Open Post

August 2020 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 long screeds proclaiming the infallible truth of fill in the blank — but since there’s no topic, nothing is off topic.

With that said, have at it!

558 Comments

  1. Hi JMG, I have a couple of questions relating to reincarnation and non-linear time.

    In many of theories about the nature of time the past, the present and the future are all equally real and our experience of time as one thing happening after another is an illusion caused by our limited perception of the world. To be fair not every physicist or philosopher holds this view, but a large number of them do.

    If you also happen to be of this persuasion, how do you think reincarnation relates to time being non-linear? Would we still only reincarnate into individuals who exist in the future, or would we be equally likely to reincarnate into individuals who existed in the past or individuals contemporary with ourselves?

    One last question, inspired by the first but separate from it.
    If reincarnation isn’t limited by our perception of time, wouldn’t Occam’s Razor suggest that there’s really only one soul and we’re all it? This might neatly deal with the issue of where the extra souls come from as the population increases or where they go if it decreases.
    In your opinion, is something gained by having multiple souls that one soul shared by everything couldn’t accomplish?

  2. Perhaps this is too personal, JMG, but you have remarked that you have accessed memories from a number of your previous human incarnations, and that you have lived about thirty in all. You also mentioned that around thirty, in common Druid understanding (to the extent there is such a thing!) is a normal number of human lives to work out all the opportunities of the human condition, and be ready for a life as a being with more scope – and, of course, new challenges..

    So do you think you are ready for promotion, if the Powers that manage such matters agree? And have you put in a request for tentacles?

  3. Dear JMG

    I am fascinated by the discussion of existence on other plains as discussed a couple of weeks ago. Do we/can we know what their lives are like? Are they (for the most part part) as oblivious to the other plains as we are/I am? How did/do we come to know about these other plains?

    Please do not take this as a silly or obnoxious question, but could be be confusing beings from other plains as “space aliens” and the fascination with UFOs?

    Thanks SO much for being the most mind opening blog I visit.

    Kev

  4. I have a memory of reading something very detailed and interesting about rooms. It started off with architectural history of how buildings first got divided into rooms, and the varying uses they’ve been put to through the ages. Then it got into really deep philosophy about what rooms fundamentally are and what they mean. The problem is I have no idea what this was, where I read it, or even if I dreamed it (which has happend a couple of times before). Does this work sound familiar to anyone else?

  5. Hey JMG,

    For any kind of spirit work/evocation, do you need to do a ritual to “decommission” a spirit after its job is done or after a period of time, just like deconsecrating a talisman?

    Second, this isn’t a question, but just a data point: I’ve been in a calorie deficit for a couple of weeks and it was pretty excessive today. I did the middle pillar ritual like usual, and at the end, there was this influx of energy, thrills up and down my body, but also random pulses like I’d never felt before. I was a bit uncomfortable and I felt dizzy. I also had a mild change of consciousness, where my awareness seemed split between all the different “levels” of the self, for lack of a better explanation. But I felt my normal conscious mind and intellectual self trying to explain away the experience, the etheric body pulsing, and then flashes of “understanding” which I’ve had before and seem to line up with the mental body’s function. I seemed to suddenly sense all these bodies at once, and how they interacted with each other. I also had this influx of extreme feelings of emotion, and my visualization seemed heightened. So just a caution if anyone is doing ritual work during low food intake. It may or may not lead to increased responses from rituals. I’m not sure if this was entirely due to the food changes or not, as I’m still eating meats and whatnot. But this is the strongest response I’ve ever felt in several years of performing the ritual.

  6. In addition to the (quasi-)regular energy tidbits, I spotted something in yesterday’s Federal Register that I thought would be of interest (well, if you don’t find fifty pages of triple-column regulatory jargon!). Certainly, the topic is not something you see every day:

    https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-08-25/pdf/2020-13185.pdf
    https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2020-08-25/pdf/2020-13184.pdf

    For those who recall our host’s discussion of orbital debris in some of his fiction works, here’s an opportunity to observe discussion on the issue at the federal level.

    Now, on to the Energy Report (from by the lake):

    CA suddenly discovers that natural gas generation might not be quite so evil after all
    https://californiaglobe.com/section-2/four-gas-power-plants-may-see-operation-extensions-due-to-blackouts-grid-issues/

    Somehow, I’m not at all surprised
    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/energy/nuclear-advocates-fret-as-first-maker-of-small-reactors-encounters-trouble

    More subsidies, please!
    https://www.spglobal.com/platts/en/market-insights/latest-news/electric-power/082420-renewable-hydrogen-projects-at-risk-of-government-inaction-capital-shortfall

    Now solar is evil, too!
    https://www.wired.com/story/solar-panels-are-starting-to-die-leaving-behind-toxic-trash/

    One way to reach conservation goals
    https://www.euci.com/the-ongoing-pandemic-and-weak-economy-led-to-across-the-board-energy-production-cuts/?x=48613i242282Sy&utm_campaign=081920_energize_weekly&utm_medium=email&utm_source=energize

    I’m sure this will work out
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/arielcohen/2020/08/13/tesla-begins-construction-of-worlds-largest-energy-storage-facility/#7a69e4714fde

    This, on the other hand, is legitimately genius
    https://www.hydrogenfuelnews.com/australia-is-generating-renewable-energy-from-unsold-beer-during-pandemic/8540358/

    In other news, the Democrats continue to do everything in their power to re-elect Trump:

    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/08/21/joe-biden-lockdown-us-coronavirus-400126

    Finally, a just a side note, I was on a training webinar yesterday on DERs (Distributed Energy Resources) and the “grid of the future.” Now, to be fair, this is something that we need to be aware of and work to integrate into our operations. The grid that’s coming is not the grid we’ve had. But the instructor was very much about IoT and real-time analytics and AI managing everything, whereas I’m looking at the orders of magnitude increase in complexity that he’s talking about and thinking “There’s no way this is sustainable in any way that matters.” Particularly once you factor in the resource constraints that inevitably start biting into things. It is a challenge, having one foot in both worlds, having to work in an industry that has to, to some extent, embrace this complexity, while at the same time knowing how short-sighted that act is.

  7. Hi JMG,

    Currently, I’m feeling very confused about the widespread civil unrest in America over the course of the summer, and am very anxious about where it’s all leading. There are times when I fear that this represents powerful forces, bent on a violent revolution, now erupting into public view after years of quietly constituting itself. At other times, I suspect that this is perhaps just an inchoate expression of anger by poor and downwardly-mobile urbanites, taking advantage of a time in which the political class has granted tacit approval to nightly looting and burning.

    Is what we’re seeing Kristallnacht, destined to grow into something larger and more murderous, or is this just destined to settle down once the anger in the streets has exhausted itself?

    Or, perhaps more to the point–does anything short of Civil War calm this down?

    I always appreciate your thoughts,

    Thanks!

  8. Several weeks ago, several people doing various forms of divination regarding the looming US Presidential election came back with the number “538.” That would be a clean sweep of the Electoral College, which I don’t think anybody since Washington has done.

    Another possible meaning of this number would take off from two themes mentioned here. One was the slide rule, an analog computing device which allows rapid production of approximate answers to two significant figures, or by interpolation, three. The great weakness of the slide rule is that it only handles significant figures; the user has to keep track of the decimal point.

    Another theme was the Letters to the Editor columns in the great days of the science fiction magazines, where technical mistakes were sternly rebuked two months later by sharp-eyed readers, often working or retired engineers wielding slide rules. Possibly the doyen of this community was Harry Stine, who did several books of his own, on themes including gosh-wow futurism that was often relatively technically realistic. You had to watch Harry’s numbers, though; he would get the significant figures every time, but half the time he suffered from a slipping decimal point.

    That’s my guess about the value “538.” I wonder if it might be a Harry Stine Memorial decimal point slip, Multiply by ten to the minus one, and you get 53.8. which would be a plausible percentage of the popular vote to reelect the Orange Julius.

    Does anybody have a wackier theory?

  9. I have a question about belief.

    Over the past few years, I’ve felt a couple of urgings from deep within myself that do not dissipate with time. One is for long-term, almost deliberately uncomfortable travel. I’m taking steps towards this and am hoping to be able to spend a month or two on the open road around 2022 (hopefully in between COVID and the next crisis).

    The other has been a push towards paganism and spirituality. I grew up in the Anglican church, with forays into more evangelical groups throughout my youth, but became an atheist in University, not out of a hatred of the church itself but because I couldn’t stand the spiritual arrogance that came with Christianity (and most Abrahamic faiths). The concept of a single all knowing all powerful God didn’t make sense any more, either emotionally or logically.

    I’ve also gone through some spiritual trauma in the past, and for several years was quite convinced that if I didn’t do certain things in certain ways, the devil would come for me in a very real way (stress activated mental illness can be a real b***h of a thing). I (mostly) resolved this a few years before leaving religion behind, but it probably played a part as well.

    Years later though, I’ve been feeling a deep urge to some sort of spiritual practice with a strong preference for some variety of paganism. I’ve read a fair bit about certain religions (mainly Wicca, but also Druidry since finding this blog). It makes sense to me on an emotional level at least. But when it comes to actual belief and faith, the whole things seems… unachievable. Almost like I have cauterized those parts of my mind off from the other parts. I can appreciate, feel, and recognize deep truths in these religions and practices, but when it comes to belief, there is nothing there. It’s hard to describe the simultaneous push and pull.

    Has anyone else here experienced/resolved anything similar?

  10. 1) September has five Wednesdays, so will there be voting for the final topic?

    2) I’ve also set up a blog on dreamwidth*. After looking at the options I’ve decided it’s probably my best bet for the time being. I plan to post every Wednesday, and I’m expecting most of them will be essays on whatever I happen to feel like writing that week, but there will also be astrological forecasts for Canada with each lunation and ingress, which will take one of the Wednesday slots.

    *https://kevintaylorburgess.dreamwidth.org

  11. Kindergarten question about planetary hours: I want to time submitting a resume to the hour and day of Mercury. Since the hour of Mercury occurs twice each day, does it make a difference whether I submit during the first or second occurrence? And, more generally, if I want to time anything to planetary hours, does it make a difference whether it’s the earlier or later occurrence?

    Thank you.

  12. Dear JMG,

    In your experience, roughly speaking, how much magic can a person safely practice per unit of time? Let’s say someone has a daily banishing ritual, divination and meditation. How much extra stuff per month do you think would be safe to add? How does a hoodoo candle working compare to a R+C Ritual compare to scrying compared to consecrating a talisman regarding how much energy these activities take versus the others? How does one even compare varying type of magical workings in terms of the energy demanded by the mage? Basically, I’m curious for a rule of thumb understanding. Of course, a smart person divines before every working and energy issues may come up in the reading, but I’m curious if there may be other rules of thumb and so ask you!

  13. Greetings all!

    One day, can we have a post on the process of dying and the after death experience as understood by western occult philosophy?
    Regards & Thanks.

  14. News from the mouse front.

    The exterminator (aka Mouseman) came with his mouse killing devices. I had expected some sort of high tech gizmos. What they were were the common ordinary spring load mouse traps. The type that has been used when there were no cats. Old technology wins again.

    Mouseman told me that there was a shortage of mouse traps. Add that to the Covid pile of shortages – mouse traps (and Dr. Pepper). So, we are to recycle them. i.e. take out the dead mouse body and reset the trap. Thrift wins again.

    Since traps have been used since time immemorial, mice pass the knowledge on to their descendants. Got up this morning, all traps sprung, bait eaten, and no mice. Somewhere there are mice with full stomachs laughing at the pitiful humans. Knowledge wins again.

  15. I have noticed a string of good news stories that center on children taking care of adults. I.e. gathering up cans to take to the food bank. Running a lemonade stand to raise money for single mothers. Collecting sneakers for soldiers.

    I am curious why? Where are the adults? Why are the children being put forward as being the moral voice of the world. I am reminded of Greta Thunberg. Are adults out of commission or just gone?

  16. I just stumbled on a piece of evidence for just how far we’ve declined already: The Via Rail timetable from 1988* and the one from 2020**. It’s also stunning that Calgary the fourth largest city in Canada, with a population of around a million people, lacks passenger rail. I’m imagining trying to explain that to someone in 1950 and how poor they’d think we’d have to have become for that to be possible….

    *https://www.scribd.com/document/53636750/VIA-Rail-National-Timetable-Indicateur-National-Oct-30-1988

    **https://www.viarail.ca/sites/all/files/media/pdfs/schedules/VIARail_Timetable.pdf

  17. Early signs of panic.

    Prompted by some commentary on the other blog I’ve been watching the odds change over the week on the Betfair betting exchange for a Trump win. As I write they have diminished quite considerably from 2.44 last week to 2.24 today. The collective view of that market is that a Trump win is now more likely, although Biden is still the favourite. A little bit of poking around on Google reveals that this way down from the odds of 2.6 in late June. That’s a big improvement in the way his chances are viewed.

    In the meanwhile there seems to have been a definite increase in tension amongst the PMC. The latest howl of anguish in the UK has been an MP who went on a remarkable Twitter rant against all things Brexity; I can’t repeat it here, the language was distinctly salty. Positively undruidly in fact. It finished with a comment about fat old racists and mentioned the Brexit supporting MP Jacob Rees Mogg, who is in fact quite thin. He’s got a BMI of about 18 (yes, I’m jealous). The MP in question is not the kind who would view another 4 years of Trump kindly, and it’s no exaggeration to say that Brexit and Trump are often viewed as two sides of the same coin. I imagine there’s a great deal of stress and unhappiness there. It was astonishingly indiscreet though and inevitably one or two papers have enjoyed repeating the story. He’s certainly caused some trouble for himself.

    There have been a few other examples of meltdown noted recently, and I’m starting to wonder if these are actually premonitions by unusually sensitive people, or even if they are making the events they dread more likely by the emotional freighting they are giving them. Or both. The question in my mind is as the long months of September and October drift by, are we going to see panic turning from words on the internet to significant violence on the streets? The riots do seem to be getting a great deal more serious.

    Andy

  18. Very simple question. Is it possible that chaos magicians have cursed the Democrats in the name of Eris? Just a week ago, I would consider a question like this to be crazy. But now…

  19. Hi JMG,

    1. This last Magic Monday, you described the process of death and how religious and ethical action, alongside spiritual practice, affects where and how a soul experiences the afterlife. In previous incarnations, did religion seem to have been a positive aspect that helped you through matters? And also, can you see how prior lifetime karma has impacted your current life?

    2. On that same idea, what sort of ethics would you most align with? I’ve heard you give praise to stoicism previously so potentially virtue ethics?

    3. With aspergers and your deep passion for magic and the occult, I could imagine it was difficult for you to find a romantic partner like your wife. How has it been for you delving into these esoteric areas and maintaining close relationships?

    4. You’re the rare occultist to not have turned into a full on globalist, progressive neoliberal fully invested in the narrative of progress. Was there something influential in your youth that pushed you towards a more burkean perspective?

    Thanks so much for your time and energy.

    Andrew

  20. Hello Mr. Greer,

    I’ve recently began learning about magic and occultism and have begun reading The Magician: His Training and Work. I’ve noticed there seems to be emphasis in Qabalah, specifically the Tree of Life. However so far the book hasn’t really gone into depth over this esoteric method (or maybe I’m just having difficulty understanding). Are there any particular resources that you would deem useful to better understand Qabalah and, by extension, the Tree of Life?

    Thank you

  21. More on the piddletwits and puddletwits with the curse sigils and the long screed to Yahweh to smite his followers. (I wrote most of it at the Magic Monday and the post on madness at the other blogsite). I left the writing as they put it, but cleaned up the foul language.

    Puddletwit 1:
    A 17 year old just flat out murdered two people protesting the shooting-by-policement of Jacob Blake in Kenosha. He apparently came to Kenosha from Illinois looking for trouble with his semi-automatic rifle.
    What kind of psychologically sick society allows 17 year olds access to semi-automatic rifles??? O, right: A society stinking drunk on guns and excited by continual violence, with People of Color as favored victims.

    Our country is wounded by our own people, and Some Political Parties Think Everything Is Just Fine.

    Meanwhile, Cassandra-of-Troy here is saying: BEWARE A TRUMP DEFEAT. A TRUMP DEFEAT WILL BRING VIOLENCE TO OUR STREETS……. BUT NOT AS MUCH VIOLENCE IN THE LONG TERM AS A TRUMP VICTORY.

    Puddletwit 2:
    We talk about people being raped in jail pejoratively. I’ll make an exception for this disgusting little murderer. I hope he enjoys being charged as a adult, and sentenced to life in prison, as much as he enjoyed his murder spree. I’m just SO angry and so done with the racism that has reared its ugly head during trump’s presidency. He didn’t create racism, but he’s sure promoting it every way he can.

    Puddletwit 1
    Here is what I want for Imbolc: I want every single Trump cabinet member who voted PRO for separating aspiring immigrant families at our southern boarder charged with crimes against humanity. ALL OF THEM. They have ruined lives, killed people, and then gone happily home to a nice dinner. I would love to see them all imprisoned for their crimes, and for a decade or more each.

    Puddletwit 3: I knew there was something like this going on when all those children started being missing from the immigrant internment cages. I bet that most of them will never be found. Trump is deep with the Mafia.

    Piddletwit 1
    I think this also. I think they will never be found. It’s disgusting, and cruel beyond my ability to comprehend.
    ——-
    These puddletwits along with their fellow piddletwits are passing this meme:

    “Sharing from a friend.
    Just a note for my right leaning family and friends from my left leaning self as we near voting day:
    They say we want to disband police departments (and that we hate the police): we don’t, that’s a lie. We want to weed out racism and unnecessary police brutality and for those who abuse their power to be held accountable.
    They say we want to release all prisoners: we don’t, that’s a lie. We want to weed out racism and ensure the punishments match the crimes and to deprivatize prisons.
    They say we want open borders: we don’t, that’s a lie. We want asylum seekers to be given their chance to seek asylum. We want to help people who are coming from unimaginable terror and poverty. That’s Christian. We want to ensure children aren’t separated from their parents and that nobody is kept in cages. But we do want proper vetting……..
    (A long list of them and us stuff)

    …….They say we hate America: we don’t, that’s a lie. We just recognize our faults and want us to do better, to be better.
    Stop with the us vs. them. Stop with the straw man arguments. Stop with the fake news. Stop with Fox news. Our position is one of empathy, compassion and logic. Stop believing the hype. Stop with the division. Just because we want equality for all doesn’t mean we want to take anything away from you.”
    ——–
    (I do note the irony of the last statement since they in this meme have done everything they claim the other people have done.)

    Now, these paragons of virtue are cursing everyone with the sigils. Supposedly the sigils are designed that if someone looks on them, that they will bring about the curse against Trump and any Trump supporters. I think the blow back will as one poster in MM put it – colorful.

