Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Burning Heart

Children are at the heart of the Kingdom. Let us be like children, and trust not to our own understanding...

I.P.: But if the spiritual heart is not manifested physically, how can you tell where it's located and whether it has awakened or not?

A.M.: When the spiritual heart has awakened, you feel a kind of burning, an influx of energy, a feeling of peace in your chest. When it only starts awakening, you feel pain in the chest. At first it's like heart pain, often quite strong. Those who don't understand what's happening, think it's heart trouble. We've had cases in our commune when people felt acute pain at the time when their spiritual heart began to awaken. Doctors thought it was a heart attack, but cardiograms showed no heart disorders. Objective evidence spoke of good health. When the action of the spiritual heart expands, you may feel pain in your chest or even your shoulders. At first the area of action expands, but then it is localized and forms a kind of sphere in the middle of your chest. After a while the pain goes away and you feel the action only once in a while.

At the time of acute self-consciousness at the birth of adulthood, when the
soul is still innocent and open, has not been hardened, and the world is a
big apple with possibilities that are seemingly limitless, and relationships
can seem to be so perfect and so easily perfect, and the soul has been just
awakened to the intense sense of personhood, self-hood, and asks (for the
first and sometimes only time in one's life) the question of who he is and
why he's here, the soul is wide open and seeks to go beyond itself. The
person feels deeply and intensely, having not yet learned to block and hide
these feelings which later prove too painful, and he longs to share this
feeling, this self-awareness, this itensity, this pain with others and to feel
what others feel, especially those who are going through the same thing.
Everything is poured out freely, sometimes too freely, and there is no
attempt to guard one's inner world from being trampled on. The child who
has never been hit by a car, if he is not told of the dangers, will have no
fear of walking into a busy street.
However, when the person gets older, as time passes, the perfect "soul-
mate" relationships which began so intensely, like a wonderous blossoming
flower, become disappointing because there was nothing higher to hold
them together; and the seemingly endless possibilities which present
themselves in youth become smaller, one possibility closing itself off after
another once one goes further on a certain path ( for each person can only
take one path at a time). And then occurs what has formerly been feared
and rejected - a layer forms on top of the raw person, a protective coating;
and it cannot be helped, for pure vunerability is too painful.
All this explains why youth of today fear so much to get old, why they will
do anything to prevent it.

Friday, July 30, 2010


It's always useful to ponder, what if? Here is one of the oldest churches in England. Tradition can be viewed, not merely as calcified accretion (with a life/death all of its own) but as the product of human choice - That which endures is that which we choose and re-choose, and choose again. That which is sustained, and sustains over time, nourishing with a life blood that connects us to the past and the future. There is no "Tradition" which needs to die, is outmoded, etc. etc. Tradition exists because the sacred dead exist. God is a God, not of the dead, but of the living. This is more true than the "postmoderns" realize. Tradition exists because our life is not our own, and also because it is our own. There is no war between Fate and Love, Tradition and Life, etc., etc. Here, all is One.

(Photo from Blog, Cotswold Peeps)

July 31, One Cosmos Blog

Why is this the case? First of all, how can two such diverse modes -- sight and hearing -- equally create the thing called "art?" Or, perhaps more to the point, what is art that it can express itself in two such diverse modes? Why are a painting and a symphony both called art? And why are the other senses excluded?

One of the classic definitions of art is that it combines, wholeness (integritas), harmony (consonantia), and radiance (claritas, which is similar to Plato's "splendor of truth").

Thus, painting and music can obviously embody wholeness and harmony, but it is difficult to imagine how the other senses could do so. For example, touch is inherently fragmentary; one cannot "touch the whole," nor can the fingers perceive radiance. And no one imagines that truth can be tasted or smelled (except in a subtle, analogical manner).

Let's go back to Joyce, who is speaking through Stephen: "An aesthetic image is presented to us either in space or in time. What is audible is presented in time, what is visible is presented in space."

