate. You yourself must have a solid and coherent basis for judgment - and then whatever tricks are applied, from whatever quarter, you will be superior to them and able to rise above them.

Things are certainly bad, in a spiritual sense, in the world now - perhaps worse than ever before. But they are not too bad for us to cope. And if we do root ourselves in the stability of truth, beauty and virtue; and if we can find these within ourselves so that we are autonomous from corruptible institutions - then the multiplicity of threats and challenges will become transformed into a source of greater strength and clearer understanding.

By resisting that which seeks to overcome us, we grow; by overcoming resistance, we grow. With repentance, we cannot lose (so long as we want to win).

Thinking as the primary thing: as an end in itself (meditations in a migraine)

Yesterday - as not infrequently happens - I had a sustained and severe migraine which was not fully controllable: consequently I had a lot of time to think, but much of the time found it very difficult to think.

But at certain phases and balances of the pain and its treatment, again not unusually, I was able to think with exceptional lucidity; perhaps because (most activities being necessarily suppressed) the process of thinking then feels to be detached from other mental events; and can be isolated, studied, and simultaneously experienced...

Anyway, I then experienced (and made notes on) what I had previously often argued-for - that thinking is the primary thing and should be regarded as (pretty much) an end in itself.

Whereas typically we regard thinking as merely a means to some other end - as a thing justified by results. We try to use thinking to achieve some goal or another; we don't in general try to live-in our thinking, nor to enhance our thinking - to purify or strengthen the process... That is seldom or never the case.

In some ways it is hard to believe that a single person, thinking, is of prime importance in the vast scheme of things; in other ways - when it is actually happening - nothing seems more likely. It seems obvious and natural than that this thinking, going on here-and-now, is indeed the most important of things - is of universal and permanent significance. 

When it is clear and strong, when I am alert and aware, the activity of thinking really does feel just like what I have worked-it-out it to be: the main thing.


Thursday, 10 August 2017

Where Romanticism went wrong: the example of Thoreau, Walden and his journals

Thoreau was probably the first writer of the Romantic movement (called Transcendentalism in New England) that I deeply engaged-with, some four decades ago; and he has continued to be a favourite - I have read several scores of books by and about him. I regard Thoreau as one of the greatest prose writers ever, a genius of high rank, and one with whom I feel a special affinity.

But...

But if considered in terms of the evolutionary development of human consciousness, Thoreau was a dead-end; and indeed a clear exemplar of where Romanticism went wrong and failed to fulfil its destiny as intended the future of Man.


In the first place, Thoreau abandoned Christianity - replacing it with a very relativistic, fluid, not really serious, imprecise kind of deism and interest in Hinduism. This was a disaster, intellectually speaking; because it is never clear in Thoreau whether he regards nature as truly meaningful, or merely a 'projection' of his own psychological wishes. Indeed, there are passages of Thoreau in which he seems to regard the world almost solipsistically - as if the essence of his relationship with the world was only the maximisation of his own psychological gratifications. In the Economy chapter of Walden he explicitly depicts Life as a zero-sum transaction between his own selfishness and the world's demands on him; and expresses a determination that he will get the best of this bargain.

By abandoning any serious theism; Thoreau rendered his entire thought arbitrary - and opening his interpretations to the gravitational pull of the modern hedonic bottom-line of Life-as-therapy. It is in this sense that Thoreau can justly be called escapist; in that he advocates (and to some extent practised - although not consistently) the idea of avoiding responsibility, living for the moment (ie short-term gratification), living for oneself (pleasing oneself, self-training an indifference to the evaluations of anybody else).


But, putting that aside - let us concentrate on Thoreau's consciousness. In the autobiographical Walden, Thoreau's own consciousness is depicted in a very appealing fashion. The Thoreau character in the book lives in nature in a fashion and with a thoroughness that is most appealing to alienated modern Man: he notices everything in nature and is sensitive to the slightest changes, he responds powerfully, and is deeply-satisfied by his responses... His whole life is depicted as simply moving from one intense, epiphanic experience to another - all the while in an elevated, ecstatic stream of consciousness...

Of course this is writing. And Walden was written and re-written many times over many years - it is a carefully, brilliantly, crafted artifact - it is not an account of Thoreau's actual life or his mind. If we compare the book Walden with Thoreau's journals, we can see that his working life at about this time consisted of walking and writing; he would take walks, during walks he would make notes, and then he would write-up these walks for his journal; the journals were then the source of his books (some of them only published posthumously). The walks, the life, the experiences were (in a sense) fuel for the writing.

However, the point is that Thoreau's consciousness was a modern self-consciousness; he was not immersed-in nature in the way that American Indians were (or seemed to be). Thoreau had a great love for, and knowledge of, the American Indians - but the consciousness he saw in them was not his own consciousness. They were in nature in a largely unselfconscious and passively-accepting way that was utterly alien to Thoreau. By contrast, when Thoreau experienced nature it was purposively, to be remembered, reflected-on and written-about.

My point here is that this actuality is concealed in Walden and the other books. The Thoreau character is depicted rather as if he were himself an Indian.


