Shades of Mordor

It is a well known fact, at least in some circles, that the author J. R. R. Tolkien was a devout Christian. It was he who turned the popular theologian (and author himself), C. S. Lewis to the faith. Was Tolkien actually thinking theologically when he wrote some of the source material for the Lord of the Rings trilogy? When he wrote the piece entitled, “Ainulindalë,” the creation myth of Arda (where Middle Earth is located), was he in fact making an allegory that one could, if they wanted, apply to this world, the real world? One doubts that Tolkien meant it to be so, quite like that. But I read the part where Melkor, the greatest of the Valar, abandoned the purpose of Ilúvatar, who was God, and made discordant notes in the music of the creation. I first read this and thought how clever a device it was, that it would solve so many things in the nature of Middle Earth, and in fact, looking at the world around me—which was the inspiration for Arda, in any case—it would make sense of a lot of things here, too. And then I dismissed that idea off hand.

I remember between having read the “Ainulindalë” and when I went through the brunt of the War in Heaven, a piece written by a clergyman about when Japan had experienced their disastrous earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Some religious folk took to the pulpit to pronounce that this was the judgment of God, a payback (decades later onto people who had nothing to do with it) for Pearl Harbor. But the article I read had something different to say. It was talking about how God was not in the tremors, nor in the mighty waves, not in the cataclysms themselves, but in fact was present in the aftermath, in the people picking up the pieces of what had just happened, who were giving a hand to other people even when all they themselves had had been destroyed. God was in these pockets of mercy, the small warmth of a hand helping another hand. And in this, I sensed something of a truth had been told.

Now there was this other thing I read, maybe a year or two before the end of the War, and it was sort of funny, how an all-powerful being had so much trouble with a finite entity in a jerkwater part of the cosmos. They were like, Really? And I could see the author’s argument: why didn’t God just zap Lucifer when he got out of line? But then again, at what point would you do that? When he had the first thought of turning evil? When he had first committed an evil deed? Maybe before that rebel was even born? What do you think? One might believe that with an infinite wisdom, the Lord would pick the best possible time, correct? And there we go: this, then, would be called the Last Judgment. It might seem He has a little more patience with that sort of jazz. And for another thing, just because an entity was finite did not mean that they would be no trouble at all, even for an infinite being: Lucifer was the greatest entity in the cosmos, second only to God. What you might think of, the power God would have: that probably was more in scope to the power Lucifer had. Consider that.

If we say, for one, how powerful indeed God’s greatest angel would have been, and then, at the tippy top of Heaven from where he fell, what resources he must have had: one might wonder, what if Tolkien was onto something? What if God were not the one that gave birth to Pain, at all? What if the concept of disaster were not, per se, written in the Plan? At least, not by the Most High? The question suddenly becomes, does it answer too much? Is it too neat a package, that wraps everything up too simply? It might be the final act of the play that is dualism. Satan, from the minor functionary in the Book of Job, becomes by the time of Christ the prince of demons. And now, we would be saying that he alone is the ultimate source of all the wrong and pain and disaster that ever has existed. He threw that mighty a wrench in the works that was the cosmos. It is a staggering thought.

And so would be why there is so much ugliness mixed in with the beauty. They are both intrinsic in the mix. Why bad things happen to good people. Why it is easier to do wrong instead of to do right. How could God let it happen? That’s life, and thank God for it. Because now that things are the way they are, the hardwon things are that much sweeter. No, it is not the Devil that has made it this way, but what God did with the pain and the wrong! God is love. And you cannot defeat that. Love in our reckoning is a soft thing, an “old fashioned notion” according to Tina Turner. But I tell you that when with faith we say to the mountain, “Move!”, it is love that does the moving. And there is more to the story, I think… but all is to be told when the time rings the proper hour. Selah.


The Stage (cont’d)

Philip K. Dick saw it happen, in the year where he had his “pink light experience”, in 1974. That year, Richard Nixon resigned from his office as United States President. And Philip K. Dick interpreted this event correctly: the external world broken free of the Black Iron Prison. That was step one of two. The second breaching of the iron I beheld on Mother’s Day 1991, and that was in the unseen world, what I call the Halospace. Why these needed to happen before the War in Heaven could be concluded: this was when victory was snatched from the darkness. It was possible to win! This was God acting in our world, having reached the top from the very bottom. For PKD saw that God had been present in the trash layer of the world. Having been the greatest, he earned this greatness by working His way from the lowest reaches to the very highest.

And by God, I mean the Son of God, who being the Son shares the same nature as the Father: there is only one God, and Jesus Christ is Him: in the beginning the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God. For in him was the way that the entirety of God entered the world, and not just words carried by the Spirit, or even what was known as the “angel of God”. He was the only free man, for by his actions was he the only of the innocent of this world. His reward from the Father was that he could choose any number and count them also innocent: any number. Thus salvation or damnation is simply him saying, “I know him,” or “I know him not.”

