Saturday, December 31, 2011

Watchers Above, Below

One of the biggest problems with modern political entities is the question of cybernetics, or “the helmsmen” : who watches the Watchers? Who guards the guardians? This problem is not very effectively answered today; if there was a famine in the year 1200, you knew where the nobleman who was feasting on venison lived, what his name was, & whether or not he had contributed to the problem. Likewise, the king oversaw them in their turn, & perhaps an emperor looked over the king.

Modern man doesn’t have an answer to “who the guardians” are, in either the terrestial life, or the life-to-come. Only the “Free Market” regulates such matters.

Esotericism (however) has a very precise, and relatively homogeneous answer to this problem, which goes even beyond political solutions. The “Guardian of the Threshold” is an entity personal to each human being, and consists of the sum total “bad” or negative acts of that being – this “doppelganger” constrains, judges, and (perhaps) terrifies that being, in this life & the next. Tomasso Palamidessi articulated the strongest doctrines concerning this entity, but this idea is by no means peculiar to merely him. Papus mentions the movement through the Zodiac houses which every being undertakes as part of its journey, and one of these entities or houses is “the guardian”. Likewise, Max Heindel speaks of the way the thought/mental, vital, and spiritual bodies interact in a way that is suggestive of the idea that we are surrounded by our own cosmic creations:

“Repulsion is the centrifugal force and if that is aroused by the thought there will be a struggle between the spiritual force ()the will of the man) within the though-form, and the desire body. This is the battle between conscience and desire, the higher and the lower nature. The spiritual desire0stuff needed to manipulate the brain and muscles. The force of repulsion will endeavor to scatter the appropriated material and oust the thought. If the spiritual energy is strong it may force its way through to brain center and hold its clothing of desire-stuff while manipulating the vital force, thus compelling action, and will then leave upon the memory a vivid impression of the struggle and the victory. If the spiritual energy is exhausted before action has resulted, it will be overcome by the force of Repulsion , and will be stored in the memory, as are all other thought forms when they have expended their energy.”
(page 26, Rosicrucian Cosmo-Conception)

These facts or truths may be behind the old medieval belief that demons were attempting to pluck man off the ladder, or carry his soul to hell when he died. Heindel goes on to speak of “ripe Fate” which not even the Lords of Destiny will enable man to “shirk”.

Franz Bardon also makes mention in his magical system of mental “larva” which are generated by frustrated or misused desire.

Valentine Tomberg speaks of the “Guardian” in some detail in Chapter XVIII of Meditations on the Tarot, particularly in relation to conscience.

“The guardian of the threshold spoken of in the Hermetic tradition is the great judge, charged with preserving the equilibrium of that which is above and that which is below. The traditional iconography of the Church represents him with a sword and balance. The sword is his vivifying and healing action, giving courage and humility to the soul which hungers and thirsts for the depths, and the balance is his action of presenting the precise account of what must be paid in order to have the right to go further.”

Thus, we see that behind the old medieval traditions of visions, temptations, sin, the devil, etc. lurked a very prescient sense of the true reality of man’s situation, which is always perilous, always blessed. The modern world derides “shame cultures” as inherently backwards and perverse, yet it has nothing better to put in its place, nor has it managed to do away with “shame”, if for no other reason than that it can pass all the progressive legislation it wishes to, it cannot abolish the reality of the Guardian of the Threshold. This Guardian waits for every man, and for those who cannot don the armor of St. George whereby to triumph over the old serpent, a heavy price will be paid.

Such a spiritual truth is surely behind the old Scripture verse : “It is appointed unto man once to die, and after that, the judgement”. Even re-incarnation or the Lords of Destiny will not save a man from paying the full and terrible price for those deeds, for “re-birth” is not an erasure of karma, but rather a further ripening of it, a passing to an new & developmental state.
There is, in the Christian religion, one possible way out of karma, but it is not a release from its burden, but rather a servant-like assumption of it in a state of pleromic Love, the highest state of Being identical to the Lord Himself. This is known as “forgiveness” and “the new birth”, and rather than being a blank check for modern people to silence their inner “guardians” of conscience, it represents a higher path which allows a victory where perhaps none is possible. This can occur at the whim of the Lord, and therefore, is not ultimately subject to earthly protocol or guarantees, either in its favor (extra ecclesiam non est salus) or (as the case today is) against it as a presumption upon grace in the form of graceless and shameless culture.

Friday, December 30, 2011

New Middle Ages

Welcome to the New World Order, same as the Old World, except a lot worse.

Meaning IS Magic

Probably, for the medieval, there was no strict separation between meaning (given by God) & magic (transformation of reality).

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Evola and Magic

Here at Argus & Phoenix, we do not shy away from a hard discussion, even of occult ideas or doctrines. On the contrary, we enjoy it. Taking Tomberg's principles of grace enunciated in Meditations on the Tarot as a starting point, we can therefore then begin to deal with the ideas in a work such as this. The danger of the Evolan path is that of nature magic, which is the temptation to TAKE rather than to receive. It should be noted that Grace represents a higher Magic than this, which is not to reduce Grace to magic, yet Grace has a higher magic that is higher than that exemplified by Evola, who did not understand Grace. Submission to "the Lord" (then) is not what it looks like to the "dark magician" - it is (in fact) born out of Love for what is always higher, and a desire to see that that higher is always worshipped. It does not deny that there is a middle path of the Higher self which can effectively initiate forms of magic as described by Evola. It simply says they are not ultimate, as Evola thought.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Bring Back the Middle Ages



As a friend of ours puts it, if qualitatively distinguishing between races is a sin then it is also sinful to “value racial diversity” in itself, since by definition there can be no diversity without qualitative differences.

Source on request

Are Nations Idols?

Strayer argues that city-states and empires both had their problems, and that “The European states which emerged after 1100 combined, to some extent, the strengths of both the empires and the city-states. They were large enough and powerful enough to have excellent changes for survival – some of them are approaching the thousand-year mark, which is a respectable age for any human organization. At the same time they managed to get a large proportion of their people involved in, or at least concerned with the political process, and they succeeded in creating some sense of common identity among local communities. They got more out of their people, both in the way of political and social activity and in loyalty than the ancient empires had done, even if they fell short of the full participation which had marked a city such as Athens.”

We might add an insight from Adrian Hastings (The Construction of Nationhood: Ethnicity, Religion and Nationalism (1996 Wiles Lectures Given at the Queen’s University of Belfa)), who argues that this middling form of political organization (which he thinks begin much earlier than most contemporary historians would believe) drew their inspiration from Scripture: “The Bible presented Israel itself as a developed model of what it means to be a nation – a unity of people, language, territory and government.” Elsewhere, he adds, “The Old Testament provided the paradigm [of nationhood]. Nation after nation applied it to themselves, reinforcing their identity in the process.” Because they possessed the ark of the covenant, Ethiopians saw themselves as the “true, Christian, Israel.” So did everyone else: “Undoubtedly in Frankish eyes, the French were little less. And, in English eyes, the English. In Serb eyes, the Serbs. . . . Each people sees its ‘manifest destiny’ clearly enough.” Hastings knows that the concept of a “holy people” is “realized in a universal community of faith and by no means in one nation” but he observes that “for ordinary Christians, lay and clerical, that can seem too remote, too unpolitical.” We are likely to have to combat this heresy for a long time to come.

Why would a nation-state be any more inherently idolatrous than "a city set on a hill", or "vital Christianity"?

Fortune Telling

The objective theory of palm reading rests in the fact that man has a "spirit" body as well as a "soul body" (actually, he has a final "body of body" which unifies all of his bodies, but this is shorthand). So, the spiritual bodies (astral, ethereal, etc.) which "build" the physical body and tell it how to manifest leave behind certain traces or clues, of which palm lines are a classic example. Just as the Logos (when creating the world according to the Ideas of the Mind of God) leaves a pattern which is "Logoistic", so the individual virtue/spiritual body leaves a trace in the physical patterns of the palm lines. There might be, then, a Christian art of fortune-telling, just as there is a Christian art of predicting the weather. It is not infallible, and it is an art. But it would not necessarily be "black", because it would not rely upon sub-intelligence to make predictions; instead, it would gather data and make hypotheses, as well as drawing on past knowledge learned. The same as any other art-science.

