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Apostles and Inklings

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  • Jan
    The Cambridge Apostles was, is, a secret and elite Cambridge University group, founded in 1820, which was originally intended to bring fresh impetus to
    Message 1 of 4 , May 12, 2005
      The Cambridge Apostles was, is, a secret and elite Cambridge University
      group, founded in 1820, which was originally intended to bring fresh impetus
      to Christian revelation and create a basis of deeper scholarship as a surer
      foundation for the Church. In itself a high ideal. There must, at the time,
      have been a yearning for the coming revelations of Spiritual Science, for a
      key to deeper understanding of the Christian Mystery than was currently
      possible. However, the rigid format and structure of the group, based on
      past social structures and forms of consciousness proved unreceptive to such
      Cambridge University has long been an Establishment institution, as was
      - and is - the Anglican Church. With twelve founder members The Cambridge
      Apostles was initially conversational, evangelical and aspirationaly
      apostolic in nature, a forum for 'higher' thought where members debated
      ideas and read their essays to one another. They developed their own code
      and private jargon, always a sure means of strengthening a group and bonding
      members. Those who joined but attended only occasionally were known as
      'Angels' and said to 'take wing'. Those not yet fully accepted as members
      were secretly assessed and screened and known as 'embryos'.

      It is still in existence, still secretive, a society whose current
      members, for whatever reason, are unwilling to talk about it. Today the
      Apostles are best known for the spies Burgess, Blunt, Maclean, and Philby,
      the infamous Cambridge Four, recruited by the KGB.
      It is a Society that turned about over the years. Its exclusive nature
      and secrecy ensuring that it became antithesis rather than Ideal of
      Christian Brotherhood. Its original ethos was of an elevated, intellectual
      and fructifying intercourse between men, which they referred to as the
      'Higher Sodomy', which they believed would give birth to new revelation.
      Despite the original pure idealism of 'Higher Sodomy', from the 1830's
      onward highly promiscuous physical homosexuality became almost a basic for
      the Cambridge Apostles although a few members were heterosexual. The docks
      were a favourite source of anonymous and transient young men for casual sex
      for some Apostles, whence came the now famous greeting 'Hello sailor.'

      'Even the womanisers pretend to be sods, lest they shouldn't be thought
      respectable' Duncan Grant

      Since homosexuality was illegal at the time, secrecy was all the more
      necessary within the society and strengthened bonds between members. A
      common technique of secret societies even today is for members to commit an
      illegal act, which can then be levied as blackmail, enforcing close
      'brotherhood' ties. A highly Ahrimanic and coercive technique, inimical to
      real brotherliness which surely is founded in openness and freedom. Members
      of such closed groups have outlaw status in common.
      Maynard Keynes and Lytton Strachey were the chief protagonists of what
      became a cult of homosexuality within the group, which waned somewhat when
      Ludwig Wittgenstein, although homosexual himself, rejected the idea of 'The
      Higher Sodomy' and homosexuality itself as cultus.

      Modern Apostles tend to be reticent about membership and keep silence
      concerning the group. We do know of some. Apostle Dr Jonathan Miller now
      completes the about turn of the original society by promoting his 'devout
      atheism' in a series of television programs, using the Freudian concept of
      'religion as thought disorder' We may recall Rudolf Steiner's assertion
      that atheism is an illness...

      The Apostles guard their secrets still, and there is something in such
      secrecy that is inherently destructive of purposed ideal. The narrow Path
      is still the open road, where, Wayfarers all, we meet Everyman and walk
      beside him. Narrowest path is wide enough for 'two or three', easily wide
      enough for meetings with One Who might walk in their midst...

      To have maintained the integrity of their original ideal of refreshing the
      Church, to be modern ev-angels the original Cambridge Apostles needed what
      was yet to come, the revelations of Rudolf Steiner, the Christian Initiate.
      Later Apostles failed to take them up, although there were great minds and
      souls amongst them.
      Within the Establishment Elitist University of Cambridge, once attended by
      Bacon, it is particularly difficult to escape the reductionist scientific
      ethos for which it is world famous. Oxford University, an equally Elitist
      Establishment similarly has a long tradition of secret brotherhoods. But
      beautiful Oxford-Shire and Oxford University life also nurtured Tolkien and
      was the meeting place of another, loosely formed, open society of friends,
      the Inklings.

