Friday, 22 September 2017

The key to doing primary thinking

I have found Rudolf Steiner's instructions and exercises concerning 'how to do' primary thinking (or, what he terms pure thinking, or his type of meditation) to be misleading and indeed counterproductive; since they concentrate on concentrating - on attaining a thought and holding it, expanding it etc...

In the first place, this method splits the mind into that part which is doing the concentrating, and the results of that concentrating. Secondly it is insufficient - from personal experience, I could concentrate in the prescribed manner (e.g. when I was doing theoretical science) long before I could do primary thinking. Thirdly, and consequently, the results of this concentration style of meditation are misleading (because it is easy by concentration to 'force' thinking towards pre-determined conclusions, and thereby create false content).

Fourthly and most tellingly, it doesn't seem to work. After all, this was not how Steiner himself learned to meditate, so there is little reason to suppose that other people could get to where Steiner was by using a different method. Also, the capacity of his exercises to induce 'clairvoyance' in the many members of the Anthroposophical Society who have followed then, seems (to the observer) to be a near-total failure.

If not, then what?

We need an 'external' technique of holding attention - of stopping it being distracted, or sliding around. For me this can be taking notes, reading short passages, drawing 'doodles' - essentially with a pen in the hand. Others would need to find what worked for them.

What to think about? That depends on your motivation, here-and-now. Motivation is one of the keys: it needs to be some-thing that you really want to know, to think-about.

Steiner, by contrast, prescribes arbitrary subject matter for his thinking exercises (this plant, this stone...). This seems like seriously bad advice: ineffective, because the motivation for arbitrary thinking will surely be feeble; and also (in a sense) arbitrary motivation is immoral, because this is trying to use primary thinking for frivolous or expedient purposes (and primary thinking, being in the realm of reality/ truth/ beauty/ virtue, will not - indeed cannot - be so used).  

Once the attention has being controlled by some such external means, the whole of the mind can fill the activity of thinking from the deep and true self. It wells-up. And leads to further notes/ doodles etc. just as a way of holding the line; while allowing it to develop by internal logic.

The key, though, is metaphysical - it is to acknowledge the validity of thinking; the validity of the process, content, findings... We need to internalise the fact that primary thinking is not constrained by what we term 'evidence'; because primary thinking happens in the domain of universal reality, hence it is necessarily true

(This is a delight to observe - in full consciousness: the emergence of truth, quite naturally, spontaneously, fluently, and without boundaries. This is also why the kind of wound-up state of concentration is hostile to the process.)

The content of primary thinking is intrinsically valid in and of itself - so we want to be attentive but relaxed, as it comes-forth.

Of course, summarising, recording, transmitting this primary truth makes the resulting communications prone to all sorts of possibilities of error, distortion and misunderstanding - if we try to use this knowledge.

But the direct knowledge of primary thinking is itself is pure, real, and true.


Thursday, 21 September 2017

What should be done and why should we do it?

What is needed is a metamorphosis of thinking - a qualitative change in the form of thinking.

Because modern thinking is intrinsically incoherent, pathological and anti-Christian: we really must change it.

Modern Man has tried and tried to believe in Christianity while thinking like a nihilist... it doesn't work. The dead materialism of the thinking weakens, erodes and subverts the belief.

But specifically (and aside from its fundamentally anti-Christian structure and assumptions and implications) why must we change our thinking?

What are the reasons, and what are the implications?

Various suggestions are listed at Albion Awakening...

Modern nihilism and its overcoming

We live in what Rudolf Steiner (and, from him, Owen Barfield) calls the Consciousness Soul era - i.e. a time in which we not only cannot see (or otherwise perceive) spirits, but we have also learned to distrust perceptions that (until the modern age of science) were simply taken for granted.

And to distrust reason. To distrust all positive statement, in fact. (After all, we might be insane, but not realise it.)

So science was supposed to be derived only from objective (universally shared) perceptual information, but then science subverted perceptual information (especially with quantum theory) - leaving us with... nothing. (i.e. nihilism.)

The scientific metaphysic (materialism, positivism, empiricism, evidence-based thinking... variously-named) thereby consumes itself, is self-destroying. We doubt even our own thinking.

Once IN this state for any length of time, it is difficult to escape - but most people who do try to get-out (rather than simply obliterating their consciousness with distractions, drugs, sex &c) usually try to return to a previous naivety. However, simple, child-like ignorance cannot be recovered - when we have known, we cannot make it as if we hadn't known (obliteration is not the same as innocence).

Yet the state of nihilism is itself incoherent, when positively-stated. One cannot argue for nihilism; there can be no evidence for it, no reason to support it... perhaps nihilism can best be described as rooted in a state of existential fear - fear that nihilism may be true; and inability to find reassurance that it is not true.

What Steiner and Barfield offer is a way-through nihilism, and forward. The state of nihilism is something which must, indeed, be got-through - it is a necessary phase in the attainment of freedom.

As I understand it, the only way out from nihilism is by metaphysical examination - and by the decision to rely upon intuition.

That is: We expose and examine our primary assumptions about reality; and then we make the assumption that we will base our future metaphysics upon the primal personal act of intuition that intuition is valid.

That becomes the base for everything else - but such an intuition cannot be given by anybody or anything; but each must know it for himself or herself - by convincing experience; and that can only happen by active thinking.


(I mean; this transcendence of nihilism doesn't just come-upon a person passively to-be-accepted; it must be sought by active thinking. Which is why going-through and overcoming nihilism is so rare.)

How can Christianity be both true, and also necessarily a choice?

It is crucial that Christianity is an opt-in religion - it must be chosen, it can only be chosen.