King Winceslas

Christian friends, your voices raise.
Wake the day with gladness.
God himself to joy and praise
turns our human sadness:
Joy that martyrs won their crown,
opened heaven's bright portal,
when they laid the mortal down
for the life immortal.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Popes, Councils, and Local Churches May Err

Gornahoor guest post.

Extra Ecclesiam non est salus – without (outside) the Church there is no salvation. This was the motto of the Christian Church during the Medieval Era, and (supposedly) that which is objectionable in the Church today – the neo-pagans argue that the Church assimilated and reduced what it could not destroy. This argument is actually true, but not in the sense which the neo-pagans intend it to be. The Church did indeed enter a phase of development which represented a diminution, but it was not because it had combated paganism, but because it had decayed the patrimony which those same pagans had entrusted to it.

Specifically, the Church rejected the tripartite definition of man which had been handed to it by those who converted into the Church because they saw something worthy of merit which completed their aspiration. The Fourth Council of 869 AD (note that Constantine had long ago “done his dastardly deed”) repudiated a sophisticated, metaphysical view of man’s nature in favor of something more exoteric and easy to understand.

Though the old and new Testament teach that a man or woman has one rational and intellectual soul, and all the fathers and doctors of the church, who are spokesmen of God, express the same opinion, some have descended to such a depth of irreligion, through paying attention to the speculations of evil people, that they shamelessly teach as a dogma that a human being has two souls, and keep trying to prove their heresy by irrational means using a wisdom that has been made foolishness.

Therefore this holy and universal synod is hastening to uproot this wicked theory now growing like some loathsome form of weed. Carrying in its hand the winnowing fork of truth, with the intention of consigning all the chaff to inextinguishable fire, and making clean the threshing floor of Christ, in ringing tones it declares anathema the inventors and perpetrators of such impiety and all those holding similar views; it also declares and promulgates that nobody at all should hold or preserve in any way the written teaching of the authors of this impiety. If however anyone presumes to act in a way contrary to this holy and great synod, let him be anathema and an outcast from the faith and way of life of Christians.


The esotericism of the Church which had survived Justinian’s codification was declared out of bounds. The time of this council was well after the “Roman” phase of the Church had ended, after the chaos of the Dark Age invasions by Lombards, Franks, etc. The Roman Catholic Church (RCC) was essentially struggling to maintain what it could, both of the Greek connections & the ancient Roman ones. John Romanides has some helpful articles detailing the unintended consequences of Charlemagne’s adoption of Rome. Although he is incorrect to exaggerate the damage done from a proto-Greek perspective, he is certainly right to perceive that the chaos of the Western invasions did immense damage to all Roman institutions. Conditions in the West were so bad that Church fasts were lifted in order that populations might eat meat in order not to starve. For the West, it was the Roman Church, or nothing – Chaos. It is unfair, then, to assume that perfect freedom of choice was exercised when the Church “misplaced” or misunderstood its patrimony. Esoteric meaning can be lost in the best of times (just look around you); how, then, can we assume a deliberate error? Instead, one ought to look for what is best.

The case of Iceland proves the point; one man’s respected voice won a reprieve for paganism there, but only a private toleration – this man was actually a pagan priest. Additionally, the main proselytizing was done on the basis of “trial by battle”, a conflict in which (apparently) the archangel Michael came out over the berserkers, rune curses, and armies and storms of the pagan Gods. And what was the price? Not to eat horsemeat, nor to expose the infants at birth to the elements!

Note, also, that the conversion was done by royal decree & blessed by a heathen seer who had converted :

Shortly after Olaf Tryggvason became King of Norway he decreed that the old faith should be discarded and replaced with Christianity. His decree extended also to the islands of Shetland, Orkney, and Faroe.

When news of Norway’s conversion reached Iceland, it was received by many with great anger. “It is monstrous,” they said, “to forsake our ancient beliefs.”

But Njal, a respected leader known for his ability to foresee the future, replied, “I support the new faith. I believe that Christianity is a better religion than our old one. Those who accept it will be happy.”

The rune magic which was supposedly lost was already very weak, just as Druidism had already been proscribed through battle and law by the Roman Empire. See, for instance, the account of the battle at the Isle of Anglesey. Christianity actually preserved many remnants of paganism and gave them (arguably) a new life. This is not to minimize the bigotry of (for instance) Norman priests in England after the Conquest, but is merely to recognize that the policy of the Church towards paganism is not a simple matter of clear-cut answers. Surely, if paganism had been potent at that point, St. Boniface and others would not have been able to hew down sacred groves for firewood? When King Edwin converted based on the famous sermon with its analogy of a sparrow flying through the hall, from one door to the other, the instance proved that paganism had already lost the metaphysical knowledge of its own rituals.

Steiner and others offer a different account of what was occuring at the time, which has an attraction neo-paganism lacks – it is esoteric. It purports to be the revealing of the inner-ness; neo-paganism (on the other hand) seems to (often) an appeal to a neo-liberal conception of ultimate “freedom of religion”, rather than a cosmic account of history.

Perhaps the most brilliant and influential proponent of this Arabian culture were the Caliph Haroun al Rashid and his associates, in the Eighth Century AD. This culture was, as indicated above, brilliant in a way, but was also anti-evolutionary in that it failed to appreciate the Christ-Impulse and was infected with the Sorat/Ahriman influence from Jundi Sabur.Around this time the cosmic Intelligence began to “fall to earth”, out of the rule of Michael and in the “heads” of Men; the Pan-Intelligence becoming individualized, personal intelligence. This process was a preparation for what was to culminate after the dawn of the Consciousness Soul Epoch in the Fifteenth Century: that Men were to experience their thoughts as coming from out of themselves, as a personal intelligence in individual freedom. In 869 AD the fateful Eighth Ecumenical Council in Constantinople declared to be heretical the doctrine of “trichotomy”: that the Man is body, soul and spirit — thus effectively “outlawing the spirit” in Western Christendom, and plunging West-European mankind ever more deeply into material experience. While this Council was happening on earth, in the soul/spirit world Haroun al Rashid and his associates, who had recently died, conferred with the individuality of Aristotle and associates: Alexander and the “Aristotelians”, together with the “Platonists” and the Knights of Arthur’s Round Table. In this meeting Aristotle and his associates resolved to bring to earth a renewed and Christianized wisdom suitable for the epoch of individualized intelligence of the Consciousness Soul, but al Rashid and his party remained opposed to this Christianization. Subsequently, on earth, the Arabian impulse was carried forward by philosophers such as Avicenna and Averroës, who upheld a decadent and retrogressive quasi-Aristotelianism, which denied human-spiritual individuality surviving death. And the Platonists descended to earthly incarnation, up through the Twelfth Century, as teachers of the Christianized Nature-wisdom of the School of Chartres. (This wisdom later inspired Bruno Latini, and consequently his pupil Dante.) In the Thirteenth Century the Aristotelians incarnated into the Dominican Order, wherein, with the help of the Platonists then in the spirit-world, they upheld the doctrine of human-individual intelligence and immortality, in the subtle conceptual thinking of the Scholastic “Realists”, as against the Arabian philosophers. The greatest of the Scholastics was Aristotle himself, incarnated as Thomas Aquinas, the proponent of the reality of Pan-Intelligence in the form of concepts — the “universals” — and of the reality of human-individual experience of intelligence. — After the end of Medieval culture and the beginning of the Consciousness Soul Epoch, al Rashid himself incarnated as none other than Francis Bacon, the fountainhead of modern, Ahrimanic scientism. (Paradoxically, Bacon was inspired by a high Initiate, who also inspired Shakespeare, Jacob Boehme, and Jacob Balde. [Karmic Relationships, Vol. II] Again: evolution is not a simple, two-sided conflict between “good” and “evil” — in a way, a nominalistic-empirical science “had to” enter cultural development.) Ahriman intends to make the now-earthly human intelligence entirely, overly individualized and personal, so that it degenerates into mere cleverness, driven by lower instincts and divorced from universal reality. But while Baconian science gained ground on earth, in the spirit/soul world the Platonists and Aristotelians convened in a “school” under the leadership of Michael.

