Bruce Charlton Gets It (Followup to “Magicians of the Outer Right”)

All too oftern I indulge my childish sense of delight in obscurity, enigma and riddles, and thus welcome approaches from others that illuminate from a different angle, so to speak. Bruce Charlton is one such; highly intelligent, learned and straightforward.

After my recent wanderings amongst the Magicians of the Outer Right (and Part II) I was delighted to discover a post that ploughs some of the same ground, differently.


Christians reclaiming magic, occult and animism from the New Age

It will be easy for readers to misunderstand (or misrepresent) the following; so please read it carefully before jumping to conclusions about what I am advocating – it is somewhat different from what most others who have written on this theme have been advocating.

I came to Christianity late in life and via a decade or so of being a New Agey kind of person (but only in my reading, in my mind and private life – I have never been in any group) – and this grew from a lifelong feeling for myth, folklore, and the like.

From my Christian perspective, and from inside knowledge, it is crystal clear to me now that modern world of ‘paganism’ is set-up in on anti-Christian predicates, and most of its main writers and advocates are seedy, exploitative, devious and untrustworthy characters – with not many exceptions.(…)

The New Age set-up has claimed for itself a vast swathe of paganistic stuff, and the New Age is mostly a mixture of airy fairy nonsense and nastyness of one sort or another (generally, the usual modern sex, alcohol and drugs stuff) – united only in its explicit and implict ‘anything but Christianity is good’ orientation; and it is therefore understandable that most Christians regard the whole subject with abhorrence as either fundamentally evil, or just too risky to be worth considering.

But I do not think this attitude is a viable option for modern Western Christians – I think that modern Western Christianity needs to reconnect with its animistic and pagan roots – and therefore the risk must be taken, and the good aspects of (for example) Shaminism, Witchcraft, Druidry, Magic, The Occult, Divinisation, Mediumship, Clairvoyance and so forth must be reclaimed from the New Age into a Christian context.

In this I follow CS Lewis who believed that Christianity was Paganism-plus – crudely put: real Christianity takes paganism and adds to it and completes it. The reason that this is not explicit from scripture is simply that it was so obvious to the people of the time that it did not need to be said.(…)

What I think would be best is for Christians to engage with this realm of ‘paganism’ insofar as each is drawn to it for good motivations; and insofar as their powers of discernment of the heart tell them that it is good, sweet and wholesome.

It is this discernment which must be cultivated, used and respected – it is the divinity within us that serves as a compass of good, and it will warn us if we are approaching wickedness or if we have taken a step into wickedness: then we must repent and turn-round to retrace our steps.(…)

I am talking about a very different direction – the direction of personal contact with and participation-in the living universe.

Mainstream Christianity is, in general, an incomplete and unsatisfying thing; paralysed by the futile attempt to make life risk-free – and what we need is seldom to be found in any modern Western institutions – therefore of necessity we must explore, as responsible individuals, to find what we need to be alive and engaged with this world.

Read the whole thing, and read his blog regularly, if you’d like to be a little bit more intelligent.

5 thoughts on “Bruce Charlton Gets It (Followup to “Magicians of the Outer Right”)

  1. Pingback: Bruce Charlton Gets It (Followup to “Magicians of the Outer Right”) | Reaction Times

  2. I heard something very interesting in relation to the contrast between Orthodoxy and Catholicism.
    A point of contention between Eastern and Western Christianity is the alteration to the Nicene Creed by Catholicism which adds the capitalized addition to this section.

    And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
    who proceeds from the Father AND THE SON
    who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified.

    Jesus’ Christological title of the ‘Logos’ is synonymous with ‘reason’ and ‘discourse’, and most Eastern Christians do not believe the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son, but from the Father only, and this does not pass through a filter of reason, allowing a more arational and mystical conception of the Holy Spirit. It is why Orthodoxy has been steeped in mysticism since the early years (not always to the greater good), while Catholicism does not feature such a trend. It’s very interesting to hear a Mormon perspective on what is essentially the same issue, since Christianity’s relation to other religions is a key aspect of mysticism.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree. Most modern day pagans are not actually pagan but anti-Christian atheists who like to dress up their atheism in fancier clothes.

    Then there are the eth-nats who bemoan Christianity as being Middle Eastern and not compatible with European values. But Christianity developed in the Hellenic and Roman worlds – a very Indo-European world. As Christianity spread across Europe, Christianity itself became more Indo-European as it incorporated and subsumed the various pagan religions and mystery cults.

    It was only much later, such as with the Reformation, that Christianity mutated into something in conflict with European values. There’s always talk in alt-right circles about the need for a new religion, a faith for Europe when all is needed is a return to an older Christianity, when it was exclusively about Europe.

    I know many English nationalist types who play-act at being pagans but ignore centuries of English Christianity. I’d like to see them stand at the grave of Harold Godwinson, the last Anglo-Saxon and Orthodox King of England, greater man than any of us, and tell him he was wrong – that he was following Semitic values.

    I know of an ancient Anglo-Saxon stone cross in England, engraved with pagan iconography, mainly decorative depictions of the world-tree, but at the top is a depiction of Odin on his eight legged horse Sleipnir. It sounds very confusing to modern eyes, but I don’t think our Anglo-Saxon ancestors had any difficulty reconciling this. They were Christian and had had the latest Truth of the world revealed to them, but this was an addition to the story, not a re-write. They were still the descendants of Hengist and Horsa, who were themselves descended from Odin. This is only a problem for eyes steeped in modernism.

    A non-European, non-Christian example: The Pashtun people of Pakistan and Afghanistan were converted to Islam but they retain their far older Pashtun identity. They were Pashtun long before they were Muslim and they follow their Pashtun traditions and code of honour. This often conflicts with their Muslim faith.

    The exoteric elements of Islam are moulded to fit around their older identity. They do not tie themselves in theosophical knots trying to reconcile this. They do not argue about whether they are good or bad Muslims for doing this and they are simply not interested in explaining it to outsiders. If you disagree with them they do not care.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Outside in - Involvements with reality » Blog Archive » Chaos Patch (#75)

  5. Pingback: This Week in Reaction (2015/08/16) | The Reactivity Place

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