(Therefore Christianity absolutely entails the reality of agency, of 'free will' - and the impossibility of agency on the basis of mainstream modern metaphysics is a reason why normal public discourse is absolutely incompatible with Christianity.)

At the same time, Christianity is true.


This appears to set up some kind of paradox, in the sense that (surely?) if Christianity is true then it must be accepted; yet if it must be accepted then there is no real choosing of it...

My understanding is that this is indeed a genuine contradiction in mainstream 'classical' Christian metaphysics (in which God is omnipotent, and created everything from nothing) - a contradiction to which there is no rational answer; but not in a different theology. Because to deny Christianity on such a scheme, would be to deny reality - which is incoherent.

But, if we instead believe that creation is the effect of God shaping pre-existent chaos - including ourselves as God's children; then reality so far as it is ordered and understandable is God's creation.

However, the primordial chaos included beings: included God, and also ourselves (i.e. Men) but ourselves in a primordial, unconscious, disembodied sense - embryonic and lacking, but existing nonetheless. God's creation was the shaping of chaos, and the parenting of our primordial selves into God's children (as we are now, as we find ourselves). 

 All that is Good is inside this creation - creation is where the concept of Good has meaning. In particular all loving relationships are inside of creation, made possible by God's creation.

Yet there is another reality outside of creation; so denial of Christianity is not incoherent - there is another reality which might coherently be chosen in preference to God's creation.


What would such an opt-out of God's creation entail? Outside creation is not evil; but it is chaotic, meaningless, purposeless and lacking in any true relationships between beings.

Our primary choice is whether to opt-in to the reality of God's creation - or not. This is a real choice - and has real consequences. In principle a person might simply decline to join creation - and to surrender self-consciousness, and all the personhood which has been given us by becoming a child of God. This is not an evil choice - it is the choice of nihilism, of non-reality - but it is not evil (it indeed bears some relation to the ideal of 'Eastern' religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism).

The evil choice is to decline to joining God's work of creation; but to hold onto God's gifts to us - to hold-onto meaning, purpose and relationship - but to impose our own personal meanings upon them. It is to try and take what is personally gratifying from creation, but not to join creation. It is to adopt a stance towards creation that sees it primarily as a thing to be exploited.


In sum, Christianity is true - because it describes the world of God's creation, in which truth is given meaning and value; but this is not the whole of reality - therefore there is an alternative - therefore must opt one way or the other.  And because we are agents (with free will) this choice is real and meaningful.

The necessity of opt-in arises because of the nature of God's plan for creation - which is one in which we (as Men) are agent and divine beings, in loving relationships, engaged in a mutual project of further creation.

(If creation were done and static, there would be no need for agency; but because creation is ongoing and endless, agency is of-the-essence.)

Among divine beings, there is no possibility of ultimate coercion - either we choose to join the great work of creation; or we opt-out fully - or else, as with evil entities, we try to exploit creation for personal gratification.

The work of creation ('Heaven') is both real and chosen.


Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Seeing spirits - Knowing spirits (more on Final Participation and Primary Thinking)


In some situations such as a ritual, the entirety of a tribe may see spirits - but the modern Western anthropologist who is also present sees nothing. Are spirits really there?

Most Western people would say no; and they would explain-away the observing of spirits as some kind of group hypnosis, or wishful thinking, or a conjuring trick of the shaman... or something. Because modern people know (or rather assume as a metaphysical certainty) that spirits don't exist - therefore it doesn't matter what people say or claim: there were no spirits.

Yet, of course, everything we know about everything depends on no more than a consensus among people who report it; or perhaps a consensus among people in some restricted category - sensible people, intelligent people, adults, calm people...

Implicitly, therefore, the modern Westerners claim that all people who see spirits are unreliable, and over-emotional, gullible, unintelligent, immature, dishonest - or something of the kind. When whole tribes or societies claim see spirits - then this is exactly how modern Western people actually, in practice, regard them (although of course they are too afraid, or feel to guilty, actually to say so).

Yet there is something different about spirits... The Western anthropologist and the tribe he is studying all see most things in common - they see the huts, the spears, the food, the animals... but when it comes to spirits the tribe see them and the anthropologist doesn't.

There is something different about spirits - are the really there?

One thing than can be suggested is that there has been a change in human consciousness between the traditional Tribal Man and the modern Western Man. Tribal Man may regard stones as alive and plants as conscious... and he sees spirits.

All true - consciousness differs; but since we are not postmodern relativists - we can still ask what is really going-on. When Tribal Man sees a spirit - is there an object there, or not?

My understanding is that the seeing of spirits is an example of what Owen Barfield calls Original Participation. There is a spirit, but there is no object because it is immaterial - and the evolution of consciousness  includes that Modern Man cannot perceive the immaterial...

Why is this? The given answer is that by Not seeing the immaterial, Modern Man is made free.

That which we perceive makes us passive - it is given, we are not free not to respond to it - because the mechanism by which we know it is unconscious. Tribal Man sees spirits, and spirits dominate him in the same way that Modern Man is dominated by whatever he sees.

Where Modern Man goes wrong is is asserting that because he cannot perceive spirits (and neither can he detect spirits with any technology), the spirits are not there: typically, Modern Man claims that the imperceptible does not exist.

The way ahead is to Final Participation; so, what would a Man in Final Participation experience in the situation described? Would he see spirits? No - but he would know the spirits were real. Instead of perceiving, he would know directly.

A Man in Final Participation would consciously know that spirits were present, would know about them (what kind of spirits and where) - but he would not see, hear, touch smell or taste spirits. What is the advantage in that? The answer is Freedom - the answer is Agency.