    My question is that since Mr. Greer has observed that the blowback is that the Orange Sun is their all, and they orbit around the Orange Man, what happens next? Am I to assume that if Trump wins, they will have psychotic breaks? Does this pass into their future lives – cursing business and the hubris to have unsuspecting people brought in to aid and abet their curses. For those of us who have seen the sigils, will there be any blowback or will it be on the piddletwits for forcing us into their idiocy?

    Also is this all classic shadow projection? And how will it end – will the shadow bite them?

  22. JMG,

    You have mentioned that much of the Wokster craziness is people who see the religion of technical progress slipping away and so they are doubling down on the illusion that we are making social progress. But some in the TED talk crowd are doubling down on the future of technology. Yesterday I was talking with a co-worker about the fires in the west causing rolling blackouts and casting doubt on the usefulness of the internet in such areas. But he replied, with an answer he got from some podcast, that wildfires would soon be a thing of the past because in the near future we would fight them with swarms of drones coordinated by a neural network of A.I. I just let it go by as there is no way to reply to that kind of thinking.

  23. I have just started Bibliomancy.

    I wondered what y’all here make of the Witch of Endor. 1 Samuel 28. Taking the passage literally: she knew who Saul was by the result she got (Samuel). What would she have expected to see, rather than Samuel?
    She’s referred to in translation as a witch or someone with a familiar spirit or a medium. This was, of course, millennia ago, so doesn’t necessarily match any modern practice, but she seems to have been competent and capable in what she did as well as illegal and too well known. What might she have actually been doing, have we any idea?

    (As answers to What do I need to know?, Ezekiel 6 and 1 Samuel 28 seem to paint a rather harsh picture.)

  24. Hey hey John Evans,

    For what it’s worth. My 2 cents is that 538 is referring to an electoral college win, as opposed to the popular vote.

    Tim

  25. I have a last question – about sigil magic.

    This is a from a site: Sigil pictured. Then description:
    This is a sigil for gender diversity, acceptance, and inclusion in pagan and magical spaces, community, rituals, and workings.

    This has been magically charged with intent for:
    learning
    welcoming
    community
    crossroads and bridges
    inclusion and full acceptance
    open to other perspectives
    wards against hate and bigotry
    —-
    Now if I look at it, does it gain in power? If I see it and figure it is silly, does it have power? How does a sigil have power besides the intent of the magician? Or am I missing the boat? Is this sigil simply for the person who drew it?

  26. Way too many Trumpists on the blog JMG. Yes the Dems can be foolish and at times stupid and evil. Rarely in the Western democracies do the evils of the Republicans so far surpass the Dems as they have under Reagan through Trump administrations.
    The Repubs built the monster, and now he and his thugs control the Republicans.
    As my children and grandchildren live in America, I have only fear for them if the thugees of Trump retain power.

  27. The school boards here are debating whether or not to mandate that all students, including those in kindergarten, must wear masks. As it is, from grade 4 up they have to, and according to a friend of mine with a child who she now plans to home-school, this includes during recess. These kids will then be forced to wear masks for several hours five days a week. This is being done so the schools can reopen so women can go back to work, but if I had kids either my wife or myself (probably, given my general disposition, me) would be staying home. I don’t know what the effects of wearing masks on children’s development is, but I wouldn’t risk it being very, very bad. Do you know what effects wearing masks would have on children’s etheric bodies?

    I’m also amazed at the reaction to the virus. There was a case where someone in Hong Kong tested positive after recovering, and some people have extrapolated to mean no one will ever get immunity to the disease aside from via vaccine, and even that won’t have a 100% success rate. Therefore, anyone who refuses to take it will be condemning humanity to extinction, since even if you recover, you’ll just keep getting it until it kills you. This is getting really, really freaky, and it feels like every time I think it’s finally reached the logical extreme, someone comes up with a way to push it even further….

  28. @JMG like many, Kenosha’s on the mind. What’s horrifying yet fascinating is the morality of violence from each side and how these viewpoints are clashing with deadly results.

    For right wing Americans, messing with someone’s property is often justification enough to kill. Self defense is of course justified. Shooting a potential threat is also justifiable, even if it later turns out to be false, as long as a somewhat convincing case can be made. It’s more of an “Old West” mentality with harsh but simple rules.

    For left wing Americans, individual property and personal rights are far less important. Riots are the language of the opressed. Looting can be reparations. Everything is far more abstract & contextual. Is violence justified? Depends on the both the perpetrator & victim’s politics and/or position within the system, which can re-cast the perp as victim.

    I feel like, until fairly recently, most Americans sided with the right wing view of this, with left leaning folks softening the original “Old West” rules but not ditching them entirely. For example, I don’t remember any controversy about the “Rooftop Koreans” defending their property with live ammo during the 1992 LA Riots.

  29. JMG,

    Two questions, if you’ll permit. The first feels a bit foolish to ask – if our etheric bodies extend a few inches past our bodies, and etheric entities are often hurt by iron or silver, why aren’t our etheric bodies harmed or affected by using or wearing iron and silver? Or are they, but the effect isn’t noticeable?

    Second question, in your experience, is there an effective way to show or convince someone that planes beyond the material exist?

    The context is a family member has decided, embarrassingly, to become a materialist atheist, because they’ve ‘never had a spiritual experience.’ They’ve also never even done anything remotely spiritual, and haven’t been in a natural environment for over 10 years, and aren’t about to start doing anything spiritual now. To me it seems rather like wearing a blindfold and declaring that light doesn’t exist.

  30. Hi JMG,

    Glad to finally get here before comments go into double digits! ; )

    Probably just like many others, I am very worried about what’s happening in the USA, even as I’m in the UK. The effects of the pandemic on the economy are beyond devastating, at all levels. My question is very simple and difficult at the same time. I’ve been trying to figure out alternatives to make a living in this collapsed economy that is here to stay.

    I know and have heard about buying land and being self sufficient and all that, it sounds very good, but you have to be young, strong, healthy for all that…besides having the money to buy land and such…and to be honest, it was already too late when I started to consider this…At my age I should be thinking about retirement, but I figured out a few years ago that’s not going to be feasible.

    All my skills seem to be useless for the real world ( like a prepper would say ) . I just enjoy working with data and numbers…can’t do people or children, so forget about tutoring or teaching…I’ve just retrained into a tech career because it matches many of those things…but not sure if that will last due to the economy, redundancies, ageism, etc…so what are the jobs or careers for the collapse if you are not 20 or 30 years anymore? Suggestions welcome!

    Apologies if this question has been asked recently, I haven’t catch up with the open post in a few months.

    Thanks.

  31. @JMG,

    Two quick questions for you:

    1) Do you have any plans for a second volume of Merigan Tales or any other new projects in the world of Star’s Reach?

    2) What texts (if any) do Druids swear on when being inaugurated into office or testifying in court?

  32. Spicehammer, (1) Time may be nonlinear in some abstract absolute sense, but it’s linear to us, as Kant showed, linear moving time is hardwired into the structure of human consciousness. That remains the case when we’re no longer in a body. Thus each incarnation is located temporally later, in terms of the human experience of limited time, than the incarnation sequentially before it. (2) You’ll have to ask the gods why they set things up the way they did…

    John, I expect to have more lives than the average, because I messed up pretty spectacularly a while back and have spent around a dozen lives dealing with the karmic and magical blowback. I’d like to go on to Gwynfydd at the end of this life, with or without tentacles, but we’ll see.

    KevPilot, we can’t know a lot directly about what existence on other planes (not plains!) is like, but the various mythologies and esoteric philosophies that discuss spirits can be used as a source of guidance; if you’re okay with Theosophical terminology, Geoffrey Hodson is a good source. They’re less oblivious than we are — in fact, most human cultures are much less oblivious than we are! It’s taken us a long time and a lot of hard work to get this clueless about the Unseen. We learned about the other planes partly because human beings can become aware of them through certain exercises, and partly because beings from these other planes interact with human beings now and again. As for your question, it’s neither silly nor obnoxious; Jacques Vallee’s book Passport to Magonia and John Keel’s The Mothman Prophecies explore that possibility and make a good case that some “UFO sightings” are encounters with beings from other planes.

    Yorkshire, no, but I’d be interested in reading it if anyone else knows of it.

    Connor, (1) Not if it’s the kind of spirit you want to be dealing with in the first place. You summon it in an appropriate manner, you ask it to undertake a task of a sort that’s natural to it, it does the task, and then you thank it and bless it and it goes its way. (2) Fasting is a traditional way to increase sensitivity to the inner planes, so this doesn’t surprise me at all.

    David BTL, thanks for all of these! I’m afraid that the regulation on orbital junk is much too little and far too late, but I could be wrong.

    Frank, I haven’t seen any reason to revise my analysis. The shooting in Kenosha is the second time BLM/Antifa rioters have been shot — the first was a few days ago in a small Pennsylvania town, and it was nonfatal — but it marks a crucial inflection point in this process, the point at which the other side stops waiting for the riots to go away and starts meeting violence with violence. If that accelerates, there’s no way BLM/Antifa can win; thus I expect the riots to taper off quickly hereafter. As for Clinton, everything I see suggests that the Democrats have given up on winning the election and are trying to throw it into the House of Representatives as a last desperation move. I expect them to fail yet again.

    Balowulf, I’d suggest a third option. I’m pretty sure the Floyd riots were part of an attempt to stage a classic “color revolution” here in the US, as they were tolerably well organized and funded — those pallets of bricks that got offloaded in advance just where the rioters needed them didn’t get there by themselves, after all. The goal was likely to force Trump and Pence to step down, leaving Pelosi as president. That failed — whoever’s advising Trump was paying attention to the last half dozen failed color revolutions, and used exactly the tactics that have worked to stop them in the past. The strategy then changed to trying to use the riots to embarrass the Trump administration and slow the rise in his popularity in the African-American community, while scrambling to find ways to make the election inconclusive enough that it will have to be settled by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives. All this suggests a very high degree of desperation on the part of the Democratic leadership. I find the whole QAnon fandango wholly unconvincing, but it does look as though the Democratic leadership, at least, has something very serious to hide. Corruption on a Third World kleptocracy scale? That’s entirely plausible.

    John, hmm! I could see that. James Monroe, btw, also won the popular vote in every state, but one elector voted for someone else so that George Washington would remain the only president elected unanimously by the Electoral College.

  33. JMG – you have been kind enough to allow me to shamelessly promote books in the past. I have a new novel out that should be of interest to readers here as it is inspired by some of the themes in this blog.

    The book is called “The Order of the Secret Chiefs”. Here is the blurb:

    “Adam Sampson, an ambitious young salesman, challenges his rival to a crazy bet to see who can get more people to join an apocalypse cult. But when a sexy Russian witch joins his cult, Adam must fight to stop her from actually causing the end of the world.”

    Hardcore occultists should note, the book introduces occult themes only in very basic form and they are used symbolically, not to drive the story. This isn’t a Dion Fortune book. In fact, it’s a comedy in the vein of Robert Rankin or Douglas Adams.

    The book is available in electronic format here – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08GJQ5MB2

    The print of demand version is still working its way through the sausage grinder but the book will be available in trade paperback in the next few days.

  34. Dear Andrew001,
    I grew up in a protestant household and never could take to Christianity as my parents expected. The Christian god just rubs me the wrong way. Throughout adolescence and early adulthood I was OK with keeping religious matters out of my mind and considered myself agnostic. In the past 5 years I have been reading JMG’s blogs I also started to get an affinity for druidry, but when I attempt to get into the material i just can’t. I can understand the words but I just don’t know how I can connect with the material on any level deeper than rote memorization.

    So I think i understand the push you feel because I feel it too, but I don’t see any path forward yet. I wonder if there is some kind of test i can perform on myself to see if I am capable of belief?

  35. Some mass market/upscale media writers are thinking the unthinkable and saying the unsayable – and it’s getting published. Note Pogue’s comment about “The mythical American story of steady, forward progress.”

    https://harpers.org/archive/2020/08/the-art-of-losing-kenosha-wisconsin-2020/

    Also, even the WaPo is now getting a clue about the economy and its role in Trump’s election. Forgive the writer’s pro forma “reminder” of how many people of color are in the Second Economy – it is, after all, the WaPo.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/08/20/us-has-two-economies-how-much-longer-will-losing-side-stand-that/

  36. If you find a book on https://books.google.com/ that has snippet view and should be fully available because its copyright expired, you can place a request to unlock it here:

    https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/6113327

    Select “I’d like to see the entire book, and I believe the book is in the public domain”

    In “How can we help you?” place some details that would be helpful, e.g., “The author of this book, published on *country*, died in *year* and it is in public domain *in my country/worldwide*.”

    If Google considers the copyright expired, you will get a message on the e-mail you provided in about two weeks.

    These are three books I unlocked recently, and that might be of interest here:

    “Sane Occultism” by Dion Fortune:
    https://books.google.com/books?id=E5c0AAAAMAAJ

    “A Treatise of Ghosts” by Montague Summers:
    https://books.google.com/books?id=wJY0AAAAMAAJ

    “Apparitions and Haunted Houses” by Ernest Nathaniel Bennett:
    https://books.google.com/books?id=LUNRzQEACAAJ

  37. Neptunes dolphins re:mousetraps

    Firstly, if you want the spring traps to stand a chance at catching the mice, I find that it helps if you actually attach the bait to the trigger with wire or string, but they can get around this too.
    Amazingly the most effective trap I’ve used was a wooden live capture box trap I made myself. I fed the prisoners to the neighbors cat.
    Secondly, check this guy out for products and ideas. https://m.youtube.com/user/historichunter

  38. @neptunesdolphins

    The cognitive dissonance is astounding.

    They say: “I want every single Trump cabinet member who voted PRO for separating aspiring immigrant families at our southern boarder charged with crimes against humanity. ALL OF THEM. They have ruined lives, killed people, and then gone happily home to a nice dinner. I would love to see them all imprisoned for their crimes, and for a decade or more each.”

    And yet: “Our position is one of empathy, compassion and logic.”

    They say: “We talk about people being raped in jail pejoratively. I’ll make an exception for this disgusting little murderer. I hope he enjoys being charged as a adult, and sentenced to life in prison, as much as he enjoyed his murder spree.”

    And yet: “Our position is one of empathy, compassion and logic.”

    Also: (and @all:)

    “We want asylum seekers to be given their chance to seek asylum. We want to help people who are coming from unimaginable terror and poverty.”

    It occurs to me that this is a profoundly reasonable statement to make if you believe that we’re still progressing (as of course they do), and that as such civilization is a positive-sum game. It makes less sense under zero-sum or negative-sum circumstances, where every quantum of aid you give party X is necessarily at least a quantum taken from party Y.

  39. @JMac: I’m in the same boat, it’s a question I’ve been grappling with for years. It’s also something I would also like to ask JMG and the commentariat as well. So much depends on local conditions that it’s a hard one to answer. So far my wife and I have been trying, fairly successfully, to cut expenses in preparation for a shift in how we earn a living, but the nature of the shift itself still isn’t clear for some reason, and I am also no longer in my 20s and 30s, so I don’t know what’s realistic to do.

  40. On a recent Magic Monday you were asked, “In the DMH you make the case for the reenchantment of the world, so to speak, but I read once that you changed your mind about that.” You responded: ” I realized that the world was never disenchanted. What’s happened is that we are under an evil enchantment that makes it difficult for us to see the magic all around us!”. I just came across this, from a Native American, which underscores that realization, so I thought I’d share it here: “Magic has never left this place … We’re the ones who forgot. We should be aware and celebrate the magic of nature all the time.” I had my own realization about this on reading Oswald Spengler: it became clear to me that the magic had left with increased urbanization, so it was not a question of where the enchantment had gone, but a question of where we had gone.

  41. We have discussed future migrations to the USA or the EU, and their possible parallels to the end of the Western Roman Empire, many times on this forum. I have recently read some very interesting papers by the historian Guy Halsall, who bases his hypotheses mainly on changes visible in archeological finds from inside and (most importantly) from outside the empire. I find him very clear and very convincing. For example, these passages from a 2014 paper (unfortunately behind a paywall):

    “Those who lost out in barbarian politics had long sought shelter within the Republic’s or, after it, the Empire’s frontiers, especially if they had been Rome’s friends. Unsurprisingly, they took their families with them, as well as those of their compatriots who had supported their faction. Large groups were, then, settled within the Empire and it is moot whether such groups were smaller than those that entered during the so-called Migration Period. Forty-thousand Suevi and Sicambri were (allegedly) settled in 8 BC; fifty-thousand ‘Getae’ in AD 5; an inscription records 100,000 barbarians settled in Moesia under Nero; and so on.

    The same prudence must be shown towards these numbers as towards those of barbarian armies; what matters is that these were larger groups than simple families and that the Romans described them in the same terms, in the same orders of magnitude, as they used for the fifth-century movements. As before, effective frontier-management was crucial; the groups admitted were moved and their settlement organized and administered by the imperial government. Such settlements provided, one assumes, focal communities to which later migrants from the same area were drawn. All told, it is quite likely that significantly more migration took place across the Rhine and Danube before the collapse of the western Empire than afterwards, provided we keep in mind the nature of such movement…

    The collapse of Roman frontier-management in the decades either side of 400 also played a part, removing the checks and balances that had maintained a rough balance of power. As had happened before, the end of active Roman ‘foreign policy’ produced crisis and tension in barbaricum and the emergence of a larger and more dangerous unit there. It is interesting, in this connection, that the fifth- and sixth-century barbarian groups who moved furthest came not from the large border confederacies but from a sort of ‘middle band’ of territories within Germania Magna: Vandals, Sueves, Burgundians, Lombards. It was here that Rome’s role in maintaining political stability may have been greatest and thus where the end of effective frontier management may have been most keenly felt.

    The crucial role of the Roman frontier and its dynamics in governing migration to and from Germania is underlined by the fact that significant movements by large groups from this region into the former imperial territories more or less end with the political and military disintegration of the limes during the first half of the fifth century. Thereafter (and indeed during the disintegration), such movement as occurred across the Rhine was short-range ‘drift’ by Franks and Alamans, largely small-scale, if cumulatively significant. The Saxon movement across the North Sea was probably similar. This ought not to surprise us. With the fragmentation of the Empire, the distances over which information travelled reduced considerably, shortening the range of human movement commensurately. The economic collapse attendant upon the fifth-century imperial crisis only underlined this by reducing the distances over which exchange took place…

    Saxon migration was related to the political, social and economic instability produced by the crises in the north-western provinces around 400. As in Britain and northern Gaul, archaeology reveals [in today’s Northern Germany] similarly critical symptoms: settlements and cemeteries were abandoned, new inhumation rites involving more significant grave-goods deposition appeared.The Saxon confederacy may have fractured…

    Another point worth stressing is that, as before, movement across the former frontier was two-way…Written sources testify to fifth- and sixth-century migration back to barbaricum. If anything, movement from the formerly imperial provinces into what had been barbaricum may have become proportionately even more important in the post-imperial centuries. Politically, this was certainly the case, as the late fifth and sixth centuries saw a Frankish hegemony established east of the Rhine…eventually to become Germany.

