Waiting for Messiah: C. S. Lewis’s “That Hideous Strength”

When I was a Fundamentalist Christian, thirty years ago, one of my favorite Christian authors was C. S. Lewis. Lewis was an Oxford theologian best known nowadays for his children’s books set in the magical land of Narnia. But he wrote an adult science fiction trilogy, too, centering around a spacefaring Messianic figure named Ransom.

Ransom’s name suggests the character of Jesus Christ, who in Christian theology, through His sufferings on the cross, ‘ransomed’ believers condemned to eternal torment in Hell for their sins.
Scientifically speaking, Lewis’s trilogy — Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength — makes for somewhat dated reading today for its view of Venus and Mars as nakedly habitable. But as vivid depictions, in a fantasy setting, of the Christian doctrines of spiritual evil and redemption, and how spiritual evil at the corporate level results in the destruction of both the environment and individual resistance to dehumanization and violence — these books show more than a few moments of genius.

The last book in the trilogy, That Hideous Strength, is for me the most powerful. It follows the struggles of a young British married couple — he an atheist and she a feminist intellectual — as they are torn by conflicting loyalties: he to the hellish corporation for which he works, a demonically led and energized group that is attempting to defile and vampirize for itself the last sacred place in England; she to Ransom and his followers, who are leading the fight against her husband’s employers and the hideous strength of the Enemy of humanity that uses, abuses, and works through them.

There are things I dislike heartily about this book: that the only gay character is a demonic, sadistic Lesbian who enjoys torturing and sexually abusing the persons she is told to interrogate; and that the wife’s feminism is portrayed as spiritual short-sightedness masking rejection of her true God-given destiny as womb for the next Messiah. But nobody, except perhaps George Orwell in 1984, does a better job than Lewis of portraying the spiritual sickness at the heart of Fascist corporations and government.

I bring all this up because I have felt for some time that there is a spiritual sickness at the heart of the Washington, D.C. power culture that the last several Republican regimes have epitomized. I feel very strongly that the mass consciousness, out of fear, called into being an oligarchy of sociopaths whose only idea of right and wrong has been what feels right or wrong for them personally, no matter the consequences to the rest of us.

And just as, in That Hideous Strength, the evil corporation’s veneer of civilization drops away when confronted to reveal the hideous visage of pure unrestrained appetite lurking beneath, so did Republican pretense of reasonableness and candor fall away during these last weeks before the election, showing a glimpse of the hideous amorality and desperate, irrational vindictiveness that had come to control and work through them.

I am not the only person to make the connection between That Hideous Strength and the last two Republican administrations. When I googled That Hideous Strength I found a Fundamentalist “End Times” website that equates Bush with the Beast of Revelations. When I was a Christian I, too, longed for the Beast to show up so that history could end, and Christ return to usher in an age of peace. But I no longer believe that there is a Beast, any more than I believe that there is a Messiah. In fact, I feel that yearning for a Messiah to rescue us could be the worst thing humanity can do given the problems facing us.

I am no longer a Christian. And I do not believe that Barack Obama, for whom I voted twice, is the Messiah. He is just a man, and even if he means half of what he has promised he will possess no magic wand to wave over the mess this country is in. It took years and several administrations for us to get sucked into the mire, and it will take years and several administrations at least to get us out.

But the mass consciousness is not rational. It operates on the most primitive level of Thought Reality, a child’s level. And just as it called into being a Father and a Son — Bush Senior and Junior — so it is capable of calling into being a third member of its Trinity. I hope not. For if Obama was called to power by a mass consciousness yearning for salvation from the masters it called into being previously, then there can only be one ultimate fate for him. And I am tired of good people dying for what is right.

What this world needs more than a sacrificial lamb is women and men committed to living in a balanced, compassionate manner — living for what is right rather than dying for it. So let’s not give the mass consciousness a reason to kill another Messiah for our inspiration. Let’s just roll up our sleeves and do what we can, where we are, with all our limitations, to make our tiny corner of the world a more compassionate place. Angels and demons and UFO aliens aside, that’s what the New Age is really all about, and I think that Ransom would agree.

On Fear of the World’s End: A Trance-Talk by “The Family”

Fear is the consciousness level that stifles all ability to imagine hope and safety and a better life. It arises from a sense of Threat, which is a partner to a sense of one’s [ability or] inability to control all aspects of one’s reality.

Many of the questions asked of Mister Rand and by Mister Rand in regard to the changes taking place at this time in Physical Reality are connected to the consciousness level of to Threaten.

Danger has always been a part of Physical Reality, because Physical Reality is the only level of reality in which one’s resources for creating according to one’s immediate desires can be limited. In Thought Reality, the Planning State, Dreamtime, Olam Habah, the Plane of Light and Sound and the Plane of the Broadest Self, creation takes place at a word, and there is inexhaustible energy for the monad or individualized consciousness to draw upon in its experimentations with itself.

converted PNM fileBut in Physical Reality resources must be shared with many other creatures, and in fact oneself is a resource for others to use. For each being in Physical Reality will reach a state in which the body will return to the elements of which it is composed and thereby feed other physicalized entities newly finding expression in the physical matrix. This process of releasing the body and one’s use of the body is called death, and it is death that is most feared by beings in Physical Reality — death, or the dying process, which can be unpleasant as the body is denied its needs and begins to shut down.