In Final Participation knowledge is in conscious thinking (i.e. 'primary thinking') - hence all knowledge is thinkable, all thoughts are inter-relatable.

All (primary) thinking (in FP) is real and true.

But the perceiving of Tribal Man is Not real and true - because perceptions are not complete; because all perceptions need to be interpreted. Tribal Man may see spirits, but he must still make sense of what he sees, and there is no guarantee that he will understand spirits correctly - indeed different people in the tribe will probably interpret what they have seen very differently.

Seeing is Not believing; because seeing is incomplete.

It is better Not to see, but instead to know directly - because what is known directly is true. That is why Final Participation is 'final' - because it is true; and it is also Final because it is divine. God knows by Final Participation - once FP is attained, there is nowhere further to go: it is indeed final.


Professional time-wasting blog trolls

The professional - i.e. presumably paid, but either-way apparently 'full-time' - blog troll is an interesting phenomenon. It could be said that you have only really 'arrived' as a blogger when such persons begin to pay you attention...

My assumption is that such individuals are recruited by the global Establishment as a cheap way of subverting nascent sources of Reality or Good - a single troll can cover a lot of virtual-ground (using various false names, and multiple accounts).

In other words, Christian bloggers should be encouraged, rather than annoyed, by the arrival of professional blog trolls! - since it is strong evidence that you are having an effect (or at least, the powers of strategic evil fear that you may become a threat to their plans). 

What are they trying to do? Two things mainly - degrade the quality of the blog so as to put-off readers, and demoralise the blogger by wasting his time answering a never-ending stream of questions, or responding to a deluge of links, and suggestions.

(The equation ten seconds to ask a question/ post a link; ten minutes to answer it/ watch a link - makes this a very efficient process of multiplicative time-wasting.)

The Achilles Heel of blogging, which trolls exploit; is the mushy-libertarian idea (to which I have never subscribed) that the blogger has a duty to publish and respond to comments: that a blog is, in essence, a public forum.

Failure to publish and respond to comments is regarded, in some quarters, as 'censorship' (like that was a bad thing) - or un-macho.

For me, a blog is a kind of writing; and comments ought to enhance the reader's experience. And if commenters are bothering me for any reason - then the software can block them.

And when it comes to time-expended deleting versus making comments - the efficiency factor strongly favours the blogger rather than the troll. 

...Which is a cheering and motivating thought!


Tuesday, 19 September 2017

What happens after a spirital awakening has begun

Over at Albion Awakening; William Wildblood describes how spiritual awakenings can be neutralised or co-opted by the forces of evil - and discusses the requirements for preventing this from happening.

The corruptions of social expediency; or, How much of Christianity can we discover for ourselves?

One of the (many) valuable aspects of living in this time, this era, is that clarity is forced-upon-us.

Complexity is stripped-away, things become stark, the path is seen to be two-forked, the choices are bimodal - and the answers are clear, simple and intuitively graspable by a single unambiguous mental act.

To put it another way; the great difficulty in life is asking the right question - because once you have asked the right question, the right answer is lucid (even though we may well reject it). The increasing corruption and dishonesty and sheer-evil of Modern life has a way of forcing us into a corner, until we have little choice but to ask the right question.

Since our world was made, and we arrived in it, as a consequence of a creator who is a loving Heavenly Father; then we can be sure (indeed we must be sure: that is 'faith') that our personal situation is always sufficient for our primary needs. For example, it may (or may not) be forcing us to ask the right question - when we are trying to evade that question.

I was an atheist most of my life, and looking-back I can see that my Real Self always understood correctly the nature of things; but that I was able to reject this deep understanding for reasons such as social inexpediency, or that it did not conform with the materialist metaphysics which I accepted. Consequently, I put a great deal of effort into suppressing my Real Self.

Or, to put it differently - I knew what I should do; but without becoming a Christian I could not justify it to myself, or to other people. I became a Christian (at least initially, tho' not now) so that I could justify my primary intuitions.

But that means that Christianity was already within me. I was, in fact, (wrongly) adopting a kind of expediency, a kind of Marxist/ Leftist attitude, in which my beliefs were being controlled by the publicly-viable mechanisms by which my beliefs could be 'justified', by which I could argue them - the sociological tail was wagging the intuitive dog...

This is another of the things which modern conditions will strip-out-of-us. As the world becomes worse - worse metaphysically, that is worse in terms of the fundamental assumptions of public life and discourse being inverted (including the churches, and the interpretations of tradition, scripture, reason)... then we will be forced into a confrontation of the intuitions of our True Self and... Everything Else... The World.

When we recognise the deceptive futility of trying to communicate with and persuade A World which has blocked its ears and drowned itself in distractions; then we can finally see things clearly. And, if we choose right, we will discover that we have within us everything that we-personally need: we have everything necessary within each of us - including, especially, the Christ.  


Monday, 18 September 2017

Sex is not the answer (for The Outsider)

The very first point made by Colin Wilson's The Outsider (1956) is that sex is not the answer to the problem of existential alienation. He hammered home the point in many further books, including Origins of the Sexual Impulse (1963).

Right up to his last books (such as The Angry Years, 2007) CW made clear how sexual obsession had often ruined the motivation, focus, creativity and integrity of genius-Outsiders (with tragic results for those of us who were depending upon such individuals to point the true way ahead).

Sex (as such, in isolation from married love) leads merely to the desire for more sex. Sex is  - like many intense pleasures, such as heroin - addictive. Furthermore, also like heroin, sex induces tolerance, requiring escalation of dose. In those in whom frequency has reached a maximum, there develops a decadent need to push boundaries and transgress - in order to maintain the desire and the response.

