Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Obedient clueless incompetence - mainstream modern mediocrity

Because of the systematic and coercive untruthfulness of our society, incompetence is more common than it used to be. It has also changed its form.

About 40 years ago, incompetence was mostly psychopathic - and therefore a matter of individuals. The incompetence of psychopathic individuals was short termist and selfish, they used their jobs to get money, steal, coerce sex, torment people or get whatever they wanted. In general incompetent psychopaths were impulsive, chaotic and tried to do as little as possible. In order to achieve and maintain this they would lie, cheat, threaten, punch, weep, beg... do whatever worked or seemed likely to achieve their goals.

There are still plenty of psychopaths around - and in high places; but modern incompetence is overwhelmingly systematic; hard-wired into the organisation by the infiltration of Leftist ideals - from mission statements, down through aims and objectives, to rules and regulations and the interpretation of laws.

The typical modern organisation demand obedience rather than effectiveness at the purported organisational function. This especially in the linked-bureaucracy - the public sector, major private corporations, NGOs, education, health care etc... all the most powerful and influential organisations.

Thus the typical modern incompetent is a mediocre middle manager: obedient, conscientious, methodical, eager... They are incompetent partly because they could not do better, and partly because incompetence is deeply so assimilated to the (politicised) organisational ethos, that it has become invisible.

The typical obedient, clueless incompetent is that-way in some respects because they don't know any better - nor do they care enough to find out what is better; but even if they did happen to know better, they would be too docile and timid for this to make any difference.

Another important difference is that whereas old-style psychopathic incompetence makes us angry and motivated to do something about it - so there is a negative-feedback-loop that tends to keep it in check... in contrast, the mainstream modern incompetence of over-promoted passive mediocrity fills us with a paralysing pity for its sad little personnel; and these bureaucratic drones are so ubiquitous, and so multi-layered, that the usual evoked-response is resignation and despair.

And so it persists, and expands, and will eventually kill us all... 

Monday, 22 January 2018

The next step: When you don't believe Them - Say so!

This is the next step...

As Vox Day has accurately stated, and as we all ought to know by now, SJWs Always Lie: which means that the mass media, government, bureaucracies and all large mainstream institutions Always Lie.

And Liars cannot be trusted: should not be trusted.

So when you believe that they are lying, you should say, preferably out-loud and clear, that you do not believe them.

This is the next step.

This is what the public, what people-in-general need to hear. They need to hear people saying what they know in their hearts to be true. In private, in public - this needs to be said.

When They lie, say it out-loud and in something as clear and simple as these words: I Don't Believe It (or I Don't Believe You).

No need to be aggressive, just state it clearly and firmly. 

And don't back down, stick to it - keep at it.

Say it again - whenever needed. 

(It is after all unarguable: I, personally, don't believe it, I don't believe you. It's just a fact. Why should I believe you? You of all people!)

Don't say there is 'no evidence', or some such evasion - because these people fake the evidence: that's what they do - they do it all the time! If they need evidence, they will invent it.

Evidence, from These People, means nothing.

Haven't you been paying attention? They select, distort and misinterpret - they make things up from nothing - they 'quote' what nobody ever said - massive realities disappear, insignificant nothings become national obsessions...

They employ fake experts and pseudo-experts; they fund fake demonstrators to have fake riots; they fake patients, fake victims.

They bribe and/ or intimidate officials all the time! 

They lose information, edit recordings, fake documents, fake statistics, fake graphs, fake photographs...  

When it comes to SJWs there is no such thing as 'evidence' - you simply can't believe them. You should not believe them.

Because they are liars; and liars ought not be believed, or truth is lost.

Now - with so much hype, spin, lies and fakery - you don't know and I don't know what the real actual truth is... Don't be drawn into that!

You don't know what 'really happened', and you don't need to know.

All you know, and all you need to know - is that They are Not telling the Truth.

So: Don't Believe Them. 

Say it! Keep saying it!

Discard your fear of being-wrong. Embrace your inner conspiracy theorist

Fact: The media and the linked-bureaucracy are liars. Response: We can, and must, decide what is true, regardless of what They say.

What can we do? This is what we can do.

Everybody must become a Conspiracy Theorist - in other words, we must regard the official information as rhetorical manipulation.

This means we - I mean each of us, as individuals - must decide what is true and real; if possible without taking any notice at all of what the mainstream story is. (More difficult than it sounds...)

Of course the mainstream story contains some correct facts (all effective lies do) - but these are useless to us when we do not know which facts are correct and which others have been left-out. Indeed the unidentified correct facts are worse-than-useless - they are actively-misleading, and in the direction of manipulation.

How might we do this making up of own minds? Partly by what we personally have observed, partly by what we personally have reasoned-out using common sense, partly by our inborn, God-given faculty of intuitive knowing of the simple and necessary realities of our life and the human condition (assuming we acknowledge that this faculty exists).

Or we can say 'I don't know - I have no opinion'... But that has become surprisingly difficult.