    Conclusions
    … The imperial crisis around 400 produced the last great ‘folk movements’ of the old style in the West, but closer examination suggests that it would be truer to say that ‘the Fall of Rome’ ended ‘the barbarian migrations’.”

    For those who are interested, his blog contains similar arguments and expands them.

  42. Hello JMG

    In your reply to Balowulf, you said “I’m pretty sure the Floyd riots were part of an attempt to stage a classic “color revolution” here in the US” and “All this suggests a very high degree of desperation on the part of the Democratic leadership.” Does that mean you no longer think China is behind the riots?

    SMJ

  43. JMG – I have a crazy question, if you would care to opinionate on it. Can an item harbor a malignant ill will? I purchased an antique beaded purse, and it’s threads were so rotten that beads were shedding off of it, so I started taking it apart, to salvage the beads. I started working on it and I immediately got a pounding headache, and every time thereafter, until the job was done, I got the same ache in the same part of the head! Was the purse objecting to being dismantled? Weird.

  44. Mr. Greer:

    I have read our blog for quite some time. I also have read a few of your books. While I don’t always agree I found both interesting and stimulating. I have never commented before, but I feel I must this time around. First, these pallets of bricks are nothing more than an urban legend. I live in Chicago. As you know the city has had looting. Everyone knows this. Many of the groups were organized over social media, no question. But I have not read or heard one story in the Chicago media about pallets of bricks from George Soros, who for the right is a Bond villain.

    As far as Kenosha goes: The riots started because a cop shot a man in the back seven times. The video cannot be any more obvious. A few rightwing sites have stated the victim had a record. Maybe. I don’t know. But tell me how these cops would’ve have known one way or the other. If they possess these powers I wish they’d give me the winning lottery numbers. A punk has been charged with two counts of murder. Good. I believe he and the cop who did the shooting that started all this, should he be charged, deserve a defense. Everyone deserves a defense. But your comments make it sound that all this rioting came out of thin air.

    One last statement, please. You seem to think that if the crap hits the fan the left will run away because the right has all the guns. Well, speaking for myself, I’m a liberal on all the issues that matter, but I own a gun and know how to use it. I know many, many liberals who can say the same thing.

    This is just my two cents to the subject at hand.

  45. On the possibility that Trump might win all 538 electoral votes:

    Rhode Island has four of those electoral votes. Since about 1935 it has been fundamentally a one-party state, and that party is the Democrats. Historically, the Democrat machine exercised very tight control over almost every so-called “secret” vote cast in every election by quite complex and sophisticated means that were carefully explained to me by a blue-collar insider when we first moved here half a century ago.

    Though the power of the state’s Democrat machine has lessened over the last few decades, it still remains a force very much to be reckoned with, even now.

    There is no way, short of very far-ranging covert tampering with election returns on a very high level, by out-of-state interests, that all four Rhode Island electoral votes will be cast for a Republican ticket.

    Should it actually happen, I would take it as conclusive evidence that free, unrigged elections in the United States will soon be a thing of the past. If clever politicians can figure out a way to bypass the state machine and rig the election returns in Rhode Island in favor of any party other than Democrats, these same people could rig elections anywhere else they choose in the USA.

    So pay attention our State’s four electoral votes very carefully this November. They could warn of a major storm coming.

  46. JMG,
    I have to say that I am impressed yet again with your predictive powers. You mentioned the fact that the Republican party will be taken over by populists while the old neocons will become democrats.

    That’s exactly what is happening! It’s scary in a sense – democrats are now openly corrupt warmongers (the DNC was basically neocon fest where Elizabeth Warren poses as native american) while the new republican candidates all talk about the needs of the people, minorities and even climate change.

    The downside is that I am more than ever becoming a misanthrope. I feel like I am standing still while waves of propaganda break over me carrying most people with them. How can I trust any ability to reason when most people are just following their peers?

    From what you write you have seen this phenomenon multiple times where good people turn into NPCs by following a rigid ideology. How do you maintain your belief in humanity and free will?

    Also slightly unrelated, I have a theory. You know that multiple experiments have shown that in general people tend to follow authorities or peer pressure. My guess is that there are different proportions of those two in different populations. For example, I know you think that “The fourth turning” book has some truth in it (since it predicted some things). While I disagree in general, I think it might work for US simple because most Americans mostly follow their peers (unlike Europeans for example that respect authority more). That leads to a certain predictability as each generation goes from one extreme to another by fighting the authority of their parents. What do you think?

    Thanks

  47. Hello all. JMG, thank you as always for maintaining this space.
    I’m just getting off work, so I haven’t read the other posts, I wanted to say this first.
    Some time ago, when you started your “writing out in the open” project, I thought to myself, “that’s a good idea, I should do that.” Then I didn’t. Until now.
    I am working on a little mystery, with a main character who is acquiring psychic powers without knowing why or how. A friend suggests she take up divination with Tarot cards, to better understand the information she’s picking up from the astral plane. The setting is a not too distant future in collapse, with people figuring out ways to survive and thrive in the wake of riots and pandemics and stolen elections.
    I would love it if people here would check out chapter 1, and give me feedback. I plan to update regularly, and publish it eventually. Here’s the link to my journal https://coloradoyogaing.dreamwidth.org/

  48. Andrew, belief is only a big deal in Abrahamic religions and their various offshoots. Most other religions are concerned about practice, not about what opinions you hold about theological issues. In Druidry, certainly, nobody’s going to worry about that at all — it’s quite normal, in a group of Druids who meet and worship together, for no two of them to have the same opinions about such things. So you may find that it’s a lot easier than you think.

    Kevin, I’m considering it.

    Dave in WA, it makes no difference at all.

    Violet, it really varies from person to person. There’s no rule of thumb; each mage has to figure things out on the basis of their own experience.

    Karim, I’ll certainly consider it.

    Neptunesdolphins, mice are smart. As for the news stories, that’s interesting. There’s a known psychological syndrome of adults trying to force their own children to parent them; this may be the same thing on a societal level.

    Kevin, thanks for this. Yes, it’s a good example.

    Andy, I’ve been seeing the same thing. Yes, it does look like panic.

    Aidan, er, you really don’t seem to be getting the point. I’ve added all these to the bottom of the long stack of articles I’ll get to when I have time to read them, which probably won’t be anytime in the next year. If you want to contribute to the conversation, that’s one thing, but “What do you think about this article?” doesn’t do that. Now will you please stop, and post only when you yourself have something to say?

    Tidlösa, it’s possible. My guess for a while now is that they’ve been directing an inflammatory confusion spell at the Democrats. That’s a known thing in hoodoo circles, and it would be a logical approach — the easiest way to put an effective whammy on someone is to encourage them to go even further on a trajectory they’re already following.

    A. Swisher, (1) yes and yes. (2) Exactly — virtue ethics, very much a la Alasdair MacIntyre’s exposition in After Virtue, works well for me, and it’s also to my mind the one ethical standpoint that can survive Nietzsche’s challenge to morality. (3) The easiest way for a person with Aspergers syndrome to make a happy marriage is to meet someone else who has Aspergers syndrome or one of the other relatively mild forms of autism. That’s the way I did it, certainly. (4) I have no idea why so many people in the occult scene have swallowed the neoliberal pseudoprogressive ideology hook, line, and sinker. It seems to me that if you take occult philosophy seriously, there’s no way to get from one of those to the other.

    Nathan, the book you want is The Mystical Qabalah by Dion Fortune, who was W.E. Butler’s teacher in occultism. Her other books are also worth studying, but that one’s been the standard textbook on the Tree of Life since about five minutes after it was published.

    Neptunesdolphins, I have no idea how it’s going to end. There may be some psychotic breaks. There will likely be some suicides. Since karma accrues only for willed actions, the people who see the sigils have nothing to worry about — it’s the ones who willed this that get to carry the consequences, in this life and for lives to come. As for shadow projection, why, yes, that’s exactly what it is — when people who spend their time hating others insist that the others are the hateful ones, what else could it be?

    Clay, that’s quite normal. As a prophetic religion fails, its adherents routinely double down and make even more extreme claims. If you have a chance to read When Prophecy Fails, you’ll notice some very familiar events…

    BoysMom, in the ancient Middle East there was a fair amount of what we’d now call mediumship, in which a medium with a spirit guide calls other spirits and converses with them. It’s quite similar to modern Spiritualism, and the witch of Endor is a classic example of the type. I’m not at all sure what else (other than Samuel) she might have expected to see, though, as I haven’t looked into the records of that tradition in any detail.

    Neptunesdolphins, my working guess is that the person who constructed that sigil knows very little about sigil magic . Looking at a sigil won’t do squat. Giggling at it will do a little more, but not much. For a sigil to be effective, it has to express a single tightly focused intention, it has to be charged using one of several methods to fill it with magical energy, and it has to be kept secret — a sigil shared is a sigil discharged, unless everyone with whom it’s shared is also working hard to help charge it.

    Dirk, I’ve always thought that Carl Jung’s attitude toward the sort of attitude you’re expressing here is wise. If you catch yourself obsessing over the notion that some group of people or other is pure monstrous evil, the evil isn’t in them — it’s in you. The phrase “projecting the Shadow” is worth reflection and study in this context.

    Kevin, the only effect masks have on the etheric body is indirect, by making deep breathing harder and trapping CO2 close to the face. That’s not good, of course. As for the weird attitude toward the virus, I’ve noticed that, and it really is pretty freaky.

    Brian, that’s a good point, and a fascinating one. I notice, though, that several times now, city mayors who have gone out of their way to encourage rioting and looting have drawn the line when the rioters headed for the mayor’s house. Rules for thee but not for me…

    John B, iron or silver won’t do the trick if they’re not shaped into sharp points. If you were to wear an iron ring that had a lot of sharp points jabbing in various directions, yes, that would mess with your etheric body. As for your second question, there’s never any way to convince someone of anything if they’ve decided in advance what they’re going to believe!

    JMac, find something you can make or do that people want or need to have made or done. It shouldn’t be something that everyone else is doing! In my case, for example, adding a second income as a political astrologer to my existing income as a writer turned out to be a very good move, as people turn to astrology in troubled times — occultists have been supporting themselves that way for a couple of thousand years now. Remember also that the current crisis will pass off in time, to be followed by a period of stabilization and partial recovery, and then more crises later on. So you don’t have to meet all your needs yourself, or prepare for an abrupt descent into dark age conditions. Rome wasn’t sacked in a day!

    Wesley, (1) I wasn’t planning on it. (2) It depends on the Druid!

  49. Given that there have been a large number of high profile internet magicians who have spent a great deal of time and energy on doing magic to ensure that OrangeManBad doesn’t win a second term, what will be the backlash, magical or otherwise on the magical community, if Donald Trump does become POTUS for a second term?

    Is there a consequence for magical failure? That is, does all of that magic come rushing back to its source or does it just dissipate into the aether?

    N

  50. JMG – thank you for your response on the nature of planes of existence. (Sorry, but as a refugee from Kansas, everything is PLAINS to me!) I will look into the texts you recommend but my mind is still spinning over the notion that beings in these other planes could be as distracted by the work-a-day nature of their existences as I am and could completely forget to notice the wonders of the other planes around them. I’ve always pictured them as semi-omniscient beings living on bad 1970s futuristic wire-frames stretching into eternity rather than someone with a cosmic mortgage to pay and just keeping his head down. The potential extra-terrestrial connection is enthralling to me!

  51. John, et. al.–

    Re debris, orbital and electoral

    From the background given, it appears that the FCC’s first comprehensive adoption of orbital debris mitigation occurred back in 2004.

    https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2004/09/09/04-20362/mitigation-of-orbital-debris

    There’s also reference to the ODMSP (Orbital Space Debris Mitigation Standard Practices):

    https://orbitaldebris.jsc.nasa.gov/library/usg_orbital_debris_mitigation_standard_practices_november_2019.pdf

    This last appears to be more a policy statement

    As for electoral debris, all I know is that the early voting window in Wisconsin opens Tuesday, Oct 20th and I’m going by city hall on my way home from work that first day so that I can cast my ballot and get this sordid mess behind me. It will be the first time I’ve ever voted for a Republican for president (which is itself a debatable point…Trump is no Republican; he only took over the party infrastructure in a populist coup). Then, I’ll order up a truckload of popcorn and sit back to watch the fireworks.

  52. @John Evans and his Atomic Slide Rule (Congrats, yer a Golden Age hero!)
    Slipsticks were out by the time I hit college, but I learned to use one just cuz Heinlein said I should. 53.8, or even a victory margin of 5.38 sound pretty reasonable to me.
    Here’s a link to virtual simulations of some popular slide rules. http://www.antiquark.com/sliderule/sim/
    Retro-irony aside, the sims are a good way to try before you buy. Good real slide rules command hefty figures right now. The real trick is finding an old math book to learn how to run your brain.

    Say, John… This might be the first installment of the Green Wizards’ Educational Outreach.

  53. Has JMG or any of the readership heard of the author Steve Wiley? He has a book coming out this fall that will be addressing the current social atmosphere of wokeness*, using elves, fairies, mermaids, and such as characters. Kind of a Grimm’s Fairy Tale meets modern cancel culture. I’m probably going to buy it when it’s released, but wondered if anyone had read any of Wiley’s other works and had an opinion (good or bad) of his writing.

    The Elven Inquisition: A Woke Fairy Story
    Elf privilege. Marginalized mermaids. Woke trolls. Pumpkin fairy reparations. Welcome to the chaotic kingdom of Fantasmagoria…

    https://www.absurdistfiction.com/books/2015/10/15/beet-season-6l8ga

    *My spell checker wants me to change wokeness to wonkiness. I am tempted to do that next time.

    Joy Marie

  54. Arthur,

    Because it’s open post week I feel it’s OK to respond to you. First, there was an outstanding warrant for Mr. Blake’s arrest. It would not be unusual for the police to have that info, though I can’t say that they knew who he was, but it’s quite possible. The police are psychic and can’t help you win the lottery, but they do have a list of people who have warrants outstanding, and if they’ve dealt with him before (I say IF) then they may well have recognized him.

    I’ve implored everyone who’ll listen (which is virtually no one) not to make their minds up as to who acted correctly/incorrectly in the Blake case until there is more info made public. It’s an emotionally charged situation and it’s not helped by those of us living hundreds or thousands of miles away offering opinions based on some impressiions we got from a video. The last thing the world needs is another half informed voice taking sides in this mess.

  55. @neptunesdolphins

    I have mice problems too. I have a little bolthole in the country, and sure as night follows day, a few weeks after the wheat is harvested from the nearby paddocks all the hungry wee meece start invading the town. And following the mice are the snakes – three of the five most venomous snakes in Australia live in the area 😱. So we are very motivated to control the mouse problem 😄!

    I have never had success with ordinary mouse traps. Even sticky peanut butter they manage to nibble off without setting off the trap. We resort to poison – effective, but a horrible way for the poor beasts to die, and it is possible for the poison to affect other animals if they eat the dead mice.

    Would love to hear from my fellow and sororal Ecosophians if they have any better ways to keep the mice under control.

  56. Dear JMG,

    Thank you for your response — that makes a good deal of sense. In that case, may I ask what are the signs that a mage might watch to make sure he or she wasn’t heading towards disaster? I remember reading that one can take occult training and practice too far and have a breakdown and would love to have a sense of what “too far” might look like.

  57. Simon, glad to hear it.

    Patricia M, good heavens. The WaPo is admitting that? Katy bar the door…

    Someone, can you cite the source for the Native American’s comment? I’d like to quote it, and to give proper credit.

    Matthias, does he touch on the obvious comparisons with present-day Europe and North America?

    SMJ, more than one group of people may have had their fingers in that particular pie.

    Danaone, of course it can. Any physical object can pick up an energetic charge from a human or nonhuman person. The psychic power of psychometry is the art of reading those charges.

    Arthur, (1) those pallets of bricks were reported and photographed by people in more than a dozen cities; I find those reports far more plausible than the denials churned out on cue by the officially approved media. (2) No, you’re reading what you want to find into my comments. The riots didn’t come out of thin air — but they have been encouraged, fostered, and used for political theater by easily identifiable politicians. (3) Maybe so, but demographics aren’t in your favor. The great majority of American gun owners, military vets, and police, National Guardsmen, and active duty military personnel aren’t on your side of the political divide, you know.

    Robert, granted, but Rhode Island’s electoral votes went with the GOP candidate in 1952 and 1956 (Eisenhower), 1972 (Nixon), and 1984 (Reagan), so it’s not quite impossible.

    NomadicBeer, free will isn’t innate in humanity, nor is reason. Both have to be learned, cultivated, and practiced. Most people never get around to doing that, but some do. My faith is a faith in possibility, and it coexists quite comfortably with the knowledge that most people, most of the time, will never even think about making use of that possibility, and will say hateful things about those who do. As for the role of peer pressure, that makes sense.

    Your Kittenship, a bucket indeed. Thanks for this.

    Aardman, I haven’t had the chance to read it yet.

    Katsmama, delighted to hear it!

    Frater N, magical failure can be a serious issue if the mage hasn’t been able to maintain proper emotional distance from the working. You won’t often hear me quoting Crowley, but his insistence on avoiding “lust of result” is worth heeding; your magic is most powerful, and least likely to hand you blowback, if you can let go of each working when it’s cast and await the results in serene calm without investing your ego in the outcime. If you can’t do that, and your working fails, that failure becomes part of your magical personality. You become The Magician Who Failed, and your workings become The Spells That Failed. I’m sure you can imagine how that will affect your future magical activities. Of course if you’ve also been doing malefic magic, as so many of these people have, you get what I’ve called the Raspberry Jam Effect, doubled, tripled, and in spades; the noxious energies you tried to send at your target have nowhere to go if your spell fails, and so they manifest themselves with remorseless potency in your own life. So it’s a really messy situation.

    KevPilot, and there are also some that have the intelligence of an ordinary sheepdog and are just trotting along, doing the equivalent of barking at falling leaves. The beings who inhabit the inner planes are just as diverse as those who inhabit this one!

    David BTL, if the election goes the way I think it will, there will be plenty of political satellites crashing out of orbit in a big way. Popcorn is definitely called for.

    Rusty, thanks for this! Somebody might want to look into beginning to manufacture a good workable slipstick again…

    Joy Marie, that sounds hilarious. Thank you, and please thank your spell checker for me. 😉

    Violet, how does your body signal that it’s under too much stress? That’s the thing to look for.

