Open Post

April 2023 Open Post

This week’s Ecosophian offering is the monthly (well, more or less!) open post to field questions and encourage discussion among my readers. All the standard rules apply — no profanity, no sales pitches, no trolling, no rudeness, no paid propagandizing, no long screeds proclaiming the infallible truth of fill in the blank — but since there’s no topic, nothing is off topic — with two exceptions.  First, there’s a dedicated (more or less) open post on my Dreamwidth journal on the current virus panic and related issues, so anything Covid-themed should go there instead.

Second, the entire internet has been babbling nonstop for weeks now about chatbots, artificial intelligence, LLMs (large language models), et al.; several readers have pleaded with me to call a moratorium on further talk on the subject here, and so artificial intelligence and everything connected to it is off topic for this post. (Yes, that means that any comment on that subject will be deleted.)

In other news, I’ve just put up a public post on my two astrology venues with a mundane chart for the coronation of Charles III. It’s an interesting chart and very strongly suggests that Charles found an astrologer to elect the time — it does a good job of finding positive influences in the difficult celestial conditions we’re under just now. Have a look:

https://www.subscribestar.com/posts/887143

https://www.patreon.com/posts/82089830

With that said, have at it!

421 Comments

  1. Question about Aloe and burns: For decades we’ve kept a live aloe plant in the kitchen to treat minor burns. Applying the fresh aloe jell does things just short of miraculous. Often after a day it’s as if the burn never happened. I’ve tried aloe from the drug store and it does very little. What’s going on here? Why is the industrial product such crap? Obviously, you can’t patent an aloe plant, but really why is modern medicine so inferior in this area. (I welcome thoughts from anyone, especially if they know something that works better.)

  2. A few years ago JMG wrote about how we have played out much of the creative potential of our culture and how the arts will have to focus more on performance more than creativity.

    Well, at first i thought that was a terrible thing, but with much more thought and a bit more living i can now see that it is not terrible at all, as a matter of fact it can be awesome, like falling in love with the same person all over again.

    I absolutely love the George Gershwin tune “Summertime”. For a long time my favorite version was done by Ella Fitsgerald and Louis Armstrong. It is really good.

    But a few weeks ago this version popped up in my life and i have fallen in love all over again.
    hope you like it.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RNNQYpnukA

  3. Hello JMG,
    I would like to tell you two “signs of the times” in my town.
    First, this morning when I was going to a supermarket, I’ve seen a near elderly woman next to the main door. I’ve supposed she was a beggar, and I was quite right. She has told me that she needed € 50 to pay her flat’s rent this month; I’ve shrugged my shoulders and I’ve given her 2 € (I’m not rich, by the way). I’ve returned home feeling a bit sad. Some people is asking for money to pay rents!
    Maybe the inflation in food prices is driving more and more people to that desperate measures…
    By the way, I’m living in Spain.
    ——————————————————————————–
    Second, I’ve seen that in some stores there’s seems to be egg shortage, and in groceries where there are still plenty of eggs, their price is so expensive…
    I know there’s a drought in my country, so hens food stuff is probably more expensive than ever before, however I wonder….
    John,
    Do you have that trouble in eggs distribution in the US?(or whatever country do you live, dear kommentariat). Or trouble as a whole with some foods?
    Thanks for your answers.

  4. Calling all retrovators to the Shortwave Supper Club, hosted by your friends at the Imaginary Lounge.

    In a digital age of fast food and instant gratification, it would seem intuitive that shortwave sipper clubs would be relegated to the relics of the past, like drive-in movie theaters, phone booths and pinball arcades.

    Not so fast. Shortwave sipper clubs are not only thriving, they are making a comeback.

    For many SWLs, dinner and a drink at a sipper club is like stepping into the TARDIS and going on vacation in another era where shortwave stations and lounge music continue to flourish.

    That slower pace so characteristic of shortwave radio and sipper clubs has largely faded in the whirlwind of commercial FM catering to on-the-go, fast-food minded consumers.

    “People have lost what SWLing is all about,” said Jugular Jones, shortwave listener and aspiring hobo since 1999. “Getting together for dinner and a drink when you tune it turns out, is a good reason for people to get together and socialize.”

    People often treat shortwave listening as nothing more than a convenient way to fill up their binder of QSL cards. But while some stations act as revolving doors for people just there to get something in the logs, sipper clubs such as the Imaginary Lounge treat each individual broadcast as more than just a numbers station and do what they can to slow down the hands of time.

    It’s an hour of radio that lasts much more than an hour.

    [ https://i.redd.it/p74a21jzj8wa1.jpg ]

    Here is our rx for you:

    Sunday 30th April 2023, 9395 kHz @ 2300 UTC via WRMI

    Brought to you by DJ Frederick Moe and featuring contributions from One Deck Pete and Justin Patrick Moore.

    An Imaginary Station is a Station where we can do what we want to do.

    https://archive.org/details/@imaginary_stations
    https://www.mixcloud.com/kmtsradio/

  5. JMG,

    Regarding the theory you published on your Dreamwidth about a possible interference during the Corona event that caused a large portion of the population to abruply abandon their principles.

    I made the connection only recently so I thought this would be a better forum for this. I think I have an interesting data point from Israel that supports this theory, and interestingly, altough this happened during Covid, it does not seem to be directly related to the actual pandemic.

    The current leader of the labor party here in Israel is a well known Feminist activist, who in the past made well known comments about not wanting to become a parent. To my surprise, in 2019 she had a baby through a surrogate from somewhere in the third world, india unless I am mistaken, and after a year or so, had another. She recieved some flack because of the supposed hypocrasy.

    Anyways, I thought you might find this interesting. I was quite puzzled when it happened, but then again it was such a weird year this almost slipped under my radar.

  6. JMG and Commentariat,

    There was a wonderful comment (that I cannot seem to find now) a few weeks ago about a book that was recommended that contained a bunch of information about older technologies and how to make and use them. Considering the last few posts and the impending bumps down in the Long Descent, I thought I might ask what books people would recommend to purchase that might have similar information.

    Specifically, I am thinking about technology, and things that many people now a days do not know how to do, but will need to know in the coming century/s. If you can include my username in the recommendation for ease of searching, I will compile a list and post it to my substack next week for everyone to easily peruse. I hope this will be a good resource to people here looking to add to their libraries that will help our future generations.

  7. I’d love to see a discussion into the power of shifting words over time as I feel that ties very well into the the changes of consciousness in accordance with will.

    As an example, I am getting married in the near future, and once we were engaged we both kept using the word “partner:. But over time I shifted to “fiancé: and will adjust that again after we are married. My “fiancé” has stuck with “partner” though and mentioned how it feels strange to shift away from “partner”, specifically mentioning how it is more inclusive. Though “fiancé” is also an inclusive word so it seemed to be coming from a different place than I originally thought (mainstream inclusivity sentiments) but am having trouble pinpointing where that aversion, which I see across many couples in my generation, may have stemmed from.

    Now I am 30, so my reference for evolutions of language is narrow, but once you see one they start to crop up everywhere, and reading some books from the 50-80s is another major window into these changes.

    Some other examples which come to mind is “gay”, or more machine based language for our own activities, like to process something instead of reflecting, or to reboot. It brings to mind this story in Media Extensions by Marshal McLuhan about a Chinese farmer in relation to using a machine to simplify his labour.

    “…Then anger rose up in the old man’s face, and he said, “I have
    heard my teacher say that whoever uses machines does all
    his work like a machine. He who does his work like a machine
    grows a heart like a machine, and he who carries the heart of a
    machine in his breast loses his simplicity. He who has lost his
    simplicity becomes unsure in the strivings of his soul.
    Uncertainty in the strivings of the soul is something which does
    not agree with honest sense. It is not that I do not know of such
    things; I am ashamed to use them.”

    I would love to hear your thoughts on where you have seen the shifting, adoption, or exclusion of words lead to changes.

  8. I wonder if you could address depopulation? When the verboten topic even is allowed to come up in the media, it is always portrayed as terrible, horrible, double ungood, rather than a sensible, practical easing of some of the pressure our collective boot applies to the neck of global ecosystems. Do the entrenched and panicking political/economic elites really believe that packing MORE humans onto this overstuffed, overheated planet is going to allow them to keep the myth of Progress going a few minutes longer?

  9. I’ve been considering why so many people are encouraged to care about situations far, far away, where you have no influence or control, as opposed to attending local municipal meetings or becoming part of the messy, local community.

    It’s easier. It lets you feel involved without doing any work. You don’t have to get along with the jerk next door who disagrees how the township’s tax dollars should be spent.

    But this isn’t new. Didn’t Charles Dickens parody this exact attitude with Mrs. Jellyby in Bleak House?

    I’ve come to think that this “I love mankind but not local people I know and live around” attitude is also encouraged because an uninvolved population doesn’t pay attention.

  10. @JMG At your suggestion, I read Michel Houellebecq’s essay on HP Lovecraft and liked it. Lovecraft’s life has such pathos, which he never overcame, but perfected it in his stories, which have such hidden suffering in them. Hollywood has stolen his tropes without ever touching on the suffering.

  11. JMG, I was reading in your new book, The Occult Philosophy Workbook: A One Year Course in the Secret Wisdom, about pulling the sword from the stone. This just struck me and left me wondering about other secrets hiding in plane sight. Of course, esoteric traditions have a tendency to do this all the time. So I ask you and the commentariate to please share other important secrets that just turned the light on for you and changed the way you look at life, when you had them explained to you or discovered them on your own.

  12. Bill and I recently visited Hosta Hideaway in York Springs, PA.

    It’s a demonstration of just how isolated and rural Pennsylvania can be.

    What was interesting was — despite being out in the backwoods — this area didn’t reek of poverty like the Eastern Shore of Maryland does or even the stretch of PA, not far away as you head down 11/15 to Maryland.

    I don’t know why.

    Oddly, despite the presence of a few Community Supported Agriculture farms (they had signs and greenhouses), very few people had recognizable vegetable gardens. Lots of new construction of oversized houses. But no farm fields, pastures, orchards, or livestock. It was like a vision of country living without farms or poverty.

    What was compelling afterwards was an Instagram account I follow about Deserted Places. That account is loaded with buildings of every description from trailers to castles to factories that were abandoned, contents intact!

    I suppose that might happen to the area around Hosta Hideaway eventually. Without automobiles and electricity, it’s in the back of beyond. Without farms, farmers, livestock, and agriculture, there’s no reason to live there at all.

    Oh, and their hostas are premium.

  13. Bill and I have published another book!

    It’s “Agatha Christie, She Watched: One Woman’s Plot to Watch 201 Agatha Christie Movies Without Murdering the Director, Screenwriter, Cast, or Her Husband.”

    It’s an 8 1/2 by 11 trade paperback, 275,000 words, 201 reviews, over 1,000 pictures, and every film is rated two ways; fidelity to text and quality of movie on its own.

    It’s taken nearly three years of work.
    We’re so proud.
    There’s more information at our website, http://www.peschelpress.com

  14. (If host permits) For the Christian readers or anyone interested: I’ve been looking at Trinitarian traditions of Universalism, as a way of talking “ecosophia” – if you take the vision of the transformed Cosmos (and transforming) as fundamental in the Good News in Christ, the world looks utterly different. It becomes, in short, an Ikon. This has been a difficult road for me, but there is a lot of evidence that there have always been rumors and suspicions of such, especially in the early Church. The enchantment, as it were, is and was always there, and is and will be always triumphant, however that “story” plays out, with human cooperation. This would be different from the ordinary, garden variety “Universalism”, which was not Trinitarian (rather Unitarian), not ancient at all (modern, and taking a cue from Progressivism in theology), and not supernaturalistic (it was reductionistic and rationalistic, largely confined to off shoots of Protestant sects). It would represent the Eucatastrophe of the Cosmos (in Tolkien’s terminology), and is Sovereign (since Love is sovereign), but gives free space for human will, strife, striving, and development (the devil and God are in the details). My attempt in this is not to “harmonize” theology with non Christian esoteric thought, but simply to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings and quarrels (there are after all, real distinctives and differences). This, to me, makes sense out of not only the darker sayings in Scripture, and the recondite rumors in tradition, but also, the legitimate truth and truths that are found “in the world”, while speaking faithfully about the Logos. To be transparent, I approach this also from a henotheistic perspective. The eternal Hell doctrine it seems to me, psychologically, is responsible for driving more people into it (on its own terms) than pulling people out of it, although I admit some people only “jump start” at all based on fear of it. More crucially, it induces a deep abiding distrust or even subconscious hatred of a Creator that would consent to bring into being creatures under the conditions of even a risk of such, eternally. I believe it has something to do with turning Faustian man into a conqueror and adversary of Nature, as well. (Disclaimer: And I do realize there are very evil people out there who have earned, and richly, perhaps even aeons of very miserable places, I am not a sentimental humanist). Thoughts?

  15. Do you have anything to say about dandelions? I am referring to the flowering plant. Its a rather innocuous subject matter, one that I initially wandered into with a goal of finding out what I can do with the yearly bounty in my yard. Obviously there are medicinal uses–it seems to help with the pancreas, its an edible salad green, makes for a good country wine, the stem contains latex, the root is a coffee substitute, etc., But still…after plenty of reading online about this cheerful “weed”, my curiosity–or perhaps affinity lingers. It just seems that there may be some greater significance there.

  16. Hi JMG and commentariat,

    I am still trying to get my head around around the Tamanous idea. I’m struggling to differentiate Tamanous from say, the Romantic reaction to modernity, or even the vision of personal freedom articulated in the ideal of liberalism.

    My growing-up, I’ve thought, should include setting aside my youthful “soft relativism” and subjectivism in favor of adopting a shared foundational ontology (Christian, in my case). Could it be that I’ve actually been setting aside my own “authentic self” so as to integrate with the Faustian power structures? Is Tamanous something accessible here-and-now (in America) or is it only a name for a thing-that-is-to-come?

  17. Hi! I found your writings recently, and I find you thoroughly convincing on the imminent consequences of energy scarcity.

    How can scientific, technological and other knowledge survive such a scenario? Knowledge is more than books, it resides in institutions, in large groups of people that apply it. But even books have to be maintained.
    And modern books age fast! We don’t have monasteries copying blueprints by hand for generations á la “Canticle for Leibowitz”.

    Thank you for your writings.

  18. I asked the same thing on the DW, but in an attempt to get the broadest base of answers possible, I’ll ask here as well:

    For those of you who are part of a religious community of any sort, have you noticed a change in overall membership trends in the last two years?

    My parish, which had been stagnant for years, has nearly doubled in size in the last year and a half. I’m trying to get a sense of whether this is a limited local trend (we have also had a lot of people move to our state recently), or something broader. I don’t have a good way to peek directly at what’s happening in other denominations, other parishes, other religions, or other countries, so I’m curious if other people are seeing the same trend, an opposite trend, same-old-same-old, or what, in their own communities. How’s your church, mosque, synagogue, temple, meeting, coven, etc. getting on? If you don’t belong to any kind of religious community, have you noticed any change in your social circle? Are people becoming more religious? Less religious?

    If you’re seeing lots of new people– do you have any sense of what’s motivating them?

  19. The prospect of a Biden vs Trump re-match next year has been met with dismay and disbelief by many MSM commentators here in the UK. Also, the likelihood of Biden winning then soon being incapacitated has been discussed and Harris is widely considered totally inept and incapable of doing the job. I wondered where you think this might be going – maybe towards an insurgency of some kind as you thought might happen if Clinton had won back 7 years ago?

  20. Hello JMG,

    Thank you for posting your coronation mundane astrology observations. Very interesting from a lot of perspectives. I only ever found one rather inadequate and very short book on mundane astrology, I think by a guy with the last name of Jones, plus a lot of odd semi-newagey stuff from, I think, Dane Rudhyar, whose system went right over (or around or through) my head. I never could make sense of any of it. I’m glad you made a go of it as it is very informative.

    As for general commentary on what is active in our world at the moment, there are so many possibilities that I’m taking things in in a “maybe so, maybe not” fashion, rather than doing what I imagine TPTB want us to do, which is enter a fugue state of pure panic. The center squares on the chessboard seem to be in play at the moment, but the endgame is not at all determined.

    Despite hearing the old mac operating system ditty playing very loudly, I am not at all sure it’s the correct view to have. I can’t quite remember when it popped up: “The light you see, at the end of the tunnel, is the headlamp, of a fast approaching train.”

    Keeping on keeping on,
    Clarke aka Gwydion

  21. Chuaquin,
    much of North America has been afflicted by bird flu over the past year or so, resulting in the deaths of many chickens and price rises and sometimes shortages of eggs. Perhaps this has now reached Spain?

  22. @methylethyl #19 – I’ve returned to the area in which I grew up and also to the church I grew up in. Membership appears appears to be about a third of when I was growing up in the 70’s – not too big a surprise for a mainstream protestant church – and slowly adding a few people each quarter, but I suspect deaths and inactives may be greater. I’ve been back in the area a couple of years, but only in the church a year. My wife goes to a Catholic Parish and they seem to on a similar path. Some population movement to this area is occurring, but not large amounts.

  23. @ Bradley #2

    Maybe it’s because the aloe jell straight from the plant isn’t just as fresh as can be. It’s still alive.

    Freshness matters in many things so why not in aloe?

  24. methylethyl,
    my local Salvation Army church has been struggling since the pandemic. A lot of people disappeared and didn’t return, and we haven’t gained much/any new people. A couple of old stalwarts just showed up in the past couple of weeks, so I’m hoping they’re back for good, but it is a diminished group I’m seeing on sundays.

  25. @ Bradley re #2

    As our host has pointed out on several occasions, the goal of the pharmaceutical/over-the-
    counter-goop business is not to cure of your ailment but to keep you coming back for more so your money will continue flowing into their pockets. All retailers have this goal of separating you from your hard-earned cash. Have you ever seen all those old toothpaste commercials which showed people putting a big long trail of paste on their brush? Turns out all you really need to do is put on something slightly smaller than a baby pea. I’ve gotten away with just a tiny smear. Of course, if we all ate a healthy low-sugar diet we probably wouldn’t even need the stuff in the first place. But we won’t go there…..

  26. @Celadon: Universalism must be in there air at the moment. It’s been on my mind the past few weeks. I come at this as a rather lapsed Christian of a polytheistic bent, or as a polytheist with an, at times, Gnostic/Essene Christian bend. (In other words I’m an esoteric mut.)

    (I was raised Christian -and have received “Christ” from an esoteric Christian -and have periods of time where it was important to me, and many times where it has not been. I’m also a lapsed Thelemite for what its worth. I like some of Crowley’s writings, but his magickal training system I found wanting and/or it wasn’t for me in the end.)

    I’ve been thinking of Universalism because there are times when I am on the receiving end of other peoples concern for the fate of my soul. Also its the only way Christianity can make sense to me anymore. I could never understand and still don’t understand how Christianity can be “the one and only true religion.” A universalist approach to the tradition makes more sense, because there are so many people who were born somewhere sometime with no knowledge of Christianity whatsoever. And yet these people, by some theological interpretations, are wrong, just because they happen to exist in a different culture with a different worldview.

    So basically I want to learn about Universalism a bit more so I can have some cogent arguments for when people get down on me for not accepting this or that theological doctrine.

    Speaking of theological doctrines, I’ve come to wonder why it is that so many Christians get their knickers in a twist over interpretations of some rather abtruse and arcane material.

    I need to read our good host here’s book “A World Full of Gods” for one, and William James “Variety of Religious Experiences” for another… JMG mentioned the difference between theology on the one hand, and religious philosophy on the other. I can get behind religious philosophy (and the knowledge that there will be a multitude of those), but theology seems so often to be geared towards proving that one is correct and the other is wrong.

    You wrote “it induces a deep abiding distrust or even subconscious hatred of a Creator that would consent to bring into being creatures under the conditions of even a risk of such, eternally. I believe it has something to do with turning Faustian man into a conqueror and adversary of Nature, as well.”

    That first line I find to be true among the people I am close with who were raised sans any religion, and the feelings they have about Christianity being pushed on them. I find the second part of that thought, about Faustian man as conqueror and adversary of Nature interesting as well. I see that full at work in the dominionist theologies. I think that dominionism plays out too in the religious right in politics, and how they can be conservative without care about conserving nature. (Conservative only in certain moral parameters.) Also Christian beliefs in the linearity of history seem to make some of my Christian family and friends kind of apathetic about doing anything in the here and now.

    I don’t know, I’m just riffing on Universalism here, from a fringe viewpoint of someone who still struggles at times with issues from being raised in an end-times focused sect that was the one and only true version of even Christianity, let alone all those heathen faiths and wrongthinking others from around the world.

    At the same time I’ve found some value in esoteric Christian teachings.

  27. @methylethyl: I have noticed quite an uptick in Christian believers from former non-believers in my various circles.

    I have also noticed a smaller percentage of people who seem to be open to the “spiritual” who once may have been hardcore atheists or agnostics. People who used to be total skeptics going in for things like New Age healing modalities. (And had good experience from it too -not talking about MOE in this case -although, with that, TSW.)

  28. The ” get woke go broke” meme has been around for a while, but I have been fascinated by the huge wave of pushback that AB got when they did a “woke”promotion for Bud Light. The main stream media labels this a “hard right boycott” but from what I have seen the anger against Budweiser in general has swept middle America. They did not realize that this “promotion” was not just another harmless exercise in virtue signaling, but a turning point where people were fed up and had a perfect target to take out their anger without fear of being canceled. From this point forward I think corporations and some politicians will realize that this woke thing is not all flowers and unicorns and can bring on a cudgel to the head just as readily as a brownie point.

  29. @ Bradley #2 – I’ve had the exact experience you describe with two plants – aloe and comfrey. Both plants have produced miraculous effects in my own life when applied fresh and direct to, respectively, burns and sprained/broken bones. No commercial (or even homemade) product made of either plant has ever performed nearly as well in either case, for me.

    Personally, I just think that somethings are impossible to commercialise. They only work as aspects of relationships. This is one reason I give room to both these plants in my garden/greenhouse. I need to be friends with them in order to receive their blessings. Hopefully, I am able to reciprocate in kind. 😉

  30. G Bejm, thanks for this. I think you’ve made a valid point.

    Bradley, you’ve just run into the difference between the material plane and the etheric plane. Aloe gel from a live aloe plant still has the life force in it, and that combines with the material gel to bring prompt healing. Once you extract the gel and bottle it, the life force dissipates. Have you noticed that treating the aloe plant well produces more effective healing? If not, try it!

    Jim, exactly. Once the notional space of a given art has been filled in during the phase of innovation, there follows the phase of performance, which can be just as satisfying. Billy Strings and Marcus King do a very fine performance!

    Chuaquin, we had a serious egg shortage here in the US over the fall and winter, but it’s improved now. The media’s saying there’s a bad outbreak of bird flu among the chickens and a lot of them had to be killed to stop transmission. As for people having to beg rent money, ouch — but that’s the wave of the future. Europe and North America have both been living on much more than their share of the planet’s wealth, and as that balances out, things are going to get ugly for a while. (Eventually the price of real estate will crash, but getting to that point is another matter.)

    Justin, huzzah! Thank you for this.

    FourSidedCircle, interesting. Thank you for the data point.

    David, I’m pretty sure the book you’re thinking of is Henley’s Twentieth Century Formulas, Recipes, and Processes. Fortunately this can be downloaded for free from various sites:

    https://archive.org/details/cu31924003643172/page/n5/mode/2up

    Of course there are many more!

    Ynu8ipbnxu, that’s a gargantuan topic, more suited to a post than a comment and more suited to a book than a post! The very short form is that the meaning of words is always changing; the English word “black,” for example, comes from a word that once meant “white” (like French blanc). Track shifts in the meanings of words and you have a very sensitive barometer of changes in collective consciousness.

    Ken, there’s a very practical reason why the people in power freak out about the thought of declining population: our entire economic system is predicated on growth. The only reason money earns interest and investments earn money is that these both represent a share in growth. In a contracting economy, the average investment loses money and it’s no longer to anyone’s advantage to lend anything — and down comes an entire economic system based on money earning money. That aside, of course, a nice steady contraction in population would benefit almost everybody outside the circles of the well-to-do; it means rising wages (because there are fewer people competing for jobs), falling rents (because there are fewer people competing for housing), and an easier time for everyone, not to mention huge benefits for the environment. What’s more, we’re going to get population decline; birth rates have been falling steadily worldwide for several decades now, and there’s some reason to think that we’ve already seen the peak of world population…so people might want to get ready for it.

    Teresa, exactly. It’s especially useful if you happen to prosper from the suffering of others, as is true of the comfortable classes in our society (and every other). Distracting yourself by worrying about the terrible sufferings of the people in Borrioboola-Gha is a great way not to notice the impact of your own lifestyle and your own choices on people closer to home.

    Tomriverwriter, glad to hear it.

    Clark, no, I’ll let you have the fun of making your own discoveries! That’s what that passage was meant to inspire, you know…

    Teresa, that is to say, it’s an exurb for the privileged. Check back in a decade or so. Meanwhile, congrats on the new book!

    Celadon, from my outsider’s perspective, this makes sense. One of the core reasons I rejected Christianity with some horror when I encountered it as a teenager was precisely that the doctrine of eternal damnation requires belief in a God who has all the hallmarks of a domestic abuser: the torment he dishes out is always the fault of his victims, for not living up to his arbitrary expectations — and yet he requires to be constantly flattered and praised and told how good he is!

    Dan, it’s an herb of Jupiter with very important healing and nutritional properties. If people paid attention to such things, they’d be cultivating it, not weeding it out! I also recall a fine bit of detail in a longtime favorite SF novel, The Masters of Solitude by Marvin Kaye and Parke Godwin, set 2000 years from now in a postcollapse world; an important battle in the book is fought on a field named Dannyline, for the yellow flowers that grow there…

    Fritter, it’s something that was, and something that is to come. Romanticism is utterly European/Faustian, with the standard Faustian insistence on universal validity and grand heroic posturing. Compare your standard Romantic hero with Johnny Appleseed and you might glimpse something of the difference between Romanticism and the Tamanous pattern in the American land. Or you might not — we’ve got another five centuries before that even begins to stir.

    Javier, I’ve written about that extensively in my books The Long Descent and The Ecotechnic Future. The very short form is that most scientific and technical knowledge will inevitably be lost — that always happens when a civilization falls. The most important thing that can be done to preserve as much as possible is to see to it that letterpress printing technology remains in use: historically, societies such as China that had some way of printing (they used woodblocks) preserved much more knowledge than those such as Europe, which had to copy everything by hand. But there will still be tremendous losses.

    Methylethyl, this may or may not be relevant, but over the last couple of years I’ve noticed a sharp increase in interest in the kind of traditional occultism I teach and practice. My recent book The Occult Philosophy Workbook, dowdy though that subject seems, is apparently selling like hotcakes. So I think there’s a renewed interest in traditional perspectives that make more sense of the world than modern materialism does.

  31. Chuaquin – Olive oil is scarce, at least in our corner of Germany, which is no wonder since last year it was in the news that many olive plantations were devasted by droughts. Sunflower oil might become scarce due to the events in eastern Europe but no signs of this so far. I suspect certain varieties of rice might become a problem because of the ongoing drought in northern Italy. Can’t say anything about eggs as we keep a few hens.

    Prices have risen dramatically. Roughly +40% over the last two years. We live in a rural part of Germany with very low costs of living, so open signs of poverty are still quite rare. Not so in the cities, though. The number of beggars roaming the streets has started to rise significantly roughly 15 years ago and the trend has not shown signs of stopping so far.

    Greetings,
    Nachtgurke

  32. For #2 Bradley. You may find the commercial Aloe Vera gel is made from leaf powder which, being dried and ground, loses much of its efficacy. Also, the healing compounds increase over the course of the plant’s life so harvesting a few leaves directly from a mature one and applying directly gives you maximum benefit. I have also been told by a small scale manufacturer that when the leaves turn a pinkish brown shade they are at their most potent. Hope that helps.

  33. @ Fritter Mywig

    A caveat first–

    I find JMG’s discussion of Tamanous interesting, but I’m not certain he’s right (though I also doubt he’s also certain that he’s certain that he’s right, about an issue this speculative.)

    That said, I’ve given the idea of Tamanous some thought, and I’d like to share some of that here– noting beforehand that this is all speculation on my part as well.

    The idea of Tamanous is that it refers to a Great Culture, which is a specific type of inhabiting the world of human existence. This culture, however, has not properly come into existence yet; it’s still in a precultural stage, and its emergence, if it does indeed happen, won’t happen for another 4-500 years yet. (JMG can correct me if I’ve gotten this wrong.)

    And so what we have now is not Tamanous as such, but hints as to what Tamanous might be. This hints should come in the form of uniquely North American sociocultural structures and, very importantly, ways of looking at the world. In many or most cases, they should currently be overlaid with forms derived from Faustian Europe.

    I’d like to suggest that all of the following are possible hints, or embryonic forms, of Tamanous.

    1. The political structure of many American Indian tribes, especially on the plains, was a type of band structure familiar to anthropologists. Specifically, it looked like a “fission-fusion” structure, in which dispersed groups came together during certain times of the year and then dispersed again, often having exchanged members, frequently through marriage. The political structure was based around what are sometimes called “Big Men.” This is a form of authority that is characterized by being achieved– you aren’t born into it, but achieve it through repeated success in particular fields, especially war– and charismatic– it is based on the ability of a Big Man (who is sometimes female, BTW) to persuade followers, rather than to command them. Certain other structures overlap and cut across what we might think of as the political structure as such, including clans, which are extended kinship organizations based around a shared, mythic ancestry– a member of a specific clan might join another tribe altogether and find clanmembers willing to take him in. Religious secret societies into which one must be initiated are also found and provide a third line of connection between people, separate again from tribe and from clan.

    2. Here are some religious traditions which were either founded in the United States or quickly became naturalized here: Mormonism; Charismatic/Pentecostal Protestantism; Megachurch Protestantism; Alcoholics Anonymous and the Twelve Steps generally; Quakerism; Spiritualism; the Nation of Islam; the Asatru Folk Assembly. These movements have several things in common, including: 1. A charismatic founder; 2. An emphasis on personal spiritual experience and personal spiritual power; 3. Minimal emphasis on ritual; 4. A personal conversion experience; 5. And, critically I think, a Holy Book, whether the Big Book of AA or the Book of Mormon or the King James Bible. The latter is an import from the Magian cultures of the Middle East but it seems to have become as thoroughly naturalized here as the Norwegian rat or the honey bee; see also the reverence we pay to the Constitution and Declaration of Independence.

    3. A personal story. A few years ago I was at a funeral in rural Western Pennsylvania. The area is very poor; the towns full of dilapidated buildings; the drug epidemic hit hard. The industries that seem to be thriving, judging by appearances, are raising corn and cattle herding.

    The funeral, as it happened, was at a Charismatic church, and the deceased was the son of the pastor. I’d never been to this church before. There were hundreds of people there, all very supportive. The pastor’s sons and several others have a band, and the service consisted of alternations between fire-and-brimstone sermons by the pastor, a very charismatic older man, and uplifting musical interludes. The music was a blend of traditional American spirituals and punk rock, and honestly it was very good. As I watched, it was clear that the pastor, who in his daily life was a coal miner, wielded a great deal of what any anthropologist would recognize as charismatic authority, exactly like a tribal big man. It was easy to imagine that one or two or three hundred years hence, the need for any outside structures would be dispensed with, and the pastor would be what he appeared to me to be– a tribal big man, gathering a flock of followers who would otherwise make their living by hunting, herding, and farming– which is more or less exactly what the locals would do with their time now, if they didn’t also have to pay taxes.

    4. The American archetype which resonates most strongly in the eyes of foreigners is the Cowboy. This is, it seems to me, the unique American contribution to the stock of global heroes, as unique to us as is the Knight to King Arthur’s England or the Samurai in old Japan.

    5. The American structure of government is based on local difference, autonomy and power. Of the various regions of the United States, only Greater New England and California seem to reject this model, and their combined power has temporarily allowed them to temporarily create a system of centralized political control. It could be argued that both of these regions are outliers– New England is the most European part of America, and may one day be the last refuge of Faustian culture; California is either on the border of or truly part of Mesoamerica, which has its own very different mode of civilization.

    6. Sacramental Christianity and other formal, ritualized religion has a difficult time here. Catholicism seems to be robust for about 3 generations before it stagnates, morphs into a parody of Protestantism, and then has to be replenished by another wave of Catholic immigrants. Having exhausted Ireland, Swabia, Italy, Poland, and now Latin America, it seems likely that Catholicism will dry up and blow away. Anglicanism is a religion more or less exclusively for the very wealthy. On the other hand, there is a small but lively Independent Sacramental Movement here. It’s still early days, but it seems possible that Orthodoxy will have a future here. Both of the latter two have more of a decentralized character than the former. Note, though, that American Orthodoxy (that is, the Antiochian Church) is largely a convert church– the ethnic Orthodox churches are just a few generations behind the Catholics. So is every ISM jurisdiction– it is VERY rare to find a member of any ISM church who was raised in one. Other ritual religions and ritualized religious or spiritual organizations do well here, but are very much the sort of the thing one seeks out on one’s own– Freemasonry, the Knights of Columbus, even the Golden Dawn.

    7. In addition to the Cowboy, other American heroes and hero archetypes: The pilgrims; the early settlers; Johnny Appleseed; Natty Bumpo; Daniel Boone; the Pioneers; the Transcendentalists; Laura Engels Wilder; Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn; John Muir; Teddy Roosevelt; the Hobo; Jack Kerouac; Timothy Leary; the Beatnik; Hippie; the Gangster (subtypes: stage coach robber, bank robber, biker, ethnic); the Rock Star; the fighter jock; the astronaut. The overarching theme uniting all of these is the individual departing from the collective and discovering his personal Truth. Whether it’s Henry Thoreau by Waldon Pond or Jesse James robbing banks or Jack Kerouac hopping a freight train to San Francisco or Neil Armstrong planting the American flag on the Moon.

    One more thing to note: The idea of “charismatic authority” was developed by Max Weber a century ago. Charisma is what led Geronimo’s followers to accompany him on his raids, John Dillinger’s followers to join his gang, Elvis’s followers to scream their heads off at his concerts, and the followers of the pastor in my story to attend his church Sunday after Sunday. And– critically, I think– Weber was clear that charisma is a kind of psychic power. And indeed it is.

    If I’m right about all of the foregoing, a Tamanous high-culture will have all of the following characteristics:

    1. A political system characterized by relative egalitarianism, with authority vested in charismatic leaders. The primary political organization might even be the descendant of what is now the Church, which will have characteristics common to a Charismatic Protestant church, a Quaker or AA meeting, and certain other features we can’t yet guess at.

    2. A high degree of mobility or even pure nomadism in settlement patterns. 150 years ago the Plains supported a large, nomadic population by means of 100 million American bison. 250 years from now, the bison might be back, or cattle might take their place, or imports form other continents (elephants, emus, ostriches, giraffes, yaks, cloned mastadons?) might have replaced them.

    3. Overlapping networks of belonging– one might belong to a town, which might itself be nomadic or seminomadic; a clan, which might claim descent from a mythic ancestor like Coyote or Raven or Italy or Ireland (ethnic culture in the Northeast resembles clan culture in some obvious ways); one or more initiatory societies akin to the Masons or the sacramental Churches or the Golden Dawn.

    4. An emphasis on the individual and his discovery of his– Something. What the Something will be we don’t know yet. It could be his private revelation, or his encounter with a spirit or god, or his vision quest, or his Holy Book, or his personal charismatic leader, or his direct encounter with Allah. It will also almost certainly include personal taboos, which are common in tribal societies– these taboos in some form or other is common in many forms of American religion, whether it’s the AA members renunciation of Alcohol or the veganism common among American Buddhists and Wiccans or the obsessive rejection of pornography you see in contemporary Christian converts.

    Can you live in this world now? Yes, No, Sort Of, Only If You Want, You Already Are And You Can’t Help it. Again, we don’t and can’t know what specific form it will take. Mass conversion to a form of Islam is possible, since it comes with a book and a God and its own form of puritanism. It would nevertheless has all the characteristics I just described, with charismatic Imams leading tribes of elephant hunters like Bedouins across the Great American Desert. Or we could see mass conversions to Orthodoxy if Russia triumphs over America in the decades ahead, or a return of the aboriginal religions of this continent, or the spread of modern forms of paganism like Asatru. But IF Tamanous is real, then its seeds have already been planted and begun to germinate; the fruit will ripen on its own.

  34. @ Chuaquin #4 – I live in Ireland. Regarding eggs, I must say, I have been much blessed, of late, with eggs. As I have told here before (and in response to certain advices received on this very blog) I have set the prices in my acupuncture clinic at a level that ensures that even the poorest person can afford to come, and as a result I am never short of customers. But, by the same token, many, many of my customers are now paying me both in money and – because the price is so reasonable – adding a “tip” in kind. It seems many of them keep hens, and I am really, really fortunate to be receiving “tips” of eggs on a regular basis. Perhaps I should be even more appreciative of the *real* value of what they are bringing to me. Eggs are very good eating!

  35. Robert M, the approaching Biden-Trump contest is being met with at least as much dismay here in the US. I don’t claim to know what’s going to happen, but I would not be at all surprised if frantic attempts were made to force Biden out and get someone a little more capable as the Democratic candidate — and of course that leaves out Harris. I also note that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has launched a campaign for the Democratic nomination; he’s being shut out of the mainstream media, but that has increasingly little influence on the electorate, so it’s not at all impossible that he’ll do to the Dems what Trump did to the GOP and snatch the nomination out from under Biden and the Dem establishment. One way or another, it looks like a wild time.

    Clarke, you’re welcome. The people who argue over whether or not the light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train all have a stake in convincing you that you’re in a tunnel. You’re not — you’re in an open space, and you can go in many different directions.

    Mark, thanks for this.

    Clay, it’s been fascinating to watch the Bud Light business unfold. They may just have succeeded in destroying the brand, as much by Anheuser-Busch’s astoundingly lame response as by anything else — and yeah, it would not surprise me if we’re seeing a serious shift. I note also that the Maybelline cosmetics line also decided that it was a good idea to have Dylan Mulvaney as their spokesperson — sure, let’s market makeup to women using a divisive figure who goes out of his way to offend and insult women! I expect the resulting carnage to be less noisy but more damaging to the company.

    Peter, that’s a very good point!

  36. The link JMG requested yesterday, I think, is here. https://strategic-culture.org/news/2023/04/24/europe-has-lost-its-guiding-myth/ I have taken the liberty of posting it because the linked article is most interesting. I disagree with the author on one point. The neo-cons and allies might want war but the American public emphatically does not.

    That brings me to the subject of the emerging election season, which, being a bit of a political junkie, I will attempt to describe. In the USA we have two major political parties which are loathed by everyone who is not a member. Independents, a majority of voters now, heartily despise both. Nevertheless, the Rs and the Ds (Archdruidly rules and sensitivities won’t allow me to express my true opinion here) together control the apparatus of how people get elected, which is why Bernie Sanders and now Robt. Kennedy are having to run as Ds.

    Aging Joe Biden is running again. He was doped up long enough to make the announcement. Likely, the Ds couldn’t find anyone willing to go up against the Orange Julius. They would seem to be stuck with the unimpressive Harris, not least because of her subcontinental heritage, what with India emerging as an important ally in Asia and the Pacific. So far, he has two challengers. Marianne Williamson, a carpetbagging opportunist, IMHO, appeals to the all important female PMC vote. These gals do vote, and are still smarting from their 2016 loss. There is also Robt. Kennedy, Jr. who is both compos mentis and a certified adult. Kennedy’s platform contains a strong antiwar plank, including negotiated settlement in Ukraine, American removal of nukes from Russia’s border, AND winding down the overseas bases. Means will no doubt be found, state by state, to keep his name off primary ballots.

    Will someone please explain so that I can understand, what is so special about Williamson? And what qualifies her for the presidency?

    The R clown show is at least entertaining, featuring the Orange One as Comeback Kid, along with an Indian American gentleman whose name I can neither spell nor pronounce. Apologies to all of Southwest Asian heritage, as well as you either hate him or love him Ron DeSantis, Gov. of Florida who is likely to announce any day now just as soon as he finishes up his trip to Israel. No chance of an antiwar stance from him. And, also, another grownup, one Asa Hutchinson, gov. of another southern state. And, let us not forget, Nikkie Haley appeals to the regular guy and gal crowd, who think feminine pulchritude is a sign of virtue. And, Senator Rick Scott, African American also from a southern state, whose campaign seems to be based on the implied promise that with him on the ticket, the Ds most loyal voting block will be split. I doubt that can work anymore, but maybe. I think he hopes for the VP nomination, as a counterweight to Harris, who is widely disliked.

  37. jim #3 & everybody else – Thanks for sharing! I really enjoyed it, it’s a beautiful piece of music! Just yesterday I had ta similar experience like you. So if anybody would like to spend nine carefree minutes listening and watching to a really skilled classical guitar player covering Iron Maiden’s “For the greater good of God”:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sEYsZQdX8I

    Have fun 🙂
    Nachtgurke

  38. Are you familiar with the gateway project by the CIA? I am interested in ways to enter flow and did a lot of experimenting and researching with activating both hemispheres (brain and body) through symmetric full body movement.
    I discovered (as I now realised the agency did too) that one easily slips into a sort of expanded mindset through an art exercise that involves drawing with both hands on a huge piece of paper with charcoal while playing loud expressive music. Unplanned repetitive movement in vertical symmetry using all faculties gets you in a trance like state quite easily. A sort of wide awake dreaming that accesses emotions, memories and the inner realm. Like with flow, the perception of time alters, like with ayahuasca music sounds dramatically more intense.

    Do you recognise any of this in your ritual practice? I would love to hear your thoughts on this beautiful phenomenon. Unlike the cia project it can help people access deeper imagination, reconnect to the body and a more integrated whole approach.

  39. Celadon, I recently read Neil Douglas-Klotz’s “Revelations of the Aramaic Jesus”, translation of various gospel passages, including the most difficult ones, from the early Aramaic texts. Very different meanings from Greek and other sources and it changed my whole perspective on what Jesus may have actually said, particularly wrt to universalism. It may be worth your time.

  40. Mr. JMG — Out of the blue music theory sky…would you have any interest in reading a dissert on a 7-planet opera-ballet Dresden 1678, and relation to Buxtehude and early Bach?

  41. Greetings all,

    In your understanding, what are the typical milestones of decline a civilisation generally crosses on its way down? decreases in energy use per capita? an increase in poverty levels? recurring civil strife? reduced food availability? reduced soil fertility? reduced long distance trade? Dates unnecessary (chuckles!!!). I am interested in parameters that can be reliably measured. OK, I am quite aware that to estimate energy use per capita of the Western Roman Empire across the centuries might be a hopeless task. But there just could be a few markers that were common enough and could be tracked fairly reliably across space and time. For instance, life expectancy, population levels, soil fertility and agricultural productivity could well be great markers.

    Many Thanks!

  42. Following from a comment on last week’s post about funding cuts in the cultural sector, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on ways to preserve the Western classical music tradition for posterity.

    An idea I’ve had is the creation of a “Resilient Repertoire”, a collection of notated pieces and explanatory theory printed in durable volumes and distributed to various corners of the globe.

  43. Was curious to know your thoughts on the spiritual/historical significance of the upcoming coronation of HM King Charles III next month. For me as a British Christian it is an immensely important event as it involves the sacred anointing of my sovereign lord and grants him unique spiritual status as “Dei Gratia Britanniarum Omnium Rex”. How do you see this event from the Druid’s perspective and as a scholar of things spiritual?

  44. @JMG : Yes, that’s very relevant to my question, and I have been extremely curious to know if other religions and/or spiritual disciplines are seeing an uptick in interest, and if so, which ones!

    To all who’ve answered (and will probably answer later) the query at #19: Thanks much for the datapoints! I will be pondering them and seeing if any bigger picture or pictures emerge.

  45. Hi JMG and everybody else,

    I hope you’re all having a good week! And JMG, thank you very much for having us over this week! 🙂

    Two things today which have been on my mind lately – about democracy and modern warfare…

    1. In the last post, there has been a budding discussion about preserving democracy in the future.

    I was wondering if some people would be interested in continuing this here and sharing your thoughts and opinions?

    E.g. which aspects/ways of (today’s models of) democracy are worth preserving, which could or should be improved? How could they be improved?

    And what could each of us do on their own, small scale, to make it more likely that some form of democracy will continue?

    If anybody’s got any thoughts or ideas they’d like to share… 🙂

    2. And secondly, something from “Twilight’s Last Gleaming” stuck with me, namely that in modern (especially US) warfare, each troop part has a very specific role, and that the enemy could mostly tell just by which troops had been deployed where, how the overall war strategy of the US was.

    I’m not very well versed in military affairs, so apologies if this is a stupid question… but I’m trying to apply this concept to a specific example and am simply lacking the background knowledge to make sense of it:

    Last year, the 82nd Airborne Division was deployed to Poland. From what I’ve read, these are paratroopers which are supposed to land behind enemy lines (and do what?).

    So, uhm, could some of the military geeks here maybe explain to me which role these troops might have been supposed to play, and what this might tell us about the overall strategy during that time?

    (I have to admit I’m at a loss – were they supposed to land on Ukrainian territory, given certain conditions? But then what would happen afterwards?? Or on Russian territory? And then what? I mean, Russia is big…)

    Maybe somebody could help a complete newbie to figure this out? 🙂

    Thanks,

    Milkyway

  46. JMG, thank you for the info about Lodge wickets last month, it was very helpful.

    With your permission, I would like to mention my new writing project, which is currently about restoring a hundred-year-old house but will also branch out into exploring transformation in general and a Rust Belt renaissance.

    The page to sign up for the free email newsletter is https://letter.industrialchemy.com/subscribe

    It does require a double opt-in, which means that a link in the confirmation email must be followed in order to be on the list.

    I also post the newsletter to my blog https://industrialchemy.dreamwidth.org/ with a one-week lag so that the archives are available to later subscribers and to serve as a preview.

    Although I rarely make it to posts in time to comment, I have been a reader here and at the old ADR for about 15 years and learned so much. It was JMG’s advice to invest in skills that pushed me to enroll in the building preservation program at my local college and that one decision completely transformed my life.