In essence, Thoreau's consciousness - his experience of Life, including Nature - took place with full self-consciousness and in thinking. (And of course writing - but primarily in thinking.) Yet he did not depict himself as a man who experienced Life in the way he actually did; and furthermore, he seemed to regard the actuality as an intrinsically second-rate and still-alienated way of being.

My contention is that for Thoreau to have taken to completion the impulse of Romanticism, he would have needed to depict himself as he was: that is, a man who lived primarily in thinking. It was in thinking, self-consciously, in full alertness, that Thoreau was aware of Nature and of himself in nature - and the two were brought together deliberately, purposively, in the process of actual thinking.

Yet the yearning, the aspiration, the hope of Thoreau is seemingly for a life immersed and unselfconscious; a life like an idealised Indian who simply is, within nature, a part of nature.

What would have been needed for Thoreau to fulfil the destiny of Romanticism, would have been for him to develop a Christian understanding of the world as creation, as having meaning and purpose and himself as a part of this - but with his own unique role; an agent and an active co-creator, not merely a passive component.

And Thoreau would need to have recognised that his own self-conscious thinking was not only the place and activity within which he actually lived; but that this was a good thing, indeed the best thing! Instead of implicitly denying (by leaving-out) the aware observer, his world view should have recognised that this was exactly his destiny.

It would have been a matter of validating in theory what he actually did in practice.

And instead of trying to lose-himself in the epiphanic moment, and claiming that the moment included all; Thoreau should have aimed at strengthening his active, aware thinking so that it could match and surpass the power of the unselfconscious, passive, immersed experience.

This would, of course, have entailed a recognition that thinking is not merely a second-rate version of experience; not merely a pale reflection of the engaged life; but that thinking is Real Life; that thinking is real, really-real - that, in thinking, Man is potentially tasting the divine life and and becoming an actual co-creator. 


In saying that about what Thoreau should have done, I am asserting also that Thoreau really could have done this. Had he made different choices, he really could have taken this other path I outline above.

Why did he not? Well, in a nutshell, because he made bad decisions, wrong decisions - he equated Christianity (and theism) with Calvinism and churches and rejected both; he accepted that thinking was merely theory and experience was superior; he focused more upon crafting a work of genius (Walden) and seeking recognition for this, than on living life as a genius; he came to regard politics, and telling other people what was right and what to do, as being more urgently important than Man living a truly spiritual life - or, at least, he dishonestly tried to conflate the two.

The work that Thoreau chose not to do has still not been done; although we who live now have the good fortune that Owen Barfield has been able to explain all this; building on the insights of the early Rudolf Steiner.

But the primary task remains; and the solution has been indicated in theory and our task is to realise it in practice; in our own lives. The task is to live spiritually, as the Thoreau character mostly does as depicted in Walden. But to realise that to attain this entails a new and better kind of thinking, which is more like that practiced by Thoreau in the process of writing Walden.

This entails achieving a metaphysical understanding of thinking which recognises its validity and potential; and then practising this in our own living, as best we can - and (while patiently) this as our first, most urgent and significant priority.



Taliesin - Bard of Britain. Written by John Fitzgerald and illustrated by Rob Floyd


Three drops of inspiration, by Rob Floyd 

There is a treat for those who love Welsh and Arthurian legend over at Albion Awakening - written by John Fitzgerald and illustrated by his friend and collaborator Rob Floyd:

The story of Britain unfolded before my inner eye, unfurling like a tapestry or scroll. It was a magnificent tale, tainted here and there by materialism and greed, but powered in the main by courage and creative flair. I saw as far as the Dark Time and the light that shines beyond it - the spiritual blindness that beset the land, the implosion of the House of Windsor, then the War of Contending Flags - black and multi-coloured - that laid the Island of the Mighty waste. And then that winter dawn when a King of ancient line returned from the East, stepping down from his ship at Thanet as the Romans did of old. A universal shout of joy rang out across the realm and that night Arthur's Beacons were relit, from St. Michael's Mount to Flamborough Head. Next day the rumours began - from Devon and Cornwall - that Jesus Himself was back, walking along the rocky shore, telling stories, healing the sick, and giving bread and wine to rich and poor and good and bad alike. 

The whole thing is at Albion Awakening

Notice of the new movie Dunkirk

This can be brief: Dunkirk is one of the best movies I have seen.

I was rather dragged-along to the cinema by my wife, who is currently reading the history of World War II; but from a couple of minutes into the movie I was gripped, held, and never let go until the end. It is extremely exciting, deeply moving, indeed inspiring.

(And - related - there is no trace whatsover of political correctness - what a blessed relief that was!)

The movie seems very original in many ways: it is done as a classical epic, when we are thrown into the middle of action without set-up or explanation. It has little (but telling) dialogue. There is no padding - every scene tells. It relies on excellent acting rather than stars.

That said, it was almost unbearably affecting at times - both positively as well as negatively. Indeed, the moment when I came nearest to losing control, and had to gulp-back an actual sob - not entirely effectively, was actually the happiest scene. But it would be hard to watch the movie again, knowing the effect it will have.

Anyway, I hope have said enough that you can make up your own mind about whether this is the kind of thing you want to experience.