PKD wrote in his Exegesis how the books he had written proved to be useful in understanding his new visions, in 1974. Indeed, we were talking about “creating” realities in those writings. Or the nature of reality, what that might be, and how that related to our perception of any and everything. This was his specialty. And so he would write 8,000 handwritten pages trying to get to the bottom of things. Which unfortunately was not his to do. As written previous, his job was to set the stage. It was for me to see the play acted out on it, and with myself in fact to be one of the actors of said play. The powerful play.

And that was the thing: these possibilities that Phil wrote down: we could think in those directions because we no longer were shackled by the Black Iron. There’s an old hacker adage: “Information wants to be free.” Essentially, that was the victory: the information was finally free. The gnostics thought that salvation was not by faith, but by a (secret) knowledge. They were onto something, even if that strictly was not true. Christians sort of concur, if they say that only those who hear and accept the message of Christ can be saved. The fall of the Black Iron Prison was that the salvific knowledge were now available to all, baptised or not. And this is the work of the Son of God: it was available retroactively.

I have high hopes for the future. I don’t believe that the Black Iron Prison—functionally, at least—has been abolished for everyone on Earth personally. Just like the War in Heaven rages on in many people’s Halospace, even if they are unaware that it is there. Just like Satan still claims minds and souls even after he was long defeated on the cross. This is the mystery of Eternity. We still have work to do, here on God’s green Earth. It may be just that the going of it is not as hard as it used to be. Understand that we are nowhere near the end. Instead, rejoice, indeed: the Beginning is near!

Beginning and Ending

When many come and tell you, “The end is nigh!” and then ask you for money, know the end is not yet. When many come and claim, “I know the Lord’s mind!” and invoke a simpler time, and a simplistic morality, know that the Lord did not send them. When many come and tell you they are protectors of life, yet they ignore the beggar at their very feet, know that they know nothing of the religious good. These things must truly transpire before the Age of Gold is upon you, upon the world. Yet the Age of Gold is here, and it has always been here: in every act of kindness against the rules, the rebellion against the evil that was greater than them. It is not the end, for the end comes far from here, in what may be known as 40 days of mystic time. Truly, truly, it is quite the reverse, the beginning opposed to the end, and those reverse of love’s intent will not tell you that this is what is so, for they understand it not. Hearken and lo, the Beginning is near!

God in the Age of Iron

The Black Iron Prison was the hidden architecture of what was called the Age of Iron. Which was what basically the Old Testament covered: the wrath of God, who was a jealous God. The Age of Gold is what Jesus Christ came to bring about: the God of mercy, the God who is love. One might well wonder, just exactly how is it that the first God is the same God as the second? There was one theory a friend of mine handed me, that when God came down to Earth and lived life as a man, He at that point understood the human condition, and sort of mellowed out. But aren’t we told that God does not change? How is it that the God who is love rained down fire and brimstone and obliterated Sodom and Gomorrah?

One idea that might lead us somewhere is the Book of Job. This is where God and Satan (the Satan who at that time seemed to be a minor functionary in His court) made a wager at the expense of Job. Satan, in stages, completely wrecks the man: kills all his children, breaks his bank, and even covers him in painful sores. At the end, when Job is at the end of his rope—complaining how it’s not fair—God shows up and asks him, where were you when I laid down the foundations of the world? Basically, oh, do you really know so much as to criticise Me? What one is careful to mark, however, was that at no time does He bring up Satan as the culprit of his pain. God takes all the credit for all that happens to Job, good and bad—telling him, I know better, I know why.

What if there are other “judgments of God” that aren’t actually Him, in just the same way? It’s an interesting take. He would have known about them all, but He had delegated certain authority to other entities, who were not “all love”, that did all the bad things we associate with that unforgiving Age of Iron… But we can investigate another avenue, which is to follow what Jesus Christ said about divorce. That Moses gave divorce to the people because of the hardness of their hearts. Down that simple road of thought, the trip leads to the stop that it was us that changed, not God. Something happened to change us, to change the whole equation of the world: and it was Jesus Christ. Not just what we observed on Earth, but a hidden act, within the sign of Jonah.

Harshness, in the Age of Iron, was the only way things got done. We were all in the Prison, which, indeed, was not the work of God. The Black Iron Prison was what the world in its entirety was contained within. We had to play by Prison rules. And if we were going to be like that, God was going to be hard on us—not the least reason of which was because we deserved it. Then, something amazing happened: Jesus who is Christ came here, and He broke the vicious feedback loop, and breached the Iron. And the breach was like the tiny mustard seed, which took and is taking 2000 years to blossom. For a thousand years is as a day to God, and the Christ was two days in the earth. The breach finally bubbled up to the top in 1974 in the resignation of Richard Nixon—a king deposed by tradesmen, without a drop of blood being shed. Hallelujah.

But now, as we are still left with much of the trappings of darkness, let us be ready to understand the world in a greater vision than was apportioned Job: the Iron was not of God. You can believe in a God who is all love, and that includes both mercy and justice. Many things He took credit for, and blame, many misunderstandings he patiently suffered until the time came as to remove from us the judging of God by man. Whether we be ready or not for the Age of Gold to come, it comes. In certain places it has come already, but not nearly enough. And some still work as if the Iron has not broken, but we know better. Light has already peeked in. Hearken: the Beginning is near.