The Liminalist # 149.5: The Best of Pursuits and the Worst of Idols (with Charles Upton)

Part two of conversation with Charles Upton, on intellectual error & moral error, reigning in hell, virtual intellection, a collective psyche blown open, a new lease on atheism, drawn to phenomenology, esoteric Greek knowledge of unity, the end of Catholicism and the arrival of psychedelics, a world of spooks, religious revival, a utilitarian religion, agents of pseudo-initiation, Jordan Peterson’s 12 rules, the Goddess of reason, the robot of rationality, the concept of an evolving God, the lens of a world of change, the monolithic view of eternity, the ongoing self-manifestation of God, the best of pursuits and the worst of idols, turning Allah into Lucifer, converting to Islam, social justice liberation theology, entering the New Age, Sufi dancing with Samuel Lewis, repressing misgivings, the covenants of the prophet Mohammed, the sorcery path, the threshold of God’s house, a sense of longing, intuiting something beyond Hell, Jenny Upton’s religious path, Malachi Martin, the metaphysical transparency of phenomena/dogma, the Trinity, Brideshead Revisited, flaws in the transcription of transmission, Christian paradoxes, the problem of Hell, the difference between perpetual and eternal, God’s gift of free will, choosing to burn, the furthest distance from God, C.S Lewis and The Screwtape Letters, resisting God’s love, divine discontent, the desire to leave earth, letter from a prisoner, astral projection & lucid dreaming, trying to land, seeking incarnation, finding transcendence through immanence, an anti-Christian doctrine, getting Christianity existentially, theurgy & occultism, Western ceremonial magic, occultism as rebellion, a schism in the church, the Hermetic tradition, renaissance magic, Platonic wisdom, Augustin, & Aquinas, the negative identity of religion, Crowley’s rebellion, Dante’s inferno, Fedeli d’Amore, the 3rd order of the Templars, creating modern Italian, the lost cantos of Paradiso, undoing knots with writing.

Charles Upton’s site.

Accompanying Blog-post: Traditional Metaphysics and the True Religious: Encountering Charles Upton

Songs: “I’m Going Insane,” “15 Bistro 2” by Lee Maddeford; “Ladder” by Sasha Miskin; “Fake Out Jesus” by the Blacks.

14 thoughts on “The Liminalist # 149.5: The Best of Pursuits and the Worst of Idols (with Charles Upton)

  1. SJW to Islam. Before it was cool.

    Interesting how he mentions Allah being Lucifer these days. I seem to remember Steiner saying that if the “religion of Arabia” were to spread “at the close of the century” it would be a victory for the dark aspect of the sun’s being. Sorat and his ilk. A time when we would only connect to the sun as a gas-ball in space and not as something holy. I think it’s from “Reading the Pictures of the Apocalypse” – and to paraphrase Peterson, “I think it’s true, but I don’t know what that means.”

    A nice surprise witness in Jennifer. Feel free to invite her on to chat about “The Ordeal of Mercy.”

  2. Herein lies information but only the whisper of wisdom. Christianity under observation, particularly Roman Catholicism. Charles appears to be holidaying in religion whilst Jasun is the beggar at the door wanting only a drink of cold water. Intelligence is largely the problem for it does not easily or willingly kneel in submission, it is loyal to its demigod ego at almost any cost. To find the right key to open the lock of grace to enable transformation beckons with each breath: many are called but few are chosen. Time is running out. Charles is right to highlight the positioning of LSD parallel to Vatican 11. I think one should roll back to Vatican 1 too to obtain the best octane in this theological race. That said, Averroes’ and Avicenna’s ‘Unicity of the Intellect’ or ‘Monopsychism’ philosophy, an essential key to the passing from time to no-time successfully, still stands refuted by Aquinas. As we increasingly blow up intellectually like a balloon we know one day the balloon has to burst. When it does it is beneficial to be prepared and such preparation is most notably found in the meek and humble. Gurdjieff wrote of Jesus coming back in a UFO to help on board those still thrashing about in the giant waves of life’s unforgiving seas.

    • what an icky comment :/

      Charles comes perhaps as close to a positive modeling of discerning religious faith as I’ve encountered in 50 years.

      • There is no unpleasantness intended in my comment at all. I am sure Charles would agree. The philosophical and theological terrain covered points to the deepest level of intellectual and religious beauty and concern. Dante’s positioning of Averroes in the same realm of heaven as Aquinas, as subtle a description of divinity as is likely to be found in the entire realm of earthly literature. You may have missed the point. 🙂

        • “Herein lies information but only the whisper of wisdom. Christianity under observation, particularly Roman Catholicism. Charles appears to be holidaying in religion whilst Jasun is the beggar at the door wanting only a drink of cold water. Intelligence is largely the problem for it does not easily or willingly kneel in submission, it is loyal to its demigod ego at almost any cost.”

          It’s my Christian duty to inform you this comes across as religious superciliousness and the patronizing disdain of a spiritualized super-ego. I think you missed the point of this podcast.

          • No. I don’t think I did. What was there to miss but perhaps your uncomfortable doubt that you might ever find Christians to like. The superego is a central practical and ethical philosophical tenet of Christianity or any similar methodology. You disturb the integrity and importance of Faith by crushing it under psychological or religious ill-feeling. Hardly a matter to fall out about though, more an opportunity for honesty which is a foremost Christian duty. We are all failed or failing Christians at heart, and as such, all in the same boat that only divine understanding permits to proceed. At the risk of saying too much or too little, I apologise for any umbrage taken. That said, the underlying message in the podcast itself was in my opinion not deeply invedtigative enough. One question, if I may, are you a baptised Christian?

