~ SO THE OTHER DAY, The She-Binks was out with a friend over tea, and while they were chatting, happened to mention a certain small resort in rural Nova Scotia. She had her smrtphone with her, on the table. She hadn’t googled that place, or anything like: just spoken words.
Two days later, advertising banners for that small resort showed up on her smrtphone. She was underwhelmed. and came to mention the strange occurrence. Somebody had been dropping some eaves.
Lesson? They Are All Listening. Presume so. To EVERYTHING within earshot. To your confessions, married special-time, private business chats, secrets, dinner conversation, family fights. Anywhere these computerized phones are present, BigEar may be listening in.
Our Electronic Mini-Masters?
I don’t have one– my last was a fancy flip-phone. But I presume my iPad is listening, and her smrtphone, and the two boy’s smrtphones.
When you think about the brain-effects, spying, and biological effects of smartphone & cellphone technology– and the rising number of cancers which might be linked to their use– it strikes me that this is a giant socio-biological experiment with no permission or parameters, introducing many good and bad factors into daily human life, often from toddler on up. Experiment. Like on rats.
For those of us geezers raised in the pre-smartphone/ social media era, all of this is an add-on technology, which can multiply our existing curiousity, wonder, imagination, habits of being & learning & socializing. It’s a power-tool of sorts.
Quick: Example Us, Binks!
SO, for example– I’m currently reading Nigel Tranter’s Margaret The Queen. When I’m reading a book (dead tree or Kindle), I will constantly be looking up places, definitions, pictures of the places, historical summaries, art, related literature, and other interesting detail to flesh out the book. It becomes three-dimensional learning, based on my older trained & ingrained pre-digital habits.
What of the screen-addicted younger people raised in a time who have never known the old ways of curiousity, imagination, extrapolation, a love of learning and the intellect at play? I’m worried that endless music-playlists, SnapChat, InstaGram, flickering bytes and images which go by like dead leaves in a windstorm make it harder to develop those older qualities, which are not simply a “Different” form of intellectual and mental life, but the kind that is thousands of years old, and which built & sustained Western Civilization for thousands of years. Are our kids and grandkids being mentally flickered to death?
Who Did This? Not the Kids
Even if older generations find smartphones are manageable tools, it is a false logic to assume that people raised on them will turn out likewise. It’s that same thing with TV addiction in my youth: the idiot box ate your time, gave you a lazy brain, and– it turns out– wound up aggression even as kids were passively drooling before the one-eyed God.
Smartphones & digital technology are super-TV on meth & cocaine, doing untold damage all around us, even as we look on, semi-uncomprehendingly. “Kids today”, we moan, forgetting that every society creates exactly the kids it deserves. Think about it. ~
“The Upside Down is an alternate dimension existing in parallel to the human world. It contains the same locations and infrastructure as the human world, but it is much darker, colder and obscured by an omnipresent fog…. [a] dimension that is a dark reflection, or echo, of our world. It is a place of decay and death, a plane out of phase, a place of monsters. It is right next to you and you do not even see it.” … “Nope. No parallels under here.” (Hilary White)
~ BINKS IS just about to finish ‘Stranger Things‘ on Netflix, Season 1. Must say, I love it.. and it’s hard not to binge-watch it.
No major spoilers ensue below. Promise.
Like ‘The Matrix‘, the hit-show Stranger Things employs that familiar & human sense of displacement, weirdness, that there is an Unseen all around us which sometimes breaks in upon us in our ‘ordinary’ lives. That there is more going on than meets the eye.
In the popular Netflix series, which overflows with references to 80’s pop-culture, there is literally an evil copy parallel dimension called ‘The Upside Down‘, where people can be trapped, and eaten by a monster. The dimensional doorways can appear anywhere and everywhere: the wall of a house, a tree trunk, the basement of a top-secret government lab.
What both ‘The Matrix‘ and ‘Stranger Things‘ lack to make them universal is a spiritual universe above and inter-penetrating the visible ‘ordinary’ universe.. and a clear sense of God & His guiding providence. Sadly, religion plays almost no part in the show, or the lives of the characters.