No matter what one thinks of Steiner (and keep in mind Evola’s definition of re-incarnation), this account is at least a “mystery” account of the secret history of the world, rather than a Romanticization of an era which we are at least as completely detached from, collectively, as we are from the world of traditional Catholicism. Certainly, the prohibition of the Holy Spirit at that council would explain the submersion of the esoteric stream in the West, so that it had to re-enter the Western world via Tomberg, Solovyev, and others much later on.

Without the restoration of the tripartite doctrine, the veredictum of history on the Church will risk becoming that of John Keat’s on the clergy of his day:

Axioms in philosophy are not axioms until they are proved upon our pulses: we read fine things but never feel them to the full until we have gone the same steps as the author. The Consecration was – not amusing – there were numbers of carriages, and his house crammed with Clergy – they sanctified the Chapel – and it being a wet day consecrated the burial ground through the vestry window. I begin to hate Parsons – they did not make me love them that day – when I saw them in their proper colours – A Parson is a Lamb in a drawing room and a lion in a Vestry. The notions of Society will not permit a Parson to give way to his temper in any shape – so he festers in himself – his features get a peculiar diabolical self sufficient iron stupid expression. He is continually acting. His mind is against every Man and every Mans mind is against him. He is an Hippocrite to the Believer and a Coward to the unbeliever – He must be either a Knave or an Ideot. And there is no Man so much to be pitied as an ideot parson. The Soldier who is cheated into an esprit du corps – by a red coat, a Band and Colours for the purpose of nothing – is not half so pitiable as the Parson who is lead absurdities – a poor necessary subaltern of the Church -

This sad state of Churchism as opposed to Christendom will come to pass, not because neo-paganism was correct in assuming the Church to be an alien usurper upon the Northern heritage, but rather, precisely because the Church failed to preserve a heritage given it by those very pagans who converted, and failed to have it restored by those pagans who picked up their mantle and immediately denounced the world their ancestors created. This is because they are dubious metaphysicians, and incline rather to a “poetic” view of history; even the poets knew better than that:

This is the very thing in which consists poetry; and if so it is not so fine a thing as philosophy-For the same reason that an eagle is not so fine a thing as a truth-Give me this credit-Do you not think I strive-to know myself? Give me this credit-and you will not think that on my own account I repeat Milton’s lines~
“How charming is divine Philosophy
Not harsh and crabbed as dull fools suppose
But musical as is Apollo’s lute”
Keats saw the errors of the Church, but used poetry to intuit the ancient doctrines of “the vale of soul-making” & the “house of many mansions” – it’s a pity he couldn’t have read Guenon on states of being. It would be easy to pillory the Church (and I agree with Keat’s analysis of many parsons), but it is the harder (and more productive) to abandon invective, and to pursue the “great work” of following the Spirit.
Tomberg puts it this way:
“Dear Unknown Friend, do not interpret what I am saying in the sense that I am opposed or even hostile to the above-mentioned societies, fraternities, and movements of a spiritual and initiatory nature, nor in the sense that I am accusing them of an anti-Christian attitude. Do not attribute me with a lack of respect for the mahatmas and gurus of India. It is a matter here only of the purely psychological tendency (that I have been able to observe something of everywhere) which prefers the ideal of the superman to the ideal of the Son of Man.”
Tomberg goes on to add (this is the sixth chapter of MotT, the Charioteer) that the tendency is everywhere resisted in these organizations, that tendency to the three temptations of mania, inflation, and megalomania. But he insists that it is most effectively combated within the doctrine of the Church, which teaches that “the Lord” safeguards the sanity & humility of the initiate.
Isn’t this what the West has always aspired to? The mutual recognition of truth under the umbrella of Truth? What is to prevent the practice of this, upon either side of the Roman wall?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Origin of the "Gods"

For consciousness that has lost the inner unity of the all in the divine Spirit, the only external unity that becomes accessible is that produced by the cosmic action of the divine Logos upon the world soul, which is the matter of the cosmic process. The consciousness of humanity seeks to reproduce in itself those determinate forms of unity that had already been generated by the cosmogonic process in material nature. The unifying forces of material nature (the offspring of the Demiurge and the world soul [Anima Mundi]) appear now in consciousness as principles that determine it and give it content. These forces gradually manifest themselves and reign in consciousness as lords not only of the external world but even of consciousness itself, as genuine gods. Thus, this new process is, first of all, a theogonic process. This does not mean, of course, that these dominant principles were created in this very process, nor does it mean that humanity invented its own gods. We know that these principles existed prior to humanity as cosmic forces.
In that capacity, however they were not gods, for there are no gods without worshippers. They become gods only for the human consciousness that recognizes them to be such, after it has fallen under their dominion as the result of its separation from the one divine center.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Celtic Christianity

  1. Yes, Celtic Christianity is a way that poses least problems for those with pagan leanings – ancient spirits, shall we say. There are a few places to look. Gareth Knight is the most well known scion of the Avalon tradition of which Dion Fortune was one of the most famous members – he is also still active and responsive and good on the Druidic and Hyperborean tradtions, as is Fortune…. Knight has done a good job of integrating Qabalah and both he and fortune will greatly appeal to those with a rational rather than highly emotive temperament. John Porter offers good spiritual guidance. Also very interesting for those with a strong interest in grail traditions is Wellesley Tudor Pole.
  2. For more heart centred material John O’ Donohue is a wonderful writer, very moving – anam cara.

    Going back further, the Venerable Bede is a good starting point.

    Other than that I understand why Evola said what he did about Catholic dogma and I think he may be right, although one must bear in mind that while the shield is present, so is the dark night of the soul, which can last decades. Simpler if one has a monastic or missionary calling.

    Those who attempt to bridge the gulf between the ancient and modern worlds have a different sort of problem on top of this to do with knowledge, which is where Knight and Fortune are very helpful – the rationality and dry humour helps one survive the heartbreak. Or at least to believe one survives!!

    Comment by Charlotte — 2011-11-09 @ 09:45

  3. A few words from the venerable Bede I posted on my website recently:

    “I know you think I speak this in a raving fit, but let me inform you it is not so; for I tell you, that I see this house filled with so much light, that your candle there seems to me to be dark. ”

    And when still no one regarded what she said, or returned any answer, she added, ” Let that candle burn as long as you will; but take notice, that it is not my light, for my light will come to me at the dawn of the day.”

