Saturday, December 31, 2011

Watchers Above, Below

Source
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

Source

Multiculturalism?

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.

Source

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.

Source

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

    http://alchemical-weddings.com/

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

Source

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.

Source

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..."
Source
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
else.”

Source

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.

Source

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

Source
"

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."