In my last blog post I announced that I would be suspending my blogging activity during Advent. In retrospect, I would like to refine this somewhat. I will continue to refrain from writing substantial posts during Advent - at the same time, I would like to fill this period of self-imposed silence with the sights and sounds of Advent. With this in mind, I can think of no better place to start than Veni, Veni, Emmanuel.
I am suspending my blogging activity during Advent this year. I shall return to these pages on Christmas Eve.
Oddly enough, I happened to be thinking about how merchandisers might incorporate the birdemic into their annual "cashing in on Christmas" campaign this year when I happened to come across this little story from Hungary that has been picked up by Reuters and, consequently, spread around the globe.
The Hungarian confectioner who created the masked monstrosities below claims he did it as a light-hearted joke to raise people's spirits. Needless to say, the masked Santas have become immensely popular, to the point that the confectioner can barely keep up with orders.
Brace yourselves for the masked Nativity scenes! They're coming . . .
Back in March I wrote a post about the need for system distancing, which I outlined as follows:
Pundits and laymen the world over are stressing the necessity of social distancing, but in my humble opinion the only distancing that truly matters in this place and time is System distancing.
System distancing involves measures taken to reduce or stop the spread of the evil System within one's own individual being and the hope that such action might help to reduce or stop the spread of the evil System in the greater world.
The extent to which people will be able to distance themselves from the System will depend on individual circumstances, and individual outcomes will inevitably vary; nevertheless, I believe the effort must be made.
The most significant step any individual can take in this time and place is to sincerely acknowledge, once and for all, that the System, together with Establishment that runs it, is evil - meaning it is anti-God, anti-spiritual, anti-Truth, anti-Beauty, and anti-Goodness.
This simple acknowledgment doesn't seem like much, but it is incredibly significant. At its very core, it is the choice of good over evil; virtue over sin; truth over lies; courage over fear; reality over unreality; salvation over damnation; love over hate; and hope over despair.
Look at this way: The more we distance ourselves from the System, the closer we draw to God and Creation. Thus, this movement away is simultaneously a movement toward.
The Establishment has imposed social-distancing upon almost all of us; let's use the time wisely to distance ourselves from the Establishment and its System and close the distance between ourselves and God.
In the eight months that have passed since I wrote that post, System distancing has evolved into what I would term a 'spiritual imperative'.
As mentioned above, the first and most crucial step is to acknowledge the System as evil – not merely corrupted or slightly debased, but evil – evil in motivation and evil in design.
Part of this acknowledgment involves the understanding that the evil in the System is, fittingly enough, systematic.
More specifically, that the evil present in the System is not the result of unfortunate but inevitable glitches, flaws, defects, screw-ups, missteps, mismanagements, or malfunctions occurring in an arrangement that is otherwise fundamentally “good”, but the realization that the evil in the System is intentional, planned, orderly, organized, routine, efficient, precise, methodical, all-encompassing, and businesslike.
This acknowledgment does not dispute the existence of what I would term “strains of good” within the System, either in the form of individuals or some small associations of individuals. Instead, it acknowledges that these "strains of good" are inherently incapable of reforming the System in much the same manner fish are inherently incapable of swimming across the Sahara Desert.
The System has become incredibly efficient at identifying these strains of good as pathogens - pathogens against which it has thoroughly immunized itself. Put another way, the System has become “good proof”.
Any attempt to utilize any part of the System to reform, rejuvenate, or re-align the System as a whole is not only futile, but counterproductive. Rather than bring reform and rejuvenation, attempts to use the System for good are quickly absorbed, inverted, and used for evil by the System itself.
Thus, System distancing involves the comprehension that any faith or belief in the System as a principal force for Good is not only false, but enslaving.
The choice to spiritually distance yourself from the System is literally the choice between freedom and slavery.
Note added: System distancing will inevitably involve a great deal of repentance, which only becomes possible once one stops believing in the System as a principal force for good.
Contacts with God and communion with Him are possible, and dramatic struggle is possible. This contact is the communion and conflict of personalities between which there is neither determination nor causality nor domination nor subjugation. The only true religious myth is contained not in the fact that God is master and aspires to domination, but in the fact that God yearns for His other, for responsive love and awaits the creative answer of man.
- Nikolai Berdyaev, Slavery and Freedom
Like Pavlovian dogs, we have been conditioned to believe that the only place the New World Order or totalitarian world government exists is in the unseemly realm of conspiracy theory. The mere mention of a cabal colluding to rule the world is enough to get most modern people's eyes rolling in exasperation. Consequently, it is hardly surprising that most contemporary people probably regard The Great Reset as little more than a recycled globalist conspiracy theory promulgated by the same fringe factors that drone on about Freemasons, aliens, and the Rothschild banking family.