    Comment by charlotte — 2011-11-11 @ 17:30

  4. Where is this quote in Bede, and can you link to your site?

    Comment by Logres — 2011-11-12 @ 15:31

  5. It’s from Book IV Chapter VIII

    Comment by charlotte — 2011-11-12 @ 15:53


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Metaphysics & Metaphysicians

Nothing can be conceived more hard than the heart of a thoroughbred metaphysician. It comes nearer to the cold malignity of a wicked spirit than to the frailty and passion of a man. It is like that of the principle of evil himself, incorporeal, pure, unmixed, dephlegmated, defecated evil. It is no easy operation to eradicate humanity from the human breast. What Shakespeare calls ‘the compunctious visitings of nature’ will sometimes knock at their hearts, and protest against their murderous speculations. But they have a means of compounding with their nature. Their humanity is not dissolved. They only give it a long prorogation. They are ready to declare, that they do not think two thousand years too long a period for the good that they pursue. It is remarkable, that they never see any way to their projected good but by the road of some evil. Their imagination is not fatigued with the contemplation of human suffering through the wild waste of centuries added to centuries of misery and desolation. Their humanity is at the horizon—and, like the horizon, it always flies before them. The geometricians, and the chemists, bring, the one from the dry bones of their diagrams, and the other from the soot of their furnaces, dispositions that make them worse than indifferent about those feelings and habitudes, which are the support of the moral world. Ambition is come upon them suddenly; they are intoxicated with it, and it has rendered them fearless of the danger, which may from thence arise to others or to themselves. These philosophers consider men in their experiments, no more than they do mice in an air pump, or in a recipient of mephitic gas. - Edmund Burke

Let us praise as a living thing the continuity of our history, and praise the whigs who taught us that we must nurse this blessing—reconciling continuity with change, discovering meditations between past and present, and showing what can be achieved by man’s reconciling mind. Perhaps it is not even the whigs that we should praise, but rather something in our traditions which captured the party at the moment when it seemed ready to drift into unmeasurable waters. Perhaps we owe most in fact to the solid body of Englishmen, who throughout the centuries have resisted the wildest aberrations, determined never for the sake of speculative ends to lose the good they already possessed; anxious not to destroy those virtues in their national life which need long periods of time for their development; but waiting to steal for the whole nation what they could appropriate in the traditions of monarch, aristocracy bourgeoisie and church. - Butterfield

Source, at request

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Spirit Becoming Flesh, Flesh taken Up into Spirit

Integration: matter assumed a spiritualised human body. It must consequently abandon its autonomy and hence its most sublime manifestations: storm, fire, sea….

Once in a human body, matter becomes wholly “invisible”. And yet, its beauty is here unsurpassable, by the grace of the descending form.

It was God’s boldest plan to predestine individual spirits as matter for the highest kind of molding. Here too, by becoming a member of the Mystical Body, the spirit in a true sense gives up its highest natural manifestations:

It must in some sense decline in order to enter into unity. But at the same time, through grace, it gains an unsuspected supernatural beauty.


Hans Urs von Balthasar, The Grain of Wheat

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Standardized Tests & the Hell of Empiricism

"...decisions made by individuals who lack perspective, and aren't really accountable..."
Kudos to his brass balls for doing this; he deserves a medal. Instead, he'll be ostracized and ridiculed.

This is great! It proves that "successful people" are testing our kids at levels they can't pass NOW (after years of "success"), which probably proves that they are a) not as smart as they think they are, and therefore have no business "managing" our children's education AND b) our children are being crammed into tighter & tighter molds to produce perfect "drones" for the one-world order based on applied technology, data, & numbers which they plan to cover the planet. Welcome to Matrix-World! And others justify this. This Yahoo overlooks several things - a) Walmart will probably employ just as many people as the mom & pop hardware stores it annihilates b) it may be good for the immediate customers, but Walmart employees won't even be able to afford shopping at Walmart, or maybe they'll have to, because they can't anywhere else (say, maybe they could bunk 'em in the back, as well, and you could have a "mom & pop" atmosphere, except without the familial spirit, just Walmart calisthenics every morning!) c) eventually, when we all work for the "Corp-Man", the markets won't "clear" anymore & we will actually have cheaper products, it's just our wages will decrease even more (and isn't this exactly what is happening in late-stage capitalism?).

Demographic Dystopia (from John Robb)
Back in 1996, I worked on the implications of matching just-in-time advertising with highly accurate personal data with the senior leadership of Firefly. My conclusion was that once that connection could be made, we create the opportunity for a demographic dystopia. In short, because you have great data (money, spending habits, public/network influence, etc.) you will get lots of free stuff. For example, you walk into a movie theater, ping the kiosk with you phone, and it says, "John Robb, it's so great to have you here. Please let us offer you a free ticket." The next guy in line pings it with his phone, "$17.95 please."In short, a demographic dystopia, where having more gets you more, built into the fabric of our lives. Dave has a different take on this. He calls it, "The mother of all business models."Source

We are creating, with the emphasis on Number, and solely Number alone, a "hell of our own making" (in Joel Dietz's words).

Who Knew that Fairy Tales were Practical, as well as Beautiful?

Psychopaths & sociopaths constitute around 10% of the human population; sociopaths gravitate towards power, and are usually above average intelligence. Can you imagine where they are right now? I'll give you a hint - most of them aren't behind bars. The old folk wisdom of the fairy tales (in addition to hiding the mysteries of God, the wisdom of the people, and the beauty of a good life in riddles), also warn us against this fact of intra-species predation.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

How do we begin Resurrection?

“Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion — put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn’t go.
Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.”
Wendell Berry

Welcome to the Revolution on Sunday Morning

Sunday Roundup

Viking prayer (learn how to pray like a real Christian man)

Gornahoor post

Luther, Descartes, & Rousseau

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Medievals had already solved it

Marx looked forward to the withering of the state. He was centuries
late. Figgis says it already happened in the middle ages:

“As Professor Maitland pointed out, under feudalism there is no public law; all rights are private, including those of the king. It is this absence of a theory of the
State as such which characterises especially medieval history, except for the
great Church as a whole. In the strict sense of the term, there is no sovereign
in the Middle Ages; only as we find even a little later in France, there is an
etat which belongs to the king; but there is also an Etat de la Republique,
while even a lawyer in the Paris Parlement has his etat. Only very
gradually does State come to mean the organisation of the nation and nothing


The Enclosures & John Locke

CNC: Opponents of libertarianism love saying “What about the Indians?” They get excited at the thought that libertarians will be forced to defend the property rights of dispossessed native peoples, which a lot of libertarians would rather not do. What they don’t realize is that John Locke solved this problem three hundred years ago. Locke explained that

…the Benefit Mankind receives from [an acre of land in England], is worth 5 [pounds], [whereas the benefit from an acre of land in America] possibly not worth a Penny, if all the Profit an Indian received from it were to be valued, and sold here; at least, I may truly say, not 1/1000. ‘Tis Labour then which puts the greatest part of Value upon Land, without which it would scarcely be worth any thing…

ANDREW: Wait. Did Locke just start to suggest that since the Indians did not do efficient agriculture, they did not really own the land?

CNC: Exactly. To properly claim land, you have to do real economic work on the land, and the Indians did not do that because they were too primitive. So Locke proved that that the Indians did not own the land. That meant the settlers could treat the land as if it was unclaimed.


What he is saying is that Science applied as Technology determines both Power and Morality simultaneously, because they are the same thing. It all comes back to the enclosure movement in England, which was the cradle of the Industrial Revolution, the crib of John Locke.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Medieval Society


JN Figgis (Studies of Political Thought From Gerson to Grotius) writes, “In the Middle Ages the Church was not a State, but the State; the State or rather the civil authority (for a separate society was not recognized) was merely the police department of the Church. The latter took over from the Roman Empire its theory of the absolute and universal jurisdiction of the supreme authority, and developed it into the doctrine of the plenitudo potestatis of the Pope, who was the supreme dispenser of law, the fountain of honour, including regal honour, and the sole legitimate source of power, the legal if not the actual founder of religious orders, university degrees, the supreme ‘judge and divider’ among nations, the guardian of international right, the avenger of Christian blood.”

This is the opposite of the Yoder thesis: Not the church becoming an arm of the state, but the state of the church. Not that this form of church-as-polis would make Yoder happy."

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

God, Man at Yale

As a result of the tremendous impact Buckley's "God and Man at Yale" had on modern conservative thinking, it has been commonly assumed by the faithful and the leftist critics as well that the values of Christianity and the free marketplace should be synonymous. Weaver, (influenced by Chesterton, Belloc, and the Agrarians) thought this not true. Garry Wills points out correctly that, in modern conservatism, there is a traditionalist strain that propounds the position of distributism....