      Speaking humorously, one might say that the immutable Sod's Law (Murphy's
      Law is the US version) came into play and it was the Inklings from rival
      Oxford who, in friendship and shared high Christian endeavour, actually
      realized the pure Ideal of what the Cambridge Apostles called the Higher

      The word sodomy derived from Sodom, but there is another sod,
      differently rooted, meaning seethe, sodden, bubbling up, wellspring or
      soaked earth. (Whatever I research at this time seems to lead me directly or
      indirectly to water, bearer of life patterns and rhythms, open interface
      with ethers.) Great wellsprings of wisdom and story bubbled up in this real
      brotherhood of questing friends.

      One important difference between Cambridge Apostles and Inklings, was a
      genuine devout humility, password and key to Grail Castle. While aspiration
      to Apostleship can only be laudable, the magical word Inkling is, for me,
      perhaps for most of us, more apt and perhaps no less mighty in scope.
      Inkling, intimation or hint, has something of peep, crack, glimpse,
      something most appropriately High Elven about it. An Inkling is a flash, a
      glint, passing waft of heaven on the wind, a tease of memory, irritating
      prick of Thorn, sparkle of star seen through Eye of Needle, gleam enough to
      steer a ship by. Vast horizons can be viewed through the narrowest fissure.
      The trick is to bring Peep to Gaze, Glimpse to 'Behold!'

      'When I most wink then do mine eyes best see'

      The Inklings were lovers of trees and trees hint, tease, prick and Inkle us
      all the time we are with them. C S Lewis was a keen and energetic country
      walker, briskly covering many miles a day in company with one or two close
      friends. He did not enjoy walking with Tolkien, however, as Tolkien would
      continually stop to Inkle insects, flowers and trees. He called Lewis a
      'ruthless walker'. Much Inkling was done in the course of those country
      walks, in the shade of great list-ening, conversing trees, overheard and
      commented upon by Angelic and Elemental Beings.

      Rudolf Steiner often hinted, leaving those who have the inner sense for it
      to follow mere trace of golden thread or mind-harrow old science for new and
      fertile forces on the strength of glimpse.
      Husk and crust, while dry and broken, can be bread for those whose Inkling
      hinted talent is for Cosmic Re-sourcing and Rest-Oration, who have found
      fount of aqua vita, have art of moistening into growth what is withered and
      seemingly dead.
      While in the Cambridge Apostles group, old and outworn initiation
      practices of elitism and secrecy proved unable to bear New Wine, in Tolkien
      and friends past mysteries fermented, rose refreshed, were transformed,
      adventured as story and thence into many souls as Ideal and Hope, as Wink
      and Glimpse and Inkle, mighty Idea of halfling-human on greatest quest to
      full human Grail-Bearing stature, grown to overflowing strength of 'Brother,
      what ails Thee?'
      C S Lewis, close friend of Anthro Owen Barfield exposed many of the
      machinations and techniques of Screwtape, gave children access to Narnia.
      Barfield brought impulses from Anthoposophy to the Inklings in most potent
      form of friendly converse.

      Quote from 'The Forgotten Inkling' by Joseph Pearce
      'Although Barfield was too modest to allude to the fact in our
      conversation, he is generally considered to have exerted an important and
      benign influence on Lewis throughout the 1920s. Lewis would later describe
      him as the wisest and best of his unofficial teachers. Barfield¹s 'Poetic
      Diction: A Study in Meaning', published in 1928, exerted a profound
      influence on both Lewis and Tolkien. It was, in fact, a discussion between
      Barfield, Lewis and Alan Griffiths, one of Lewis¹s pupils, which was to
      prove instrumental in edging Lewis closer to Christianity. Barfield and
      Griffiths were lunching in Lewis¹s room when Lewis happened to refer to
      philosophy as ³a subject². ³It wasn¹t a subject to Plato,² Barfield
      retorted, ³it was a way.² ³The quiet but fervent agreement of Griffiths, and
      the quick glance of understanding between these two, revealed to me my own
      frivolity,² Lewis wrote in 'Surprised by Joy.' ³Enough had been thought, and
      said, and felt, and imagined. It was about time that something should be
      done.² end quote