  47. Teresa, if you had come down 94 from Carlisle you would have seen orchards as far as you could see, and then York Springs itself, a little rural village which has now been almost entirely repurchased by Hispanic fruit pickers. I actually think it’s a pretty good estimate of what much of the country will look like soon. But I assume you came down 15 from Dillsburg and that stretch is increasingly nice towns for well-heeled Harrisburg commuters.

  48. Hey JMG

    Yesterday at work I had an amazing idea concerning the Lullian art.
    Traditionally each letter in the circles used for the art represents a individual concept, but in the tarot meditation you described in the most recent post on Levi this is somewhat broadened since a tarot card represents a broad theme rather than a specific and discreet concept.
    The idea I had is to go further in the direction of broad themes rather than discrete concepts, and assign entire books, essays or entire philosophies to each letter. For instance, imagine getting the western canon and starting with one book, let’s say “The Republic” and comparing it with each book in the rest of the canon, then when you have finished repeat the process with the next book in the canon, say “Paradise lost”, but of course omitting repetitions.

  49. Weighing in the the Bud Lite fiasco.

    I should first point out that I’ve been a Stout/Porter drinker since the mid 1970s when I first visited Hong Kong and was invited by British sailors to join them in their club. I quickly developed a taste for stout and have not had a light lager like BL since.

    Apparently the VP of marketing wanted to end the “frat boy” immage of BL. I’m no marketing expert but as far as I can see “frat boy” is the very essence of BL. It’s a light p***y watery beer that’s cheap – an important consideration if you plan to swill a dozen cans over the course of an evening, “Frat boy” or “Joe six pack” are the only viable immages for BL – that’s their market. It is what it is. I couldn’t have predicted the fallout but I would have predicted the failure of changing the immage of the brand.

    I’m secure enough in my manhood that I don’t have to shoot cases of BL with semi-auto rifles. I’m really surprised by the level of vitriol. If my favorite brewery suddenly went woke I don’t think I’d react by boycotting their beer. Apparently a lot of people feel more strongly about the situation than I do.

  50. Some data point for you to contrast with Chuaquin’s, from the Philippines:

    Food inflation here has been ridiculous as with everywhere else. I’m paying >40% more for milk now than I was two years ago, eggs are up something like 30%, bread 30-50%. Onions, notoriously, rose up 1000% last year but have normalized recently.

    Energy inflation is a thing, but thankfully hasn’t been as bad. Probably a mix of us having no winters, but a good part of it is that we’re not part of the “international community” sanctioning Russia. We’re ostensibly friends with the USA, and I’m not aware of any major impactful deals we’re doing with Russia at the moment (a military helicopter deal with Russia recently got canceled, more like a token gesture if anything). but we do buy a lot of finished petroleum products from Singapore who are currently getting a lot of discounts from Russia.

    And yet! I go outside and the streets are jam packed with cars and traffic. All the shopping malls are full. All the touristy leisure places are crawling with people, mostly domestic tourists too! Inflation is nominally 7-8%, highest in a decade, but also unemployment is <5% which is the lowest it has been in *four* decades. What appears to be happening is that people are shrugging off inflation and out-spending it.

    30 years ago in this same place, there were 6-8 hour rotating blackouts, and if we had access to running water it wasn't so much "running" as it was slow dripping, and the water was rust-colored and tasted weird and you had to boil it. And this wasn't some small village out in the boondocks – this was in Manila. Nowadays I now have electricity reliable enough that I actually set the clock on my microwave oven (didn't have one of those when I was a kid) and I mix baby formula with the tap water (we had it lab tested when we moved, it was safe). And I pay $30 for 200 Mbps for a fiber-to-the-home connection. Crime is maybe at an all-time low. My wife, whose family background is a bit more upper class than mine, told me recently that one of the things she learned from me is how safe the streets actually are. I replied, saying, to be fair, it wasn't like that just ten years ago!

    A relative's family currently based in the Bay Area are finalizing a move back to the Philippines in a couple of months. They've been in the Bay Area for 20+ years but high housing prices and crime among other things have driven them out. Their late dad had an apartment in San Francisco and it was his favorite city and used to spend a lot of time there. But when their other relatives visited them recently, they didn't go to SF at all because (and I quote) "we didn't want to ruin our childhood memories of the place."

    I'm just, like, wow.

  51. @JMG regarding what you said about RFK jr doing to the Democratic establishment what Trump did to the GOP establishment. From a UK perspective I have the impression that the Democrats are now far more in tune with the establishment – which promotes almost exclusively liberal policies and talking points – and therefore no genuinely anti-establishment candidate is likely to ever get anywhere near the Democratic nomination any time soon. How many Democrats still have enough anti-establishment sentiment to ever consider voting for someone like RFK jr?

  52. Mary, thanks for this. My response to the upcoming election is to lay in a big stock of popcorn and prepare to watch the fur fly. 😉

    Bertus, no, that’s not something I’ve studied. It sounds interesting, but it doesn’t have much of anything in common with the practices I do.

    Jeffrey, it might be months before I could get to it, but yes, I’d be interested in that. I read dissertations fairly often — I just finished one from the University of Exeter on Dion Fortune’s writing and ideas.

    Karim, population contraction is a very common feature of societies in decline, so the point when growth tips over into contraction would be a worthwhile marker. Civil strife is just as common on the way up as it is on the way down, so that won’t help much. One that might be worth exploring is the centralization of land ownership. Societies on the way up tend to have farmland owned by a lot of individual owners; in societies on the way down, ownership concentrates in the hands of the very rich.

    Luke, if classical music doesn’t survive as a living tradition it won’t survive. Written sheet music communicates very little about what the performance is actually like! Thus getting classical music out of the hands of the currently wealthy minority and making it more accessible to wider audiences, as it was a century ago, is essential.

    Sam, since I’m neither a Briton nor a resident of a Commonwealth country, nor for that matter an Anglican, it means to me about what the installation of a new Dalai Lama would mean to you: something important to other people. Keep in mind that my country rejected both monarchy and state religion lock, stock, and barrel getting on for two and a half centuries ago!

    Milkyway, the 82nd Airborne is there to assist in evacuating US and NATO personnel from Ukraine if the Ukrainian military collapses and the Russians seize the country. One of the things they train for is that kind of evacuation by helicopter.

    Industrial Alchemy, good to hear this.

    J.L.Mc12, try it and see what results you get!

    Christopher, the hapless marketing flacks at Bud Lite have blundered into the role of scapegoat. The corporate rush to wokeness is extremely unpopular in this country — polls have repeatedly shown that maybe 8% of Americans support the woke agenda — and yet a whole cascade of big corporations have chosen that for the latest round of virtue signaling. Bud Light just happens to have done the wrong thing at the wrong time, and become a convenient target for the blowback. Myself, I don’t drink light beer anyway — stout, porter, or good brown pub ale are much more my style — but I can understand people’s revulsion at the endless dreary parade of corporate virtue signaling.

    Carlos, many thanks for this. The family that’s moving back to the Philippines is doing the smart thing — the US is in deep trouble and things are going to get much worse.

    Sam, the Democrats are in exactly the same situation the Republicans were in 2016: there’s a party elite that has one set of opinions, and a rank and file that has a very different set of opinions; only the fact that the party elite keeps a tight grip on the party machinery has kept them from being overthrown. (That, and quite a bit of vote fraud; our elections have been riddled with fraud since about a week after independence.) If RFK can appeal to enough olf the disaffected Democratic rank and file, he may be able to do the same thing Trump did and stage a coup from within the party. No way to tell if he’ll manage it, but the possibility is there.

  53. @ milkyway #47

    Encourage people to attend their local government meetings. From the zoning commission and the planning board to the city council and mayoral committee and the board of supervisors, that’s where the real action is.

    If you want democracy and a say in what goes on in your community, you need to participate in those processes. Otherwise, “someone else” will do as they please because why not? The citizens don’t care enough to attend municipal meetings.

    What you really learn from attending these meetings is that nice, rational people can have diametrically opposed ideas on what they want in their community.

    You also learn that vast numbers of folks want top-notch services but they refuse to pay for them. It should always be someone else’s money paying for the Taj Mahal of swimming pools or a fleet of snowplows ten times the size of the one the township currently has.

    Attending meetings is the only way to learn how the sausage is made.
    It’s the only way to keep the sausage making reasonably clean.

  54. @ DaveOTN #49

    We drove out from Hershey along I83 to 15 and then south. We got promptly lost and never saw York Springs the town at all.

    Knowing Pennsylvania, I had expected the area around Hosta Hideaway to be much shabbier, like the Eastern Shore of MD, with its array of rundown doublewides clustered around an old house. I’ve also seen similar poverty in South Carolina as well as along 11/15 heading south. The parts of Dillsburg I’ve seen from the highway look tired and worn.

    I’ll take another look tomorrow. We’ve got a mystery book convention in Bethesda (Malice Domestic) so we’re heading that way again. What I remember was largely poor and shabby.

    That’s why I was surprised at what I saw on County Line Road. There was some money there, but not yet at the small-scale horse farm. I’ve seen those too.

    It was so isolated!

    No one can manage their life there without cars and cheap gas and electricity to power their wells and houses. It will probably all revert to hardscrabble farms, orchards, and forests. Eventually. Depends on energy costs.

  55. Hi JMG and the Commentariat,

    I recently released a free song called Was My Brother in the Battle? The song is by Stephen Foster Case and was wildly popular in its era during the Civil War. Though I’m not sure what the original songwriter would think of it, I took the artistic liberty of changing a few chords in it from major to minor, which darkened the song considerably. In my opinion, the lyrics (which I did not change) were some of the saddest I have ever sung and I felt the original was far too upbeat.

    Here is a more traditional version of the song (not by me or affiliated with me): https://youtu.be/XAwEckpEdOI

    Here is my version for free download: https://queeniemusic.bandcamp.com/track/was-my-brother-in-the-battle-civil-war-song

    Here is the same thing on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qt0wnx4AV4c

  56. Here are all of the requests for prayer that have recently appeared across the Ecosophia community, as well as in the comments of the prayer list posts. Please feel free to add any or all of the requests to your own prayers.

    If I missed anybody, or if you would like to add a prayer request for yourself or anyone who has given you consent (or for whom a relevant person holds power of consent) to the list, please feel free to leave a comment below.

    * * *
    This week I would like to bring special attention to a few prayer requests.

    Nichole Cardillo has a cancerous tumor in her duodenum (in her small intestine) and she’s going into surgery on May 1st to try to remove it; for a successful surgery that completely removes the cancer, and for blessings, protection, and a full return to health.

    Patricia Mathew’s friend Al (Alison Kulp) is in the hospital with a nasty life-threatening MRSA infection; please play for her to be blessed, protected, and completely healed as soon as is possible. (Update here.)

    Luke Dodson’s friend B, who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer, and is still in serious condition though she’s already had surgery; for blessing, protection, healing, and a full return to health.

    Lp9’s request on behalf of their hometown, East Palestine Ohio, for the safety and welfare of their people and all living beings in the area. The details coming out are still caught in the fog of war (Lp9 gives a short update here, and says “things are a bit… murky”), and various claims of catastrophe and non-catastrophe are flying about, but the reasonable possibility seems to exist that this is an environmental disaster on par with the worst America has ever seen. At any rate, it is clearly having a devastating impact on the local area, and prayers are certainly warranted.

    * * *
    If there are any among you who might wish to join me in a bit of astrological timing, I pray each week for the health of all those with health problems on the list on the astrological hour of the Sun on Sundays, bearing in mind the Sun’s rulerships of heart, brain, and vital energies. If this appeals to you, I invite you to join me.

  57. Hi John Michael,

    You might get a wry chuckle out of this: I overheard two middle aged blokes – whilst at their leisure – yesterday morning discussing the economy. I’m not sure that you’ve been following the interest rate story going on down here, but last month the Reserve Bank (who incidentally look like a bunch of public servants to me) may possibly have bowed to political pressure and kept interest rates at the same level (after something like ten months of consecutive increases). So, one bloke says to the other: Given the halt in interest rate rises, we’re in for a period of stability. It’s almost farcical. Oh well.

    It was of interest (please excuse the pun) that tax cuts for the wealthy were pushed through recently, whilst welfare (I think it’s called job starter) was not increased. Not a good look. Cowardly.

    Don’t you think it is strange that a narrative has been deliberately cultivated whereby somehow it’s not the politicians,but rather a bunch of unelected folks (bankers mostly) who are somehow responsible for the economy? There are plenty of other options we could be taking to soften the decline – but I don’t see them being tried.

    Cheers

    Chris

  58. @Luke Dodson,
    if you want classical music to survive, I suggest getting involved in it. Learn an instrument if you don’t play one already, and teach someone else or run a group of musicians. Paying to see live performances is also good and requires much less time invested, but I think it’s going to be the amateurs with passion who get classical music through this as a living tradition, more than the professional orchestras. I think it probably will make it through, but not everywhere, and some bits will likely be lost.

    If you’re picking an instrument to learn, you might consider one of the less common orchestral instruments like oboe, bassoon, viola, french horn or double bass. You’ll have more people eager to have you play with them, and may make the difference between a group having an x or not. The less common ones are uncommon for reasons, though, they’re often expensive bassoon, harp, oboe, hard to transport harp, double bass, or notoriously difficult to learn oboe, french horn, or require large hands bassoon, viola, double bass.

    I had a go at the oboe a couple of months back. It was fun, but I determined it was too long and heavy for me to play comfortably, which was a disappointment. Apparently I’m one of natures sopranos’: doomed to eternally play small squeaky things up in the stratosphere…

  59. Greetings, JMG!

    Do you see any issue with using Ana and Ceridwen for the EC goddesses in the SOP?

    Thank you!

  60. Hi JMG,

    Would love to get your thoughts about Robert F Kennedy Jr. running for president. He clearly faces a rigged MSM and democratic primary and I honestly worry that he might get shot. He does seem to be an elite that is not senile, that is a lonely spot in our government.
    Thanks,
    Bob

  61. A few economic data points: There was no egg shortage in Canada, and while prices are up, they are up in line with everything else. Bacon has doubled since 2020.

    We hired a few people this year, and the same desks and chairs from Swedish Wal-mart are up at least 40% vs. late 2021, which is when I last interacted with that company. The quality is the same, that is to say, low.

    On housing prices, whew. 2% of people currently residing in Canada came here in the last 12 months and housing prices are rising into the teeth of mortgage rates that are 250% higher than the mid-pandemic low. Our government is maintaining low unemployment by vastly increasing federal hiring – and now the federal workers are now on strike, demanding higher wages. Although, if the feds have the brains god gave geese, they’d give the workers the wage increases they want – inflation is going to be a lot more than 4.5% moving forward!

    Home prices where I live have fully doubled since 2020 on the low end, and are up around 50% overall.

    Rents in my city are up 35% in one year and 75% since 2020. We have a form of rent control in place that is preventing a crisis, but now many landlords rent on one-year contracts to evade it. Meanwhile, like the rest of Canada, housing starts are dropping as interest rates, high materials prices and expensive loans make building a risky proposition until rents increase more.

    On RFK: Remember that a lot of Trump support was based on the desire to throw a big, orange, very powerful – believe me, one of the strongest – molotov cocktail at the establishment. I remain convinced that Bernie Sanders would have been president had he won the nomination, and that disaffected Bernie voters were enough to get the orange man in. It is possible that a lot of the people who voted for Trump might pull the lever for RFK, even if Trump is an option.

    For what it is worth, the idea that the American people might elect a Kennedy while in the midst of the collapse of the same empire that almost certainly killed that other Kennedy seems like a very nice way to put a bow on the whole affair. It won’t make it any easier, but I can’t think of anyone better suited to lead American Glasnost than RFK.

    Aside: You replied favorably to a post by someone named Peter but there is no post by Peter.

  62. @methyethyl #19 I’m not a member of any churches (except nominally the local UU church, which seems to be limping along the same as it has), but my Odd Fellows Lodge has gained more new members in the last six months than in the previous five years together. It’s like a cloak of obscurity has suddenly been lifted and people are interested in connecting with what we do.

  63. jim #3

    I agree completely. The lack of anything truly new in music is no problem at all for me.

    My ‘American popular music’ digital music collection begins with the year 1950, and contains anything that made a Top 100 list that I happen to like. The rock/pop section contains over 4,500 songs. I’m not the biggest country fan ever, yet the country section contains over 1,400 songs. That’s nearly 6,000 songs in total- if I listen for 8 hours a day, it takes over a *month* to listen to everything in the collection! With not one song that I don’t know or don’t like.

    There’s also a fair size classical collection, and smaller selections of multiple other genres. Even a little oddity from the 50s called ‘exotica’, from the tiki fad of those days, that my parents were into.

    That’s plenty. And that’s just the stuff that happened to appeal to me. Other people must have thousands and thousands of other songs in their collections.

    Instead of obsessing over ‘new! different!’ I’d love to see more people appreciating the enormous body of talented works that we already have. And keeping them alive, introducing them to new generations of listeners, rather than consigning them to the musical dustbin.

  64. Dear JMG & commentariat,
    Have any of you read Matthew B.Crawford’s book “Shop Class as Soulcraft”? I just finished it and it was really a great read. It seemed as though Crawford was coming to the same conclusions on many of JMG’s own themes, but from different directions using different words and metaphors. I would love to know if others got the same vibe from it?

  65. For our esteemed host (and anyone else who’s interested in esoteric books).

    I recently ran across Under the Covers Antique and Vintage Books. The owner has been listing (on Instagram) a large variety of occult books, some of them quite old. She’s got a lot, as though someone sold off Grandpa’s library.

    Here’s the website if you need to expand your own collection: https://www.underthecoversantiquebooks.com/

    I’ve seen some of Moira’s stock that she hauled to a vintage show. These are the books that most used bookstores discard because they’re too old and too offbeat.

  66. Justin Patrick Moore: in regards to Universalism…

    Some history for you. Hosea Ballou founded the Universalist church in America. By around 1870 or 1880 it was the 5th largest church in the US…

    Here’s one UUA telling of the “mud” story that he is famous for: https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/children/journeys/session2/muddy-children

    Ballou’s Universalism can be summed up with his question: “Do you clean him up so you can love him? Or do you love him and therefore clean him?”

    FYI- Currently Unitarian Universalist congregations, as a general rule, are not actually either Unitarian or Universalist… A sad state of affairs. As an example, if you claim universal love in your religion then I believe that you need to actually practice that idea, or at least try. If Donald Trump walked into a UU church this Sunday honestly looking for salvation he would be hated out of there all the way back to Mara Lago.

    And all I can say about the state of Unitarianism is:

    “You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.” –Inigo Montoya

    I do attempt to draw from any and all people and religions to learn more and discover more. Which is a very UU thing.

  67. @JMG
    Thank you for encouraging me to examine the differences between Romanticism and our American archetypes.

    @methylethyl #19
    I’m heartened by your report of a growing parish! I’m too new in my church to know if it’s changed a lot, but I wanted to point you to a Coffee & Covid post by Jeff Childers earlier this week, where he talks about the energy of churches he’s seen during his pandemic travels. It’s the last item of his post this past Monday (if you didn’t see it already): https://www.coffeeandcovid.com/p/revived-monday-april-24-2023-c-and

    @Steve T #35
    Thank you for your thoughtful response to my post! I’ll just pick up on some of the ideas that resonated most strongly for me:
    –The emphasis of independence in American spiritual/religious traditions is fascinating. JMG used the phrase “Christian vision quest” which I love. (Though he also talks about multiple Jesii, which I love less.) This reminds me of Ross Douthat’s 2012 book “Bad Religion” where he talks about the historical tension in American religion between orthodoxy and the tendency to innovation. He is anxious about the triumph of heterodoxy, but that may be just the sense of losing our familiar Faustian institutions.
    –It’s interesting to me to imagine an American adaptation of Celtic tanistry as a compromise between ‘Big Man’ leadership and the institutionalized leadership we see in modern states. Whatever we wind up with, I hope it looks a lot like the politics of the Hobbits’ Shire!
    –The American archetypes are the focus of my interest right now. Specifically, I’m reading “Gravity’s Rainbow” and wondering if Tyrone Slothrop, an American and victim of some disturbing Faustian experiments, can be read as a sign of the Tamanous to come. There’s certainly an element of the Hobo there. Pynchon is always looking to break binaries and seems to be consciously resisting Faustian categories.
    –Thanks again! You’ve given me much food for thought, Steve.

  68. First some Ecosophia news: There is currently a Great Moderation War spearheaded by those who want to rid Substack of “hate speech.” JMG’s moderation on Ecosophia has come up in private conversation as a good example of how to do moderation correctly — penalize bad behavior rather than “bad” ideas.

    I’m skeptical of content moderation after seeing how much true but inconvenient data and how many genuine issues have been silenced in the name of stopping “disinformation” and “fake news.” But I could live without bile-spewing trolls on any end of the political spectrum. And I would be thrilled if Substack ever gets the kind of communications between diverse political and spiritual viewpoints that we see in JMG’s comments sections.

    G Bejm #1: Right now there’s obviously an enormous cultural hunger for self-identification. Nothing as ludicrous as the 157+ Genders of the early 2020s could ever have gotten off the ground in anything but a generation that was told “you can be whatever you want to be” and went to Tumblr to find someone to tell them exactly who they are.

    Justin Patrick Moore #28: Origen, one of the most influential early Church Fathers, (though he got booted out of the club centuries later for wrongthink), strongly suggested that everything would be redeemed at the end of time. Origen also made some noises that suggested a belief in reincarnation, and one could easily note parallels between the idea of Purgatory and the Eastern Wheel of Death and Rebirth.

  69. There is one other interesting candidate in the race for President on the R side – Larry Elder. He has some interesting ideas and his main schtick has been for a long time now pointing out the drastic increase in children raised in a single parent home especially in the black community (70%) plus the idea of allowing school choice to improve outcomes for children in low socioeconomic areas.

    He also comes down strongly against the recent woke idea that the USA is one of the most systemically racist countries in the world. He points out all the flaws in that argument.

    Anyway for whoever might be interested check out a recent article he wrote https://www.tribdem.com/news/editorials/columns/larry-elder-weve-got-a-country-to-save/article_41898244-e2ce-11ed-815e-3f6833685059.html

    He often likes to repeat a line that Barrack Obama used as a senator before becoming president:

    “…Former President Barack Obama said that a kid raised without a father is five times more likely to be poor and commit crime, nine times more likely to drop out of school and 20 times more likely to end up in jail…”

    to drive home his point about the drastic effect having no father in home can have on the outcomes for boys who grow up without a male role model.

    I would be interested to hear peoples thoughts on his ideas and his chances of making any headway in his campaign.

    Cheers,

    otp

  70. To the Aloe Vera users:

    I recently purchased an aloe vera plant. To use the gel, is it better to cut a young leaf (spike?) or older one? Do you cut just enough to squeeze some of the gel out?

    Thank you!

  71. JMG,
    Not quite sure how to put this question in words. We have monism, which postulates the unity of all things. We have monotheism, which postulates that there is only one all-supreme deity. What is the similar such term for belief by a person that they have found the one true way? Such a person may be an atheist, a monotheist, a polytheist, etc.; but, they are convinced that they have found the one true way for all people.
    Thank you, Will1000

  72. John Michael,

    I had an interesting thought that I wanted to run by you. I was thinking about Russia’s turn to the east and I realized that breaking with the west is the end of its second pseudomorphosis, and it occurred to me that two pseudomorphoses are required for adequate perspective.

    For a great culture to come into its own it needs two perspectives to compare against its own nascent soul/worldview. Being a culture is not enough, one point, zero dimensions. Comparing against one other culture only yields a degree of difference or distance, a binary, one dimension. Adding a second culture allows triangulation, a trinary, two dimensions. Any given great culture can only emerge once it knows enough about the world to understand its own place in that world.

  73. Most esteemed Archdruid, and estimable Ecosophians, I beg your indulgence for a tale of self-discovery and disappointment and, ultimately, bemused resigned acceptance.

    I was the long-haired bio-major kid in 1970 riding my bike 20 miles round-trip through the farm fields to junior college wearing a Bicycles Don’t Pollute tee-shirt. Definitely a proponent of what became known as “Green.” I’ve endeavored to stay true over the decades to those ideas that filled my head, ideas about respect for ecosystems, low-impact lifestyle, less rather than more, celebration of biological richness, disdain for thoughtless consumption, and searches for better ways of living.

    Fast-forward to just a few years ago, and in retirement myself and my wife bought electric bikes. Although the bike I bought had substantial range (40 miles in the most-extreme circumstances, 60+ mile range typically), I thought that it’d be cool if I could somehow extend my range even further with solar panels. Lo and behold, others had had the same ideas; I discovered a loose-knit community online of solar bike enthusiasts. I began to tinker, and slowly acquired add-ons to make my bike solar-recharged.

    I had made contact with a group based in Europe that had done numerous solar-bike multi-day competitions (France to Shanghai, as just one example) and they were interested in spreading the concept and the competitions to the USA. I signed up for and would have participated in their first USA ride, except that two days before the ride’s departure my wife came down with the Coof. Out of concern for her, and through unwillingness to spread the illness, I bailed out. In retrospect, that bailout was a godsend to me, as the ride ended up being a bit of a disaster with lots of folks having mechanical issues and with the ride being truncated at only about half of the intended distance. Gee, most of those folks weren’t very prepared, and the organization was pretty lackluster. Plus I saved several hundred bucks I’d have paid for the entry fee!

    Forward a few months and the same group announced another USA ride. I set about planning a bigger-longer-faster solar-bike ride that I would do at about the same time as their ride, planning to reach out to news media and such to promote my ride (as superior to theirs, of course.) But as time went on, I started to see that this was just spitefulness, so the promotional aspects were buried and I shortened my planned ride.

    Then ongoing reading and contemplation brought me to the uncomfortable realization that solar bikes were more about (perhaps-unintentional) obnoxious virtue signalling than much of anything else.

    After three years of experiments and lots of long & fun rides, I came to the dismaying conclusion that buying/carrying a spare battery rather than having a solar setup was:
    * cheaper
    * lighter
    * more dependable
    * less bulky
    * degraded the bike’s handling less
    * more ecologically benign
    * less “in your face – look at me!”

    The only circumstance where having solar made sense was where at the end of the riding day there was no access to grid power. Hmmm.

    I mentioned readings; two books I can recommend are “Bright Green Lies” and “Fossil Future.” The first (BGL) is definitely a downer, though solidly researched & reasoned; the second (FF) is much more upbeat and even hopeful, with a core notion of “How do we ensure human flourishing” as a challenge to us all. The author of that second book has the quite-reasonable idea that human flourishing occurs best when we pay careful attention to the environment while doing everything we can to make our existance safer and more prosperous. The author of FF is, as Elon Musk recently admitted to being, a “species-ist” who values humanity. That author also makes the solid point that Earth is NOT a “delicate nurturer” but rather a pretty durable & somewhat-difficult and dangerous place for humans to live, and that fossil fuel use make Earth a much more amenable location for humans.

    So this leaves me looking back and wryly concluding that a lot of the “Green” notions I had in the past were misguided and even destructive. Shrug. I think I’ll continue doing solar bike rides, but only because they’re fun for me and I already have the equipment; I’ll certainly downplay any aspects of solar bikes being “good for the Planet”, because they just aren’t.

    Onwards!

  74. Western Classical music is very popular in East Asia; I’m only slightly exaggerating when I say that my education on classical music comes entirely from Japanese video games. If the West does lose its classical music tradition, it’s likely to come back later similar to how Greek Classical literature returned to the West in the Middle Ages. I have to admit that it’s not a guarantee, but my point of view as a non-Westerner is that you guys need not worry too much about it.

  75. David: “Specifically, I am thinking about technology, and things that many people now a days do not know how to do, but will need to know in the coming century/s” – you may find the book The Knowledge interesting – http://the-knowledge.org/en-gb/the-book/

    Chuaquin: oddly enough there was an egg shortage in New Zealand not so long ago too

  76. I’ve been wrestling with some concepts from a post that may have been from back in the Archdruid Report days. Apologies in advance for this wall o’ text…

    In the post I am recalling, JMG noted that in different eras people may have seen and experienced the world in a consistent, but different manner than how we see the world today. If memory serves, it referred to Homer using the phrase “the wine dark sea” and how there is speculation the color blue was not “seen” by the Mediterranean ancients. The implication I drew being that were I somehow transported back to that era, I might be seeing a different world, and perhaps not just processing different hues of color, assuming it was somehow inherent in how various peoples were taught or acculturated.

    My career and technical studies have bumped me up against a lot of electrodynamic effects, high-energy systems, etc. And from there a personal interest in the ever changing dynamics of our solar system and events such as the weakening of Earth’s magnetic field (happening in our current era, with differing measured values for the decline and the rate of decline), magnetic pole flips (both transient and long term), etc. Combine this with other fields of interest such as research activities into the effects on consciousness of changing magnetic fields (and potentially changing electrical environments) and the growing body of evidence on direct effects on physical and mental health from high energy particles being pumped into the atmosphere during coronal mass ejections and solar storms – put all that in the pot and my question is, if there was a step change in the constant magnetic field or the electrical field, could humans living in a future era see the world differently because the filters we experience the world through would be dealing with a different “amplitude” or “magnitude” of signals to process? Would they be seeing a different world? And for potential non-incarnate intelligences (postulated) would they be more “visible” in such an environment?

    I remember reading Julian Janes’ Bicameral Mind many moons ago. If I recall correctly he posited the Bronze Age collapse as the trigger that stopped the ability of the “minds” to communicate. I realize Jaynes focused on language and metaphor, but what if there was a physical component – the unseen fields around them underwent enough of shift that the filters we use could no longer access certain signals? And what might it mean for the future?

    Sorry for the wall of text, but been wrestling with this for awhile. If this has been hashed over either in comments here or somewhere out in the wilds of the internet, would love to know of any resources I could turn to.

  77. JMG a few years ago IIRC in response to a reader’s comment about reincarnation you wrote that you could remember up to a dozen of your former lives.
    Could you please tell us more about one or more of your lives? (or if you already have, point us to the source?)
    I can’t recall any of my former lives but wish I could!

  78. A couple of things based on the comments I’ve read:

    If we lose all the sheet music, recordings and orchestras in the coming chaos, maybe Bach, Beethoven and Brahms will have at least laid down tracks in space that will make it easier for their genius to be replicated by someone else when the time is right.

    Second, my local microbrewery has gone “woke” but I like their brews, especially their IPAs, and I know people there, and it’s walking distance from my house; so I keep going there.

    Third, I consider myself a former Democrat. But a Democrat no longer. I agree that we’ve become a uniparty system in which the neo-conservatives (in foreign policy) and neo-liberals (in economic policy) control both parties. As Unz wrote a few days ago, Obama was more like a third and fourth Bush term. I’d be more than happy to vote for RFK jr!

  79. Hello Everyone

    Since JMG recommended it I began reading Guenon’s “The Reign of Quantity and the Sign of the Times.” I cannot remember having so many “aha” moments since reading Immanuel Kant about 50 years ago, and Guenon is certainly more pleasant and easier to read, though I kind of like Kant’s quirky style just because it is so difficult. In the first 150 pages Geunon says many many things I have thought or agree with or almost thought but could never put so articulately. Reading a refutation of Ockham’s Razor, (the simplest answer is the most likely one), was a pleasure. I always hated that argument. After about the first 150 pages I am not sure where Guenon is going. (Is this JMG where you wanted to throw the book against the wall, I am not sure, I never had that urge.) The book remains interesting but about p, 150 I don’t know enough about the subjects Guenon analyzes, to agree or disagree. I am at p. 230 “The Misdeeds of Psychology,” and I do know something about that, so I will see. But all in all an amazing book, and I say that not in the way the kids do nowadays: “That was amazing food” or “It was amazing.” Or “we had an Amazing day.” Everything for the younger ones I know is Amazing or awesome.

    After Kant and a course called the Philosophy of Science, by a professor called Hellier R Robinson, wherein the science students who were required to take the course had a tendency to mentally explode, when it was explained we cannot actually know anything about the world behind appearances, I haven’t really met anyone who was interested or understood any such ideas. I looked into magic a couple of times. The books I found were limited and didn’t interest me. By accident I came upon Hypnosis. I saw a book in the library and picked it up to ridicule, because I thought it was ridiculous. For a joke I began copying the instructions to hypnotize friends. I was stunned when it worked.

    After that I special ordered quite a few books by Milton H Erickson, but I never really used what I read, except in special instances (to reduce trauma), because I was not a therapist like Milton was, and I had no real reason to hypnotize anyone. There were a couple of exceptions. My 2 year old son got a giant wart on his hand that was very painful. I told him, not knowing if it would work, that I was going to make it disappear. Every day I put a little Vaseline on his wart, and together we would say, “Go away wart and don’t come back.” After two weeks I thought it wasn’t working, then one day the wart just fell off.

    The second instance involved a nine or ten year old girl who was the older half sister of my son. She was a wonderful child when her mother wasn’t around. When I began university as an intermittent adult student at age 23 I used to take this child to class with me. She was docile and very engaging when spoken to by the professors and students in the university classes and never once acted up or was difficult. I didn’t realize how rare that was till I had my own son and experienced several other children. None of those children would I ever dare take to a university class. Many of them I could not take even, if I had wanted to, when they were much older, because they just did not behave well enough for extended periods in such an adult situation. This girl was remarkable for that, but she was a hellhound when her mother was around. The simple problem was that she wanted attention and her mother would not give her any until she misbehaved to an extreme degree. And even then she would not tell the child to stop, or behave differently, and so she kept going on until everyone hated her.

    This child was the brightest child I ever met but her mother was always sabotaging her, and although I tried, as I was not the real father there was little I could do, except move out, which I did even before my son was born. I was very much in my son’s life when he was an infant, but I still had a place to escape to. And when he was 4 my son’s mother gave him to me, as well as full custody. That was the best thing that ever happened to me. And I believe for him as well. But it did set him back a bit, He loved his mother more than anything. It is quite terrible to hear your own child say, “Where’s my mommy. I want my mommy. Why won’t you let me see her? – almost non-stop every waking moment. It was near driving me crazy. I insisted his mother see him on weekends and used to take him to her house, but when I picked him up he said she left right after he arrived and his sister had looked after him the entire weekend. He had been quite precocious before this, much like his sister, then suddenly he was dyslexic. Perhaps it was always there, perhaps not.

    Nevertheless, returning to his sister, when she was about nine or ten she was playing some game which was more or less dancing up and down backwards and forwards on the stairs. She was very good at it. She could do cartwheels and all sorts of acrobatic things which I have never ever been able to do.

    One day, she slipped. She hit her head by the temple on one of the concrete steps. After that, that eye looked off to one side, and after several months of going to the doctor it was not correcting. The doctors began talking about surgery, not to correct, but just to cut the muscle to make the eye most often appear to be looking straight ahead.

    This was very serious and I did not really believe it was necessary. I had a feeling she was subconsciously, certainly not consciously, not allowing the eye to heal because suddenly, now that she was damaged or injured she was getting all the attention and devotion from her mother that she had always wanted but never received.
    I thought the attention was great and she deserved and needed it but I didn’t think she should get it at the expense of her eyesight.

    So, with her permission, I hypnotized her into a trance. She went into a trace very deeply and easily, and I basically explained to her, her subconscious or whatever what I thought was happening, that she was getting the attention she always wanted and she didn’t want it to stop, and then I explained that this was good and she deserved it. But then I explained if she let it continue the doctors were going to cut the muscles by her eye, and she would never be able to use her eye correctly, and it would remain like that for the rest of her life as an adult, not just while she was a child, and maybe she might not want that to happen, maybe she might prefer to see well with both eyes for the rest of her life. I am sure I explained it better than that.

    It is an amazing thing that you can say things like that to a person who is hypnotized and they don’t take offense. Whereas if I had said the same thing, even to this child while in ordinary consciousness, she would be very likely to say, “Are you saying I’m lying or making this up?” And that would not have helped at all.

    In any event, within a week, her eye was normal and no surgery was necessary.
    I am not exactly sure what hypnosis is (JMG do you have a clarification?), but I do know it will work in certain situations. As far as magic goes I never exactly believed or disbelieved. The problem was I had never seen anyone practice it, and never seen any information about it that I trusted.

    On the other hand I had already come to the conclusion that the universe was organized according to will, otherwise all the particles or forces or whatever would be just like so many random marbles. And I don’t think marbles or anything by themselves would suddenly organize themselves into something more complex or living, no matter how many years there was. They would just be more marbles, unless there was some will or organizing principle. And if it was will keeping the matter “behaving” then it seemed to me magic would be finding a method to suspend or change those organizing principles in a localized situation. That all made sense to me but I had never really seen it and was coming to believe less and less that I ever would, until I myself lost my sight in one eye, for a time, and saw ghosts, many different types of ghosts, some human some not, most but not all ignoring me, living as if I could see them and they could not see me, till I turned away, then they looked at me. And then there were others that looked straight at me from the beginning.

    I am fairly certain they are still there, not really ghosts perhaps but beings of a different dimension, or something like that. After a time there presence was bothering me and I blocked them out, but I am pretty sure I could still see them if I wanted to.

    I will end here, except to say, my eye was damaged, detached retina, whose onset resembled an eclipse. My eye was repaired but my eyesight was still very faulty and getting worse, though I was not too aware of that as my other eye still saw well. I went to see about glasses. The doctor said I only had 5% vision in the damaged eye. He sent me to a female surgeon, I didn’t want surgery. She said it was a cataract, she could fix it. I didn’t really want her to but was afraid of losing all sight in that eye completely.
    The operation took about an hour. An hour later I was outside the hospital walking around in the dark at about 10 pm at night. I took off my dark glasses and I could see clearly, and everything was so bright!

    I now have more or less 20/20 vision. I had been reading books less and less and thought it was because I no longer enjoyed reading books. Actually it was because it is much harder to read with one eye. My eye was operated on March 28. I have read at least 3 books since then, and parts of many others.

  80. @pygmycory: Thanks. And also… I’m sorry to hear it and I hope things pick up for your local SA. Living in a hurricane zone, I have a deep respect for the Salvation Army– they’ve always been the first organization on the ground after a storm, handing out hot meals and ice when all the power poles are down. They’ve gotten my disaster-relief donations ever since Katrina, when the red cross was growing fat with funding and supplies and paralyzed with inaction over security concerns… the good folks from the Salvation Army had apparently marched into New Orleans without a second thought less than 24 hours after the storm moved out. They are logistics wizards and they have their priorities right: courageously efficient. We should all be more like that.

  81. @JMG: re: decline and the concentration of land ownership: On the way down, the land gets concentrated into a few hands, and once things hit bottom, it gets spread out again, no? Or am I hallucinating having read that about the Romans?

  82. Greetings JMG,

    I reread your article from last week, and I am trying to understand:
    The share of resources of the planet that Americans are consuming is declining faster
    now, mainly because nations around the world have realized that they can use their own currency or another such as the Yuan or Ruble for international trade, without being punished .
    This is reducing the amount of resources that can be bought by the US simply by printing dollars .

    I just read that Argentina is planning on paying imports from China in Yuan.

    This accelerates the move a step down for the US in the long descent, in having to downsize resources used in a matter of years instead of a matter of decades .

    Is that a good understanding of the main reason for the downsizing and having to reindustrialize in America?

    Do you think an important share of international trade – say a quarter – will be done in non-western currencies within 5 years ?

  83. I was just thinking, a few decades from now, Americans will be migrating to India and Iran ( or other places) to be farmworkers, or domestic help. English Butlers were prized by the robber barons of the gilded age for their manners and upper crust speech patterns ,because what was left of the rich in the decaying British Empire could no longer afford them. In the future, well bred Ivy League humanities majors may be prized for the skills in music art and culture they gleaned from their years at Groton, Exeter, Miss Porters and Yale. They can teach the children of the Plutocrats in Tehran while they sweep the floors and serve tea. And then perhaps that marketing VP from Bud Light will finally be able to find another job as an upper crust maid.

  84. For those keeping track of the output of renewable power in the Bonneville Power Administration’s area here are the numbers for March.

    For wind the best day was March 2 with a output of 74.0% of the 2827 MW of rated capacity. The worst day was March 12 with an output of 3.9% of capacity. The monthly average was 29.3%

    For solar power the best day was March 18 with a output of 37.3% of the 138 MW of rated capacity. The worst day was March 14 with an output of 10.3% of capacity. The monthly average was 22.4%

    The longest Dunkelflaute (both wind and solar less than 10% of rated capacity) was only 10.9 hours during the night of March 11 to 12. Average power demand during this time 6,637 MW for a total of 72,450 MW-Hr of energy needed.

    On a different topic I just came back from a nice drive through Western Montana. I had never driven from Butte to Helena on I-15 before, so I did. I had to sweep the snow off the car first, it snowed on Monday night (global warming is never around when you need it) but it was a nice drive only marred by the lack of good places to pull off and take pictures. I did contemplate the amount of explosives it took to bash that highway through the mountains.

  85. Kia ora, greetings John from Aotearoa (NZ)
    I seem to have stopped receiving Ecosophia notifications a while ago about the time you mentioned you were taking a break. So I did not think to search your site till this week and found this great post “Dancing on the Brink”.
    It is a blast from the past in that it reminded me of my vast relief and gratitude about 2005 to learn someone somewhere else in the world could also foresee how our (Anglosphere) addictive abuse of mineral oil~gas must generate dystopia.
    I had grown up with the spectre of nuclear annihilation looming over me. However it was not till January 1991, when I gave 3 days to watching the “imbedded” BBC~CNN TV coverage of our terrible invasion of Iraq, that a clear vision of this dystopia occurred to me. Shocked to the core, I asked my family if I could desist from owning cars or flying in jets henceforth. This decision alienated me from most of my car and jet addicted peers in NZ’s speculation-addled, combustion-driven Crown culture and made for a lonesome time for decades. So your writings resonated and sustained me in profound ways.

    In retrospect, my change of lifestyle opened me to the universal potential in wonderful ways I could never have imagined and, though the onset of my diplopia means I have not read a book this century, my life has been given in most unexpected way to understanding the cognitive linguistics of my mother tongue (funded by working as a school cleaner in the evening since 2005.)

    Hence my interest in your statement:
    “The recent hullaballoo about artificial intelligence is helping to amplify the same trend. Behind the chatbots are programs called large language models (LLMs), which are very good at imitating the more predictable uses of human language.”
    The question arises: the more predictable uses of what – of the ego or of compassion?

    One evening, soon after Google took over Youtube in 2006, I posted on my ham-amateur channel a little video in which I explained how the ETS is a disease and mapped its spread as an epidemiological phenomenon out of Houston to Washington DC, California Wellington NZ, Kyoto Japan, and so on. The next morning I arose to find the video already had an audience of 20, the sound stripped from the video and my whole channel stickered “The Youtube community deems this offensive”. Google never responded to my requests for an explanation of what was deemed offensive by whom.

    This was a graphic indication even then that Google controlled The Internet, as we know it, and since then much evidence has emerged of the severe psychopathy of its algorithms and general ethos.
    In short, we are our language. Our use of a symbol simultaneously reflects and generates our state of being. Without compassion, the ego can easily make us our own worst enemy. The ego and compassion simultaneously arise in any moment of self-awarenes and has done so since the very first moment of self-awareness. So in many ways A1 is not a new phenomenon. The problem is it is bereft of compassion and extremely ego-driven. Thus A1 provides no means of transcending our human condition and only compounds our dystopic behaviour. It destroys the language required to sustain us. It’s a recipe for disaster.

    Last year you kindly encouraged me to persist with my endeavour when I mentioned on this forum that I had garnered only a couple of readers of my series of essays on Medium. So I have somehow persevered. I have now posted 10 essays now with the last 3 garnering precisely zero views. The most recent posted last week is at
    https://medium.com/@davemcarthur/what-is-the-environment-f93d4f5b927c
    Scan down and you will see the common format – each essay contains summary cartoon graphs that display at a glance the etymology of the English language and associated behavioural change since Proto-Indo-European times. The main message, which you may well be able to express far better than I can, is that true hope resides in knowing what we are saying and giving care that our use of a word is more in accord with the principles of physics, as was the original English of our ancestors.

    Re your statement:
    “It took me less than a decade to go from being denounced as a left wing kook to being denounced as a right wing kook without changing my views at all.”
    It so happens the next essay in this series discusses the most sustainable use of the word “conservative” according to the Conservation of Energy Principle. I am concluding labels according to one’s professed beliefs are meaningless. Ultimately all that matters is whether our life conserves the planetary flows and balances that sustain humankind.
    Thank you again.

  86. Hello

    This is about Retro living. I lived in Nicaragua for a time, not too long ago, and the price to have a field plowed by a tractor was $200 an acre (could have been hectare), and the price to have it done with a horse and plow was $40.

    I don’t recommend this because there will be difficulties that will not be surmountable by many people. I know how to grow, how to survive, have worked in gardens and farmers fields since I was about 8. Nevertheless, if a person wanted to escape the USA and move to a country where there is little crime, adequate water, they could buy land relatively cheap, and they could grow food and raise animals, well it could be done in Nicaragua if you had a mind to. Depending on where you lived there is quite a bit of rain, hence the agua(water) in Nicaragua.

    Nicaragua is a country of only 6 million, so not too crowded. currently most people are poorish, but there is enough or pretty much everything, including reasonably priced technology. Lots of fresh better than American food everywhere. Prices currently are half Costa Rica, and the availability of modern goods, Nicaragua vs Costa Rica, is much more extensive and cheaper in Nicaragua. Costa Rica is much more Americanized, with higher than American prices for anything technological, almost double.

    Unlike what you will see in the news, most police in Nicaragua have no guns, there are not that many police, I was there months without seeing one and they don’t generally bother you except on the highway to give you a ticket, which seems to be a Highwayman practice everywhere.

    Few persons in Nicaragua have guns, but almost everyone has at least one machete.

