Fingerpost to William Wildblood’s Meeting the Masters

Each of us is a pilgrim on a road that we hope will take us to the Celestial City.  But we must admit this is very often a dark road, haunted by murderous footpads and crowded on either side with the strip malls, billboards and seedy motels of Vanity Fair.  In out of the way places where they have yet to attract the notice of the highway department, one may, however, stumble upon a fingerpost pointing to an inn of godly refreshment.  I recently raised my tired eyes to one such fingerpost at Bruce Charlton’s  Notions, and have since spent some grateful hours supping by the hearth of a five-star inn of godly refreshment called Meeting the Masters. My hospitable host is William Wildblood, author of a book of the same name (which I will be reading) and occasional contributor at Albion Awakening.  Many Orthosphere readers no doubt frequent B.C.’s Notions, and therefore have already turned at his fingerpost and made their way to Meeting the Masters.  I’m setting up this fingerpost by the wayside for those who don’t, and haven’t.  First-rate fare for weary pilgrims!

24 thoughts on “Fingerpost to William Wildblood’s Meeting the Masters

  1. Pingback: Fingerpost to William Wildblood’s Meeting the Masters | @the_arv

  2. Pingback: Fingerpost to William Wildblood’s Meeting the Masters | Reaction Times

    • I haven’t read the book, but the posts I have read on Wildblood’s webesite make “channeled” appear a not unfair description. Oracular would be another term. These sorts of deliverances should be received with caution, since some are fraudulent and others give voice to evil spirits, but it would be wrong to stop our ears against all who present themselves as teachers. Wildbood is a Christian in the minimal sense of regarding Jesus as altogether unique, which puts him ahead of those many Christians who regard him as first among equals, and he sees the contemporary world in the Orthospherian manner, as mired in the age of Kali Yuga. So far as I am concerned, the test of an “enthusiast” is the “fruit” of what he teaches, and so far I haven’t caught Wildblood passing off any rotten apples.

  3. First of all, many thanks for drawing attention to my blog and for your kind words about it. I very much appreciate that.

    Secondly, as regards the book, I suppose elements of it would have to be called ‘channelled’ but I have fought shy of that description since I don’t have much respect for most of the stuff that comes through like that. In my case I was spoken to (through someone in full trance) by spiritual beings whose only concern was basic spiritual instruction. There was nothing particularly profound or revelationary or new in any way. It was more like an abbot instructing a novice in the rules and regulations of the spiritual path with special emphasis on his personal weaknesses and failings. I understand and share the suspicion with channelled material but all I can really say is that in this case I did try the spirits and, as far as I am concerned, they were of God. In fact, whenever I asked them who or what they were, they told me just to think of them as messengers from God. No names and certainly no claims as to exalted spiritual status. And, unlike most channellings, they gave a bare minimum of metaphysical or theological matter, sticking to encouragement and the pointing out of my weaknesses.

    By the way, the book only covers about a year from 1979-1980 when the Masters (as I call these spirits) first spoke to me. They continued to do so until 1999 but, whereas at the beginning of this period they spoke regularly, by that time it was only a few times a year.

    • Thanks for dropping in. What you say here jibes with the impression I formed while reading through your blog posts. What you were told by the Masters reinforces and amplifies the great tradition of spiritual thought, and is not some wild new evangel. I was particularly hearted when you explicitly disavowed any direct connection between progress along the Way and “progressive” programs of social reform and sexual revolution. I think what many of us here at the Orthosphere are looking for is a Way to a “living” truth, but not a truth that is living because perfectly aligned with every fad and fashion of this decadent age. I’ll try to post a review of your book once I’ve read it.

    • “In my case I was spoken to (through someone in full trance) by spiritual beings whose only concern was basic spiritual instruction.”

      Uh, … say what? How do you *know* this was their “only concern?”

      Prof. Smith, I have to say this interest in “Christian” mysticism concerns me greatly on your behalf. I *hope* I’m not the only one.

      • Mysticism is a dangerous business, although perhaps not so dangerous as a life devoid of all mysticism. I seem to recall C.S. Lewis writing that he stuck to the “foothills” of mysticism, and this is very much the case with me. When I was young and exceedingly vain, I thought I was ready to ascend the heights, take in the beatific vision, and hear the voice of God. God in his grace withheld all of this, as I would certainly have fallen and cracked my skull. My mysticism is of the “foothill” sort, an occasional intimation of the sublime in natural beauty, true words, human love. God in his grace grants these small mercies, as without them I should certainly perish of thirst. These moments fortify my faith, they do not modify it. After one I trust I resemble the young man in Robert Frost’s poem: “they will not find me changed from him they knew, only more sure that all I knew was true” (from memory).