So we have Buckley to blame for this mess?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Red Toryism - A Catholic Economy

Phillip Blond is painfully English, terribly pasty white, but he's "right on". Alexander Dugin notes some of the same features in our modern "convergence" of un-truth. I need to look into the land enclosures in some detail - von Mises mentions this, page 621, Human Action.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


They keep telling us that multiculturalism offers more possibilities than threats. Probably true. It's just that these numerous possibilities are each unlikely and have a small payoff, whereas the few threats are each very likely and have massive consequences.

The Temple of Intellect

Re-reading Barzun's Temple of Intellect, which the college library at Texarkana still has (amazingly) after the A&M move. It is astounding what good books many public libraries still possess, and one wonders "How much longer?". In any event, Barzun begins his thesis by showing how (using a minimum of evidence and a maximum of "rhetoric" and logic) Art, Science, & Philanthrophy have made themselves rebels and opponents of the Intellect, whose un-emotional claims are considered in bad taste (at best) in an era of massed democracy with its attendant panoply of technological goods and services, and its apparatus of public service bureaucracy. Barzun is right, of course, but he is refreshingly brilliant and powerful in a rather counter-intuitive and unusual diagnosis, one of the kinds which immediately shock you and prove themselves right at the same time. Why didn't I think of this? Because Barzun is using his intellect, and the rest of his aren't. Here is another writer with a penchant for doing just that, & an ability to see into the belly of the beast we dwell upon.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What Happened to America?

"The struggle of bankers for control of America is an enduring theme in American history since the founding. Defeat of the southern aristocracy during the Civil War unbalanced the political balance, giving Northeastern bankers unprecedented dominance. They used this to implement a policy of tight money. The resulting shortage of currency reduced much of rural America to barter (cattle sales to the Indian Agents were one of the few sources of cash in the West; eastern villages were reduced to barter with general stores as clearinghouses). This resulted in a boom-bust pattern of growth and deflation which almost exterminated the small farmer and merchant classes. The results were a massive concentration of wealth and power, continuing until they overreached themselves. The political convulsion of the Great Depression restored a more balanced distribution of political and social power. Starting in the 1980′s the banks gradually rebuilt their political influence with both parties by means of massive campaign contributions, armies of lobbyists, and well-funded advocates at think-tanks. This effort produced large gains:"


This is over-simplification of sort (if nothing else, by default, since there are many other things to be mentioned and discussed in this vein); however, certainly the Civil War (including Lincoln's Land act which altered education in this country) marked the beginning of a "sea change" that we are seeing in fruition since about 1960. At the very least, the Civil War was a watershed in which the intermediate institutions (Robert Nisbet) began to be subservient to the federal power, thus imbalancing the organic substrata of government and the social edifice. If intermediate institutions were imbalanced by the War, then they were liquidated during the century which followed. Perhaps (one might think) technology made this process inevitable? However, it is interesting that the progressive argument for technology embraces "conservation" the instant that technology is introduced into the debate. Technology is by definition the application of intelligence to Nature with the method and theory of science. How (then) can we fail to consider the results and plead inevitability? What else is government for but to either encourage, or resist, the Zeitgeist? Since the Civil War, America has not really known a government or elite that was willing to critique itself; the "liberals" (in other words) are faux liberaux - they substitute a critique of "reactionaries" (conservatives, fascists, racists, populists, nationalists, etc.) for the proper self-critique of Socrates, who said "know thyself". This should define the essence of classical liberalism; but it does not. Instead, it becomes either self-hating and other-hating in a destructive form, rather than self-critical in a true sense. America has not known a self-critical moment in a long time. Since we have not engaged in this past time, we substitute ersatz critiques which center around scape-goating someone or something else (see Rene Girard). Hence, the rage for progress, democracy, technology, etc. at the expense of "bad" societies (there is always a bogeyman out there). This is an actual religion, and it is being conducted from the halls of the moneychangers. The Revolution must go on.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Fairy Tales

Magica Theologica

Video of a miracle, or if you prefer, magic using ritual and the spoken word and relics.

Of course, a skeptic will automatically react to this ("the water had salt, then they changed it, the surface tension was broken, etc., etc." or even worse, they switched the fragment, or it isn't wood but some other substance, etc."). The Cartesian mind can always find an alternative explanation (psychologists should realize that "rationalization" is a mental, not a scientific, operation). And of course, there is the possibility that charlatans can perpetrate a hoax; however, to reject the possibility outright, or to suggest that it is done with the power of "demons" (this might be the Protestant approach for the hard-core "evangelical"), is to effectively assert (from the lesser to the greater) that miracles do not occur anymore. Is this where modern Christianity is arrived? What have we come to? God is a God for the living, not the dead.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Want to be a Pythagorean?

I studied music therapy at the graduate level. Perhaps I can shed some light
on this highly misunderstood allied healthcare field. According to the American
Music Therapy Association:Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use
of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic
relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music
therapy program. In order to call yourself a music therapist, you have to
complete at minimum fours years of college at an accredited music therapy
school. The course work is very intense- you have to take lots of music theory
classes, music history classes, music literature classes. You need to audition
on your major instrument, whether it is voice, winds, piano, strings, etc. You
need to learn how to play every orchestral instrument and demonstrate proficency
on them, including piano and guitar. You need to be able to sight-sing, which is
a complex skill in which you sing on sight and command an unfamiliar piece of
music. You need to be able to hear a piece of music and write down all of the
pitches and rhythms on a score. In addition to course work in which you master
all of these skills, you have a weekly clinical in which you conduct music
sessions in a group setting. Each session plan takes at least 8 hours to prepare
and has to be approved by your clinical supervisor. Finally, after completing
your course work, you are required to complete a 6 month, full time and usually
unpaid internship. The internship sites are very limited an almost always
require students to relocate to the other side of the country. Finally, after
the internship you sit for a national exam and earn you earn the following
credential: MT-BC (music therapist, board certified). Only then can you call
yourself a music therapist. There are so many uninformed people and
organizations out there calling themselves music therapist and what they do
music therapy. If you do not hold the MT-BC credential but call yourself a music
therapist, you are slapping the face of every music therapist who spent years in
school, thousands of dollars on tuition, instruments and spent all that unpaid
time in clinicals and internships. Please do not do it. I know of plenty of
organizations that falsely market themselves as providing music therapy when all
they really have is an unlicensed assistive person with a boom box and elevator
music. Think about how hard you worked for your nursing credentials and be sure
to give the same respect to your allied healthcare professionals. This
information holds true for Art Therapists, Dance Therapists and other creative
arts therapists.

On the other hand, are these "specialists", once they invest this much,
anything other than paid functionaries beholden to the system

The Inklings' Magic

Reconciling Tomberg with the Inklings.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Prayers from the Lake, St. Nicolai of Ochrid

Thanks to my friend, Aaron Friar, for introducing me to this:


Who is that staring at me through all the stars in heaven and all the creatures on earth?

Cover your eyes, stars and creatures; do not look upon my nakedness. Shame torments me enough through my own eyes.

What is there for you to see? A tree of life that has been reduced to a thorn on the road, that pricks both itself and others. What else-except a heavenly flame immersed in mud, a flame that neither gives light nor goes out?

Plowmen, it is not your plowing that matters but the Lord who watches.

Singers, it is not your singing that matters but the Lord who listens.

Sleepers, it is not your sleeping that matters but the Lord who wakens.

It is not the pools of water in the rocks around the lake that matter but the lake itself.

What is all human time but a wave that moistens the burning sand on the shore, and then regrets that it left the lake, because it has dried up?

O stars and creatures, do not look at me with your eyes but at the Lord. He alone sees. Look at Him and you will see yourselves in your homeland.

What do you see when you look at me? A picture of your exile? A mirror of your fleeting transitoriness?