What is essential is to lose our fear of being wrong! After all, when we are demonstrably wrong about stuff (and we surely will be, and often), we can change our minds, there and then, immediately; and without reference to any 'consensus'.

But there isn't much point in trying to persuade other people of our personal convictions when they fly in the face of 'the evidence' - on the other hand, does that really matter?

A population of individuals who stubbornly insisted on ignoring official information and explanations and making up their own minds, and are not afraid of being wrong; well... such a population would already be free (free where it most mattered); and would not be manipulate-able nor govern-able in the totalitarian form that is in place and being increased.

And that would be extremely worthwhile - indeed, the difference between near-certain damnation and the chance of salvation (for starters).

(Note to Self: disregard mainstream topics and facts and interpretations, make up own mind, don't care about convincing other people: rejoice in freedom of thinking...)

What would stop Europe's demographic decline?

1. Wanting to stop it.

This desire is absent. Policy is therefore irrelevant.

2. So, the question becomes something like - Why are Europeans indifferent to demographic decline?

3. Why don't European's regard having children as a major priority?

4. Why don't European's regard permanent marriage and family as the major priority?

This is getting a bit closer...

Individuals... Why would an individual European person put marriage and family as priority? Clearly it must Not be as a short term reliable route to maximise happiness...

So it's about the long term and the cosmic and supra-individual... We are talking about Religion.

5. The answer to what would stop Europe's demographic decline is Religion; serious and as a priority...

6. The next question is what kind of religion?

But at least we are clearer about the nature of the right answer.

Love and consciousness from the assumption of Being as primary

We are ultimately, and in reality, beings among beings - and human destiny entails becoming fully aware of this fact and freely embracing it in our thinking.

We began (as young children, and in the early days of Man) as un-consciously living as beings among beings - and with our personal being (our self) not-fully-differentiated from the beings around us.

You know what I mean, because you were once a young child. A young child (in an ideal or best possible situation, which can be imagined even if - especially if - not personally experienced) lives in a world of beings related by love - and his own being is not distinctly separable from those of his mother, father and close family... For a young child, his parents are always present, and their love is a constant fact which contains of of life and experience.

Expressed abstractly, like physics: our primordial experience is that love contains consciousness - love is the medium in which consciousness exists, and in which consciousness develops.

But in reality this situation is not abstract, but personal. Abstract is a simplified summary; being is actual.  

In terms of love, a young child's love is perfect - he inhabits a world of living and loving beings. If love was the only thing life was about, we would (and probably should) remain as-children. But because not-differentiated, the child is not free. The child cannot act from-himself, because that self is essentially passive. The child is so embedded-in, permeated-by, the loving relationships of his family - that he is almost-wholly-responsive rather than active or agent.

God wants Men to become gods, like God - and this involves passive and unconscious children becoming free and conscious agents. Therefore there must be a developmental growth from the state of childhood to adulthood. And this developmental growth need primarily to be in consciousness - because love doesn't grow.

So... Christianity is primarily underpinned by love: love is primary - that is a fact. However, in this sense Love is qualitative - Love is not the kind of thing that grows, develops, evolves. Mortal life is Not about growth in love - but about growth in consciousness.

Love is somewhat like a growth-medium, the essential medium in which the hoped-for growth of consciousness may happen. That which grows in the medium of love is consciousness - development from passive/ unconscious child to agent/ conscious adult consciousness...

In general terms we begin as unconscious of everything, just-being and taking everything 'for granted' - the aimed-at divine situation is to be conscious of everything: being-aware-of-being...

In sum, abstractly the child and the adult are potentially identical in love but different in consciousness - and the adult consciousness is higher because more-individualised, more-free, more-agent.

Adolescence is the transition between child and adult consciousness - a necessary, unavoidable transition - but a transition and not an intended end-point. In adolescence what is inevitable is the development of consciousness, what should not change is the medium of love. Adolescence ought-to happen in a medium of love.

The ideal development through mortal life is therefore a transition of consciousness into agency; always and continuously in love: agency changes, love doesn't.

In terms of being (which is the reality) we ought-to (are divinely destined/ intended to, hope/ aspire to) grow-up in loving families - and the growing-up-bit is a matter of consciousness.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

The Harry Potter Litmus Test to discriminate between Christians and Christian-Fellow-Travellers

By Christian-Fellow-Travellers I means those primarily political (e.g. conservative, reactionary or libertarian) political intellectuals who approve-of Christianty (they may even self-identify as Christians) without adopting a Chriustian perspective... I mean people like Roger Scruton or  Jordan Peterson, who are the examples here.

By contrast are people who are primarily Christian, and from-that derive their political views - my examples here are Jerram Barrs (a Calvinist) and John Granger (an old-calendar Russian Orthodox).

The test I propose is to consider the reaction to the Harry Potter books among those who actually like the books - who find something to admire in them.

If you can be bothered  to watch these four videos - I think you can see that the Christian-Fellow-Travellers miss the Christian-point of these books; and this comes as a consequence of their primarily political persepctive.