The "mysterious instant" of aesthetic reception occurs when "the supreme quality of beauty... is apprehended luminously by the mind which has been arrested by its wholeness and fascinated by its harmony." There is in "the silent stasis of aesthetic pleasure, a spiritual state very like to that cardiac condition which... [is] called the enchantment of the heart."

Perhaps vision conveys the image of eternity, while sound is the moving image of eternity. As Schuon says, aesthetics is "the science of forms," and music presents us with temporal form, or architecture in motion. But the form must convey what is non-formal, i.e., the supra-formal light -- and truth -- from another world. It is limitlessness expressed by a limit, or divine radiance expressed through wholeness and harmony.

Interestingly, Schuon writes that "ignorant and profane aesthetics places the beautiful -- or what its sentimental idealism takes to be beautiful -- above the true..." This leads to idolatry of beauty, and of "art for art's sake." But beauty should be for truth's sake. If it is not subordinate to something higher, it will be appropriated by something lower.

Sri Aurobindo says something similar in a letter to a disciple, that through sound or image, "in a moment mysteriously, unexpectedly, there is a Presence, a Power, a Face that looks into yours, an inner sight..."

However, "so long as one is satisfied with looking through windows, the gain is only initial; one day one will have to take up the pilgrim's staff and start out to journey there where the Reality is forever manifest and present."

Or, one must follow the light to the sun and sound to the moon, for "in a certain sense, the sun makes known space and the moon, time" (Schuon).

A Study in War and Dominion

The Norman Conquest was perhaps the most significant event in Western History for several centuries, perhaps more. Troy Southgate argues here that the Conquest lead to a general desecularization and "reform" of the monastic orders in England, which had become quite lax. The monks literally hunted, diced, etc., etc. However, it is also undoubtedly true that such artifacts as the missal of St. Guthlac (preserved by William of Jumieges) went the way of all flesh as well. The freedom of Saxon Christianity was regularized, preventing excess but also rounding up the "hermitic" tradition. New administrators were able, however they were sometimes chosen purely for their loyalty and adminstrative facility. Lanfranc would have been a notable exception, but not too much of one. I can't find it just now, but there was actually a prominent Norman cleric (from Normandy, not Anglo-Norman) named Guillame (I believe) who argued in an extended Latin treatise portraying William I (Guillame le Batard) as a predator and violator of God's peace and the rights of Englishmen. What is interesting is that it appears that the waves of depopulation during the Black Death (1348) significantly advanced the class integration and racial inter-mingling of Saxon and Norman. After this period, it was difficult to distinguish anyone but "Englishmen". My suspicion is that the Norman Conquest is part of the Papal rise to power, yet also part of the irrevocable change to England into a fundamentally forward-looking, dynastic, energetic, royal state, a paradox later embodied (and resolved) in the person(s) of Henry VIII and Sir Thomas More. There is still something special about "Albion" today. Certainly, the shadows and ghosts of England are not dead, nor are they quiet. The fact that England retains more actual safeguards on personal liberty (as opposed to theoretical American ones that could mean nothing in practice) is of tremendous importance, as is the survival of the Anglican Church, the High Church movement, the monarchy, and other salient facts of English national life.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Why Conservatism is Doomed

The world's leading expert in English-speaking milieux, and translator of the Dutch political thought and influence of Groen, Dr. Harry Van Dyke, has summarized Groen's mature view in this way:

We are living in a condition of permanent revolution ... revolutions are here to stay and will grow much worse in scope and intensity unless men can be persuaded to return to Christianity, to practise its precepts and to obey the Gospel in its full implications for human life and civilized society. Barring such a revival, the future would belong to socialism and communism, which on this view were but the most consistent sects of the new secular religion. To Groen, therefore, the political spectrum that presented itself to his generation offered no meaningful choice.
"In terms of his analysis, the 'radical left' was composed of fanatical believers in the godless ideology; the 'liberal centre,' by comparison, by warm believers who warned against excesses and preached moderation; while the 'conservative right' embraced all those who lacked either the insight, the prudence, or the will to break with the modern tenets yet who recoiled from the consequences whenever the ideology was practised and implemented in any consistent way. None of the shades or 'nuances of secular liberalism represented a valid option for Christian citizens." Groen called for a rejection of the entire available spectrum of political positions, calling for a "radical alternative in politics, along anti-revolutionary, Christian-historical lines" (Harry Van Dyke, Groen van Prinsterer: Lectures on Unbelief and Revolution (1989, pp. 3-4).