What ‘Meant’ Means
By comparison, the writer J.R.R. Tolkien repeatedly mentions providence without explicating that it is of the Valar (archangels) and Eru (God). The wizard Gandalf’s own long mission in Middle Earth was a sending from the Blessed Land to fight evil, help the free peoples via suffering and pity, and– ultimately– to defeat Sauron, the dark successor to Morgoth (a fallen Valar, the Satan-figure).
In that Lord Of The Rings scene– which Peter Jackson moves from Frodo’s kitchen to the Mines Of Moria– we read:
Frodo: “I wish the Ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.”
Gandalf: “So do all who live to see such times; but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.
There are other forces at work in this world, Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring. In which case, you were also meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.”
That ‘meant’ bears a world of significance. Consider.
‘Meant’ is God’s providence, in the world, in events, ‘coincidences’, and via people. The Bible proclaims: “All things work together for good to them that love God.” [Rom. 8:28] Note: NOT ‘all things will be pleasant, easy, and straightforward’.
Remember: Christians serve a Crucified and Risen King, who still bears His (now glorious) scars. No easy path there: take up your cross. Follow, die.
Living Our Double Sight
And there’s another sense of “the unseen dimension”, our own actual “Upside Down”, which tempers our anger and enlightens our struggles. As Saint Paul teaches the Christians of Ephesus, and us:
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” [Eph. 6:12]
Any battle with sin, darkness, heresy– in the church and the world, and in our own hearts, is a combination of many forces, many invisible, or acting through us or other people in a greater & darker pattern than the simply human (as bad as we can be).
Exorcists are still busy in 2018. Possessed people still exist– some in politics, and in the Church itself. Even some clergy may be thus.
The Disorientation Is Real
In the current pontificate of Francis, there is unprecedented darkness, division, dishonesty, confusion and discouragement afoot. Papal hyper-loyalists rally ’round the revolutionary throne, throwing accusations at critics and radical (deep-rooted) Catholics who demand the whole witness of the Church to be heard, respected, lived, taught.
Sometimes, it feels as if an UnChurch from some evil parallel dimension like ‘The Upside Down‘ has invaded our reality, and is seeking to proclaim itself as the real, true, and only thing to serve. There is a spiritual war afoot: each of us can play a double part, on earth as in heaven, for good or bad. The darkness is not simply the opposition themselves, nor we only the bright good ones– for humility and reality’s sake, we admit there are brighter and darker forces in conflict within what we see, and in each soul.
Holy loyalty and faithfulness and restraint are good: but we do not honour the Church or her current leadership via our blind obedience, nor forgetting Whom She really belongs to, and Whose Voice she is supposed to obey. His will is not simply to be identified with the novel dictates of people who seem bound to another message, an unKingdom, a utopia of exalted man making himself into a God, his desires and feelings the measure of all truth and goodness. OUR kingdom come, OUR will be done: and yet, even in this, a greater darkness can be felt, seeping through, pushing, ruining, distorting the Church, but also the fever dreams of utopia, too.
Some Christian Basics
That evil unholy being is not some exact counterpart to God, but a created and fallen Enemy, and likewise all the fallen angels and powers under his control. Alone, we cannot defeat such darkness, for we are but mortal and finite and compromised with darkness ourselves. From such, Christ came to deliver us.
Ancient Paganism sought to placate the dark powers; to deflect the ill will of spirits, gods, sprites, and malicious beings of every sort. Animal and human sacrifice was the trading of precious life for benefits, or being left alone.
The Incarnation changed all that. Jesus is become the Lord of the living and the dead. The suffering King Jesus lays bare the plans and pride and shining schemes of Lucifer; He bore in himself our sin, and has already won the victory over sin, and death, and Hell.. yet the long wrapping up of the battle will seem almost like defeat, as the faithful must abide darkness in the world, the Church, the human heart, and in malicious spiritual forces.