So what is my point here? It is that there is a world of difference between being a 'Right Wing' Christian-fellow-traveller, and being an actual Christian - and that difference includes the persepctive from which you view and interpret the world... including the Harry Potter books...

I should add that since publishing the Harry Potter books, and in her public persona and pronouncements; their author JK Rowling gives every appearance of having apostatized from her Christian faith, and indeed is in-effect an influential anti-Christian. Nonetheless, the Harry Potter books themselves tell a very different story.

For those who like the metaphysics on this blog...

Don't forget that the metaphysical posts from this Notions blog - including the recent line-of-work concerning Direct Christianity - are being collected in a more concentrated form at the Owen Barfield Blog - since I am pursuing a line established by Barfield (and his mentor Rudolf Steiner).

What I have done is to absorb the analysis and methods of Barfield and Steiner; and (without continually referencing back to them) am following these insights into those areas that most concern me - in particular the necessity for metaphysical reconstruction of modern assumptions as a basis for better ways of thinking and being.

Ultimately, I want to do philosophy and theology in a mode of being and persons - their motivations, intentions, emotions, knowledge etc; instead of the usual way of doing philosophy in abstractions (entities, forces, structures, attributes etc).

This is difficult for me to do (as it was for both Steiner and Barfield, who recurrently lapsed into abstraction despite their best intent) - but I am pretty sure it is what most needs to be done.

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Resist implemented evil - solo dissidence

The most important thing is that 'people' continue to resist - after they are implemented, and without end - bad laws, policies, regulations, standard practices, protocols, procedures, social-pressures, over-narrow/ over-abstract/ undefined weasel words (like racism, inequality, education, immigration...), tendentious assumptions (e.g false assumptions embedded in questions - forced dichotomies, both false...)...

And so on.

Typically, it is not possible to prevent these evils being implemented - the important thing is not to go-along-with them after they have-been implemented. That is the point when resistance can be, will be, effective.

It is not 'too late by now' - instead, that is exactly when evil must be resisted - after evil is on the statute books, on the masthead mission statement, in the aims and objectives.

If (enough) people don't cooperate with evil, and they continue not-cooperating (taking whatever flak ensues) then evil will be stopped and rolled-back.

The worst thing that people can do - here and now - is to assume that it is too late. That 'it's all in the past' - so I 'might as well' cooperate, indeed I might as well assist, support, propagandise-for...

If I can't beat 'em, then I ought to join 'em - at least then I won't be a 'hypocrite' - I might-as-well sell-out and get some reward for it... 

If I didn't do anything in the past, then I can't realistically do anything now; if I don't have a coherent rationale why I have not resisted, or do not resist, all evils - then I should resist none...

These arguments are why cynics are the worst conformists, why cynics make the best managers and bureaucrats, why cynics accomplish more evil than the evil.

All this takes 'enough people', but we don't know how many 'enough' is (in some situations one is enough...); and, the thing is, here-and-now, with things as they actually-are... resistance cannot be organised (not least because there are far too-many things to organise against, and they are coming too fast and too frequently).

So 'enough people' can only come, would have-to come, from an aggregation of intransigent  individuals - whose resistance is unconditional.  

Several or many individuals changing their minds, individually and apparently-spontaneously...

I am not saying this is likely: I am saying that this is what must happen - if anything effective and good is to be accomplished.

Solo dissidence.

Nobody can 'make you' do it; but it is - I am afraid - a moral imperative.

Friday, 19 January 2018

Direct Christianity made possible by Christ's presence 'in the etheric'?

One way of thinking about Direct Christianity is that - in this modern era, and due to the limited scope and corruptions of the Christian Churches - we may experience Jesus directly, that is without the traditional sources of revelation such as church, scripture and practice.

I explored this possibility in a post last summer (before I had developed the idea of Direct Christianity) on Albion Awakening, which I excerpt and edit below:

Rudolf Steiner realised that it was God's hope, and the time was ripe, for modern Western Man to move to a new kind of intuitive spirituality of thinking. It was therefore Man's destiny to move forward from the dominant materialism, and spiritual blindness, of the modern era; and if this happened then there would be new and expanded possibilities of direct, intuitive knowing.

One vital and crucial aspect of this was that If Man developed this new spirituality, Then he would come to experience Christ as a living and active personal presence in the world - not by seeing, hearing or touching Christ in his body (this would have to be an imagined Christ, an hallucinated Christ); but instead by a direct, intuitive knowing of Christ in thinking.

What this means, in practice, is that for modern Man it is more important to become spiritual than to become 'a Christian' because to become a non-spiritual Christian is not enough; while to become truly spiritual will also, inevitably, sooner-or-later, lead to becoming a Christian by direct personal experience.

Could it really be that - here and now, in this modern world - well-motivated sincere spirituality of the true self will lead to true Christianity for any serious, seeking individual, without any other input being necessary?

Yes, I think so.

This sounds outrageous at first; but it is clear that merely 'being a Christian' in the usual sense is not enough now (if it ever was).

Modern Christians are often terribly lacking in discernment, and wide-open to demonic deceptions, corruptions and inversions.