    It things ever got really bad in the world I am sure they would be bad in Nicaragua too and it might even be more difficult to get imports there, though they do deal directly quite a bit with the Chinese, but not too much America. The way to behave, if things were bad would be to not appear too ostentatious. Your house is normal or not exorbitant. You do not have too many things. If you had some land, I just checked to see what was available. You can get a farm with 66 acres, that currently raises 40 cattle, some of them looked like milk cows to me, had a pen for about 50-100 chickens, maybe more or less I didn’t count, there were fruit trees (about 50), 3 kinds of banana, coconut, papaya, and other fruit I don’t remember. There was also a house area of about 3000 square feet, 1500 roofed. and it had high ceilings.

    High ceilings are important in Nicaragua because every day all year is about 92 degrees in the day, (but you don’t have to worry about the cold. I used to go winter camping in the Adirondacks, so I know how to deal with it without heat but most people don’t. The main thing is knowing and having the right equipment and clothes to stay warm and dry.), And since heat rises, high ceilings make a big difference. With one of those modern turbine fans that work without electricity (I believe) installed in the roof, high ceilings would be even better. I lived in Nicaragua in a colonial house with high ceilings for several years without air conditioning and it is doable.

    Anyway that farm with 66 acres near Leon was available for $100,000. I don’t have money like that. But someone who did, or someone who had less might find a property where they could grow, live and survive in bad times, providing they weren’t too ostentatious.

    Nicaragua receives bad press for violence. mainly because that is how America wants to portray it but I saw less police there than anywhere else I have lived, and they harrass and bother you far less and this especially includes” USA, Canada, Netherlands, Spain, France and Italy. and most the police Nicaragua does have in most cities are not as sophisticated as Barney in Andy of Mayberry.

    My wife is black so police would harass us for taking a walk most anywhere in the USA after dark. The police in the USA used to scare the hell out of me because I rarely carry ID. They put me in jail for 2 weeks in Florida for not having ID. I didn’t think ID was legally required but it is in Florida, look it up. I was eventually released without any charges whatsoever, so long as I paid the court costs of $250 for the inconvenience. Inconvenience, I was the one who spent 2 weeks in jail. I didn’t like it but I learned a lot of things.

    I actually think everyone should go to jail for two weeks, as long as they make it out safely. You really learn what your country is about. Most people arrested weren’t doing anything but were scooped up like fish from the sea, they had priors or didn’t pay child support, or were out on bail, in the wrong company, or had violated the terms of probation. Everyone said, don’t take probation, serve your time. When you’re on probation they can arrest you at any time.

    This is not to say Nicaragua has no serious police at all. I have seen pictures of them in Nicaragua. However when they were reporting riots in Nicaragua, Nicaragua has no guns and rifles for sale, where did those modern guns come from? The shooters all had brand new trucks, no one has a brand new truck. Where did those brand new trucks come from? My guess is all the American NGO’s infiltrating for democracy. They had brand new trucks and lots of money.

    I have also seen bad riots in Toronto, Miami, Virginia Beach, Paris, Spain. All those countries and cities have far far far more guns, and far far better armed police than Nicaragua.

    As far as I know, Nicaragua is still the safest country in all of latin america. However if you do not believe that there are probably other latin American countries where for not too much you could buy land and have a good lifestyle in bad times. Perhaps Uruguay or Chile.

    That’s all for now. I did not even mean to write this. my intention was only to mention the cost of tractor vs horse plowing, then other memories came up.

  87. Kimberly, many thanks for this.

    Quin, and many thanks for this as always.

    Chris, talk about whistling past the graveyard! Still, that’s got to be an increasingly necessary art for those who have so much to lose. As for blaming it all on the bankers, hey, it worked in the Great Depression! (If by “worked” one means “helped politicians avoid the blame”…)

    Jeffrey, got it and thank you! If Brecken Kendall was a real person I’d pass it on to her, too. 😉

    Matt, that should be workable.

    Investingwithnature, his candidacy is a total crapshoot. He might do to the Democrats what Trump did to the Republicans, by harnessing the increasingly bitter dissatisfaction of the rank and file with the party leadership. He might fail completely. He might take a bullet at some point. We’ll just have to see.

    Justin, thanks for the data points. Ouch.

    Pat, yes, I read it when it was first out. It’s quite a good book, worth reading and thinking about.

    Teresa, thanks for this.

    Kenaz, I’m glad to hear this. It really isn’t that hard to manage a space so that good conversations happen there: all you have to do is ignore nearly everything our culture thinks is true about conversations, and also about ideas. 😉

    Offthepools, interesting. I’ll check him out.

    Will1000, hmm! “Monomaniac,” “zealot,” and “fanatic” are words that come to my mind, but I can’t think of any more impartial term.

    Team10tim, that makes a great deal of sense.

    Bryan, I came to the conclusion quite a while ago that solar photovoltaic technology is a dead end. There are many, many good things that can be done with solar energy, but generating electricity isn’t one of them! Thus your experience doesn’t startle me at all.

    Carlos, thanks for this. That’s very good to hear.

    Flagg707, excellent! That question — are there physical inputs to the differences in consciousness we note between ancient and modern times? — deserves much more attention that it’s received to date. Your speculations are certainly worth following up and I encourage you to do so.

    Doodly Do, sure. In the life immediately before this one, I was female, born around 1924 to a Swedish-American family in a farm town in the Corn Belt — I think it was Nebraska, but haven’t been able to recall that clearly. My father owned a store in town, so we were pretty comfortable even during the Depression years. I was very dissatisfied with the life I was expected to lead, though, and when the Second World War broke out I left home, caught a train to Los Angeles, and got a job as a typist in one of the many booming businesses there. During the war I met an older man who was a shoreside Marine officer, one of the men who handled logistics in the Pacific war; after the war was over and he left the service, we got married. I led a more or less happy life until the two of us died in a head-on car crash on one of the highways outside the Los Angeles area, which was in the very late 1950s. There’s more to it, including some involvements in occultism, but a lot of that is deeply personal and I’d rather not get into it. Is that the kind of thing you wanted to know?

    Rcastle, it’s an amazing book. Thanks for this!

    Methylethyl, exactly. What usually happens is that the land gets concentrated in a very few hands, and then those hands end up chopped to small pieces by barbarian chieftains.

    Tony C, yes and yes.

    Clay, wouldn’t surprise me at all.

    Siliconguy, thanks for this.

    Dave, glad to hear that you’re still at it! Not sure why you would have stopped getting notifications — they’re still being sent out every time I post.

    Rcastle, so noted.

  88. @Industrial Alchemy: that jibes with some of the stuff I’m hearing from friends and acquaintances, actually. One old friend I talked to recently was saying that while he has zero inclination toward the spiritual, the past few years have made him realize the importance of belonging to a real community with its own cultural norms– something that allows you to resist the degrading trends of the broader culture. It’s so odd to watch that in action, because here is a completely areligious person out looking for a church to join, because that’s the only place he can think of to find that community. But I can see where others feeling a similar impulse might just as easily be drawn to their local lodge. I wonder how widespread that is.

    @Fritter: thanks for the heads-up!

  89. I looked at the China age pyramid, and by 2030 , even more by 2040 the population will be mostly over 50 years old. At that age usually people are less aggressive and more peaceful,
    also they consume less resources.

    Shouldn’t that calm down the international problems?

    By that time, it is possible it will be India that will be aggressive.

    Just a thought ..

  90. Hi John,
    Among the black swans flying about is “declining male fertility,” possibly to estrogen mimics lurking in any number of consumer products. (Note: Pre-COVID observation.) Although sperm count has declined by 50% from the mid-20th, it has not–up to now–led to fewer babies, thanks to the margin of safety that nature built into the sperm count. Instead, modernity (birth control, rural-to-urban, etc.) has been the culprit. But going forward, declining sperm count may take us uncomfortably close to a “children of men” scenario. I’d like to compare notes with you and any interested commenters.

  91. Hello Mr. Greer,

    I wanted to get your take on gay marriage from a moderate Burkean conservative viewpoint. You see the thing is I have known several scholars who fell into that camp. Every single one of them was also a pretty hard right, conservative Christian who said gay marriage was a bad idea because it lacked any historical precedent. Please note, they did not say homosexuality lacked precedent, but rather that homosexual marriage lacked precedent because marriage was always connected to producing children. So I was wondering do you know of historic examples where gay marriage was condoned? If not, is this an area where despite being somewhat traditional you lean towards the novel?

  92. I recently saw an article claiming Arthur Machen was a member of the Golden Dawn. Is that correct? Just from reading his work, he doesn’t seem like the type who’d join an occult society.

  93. @Flagg707 (#79):

    Even now Russians do not perceive a unified color “blue.” Some of what we call “blue” is what they perceive as “siniy” and the rest of what we call “blue” is perceived as “goluboy.” There is no word in everyday spoken Russian that refers to the totality of what we call “blue.” So differences in one’s perception of reality do correlate with one’s native language.

  94. @Methylethyl

    My priest (Roman Catholic, Australia) mentioned to me last week that they’ve been seeing a steady revival for the past five years in people bringing their kids along to church and converts/lapsed turning up in the diocese (which covers 5 cities and the surrounding rural towns). He said it was a really noticeable change, for 10 years he just never saw kids in church except for their baptism etc and now they even have alter boys/girls again. He said, in his experience, a lot of it was younger adults looking for meaning and feeling like the mainstream isn’t ‘,working’. I have noticed we’re baptising 1-2 babies most Sundays in a fairly PMC congregation of maybe 600 adult regular attendees.

    At the same time, being Christian especially Catholic, is increasingly attacked in the mainstream narrative. It’s weird but I think it’s US Democratic talking points about ‘the religious far-right’ being incorporated into our discourse. Which really jars, if you’re good at seeing patterns, since US culture doesn’t map well to Australia. We have no religious right as a political force here. Nonetheless apparently the PMC Deplorable bogeyman is Christian so they keep trying to hammer different groups into that hole.

  95. @JMG
    “Aloe gel from a live aloe plant still has the life force in it […]”

    I was taught, at some point, that putting cooked food into the freezer and reheating it (or just putting it into the freezer) will drain its life force as well and make it “empty calories” (that was the wording)

    I wonder about the phenomenon. Ofc, the better taste of fresh cooking is more than obvious.

    But what do these “empty calories” do then – they nourish the body enough to survive, obviously, but what will be lacking? Spiritual, energetic nourishment?

    regards, Curt

  96. @Dan D. Lion

    last year I dug out a sample of dandelion roots, roasted them and tried to make a coffe substitute but I probably did it wrong. Do you have any info?

    Btw Nettles are also a major healing plant (the water of them soaked is good on the joints per an example)

    Also interesting: a german herbalist claims he gets no ticks ever due to daily ingestion of black Caraway and in general, eating many wild herbs and plants, additionally a vegan diet (yes I know, I am also critical of that)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttYZvN47qKk “Fuchsbandwurm der Parasit der dich vom Wildkräuter sammeln abhält?” > a video basically him explaining how we barely have to fear worms when collecting wild herbs, among other things.

  97. @JMG

    “historically, societies such as China that had some way of printing (they used woodblocks) […]”

    – if I may, contribute also there a little:
    the practice of writing in pictograms is of great help there, with one symbol an equivalent to several letters in our Eur languages.

    The clay tablets of ancient babylon furthermore are of such precious beauty – the sumerian pictograms starting out as actual pictures like the chinese ones (like even the latin alphabet originally) – but where even more abstracted than the chinese pictograms (where the originate pictrue meaning is sometimes still somewhat visible).

    I think because scraping on a clay tablet is best suited to straight lines, but ill-suited to curves and complex geometry.

    There’s that picture of a clay tablet, the oldest known customer complaint letter about the bad quality of delivered copper and wanting a refund – priceless and timelessly beautiful!

    As a child I imitated chinese pictograms, so that chinese waitresses in restaurants we visited often thought I actually wrote something.

    But I digress here;

    Clay tablets are an awesome method of preserving text, though heavy, but fireproof!
    Depends on the locality ofc – the dry climate of Egypt coupled with the Nile has preserved many roman parchments as far as I know, another way to do it.

    Celts and Germans in the late stage of the Roman Empire, as far as I know, wrote on rocks and tree bark, though only very short texts.

  98. Hello JMG,

    We have already had some extremely encouraging health results from our prayer group. Several people who had needed hospital treatment have reported that doctors told them they were healing at faster rates than normal; a baby born with a congenital heart defect had it heal completely within three months; and a man with a bad kidney who doctors informed could die at any time, after a few months on the list, had his most recent blood test come back with completely normal readings!

    I do believe in the efficacy of our prayers. I also wonder if there’s another factor in play as well: one of the regular pray-ers at the Ecosophia Prayer List (surely there’s a word for a pray-er besides “prayer”? If not, that’s so confusing…) is also training in the Modern Order of Essenes healing techniques, and regularly using it on the people who have petitioned for prayers for health.

    She had been equating MOE healing work as prayer in her mind, and giving Healing Hands to the people she prayed for, assuming consent because they had already consented to prayer. And after all, Healing Hands is a form of spiritual healing, rather than physical healing; if that’s not prayer, it’s certainly prayer adjacent. Needless to say, I would prefer for her to be able to freely continue to share Healing Hands, but unfortunately I seem to have gone and brought up the issue of consent with her, and now we are having doubts on the matter. So I decided it is best to ask your advice.

    What’s your perspective on this– with regards to consent, if consent has been attained for healing prayer, may Healing Hands also be offered freely? Reading your reply to this question makes me think that indeed it should be fine, but I do want to double check.

    Actually, there’s another reason why consent ought to be to be sought separately. When you gave Healing Hands to my daughter, you asked that I wait a few days to until the Reiki she had recently received had cleared her system– you warned that crossed wires were a real possibility. If this is the case, then Healing Hands should not be treated simply as a form of prayer for healing. After all, you never know when a prayer recipient has just had some other form of energy healing that might cross some wires.

    Hmm. Unless your perspective has recently changed, due to the data of Reiki-practicing students, regarding the interactions between Reiki and Healing Hands, perhaps this basically drives a stake in the idea that consent for healing prayer equals consent for Healing Hands.

    Would you share your perspective on these matters?

  99. @Rcastle

    “My wife is black so police would harass us for taking a walk most anywhere in the USA after dark” – so the ancient legends about the land of the infinite are actually true??

    Small wonder it was so easy to make a pot boil that was already brewing for political contest I guess, with enough pawns on the boards

    @Carlos M.

    Fascinating and thanks for your Philippine review out of the eyes of a capital city dweller there.

    When I was there in 2010 I was told the Phil. were such a “threshold nation”, with some 3rd world aspects (slums, as I saw in Manila), yet not with a weak and unstable central gov like some African nations.

    I was told there were “communist” guerillias there in the 1980s, though they didn’t even know much about communist ideology, they were just dissatisfied with the central govt it seems.

    I am also very interested in all these questions about energy use, supply stability and the history of it.

    After all, here in Austria my dad told me in the 1970s it was still difficult to get a phone connection from East to West, and expensive. And other things, energy was expensive, food was expensive (now it is becoming expensive again, but we had enourmously cheap years there)

    And it is fascinating to think that on the one hand, most post-WWII folks, or at least many, could afford to build a house and own a car at the end of their life time even though they started out, well maybe not poor as in abject poverty, but certainly living in very humble standards.

    No wonder the idea of progress held so fast and steady these past decades – after all, not only was it the advent of mobile communication, fast digital data exchange, also a steep decline in the price of electronics, telecommunication, in many things deemed miracles in the 20th century.

    Yet somehow, that did not really mean that the average person of the populace really got wealthier – The subsequent migrant generations since I was born in 1988 were poorer and poorer. But that escaped many of my middle class peers, because our wealth until recently seemed to stay the same, only more shiny gadgets, and even flying and travelling became so much cheaper during the 1990s!

    It is kind if amazing though it fits JMGs (or also Tainter’s) description of adding complexity: resources are bundled, so performance in areas becomes better (construction, logistics, mass production or manufacture of products, uniform standards….)

    So, in the beginning, all products were more expensive (though of better quality, not to forget) while living standards were moderate (though reasonable), but evenly distributed in being so.

    Then – consumation skewed to a smaller and smaller part of the pop with more and more consumation – while for the rest of the pop this trend reversed, if I understood that correctly (@JMG).

    I must admit that for the 2023 (when the middle class here in the EU starts shaking, unlike previously, but not yet so heavily) even in hindsight, it is hard to grasp how 1971 should have been the climax in wealth per capita (locally though, in the US)

    When I was in the Philippines in 2010, I was unsure about resources and their limits, though in case of doubt I always preferred pristine ecosystems to human control. However, back then I already saw the star of Western society sinking, for various reasons, while many Philipinos back then still thought of the US&EU as the lands where honey and milk are flowing freely.

    Once that reverses – it will be a historical shock to my middle class peers, once we become what others around the globe once were to us – beggars, receivers of alms!

    regards, Curt

  100. A few short point-of-view anecdotes from me in Vienna:

    – a prestigious training- and martial arts center near center of the City (ie expensive) has closed its doors after 20 years, permanently. Reason given: corona and energy costs

    – there’s a a metro station, not in the best of districts yet a typical college student living district, and one month ago a girl was raped out in the open in the morning there by a north African immigrant, until a young man intervened (while several passengers did not intervene, passing before). Recently, 6 north Africans killed a fellow countryman with machetes inside the same metro station during passage hours.

    Now, in the past there has been some amount of violent crime here and there in Vienna, though comparatively to world&EU standards really verys little, with some short spike in 2007 that declined again. But it seems we are seeing new levels, slowly.

    A friend working in the city center prevented an attempted mugging by pepper spraying one of the three guys approaching him, it was at night time during the week.

    The city center is touristy, rich and expensive. This surprises me and others.

    – Ad economy: I have no read a confirmed report of what I had heard: cheap textiles industry has returned to the EU, to Bulgaria. Interesting! The idea that the “eastern” states of the EU may separate into the “intermarum” union has been around since decades I think.

    A work colleague told me (unconfirmed) that the Czech Republic still produces fertilizer from cheap russian gas, while German plants have already closed (confirmed).

    Seems likee Eastern Europe is rising a little? Unz states that there is still rabid anti russian sentiment there.

  101. I do wonder why Near Death experiences differ by culture. I saw one study of Japanese NDEs that involve stepping into a Dark River like its the river Styx.

    But Western NDEs very often involved the standard Christian ideas of Heaven and Hell.

  102. In the movie Matrix. Neo the main character works in an ugly soulless cubicle farm before getting interrogated by Agent Smith.

    I for one am glad that system is coming to an end. I just hate the nightmarish cancer that grew in that time of the early 2000’s. That managerial cancer that is finally perishing.

    At least the Imperial Chinese Managerial Elite actually dressed better. And lived in Beautiful Houses and worked in Beautiful Offices. And the same with the Egyptians and other Absolute Monarchies. There is something about the culture that was healthy and vibrant.

    For such vitality to be drained away in modernity to become this ugly monstrosity. Speaks of something terribly sick in the West. Fueled by oil.

  103. @Chuaqin #4: Not sure about eggs specifically but, here in the UK, food inflation is ~20%. As I understand it, part of the problem for our farmers is that since we lost access to Russian wheat, the price of animal feed has rocketed, and I guess that’s true for chickens as well. I don’t know how bad bird flu has been here, but I did read somewhere that providers were losing their “free range” status due to having to keep their birds inside for extended periods. A friend who runs a help line for people in financial distress recently noted that the calls recently changed from worries about energy prices to food, the former having been dropping recently. I fear that by the time we get into next winter, both will be unmanageably high for a worrying proportion of the British population. No telling what the social/political consequences might be.

    @Pat #67 I’ve read Crawford’s book several times, and have lent it to friends who then bought their own copies and recommended it to their other friends. As a recovering member of academia and the PMC myself, it gave me much-needed reassurance! People who liked Shop Class may also like Why we make things and why it matters by Peter Korn which, it occurs to me as I type this, I really ought to re-read soon.

    @Kenaz Filan #71 Nothing as ludicrous as the 157+ Genders of the early 2020s could ever have gotten off the ground in anything but a generation that was told “you can be whatever you want to be” and went to Tumblr to find someone to tell them exactly who they are. Wonderfully put. The internet has led people to believe that their reality can be personalised and individually curated. To the extent that that has been possible, it’s been because of the consequence of energy affluence in the west. Its disappearance, and the subsequent obligation to put up with objective external reality, is going to be a challenge for many.

    @team10tim #75 Any given great culture can only emerge once it knows enough about the world to understand its own place in that world. That’s an interesting thought, and one that’s been on my mind recently, since the west no longer appears to understand that at all. I’ve recently had to break off contact with an old friend who is a true believer in the cult of Ukrainian victimhood, and that Russia is a fascist imperialist aggressor which is acting without any provocation. Nothing shook his belief. I find it interesting that to these true believers, only the western fishbowl matters. The rest of the world doesn’t exist in their mental model (cf the reports early in the SMO, shocked that “this is Europe, not Afghanistan or Iraq!”, as if the violence in those countries was inherent, and nothing to do with us). This is what caused the final break, since that now ex-friend was triumphant that the International Criminal Court has indicted Putin. Of course, it made no difference to point out that the ICC doesn’t actually have jurisdiction over either Ukraine or Russia, or indeed over the US (which nevertheless threatened military action against the court and its staff if it charged and arrested Americans). It made no difference to point out that most of the global south regards the ICC as highly political and biased, since it never charges western politicians such as those who led the illegal invasion of Iraq (the UK *is* subject to the ICC, by the way). But when South Africa withdrew from the ICC this week, citing exactly that bias, that caused major cognitive dissonance. The cult of Ukrainian victimhood requires South Africa to be denounced as supporting fascism for that – but the ludicrous idea that the old lions of the ANC, who fought apartheid so fiercely, would be supporting fascism and imperialism was too much. It led to the idea that perhaps, in fact, they are *still* resisting imperialism – and that they think the imperialists are *us*. That led to a meltdown. Well, that’s a long ramble; sorry about that. Still, JMG, I’d be curious if you have any thoughts on why support for Ukraine appears to have taken on the features of a religion amongst the western PMC rather than a political position.

    @flagg707 #79 There’s been a lot of research into why different cultures perceive colours in different ways. The Celtic languages traditionally have words for “grue”, covering both green and blue. Apparently, this is rare in Europe, but common in the tropics; intensity of UV light is one of the contributing factors. There’s no need to travel back in time – just learn a different language which has different colour words 🙂 See Lindsey, D.T. and Brown, A.M. (2004). Sunlight and ‘‘Blue’’: The Prevalence of Poor Lexical Color Discrimination within the ‘‘Grue’’ Range. Psychological Science 15(4): 291-294 or Halliday, M.A.K. (2003). On Language in Relation to the Evolution of Human Consciousness in Webster, J.W (ed.), On Language and Linguistics: Volume 3. London: Continuum (Bloomsbury Publishing Plc). pp.390-432.

    @Tony C #85 US politician Marco Rubio recently complained that, within 5 years, so many countries will be using other currencies that the US will no longer be able to sanction anybody. He said it like that was a bad thing.

    Apologies for the length of the comment – I decided to just get it all written down at once rather than send in a swarm of shorter comments.

  104. Greetings:
    Pygmycory, JMG, Nachtgurke, Scotlyn, Carlos M; Justin and Kerry Nitz…Thank you for your news and opinions on egg shortages and your current state of economy in your countries!
    I have to say that bird flu has had some outbreaks in Spain, but not enough dramatic to justify the current eggs intermittent high cost/shortage. I think severe drought in my country is driving up farms expenses too much, especially the food stuff for hens. However, I don’t see shortages on meat in my town groceries…(?)
    Official inflation is 3.3%, but food inflation has going up to 16.5% (March data). And media are telling us that severe drought is going to increase more food prices…

  105. @Mark D. #41… I got a chance to meet Neil Douglas-Klotz. I had previously read his book on and translation of the Lords Prayer into Aramaic. That was quite awhile ago now. The situation was interesting with Douglas-Klotz, as my wife runs the kitchen at a private school and has the opportunity to do caterings out of it… she was contacted by a local Sufi lady that runs with the Douglas-Klotz crowd and they were able to rent out the school space for a weekend retreat, and we catered their retreat. It was a lot of work on our end (just the two of us) but as far as different groups like that go, everyone was super friendly and pitched in to help us with some of the additional set-up and clean-up work. Anyway, we did that twice, because the first time Douglas-Klotz got sick and couldn’t make the retreat. Then they did it again a year later and he was there. Both times were memorable, and they let my spouse and I sit in on some of the meditations and dances they did. It wasn’t my exact cup of tea, but everyone was really friendly and I did really enjoy hearing Douglas-Klotz do some storytelling.

    & there is a guy I know in the African-American alternative spirituality scene who really digs his writings. I think I picked up a CD or tape off their merch table. I may have to dig that out and listen to it again.

    His Desert Wisdom book always intrigued me too, but it all fell off my radar. Thanks for bringing it up again!

  106. @JMG #54,

    Thanks for clearing up my 82nd Airborne confusion… Hm. So in a way, this was more a show of weakness than a show of strength and confidence?

    @teresa from hershey #55,

    Thanks for this! Would you say that decentral control and management is essential for democracy to work in the long run? Or could you imagine some kind of more centralized representative democracy which would still work in favour of the people in the long run?

    Or from another point of view: Do you think that over time, democracy will always “degrade” to a cleptocracy of the ruling classes, but decentralized control by the people is a means to slow down this process?

    @flagg707 #79,

    That’s a very interesting line of thought. If you should come across any good resources, and/or decide to write up your own findings somewhere and somehow, would you post a link to them here?

    Thanks!

    Milkyway

  107. #16 Dan D. Lion.
    You forget an important aspect: you can blow wishes to their flowers. As a wish-granter, it must have meanings in other planes, too.

    #4 Chuaquin
    Other shortages in Spain:
    Baby milk formula. Sometimes the cheap one for your baby is in no supply, only expensive ones, sometimes not even the expensive ones.
    Strawberry siroup has just dissapeared. Now there is a gelly substitute that doesn’t even start to taste like strawberries.
    Cheap milk (those under 1€ per litre) is also gone most days in places like Carrefour. You are left with only the expensive ones.
    Antibiotics. A month ago my neighbour had to wait two weeks because there was an antibiotics shortage to treat his child.
    Meat is in oversupply right now because ranchers can’t feed all the cattle, but that means that we will face shortages later this year. Chicken is expensive already.
    We didn’t eat salted cod this year in the holy week, a fasting tradition. It got substituted by a similar looking fish that doesn’t taste great. We just couldn’t find real cod.
    In my city, there’s also a real housing shortage. Somehow, my city has attracted lots of tourists and digital nomads, and there’s not enough room for them. Real state agencies confess they can’t find rentings in most neighborhoods.
    Activism looks like it is in short supply too. People must be too troubled with their day to day problems to even think about participating in noble causes. Covid has definitely swifted priorities.

    My family economist says it’s because the lock downs that people had some savings this last year, with nothing to expend money on, and they were willing to pay more since they saw so much money in the bank. Production has not been able to pick up with demand, for several reasons (logistics, missing workers), and shortages and inflation followed. But that’s only a part of the inflation. Oil-gas scarcity, draugh and war also play their part. Of them all, resource depletion is the one that will stay once the event is stabilized.

    Meanwhile, I’m learning to cook thistles.

  108. @ JMG, pygmycory and others:

    Fortuitously enough, I happen to be a musician, and I’m currently doing my bit to preserve and revitalise Western traditional music, although what I’m working on dates from a little earlier than the classical period. A project originally initiated by a friend of mine, focused around Spanish devotional songs to the Virgin Mary, is finally getting off the ground, after I prodded him to get something together for a festival at the end of the summer (Smugglers Festival, in Kent, if any British Ecosophians fancy checking it out – it’s a nice, family-orientated folk and world music festival).

    We’re principally learning the Cantigas de Santa Maria, which date from the 13th century. As a vocalist, I’ve been working to incorporate a more authentic, folky sound than most modern interpreters of medieval music manage, who are often classically-trained, and therefore lose the microtonal and melismatic elements that would have been common across Western music until the later Middle Ages and into the Renaissance. The YouTuber Farya Faraji, whom I’ve linked to before, has some good content on this.

    I haven’t got much classical training, but I can just about read music, and I’ve played Bach on piano and classical guitar before. It’s good to have the reminder to pick that back up.

  109. @JMG

    I have recently started reading up on various industrial processes in my spare time. When you look at even simple stuff like the manufacture of sulfuric acid in detail, you realize just how incredibly complex the whole thing is – when I say ‘detail’, I’m talking of the level of detail that has gone into studying academic toy models like the Lotka-Volterra system, or the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction system (an example of a chaotic chemical system). What is interesting is that we know how to design the process and equipment, and do the troubleshooting and maintenance, but I can’t think of a single industrial process where we understand why and how everything works, at least not at the level of detail mentioned above. Maybe, just maybe, if governments compelled the huge pool of STEM PhDs in theoretical physics to study industrial problems instead of wasting taxpayers’ money on stuff like string theory, it could possibly yield the following benefits:

    1) Taxpayers’ money is actually utilized in a beneficial way.
    2) No dearth of fruitful problems to attack, not at least in the short to medium term.
    3) Since scholars are working on problems that actually matter to businesses and consumers alike, funding availability is not such a big problem.
    4) Since scholars are working on industrial problems, they are more likely to be attuned to the on-ground reality than they would be if they worked only on abstract theoretical problems.
    5) Since problems that matter to the average Joe and Jane are being tackled by scholars, that generates a bit of sympathy for science and scientists (something which the latter group desperately needs) – the odds of STEM surviving the centuries ahead goes up.

    I know it is very unlikely that any government, especially First World countries’ governments, will implement this. Although, I personally hope the Indian government does something like this – it would generate a lot of interesting scientific and mathematical discoveries, it would help us in developing indigenous technology, and also be in keeping with what we as a country really need. Do you think this is a workable scheme?

  110. Hi John Michael,

    Oh, that’s a useful phrase. We don’t use that phrase down here, but it is very handy.

    Maybe I’m cynical, but when last I considered the matter, the banksters are subordinate to the politicians. Of course, that view presents an unappealing picture to those elected folks who you’d imagine have their hands on the policy levers.

    Out of curiosity, are you hearing any noise about the price of food in your part of the world? It’s an issue that is building momentum down here. Last evening the meat section of the local supermarket was mostly bare. Dunno what was going on there. I usually get some mince for the chickens, who are definitely not vegetarians. Ended up getting a small pack of lamb mince rather than the more usual beef mince.

    The country around me produces quite a bit of high quality olive oil (I’ve got a few established trees here which grow very well), but the 3 Litre / 0.78 gallon can at the supermarket cost $57 the other week. That’s not what I’d call cheap, and was in fact quite the surprise. Oh well.

    Cheers

    Chris

  111. Hi Bryan,

    Your story did not surprise me. Try running a household – all year around – with that technology. My needs are modest, and the system achieves an up time of about 98% to 99%. Still, at worst, that’s a week where you have to run a generator to get some charge into the batteries. My thinking on the matter is that this stuff is good, but it’s not good enough.

    Cheers

    Chris

  112. @Steve T #35:

    I like your summary of potential influences and early manifestations of tamanous. I resonate with a lot of that.

    The cowboy stuff makes a lot of sense. “The western” story is one of our major contributions to literature (and film… while film lasts).

    [For those who enjoy such things, Imaginary Stations did an episode as station WEST: https://www.mixcloud.com/kmtsradio/west-9395-khz-942023/ ]

    That form of literature also celebrates / wrestles with immigrant relations to first nations.

    Some of the more popular novels, TV shows, and movies in recent years also take the western formula and stick in a different location. I’m thinking here especially of Elmore Leonard’s Raylan Givens books and the show Justified based on them that stuck the action in Kentucky and Florida, in present times, but was still about Marshal hunting fugitives and the like. Stephen King’s Dark Tower / Gunslinger novels did put a fantasy / SF / Grail quest spin on the whole thing to great effect IMO.

    & The transplanted religions do seem to change when they get here.

    Spirituals + Punk Rock = Sounds like something I would like. There are a lot of connections between Punk Rock & Americana. Side project to first wave LA punk band X, the Knitters, put out some great punk tinged roots tunes.

    [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-w5bcKoaBwE ] The whole “folk punk” phenomenon I think will continue for awhile. So many old punks (including myself) seem to get drawn back to blues / country / rockabilly etc.

    Hobo = mobility + Interwebs of clans, extended families, work coops and other groupings I can see happening.

    All while cultivating the idea of the “vision quest” and notion of personal truth.

    @Orion #69: One of the issues I’ve had with mainstream Christianity is I can’t find much evidence for hell in the bible. I’m no bible scholar, but I don’t really see it in the old testament, where I found Gehenna, but I didn’t take from that, that everyone who doesn’t accept Christ (which seems rather flimsy in its way) will then be damned for all eternity. The lake of fire in the New Testament I didn’t really take as hell either. I find the argument, as JMG has mentioned in passing here, and as Josephine McCarthy gave elsewhere, that the book of Revelation was really a vision of the downfall of Rome much more plausible. McCarthy also gave same really interesting magical insight not only that it was vision, but might also have been a curse. I’d have to hunting for those passages, as I don’t have them at my fingertips.

    Anyway, I like the Universalism, with regards to all religion, not just Christianity, and I’ not sure if I agree with Unitarianism or not. I did go to a pagan event at a UU church once.

    Thank you also for the story about Hosea!

    @Kenaz: #71. Thank you for the Origen story. I will have to dig into his thought some as time permits. The evidence for reincarnation to me seems quite plausible, and the dreams I’ve had of loved ones who’ve died also suggests that they have gone on to do other things, not necessarily heaven or hell. For instance, my mom came to me in a dream a little while after she’d passed and told me she was going to an island to study history, which had been a passion of hers. I don’t know if that was specific soul training between lives, or a hint at her next life. To me I found it just as comforting as any idea of heaven. A lot of people like the idea of heaven, because of the chance to be reunited with loved ones. Yet we also have the chance to be reunited with others in different lives in different ways, esp. with regards to soul families and deep linkages that may last several incarnations with a swarm of souls.

    @Phutatorious: #81 I’ve been wondering, especially with regards to tamanous culture, etc., if bluegrass might be a template for a future kind of American chamber music. I’ve been getting more into the genre and took my dad and step-mom and wife to see Ricky Skaggs this past February. It was an excellent concert, and I think there is some interesting potential there for it to evolve that way. The same could be true of jazz.

    It’s interesting to think to of how classical music has changed on American soil, with composers such as Charles Ives, Henry Cowell, and others. They wanted to promote our own take on it. The experimentalists and minimalists were one result, but not popular with the majority. It will be interesting to see how a distinct American classical tradition might still develop though from the initial gropings of our various American composers.

    I hope all are well!

  113. Yes, thanks, JMG. That description rings a bell, so you may have mentioned it in the earlier response, which I now recall included you saying “I wasn’t Cleopatra!”
    Are all of your remembered lives human? I imagine the life of a wolf or a dolphin or even a honeybee might contain a variety of events and experiences worth remembering.
    But then, what does “worth” mean? Is there more value in remembering former lives than in remembering our dreams?

  114. @ Methylethyl. A few data points for you. We are involved with three churches.

    Both the Congregational one in Connecticut and the Lutheran one on Cape Cod have seen declining congregations for years. They both lost attendance during Covid that has not returned. Hard to say if that is permanent. They are both in stable communities.

    The Catholic church in South Florida is in a fairly rapidly growing community, but it has seen growth far greater than that of the population. Naturally attendance declined drastically during Covid, but it has come back strong. Easter saw the church packed, despite adding additional masses.

  115. I am not sure if you got the link to the article by Alastair Crooke that Tengu mentioned last week.

    https://strategic-culture.org/news/2023/04/24/europe-has-lost-its-guiding-myth/

    It was interesting to read. But I am not sure if Europe is the only one that has lost its guiding myth while USA still believes that. Because as Crooke himself points out, a sizeable portion of the elite is deluded by the myth of their superiority to an extent that they are beyond saving.

  116. I’m going to post this here rather than at Dreamwidth, to reach a broader audience. It’s a talk from the National Citizens Inquiry about the dangers of radiation. I’m starting to take this very seriously:

    https://rumble.com/v2kcqe6-5g-and-covid-symptoms-dr.-magda-havas-saskatoon-day-3-national-citizens-inq.html

    If I recall, there are folks on this very forum who are radiation-sensitive.

    The entire catalogue of talks can be found here. I assure you that every single one of them contains tidbits that are stunning:

    https://rumble.com/user/NationalCitizensInquiryCA

  117. Here in suburban south London, I went to bed on the evening of Monday 17 April. During the early hours of the morning of Tuesday 18 April, I experienced what I regard as a paranormal event. I will describe it here and ask for you reactions and / or analysis. Here goes. At some point in the night I was dreaming, and whatever was directing my dream did a kind of pan over to what looked like the house where my uncle’s brother-in-law used to live. Why there, I don’t know. He died in the 1980s, and I’d never thought of him or that house since. The scene was against a darkish grey sky.

    There was an atmosphere of dread around the house, horribly spooky. I can’t express it any better than that. And there were voices coming from inside the house via the roof. Yes, the roof. They were male voices, which seemed to me like the voices of nasty old men. They grew louder. There were two of them – two different but similar voices, one on either side of the roof but beneath it. I can’t remember exactly what they said, but it was something like, “You can’t do” so and so, or “You will NOT do so and so”, then “We will not allow…”. It seemed to be about doing something to me. These sounded like threats. They grew louder, and there was a very spooky atmosphere of dread to my dream. I was starting to get scared. This was a very nasty dream, but nothing like I’d ever had before.

    The two voices seemed to exit the roof of the house, and with them came two kind of pale shifting blobs that rose up and seemed to exit the roof. At this point, the house faded away, along with the increasingly loud voices, and I was aware that I was slowly waking up, probably because the dream had scared me so much. I was now looking at the far right-hand corner of my bedroom. I could half see my bedroom, which was semi-dark, as it was still night-time. But enough was visible, because I could see a bit of moonlight from behind the curtain, and my electronic alarm clock on my bedside unit to my left was giving off some light. Strangely, those same blobs seemed to have smoothly exited the dream and were hovering in the corner of my bedroom. I watched, not knowing what was going on, as they glided over in a straight line towards me at a medium pace. I was lying down but my head was on my pillow and so was raised slightly.

    These blobs continued towards me, and rose up, either side of my cheeks, and hovered close to my eyes. Then the blobby things rose up even higher, on a level with my eyes but about 3 inches away from them and separated from each other – one each targeting each eye. These blobs seemed to be a darkish orangey-brown in colour. They were flattish, not globular, but not entirely two-dimensional. They were round in shape, but their outline was not entirely neat and seemed to be slightly mutating or shifting somewhat in shape at the edges. Perhaps blobs isn’t the right or most descriptive word, so I’ll just call them entities or creatures from here on. They weren’t particularly large – possibly a bit bigger than my eyes, give or take a bit, but they were definitely not eye-shaped. By this time I was getting panic-stricken, because these creatures were hovering in front of my eyes and moving slightly from side to side and moving in slightly closer, as though they were probing me. I definitely had the feeling that they were living conscious entities – I could sense their presence right next to me as living beings, and this sensation was scaring me badly. I had never seen anything like them. Their colour and surface was slightly textured but largely uniform and undifferentiated. They most definitely didn’t have a face or eyes or anything like that, which made them all the more spooky, because they did most definitely have a living presence that I could feel, only I had never seen anything like them before.

    I was absolutely kingfin terrified by this stage, and I lay panic-stricken as these entities continued scoping me while hovering in front of my eyes. I hadn’t a clue what they were or what their intention was, but they certainly seemed malevolent rather than benign. I remember slowly moving my head from side to side on my pillow at one point to try and escape their attention, but these creatures just followed my movements to suit. I told myself that if I just kept still, these things would go away after a few seconds. But the seconds kept passing, and these things gave no sign of going away but were still hovering menacingly in front of my eyes. Again I began turning my head on the pillow in order to avoid them, but they seemed follow my movements, so out of fear I remained still and was absolutely fixated on watching them. I wondered the next day why I didn’t just jump out of bed and run out of the room, but I was far too terrified to think straight.

    Eventually my fear was becoming unbearable, and I thought that it was no good remaining passive, as the entities weren’t going away. I thought I’d have to stiffen my body and show defiance and lose my fear, if these things were to go away. I was not actually thinking such direct thoughts in words – I’m conveying the feelings that I had as I lay there, by putting them into words. So now I lay still and gathered my courage and curled my lip in defiance, putting on a brazenly contemptuous attitude. To my surprise and great relief, these blobs now started to disappear, a bit at a time. First the one on the left seemed to disappear, bit by bit, until it was gone, and then it was the turn of the right-hand one to disappear. After 2 or 3 seconds, only the top right hand part of the second entity remained, constituting maybe a fifth of its original full area, then this too disappeared. The entities had more or less blinked out of existence in a few short seconds, and then they were gone. I was left alone in the silence of the room. My fear was totally gone now, and I let out a sigh of relief. There was nothing now to be frightened of. I was fully awake, and I sat up in bed and glanced over at my clock. It was around 3:10 A.M. I felt relieved that these entities had gone and was now very calm. I reflected on the experience for a couple of minutes, then decided that all I now wanted to do was to go back to sleep. I woke up around 8:20 in the morning.

    So that was my experience, based largely on what I wrote later that day. I have added bits to try to explain what the entities looked like, so far as I remember. Inevitably I won’t have remembered everything perfectly. It’s hard to say how long the experience lasted, but I would estimate a minute at least but probably no more than three minutes. Time really drags when you’re terrified! I will leave my description here for JMG or anybody else to comment on. In the meantime I will write down what related thoughts later occurred to me about the event, then I will post them. I will clearly distinguish those reactions from my reactions to any of the reactions or analysis that JMG or anybody else might now post.

  118. @Justin P Moore (#28): Thanks for the feedback. David Bentley Hart seems to be agreeing with you, and he is robustly Trinitarian. I first encountered Universalism is the writing of George MacDonald (who got his from St. Gregory of Nyssa), but ignored the inner spiritual pull (to my cost) at the time, thinking (or associating) Universalism generally with this Northern Yankee tendency to dilute everything down into a big pot of goo, theologically, where any and everyone automatically gets absolved, on their death, into the celestial realms, whether a cannibal, axe-murderer, or atheist militant communist. So I shelved it. Coming back to it now, it’s apparent that there are more and more references to it, in the earlier Patristics, although veiled and hesitant, the closer you get to the time of Saint Origen and the school of Alexandria (Clement, etc.). And there’s been a lot of new scholarship and thinking on the subject, from evangelicals, Trinitarians, traditional Christians, etc. It appears (indeed) to be “moving”. https://afkimel.wordpress.com/2021/01/20/if-god-is-going-to-deify-everyone-anyway-why-not-deify-everyone-immediately
    @JMG, Thank you for this feedback, it’s very helpful. Maybe you’re less of an outsider than you think! I’ve always thought that embracing classical Monotheism or philosophical Theism (while it has its merits) is a dangerous sole strategy for the Christian, as the whole point of the Gospel seems to have a particularity and concreteness to it that sets it apart, and which deliberately situates itself in the grimy and gritty details of Nature. If the One isn’t already with you (no matter how minutely) where you are at, what’s the point? You can reverse the premise and say, to hear it faintly, is to grasp it correctly, more so than those who claim to discern it clearly. God is quiet. The tree grows from the tiny seed. For what it’s worth, a lot of the Druid teachings resonate here, and it’s no accident that the “man without guile” (Nathanael) was seen by Christ in a vision, sitting under a fig tree. Increasingly, like Hart points out, it’s difficult to conceive intuitively of God’s creative act apart from His sovereign affirmation and Love, although I take your point seriously that Strife has to be worked into the picture, and there is a lot I don’t understand about these mysteries of destiny, choice, etc.
    @ Mark L – thank you immensely for this recommendation! Checking the sites already for this. The excommunication of the Eastern Church (Nestorians) over Greek theological terms, had a profoundly negative affect for the entire Christian communion, and losing the Arabic Christian tradition was one of them.

  119. @Team10Tim #75 – That is a profound insight! I was going to ask JMG about his predictions of timeline for arrival of great Culture, but this, plus the realization that it probably takes circa 1000 years for the land spirits to make the telluric forces fully felt enough to be actualized (AD 50 destruction of Gaul to AD1000, arrival of Gothic, as a rough start point) in a people, might answer my question. Although, I’d be seriously interested in what either of you thinks of that! A 1000 years gives time for two pseudomorphoses, give or take. I suppose you need “room” and a suitable spot – Iceland is too remote or too small to really be a genesis point. But on the other hand, they can “stay clear” of a lot of wrack and wreckage from the process involved, too.

  120. Does anyone here have any news on the carving up and roasting of people in Haiti? Videos have been posted to Twitter, then swiftly taken down by the company. Tweets put out by Haitian citizens providing justification that yes it is happening, but it is gang members being killed, so no big deal. If this is true, it feels incredibly dark and too much like a foreshadowing for my comfort.

  121. @Kenaz Filan #71: Ilaria Ramelli’s book The Christian Doctrine of Apokatastasis has been mentioned several times on this blog – one can download the first chapter for free. She argues that belief in universal redemption was very widespread in early Christianity, citing St. Augustine that in his time “indeed the vast majority” embraced this doctrine (he obviously didn’t !). She also argues that Origen was never actually condemned by the church.

    I grew up in a church that doesn’t teach purgatory, but dealt with the idea when reading the Divina Commedia. Since reading JMG, I have often mulled over a comparison between the idea of Karma in reincarnation with the idea of purgatory. I see quite a number of parallels.

  122. Following on from the herbalism conversation from last week, I did a little poking around into the recent history of medicine, and found a few surprising things, to me anyway, not being as knowledgeable about these things as others may be.

    Among other things:

    – Most people in the 19th century in the US knew how to do basic health care on their own.
    – You could become a doctor in many cases after a 2 year apprenticeship!
    – Being a doctor wasn’t very lucrative, with many doctors having to have a main job to earn an income.

    I’m sure many people died whose death could have been prevented, but maybe that also had to do with lack of sanitation as well as certain modern medical practices not being invented yet.

    But in light of the possible changes outlined in your post last week, and keeping the assumption in mind that things don’t unravel in the same way as they develop, it does appear at the very least that as the university system goes down, a lot of medical knowledge is going to need to be spread among people, such that they know how to treat themselves to a great extent. And the best of modern medical practices, which don’t rely on dwindling resources or energy, are going to need to be preserved.

