37 Comments

I said a prayer for the King after I read this. Shame that William has not adopted the piety of his father and grandmother. He is deeply mistaken if he thinks a secular monarch will be more respected.

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Feb 6Liked by Ed West

After one of his visits to Mount Athos, a monk was quoted in one newspaper saying Charles was ‘Orthodox in his heart’.

Sure he didn't say 'unorthodox'?

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Feb 6Liked by Ed West

Apparently, His Majesty is a perennialist as well:

https://unherd.com/2022/09/charles-will-be-our-perennialist-king/

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Feb 6Liked by Ed West

Nicholas Taleb on His Majesty:

https://twitter.com/nntaleb/status/1568664913844862983?lang=en

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It reads to me as being unwilling to decide between incommensurable sets of values. Possibly not a bad attribute for someone in his position, but not something shared by most of his subjects, who you know, generally take a view one way or the other.

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Any mention of Abdal Hakim Murad always reminds me that his brother is chief football writer for The Times.

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I'm awfully sorry (not !) to be pernickity, but isn't Mr Parker Bowles still alive ?

Which means that if one is so appallingly bigoted as to believe in Christianity, the King and the Queen-Consort have been living together in an adulterous relationship - publicly and scandalously - for many years now.

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Feb 6·edited Feb 6

I appreciate the information about Charles' connection with Orthodoxy. It's a great pity historically that Henry VIII and Elizabeth I did not look East for solutions to the religious conundrums of their day, Henry could have had his annulment (the Eastern Church has accepted marital dissolutions since the heyday of Byzantium) and the Church of England could have become a royal-guided national church--which, No, not an ideal thing (see the ugly reality of the current Russian church, supine before Vladimir Putin) but maybe would have given it more ballast to withstand withering modernity, and also to link it with its First Millennium history before the rise of the Imperial Papacy in the West.

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Feb 6·edited Feb 6

I was just thinking about Charles' and most other peoples' attraction to some form of mysticism. I think it speaks to the feeling that something in the modern world isn't right; is out of kilter. Then I think about the H.G. Wells short story about 'the Door in the Wall', behind which everything IS right and to the schoolboy protagonist it feels like he has finally found home, finally found where he belongs. Compared to time spent in the beautifu garden behind the door in the wall, his actual life seems dreary and emotionless.

Yet the way I read the story (it ends in tragedy) is that this is just an illusion, similar to those dreams men have where the woman at your side is your perfect soul mate, so intimate that you don't even need to speak to her - though you can't even remember what she looks like once you wake up.

I find it very suspicious that the only way to access such pleasant states is either in dreams, or by shutting yourself away in a monastery for decades, booking into a Zen retreat for 10 weeks, sitting cross-legged on a tatami mat until you finally persuade yourself that you don't actually exist, or some other form of sensory deprivation that allows you to slip your anchor - for a while. Of course, these lovely mental states immediately dissolve on contact with the actual world.

In short, I view our mystic yearning as just part of the human condition. There is no concomitant 'glove' that fits the hand we reach with, no lovely garden where an equally lovely girl waits for us behind the door in the wall. Yes, life really is this shite.

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I remember Mervyn Stockwood as possibly the only person ever to make Michael Palin lose his rag.

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founding
Feb 6·edited Feb 6

Charles is far less aware of his limits than was his mother and that is a dangerous thing. Take this - an essential message, uniting most religions, is something like: thought is illusion, including the sense of sense created by thought and liberation from this smallness exists only beyond thought, but Charles, somewhat like society, has taken this message too literally, and converted it into another creature of thought. Quote from a famous Sufi mystic.

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing

and rightdoing there is a field.

I'll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass

the world is too full to talk about.”

― Rumi

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It is hoped that Charles will become as Orthodox in his reign as he was as Prince of Wales.

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"Jesus said: I am the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father but by me" (John 14:6)

Does the "most Christian king" agree with these words of Christ ?

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I'll take Charles III's interest in Greek Orthodoxy as a complimentary acknowledgement that the ancient Church has more substance than the trend-seeking modern non-denominational churches.

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Supernatural mumbo jumbo

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