The traditions of the churches are wrecked, Biblical interpretation deeply distorted, philosophy riddled with false assumptions; the general culture is one of lies, ugliness and sin-enforced as virtue; many or most church leaders, priests and pastors are primarily secular Left materialists working strategically to harness Christianity to politics; Good to evil...

There are so few safe and reliable sources of Christianity that it seems we must have direct knowledge of the truth - or else what we learn may be worse than nothing.

Specifically: we need direct and personal knowledge of Christ, or we are lost. 

If that is what we absolutely need, then that is what God will surely have provided.

Because we need direct knowledge of spiritual truths, that is now made available to us; and the method by which this is possible should therefore be our first priority.

Is it possible to write a great song with only ONE chord?

In my opinion - No, not a great song.

Although you can write a very good one if the rhythm is excellent and there is some improvisation:

Now, that is very good - but it would surely be better for one or two chord changes - as with:

I conclude that when it comes to chords, two is better than one:

Thursday, 18 January 2018

What is the Big Issue, the Litmus Test? Mass Immigration versus the Sexual Revolution - Secular-Alt-Right versus Christian Revivalists

It strikes me that there is a distinct division between the secular and religious anti-Leftists (groups who often get bracketed-together due to their sharing an enemy).

The secular 'Right'* (including most of the Alt-Right) regard mass immigration to The West as the most important current issue; that issue which needs to be addressed first and with the greatest urgency.

In contrast, Christian anti-Leftists (such as myself) regard the sexual revolution as the most important current issue.

(Although I also argue that this is an issue that cannot be effectively addressed until after there has-been a Christian revival - thus a religious awakening is the issue that needs to be addressed first and with the greatest urgency.)

So the seculars and Christians are applying a different Litmus Test.

The secular Right often judge Christians to be soft on immigration, hence covertly Leftist; while the Christians regard the secular Right as wobbly on the sexual revolution - often advocating extra-marital promiscuity - and therefore as in-essence Leftist.

Since there can only be a single priority; Immigration versus the Sexual revolution makes a useful Litmus Test to evaluate the true status of an anti-Leftist.

*I use scare quotes around the word Right, because I regard the secular Right as being in fact a variant of The Left - since their ultimate judgment is in terms of hedonic satisfactions. Both are materialists/ positivists; and the only significant difference between the Secular 'Right' and the mainstream Left is a disagreement concerning the best or most effective ways to maximise happiness or minimise suffering during mortal human life. Whereas the Religious have a different ultimate evaluative reference that goes beyond the gratifications of mortal human life: i.e. for Christians the salvation of the soul and its progress towards greater divinity.

The English radical tradition - Christian versus anti-Christian motivations

Over at Albion Awakening.

Also, an interesting question from William Wildblood concerning Holman Hunt's Light of the World: is it the best depiction of Christ by an English painter?

Freud, not Marx, destroyed the USA (then The West)

The devastation wrought by Freud, and by Freudian-inspired psychotherapy/ counselling, on the USA is all the greater for being almost unappreciated. Indeed, it could be said that modern political correctness-/ social justice warrior-type Leftism is the product of Freud - not of Marx.

(There is very little socialism or communism in the USA - and what is regarded as such, is nothing-like the primarily economic system devised by Marx and his followers.)

I realised some time ago that professional psychotherapy was an essentially immoral activity. But I did not properly appreciate how far it had gone in the USA until I realised on a month long visit that, of the people I met (mostly academic faculty, doctors and graduate students) all but one had had, or was still having, professional psychotherapy.   

My contention is that the New Left - the mid-nineteen-sixties Leftism of identity politics, rather than economics - began in the USA, and an essential element in this was the mid-twentieth century domination of Freud among the US ruling elites. From the US it spread to the rest of the West. 

In a nutshell: from the summer of 1967, Freud replaced Marx at the core of international Leftism.

Nowadays, Leftism is a purported system of therapy. Leftism is ultimately evil; but with the sixties New Left the excuse for Leftism changed; it changed from economic (alleviation of poverty) to therapeutic (alleviation of victimhood).

The increasingly totalitarian society we inhabit is justified by its therapeutic benefits. The Establishment are really keen on psychotherapy and therapeutic conversations for all, so is the mass media, so are the arts?  

Since I became a Christian, I can understand the damage of Freud and psychotherapy more clearly - because a simplified and weaponised version of the psychodynamic approach has substantially replaced Christianity in both public and private discourse.

There are many horrible effects. Psychotherapy hollows-out a person. A heart-less superficiality of character is one - that bland, fluent, unconvincing affect which dominate US public life. The analysis of all human situations in terms of therapy - so that politics has become (by its own account) a kind of giant psychotherapeutic machine supposedly designed to alleviate human suffering.

Perhaps primarily, psychotherapy is what induces the victim mentality - because psychotherapy regards psychological problems as primary, and traces the roots of problem to 'other people' - indirectly, and all the more effectively for it, therapy always implies that that ultimately everybody is a victim.

To engage in psychotherapy is to internalise victimhood; and when psychotherapy is applies at a social level it discovers one after another, then another victim group. 