      • I take your point. I meant only concern in that that was all they had to say. I do understand unease about things like this from the orthodox point of view and actually agree that it is generally well founded. I know that Satan can disguise himself as an angel of light. I know that demons can manifest themselves like this to snare the unwary. But when all its said and done one has to use one’s own judgement and common sense to assess any situation. God can send his angels too even to ordinary people or so one must hope.
        I know the obvious thing to ask is why on earth should such a thing, if it is true, happen to Mr A rather than the more deserving Mr B. Don’t think I haven’t asked that. All I can come up with is that maybe we all have spiritual teachers who seek to inspire us but sometimes a more direct approach is both necessary and possible

  4. Yes, as far as I perceive them they were the embodiment of tradition and there was certainly nothing remotely ‘new agey’ about them. Their primary emphasis was on humility and love in the context of the reality of God, and they spoke of our current age as the most ‘vulgar’ there has ever been.

    • Mr. Wildblood, so you do acknowledge that you may very well have misconceived the intentions of these “channeled” spirits? And in fact that you yourself may well have been in an especially *receptive* frame of mind during these interludes? With all due respect, sir, this all makes me very uncomfortable.

      • That’s not what I meant. My experience with them left me in no doubt of their authenticity though I realise that’s a personal matter which won’t convince anyone else.

      • As I wrote a few minutes ago, I live most of my life on the plains of the ordinary. But like most people, I have had some uncanny experiences and I have heard some uncanny stories. Sticking to the uncanny stories, they always sort themselves into one group that is truly uncanny and another group that can be explained as insanity, fraud, or misperception. I am not a great judge of character, and so am sometimes “taken in,” but I do give some credit to this power of natural and spontaneous discrimination. Of course both types of uncanny story make me “uncomfortable,” but in the case of the truly uncanny it is the story that makes me uncomfortable, whereas in the explicable uncanny it is the storyteller.

    • Mr. Wildblood, did you have an orthodox spiritual counselor (a priest, pastor, elder) at the time of your exchanges with these spiritual beings, with whom to evaluate them? Orthodoxy regards even people who are under such care and who are living according to Christian ascesis and receiving the Sacrament as needing to guard against prelest or spiritual delusion. My own tradition of the Lutheran Confessions is wary of what gets translated as “enthusiasm,” the seeking of Christian truth apart from the Word of God. This tradition emphasizes the theology of the Cross, which, incidentally, your colleague Dr. Charlton finds of no value for his project of an English “awakening.” Did the spirit beings address the matter of Jesus Christ as God incarnate, really suffering and dying, and rising for our justification?

      • No I had no orthodox spiritual counsellor. However the person who was the medium for this had been a Benedictine monk and was still a regular Catholic churchgoer who took communion every Sunday. I had been raised in the Church of England but was not a churchgoer at the time. I would still not regard myself as a conventional Christian but I do see Jesus Christ as the Way, the Truth and the Life though I also regard other religions as having their own (albeit lesser) authenticity. I suppose I am more of a spiritual universalist though understanding that under the fact of the overall supremacy of Christ who is like the trunk of a tree which has many branches.

        And, believe me, I too am very wary of what you name ‘enthusiasm’, seeing most of it as inspired by lower if not demonic spirits. But I had to take my experience as I found it. I was not naive about it nor unduly flattered by it. I took it more a responsibility than anything else but as, I say above, when I ‘tried’ these spirits I found both them and their teachings to be good.

      • There are so many Protestant forms of ‘enthusiasm’ dating back at least 500 years, I can’t even begin to get into them. But in any case these instances make me extremely reticent to give their contemporanious manifeststions any credence whatsoever.

      • Orthodox Christians have always believed that men could be moved by the Holy Spirit, but have also believed that it is prudent to “test” such motions. Roman Catholics call this testing “discernment of spirits,” by which they mean the ability “to distinguish when our interior movements are inspired by God, when the Devil is their source, and when they come from ourselves” (J. B. Saint-Jure, The Spiritual Man (1878), p. 77.) The criteria that mark an inspiration as “wisdom from above” are usually said to be that it urges no evil, counsels no error, arouses no hesitation, and entails no deception (James 3:17). The most important thing to note about the orthodox understanding of private “illuminations of the soul” is that the Holy Spirit is said to use them to move the illuminated individual to deeper understanding of, and greater fidelity to, the revelation that has already been given. It does not use them to reveal a new Gospel.