    Bruno, because I remember the life in question, of course.

    Mouse, nah, I’m thinking of what the Russiagate hoax was generated to cover for. If I had to guess, I’d say that foreign aid to not especially honest governments was being made contingent on some of the money being kicked back to the US politicians and bureaucrats that authorized it. But we’ll see.

  58. For a mousetrap to work properly, it is important that the bait is somewhat rigid and does not break if the animal tries to pull it. Thin pre-sliced cheese will not do; cheese rinds are better. I used smoked meat with good results in my old house.

  59. JMG, yes, especially on his blog, where he calls himself “Professor Grouchy”, Halsall is very explicit.

  60. JMG, also, I’m at a gigantic crossroads right now in my life. Do you recommend any particular method to help me sort it out, and chose wisely? Some sort of divination, perhaps? Thanks!

  61. JMac about preparing for the future:

    I was lucky (?!) enough that I got a chance to try multiple ways to prepare while I continued to keep my lucrative job. My conclusion is so obvious that I feel stupid saying it: do what gives you purpose and makes you happy.

    There is no point to try to convince people if that is stressful for you (as it was for me).
    If you enjoy the city life – stay in the city. On the other hand, if you notice that you sleep better in a tent when it’s quiet than in the most luxurious hotel with the noise of traffic, again the choice is easy.

    If you are anxious about the future – read some stoics first. When you realize that we are all mortal, being laid off is suddenly not the end of the world.

    Only after you find your center, then you can start “prepping” – by that I mean common sense things like putting aside money, getting rid of debt etc.

    Most importantly, try to enjoy the present as you plan for the future. I read a post online of a prepper that had it all figured out (he is quite rich) until he was hit by a chronic disease that forced him to move back to town and sell his compound.

    Good luck and let me know if you want to talk privately.

    Thanks

  62. If you decide on taking votes for the fifth Wednesday in September, I’d like to place my vote for a discussion of mental plane hygiene.

    As for the virus, I think the weirdest part is that so many people are freaking out about it and insisting that the official data backs them up, and then coming up with excuses (ranging from paranoid through to utter nonsense) about the fact it doesn’t. Then there’s the fact that very few people seem to realize that there are costs to shutting things down…..

    “Of course if you’ve also been doing malefic magic, as so many of these people have, you get what I’ve called the Raspberry Jam Effect, doubled, tripled, and in spades; the noxious energies you tried to send at your target have nowhere to go if your spell fails, and so they manifest themselves with remorseless potency in your own life. So it’s a really messy situation.”

    If a positive working fails, does the same principle apply?

  63. I’m preparing to offer online courses about poetic and dramatic technique, centred on working with Shakespeare. I’ll be drawing a little bit on an elite (Canadian!) education, but mostly on my practical work with poetry as an actor and director. My experience has been that with the right tools and attention, anyone who wants to can quickly get engaged with the most sublime verse.

    Partly I’m working from anger at how abstruse and disconnected academics make this stuff seem. Everyone could be writing poems as a basic practice of world-enchantment, and like with anything there are learnable techniques that make this possible even if (like me) you haven’t got a rare poetic talent.

    I want your wisdom! JMG’s commentariat throngs with the kind of independent learners I would be thrilled to work with, and I’d really love to hear what topics you might be interested in. What poems do you want to be writing? What would unlock your enjoyment of Shakespeare? What practices do you have that might benefit from knowing more about rhetoric? Would you value the experience of working through your favourite play with a director, as if preparing for performance? Do you want to learn about magical dimensions of theatre?

  64. Hi Ozquili,

    Try sticky RAT traps baited with peanut butter in the middle. Because the rat trap is so much bigger, the mouse will have to cross the glue to get to the peanut butter, and the glue should be strong enough to hold the mouse. Now that everything in the U.S. is [unDruidly word], mouse glue traps here, even the name brands, often do not have strong enough glue to hold a mouse. A lady I knew went back to snap traps, although they scared her, after she found a single mouse foot in each of several glue mouse traps.

    And don’t overlook the classic solution. If possible, get a cat. Even if it’s so lazy it only moves once or twice a day, the mice will smell it. If you’re allergic to cats, try a small terrier. Most of them were bred to hunt rodents and many of them retain the instinct.

    Good luck!

  65. Chris Hope and all – the Blake incident started with two women fighting. Then, I presume, Blake tried to intervene. Do those women bear any responsibility for instigating the tragic chain of events? Or should we just overlook that fact and write it off as “those people”? Is not acknowledging the details of the affair an example of the soft racism of the left?

  66. JMG – thanks for the reply about the malignant purse. Next time I buy such an item I will “exorcise” it.

  67. I’m reading through the comments; thus far, it seems like a heated debate between pro/anti-Trump groups is heating up…. So I’m not going to comment on political pasta-primavera being thrown at the wall.

    Dear JMG

    The past few weeks I have come into three new part time jobs and one of my new bosses is big into connecting with the Earth. A few times after work this boss has asked me to meditate, which I don’t mind doing. I find it refreshing, even though I feel like another planet, other than Earth, is my go to at the moment. Either way being grounded on Earth/reality seems like a good idea. Even before I got this job, I felt my energy changing, like I had jumped from Jupiter to Venus as of late. IDK

    However, the premise of the mediation is about connecting yourself to the Earth letting your energy diffuse down your spine and into the Earth. The other part of the mediation involves opening your mind preparing to receive whatever the universe is ready to throw your way. Doing this I feel a connection to several other planets, at least three of them.

    A central theme of the mediation is about letting the energy going out and coming in be in like an electric circuit…. Now there seems to be something more to this, as I came into the other two jobs shortly after I started working for this person. My only concern is that there might be some magical blow back from this. I have been told my aura is very vibrant and quite visible, sensible from a distance/through a door, “Good Vibes” etc. and that I do would do well to control the actions of my aura a little bit better. That’s the point of the meditation.

    The Boss has mentioned a few times how ADHD affects auras/vibes, I do not have ADHD, just a some hearing loss in one ear. This comment by the boss has led me to wonder if my boss is projecting a little. But that is neither here nor there.

    The whole experience tells me I’m at a point I might need to begin some kind of training along these lines. One of the insights I’ve had opening the circuit thing at the top of my head is that, it’s not all about receiving. It is about forming connections. And you want nurturing, good, wholesome feelings up there. The things that have a capacity to severe these connections need to be grounded/sent out down to the Earth.

    I do not know….. This type of meditation is so far beyond the meditation I’ve undertook, up until now, in search of serenity. It’s the snowball affect, momentum that’s telling me I should be careful. Any thoughts?

    My biggest question is what does it mean if my energy is so visible to other people who have some training?

    Sincerely,

    Austin 2Levro.17(ault).

  68. Thank you for that, JMG! I wasn’t paying all that much attention to politics in 1972 and 1984, and didn’t know enough to think about the electoral college votes back then.

    I expect that the state Democratic political machine would have supported those two Republican presidential candidates at the time. Though it calls itself “Democratic”, the machine’s politics in the state (at least since we came here) have been close to the rightward end of that party’s national spectrum, not unlike the old-style Dixiecrats, Nationally, the state’s Democratic machine has always found it easier it easier to work with Republicans like Eisenhower or Reagan in the Federal Government than with progressive Democrats like AOC or Elizabeth Warren. Nixon’s opponent, Adlai Stevenson, would have been viewed as Satan incarnate here because of his pronounced liberal views. As for Regan vs. Carter, the management of the Iran hostage crisis by Republican operatives in that year was a simply brilliant specimen of Machiavellian power politics.

    Which is a long, round-about way of saying, that you may be right after all, now that you’ve prodded me to think more deeply about the upcoming election results and the state political machine. Biden is no Stevenson; he’s more like Eisenhower, and should appeal to the machine. But Kamala Harris might be seen by it as far too progressive to work with.

    Aside to Dirk: Would you really rather read a blog where everyone was nearly on the same page in their politics? I quite like the wide range of views here.

  69. For the folks who have mouse issues, we did. Eventually, I prayed. And now we have a cat. It’s all her fault she picked dog people, but she puts up with mandatory snuggles quite well, and well, she’s not a terrier, but she’s an effective little mouser.

    It’s weird, having a cat. She also hunts nightmares quite effectively.

  70. Mr Greer et al.,

    Just a fine day to send thanks for all the inspiring and useful info I get here from you and from all of the others who comment on these pages. My life is brighter as a result.

    My daily SOP ritual has become a real touchstone as far as keeping my attitude positive (or at least present) throughout the day. After this somewhat more than a year of continuous SOP practice I came upon an image in a recent meditation I’d like to share.

    Daily I begin in the East with this devotion and then go South, West, North and thence Down and finally Up. (Olympian are the gods invoked, though that’s not the point here at all.) It’s the pattern traced by the motion of my devotion that caught my attention.

    If I may take a bit of the Fortune imagery, it appears that I go 3/4 of the way around the circle and then down and up and back to the beginning. I have no way to put this into an actual image here in words though that is how I see it. (I do have the ability to see things in my minds eye quite easily. Writing this down is not so much the case.)

    I’ll attempt anyway: Imagine if you will a line that begins in the East and then goes to the South, then West, then North, then Below and finally Above. What I at first found challenging was the empty area between the North and the East. (Here’s where it is tough to describe.) I see the SOP as a line that goes around the circle and as such creates an image of completion in my mind and life. But there is a quadrant between the North and the East that the line does not go. However, recently a meditation led me to see that there needs to be somewhere (often a Big somewhere) that I cannot go, nor understand. It’s a “Here there be dragons (or gods)” place. Or maybe better put in our world, this is where the healing under the bandaid happens.

    At any rate, I wanted to write this to give thanks and acknowledgment to you and all who have given me this significant, (to me at least) insight. It makes it so much easier to just let what is mysterious remain so.

    What I find so interesting and in many ways delightful about aging is that the more I learn the more humble I become. This is surely because most of what I learn now is teaching me how much I do not know about, well, everything. Eh? Darn!

    With love, Aged Spirit

  71. JMac,

    You can be of value even though you may not be a 20’s something hulk. I’m well past 70 and run a 5 acre farm with very few outside inputs. It’s not easy but when I consider how I would be if I just sat around all day waiting to die I consider myself fortunate. (I’m up at 5AM and close in the chicken coop at 9PM. Between that it’s whatever the day requires.)

    My advice is simple and obvious: Do something now. Grow a vegetable. Eat the fruit. Enjoy it. Compare it to your memory of the store-bought fruit you had before. Guaranteed, you will grow from this experience. And you will grow more fruit too.

    Then, keep it up. Follow your muse. There are zillions of ways to be useful in a world that needs to eat and drink and live well. Think of how many people have been farmers by day and musicians by night. Teachers by day and brewers by night. Engineers by day and poets by night. The world needs real goods. (Not just more stuff.)

    Nah, you won’t get to sit around and eat bon bons in front if the TV nightly as your life goes on. However, in the long run, life will be rich.

    Personally, I chose a very difficult path. I knew I could have bailed and gone on to easy money in another field but I hung in there and do not regret it a bit.

    This is not to say that taking no thought to your future will serve you. Yes, I was struggling to make my life work but at the same time I had a plan to set aside what I could to allow my dotage to be easier, if not free totally of financial worry. (It’s not.) It was something that took years. And years. Probably as it should be. I don’t know.

    I serve as only one example of a person who held my values and have been able to live into my dotage with no great wants. It seems that this is achievable to anyone who can really look closely at what it is that they really want from their time here on this rock. (Please keep in mind that I am aware of the constraints that are placed upon people who are in someway different and difficult situations, ie. third world dictatorships, etc. who cannot do this. That’s another issue for another comment.)

    Last word…..keep it fun!!

    Aged Spirit

  72. Greetings ArchDruid!

    I was wondering if you had a Welsh Druid deity that you would recommend praying to for help with homeschooling?

    Many thanks!

  73. At this point I’ve been mostly convinced that the democrats main play now is to try to create enough uncertainty to allow the House to put Pelosi in, and that Biden/Harris is just a tool in that effort. I don’t think it will work, but if it did then that would become the new model, and what would be the point of elections afterwards? I’m expecting a Trump landslide, but a lot of mischief can still be done.

    Also, I sit here watching the hurricane heading to Louisiana while thinking back 15 years to the last time, and the unexpected odyssey which lead me to discover TOD due to their coverage. We seem to be on the brink of a lot more major changes.

  74. Archdruid,

    I tend to agree that Trump will win by a comfortable margin, and that we will likely have a security crisis and crackdown. Hopefully it will end then there, but I have a feeling we’re in for a prolonged period of crisis, not enough to trigger a civil war, but still plenty of instability to go around.

    I came to this conclusion with the selection of Kamala Harris as Biden’s veep (not that it wasn’t bloody obvious well before that). As far an utter joke of a candidate goes, I don’t think they could have done better. Immediately after her appointment, the Dems launched a massive blitz touting Kamala’s Indian hertiage to win over the Indian community.

    I honestly never knew that Kamala was Indian, she always self-identified as black, but apparently she’s Indian now. Nevermind that the Indian community’s money is flowing into Republican coffers. We’re all still pissed about the progressive left’s never ending attacks against India over Kashmir and Hindu fascism.

    Kamala was supposed to be an oil branch or something, but of course all of us noticed Gabbard’s pointed absence from the convention.

    So yeah, it’s probably going to be the republicans. Better in some regards, worse in others. Why does it seem we aren’t voting for the lesser of two evils, but simply an evil that is evil in a different way? Is Trump positive evil or negative?

    Anyway, in other news you’ll be happy to know that your terminology has found it’s way deep into the American and Indian psyches. A friend of mine recently used the term investment class in a conversation, and I know he’s never read a word of your works. I’ve heard the term management class cropping up in daily political speech (especially on this news network called “The Hill”), and even Indian intellectuals are starting to notice the weirdly protestant structure of the religion of progressivism. Two prominent podcasters – Sham Sherma and Kushal Mehra are openly discussing the parallels between Christianity and progressivism.

    Your craft is turning out to be a resounding success.

    Regards,

    Varun

  75. I was reading about Dion Fortune’s life recently, and it struck me just how short her life was, how she only began occult practice in her late 20s or so, and yet she achieved incredible heights and inspired a generation of occultists. Is this an example of someone who likely had spent many previous lives in occult study, or is it an example of what anyone can achieve in magic with hard work and dedication? Or maybe a bit of both?

  76. “what the Russiagate hoax was generated to cover for…. foreign aid….”
    Yes, but (Dyer etc. also charge) to also cover for mass spying, to accumulate *blackmail* dirt on well-nigh everyone who mattered.

  77. @ neptunesdolphins – re mousetraps – have to agree the critters are way too smart. You might try a German(?) walk-the-plank mousetrap. I know someone who used it with some success. I don’t know if there would be a way to adapt it to be non-lethal, though.
    ………….

    Sometimes the universe does grant wishes! But probably just a pleasant coincidence. I had been hoping for a convenient way to get local produce. Well very recently a small market opened across the street from our shop – can’t get much more convenient than that! Locally grown organic produce, flour(!), milk, eggs, meat, honey. I have made a point to do business with them. Saves driving.
    …………..

    Sometimes mindless meditation can be dangerous (note, audio only):

  78. https://www.breitbart.com/2020-election/2020/08/02/democrats-war-game-for-election-includes-west-coast-secession-possible-civil-war-john-podesta/

    It does seem from the above article that the Democrat leadership are preparing their voters for the possible secession of Washington, Oregon and California. The incentive to go down the route of breaking up America, as a last resort, may be great, if your suggestion, that the Democrat leadership’s personal survival is at stake, is correct. And I think it might be, at least to a certain extent. Politics is a dirty game, by its very nature. The only question then to my mind would be – would it also benefit the Republican leadership? And I am not sure about that. Do you think it would? I know I find myself the intensity of the constant political struggle to be quite wearing on the nerves, and if it came to a vote on the separation, in which I would be entitled to take part, I would be glad to assist them in finding a political solution, although it seems somewhat unpatriotic to say that…

  79. Hi, you might have missed the news of a new political party – the NJP, National Justice Party. It was formed by Mike Enoch of The Right Stuff website and podcast (he’s what most would consider the intelligent part of the alt-right movement). They’re appealing to white working class voters as the Dems and Rep have abandoned them. He gave a speech last week and will be putting out a platform paper soon, no candidates yet. So far Calls for universal health care and canceling student debt (and of course identity politics for whites). Interesting development as well as Richard Spencer coming out in favor of Biden (Biden camp coughed-up a fur ball after that) .

  80. Sorry, Mr. Greer:

    I’ll add it to my list of things to try to avoid.

    I listened to your hour-long podcast interview on the world of Retrotopia and its relevance in our contemporary world of airheaded technophilia. This has indeed been a consistent theme of yours since you began blogging at the Archdruid Report in 2006.

    Based on the technological changes that have occurred between then and now, your concerns have certainly proved themselves correct. Allow me to break down the significant changes between the fourteen years from 2006 and 2020 and the fourteen years before 2006

    In 2006: Social media was in its infancy (with no likes, retweets, shares, etc) and mostly used by college student types, Most cell phones were flip phones (Blackberries were an exception) and there were no smart phones or touchscreens, The Internet was just leaving the dial-up/ “Wild West” era and has much less advertising and many more blogs, Traditional (print) journalism was still healthy outside the major metropolitan areas, there was no synthetic intelligence (it is starting to proliferate now), no Blu-Rays, texting was much rarer, less advanced computer/video games, the Space Shuttle was still operational, etc

    In 1992: No DVDs, No access to the internet (outside governments, militaries, scientific facilities, and some universities), Still a lot of arcades, Cable TV was relatively new and Satellite TV was brand new, Personal Computers were just getting off the ground, Compact Discs had yet to eclipse vinyl and tape cassettes, Mobile Phones of any kinds was large and expensive, CGI animation was in its infancy, the Concorde was still operational, etc

    Yet, it seems clear that the more recent set of technological changes have IMO been far more of a Lovecraftian nightmare in terms of their social, cultural, and political impacts.

    You have previously described your belief that days of the Internet as a mass phenomenon are numbered. Do you believe their will be technological advancement in other areas?