      Lord of the Rings, active Wayfaring Manual for Everyman is primarily a
      celebration and exploration of the true Ideal and immense, vital power of
      Brotherhood, the power of Two or Three who, in freedom and with love, share
      difficult destinies, lighten loads, undertake seemingly impossible tasks,
      make sacrifices. Who,together, are able to Stand and withstand ultimate
      evil. This gigantic potential for transformation of the Two or Three in
      friendship is surely the greatest open secret, its potency so threatening to
      the Adversaries that they use every possible means to isolate and undermine
      those who might become friends. Secrecy and exclusivity suit Ahriman.

      The Inklings were open to any who could speak their language, a language
      not created to exclude but to express, to make available. They met in pubs
      or member's rooms, took long conversational walks. Oddballs, eccentrics all,
      odds and sods outside the mainstream yet well within the wider evolutionary
      flow of kindred, inkling humanity.

      'We were talking of dragons, Tolkien and I
      In a Berkshire bar. The big workman
      Who had sat silent and sucked his pipe
      All the evening, from his empty mug
      With gleaming eye, glanced towards us;
      'I seen 'em myself', he said fiercely.'

      C S Lewis.

      There were, of course, human flaws and kinks and failings in this highly
      individual bunch of Michaelites. Inkling Charles Williams, a complex and
      hugely fascinating character was not without certain sadistic tendencies,
      perhaps inevitable in one who delved so deeply into human nature, dared so
      much, risked and wrestled Black Magic in quest of Light, but there was
      freedom in the single agreed Inkling restraint of 'nothing cruel or
      pornographic' allowing good old fashioned Jest and Bawdy to antidote
      scorpion sting with humour.

      Interestingly the Inklings group was preceded, perhaps seeded, by a
      smaller one, the 'Coalbiters' a name taken from the word Kolbitur, an
      Icelandic term for those who sat so close to the fire that they could bite
      the coal. There is more to coal-biting than sitting Hobbit like too close to
      the fire and hogging all the warmth. Those who, like me, remember long past
      winters when we children sat around coal fires on dark evenings, and,
      although playing with fire was strictly forbidden, illicitly poked and fed
      it with sticks, sparkled it with coal dust or sugar, scorched paper to age
      our pirate maps, melted nails, halfpennies, lead soldiers and sent secret
      notes for fairies flying up the chimney whenever our parents were not
      looking. We heated pokers to red and white, seared logs, roasted chestnuts,
      inevitably burned fingers, went soul-wandering through immense golden or
      scarlet caverns, shapeshifted in smoke, floated on warmth, sank into
      blackened depths of grate and hearth.
      Ancient forests bloomed again in burning coals, aromatic pine oil flared
      in rainbows, spurted blue-green gas, lit salamander castles, glowing gnomic
      cities that fell into mysterious grey ruin overnight.

      Would Rudolf Haushka have understood the transformation and metamorphosis
      of substance so deeply if he had not played as a child before his
      Grandfather's forge, seen molten metal plunged hissing and spitting into
      cold water? Are not all Blacksmiths initiate-friends of Wayland Smithy,
      (Weland, Volund, Volundr) Elven King and Saxon God of metal work? What
      children learn in dangerously ad-venturing across Hearth Threshold is not
      lost, is never lost, flares up later in forged thought, gnome wisdom of
      ancient coal-pressed forest that has passed through fire.

      In their latter days, the Inklings met around an electric fire in Lewis's
      room... a symptom, sign of the times, but nothing wrong with that. Orcs
      were rising, seeking release from intolerable de-pressing in gravity-grabbed
      sub ethers. Screwtape was twisting into ascendancy. The Beast lurking.
      Tolkien understood, had Inkled consciousness and being of ethers, the
      fallen consciousness and coerced being of sub ethers, knew Who it was that
      alone could Raise them, and wove all into tale, poetry, song and story that
      inspired millions and gave them hint of Map.