O Lord, my beautiful veil, embroidered with golden seraphim, drape over my face like a veil over the face of a widow, and collect my tears, in which the sorrow of all Your creatures seethes.

O Lord, my beauty, come and visit me, lest I be ashamed of my nakedness—lest the many thirsty glances that are falling upon me return home thirsty.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hurrah for the Cleaning Lady

This is awesome.
Best book on modern art? Who knows, but Tom Wolfe debunks it pretty convincingly in the field of architecture - From Bauhaus to Our House.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Sunday Roundup

George Orwell shows us what it's like to be a truly "literate" man. Who could write a defense this intelligent these days? Or as objective?

A LaRouche article - at least the subject matter is interesting. I've been aware there was occult involvement in France's revolutions for some time, albeit I think it simplistic to believe that the Peace of Westphalia was an event which was "sweetness and light" only, or that "synarchy" necessarily represents Fascism.

From our "man in Munich", someone whom I truly admire:

Intermission over

Power, and the struggle for power, is cemented in the modern mind such that one can hardly imagine doing anything without such a struggle. Even when such an urge arises, and it invariably does since there is more to humans than competition of the fittest, it cannot be evaluated with recourse to power. This is a neurosis, and yet there is no way out for the present generation, since a way out would invariably contain another way of conceptualizing the situation, the possibility of other motives, perhaps even an aesthetically replete sensibility. This is, however, too much to ask, and even we are not wrong to discuss the crude lusts that motivate men (and women!), it is not at all clear that this is the main drama. It is as though in the audience at the opera, we noticed a man selling popcorn. This is out of place! And yet, of course, the audience is hungry. There are some who will buy. This is true, this is life, this is what it is to be human. However, should a review of the opera include a line or two about the popcorn salesman? Was his popcorn good? Was his sales pattern efficient? Perhaps he should even get a page in the program. Perhaps a book on popcorn sales. Maybe even an additional academic department.

Or, perhaps better, we should simply forget that he exists and go back to the main drama.

Joel Dietz

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Light

Thought of Thursday, November 10, 2011
When you feel anxious, tormented, link yourself to heaven and pray. For these anxieties and torments are manifestations of evil entities that wish to harm you. But as soon as you link yourself to heaven, they say to themselves, ‘This being uses the most formidable weapon known to us,’ and they are afraid and attempt to flee. When humans pray sincerely, they use the weapons of light, and immediately an invisible cohort approaches: you will hear the quivering of angels’ wings and the retreat of dark entities as they rush to disappear, for they know they will be burned and pulverized. Evil spirits are afraid of one thing only: the light. That is why, whenever there is difficulty or danger, you must immediately link yourself to the Creator and increase the light within you. All the lower beings that are threatening you will be neutralized, paralysed or chased away.
Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

"Good and Sufficient Conservators"

Are modern conservatives up to the job? Do they even know, or have a shredded clue, of what that would mean? Or are they merely "take it slow" liberals, who share the same basic worldview with the progressives, that money and power and technology answer to all things? They are not preserving the statutes, and are faithless public servants, they and all their ilk. Maybe they should spend some time in "useless knowledge" pursuits, say, perusing the rolls of England. Sad to say, it would improve their mind immensely and noticeably, for their minds have shrunk to the size of a newspaper caption or a TV sound byte - we hear that Herman Cain is quoting Pokemon these days. Nero fiddled while Rome burned, but Democrats and Republicans have one-upped him. You see, the problem is not "for lack of trying". The Bible tells us (assuming people still read it, and the only reason - and it is a clear and sufficient reason - I bring it up is that they drape themselves in it, both sides of the political spectrum) that "without vision, the people perish". They don't "have a vision", and if they did, it would be a hodge-podge stew of sentimental rubbish they concocted from Sunday school fables, personal experience they don't understand, and good old fashioned demagoguery. It would be, in short, confabulation - political rhetoric aimed at winning the vote, so the same tired lies - how good America is just like she is, how wonderful everything is becoming, etc., etc., - could be used to keep people in line to earn millions for special factions, interests, and groups. The only question is, which brand is the public buying today? And is Coke really better than Pepsi? Is this how it ends? Dig deeper, America. Look into the mystery of evil. Find the truth. This will not be won at the polls; the revolutionaries have always known that.

Lancashire annals

Monday, November 7, 2011

The God-Layer Panopticon

"I would be tempted simply to share an anecdote. One evening not so long ago, as I drove down the road with my family, my wife chuckled to herself. I asked her what was so funny, and she said something to this effect: “Given what we all know about human nature, how puerile, pathetic, and violent it is, it strikes me as more than naive that there are actually persons out in the world who think the solution to the ills and abuses of this or that community or institution is simply to create another one, bigger and more powerful.” She was, that is, laughing at the false idol of the modern age, whose inmates, having abandoned their Maker, go in search of ever more authoritative layers of bureaucracy, in hopes that someday they will find the “God-layer,” that administrative order so panoptic, efficient, and rule-abiding that all shall be well at last."

Precisement. Certainement. QED.

Actually, what the globalists believe is not just that "bigger is better", and not just that they and they alone understand all of the multi-dimensional aspects of reality, but that this Super-State will actually embody and incorporate God-on-earth in an inversion of the doctrines of the Incarnation. They yearn for the Incarnation, but they have no idea what it means. Or, rather, they see its shadow (or what they think is its shadow), and wish to embody that shadow. They are supremely dangerous, and ultimately nothing more than whited sepulchres. They will give a "hell of own making".

Minor Poets

Jasmin Barber.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Sunday Article Round-Up

Sundays, or Saturday evenings, I'll be trying to post articles I am currently working on, or at least interested in trying to halfway complete sometime soon. Here is the weekend offering.

Dugin-Olavo debate.

Dugin argues against "the West" and calls for allies within. Olavo calls him a fascist. I am left wondering if these are the only two alternatives, and somehow feel that Dugin is closer to the truth than his interlocutor.

Greed Ain't Good.

Since Vico & Mandeville, "greed is good". First Things writer takes umbrage at any system, moral or otherwise, which reaches such a counter-intuitive result.

The Market as God.

Sacrificing chickens may work as well as the "science" of economy. The language of the invisible hand sure sounds theological.

An alternative, paleo-con style.

Medaille tries to parse why we, the West, are disintegrating on all fronts, even in our vaunted "free markets". I especially like this short effort to refute the idea that politics and economics (or morals) can be ultimately and finally separated.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Occupy Wall Street

The Four Reformers by Robert Louis Stevenson might cause you to think of the unwashed Occupy Wall Street mob, for as long as you can stand it.

Four reformers met under a bramble bush. They were all agreed the world must be changed.

“We must abolish property,” said one.

“We must abolish marriage,” said the second.

“We must abolish God,” said the third.

“I wish we could abolish work,” said the fourth.

“Do not let us get beyond practical politics,” said the first. “The first thing is to reduce men to a common level.”

“The first thing,” said the second, “is to give freedom to the sexes.”

“The first thing,” said the third, “is to find out how to do it.”

“The first step,” said the first, “is to abolish the Bible.”

“The first thing,” said the second, “is to abolish the laws.”

“The first thing,” said the third, “is to abolish mankind.”

(Not original with me - quote from elsewhere)

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Been reading John Adams, as recommended by a mad Tea Partier.

I simply can't stomach this stuff, even from Adams. He is right, if viewed as a conservative - someone preserving the rights of Englishmen. He is absolutely mistaken when taken as a revolutionary - as someone arguing abstractly for what should be the best (and only) method of government - for all revolutionaries and "men of principle" have this in common, that they are willing to start a war over a misinterpreted clause in a Constitution. What difference is there between this, and that fanaticism of those who began the Wars of Religion?

God help this poor country. And this is coming from those who care.

(See Van Hervey's Blogodidact)

I will NEVER be a revolutionary, liberal or otherwise.