  81. Andrew001 and Mitch
    Re: spiritual practice. That sounds very familiar, had a Christian upbringing that got left behind and then later found Wicca and Druidry that just seems to make sense as a way of living in the world. But do I believe it? That’s still an open question and I’m still trying to come to terms that its OK for it to be unresolved – perhaps phrase it as getting comfortable wrestling with doubt rather than living with certainty of belief.
    I don’t need magic, I don’t need reincarnation or gods, and I have real difficulties with committing to ritual, but druidry gives me a framework to help how I think I should act in the world. For example – even if I don’t think I will be reincarnated, what should I do if I was – how can I be a good ancestor to those who will come after me? I might not commune with the spirits of the place, but I see I am in relationship with the ecosystem and its inhabitants, and that imposes obligations on me.
    It’s still very much a work in progress…

    Markie

  82. More on Spygate:
    Obama etc. sought to accumulate *blackmail* dirt on well-nigh everyone who mattered, so that no non-Dem would *ever* again be in the W.H., and the remnants of the other parties could be slowly strangled.
    If anything has changed since 2016, it has been a boost in the Dems’ determination, to smash all effective opposition.
    A Biden DoJ, and antiFa/ BLM/ gangs, will be delighted to tee off on all of the Dems’ *effective* foes, so that the slated GOP federal office 2022 & 2024 nominees will be limited, to the equivalents of Donald Duck, Count Dracula, and Boris Badinov.

  83. @JMG,

    In the last open post you and I had a discussion in which I asked about the fate of people who had suffered severe, depersonalizing stress from various sources (childhood abuse, prescription drug dependency, and war trauma were the ones I mentioned) and part of your answer was that “That only happens to you if you’ve got a whale of a lot of bad karma to work off…”

    I’ve been thinking about that for a while since then, and wondering what role free will plays in this system. My a priori belief (and what I think is the default belief of most people) is that a lot of the suffering in the world is pointless, and while there may or may not be some sort of divine plan to rectify it in the end, human beings in the here and now have a duty to make choices that will protect their fellows from harm. If, on the other hand, you start thinking that some or all of the bad things that can happen to a person are the result of karma from past lives, then it seems to me that this would lessen the role of free will.

    Are these perspectives reconcilable? Can, for instance, a child who grows up to be a psychological wreck after never recovering from sexual abuse be suffering as a result of both karma from a past life and the free choices of the abuser?

    The same goes for choosing to do good: you’ve mentioned before that you are a benefactor of the Scottish Rite Childhood Language Program; I am assuming that you do this in the expectation that your decision in this regard will end up making these children’s lives better. And the corollary would be that, had you chosen not to support the program, the difficulties the children would suffer in its absence would have been, in some sense, purposeless and undeserved.

    How, then, does your tradition balance the role of one person’s karma and another person’s free will in determining what sort of things one will experience during a lifetime? Or am I asking the wrong question entirely?

  84. @Dirk wake-up and turn-off the MSM, the Dems and Rep are both Neo-liberal parties that are controlled by the financial elites. There isn’t a sliver of difference between them at this point. Trump is a former Dem billionaire Manhattan elite that appealed to nationalist and the working class, but that charm is gone. Don’t expect things to change if Biden wins, liberalism and billionaires will still be pulling the strings for the time being.

  85. @David, JMG regarding orbital debris:

    I think that it’s too easy – especially if you don’t have a background in the right kind of science (confession: I studied satellite engineering in college) – to fall into the trap of thinking of a “Kessler Cascade” as an all-or-nothing event that might all-of-a-sudden bring the curtain down on the space age..

    What I think you’re overlooking is that at least for the lower orbits, there is an important negative feedback loop in play. If you’re in LEO – which is where the vast majority of satellites orbit – then atmospheric drag is going to bring an object down within at most a few decades, and this happens faster the smaller the object is.

    Back in March of 2019, for example, India tested an anti-satellite missile, to the consternation of Russia and the United States, who claimed that the debris had raised the risk of a collision with the space station by 50% over the background rate. But within a few weeks most of the new debris was gone. Even the Hubble Space Telescope, which weighs 11 or 12 tons and orbits at 540 km altitude, has had to be boosted by the Space Shuttle several times since it was launched in 1990, and without any more boosting it is estimated to reenter the atmosphere sometime between 2030 and 2040.

    Since debris pieces have lifetimes quite a bit shorter than this – and since collisions that make more debris will at the same time result in yet shorter lifetimes – I don’t think that the situation is ever going to get bad enough to put an end to the satellite presence in LEO any sooner than the more down-to-earth processes of the Long Descent lead to the loss of the complex technology needed to launch satellites in the first place.

    Higher orbits like GEO are obviously a different matter; there, the dominant force driving decay is poynting radiation from sunlight, will likely take tens of thousands of years to clear out the wreckage.

  86. @ John Evans re: 538

    I’ve been entertaining the thought this is actually a time stamp, but AM, PM or which time zone is anyone’s guess.

    @NeptunesDolphin re: mice

    The most effective mouse trap I was able to find was the Jawz plastic mouse trap as it was the easiest for me (and my clumsy fingers) to set. While it wasn’t 100 perfect, it was better than any of the others I tried. Alas after about so long the meeces smarten up and you have to wait for the next generation of little dumb-dumbs before you can catch more.

  87. @Arthur, the black man that was shot by police in Kenosha had a felony arrest warrant out on him for raping a 14 year old. He also had domestic violence charges. The police would have know this in less than a minute by running his licenses plate. He resisted arrest, wrestled with the police, was tasered, and then proceeded to open his car door to do who knows what. What were the police supposed to do, wait for him to pull out a gun (which we still don’t know if he had one), get in his car and drive away hitting innocent ppl?
    The assumed teen shooter at the riot was under attack by a brick thrower (video earlier shows him trying to pick a fight with the teens group), then was chased down by a mod, kicked to there ground and then fired his gun in self-defense . Video also shows they guy that got shot in the arm had a hand gun. If the kid gets free, it will be because of all the video evidence (though I expect him to be used as an example to not mess with BLM and antifa if you’re a white person).

  88. Twilight, on “o create enough uncertainty to allow the House to put Pelosi in….”
    Unless the composition of the House changes radically before it casts POTUS votes, Trump would be chosen.
    The vote is there is tallied, not by member, but by delegation, such that, as long as the GOP controls 26+ delegations, Pelosi gets nowhere.

    Delegations can only vote for the top 3 winners of electoral votes
    Her only chance would be, if some Elector defied the will of the voters (in a particular state).

  89. Karl, if “that charm is gone”, it’s replaced by shuddering fear of his foes, whose conduct has given us a phrase for the ages: Cancel Culture.

  90. Hi JMG,

    What do you make of the political situation in the UK? A lot of people seem to feel betrayed by Bojo. I think they thought he would Make Britain Great Again and are now aghast to see him implementing some very nasty anti-freedom policies re: COVID while also not tackling the renewed illegal immigration across channel.

    Do you think he has been a cipher for the incumbent elite the whole time? Or is it possible he has come under malign magical influence? Both he and and his controversial advisor Dominic Cummings getting COVID seemed to precipitate a change in direction…

    All the best!

  91. A few Magic Mondays ago, a commenter wrote in to explain their view of horror fiction, which they write. In their view, the main character of a horror story has made some transgression, and the rest of the story is about a justly horrible fate coming to get them.

    I thought about this for a little, because it doesn’t sound exactly right, but it doesn’t sound exactly wrong. It struck me that in most of the effective horror stories I’ve read (which aren’t many because the good ones are pretty unpleasant for me) the characters are guilty of a crime – but that crime is being alive. The universe as portrayed in (good?) horror finds human existence repugnant, and so no matter how the characters twist and turn, no matter how good or bad they are, a terrible fait awaits them.

    On a mostly unrelated note, I’ve recently started working at the local library. One of the underlying concerns I’ve perceived is how libraries justify the tax burden they place on a community, and so far the approach seems to be to buy as many brand-new books as possible, and as much tech as possible, to try to garner patrons.

    I understand that, but I also feel libraries ought to be places that carry materials on the art of becoming fully human.

    Do you have any thoughts on this tension, and the role of libraries in society?

  92. @Boysmom

    A note on bibliomancy: I use this on occasion when I need to make stressful decisions without adequate information. Generally I get very helpful advice. For example: at the beginning of the plague worries, when we still didn’t know much about the thing, I asked for guidance on what I should do to protect the family. The answer: open the windows. It was a passage in Daniel, where he goes up to pray in his room, with the windows open toward Jerusalem. The “windows open” was what struck me, and that’s what we have done: our windows have been open, and our A/C off, all summer. Maximum fresh air and ventilation! And now, evidence says the highest risk of spreading the dread disease is in closed up, climate-controlled indoor environments. So: spot on!

    However. On the few occasions I have tried to use it in a more casual “what do I need to know today?” type way, as the readers here tend to use geomancy and other methods… I have been sharply rebuked. Like “get behind me Satan” and “Don’t test the Lord” rebuked. Not kidding. I don’t do that anymore. I interpret that as “Ask if you’re really in need, but not casually.”

    YMMV of course, and I am not proposing that as a universal law of bibliomancy. Just… it’s a thing I ran into. Be careful.

  93. @Arthur, everyone else who’s been talking about the Jacob Blake riots:

    If you’re interested, the blog post that I wrote yesterday includes some of my thoughts about the Blake shooting (and also about the the upcoming election, the Jerry Falwell scandal, and the ramifications of believing that the Earth is 6,000 years old; I got a bit more rambly than usual with that post).

    https://www.twilightpatriot.com/2020/08/tuesday-news-roundup-and-some-thoughts.html

  94. Matthias, good to hear.

    Bruno, well, have you learned a method of divination? If not, you probably don’t want to begin by trying to divine the answer to an important choice — but you might start studying now, so that you can have something handy the next time such a question arises.

    Kevin, I think what’s happening with the virus is that people are obsessing about it to distract themselves from fears they won’t even let themselves think about. As for the Raspberry Jam Principle, yes, it works both ways.

    Stuart, I’m absolutely delighted to hear this. One thing I’d suggest is a good solid course on how to write a workmanlike sonnet, meant for the complete beginner. I found in my own development as a writer that the sonnet form is almost uniquely suited to teach certain elements of English prose composition — learning how to follow the form exactly while varying the rhythm, pace, and tone of the words in each line, and learning how to state the theme in the octave and then turn it in an unexpected direction in the sestet, is an extraordinarily effective way to get under the hood of the language. (Did you know that H.P. Lovecraft wrote sonnets? His sonnet cycle Fungi from Yuggoth is very much to my taste.)

    Danaone, it’s a good idea.

    Austin, if the political discussion gets out of hand I’ll shut it down. The people who brought it up did so politely, if passionately, and so I thought it was worth putting their comments through and responding to them. As for the meditation, it’s not the kind I do but I don’t know of any reason why it should be problematic; keep track of your moods and thinking processes and watch for unwelcome changes, though. As for why your energy is visible to trained people, some people simply have more strongly energized auras than others; you may be one of them.

    Robert, it’ll be interesting to see which way the Rhode Island frog hops, no question. I suspect a lot depends on what happens over the next two months.

    Aged Spirit, interesting! One of the things about a ritual like the SoP, even a simple one, is that the more you do it the more it opens up new aspects for consideration. That’s one I hadn’t encountered yet — more meditation fodder, so thank you.

    Matt, I’d suggest Gwydion ap Don, who learned some lessons the hard way, and then took care of the upbringing and education of his nephew and heir Llew Llaw Gyffes. (The fourth branch of the Mabinogion gives the details.)

    Twilight, I think you’re right on both counts. Major changes, here we come!

    Varun, I’d wondered how that would go across in the Desi community; thanks for the data point. As for evils, all human beings are a mix of positive and negative evil with some good in there somewhere too; it’s purely a matter of which direction the unbalanced movement goes. (And thank you. I’m glad to hear it.)

    Kwo, I’m pretty sure she had experience in previous lives, but all that means is that you can buckle down to hard work in this life and in another incarnation or two, you can do the kinds of things she did.

    Mouse, oh, sure — and then to cover up the spying and manufacture of bogus charges. Depriving someone of civil rights under color of law is a very serious felony.

    Naomi, my take is that that’s a sign of utter desperation. No, as far as I know the GOP leadership has no reason to want that; why settle for 47 states when you can scoop the whole pot?

    Karl, now let’s see if they can get out of the microparty niche and find a following of any size.

    Someone, many thanks for this!

    Aidan, thank you — and thank you for a substantive response. I expect to see some further technological advancement in some areas, but a great many fields have already reached the point of diminishing or even negative returns.

    Wesley, remember that from the perspective of eternity, all free choices by all beings in time can be experienced in an infinite Now. So the soul that has a bunch of ugly karma to work off might be born in a family where the mother’s a violent drunk. She could direct her rages away from the child, but from the perspective of eternity, it’s clear that she won’t — so the karma is worked off. To use your other example, my karma and a lot of hard work has enabled me to be in a position to help children with language difficulties by making donations to the Scottish Rite Childhood Language Program, and the karma of those children is that someone will happen to come around and decide to help them. From the perspective of eternity, those souls could be sent into those lives in the awareness that I would freely write those checks, and not spend the money on some other charity. Does that help clarify things?

    Wesley, that’s interesting. The books and articles I read while doing research for Retrotopia, which appeared to be by qualified people, were much less optimistic.

    Oblivionknight, I’m not yet sure what to make of it. I’ll know more when I finish work on the upcoming Libra ingress for Britain!

    Cliff, I gather there are many ways to write horror; I’m not at all a fan of the genre, so am not the person to ask. As for libraries, to my mind they’ve lost their way, and it’s a good question whether they’ll be able to find it again.

  95. Stuart,
    I’m interested in what you’re doing with poetry – though I have no interest in theater. This, particularly, stood out to me, “Everyone could be writing poems as a basic practice of world-enchantment, and like with anything there are learnable techniques that make this possible even if (like me) you haven’t got a rare poetic talent” and so I’d be interested to hear more about where you’d like to go with that.

    I’ve written a handful of poems and can honestly say that probably only 3 or 4 of them are any good. Somehow writing poetry has fallen by the wayside for me, perhaps a casualty of my own succumbing to our society’s “malign enchantment” compounded by living in an unbeautiful place (poetry writing, for me, is 95% the land wanting to say something and 5% me trying not to get in the way. No access to wandering places and wandering time = no poetry).

    Anyway, I wish I knew how to replicate the experience of having been conduit for those 3 or 4 good poems – the ones that wrote themselves, and I wish I had a better command of form so that not only could I get out of the way of the meaning-wanting-expression, but I could do it justice.

  96. Hey JMG.

    I was rereading the chapter in Circles about Talismans and the recipe for an etheric condenser, and I remembered wondering last year wether seawater can work as an etheric condenser. I live in the Pacific coast of Mexico so supply for it is definitely better than for gold! It makes theoretical sense, doesn’t it? With the ocean being so intimately linked with the moon and all. Has this been attempted?

    Thanks as always.

    JP

  97. RE: Preparing for the future

    NomadicBeer made a lot of good points. The future will always be a pitch that we can’t 100% sure of that is coming next because of the complexities of human mind and spirit. When there are nearly 8 billion people on this planet, there is a lot of human complexity to deal with. There are definitely some things that humans will always need, and those are, surprisingly, things we learned in school: food, shelter, water, and clothing. One thing that was left out was the spiritual needs. That’s likely why many of us are feeling concern now about the future. What will be our spiritual legacy? What will be the karma we leave behind? What life will we come to in the future?

    If we want to prepare things for our children, and metaphorically our future self, think about what you’d need and want. Knowledge of ways to do things easier would definitely be one of them. As we all age, we all want to find easier ways to do things. We’ll want to know the best and easiest ways to ensure we have food, shelter, water, and clothing. But we’ll also always want to know best how to prepare for the future. Think about those common needs. Think about the things that you’re passionate about, or interested in. Or even meditate.

    Personally, and I think this may be combined with the American collective, I’ve been worry a lot about the future. My sleep has been horrible lately. I’ve dreamt way more often than I remember dreaming but have also had more nights that my sleep has felt less restful. I’m always thinking the future has most of all to do with place, which no doubt has some merit, but it’s not the only answer. JMG has discussed this a lot over the years. Having a skill which is useful will better ensure survival. My intuition has been telling me for awhile that mechanics, and I don’t mean the modern mechanic who uses computers for everything but the one who has an understand of fabricating mechanical things and/or repairing them, will be of great importance in the near future, along with people who can build/repair houses and the important implements use within (water, heat, and preparation of food).

  98. I have decided to go forward with opening a subscription library when I move my music lesson studio to a new space in a year and a half. My studio and the library will share the same commercial space. It will be in Aurora, Illinois. I don’t expect it to be an easy feat to get it off the ground it but I’m sure it will be worth it. The libraries near me aren’t open — not even the member’s only Theosophical Library. I think this is outrageous and unreasonable. Clearly I don’t influence the rules.

    My library will be organized via the Dewey Decimal System. I used to be a reference shelver at the local library. It will be a no-frills, books only sort of space. No 3D printers allowed. I’m thinking of calling it the Aurora Reader’s Club.

    Thanks for the idea, JMG!

  99. RE: Covid19

    This situation has been, I dislike to say it but, sensationalized. There have been a lot of comparisons with covid19 to the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918 but one data point that is being ignored is that Spanish influenza resulted in approximately 50 million deaths. That was in 1918 when the world population was was about 1/6 of what it is today. Around the world thus far, we’ve had approximately 800,000 covid19 related deaths. Even if by the end of 2020 we surpass 1.5 million worldwide related covid19 deaths, comparatively speaking, it’s not the same.

  100. Ah Mr. Greer, I’ve just missed you!

    I’ve been reading your work and Gail Tverberg’s blog and while I’m skeptical or not entirely sold on some of the points you both make on peak oil, I have to admit I’m absolutely fascinated by the topic. I would generally agree with both of you though that some sort of collapse is more likely than commonly realized.

    Just take the US debt for example. The US national debt is projected to reach 78 trillion dollars by 2028. That’s totally going to end well, right guys? /s

    My question for you is, in the event of collapse, what parts of the country do you think are best to live in, especially if you’re young and have a few years ahead of you?

    I live in New England (hey, I can visit you!) and it seems like this part of the country has done a decent job containing the coronavirus. I haven’t heard of too many riots hear either. Do you think this is a good bellweather for how well this part of the country may handle collapse?

  101. Dear JMG,
    Maxine here. I live on an idyllic little island on Canada’s West coast. We just lost an exceptionally beautiful girl of only 16 to a lethal injection of street drugs. I am amazed such things can happen in paradise.

    This was a very stupid action on her part but do you think it will count as suicide or an accidental death? I remember her in my prayers every day.

    Also, I have been having problems being woken up at night by something by my bed. I usually wake up doing a palm strike upwards as if someone was leaning over the bed bothering me.

    I did a few Geomancies and asked if the being was hostile and got a clear, “No.” I then asked if it was my friend who died by her own hand nearly two years ago. I got another clear answer, “Yes.” More questions followed and it turns out she wants me to leave her alone. I have only been praying for her to be blessed and protected and led to a safe and happy place but if she wants me to stop, I will.