    It will be interesting to see what kinds of health care generalist practitioners arise, who use combinations of old style medical practices combined with modern techniques.

  123. Hi JMG,

    Oftentimes events depicted in fictional movies and TV shows later appear to occur in real life (the pandemic details and response, 9/11, etc). Popular conspiracy theories explain this as “predictive programming”, which is to say they believe this content was added into the fiction by nefarious actors that desired to “prime” the public consciousness to accept passively watching such a thing happen without questioning it too much. I think it’s an interesting concept, but they never cite any specific occult teaching or scientific study concerning human psychology that would suggest this could be worth doing. Are you aware of any basis for this?

  124. @ Milkyway #110

    “Thanks for this! Would you say that decentral control and management is essential for democracy to work in the long run? Or could you imagine some kind of more centralized representative democracy which would still work in favour of the people in the long run?”

    I think that when people gain power, they don’t want to give it up. Ever. It’s the rare person who walks away at the top. From my extremely limited understanding and experience, decentralization works better if only because it requires the locals to participate, rather than handing off the onerous work of running things to a specialized set of bureaucrats with no public oversight.

    Or from another point of view: Do you think that over time, democracy will always “degrade” to a cleptocracy of the ruling classes, but decentralized control by the people is a means to slow down this process?

    Yes. Lazy citizens end up with someone else making the decisions. Hand off the power to someone else and that someone else will run with it. When you’re small and local and don’t have to cope with imperial entanglements, it’s easier. You’re more likely to know the parties with opposing viewpoints or know people who know them. The bigger a group, the easier it is to demonize them because you don’t know who they are, your kids don’t go to school with them, and on and on.

    Democracy is really hard! It means accepting that other people don’t think like you. The minute you object to the other team in power, who don’t think like you, you might as well say that they don’t get a vote because they don’t want the same things you do.

    Compromise is really hard.

  125. To respond to the query about religious beliefs, here is what I have seen in my circles: There is a large renewed interest in both religion, and also occultism. This really became obvious since the Great Conjunction, but it showed some signs before that as well. I see this both with people I know locally, and also in people I’ve met online, who are all over the world. There’s definitely a low-key spiritual awakening going on now, if my own experience is anything to judge by. Yet at the same time, social research suggests that institutional religion is in decline, badly. Perhaps this ought to be viewed in light of the wider loss of faith in institutions that has happened both in the United States (my domicile) and to some extent worldwide as well. But I think the return of religion is owing to the fact that atheism — so much in vogue for much of the past 100 years, and so strongly pushed in most of the mainstream views — simply isn’t for everyone, and some have aspirations beyond the merely material, especially in hard times. I say this as someone who went from basically atheist at one time in my life, to completely repudiating it (while seeing it as valid for some people, else it wouldn’t have been such a big thing). Occultism, like our host says, has been badly neglected in recent history, and represents an area of open inquiry that is so often blocked to intelligent people in the institutional channels. Perhaps these developments will end up being one of the positive things that the Neptune in Pisces era brought forth.

    I can see why the institutional religions have had trouble. My own experiences mirror very closely the comments made by Justin Patrick Moore at #28. I have some sentimental ties to Christianity, but had bad experiences with the “one true faith” dogmatism there, and in the end I’ve never been able to go back, although I agree to some extent with Christian mysticism as long as it is compatible with polytheism. The only difference is I was not part of a conservative or end times denomination, just a plain old mainline Episcopalian. But that’s not much better; it’s basically atheism nowadays, although when I was young there were still representatives of the old Anglo-Catholic mindset around that I learned from. I enjoyed and agreed with some of the teachings, but not all of them, and the churches don’t seem to be going the right direction, so I haven’t returned.

    Still, there’s a big grassroots thing going on. I think there’s more than circumstantial evidence for Spengler’s “Second Religiosity” picking up steam.

  126. Offer for Green Wizards, totally free: 2 5×8 chapbooks, one 80pp, the other 35pp, on the subject of herbal stuff and especially dyeing clothing, with simple ingredients and tools. They’re out of the SCA, but are in modern English and include a good deal of American plants to use.

    Also have a similar one on blackwork embroidery, which may be too frivolous for the Long Descent, but I ran across a very good reason that embroidery is very practical as well as decorative: it reinforces the strength of the threads and the fabrics. The source was a character in one of my guilty pleasure fluff novels, but sine I used to do sewing and embroidery, I thought it over, and yes, the author is quite correct. OTH, I don’t really see embroidery as much of an American folk art during hard times. YMMV.

    If interested, drop me a line at mathews55 at msn dot com. Would really like them off my hands and into a good home.

  127. After my weird paranormal experience that I described above, I remembered reading about creatures that feed on human fear – or “loosh”, as Robert Monroe of Out of Body Experience fame called it. I’ve never had an OBE, to my knowledge. Once I stopped showing fear, the blob-type creatures that I described in my first comment post soon disappeared. No more “loosh”, so they couldn’t survive? Did they die or disappear to prey on more victims?

    The last time I was so scared was in 2010, after my first night-terrors experience. I was waking up, but in the end of my dream, I was surrounded by blackness and a sense of dread, as some unseen creature whooshed back and forth past me. I suspected that this creature was real in his own dimension and that he enjoyed instilling fear in me. In later years, I learnt not to be afraid and just to lie still when the same happened, as I knew that I would soon awake. However, in my recent different paranormal experience that I have described upthread, my tactic of waiting for the blobs to disappear did not work and I had to be more assertive.

    My night-terrors experiences of that 2010 ilk (being surrounded by blackness and a sense of dread) are not very frequent – my last was in 2021, I believe. Curiously, after I lay recovering from my first such experience in 2010, I turned my head to see a little mischievous face looking at me for all of one second before disappearing. Bizarre! These days I think of it as an “imp”, for want of a better description. Its mischievous expression seemed to suggest “I did that!” But I never again saw that creature, even after my later “blackness and a sense of dread” experiences.

    Incidentally, these experiences are not sleep paralysis, as I occasionally experience that too. I know what that is when I experience it – it’s just a gentle “eyes closed” experience that I recognise, and I wait quietly for my body to move again, which it does after a very few seconds. Interestingly, a Greek acquaintance in his fifties tells me that he occasionally experiences the traditional old hag sitting on him. Likewise, he differentiates it from the non-frightening sleep paralysis that he occasionally experiences.

  128. While recently at the ‘Community’ garden where I’ve been prepping a bed for planting, I mistakenly brought up the rather apparent (for those who can SEE!) negative issues re. The one true VAXXINE with another member. Oh man! ..no sooner had I started, then the other person basically cut me off, stating WHY these shots were the greatest, bestest things ever!
    It was as though a shield generator had instantly been activated ..whilst said person recited the Establishment/M$N approved litany, wrapped in the shimmer of protection as it were.. pawing their ‘$taint Fauci of the Lying’ amulet. And this was the 2nd example so noted in as many weeks, though happening within a different venue each time.

    After having experienced these few encounters, I feel the need to don my Hoffmen Lenses* at ALL times … so as to know who to approach and who to avoid.

    A pretty sad stated of affairs I must say.

    *a reference regarding to the cult film “They Live’ for those uninitiated.

  129. On the subject of changes in membership/attendance in religious organizations: the Ancient Order of Druids in America, of which our gracious host is Grand Archdruid Emeritus and I am currently Archdruid of Water, started gaining members at an increased pace almost as soon as the pandemic began. We’re still gaining members at the pace of 20-30 new members a month. Also, the Gnostic Celtic Church, the independent sacramental church for AODA members, is growing as well. I’m to be ordained as a priest in the GCC in June.

    On the subject of musical instruments: when I was in elementary school in the 1960s, I learned how to play the clarinet starting in 5th grade. The oboe was reserved for people who could already play clarinet well. The major skills for playing the clarinet well (breath control, mouth control, finger placement and control) transfer over to the oboe. Oboe players who begin on the clarinet need to learn new fingerings for the notes and how to form the mouth around the unsupported double reed when they begin playing the oboe, but that’s much easier with the other skills in place. The pattern is similar for the other less common instruments: learn a related common one first that requires most of the same skills, then learn the uncommon one and the specialized skills it needs.

  130. @Luke Dodson
    glad to hear it, and that you are working on the early music aspect. The Cantigas de Santa Maria are beautiful. Early music (medieval, renaissance and baroque) is an area I think we’re more likely to lose than classical and romantic because fewer people get really into it, and there’s things about performance and interpretation that differ from later music that a lot of classical musicians don’t know. That’s not to say things that have been lost can’t be relearned – much more is known about how early music should be performed now than was 80 years ago. But I’d like to keep as much as a living tradition as possible.

    As a recorder player, I’m finding myself up to my eyebrows in renaissance and baroque music. I really love baroque music (its beautiful and often challenging to play), and the renaissance stuff is wonderful for amateurs playing in groups because everyone gets something interesting to play. It’s perfect for recorder groups. Though sometimes the hemiolas and other unusual devices can really throw everyone off.

  131. @ milkyway #47, teresa from hershey #57

    In addition to teresa’s excellent suggestions, I’d also encourage people to get involved in local government. Running for a municipal council, town or county board, or even the local school board are options, but there are others that don’t necessarily require getting elected: most municipalities and counties have any number of boards and commissions which are populated with public-citizen members and while many of these are advisory, some possess actual power (e.g. a Zoning Board of Appeals). I spent three years on a city council (still the best civics class I’ve ever had) and overlapping with that, ten years on a planning/zoning commission (and four years, I believe, on a zoning board of appeals). you learn *a lot* and have an opportunity to influence policy to some extent. (I helped get a walking path put in and helped reduce regulations for certain categories of in-home businesses, among other things.)

    @ JMG

    The results are fairly obvious, but I was wondering if your could provide any deeper insight into a shield chart reading I did around the question of pursuing an MA in Religious Studies (from a particular university) as part of my spiritual path. (The thought being to use the formal structure of a degree program to learn some Greek and Hebrew and do a thesis on religious nonconformity and/or hermetic influences in regional religious experience.) In a nutshell, the answer was “no” but I’d appreciate any commentary you might have.

    RW Rubeus
    LW Puer
    J Carcer

    Via Punctis: Carcer (J), Puer (LW), Carcer (4th N), Carcer (4th D)

    1M Tristitia + J Carcer = Rectifier Laetitia

    I’m particularly curious about that last part. Everything else just screams “NO!!” (and stop trying to pound that square peg through the round hole…)

    @ et alia–

    And in more general news, that queen-sized bedspread I’m crocheting is coming along nicely: ~3 weeks in and I’m almost a quarter the way done.

  132. I don’t know about preserving democracy, but my understanding of a just society is that it is one in which:

    Decent people can live decent lives. “Can live” as in are not prevented by law and custom from…

    Productive and enterprising people can prosper, and

    Gentle souls can survive.

    The above may seem simple but I think it is rather strict. Implied is, for example, greed is not good; profit ought not to trump all other considerations; public health and welfare should be the primary concern of governments. Is democracy the best way of securing a just society? I would like to read the opinions of others on that point.

  133. Responding to last week comment #434 from @Tengu

    Yes, I am aware of the destruction of the Maoist revolution. As sad as this is, I still find worth in pursuing the craft. Several of my teachers traveled to China and were able to bring back some amount of lore from there. One of them, which I consider a mentor and a good friend, visited and apprenticed at a TCM hospital (I do not recall what the city was). He was able to stand out among the westerners because of the study of the classics (The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine, The Spiritual Pivot, etc).

    One of the Chinese doctor took notice of him, imparted some lore on him and parted ways with this idea: “I have a bittersweet feeling now. It is sweet because my art has a future, it is bitter because that future is not in China”. This late in the game, this is as good as it gets. Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

    I recall from one of Matthew Wood’s books on herbalism (I think it was “The Book of Herbal Wisdom”, but cannot tell for sure), there was this interview with an Asian healer. Her approach was that nothing is really lost. Even if she died without passing her lore, as long as the plants still exist, they will be able to teach a human who is properly aligned to hear them. The accumulation of lore simply speeds up this process for the benefit of us humans.

  134. Dékete moi sónt,
    I think protonmail may fit your requirements. They’re also free (unless you hoard every email you’ve ever received), and encrypted. Very serious about privacy. It’s what I use after yahoomail decided that they were going to track and sell who I communicated with, and I said count me out.

    The one downside is that I did run into a site once that refused to recognize my protonmail account as being a legitimate email address. That happened once over like five years.

  135. This notice recently came up on one of my TCM noticeboards. As a scholarly talk on the history of astrological knowledge, it strikes me that it may be of interest to some of those here.

    The following is the notice, including the registration link, as I received it.

    Quote:

    “Images and Knowledge of the Stars Along the Silk Road Between the 5th and the 15th Centuries”
    A talk by Sonja Brentjes
    Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin
    Friday May 5, 10:30am (Pacific)
    Registration link
    https://berkeley.zoom.us/…/WN_ns9e4RMvTqKW8b0b31mu_Q

    In this lecture, Professor Sonja Brentjes will speak about material objects that document the spread of different kinds of astral images that moved along different parts of the Silk Road and were appropriated, transformed, and repossessed by different cultures and social groups along the way. She will present the Mesopotamian zodiac signs and their changes in India, Central Asia, China and Japan, explain some of the new visual forms they received in their new environments and ask what kind of knowledge they transported.

    She also will show objects that embody shared knowledge about the planets and the sun and the moon. When the Mongols conquered China, Islamic Central Asia, Iran and Anatolia they introduced Chinese pictorial forms in those regions and some of the zodiac signs changed again. She will ask whether the new bodily forms of some of the zodiac signs reflect Indian or Chinese motifs and which other traces of Chinese astral knowledge do we know from Persian manuscripts and which impact Arabic and Persian astral texts and perhaps instruments exercised in Yuan and Ming China.

    Sonja Brentjes is a historian of science specializing in Islamic societies from the eighth to the seventeenth centuries. She also works on medieval and early modern Europe and its relations to Islamic societies. Her main research themes are Arabic translations of Euclid’s Elements, maps and mapmaking in the Mediterranean, teaching the mathematical sciences, early modern travelers in the Middle East and the relation between the arts and the sciences in Islamic societies. In the last years, she focused on the visualization of the heavens in Eurasia and North Africa contributing to the creation of an image database of a broad rang objects with planets, stars, the zodiac and other constellations, eclipses, comets, rainbows or models of the universe in scientific, religious and other contexts.

    Her publications on this topic are:
    2021. “The Stars in the Sky and on the Globe: ʿAbd al-Raḥmān ibn ʿUmar al-Ṣūfī’s Visualization of the Heavens”. Aestimatio 2.2: 59–98; Hamid Bohloul and Sonja Brentjes. 2022. “Copies of ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Ṣūfī’s Book on the Star Constellations as Patronage Objects and Their Properties.” Intellectual History of the Islamicate World (2022), online, 1–29; 2020 Edited together with Dagmar Schäfer, Imagining the Heavens: Historiographical Challenges and Eurasian Perspectives. Basel: Birkhäuser.

    /Quote

  136. Hi JMG,

    A few mentions of Spain already this week touching on drought and food availability. I’m going to mention the intense (dry) heat coming into play in certain parts of southern Europe right now which is breaking records for April:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-65403381

    Certainly looks suggestive and supportive of the theory that Hadley (and to a lesser extent Ferrell) climate cells look to be elongating northwards as the polar cell weakens, especially in parts of the northern hemisphere. Fits right in with your hypothesis from last year – more here: https://ecosophia.dreamwidth.org/182661.html
    Also feeds into the instability of the age as well. One hot summer potentially looks to beckon. :-/

  137. JMG and commentariat,

    I’ve watched the news of another Elon Musk rocket exploding.

    I need to ask: why is so that Elon Musk, the supposed world’s richest man and his cadre of engineers, is struggling to get a rocket to the orbit, a feat accomplished by men half a century ago using inferior materials and vastly inferior computers (and the rocket landed on the Moon!). I need to ask: why is it so difficult to do stuff that were accomplished before?

    Not in the sense of general decline, but clear LOSS of technical mastery? The textbooks are there. Calcuations didn’t change. What is wrong?

    –changeling

  138. Tony C, of course that also means that the pensions China’s promised its elderly will be very hard to fund, since there will be so many fewer people in the work force. Also, have you noticed any decrease in aggression among our Boomers? I haven’t…

    Gregsimay, it’s an interesting question. I don’t have the background in biology necessary to know how soon it’s likely to become a serious issue, though.

    Stephen, that question comes out of a total misunderstanding of Burke’s thought. He was not at all opposed to innovation — quite the contrary, he supported the American colonists in their fight for independence, even though that involved a significant breach with the past. The point of Burkean conservatism is that each proposed change has to be assessed on its own merits, rather than lumped together with a mass of other changes labeled as “progress,” and changes need to be spaced so that problems can be discovered and dealt with as they emerge. In the case of gay marriage, the expansion of marriage rights had been tried before — notably, in the legalization of interracial marriage, and the legalization of nonreligious marriages a little further back — and the results were good. Giving gay and lesbian couples the opportunity to marry, and to receive the legal protections of the married status, was an experiment worth making. My read is that it was a successful experiment. That does not mean that further extensions of marriage rights are automatically justified; once again, each proposed change has to be assessed on its own merits. It simply means that this change seems to have been a good idea.

    Oh, and it’s simply not true that marriage has always been connected to producing children. It has always been legal for women past the age of menopause to marry, for example, even though such women are no longer capable of bearing children. While sterility was legally a reason why marriages could be dissolved, for that matter, that dissolution was never mandatory. So the initial premise is also false.

    Your Kittenship, he was indeed. He was a good friend of Arthur Edward Waite, and joined the Golden Dawn on Waite’s recommendation, though he didn’t remain active for long.

    Curt, such food nourishes the material body but not the etheric body. As for clay tablets, sure, but that’s not the point — printing makes it possible to mass produce copies of a text, so that the chances of texts getting through a dark age are much higher.

    Quin, there are two issues here. First, the Essene healing hands method is sufficiently prayer-adjacent that I consider it comparable, so if consent is given for healing prayer I’d consider consent also to be given for healing hands; it’s one more way of contacting the Divine and asking that healing be directed toward a particular person. As for the combination of healing hands and reiki, my request for a pause was because I was trying something very specific for the benefit of your daughter, and I thought it was wiser to limit the number of confounding variables. I wouldn’t advise anyone to use the advanced Essene healing methods without specific consent, along the same lines.

    Curt, thanks for the data points!

    Info, NDEs vary a great deal. The most parsimonious explanation, it seems to me, is that the afterlife is a complex terrain and different people encounter varied aspects of it.

    Chuaquin, you’re welcome and thank you for the further data points. Spain, like the rest of Europe, is losing its privileged access to global wealth; the ride down from here may be rough.

    Milkyway, exactly.

    Luke, I’m delighted to hear this. If the cultural heritage of Europe is going to be preserved, this is how it’s going to happen.

    Viduraawakened, that could be managed very simply: governments would simply have to stop pouring money into supporting theoretical physics, and then the physicists who wanted to keep paying the rent would have to find some less pie-in-the-sky work to do. Yes, I think it would be a very good idea, and the first nation to pursue it would likely benefit hugely.

    Chris, food prices have been jolting unsteadily upwards in the US for several years now, and there have been rolling shortages, always followed by a steep rise in prices. That’s the wave of the future, as US dollars revert to their real value (close enough to $0.00 as makes no difference).

    Doodily, I don’t recall any nonhuman lives, but then I’ve been human for a long time — I messed up pretty spectacularly in a life a couple of millennia ago and have been digging myself out from under the karmic rubble ever since.

    Anonymous, I did indeed. Many thanks!

    Bofur, thanks for this.

    Batstrel, this sort of thing is much more common than most people in modern industrial societies like to admit. The creatures were malevolent spirits, and they were probably feeding on your fear. Once you defied them, they fled.

    Celadon, thanks for this. Since I was never baptized, I consider myself about as far outside Christianity as one can get and still grow up in a Christian society!

    Dékete, thanks for this. As for email providers, the service that hosts this website, GeoffStratton.com, also provides my email service; I don’t happen to know if they’re taking new customers right now, but my email requires only name and password, ever.

    Denis, no, this is the first I’ve heard of it.

    Alvin, thanks for this.

    Jbucks, yep. I’d like to see this knowledge get more widespread.

    Erik, no, and my take is that it’s a matter of cherrypicking. There are thousands of fictional scenarios being splashed around on various media every year; when one happens to come close to what actually happened, it looks precognitive — but then there are the thousands of others that didn’t.

    Batstrel, exactly. You took away the food bowl so they went somewhere else.

    Polecat, keep in mind that if you’re right, and the Covid vaccines turn out to be as bad as some researchers have suggested, the people you spoke to are facing the risk of a horrible death. Of course they aren’t going to listen!

    David BTL, it’s a very strong “no,” and the rectifier suggests that if you drop the idea, something better will come along in due time.

    Scotlyn, thanks for this! I’m delighted to see more attention paid to this.

    Jay, thanks for the data points. More bad news for Europe…

    Changeling, that’s what happens when a society is in decline, as ours is. Skills are lost, knowledge is lost, materials are of lower quality, and the list goes on.

  139. Mr. Greer,

    Yeah, I grok what you’re saying .. the other encounter, when asked if they got jabbed stated that indeed yes they received all their shots – both the initial first three, the All the boosters – and quipped that they were proud of it! It’s hard not to care when those confronted, however gently, do not allow for any other opinion on the matter.

    Oh well..

  140. Weighing in on Dylan Mulvaney. I have always been irked by the far left insistence that trans women must be “real women”, when the entire controversy could just be dropped by simply arguing you don’t have to be a “real” woman (or man) to still be a real person, with feelings and rights, and they don’t have to be identical – people’s needs don’t have to be identical in order to still need to be met (that’s why all BC municipalities need to have an Accessibility Advisory Committee now – the sidewalk built for a sighted pedestrian, built for a wheelchair, built for a blind person are not the same. We have to figure out how not to thoughtlessly and preventably exclude).

    Thus, it is with some shock that I was forced to change my mind on her, at least: thronged by adoring fans for telling women how real women need to look and behave? (I’m looking at you, nearly everyone.) Sneeringly put down by other women for whether their breasts are good enough? (I’m looking at you again, nearly everyone). I’ll be… she is a real girl! 😉

  141. Also, regarding aloe Vera

    I generally don’t have aloe, in whatever form, at hand.. but I do have soy sauce, which I apply on any burns received through cooking/kitchen mishaps. Wad a small piece of tissue, paper towel, or what have you soaked in soy sauce, and apply to affected area for a minute or so. Works for me anyway ..

  142. @Phil: if it’s not too nosy, how would you describe the SFL Catholic parish you’ve mentioned? Modern liberal? Stolid conservative? Trad Catholic? Immigrant? Something else?

    @TamHob: that’s interesting. I have no sense whatever of the political landscape in Aus, but it’s weird that our media talking points are being re-broadcast there, even when not relevant to the local culture. Thanks for the datapoint.

  143. @JMG & @Ken regarding world population

    I understand your logic but I’m perplexed to hear you say this.

    Maybe I hang out on the fringier edges of the fringe of the internet, but I’m hearing the exact opposite. The actions of the Klaus Schwab’s and Bill Gates’s of the world are interpreted as aiming for population reduction, not population growth. The explanation being: that population reduction will reduce fossil fuel use, allowing the Davos crowd to use a greater share of the fossil fuels, ahem, stop climate change.

    That logic makes sense to me too. I guess there’s more to it that I’m not seeing?

  144. Changeling,
    One of the biggest problems with Elon’s rockets is that he ( and todays NASA) have an extremely grandiose concept of what they are trying to do but out economy can no longer provide the energy, money or industrial power to accomplish it. The Apollo program was very practical ( single rocket takes off and, sheds bits of itself on the way there and back to maximize energy efficiency ) But both Elon and Nasa’s vision involves space stations orbiting the earth, other stations orbiting the moon, refueling before leaving for the moon, refueling before landing ( in some cases) so they can have a giant Buck Rogers ship land on the moon. We spent 2.5 % of US GDP for a decade on Apollo when we were the mightiest industrial economy in the world. Today we only spend a small fraction of that. Elon’s shtick is that he can do it on the cheap so give me lots of government funds. A concrete example, The Saturn 5 , ( which the starship is compared to) was assembled in a giant, climate controlled vertical building with huge elevators and such. Then it was transported to the launch pad atop the worlds largest tracked vehicle. This launch pad was prepared with millions of tons of concrete forming a giant tunnel to carry the blast of the rocket out and away from the pad.
    In contrast Spacex rockets are assembled laying down in a shed, propped up when reaching the launch pad like putting a ladder in an apple tree. They figured Apollo’s blast tunnel was overkill so they just have a plan flat pad ( built by the lowest bidder). But from my understanding , one of the problems with this failed launch was chunks of the pad blasted back to hit the rocket.
    It is a fantasy that we can go back in to Space on the cheap, and we are now too poor to do it right.

  145. Celadon #124

    My first thought is that it unusual for the equations of psychohistory to be expressible in language 😉 and my second thought is only half baked.

    The soul of a great culture can be thought of in Schopenhauer’s terms with grades of will. The experience of the two foreign cultures gives the will enough perspective to jump a level and become conscious of itself. Roughly from being aware to becoming self aware.

    The process of becoming self aware IS the emergence of the great culture, spring in Spengler’s terms, and it starts in the subconscious with the arts. Music, painting, sculpture, poetry, or whatever it happens to be, starts to map out the notional space with emotional themes and narratives. Once it becomes developed to comprehensive intellectual abstractions like Aristotle or Kant the internal growth process ends (mental & astral planes?) and its external growth, political, economic, military, etc. dominance begins (etheric and physical planes?)

    That’s all that I have puzzled out so far. The idea feels right, but not yet fully developed. I’ll post something if I make any progress. I don’t have any insight on the speed. Why 1,000 years? No idea.

  146. Re population growth policies
    Canada has been increasing immigration goals for years, and it really shot up after the pandemic with the labor shortage. I’m increasingly convinced it is currently one of the main things preventing a housing crash from really getting going, and that holding up and increasing housing prices is one of the main reasons the government is doubling down on this policy. The other reason is keeping labor costs down given the labor shortage.

    Or course, keeping wages down and housing prices high when housing is available to be found makes the housing crisis worse, and makes life miserable for anyone who doesn’t already own a home, but what does Trudeau and his ilk care about that? Nothing, as far as I can tell. Or maybe a photo ops worse. No more.

  147. @methylethyl,
    Judging by the parking lot, the local catholic church has seen an uptake, but I can’t quantify it. I myself went to a few masses shortly after the COVID reopening; they were busy enough to offer two Sunday services, which I do not believe was done pre-pandemic. I did feel the presence of Christ at one of them. Only one, though, so I couldn’t keep dragging myself in. Especially when they rotated in a priest who puts on a powerpoint presentation (!) in his homily.

    If there anything less likely to put me in touch with the divine than a powerpoint, I cannot think what it could be. I’m afraid I was not able to commit to the Catholic faith after a couple month’s of masses that moved me as much as watching paint dry. I think if there were a church offering TLM anywhere near here it might have been a different story.

    When it comes to rhetoric about ‘the religious right’ in the commonwealth, I have an amusing anecdote… During the last election, then-leader of the Conservative Party of Canada Andrew Sheer was smeared as a “far-right religious extremist” by the CBC and most of the press, though they were always cagy about details. Looking into it, the “religious extremism” they were talking about was that the man took his family to a mainline Roman Catholic church every Sunday. Just a regular miqueltoast Novus Ordo mass where they recite Land Acknowledgements long before they get to the Nicene Creed, and will hang a rainbow flag at pride if anyone asks. (OR sometimes if they don’t.) It’s not surprising, I suppose. Our PMC talk about Christians the way bible-belt Republicans talked about Muslims in the weeks after 9/11. Still and all. If that counts as “extremism” it’s a very low bar. I can only imagine the ink that would be spilled if Pierre Poilievre attended Traditional Latin Mass!

  148. @blue sun re: #151

    That’s what the conspiracy theories say, but in that case, shouldn’t there, um, be population decline by now? These theories have been percolating around the fringe of the internet for well over a decade, in which time the world population has successfully declined by something like (checks notes) … negative twenty percent.

    Meaning either:

    1. The so-called “powers that be” are not actually that powerful (and/or not that unified), or:

    2. They would be able to if they knew how, but they don’t, so they can’t,

    3. They aren’t, at least not in the aggregate, interested in doing so, at least not as their primary consideration.

    If it was their primary consideration and if they acted as a unified bloc that could enforce loyalty among its members, there is, cynically, a fairly simple way they could increase the crude death rate: roll back health and safety regulations. It would be easy, given the powers they supposedly have, to engineer a court case that would eviscerate that kind of regulation as “not being authorized by the Constitution”. Certain elements of the Right would think they walked away with a win, and the inevitable outrage from the Left would fall chiefly upon the Supreme Court

  149. @Methylethyl #19 – I work for a Catholic church in the Seattle area. The Archdiocese of Seattle recently launched a program called ‘Partners In the Gospel’ which will entail consolidating parishes into what will known as ‘parish families’. Here’s a quote from the Q&A page:

    “Over the past few decades our local Catholic Church has experienced a decrease of engaged parishioners, fewer priests, dwindling finances, deteriorating campus conditions and more.”

    Here’s the website if anyone is interested: https://archseattle.org/partners/

  150. “Lazy citizens end up with someone else making the decisions. Hand off the power to someone else and that someone else will run with it. ”

    The reminds me of this old quote; “Few men desire liberty; most men wish only for a just master.”

    For years I had thought this went back to the late 1700s, but it is older than that.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sallust

    He wasn’t exactly virtuous.

  151. Polecat,

    For what it is worth, the Cleveland Clinic just published an article that shows the bivalent vax does not prevent infection for recent variants (as in, no statistically significant decrease in Covid infections), even in the first several months. They also have numbers that show correlation of more vaccine injections with more infections. Just in case some may be open to hearing it from a major institution, with actual data.

    https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.12.17.22283625v5.full.pdf Cleveland Clinic, down to zero for XBB (Mar 23) 51K employees, 29% B4/5, 20% BQ, 4% (CI: -12 to +18) XBB for infection prevention. Risk of COVID- 19 also increased with time since most recent prior COVID-19 episode and with the number of vaccine doses previously received.

  152. @ Celadon RE: Universalism

    Do you have any specific books in mind with regard to this? I find it fascinating. I see you mentioned George MacDonald and Gregory of Nyssa in a response. Would you recommend any of their works in particular?

    I agree there is a great misunderstanding of hell at large in the Christian world. It seems to run deep through the history of European culture.

    What makes the most sense to me is that God *allows* people to experience hell as a consequence of their thoughts, words, and actions (to me that’s karma!), just as God allows people to experience the consequences of their choices here on Earth.

    Howard Storm is one person I have heard describe hell in this way. He is an NDE experiencer (I’m using Raymond Moody’s definition of NDE) who has quite a fascinating story, one of the few that includes a hell experience. If you’re interested, you can find interviews of him on YouTube where he tells the story. He has also written several books.

  153. Hi JMG and everyone,
    I’ve been meaning to post for a while on a few things so here goes.
    I’ve been reading on and off The Doors of Tarot, very interesting and well worth getting.
    I’ve done a few one card readings, on Sunday 10th April I asked,
    1. Will the fighting (part) of the war in Ukraine end this year?
    2. Will there be negotiations/peace talks?
    I used Nigel Jackson’s Rose Tarot, very beautiful, like all his decks, sadly most O.O.P.
    Even number was Yes, odd no.
    For Q.1 I got 4 The Emperor, so yes and it would seem from this card, that the stronger force will prevail. On the image, there is the Latin word ARCHAEUS
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archeus
    2. 13 Queen of Cups, So no, but also yes if you add 1 & 3. Maybe a case of “Peace on our Terms”?
    All Kings, Queens and Pages are named in this deck, not Knights for some unknown reason, and the Queen of Cups on this one is Judith. If you don’t know that story look it up! Maybe an imposed change in leadership?
    (A side note, in other decks Judith is usually the Queen of Swords, in my experience anyway)
    I’ve more to post, but I need to get outside and give the chooks and quails their treats and then start work.
    Regards
    Helen in Oz

  154. Bogatyr #107

    I think that there are two reasons that complement and reinforce each other.

    One is the degree of entrenchedness of some ideas in our society. Here is a great example:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20200522001819/https://slatestarcodex.com/2014/04/28/the-control-group-is-out-of-control/

    It is long, but well written and worth reading. The ‘control group’ is scientific research into parapsychology. The author starts out by asking how we could measure how well science is working and posits the notion of placebo science reaserching a thing that doesn’t actually exist. He uses parapsychology as a stand in for placebo science because he doesn’t believe in ESP or precognition.

    He goes through the list of all of the ways that science can go wrong and how one corrects for those issues. He then lists parapsychology research that addresses all of those issues better than his own field does (he does believe his own field is real) and concludes that he still doesn’t believe in ESP.

    He does all of this with intellectual integrity, statistical rigor, and some fine writing. But he can’t change his belief. It is so bedrock that it is functionally axiomatic to his worldview.

    Two, the stakes are very high. The loss of Ukraine is a watershed moment that signals the end of US hegemony to the entire world. Kubler-Ross stage 1 denial.

  155. What astrological configuration would you expect to see in someone’s chart who is an operative mage?

  156. I will take this opportunity to remind all that the 6th Annual Ecosophia Midsummer Potluck will be held June 24, 2023 at our house behind the Charles Dexter Ward Mansion in Providence, RI. Only 58 days to go!
    Sign up here. I look forward to your presence, and once again, whomever comes from furthest is welcome to stay in our guest room.

  157. #134 bastrel

    If I may…
    it looks like you were in a state of half-dreaming: somewhat conscious but still receiving images from the astral. In this state you can’t move your body, only your eyes.
    Even if it was scary, I find it worthy to think about what recent events are feeding my astral plane, since they may be linked to something else. For example, if I was playing chess with a friend recently, seeing a chess figure might represent this friend, or something related to him or to that evening.
    After that, meditation is a must. Write your findings and meditate on them again. You’d be surprised.
    Sometimes, after describing a dream scene with words, I realized that the words had a second meaning, and translating everything I saw to the other meaning was revealing.
    Most of the time you get fears and desires, (I was scared about being fired, no wonder I dreamed of a house on fire) but sometimes you get a revelation.

    These things you saw could be entities living in other planes, just like a thought-form can exist on its own. They are interacting with you, and the outcome might not be positive for you. For example, someone might have given you a new idea, and this idea might be changing the way you see certain things, and it damages you. Now your consciousness is aware and on the defensive mode, since it doesn’t like the change. In your half dream, you visualize this threatening idea as a malevolent entity. By remaining conscious you may be given new possibilities to interact and defend yourself against this. I mean, it’s hard to defeat a logical idea in the mental plane, but maybe if you associate it with a malevolent blob, you can face the idea in other planes, where it has less power. Your dream told you you cannot hide or ignore the threat, you have to find it and face it.

  158. I’ve totally made peace with the dandelions in my yard! Now I call them “lawn tulips” because, like tulips they are beautiful for 2 weeks/year and ugly the rest of the year. But, unlike tulips, I can mow them off and forget about them for the other 50 weeks. Also the deer don’t bother them. Not sure what my neighbors think of this plan tho…but I just smile and think of them muttering as they drive by, about this humble plant which the Pilgrims brought over for its nutritional and healing properties, and thanked God for His benevolence in creating it. It all really is just a matter of perspective.

  159. @JMG , thanks for your reply.

    Regarding my first question about the impact on the US economy of the USD losing market share in international trade, I see an impact on funding the government deficit, the import/exports deficit and the flow of USD that comes to wall street from other countries.

    It seems complicated to calculate how much the economy would be reduced if a quarter of the world trade is done in other currencies.

    Do you see any way to estimate it?

  160. JMG,

    Your posts from the Well of Galabes collectively make up one of the finest works of philosophy of the 21st century that I’ve read so far. I would love to have a hardcopy, so to speak, and there are plenty of services that do private publishing for turning just about anything into a book.

    May I have your permission to collect the posts and make a few copies for myself a few people I know who would be interested? Under no circumstances would I be trying to make any money or take any credit; I just would love to have it in a proper book form.

  161. Hi John Michael,

    Oh, that’s not good. My thinking in the matter – and the same is happening here – is that the situation is moving quickly enough that people are beginning to take notice. And they don’t like what they’re seeing.

    One of the downsides of the sort of economic innovations (I’m being ironic) getting applied these days is that it mostly ends badly. I’m hard pressed to think of any time such shenanigans have worked out well. It amuses me that people heap so much belief onto the folks guiding the big old ship which is our civilisation. Can’t say for sure why anyone would do so, but it’s an option and I seem to be in the minority in this matter. Possibly the people in question may not have had interactions with elites. Hmm. A tidy prophylactic for such beliefs might be P. G. Wodehouse’s, Wooster series. If they look like toffs… 😉

    Which gets me to my central point. I was reading your discussion above about Burkean conservative concepts. You my friend were talking ideas, and using that mode to counter beliefs. They may sound the same, can be used the same, but the outcomes! The outcomes! My paid work forces me to have to deal with this difference. It’s hard. People do say they like discussing ideas, but I’m not so certain that that is true. Dunno. Over to you.

    Cheers

    Chris

  162. It was interesting, though not surprising to see Murdoch fire Tucker Carlson when he questioned vaccine, Ukraine war, Kennedy assassinations, media integrity, Jan 6 fiasco, etc. I reckoned it was coming when they suddenly stopped him from airing the Jan 6 footage. He will be lucky if they don’t kill him. The uniparty establishment is certainly ruthless when they are challenged.
    I can’t remember if i heard from you or elsewhere that Murdoch is a strong DeSantis backer. I know he was opposed to Trump for president, but was not too outspoken about it.
    I would love to see Carlson come out strongly for RFK jr. i would even love to see him or Tulsi Gabbard on the ticket with RFK. I am going to vote for some combination of those three, even if i have write them in.
    It will be a good year to have shares in a popcorn company.
    Stephen

  163. Bogatyr #107,
    Thanks for the recommendation, I just found that Audible is giving “Why We Make Things and Why it Matters away for free for some reason. Tomorrow I have a 6 hour mandatory drive to and from training for work…so now si don’t have to listen to the radio! Thanks!

  164. The DNC recently announced there will be no primary debates for next year’s presidential nominating process, a move that has drawn criticism from a number of prominent Democrats, including Marianne Williamson and Robert F Kennedy Jr.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/other/democrats-rip-dnc-for-not-holding-2024-primary-debates-robs-the-voters/ar-AA1ahJOg

    It sounds like they are trying to make sure Dementia Joe gets the nomination no matter what, in spite of his obvious liabilities and deep unpopularity. I trust everyone here remembers what happened when the DNC pulled out all the stops to ensure Killary got the nod in 2016 after seeing her lose the 2008 nomination to an upstart young senator from Illinois by the name of Barack Obama…

  165. Mr Greer, indeed a lot of skills are lost by civilizations in decline, not least the ability to think clearly. For years our financial betters insisted that deflation is an existential threat. Did you see any? I didn’t. No matter, out of fear of this hideous peril spreading its black wings, central banks conjured money in a vast, multi-decade counterfeiting caper, never thinking about the easily foreseeable consequence: inflation.

    Our betters lie about everything all the time and now they’re lying about that too. My wife and I were watching a news report about a number of major categories of living expenses that variously shot up by ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five percent and in the next breath they said that inflation was something like six percent (I forget the exact numbers they used but you get the picture).

    My wife asked the obvious question, that if all these categories of expenses went up so much in the past year, then how can inflation be so low in comparison? Well, it can’t.

    And so yer lyin’ eyes ain’t lyin’, if anything, inflation is closer to twenty percent than it is to ten percent.

    So now we have higher interest rates supposedly to quell this inflation problem. But if inflation is so much higher than these five percent rates we’re seeing, then monetary policy isn’t smothering inflation, it’s still fueling it. The great dazzling conceptualists cannot get through their thick skulls that if interest rates don’t get you at the front end, inflation eats you at the back end. It’s another way of saying there’s no free lunch.

    And, even these rates, inadequate as they are, are still mucking up a lot of plans, not least those of ordinary households whose mortgages are renewing at much higher rates than previously.

    But also the plans of the big players like the real estate company that bought our apartment building. We got notice that they intend to tear it down to build condos. How’s that gonna work out for them?

    It’s no secret that guys like big real estate outfits, and the banks they intertwine with, feed like sharks with low interest rates. Nothing better for the farcical assemblage of ponzis that pass for an economy nowadays, no?

    I expect that our new landlord will tear down our building and build those condos notwithstanding the fact that the numbers no longer work even with interest rates that are nowhere near where they need to be. And they will surely find lenders stupid enough to fund this coming debacle.

    Basic arithmetic is a ruthless dictator. It tells us what’s doable and what isn’t. And it’s this basic arithmetic that will put not only our landlord, but a lot of other guys that disregard this fundamental reality, into bankruptcy court. So, my message to those guys? Choke on it.

    You are a great writer and analyst Mr G. Good day to you and your wonderful commenters.

  166. “I’ve totally made peace with the dandelions in my yard!”

    Me too. They are drought resistant and they they flower early for the bees. If you are very determined you can even make wine from them.

  167. Polecat, again, remember that these people are trying not to realize that they were lied to and manipulated by people they trusted, and may die as a result. That’s not a mental state conducive to calm assessments!

    Blue Sun, it’s entirely possible that the Gateses and Schwabs of the world are clueless enough to think that. I’ve noticed that an astonishing number of people, including some who ought to be smart enough to figure it out, literally can’t get their heads around the idea that economic growth is the only reason investments make money. At the same time, I’m far from convinced that Schwab, Gates, et al. are anything like as powerful and influential as people in conspiracy culture like to think they are, and their capacity to make things happen in the world may be much more limited than some people think.

    Helen, seems to me that what it’s saying is that yes, the war will end this year, but it won’t end via negotiations. It’ll end when one side crushes the other. That seems plausible, as the Russians at this point have no reason to negotiate — it’s been made very plain to them that Ukraine agreed to the peace accords in 2014 purely in the hope of building up their army and going to war when they were ready. If there’s a negotiated peace now, the Ukrainian government will just do the same thing over again — so the logical Russian response is to ignore attempts to negotiate, keep the meatgrinder going at a nice steady speed, and put pressure on Ukraine and its NATO allies until the Ukrainian military collapses.

    Joshua, astrology isn’t that simplistic. There is no one configuration that means that, any more than there’s one configuration that means that you’ll be a musician, a healer, or an axe murderer. To assess someone’s likelihood of interest and success in operative magic, you’d want to consider the placements and aspects of the rulers of the 1st and 8th houses as well as the placements and aspects of Mercury, Saturn, and Uranus.

    Peter, thanks for this!

    Tony, I don’t have the mathematical chops to come up with an estimate — just that it’s going to be huge.

    Alex, I’m sorry to say that for legal reasons I cannot give you permission. I can’t stop you from doing so, of course, but I can’t give you permission.

    Chris, if only we had Jeeves to come in and save the day!

    Stephen, it’s just possible that the firing of Carlson is going to bring the corporate media crashing down. Imagine for a moment what will happen if he goes onto a new platform and sets up his own news service, free of corporate control — he’ll have a gargantuan audience instantly, and that’ll open the door to many other people doing the same thing. A few years down the road, Fox and CNN will have single-digit shares of the prime time audience. Popcorn futures? Go long…

    Platypus, of course. A talking toy with a twenty-word vocabulary would sound more impressive than Biden at this point.

    Smith, ouch! Sorry to hear about your apartment; with any luck the firm that owns the building will go bankrupt before anything further happens — that’s going to happen to a lot of firms in a very big hurry. All that chatter about deflation was cover for the last hurrah of the US dollar, and a round of kleptocratic excess that would impress the stuffing out of the worst of Rome’s emperors; now the bill’s coming due, and the dollar is taking it in the teeth. Hang on to your hat…

  168. “My wife and I were watching a news report about a number of major categories of living expenses that variously shot up by ten, fifteen, twenty, twenty-five percent and in the next breath they said that inflation was something like six percent ”

    That is actually explainable. The inflation index measures everything, things that are essential, things that are nice to have, and stupid luxuries. So, if essentials go up 10% and nice to have goes up only 4%, the average is 7%. This is likely because the price rise on essentials reduced the amount left over for nice to haves, reducing demand, and causing their price to not rise.

    Case in point, computer prices are down, Intel just lost a bundle last quarter. Apple computers have been popping up on sale more than usual as well.

    And Tesla cut the price of some model of their car too.

  169. Speaking of the coming crash in the American housing market, the Biden administration appears to be hell-bent on speeding it up, by forcing mortgage lenders to institute policies which are disturbingly similar to those that made the 2008 housing crash and economic crisis inevitable.

    https://www.delcotimes.com/2023/04/26/freind-bidens-new-mortgage-policy-has-disturbingly-familiar-feel/

    https://nypost.com/2023/04/24/bidens-mortgage-equity-will-screw-up-the-homebuying-market/

    And this at a time when inflation is at a 40 year high, the US dollar is rapidly losing its status as the global reserve currency and the blowback from the proxy war against Russia is growing day by day.

  170. Pygmycory: the same trick’s being pulled here in Australia. We closed our borders for two years for COVID and wages skyrocketed, then a chorus of businessmen wailed about the ‘labour crunch’ and our Labour (yes, really) government re-opened the floodgates of immigration. It’s also useful for propping up the overheated property market. Worker’s party my foot.

    It’s a neat trick: if you grow the economy overall by stuffing it full of people, you can point to the rising numbers and ignore the part where the pie is being divided between more people, so everyone’s individual share is smaller. Behold: the per-capita recession.

  171. Clay Dennis,

    thank you. It’s what I was looking for. I missed how much USA really invested in Moon mission and how big that really was. It’s like remembering that Soviet Union diverted mighty rivers from Aral Sea.
    -changeling

  172. @ Methylethyl. I would put the parish between traditional and liberal. They are very definitely Roman Catholic, but also pretty open minded. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a good church and deserves to grow.

    @Changeling. I don’t know what the future holds for our space program. But realize this is a big, new rocket he is working on. SpaceX has put many other rockets into orbit already.

