Wednesday, July 29, 2015


We will commence by building and entering the Sacred Abbey. This is a magical image that, besides having its prototype expressed upon the physical plane in numerous examples throughout the world, is also fashioned  in the world of the imagination. It is a design or pattern that was first conceived in the heavens, but is increased and contributed to by all who have worshipped, worked or walked with reverence within it.

We take as our model the pattern of the great constructions for which the High Middle Ages had a particular facility. It was indeed part of the historical mission or destiny within the Divine Plan of this period. The Divine Plan is the restitution of the fallen world back toward the original perfection, and these buildings served as bridges between Heaven and Earth. A Heaven that might be conceived as a true and real terra firma, and an Earth that is and was like a floating island, that had slipped from its attachment to the main land and which was being secured by having the links remade, by these bridges or means of access to the heavenly main land.

Each abbey or cathedral has its own unique individuality. (We shall henceforth use the term ‘abbey’ because although cathedral fits the usage as well, an abbey has the tradition of a connection with a contemplative order – which adds far greater power and depth.) It is an application of what we spoke of in the beginning, about the flow of the waters of consciousness. An abbey is like a deep pool in a garden. A pool containing life of another order of existence, that, standing in the common light of day, we may gaze upon in wonder as we look into the depths at the hints and shadows of another mode of life.

Thus the vision serves its purpose, for unlike any garden pool, here are links to a greater world, the heavens themselves. But insofar that any garden pool has its own characteristics, is an expression of its immediate milieu, so is every abbey unique in that it is a separate pool of consciousness. One in which the pilgrim soul can be immersed, cleansed, refreshed, baptised, made new.

This is sensed by the crowds who still flock to these places, despite the secular assumptions of contemporary society. These are a temporary shallows, we have to say, that will lead in time to new depths. For humankind is like a river, which will in time lead, by whatever devious meanders, to the universal encompassing sea. The modern consciousness in its present historical diversion senses its own shallowness and seeks for pilgrimage in the guise of what is now called tourism. A shallow substitute in its way, for the ancient pilgrims faced a harder journey than is found or expected today, but what it lacks in quality is made up for in quantity. And the pursuit of being ‘taken out of themselves’ is rendered faster, more varied, than ever it could have been in olden days. The same human needs and instincts remain in search of expression. It is only the mode and means that vary, according to the climate of specific historical times.

The same applies, although in slightly different ways, to those who travel to ancient sacred sites, or to historical buildings where important events of state took place. Each of these in their way are centres of power, within the body of the human consciousness. Pools or basins hollowed out by great events, or persistent custom, or dedicated ceremony, which can still contribute to the sacred cultural heritage.

And a spring of such kind is increased by its use. This may be by the intelligent and devoted application of a few individuals, as in the upkeep of some obscure ancient site or shrine, or the wider flow of masses, uncomprehending in the main, to major public sites. Even though the conscious contact may be shallow, little realised at the time of the visit, much may be gained by the individual soul. Some resonance will remain that may in future time and in another place, (perhaps not even of this world), cause the recognition of a heavenly pattern within the soul and of its true origin.

The Abbey Papers pp.41-42

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Magical World of the Inklings

There are some who call the Inklings the Oxford Christians and see their work as a form of orthodox evangelism inspired by the Holy Spirit. Christians they no doubt were, each in their way, but their orthodoxy is debatable. And although we would not go out of our way to quarrel with those who hold this view, it seems an oversimplification. As I hope I have shown, when we read, so to speak, the small print of their unwritten manifesto, it is no simple orthodoxy that informs their work. It is rather a demonstration of the growth of the human spirit in a multidimensional universe that is rendered visible to us by powers of perception within the human imagination. Barfield was the great theoretician of all that this implies, but all the creative work of Lewis, Tolkien and Williams is steeped in it. This is the power behind their work, and the message that is there for us to learn.

In the work of the Inklings we have, in short, the vision and power of the ancient wisdom, the secret doctrine, call it what we will, but without the withdrawn cultishness. Such sectarian withdrawal has been a temporary aberration, imposed for historical and cultural reasons over the past three or four hundred years. But the time has come for the abandonment of enclosed fraternities, secret rites and the camp-following psychic fringe.