I am no expert when it comes to secret societies, extraterrestrial life, and financial dynasties, but I have encountered a great deal of information attesting to the reality of these so-called conspiracy theories. Conversely, I have also engaged with a great deal of information debunking the reality of said conspiracies. The nearly equal mix of verifiable information and unverifiable misinformation muddies the waters of many conspiracy theories, rendering their claims controvertible. The uber-secrecy supposedly underpinning most theories also doesn't help to make them very forceful. This - combined with the contemporary penchant to wield the term conspiracy theory as a pejorative - has convinced modern people to callously dismiss practically all non-official narratives and explanations they come across. Though understandable and, at times, justifiable, this dismissive mindset has succeeded in persuading modern people to reject The Great Reset as just another conspiracy theory when it clearly is anything but.
Put plainly, The Great Reset is not a conspiracy theory, but a bona fide agenda. True, the vast bulk of it consists of the same warmed over "to-do" list the global elite having been pushing for decades - climate change, environmentalism, anti-racism, human rights, equality, etc. - but the impetus for the sudden and immediate implementation of a global authoritarian technocracy has never been as blatant as it is now. This impetus is the birdemic crisis, which the global elite have used to pull of the greatest totalitarian coup the world "never" saw. The purpose of the coup was the implementation of The Great Reset Agenda, which they have broadcast and continue to broadcast publicly to anyone who will listen.
Don't believe me? Lend your ears to a recent clip featuring Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum and he'll tell you a little about it, all without the need for secret Masonic handshakes.
Note added: Schwab concentrates exclusively on material concerns, but don't be fooled. The force behind this agenda is spiritual - or more accurately, Satanic.
"This Thanksgiving, the proper way to show your family that you love them is to stay away from them . . . as far away as possible. The greater the distance, the greater the love."
- uttered by some doctor featured on an American radio news program
"Mothers should wear masks when they are breastfeeding their babies."
- a recommendation from another doctor featured on Hungarian television
An solid essay by Richard Cocks whose outstanding work often includes clear analyses of Berdyaev's thought. This particular essay effectively elaborates many of the points contained within the excerpt from Berdyaev's Freedom and Spirit I posted here yesterday:
For the Russian philosopher Berdyaev, freedom is absolutely fundamental. And freedom is connected with subjectivity and Spirit, rather than the objective (measurable) external world.
All attempts to locate meaning and value in things outside the human soul are doomed to fail. Thinking of the universe as an organism, for instance, seems like an improvement over thinking of it as a dead mechanism. It turns the cosmos into a living entity with a purpose, but it also means thinking of people as mere cells in this organism to be subordinated to the larger whole. Nationalism turns the nation into a false idol to be worshipped. Neither “history,” nor “progress,” nor “the human race,” nor Platonic Forms are particularly significant or even real. They are hypostatizations and abstractions. For Berdyaev, the concrete individual personality is the full locus of reality and value. Anything else renders the personality a meaningless nothing to be used as a means to some other end.
Kant, who also saw human beings as ends in themselves, pointed out that freedom must be a fundamental aspect of human subjectivity because love exists. This is known directly from experience. Each one of us has loved and been the recipient of love. Love cannot exist without freedom. We should let the datum of love determine our theories and speculations about ultimate existence. If love is possible, and we know it is, then freedom exists.
This does not explain freedom. Freedom remains a mystery. This can be compared to the existence of life or of consciousness. How life emerged is unknown, but that does not stop us from acknowledging its existence, and something similar applies to consciousness.
With regard to freedom, at times, Berdyaev uses the mystic Jacob Boehme’s word the Ungrund which means the abyss of eternity that is absolutely indeterminate subjectivity which comes before everything. Tsoncho Tsonchev, a Bulgarian Berdyaev scholar studying at McGill University, writes “this is the primordial abyss from which God creates the world (Being) and from which Being, even God, the Supreme Being, emerges as Being.” However, “freedom is not the source of God, since God Himself is freedom (but a realized one, not the abysmal darkness); this freedom is rather a shadow, a potentia, a capacity, that becomes partially revealed only after the act of creation.”
Thus there is a something rather than a nothing that precedes the very first act of God. And this something is freedom.
Freedom is fundamental and comes before all. Without it there can be no creativity. Without freedom all is mechanical and dead. There could be no love, no goodness, no friendship, and no meaning.
Anyone compelled to act is responsible neither for the good nor the evil that he causes through his actions.
Creativity requires agency. An agent is a center of consciousness, of decision-making, embodying intentionality and purpose. Determinism removes agency from the individual and effectively ascribes it to the Big Bang or the laws of nature, making human agency an illusion. Determinism reduces humans to the steel balls in a pinball machine that have no control over the spring-loaded mechanism that starts the ball’s journey around the machine, nor are there paddles that can be manipulated to alter the ball’s trajectory once the trip has begun.
Freedom is the alternative to nihilism. A certain kind of younger person sometimes imagines that nihilism is the truth and that the failure to acknowledge this comes from fear. Ivan Pavlov, who was immature at heart perhaps, is claimed to have said “There are weak people over whom religion has power. The strong ones – yes, the strong ones – can become thorough rationalists, relying only upon knowledge, but the weak ones are unable to do this.”