Church Unity

Bulgakov seemed to think liturgy a more effective means of reunion than Theology. This, I have thought. It's also possible that the priestly elements of the Christian Church will need to sit and listen at the feet of some warrior-king figure. Isn't the story of David? Didn't he violate the priestly taboos and establish the new dynasty?

"Almost as a postscript to the heavenly warning issued at Fatima in 1917, Saint Maximilian Kolbe, two years later, reviewed the three Great Evils of the latter times, noting: “In 1517, the Protestants rebelled against the Church; in 1717, the Freemasons rebelled against Christ; and, in 1917, the Communists rebelled against God.” In a single sentence the Polish martyr had exposed common origin and natural succession of each of these Apocalyptic nightmares...."

How will the Protestant Church begin to cleanse itself of its associations with Progress? Might not the occasion of America fighting for its reason for existence, its very soul, be the time to begin "anew"? Wasn't Jonathan Edwards soaked and permeated with the God-centered, solar, masculine theology which forms the basis of (in Augustine's words) true religion?

Monday, July 26, 2010


If you don't have Christianity in your bones when it's fifty below, you ain't got it.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Orthodox Poetic

Since most readers are likely to be either Protesters or Calvinites, I have chosen to handpick Catholic and Orthodox items of interest for the sake of balance. The crucial fact of living on the North American continent today is not the issue of faith vs. works. It is is critical acid we live in (and don't notice) which is dissolving all categories of "forever". How often have you heard someone complain in America, "This is taking forever!". Eternal, for us, is a bad word. However, increasingly, our lives are "disposable", just like our garbage. Our food, our habits, our entertainment...and eventually all the rest of all the rest of us...will be disposable too. "America", in the sense of Anglo-Protestant, rural, heartland, working America, is vanishing. We do need "eternal" after all. Or else we will be digested. How much do you trust your "leaders" to do the right thing?

By courtesy of The Failed Hermit, we present Orthodox Poetic. For those of a literary turn, enjoy!

Friday, July 23, 2010

“God…has established one sole order composed of two parts: nature, exalted by grace, and grace vivifying nature. He has not confused these two orders, but he has coordinated them. One force alone is the model, and one thing alone the motivating principle and ultimate end of divine Creation: Christ….All the rest is subordinated to Him. The goal of human existence is to form the Mystical Body of Christ, of this Head of the elect, of this eternal Priest, of this King of the immortal Kingdom, and of the society of those who will eternally glorify God.” (La Civiltà Cattolica, VI, i, 1865, 287-288)
Louis Veuillot had argued that the blindfold fixed by the Revolution upon the eyes of western man would probably only be removed by “the mutilated hands of martyrs”...Let it suffice to mention now that a lack of intelligence, a failure of imagination, and a simple ill will led Liberal Catholics of the 1850’s and 1860’s persistently to distort and thwart promotion of the exalted visions urged upon Christians by the counterrevolutionaries. Liberal Catholics outrightly refused to read Taparelli’s works, even when he personally begged them to point out where they thought he had erred. They labeled the patristic doctrine of divinization as being pantheistic, and the related concept of the Whole Christ as idolatry. Any notion of nature as dominated by Christ the King was excoriated as theocratic. Liberal Catholics, like liberal non-Catholics, invoked the power of the State to silence Veuillot, Taparelli, and those who agreed with them..."

from Dr. John Rao
"Yesterday, I suggested that the sequence of sacrifice in the Bible, reflected in Leviticus and the Song, is this: Like the original Adam, adams are divided and pass through the fire into order to be transformed into fiery bridal food, fragrance satisfying to God. That is only an extension of natural reality: Earth passes through the fire of the sun and the many waters of rain in order to produce fruit. Earth is plowed and planted, divided and broken in pieces, to produce fruit. Seeds must die to produce trees and vines."