  5. The Old Testament forbids consultation of mediums with hair-raising penalties for violations of this law, and the Church continued the prohibition. The reference to “testing the spirits” in 1 John 4:1 is to evaluating preachers who might mislead the Faithful, not to trance mediums.

    • I seem to recall that the prohibition is specifically against attempts at divination of the future, but you may be right about wider application. It can’t be a blanket condemnation of soothsayers and mediums, since our word prophet simply translates the Hebrew word for soothsayers, and a prophet differs from a fortune-teller mainly in that what he speaks is from God and actually true. I’m afraid that I cannot read “spirit” in 1 John 4 as referring to preachers, since the natural reading is that these are angels (or demons) who speak through the “medium” of a prophet (or false prophet). The test seems to me to be a test of the spirit, and from what Mr. Wildblood has written of his messengers (or at least what I’ve read so far), they would seem to pass the test.

      • The Church of the great creeds, of the great missions, and of the martyrs, was never a Church of trance mediums. The purity of its stavrocentric (Cross-centered) message and mysticism are unlikely to be discerned when people chafe at those who advocate “restrictions” upon “religious experience” of an occultic type..

        A mixture of vaguely Christianesque elements and trance mediums is familiar to anyone who has studied the decadent, sometimes sickly world of the last years of Tsarist Russia. People with lots of time on their hands, bored by Word and Sacrament, disaffected from secular society but also from the Gospel, unready to sever their ties with Christianity entirely, proceeded in such ways. Sturdy, faithful Christian patriarchy was far from these circles, which were apt to be a bit feminized, wooing the spirit, cultivating a passive responsiveness to messages from beyond.

        I mean no offense to Mr. Wildblood or to his blog-champions. But what I’m seeing here and elsewhere regarding the “Masters” etc. seems familiar and unwholesome.

        Orthospherean fathers in particular are encouraged to consider Deuteronomy 29:29.

      • You may be right, of course. But the Church of the great creeds gave me a wretched homily about Benjamin Bunny at the Christmas vigil mass last week, leaving me with a strong sense that a visit from angels might do us all some good. Deuteronomy 29:29 is a warning against divination and esoteric knowledge–“secret things.”

  6. You are, of course, right to urge caution, even extreme caution, in these matters but isn’t it also true that ‘the letter killeth but the spirit giveth life’? To reject any sort of vision or visitation as a matter of course would seem to be handing over a whole important area of spiritual life to the devil to have all to himself. I think we need to develop proper spiritual discrimination which means learn to sort out the wheat from the chaff. We can’t just reject everything as chaff for fear of being deceived. I am talking objectively here. I’m not claiming wheat status for myself!

    • Well, I personally think this is one reason among many that the tradition is important. An ecclesiastical authority to appeal to in such cases seems not a trivial matter, but rather very important. I wouldn’t want to get into a proof texting contest in any case, but it’s still important to consider a given scriptural passage in light of its broader context.

  7. “To reject any sort of vision or visitation as a matter of course would seem to be handing over a whole important area of spiritual life to the devil to have all to himself. I think we need to develop proper spiritual discrimination which means learn to sort out the wheat from the chaff.”

    In this case, the Catholic Church has standard operating procedures, objective means of testing, that have proven themselves over the ages.

    Even with all this, some of the faithful are led astray by false apparitions, but I think it is usually their fault, especially if it goes on for an extended period of time.

    To me it seems that every other particular denomination, perhaps excluding the Eastern Orthodox, has no, or very few time tested, objective standards for this sort of thing– nothing but feelings, hunches, and educated or not-so-educated guesses.

    I think one of the many advantages the Catholic Church has is that it is by far the least closed off to these types of things. Catholics have been making use of the messages of apparitions (from angels, more often from Mary) for centuries, and continue doing so, because we have, albeit imperfect– objective standard operating procedures.

    As to this “channelling,” to my knowledge there has never been anything remotely similar that has passed the Church’s tests; so I would advise all to avoid it.

    Though you might think otherwise, and think the Church is overly restrictive, it is non-Catholics who are the most closed off to this– because they exclude the most well documented cases of miracles, prophecies, divine intervention, which happen inside the Catholic Church.

    I think they ought to avoid it as long as they remain outside of the Church, because the Church has special resources to deal with these things, as well as special divine protection. This realm is too dangerous for Protestants to tread in (for lay Catholics individually, without special assistance from the Church as well).

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