Yet sex is a sufficiently plausible delusion that it has captured and redirected the entirety of Western civilization - especially since the middle 1960s.

Sex (often explicitly, often covertly) has displaced and destroyed religion and politics - both of which are vestigial compared with 50 years ago.

Yes, sex cut-loose really is an addiction - and has the same propensities. It does not solve the problems of life, but shoves them aside and implies that sex is the problem instead, and this rapidly becomes a truth.

By becoming a society of sex junkies, the West has dispensed with Christianity, and with Thinking.

Instead of meaning, purpose, fulfilment, and family - we have a vicious cycle of delusional fantasies and brief ecstasies... always receding in power and duration; satisfaction always just out of reach.


Why bother communicating (since it doesn't work)?

I have argued myself into the conviction that - here and now - normal methods of communication are ineffective when it comes to the most important matters. They are either ignored or misunderstood; or even used against that which they advocate. Yet this is a communication - so what am I trying to achieve?

Find-out at Albion Awakening...

Why is totalitarianism demanded by the masses?

Totalitarianism is the natural end-point for modern, mainstream secular Leftism; and now that 'everybody' in The West is on the Left and primarily secular (including self-identified 'right wingers' and 'Christians') - 'everybody' is united in demanding totalitarian thought control.

In suppressing dissenting voices, it is their own thoughts that crave to be controlled. When life is understood as nothing but subjective feelings, then the idea is for our-selves to be manipulated into having the best feelings: we want to be convinced by soothing propaganda, we want a pleasing alternative reality...

Indeed the alternative - of having to acknowledge that our cherished 'utilitarian' secular beliefs entail zero meaning, purpose, or real communication with anybody - is a conviction of despair. The answer to this existential despair is to have a delusional meaning of life coercively-imposed, such that the delusion becomes asif real.

Anything interfering with this desperate but urgent imperative, anything tending to shatter the conviction in virtual reality, is attacked - is hated, with a visceral power derived from terror.

(It is like the blind terror of an alcoholic at the prospect of being unable to get his drug - he will protect the supplier, he will support anything which ensures his supply. The modern dissenter is seen as someone who is trying to impose delirium tremens.)

Ultimately, the representative modern atheist Westerner lives in mortal fear of media withdrawal, because then there would be nothing but the void: to die alone in misery, despair and terror. Anything better than that!

So totalitarianism thought-control is welcomed: a Brave New World, a Matrix, to live in The Borg... And people just hope that the rulers are benign; or if not benign, then at least not actively-evil... And indeed modern Westerners do not regard purposive evil as a reality - except among those dissenters who threaten their alternative reality... so there is no problem there.

Whatever the multi-billionaire totalitarian globalists want; it cannot be as bad as life without illusions. So, totalitarian mind-control is demanded, welcomed, queued-up for, paid-for, boasted-of.

(Of course anybody, at any time, can turn towards reality - but only by acknowledging the reality of God the creator and our loving father; so obviously That is not going to be a problem...)


Sunday, 17 September 2017

Where did all The Outsiders go?

Sixty years ago - Colin Wilson published The Outsider (1956) then Religion and the Rebel (1957) - and at that time everybody recognised what he was talking about: these existentially-overwhelmed outcasts who saw the mainstream world as meaningless and pointless, who felt alienated, and who lacked a place in society.

Wilson gave a name to something everybody knew, something that (under various terms) had been a feature of The West since the dawn of Romanticism (in the late 1700s); and he provided numerous examples of more-or-less famous and accomplished Outsiders - analysis of what had been tried as solutions, and suggestions of what might be done in future...

But here-and-now, Outsiders are not merely socially invisible; but also people don't feel like Outsiders anymore: these are no longer the difficulties people express - the Romantic Outsider has disappeared.

Has the species gone extinct, has the Outsider somehow been 'cured' - is he now integrated into society? Of course not! Everything which caused the Outsider's alienation is now 100... no 10,000 times worse than it was in 1956...

He is still present, he has neither been cured nor integrated; but nowadays he no longer realises he is an Outsider, he no longer feels existential pain, he is outcast but indifferent; because the Outsider is now so rapidly, pervasively and persistently doped and distracted by the pervasive mass media as to be a person who never thinks consecutively for long enough to recognise his situation - never mind to raise objection or do anything effective.

The slightest glimmering degree of becoming existentially alienated, bored or aware; is now almost-instantly extinguished in one or another virtual-reality before it can have any effect.

The Outsider now has zero time to think or feel 'outside' of anything - or inside for that matter.

The cause of the Outsider was human consciousness; the cure would have been a development of consciousness - but what has instead-happened has been the all-but obliteration of consciousness.


Friday, 15 September 2017

Northern Lights... by John Fitzgerald

The Northern Lights have been seen over Britain...

An apocalyptic part of me wants to protest at this. Surely the coming of the Lights is a sign? A foreshadowing of some great event to come, as the appearance of Halley's Comet in April 1066 gave notice retrospectively of the impending Norman Conquest. A balance needs to be struck, therefore, between a rationalistic, unimaginative reading of natural phenomena and a credulous 'signs and wonders' mentality, which leaves us finding messages in cloud formations and the like...

The eye of imagination, the eye of faith, sees beyond the physical components that make up the universe. It does not deny their existence but neither does it view what something 'is made of' as its sole and absolute reality. It goes past the material level (the validity of which it respects) to the spiritual essence which lies at the heart of every created thing...

This theme is illustrated superbly in a passage from Rosemary Sutcliff's Arthurian novel Sword at Sunset (1963). Ambrosius Aurelianus, the High King, is dying of cancer. He takes his lieutenants, Artos (Arthur) and Aquila, on a winter retreat in a remote hunting lodge to secure the succession. A tense political discussion is interrupted by the appearance of the Northern Lights. The tone and flavour of the evening is altered dramatically as new perspectives open up for all three men.