Simply Man

Deserves better acquaintance.

"Just as the man who thinks only of this world does everything possible to make life here easier and better, so must we, too, who believe in the eternal kingdom, risk everything in order to receive a great reward there. Just as those who believe in National Socialism tell themselves that their struggle is for survival, so must we, too, convince ourselves that our struggle is for the eternal kingdom. But with this difference: We need no rifles or pistols for our battle, but instead, spiritual weapons—and the foremost among these is prayer. . . . Through prayer, we constantly implore new grace from God, since without God's help and grace it would be impossible for us to preserve the Faith and be true to His commandments. . . . Let us love our enemies, bless those who curse us, pray for those who persecute us. For love will conquer and will endure for all eternity. And happy are they who live and die in God's love."

The Dangers of Being Protestant Politicals

I've been posting on Her'cules mostly, of late, so here is a digression.

Fukuyama is still spewing his Hegelian nonsense:

"None of this is meant, of course, to justify the terrible events of the century now passing. But it does demonstrate the truth of de Tocqueville's assertion that even the actions of democracy's enemies seem in the long run to advance the cause of democracy. It also supports Immanuel Kant's view that man's "asocial sociability" -- his propensity for war and violence -- is the crucible of human progress.

So it turns out that the main consequence of the long chain of events occasioned by Gen. von Kluck's defeat, important as those events were for the millions of individuals affected by them, was to affect mostly the timing of the march toward democracy and free markets and not the final objective. This would seem to be evidence for what Hegel called the "cunning of History," or what others would label the hand of God in human affairs"

And sane persons like Paul Gottfried still try to explain patiently:

"Since the director of this website, who is named for the great emperor and king, has asked me to compare the “Habsburger Reichsidee” (the imperial idea) to the neoconservative concept of a global democratic America, I shall begin by underlining the fact that these ideas operate in non-intersecting universes. Such a comparison may be likened to the task of looking for common characteristics in a Shakespearean drama and a Harlequin novel. If overlaps are ascertainable (and they may be from a structural perspective), they are far less significant than the differences to be noted. One chief difference between the concepts in question is that unlike neoconservatism, the “imperial idea” is a Western and European invention that comes out of the aristocratic and bourgeois past. It is rooted in the European civilization that extended from the late Middle Ages down to the early twentieth century; and while imperial rule shows the marks of a certain commendable political development, toward religious tolerance and a market economy, its history is baroque and imperial. It is in the truest sense Burkean, uniting monarchy and aristocracy to a modern liberal order, without damage being done to any of the parts of this civilizational synthesis."

Gottfried has good ideas about what paleocons can be up to these days. No help from the Hegelians is forthcoming or should be accepted, even Republican ones. History does not explain itself.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Saint Who Averted Civil War Between the Swiss Cantons

I am wondering if the time is right to post this. I will keep it brief, then illustrate later, in later posts. Jesus orders us to flee persecution. Part of this is keeping the paganoi from taking over the State & corrupting all society (which would lead to persecution, and already has). Therefore, the cultural mandate is obedience to the command of Jesus to flee persecution. And if you look at our culture, what we have, it's European. Tear it all down, at the bottom of it, you'll find Jesus. Then, what will you do? Better to obey in the first place. Classical Christian Europeanism is part of the manor of God's House, the means of paedaeia, and represents "the shields of the earth" owned by the Christ who made all his Kingdom. Therefore, back to the antique roots...
As St. Nicholas of Flue demonstrated, such a possibility was once grasped existentially as more than possibility. It was incarnated, in Europe.