In the work of the Inklings it is all laid open to the world, much of it in the guise of children’s or popular literature. It is expressed and demonstrated in terms that speak directly to the imagination. We simply have to be prepared to open ourselves to it, and so play our part in the practical expression of what enclosed adepts used to call  LIGHT – IN – EXTENSION.
[Concluding pages of THE MAGICAL WORLD OF THE INKLINGS by Gareth Knight. Skylight Press]

“Because of the combination of information, understanding and insight on which it is founded ‘The Magical World of the Inklings’ is more than outstanding. It is not in the same league with anything I have come across.” OWEN BARFIELD

“It is only recently that the full play of Lewis’s neo-Platonism is reaching a wider public. Nobody has more revealingly shown the occultic and mythical character of this world-view, and its influence on Lewis’s fiction, than did Gareth Knight in his superb book ‘The Magical World of the Inklings.’ DR ANDREW WALKER – Director of the Centre  for Theology and Culture, King’s College, London; founder and former director of the C.S.Lewis Centre.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Hello Pluto!

 Hello Pluto! You were discovered in the year I was born. Were you named after my imaginary childhood friend, Mickey Mouse’s dog – or was it the other way about? I really would like to know!

Funny thing, the human imagination. I see already that one of the dark areas of Pluto’s moon has been designated ‘Mordor’ by our scientist friends. Are we planting human hang-ups into other parts of the solar system? The same way that we assume any interstellar interaction to be a copy of the way we behave on planet Earth?

As Anthony Duncan remarks in his recent book “To Think Without Fear” :

‘We project our own problems upon others and we project our own hostilities and insecurities upon everything strange or alien. Our mental images of inter-planetary travel are demonised by our obsession with “Star Wars”. Being children of Adam and Eve, we take it for granted that Cain will always kill Abel. Our first instinct (faithfully manifested in our fictional literature) is to call in the military!’

‘I refer, of course, to that phenomenon generally known as the Unidentified Flying Object, or more popularly, as The Flying Saucer.

‘This phenomenon carries with it something of a blessing in that it throws all our learned disciplines into an equal measure of disarray. It challenges every respectable world-view and is, needless to say, the subject both of silly official “cover-ups” and of the consequent – and increasingly threadbare – “disinformation” campaigns that accompany such activities.

‘We are bound, sooner or later nevertheless, to ask ourselves at least a minimal number of the questions these phenomena suggest.

‘What is it that appears, and disappears, both from our sight and from our radar screens and appears to defy all known laws of flight and aerodynamics?

‘What is it that defies our present knowledge of astronomy, of physics, of astrophysics and all the rest? Where do these things come from, and how, and why do they come at all?

‘What is this that, by its very nature, must constitute a challenge to the religious insight and theological thought of every kind? What might its relevance be, in the context of such insights as we have? Why is this challenge unheeded and why does the theological mind remain firmly and comfortably buried, ostrich-like, in the sand?

‘What of the ever-growing multitude of reported encounters with human-like, or humanoid, beings connected with U.F.Os? What of the considerable number of reported abductions and return, or men, women and children? What of their examinations by curious and evidently interested – but essentially benevolent – humanoids, clearly anxious not to cause harm?

‘Our world-views are challenged and, as a consequence, the challenge is either ignored or denied. We retreat into compartmental thinking and, at best, give this kind of experience a watertight compartment of its own. Witnesses are usually said to have been the victims of hallucination, suggestion – almost anything as long as they don’t have to be taken threateningly seriously. Seldom does “the scientific” reveal itself as being so subjective and essentially unscientific as – in some at least – of its dealings with those who claim encounter with persons who would appear to be extra-terrestrial.’

Anthony Duncan speaks not without some personal experience: ‘Some two or three years ago we became aware of being “visited” in some way, usually at night, by persons who we came to understand as alien to our own Earth and humanity....’