Of course psychotherapy does not really work as a medical treatment; and of course sexual relationships between therapists and clients are extremely common/ normal. But all this merely clarifies that what the Freudian perspective actually does is not what it purports to do.

What Freud does is promote the mind-set, indeed the primary metaphysical assumptions, which are desired by the secular Left.

And, although psychotherapy is spectacularly un-successful at curing illness, or making people happier - it is extremely effective at inducing bedrock, deep-rooted, self-validating Leftism both in individuals, and - mainly - in culture.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

What is the biological cause of modern Western insanity?

From a biological perspective, I would regard the current Western insanity as a 'mismatch' problem - Man is a social animal; human ancestral societies were always religious, therefore Man evolved to function in a religious context.

But modern Western societies are non-religious/ anti-Christian. Man is not adapted to live in a secular society. Men are psychologically un-equipped for atheism.

Modern Men thus find themselves in an alien, incomprehensible, meaningless social environment - social reality is unreal, the human mind is disconnected from human society - therefore the inhabitants of modern Western societies are insane*.

*By insane I mean some combination of qualitatively behaviourally maladapted, unable to do reality-testing, behaving in an un-understandable way, having deranged emotions that reduce reproductive success, suffering a fragmented and non-consecutive stream of thinking.

(Note: The above is a biological explanation, based upon scientific models; which means that - even if correct - is is partial and distorted. It is not an ultimate explanation.) 

The bureaucratic solution to Life

I have previously blogged about the serious problem of loneliness in modern society - loneleiness as the modern 'poverty'.

Well, Problem Solved. (Edited)

Theresa May has appointed the country’s first minister for loneliness in order to tackle the misery endured by around nine million Britons. Tracey Crouch will take on the role on top of her current job as Sports minister.

As well as announcing the new minister, Mrs May said a cross-government strategy to find ways to stop people feeling lonely will be published later this year. She said: For far too many people, loneliness is the sad reality of modern life. I want to confront this challenge for our society and for all of us to take action to address the loneliness endured by the elderly, by carers, by those who have lost loved ones, people who have no one to talk to or share their thoughts and experiences with.”

…a ministerial lead for loneliness who will work with the Commission, businesses and charities to shine a light on the issue and pull together all strands of Government to create the first ever strategy. We should all do everything we can to see that we bring an end to the acceptance of loneliness for good.

The Office for National Statistics will help to devise a method of measuring loneliness and a fund will be set up to allow Government and charities to find innovative ways to deal with the problem across all ages, backgrounds and communities. 

Ms Crouch said: "I am sure that with the support of volunteers, campaigners, businesses and my fellow MPs from all sides of the House, we can make significant progress in defeating loneliness".

What should we do first? (Given that Western populations are insane...)

There is a lot of competition in the public arena (including the mass media and the discourse of major institutions - i.e. the linked-bureaucracy) about what should be the priority for what to do, what action to take...

All of them are wrong. Indeed, the more urgent and necessary the action you propose, the more it argues against any kind of campaign to rectify it. Of course, most of the priorities proposed are clearly insane - like the international multi-trillion dollar campaign to stop 'climate change' by reducing CO2 emissions.

But even the calls to address real and important problems fail to notice that the causal factor this is same insanity that led to the climate change scam.

For example, continued mass migration to the UK will destroy the nation, obviously: it is an excluse for totalitarianism, obviously - and especially when the mass immigration mostly comes from where it does, and includes the people it does.

But this is such obvious common sense that the causal factor cannot be that people don't realise the facts of the situation - it is that we have an insane population.

The more vital and urgent the action - the most clearly this fact demonstrates that the problem is deep, fundamental.

Insane, in the sense that the populations in the West have inverted priorities, based on inverted values (Good is evil; evil is Good). Now of course this situation has been led by the Establishment; but there is now little or no push-back. The masses are complicit, supportive of insanity, resistant to sanity...

Western populations are by-now deeply insane due to deep-rooted, foundational, metaphysical materialism/ positivism/ scientism... which means they/ we reject any possibility of meaning, purpose, objectivity.

Of course our societies are strategically insane - and many of the people who assume that they have seen-through the propaganda to the truth about this are equally insane at the deep level (they are merely insane about different things).

We must address the insanity first, because we cannot expect good results from implementing the understanding, priorities and methods of an insane population. All action plans are a distraction from that priority.

Think about it. Do you ask for advice about priorities and action-plans from someone who is talking to hallucinatory voices and who thinks they are Napolean? Or from somebody who believes that they are actually dead, their insides are rotted away and that they caused World War II? Or from somebody who gabbles rapid nonsese 24/7?... That is the modern Western population - just look at us, listen to us. Is it reasonable to expect discernment and strategy from people such as we are. here-and-now? No. The problem is the insanity. First the insanity must be cured; only after the insanity has gone, can we start taking notice.

Unless the casue of our prevalent insanity, the underlying problem of materialism, is addressed; then all actions will merely be the implementation of insanity.

This is a consequence of the corruption of all those who control and contribute to public discourse.