Monday, July 19, 2010


From John Piper's Filling Up The Afflictions Of Christ:
"It is ironic and sad that today supposedly avant-garde Christian writers can strike this cool, evasive, imprecise, artistic, superficially reformist pose of Erasmus and call it "postmodern" and capture a generation of unwitting, historically naive people who don't know they are being duped by the same old verbal tactics used by the elitist, humanist writers in past generations. We see them in the controversies between the slippery Arians and Athanasius, and we see them now in Tyndale's day. It's not postmodern. It's pre-modern--because it's perpetual."

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The Sixth Labor of the Stymphalian Birds

During this labor, Hercules will have to have the help of the gods (again!). The birds are too fierce to fight directly, and they nest in the reedy, dark, swampy woods. But the divine noisemaker is gifted to him by Athena (a brass device made by Haephestus). Using this, he raises them in flight, and he slays them with the arrows he gained against the Lion. Likewise, the Christian will need the aid of the full armor of God. I think I've mentioned this before, but just putting on the helmet of salvation will get you speared in the gizzard. Let me be more explicit. In the spiritual life, you grow, or you "die". God will often hold us at a step for years, decades even, until we "humble ourself under His mighty hand". He doesn't have a checklist that you can tick things off on at your leisure. It's a test. Or, more aptly, a quest. There is a path, and if you can't guess the riddle, or perform the three feats, or have a vision, you will wait there until you are sufficiently humble to sense your lack and need to do so. After that, it's easy, at least by comparison. Heaven is taken by storm, but not by warriors with tin-pot hats of easy salvation, or tin-foil hats of easy believism. The gods, the angels, the saints, the messengers...these are part of your quest too. And there are not so nice counterparts. And this is why the whole armor is requisite. Yet nothing is so imperative as the objective, and nothing so energizing or powerful as our Lord. It's just that a story has these details, and getting the details right are important. So don't forget that sanctification is more important (in a sense) than "justification". And don't forget that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, and that some have entertained angels unawares.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Here is a fine modern example of the preferred method of thought.

Opposed to this, we find more amenable and congenial the thought of this man:

"Gómez Dávila, however, did not merely repeat old criticisms of the Enlightenment worship of an abstract reason; he turned skepticism into a strength. This can be seen from his discussion of “problems” and “solutions,” two words that recur throughout his work. Gómez Dávila turns their customary relationship on its head. For him, problems are good, and solutions are bad. His first, and most obvious, objection to solutions is that all the modern world’s solutions simply have not worked. Indeed, the modern world is “drowning in solutions.” This observation, true as it may be, still does not reach the core of Gómez Dávila’s objections to solutions. It is not only modern man who is incapable of finding solutions to the world’s problems; no man can devise solutions to his problems. Problems are not to be solved; they are to be lived out in our lives. For Gómez Dávila, man is an animal that has only a divine solution. Skepticism, then, is not a way of finding reasons not to believe in God, but rather of “pruning our faith” in God..."

Tradition and Non-Tradition

What we want is both liturgy and inner-ness, worship in Spirit & in Truth. The liturgy is the exoteric gesture and ritual which both protects, channels, and helps explain the inner truth of the esoteric spirituality to our children. We can tell them to "love and know Jesus" all we like; without the physical movement and space, we risk them catching our Spirit without entirely understanding what is happening. Which can lead to problems. For one thing, people often misinterpret spiritual events. They also often misunderstand them in the same language : "God" becomes "ground of being", "Jesus" becomes "my personal Saviour only", etc., etc. Without inner power, the ritual or form can become dry and empty and without power. The salt loses flavor. Yet because the form is preserved, there is always a possibility of restoration. This is not true with the "Spirit", which makes things dangerous. More powerful, it is also more deadly if channeled wrongfully. Without preciseness in liturgy or creed (and the two go together), we risk losing our children to everything from New Age to Emo-ism. We want civilization & individualism. We want the classic heritage along with spirituality. The two are properly interpretive and mutually supportive.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Augean Stables