    I did another geomancy to ask if a cut and clear spell would serve to help Denise and got on the shield chart right witness tristitia, left witness albus and judge fortuna major which I took to be a firm yes but on further reading it turns out fortuna major is favourable for everything but escaping from a bad situation. Could you please give me your interpretation?
    Many thanks Maxine

  102. @JMG

    As Spengler pointed out, history has no purpose or direction. Also, in your book, you have discussed the downward trajectory of technology in the Dark Ages in Britain, for example, following the complete decline of the Roman Empire. Could it then be possible, that the civilization that was destroyed by the Younger Dryas catastrophe was an ecotechnic civilization? Given that human society is somewhat older than the mainstream view, as pointed out by Graham Hancock, could it be possible that human societies hit upon some energy jackpot, suffered, and then transitioned to the ecotechnic phase after a few millennia, which was completely destroyed by the Younger Dryas event, making the survivors start from scratch? I might be wrong about this, but I’d like to read your thoughts on this.

  103. Wow there are a lot of comments here already. These open forums are starting to be a big journey. JMG I hope it doesn’t strain you too much to run these but thank you for doing it.

    Two things this month.

    Firstly, I’m not sure if others came across this piece from Resilience.org in regards to essentially ‘Why JMG is wrong about decline’. https://www.resilience.org/stories/2020-08-10/four-reasons-civilization-wont-decline-it-will-collapse/

    It is funny because all the reasons on why historical collapse is different this time, completely apply this time! Apparently there were now energy bubbles or multi national politics before our era. It is another piece that argues that everything is about to fall apart in spectacular fashion.

    Secondly is a question for JMG in regards to his work on Patreon/SubscribeStar. Have you considered selling your regional forecasts separately? Or does this create an issue with an inconsistent income stream? By that I mean I am not as interested in getting the readings for Tokyo as I am Canberra.

    There is nothing wrong with trying to secure a stable income but I can see why some people would be hesitant to jump into that agreement if they only want a fraction of the work you are doing. Rock and a hard place kind of a deal? Only answer this if you are comfortable with it. (Like I can tell you what to do!? 🙂 )

  104. JMG said:

    “(3) The easiest way for a person with Aspergers syndrome to make a happy marriage is to meet someone else who has Aspergers syndrome or one of the other relatively mild forms of autism. That’s the way I did it, certainly.”

    I rather wonder if I have done the same 🤔. I have medically diagnosed Aspergers, and my husband technically does not….but he is so quiet, introverted and obsessional that the shoe pretty much fits! We have been together over a decade and our relationship just gets better. I don’t imagine things would have gone so well if I’d married a more neurotypical man. As I was quite happy being single before I met my husband, I guess there was no great danger I would have committed that particular mistake.

    My neurotypical sister married a man with Aspergers and ADHD…it was not a happy marriage, to say the least.

  105. Hi JMG!

    Once in a while I wonder what happens to the “egregore” of the SOP when so many of ys beginners try to do it – and possibly aren’t very good at it.

    Also, as a software developer, I do a lot of thinking about computers, programs and systems, do you have any methods that can aid in managing mental energy when it is the primary exercise of effort throughout the day? (I’m sure you can relate to this situation!) E.G. should the daily practice be accomodated in any way to bolster/balance the day? Best, Garde.

  106. @Stuart:

    Your comment brought to my mind something I read recently, an Amazon review of an old book called Elizabethan Demonology (source: [ https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R1CZG7Y6JJYJVI ]:

    This book, written in the 19th century, explains the need for understanding what the original intended audience for Shakespeare’s plays in order to understand the play itself. It is rather stuffy in its wording, but it contains some genuine facts I had never come across before. I find it highly worth reading, and will suggest it to my Shakespeare-loving offspring, all of whom have the mind of scholars who love Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Never mind the apparent contradiction here; Shakespeare wouldn’t have viewed it as a contradiction at all, because he didn’t know he was writing litrachur. He thought he was writing drama for the masses.

    It is available for reading and downloading on the Internet Archive:
    https://archive.org/details/elizabethandemo01spalgoog/mode/2up

  107. JMG, I am curious about the tactics that will stop a “color revolution”. From what I have seen in such incidents in recent years, the playbook goes like this: Don’t give in, don’t negotiate, keep talking about the violence and destruction so that public opinion turns against the protestors, disperse crowds with non lethal means, quickly send armed agents to arrest the key people, plant double agents to find the coordinators and to sabotage, probe and expose the financial links between the protestors and their sponsors, dig out dirt on the “faces” of the protests and put it in the media.

    There was a similar color revolution attempted in India last year, planned to coincide with Trump’s visit to Delhi, no less. I saw most of these tactics employed by the government at that time. Have I missed anything?

  108. Dear JMG,

    My question is about energy and the body in magical practice.

    Although only one of us has officially been diagnosed, the evidence is mounting that several members of my family, including myself, have an autonomic nervous system disorder. Without getting too far into the weeds regarding symptoms (there are a lot), I suspect this is the cause of the unexplained fatigue I’ve had my whole life, and something else which I’ve been wondering about: That is, in any kind of practice that involves drawing in and circulating or releasing energy (certain forms of qigong and magic for example), my body feels overwhelmed by it. Instead of being energized, I have to rest for days afterwards.

    Incidentally, the lack of an official diagnosis isn’t for lack of trying. These concerns have all been raised with numerous doctors over the years. I thought I’d change it up and ask for the archdruidical viewpoint here. 🙂

    Have you encountered situations where magical, ritual, or qi-related practices aggravated existing neurological issues? I(heard it said that magic and mental illness don’t play nice together, but in my family’s case all our symptoms are physical ones.) And if so, is there a way to buffer the energy, or is it best to just avoid activities that manipulate it? I would be interested to hear your thoughts on magic and the nervous system generally.

    Thank you!

  109. This seems to back up what our kindly, kitten-loving leader has been saying:

    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/democrat-riots-trump/

    He cites the stupid reporter (is that redundant?) from Slate. This made me wonder—suppose people are telling pollsters the truth—“I prefer Trump because his side’s less destructive “—and the stupid stenographers can’t believe what they’re hearing, so they type the story about the poll to say that Biden is ahead, as they can’t conceive of anything else?

    Believe it or not, it’s quite common for a client to commission a poll, have the poll be done honestly, and then have the client completely reject what the poll tells him. Why then didn’t he save his money? No one’s figured that out.

    I propose a round of applause 👏 for Rod Dreher, who managed to get through an entire article without spending many paragraphs pushing his book. I know all writers pimp their books to a degree, and I plan to do the same, but Rod usually carries it way, way, way too far, so when he behaves he should get due credit.

  110. Katsmama, it wasn’t Bill Bryson’s book, I had high hopes when that came out but wasn’t impressed when I read it. I thought he missed so much by starting the story after the end of cottage industry, when homes had stopped being workplaces. It’s not Stewart Brand’s How Buildings Learn or Christoper Day’s Places of the Soul either, although both of those are excellent.

  111. Dear JMG and Fellow Ecosophians

    Sharing some snippets from my recent blog post, which is mainly just a BIG thank you to JMG ~

    Much has been brought to light since COVID-19 began to weave it’s way across the world.

    Not one person on this earth has been unaffected; we have all changed to some degree.

    We have seen that the things we tend to cling to, and which previously defined us, are without any true substance, and don’t guarantee happiness.

    If it wasn’t quite obvious before, what has been made abundantly clear is the increased need for respect and tolerance of each and every single diverse being on this planet…

    We’re all in this together!

    Perhaps one of the blessings (if you dig deep enough you will find one!) of COVID-19 is that it’s given us an opportunity to take off the fake masks, and to be comfortable with who we are. It’s allowed us to realize that…

    We don’t always have to “be in control” or “have it together”… it’s ok to be vulnerable.

    So, regardless of whether you’re neurodiverse or neurotypical, if you’ve ever been afraid of revealing who you truly are…

    You can take the mask off now.

    http://bit.ly/BeyondMind-Coaching-Take-The-Mask-Off

    ~ ~

    JMG, the synchronous events related to Merlin, who led me to you. So I just want you to know how great a role you have played in my “story”.

    How blessed I am that who you are (your Light), allowed me to come to the full realization and acceptance of who I am. Thank you!

    With deep love and gratitude,

    ~ Tanya

  112. @Danaone

    As far as I can see, as info comes in, the cops were called because Blake took his girlfriiend’s keys (ex girlriend ?) and refused to give them back and refused to leave the girlfriends premises. The dispatch clearly stated Jacob Blake’s name. Given that there was a warrant out for his arrest, an attempt to arrest him was inevitable.

    I’m not sure how the fight between two women plays into it, but no, imo, they bear no responsiibility for the chain of events.

    I’m inclined to agree that not acknowledging details is an example of soft racism – or is it reverse racism?
    says:

  113. “Frater N, magical failure can be a serious issue if the mage hasn’t been able to maintain proper emotional distance from the working. You won’t often hear me quoting Crowley, but his insistence on avoiding “lust of result” is worth heeding; your magic is most powerful, and least likely to hand you blowback, if you can let go of each working when it’s cast and await the results in serene calm without investing your ego in the outcime. If you can’t do that, and your working fails, that failure becomes part of your magical personality. You become The Magician Who Failed, and your workings become The Spells That Failed. I’m sure you can imagine how that will affect your future magical activities. Of course if you’ve also been doing malefic magic, as so many of these people have, you get what I’ve called the Raspberry Jam Effect, doubled, tripled, and in spades; the noxious energies you tried to send at your target have nowhere to go if your spell fails, and so they manifest themselves with remorseless potency in your own life. So it’s a really messy situation.”

    Thanks for this, Archdruid. I think the scenario you’ve described is probably for the best. The amount of hubris and entitlement in the online occult community is completely toxic – ranging from those who simply believe that the Gods and Spirits are there to serve the Woke political agenda to those who have advocated cursing those who agree with their politics since disagreement is violence – and it may be illustrative to the folks who are tangentially concerned to see the efforts of the loudest and angriest voices come to nothing (or rebound to hit them in the face, for those who have been engaging in malefic magic). Hopefully it will encourage those who have gone off the rails to focus on serving their communities with their magical abilities.

    Frater M

  114. In response to Authur and the riots. The one question with all these riots is the timing of it all. By that I mean, the acts that the police are doing, they happen daily. Many of them are filmed and shared around – all the time! So why is it that it is suddenly getting this much attention and folks are using it to to grab power? That is the important question through out all of this.

    Also this is the astounding demonstrations control that the media has on the people, and it is those that control the media that will get the final say in what gets programmed to the people. It always worries me when I see so much of public discussion being directed from the media.

    All this stuff comes in cycles, I mean Frank Zappa was singing about this in 1967 with the track ‘Trouble Everyday’. Just look at the lyrics, it could have been written today.

    Lyrics – https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/frankzappa/troubleeveryday.html
    Audio – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=girnJH7tvpM

    “‘Cause the fire in the street, Ain’t like the fire in the heart” – this stuff will all come up again when it is needed.

  115. @Stuart – if you are offering to teach sonnet writing in the way that JMG suggested, I might be interested! What’s the best way of getting in touch?

    @Andrew001 – when I first started with Druidry I had some similar trouble with belief. My first attempts at prayer were always embarrassment-filled moments, but I had one experience early on after praying to Elen when the space around me (I was outside) suddenly went silent, and charged, and I got the strong sense that I wasn’t alone. So I kept it up, and through time I found that prayer to the Welsh deities actually worked fairly often.

    @JMG – I am currently re-reading Hesse’s The Glass Bead Game, I’m only halfway through it but there are quite a lot of themes in that book which you have discussed on this blog. It’s noteworthy that Castalians use discursive meditation as part of the Game itself, and in general Castalians frown on making new art.

    That the Glass Bead Game itself serves to synthesize existing human knowledge and art, rather than create new forms of it, seems to me quite connected to the idea that in the late stages of civilizations, ‘innovation’ runs dry and artists and thinkers work solely within the major art forms created in the early stages of that civilzation.

    That Knecht learns the I Ching and that Hesse discusses it as a divination tool is also fascinating. I don’t know how recently you’ve read that book, but perhaps it could be said that the Music Master eventually seems to have gone to Gwynfydd towards the end of his life. It’s really a great book.

    Are you still planning to do a post on Hesse’s novels (and on synchronicity?)

  116. Hi JMG,

    Somewhat related to Spicehammer’s question about the linearity of reincarnational human lives–where does occult tradition stand on the spatiality of such lives? Does a life lived and ended in, say, India make its following
    incarnation more likely to occur somewhere nearby like Bangladesh, as opposed to somewhere distant like Texas? Do all human incarnations occur on this Earth, or is there speculation about other “Earth-like” worlds in which human incarnations play out?

    Thanks!

  117. If I recall correctly, in the past you’ve discouraged would be writers from attempting to get into writing programs. What are your thoughts on writing groups ie people interested in getting feedback on their writing sitting down once a month and discussing each others work. My main concern would be finding a group that wouldn’t be a woke nightmare like the rest of the writing world seems to be at the moment.

    How do you go about getting feedback on your work?

    Thanks!

  118. Hello, Mr Greer,

    after several months of following your blog, you’ve pick my interest enough to start studying the Cosmic Doctrine. I must say that I consider myself a rational and a skeptic, despising the fairy tales of every religion out there, so tales of spirits is not something that I fancy. But here is something you said that turned everything down: spiritual is the way of the emotions, ethereal is the way of the inspiration. Though I don’t want anything about spirits and ethereal beings, emotions and inspiration is something I can understand, they are not material (although they have a material support), they are not measurable, but they can be recognized. Ok, since you are not talking craziness, I suppose I could take a look on what you are teaching.

    Previously, I tried some eastern meditation (what we’d call contemplation), which helped my nerves during the harsher times of March’s lockdowns. Then, I read you to encourage western meditation as something that does the same (training the mind to focus) and something else (like gaining insights of subjects). Failing to find a worthy subject, I downloaded a copy of CosDoc and here I am. So far I haven’t managed to hold the fourfold breath, but am better at sitting still and don’t have problems focusing for long periods.

    So I read the first chapter. Read your post about the first chapter once again. Took the instructions and went back to the beginning of the first chapter. Struggled with the images provided by Dion, and decided to carry on with the original images. I worked on them until the images made some sense. Then followed your advice and used the narration as a template for other things. This is a pattern, right? It’s a pattern that can be applied to any personal story. It cannot be applied to simple things such as the life of a stone being carried away by the river stream. It tells a story, and any story needs a subjective perception, someone (or a group of individuals) whose needs and wills carry the story.
    I’ve been doing this for a week, taking more than those five minutes you suggested. I was puzzled by some grammar mistakes, which made no sense in a “revised” version. Spacing, commas, colons, capital letters, italics, all seemed pretty arbitrary. The looked like hints. In fact, Dion explicitly said those were hints. Writing down all the hints together I got a message: “Reality not stable is the projection work: IT IS”. Well, the message makes some sense, but since it was made to train and not to inform the mind, I guess the goal was to find a message, not what the message has to say.

    Then, on the subject of the pattern, it tells the story of something that changes, thinking the unthinkable because there was nothing previously to which compare it. And how that change gains momentum, grows outwards (attracting some of the not yet affected by the change), moves apart the difficulties out of the way, the inertias, until those inertias, reactions and push-backs get their own existence as an entity, with their own changes in no conflicting ways, until this entity of discarded past things attunes to the same “frequency” as the will for change. When they happen to be at the same wave (it does not explicit if it is chaos who gains speed of cosmos who loses momentum), something resonates. In that moment, the will for change loses interest in growing and is tempted by the discarded paths (or maybe it just cannot keep growing due to the distractions), sometimes attracted by some aspects of the things that didn’t be, sometimes repulsed, while at the same time the original change keeps going in the same direction. (One aspect of the chaos that tempts us, when we approach it too much it ends up terrifying us, and when we run away from that repulsiveness we end up attracted by a close opposite and the cycle continues. Attracted and repulsed, but never falling on them completely.) These “distractions” are part of the story, of that particular Cosmos. So A Cosmos is a human or a society story. Maybe it can be applied to other complex things, but I did not find them so far.

    My questions:

    1. I know you said that the more you study the same chapter the better, and that there is no end to it, but other than trying 5 minutes per day during a whole month, how can I know if I am ready for next chapter? The visualization work was fun, appling the pattern to things like A) the spreading of a new idea, B) my new hobby, C) my family relationship, D) a whole human life, E) a fraternity/association, F) a career, was not that much fun. There’s a point where I am just finding who is who in that other Cosmos, but it doesn’t reveal anything new.

    2. As a non native speaker, I am worried that I might be missing part of the message, maybe double sense phrases, for example I didn’t know that Prime Evil and Primeval were pronounced the same. Hiding a message within arbitrary quotations makes me wary about such thing could happen.

    3. Are my interpretations of this chapter right?

  119. Danaone:

    From a completely non-magical point of view…at one time, hand-knit purses with beads were knit from thin silk yarn. Silk is known to decay/disintegrate, particularly if it has been dyed black or “weighted”, which is to say, treated with metal salts to make the silk material feel heavier and more luxurious.

    It is possible that you were either having an allergic reaction to moldy silk, or some sort of reaction to the chemicals used to dye it. (I’m speculating wildly, as I don’t know what type of material the purse was actually made from.)

    If you run into a similar situation again, it might make sense to handle the thing either outside, or with gloves until you are done with the disassembly.

    I hope you make something amazing from the beads!

  120. I was reminded of Rhode Islanders strange nostalgia for the years when the state was more or less run by the New England mob, by my son who spent 4 years in Providence.It got me thinking of the efficiency of less “woke” and politically correct governing arrangements in relation to rioting and looting we see today. If the crew from the coin-o-magic on Federal Hill had been around today,and the current wave of protests had their genesis in Providence instead of Minnesota or Oregon things might be different. The minute an Antifa mob tired to burn or loot a business under the protection of “the family” things would have come to a skreeching halt then and there, even if they had the shadowy backing of one of the political party’s. Back in the heyday even the mayor and governor had strong connections to the mob and could have efficiently cleaned things up without bringing disparagement upon the police force.