Don't be distracted.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Evil during sleep

People holding the materialistic view of life have no idea to what man is exposed between going to sleep and waking. He is actually exposed to these beings who persuade him in his sleeping state that good is evil, and evil good. The moral order on Earth is bound up with the human etheric body, and when man sleeps, he leaves his moral achievements behind him on the bed. He does not pass over into the state of sleep armed with his moral qualities.

From a 1922 lecture by Rudolf Steiner

This passage, which I encountered in a book collected some of Steiner's writings about sleep, stuck in my mind and triggered reflection on the topic of evil dreams.

Sometimes - quite often - I behave in a evil way during my dreams. In one sense this is hardly surprising, because I (like everybody) have much evil in my heart; so why wouldn't it come-out in dreams?

Furthermore, if dream experience is - as I assume - an aspect of the experience of our mortal lives, then the point is how we respond to these experiences. Dreams may provide experiences which can be good for us, or turned-to good - but which are (thankfully) absent from waking life. If we respond well to these experiences, then we will move towards divinity during our lives (i.e. theosis).

On the other hand, if we respond wrongly, then we will move away from divinity - and this was encouraged by the 'Freudian' idea that the evil we do in dreams is evidence of fundamental hypocrisy, and proof of each of us being 'really' depraved - dreams reveal the true self.

Steiner disagreed:

You may recently have seen in the newspapers some interesting and thoroughly well-founded statistics. It was stated that criminals in the prisons have been found to have the soundest sleep of all. Really hardened criminals are never tormented during their sleep by bad dreams or the like. This only happens when they dip down again into their etheric bodies, for it is there that the moral qualities lie. It can much more easily happen to one who is striving to be moral, that through the constitution of his etheric body, he carries over something into his astral body and is then tormented by dreams as the result of comparatively trifling moral lapses. But generally speaking it is a fact that man does not carry over at all, or only to a very slight extent, the moral constitution he acquires during earthly existence but is exposed during sleep to the beings just referred to.

So, Steiner suggests that spiritual progress during waking life is not carried-over into dreams; indeed there is a sense in which there is a reciprocal relationship whereby the better the waking Man, the more evil he experiences during sleep. (This made me think about how CS Lewis, a good man, was terribly plagued with nightmares.)

But Steiner goes further in attributing some dream evil to demonic (specifically Ahrimanic) beings. He says that awake-good people (at least during this consciousness era) are especially exposed to these ultra-materialistic anti-spiritual beings whose aim is to prevent men taking the next developmental step.

It isn't clear to me from this lecture - but often Steiner sees Ahrimanic beings as providing the challenges and threats - the necessary resistance - which modern man needs in order to grow.

If Steiner's view is broadly-correct, then it seems we must continue to suffer the misery, fear, disgust and shame of evil dreams - for our own ultimate good. The point is not to stop, ignore or be afraid of these dreams; but properly to understand them, and constructively to learn from them.

Evil is an attribute, a positive thing: it is the motivation to oppose Good

There is a vast, confusing and un-helpful literature that argues evil is not 'a thing' in an of itself, but merely the absence of Good, the 'privation' of Good...

But evil is a thing - what's more a very simple and clear thing: evil is the opposition to Good.

An evil an evil motivation is one that intends to oppose the Good, and evil act is one that opposes Good, and evil entity is one that actively and overall opposes the Good.

Clear enough? Simple enough? It should be.

While it may be difficult in practice to discern Good and evil - the theory can and must be absolutely clear, simple and unambiguous. 

At the largest and most abstract level: God's creation and God's aims for creation are Good; to be evil is to oppose creation and its aims: evil is to be anti-creation; evil is to be against Men becoming sons and daughters of God. 

In one summary; evil is what opposes the true, the beautiful, the virtuous and the harmony of these. Thus, evil is to excuse, support, propose, advocate, impose that which is false or dishonest, ugly or vile or sin-advocating.

And the greatest evil is inversion - the re-labelling of evil as Good, Good as evil - it is this inversion that makes Western modernity the most evil society ever; that fact that we sneer-at and smear beauty, truth and virtue; that we advocate and coercively-impose lies, ugliness and sin on the pretence that these are Good.

What makes is evil is quite objective; and is that evil is done officially, by our laws and regulations, by education and Establishment; that evil is subsidised propagandised and celebrated; that the mainstream mass media (which occupies and addicts most of the people most of the time) is overall and strategically working for evil and against Good.

To be evil is therefore a thing, and that thing may be active, strategic, explicit...

Of course, nothing in practice is wholly-evil - because the negation of all Goods would be instant and total destruction.

But evil properly-understood as a motivation and a goal is not just common, to serve the agenda of evil with effort and dedication... this is not just a concrete reality but evil is here-and-now common, normal, approved, rewarded, mainstream...

Monday, 15 January 2018

Direct knowing compared with perception, feelings and abstract models

I think we need a metaphysics of direct knowing - so we may escape from the incoherent, self-contradicting, auto-destruction that is modern metaphysics.