The Inklings and the Moral Imagination

True North.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Plato Maligned Again

"Back in 1984, Culianu defined himself as one of the rising stars of the academic firmament with a book titled Eros and Magic in the Renaissance. The academic study of Renaissance magic had been a hot field since the Sixties, when Frances Yates finally blew the lid off a generations-old habit of scholarly disdain for occultism, but even by the standards of the Eighties Culianu’s book was startling. It took magic seriously as a system of psychological manipulation that used the cravings and desires of its target—the “eros” of the title—to shape human behavior. It suggested on that basis that modern advertising, which does exactly this, is simply the current form of magic, and that contemporary Western nations are “magician states” governed by the magical manipulation of public consensus...."

Even the archdruid isn't getting it quite right.

"In the dialogue Meno, to note only one example, Plato has Socrates demonstrate a point about the deep structure of the human mind by walking an illiterate servant boy through a geometrical proof. The boy doesn’t know a thing about geometry, but he is able to follow Socrates’ logic, and by the end of the process has understood what at that time was cutting-edge mathematics. Socrates’ point is that anyone, anywhere, could be taught the same thing—and that’s a point for which Plato’s Republic has no room at all. In the Republic, reason is for the few; honor and social commitments are for another minority, separate from the first; the majority has nothing but appetite. It’s therefore fair to say that in the Republic, nobody is allowed to be more than one-third of a complete human being.

That’s always the problem with utopian schemes; the inhabitants are never allowed to be fully human, though the restrictions are rarely handled with the geometric precision Plato displayed. When a utopian scheme is put into practice, in turn, what inevitably happens is that whatever dimension of the human is supposedly abolished happens anyway, and defines the fault line along which the scheme breaks down. Marxism is a great example; in theory, people in Marxist societies are motivated solely by noble ideals; in practice, getting people to go through the motions of being motivated solely by noble ideals required an ever-expanding system of apparatchiks, secret police and prison camps, and even that ultimately failed to do the job. One way or another, trying to create heaven on earth reliably yields the opposite; whatever resembles Plato’s Republic on paper turns into Pluto’s Republic in practice."
The problem with this analysis (and I heartily recommend his distinction between theurgy and thaumaturgy, Culianu and Ficino!) is that it assumes that societies can be run on "geometry" - that what is true in mathematics is true in the social sphere, legal sphere, etc. Certainly, anyone can learn mathematics - most men (for instance) are fairly good at it, as opposed to women.

While I heartily recommend his theurgy/thaumaturgy distinction (later in article), note that mathematics isn't governed by the same laws as the sphere of human action. This is a pervasive problem with all critiques of caste orders or traditionalism - they simply don't accept the fact that very, very, very few people have the aptitude or ability to govern themselves, let alone other people.

State of English Studies

Great Failed Hermit post.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Jacob's Ladder

Which pill would you like to take, the red one, or the blue one?

Am I the only one?

To believe in the equality of all men, when we see them all unequal; to believe in liberty, when we see slavery established in all parts; to believe that all men are brothers, when history tells all are enemies; to believe that there is a common mass of misfortunes and of glories for all men born, when I see nothing but individual glories and misfortunes; to believe I am referred to humanity, when I know humanity is referred to me; to believe that humanity is my centre, when I constituted myself the centre of all; and finally, to believe that I should believe these things, when they are proposed to me by those who tell me that I should believe only my own reason, which contradicts all those things they propose to me, is an absurdity so stupendous, an abberation so inconceivable, that I stand mute and astounded in its presence.
My astonishment increases when I observe that those who affirm human solidarity, deny that of the family, which is to affirm that enemies are brothers, and that brothers should not be brothers; that those who affirm human solidarity are the same who a little before denied the political, which is to affirm I have nothing in common with my own, and all in common with strangers; that those who affirm human solidarity deny religion, though the former cannot be explained without the latter; and from all this I deduce in legitimate consequence that the Socialistic schools are at once illogical and absurd— illogical, because after demonstrating against the Liberal school that some solidarities cannot be accepted while others are rejected, they fall into the same error, accepting one amongst all, and rejecting the remainder—absurd, because precisely the one they proposed to me is not a point of reason but of faith, and because this proposal comes to me from those who deny faith and proclaim the imprescriptable right of reason to empire and sovereignty."

Servants of the Secret Fire

Some people are genuinely puzzled over Gandalf's words to the Balrog of Moria when he first warns it:
" 'You cannot pass,' he said. The orcs stood still and a silence fell. 'I am a servant of the Secret Fire, wielder of the Flame of Anor. You cannot pass. The dark fire will not avail you, flame of Udun. Go back to the Shadow. You cannot pass!' "
[The Fellowship of the Ring]
Some people have taken this to mean that Gandalf serves his Ring of Fire, Narya. But this is not consistent or appropriate when Gandalf's history is taken as a whole.
I was re-reading the Silmarillion for references to what the "Secret Fire" that Gandalf serves, and I found the following:
"He [Melkor] had gone often alone into the void places seeking the Imperishable Flame; for desire grew hot within him to bring into Being things of his own, and it seemed to him that Iluvatar took no thought for the Void, and he was impatient of its emptiness. Yet he found not the Fire, for it is with Iluvatar."
[The Silmarillion]
Then later:
"Therefore Iluvatar gave to their vision Being, and set it amid the Void, and the Secret Fire was sent to burn at the heart of the World; and it was called Ea."
[The Silmarillion]
The Imperishable Flame and the Secret Fire seem to represent the same thing; the power of Iluvatar to impart actual Being to his thought - the spirit of creation, if you will. It seems fitting that this would be something that Gandalf (as a Maia sent from the West by the Valar) would "serve" as counterposed to the evil of the Balrog. In this context, any notion of Gandalf serving the power of his ring Narya is absurd, IMHO (g).
As to what is meant by Gandalf's words "Flame of Udun", I simply infer that this is another word for Balrog. Balrogs are demons of fire, and the word Udun is found as an entry in the glossary of The Silmarillion under "tum":
"Cf. Utumno, Sindarin Udun (Gandalf in Moria named the Balrog 'Flame of Udun'), a name afterwards used of the deep dale in Moria between the Morannon and the Isenmouthe."
And Utumno is of course the first stronghold of Melkor in the North of Middle-earth. Hence, Flame of Udun could be read as Servant of Morgoth or Balrog from Morgoth's Fortress [Udun].
Just conjecture, of course.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Propositioning America

"America has never been united by blood or birth or soil. We are bound by ideals that move us beyond our backgrounds, lift us above our interests and teach us what it means to be citizens. Every child must be taught these principles. Every citizen must uphold them; and every immigrant, by embracing these ideals, makes our country more, not less, American."
George W. Bush
"America is not only for the whites, but it is for all. Who is the American? The American is you, me and that. When we go to America we will become Americans and there is no a race or nationalism called America and the Americans are those Africans, Indians, Chinese, and Europeans and whoever goes to America will become American...American is for all of us and the whole world had made and created America. All the people all over the world had made America and it shall accordingly be for all of us. I will never feel ashamed when I claim for my right in America and it will not be strange when I raise my voice in America."
Col. Moammar Gadhafi

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Esoteric Gleanings

I am beginning to run into quite a collection of pieces at Gornahoor - the only connective thread is a desire to find something more, a Truth, which is not given to those who do not hunger. It is "hidden" only in the sense of being "in plain sight". Being deformed in personality, we cannot perceive what is clearly the case.

Who, once more, is Melchizedek?

Sunday, October 9, 2011


‘Novus Ordo Seclorum altered from Magnus Soeclorum Ordo, a mighty order of the ages born anew. Both the prophetic Virgin and Saturnian kingdoms now return. Now a new progeny is let down from the heavens. Favor, chaste Lucina, the boy soon to be born in whom the iron age shall come to an end, and the golden one shall arise again in the whole earth.’”