      There were Michaelites among the Cambridge Apostles also. No go areas do
      not exist for Michaelites. No path is too long, too thorny, darkened or
      perilous for adventuring. If we go the long way round, it is to see what is
      there, if are lost awhile it is because we are Prodigal Son. We get drunk on
      honey, lie overlong on the seductive breast of poisoned flower, forget who
      we are and where we are going, sleep and dream, sleep and drink nectar to
      excess, sleep and are are sated, are starved into remembrance and stirred,
      Thorn-spurred to further travailed travel.
      There were such among the Cambridge Apostles. This is no polemic against
      them. I make no criticism of them as individuals. Very few who form such
      elite brotherhoods know what is really going on. The ties may be karmic,
      may be Manichean. They are, like the rest of us, going the long way round.
      I did, spent too long dreaming in the hollow hills, en-thralled by fairy
      pipes, drifting, reckless, spendthrift of time, in love with the idea of
      flotsam. Prodigal Son takes the winding path, misses nothing, meets
      Everyone. Mystery Tramp has only a hole in his pocket. Bob wrote 'When you
      got nothing you got nothing to lose' but, paradoxically, much to give.

      So why draw comparisons between these disparate groups? Because the
      danger always, exists, is even acute, of groups and societies, however
      Ideally founded, becoming their opposites. And it seems to me that greatest
      care must be taken to remain open, permeable, inclusive. It is not easy,
      crawling through Mordor. Frightening numbers of people are going down,
      losing their grip, losing hope. Many tell me that they long to take ship to
      the Grey Haven. There is ache and longing in those who Inkle. But the ache
      can be Hint and prick of Thorn. Tolkien ached and asked

      Where now is the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?
      Where is the helm and the hauberk, and the bright hair flowing?
      Where is the hand on the harp string, and the red fire glowing?
      They have passed like rain on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow;
      The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow.
      Who shall gather the smoke of the deadwood burning,
      Or behold the flowing years from the Sea returning?

      And answers, 'Such is oft the course of deeds that move the wheels of the
      world: small hands do them because they must, while the eyes of the great
      are elsewhere.'

      When the black breath blows,
      And death's shadow grows,
      Come Athelas! Come Athelas!
      Life to the dying,
      In the king's hand lying!
      JRR Tolkien

      And I would say, not in secret Masonic handshake, but in friendly clasp...
    • 888
      Dear Jan, ... University ... impetus Thanks for that. It reminds me of the Leadbeater case (who originally was an Anglican priest). See
      Message 2 of 4 , May 14, 2005
        Dear Jan,

        > The Cambridge Apostles was, is, a secret and elite Cambridge
        > group, founded in 1820, which was originally intended to bring fresh

        Thanks for that. It reminds me of the Leadbeater case (who originally
        was an Anglican priest).

      • Br. Ron
        So pleased to know you are still alive, Bruce. Peace be with you, my friend Br. Ron From: 888 To:
        Message 3 of 4 , May 14, 2005
          So pleased to know you are still alive, Bruce.

          Peace be with you, my friend

          Br. Ron

          From: "888" <fireofthe12@...>
          To: <anthroposophy@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Saturday, May 14, 2005 2:52 AM
          Subject: [anthroposophy] Re: Apostles and Inklings