  173. JMG wrote

    Stephen, it’s just possible that the firing of Carlson is going to bring the corporate media crashing down. Imagine for a moment what will happen if he goes onto a new platform and sets up his own news service, free of corporate control — he’ll have a gargantuan audience instantly, and that’ll open the door to many other people doing the same thing. A few years down the road, Fox and CNN will have single-digit shares of the prime time audience. Popcorn futures? Go long…

    Arguably, that’s already started. Carlson’s ratings on his Twitter channel have shot through the roof since his firing, far exceeding the ratings for his old Fox News show, as this article from Breitbart points out.

    https://www.breitbart.com/the-media/2023/04/27/tucker-carlsons-twitter-video-beats-old-fox-news-time-slot-within-hour/

    Within the first hour of Carlson’s posting to Twitter, the video received some 1.8 million views — more than the 1.7 million views that his old Fox News time slot at 8:00 p.m. got the night before.

    In the first three months of this year, Carlson was getting about 3.3 million viewers on average. Compare that to his Twitter video which by noon on Thursday had amassed nearly 18 million views while the tweet itself had been viewed almost 60 million times.

    “Our current orthodoxies won’t last,” Carlson said in the Twitter video:

    They’re brain-dead. Nobody actually believes them. Hardly anyone’s life is improved by them. This moment is too inherently ridiculous to continue, and so it won’t. The people in charge notice; that’s why they’re hysterical and aggressive. They’re afraid. They’ve given up persuasion — they’re resorting to force. But it won’t work. When honest people say what’s true, calmly and without embarrassment, they become powerful. [Emphasis added]

    Meanwhile, Markets Insider points out that since Carlson was thrown over the transom, the value of Fox News stock has plummeted, losing nearly a billion dollars within hours of his termination.

    https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/fox-news-tucker-carlson-exit-stock-price-decline-foxa-network-2023-4?op=1

    He has been getting lots of offers from conservative news channels, think tanks and other organizations.

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/where-is-tucker-carlson-going-next-oan-newsmax-glenn-beck-heritage-see-you-soon/

    It’s pretty clear that just like Anheuser-Busch, Fox News shot itself through all four cheeks and I think it’s absolutely hilarious. Sounds like it’s time to order a few more cases of popcorn…

  174. @JMG
    “As for clay tablets, sure, but that’s not the point — printing makes it possible to mass produce copies of a text”

    – yes I digressed there. I just wondered whether the space saving pictograms are also an advantage to mass printing, as it saves time and material.

    Though at another point I heard that pictograms actually hindered the perfection of mass printing in China historically, but I am not sure about it.

    It seems that mass printing also became available when resources were exploited fully in Europe. I would guess that basic materials like metals became cheaper during the renaissance because they were more widely exploited (there was still potential to be unearthed) and widely distributed.

    “such food nourishes the material body but not the etheric body”

    – I suspected something like this. Food certainly is such an important source for our vitality. Other non-food related practices to nourish the etheric body are cold water baths, exercising in nature, middle-pillar exercises or other energetic practices I think.

    And the etheric body itself, what is it good for? A better spiritual connection of our senses, a mightier tool for our will to materialize in and around us?

    Another short question if I may: so I said that complexity has risen while per capita wealth has not in the West since 1971. And I wonder, how come this is so counter-intuitive, that certain technological services like communication and far-distance travel have become so much cheaper over decades, also food, even though quality in many things has faltered of course, all the while growth has slowed?

    Is it due to a global pooling of resources? So that complex products like electronics become cheaper, but basic goods and services like land, housing, rasing kids does not become cheaper?

  175. JMG

    Have you heard of the FIRE strategy? Its full form is Financial Independence & Retiring Early. It’s a group of people who are mostly well educated and work PMC class jobs. But they don’t like their jobs and can’t imagine spending their whole lives working. So they have decided to accumulate a sizeable amount of money in a short period of time by spending less, getting out of debt, investing their savings steadily and retiring/semi retiring once their wealth is big enough. You can find them in r/Fire or r/financialindependence. There are plenty of offshoot subs focused on specific countries and the kind of lifestyle one is aiming for after the retirement (r/leanFIRE, r/fatFIRE etc).

    What I like about these people is that they are frugal and willing to make sacrifices. They have no illusions about working in the corporate world and chaining themselves to the debt-driven consumption hamster wheel. They look at the corporate ladder with contempt.

    The only wrinkle is their wealth accumulation strategy is that it is chiefly centered around investing in the stock market. It doesn’t look like any of them have a clue about what is going to happen to the US economy.

    It is interesting to see though, that even among the well-paid, there is a sizeable fraction that has no desire to participate in the high-paying sectors of the economy for any longer than absolutely necessary.

  176. Hi JMG. I’m wondering if you’ve read any books by Gary Lachman? He’s written popular biographies on Steiner and Blavatsky, but also more broadly on the influence of philosophical and occult movements on popular culture, as well as the theory of the imagination. That sort of stuff.

    If so, do you rate him as a fair an accurate authority on these matters?

  177. A rough attempt at an estimate of what the loss of dollar hegemony means – the US has a budget deficit of 1.4 trillion as well as imports 1.4 trillion higher than exports (2 trillion out, 3.4 trillion in). I don’t know how to reconcile these numbers either, as I assume there is a very high level of double counting in simply summing the federal deficit and the trade deficit. In a best case scenario, where every federal deficit dollar is one import/export deficit dollar, that implies that a 50% reduction in imported goods per capita would fix the trade balance and leave something left for debt service. I doubt it is that simple though.

    Here in Canada we have a roughly neutral trade balance, it was negative in the 2010’s, possibly because the fracking boom made our oil exports cheaper. Our federal deficit and debt levels are modest by American standards, but of course we also have a fourth-world level military, aside from a few elite units (no offense to any CAF personnel reading this, but you likely know this better than I). In theory, if we had complete control over our exports and a frictionless means of selling our exports to people who aren’t Americans it seems we’d be “OK”, but in reality I expect we will be compelled to sell our resources to the USA at prices that no longer reflect the actual value of the greenback.

    Perhaps Canada should join the BRICS.

  178. Via a comment on Moon of Alabama, here’s a link to data on food price inflation by country. Within Europe, the difference between Russia and virtually every other country is astonishing.

    https://tradingeconomics.com/country-list/food-inflation?continent=europe

    @Pat #171 – I hope you enjoy it! Maybe post a comment about what you thought?

    @team10tim #162 Thanks – I don’t have time just now to look at the article but will try to do so. As for your second point, yes and no. In general, I agree – but, as with the ex-friend I referred to, I don’t think that many people understand this, because they simply don’t take the global South into their considerations; at least, I never saw any indication of it. They’re just in the background, taken for granted, and certainly don’t seem to be credited with any agency in deciding what their own best interests are. It’s purely a Manichean “NATO & Ukraine good; Russia & China evil” binary faith. Very strange.

    …. although as I type this, I can see that perhaps they do understand that if Russia (and implicitly China) are victorious in Ukraine, then the west won’t be in charge any more, and that a new world system will have emerged. People like my ex-friend don’t know what that will look like (having never shown any knowledge of the BRICS/SCO/EAEU etc), they just know that it will no longer be a system working for our benefit. So, ok, yes.

  179. Dear JMG and commentators;

    First, some humor(?); the solution for Fox News is obvious: hire Dylan Mulvaney!

    Seriously, why do Western elites all seem to be insane (or possessed)? For example: Trump derangement syndrome; the Covid debacle; the autopilot NATO expansion; support Ukraine at all costs; etc.; Green energy. The only historical analogy any of them “see” is “Hitler!”.

    So many of their actions are so obviously counterproductive it hurts (lets offshore production capacity to China:China’s going to invade Taiwan; let’s run around screaming about it).

    My other question is why they are so inept and have no ability other than “being in the elite”? How many of our elites could even find the Baltic States, Ukraine, or Taiwan on a map?

    Cugel

  180. Steve T (#35),

    That’s an interesting take, thank you. I’m not an American myself, so my knowledge of the country is limited naturally. But from what I see, I do partly agree that a surge of Christian revivalism will manifest along the classical American image, I just hope that it won’t be an “extreme” one, we should’ve learned the lessons already. Also the aboriginal beliefs will definitely have a comeback and empathy within the collective, their symbolism is important and vital, I’m actually reminded of the “white buffalo” legend as I read your saying that cattle and bison will come back 250 from now. Ever thought that the map of the USA itself looked like a bison? Haha.

    In my opinion (and I hope so) that a serious interest in Thelema will be popular among spiritual seekers, it’s the most compatible path with the original Western ideals essentially as it emphasize liberty. Read Liber OZ and basically all the main A∴A∴ texts to understand if you’re not familiar with it already, it’s very misunderstood.

    I’m also fascinated by the original new age figures and their teachings. Saint Germain who’s considered the hierarch of the Aquarian Age according to the teachings of the Church Universal and Triumphant could have a comeback in the collective, they actually believe he was the mysterious figure who inspired the Constitution, it’s a very patriotic tradition which has its roots in the “I AM” Activity from the early 1930s.

  181. All–

    Prayer request to the community for my son-in-law who’s mother passed away very unexpectedly yesterday at fifty-two. Please pray for him and the families involved as they work through this difficult time, as well as for Tracy’s soul as she navigates that next realm.

    Thank you.

  182. Re: rocket problems

    Is it possible that the solar cycle/space weather, combined with earth’s weakening magnetic field, is causing problems for the rockets? Here is a link to a brief SuspiciousObservers video, talking about the impact of solar storm impact on electrical systems (increased fires and explosions). I’m not qualified to evaluate. Maybe?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_-bR52fZhsA

  183. re: dandelions

    I’ve always been puzzled by the hate they get. To me, they’re just part of the lawn, like the clover and the smartweed and all the riot of plants that grow out there. They are all equal in front of the mowing blade. Grass doesn’t mow itself. Neither does snow shovel itself either.

    About the only thing that makes me go on the warpath are the anthills. They start building too close to the house and I go on a spraying rampage, killing them all as I see them until the tank runs dry.

  184. >it won’t end via negotiations. It’ll end when one side crushes the other.

    My best guess, it’ll end much like Korea, with both sides settling to some de-facto border, negotiated via barbed wire and artillery, giving each other nasty looks.

    I could be wrong, but it looks like Russia learned from Afghanistan – only stay in places where you are actually welcome, visit everywhere else.

  185. RIP Jerry Springer. A true American hero.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWzJP-2I5vE

    Despite his scandal while mayor of Cincinnati (bouncing a check on a hooker) he did do some great work here, including his campaign to help save the Union Terminal, our Art Deco railroad station (now a museum -though you can still catch the Amtrak in the back). Here are two songs he put out on a 45 in the 1970s when he was working to make sure it didn’t get turned into a parking lot.

  186. Thanks for your take on my draw, JMG, I very much agree.
    I don’t listen to the legacy media take on the SMO (or anything, except what I hear when the alarm goes off).

    My sources are mostly, The Duran, Brian Berletic, Jacob Dreizen, Scott Ritter and Col MacGregor, plus an assortment of podcasters who often host these people.

    They are all pretty much in agreement that it’s a war of attrition, with Russia prepared to retreat if necessary. Taking territory is not the aim, depleting the enemy of manpower and resources is the main goal.

    They all comment that the mantra in the West is to cheer on each inch gained. And mock each one lost by the Russians as proof of imminent defeat.
    Apparently the thinking behind all the constant offensive talk is to make the Russians so scared and uncertain that they will all turn tail and run 🤦
    Yeh that’s your average Russian soldier for sure 🙄

    The whole thing saddens me greatly, what a terrible loss of life and precious resources.
    And all of that spent ammunition littering the landscape, what a mess.
    In the end? Things will probably, pretty much return to the Minsk accords lines, but with a devastated landscape and populace.

    I remember very clearly back when Viktor Yanukovych tried to stay independent and keep trade open to both East and West.
    The moment when the West said no is to me, what set everything else in motion.

    For the longest time I’ve been of the opinion that Putin is this century’s most important and influential leader.
    I also believe that he has a genuine and very deep love for both his country and its people.

    The above mentioned pundits also feel that a War against China is on the cards.
    As an Australian resident this is particularly alarming as I can see us being used as a proxy.
    I don’t think most people here have any real knowledge or conception of this and the potential for disastrously consequences.
    Blockade, anyone??

    I have no idea about the size of our military, not that big I suspect.
    One can only pray that if it does happen, it ends quickly and decisively whereby the US and proxies retreat with their tails between their legs without too much loss.

    They CANNOT win, whatever that would be anyway, in my opinion.

    Whatever happens, we will be on the receiving end of a great deal of retribution from China, for being so foolish to go to war with our biggest trading partner and basically our ‘Cargo God ‘.

    What is your opinion on this?

    A note about RFK Jr. The other morning when my alarm went off (to ABC news radio) the announcer was talking to a Washington correspondent, he said something along the lines of Joe Biden had a really slick announcement and and that there were no other credible candidates. So the nephew of a former President isn’t worth mentioning? 🤔

    He then went straight to asking the correspondent about the Republicans and of course her reply was, well, Donald Trump is now facing new accusations blah blah…
    We all know that latest one about a change room in Macy’s from sometime in prehistory.

    So that was the gist of the Election ’24 candidates from our illustrious National broadcaster.

    I used to be a big listener of the ABC. That pretty much ground to a halt, very early in on the covid mess. They completely folded to the narrative and have done the same on all the other ‘Rules Based Order’ guff.

    Pygmycory, you summation of the housing/rental crisis is pretty much the same here.
    You’ll hear that and at the same time you hear that migration is being increased to well over 120k a year.
    That’ll help, not.

    JMG, I am slowly getting through Babbitt.
    The vernacular in parts may as well be early English to me! 😄
    You kind of have to feel sorry for ol Georgie, in a way.
    The US would seem to have been all about ‘the hustle ‘ for the longest time.

    These days, with financialization, the big hustle always seems to be making money from money.
    The lesson from Russia and China would seem to be that real stuff matters. (And wins wars).

    I’ve always felt mostly disdain for the stock market and ‘trading’ and ‘seeking alpha ‘ etc. It just strikes me as all a bit of a con and a big wealth transfer from firstly the Earth and of course the actual workers and producers. Having said that I still listen to a bit of ‘Market Talk’, just to see where things stand.

    Anyway, enough rambling, I should probably go and try to finish the Babbitt book!
    Too late now to start sewing anything. (I’m endeavouring to increase my skills in this area)

    Regards,
    Helen in Oz

  187. @Curt,

    > However, back then I already saw the star of Western society sinking, for various reasons, while many Philipinos back then still thought of the US&EU as the lands where honey and milk are flowing freely.

    When I was a kid, my friends and relatives thought I’d be someone who’d “go places”, where “places” meant Europe or the USA. Due to [take your pick: historical accident, fate or destiny, divine providence, some or all of the above], I am now living and working within 3 km of a neighborhood where I spent a good amount of my early childhood. I actually had a couple of opportunities to move abroad for career purposes, but while some people would say I’m smart, I’m not a particularly ambitious go-getter type compared to some of my peers. I’m an accidental localist, if you will, and just as accidentally stumbled upon the blessings!

    I never really felt the need to move abroad, personally. That’s a sentiment I share with my parents, as a kid my family wasn’t rich or upper middle class or anything like that, but we were okay financially. Like, the bills were paid, we owned a car, we owned the house (the land was inherited), etc, but my cousins and friends all had the nicer toys from the USA or Japan.

    To be honest as far as I can tell few Filipinos actually move to a Western nation because of economic reasons. The working class, the ones who actually *need* to go abroad to make a better living, usually take a contract job in a wealthier Asian nation (usually the Middle East but also Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the likes). It’s the middle and upper-class PMC types who are the ones moving to the USA or some other western place like Europe, Canada, or the ANZ countries. They tend to be quite comfortable economically but, y’know, they want something “more and better [for the kids if they have any]”. I know people who’ve uprooted their families and left behind high-end corporate careers, thriving professional practices, lucrative local businesses, and so on to chase the American Dream.

    @JMG as well as @Curt for what follows,

    Until very recently, an *established* individual or family moving *back* to the Philippines other than to retire was entirely unheard of. I still know more people going out than in, but I believe the trickle will soon turn into… I dunno, maybe not a flood, but something substantially bigger in any case. And I’m not even sure how many out there are people, like myself, who had the opportunity but did not take it!

  188. Thank you your comments on my experience described in #121 here, JMG. I’m proud and chuffed to have had such a weird and rollicking paranormal experience and to have come through it unharmed. My thoughts now are, were these malevolent spirits human-based or not? Were there two of them, given that one seemed to hover over each of my eyes? If I’d had a camera filming them, would anything have been seen, or was it all just the result of a psychic insertion into my mind by these entities?

    Then there was the emergence of these things from a dream into reality. Bizarre. While googling afterwards, I did come across the film “A Nightmare on Elm Street” in which the over-camp horror Freddy Krueger emerges likewise from a dream into reality, but that schlocky film is just way over the top.

    I suppose it’s impossible to find answers to all these questions. Or maybe I should re-read JMG’s book “Monsters”. Long time since I read it. I did briefly entertain myself with the comic idea of phoning the police and asking them to organise a paranormal entity identity parade, so that we could find the entities who did this to me. I’m curious now as to whether that joke has been done in some film or TV series.

  189. I read a book about NDE’s years ago that basically boiled down to you ‘wake up’ to what you expect. So if you believe in fire & brimstone or pearly gates etc thats what you initially see. Might account for different cultural experiences.

    A couple of book recommendations for anyone interested…

    Butler to the World by Oliver Bullough.

    Explaining how the UK financial system became geared towards assisting in hiding money for Oligarchs etc. Easy read, no financial knowledge required.

    The Dawn of Everything – A New History of Humanity by David Graeber & David Wengrow.

    Debunking the myth of linear progression from hunter gatherers to nations and why we seem to be stuck with the model we currently have.

    The introduction states its a lack of imagination….Im sure ive heard that before somewhere 😉

  190. @info, Toddy Murphy’s book “Sacred Pathways: The Brain’s Role in Religious and Mystic Experiences” entertainingly describes various Thai near-death experiences. It’s a fascinating read for its other parts too.

    See also Todd’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@brainsci

  191. I’ve been doing healing hands on me and intensive journaling for some weeks now on the former and two years on the latter and something happened this morning which I think is very important for me to realize. Many, many times I spin myself into a mental whirlwind (otherwise known as anxiety) in which I don’t have clarity, can’t think straight and take bad decisions. But if I look back, glancing at my journal notes, I realize also, in the unusual calmness of this morning, that for the past 10 years I’ve been in a constant state of anxiety and tension of several degrees and I had one of those moments of “I’ve been a moron this whole time”! In that state of relaxation I realized just how much some parts of my body are suffering too. The good part is that in that state, as you had said to me before, my body started to balance itself if only I give it the chance, I think I am starting to realize what that means. I felt the energy blockages that I have dissolve a little bit.

  192. On the subject of food prices, you know its bad when the local supermarket security tags the butter!

    For those interested in how words change their meaning over time BBC Sounds has a short series called Woke: The Journey of a Word. From the first recorded usage (1938) to today.

  193. JMG,

    Last week I said “warning people in real life is dangerous because it causes resentment when misfortune visits the person you warn.”

    So my followup question is “how much does one need to hide or obscure the actions they take to get ready for hard times?”

    It’s tricky because some folks actually pay more attention to what they see you do instead of what you say to them.

  194. I learned an interesting data point yesterday. I was trying to figure out the scoop on another machine shop I was bidding against for a project. While looking, I learned that two of the biggest shops in our area, that almost exclusively do work for the semiconductor chip industry, were purchased along with a dozen others nationwide by a private equity outfit lead by Bain Capital. They were all scooped up in late 2020 just as the ” Chips Act” was reaching the boiling point. Looks like the financial Buzzards are trying to get their fingers in the trough, and Intel is too big for them to purchase so they are just buying up suppliers. This is not a good thing for the industrial strength ( what is left anyway) of America because as soon as their are a few down quarters in this industry these vultures will load these companies up with debt, strip the pensions and assets and let them collapse. Back in the old days ( 10 years ago) locally owned machine shops like these would ride out a downturn by tightening their belts and diversifying and continue on. But now a huge chunk of the backbone of America’s last real industrial powerhouse will probably disappear in the next chip downturn. My guess is the Chinese and Russians will enjoy watching us go medieval when we can no longer make our own chips and they prevent anyone else in the world from selling them to us.
    One hopefully sign. Yesterday I was in my local industrial park brew pub talking to a couple of 40 something union pipe fitters. They were talking about a you tube video ( made from a 1950’s filmstrip ) on slide rules. They had never heard of the slide rule before but after watching the video it seemed amazing and sensible to them. They both decided to try and find a vintage slide rule to buy and learn to use in their jobs ( figuring out pipe geometry). Another example of how the working man ( or woman) is way ahead of the elites these days.

  195. @Celadon I’d highly recommend reading some David Bentley Hart. He is a fierce proponent of Trinitarian Universalism, who is willing to say that the idea of an eternal hell is actually evil. He divides the crowd, but I love him dearly.

    I’d also recommend this blog (If I’m allowed to post a link) – https://afkimel.wordpress.com/

    and this one – https://perennialdigression.substack.com/

    I recommend DBH all the time because he’s just so darn learned, and steeped in the classical and patristic worlds. He also has delightful conversations on his youtube channel. Many delights abound.

  196. @Team10Tim #153 – 1000 years is just my guess at a rough timeline for how long the land forces “work” themselves into a collective people group. I know Carl Jung and Oswald Spengler both noticed those forces already at work, during their trips to America, and were startled at how different Europeans here already had begun to look. We don’t have many good examples to work from that I know of, other than the Barbarian Migration period.
    @BlueSun #160 – This reading list includes links to the relevant MacDonald essays, which are more meditative than strictly theological. But they are well worth reading, they just didn’t convince my nerdy theological intellect at the time of first reading (I was 16), but I was sold emotionally, immediately. https://afkimel.wordpress.com/essential-readings-on-universalism/ Gregory of Nyssa is in there, too. From what I know about theology, Universalism is not a face-plant slam-dunk, but rather the deep undercurrent : the implicit, intuitive implications of what is known in the revealed kerygma. But since I believe that God is “shy”, this is how I think His biggest slam dunks work – in the still, quiet voices that whisper in the heart. That’s where they start, anyway. The big irony is that traditional Trinitarian Universalism actually makes an even stronger theodicy than the liberal or Unitarian variety – that is, the perichoresis of the inner life of the Trinity (“the dance”) as well as the sovereignty and power of God (Who does actually have “ways and means” to manage the Cosmos) actually fortify the purely textual exegesis. It also has the advantage of not watering down doctrines of sin, & acknowledging the complexities (still thinking about those “comet rides” and “wandering stars”) of man’s meontic freedom. Plus the early Fathers seemed to have more than toyed with the idea. I’m interested in Unitarian exegesis, but not their theology, as I would be a worshipper of the Triad, if I didn’t know about the Trinity. Hope that link helps!

  197. “…economic growth is the only reason investments make money.” Here I have to respectfully disagree. Yes, you can purchase an asset with the idea that it’s going to be more valuable later; some call that investment and others speculation. You can also purchase a share of a business on the condition that you will share in its profits. If the business provides a legitimate good or service, particularly one that continues to be wanted or needed in a shrinking economy, you’ll continue to get your share of the (perhaps much smaller) profit. The way it was put to me a long time ago: it’s only an investment if it’s worth purchasing and never selling again.

  198. @team10tim

    “My favorite is India, viewing the afterlife as a giant bureaucracy that sent them back due to clerical error.”

    Not even the Spirit realm escapes Kafka’s nightmare. Yikes

  199. Smith, condolences and best of luck finding new housing.

    JMG and commentariat, especially those who live in Europe, what is your take or opinion about Finland all at once joining NATO? The seamlessness and non-messiness of how this happened suggests to me that, for once, Anglo American machinations were not involved. I gather this decision was popular among Finnish citizens? It would appear that Finland has decided that its’ future lies with Scandinavia, and that it does not wish to be an outlier of a Eurasian Coprosperity sphere. I don’t think Finland is connected with Belt and Road, nor, so far as I know, has it relinquished ownership of its’ port facilities.

    The DNC decision not to hold debates tells all we need to know about the state of the President’s health and his mental fitness. Craig Murray recently posted a mini essay on his blog about how there is literally no one, in his opinion, for whom a British citizen can vote, and we seem to have the same affliction on our side of the Atlantic. For whomever it was upthread who referred to the shallowness and incompetence of our VP, I’ll raise you one Liz Truss. Williamson’s well healed supporters will doubtless be holding lavish, publicity magnet events for her around the country. I expect a lot of folks, beginning with the candidate’s own family, are being told they had better not do the same for Kennedy. RFK has quite a lot of already baked in support from folks into alternative healing and the regenerative farming movement. It will be interesting to see how far that can take him. Possibly a lot further than the DNC realizes, if he has the sense not to accept “help” from the usual suspects, Penn et al. Has the DNC even considered that Biden could die of natural causes before the election?

  200. Mr. Greer, I have a question for you: what do you think about the predictions made in The Fourth Turning? I’ve been reading the book recently and enjoying it (and would be interested to hear from anyone else who has, as well), but I’m not sure about the timeline of events the authors outline — specifically, their prediction that our current Crisis era will be over by roughly 2026. It seems that the Unraveling part of the saeculum went on for longer than the authors anticipated — and, although we’re certainly in more of a Crisis era now, it hasn’t yet hit the flashpoint that defines the era, like World War II did for the previous saeculum.

    Do you expect the generational divides between Millenials, gen Z, and gen Alpha to remain as they’re generally considered today? To me, this seems like it’s going to depend a lot on when the Crisis we’re currently in hits a make-or-break point, with some going off to war and becoming can-do, hubristic Heroes, and others being too young to fight and turning into sheltered, timid Artists.

  201. @ JMG #145

    Re the shield chart

    I have a strong attraction to degrees as vehicles for learning. It is clear that I’m being steered away from that, but it is proving difficult to change. I realize, of course, that present academia is nothing like my memory thereof, but lure of the old image is powerful.

  202. I’d be curious to hear what others – particularly Canadians – think of this piece by the pseudonymous John Carter: https://barsoom.substack.com/p/remembering-who-we-are

    His proposal appears to be that, once shorn of its Trudeau-ist liberal elites, Canada could become the centre for a regenesis of Western civilization. I’m not sure I’m in agreement with all of the views he expresses, but I found it an intriguing piece nonetheless.

  203. Cugel @ 188, Why are American elites so inept? I can remember watching Congressional hearings immediately before the invasion of Iraq and wondering how it was that obviously smart people could be so dumb. Those hearings may have been the last time the neo-con contingent displayed their arrogance and ineptitude in public. They know better, now, and have hapless hirelings to take the flak. What occurred to me was, almost to a person, these folks seemed to have no real world experience. Not only had they never served in the military, none had ever taught school, waited tables, pulled greenchain, drove a taxi, combine, or truck, never punched a timeclock even as students. Some may have “met a payroll” in that their personal staffs were paid, though it is an open question, paid by whom? Their adult lives had consisted of the revolving door between (unelected) government positions, academia and various think tanks. I would really love to see the likes of La Nuland having to run for election.

  204. @David By the Lake #211
    I also enjoyed my time at universities as well as believing in a fairly clear path. I mourn that this is lost to the latest generation (plus those of us who would enjoy returning) and look forward to what new learning institutions come up in their place.

  205. @Sy , thanks for the comment on the calculation of inflation. I have been looking for info on this for a long time.

  206. >it’s just possible that the firing of Carlson is going to bring the corporate media crashing down

    Radio and MTV are still with us but most people have abandoned them for greener pastures. Same thing will happen with cable news.

    If anything, they should’ve kept him in that Fox News box he was in. They’ve set him free.

  207. Here is an interview with James Tunney, an Irishman barrister/mystic. He’s quite up on historical magical gossip. Says back in the day Yates kicked Crowley down the stairs over a dispute about possession of some occult documents. Apparently there was a lawsuit.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXPUQVs0W9U

    I’m really not much into gossip but James seems to have some exceptional knowledge of the past.

  208. The Witch of Criswell – of there are spoilers in this post, you need not post it.
    First, I loved the book and want more. Second, it seems to me that Ariel’s mother isn’t just ambitious for her children, she’s in the grip of an obsession, which is much worse, and can lead to insanity if not checked. There’s a serious sign of that insanity already. Finally, a prediction about Britney.

    I was raised in an environment where conformity to a norm, albeit a different norm though equally artificial and rigorous, was expected, especially for girls. it was a bland but very demanding norm, with its own share of double-binds. In those days there was also a lot of crying doom over “juvenile deliquency” – behavior that the Roaring 20s would have laughed off.
    And what did these meek little conformists (PRE-Boomers, you realize) do in midlife?While their juniors were starting to kick up their heels very young? Invent the midlife crisis; head off to California to Find Themselves; get divorced… that trend was also all over the media as well. In short, we had our adolescence in our thirties and forties. Unless, like me, we married late and were tied down with small children, but early marriage had been one of those norms mentioned above.
    I predict that Britney and her fellow heavily pushed contemporaries are going to revolt against the corporate norm in twenty years. Or even less. By which time, of course, the economy and technology will have taken the massive downward swoop already in process as we speak.
    Your thoughts?

  209. @ Mary Bennett, comment # 209

    I haven’t looked much into alternative candidates for the 2024 US presidential nomination, but RFK Jr sounds pretty appealing from what little I have read about him.

    I understand that he was one of the few well-known figures in the Democratic Party to speak out against forcing people submit to a certain experimental and inadequately tested mRNA gene therapy treatment, just because a bunch of boomers had worked themselves into a blind panic over a certain, overhyped strain of the common cold that came out of Wuhan a few years ago.

  210. Platypus, yep. Toynbee argued that you can instantly identify a failed ruling class by one feature: they keep trying to pursue the same policies no matter how badly those policies perform. As for Carlson, yes, I read about that — and Fox lost half its audience overnight. More popcorn! 😉

    Curt, (1) pictograms are easier to print via woodblock than with movable type — it’s more cost-effective to just have someone carve a new woodblock than it is to keep all those thousands of characters in bins, waiting to be used. Woodblock printing certainly did a fine job of preserving Chinese texts, however. On the other hand, alphabetic languages like yours and mine are perfect for movable type, which is why I hope letterpress printing can endure. (2) The etheric body is what keeps you alive and in good health. If it breaks down, you die. If you’ve wondered why so many people these days look half alive, etheric starvation is part of it. (3) Technologies have their own maturation curves, distinct from the rise and fall of the societies that create them; so long as the resources exist to keep them in use, a technology can continue improving while the society goes to bits. Steel is a good example: in Europe, the swords of Dark Age societies were made of higher quality metal than Roman swords, because the technology of steelmaking (and swordmaking) continued to improve while Rome fell. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if shortwave radios became much better at weak-signal reception and ultralight aircraft became more sophisticated even as our industrial civilization goes to bits.

    Collapsenik, yes, I read several books about that back in the day. No question, even for people in the managerial class, life sucks in today’s industrial society. The people who go in for this strategy are going to be in for a world of hurt, though, because they’re going into a major economic crisis with all their assets tied up in things that will lose money, and no job skills other than the capacity to fill roles in the corporate economy — which is shedding jobs like nobody’s business.

    Petros, yes, I’ve read several of his books. I found them a very mixed bag, but it’s good to see any attention at all being paid to these things.

    Scotlyn, thanks for this!

    Justin, it won’t be that simple, but as a very rough first guess it’s not bad. As for Canada, well, it’s already well on its way to its new status as a Chinese colony, so why not?

    Cugel, that’s always what happens to a hereditary aristocracy. The people in power these days don’t have any qualifications for office other than being born to the right families, or cringing and groveling convincingly enough at the feet of those who were born to the right families; they have been carefully shielded from suffering any of the consequences of their actions from the cradle on up; so their automatic reaction when events don’t go the way they want is to throw a shrieking tantrum and then do the same thing over again, on the assumption that if they just scream and kick enough they’ll get what they want. That’s how ruling classes render themselves extinct.

    David BTL, please pass on my condolences! That’s hard to go through. I assume you’ve got his consent to prayer?

    Other Owen, well, we’ll see.

    Justin, thanks for this.

    Helen, by all means finish Babbitt! It’s worth reading. As for the rest, you might want to look up the Australian Defence Force — here’s a place to start — and compare it to the People’s Liberation Army. For starters, the ADF has about 90,000 total personnel; the PLA has around 2,032,000. Compare the size of the respective navies, air forces, tank forces, and (ahem) nuclear arsenals, and the figures aren’t that different…

    John, thanks for this.

    Carlos, if you see people coming back to the Philippines in larger numbers, please let me know. That’ll be a very important data point.

    Batstrel, my guess is that a camera wouldn’t have registered anything, because they were probably astral entities — that’s why they passed so easily from the dream state to waking. (We all experience the astral plane in sleep; that’s what dreaming is.) But by all means reread my book! 😉

    Augusto, good. Most of my spiritual breakthroughs have come by way of the sudden realization that I’ve been a complete idiot…

    GlassHammer, it really varies depending on where you are and what kind of people you interact with. Some degree of elusiveness is a good thing, though.

    Clay, thanks for the data point. Ouch — but I’m delighted to hear about the new slide rule fans! That’s the wave of the future — and of course I’ve got slipsticks and instruction manuals, if it comes to that.

    Roldy, no, like most people you’re missing the implications of economic decline. In a declining economy the average business loses money. That’s why so disproportionately large a share of businesses shut down in a depression, and why prolonged eras of decline see economic activity drop to subsistence levels, resulting in the standard dark age economy; anything else is uneconomic. (This is also why so much human effort in dark ages goes into religion and other non-economic activities.) So your investment in a business might give it more capital to run through before it goes under; if you insist on getting a return on your investment, you’ll just drive it under sooner. Yes, I know that flies in the face of everything you ever learned about economics. Everything you ever learned about economics was shaped by centuries of economic growth, and no longer applies once growth gives way to long-term contraction.

    Mary, I don’t happen to know enough about the Finnish situation to offer an opinion. As for the Democratic Party, it’s definitely a good time to go long on popcorn. 😉

    Ethan, to my mind the whole Fourth Turning hypothesis is an example of premature quantification — they’ve come up with a numerical model and tried to shove the inevitably messy realities of history into it. But we’ll see.

    David BTL, that could well be the issue.

    Luke, I hope someone does it. Europe’s facing a world of hurt, and the likelihood that European culture will survive in its homelands is to my mind fairly small at this point.

    Other Owen, that’s certainly possible.

    JustMe, he’s quite correct. There was a lively scuffle between them when Crowley tried to act as Mathers’s agent and take control of the GD offices from the post-Mathers leadership.

    Patricia M, delighted to hear this! As it happens, Britney is very much Ariel’s sister; she’s chosen a different way to get the life she wants, but she’s not just doing as she’s told. We’ll be seeing more of her in future volumes. The second book in the series, The Book of Haatan, is already at the publisher and has gone through page proofs; the third, The Carnelian Moon, is in process right now, and I have a number of others already plotted.

  211. @ Aziz– Thank you for that. One of my odd intellectual obsessions is the view that different peoples have of one another, and how familiar things appear unfamiliar in the eyes of others. Hearing outside takes on America is particularly interesting, as I’ve never lived anywhere else in my life.

    My familiarity with Crowleyan Thelema is limited, as I’m afraid it and similar ideologies don’t really appeal to me. To my mind, its emphasis on individualism– like similar ideologies such as Objectivism or LaVeyan Satanism or Individualist Anarchism– push our national character to its extreme, the point at which it becomes a vice rather than a virtue. On the other hand, the part of the country in which I was raised is very much part of what JMG would describe as the Faustian pseudomorphosis– European ethnic identity, strong extended families, and the Roman Catholic Church remain strong. So it may be that I’m simply not properly American enough to get it.

    …On the other, other hand, the central part of my life’s story includes a decade spent ling in Oregon and California “finding myself” on various mountaintops and spiritual retreats, which is about the most American thing one can do with one’s 20s. So maybe it’s a matter of taste. What is it about Thelema that you think works so well for the Western mind?

  212. @ Justin– Honestly, the music at the event I described was excellent. Protestant Christianity has about as much appeal to me as a trip to the dentist, but credit where due– they were able to raise an enormous amount of energy thereby, which I suppose they would normally direct toward prayer intentions or whathaveyou.

    For whatever it’s worth, my background is probably somewhat similar to yours, and I can usually found listening to old time bluegrass and the like these days, in lieu of the Clash.

  213. @ Fritter– I think I managed to forget a few obvious archetypes– the minuteman, the revolutionary, the Founding Father; Paul Revere, George Washington, Martin Luther King. I can’t imagine that that part of our national character will fade into oblivion, even if the federal government disintegrates, as it may.

    As for Celtic tanistry– I think it’s interesting to note that the people who managed to conquer the Plains tribes were themselves at least partly Celtic. The case has been made that you can draw a through line from the Táin Bó Cúailnge to the archetypal Western cattle-rustler. When two peoples come into conflict, they often come to resemble each other. But I wonder if there isn’t often some underlying thing that they share that draws them into contact/conflict in the first place.

  214. One thing I have wondered about and not seen commented on anywhere is what Israel is doing in the rapidly changing middle east. With the Iran/Saudi rapprochement, the end of the Yemen war,the use of the yuan, Syria’s readmittance to the Arab League and the general turn away from the US towards Russia and China, they must be making some quiet moves towards covering themselves in the new reality, perhaps through Turkey. I see they and Turkey have jointly made a Russia/Ukraine peace proposal. They are not stupid people, and must see that the US is a waning power in the region. It is hard to believe that they are not working on a plan B.
    Stephen

  215. Arnold Toynbee was right on target. Tucker Carlson’s observation that “This moment is too inherently ridiculous to continue, and so it won’t. The people in charge notice; that’s why they’re hysterical and aggressive. They’re afraid. They’ve given up persuasion — they’re resorting to force. But it won’t work.” sounds like something straight out of Toynbee’s writings.

    It’s pretty clear that the elites in America and it’s satellite states went from being a Creative Minority to a Dominant Minority quite some time ago, and are desperately trying to cling to power as the ground shifts under their feet. No wonder they are terrified. You can see it in everything from the DNC announcement that there will be no Democratic Party presidential debates in 2024, to the IRS putting out help-wanted ads for thousands of armed agents, to the US/NATO proxy war against Russia. You can smell the desperation and fear from thousands of miles away. In the meantime, the size of both the Internal Proletariat and the External Proletariat grows day by day (as is evidenced by those narcocorridos that someone else was referencing), while rival great powers such as China, Russia and Iran scent blood in the water like sharks circling a sinking ship.

  216. I wonder if there’s a shortage of popcorn in China at the moment. The United States isn’t evacuating its citizens from Sudan, something even Germany (as in the country that not so many years ago had its soldiers training with painted broomsticks) is managing. Yet, somehow we’re supposedly going to help Taiwan fend off a blockade / invasion?

    Much as I wish it weren’t the case, Taiwan’s odds don’t look so great these days. Other than the possibility that any move might spur Japan to develop nuclear weapons, is there really anything holding China back anymore?

  217. Hi JMG,

    I was just journaling about Plato’s Argument from Recollection and blending in some ideas of Schopenhauer and came up with the following question: How could knowledge ever become distinct from biochemistry (as Schopenhauer says is possible but he uses the term will, plus all the countless mystics and mages who prove this) if meaning was not a thing in and of itself? Everything would be determined and therefore nothing would make the jump to will/self-overcoming because it would be against determination to do so. I am trying to come up with a materialist explanation for this and I can’t at the moment. It was kind of making my head spin trying to, which felt kind of significant. Thoughts?

  218. Hey JMG

    I certainly will experiment with my idea, however I will start small, with 3 or 4 essays on the same theme rather than books. I think that the idea of performing the Lullian art with the entire western canon is one of those projects that are too big for most to accomplish, but the few people that do accomplish would never be questioned in their knowledge and devotion to western culture and the liberal arts.

    Something of interest to you that I have been mulling over is the strong influence of science fiction on the cult of progress. To make it brief, science fiction has so saturated popular consciousness that it’s various themes are pretty much accepted as fact and prophecy in a subconscious way even though many of such themes have already proven themselves false.
    For instance for instance, someone assumes that of course nanotechnology will be developed that will grant us God-like powers isn’t arguing from facts, since nothing in experimental reality has shown it to be true, he is essentially arguing from faith since it is only in science fiction that such things happen, not in reality.
    Now of course you know this since you’ve written about it, but the idea I’ve been mulling over is whether some other fictional genre could have been picked up with the same monomaniacal obsession, such as the works of Jane Austen or the Cthulhu Mythos? Could you imagine what a world where those works had the same overwhelming influence on popular consciousness (and perhaps the cult of progress also) would look like? Undoubtedly it would be more inspired to have better architecture, regency-era manor or non-Euclidean style skyscrapers instead of the current glass coated borg-rectangles.

  219. JMG qrote:

    “Batstrel, my guess is that a camera wouldn’t have registered anything, because they were probably astral entities — that’s why they passed so easily from the dream state to waking.”

    Fascinating insight! That would explain my brief “imp” sighting of 2010 after waking from my night terrors. Here In England there is already controversy over the number of boat refugees sneaking in. Just wait till the Daily Mail finds out that inhabitants of the astral plane are violating our territory without possessing a relevant visa or passport. There’ll be hell to pay! I think the Prime Minister should warn the representatives of the astral plane that the UK has nuclear missiles and will not flinch from using them if provoked. 😉

    @ABRAHAM – I just noticed your comment, because you had misspelled my handle. Thank you for your thoughts. However, I don’t see anything negative or threatening in my life as it stands. I seem to be well along the path of individuation in my early old age, and I’m getting intimations that, despite being well and healthy, I’m not long for this world. I’m at ease with that, because I’m getting rather weary and impatient of life’s repeated physical routines and chores, and I have the feeling that I’ve been around just a bit too long for any good I have done. 🙂

  220. Fellow Ecosophians, I have just had my mind exploded by a posting from Dr. Justin Sledge on his channel “ESOTERICA” where he connects the visionary experiences and activities of the New Testament author Paul with the “Merkabah” or “Chariot” mysticism in Judaism that was current in this day. I am in no position to challenge his scholarship or ratify it, but what he has said makes extraordinary sense to me. There has been a trend recently to re-evaluate Christian beginnings in light of the Judaisms it emerged from, and this was not done for almost two millennia previously, as each side (Jews and Christians) got a serious case of the “icks” at even considering the connections. Maybe lots of you already know this stuff, but I was gob-smacked. The website address is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cC6xCyFJ1Ro

    Go, and enjoy. I’m sorry, JMG, but I don’t think this one is in text form, nor will it be soon. The bottom of the screen, however, does give some of his his recommended readings, which I am appending here:
    Synopse zur Hekhalot-Literatur – Schafer – 978-3161445125
    James Davila – Hekhalot Literature in Translation: Major Texts of Merkavah Mysticism – 978-9004252158
    James Davila – Descenders to the Chariot: The People Behind the Hekhalot Literature – 978-9004115415
    Vita Daphna Arbel – Beholders of Divine Secrets: Mysticism and Myth in the Hekhalot and Merkavah Literature – 978-0791457245
    Michael D. Swartz – Scholastic Magic: Ritual and Revelation in Early Jewish Mysticism – 978-0691010984 (Great text mostly dealing with Sar Torah Mysticism)
    Tabor – Paul’s Ascent to Paradise – 979-8676875725
    ” – Things Unutterable – 978-0819156440
    Morray-Jones – The Jewish Mystical Background of Paul’s Apostolate Part 1 & 2
    Segal – Two Powers in Heaven – 978-1602585492
    ” – Paul the Convert – 978-0300052275

  221. In recent week I’ve been doing the i-ching with coin throws and getting some astonishing answers. I have the feeling, though, that it seems to reflect my current feelings or opinions, rather than anything else. What does JMG think about the i-ching?

  222. @Steve T: re “The case has been made that you can draw a through line from the Táin Bó Cúailnge to the archetypal Western cattle-rustler.”

    Oh, yes. The Irish epic would make a marvelous Western!

    @JMG #222 re: Ariel Moravec books – Grrrrreat!!!!!! Looking forward to them! And love the note about her sister am *really* looking forward to that! P.S. trying to locate Adocentyn in the story (I know where and what it is in California, and hope it stays open) — I’d need a map of Rhode Island for that. (The state was pretty obvious.)

    BTW, re: my original comment therein: rebellion in youth may or may not end in a sellout, but on my observations, when the middle-aged revolt against the values of their youth, it’s generally pretty permanent.

  223. To Mary Bennett,

    thank you Mary for your kind thoughts. To be sure this move for us will be a problem because we’re older, we’re pensioners and the rent that we’ll have to absorb in the new place will be more than what we’re paying now. But, that said, while this abject foolishness will hurt us, it will shellack the dimwits that inflicted it along with their financial backers.

    If there’s one thing that’s as dependable as the rising sun, it’s that bankers and real estate developers never learn.

  224. Many people don’t understand the effect that negative ( or even zero growth) have on the #1 cornerstone of the financial economy, the ability to loan money and collect interest. Lets assume the zero growth model to keep things simple. If a bank ( or “investor”) was to loan out x dollars to 10 different people or business’s there would b 10x dollars in the economy. If they expect to collect 10 percent interest per year but there is no growth, at the end of the year there would still be 10x dollars in the economy and after the bank took its 10% there would only be 9x dollars left. To pay back the money with interest to banks or investors the economy has to grow at a rate that is at least equal to or greater than the interest that is expected to be collected. Now if you invest in one of those business’s with loans from the bank good luck collecting since they have to strip their assets just to pay interest to the bank let alone the stockholders. There might be a short term situation where one business can prosper and pay out some dividends by cannibalizing the income from other business’s, but that is a short term game. Such business’s quickly figure out they can also cannibalize their investors too.
    People have an incredibly hard time letting go of the idea that they can accumulate some money and then let it work for them. For most people this “once reality” and soon to be fantasy was the only way to escape the drudgery of corporate work. This idea of the “investor” as an important and integral part of the economy is also a coping ( or self esteem) mechanism for most of the leisure class. If you don’t do anything all day but spend some stream of income from the ” financial system” than you are just a Hobo with a bigger check. But if you are an “investor” you are made to feel you are an important part of the economy and are earning every cent, even though in todays world that money is printed on the same press as the welfare checks.