Hearts start to soften. The display outside triggers deep-lying memories in Artos and Aquila and sparks a moment of fraternal understanding. Ambrosius, when he rejoins the conversation, speaks with an imaginative fluidity that was lacking before. The political becomes the mythical. Something hard and tight has been broken apart, creating a space for the deeper pattern behind the flow of surface events to emerge.

This is the lasting impression left on the reader by Sword at Sunset - the political transformed into the mythical. Artos, in the end, follows Ambrosius' recommendation and succeeds him after his death, though not as High King but Emperor of a restored Romano-British Empire. Artos has many scars - physical, emotional and spiritual - and gains little satisfaction from his twenty year reign. He does, however, bring peace and security to the land, and through his words, deeds and presence, sows the seeds of the great national myth that has sustained the imaginative life of our country ever since.

The Northern Lights, on this occasion, are heralds of restoration rather than harbingers of doom, signalling the advent of a mythic, archetypal hero and the flourishing of the realm. Let us hope that their most recent manifestation prophecies equally glad tidings. There is no reason why not. 'We live in a time of revelations,' wrote the maverick English mystic, John Michell. 'When our minds are ready, the pattern will appear.'...

Edited from a longer piece at Albion Awakening.

Discussion with a correspondent about Primary Thinking - an exchange of e-mails

What follows is a recent exchange of e-mails between myself and A Correspondent - in which he makes some excellent and clarifying points on the nature of Primary Thinking. I hope this may help others who are working-through this vital theme...

**

My Correspondent: If primary thinking is certainly true (not just hypothesis), and if it is free, then it seems to follow that it is literally creative. If it is free, it need not conform itself to the world; but if it is true, then there is nevertheless a correspondence between what is thought and what actually exists. There can be no necessary correspondence without some sort of causal relationship, and if primary thinking is not caused by external facts, then the inescapable conclusion (if, given what I have just said about the freedom of thought, I may be permitted the phrase) is that the causation runs the other way: external facts conform themselves to thoughts. Primary thinking creates the world.

My first thought was to call that a reductio ad absurdum and reject the whole "primary thinking" model, but on second thought I think it has to be accepted. After all, theism requires some such concept in order to make sense of God's role as creator. We can hardly imagine that God created the world by physically moving matter around with some kind of construction equipment; rather, he created everything by his "word" or logos. And what is possible for God is possible in a general sense -- and, if we are his children, possible for us.

[In Mormon doctrine, it is said] that Adam helped create the earth, but that when he entered mortality he forgot that fact. And when Adam fell, the earth fell with him. Did God deliberately wreck his own creation as a way of punishing Adam -- or was the world in some way directly dependent on Adam's thoughts, Adam's state of mind? The knowledge of evil came first, and the existence of evil followed. And of course Adam, the prototypical man whose name simply means "Man," represents all of us.

(Is "faith" primary thinking? It, too, is supposed to be both free and true. In the New Testament, faith can make you whole, enable you to walk on water, and cast mountains into the sea -- in other words, the external world changes to conform itself to true faith.)

One problem with this idea is that it threatens to destroy the re-ality ("thingishness") of the world by making it wholly dependent on thought -- a hallucination, essentially. Without something that exists independently of our own thoughts there is, it seems, no world. Another problem is the question of how the thoughts of potentially billions of different primary-thinkers interact to create the one world we presumably share -- and what it is about God's thoughts that make them uniquely powerful, making him "the" creator. But I suppose the second problem offers a solution to the first. The reality of the world comes from its being the production of many minds, and not of mine alone.


Myself: That is my understanding too. We seem to have reached the same place, more or less.

I have found Steiner vital for this, mostly the early three books on Goethe's conception, the PhD thesis, and the Philosophie der Freiheit (variously translated) - but I only came across a dense and inspiring summary of his early philosophical work yesterday - in the following introduction to a book from 1900:

http://wn.rsarchive.org/Books/GA007/English/GA007_Intro.html

"One problem with this idea is that it threatens to destroy the re-ality ("thingishness") of the world by making it wholly dependent on thought -- a hallucination, essentially. Without something that exists independently of our own thoughts there is, it seems, no world. "

Not quite. There is a world - a world of raw phenomena, without meaning. There really are things, and we really sense them - but without 'concepts' (which we provide, in thinking) nothing means anything, then nothing could or would add up to anything (our experience would be of a blooming, buzzing confusion, to quote William James).

"Another problem is the question of how the thoughts of potentially billions of different primary-thinkers interact to create the one world we presumably share -- and what it is about God's thoughts that make them uniquely powerful, making him "the" creator."

My understanding is that this makes sense only if it is real/ true thoughts and creations that affect this 'one world' (the world of universal reality). I can't see that it could be reality if it was affected by wrong/ false/ evil thoughts from billions of people - so I assume it is only affected by true/ correct/ good thoughts of people engaged in primary thinking. Perhaps most people, most of the time have zero connection with this real world, and never influence it in any way - while others have interacted significantly.

Another factor is perspective. It seems that part of this view is that in primary thinking we only grasp, but we DO grasp, a corner of reality. This would seem to imply why it is 'a good thing' to have many, many people going on-and-on thinking, and creating, reality - multiple perspectives, so that universal reality becomes more rich and dense, without any end.

That's about as far as I have reached, so far.