  121. Hello JMG and Friends. I am a long time reader of this and the old ArchDruid Report. You might recognize me as the tall, shy silent one in the “back of the room”.😉
    I recently had a most curious dream and I am hoping this august assembly can help me make more sense of it.
    Before I describe the dream though, I need to go back and (briefly) describe some previous events.
    Like some of you here, I (a 50-something man of WASP descent) have had a rough spiritual journey with Christianity (in its modern American form). Being gay certainly hasn’t made the journey any smoother.
    After some personal revelations (gained from mulling over conversations from this blog and our host) I gave myself permission to embrace my natural polytheistic tendencies without completely rejecting my baptism in the name of Jesus Christ.
    Another important “first” for my was (finally!) learning a prayer routine and managing to stick with it (for at least a whole 7 months!). I created a simple prayer that was easy to remember that begins with a salutation to a “great and beneficent God or Goddess” who is as yet unknown to me, to Jesus Christ, to the spirits of my deceased mother and father, and to all my kilth and kin. I then declare my thanks, homage, gratitude to them followed by personal requests for wellbeing, good health, and long life. Additionally I light incense and ring a small antique silver bell.
    Getting back to my dream, sometime during the night of August 5, I was partially awakened by a very brief but seemingly important dream. I woke enough to tell myself to be sure and remember it as it required some later research. What I remember is this:
    I am standing before a white plastic 6’ folding table (the table is at an odd angle), and a woman (who is very important) has just placed something for me on the table which I cannot quite make out. It may be a brown, square box but I am unsure. My attention is given to the fact that the woman is walking away from me and I only see her from behind. She is very tall, with fair skin, and thick curly hair (not quite blond, but close) which is arranged high on her head and she is wearing a loose gown of white and while I cannot actually see her feet, I understand her to be barefooted (but not because of any poverty). As she walks away I suddenly realize that she has written something on a large piece of white paper and I realize she wrote it because she knows it will help me remember (I am a visual learner as opposed to an audible learner). The word is “SAULUS” and it is written in all caps, and the paper is at an odd angle (just like the table) so that the first letter is closest to me.
    That is all I remember of the dream and in the morning I actually forgot about it until I was sitting and having my morning coffee during my personal quite time. Suddenly I remembered the dream and with urgency googled “SAULUS”. What came up was nothing under that spelling but SALUS immediately showed a Wikipedia entry for an ancient Roman Goddess whose annual festival day was August 5!
    My biggest question for you all is why do you think the spelling was different (assuming it was Salus) and if it wasn’t the Roman Goddess Salus who visited my dream, who else might it be and should I be concerned?
    I have many more questions but have taxed you enough.
    Thank you in advance for any light you may shed on this for me and Blessing be to you all.
    Sincerely,
    Courtney

  122. A question for John and any other theists (both poly- and mono-) in the community–

    It has been brought to my awareness that a solid devotional practice would be beneficial as I plod along my meandering path in this incarnation. I’m familiar with traditional Christian devotional practices, as that was my upbringing, but I was wondering what other tools there might be in that toolkit. I am, of course, asking for guidance from my patron(ness); however, I thought it would be useful to ask of others here as well what techniques, acts, practices you use in your devotions?

    Many thanks in advance.

  123. In addition to the Internet, what other technologies do you see as numbered?

    I certainly wouldn’t mind hearing more about your ideas for a book based around the conservation movement being more successful. For example, this would be a rare fiction novel of yours that could feature yourself as a character!

  124. JMG,

    I’m curious as your thoughts on the attached article, which is written as a friendly how-to for President Biden on his first 14 days. In general it reads as completely canned Conventional Wisdom ™, but the general foreign policy stance and specific agendas for days 7, 9, 10, and 12 caught my eye. The author, Andrew Bacevich, has been pegged as a neo-isolationist before by the WaPo. It strikes me that he assumes that trying to recapture (more of) the soft power of empire will allow more overt military drawdowns. Do you think it heralds anything in particular that discussions of pulling back from empire are becoming more overt? There seems no acknowledgement of a point you’ve made before, that Trump’s bombast and seeming unpredictability have provided some diplomatic smoke for drawdowns without embarrassing defeats that would make the whole process quite messy. The link is not behind a paywall, but the same editorial is on numerous news magazine sites.

    https://www.salon.com/2020/08/16/what-happens-if-biden-wins_partner/

  125. I have a DMH question, if I may.

    On the Cosmic Doctrine post, you answered a question I had with your own scheme of how the planes map to the 7 elements. I’m trying to connect this to the Ogham elemental correspondences because I’m currently meditating my way through all the Ogham fews.

    I noticed that the Ogham aicmes (and fews within an aicme) together could form a cycle, starting with the Air fews, then moving through each element, and ending with the Spirit fews. There is also a rough correspondence here with the Wheel of Life.

    What’s throwing me is that there seems to be two different orders of the elements, depending on what those elements correspond to. Which may be the reason for the difference, of course.

    If the planes descend as follows:
    Divine plane -> Causal plane -> Spiritual plane -> Mental plane -> Astral plane -> Etheric plane -> Physical plane

    Then the elements correspond to the planes thusly:
    Spirit Within -> Spirit Above -> Spirit Below -> Fire -> Air -> Water -> Earth

    If we group the three Spirit elements as done in the DMH, then we get:
    Spirit -> Fire -> Air -> Water -> Earth

    This actually corresponds perfectly to the elemental order of the fews within an aicme (Beith is Spirit of Air, Luis is Fire of Air, etc).

    However, the sequence of aicmes themselves is:
    Air -> Fire -> Water -> Earth -> Spirit

    (I’m suddenly realizing that of course this order also corresponds to the order of the elements invoked and banished in the SOP. Hmm…)

    In the Wheel of Life, from Alban Arthuan, the cycle moves through each Station first via Air fews, then Fire fews, then Water fews, ending back at Alban Arthuan with the last Water few, Ruis (probably one reason this few corresponds to resolution). Spirit and Earth fews (except Ioho) connect the Stations with the Central Grove. So that roughly corresponds to the Air -> Fire -> Water order.

    In summary, the elemental order of fews within an aicme corresponds to the order of descending planes. But the order of elements in the SOP, the aicmes themselves, and roughly in the Wheel of Life roughly correspond to each other, and this order is different to the first way of ordering the elements.

    I’ll continue to meditate on the reasons, but could I trouble you for a hint about why this is the case?

  126. @Boysmom: I think a better translation for her would be ‘Ghost-talker’ For what I know she was basically a Necromancer, which describes exactly what she’s doing by consulting the ghost of Samuel.
    Manuel

  127. @Andrew, JMG

    Even in the Abrahamic religions, belief isn’t a universal requirement. I understand that Judaism, and possibly Islam as well, take the practice much more seriously than belief. In at least some varieties of Judaism, belief is not required at all: following the law is what’s important. In Christianity, this varies quite a lot across denominations, with Evangelicals tending to take the “believe in your heart and you’re saved!” approach, to moribund cultural Catholics on the “I was baptized Catholic so I never need to think about God ever again” side. In Orthodoxy we avoid saying “I’ve been saved” in favor of “I am being saved”. Salvation is a process, for which the church offers many useful tools. It is accepted that we all go through spiritual “dry spells” where we may not believe, or God seems distant, but this is normal and has no bearing on the process or progress of our salvation as long as we don’t abandon the path.

    Doubt is normal. Probably the more relevant question is: “If I behave as though this is true, what happens in my life?” I mean, whether it’s reincarnation, paganism, Christianity, or something else, if you follow the practices and it makes you a worse person, probably you should be looking for something else… and vice versa.

  128. I am interested in what you’ve said about practice being the important thing, not belief. I suppose that’s why the act of recycling is so important, and the doing of picking up trash regardless of whether or not it makes a difference in the big scheme of things is important.

    I have a friend who is a devout Christian and fasts regularly. He claims he’s able to hear the voice of God clearly, but he holds all of the beliefs of the evangelical–regarding hell, Jesus is the only savior, LGBT are sinners, etc. How is it possible that someone would do the same practices across various religious traditions but come up with very different beliefs when they are able to communicate with or hear from a deity?

    Second, regarding practice. (I’m vegan so I know you’ve said this will influence things, just a small note.) I am currently … just … beyond stressed out. I’ve recently lost my income, do not qualify for unemployment, and have been unable to find a job. I’ve been considering things like going back to school (I don’t particularly like the idea of getting all of the debt) and moving somewhere else. I suppose I feel lost, without direction and am losing hope. I am finding myself struggling with beliefs due to past trauma, but I could potentially handle doing a somewhat benign magical practice to help me. I have begun to do some tarot spreads (I found a deck I really resonate with and it’s given me really good and accurate readings so far, even without much study) … do you think tarot is a good tool to get in touch with things like “what does the universe think you should do in a given situation/on which path will you have the most success?” Or is it really just a guide to getting in touch with your own intuition? And if so, is there another benign practice I can do that will help guide me, or is it really a case of me just making decisions based off of what seems logical?

  129. @Darkest Yorkshire Not sure if this helps, but I personally have recurring dreams about “hidden” rooms in normally familiar houses. The sorts of dreams where I wake up and seriously ponder why I’m not doing anything with that fifth floor in my apartment before slowly returning to reality.

    My intuition points to the exploration of rooms as being a journey. Your home is an extension of yourself, and if you’re seeing rooms that are entirely novel, those are novel parts of yourself that you may not be aware of. The feeling of not properly using your home means there are aspects of yourself you’re not properly integrating. I would perform activities in areas of my home I normally don’t stay and try to seek out a new perspective on myself.

  130. I have been pondering the puddletwits and sigil magic.
    Noodling around the internet, I came across this:
    https://wolfofantimonyoccultism.com/2018/02/11/sigil-magick-101/ (I edited it down for this post.)

    Sigil magick is primarily understood from 3 different theories of understanding, these theories being the way of understanding how sigils are able to manifest. Practitioners will usually work with one of these theories, and will understand sigil magick from that point of view.

    Energy theory is the understanding that sigils work through the process of gathering up spiritual energy that is intended for a specific purpose, and when it is cast out that energy will go forth into the universe to manifest that intention. This is a theory that primarily works off the understanding of spiritual energy, and raising that energy in order to do a certain task.

    Consciousness theory is the understanding that sigils work through implanting sigils in the subconscious, so that they will be able to interact with the universal conscious in order to manifest a desired outcome. This theory works primarily off the understanding of universal consciousness, and how we are all connected to it, and because of that are able to influence it in order to make our desires a reality.

    Psychological theory is the understanding that sigils work through the act of allowing you to focus on a specific construct, or situation, through the representation of the sigil. This is said to allow your subconscious mind to pull you in the direction of what you desire, by it suggesting to your normal waking consciousness certain decisions that will help you achieve your goal.
    —-
    I wonder if the puddletwits understood any of those theories. It seems to them that if they make the sigil that someone else made public, then the sigil is effective. But is that true or are sigils only for personal workings? Also, it seems that they are popular with the neopagan crowd these days to cure social injustices. How effective is that or is it something they are just doing because it makes them feel good?

    Personally, I find it bizarre that the puddletwits would think plastering park benches and the internet with this sigil will achieve what they want i.e. “justice for Trump and his co-conspirators.”

  131. JMG, You said this “As for Clinton, everything I see suggests that the Democrats have given up on winning the election” and I am wondering if you could please give examples of what suggests that the Democrats have given up on winning?

  132. @Varun

    How does the Indian American (specifically Hindu American) community perceive NaMo? I ask because some of my relatives who live in the US are strong Modi haters, but I’d like to hear from someone who has a balanced view of things.

  133. I’ve been making my way through the Cosmic Doctrine and your accompanying material.

    You had mentioned a while back the distinction between a speculative and operative mage, and was wondering what your thoughts on someone who is more speculative. I personally see this practice as exercising my intuition, and have seen the results in that framing. I see a bit more of the unseen every day and it brings me joy. I see a bit more of how badly out of sync American society is with the reality of our planet, and what has happened to societies in the past similarly out of wack, and I’m grateful for the insight.

    I also still have no interest in practicing. I’m content with sitting back and observing. I realize now how some of my thoughts and actions are inherently magical, but have no interest in rituals (generally I’m an anti-establishment sort of person… I see the relation between that and my aversion to ritual magic.)

    Am I naive in this belief? Or is my intuition correct that this is just how I’m experiencing the unseen world, and I should just go with it?

    For a second completely unrelated question: What are your thoughts on panspermia? Fortune seems to draw pretty heavy boundaries between different cosmoi, and the only interaction between them happens “at a distance.” Panspermia is the scientific theory that life travels throughout the universe on asteroids and comets (I think of them like seeds, waiting for fertile ground to plant the complex process that is the evolution of life.) I also think it’s something that’s pretty plausible as a deeper story of how life exists in our universe.

    You say multiple times to not get caught up in perceived contradictions. However, I have been able to see how other contradictions are only there because you’re taking things too literally. This contradiction feels more unexplainable to me.

  134. @Aidan Barrett The “Oldest Divide” article is a very good look at the urban rural divide. But I feel like was overly romanticizing the rural environment making it look like everyone there is in a rugged blue collar trade tied to the land. It fails to account for rural places with endemic poverty where most people are unemployed doing nothing in the rural setting (Appalachia, Indian Reservations, rust belt small towns). And its not looking at the more complex economic makeup for the small rural towns where retail, and low scale manufacturing employ large numbers of the population. It seems like the only rural the article is referring to is those with population density below 25 people per square mile.

    Also the article fails to address the exurban creep where people whose employment is very “urbanite” in definition but they live in the rural environment not living anything resembling the resilient rural lifestyle in the article. These exurban residents tend to have conservative political beliefs common to the rural environment but I don’t think for them it comes from the source of “self-reliance” that the author subscribes to the rural residents. These exurban residents are often “playing rural” the best example of this are the pickup trucks without a speck of dirt on them pejoratively called “pavement princesses”.

    So I guess my point is that the American rural/urban divide isn’t a simple black and white matter. Like most issues it has lots of gray.

  135. Good morning JMG and commenters. Hope all are doing well.

    JMG, firstly thank you for the recommendation (from a comment you made in response to another person a few weeks ago) to take a look at WE Butler’s “How to Read the Aura and Practice Psychometry, Telepathy, and Clairvoyance”. I got the book from an online used bookstore (Thriftbooks) this week and it’s a beautiful read – very clear and helpful. We’ll see where it takes me.

    Secondly, I am interested in your thoughts on how much we can discern in this life about the specifics of the wounds we are potentially able to heal from previous lifetimes. I have been doing some deeper meditations on one of my own past lives these last few weeks, and I can see how unresolved problems from that life can be balanced out by challenges and lessons learned from this life. Or so it seems. I do have a healthy amount of skepticism of my own ability to discern things clearly, but I am coming out of these meditations with a strong sense of resolution and understanding, that I don’t believe I am just making up. Is it wise to try to look at these things, and to strengthen habits and practices that can balance out past errors; or does this just risk a kind of hubris – getting hold of the wrong end of the stick and potentially making things worse?

    Finally, a note on the politics of our time. I’ve been a political centrist all of my life, usually voting for a colorful palate of red, blue and green. This year, though, I’m putting it all on red. Just seems to make sense. Not that anybody cares but I thought I would say it anyway.

  136. JMG (and others),

    My wife and I are expecting a baby in a few months. We are wondering what to do about vaccinations. You (JMG) have written a lot about not getting stuck in binaries. Following that way of thinking, we are leaning towards doing a few vaccines but avoiding many more. We both like what you wrote about this a year or so ago:

    “If I’d had living children, they would have gotten immunizations for a few really serious conditions such as diphtheria and tetanus, but the rest, not a chance — it’s not exactly comforting to me that vaccine manufacturers in the US are legally shielded from lawsuits for harm caused by their products. I’m unconvinced by the claims that vaccines cause autism, but I’ve encountered enough cases of definite harm caused by vaccines that I wouldn’t take the risk — and the attitude of those who insist that you must never question the pharmaceutical industry or its pimps in the medical profession strikes me as equal parts stupidity and rank corruption.”

    I am wondering if JMG or commentators who have experience making a similar decision to ours might offer some resources for us to consider. I am not trying to instigate a huge debate about this contentious issue (though I admit I find it a little unsettling how much official medicine and science seem to tolerate no dissent on this topic and no questioning of the great god science/progress/technology).

    I am looking for folks who have some of middle perspective (neither “all vaccines are great and science is always right” nor “all vaccines are automatically evil and terrible”). Maybe JMG (and/or others) could post a couple resources here, and perhaps if someone is willing to share what middle ground they arrived at (i.e. modified schedules and which vaccines they determined were important for “really serious conditions,” they could contact me with their conclusions at williammcgillis@gmail.com

    Thanks much,

    Jacques

  137. Blowback for the anti-Trump magicians. Mr. Greer said that he considered their total preoccupation with the Orange Man was a sign of blowback. How is that?

    Also, how does a person know when they have crossed an ethical line in magic? It seems that if ethics are mutable, then they can mutate to something like what the anti-Trump are doing and thinking – i.e. all out for the Orange Man. Or social justice or whatever. How does anyone know when they are enthralled in all of this?

    I guess what I am asking is that if I constantly focus on one thing or what the media, etc is focus on, then how do I know when I am off base? Doesn’t that become the reality? Or am I thinking too much?
    —-
    P.S. Ozquoll brought up something that doesn’t get covered much. The number of deaths by snakebite is greater than the number of deaths from the Covid virus. Snakebite is a pernicious problem throughout the world (except Europe and the colder areas), but doesn’t seem to merit much coverage. Where is the outcry for that?

  138. I have recently taken up the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, initiated with a cabalistic cross, and discursive meditation exercises, in a standing posture.
    Recently there was a noteworthy strange experience:

    I lay in bed and felt depressed pain in my chest strongly, stinging and burning. I decided to get up and meditate. I stood and meditatated on the “law of balance” as cited in our host’s “Mystery Teachings of a Living Earth”.
    I visualized the balances in my life, wildly, like a fractal of all the things I know to be in balance or not, nor where I know to need balance. It was a vivid mental image.
    My energy drew to my solar plexus and eased the pain.

    Lately I enjoy drawing energy to my solar plexus the most. The past ~2 years I have always drawn energy to the lower abdomen, for strength and resilience, but now I am interested in general emotional openness, to be welcoming to people whomever they are.
    I went to bed and fell asleep. Soon I woke up within my dream and had heavy lucid hallucinations. I left my dreams because I was afraid, but slided back into the hallucinations all the time. (I had no sleep paralysis in this case)
    Ordinary themes of my everyday life manifested before my eyes.
    Lately I’ve had some pain, though it has no serious reason. But I noticed my appearance on other people to be negative or threatening, they turn away when I look at them.

    Even though, I maintain a lot of good relations, the year 2020 was even my best year of human relations.
    Friendly smiles with people, also with strangers.
    But I have flashbacks of considerable trauma, nausea, anger and anxiety too.

    In my vivid hallucinations I saw the lying manifestation of a Private Managerial Class young woman. She looked into the distance with a cruel and cynical smile, and I knew she would scream and freaked out when I look at her. It so happened in my vision.
    A vision of torture emerged (frequent problem of mine), but I decided to turn this one off.
    I decided to get out of bed and turn on the lights, because I was not sure what to make of this, and whether it is a good state of consciousness, even though I am highly intrigued of the possibilities of these visions.

    When I was up and awake, I felt like I was on acid. I nervously wondered whether someone put something in my drink, before I remembered I did not go out to drink.

