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Removed (Banned)May 25, 2023·edited May 25, 2023
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Just thought as I read this: "Eat the fruit. It’s your right. You’re worth it!"

- Satan was the first advertiser, and we have been plagued with constant (demonic - you are worth it, you need more, you are incomplete without this) advertising ever since.

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Many thanks for the distillation. Extremely helpful and shareable!

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"Pray" - now that's a closing statement!

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The heart of the matter indeed!!! This was just a brilliant summation of the essential conflict/tension that we can sense so clearly these days. How is it that so often I read your words and get the sense of YES, PRECISELY in a way that gets me up out of my chair and makes me walk off the energy so I can focus. ;-) I hope Paul that you have a sense of just how much help your new (for you) Christian insight/synthesis is to many of us lifers for who you are pointing to the thread that is right before us but we often miss! This Sunday is Pentecost and some of your points will backdrop what I have to offer to our people to ponder as it relates to the Spirit and the Spirit of the Age. Peace and Blessing to you and your family

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Oh man, at the end of that talk, I didn't want to pray, I wanted to jump up on the couch and yell "THAT'S IT! THAT'S IT!!" but my kids were finally asleep.

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Your talk articulated what I have been feeling. This is why I felt it was so urgent to 'choose my religion'.

I did, and like yourself I ended up in an Orthodox church.

When I stand there on a Sunday morning, the church feels like a calm oasis in a sea of madness.

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Hey, Paul. I just wanted to tell you I watched your talk when it came out. I thought it was as good a summation of where we are that I have heard. For those like me who consider ourselves atheist/non-religious but know there's something real that exists (I call it The Force like in the movie, it's the best definition I have) I think you presented a very real and practical challenge. You went down the eco rabbit hole. I went down the new atheism rabbit hole. Others are on similar paths. When you said this at the end, it really struck a chord with me. Very well said and there is much for the likes of me to think about:

"Our challenge now is to choose our religion. Try to avoid the challenge and your faith will be chosen for you: you will be absorbed by default into the new creed of the new age: the quest to build the digital Tower of Babel. The attempt to “build god” and replace nature through technology. The path of the snake.

What can we do when there’s nothing left to conserve? Pray."

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Praying

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What does one do when there is nothing left to conserve? Why, one builds anew!

There was so much in "tradition" that was bad and wrong anyways and needed to be destroyed. We forget that modernity "emerged" from tradition, so people obviously were not satisfied.

*Christendom " in particular was an unstable compromise between power and spirit that never could have survived - Jesus message was in direct opposition to the social and economic institutions of Christendom, as Paul Kingsnorth himself vividly observed in his recent comment that the Vatican struck him as representing something in stark opposition to the true spirit of Christianity.

We have a marvellous opportunity now to go back to the Gospels and recover it's true message freed from the encrustations of political compromise and social necessity.

Ian Mcgilchrist has a wonderful discussion of how it may be necessary to break something in order to put it back in a better and richer form, and he cited aspects of Japanese culture and Kabbalah that illustrate this insight.

We ought to recover what was good in tradition and build up on it and develop it, of course, but the idea that tradition was the final form of perfection seems absurd and is against the spirit of Christianity, which sees the eschaton and the Kingdom of Heaven in the future (and now within us as a potentiality at all times, of course), as more and more of God's Divine plan is revealed. The story ain't over yet.

The veneration of tradition as the ultimate form of perfection - family, nation, ancestors, race - was always a more Pagan attitude, like the conservative Romans, that makes no sense in the far larger and more capacious Christian conception, which goes beyond any such sublunary concerns.

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I was down in Victoria BC staying with a friend for two weeks. My reason for the 12 hour drive was to see Martin Shaw deliver powerful stories to a myth hungry audience. It was glorious. I had so many thoughts after I left the venue. Many thoughts about the stories Martin shared, especially the one about what happens to the world when you bury the Feminine, the Divine Feminine. But also many thoughts from seeing the diverse crowd of people at the event and their response to these Sacred Stories. I’m going to have to jot down some of them at some point. On my travel home I was excited to listen to this episode of Unherd. I grabbed my coffee waited for a portion of the drive that settled into the lonely trek, away from Vancouver traffic, down the Gold Rush Trail. Twenty minutes later it was over! 😳 Haha. I actually said out loud, “That was far too short!”. ( I think I may have even screamed it) But upon relistening I was amazed at the amount of information you were able to pack in there Paul. It was eloquent, interesting, and right on the money! A real testimony to the years long journey you have been on, it came from the heart, not the head. I’ve decided if anyone has any questions about the Christian story and/or The Machine ( who are inextricably linked) I’ll be sending them this talk. Well done! Quite the accomplishment really! I will be watching for the Q and A with you and Mary and two hours sounds heavenly. Thank you, for being who God made you.

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Thank you for being one of the courageous prophets speaking against the darkness. I'm shocked (I don't know why) by how many people have invited AI into their lives already. People who say, "I recognize the danger, but..."

"I use it to write my business emails"

"I let my homeschooled kids use it for research"

"I ask it questions out of curiosity"

The Church has usually viewed technology as a neutral tool, so I'll be shocked if we receive guidance from any religious leaders telling us to completely reject AI.

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founding

Thank you! So well stated, and so true.

One of my favorite takes on the serpent in the garden is CS Lewis’ Perelandra, it’s Lewis imagining what the whole dialogue was like, in a way. Fascinating!

Regarding Christendom, y’all might be interested in Doug Wilson’s new book, Mere Christendom, which he describes as an attempt to think through Christendom 2.0. Here’s a fun podcast with the Babylon Bee about it:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YUtNtKCLDvM

And in the self-promotion department, I think y’all might like this piece on how the religious worldview used to permeate our school system (like you say, it wasn’t “religion”, it was everyday life) and this has become so foreign to our thinking that even our most sensitive historians miss the point. McCullough’s mistake, or There is No Neutral:

https://gaty.substack.com/p/mcculloughs-mistake-and-ours

You mention Babel. As others have said, Pentecost is fast approaching, the day when all tongues spoke as one, the day the Lord reversed Babel! Think of it, only 120 Christians facing a world - a whole world! - that didn’t know Christ… and God, through the Holy Spirit, laid the foundations for all Christendom to rise. Pray indeed! Do not despair!

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Good talk, and I appreciate the thoughtful comments in the thread. Themes that resonate with me: the need for humility. For awareness of that which is greater and beyond the human. The advice to pray, which is a way of saying that Western religion/spirituality needs to be imbued with daily practice.

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Thank you, Paul – that is the heart of the matter, isn't it – what IS the heart of the matter? And the dust has not yet settled on that issue. At least as far as humankind is concerned. But in naming Christ Jesus you go right to the heart of it.

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