Hope is the remedy for fear. But hope does not arise in a vacuum. Hope arises through the interaction of the fearful person with his or her support systems, for belief and support are mirrors of one another. If you surround yourself with beings who care nothing for you, or who do not even know who you are, as in great cities where millions of persons live anonymously in tiny family groups or singly in monads, neither knowing their neighbors nor caring to be known by them, the sense of isolation from potential crisis support can increase fear and therefore decrease hope.

Humans are group animals. They are meant to thrive best in groups. So the answer to the questions of what to do in Physical Reality now that the changes of 2012 are approaching is, Find your group support. Offer support to others in the group, and ask for support in return. Learn to share and receive. For in this hope will be born. And if financial resources are individually smaller, the greater resources will be larger, for the group will pool resources to help all its individual members.

How do you find your group? You find your group based on mutually accepted beliefs and values. In other times and cultures, and in Northern New Mexico among the local old families, kinship groups are the groups to which one turns for mutual support in times of trouble. And among many places in the world this is still true. But among many of you who read this, your ties with your kinship groups are strained and no longer existing owing to the deaths or moving away physically or emotionally of the other members of these groups. So looking to such groups for support is not practical for you.

If you have no group to turn to, then you must either find one or create one. You can find one using such resources as online or asking counselors or religious personnel where you can find persons who care for the things you care about and yearn for the things for which you yearn. Or you can advertise on the Interweaving of the Net for persons who share your ideas and concerns to contact you. Or you can put up fliers at stores, or take out advertisements in magazines and other periodicals.

Remember however what such a group can and cannot do. It can give you support, but it cannot support you. That is, it can support you in finding the resources and strategies for helping yourself emotionally spiritually and even financially in some cases. But it cannot and ought not be asked to take care of these needs for you. The reason for this is that you have come into Physical Reality as a sovereign entity with responsibility to create according to your uniqueness. And to give others the responsibility of caring for you as though you were a little child without power or hope is not righteous or balanced.

When pain arises in the mind, we feel it is of no good to deny it is there. We feel the better course is to express the pain, verbally to one who cares or in writing, and then read the writing to one who cares. The act of writing one’s pain without editing or making it neat and tidy helps the soul step aside and observe its pain as one observes a reflection in the mirror. It begins the process of disidentifying with the pain. Note that disidentifying with the pain does not mean denying the pain is real. This is a mistake some religious persons make who say there is no sickness or death. Sickness or death undoubtedly exist in Physical Reality.

That is why even the Bible says, do not greet a sufferer with the prayer, “Be warmed and filled,” and then take no steps in Physical Reality to assist him or her. And always remember that it is better to help someone learn to fish than to fish for them, as long as you give him or her [enough] fish [to eat at] the outset so that he or she can gain enough strength to pay attention to your fishing lessons.

One prayer that is useful to pray in times of distress is, “Good, show me what I have of You.” Another is, “Good, protect me and my loved ones until it is our proper time to release our bodies and expand into focus upon our nonphysical reality.” Another is, “Help me live today without fear.” For “One day at a time” is not simply what Mister Rand calls a bumper sticker slogan. It is how time works in the linear consciousness.

As for the economic distresses in the country of the United States, we feel that the current difficulties will not be solved in three years or even five, but may take as long as seven years before stability is established and prosperity begins again to grow. The current president is engaged in a careful game of chess, playing one side and then another, taking moderate stances so that others will step forward and act and so he can say, well what could I do they overruled me. In this way he helps fight the notion that he is the king of America and the savior of the world. He is not and he knows he is not, however much the people may wish for a savior and a king and a daddy and a rescuer.

If you have the means to purchase land in the country where there is fertile soil and water, and you have the youth and physical strength to work this land in order to raise food, this may increase your hope of control over your future. And so you may consider doing this. But many if not most persons do not have these economic or physical means. For them, the best approach is to band together to help one another out with food, shelter, health support, and chores, in communal living arrangements or simply in extended communities living within one geographical area.

Resist isolation, which is the work of fear. What value is survival if one survives while all around there is death and evil? That is not a world worth surviving in. Resist death and evil by banding together to pressure local governments to act correctly with your resources.

Stop looking for the Ascended Masters to save you. They will not save you, nor will 2012 change everything effortlessly, bringing angels with harps or happy UFOs down from heaven to make humans love one another. You are the Ascended Master. You are the UFO. You are the angel. Ask what is in you to be revealed to you, then set forth to do what it urges you to do.

2012 in your calendar system is 2 plus 1 plus 2 or 5 which means change, the Tarot Triad of the Hanged One, the Hermit, and the Lovers. Balanced and lasting change arises first from contemplation of the Light; second from contemplation of the self with all its shadows; and third from creating a nest or community with not only one person but with many. Another way to say this is, “What do I need to balance in my life? What do I fear the most? What would make me feel safe?” Another way to say this is, You are the Holy Grail, and everything is safe, even when a rifle is pointed at your head you are, ultimately, safe, for nothing can separate you from Love, the Love in you and the Love around you.

Mister Rand says this is all very well for you to say, you have no bodies. To which we reply, how do you know? And we thank you for sharing.

9:05 pm, Sunday, April 26 2009