(We need not feel guilty of 'wishful thinking' when we reject an inadequate and nonsensical metaphysics! This is something our culture ought to have done 200 years ago, and only eight generations of inattention and inadequate concentration has defended the absolute garbage that passes for 'scientific' or 'rational' or 'realistic' thinking in modern, mainstream public discourse.)

The physical world we learn of by sensory perception - and this imposes itself upon us: perceptions happen-to-us, and we are therefore passive in relation to them. Nonetheless, we also know that sensory perceptions are unreliable (we experience illusions, misinterpretaions, hallucinations etc), and differ between individuals (and within one person, over time) - so sensory perception cannot be a fundamental basis for life.

The world of the body is known by feelings - that is, by our awareness of emotions (emotions being our brain's monitoring of inner body states). Feelings also impose upon us - like perceptions, we are over-whelmed by feelings - we are (mostly) passive in face of feelings. Yet we know that feelings are evanescent - they fade, they change, they are different between different people at different times - feelings cannot be a fundamental basis for life.

Currently, the mainstream highest conscious understanding of things; and the basis for public discourse, is abstract models. Abstract models are simplified and selective simulations of reality - and they are the currency of what passes-for rationality - I mean such word-concepts as the ideals of equality, happiness, suffering; education, wealth, violence; health, justice, virtue... And the models used in managment, science, law, the military etc. In public discourse such abstractions are given 'operational definitions' which we know-for-sure are incomplete/ biased/ wrong... but we treat abstract models asif real because (we are assured) there is nothing else.

(Modern public discourse is intrinsically coercive: based on compulsory assertion that TINA... There Is No Alternative - i.e. no alternative is allowed, no alternative will be taken seriously, any proposed alternative will simply be ignored - the current abstract model is mandatory.)

Thus it is facile to demonstrate that all the current, available bases for public discourse, for Life, are certainly-wrong, and lack any coherent basis - except for the assertion that there is nothing else better.

But there Is something else better; there is a coherent metaphysics which could serve as a solid basis for Life, and for public discourse - which is that there is a single reality that we can each of us know directly.

By directly I mean unmediated - and not by a chain of unreliable perceptions, or by contingent feelings, or by means of incomplete biased models.

Direct, in fact, entails identity - to know directly universal single reality, entails that the knower is (to that extent) joined-with and becomes a part-of that reality. Direct knowledge entails participation in reality... (And this is where Owen Barfield's term comes from.)  

Participation is not with the whole-of reality - but a part of it (real and direct - but partial - participation) ... Thus our direct knowing is real, but (extremely) incomplete and biased... that is, direct knowing is partial, and that partiality is not a microcosm of the whole.

So we have the possibility (by definition, by metaphysical assumption) of real knowledge of reality - real truth; but incomplete and distorted... But over time our knowledge of truth can get greater and we can learn more of the context hence increase its representativeness.

We have a personal perspective, and we have had limited experience; therefore we do not have all truth about everything - and to know fully any specific truth requires knowledge of how it fits into everything...

Different individuals will grasp different portions of the total reality from different perspectives, and with different degrees of completeness - hence disagreement between individuals is to be expected. But over time, individuals will tend (spontaneously) to converge on the single true reality.

Furthermore; although our knowledge may direct and correct, when we communicate this knowedge to others we are back in the realms of perceptions, feelings and abstractions - and this is another source of inter-individual disagreement. 

The above coherent metaphysics is possible - but it cannot be forced upon anybody; it must be chosen.

Metaphysical assumptions cannot ever be proven - they are assumptions (and assumptions are necessary for proof).

Metaphysical assumptions are not supported by evidence, so don't look for any! Because they are assumptions (and assumptions are necessary to define the nature and status of evidence).

So we must choose to assume metaphysics - and when we are contradicting the metaphysics that we have unconsciously-absorbed from society and unthinkingly reproduce - then we must consciously choose our metaphysical assumptions.

This seems strange - it may seem bogus. Because perceptions, and feelings force-themselves upon us - and we are used to being compelled to accept abstract models on the basis that 'there is no alternative' - it seems artificial, contrived, dubious for us consciously to choose-to-assume the fundamental basis of our reality; to assume the nature of reality.

But that is what we must do if we want to have a coherent metaphysics. 

Direct knowing is active, not passive; it is individual not groupish; its objectivity (sameness between individuals) is a product of multiple individual increases in knowing - as they spontaneously converge on the underlying singleness of reality.

When there is (honest and well-motivated) disagreement, the answer is simple: all individuals should attain more knowledge - because as individuals attain more knowledge, they will agree more.

And because communication is inherently indirect; there is an important sense in which each of us must (sooner or later) learn and know for himself.

The future is individual, the future entails greater knowledge, the future is chosen... it is more-and-more conscious. And it is unbounded - since (form our individual finite perspective, and with finite experience) there is always more to know.

Such a Life is intrinsically-creative - because to know is to participate, and all knowing is individual.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

The meaning of death, and life - conscious knowing of the realities

Some say death is the primary issue for Men - in a sense it is; in another sense our understanding of death is entirely dependent on our understanding of life.