The Fifth Task will involve doing what seems impossible, in sheer magnitude. Massive lifestyle changes (Lifestyle itself, oh my!) will have to be implemented, as well as old forsaken duties resumed, and perhaps their neglected missions in the world that will suddenly be seen in a new light. One might even wish to try to save old gifts from God long abandoned. In any case, metanoia (thinking newly) will reveal more work than you can shake your stick at. You're going to need a river, like Hercules, to redirect through those piled up Augean stables. And when you're done, the Accuser will still proclaim that you didn't do it fair and square. Use the tactics of Greatheart, in Pilgrim's Progress, and arm yourselves with the active virtues of "works-righteousness" : dauntless, intrepid energy of action. The enemy can be destroyed at close quarters, and heaven can be taken by storm. Here, the helmet of faith alone does you no good, because you are wrestling enemies who will rip out your spleen. The whole armor of God is yours; dig that new channel, rip up the old river, and throw open the stable doors on the far end. Cleanse yourself and draw near to God. Don't wait for the miracle.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The New Atheists

Richard Carrier is the up-and-coming "serious" rookie who will replace Dawkins, Hitchens, etc., who themselves replaced other, older "new atheist" models [We certainly won't discuss the conversion to the Faith of the ultra-serious and erudite Sir Anthony Flew, and they won't either!].


Marshall has rightly engaged Carrier due to his prominence (Carrier is one of the few atheists who has had training in classical studies and addresses primary documents from the early Church era).

Marshall's site is here:

Monday, July 5, 2010

Progress in Overcoming the Mystical Body

Although one can lose one's stomach for reactionary and depressive writing, I sometimes wonder if this is more of a comment on the stomach than the Truth, as there does seem to be no alternative to this point of view except the endless view of hyper-Progress in which "humanity" itself loses any connection to Nature, and becomes (not the plaything of the gods) but the sport of our own whims at best. It is certain that "the Church" is on its way out, unless it manages to induce more loyalty such as this. At least as anything other than a relic. Adapting to the times will make us more and more pointless.

"Whether through socialism or mindless pragmatism, the international Empire of the World created by the Party-State-Church is purely materialistic and destructive of man. It destroys him by trying to turn him into something that he is not meant to be; by giving him a social order that prepares him to see nothing; by depriving him of the necessary means by which he may find his way back to sanity. As it goes about its work, it teaches its “infallible” fideist doctrines of “freedom”, “progress”, and “pragmatism”, so that men may praise their own destruction as the height of human achievement. Through channels that, owing to the real complexity of human nature and the problem of sin, supporters of the Revolution might not have envisaged or wanted, the logic of its mission is completed: men are plunged into a hell which calls itself heaven.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


"Love is not hard. It is either easy, or impossible." (Stendahl)

Is this a Kierkegaardian gambit of psychologically driven passion? Or the Truth? One of the problems with being "Western" is that we are often faced with false choices in our thinking. I call this the trap of "dialectics", but it is pretty clear that another form of terminology could be used. Eastern thought tends to map the whole in more than one dimension; "Progress" is thus precluded, but a more equitable approach to the whole person is used. The "nous", for instance, receives attention. The Noetic element is neither mind nor passion, but is capable of both, and with better results. The "East" can help us with that. It doesn't mean we have to stop being "Western". Simone Weil was right to think that interdisciplinary religious approaches would destroy both. However, if one is sufficiently dedicate to one's "own", then cross-training can help, and may, in fact, be the only thing which could.

Bp. Kallistos Ware: “So long as the ascetic prays with the mind in the head, he will still be working solely with the resources of the human intellect. On this level he will never attain to an immediate and personal encounter with God. By the use of his brain, he will at best know about God, but he will not know God.”

“The intellect/nous is in the heart but the heart is much greater than the nous. The heart includes volition, the will to choose to follow God’s commandments. It also includes the faculty of loving and desiring God. Thus, the three faculties of the heart are: 1) To know God with the nous, 2) To love God with the heart, 3) To choose freely to follow Him.”