But, but– What To DO?
Read the headlines; pray; comfort one another; love the sacraments; repent. Read the Bible & the Church Fathers, and the saints. Read solid blogs and books. Same as it ever was, and there’s no greener grass elsewhere. Cheer up! It will very likely get much worse.
Stay faithful, for God is faithful, and will not abandon us, or leave us weak and comfortless and enslaved to the machinations of the Enemy and his minions, nor to our own sins, negligences, and ignorances. These bizarre times WILL be sorted by God, and by his judgment & mercy, and by better Church leaders and theologians in decades and centuries to come. +
“Lo, I am with you always,
even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
[St. Matthew 28:20]
Most religious journalists are not interested in all the facts. Facts can lead to other facts, and names, and deeds, more questions, then on to awkward truths and uncomfortable (and dangerous) realities.
Better to just ignore The Bad. More happy-time make-believe & pretend is better.. and so much safer.
“Oh, come off it Binks.. your tinfoil hat must be getting waaay too tight, dude.” The biggest conspiracy (for the good & peace of society)?– pretending that there are no big, overarching, intrusive conspiracies all around us. Every day. Touching All The Things.
The Clintons. Obama’s Past. The NSA. Computer & Smartphone Spyware. Soros. Twitter & FaceBook & Google & YouTube versus conservative news, and your privacy. CIA & FBI dirty works & corruption. Operation Gladio. The “Russians & Hillary”. It’s a long list, of a favourite human occupation since there have been humans: whispering together for advantage.
This speculation & information about Pope Benedict’s being shoved down the trap door is all over the web, and parallel news websites, yet curiously missing from most mainstream media outlets® & approved Catholic News™ organizations. Of course. Duh.
As a friend of mine comments:
“I have spent a lifetime in politics and journalism. The near complete absence of curiosity or reportage in the world’s media on this astounding ‘resignation’ was, in itself, astounding. Something earthshaking happened here, obviously. Obviously.”
Such undue influence and interference from outside powers in the inner life of a spiritual organization might raise questions about– say– other times & certain other outside (& interior groups) & undue or illegal & illegitimate pressure & subversion brought to bear on the Catholic Church over the past, say, century.. or especially since the 1950s… all in politically & spiritually radical directions. Awkward silence ensues.
Can’t have that. The shiny pretty show must go on.
Reality Check? Check!
The following links are not top-secret buried on some alt-weird deep web, nor are they hard to find. These were easily searched on The Google, amongst top responses to the query-words “obama pope benedict deposed” — About 376,000 results (0.63 seconds).
What should this mean? That things are often not just as they seem, and marching blindly onwards is not the best response to evil active in our world, evil acts meant to control & deceive everybody.. except those “In The Know”.
That Benedict XVI was indeed overtaken by “the wolves”– remember the words from his first Mass as Pope: “Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves.”
That Hillary, Obama, John Podesta, George Soros, and certain other bankers and power-brokers & hidden actors– including a goodly number inside the Church herself– are wicked wolves in sheep’s & shepherd’s clothing. Such are trespassing & wicked criminals before God and Man. That a lot of the people we are supposed to trust with our dollars and lives and souls make Gollum from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings look like an innocent, wide-eyed naïve & downright cuddly critter.
That the former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio cannot help but know about some of this. Think about it.
So Now What?
What actual consequences flow thereof? What should we ordinary bums-in-pews or collars in pulpits make of such ugliness? Dunno. Way above my pay-grade*. This is heaven & hell & powers & principalities, “Gates Of Death/ Hell shall not prevail” level s of badness and power.
Please pray for all those involved, and my sinful soul, and your own– for all who live in such dangerous, disorienting, and deeply deceptive times.
* P.S. So.. Um.. If– just If– I should mysteriously turn up having shot myself 50 times whilst sky-surfing Mount Everest, then having proceeded to run myself over repeatedly with a steam-roller, please consider that “a suspicious death”. No, I am not suicidal.