  225. Hi John Michael,

    🙂 It’s pretty funny, except that it’s not funny. That lot really do look clueless to me. Utterly bonkers. Anyway…

    Speaking of which. Into a country faced with a housing shortage crisis, inflationary crisis, and an energy crisis, the numpties in charge have decided the best answer is to: Australian migrant population growth hits all-time high as borders reopen. What could possibly go wrong?

    I recall the last serious drought. It was pretty bad, and the big smokes reservoirs got down into the low teens (close to the point where you can’t drink the stuff, no matter what is done to it), and yet here we are going that didn’t matter, it’ll never happen again.

    You’re right too, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is a sign of mental decay.

    Cheers

    Chris

  226. An English hypnotist told the following tale about one of his performances. He chose two people from the audience – they turned out to be a daughter and her father. The daughter was duly hypnotised into a trance.

    The hypnotist then passed books around an audience, getting people to choose sentences randomly. A very short text was created from this and written down in very large letters on a large piece of paper. The father was told to stand up, while a female member of the audience held the piece of paper behind his back.

    The daughter was told that upon awakening she would not be able to see her father. She was woken and then asked to read out the words on the sheet of paper that the chosen woman was holding up, even though the girl’s father was standing between her and that woman. It should not have been possible for the daughter to read the words, but she allegedly proceeded to read the words correctly. The hypnotist showed the sheet of paper to the audience to confirm that she had read them correctly. The audience duly applauded.

    Is this credible, do you think, JMG? I read the account in a book by English author Anthony Peake, whose books I mostly find intriguing.

  227. Somehow that makes me feel a little less of one 🙂 Funny how the mind becomes rigid on habits of thought, memory and imagination making one blind to it.

    By the way, I wanted to ask you. One thing that I realize is that healthcare in the industrial world, having lived in it for 6 years, is rather weird. People panic when anything happens, on the one hand, and do not do anything to listen to their bodies or common sense to try to improve it which many times ends up in having people taking pills they don’t need on the other. For example, I know people that feel depressed and have no idea how to get out of it, it is not severe, clinical depression, just a complete lack of activity or that pop anesthetics for every kind of ache. (Why reducing your ability to feel pain sounds like a good idea I do not know, I personally would like to know why some part of my body hurts! And tend to it instead of bullying it into silence)

    Given your knowledge of books I wonder if you had a few titles in mind for western healing methods or on health more generally. I know and have read –studied by know, actually– the ones on biochemiestry by Boericke and Chapman but was looking into expanding my knowledge.

    The other thing that comes to mind is that, if the internet goes down for good or the electric grid, having lost the tradition on apprenticeship for healing modalities modern medical knowledge and practice would disappear in what. 50 years? Suddenly I am paying tremendous amounts of respect for traditional healing practices like the chinese or ayyurvedic… I am starting to think we need a western one.

  228. JMG and others, I’ve done a bit of reading in my spare time, of which I have quite a lot. If my understanding of the late Roman era is square, it’s that major Roman landowners, who were represented in the Roman Senate and who were also members of that august body, would support whatever warlord that would promise to protect landowner interests.

    I guess that while ceding a third of their land to provide for those hard men from the east and the north may have seemed a reasonable price to pay at the time, it appears that the arrangement didn’t last. At some point the Senate was abolished, the Senate building turned into a church, the pope and the guys around him assuming powers formerly enjoyed by the senators with the senators and the landowning class they represented losing everything to the new overlords and their barbarian kin.

    Which brings us to the present day and the situation faced by modern day counterparts to the ancient Roman landowners. There’s a massive influx of people from the south, with a reasonable contingent of those migrants wielding weapons and not too squeamish about using them. If Roman aristocrats underestimated the abilities and ambitions of the peoples from outside the empire’s borders, so do the modern day ruling elite underestimate the abilities and ambitions of those from southern latitudes.

    The folks giving orders in American corridors of power apparently didn’t learn a thing from people in China. Imagine those guys that speak those incomprehensible languages, that use an indecipherable script, thinking that they can defy the wishes and orders from on high in Manhattan and Washington. Imagine those guys, that amusingly all look alike, having the temerity to imagine that they might have a few orders themselves that they’d like carried out by American deep-state officials and corporate honchos, please and thank you, not tomorrow, right now. I mean who da thunk it?

    And so here we go again, the same mistake, but this time with Hispanic migrants. The record of achievement ie those cities in Central and South America, their script and mathematics and astronomy, not to mention the vast empire carved out by their Spanish forebears, ought to be a warning. Isn’t it reasonable to suppose, given their evident energies, that they will contend for power and partially or completely displace the existing American elite?

  229. @ Helen in Oz: I am also an Australian concerned about our warmongering towards China. At least we are self-sufficient in food and energy; when China stops selling us fancy toys, we won’t starve but we might have to salvage. You might take comfort if you don’t live near Perth (where the submarines are) or Alice Springs (where Pine Gap, the US spy base, is). Amazingly, our country is big enough that nuking either of those locations would not harm most of the population. Unfortunately Australia’s people have always loved their Big Brother (UK, now US) and been easily turned against the hated ‘Other’, whose identity changes every 20 years.

  230. In defence of the FIRE folks: part of the strategy to drive down expenses is to do as much as you can for yourself and avoid mindless consumerism. This often includes bicycle use and repair, home repairs, cooking, crafting, non-electric entertainment and learning new things. Deliberately accepting hardship is also part of the philosophy.

    They (okay, we) will certainly lose their stock portfolios, but they’ll keep their low cost living arrangements, their skill sets and a healthy sense that their job is not their identity.

  231. Platypus, exactly. We’ve got a textbook example of a dominant minority in power: they have no idea what to do, but they’re unwilling to hand over power to others or even consider new ideas. It’s going to be a mess.

    Florida, curiously enough, I’ll be discussing that odd failure on the part of the US at the start of next week’s post. It’s worth noticing.

    Luke Z, good. In fact, that’s one of the places where materialist explanations fall flat on their nose.

    J.L.Mc12, ha! The idea of a world dominated by the archetypes of Regency romance is intriguing, though it would be even more class-ridden than the world we live in today. As for a Cthulhu mythos-dominated world, I’m for it, provided that it’s my version of the Cthulhu mythos… 😉

    Your Kittenship, it’s a great site. I hope the guy who runs it is okay; he hasn’t posted since 2019.

    Batstrel, funny. All things considered, though, I think it’s more likely that Britain’s robust ghost and faery population can take care of itself!

    Clarke, interesting. I’ve seen some speculations along these lines but it’s good to see that being addressed by a serious scholar.

    Batstrel, I’ve used the I Ching and gotten very good results with it.

    Patricia M, no, Adocentyn isn’t in Rhode Island — it’s in a state that doesn’t happen to exist, somewhere between southern New England and the mid-Atlantic states. The state capital is Ariel’s home town of Summerfield, which we’ll be seeing more of in due time; Adocentyn is more or less due east of that. As for your comment about middle-aged rebellion — that’s my experience, certainly, and I expect it to play a massive role in US politics starting about a decade from now.

    Clay, exactly. The logic of economic growth is hardwired into our entire culture, and the hard fact that real economic growth is over and money-supply growth has been used to cover up contraction for quite a few years now is literally unthinkable to most people. I do what I can to communicate it to those who will listen.

    Chris, they’re frantically trying to prop up the illusion of growth. The results will not be good.

    Batstrel, good question. Might be legitimate, might be a stage gimmick.

    Augusto, biochemic cell salts are the one system I’ve really studied in depth. Anyone else?

    Smith, it always happens. It always happens. The mistake of bringing in foreign workers and soldiers to prop up a failing domestic economy is as old as civilization itself, and it inevitably ends the same way. This is one of the reasons I don’t believe in progress — because nobody ever learns the obvious lessons.

    Kfish, I hope you’re right. Most of the people I’ve met personally who are doing this dabble in sustainability but remain hopelessly dependent on their investments.

  232. With regard to Smith’s comment, Canada is now letting permanent residents join the army, with a path to citizenship as part of the deal. Never mind that the biggest problem with recruiting for the military is that the military sold most of its on-base housing in the ’90s to private interests, and there are few Canadian army bases left where anyone but the upper brass get paid enough to afford private sector housing within a reasonable distance of the base.

    We humans are so fracking dumb – it defies the human intellect, at least mine, to comprehend just how stupid we are.

  233. RE: Boomers being aggressive into old age…

    Just yesterday my friend postulated the theory that it’s because they were all huffing clouds of exhaust from vehicles with no pollution controls burning leaded gasoline.

  234. @August, @241 re: Western Healing Texts

    I haven’t given it much of a look yet, and I think you might have said you’ve read it, but the Humoral Herbal by Stephen Taylor tries to blend knowledge of herbalism with the Galenic Four Humors model, by treating it as an energetic model more like TCM or Ayurveda than as a naive understanding of biology (which it likely never was historically). For a more materialist-compatible book that as far as I can tell doesn’t try to incorporate anything traditional explicitly, but still draws on a lot of unorthodox things and leans heavily on wellness and prevention, you might check out Boundless by Ben Greenfield. It attributes to “magnetism” a lot of stuff that I think is better understood etherically, but still gives good recommendations – like get some sunlight and let your feet touch the bare ground every day.

  235. Historically, one of the aspects of a collapse of a civilisation collapsing is that the homogeneous monoculture breaks up into multiple small cultures, taking something from the monoculture, but a lot more from their own history. For example, Rome collapsed, but Britain kept the Christian faith and Latin alphabet given it, even though within a century or two they were using the Latin alphabet to write non-Latin languages.

    To me, then, one of the early signs of our civilisation’s collapse is things like people trying to revive the Cornish language.

    https://www.bbc.com/travel/article/20230423-why-cornwall-is-resurrecting-its-indigenous-language

    Note that they revive the language, but use the Latin alphabet (rather than using Brythonic Ogham), and aren’t aspiring to bring back Brythonic gods and the like. They bring back some of the old, but mix it with some of the new, to create a new culture.

    I think it’s not a coincidence that it’s happening in a place which has not seen the (supposed) benefits of the homogeneous monoculture (in this case, the Anglosphere), with high unemployment and poverty. Britain was less interested in preserving the Roman empire than Italy was, and Cornwall is less interested in preserving the Anglosphere empire than London or New York are.

    It’d be an interesting project to track how many of these sorts of efforts pop up, as it could be a useful metric of how the empire is crumbling.

  236. JMG writes, “you’ve just run into the difference between the material plane and the etheric plane. Aloe gel from a live aloe plant still has the life force in it, and that combines with the material gel to bring prompt healing. Once you extract the gel and bottle it, the life force dissipates.”

    I had a chemistry teacher in high school who told us about the 19th century theory of “essentialism” or something similar, that the vitamin C (for example) in a pill was not as good for you as the vitamin C in an orange. “And I think there’s some truth in that,” he said, shrugging casually and turning back to the blackboard.

    As an example we actually know about, calcium is better-absorbed by the body in the presence of vitamin D than on its own.

    https://www.bones.nih.gov/health-info/bone/bone-health/nutrition/calcium-and-vitamin-d-important-every-age

    Now, if you think about getting calcium from food, it comes from things like milk, eggs and fish. And these all happen to have significant amounts of vitamin D, too. If you get an older person with weak bones, if you keep them locked up inside without sunlight, and no eggs, fish or dairy, no amount of calcium pills will stop their bones getting weaker. It’s almost as if the body evolved… to go outside in the fresh air, and to eat food. Who would have thought it?

    Now, these are the interactions in the body we know about. But there are many others we don’t know about. Readers of JMG will probably not be surprised, but much of the public is surprised when they learn that many commonly-prescribed medicines, we don’t actually know their mechanism of action.

    For example, a couple of years ago I had a couple of seizures and was prescribed sodium valproate. This is the bound version of valproic acid. This is an analogue of valeric acid. Valeric acid is a derivative of… you guessed it, the herb valerian.

    Today the scientific literature gives evidence for valproate helping with particular kinds of epilepsy, mania, and migraines. Galen prescribed it for insomnia (commonly associated with mania mood swings). John Gerard in 1597 prescribed it for “convulsions”. In the 17th century the astrologer Nicholas Culpeper wrote, “The green herb being bruised and applied to the head taketh away pain and pricking thereof.”

    In neither the case of valerian nor valproate is the actual mechanism of action of the substance known. Would some part of the valerian plant be more effective than valproate is? Quite possibly. But both can cause liver damage, so I am not inclined to try – with the valproate we can titrate the dose as needed, this is trickier with a herb. This is where a professional herbalist comes in, and we have few of those. Nonetheless it demonstrates the point: not only are some substances required to make others work, like calcium and vitamin D, but there are some cases where we don’t actually know how the thing works at all.

    We can attribute this to the “life force”, or to as-yet-undiscovered scientific facts. But assuming that there are as-yet-undiscovered facts is as much a statement of faith as believing in a “life force.” You cannot prove what has not happened and may never happen any more than you can prove these things you cannot measure or touch. Clarke wrote that a sufficiently advanced technology is undistinguishable from magic; we might rewrite that and say that as-yet-undiscovered science is magic.

    I wouldn’t mess with valerian, but I’d go ahead and use the aloe plant. You can consider it “life force”, or assume that there is some substance in there required to make the aloe work well, and this substance decays once cut from the plant. It comes to the same thing in practical terms – use the plant fresh.

  237. Why are intellectuals so gullible? Do you have any idea? They seem to fall prey to the same failed ideas, over and over again.
    You’ll love this one.
    A friend and I were talking about the economy, how things are falling apart as such things are wont to do in an age of decline, and why people suddenly seem to have no will to do anything, and so on. As the discussion wandered over the landscape, I observed that it is now become difficult to compel people through economic pressure to do jobs that no one wants to do which is one reason why things seem to be degrading.
    (Are you sitting down? Good.)
    She began to describe some wonderful tribe in the Amazon who do not need to compel anyone to do anything, yet everything the tribe needs gets done because there is always some member of the tribe who is naturally drawn to do that work. They don’t like it when members leave and come back because they are poisoned by Capitalism [snarl word] and return too lazy to enjoy their natural work.
    Something about that seemed off to me. Too good to be true, sure, but something else was tickling the back of my mind until I had my ‘aha’ moment and looked it up and yes, sure enough, it is exactly as you described 3 years ago in “A whiff of Lemonade”. It’s Fourier served up with a good helping of Rousseau.
    I say Rousseau, because he is our most recent equivalent of Heraclitus and Tacitus, all of whom are guilty of being men living in a civilized society, who load onto some remote primitive tribe all the virtues they feel are lacking in their own respective societies. Rousseau’s take on it is that all children are naturally wonderful, caring beings and that it is civilization which corrupts them and turns them into greedy, miserable wretches who will sell their mothers for a price. Rousseau wrote of the ‘noble savage’ who, free from the shackles of civilized convention lives a beautiful, natural life. I see him as the philosophical antecedent of Marx, who divided the world into greedy, oppressive, evil overlords and virtuous, downtrodden, exploited workers. Marx and his intellectual heirs to this day seem to believe that all people would be wonderful if only they didn’t have to suffer under “Capitalism” [snarl word]. I’d put money down that Fourier got his ideas based on Rousseau’s hypothesis.
    So here they are, bad ideas, still kicking around. Discredited or easily disproven ideas that are a couple of hundred years old, dressed up once again in modern clothes pretending to be new and shiny and wondrously enticing, and here is someone educated, well read, quite intelligent who is just eating it up. So are her circle of friends, all of whom are of the same type: university educated, quite intelligent, and all of whom seem to be rubes at the carnival fairground of bad ideas.
    Why is that? Any idea? Maybe because they think with their hearts instead of their heads?
    Anyway, I thought you’d get a kick out of hearing yet another version of Fourier’s nonsense.

    Bruce

  238. For those who like to lurk in odd parts of the internet, I came across “an independent DIY search engine that focuses on non-commercial content, and attempts to show you sites you perhaps weren’t aware of in favor of the sort of sites you probably already knew existed.”

    It can be accessed at https://search.marginalia.nu/.

    One of their example searches is the occult!

    It came up because Brave Search recently announced they are now 100% independent of big tech (previously were 7% powered by Microsoft/Bing), in contrast to DuckDuckGo which is almost entirely Microsoft/Bing powered.

    (I’m not associate with any of these engines, just a user tired of commercial/censored search).

  239. Justin, it strikes me that that’s a great way for a hostile power to place sleeper agents in the Canadian armed forces. Not good…

    Slink, ha! Okay, that’s good.

    Hackenschmidt, what that article doesn’t get around to mentioning is that the dasserghyans Kernowek (Cornish language revival) got under way in 1904 and has been thriving for a hundred years now. It’s odd how consistently the mass media likes to insist that all these things are just getting started now! As for essentialism, exactly — speaking of the life force is no more of a reach than postulating unknown scientific facts, and it’s more parsimonious, since the existence of a life force would allow a great many puzzling facts to be explained by a single factor.

    Renaissance, ha! That’s hilarious. As for intellectuals, they’re always easier to fool than anyone else, since they’re used to thinking in terms of arbitrary abstractions. If they don’t get a good solid education in how to check the credentials of a supposed fact — and education goes out of its way to avoid doing that these days — they’re the most gullible people in the world.

    Daniel, thanks for this. I’ll give it a try.

  240. Jeff, thank you for the book recommendation! I have placed an order at the Quest Bookshop.

    JMG, thank you. What about mesmerism? Do you have any idea how does systems, elaborate healing systems in the energetic level, got developed? I did try one thing, since the body most certainly knows how to heal itself and just ask him, what point should I massage to heal this condition? And… I got a response.

  241. Apparently I am almost a Baby Boomer. A boomer is a large kangaroo. Obviously, I mix with Baby Boomers. (I keep well away from kangaroos). I cannot see why people think they are aggressive (kangaroos are). The ones I know are all pretty ordinary people who are just trying to live a peaceful life, still helping their families where necessary and also being friendly and kind with their neighbours and others who happen to cross their paths. They are not extravagant but generally thrifty but not mean. I thought my parents’ generation was a bit aggressive but that might be a generational thing. Perhaps you’re always a bit scared of your parents and their friends.

  242. Steve T,

    I do share that obsession too, I think it’s one of the rarely appreciated intellectual products of the white man, not all your people been arrogant and violent colonists haha, they were also interested in others, knowledge and the unknown, it’s an interesting part of our cognition indeed.

    About Crowley and Thelema, I’m aware that (just like Theosophy) it has some of the most shallow and insufferable followers, I’ve spent a good time of my early internet days researching and interacting with that community and its sources, but I’m sure in reality there’s always a minority of good people who truly understand and follow the teachings, Lon Milo DuQuette is one to mention. I think a healthy dose of patriotism is always necessary, but what’s most important and to answer your question is that Thelema is like the spiritual flower or counterpart of the Enlightenment philosophies, which in one way or another shaped the US itself. It’s a deeply spiritual understanding of individualism, “Every man and every woman is a star” as the Book of the Law said, but you have to read the commentaries and Crowley’s other books to understand its inner meaning, I’d suggest also to read De Lege Libellum (and other Class E books), you can find them in this site: https://lib.oto-usa.org/libri/liber0150.html

    Have you been to the Grand Teton range? It’s believed to be a central “etheric” retreat of Saint Germain and the Great White Brotherhood according to the teachings of Elizabeth Clare Prophet, that woman was wild, just check her mediumship clips on Youtube to see what I mean, even though I’m sure not all these supposed channellings are coming from the entities she claim but rather from her higher self or holy guardian angel even.

  243. Dear All,

    After some hard months, I am back at the divining table. If anyone has a question that would like to ask the Tarot, I have opened another instance of my Tarot offerings. All questions are game, be it personal, political or whimsical, I’ll ask my cards and reply back with an answer. I’ve created an astral divining room, so if you are up for an experiment, I’ve left instructions on my journal and I am glad to report that I’ve had good results with distance readings this way.

    Here it is:
    Tarot Offering

  244. @ Hackenschmidt

    Here in Australia there are attempts to insert various elements of indigenous Australian culture into the broader culture. One example is referring to place names by an indigenous name rather than the commonly known English name. This is problematic for all kinds of reasons, not the least of which being that there were 300 or so indigenous languages when white man arrived in Australia, many of those were mutually unintelligible and most are now extinct. Also, indigenous Australians never had a written script and so we’re arbitrarily overlaying English characters onto words that have a completely foreign phonology meaning that nobody can know how to pronounce the name properly from the way it’s spelled. Still, this fits with your idea since Australia grabbed onto US coattails after WW2 but it’s pretty clear the US grip on power is slipping and we’re looking for an alternative (and probably a way to avoid falling into China’s clutches).

    By the way, in relation to calcium-vitamin D, my dermatologist gave me the same explanation but reversed. She said that vitamin D uptake is limited by calcium so that somebody can spend all day in the sun but still be vitamin D deficient if their diet does not contain enough calcium.

  245. @JMG
    ” If you’ve wondered why so many people these days look half alive, etheric starvation is part of it. ”

    Some time recently I went through Vienna and noticed how so many people looked so sick, also their Aura. My sentience for other people`s aura isn`t all fully developed, but it is there.
    So many sick looking people, also so many youths among them.

    It`s microwaved food, screen time, dark interiors, their dull eyes betraying the inner emptiness.
    I am little surprised.

    On another note:

    I listened to Austria`s state radio station Oe1 yesternight.
    I adore that station, there are people with heart behind it, bringing many topics, religious, political of course, art, a lot of jazz music and classical music.

    Two particulars from that:

    A man in interview said “russian authoritarian patriotism versus american messianic democracy gospels – the one thing they have in common is – imperialism!”
    Continuing a short historic overview. I was surprised.

    On the other hand the quantum physicist talked about the quantum computer, and in that case he did not believe its the next big thing. Otherwise a stout believer of progress, you could hear him bend and twist to make that statement, with so many roll-backs so as not to…step on anybody`s toes.

    Otherwise he condemned all esotericism, no doubt a lot of junk goes by the label “esoterics”, but that guy can`t differentiate anyways.

    Something boring and banal like putting your hands on someone for healing! Why don`t people take to Quantum physics? Well, if health and healing are boring to him, or his own health for that matter – I dont want to know how that guys appearance is.

    They say you cannot understand quantum physics, that is not true! He says. well you can certainly measure effects and predict effects, but that does little to explain what it IS.

    As a biochemistry major friend of mine said, in our great discussions that actually moved the esoteric and the quantitative world together, he said “you can measure energy, but you can never tell what it IS as such”

    @Carlos M.
    Thanks a lot for your insights! I knew an Austrian philipino called “Ralph”. A rather serious young man. He said something about being philipino, and I retributed “How much of you is actually culturally philipino – not much besides your outwards look”.

    At least one thing came through during Corona: many of all the cheap and obedient eastern worker drones returned home, not to come back.

    That may be foreboding.

  246. @Smith #242: Your larger point is quite correct, that the immense concentration of land in the hands of the senator class of the 4th century didn’t last – and furthermore, that civilian, lay, highly educated landowners ceased to exist in the West.

    I do want to point out that the compromise between those landowners and the army that invaded Italy in 489 was quite stable. The Italian senators lost their privileges, their accustomed lifestyle and probably in many cases their life not through any acts of the “hard men from the east and the north” (whom 19th-century historians decided to label “Ostrogoths”) but because of the invasion of Italy by the legitimate Roman emperor Justinian and the endless wars that followed it. That is when Rome lost its aqueduct, the senate ceased to exist, and the senators’ libraries, decorated in purple and ivory, housing thousands of secular books in Greek and in Latin, were looted, burnt or decayed.

    In Gaul, it seems rather that the families of the old “Roman” landowners and the new “Frankish” military men often intermarried. In the end, civilian, lay, highly educated landowners also disappeared, but that is because their children weren’t civilian or lay or as highly educated anymore. See the famous case of comes (“count”) Lupus, i.e. “wolf”, and his son Romulf, i.e “Rome-wolf”.

    I know less about Iberia, but “Roman” (Catholic) landowners continued to play an important role right until the end of the rule of the Gothic (“Visigothic”) kings, and most probably also intermarried widely with the descendants of the invaders, once those converted to Catholicism in 589.

  247. Hi John Michael,

    Yes, it’s all very odd. Oh, a coal fired power station first fired up in 1971 was closed yesterday. Hunter Valley’s Liddell Power Station closes marking end of era for Australia’s oldest coal-fired plant. What did it die of? Possibly of old age. I’m genuinely surprised that there are no plans for replacement. It is possible that at some future date when blackouts are commonplace, vast hordes of workers and engineers from the land of stuff are shipped in and show us how it used to be done not all that long ago. A very likely possibility at this rate. And maybe that is the plan? Who knows.

    Just had a read of ol’ Charles III coronation chart. Interesting, and talk about difficult times to navigate.

    Tell ya a funny story. In reading this evening, I discovered that we have similar rocks to those used in Stonehenge. Bluestones they’re called down here. A form of dolerite granite. You’ve been there, haven’t you? What was it like for you to visit the site?

    Cheers

    Chris

  248. @Jasmine #221: interesting read! As an aside, the New Statesman has apparently applied sanctions against the use of a capital R in russia and russian…

  249. JMG, you have mentioned the Celts and a deliberate selection program in the past (Atlantis?). Are there any places I can go to research or look into that? I still can’t get over the analogues between Greco-Roman culture and Celtic culture, as well as their quarrels. Thanks.

  250. Hi John. Just curious, if you could be transported as you are now, with all your knowledge and skills, to any point in the historical past, when would you choose to live and why?

  251. Hello John, and thank you for the opportunity to post questions. I have been reading your materials for two years now. I own several of your books. I bought most of the books except for the Dolmen Arch, which was given to me by L. White (AODA). I love reading your books, and I get a lot from them.

    Now for the questions …

    If a person reads copious amounts of magical texts, yours included, and certain things resonate and others do not, do you think you should mix different magic paths? For instance, if you read the GD books and the Domen Arch books, would you advocate for taking what works for you from both books and combining aspects of them into one practice? Also, blending nature paths with more hermetic, or as one of my other friends calls it, “Stuffed shirt magic,” would that be appropriate too?

    I am a prolific reader. I just got a Goodreads account, and it’s hard to include every book I’ve ever read on magic and witchcraft, much less everything else. I have been a “witch” since 1986 in a literary sense. I always dabbled, even as a child. I had a grandmother who was pushing me that way. I read and read and read. I joined this and that group or coven. I decided to go solitary for nearly all my life until I found Druidry. I looked into various organizations and landed in the AODA. I love it there, feel welcomed there, and there are many great people with great advice. One thing people don’t talk too much about is blending magical practices. The AODA states to make the rites and rituals your own and make your own mark on them, but what about mixing schools?

    I do want to include I was never a Wiccan. Even though there was only one store in this city that I lived in growing up that sold books of this nature, they were all Gardnerian witches that were Wiccan. I never felt that was for me. Nature was great. I have lived in natural surroundings for extended periods and felt at home. Too bad my body got older and cannot handle roughing it like I used to. Druidry feels like the home I never knew I had. So, keeping that in mind, mixing druidic magic with other forms of magic is ok, or would you say to stick with what is in the books that are specific to Druidry? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

  252. Danial @ 252, thank you for this recommendation of non commercial search engine. I looked up the name of a fairly obscure Polis, Alalia, which was in Corsica, and up popped a wealth of sites about history and archeology of and about the place and its Greek, Carthaginian and Etruscan neighbors..

  253. @Hackenschmidt

    If you aren’t a herbalist you wouldn’t know, but it is reasonably common for the corporate medical world to run a few bogus studies on the more useful herbs and get them banned as unsafe. Or at least unsafe for much of their traditional indications. This often seems to coincide with Big Pharma having a competing patented pill.

    Comfrey is one and it appears that valerian may be suffering the same fate. The fact is, anything with medicinal effect is by definition poisonous when taken in excess and the liver and kidneys, as poison filters, are commonly affected. However, valerian is on the whole a very effective and safe herb if taken at traditional doses and observing traditional limits (eg pregnancy, children, pre-existing conditions etc). There are many, many mainstream herbal books aimed at the general public which describe how and when to take it and even how to prepare it. Believe me, any truly dicey herbs such as foxglove have been banned a long time ago and are no longer even mentioned in contemporary books and training for professional herbalists. One has to really dig if you want to recover the knowledge about those old useful but dangerous herbs.

    Regarding the general safety of herbs, there can be a variability problem but often (not always) this is compensated for by there being a much wider effective dosing range and much wider distance between effective dose and poisonous dose. This is because plants tend to use several to many closely related substances in order to achieve a needed effect. These substances often work synergistically both in the plant and us and the plant also boosts their effects with potentiating substances which also work on us and our diseases (in some ways, chemistry and biology are just a series of locks and keys and there are only a very limited number of each). All this means that even on a materialistic level, a herbalist can often effectively treat a person without exposing them to high doses of any particular substance where the allopathic equivalent needs to be quite high since it is only one purfied substance.

  254. In response to Kfish, Collapsenik and to add to JMG’s response:

    The Early Retirement movement, which aims at becoming independent of a wage/salary job by becoming dependent on good investment opportunities (especially stock and real estate markets), illustrates that there is no such thing as independence. The only actual choice is on what to depend on.

    Moreover, the movement seems to be missing a higher purpose beyond allowing some individuals to remove their dependence from wage/salary jobs. Some that do achieve it seem at lost on what to do with the freedom. As an example, Mr. Money Mustache went back to consumption of cars and travels after years of advocating against superfluous spending on both. The freedom is exercised on the same issue at which one was trying to break free of.

    Surprisingly, we are not missing major higher problems to tackle that could also benefit from the discipline, the focus, the longer-term thinking, and the surpluses generated that allowed the Early Retirees to succeed. One could:
    1. Do politics to advocate for limiting rents and property price increases in order to offer the opportunity to as many other people to obtain larger freedom from financial needs;
    2. Start new businesses that will be better aligned with the contracting economy and reversal of globalisation in the years ahead, without having to worry about paying back investors or banks;
    3. Pioneer frugal techniques and organizations that rely as much as possible on local and renewable expertise, materials, and energy sources;
    4. Help restore ecosystems in a way that also benefit humans, for example carrying on what The New Alchemists had started in the 70s (https://newalchemists.net/);
    etc.

    It is as if part of the Early Retirement movement viewpoint is simply a re-branding of the frugal Protestant Ethics but without any other higher aspiration to focus the surplus thus generated. Medieval societies managed to build cathedrals over hundreds of years (that are still standing today!), with much less affluence. Yet today the best some Early Retirees can think of doing is buying a Tesla and doing free marketing for Elon Musk. I am partly suspecting that might be because Elon Musk does understand the necessity of offering higher purposes to focus collective efforts (ex: making humanity multi-planetary) and leverage other people surpluses.

    A unique opportunity afforded by independence from wage/salaried jobs is the copious amounts of time to become a true and original individual. One can do so by becoming familiar with higher purposes and choosing one or many that can make a major difference in the futures we and our descendants will experience.

  255. @ John N

    I had read that essay a while ago and found it fascinating. Although, I must say, I never had a problem with the description ‘wine-dark sea’. Even if it’s not what Homer meant, I’ve often seen dark purplish seas and dark purplish wines. Although, now I think about it, it was always later afternoon/early evening so I’d have to reread the passages to see if the timing matches up.

    I just went to a Cambodian New Year celebration and it seems that their main named colours are maroon, red, orange, purple, blue, yellow-green and forest-green. Reviewing pictures of massed varieties of South-East Asian tropical rainforest fruit, nearly all seem to fall within those 7 colours when ripe with most falling within the maroon-red-orange-purple range.

  256. Simon S
    Same situation in BC Canada with regard to changing names to indigenous ones. Some of them are easier to pronounce than others for english speakers. Some of them get adopted and used, others are on signs but don’t get used. Sometimes the signs carry both. One thing I’ve noticed recently is that the names of the various native groups and assorted other words have been de-anglicized to make them more accurate to what the people in question call themselves. Which makes a lot of sense, but unfortunately this involves nonenglish characters I have no idea how to pronounce, not being a professional linguist. And there’s often no explanation with the unfamiliar word, of how to pronounce it or what it means. BC is also the most linguistically diverse part of Canada precontact, containing more than half the languages native to Canada – 34 languages, not all in the same language family. So you can’t just ‘learn the language’. If you do, hard to do with so few native speakers and language-learning materials, and you then move to a different city all your effort’s gone down the drain.

    To be fair, all this is sort of on the edge of things, and its pretty easy to ignore and just get by without it, with the exception of a few changed place names. And Haida Gwaii is more interesting and place-relevant than the Queen Charlottes anyway. And Qanat instead of The District of Powell River isn’t that hard to pronounce once you get used to it, either. And its shorter. But those don’t involve characters I’ve never seen before and have no idea what they mean, and are repeated often enough you can remember them.

    I figure some of this will stick better than others.

  257. Augusto, there’s a lot of old literature on Mesmerism which you can find on archive.org and iapsop.com — you might well be able to reconstruct the method that way. Of course there’s always the method you’ve begun — asking questions and seeing what results you get — and that’s a grand old tradition; it’s by and large how systems of healing come into being.

    JillN, I’m part of the Baby Boom by most definitions — I was born in 1962 — so I’m talking about my g-g-g-generation, so to speak. Aggressive? Arrogant? Entitled? Gyroscopically self-centered, and constantly striking melodramatic poses with one eye toward the mirror? That’s been my experience, certainly — not universally, but common enough that the generalization is reasonably fair. Thus I can sympathize with the younger people who wish that the Boomers would just shut up, take their retirement, and let other people try to fix the gargantuan mess they’re leaving behind.

    Curt, exactly. I’m delighted to hear about a bit of common sense slipping through on the radio!

    Chris, Stonehenge to me feels like whatever energy it once had was trampled into sullen silence by the crowds of tourists. Fascinating that you have bluestones Down Under — I wonder if they come from the same rock formation. (Chunks of crust end up in the weirdest places; the sandstone under a part of far northwestern Washington state is part of the same formation as a chunk of New Zealand’s South Island…)

    Celadon, it’s mentioned in various writings by Dion Fortune. As for the Celts, the Romans, and the Greeks, remember that they’re all closely related Indo-European peoples; there were P-Italic and Q-Italic languages, just as there are P-Celtic and Q-Celtic languages. (Think Old Celtic *epos, “horse,” and Latin equus.)

    Joshua, I wouldn’t. My skills and knowledge would make a very poor fit for just about any point in the historical past, and of course I’d be facing colossal cultural and linguistic barriers.

    Heather, that’s a common question and an important one. The answer is that it’s a bad idea to mix systems until you know enough to do it right. Imagine for a moment that you didn’t know much about cooking, and you decided to bake a cake for the first time. Oops, it turns out you don’t have the cup of sugar the recipe calls for — so you swap it for a cup of salt. I don’t think you’d like the result! Magic is the same way; any effective system of magical training has been carefully designed to give you the specific experiences and skills you need to do the kind of magic it teaches, and doing a mix-and-match will generally end up leaving you lacking crucial skills and also relevant experiences. My suggestion is that you should do at least two systems of magical training straight out of the book, without changing a single thing; then, with the experience and skills you’ll have, you can start experimenting with making changes or bringing in new material.

    Viking, thanks for this. Very well put.

  258. Some of the accounts of the decline of the Roman Empire ( even in this comments section) bring up the critical role that mating and biology play in the rise and fall of empires. It seems that often the biggest brake on the eventual catastrophic destruction of a failed empires population is its ability to intermarry with the conquering civilization, thus creating a kind of statis or harmony where none could be found politically. We (America) seem to be on track to be on the bottom end of the bell curve for cultural survival for historical empires. Our woke experiment along with other cultural trends has put us in an especially weak position with respect to making peace with invading forces through cross pollination. Someday as the war bands cross north from South America, or Pirate civilizations from the Pacific make landfall they will look out upon the landscape of purple haired gender confused individuals ( and such) along with soy boys and angry feminists and conclude the prospects for intermarriage ( or even interbreeding) aren’t worth the trouble, nor will it seem like a genetically good idea so they will just wipe us out instead.

  259. Hi JMG and All,

    Thought I’d drop another data point:

    I do my bulk purchases of grain, legumes, and some odds and ends through a company called Azure Standard. They are based in eastern Oregon, and send their products nationwide via a fleet of trucks. The products are grown on their farm(s), or sourced from other family-owned farms/businesses. Organic is important to them. They did not require any of their employees to shoot up during the ‘rona years. And to expand their warehouse last year, they solicited investment from their regular customers rather than take out a bank loan. (Full disclosure: We invested. We get $33.00 off our order each month until they buy us out, if ever. It if all falls apart, we’ll be disappointed, but able to sleep at night.)

    The trucks arrive at “drops” organized in various ways according to the locals who do the organizing. Some expect everyone to help unload the truck, others do it for a fee and store it until members come to pick it up, etc.

    The place where I collect my order seemed unusually busy yesterday, so I asked the young woman helping me load up my stuff if more people are signing up as customers. “Oh yes!” she said. The CEO says likewise. Business is booming.

    Even if we don’t know exactly what’s coming, it seems to me that many of us are at least thinking in terms of having 5, 10, or 25 pound bags of popcorn on hand…

    OtterGirl

  260. Pygmycory / Simon S, we’re experiencing the same thing on the other end of Canada, although it is considerably more intelligible since there was only one indigenous group where I live at the time of European colonization. I don’t care much, but what I do care about is the corporate-indigenous merger that is taking place. The Mi’kmaq signed treaties with the British crown allowing their people to engage in fishing, hunting, trapping ect pretty much without restriction, although the spirit of the treaties was to enable the Mi’kmaq to go on living the way they always had, with the option of trading with Europeans. This has turned into a small minority of the Mi’kmaq pillaging various fisheries without any clear limits, and a shady deal between a family of white lobster barons and some Mi’kmaq people that seems to me like a license to strip mine the ocean under cover of “treaty rights”.

    The problem is that there is no real self-governance for Mi’kmaq people, so the minority that wantonly abuses their treaty rights cannot be restrained by the majority.

    Meanwhile, Canadian bureaucrats refer to the vast majority of the Canadian population (about 25% of whom are legal immigrants) as “uninvited settlers”. It is as if Canada, Australia and New Zealand are competing in some sort of perverse contest to become the most absurd former British colony. I’m far from certain Canada is winning, but we’re certainly close! The final stroke of stupidity is that many Indigenous place names are straightforward descriptions of the geography they describe. Instead of giving alternative names to places that describe what Indigenous people called a place, in English, the places are given dubiously transliterated names that most anglophones can’t pronounce.

  261. @Mark D #41
    Thank you for sharing the Douglas-Klotz book. I think scholarship like this is so valuable.

  262. jbucks (and others interested in preserving useful knowledge): Dr. John Campbell offers through his web site (https://drjohncampbell.co.uk/index.php) free downloads of his textbooks: Notes on Physiology and Notes on Pathophysiology (442 and 558 pages, respectively). They’re in PDF form, so you can view them with any PDF rendering tool, print them on acid-free paper, carve them into clay tiles, or whatever form you think best. You cannot, however, re-sell them.

    Dr. Campbell has a YouTube channel, and appears to me to be on the sensible fringe of modern medicine. That is, he doesn’t discourage the use of vaccines, but he encourages the use of vitamin D. He cites official research papers, and breaks them down for the interested viewer, most recently about the preventive power of Vitamin D re: prostate cancer.

  263. @CR Patiño
    My intention was certainly not to criticise students of Chinese medicine. There are still quite a few surviving traditions, and as you noted, human wisdom of all kinds eventually regenerates. I was just lamenting the general loss of ancient knowledge.

    @polecat
    On the same subject, soy sauce is a traditional Chinese remedy for burns, but it ideally has to applied in copious quantities within a few seconds.

    As for eggs, I’ve recently eaten some eggs from Rhode Island Red chickens that are treated as much loved family pets. This hardy breed lays eggs almost every day. I don’t have words to describe how much better they were than shop bought eggs.

    As for Aloe Vera, JMG is quite correct, the fresh plant has ‘green energy’ unlike the processed medication. The great British herbalist David Hoffmann talks about this subject (and about societal collapse) in his superb youtube videos ‘A Call to Herbs. Parts 1-3’.

  264. @Smith #237: about tearing down apartment buildings. If yours was a cement-and-rebar building built in the 1980s, it might be on its last legs already. That’s why mine will be torn town two years from now. Here in Florida, we had a condo collapse, causing loss of life, considerable property destruction, and a major scandal. It was not only of that vintage, but it came out that the contractors of that period were slapdash and cutting corners, even to using local salt water in their mix instead of a purer water. For what it’s worth.

    But you have my deepest sympathies on being forced to move, may your landlord get what he deserves. I hope you find or have found a suitable and comfortable place to live at a reasonable price, and blessings on you and your wife.

  265. changeling – From what I’ve read, the Super Heavy Musk rocket exploded because the flame trench fragmented with the heat from the engines before the rocket could get far enough away, so some of the many engines were damaged, so the thrust was uneven, so… But, really, getting out of our gravity-well is always going to be hard because it involves enormous pressures, temperatures, and velocities. We were fortunate that NASA hired a lot of smart young men for the Apollo program, and they stayed around for several decades. (Would you believe that the Apollo 13 Mission Director, Gene Krantz, was only 35 years old when he directed the incident response? Do you know any 35-year olds?)

  266. @JMG – Boomer? Born in 1962? Never mind what the demographics marketers think, you’re nothing of the sort. In my observations, you’re an early-wave Xer. Just ask yourself who you have more in common with: people born in the 1950s? Or in the 1970s? That’s the touchstone. The demographics geeks also say people born in the early 1940s aren’t Boomers, and in my observations, like hell they’re not. Just listen to them. And in old age, the differences are even clearer.

  267. JMG,
    Well, I am sorry that has been your experience. Now I think a bit more some are a bit painful but if we have known them long enough of course much is overlooked. We live in the country, nothing flash here, and that might make a difference. Perhaps I am just mixing with a better class of BB. And that is a joke.

  268. Thanks for the reply re: prayer and the Modern Order of Essense Healing Hands, that’s very helpful, and I’m very glad to hear that Healing Hands can be offered freely to those who have already consented to prayer.

    Over in the thread on the prayer list where this discussion first came up, there have now been two MOE practitioners who have piped in with somewhat different perspectives about what is desired or needful regarding bringing healer and those needing healing together via the internet. I am certainly happy to play a part in making something happen, perhaps integrating or linked with the current prayer list in some way. But I think there first needs to a bit more of a conversation between those who are planning to do this work about what they would like to see happening, exactly, when it comes to making a site, and/or possibly adjusting the “healing” section of the Ecosophia prayer list.

    JMG, might I suggest that you might start a new MOE thread on the Dreamwidth site in order to facilitate a discussion within the full MOE practitioner community about this?

  269. Justin 246, JMG
    These things can change over the years, but allowing foreigners to join the army has been a fairly common path to citizenship. The US army did it in the 50s &60s when i was in it. France did it through the foreign legion. The numbers were small enough and they came in at a low enough level that there was no real opportunity for them to cause mischief. I think even now it would be pretty inefficient route to subvert a country.
    stephen

  270. JMG: thanks for continuing to provide these monthly open posts and monitoring them so effectively.

    @Citrine (#181): amazing quotation of Carlson… thanks for this! I could not help but think of my own country (Canada) when I read the words “They’re afraid. They’ve given up persuasion — they’re resorting to force. But it won’t work. When honest people say what’s true, calmly and without embarrassment, they become powerful.” The Elite likely thought that by brutally assaulting the peaceful freedom movement in the streets of Ottawa in February last year, they likely thought that they had demolished their ‘enemy’. Nothing could be further from the truth. Opposition to government tyranny and homicidal policies has been continuously growing and now with events such as the National Citizens Inquiry (mentioned by Bofur #120), Canadians across the country and the spectrum from ordinary average Joes and Janes to experts in the fields of medicine and medical sciences, funeral services, law and law enforcement, and public safety, are giving testimony under oath (often at great personal risk) about the lies that were – and continue to be – told by those with who we entrusted our welfare and the damage that has been done to us. But equally important, the testimony has focused on what can be done – individually, socially and institutionally – to prevent this travesty from happening again.

    An example of the fear of Canada’s ruling Elite is the extreme lengths that are being taken to expedite anti-democratic legislation. Just a few days ago, the federal Bill C-11 was passed as law: framed as legislation aimed to protect Canadian content in all media, its real intent is more likely the censorship of Canadian producers of content (especially online content). The shut-down of debate in the House of Commons, the Senate approval of the Bill even though the latest round of revisions that they demanded were not implemented, and the lightning-fast process of turning a Senate-approved Bill into law shows that the ruling Elite are in full-blown panic mode and are in a race against the clock (and the prospects of public revolt) to imprison the populace before they realize what’s happening. The Elite have already lost their legitimacy to govern; they just don’t realize it yet.

    @Luke (#212): John Carter’s speculation is certainly interesting. A year-and-a-half ago, I was in utter despair that my country had dissipated into nothingness and that the few feisty tradition-loving patriots left in the country had crawled into a hole and died. I no longer think that. Throughout my life the main component of Canadian patriotism seemed to be “we’re NOT Americans”. But what emerged in the midst of the bleak bitter mid-winter of 2022 was a sudden and giddy orgasm of patriotism that took practically everyone by surprise – and it was a different kind of patriotism. Yes, the Freedom Convoy was an expression of defiance against government tyranny in general and mandates in particular, but it was so much more than that. It was a celebration of Canadian values and Canadian unity the likes of which have not been seen since our centennial (1967). The sheer number of Canadian flags which were flown in Ottawa and across the country during the convoy, and since, is a key indicator. Even during protests in the supposed hotbed of separatism – Montréal and Québec City – the number of Canadian flags being flown equalled the number of Québec flags, and from what I could see the Canadian flags were not only tolerated but celebrated. While much of this ‘patriotism’ is celebrating what is unique to our country, there is also a strong current of traditionalism flowing (we dare not say ‘Make Canada Great Again’, but the sentiment is there). And much of that traditionalism is focused on liberal democratic values and Christian values that were the bedrock of the nation when it was founded. Now, in 2023, more and more people in rural and small-town Canada (and even flickers here and there in the hinterlands of the urbanized areas) are standing up and loudly voicing their objection to far-left policies and practices that are counter to traditional values. So, this is a rather long-winded personal opinion that Carter may be onto something. We’ll have to wait and see how it plays out.