The Erymanthian Boar - Of Tutelary Spirits

In Ficino's Theologia Platonica de immortalitate animae, I believe he defends the idea of Tutelary Spirits. Saint Paul, of course, speaks of them in Galatians : spirits who were given to the Jews to place them under law for the purpose of education, collectively and morally. In this adventure, Herakles is forced to rely upon Pholus for sustenance and cheer, as he has difficulty locating the boar, despite the racket. The wine he drinks here involves him in an attack by centaurs, which he repels (with the arrows dipped in Hydra's blood). He wounds Chiron, who was once his tutor, a relatively peaceful centaur tutored by Artemis, whose pain from the arrow is so bad that Herakles will later arrange to trade Chiron's life for Prometheus' torture. Only after this adventure and encounter with the rowdy centaurs is Herakles able to locate the rampaging boar and capture him. Zeus gets another addition to his menagerie, and Herakles' torturer hides in a jar.

Spiritual forces exist, both good and bad, which hinder our progress. Demons give idle and distractive thoughts the backing of their deception and power, and we join these to our kindled passions. Our guardian angels are tasked with many things, including (according to Jesus), making life not worth living or even having been created if someone makes us stumble. They all behold the face of the Father directly, and are associated with the soul. It might be useful to recall, from time to time, that specific times and places and people have energies which help or hinder us, and that we ourselves are open to other influences than obviously physical ones. Test the spirits. Discern the times. Watch and pray.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Third Test, The Ceryneian Hind

For the third labor, Hercules was given a retrieval task instead of a slaying to accomplish. Eurystheus hoped that this labor would infuriate Artemis, who would presumably give him the terrible fate that Pentheus met with on the Holy Mountain. Hercules had to travel to the Hyperborean north, where he discerned the glint of the antlers from afar. For this task, the man of God his mind, but in the right way. We have to chase the silver stag, which is the mind of Christ. We have to catch the old stag under the light of the sacred moon, and change it into a gift for the gods, putting on the mind of Christ and changing the earthly hind into the true heavenly counterpart. We have to make unceasing prayer, thought, and communion in our heart to Christ, to God. And in the end, the stag runs free, for we cannot quench the Spirit or stop it from blowing where it lists. We can only take hold of the whole counsel of God in Christ and be changed in our minds, then follow this to transform ourselves and the world. The third task is not for those who would control their own adventures, or dictate terms to God, or not follow the deeper nous of the profound heart which blossoms under the Moon.

Or, says Plato, "the madness of God is greater than the sanity of man".

[Berlin, Neues Museum Herkules besiegt die goldbekrönte Hirschkuh (Herkules fängt die Hirschkuh von Ceryneia) Maler: Adolf Schmidt]

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Lernean Hydra: Enemy Number Two

The Second Enemy is Like unto the First. The Passions are Satan's most effective tool against our minds and hearts; they cloud our perceptions, so that we are not even sure what is real. They place us inside the cloud, so we forget that there even IS a real. And they grow back, crucify them ever so strongly and freshly. They must be cauterized with their own poisons, which means that we have to feel the hurt of their venom and apply them to our most cherished illusions. All is mortal, all must end, all changes, all but God. It is painful to think upon, but the tears from that struggle are future strength. Pray God that you face the Lernean Hydra, but not without the peace that flows from both joy and contentment.
At the level of the Church, the Hydra is heresy and error, which leads to apostasy. At the level of Society, the Hydra is error or ersatz religion, which always threatens to whelm organic growth. One might say, the State, in our day? The Hydra is a cancer, and it devours all that it feasts upon. Passions, heresy, the mega-State.....they offer us, at first, escape from our individuality and personhood, our discipline. They offer to initiate us in the multiplicity of delusion. And they consume.
A challenge to the modern Hyper-Calvinists and Meta-Protestant peoples of the world, the "new men without chests":
"Almost as a postscript to the heavenly warning issued at Fatima in 1917, Saint Maximilian Kolbe, two years later, reviewed the three Great Evils of the latter times, noting: "In 1517, the Protestants rebelled against the Church; in 1717, the Freemasons rebelled against Christ; and, in 1917, the Communists rebelled against God." In a single sentence the Polish martyr had exposed common origin and natural succession of each of these Apocalyptic nightmares."