          > Dear Jan,
          > > The Cambridge Apostles was, is, a secret and elite Cambridge
          > University
          > > group, founded in 1820, which was originally intended to bring fresh
          > impetus
          > Thanks for that. It reminds me of the Leadbeater case (who originally
          > was an Anglican priest).
          > See
          > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/anthroposophy/message/112
          > Warmly,
          > Bruce
          > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/anthroposophy
          > Unsubscribe:
          > anthroposophy-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
          > List owner: anthroposophy-owner@yahoogroups.com
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
        • Jan
          Hello Bruce, How nice to hear from you. Yes, this is a fascinating topic, and the more so as it is inevitably interwoven with individual karma and biography.
          Message 4 of 4 , May 16, 2005
            Hello Bruce,
            How nice to hear from you. Yes, this is a fascinating topic, and the more
            so as it is inevitably interwoven with individual karma and biography.
            It seems that these situations arise as a result of the old Kundalini
            Rising direction of energy flowing from lower chakra to higher chakra, which
            was the old path of Initiation. Rudolf Steiner gives a reverse path, of
            course, which is suitable for this time and this emerging new consciousness.
            He says somewhere, and I'm writing in haste before an appointment so can't
            check it out, that sexual energy is 'not suitable' for transformation to
            energy for spiritual cognition.
            The exercises and meditations he gives are safeguards against this
            overwhelming of the pupil by sexual energy. Many of the exercises are plant
            based, for instance.
            The Rose Cross meditation, of course, is invaluable here.

            We know that occultists who venture into supersensible worlds without
            necessary purifying and preparation can fall prey to a magnification and
            intensification of sexual forces, as well as to greatly enhanced lower
            egotism and their 'revelations' are consequently skewed and unclear if not
            actually misleading. There is also the question of teacher-pupil abuse, of
            taking energies and forces from the pupil, and the danger of something
            unwholesome and untoward invading the pupil from the teacher. It is
            interesting that in such cases the pupils or participants selected tend to
            be boys or young girls, in any case those with youthful refreshing energies
            to be reaped, as is also the case in other Black Magical practices, such as
            sacrificing babies. Demonic entities, of course, come into play.

            Inkling Charles Williams deliberately engaged with sexual energy and with
            desire itself, as he did with every motive force that he could identify
            within himself or others. He attempted to 'turn back' these forces,
            another difficult if not dangerous practice, which in his case also led to a
            tendency to treat other people in a careless even cruel manner. However, as
            I said before, intent is all important and those who dare deep, compelling
            forces and mysteries often fall, but may be able to garner much by balancing
            karma in new incarnations, if the intention was initially pure.
            Again, I don't have time to reference it, but Mabel Collins too speaks of
            how in the soul garden of the occultist a weed may grow to vast proportions,
            whereas in the ordinary man it does not so flourish. Steiner speaks too of
            how people can 'become worse' when spiritual development is begun without
            sufficient care for balancing thinking, feeling and willing, and working
            with the monthly exercises.

            The Anglican Church, of course, which has given rise to quite a few cases,
            is inevitably tainted by its Established condition, being part of the State.
            Which is not to say that there are not genuine and aspiring souls working
            within it, of course. However, in Britain today I see the Church as largely
            destructive in effect, more by sin of omission than anything else. Without
            knowledge, it has become its opposite in many important ways.

            On another level we are seeing a truly horrific 'reaping' of youthful
            energies today as a result of the sexualizing of children, with sex
            education beginning in primary school and 'exploring' even teaching
            masturbation 'techniques' to children. While the teachers are not, of
            course, practicing occultists, they must be unwitting agents of Asuric
            beings, and children are certainly harmed by the consequent acceleration of
            their sexual development. I have heard stories of real damage and distress
            in children subjected to this teaching from their mothers, some of whom have
            removed children from schools.
            The phenomenon of so called 'bi-curious girls' is much promoted by
            television soap operas, teen magazines and advertising, as well as the sex
            education classes in schools. Girls are urged to try lesbian sex. It is an
            'have it all try everything' approach. As this is pressed upon them before
            they are really ready for any sexual experience it adds to their confusion
            and vulnerability, which in turn opens them to other forms of manipulation
            and abuse via media and marketing. Paying for Speed Dating is considered
            normal. 'Mac Sex' has led to a massive increase in the incidence of sexually
            transmitted disease, causing infertility in many young women. There is an
            occult dimension to all this, and an agenda behind it.
            Again, this is a complex and fascinating area of observation and study,
            which we need to keep well in view and in relation to the insights available
            in spiritual science.
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