  271. “Batstrel, my guess is that a camera wouldn’t have registered anything, because they were probably astral entities — that’s why they passed so easily from the dream state to waking. (We all experience the astral plane in sleep; that’s what dreaming is.)”

    Forgive me for repeating this, JMG, because now I’m confused or puzzled. I thought that the astral plane and our physical waking world were supposed to be mutually exclusive. After my scary entities blinked out of existence, I looked over to my clock, here in the physical world, so I’m pretty sure that I wasn’t dreaming, by the time that those malevolent entities were plaguing me.

  272. @Curt,

    > Thanks a lot for your insights! I knew an Austrian philipino called “Ralph”. A rather serious young man. He said something about being philipino, and I retributed “How much of you is actually culturally philipino – not much besides your outwards look”.

    I spent Christmas Day 2014 in Vienna, and when I attended Mass there I even managed to sing Silent Night in German. It happens to be the _only_ song I know in German; my dad gave me a CD of traditional Christmas songs sung in original languages and Silent Night was one of them.

    Two years ago or thereabouts, I came upon the startling realization that there was not much Filipino about my religious practice. Like, I’ve been to Vienna on Christmas and got to sing Silent Night in German, but I’ve never completed the “Simbang Gabi” Filipino Christmas tradition. So resolved to embrace more Filipino aspects of Catholicism, down to what is more distinctively *local* – like learning the Marian hymn of my home town.

    Among conservative pop apologists on the Internet, “cultural Christian/Catholic” is practically a slur – as in, people who don’t go to church except during Christmas/Easter/weddings/funerals and have their kids baptized out of custom. But as I grew older the more I realized the importance of the “cultural” aspect; a big part of Catholicism is embracing and “baptizing” if you will the parts of the local culture that’s compatible with Christianity, so there’s always some devotion or practice *in every town* that’s distinct to that place.

    @JMG and Curt,

    As for people coming back, yes, the first wave of them are mostly the working class types doing contract jobs. My regular cleaning lady is one of them, she used to work in the Middle East and came back during the pandemic. When the economy started booming in the 2010’s they’ve started trickling back but the pandemic made a lot of them come back and come back for good; the pay is theoretically still better but at least you can make a decent living here at home now with those jobs while being close(r) to family AND having actual civil rights!

    It’s notable that one of the government’s biggest foreign policy shifts in the past decade is that it’s now willing to hold back deployment of contract workers while demanding better pay, basic rights, and working conditions. Initially we did that with relatively small fry like Kuwait, but recently even Saudi Arabia got the “no Filipino workers!” treatment.

    For the PMC types, it’s still a trickle coming back, but let’s see when the high-end PMC jobs abroad start dwindling. On a side note, I’ve always wondered why countries like Cuba and Iran managed to maintain world-class competitiveness in high-end industries (medicine and aerospace respectively) despite decades of crippling sanctions. I realized it was not despite sanctions but *because* of them; I personally know a couple of the best scientists and engineers (I’d say top 100) of my generation and they’re all in the USA right now. I imagine their Cuban and Iranian counterparts had to stay at home and thus continued to work on projects at home. If you think the USA and other Western nations are becoming less competitive as far as high-end industries go, just wait until can no longer attract most of the top 5% minds from other nations…

    About a decade ago, my boss – who was then applying to work and live in Canada (he is there now) – asked me whether or why I didn’t “dream of living in a country where the government will take care of you.” I was younger then, but I’ve heard enough stories of people in Western countries dying alone at home and not being noticed for days, or in a hospital bed where the nurse may or may not accidentally given the patient just a little bit more morphine this time around, etc. So I replied, “well, I don’t want to grow old in a nursing home, and I’m still young and they’re already having trouble funding their social security, what’s going to be left of it when I’m older?” He was a little surprised at my reply, and said, “well you do what you want but think about it.” He’s a great guy so I wish him all the best always, but after Canada recently relaxed and broadened the criteria for euthanasia, I can’t help but think I was ultimately correct about it. And mind you, “I don’t want my government to kill me when I get old” never crossed my mind when he asked me the question!

  273. A while back JMG has posted about the exercise of the Rising Call. I have practiced it daily since then and it does wonders to clear up my nasal respiratory tract. Perhaps it helps my (somewhat already light anyway) respiratory allergies.
    It left me suddenly wondering about a vision of the body from a Western occult perspective.
    Are you planning to write a book on that topic? I understood you were, or at least you were writing one about the 5 rites. Is that still a plan?
    Also and perhaps from reading the new MOE material, and also because it’s Easter and I like how people almost act the story of Jesus at the mass during that period. I was thinking that perhaps Jesus had been some kind of healer, giving people particular insights about their bodies, their consciousness and the relationships of the two towards the absolute. That would explain the formidable following Christianity had received from the start… But then it’s lost, not in translation but transcription so to speak. And it’s a shame because it would have been one of the most important tools ever provided to mankind.
    Perhaps also it was an allegory for a group of figures particularly able to alleviate various ecological difficulties of the arid climate of the middle East, in various occult ways ala Rudolf Steiner? At least it feels like something invaluable lies hidden and has been lost in a lot of rewriting to support various political/ethnic agendas of the time…

  274. @ Pygmycory / Justin

    You might want to check out the the history of UNDRIP (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Declaration_on_the_Rights_of_Indigenous_Peoples)

    Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA originally objected to it and then mysteriously all changed their position in unison a couple of years later. I notice you also have the kabuki-esque “land acknowledgements” in Canada. We have the same thing here but it’s called “welcome to country”. Like many things nowadays, there is a murky globalist element behind this stuff.

  275. Mr. Greer,

    Piggybacking off of Heather’s comment… I am studying your Golden Dawn books (Learning Ritual Magic and Paths of Wisdom) for the last year or so, but I recently joined the Rosicrucians. Is it a good idea to study both at the same time so long as I keep them separate?

    Thank you for this space that you provide.

  276. @Clay Dennis – naah. The soy boys et. al. may go down the tubes with the urban civilization that supported them (see Petronius’ laugh riot on such types), and unless the purple-haired feminists are also warriors, they’ll go down, too. You think barbarians really care what captive women think? If they’re still alive! And we’re talking about a minority of froth-on-the-pond types here. BTW, there are plenty of gay men and lesbians who are just plain ordinary people. Though if they get attacked enough…Rosemary Edghill pointed out in one of her novels “sexual and religious minorities tend to get radicalized early and often…” because of that.

  277. Hey JMG

    You are right that a hypothetical regency romance-obsessed culture would be more class obsessed, which probably would have changed how we interacted with foreign cultures like China, possibly for the better since their wouldn’t be the same friction the existed between the egalitarian west and the more hierarchical East.
    The obsession with regency romance tropes would in my opinion have had interesting effects of the development of various social phenomenon like feminism, as just you have mentioned previously concerning how the cult of progress severely distorted people. Understanding of evolution and economics, it would be interesting to see how those things would be distorted by minds that filter the world through regency romance.
    Technology would probably have gone in different directions, instead of being focused on computers and fusion research perhaps they would focus on fancier and more useful manors and ballrooms, or hi-tech teapots that change colour as the temperature cools. Maybe more amazing flowers for more elegant gardens and a more expansive vocabulary in the “language of flowers.”
    It would be an interesting alternative history novel, but if I wrote it I would actually have to read regency romance to do the concept justice, and I’m having mixed feelings about that prospect.

  278. To Patricia Mathews, thankyou for your sympathy and prayers. The building was built in the 1960s, is still in good shape, and has tenants that have been here for decades, including myself and my wife. It will be a serious pain in the backside to find a new place and also expensive. But do it we must.

    To anyone with an ounce of sense, the problems in the real estate industry were easily foreseeable, were indeed foreseen by many, those people objecting to the confluence of business, politics, banking, monetary policy and sheer, blind stupidity slapped aside and dismissed as know-nothings.

    SVB, First Republic, the defaults on billions of dollars in commercial real estate mortgages by such business luminaries as Brookfield and PIMCO were just the preliminaries. The hubris in the oligarchy and the PMC is such that they think they can defy financial gravity. They can’t. Arithmetic is harsh. It will not be denied.

  279. A question for Greer, et al.

    Does anyone have bookmarked any websites with good concise arguments against nuclear power? Or perhaps a link to a study that dismantles it?

    I’ve been seeing a lot of what the doomer Sam Mitchell would call “hopium” being concentrated on nuclear energy and would like more ammo to debate/reason with.

  280. Clay, give the current rhinocerosness a few more years and you’re going to see a distinct shortage of purple hair, soyboys, etc. That’s a collection of temporary fads, the sort of thing you see reliably in a society in crisis.

    Ottergirl, hmm! This strikes me as very good news.

    Patricia M, duly noted. I find I don’t have a lot in common with people born in either decade, which may simply mean that I’m just weird.

    JillN, you might well be mixing with a better class of Boomers — and that’s not a joke. As a writer and a very minor internet celebrity, I may have to cope with an unusually large number of the self-important entitlement bunnies.

    Quin, that seems like a reasonable suggestion — thank you.

    Stephen, maybe so, but it’s not subverting a country that concerns me — it’s placing moles in critical positions where their real loyalties can be a serious danger.

    Batstrel, the planes are distinct but human consciousness bridges them. One thing that happens very often in magical practice is that astral entities can appear to affect the physical senses — it’s actually a matter of planes overlapping in consciousness. What you see in dreams really does exist on the astral plane, you know!

    Carlos, thank you for the data points!

    Neaj-Neiviv, I have a book on the Five Rites, somewhat unoriginally titled The Secret of the Five Rites, at the publisher right now — iirc it’ll be out next year. The idea of a more general book about the Western occult view of the human body is one I’ll certainly consider. As for Christianity, hmm! That seems very plausible indeed.

    Ray the Second, by “the Rosicrucians” do you mean AMORC? If so, that should be no conflict at all. Do your AMORC work in your home sanctum during the regular weekly session (and outside it as the monographs suggest), and do the Golden Dawn work daily at a different time, and you’ll be fine.

    J.L.Mc12, I like it! If you want to follow up on it, I have a relatively painless suggestion: read the Regency romances of Georgette Heyer, and of course every word of Jane Austen. Heyer more or less invented the Regency romance as it exists today, and hers are capably written, sprightly little comedies of manners that you don’t have to be a romance fan to enjoy. (Full disclosure: my wife’s a Heyer fan, and introduced me to the habit.) I hope you go ahead with this and write a novel along these lines!

    JK, not off hand. Anyone else?

  281. JMG, Aldarion, Justin, I think another thing the Roman world has in common with the modern-day American (and Canadian too by the looks of it) is that it couldn’t find enough young men for its armies and so had to get outsiders.

    For the US, it seems the problem is just starting to rear its ugly head, with the military complaining of shortfalls in recruitment.

    Young fellas are normally susceptible to the allure of trumpets and banners and drums. They dream of belonging and comradeship and glory and valor and the accolades and status (and swooning young chicks) that soldiering brings.

    But when the ruling regime obviously works against the interests of those same young men and the class of people they belong to, when it also openly despises and derides and insults them as in the case of the US elite, then the ruling regime has to make alternate arrangements. Young men have eyes and ears and sensitive social antenna and will take a pass on risking and losing their lives at the behest of such people.

    Parents throughout the ages would weep with pride at seeing their sons suited up and marching down the street in ranks. But now? Fight for Old Glory?

    Justin, yep, when it comes to human stupidity, the pit is bottomless.

  282. The best arguments against nuclear power are economic ones. The technical ones have been solved for decades, and waste disposal is a political problem, (storage sites and whether to reprocess or not.)

    Wikipedia has a good place to start looking.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economics_of_nuclear_power_plants

    The complication is what is the value of electricity at night, what is the value of electricity when the wind is also not blowing, and do you have industrial plants that can not shutdown and restart on a whim. There are a lot of industrial plants that run 24/7 for a year or better at a time. I’ve worked at a couple of them. My daughter works at one now.

    Look for my post way up above and ask if the dirt cheap price they quote for solar includes the price of the batteries needed to get through the dunkelflaute.

    As a refresher, the dunkelflaute definition I use is both wind and solar are producing at less than 10% of nameplate capacity. To restate that, if your power system requires 7,000 MW of capacity, you have built 70,000 MW of wind AND 70,000 MW of solar, and you still have a blackout. If the dunkelflaute lasts only 10 hours you need 70,000 MW-hr of battery capacity to get through that period before the wind comes up again or the sun rises.

    The renewable energy people never do that math. That is why Germany is burning lignite again, and why some people are taking another look at nuclear power.

  283. @Carlos M,
    I’m glad things have improved for people in the Phillipines, and that they are doing something productive to protect those of their citizens who go abroad from getting exploited. I’ve met a fair number in Canada over the years, especially when I was living in Vancouver.

    And yeah, I hear you on the streets of Canada not being paved with gold and there being real and increasing downsides. Have to agree, and I’ll add a complaint about insane housing prices and hard to find rentals to the mix.

  284. @Luke Dodson: As a Canadian resident, I read “John Carter”s piece and found it indeed interesting, if somewhat misguided. His vision of a Western, or rather Anglo, civilization is curiously abstract and lacks almost any reference to actual English or European history except for common law. For starters, it is entirely devoid of Christianity, but also of any classical work of art. His vision of chromium Rivendells sounded more like science fiction that like European tradition… While I don’t doubt his commitment to common law and aversion against authoritarianism, his aesthetics is almost exactly the same as that of the 1930s and 1940s art of German settlers occupying the East…

  285. Smith, that’s a huge issue, and it generally becomes an explosive one when it emerges, because when young men don’t have the military available as a convenient outlet for their normal healthy interest in adventure and violence, they find other outlets. Hang on to your hat…

    Ray the Second, you’re welcome. I always check, because there are a couple of dozen Rosicrucian orders active these days; AMORC is the largest, but some of the others are quite active, and in some cases it’s not necessarily a good idea to mix their practices with standard Golden Dawn stuff. (On the other hand, there are some — including the three in which I’m an initiate — that go very well with the GD approach.)

  286. @Neaj-Neiviv #289 “I was thinking that perhaps Jesus had been some kind of healer, giving people particular insights about their bodies, their consciousness and the relationships of the two towards the absolute. That would explain the formidable following Christianity had received from the start… But then it’s lost, not in translation but transcription so to speak. And it’s a shame because it would have been one of the most important tools ever provided to mankind.”

    This is largely the argument that Karl Kolb made in the so-called Buchstabenbuch (Die Wiedergeburt etc). The German edition can be found online at the usual places. My translation into English is on track to be published in July – just finished editing it. The practices he discusses were those of John Baptist Krebs (whose book Wege zur Unsterblichkeit I should have coming out in translation about the same time) and influenced Steiner’s Eurythmy. He makes the point that the Jesus was teaching his disciples just that – “particular insights about their bodies, their consciousness and the relationships of the two towards the absolute”, to quote you – and that these predated both Judaism and Christianity.

  287. JMG
    I see your point about moles, though it would probably take awhile to burrow to a level where one could be very effective. I’m not sure how fine a filter citizenship is, though probably some. With the low mental and physical standards in the west today, it wouldn’t be very hard for a fit young lad or lass to get into the service. I have read that in the US about 75 o/o of young people couldn’t qualify, whether overall or applicants I’m not sure. in my time it was about 10 o/o or less.
    There could be an interesting novel there.
    About my earlier question about Israel and a plan B, I have since read about the number of wealthy influential Jews in Russia, so that might very well be where they would be making approaches.
    Stephen

  288. Smith
    I hadn’t even thought of the contempt the ruling elite in the US holds for the class most soldiers are recruited from.
    I was reading (perhaps in the comments here) that the US transportation or energy secretary wants the military to convert to all EVs by 2030. Good luck with your electric tank.

  289. @Dan D Lion: re: dandelions. They have a new (maybe?) strong pop culture symbolism, that seems to line up very nicely with the traditional one (the granting of wishes via seed dispersal) that was already supplied, at this particular juncture.

    In The Hunger Games, they are a repeating symbol of survival and hope; showing up every time she is about to access the two things that make that possible 1) either her remembering her own strength – how to stay alive based on her existing knowledge and skills (her hard strength she is consciously proud of), or 2) when she is about to be reminded of how her life has been saved by the generosity of Peeta toward her, a stranger (his soft strength that somewhat disgusts her). The first occurrence of the dandelion shows us both of these factors in the same scene, but the first is the only one she consciously associates with the flower until the very end, when she realises that she saw the flower the first time only because he threw the bread. And it had showed up again and again when his strength was on display, but in her.

    The recursive theme of those cycling and reciprocating gifts of self/other, conscious strength/feared weakness born out of that one catalyst was really potent for the female fans of that series, they made a lot of fan art about it.

    But I like how that overlaps with the idea of it also meaning granting wishes, because
    the hardest part of the story, of course, is when she really gets her wish. She and the rebel Districts have defeated the evilly evil Capital, everyone is free, and no one is going to starve. There is no external threat anymore. Whatever differences the Districts have among themselves – and even the prior denizens of the Capital – are mere fashion and minor preference, in comparison to the difference between them as Humans and the social machinery of the previous System; and functioning democracy is boring

    Katniss falls into a long, bleak depression, bereft of meaning, until she sees the flowers, and is able to figure out how to use both those original strengths all over again, but now flipped in valence, to face the internal enemy.

  290. Hi John,

    You know I do have a question that has been rattling me as of late. It is to do with America and it’s imperial future. What happens if the US is successful in its military objectives in Europe and Asia? Wouldn’t that just embolden the empire even more and prevent its overall decline in hegemony for the next few decades? Or would ultimately it would still be the same result regardless?

    I do feel though that if Washington is unfortunately successful, it is guaranteed a Biden win. To be honest, I feel Biden will win anyway. He has the demographics on his side to do it.

    Yet Trump has the old America plus the single young angry white men out there who can’t get jobs, girlfriends or homes. Now this itself is an interesting trigger. Biden could win with his multiracial PMC coalition but I feel it would be another tight race and at the end of it, Trump could blame corruption, vote stealing and even a country no longer American for his loss.

    I feel he could reel up the base even more and this is where there is that huge potential for another 1776 scenario coming from. The Bud Light fiasco reminds me of the Boston harbour episode and there is a lot of legitimate anger and frustration in the home base of the empire at the moment.

    I do feel that America on a domestic front is as close to a civil war as it ever has been. Or at least some sort of major domestic upheaval that would have been laughed at 20 years ago as being in the fantasies of right wing extremists.

    Still what is your take on the current situation and what I have just pointed out?

  291. >just wait until can no longer attract most of the top 5% minds from other nations

    Mark Blyth pointed out in one of his talks that the costs of training and education for some of those high skill boutique jobs isn’t borne by Murica, but by some other foreign country. He remarked what a really good deal it was but it came at someone else’s expense and that at some point, they would figure this out.

    If anybody has figured it out, I haven’t seen it yet, but the collapse of the dollar may make the whole scheme invalid anyway, all on its own.

    Although Old Murica had plenty of tinkerers and inventors, it wasn’t until they raided Europe of its scientists and engineers during and after WW2 that things really took off in the 60s. I suspect if this place had to get by on its own home grown talent, it would look a lot different than it does today.

  292. >the military complaining of shortfalls in recruitment

    But wait, there’s more. Of the men who are still willing to volunteer, they have to reject something close to 80% of them – because they’re too fat to fight. Those are the ones that show up. If they have to start conscripting men, who knows what that figure will um, balloon, to.

    Here’s a prediction. They’re within 1-2 years of losing a major war when they’ve outlawed all fast food and most junk food.

  293. Thank you for all your comments, JMG.

    “What you see in dreams really does exist on the astral plane, you know!”

    Agreed! One of my mottoes to myself that helped open me to the wider universe, long before I encountered your writings, was “Consider your dreams!” I have a rich and varied dream life that teaches me things.

    I just hope those malevolent spirits of mine got smacked and sent to bed without any supper by their mother. Some hope!

  294. @ Ron, Aldarion

    Good to hear your thoughts on the John Carter piece. JC is a good writer, but like a lot of the online dissident-right, I feel like he has to be taken in balance with other things – I very much liked the way that JMG described Guenon a few weeks back, as providing the astringent bitters to balance out an excess of sweetness, and I find that analogy applies to a lot of these right-wing substackers as well. It works the other way, too; after reading John Carter and the like, I often like to read a peaceful anarcho-hippy like Tessa Lena or Winter Oak to balance them out.

  295. JMG, Aldarion, Justin & Smith: indeed, Canada’s military is in the intensive care ward and all the instruments on the vitals are flashing and blaring ‘danger’! Just some facts and figures from well-trusted insiders:
    Canada should have about 100,000 in the armed forces; currently there are 40,000
    Canada’s air force has only half the pilots that it needs
    The annual attrition rate (those leaving the armed forces) is 18%
    Those in the military who refused the experimental injection were ‘dishonorably discharged’ meaning that they are not allowed to seek any employment with the government.
    Higher-ups in the military were advising their non-commissioned officers to ‘leave while they can’ because the military may soon forbid people from retiring/resigning (I use the past tense ‘were’ because as long as the federal workers union is on strike, it is not possible to leave)

    As a result, the recruiting floodgates have been opened to persons of any gender between the ages of 16 and 57 (!!!) and rules regarding personal deportment (hair style, tattoos, piercings) have been abandoned. I’m waiting for the ‘uniform optional’ guideline. Recruiting advertisements show a young diverse group of people having a grand old time (y’know, like a beer commercial). The only thing that the Canadian military is capable of doing these days is marching on parade. It’s really a travesty considering that in both World Wars, Canada punched way above its weight (in terms of how much we accomplished with so few troops and equipment).

    Fun fact: when the federal government was scrambling to quell the Freedom Convoy movement in Ottawa (Feb 2022), they requested the armed forces to move in (Think that this is a lie? It was revealed during the federal inquiry in November last year that Cabinet members were texting among each other how many tanks they should request… but of course, it was just ‘a joke among friends’, right?). The reply was swift and firm: NO. The reason? Fear of mutiny among the ranks, as so many in the military were on the side of the protesters. Some soldiers were even filmed driving military vehicles around at night sporting ‘Frack Trudeau’ flags!

    Not only are the young men not joining the military in Canada, but most of the seasoned warriors are leaving or have already left. And a lot of them are spitting mad, not only regarding the Afghanistan debacle but also regarding the governments’ treatment of the citizenry over the past three years. The tinder is piling up…

  296. JMG, here is an interesting post on the mechanics of a potential breakup of the US with lots of the aspects you highlighted in TLG (https://simplicius76.substack.com/p/on-secession-and-civil-war), which I plugged in the comments there.

    One particular thing proposed there that I hadn’t thought of as a consequence of both the population drain to “red states” as well as the Western fetish for sanctions is the potential sanctioning of the “red states” to bring them into line with and compensate the blue ones.

  297. I have read that lead poisoning contributed substantially to Roman decline. It is known to cause many problems, including cognitive issues in children. I was wondering how much you think modern, largely unregulated, chemicals may be contributing to decline (not just to our environment, but also populations). Many have been identified in water, air, soil, and humans. Some appear exacerbated by widespread plastic diffusion (to which many chemicals adhere).

    Adaptations seem limited, though conveniently appear to parallel the Green Wizardry you have encouraged for so long.

  298. @teresa from Hershey #131, @David, by the lake #138,

    Thanks for your replies. I fully agree with both of you that decentralisation plays an important part, and also local involvement of „normal“ people.

    What I‘m grappling with is: How can this be achieved? Not the „people getting involved“ (although that, too… 😉 ), but the decentralisation?

    Just as people don‘t like to give up their power once they have achieved it, organisations and structures don‘t like to give it up either.

    There seems to be a tendency, over time, for power to become more and more centralised – and once it‘s there, it won‘t come back unless there is a major disruption. (And frankly, I‘d rather do without such a major disruption…)

    So how can we decentralise power and decision-making and execution and everything else, even despite this tendency?

    And once it‘s decentralised, how can we prevent it from going the other way again over time?

    (These are honest questions to which I haven‘t found an answer yet – would appreciate the input of all the smart folks here!)

    @Mary Bennett #139,

    Thanks for this, that‘s an interesting angle.

    I‘m not sure if democracy is the best way to achieve this, tbh. I suspect that most people will simply vote for whoever promises them the most comfort and the most personal advantages, whether that is good for society as a whole or not. (And whether it would fulfill your requirements or not.)

    I also somewhat suspect that even if we started out with a society which perfectly embodied your principles, over time, certain people would figure out how to game the system, or how to take advantage for themselves, and then the system would slowly but surely be transformed into something else.

    Could you (or anybody else) see any way of avoiding that development?

    @Scotlyn #142,

    Thanks for posting this!

    Hope everybody is having a wonderful Sunday!

    Milkyway

  299. JMG,

    One more question, if I may:

    Somebody recently asked you how to keep the egregore of an organization „healthy“, and your reply was „by having a strict code of ethics and enforcing it“ (I‘m paraphrasing here).

    How would one go about keeping the egregore of something like the Golden Section Fellowship, which exists entirely in the unseen, healthy?

    When one won‘t even meet or know most of the people who contribute to the egregore, then… well, then what?

    Or is this not an issue in such a case, and if so: for what reason?

    Thank you very, very much for hosting this space, and for answering questions. You absolutely rock!

    Milkyway

  300. Note: Recent job change requires me to be slightly more discreet when posting, thus using a diferent name.

    The ongoing degradation of institutions and human behavior in the United States continues. One example is the United States Postal Service. I thought things had gotten bad a few years back when it was revealed that old mail trucks were exploding on a regular basis, the cost of sending letters and packages skyrocketed, and mail was continously delayed.

    Now it is getting worse. Check washing is the latest crime being perpetrated on the public. Miscreants are intercepting mail that they believe may contain checks, removing the checks from the envelopes, using chemicals to remove the payee and amount, and depositing checks for large sums into their own accounts. At first, these incidents appeared to be the result of criminals stealing checks from residential/business mailboxes and then they began to get access to the blue collection boxes.

    Now the check thefts are happening from within the post offices: A business acquaintance mailed off checks to three vendors. The stamped envelopes were deposited directly into the mail slot within a suburban post office. All were stolen, all were washed, and she was out $21,000.

    (The answer from the powers-that-be? Pay your bills online using credit/debit cards or automatic draft.)

    But wait, there is more! I recently visited the post office to purchase a money order. They don’t have them and the clerk told me that there is only one post office in the area that has them and that I should go there. The man behind me in line asked to buy some postage stamps. They don’t have those either (I’ve heard about the lack of stamps at post offices from other people as well.).

    The media is another matter. That institution has been pretty good at eating itself, particularly since their own watchdogs have been sleeping at the wheel, as illustrated in this latest kerfuffle: Ford announced that it is no longer installing AM radios in its dashboards, following a trend started by Tesla. Ultimately, it sounds like many automobile manufacturers want to remove radios entirely and force vehicle owners to subscribe to a proprietary service if they want in-dash news and entertainment.

    (You’ll own nothing, and be happy to fork over a subscription fee each month. Don’t pay your subscription fee because someone drained your account after stealing your checks from the post office? No in-car news and information for you. Better pray you are driving through an area with tornado sirens (many were decommissioned after the end of the first Cold War).

    As if this isn’t bad enough (former FEMA administrators, both Republican and Democrat are incandescent given the real public safety risks that cutting off AM radio to cars presents), broadcast radio as the single most accessible, democratic form of mass media is also at risk.

    Cut off radio in the dash and you cut off listenership. This leads to a decrease in ad spending which eventually leads to stations going out of business or cutting the quality of their programming (including competent news reporting).

    And so it goes.

  301. JMG:

    Have you maybe thought about considering yourself a member of Generation Jones? Officially it’s a subset of The Boomers from 1955 to 1964, with 1965 added in to round up the years (I’d add in 1966 and 1967 myself, but as it happens that’s just me.).

    The idea is that The later Boomers had a widely different experience from their earlier cohorts. The earlier Boomers were able to establish themselves before 1974 (peak economic parity) while the younger Boomers (like you) had to deal with a troubled economy from the start of their working life. 1965 would be included because people born then would still have a decent amount of memories about life before the first doubling of gas prices and the bankruptcy of Penn Central (the first great corporate bankruptcy). Xers would therefore be those who knew nothing about untroubled economic times from personal experience while growing up.

    I’m sure there’s other signs that can be agreed upon (participation in exciting times musically vs hearing it on the radio as it happened vs that music as part of the past), but you get the point – We Jonesers saw a time of security that we weren’t able to participate in, unlike the Boomer who had time to secure themselves before the storms and the Xers who’ve only heard of things before the problems began.

  302. @Godozo,
    there’s some interesting similarities between the Generation Jones you describe and the early millenials. We grew up in the late 80s and 90s during the great moderation, got to watch the dotcom boom as teens, but graduated from highschool after that burst, and if we went to university we came out of it into the teeth of the Great Recession. In other words we saw relative prosperity around us that vanished before we could grasp it for ourselves.

  303. After your discussion of Steiner, I finally picked up my copy of How to Know Higher Worlds and started reading. I am finding it to surprisingly useful in providing a framework through which to interpret my varying occult experiences, so thank you! I did notice in your post that you suggested reading the older The Way of Initiation instead. Is there a reason you suggested it instead of How to Know Higher Worlds?

  304. “The idea is that The later Boomers had a widely different experience from their earlier cohorts. The earlier Boomers were able to establish themselves before 1974 (peak economic parity) while the younger Boomers (like you) had to deal with a troubled economy from the start of their working life. ”

    Yes indeed. Those boomers who came of age after the 1973 oil shock had a quite different experience than those who started before. The mid-seventies economic malaise is why I ended up in the Navy, as did my brother and three of the five male cousins on one side of the family also ended up in the military.

    On the other side, the Jones Generation was not troubled by Vietnam, it was over.

  305. John,
    With the generous offering of continuing open posts, you are increasingly running the risk of attracting an unintended audience. One evidence is that the counter arguments/objections to the material you present are repetitive and predictable. Another evidence is you are instantly able to have deep conversations with people with which you haven’t previously interacted. The problem of screening an audience didnt exist when your ideas were obscure, but now that “the rush” is picking up considerable speed, good luck!

  306. Stephen, at this point in the US the young people who are fit for service aren’t generally interested in joining — the woke agenda being pushed by the Pentagon does not go over well among our fit and healthy young men! — while most of those who are eager to support that agenda aren’t physically qualified. Draw your own conclusions…

    Ksim, if the US is able to succeed in its current strategies in Europe and Asia, that’ll prop up the corpse of the empire for a few more years. One way or another, it’s falling; empires rot from within, and ours is well along that trajectory. As for civil war, keep in mind that a great many people on the rightward end of things — the side that owns all the guns — are convinced that a very large fraction of their opponents are going to die over the next decade from long term consequences of the Covid vaccines. Whether you agree with them or not, that goes a long way to explain their patience, though you’re right that the Bud Light and Fox News fiascos are worth watching; they’re the first large-scale stirrings of what I expect will be a mass movement swinging the social pendulum back hard the other way.

    Batstrel, I think you spanked them good and proper, thus their hasty departure.

    Ron M, good gods. What you’re saying is that once the US collapses and you no longer have our nuclear shield to protect you, the Chinese could conquer Canada in about six weeks. They might choose to do so, too.

    Thecrowandsheep, thanks for this — and thank you for mentioning TLG there!

    Gardener, it’s a huge issue, and will continue to be a huge issue for generations.

    Milkyway, one of the core reasons I made the GSF an open-source tradition with no central organization is that with no social dimension to the Fellowship and no leadership, the egregor is much more diffuse, and less likely to go sour. If some people abuse the system, that abuse will mostly tend to generate blowback for those individuals, since other people aren’t strengthening the abuse by tolerating or supporting it.

    ACO, yes, I’ve watched that happen. It’s pretty dismal.

    Godozo, interesting. I’ll have to consider that.

    Kwo, The Way of Initiation is long out of copyright and can be downloaded free of charge — that’s why I suggested it. Lots of people these days don’t have much money in their book budgets!

    Jfisher, it’s happened before, more than once; every so often my posts attract a huge audience, and it becomes colorful for a while. I’ll deal. 😉

  307. I just finished reading Alfred McCoy’s piece in Naked Capitalism, “The Rise of China (and the Fall of the U.S.?)”. In it he asserts that the US collapse and retreat in Afghanistan was partially caused by China locking up trade, diplomatic and security arrangements with the surrounding central asian nations ( the Stans) thus causing the US to do all its resupply of troops ( and proxy Afghan) forces from far away by air. Thus its position became untenable and a retreat was more or less assured.
    To me this is important because it hints on how China will approach the reintegration of Taiwan. The kinetic war the hawks are planning for ( with a poor outcome in of itself) will not happen and China will just quietly bring all the surrounding countries in to the fold, then put the squeeze on and Taiwan will have no choice but to play ball. I find this hopefully because to me avoiding major war is the best we can hope for in the collapse of the Empire.

  308. Fwiw, regarding the brief discussion of generations…

    I have decided to no longer pay attention to secular demography. It’s been grating on my nerves for years, ever since I read an announcement that the sub generation which I was supposed to be part– the “x-ennials,” or those who had features of both generation X and the millennials– had been discovered not to actually exist. This was surprising to me, since, although I was born in 1983, I have found it very easy to relate to people 5 to 10 years older than me, as well as the people my age and about a year younger, but starting a few years after my birth something very different seem to come into existence.

    But it has occurred to me, that the planet Neptune is the ruler of subcultures in general. And what a generation is, is a subculture, which happens to include the great majority of people born during a certain period of time. Neptune was in Sagittarius from 1970 to 1984. These are the people that I find it easy to connect with on a cultural level. Especially those born in the early 1980s. And what do all of us have in common? Neptune was in the third decan of Sagittarius from 1980 to 1984. That is the x-ennial sub-generation.

    Thinking this way allows me to easily understand why I can relate to the youngest of my aunts, who was born in 1977, and my middle brother, who was born during Neptune’s regression into Sagittarius in 1984, more easily than my youngest brother, who was born in 1986.

    In 1962 (as you know), Neptune was in Scorpio, where he would remain until 1970. If I say supposed baby boomer born in 1962 is in fact part of one of the two generations that demographers, erroneously in my view, lump together into Generation X.

  309. Alderion and Luke Dodson, I also read the John Carter piece. Thank you to whomever linked it. He is indeed a very good writer, or so I thought, and has many interesting things to say. I do think, as an American whose family has been here for about 9 generations now, that he fails (or refuses?) to understand that Americans are increasingly not interested in remaining part of Europe, much less part of some hierarchical Anglo American monarchist co-prosperity sphere. That is not to say we won’t continue to be allies and friends, that is how we see it, of our English speaking cousins, but our culture is increasingly not European. The elite have dinner parties; out in the hinterlands, we have barbecues. Don’t laugh, those can be major social events, with live entertainment and no expense spared.

    Another political note: Senator Feinstein is clearly not long for this world. It would not surprise me to learn that she might in fact be no longer living. The reason, I think it is fair to surmise, that her resignation is being delayed has to do with whom Gov. Newsome appoints to be her replacement. Feinstein, while not a neo-con herself– West Coast voters do not elect neo-cons to Congress–was a reliable vote for Israel and for military adventurism. I rather suspect that the Zionist and neo-con factions have overreached here, insisting that her seat now belongs to them and that Newsome, who is not entirely so stupid and devoid of political instincts as his detractors imagine, either balked or held out for support and endorsement for his own presidential ambitions. Gavin has now publicly said that if Feinstein resigns, he will appoint a black woman, which could mean Barbara Lee from Oakland, an appointment which would give the Dem. establishment nightmares. So designated replacement Adam Schiff and Katie Porter, who is a proven vote getter and one tough lady, will have to battle it out in front of the voters.

  310. Yes, JMG, I am admitting that if the Chinese decided to ‘take’ Canada and the US were not able to intervene, it would be a cakewalk for China. It’s just one of those things that is painful to openly state (similar to stating ‘I will sell my children into slavery’).

    On top of everything else, we’ve sent nearly all our military hardware to Ukraine to be either obliterated by the Russians or sold on the black market by Turdeau’s ‘best bud’ the Zee-man. (Maybe Turdeau thinks that Xi will make him Governor of Canada after the take-over: I’m not so sure about that, Prime Minister Fancy Socks – when Xi calls you ‘Little Potato’ he doesn’t say it with the affection of a comrade… no, it’s more like the disgust and derision of someone who would happily put a bullet in your empty head as a reward for loyalty) I am still hoping that the Chinese techno-communist uber-control-freak state collapses and breaks into several weaker states before the US Empire bites the dust, but the way things look right now, the US Empire may be the first to go down. Blub, blub, blub.

  311. Inflation: rough & ready data point at the ATM: Fast Cash, which has been $40 for decades, is now $60. The most you could draw in the past has been $200. Now it’s $300.

    Blessed Beltane, May Day, Calan Mai, and by whatever name this holiday is called, to whoever celebrates it. Here we have sunshine and mild weather – in the low 80s – after four days of rain off and on. Flowers, of course, are everywhere, and birds: bluebird eggs are hatching, and some hatchlings have been seen near the bird houses. I think the Whistling Ducks have ducklings; the bus went by the pond at our moderate on-campus speed limit, but even so, it wasn’t a close-up. The Great Mother of us All is generous with her bounty that way right now.

    @JMG – I’m remiss with the usual. Will at least get off a card to you.

    Blessed be, everyone.

  312. Hi John Michael,
    This week guns were mentioned a couple of times. It seems that with life getting harder for most folks and with so many guns around you are seeing more cases of people going postal. Do you see regional differences there and did that factor into your decision to move to RI? I lived in Providence from 1981 to 1987 and at that time guns did not seem to be an issue there ( e.g. I did not see any “insured by Smith & Wesson” stickers). Guns and health care are the two main reasons why I am glad to be living in Germany right now. Life is certainly getting harder here but failure is less stigmatized.

  313. @the other Owen 303: Believe me, the other countries figured out a long while ago that the emigration of their doctors, scientists etc. to Europe and America was a very bad deal for them! It is usually called brain drain and is known that way even in Germany, which both receives and loses scientists. Nobody needed a recent YouTuber to point it out to them.

  314. JMG, a good long while ago, you mentioned memory techniques traditionally used by societies to remember large amounts of storified information Since I’m a Torah reader at synagogue, I have to spend large amounts of time learning and particularly re-learning the material every year by rote. Do you have specific recommendations of books or other documents on memory that I could use to improve my retention?

    On a completely separate note, I couldn’t help noticing, this past week, how mainstream media, particularly in Canada where I live, automatically assume Trump will automatically be the Republican presidential candidate, while generally discounting DeSantis out of hand. I thought they might have learned from taking hasty conclusions in 2016!

  315. @Deneb Algedi 777: thanks for the datapoint. I do think there’s a spiritual awakening of some sort in progress, though I’m still blindly feeling about for its boundaries. The investigation is riveting, though!

    @Phil: thanks for the additional info!

    @ Epileptic Doomer: Powerpoint! Aargh! I’d find that terminally discouraging as well 🙁

    @DaveinWA: I’m sorry to hear it. Do you have any sense, more broadly, of whether the decline is due to people leaving Catholicism generally, or if it’s more to do with population loss in the Seattle area? I know that’s a hard thing to tell, just curious if you’ve any insight into the reasons for it.

    @everybody else who responded to my query: thanks very much! Your answers have been surprising, enlightening, and very helpful!

  316. @Ron M (#286) –

    That comment was a tour-de-force, thanks for that. I agree in every way. It’s funny, about four years ago, I guess, I found myself on a web forum that might in retrospect be called “proto-dissident”; I didn’t really think too highly of it, but the point is that at that time, there was. nothing. else. for dissidents. Now there is.

    As for the Freedom Convoy and patriotism, great observation and I agree with this too. I believe, extremely literally, that the Convoy was an act of divine intervention, and I believe that there was a reason it had to occur in Canada, which was, in order to achieve its purpose, it had to comprise a unique blend of love, togetherness, and *peacefulness* that probably couldn’t have taken place as effectively anywhere else.

    Like a recently-awakened giant, people have begun to remember that we used to stand FOR something. As our Prime Minister of a hundred years ago, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, remarked: “Canada is free and freedom is its nationality”. (Our American friends might be shocked that Canadians used to have this self-conception.)

    I’m not going to get into grand unified theories about What Really Happened over the past few years, but I can tell you this: all the internet censorship in the world isn’t going to change the fact that dissident groups all have each other’s phone numbers now, they have spent time forging bonds of comradeship, and they can’t be dispersed, at this point.

    I’ll read the Barsoom piece tomorrow.

  317. Greetings JMG and commentariat,

    Does anyone have book suggestions for an 11 year old boy who is reading the lord of the rings trilogy for the second time?

    Thank you!
    Matt

  318. To Patricia Mathews, I assume you’re renting the apartment as opposed to owning. In the situation where the place is falling apart it’s worse to own. Would insurance even cover a condo owner in the event of a total or partial building collapse or if a building had to be demolished because of structural problems? What if a condo owner had a mortgage on a condo unit and the building had to be torn down? I seem to remember with respect to that condo collapse, that there was another nearby condo building in dangerous condition that had to be evacuated.

    This comes from the corrupt intersection of developers, regulators, city hall. Money is at the root of it. Good luck finding a new place.

  319. Clay, that strikes me as a very Chinese way to go about it!

    Steve T, that certainly makes more sense.

    Ron, if by some chance you and people who think like you end up having a say in the affairs of a collapsing Canada, I have a simple solution to offer: become a colony of India. India’s one of the few nations that will be able to contend with China head to head in a post-US world, and the Indian navy is well on its way to blue-water status; all it would take is a significant Indian military presence on Canadian soil, some leases for ports and air bases, and the same sorts of unbalanced trade agreements you have with the US today, and you’ll be about as safe as anybody.

    Patricia M, and a happy Calan Mai to you as well! Thank you for the links, et al.

    Uwe, it may surprise you to hear this, but I’ve never known anybody who suffered a gunshot wound outside of the military. The current situation with firearms in the US is being massively inflated by European media; I don’t imagine that anyone’s mentioned, for example, that the largest single share of gun-related deaths in the US (53%) are suicides. Yes, there are regional differences, but no, that didn’t play any role in my move to Rhode Island.

    Poseidon, you might pick up a copy of Frances Yates’ book The Art of Memory, which provides a history of the most widely used mnemonic method. As for Trump, we’ll see, but he’s got a massive lead in the polls over all other GOP candidates right now.

    Matt, you could have been describing me! At that age I adored Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain books, Alan Garner’s The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and The Moon of Gomrath, Peter Beagle’s The Last Unicorn, all the fantasy novels of Patricia McKillip, and the Mabinogion tetralogy of Evangeline Walton.

  320. @Luke Dodson and others on “John Carter”: I understand that alt-right writers enjoy messing with some readers’ sensibilities. What I think is more important is that he doesn’t have a good grasp of what he wants to go back to. Conservatives may be wary of too much innovation (he cites Chesterton’s fence), but jumping into an imaginary past is just as dangerous as into an imagined future. If somebody proposes going back to the 18th century franchise, or (as an extreme case) 11th century fyrd, then proponents and opponents can look at actual data from the epoch and argue the merits. “John Carter” shows no knowledge of English or European history before 1700 in his piece, except for common law. He even wrote that “the English did not behead their king”!

    Instead of that, judging by the Imperium Press titles, he seems to advocate some vague Indo-European tradition, jumping over the intervening millennia of Greek, Latin and Christian culture. Since the Indo-Europeans are a purely reconstructed linguistic group, with arguments raging over their actual culture (agriculturalists? steppe warriors?), nobody can really tell what Indo-European settlers on Canada’s arctic frontier would look like. As I said, the 1930s also idealized a purely reconstructed Indo-European race and their hardy settler descendants…

    On a completely different note, Luke, I have become a big fan of Farya Faraji on your recommendation!

  321. @ Milkyway and David by the lake

    I don’t think there’s a solution to this problem of democracy. It has to be managed.

    Every entity wants to grow and government or bureaucracy is no exception. But when things get too big, whether companies or governments, they become harder to control.

    It’s like they take on a life of their own.

    As for citizen involvement, they have to want to. Citizens who don’t care enough to vote or attend municipal meetings or subscribe to their township’s newsletter (and read it!) have made their view clear. For whatever reason — apathy, exhaustion, too much to do and not enough time to spare, fear or whatever you want — they’ve made their statement.

    They’re saying “let someone else do the hard work.”

    How do you make them care?
    They’ve got to have skin in the game. The stakes have to matter to them, personally.

    Decentralization runs into problems when some bigger entity shoves its way in. A loose confederation has a hard time fighting off a unified threat.

    You just have to keep trying, I guess.
    But it does help when you’ve got people who aren’t drugged into delicious submission by constant doses of Soma.

  322. Ron/JMG – yeah, the only limiting factor to China conquering Canada would be setting up supply lines from Pacific ports eastward. I suspect the military would crack completely when a decent chance of taking a bullet or artillery shell becomes part of the employment agreement again. It is a shame to say this when Canada’s outstanding performances in both world wars is still within living memory, but here we are.

    A data point ™: I know an active CAF member who bought a handgun a couple years ago to get more practice with such a weapon – his job in the Navy theoretically involves boarding ships with hostile people on board and possibly killing them with a handgun or submachinegun. He has had minimal training with the weapons he is supposedly going to use to defend Canada with, having fired well under 1000 rounds in training. His handgun is now illegal after a shooting spree by a Canadian who was forbidden from owning firearms, but bought illegally imported guns from the US and then killed a bunch of people while dressed up as a Mountie. This country is terminally insane and I’d like to submit my vote for Indian rather than Chinese overlords once the US is finished.

  323. Re: generations –

    I’m also inclined to think of generational cycles along Neptunian lines.

    Neptune entered Capricorn in 1984, but because of retrogrades it wasn’t really solidly in Cap until 1985. Similarly for 1998 with regards to Neptune in Aquarius, and 2011 for Pisces.