My Correspondent: I think we have to go quite a bit further than just saying that thinking gives meaning to existing phenomena. Of course we are free to conceptualize given phenomena in this way or that -- James somewhere uses the example of a hexagram, which can be conceptualized either as two interlocking triangles or as six triangles touching at their corners -- but this is not the true creativity required by thinking which is both free and true. Above and beyond investing phenomena with meaning, primary thinking must be capable of altering the phenomena themselves. Simon actually acquired, by thought alone, the physical ability to walk on water, not merely to interpret his sinking as meaningful. And God is the creator, not the mere interpreter, of the world.

I lean toward thinking of the world of raw, meaningless phenomena as being an effect, rather than a precondition, of primary thinking. The "raw" world may be meaningless in the same sense that a hundred different voices speaking simultaneously produce a meaningless cacophony. The unintended interaction of various meaningful primary thoughts may yield a meaningless hodgepodge. Forging this into a harmony (not a unison!) is the work of creation.

I agree with you that it must be only thoughts that are in some sense "true" that affect the world. The question is what "true" means in this context. It can't have the ordinary meaning of correspondence with pre-existing facts; that would make it impossible for true thoughts to change anything, since their truth would consist in merely reflecting what already existed. It seems we must work out an alternative answer to Pilate's question.

A post of yours that I keep returning to in my thoughts is the one about Hobbes and whether or not he is "really" alive. If we could understand how and in what sense Hobbes is invested with real life (and I certainly accept that he is so invested), I think we would be one step closer to understanding primary or creative thought.


Myself: Corrections accepted, you're right.

My first thought about what is true, is that which conforms with, is compatible with, God's (already in existence) plan of creation.

Maybe this truth could be defined by motivation... by Love?

Approaching Life

Christianity is a necessity, and yet most available versions of Christianity present Life as an obstacle course of rules and regulations: do and don'ts.

Yet we are so weak and labile that such a recipe is overwhelming in its difficulty. Most of us would have no motivation or energy left-over after satisfying the requirements...

We yearn to be free, and creative, and face Life with as care-free an attitude as possible - we want to live from our-selves not to somebody else's blueprint.

The Good news is that Christianity, but only Christianity, enables exactly this; because the gift of repentance allows us to do our best, fail, and start again - without limit.

Instead of being paralysed (or hardened) by impossible laws, we are enabled to face Life as an adventure, secure in the infinite power of repentance.

Indeed, wasn't this the Main point of Christianity?


Thursday, 14 September 2017

This blog is (apparently) being killed...

Blog Views here have taken another big hit, between 17th and 18th of August, with a sudden halving in daily Views - a change that seems permanent.

Graph of Blogger page views

This is the second whammy the blog has suffered in 2017; the earlier one of April 21 being noted in a previous post (it is the V at the right side of the graph) - perhaps to do with a change by Google searches that affected mainly the old posts, because daily Views of new blog posts weren't much affected at that time.

Graph of Blogger page views

However, the recent (17-18 August) change (shown in the top graph) has hit the Views of new posts; which suddenly, in one day, dropped to less than half the usual - and stayed there.

For whatever reason, and after many years of incremental growth in Views (albeit with a plateau around 2013-15) it looks-like this blog is being strangled, squashed, air-brushed... whether specifically or as a part of some more general trend, I don't know.

There is nothing I intend to do about this - nothing, ultimately, I can do (certainly, I am not looking for sympathy!); but I thought You Ought To Know...


[Note: Comments are closed for this post - but you may e-mail me with any points you wish to raise.]


Wednesday, 13 September 2017

A life based on thinking (rather than feeling)

I am struck by the fact that we regard thinking as an activity which can (and should) only destroy. It is thinking that has destroyed the unconscious and spontaneous spirituality of our childhood, and of earlier cultural epochs. So thinking is clearly powerful... yet we deny the validity of thinking when it is used to cure the ills of modernity.

We assume that if something good needs thinking-about, then it is not really-real but only a kind of delusion of 'wishful' thinking. We assume that a Life cannot be built from thinking, that thinking is strong enough to destroy, but too weak to be a foundation of good living.

Of course, thinking can be and is manipulated all the time (but so is feeling, even more so!)

I now understand better that truth comes to us in thinking in a way that deliberately and necessarily does not 'overwhelm' us.

After all, is God overwhelmed by His feelings? Surely not! God is free; and so should we be.


Read the whole thing (including a reappraisal of my reaction to Brexit) at Albion Awakening.

What are the angels currently trying to tell us?

Those angels who are wisest and most experienced are Men who have been born, lived, died and been resurrected: these are the post-mortal angels, and are Man's greatest spiritual teachers.

Post-mortal angels can communicate with us by the usual means of communication - spoken, visual, by writing etc - but of course (in the modern West, especially) such communications are prone to inattention, misrepresentation, misunderstanding; and are quantitatively utterly swamped by the mass media, government and corporate propaganda, trivial and dishonest social interactions and many other net-evil communications.

Therefore, the post-mortal angels also use direct knowledge, in the universal realm of reality. This is the 'underworld' realm which Man spontaneously but passively and unconsciously accesses in early cultures, early childhood and in sleep. But in such circumstances, the knowledge is not explicit and we are unaware of it except as feelings.

For modern Man, feelings are not enough - even if those feelings are broadly benign. For modern Man we must know - and know that we know - and what we know must be thought so that it may be integrated with all other knowledge.

(That is after all, the divine way of being - God knows everything explicitly, not as instinctive urges and aspirations.)

So - what the post-mortal angels need to tell us is incorporated into the universal realm of reality; and we can each of us know it IF we can think in such a way that we too are thinking in this realm. This is what I have termed Primary Thinking, which is the conscious and purposive intuitions of our true self.