Friday, October 7, 2011

Diabolic Wrong or Divine Right

To assert that in whatever man you chose to lay hold of (by this or the other plan of clutching at him); and claps a round piece of metal on the head of, and called King,—there straightway came to reside a divine virtue, so that he became a kind of god, and a Divinity inspired him with faculty and right to rule over you to all lengths: this,—what can we do with this but leave it to rot silently in the Public Libraries? But I will say withal, and that is what these Divine-right men meant, That in Kings, and in all human Authorities, and relations that men god-created can form among each other, there is verily either a Divine Right or else a Diabolic Wrong; one or the other of these two!

For it is false altogether, what the last Sceptical Century taught us, that this world is a steam-engine. There is a God in this world; and a God's-sanction, or else the violation of such, does look out from all ruling and obedience, from all moral acts of men. There is no act more moral between men than that of rule and obedience. Woe to him that claims obedience when it is not due; woe to him that refuses it when it is! God's law is in that, I say, however the Parchment-laws may run: there is a Divine Right or else a Diabolic Wrong at the heart of every claim that one man makes upon another.

Thomas Carlyle, channeled by Moldbug

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A Great Debate - Jaffa Vs. Bradford (Strauss vs. Kirk)

Where fraternity exists to support the official structure of a government, it can command assent with no fear of being called despotic or prejudiced in behalf of one component of the society it represents.

Bradford on Jaffa

A recent very unfruitful debate at OneCosmosBlogspot has been enormously educative. I won't detail any more, it wasn't really much fun; suffice it to say that I am an agnostic when it comes to "human rights". After the debacle of this attempted exercise in mutual understanding, I became aware of several facts. For one thing, I am not the greatest or most impassioned debater in the world; others are certainly "better" at it than I am. However, I tend to know when people are flying off the handle, and when I do, this tells me that I drew a little blood.

So I did some very long thinking on why it is that I reject (ultimately) John Locke's account of "human rights", although Bradford points out that Locke actually helped write South Carolina's constitution. In a nutshell, this is it, the following -

John Locke (or his apologist, Van) thinks that "states have powers, human beings have rights". States have "unreserved" or delegated powers, and individuals have "negative rights" - that is, the right to not have this or that done to one, at least without due process of law (which presumably would act against one only if one has violated someone else's rights). The inevitable confusions are sorted out with Reason (Van is eager not to associate himself with JS Mill, who ultimately uses the pragmatic test of "one atom" versus "another" to determine whose rights have precedence).

On the contrary, I assert (based on what I have experienced in reality and reflection upon it) that this is merely a beginning point. That is, States possess limited powers, but over time, tend to progress to hold "rights", or attain an essence; call this the "Heavenly Serbia" theory, if you like. Likewise, individuals in a state of nature are disorganized and "equal"; however, over time (with any luck) they are supposed to acquire "powers". In a healthy social fabric, both these tendencies will occur.

You will note that the "Left" is actually a parody of what I have just described - they attempt to "empower individuals" and construct more "efficient and sustainable governments". Lacking the classically liberal starting point (the "spirit of the law"), they cannot possibly attain this.

However, neither can the Tea Party-er do much more. They begin quite well; they wish to mirror a "state of nature" with their government, appealing to unalienable rights, government of laws vs. that of men, principled action, etc. All the usual rhetoric. Governments, however, are subject to both crisis and the Fates or dooms.

It's as if the Lockean cannot see that any other persons exist besides biological-empirical entities, which are "mostly the same". "Human beings have a right not to be tortured". What will they do when genetic experimentation becomes rather common? And what is torture? I can imagine any number of scenarios in which the violation of property (even by the "Law") would be not only "right" but "loving".

But that is a side-issue. The main point is that Locke never allows for either adaptation or development (except incidentally, which is ironic, given their emphasis on principle). It's as if they think government is largely a matter of business law. Of national emergencies and the power of the political to act on behalf of the interests of the state, or of slow steady spiritual evolution towards a permanent form (united Europe in the Dark Ages) they know little or nothing.

What does the rhetoric of "rights" add to what we know or can make of the individual? Christian charity, loving the neighbor as self, is a much "higher law". Could not a concrete Magna Carta guarantee as much as our eternal "Declaration" has done?

Individuals are equal only in basic sense, a starting point. In this aspect only, are they equal. Actually, in any other sense, justice will require them to be nothing more than unequal in the eyes of the law. What of the unborn, the genetically mangled, the insane? We assert that justice towards these beings is not determined by property rights, but by Love.

Such can always be abused, as can Love. Which is why it makes no sense to try to circumvent this by impassioned rhetoric. All governments engage in this. Why sully Love with the burden of propaganda? A bill of rights can be circumvented just as easily, perhaps more so, than a Magna Carta.

The goal of man is to progress from divided Time and united Space towards united Time, and divided Space. This is freedom. The state of nature is to have chaotic and isolated chronologies, along with massive "Empires" or "milieus". This is only a starting point. Man must evolve towards separate mansions and a common language, so that we can better Love one another.

This means that the individuum must conquer himself and attain real power, and that the States which nurture and are formed by such men must attain the status of being "heavenly Serbias", shields of the earth, concrete progressions and traditions sustained through time as truly conservative and conserved entities.

This is Freedom.

(to be continued...)

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Ps. 48, 2: "Mount Zion in the Far North is the city of the great King."

Job 37, 22: "Out of the North He comes in golden splendor; God comes in awesome majesty."

Isaiah 14, 13: "You said in your heart: 'I will scale the heavens; Above the stars of God I will set up my throne; I will take my seat on the Mount of Assembly, in the recesses of the North."

Ezek. 1, 4: "As I looked, a stormwind came from the North, a huge cloud with flashing fire enveloped in brightness, from the midst of which something gleamed like electrum."


The Hebraic "zaphon" has associations with the "heavens", the extreme north, and the "sacred mountain" situated in the direction of the far-north; in the biblical texts, the cosmic north, "Hyperborea", represents the enigmatic, mountainous abode of the Godhead as polar-axial Unmoved-Mover--the "Monsalvatsch" or "Monsalvat" of Grail-Legend, etc.

From the Gornahoor Forum, Theomast

Luther on Slavery

Luther wrote this just before the beginning of the rebellion, in an attempt to reconcile peasants and nobles (after the revolt had then started for real, Luther wrote his famous, violently reactionary opinion-piece, “Against the Robbing and Murdering Hordes of Peasants“).

Quoth Luther:


“There shall be no serfs, for Christ has made all men free.” That is making Christian liberty an utterly carnal thing. Did not Abraham and other patriarchs and prophets have slaves? Read what St. Paul teaches about servants, who, at that time, were all slaves. Therefore this article is dead against the Gospel. It is a piece of robbery by which every man takes from his lord the body, which has become his lord’s property. For a slave can be a Christian, and have Christian liberty, in the same way that a prisoner or a sick man is a Christian, and yet not free. This article would make all men equal, and turn the spiritual kingdom of Christ into a worldly, external kingdom; and that is impossible. For a worldly kingdom cannot stand unless there is in it an inequality of persons, so that some are free, some imprisoned, some lords, some subjects, etc.; and St. Paul says in Galatians 3:28, that in Christ master and servant are one thing. On this subject my friend Urban Regius has written enough; you may read further in his book.”


One night from out the swarming city gate
Stept holy Bajazyd, to meditate
Alone amid the breathing fields that lay
In solitary silence leagues away,
Beneath a Moon and Stars as bright as Day.
And the Saint wondering such a temple were,
And so lit up, and scarce one worshipper,
A voice from Heav’n amid the stillness said:
“The Royal Road is not for all to tread,
Nor is the Royal Palace for the rout,
Who, even if they reach it, are shut out.
The blaze that from my harim window breaks
With fright the rabble of the roadside takes;
And ev’n of those that at my Portal din,
Thousands may knock for one that enters in.

Bird Parliament, Attar