          • My response-reaction is partly, but not wholly, due to the uneasy recall of your past sharings at this site, which included recommendations that I see an exorcist and accusations of trickery, deception and concealment which you later realized has been some sort of hallucination on your part. Certainly you are doing a good job of validating my belief that Christians are not the kind of folk I want to fraternize with. As a point of comparison, Theodore Dalrymple (see recent podcast) avows to hold no religious belief whatsoever and yet I would say he embodies Christian values (such as humility) far more than most self-avowed “Christians” do. Is there anything more spiritually prideful than a religious person who admonishes a striving to understand God by asking necessary questions as lacking humility?

            Tend to the beam in your own eye, brudder. 😉

          • I agree with your description of Theodore Dalrymple, a very fine mind and man, but one more than likely brought up in a Christian milieu, whether or not he holds to such a history and influence now. Past sharings on this site have indeed brought forth suggestions on my part as to your spiritual welfare such as the need for possible exorcism. It is rather unfair of you to not see the possibility of exorcism in the context of what you were confessing to at the time; the practising of sorcery being the pivotal point for my charitable concern. Your Luciferic insight and associated philosophical speculation combined with a dislike of Christianity led me to consider the worst but I corrected my misunderstanding once I realised you were being either playfully or purposefully Gnostic. Either way, your hallucinogenic and Shamanic past propelled, I concluded, your sense of knowing and understanding to the usual guru-like and demigod-like status well-known and established in spiritual circles, and also to some degree, perhaps significant paranormal awareness. I am very pleased you are more Christianised now but is is only a phase? I suspect it might be for such is the nature of love and mystery, as you seem to not show any respect or attention to Christianity’s sacramental power and thereby salvific purpose. Voltaire comes to mind. I understand why you would not or could not endure the friendship or perhaps even the company of Christians and that you include me in such a landscape. So it goes. On the matter of a possible aural hallucination on my part regarding what I understood to be a lack of respect for certain types of visitors to this, your usually excellent site; I know what I heard before it was edited out! I realised your embarrassment and sought a way to relieve you of the accompanying shame in as Christian a manner as possible. This, by necessity, demanded I provide you with a way out and a means of saving face. This I did by raising the remote possibility that I was hearing things. Haha. 🙂 Whatever, you remain a significant thinker and charming man. I wish you well with your further and ongoing spiritual journey and indicated as much in my previous reply by summoning Dante, Averroes and Aquinas for your attention; they make very profound friends, Christian or not. Peace be with you.

  3. response to the above:

    On the matter of a possible aural hallucination on my part regarding what I understood to be a lack of respect for certain types of visitors to this, your usually excellent site; I know what I heard before it was edited out! I realised your embarrassment and sought a way to relieve you of the accompanying shame in as Christian a manner as possible. This, by necessity, demanded I provide you with a way out and a means of saving face. This I did by raising the remote possibility that I was hearing things. Haha.

    Nothing was edited out. You are, in this regard at least, displaying delusional traits, and this makes interacting with you precarious at best.

    My sense is that you display a common characteristic of Catholics, that putting of fear of Hell before love of God and hence see your fellows as souls to be saved, rather than loved and learned from/with. It’s tiresome and counterproductive, as this exchange must surely illustrate.

    If you wish to draw people towards that which you value most, surely the best way is not to preach but to practice it? Preaching teds to have the opposite result, as now.

  4. Hey Sweet man i was born and bred a Catholic and am a recovering sorcerer , and i dont like you either ! Your overweening pride and patronage shines like a blinding beacon , that if i was to sail my ship towards, would surely see me wrecked. Chris Hedges is a holy man and he has written a very instructive book called “Christian Fascsim” . Lucifer is capable of counterfeiting just about anything . Like Jasun , i am struggling to find a path back to God that doesnt involve hanging out with assholes playing christian who are all really ( 3rd rate ) sorcerers anyhow.
    I have been sitting here at night listening to various music of Islamic calls to prayer , while i recite to myself the Christian Lords prayer. This feels tremendously calming to me .

    I have been studying the War on Terror at university and i realised that we are all living in a magician state anyhow , and Charles alludes to this when he describes how the psyche has been rent asunder and the world filled with ‘Spooks’ . The world is filled with sorcerers , no doubt there is great evil abroad in the land and i think men and women like Jasun and Charles are Constantine type characters still covered with the scars of their demon tattooes , capable of leading others out of the Underworld, Orphean players of Lyre , aiming at redemption.

    Such people are equipped with automatic demon detectors , greatly skilled at identifying counterfeit , having been to the academy themselves , and of much use to our troubled societies , goose stepping furiously on its path to damnation. They work for the Angels now who are desperately trying to send the herd the right way , though i wouldnt mess with em.

  5. Charles Upton’s point that the arrival of psychdelics into Western culture represents the collapse of monotheism and return of “polytheism” is biased, very subjective and also a completely wrong point of departure on the topic. First, the West did not discover entheogens/psychdelics and bring it into universal consciousness. Instead it appropriated it and trivialized it. Second, and this leads to the following: Upton is extrapolating from his own experience of hippy culture in North America during the 1960s and unversalizing it. This is a fallacy.

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