As a consequence his book ‘To Think Without Fear – the Challenge of the Extra-Terrestrial’ came to be written in an endeavour to answer some of the questions – both scientific and theological – thus raised. 

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Silver Net

By the contact and internal co-operation with inner plane helpers, you may be led to ways of service that would not be possible by any other means. Connections can be made, small, seemingly inconsequential or coincidental, that nevertheless form an essential part in operations of the brotherhood of light. You may only seldom glimpse their significance or magnitude but these links are fundamental in importance because they are ‘earthing’.

In this work you needs must have much faith, and this we try to establish by these contacts to which you, in your fullness as human beings in the world of matter, can respond. And so faith, over the years, gives way to experience and knowledge.  A knowledge of something of what we are and what we try to do, and the means whereby we try to do it.

If this were ineffective or delusory it is hardly likely that you would continue to cooperate with it. It is no idle solitary occupation that feeds upon illusions or self-satisfaction. Indeed you are tested, often quite severely, on some parts of the way.

You form part of a brotherhood, a sisterhood, that is as yet invisible to you. A gleaming net of starlight that shines like a web in the morning dew, crystal reflecting mirrors of dawning light of the day star.

You yourselves are, did you but realise it, reflecting and recording instruments of this star shine. For as spiritual beings you have the links, the inward antennae, to capture and respond to the resonating message of the stars. This message, this network of communication, of help and succour, is ever about you, like the far more material and gross waves of sound and radio.

You live in a cacophony of earthly generated noise, upon the physical and electro-magnetic levels. The radiating network  of the star waves is equally real, equally accessible did you but fashion the right equipment and accurately tune it. That equipment is within your own mind and soul. Did you but know it you are walking receivers, indeed I might go so far as to say it is the reason for your whole existence. Yet there are so many non-functioning or malfunctioning examples of apparatus that non-functioning often seems to be the norm. Yet if all human spiritual transceivers were properly and truly functioning then the face of the world as you know it would be transfigured.

So be aware of that silver net. It is also a stairway, a star way, an extended version of Jacob’s Ladder. By it you may climb. By merely holding on to it, you may become aware of vibrations within it from afar off, even to the highest, and to remote and spiritual regions you dream not of. Perfect civilisations, expressions in perfect matter of the divine will and grace. Worlds that may seem impossible to your occluded senses.

For this net is also one of harmony. Like a great harp, whose every interval is attuned to cosmic harmony. It is a visual image of the harmony of the spheres, the peons of praise of the worshipping angels – the Seraphim, the Cherubim. It is indeed an angelic network of light, to which human spirits in Earth can become gradually attuned.

The Abbey Papers  pp. 98-100


Thursday, July 02, 2015

Forget ET and think Mr Spock?

In a learned book published today Professor Simon Conway Morris of Cambridge University argues that aliens who resemble human beings should have evolved on at least some of the many Earth like planets recently discovered by astronomers, although his theory begs the question of Enrico Fermi’s famous paradox – why, if aliens exist, have they not made contact?

But maybe they have. In looking through the late Rev. Antony Duncan’s papers in search of material to publish I came across some records to suggest as much to someone I knew, but who kept quiet about it at the time.  There are limits to what a psychically gifted vicar can admit! “To Think Without Fear” (Skylight Press) contains his record of contact with at least three types, and to members of his family, along with the social and metaphysical implications.

Well, he did not keep entirely quiet about it; he hinted as much to me at the time but I did not take him seriously – although I did quote some of it, somewhat jocularly, in “Christ & Qabalah” (pp. 195-199) the record of our association over forty years.

But some of the implications of what he wrote in some of his poetry are indeed only just coming home to me:

As Universe and Universe converge, the heavens fall into their melting-pots.

Reordering of Inner Space is consequent upon a change of Mind; a train of thought pursued towards a new fulfilment.

Hands are stretched across infinities of inner depths to seek, to find a hand beyond imagining by either questing mind....

Opening lines of “All Things Converge” (‘Christ & Qabalah p.194)

All fascinating and quite challenging stuff! New dynamics for a new age?