Because how can we have anything meaningful to say about death until after we know what it is? What happens when people die?... Well, the meaning of an individual person's death - its timing and circumstances - surely depends on that what that specific person's life was for.

Any answer to this question of death - what makes a death good or bad - immediately references back to the larger context of life - death happens in a context of first being-alive; so we can't know about death until we know about life, its meaning and purpose; what our life has to do with us.

Neither death not life are abstractions - they come down to personal events. My life is the primary event, my death happens after my life...

We cannot forever keep kicking the can down the road: that is we cannot live on the basis of means being substituted for ends, or by pretending to regard means as if they were ends... I mean it is insane to live 'for' some value like education, fitness, health, money, power... while continually deferring the question of 'for what?'. Education to do what? Getting fit to do what? 

With respect to dying - values such as dignity when dying are obviously usually good - but clearly not absolutes (many valuable things are undignified - like giving birth to a child). Peacefulness when dying... okay, but as-such peacefulness is just an evanescent emotion - it is good to be peaceful so that we can... what?

And that which peacefulness may assist is dependent on the meaning of death, and of life.

Such questions as the meaning of death and life are mainstreamly regarded as unanswerable, or a matter of opinion... But that is to prejudge the issue as meaningless.

To know that they are unanswerable is to assume as a matter of conviction that they have no meaning - if they had a meaning, it could potentially be known and then there would be an answer.

To regard the meaning of death and life as a matter of individual opinion is to assert that there is no meaning - since opinions change, and are manipulable, culturally dependent; most people's opinions are shallow and worthless...

To regard the meaning death and life - My death and My life - as matters of opinion; is to have an already-formed conviction that life is meaningless - and therefore death too. 

Can we, personally, ever know what our own life is for; and therefore potentially understand the meaning of our own death?

To ask that question is to answer yes - implicitly; If there is to be meaning. To have a meaning that we can't possibly know, would be a meaningless situation - which is incoherent.

Yet if knowing the meaning of death and life is important, perhaps vital - why don't we all already know it?

Well, let's say we do already know it - implicitly; and our job is to make this explicit. Part of the meaning and purpose of life (among those of us who are aware of these issues, who think-about these issues) is precisely the becoming-conscious of that which (perhaps) everybody implicitly but unconsciously already-knows.

But why would we have to achieve this, and by effort - over time?

The best reason for a gap between implicit and conscious knowing would be that positive effort over time, decision, choice... was the only way it was possible to achieve conscious knowing.

Could it be that some things can be built-into us; but other things can't - and can only be achieved by our own personal efforts, choices, will etc.

And that life is perhaps (partly, but significantly) about this process of getting-more-conscious?

(I mean my life, not everybody's life who ever lived - including the majority of people who died in the womb or as infants or in other ways. But my life, and yours who read this.)

And conscious about death too? I presume so. Whatever we think about dying needs to be in a context of the meaning and purpose of death; and what we think about dying can only be coherent if there is indeed meaning and purpose to death.

The meaning and purpose of life and death are therefore not abstract - and they are personal. They are personal, but they are a matter of reality, not of opinion.

The reality of meaning and purpose in my life, your life, every life - is there. Meaning is there, whether we know it or not.

And our task (yours and mine - but not everybody's task) is to become explicitly, consciously aware of that reality.

(But whether or not we want-to, or can, communicate that consciously-known reality to some specific other-people, under the prevailing constraints of time, space and personal interest and attitudes... is a very secondary matter.)

Saturday, 13 January 2018

'Restorer of the Eternal Light' - by John Fitzgerald

...Whatever we choose to do, it is less opinion and debate that is required and more thought and reflection. We have become fixated, to a degree, on political procedures and solutions. But there is a pre-political level of myth and intuition which drives the direction a society takes at a more fundamental level. It's all about the kind of stories we tell ourselves and the stories we believe to be true or false. We need to return for a while to the primal, archetypal level of things, then tune back in to the land we have become alienated from, and listen to the story it's telling us. Where does it want to go? What does it want us to do? Then we can step forward into the future in confidence and clarity of mind. 

Maybe what emerges from our time in the wilderness will appear strange and unsettling. The Russian Orthodox priest, Fr. Andrew Phillips, has proposed on his blog (www.orthodoxengland.net) the dissolution of the UK and its replacement by another acronym, IONA - The Isles of the Northern Sea. He wants Westminster to become the site of a devolved English Parliament and for central government to relocate to the Isle of Man, an island rich in British mythological lore and within sight, as it were, of all four countries. 

It could well be that such a radical reimagining of who we are is exactly what is needed to propel us out of the current impasse. But nothing authentic or original will come to the surface without contemplation and stillness. We have to get beyond the head level - into the heart, the imagination and the guts. Argument and counter argument will get us precisely nowhere. We'll be stuck at the level of cliché forever, more and more dependent on the market and the state (and increasingly technology) to provide us with answers to problems we don't have the imaginative capacity to deal with any more....

Read the whole thing at Albion Awakening