    I would thus be inclined to refer to 1943-1956 (Libra) as the core “Boomers”, 1956-1970 (Scorpio) as “Jones”, 1970-1984 (Sagittarius) as core “Gen X”, 1984-1998 (Capricorn) as the “Millennials”, 1998-2011 (Aquarius) as “Gen Z”, 2011-2025 (Pisces) as “Gen Alpha”. Because of retrograde periods, the dates partially overlap. Decans probably also do play a role, especially given that Neptune doesn’t really “do” hard boundaries – Neptune in 1st decan Cap are probably the most “Gen X” of the Millennials, while 3rd decan Cap would be the most “Gen Z” of the Millennials.

  324. @Matt, JMG, Re: books for 11yo

    We are reading the Lloyd Alexander books to my 11yo now, coincidentally. We faced the same question after our second, maybe third, read-aloud of the entire LOTR series (including the Hobbit and the Silmarillion). He and the younger brother already burned their way through all the Harry Potter and Redwall books, seems like ages ago. It’s so difficult to find books that are both appropriate/interesting to an 11yo, and also not written at such a simple level that they seem like “Dick and Jane” books to the kid who’s just finished Return of the King.

    I hadn’t even thought of Patricia McKillip. I used to have a maniacal passion for her books, but thought they might be too… girly? If JMG liked them, perhaps I’ll give them another look. I was in love with her rich use of language. JMG, did you have any favorites amongst her work? Thinking back, I wonder if Alphabet of Thorn or Atrix Wolfe might appeal…

    Matt: it might be worth having a look *back* at older literature for children and adults. It’s more linguistically complex, there’s no shortage of swashbuckling adventure, and a lot of it’s in the public domain now, so easy to just download for free. Librivox.org is a wonderful resource for books that are still a little above my kids’ reading level, but which they nonetheless enjoy. Some titles that’ve gone over reasonably well: Otto of the Silver Hand, Men of Iron (even though it is ridiculous!), The Little Duke (sounds silly, actually very engaging historical novel about the Duke of Normandy, descendant of Rollo, progenitor of William the Conqueror), and even though they are not fantasy, we’ve really enjoyed several titles from Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons series. Everybody loves the totally-unsupervised-British-children-on-school-holiday genre, right? The kids were both weirdly fascinated by George MacDonald’s *The Princess and the Goblin*– I mean, there’s enough eldritch nightmare-creatures in there to make up for the fact that the main character is a little girl.

    When I consulted my 11yo about this, he, weirdly, recommended the Tom Swift series. Which is complete junk… but it’s vintage junk and that makes it fun? (shrugs)– again this is stuff that can be downloaded from Project Gutenberg, where he’s also recently found and enthused about, a book on making inks, and a chemical formulary from the 19th century. Go figure.

    My husband, who had similar tastes at 11, enjoyed Watership Down. I didn’t. Maybe it’s a guy thing.

  325. I would not be in the least bit surprised if Great Britain ends up becoming an Indian colony, especially since the UK already has a large and growing immigrant population from the Subcontinent, including the current British prime minister, who is the son of Punjabi immigrants. I could very easily see the old British Empire being reconstituted, but this time ruled from New Delhi instead of London.

  326. Canada always has to be somebody’s colony, eh, JMG? (Boo hoo! Always a bridesmaid and never a bride!) Seriously, you’ve got no arguments from me on that practical proposal. For one, India has a big, committed, badass military that has been hardened by decades of nearly continuous conflict with foes of comparable strength (Indians are also immensely proud of their military: for example, in January of this year the popular Hindi ‘reality TV’ show ‘Indian Idol’ honoured the soldiers of the 1999 Kargil war and gave opportunity for highly decorated soldiers in the audience to narrate their harrowing tales and for mothers of fallen soldiers to talk proudly of their sons’ sacrifice, all interspersed with competitors singing songs from various famous Hindi war films [not a dry eye among the hundreds of millions of viewers, including me] – such a demonstration of patriotism and pride in the armed forces is unimaginable for TV programs in the US or Canada). And Indians are willing to go toe-to-toe with China if need be. It would be a win-win for both India and Canada in another way: rooting out the Khalistani terrorists who have over-run certain parts of Canada (including holding huge convoys, attacking Indian consulates, defiling Hindu temples, and even attacking Hindus gang-style on public highways) and who are the core funders and ideologues behind the Khalistan separatist movement in India. Another big plus is that India is one of the freest countries in the world: ordinary people live their lives there with minimal government intervention and interference (and they are very suspicious of governments and their motives – a healthy attitude I must say). Canada sure could use some more of that freedom stuff! Maybe I’ll broach the idea with PM Modi the next time I’m in India! 😊

  327. Matt #336: Tolkien was influenced by the novels of H. Rider Haggard, which are basically “boys’ own adventure” fantasy stories, but well-written and even philosophical (also based on the author’s experiences of traveling and living in Africa). I enjoyed the Allan Quatermain and Ayesha series, beginning with “King Solomon’s Mines” and “She: a Story of Adventure.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_works_by_H._Rider_Haggard

  328. @Lazy gardener

    I’ve spent a lot of time observing the fire ants around my dwelling. I refuse to poison them, and don’t even use less-toxic deterrents unless they crop up in a location that is really unworkable for the rest of us, such as right by the front steps. Why? I don’t think anything actually kills the colony. It just forces them to relocate six or eight steps away. And the thing is, if you just wait them out, they’ll relocate anyway after some weeks or months. Why do they do this? When they get into my potted plants– why leave? That’s a very cushy location for an ant colony. Can’t get flooded out by rain. Safe from most everything, close to food sources. Never suffers drought.

    But they always do, and once they’re gone from a particular potted tomato or rosemary, they don’t come back. My best guess is that, in such a condensed, intensely-managed, heavily-trafficked living situation, things just get toxic. No matter how meticulous they are, waste products build up, pathogens take hold, maybe the wrong kind of mold gets a foothold somewhere in the tunnels (and we all know how hard it is to get mold out of your house). Maybe the air just gets stale, with so many creatures breathing it. And then, they have to pack up and move.

    Might it not be the same with people? Too many people, too small a space, over too many years… wastes and toxins accumulate. Disease sets in. The environment becomes hostile. The ants, at least, have enough sense to vacate the place and let other organisms take it over.

  329. Look out, history is rhyming again…

    “One in 5 young people in Chinese cities are out of work. Beijing wants them to work in the fields.

    As the jobless rate among China’s youth soars, the country’s richest province has offered a highly controversial solution: Send 300,000 unemployed young people to the countryside for two to three years to find work.”

    All governments should be concerned about disaffected youth principally because it’s a betrayal of social mobility, but also because young unemployed or those without hope can foment unrest,” said George Magnus, an associate at Oxford University’s China Centre.

    “This would be especially sensitive in China, where it would also detract from the required compliance with Xi Jinping’s thought and social stability.”

    Many social media users have expressed unease with similarities between Xi’s policy and the earlier campaign launched by Mao between 1950s and 1970s.

    During the “Down to the Countryside Movement,” many of the tens of millions of urban youth sent to rural areas lost opportunities for higher education and were dubbed by historians as “China’s Lost Generation.”

    Xi’s policy echoes that of Mao, said Magnus. But he doubts if today’s generation of young people will accept this policy “meekly.”

    No kidding. There is no need to go to college or put up with those infamous study sessions if you just want to do small scale farming.

    https://www.kxly.com/news/money/one-in-5-young-people-in-chinese-cities-are-out-of-work-beijing-wants-them/article_9b07cdbe-6261-556d-b6f8-08e6a2193959.html

    “I spent a decade busting butt to get into college, then four more years of slogging, and now you’re handing me a hoe and sending me to the rice fields!”

    Some functionary is likely to have to see a doctor for a hoe extraction.

    It would be ironic if China imploded before the US. Then again, the story was the fate of the Tianaman square revolution was decided by two generals who stayed loyal to the regime.

    Is there anywhere in the world not going nuts?

  330. JMG,
    In your opinion, has the neopagan movement run out of steam? If it has, do you think it still has a future or is this the end for it?

    I think that the neopagan movement has potential, but the movement is immature and needs to iron out its problems. Mainly the wishful thinking “The universe wants to give you what you want” The Secret kind of stuff. That needs to die, and it needs to die in the occult scene as well.

  331. @JMG “There are thousands of fictional scenarios being splashed around on various media every year; when one happens to come close to what actually happened, it looks precognitive — but then there are the thousands of others that didn’t.”

    This is why I am always careful when making predictions of the future. They can be a little vague but that is intentional. They aren’t meant to be “This is how it will happen!” but more, “if we go this path, the future will be like this.”

    To be taken in the same sense as Satire. A Satire not only shows that people are acting silly but if done well enough, they can make the subject realized the error of their ways and change their actions. To that it was the court jester that could speak truth to power at least that is the idea.

    In that context, one has to be a bit like a lens. To see all the thousands of strands that become the present and then extrapolate them forward. So things immediate seem so obvious but the further out the more vague and blurry the prediction becomes but the more options there are getting there.

    I suppose it is like a well made curse. This is something awful that could happen but there is always an out if you avoid the highlighted pitfalls.

    … Speaking of Fictional Scenarios. I recently discovered the ‘Cozy Fantasy’ genre of books. It is taking the cliche fantasy worlds and projecting the ideals of a simpler life onto it. A big one in the space from last year is Legends and Lattes, about an Ork call Viv who gives up the mercenary life of slaying dragons to open a Cafe in a village. They aren’t the deepest reads but the core message is pretty good.

    It is directed more at younger readers and this genre has already gained a decent little following, it actually seems like a nice little way to introduce the themes of a simpler living and doing more for one self using the fantasy setting as a foot in the door. To consciously and subconsciously lay down a path to a smaller more engaged future.

  332. @Chris at FarmGlen

    “I recall the last serious drought. It was pretty bad, and the big smokes reservoirs got down into the low teens (close to the point where you can’t drink the stuff, no matter what is done to it), and yet here we are going that didn’t matter, it’ll never happen again.”

    About 20 years back Melbourne was going through a drought and my grandmother born in the 1920’s was with us for the week. We told her that “There are water shortages due to the drought and too many people on the system” All she said abruptly was was “Why? How could they let that happen? That is rubbish, they can get more water whenever they want!”.

    The total denial of the very weather patterns of our land and the demands on the system we had was fascinating to see. And yet, it isn’t just the people using this stuff but those in charge just letting more people in with no regard for the infrastructure to support all these people. I think in those 20 years we have added something like 2 million people to a system that in dry times are stretched badly.

    Seeing our city expand too absolutely comical scale is wild to see. The expansion up north that can NEVER be supported long term simply in terms of the road system and utilities. I know Whittlesea is on almost the same Latitude as you and the amount of real estate they are planning up to their is bonkers! Look at other places like Kalkallo and Beverage as well. They are well into the country and those in charge simply cannot help themselves but keep expanding at all costs! By the time it falls flat on its face, they will have long moved onto other positions. But hey, “the line went up!” and they made a few shiny new train stations by ripping up the functional old ones all for photo opportunities along the way.

  333. Hi John Michael,

    Ah, thank you for understanding. That was exactly what I was curious about. I guess each soul passing by the stones and not adding, presumably takes something away. All rather unfortunate, sorry to say. But I’m assuming that you added something? No need to tell me.

    Interestingly the term ‘bluestone’ means different things in different countries. After a quick read, the various minerals which produce such rock are quite common in the mantle, but on the surface they do tend to wear. Although the granite here is quite hard and has been used for many public buildings. A preferable material to sandstone, which weathers quite rapidly. There’s a lot of the stuff down here, although as usual, us clever humans have mined a lot of the easily accessible stuff. I used to know someone who has to order this material for jobs and they were always talking about shortages of the crushed mineral.

    Have you heard about the sea surface temperatures being at records not seen for many millennia?

    Cheers

    Chris

  334. One positive thing on the internet recently is the availability of instruction in more of the liberal arts beyond the university student.

    I followed this professor of “polyglottery” Alexander Arguelles online for more than 10 years at this point. Recently, I found out he had launched an online language academy: https://www.alexanderarguelles.com/academy/ It seems like a very comprehensive, deep approach to literature and languages. One interesting tidbit about Arguelles is that his PhD advisor was actually Ioan Culianu. For those interested in podcasts, he did one with Guru Viking very recently: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AEaBFcU_uFI

    I also saw “Yogic Studies” and “Buddhist Studies” online where academics teach university-level courses in their respective fields of expertise.

    I am sure there exist other similar courses for other liberal arts. If anyone knows of any here, could you please share?

    Thanks

  335. Renaissance Man #251 – why do you reckon it is *now* (as opposed to when? and why?) “difficult to compel people through economic pressure to do jobs that no one wants to do”?

  336. #241 Augusto: when I think of traditional Western healing methods, the first names that come to mind are Hahnemann, Kneipp, and Paracelsus. Hahnemann is of course the inventor of homeopathy, and there are loads of books available on the subject, including, of course, his own writings. Kneipp is known as the “water doctor,” but actually his teachings comprise much more than just hydrotherapy; he also preserved a lot of traditional herbalism, he devised his own dietetics, and something called Ordnungstherapie, which could be translated as living within the natural rhythms.
    Paracelsus’ teachings have actually been revived as TEM (Traditional European Medicine). Margret Madajsky and Olaf Rippe are two authors who also have a school in Munich (Natura Naturans), and I can find a number of books on amazon (yeah, I know…) when I type in Traditionelle Europäische Medizin/ Naturheilkunde, from a variety of authors. I don’t know if there are English translations of their books, but I hope there are also titles from English-speaking authors available.
    The French are pioneers of aromatherapy, using essential oils for healing. I might brush up on my French just so I can read their books, because many don’t have a translation into English or German.
    Plus there’s a whole tradition of Gesundbeten, or Besprechen. I think it’s still preserved among the descendants of German settlers in the US (Appalachia?), while it has almost completely died out over here. There are a few practitioners left, but as far as I know, they haven’t written books about it.

    #336 Matt, I’ll add The Dragonbone Chair by Tad Williams. Myself, I loved to read Diana Wynne Jones in my youth (Howl’s Moving Castle, the Chrestomanci series), but I was an 11 year old girl once, and I don’t know how well my tastes back then map onto those of a boy 😉 Her books are also very English.

  337. >Inflation: rough & ready data point at the ATM: Fast Cash, which has been $40 for decades, is now $60

    Not exactly what I remember.

    1980s: You had the choice of taking $10 or $20
    1990s: The $10 option went away
    2010s: You had the choice of taking $20 or $40
    2020s: You have the choice of taking $20, $40, $60, or $100. They have yet to take the $20 option away. I suspect they are reluctant to remove the lower options. But they will at some point.

    20??s: You have the option of taking $100 or $200…
    20??s: The $100 option goes away

  338. Matt,

    I like to read long form novels to my 8 year old. Right now we’re halfway through our host’s Star’s Reach and he is loving it! The Neverending Story went over really well.

    As for what I was reading around age 11: I was devouring the Narnia books. Absolutely fantastic literature.

  339. @Hackenschmidt (#248)
    JMG has already noted that the revival of the Cornish language is not a modern fad, nor is it an indication of degeneracy. I know Councillor Dick Cole and I’ve supported Mebyon Kernow (Sons of Cornwall) for many years. Cornwall looks to the example of Wales, where the Welsh language was brought back from the brink of extinction and revived into a flourishing modern language through the efforts of a small group of Welsh leaders and scholars (and brave activists like Eilean Beasley). The Celtic nations support each other through various pan-Celtic organisations like the Celtic Congress and the Celtic League.

  340. Justin Patrick Moore – Hi, and thanks for your recollection of Douglas-Klotz. That must have been quite an event! The Revelations book seems to be an update on earlier translations (Lords Prayer, Beatitudes) with some new translations of harder/stranger gospel passages and exploration of worldview and philosophy underlying ancient Semitic languages. Thanks again.

  341. @Uwe #331 – guns are a regional thing for sure. They’re all over Appalachia, and very prevalent in Dixie. I can’t speak for the Midlands, but the Rocky Mountain region, and mountain-and-basin country in general, takes guns pretty much for granted, at least in the countryside and smaller communities. And of course, wherever you have ranches, there are guns, for varmint control – coyotes etc. So you can certainly include the Southwest in gun country. New England and the Pacific Northwest (the coastal regions) and the big cities are the most gun-hostile regions I know of.

  342. @Smith #337 – Management is moving us into the building next to us at their own expense, and hiring movers to pack, move, and unpack for us. The next door building has vacancies, and this being a senior living complex, ordinary attrition will see to more opening up. Also, some of our residents would rather move into other buildings entirely, and again, will be moved at Management’s expense.

    And yes,I’m glad I’m not living in a condo. Back in the early 90s, I did. I liked the place, but their management could never keep up with the maintenance.

  343. @Citrine Eldritch Playpus #346 on the Indianization of Britain – I strongly recommend S.M. Stirling’s alternate history novel The Peshawar Lancers for a look at how that would play out. Princess Sita, preferring to waltz in a shalwar kamiz rather than a sari; an Oxford professor whose devotion would be to Saraswati if she were inclined to devotion; the King-Emperor of the British Raj referring to “rajadharma” as his guiding moral value….and, being Stirling, rip-roaring adventure, romance, and a villain who is evilly evil with evil sauce.

  344. Books for 11-years-old boys:

    Above all others, Stevenson’s Treasure Island and maybe also Kidnapped. The boy protagonist prevails against formidable odds and grows up as he does so. Also, the villains are not carboard cut-outs of sheer evilness. N. C. Wyeth’s illustrations are wonderful, too, if you can find an older copy which still has them.

    Asx a boy I loved many of H. Rider Haggard’s novels, too. People of the Mist comes to mind at the moment, as do the novels featuring Alan Quartermain as the protagonist.

    Some of Sax Rohmer’s novels, especially The Bat Flies Low, The Brood of the Witch Queen, Fire Tongue and Bat Wing.

    Other authors I liked a lot in my ‘teens: Talbot Mundy, Abraham Merritt, André Norton (Star Man’s Son).

  345. Did I actually just write that Treasure Island and Kidnapped were by Kipling, as I seem to remember doing??? They’re by Robert Louis Stevenson, of course. Brain spasm!@!

  346. Books for kids who love fantasy and are reading at an adult level:
    -I actually liked the Sword of Shannara series at that age. It gets less purple-prosy once you get past the first couple of books, and the plots also get less derivative.
    -David Eddings
    -Watership Down

    If they show interest in more science-fictiony stuff:
    -Anne McCaffrey, especially Pern.
    -the darkover novels aimed at young adults rather than adults, like Star of Danger. Some of the more adult-oriented ones have too much sex and related stuff.
    -Heinlein’s young-adult novels. I really liked Have Spacesuit, Will Travel, and Tunnel in the Sky. Not so much things like Stranger in a Strange land etc for reasons similar to much of the Darkover series.
    -Kim Stanley Robinson: Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars (this is probably more appropriate for teenagers than preteens but it is a really awesome series)
    -Star Wars novels. Not the most highbrow stuff, but I liked them.

    It’s hard to find things appropriate for kids who really love to read and are good at it but are still kids.

  347. Book recommendations: The Old Kingdom books by Garth Nix, starting with Sabriel. By far my favourite treatment of necromancy, even as an adult.
    The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. The Graveyard Book and Coraline by Neil Gaiman.
    The entire Oz series by Frank L Baum.
    Kim by Rudyard Kipling.
    101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith.
    The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle.
    A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L’Engle.

    These are a few that I loved at that age.

  348. Cornwall had the experience of de-industrialisation earlier than anywhere else I can think of. In the 19th century it was a big mining area for copper and tin and had quite a lot of associated engineering work. However a lot of people emigrated once many mines opened around the world and many of the mines back home closed down. The overall population actually fell from 1871 to 1961.

    Although the revival of the Cornish language can be said to have started with the publication of Jenner’s handbook there were only a very small number of speakers for quite a few decades so I can understand that it can be a surprise for people and BBC travel writers can appear to be discovering it for the first time.

  349. Reading for an 11 year old.
    I can’t remember exactly what age we started, but with my daughter, who is now 39, after reading her Roald Dahl and various other kid’s books, I read her the C.S. Lewis Narnia books, then Tolkien, then the Ursula K. Leguin Earthsea series. She enjoyed being read to even after she was a fully competent reader. By 11, she was pretty much choosing her own books, and was fine using a library or browsing a book store,
    On Canada becoming an Indian colony: I don’t know. The supply lines would be awfully long , especially with declining fossil fuels, and pass right by S.E. Asia and China. I can more easily see India expanding to Oz & NZ, if they go that route. Likewise, I don’t see why they would bother with Britain. What would be the draw, and there is lot to trip over on the way.
    I think the most likely scenario for Canada is that it breaks up, as the US will, especially if the center of the continent becomes desert. I can see China taking, or at least dominating the whole west coast of both countries. I would imagine the east and mid west of both the US and Canada forming separate countries or autonomous regions, some spanning the border, a la a larger Lakeland Republic. Who knows. Interesting conjectures though.
    Stephen

  350. I am wondering about all this trans stuff that is going on. In the US the hoo-hah seems to be mostly about kids transitioning but the Brits (Mary Harrington, James Tunney, Paul Kingsnorth, etc) are going on about trans-humanism (melding man and computers) being “their” goal. I feel pretty sure this cannot work in the end but I wonder how far you think it will go? Like in your lifetime kind of time span.

  351. Matt, here is a list of Newberry Award winners. https://abqlibrary.org/newbery/All It looks like the recent panels have gone woke, but do look up the older selections. I can particularly and enthusiastically recommend: The Trumpeter of Krakow, Adam of the Road, Johnny Tremaine, and King of the Wind. Also, you might try to locate the adventure novels of Jim (or Jack, I forgot which) Kjeldgard. Boys and faithful dogs in the North American wilderness.

  352. methyethyl – I know that this isn’t what you have in mind, but an 11-year old child with the attention span needed to read big books of fiction might also take an interest in non-fiction. I suggest “The ARRL Handbook for Amateur Radio”. It captured my imagination at that age (and led to a comfortable career). A new edition comes out every year, but any of them in the last 20 or so should be fine. It evolves slowly; the fundamentals remain.

    JMG (AD7VI) – Wouldn’t you agree? Sending your thoughts and receiving the thoughts of others by invisible means might as well be practical magic.

  353. Hi Michael,

    Yes, I heard similar stories which mostly amount to: “they’ll think of something”. The thought pops into my head at such time: “sure, but what if they don’t?”

    During the drought at around the turn of the century, my wife and I lived in Yarraville. It was pretty industrial and gritty in those days. Anyway, the neighbour across the road in her eighties used to water the garden by just turning the hose on and flooding it. Utterly bonkers. I was pretty young and we were on good terms with the neighbour, but I asked her about the watering method during such a drought. What she said to me, stopped me and left me with a sense of foreboding: “I don’t care, I’ll be dead soon”. Hmm. The question as to what are we leaving to the future is something which few people want to grapple with.

    We’re a lot north and west of there, but you’re right. I too was amazed that that train line was extended.

    Cheers

    Chris

  354. @Justin (#342): I should not be shocked by any news coming from CAF members, but I am still reeling from your revelation. Fired well under 1000 rounds in training? I suggest that your Navy friend become proficient in using a sharpened stick as an offensive weapon: soon it will be the only thing available to the CAF because (a) it hasn’t been declared illegal and/or (b) it has not been sent to the Ukraine.

  355. Well, I read the Barsoom piece, about Canada. It’s thought-provoking and I guess I won’t critique it too much. Nobody likes “that guy” who’s always picking nits in things just to hear himself talk on the internet.

    I guess the one thing I would challenge, up-front, is the idea – intriguing, to be sure, but I don’t agree with it – that Canada “never had an identity” and that if it did, it was lost with the dissolution of the British Empire. I certainly never thought that way, growing up. Granted I grew up in a region of the country with very little immigration where many or most residents can trace their ancestry back more than a hundred years, but even growing up in the 80s I felt keenly aware that Canada was “British” in some important way – it wasn’t something I would even have questioned.

  356. So The Chinese made deals with the nations surrounding Afghanistan and squeezed The US out? This would explain a few things:

    1) Why The Taliban took over before The US could complete its evacuation (The US position was much more tenuous than the public was allowed to believe.).

    2) Why The Taliban was welcomed into so many areas (the locals saw the writing on the wall well ahead of time and were biding time before it was clear that the US admitted their mistake.).

    3) Why The Ukraine is at war with Russia (Gotta draw the line somewhere with the outermost line lost. Besides, this line has the benefit of other peoples skin suddenly in the game – something that Afghanistan lacked.).

  357. Hey JMG,
    Have you heard of Robert F. Kennedy? He is a Democrat who seems to be planning to run against Joe Biden on an anti-neoliberal and environmentalist platform. He’s not your average liberal. He has fought against corporate corruption and for environmentalism for years. He is skeptical on vaccines and the covid vaccine, and also opposes trans-women in women’s sports.

    His announcement speech is long, but here it is if you want to watch it. I would strongly recommend watching the video and read some of the comments.
    (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVOCFci_3rM)

    Here’s a notable quote:
    “I don’t believe that we should be the party of war; I don’t believe that we should be the party of Wall Street; I don’t believe that we should let neocons dictate our foreign policy, and I don’t believe in censorship,” Kennedy said. “And those are all values that are traditional Democratic Party values that this White House has departed from.”

  358. @Ron M
    I really admire what you are doing in Canada, facing off against what looks a lot like incipient fascism to me. I hope your boy monarch will find some face-saving way to back away from it.
    Regarding China, time may prove me wrong, but we tend to see in them the worst features that the Western media focus on, exaggerated for boogie-man effect, combined with the worst features of Faustian culture, i.e., violent globalist ambitions, that we think everyone has. Their near-abroad nations have to worry about how to get along with them without getting overwhelmed. Historically, they once had a great navy and merchant fleet, but for some reason gave those up one fine day and focused inwardly thereafter.
    From the outside, life in China looks terrible and to me it looks like a real pressure-cooker society, but I’ve known two Americans who lived there quite happily. It’s not a Confucianist society, but heavily influenced by Confucianism, which means the people there tolerate a higher degree of authoritarianism than we would because there are limits to that defined within the culture. Several months ago, we saw masses of them go out and protest the insane lockdown and zero-COVID policies, and that was being cracked down on, but then we saw the government scratch its head and go, “Well, maybe they have a point,” and they reversed it all on a dime. They make an effort now and then, too, to root out corrupt officials. Those things would not happen here. If they did, we would automatically assume that what was actually going on behind the scene they were making was further consolidation of power, and so we tend to see this as them rooting out dissidents, which happens too, of course. In the West, corruption tends to snowball until the whole structure of society is top-heavy with avaricious cronies and the whole thing breaks down. Confucianism, by contrast, values stability.
    Not perfect by any means, and no guarantee that they won’t decide to ape America for some reason, but even here in Japan, I’m not worrying very much about them. Very few people are, from what I can see.

  359. @ Kimberly Steele

    That was a very moving rendition of “Was My Brother in the Battle?” As somebody’s brother, I got quite misty-eyed and sniffly.

  360. @batstrel.
    I was giving one example of what these things could represent, but of course, it could be anything. That’s for you to realize.
    I’d like to share what I think about independent entities living in other planes with an example. Say someone notorious keeps saying a meme, like ‘taxpayers create money that states expend’. Then, a group of people keeps repeating that phrase, maybe they liked it, maybe they were told to do so. It slowly becomes a myth. The collective mind accept this meme as real and integrates it in its social reality. Now, the people who started the meme can die, and the meme will live. That myth is alive on its own (as long as our culture remains). It’s so pervasive, that very few people ask themselves even if that sentence is true.
    In a dream, I could see this myth as a man carrying a jackpot machine, because that makes sense in my mind, but other people with different backgrounds could see different things that make sense for them.
    This is a man-made thought-form. Our host says there are also entities living in higher planes that weren’t made by humans (we are not the only consciousnesses around!), but they follow similar rules.

    If meditating on it you can’t find anything in your experience that fits the entities that hounted you, maybe they exist in a plane where you can’t figure what they are.
    In your half-dream you see blobs, which are pretty undefined shapes. Maybe you were feeling something you weren’t able to put a form yet.

  361. @ Rcastle

    “The simple problem was that she wanted attention and her mother would not give her any until she misbehaved to an extreme degree. “

    It’s not only children. I worked in a volunteer organization and one of the other volunteers was a woman who irritated me intensely. She would come swanning into the office and go around to everyone making herself the center of attention and disrupting things for a good 15 minutes or so.

    I disapproved of her behavior and would try to ignore her but she would stand by my desk and bug me to get a reaction. She had a degree in sociology and was actually pretty clued-up. Eventually she said to me, “Martin, I am an attention-seeker and I will bug you until I get the attention I want.”

    After that I made a point of greeting her promptly when she came to me, and she would go away satisfied. That 30 seconds out of my life was a worthy price to pay for not having to put up with her bugging me.

  362. @Carlos M

    A little late, thank you for your thorough reply!
    Interesting as well, and it seems you made the best decisions for yourself there.
    I wish the best to you!

    regards,
    Curt

  363. Re Democracy:

    In 1980 a work colleague went to visit family in the German Democratic Republic, aka East Germany. Very little was known about conditions there and we were anxious to hear his report back.

    Yes, he said, it’s very democratic. They have elections all the time. But it’s always about unimportant things, like what color to paint the city hall. Never about anything important.

  364. @Patricia Matthews (#365)
    Only two cultures ever made a lasting impression on the English establishment; Ireland and India.

    In the case of Ireland it was about bewilderment and resentment over the betrayal of the Anglo-Irish, who represented the first wave of colonial settlement. Irish culture in those days had an unbroken link to the European Iron Age, so obviously it was a far deeper wellspring than shallow Anglo-Saxon culture. As a result the first English colonists gradually became ‘more Irish than the Irish’ by a simple process of cultural osmosis. To this day the English aristocracy are unable to comprehend how a rustic agricultural society could possibly have won over their own hand picked cousins.

    India was another example of this same process, except it was a thousand times more disturbing for the English establishment. It is my belief that the vast cultural superiority of India actually derailed the entire British imperial project. Eric Stokes described India in ‘The English Utilitarians and India’ as ‘…a disturbing force, a magnetic power placed at the periphery tending to distort the natural development of Britain’s character’. To the extent that the favourite food of modern British people has for many years been chicken curry.

    The rather arid and uninspiring Anglican Church really had no answer for the ancient religions of India, which effortlessly swept aside any notions that the spirituality of the British was in some sense superior. Through cultural osmosis, the entire Victorian era succumbed to a wave of occultism and mysticism, which ended up paralysing the British aristocracy with introspection and self-doubt. A good example is the Brahmin fakirs in Wilkie Collins’ Victorian novel ‘The Moonstone’. So when a present day Englishman sits in his ‘bungalow’ in his ‘pyjamas’ eating last night’s currry, I would argue that he has already been taken over by India.

  365. On the subject of Tamanous (since Steve T and others made great comments on that), I do believe it is something that can be experienced in the here and now because it’s a part of the life force of the American land itself, and interacts with the people living here. It’s just very unformed as of yet. Perhaps it could be compared to the subtle bodies of a novitiate in an occult order, there but unformed, with a lot of unfulfilled potential.

    It has been noted that America differed a great deal from the Faustian homelands even having been founded as colonies of them. There are many reasons for this and not all of them metaphysical (the founder effect for example — higher average adventurousness among the founders than anywhere in Europe, and having to build up institutions from scratch in a land with none of them, etc). But I think we can detect the Tamanous spirit putting a stamp on the American cultural expression at various points in history. Something that seems to me very distinctly American is the tradition of literary naturalism from the Transcendentalists and John Muir in the 19th century to Sigurd F. Olson and Aldo Leopold in the 20th and their successors today.

    From a karmic standpoint, I also speculate that Western people had become to detached from nature and the settlement of America was an encounter with wild nature that served to balance out some of the worst materialistic and mechanistic excesses of our cultural life. This is a process that, clearly, is not completed today.

    I think the Tamanous spirit can be experienced directly in some places, and usually these are places that are farthest from the places where Faustian civilization has its strongest grip. For example, the Black Hills or parts of the hemiboreal forests of the Upper Midwest (northern MN-WI and the U.P. of Michigan). It’s a calm and somewhat mysterious energy far removed from the frantic and hectic energy of the Faustian type. Where Faustians have a very strong consciousness of being in time, the Tamanous spirit seems totally outside of it (in this way, perhaps similar to the Hellenic or Indic high cultural experience of time). I also note that while in many parts of the world, sacred places are buildings — temples, cathedrals, what have you — in the Tamanous realm they are often untouched spots. I have found these scattered throughout the American countryside.

    It’s also quite noticeable that the Anglo version of Faustian civilization doesn’t do well in arid and semiarid regions; in those places a pattern of life more akin to the Magianized Iberian version of the Faustian takes over (see: the American West, which is also Indianized, though in a very “Fellaheen” / grassroots / from-below way that was never officially acknowledged). The only place I would differ with Steve T’s analysis is that I think Silicon Valley and the whole Left Coast pattern of life is very Faustian, and the technocracy there is uber-Faustian. Recently, they seem to be locked in a power struggle with the old money Northeast oligarchy to divide the nascent Tamanous lands between them and reduce them to subjection once and for all. Of course the Spenglerian perspective would see that as a fool’s errand which could result in the demise of the civilization attempting it (as it was in the case of the Hellenic attempt to Hellenize the Near East and India, or the Roman attempt to Romanize Germania), but that’s a trend that will take centuries to play out.

  366. Methylethyl,

    Your thoughts are appreciated. Like you, I avoid synthetic chemicals as feasible. Not just regarding pesticides, but in all areas. The internet helps me find lifecycle and natural management information for many of natures pests. Information about synthetics is often less helpful. I try to wait, watch and learn from how mother nature handles things. Studies of plastic and pesticide health effects have motivated me further in this, and in taking up and promoting regenerative gardening.

    JMG’s highlighting of ecology and mechanisms of overshoot has been helpful to my education. Barry Commoners four rules of ecology help me remember: everything is connected, everything goes somewhere, nature knows best and there is no free lunch.

  367. Deneb Algedi, I think you are imputing better motives to some “Faustian” actors than they have. I would suggest that the power struggle you note is about who gets to exploit what remains of the natural resources of North America, especially Great Lakes water and MidWest agricultural lands. Silicon Valley is backed, of course, by Asian money; what you are calling the Northeast oligarchy is mostly, at this date, homesick emigre finance capitalists, such as Soros, et al. who have no loyalty to the US–the maga folks are right about that, if not about much else–and would like to establish a kind of Greater Poland in North America. The project is impossible; the experience of living in any American city will never be anything like living in Prague or Vienna for the simple reason that our cities don’t happen to be 1000 years old.

    About the “founder effect”, I think you should remember that this country was built by European peasantry, folks who had endured centuries of cultured elite predation and were heartily sick of aristocratic pretentions. I do think some form of raucous democracy is baked into the American project. Since at least the 1980s, there has been a cultural project underway to make monarchy palatable to Americans and so far, 40 years and counting later, that effort is going nowhere.

    I also take leave to assert that our fundamental problem is not democracy, but out of control finance capitalism, aided and abetted by what JMG has called the debased sorcery of mass market advertising. Just as socialism privileges and elevates effete intellectuals who should never be allowed anywhere near government, so also does capitalism offer wealth and privilege to the tribe of amoral fixers, hustlers and finaglers. Any developed society has need of such folks, but they can’t be allowed to rule.

  368. To pygmycory and JMG: thanks for the e-mail provider suggestions.

    To whomever it may concern: I made a proposal –

    “whether or not one knows that I just began running a book club about JMG’s Deindustrial Reading List ( https://dryreading.dreamwidth.org ), I propose a second one, about the books comparing civilizations, the ones I know about being Vico’s The New Science, Danilevsky’s Russia and Europe, Spengler’s The Decline of the West, Toynbee’s A Study of History, and Koneczny’s On the Plurality of Civilizations (in that order by publication and my reading proposal);”

    – if interested, PM me on Dreamwidth.

    JMG: can you confirm something about the Universal Gnosis traditions? The AODA and OSA have formal membership and leadership, and so will the UGC when active again; the MOE has transmissible attunements (and, if people have interest, lineages), but no formal membership or leadership, by design; the FHR and GSF don’t have even the attunements, and nothing formal at all, by design; are those right (I think I forgot nothing, because remaining branches are inside the UGC and AODA)? Thanks.

  369. Bud Light’s free fall continues;

    https://www.snafu-solomon.com/2023/05/budlight-is-facing-unprecedented.html?m=1

    It looks to me like Anheuser Busch’s attempt to curry favor with Woke liberals and the LGBTQ lobby really hit a nerve. I think people will look back at the Bud Light and Tucker Carlson fiascos as a turning point. A huge number of people are fed up with the Woke left and the politicians and corporations that kowtow to them. Couldn’t have happened to a more deserving bunch.

  370. @Lathechuck: thanks! I think the original question was from Matt, but my 11yo would probably really love that too. He reads mostly nonfic these days– generally large adult tomes on aircraft, and flight manuals 😉

  371. FYI there is an article today @theautomaticearth.com about the US seeking alliances in the pacific against China, theoretically about Taiwan, but Taiwan just seems like a convenient excuse to me.

  372. Justin, good gods. So what you’re saying is that China had better get a move on if they want to conquer Canada, before Honduras, or Iceland, or maybe Monaco does it first.

    Methylethyl, McKillip’s early books certainly weren’t too girly for me — I adored The Forgotten Beasts of Eld and the Riddle-Master trilogy, which is what she had in print when I was still in school. Of her later work, Alphabet of Thorn, The Changeling Sea, and Od Magic are among my favorites.

    Platypus, Britain could do a lot worse.

    Ron, Canada could become a major power in its own right but it’ll have to grow up and put on some big boy pants first, which it’s shown no particular willingness to do. Maybe a few million more Indian immigrants could help with that. 😉

    Siliconguy, just be glad they’re not enrolling them in the military and then looking for someplace to conquer…

    Enjoyer, Neopaganism has had its day; it’s gone through the same life cycle as Spiritualism and Theosophy did in their day. Fifty years from now there will be little Neopagan scenes in a few places, mostly composed of people whose grandparents were active in it and who more or less inherited the faith from that source, while the vast majority of people will be startled to know that anything of the kind is still around, if they even remember that it existed. It’s quite possible that one or more faiths on the fringes of Neopaganism may succeed in separating themselves from the disintegrating mass, and become substantial new religious movements in their own right, but that remains to be seen.

    Michael, Cozy Fantasy — oof. Well, I’ve seen my tentacle novels called “Cozy Cthulhu,” so I suppose it follows — and they also have the theme of a simpler life, raising goats, tending gardens, and invoking the Great Old Ones. 😉

    Chris, yes, I’ve been watching the sea surface temperature news closely. My working guess is that we’re in the early stages of an oceanic anoxic event, in which global oceanic circulation breaks down, the deep waters become anoxic, and all the dead plankton that drift down below the oxygenated zone are entombed in sediments, to turn into petroleum and natural gas tens of millions of years from now. That’s how the earth responds to too much CO2 in the atmosphere.

    Alvin, yes, and I’m delighted to see this.

    Chris S, huzzah! The light of common sense dawns at last.

    Platypus, yep. There will be more.

    JustMe, it’s a fad driven by high levels of collective stress and too much mass media. I expect the whole thing to crash and burn well before the end of the decade.

    Lathechuck, strikes me as a fine idea.

    Enjoyer, yes, I’m quite familiar with RFK Jr. His campaign has been all over the Covid skeptic blogosphere for weeks now. It’ll be fascinating to watch how that plays out — iirc he’s gaining fast in the polls, which is not too surprising given who he’s running against.

    DFC, yes, I saw that. Florida’s also empaneled a grand jury to investigate Pfizer and Moderna for fraud. I’m very interested to see what they turn up.

    Dékete, that’s correct, except for one detail. When the UGC is reactivated it will be organized on the principle of a free association of independent bishops, without a formal leadership structure outside of that. Thus it will resemble the MOE structure more than AODA or OSA. The one additional thing I’ll be reviving, if there’s interest, is Universal Seminary; that will have as little hierarchy as I can get away with, but it will have a teaching staff and an administrator (who will not be paid, btw).

    Platypus, it’s definitely interesting to watch. Me, I can’t stand Anheuser-Busch beers anyway — the meme artist who compared their taste to butt sweat did a very good job of summing up my opinion — so I simply grin at the whole thing and pour myself a stout.

  373. Hi John,

    I also detest beers like Budweiser and Bud Light. I’m rather partial to IPA’s myself. One of my Puerto Rican relatives described Anheuser-Busch’s products as what you get when beer passes through a horse’s kidneys and comes out the other end. It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that a popular nickname for Budweiser is “Butt-Wiper”.

  374. About: Adventure stories for 11 year-olds.

    I cannot believe Alexander Dumas is not on this list yet! I thoroughly adored the Three Musketeers Saga (The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After, and The Vicomte de Bragelonne, this last one published in English in three independent tomes: The Vicomte…, Louise de la Valliere, and The Man in the Iron Mask). The Count of Montecristo is his other very well know book, though more suited for young adults IMHO.

    He also wrote his own take of the Robin Hood legend, which was published posthumously as The Prince of Thieves and Robin Hood the Outlaw.

  375. >I simply grin at the whole thing and pour myself a stout

    Beer is not that hard to make yourself, although it takes time for the yeast to do its work. In any case, if you don’t like a beer, there’s someone else out there who will be willing to sell you a beer you will like.

    What I find interesting about the whole fracas is that they’ve been marketing to different groups for decades now (they all do it), saying one thing to one group of people (like at gay bars) and then saying a different thing to another group of people (say, at a honky tonk). And back in the Old Era, they could be fairly confident nobody they didn’t want to say things to was listening in. Oops, that’s no longer the case. You say something, you’re saying it to the whole world. And what happens when they try their old marketing tactics is they appear insincere and disrespectful to everyone and then nobody wants what they have to sell.

    Makes me glad I’m not a marketer these days. I think in general if what you have to sell needs marketing in order to make it, you’re in trouble.

  376. I saw this article a about the drop in attendance at Black protestant churches.

    https://apnews.com/article/black-protestant-church-attendance-youth-covid-pandemic-5d854b4db73e118cb22767220573455f

    It feels like another blow to the future of Christianity. And if Neo-Paganism has indeed had its day, it makes me wonder what is next? Islam seems to be growing in popularity (without regard to race) in lower income areas in upstate New York from my experience from working at Legal Aid and doing assigned counsel work. But the “Buddhists” around here seem to want to shed the Buddhism from it.

    Weird times

  377. @matt #336 re: Books for 11-Year Old Boys

    A lot of great recommendations here. Since he has already read LotR twice, I’m gonna pitch a little higher than I might have otherwise, because I think I tried LotR when I was 9 or 10, found it tough to get into, and then read it when I was 12 and adored it, so those are a sensitive few years.

    I will add weight to the Lloyd Alexander Prydain books – I didn’t read them until I was an adult and still loved them, wished I had known about them as a kid.

    This would be a stretch, but I read Dune for the first time when I was 12-13 and it was way out at the edge of my reading abilities at the time – all the indirect exposition through hinted at elements of the world and foreign words was tough, but I still enjoyed it.

    If he likes sci-fi at all, Robert Heinlein is fantastic for this age – his young readers series would likely be quick, easy reads for him, but they’re still pretty good tales. Starship Troopers was meant to be one of these, but kind of turned into something more mature all on its own. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress might be a bit mature, and Stranger in a Strange Land, Job: a Comedy of Justice and later works all start getting a lot more into sexual stuff, so use some judgment there.

    The two David Eddings series, The Belgariad and Malloreon are not what I would call great or perhaps even all that “good,” but they are brisk fantasy epics with almost-too-likable characters and not so complex morality/characterization. Pretty firmly in the “special hero needs to solve the problem because he’s special” category, so feel free to ignore if you think this is something best avoided at any age, rather than an acceptable indulgence for the young.

    Lastly, a more recent mega-series I’ve been reading is Marshall Ryan Maresca’s “Maradaine” series – Phase 1 is made up of 4 inter-locking trilogies (each trilogy more or less stands alone, but it makes more sense and is more satisfying if you read the first book of each trilogy, then the second, then the third). It takes place in an obviously D&D-influenced early modern fantasy city that looks a lot like a modern fantasy idealization of ~18th century London. There are some allusions to sex, but nothing explicit or “on screen”. Fair warning, there’s some social justicey bits (the good guys are fine with a trans guy, the bad guys discriminate against him, he makes a point of having characters of different cultures/ethnicities, some of the characters are gay, that kind of thing), but they’re so far not that central to the plot and don’t really get shoved down your throat too much. One thing I like about the series is that it actually takes religion seriously as something that at least matters to the characters, and seems likely to actually be a live force in the world from some of the events in the story.

    Happy reading to your son!

  378. Without a doubt Anheuser-Busch has walked face first right into a minefield. Now LGBTQ activists are threatening a boycott of their own. I think it’s absolutely hilarious how these idiots have managed to alienate both sides in a self-inflicted disaster of their own making.

    https://www.newsweek.com/transgender-bud-light-dylan-mulvaney-backlash-boycott-1797822

    Given the sheer amount of drooling, slack jawed idiocy coming from the corporate liberal elites these days, from Anheuser-Busch to the Biden administration, it really makes one wonder how these people managed to become the ruling class to begin with. Decadent aristocracy doesn’t even begin to describe the situation.

  379. Having caught a few ferries between Greek islands, I can testify that the Med does sometimes look “wine-dark”. It gets a sort of purplish sheen which is easily comparable to wine.

  380. Greetings JMG,

    I am curious what it is like to be an author and blogger whose ideas are not in the mainstream and who has some notoriety.

    Have you ever received pressures or threats or heavy criticism from mainstream people or from authorities?
    Have they found ways to make your life inconvenient, or has it been all normal with the usual critique from some people?

    Just wondering.

  381. About: Adventure stories for 11 year-olds.

    Artemis Fowl

    Redwall

    If you can still find it, the Bagthorpe Saga was funny. I think the the first book was Ordinary Jack.

    The enchanted forest chronicles. Cimorene demands a dragon kidnap her in order to escape an undesirable marriage. The dragon is fond of cherries jubilee. W