It seems a shame to embark on the journey of life with a premature cynicism and rejection of existence. This attitude itself seems to come from fear; possibly a fear of disappointment. It certainly comes from hatred of life and being.
It is true that without freedom, there would also be no hatred, evil, enemies, nor the embrace of nihilism. From freedom come both darkness and the light. All these things have to be possible to enable choice to exist. There must be no God-derived punishment for choosing these things because that would be a manipulation and a derogation of human autonomy. There can only be a metaphorical punishment – one without a punisher – and that is the consequences that flow from those choices.
In his excellent book on Dostoevsky, specifically centered around the Grand Inquisitor section of The Brothers Karamazov, Berdyaev directs some of his remarks at the nay-sayers. Nihilists may dispute the existence of love but, in their pessimism and misery, they seem likely to acknowledge the existence of evil. But if evil exists then morality exists. And if morality exists, freedom and God exist.
Berdyaev writes: “The existence of evil is the proof of the existence of God. If the world consisted wholly and uniquely of goodness and righteousness there would be no need for God, for the world itself would be god. God is, because evil is. And that means that God is because freedom is.”
In Berdyaev’s view, human beings are co-creators with God; God in his macrocosm and we in our microcosm. We need God and God needs us. “The idea of God is the only supra-human idea that does not destroy man by reducing him to being a mere means.”
If God ceased to exist, so would man. If man and creation ceased to exist, then so would God. This seems to be because God is in all, through all and above all. If you die, I die. If I am to be saved, then all must be saved. I am my brother’s keeper and he mine. Man has an immortal soul and participates in eternity with God and thus he never dies.
Avicenna points out that if God exists then nothing can happen that is not in accordance with His will. What is His will? Complete uninterrupted freedom to love or to hate, to create or destroy, to befriend or renounce, to deny His existence or to believe.
Faith does not exist nor does it mean anything if it is not a matter of free choice – just like everything else. If you are not my friend from your own untrammeled free will, then you are not my friend. It would be the end of a friendship were someone to threaten to harm someone if he were ever to decide not to be a friend anymore. Certainly God could never justly punish anyone who refused to love him.
There must be no knowledge of God’s existence. There can only be belief, faith and hope. If God’s existence could be proved in an irrefutable manner, faith and hope would be destroyed. Each of us must have the choice to believe or not to believe. The possibility of atheism is a precondition for theism. Love exists because not love exists.
Read the rest here.
Other fine essays by Richard Cocks' are available here.
Taken from Nikolai Berdyaev's Freedom and the Spirit:
Pure monism and pure dualism do not understand and therefore reject the mystery of freedom; they regard evil from an exterior point of view without grasping its inward origin.
Either evil finally disappears or it appears as a force completely outside and apart from the human spirit. But if evil cannot be regarded as having its source in God, and if outside God there is no other source of being, how can the phenomenon of evil be explained.
How can this dilemma be resolved?
To the Christian way of thinking neither monism nor dualism is right, and it has its own peculiar solution of the problem of the origin of evil. For Christianity this question is connected with that of freedom and cannot be solved apart from it.
Indeed monism and dualism both involve the denial of freedom, and are thereby incapable of comprehending the phenomenon of evil. The interpretation of the mystery of evil through that of freedom is a suprarational interpretation and presents reason with an antinomy.
The source of evil is not in God, nor in a being existing positively side by side with him, but in the unfathomable irrationality of freedom, in pure possibility, in the forces concealed within that dark void which precedes all positive determination of being.
Thus evil has no basis in anything; it is determined by no possible being and has no ontological origin. The possibility of evil is latent in that mysterious principle of being in which every sort of possibility lies concealed.
The void is not evil, it is the source of every kind of life and every actualization of being. It conceals within itself the possibility of both evil and of good. An initial, irrational, and mysterious void lies at the heart of the whole life of the universe, but it is a mystery beyond the reach of logic.
An intriguing and beautiful passage from Nikolai Berdyaev's Slavery and Freedom:
Christ was a free man, the freest of the sons of men. He was free from the world; He was bound only by love. Christ spoke as one having authority, but He did not have the will to authority, and He was not a master.*
* Here Berdyaev is referring specifically to a master of slaves.
Blog and Comments
Blog posts tend to be spontaneous, unpolished, first draft entries ranging from the insightful and periodically profound to the poorly-argued and occasionally disparaging.
Comments are moderated. Anonymous comments are never published (please use your name or a pseudonym). Emails welcome:
f er en c ber g er (at) h otm ail (dot) co m
Blogs/Sites I Read
Bruce Charlton's Notions
Meeting the Masters
From The Narrow Desert
No Longer Reading
Twisting the Tail of the Cosmos
The Postil Magazine