However, modern Man does very little thinking with his true self, instead functioning mostly from a variety of superficial, labile, automatic, inculcated ways of 'processing' information... And when modern Man does think with the true self, then his modern metaphysics tells him that such thinking is meaningless, subjective, 'wishful thinking' or delusional.

However, THAT is where the knowledge of the spiritual teachers of Man is located - and if we want to know it (rather than merely to feel it) then we need to engage in Primary Thinking, and take it with the utmost seriousness.

So... the first message of the post-mortal angels is the two-fold information that Primary Thinking is necessary, and that it is primary... In other words, that this is what we most need to do; and that if and when we can achieve primary thinking it will become our primary basis for living - ultimately superseding all external forms of communications from authorities (including from churches).

We are to base ourselves and our lives upon our own, personal direct knowledge of reality; and not not secondhand/ communicated/ interpreted knowledge.

The second type of information involves hints as to what we will discover. This is already known, from the writings of prophets - but that is not sufficient, because we need to know it for ourselves and directly.

But what we will discover is that all Men are a family, we are all actual (not symbolic) brothers and sisters because we are actual children of God - who is therefore our Parent... or rather parents: Father and Mother. God, the creator, is our loving Father and Mother. This is absolutely vital knowledge without which we cannot understand anything of importance - and we each need to know it directly, not as an hypothesis.

This information also means that we are all divine, of God-nature; but embryonically so. We are flawed and immature Gods; but Gods we indeed are.

Furthermore, we are (potentially) even more closely spiritually-connected into families and 'clans' - our blood relations, our married spouses, and even (that rarest of rare relationships) our true friends may spiritually be bound by commitments of voluntary and mutual love. We are therefore connected in multiple ways, really connected. We are not alone: we are never alone. 

This is a modern revelation - not to be found in the ancient scriptures; because it is an insight from the lives of post-mortal angels, our closest spiritual teachers; and results from their experiences in relatively-recent lives (past few hundred years), which have taught them the necessity of this truth.

Now, all this is vital and urgent knowledge, and will lead to a transformation of earthly life. But of course it will not lead to Heaven-on-Earth because we don't treat our known spouses, families and real-friends perfectly well... we are only flawed, incomplete, partly-grown gods.

Why am I saying this, as a mere 'communication' - with very limited distribution, prone to incomprehension and misunderstanding? The answer is that by knowing these things first as 'hypotheses' - some people may be encouraged to seek their validation: to look for them by seeking the reality-of and developing their ability-at Primary Thinking.

(Don't believe Steiner, don't believe me: take these insights as hypotheses - then find-out for sure, for yourself.) 

And then they may find some or all of the hypotheses confirmed and clarified by their personal intuitions - which is the only thing that can make them real, and provide a solid basis for Life: for Life as it should-be.


NOTE: The above is a re-explanation, with what I regard as corrected metaphysics, of the content of Rudolf Steiner's 1918 prophecy - usually published with a title something like The Work of the Angel/s in Man's Astral Body. I have also added what I regard as the core of Mormon teaching, the vital essence of what Mormonism has added to Christian doctrine, and which is ever-more necessary for us to grasp (something of which Steiner, knowing nothing substantive of Mormonism, was unaware).

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Consequences of a happy childhood - essay-review of the autobiography of "Christopher Robin" Milne


The Enchanted Places by Christopher Milne*, 1974

This is one of the best autobiographies I have read; perhaps because it has a fascinating theme, satisfyingly discussed - as well as being very well written, by someone whose personality was sympathetic to me.

The main explicit theme is that of living (up to age 52 at the time of writing) with the strange and vast fame of being Christopher Robin from the four books published by his father in a four year period from 1924-8: two collections of poems - When we were very young, and Now we are six; and two volumes of Winnie-the-Pooh stories - Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner.


My own relationship with these books came in two stages. As a child I loved the poetry books, which I continue to regard as containing some of the best comic verse ever written; but I was ambivalent about the Pooh books. I liked some aspects of them - perhaps especially the characters of Piglet and Roo; but I found the tone to be what I would now characterise as 'arch': as a child I was aware that adults were being addressed over-my-head and that I was being laughed-at.

When my own children came to the books, I think the response was similar - the poems had a massive impact, but they did not want to hear all of the stories read-out, and didn't especially respond to them - despite that, by then, I had come to like them a lot more. On the other hand, they really enjoyed the Disney Pooh movies (and TV programmes) and watched them multiple times.

Nonetheless, I candidly acknowledge that these four books are all first rate classics of children's literature, and thoroughly deserve their reputation.


Christopher Robin's response to these books was positive as a young boy, but became negative as an older child, adolescent and young adult; mainly because he was an exceptionally shy and sensitive person (a trait inherited, with interest, from grandfather Milne, he tells us). Try as he might, he simply never got used-to the endless parade of people who made comments about this; and never was able to react spontaneously and appropriately - but became tongue tied and embarrassed. However, writing the autobiography was a coming-to-terms with the whole situation - and this provides a satisfying sense of closure to the book.

The implicit theme, which really gripped me, was the question: What to do with the rest of your life, after having a very happy childhood?


This was also the question that dominated the life of Christopher Robin's father - AA Milne himself; and consequently Christopher writes extremely well about the father with whom (especially aged 9-18, after his Nanny had left) he had such a close and empathic relationship.

It is also a question which has been very much a part of my own life trajectory; since I too had a very happy childhood including early-middle teen years, and I too felt (for a long time) that adult life did not remotely match-up. Indeed, according to the most vivid and cherished memories, one of the best aspects of being a non-child was the reawakening triggered by loving relationships with younger children - first my brother, later my own children.

Neither Christopher Robin nor his father ever came to terms with this, or found a way of regarding post-childhood life as anything other than a let-down - to be escaped-from to some extent, but never integrated with the world of work, chores, and shallow public interactions.

