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With both eyes open: in the last article I said that after the article was updated I heard a woman singing outside the cafe “when I opened up my eyes”, and in the article I spoke about how a Sufi sheikh said that those with “both eyes open” would not be deceived by the Devil. So, again, this is an example of what the Sufis mean when they say that for the man with the sun risen in his heart the whole world is evidence for God. You could perhaps put a number on such an event in statistical terms, but it would almost be a meaningless exercise.

And yet this “evidence all about us” is not like those preachers who say “consider the oak, how could such a beautiful thing exist without there being a God?”. As I said when I talked about that before, nobody is convinced by that—not even the person who says it (they try to convince themselves). That is an argument, it is not intuition. Perhaps it doesn’t work because only an elite can come to “see the evidence everywhere”, being initiates, and to just present an argument “beautiful oak, therefore God” is not an initiation—it is more like a parallel Darwinism for the masses.

Kant basically summed up all the arguments for God that the theologians had developed (the ontological etc)—and then either restated refutations or developed new ones. So that by the time he finished all the arguments for God had been refuted—so that he was left with a kind of agnosticism, a position that we cannot know in intellectual terms (though we cannot know there isn’t a God either). We were left with that—plus the argument that without God there could be no morality, plus the idea that there is beauty in the world. The second isn’t really an argument, and the first does not carry the same force as, for example, the refuted ontological argument.

So, since Kant, the intellectual case for God has been weak—and that was certainly what I thought at university: all the arguments have been refuted, except that perhaps there is no morality without God—and yet people who do not believe in God are moral, and, if everything is determined, as it must be in the scientific worldview (and even some Christian worldviews), it doesn’t really matter; because the people who are immoral will be immoral whatever happens. But the Sufi approach so described above is not intellectual or rational—or, rather, it uses a form of rational intellect, intuition, that does not involve ratiocination.

As it happens, as I have become more interested in religion I have become in many ways more outrageous in my religious views. When I was an atheist, even when I was a Marxist, I was generally respectful of all religious figures—I was never a tendentious atheist who needed to “prove it wrong”, and just thought it would die out and that the religious leaders were fine men, even if they didn’t actually do miracles (a view similar to Tolstoy).

However, as I have become more interested, I have developed opinions that are more negative about, for example, Jesus and Christianity than when I was an atheist—when I would have been indifferent; and respectful of, for example, a priest. I suppose that now I know more, know it’s real, I find that I cannot just in a broad way say “it’s all for the good, even if it’s not real these people are trying to do good” and be indifferent to what they say.

For example, there was that time I chatted to a Catholic priest about conversion and he started to talk about a Church of England vicar who had been convicted for viciously caning boys at a holiday camp. Now, this was meant to make me think how bad the Church of England was—so cruel; but I knew in my heart that the priest derived a sexual thrill from the story. Hence I cannot respect people who follow the Catholic Church—Himmler’s SS uncovered lots of child rape in the Church in the 1930s, and if it happened in the 1930s it happened in the 1830s and the 1230s (when the Church was all-powerful).

So people who endorse the Catholic Church endorse child rape. I don’t care if it inculcates supposedly “excellent moral values”—or even, as I have noted before, that it is the closest thing to extant paganism in the modern world, due to its continuity with the Roman Empire. The fact is that this Church facilitates, protects, and allows child rape. And people who participate in it fund that and often help cover it up. So, rather like Jesus overturning the tables in the Temple, I overturn that. That is what it means to see and not just be a moralist—just as I could see what that priest really wanted (his salivating lips).

Christians will say, sometimes, “but state-run institutions are worse than the Church in this regard—state-run care homes are worse, the media just talks about the Church because it’s anti-Christian.” That might be true, but it’s not a defence—all it means is that both state-run and Church-run institutions need to be shut down, not that the Church is innocent. But these people are believers, and if reality contradicts the belief so much the worse for reality.

I stopped outside an art shop today and there was a painting of “Erik the fearsome Nordic adventurer and explorer”—it was a personification of an Odinic shaman in a bearskin, complete with one eye (the one eye was replaced with a little skull). That is how Odin is usually depicted, but, given what I said about “the one-eyed Devil” yesterday (given the skull, sinister), it was another synchronistic confirmation (for the picture was sentimental, by a woman, and the pictures in that shop are always kitsch—being done for cash and not being sincere).


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