It is that matter of alienation again. As a child, especially a young child, we are not alienated because we are not self-conscious; we simply live 'in' our perceptions and feelings - we belong in the world; and when these sensations and perceptions are happy then we belong happily.

With the dawn of self-consciousness, we become aware of our-selves and that the sensations and perceptions are subjective, that we have a perspective, unique to our selves - and that survival and thriving in the 'external' world depends on living in an objective way that prioritises the 'external' view, and the separation of our-selves from Life.

As an adult, we are caught by an (apparently...) inescapable dilemma that we can only feel at home in the world by losing our self-consciousness; yet the more we attain this dissolving of awareness, the less we are aware of the situation - and the less we remember it. Adult Life becomes shallow, unreal, meaningless; especially when contrasted with the mythic depth of childhood.

Therefore, the happiness of a happy childhood is what makes of childhood something we are able to and want to think about; but this emphasises the inferior quality of adult 'happiness'... which seems merely a series of detached, separable, implication-less almost 'glandular' kind of 'pleasure' by contrast.


Here is centrally significant that both AA Mine and Christopher Robin were atheists (as adults) - because for the modern atheist this dilemma is absolutely inescapable; and the situation of adulthood can only get worse as (with age, and/or disease) feelings become blunted or unpleasant, and memories are distorted and/or lost.

True happiness is past, and the longer we live the more it slips away from us - even in imagination... For an honest and rigours thinker, the inescapable conclusion is that adult Life (therefore most of a full lifespan) is a waste of time, and worse than a waste of time: a horrible prospect with only one possible, miserable, ending...

It seems to me that very few modern people escape this fate; because the metaphysics of modernity enforces it. I mean, the fundamental assumptions of modern life ensure that this is the only outcome.

The situation is that childhood experience (for some people, anyway) feels to be the most valid thing experienced; yet the metaphysical assumptions of modernity has it that childhood experience and its memories are without validity. On the other hand; these fundamental assumptions are, indeed, assumptions; which means that they can be challenged and changed - but only by abandoning atheism and - first of all - becoming Christian. Christianity is the only positive, optimistic faith...

However, most Christians now and throughout history have been neither positive nor optimistic about mortal life. Happiness was deferred until post-mortal life in Heaven; and this world was pretty-much written off as a trial of temptations or even a torment. Hence the sense of being cut-off from God, from happiness; the yearning for death and resurrection among so many of the holiest Saints 


To escape this utter misery requires a particular kind of Christianity, with a very different metaphysical basis than has been usual. It is still Christianity, but the philosophical explanation of the religion is utterly different from that taught by most theologians past and present.


And that is the main theme of this blog: developing a Christianity that is capable of integrating our-selves with this world, and our mortal selves with our post-mortal resurrected life... A Christianity that makes it clear what this life is positively for, beyond mere avoidance of damnation...

A Christianity which includes both the un-conscious world of a happy childhood and the self-awareness of functional modern adulthood; which explains how that childhood is permanent and actively relevant to life here-and-now.

This is what is made possible by regarding pre-mortal, mortal and post-mortal life as theosis, and regarding intuitive and aware primary thinking as the divine mode of being, and this thinking as a real, true and external world in which we our-selves may participate.

If successful, this kind of Christianity will transform the bitter-sweet, down-trending Life-tragedy of a happy childhood seen from the perspective of alienated adulthood; into an unmitigated good-thing. Because we will know that nothing significant is lost and everything good remains objectively available - both now, and beyond the doors of death.

I wish I could have explained this to Christopher Robin and AA Milne; but it is simply too hard to explain; every individual must discover it for himself or herself; and for that to happen they must want it to happen and believe that it is a real possibility; and very few people will admit either, let-alone both, of these propositions.


*Note: I was impelled to read this book (which I have long intended to tackle), by the appearance of a new movie which is apparently 'inspired by' Christopher Robin's 'True Story'; which I will probably end-up watching, sooner or later... It seemed important to grasp the reality before it could be over-written by the 'inspired by'.



The only answers worth having...

The only answers worth having are utterly simple and clear, such that they can be grasped wholly by a single act of comprehension.

(Only such answers are lucid, unambiguous, hence even potentially-valid.)

Utterly simple and clear... Yet of course reality is (ahem) extremely complex...

So how does this work?

*

It works because :

1. We must know enough to ask exactly the right question, and

2. We must know enough to understand the simple-clear answer.

*

This point is general; whether we are talking about science, metaphysics or Christianity. The only answers worth having are simple and clear; but knowing enough to ask the right questions and to understand these simple-clear answers requires a lot of effort and time.


Monday, 11 September 2017

Why is 'everybody' *always* focused on lack of stuff instead of alienation?

I don't get it. All Leftists - and nearly-all who self-identify as being on the Right - seem obsessed by materialism (economics and politics) and completely and utterly ignore what very-obviously-to-me seems to be The Problem: I mean alienation.

Alienation is a convenient term for the cut-offness of modern life, its perceived meaninglessness, its purposelessness; the nihilism and despair which is - or at least seems (very obviously) to me - to be everywhere and near-universal...

Very obviously (to me), it is not lack of stuff that is the main problem for modern people; but that it all adds-up to nothing - and nothing they do add-up to anything.

(Take a look at modern Western people - and compare their situation with people elsewhere and at any point in history - and you would not jump straight to the conclusion that we are being oppressed by lack of stuff.) 

Thoreau remarked that the mass of Men lead lives of quiet desperation - He was right; but apparently Men nowadays are utterly unaware of the fact; or else assume that their quiet desperation is due to lack of stuff...