    My room suddenly felt to me like it was full of disembodied beings, that even brushed my skin, and I could feel their cold breeze.
    I was not extremely afraid, but unsure what it means and whether this is harmless or not, so I decieded to put the experience on this weeks Open Post here.
    In the end I did the Cabalistic Cross /the traditional method for personal reasons), and went to sleep peacefully.

    Any idea what I experienced? Was it just as our host has mentioned somewhere, that magical practice will open a door to the unseen world, and we get to see the various beings behind the curtain?

  139. A question on suicide: over my life, there have been several people who have died by their own hands. As someone who have swum around Protestant Christianity, this is very, very bad. For Catholics, it is a mortal sin. My uneducated guess is that both Judaism and Islam hold similar attitudes, except of course, for martyrdom. I have always wondered/pondered/stress out over what this meant for them.

    Other cultures, especially warrior cultures, see it as an acceptable end. Not just Stoics, but the ancient Romans in general as well found it acceptable as the endgame move when all other options were exhausted. It actually enjoyed quite a noble status for centuries in pre-occupation Japan. For a scientific materialist, one method of “lights out” is just as good as another, so no big deal.

    If I could presume upon you, what would be your views as well as what all you feel Druidry has to say on this act?

  140. JMG,
    I was wondering if you have any future plans to revisit the subject of Western Martial Arts and its connections to esotericism. Perhaps a companion to your translation of “Academie de l’Espée”? I have recently taken an interest in Historic European Martial Arts (HEMA) due to the fact that a while back I began to wonder why, if in the East martial arts have so closely been linked to esoteric and mystical practice (for example: Shaolin and Chan Buddhism, Aikido and Zen, etc…), there doesn’t appear to be some connection between the Western Esoteric Tradition and western fighting styles. I mean, the Templars were warrior mystics right?

    So anyway, do you have any plans to write on this?

  141. Dear Aidan Barrett and JMG

    re: Woke Inc.

    That piece is a perfect summation of the glorious complexity of real history versus the simplistic versions being pedalled by populists and social justice advocates, which has been explored in this weblog and its predecessor for years.
    A quick read shows how many different groups with agendas keep shifting about finding themselves alternatively as left-wing and right-wing causes. Like the whole screaming about immigration right now: leftists were against it because it drives down wages of the working classes, now leftists are for it because those poor, downtrodden people deserve a chance. Conservatives are for it because it makes for more tractable workforces, now conservatives are against it because of racism (which is also culturalism — people who don’t come from the same value systems erode the basis of common culture which is the sine qua non of any organized society).
    This is just one thread, and economic one.
    As I was pondering recently, thinking about some of JMG’s books, and the Archdruid Report from 2013 “Man, Conqueror of Nature, Dead at 408,” which has been stuck in my head since it appeared, it occurred to me that the simplistic, wrong, but admittedly inspiring, myth from my youth was. “Behold the great and bold man, Conqueror of Nature, whose manifest destiny is to lead the world to universal prosperity through the invention of Awesome Technologies, able to put boots on the moon, and is now going to infinity.. and beyond!” has now devolved into the even more simplistic insistence that one can only be a decent person upon the unquestioning acceptance of the complete agendas of all of what psychologist Jonathon Haidt called ‘the 7 sacred groups’ of woke society, which have incoherent goals, and in some cases are inimical to each other,
    whose only real commonality is the simplistic story that, “We are downtrodden, abused, and ignored, whose lives are made miserable by the dominance of the European, heterosexual, capitalist Patriarchy.”
    That is, they cannot succeed because they are being thwarted, versus the previous story of we shall succeed and overcome any obstacle.
    Hardly a good blueprint for creating or maintaining any sort of stable, organized society.

    Bruce

  142. Some people seem to be born with the ability to use reason and free will, which suggests they learned it in a previous life. How do people start doing it for the first time? Is there an inciting incident? Is it a conscious process?

  143. I’ve saved up some interesting links for this open post:

    1. “Four Reasons Civilization Won’t Decline: It Will Collapse”

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/03/13/four-reasons-civilization-wont-decline-it-will-collapse/

    The article might have been titled “Why John Michael Greer is wrong”. Have fun with this one!

    2. North-East China’s Mu Us Desert turns green.

    https://news.cgtn.com/news/2020-05-05/NE-China-s-Mu-Us-Desert-turns-green-QfenYiTFoA/index.html

    From 1959 onward, local people planted trees to curb the invasion by sandstorms, extending the green area 400 kilometers northward after years of effort. Today, the desert has vanished from the map as 93 percent of the land undergoing desertification has become green.

    I wonder if we could do something like that in the United States?

    3. Tuesday’s TV Ratings: ‘America’s Got Talent’ Topples 2020 DNC Night 2

    https://www.tvinsider.com/945792/agt-dnc-night-2-tuesday-tv-ratings/

    This does not bode well for the Democrats.

    4. John Michael Greer’s profile on hermetic.com

    https://hermetic.com/greer/index

    It looks like its rather old though.

  144. Neptune,

    You should probably get away from faceplant and mainstream sources. The facts you cite are wrong.
    “Here is what I want for Imbolc: I want every single Trump cabinet member who voted PRO for separating aspiring immigrant families at our southern boarder charged with crimes against humanity.”

    You do realize that the pictures of kids in cages were taken in 2014?

  145. JMG,

    In your answer to Balowulf above you said: … whoever’s advising Trump was paying attention to the last half dozen failed color revolutions, and used exactly the tactics that have worked to stop them in the past.” What tactics are you referring to? Do nothing except tweeting? Not being sarcastic here, I really am not sure what did he do.

    Thanks!

  146. Hi all,

    Another great discussion of sundry topics . . .

    @Ethan (if I may): For a few years now I’ve been training in a contemporary system that combines Western (unarmed) martial arts with the spiritual traditions of Hermeticism called “Cabal Fang.” Might be worth checking out given your interests. I’ve included a couple of links, one to the Cabal Fang website and one to the blog of its founder, Robert Mitchell, Jr.

    https://www.cabalfang.com/

    https://remitchelljr.com/

    Best,

    James

  147. @ JMG – When the president came to Tulsa a few months ago, plenty of people, myself included, expected riots and violence. What we got, thankfully, was a non-event. I’ve spoken to a number of people who went to the protests, and their accounts largely match what was reported. Both the pro- and anti-Trump people effectively self-policed. There were very few altercations between the two sides. When things looked like they might get physical, both BLM and Trump supporters would step in to break things up. Yes, there was a heavy police and national guard presence, but they remained largely in the background. People were able to act like adults when left to their own devices for a few hours. I was very pleasantly surprised.
    Tulsa has largely had similar experiences with BLM protests all summer. The organized protests have all been peaceful, and the police presence has been largely non-provocative. The few instances we’ve had involving vandalism or attempted looting were very minor, and all occurred hours after the official protests ended.
    I’ve seen the opinion expressed here several times, that the BLM movement is an organized effort to discredit or remove Trump, or otherwise discredit him. Yet the BLM movement began when Obama was president. I can’t speak for the wider experience, but I know, first hand from people who’ve been to the Tulsa protests, that these are home grown attempts by a significant chunk of the population to petition the government for redress of grievances. Isn’t it possible that black people are genuinely upset about a justice system that disproportionately imprisons them, rather than trying to discredit the sitting president?

    @ Kevin – I have seen first hand some ridiculous behavior over the virus here in Tulsa. Our city council passed a mask mandate requiring people to wear a mask when in a business or other indoor location, a few weeks ago. The day of the vote, about 100 people (Tulsa is a city of 400k) showed up to protest. What struck me about it all, was their reasons for protest. They seem to honestly believe one or all of the following ideas 1 – the virus is a hoax, 2 – this is all some kind of conspiracy to discredit Trump, or 3 – that a mask mandate (passed, I might add, by a democratically elected body of representatives, aka, the city council) was some kind of first step to tyranny and a total trampling of ‘freedom.’ I personally find all those reasons laughable but understand their desire to protest. Incidentally, the city of Broken Arrow, about 100k and located right next door to Tulsa, rejected a mask mandate, and now have a higher rate of infection than Tulsa does.
    I guess my point is, other than to say that the ‘people have lost their minds over this virus’ goes both ways. I look at the current anti-mask sentiment as basically analogous to the anti-mask leagues that popped up in the US during the Spanish Flu pandemic.

  148. Dear JMG – this is a multi-part question that deals with the issue of magical blowback, particularly when public, mass workings are involved.

    1. Is it possible to participate in a mass working and not be aware of it? In your posts on meme magic and the 2016 election, you mentioned chaos magicians on 4-chan. I suspect many if them would describe themselves as atheists or agnostics. But they were still sharing and making sigals with intent. I also suspect many of the Antifa/BLM supporters (especially the white ones) would claim to be non-believers, but could burning/breaking things, and especially the self-abasement and mortification some engage in (thinking especially if the men that showed up at a rally after being whipped hard enough on the back to draw blood) be taken as a sacrifice and lend power to an entity they are not aware of? Is it a case of “You may not be interested in the etheric, but the etheric is interested in you”?

    2. If the answer is yes, are they subject to the same blowback when the rituals are poorly designed and practiced with a malign intent? Can blowback also affect the subjects the working was intended to support, even if they themselves didn’t participate? I wonder if some of the problems the present administration has were caused by this, albeit probably less than the credentialed class ghost dancers caused.

    3. What, if anything, can be done to help protect the innocents caught up in (unintentionally participated in) magical war? The community the protesters/rioters are trying to help are getting absolutely, royally screwed over. The rioters may be blinded by their own ghost dances, but the effect on others who never asked for the working is criminal. I’d go so far as to say it’s evil.

  149. Danaone:

    Regarding the magical properties of beadwork as a carrier of energies (malign or benign), this seems to be connected:

    “We dogs know what the women are really doing when they are beading. They are sewing us all into a pattern, into life beneath their hands. We are the beads on the waxed string, pricked up by their sharp needles. We are tiny pieces of the huge design that they are making — the soul of the world.”

    The Antelope Wife, Louise Erdrich (mixed blood enrolled in the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe)

    Someone:

    Thank you for the Native American quote, “Magic has never left this place…We’re the ones who forgot.” I’ve copied it into my meditation notebook.

  150. This year we will host the First Autumnal Ecosophia Potluck, replacing the delayed Midsummer Potluck. (I hope we will be back to Midsummer next year). It will be Saturday, September 19, from 2 PM on, at our house, 148 Congdon Street, Providence, RI (AKA: the house behind the Charles Dexter Ward Mansion) Please sign up here.

    We look forward to seeing you, masked but not anonymous.

  151. @Curt In the Netflix documentary “nightmare”, one of the subjects describes almost this exact same experience. I myself get sleep paralysis a lot (only very occasionally will I lucid dream, I experience the sensation more as being able to “slip” in and out of a dream state easily rather than actually control a dream.)

    This was someone for whom the experience of sleep paralysis was normal. But, one day he walked to the bathroom, noticed things were slightly off, then saw an explosion of visions. It seems to match your intent of trying to attune yourself in a different way.

  152. @The Mousetrap Discussion:

    One of the most effective ones I’ve seen in action, when you need to catch more than one mouse, is the type made from a large bucket of water and a roll bar. Like this:

    https://www.amazon.com/Rolling-Log-Mouse-Trap-Original/dp/B071ZF2VZJ

    It’s a very simple device and can be made at home. We caught a couple of quite large rats this way, totally by accident, without the roll bar: it was a five-gallon bucket about 3/4 full of water and a bit of floating kitchen scraps and grease, waiting to be dumped in the morning (can’t put that stuff down the drain, with a septic system).

    From our experience: I don’t recommend setting it up in the house if you are a light sleeper. It’s distressing to hear them splashing about.

  153. John — I’ve been around here forever and rarely felt compelled to comment, but the open post seems perfect and timely for my musings as of late.

    So recently, a neighbor and friend of mine — who for background is a rather conservative evangelical Christian — invited me to attend an outdoor concert, raffle, and meet and greet function hosted by his church, a local Baptist denomination. As I can’t say no to free BBQ and enjoy observing people, I decided to go. As expected, quite a long sermon was involved too. Now, it wasn’t overtly political, though there were certainly a few thinly veiled jabs at mainstream democratic views and your standard American conservative downplaying of pandemic risk. And there was definitely the sort of emotional displays and pleas for salvation, accept Jesus Christ as your lord and savior, we are all sinners and need to be saved, I was lost redemptionist philosophy running throughout the whole thing: not in alignment at all with my own personal philosophies, but not unexpected. And then the raffle — very, very stereotypically “rural Georgia manly man” items. Mostly an ATV, and several varieties of firearms. Pistols, rifles, shotguns, etc.

    So on my way home, I got to pondering how tightly integrated conservative politics, identity, and worldview are with the dominant varieties of Christianity in the area, and how it seems like these days, essentially the only functioning social centers left are the churches…which naturally is like oil and water to anyone who espouses a different world view. But what’s left to fill in that void?

    As you’ve mused several times in the past, there really aren’t very many fraternal, non-politicized fraternal organizations left that have any emphasis on developing and enriching their local community. The void created by alienating opposing viewpoints from mainline churches seems — in my eyes — to be one of the main reasons why the echo-chamber qualities of social media have such a ridiculously strong psychological grip on the minds of so many people. Which, sure, there are definitely a few pros to the widespread dissemination of information in this way, but it completely robs local communities of their sense of local identity and is horrible for the social fabric.

    So after pondering this, I felt a very strong pull to find SOME sort of local, fraternal organization to explore avenues to try and strengthen this local aspect of the town of ~7000 I live in…and sort of with you in mind, sent out an inquiry about joining the local Freemason lodge. Was that sensible? I don’t know. But it felt like the right thing to do. Any local organization centered on self and community betterment that is by definition politically and religiously unaffiliated can only be a good thing to pour energy into, right?

  154. It appears that one could use the idea of reincarnation to solve the problem of evil. Someone apparently undeserving actually is deserving because of a misdeed in a past life. With regards to free will, it would see that there is a karmic matching… oh here is someone who wants to inflict pain, let’s pair them with someone who deserves to have pain inflicted. It’s changing of circumstance to maximize the utility of the evil being performed.
    Now of course I hold that free will is an illusion. An evolutionarily adaptive one, for sure, but an illusion nonetheless. I’d love to see JMG do a post on this. I also am somewhat convinced that theism falls in the same category; illusory, but evolutionarily adaptive, at least to a point.
    Now here is something I would love some input on. I have spent much time considering the origin of sin in humanity. In Christian tradition, sin came into the world through one couple who were innocent until they gave into obtaining the knowledge of good and evil. However, we know today there is no special creation or Adam and Eve. So where did we get sin from? Where did we learn to do evil? This question has importance for an understanding of man’s culpability, and any need for redemption.
    Given that I grew up in a Christian environment, the equation of religion=belief was strong. As a matter of fact, among the fundamentalist sect I was a part of, the uniqueness of belief-based religion was spun into a fallacy to prove we were right and others were wrong (the whole “we are about what god does, those others are about what man does”). The primacy of belief in American evangelical churches leads to some strange results. Orthodoxy and orthopraxy have to go together or the one will defeat the other. To paraphrase a blog I read a long time ago, do you think god would rather you do the kinds of things he wants you to do and believe he is a cosmic salamander, or get everything right concerning the nature of god and live however you want. Jesus told a parable about two sons asked to work in the vineyard…

    We have had mouse problems in the past. What worked for us is upgrading from the small MOUSE snap traps to the large RAT snap traps. The small snap traps have less distance for the varmint to get away before the bar comes down, the larger RAT snaps have more distance from the bait to edge of the trap.

    I’m going to agree with commenter above about 538 being a time. By the time America goes to bed on election eve, we’ll know who is going to win.
    Anyway, don’t the Democrats know “get woke, go broke”? They can’t really think they are going to win an election that way. You cannot reach the average American voter with an SJW approach, anymore than you can reach the average movie-goer with that approach. Especially when you serve it with a side of rioting and looting. I mean Trump-Biden is as much of a choice between your trash can or the neighbor’s as much as Trump-Hillary was. So I’m no true believer in Trump. But for anyone who can set aside their ideology and hate for a moment and stick a wet finger towards the sky, it’s obvious which way the wind is blowing. The left is making the same mistake they made in 2016… controlling the media and setting the narrative only serves to blind them to the actual reality which they will have to deal with on election day.
    My wife got told on FB to “check her white privilege” this morning because she wouldn’t agree that Jesus was black. SMH

  155. Varun says: Kamala was supposed to be an oil branch or something…

    I kind of like that typo! I could see it as “The Dems offered Kamala as an olive branch, but she turned out to be an oil slick.”

    Naomi says: It does seem from the above article that the Democrat leadership are preparing their voters for the possible secession of Washington, Oregon and California…

    I wouldn’t doubt that Hawaii would join them. Alaska would stay with the Union, at least until there were further breakups…Lakeland Republic, I’m waiting!

    Joy Marie

  156. @Renaissance Man and JMG

    The issue goes deeper than the ideological fundamentalism of critical theory, postmodernism, or “Grievance Studies” related subjects.

    The African-American economist and thinker Thomas Sowell [1] explores the roots of the pathologies you have described to early 20th Century “progressive” intellectuals in his book “Intellectuals and Race” (https://books.google.ca/books/about/Intellectuals_and_Race.html?id=3uw3DgAAQBAJ&source=kp_book_description&redir_esc=y)

    In the early 20th Century, a consensus formed among many of these intellectuals that in a fair and just society where human potential is equally distributed among all its members, one should see equal outcomes as reflected in measures like average income, housing, occupational status, incarceration rates, etc. Therefore, if we don’t see those results in society, it can mean and ONLY mean one of two things:

    1) Human potential is not equally distributed among groups in society
    2) We don’t live in a fair and just society.

    As Thomas Sowell put it, “Broadly speaking, in the progressive era, disparaties were attributed to race. In the liberal era, they were attributed to racism.”

    What Sowell means of course was that the disparaties between ethnic/racial groups within socieites and between societies were believed to be related to genetics that caused differences in things like intellectual ability in groups like the Scots-Irish and African-Americans. The progresssives (!) who believed these things subsequently advocated eugenics and selective breeding as a means of making an egalitarian society. It didn’t work out well (https://press.princeton.edu/books/hardcover/9780691169590/illiberal-reformers).

    The second assumption has dominated the (ever-growing) academy and most of mainstream liberal thought since the 1960s, the idea that if there is any disparity at all between minority and majority groups, it MUST be due to widespread discrimination, prejudice, mistreatment, bias or some defective set of issues among the ethnic/racial majority that cause social injustice.

    The idea that disparities are caused by a complex range of factors that CANNOT be reducible to either genetic determinants or social injustice is rarely engaged with even among the political/cultural mainstream over the past two generations or so.

    Sowell dissects this idea more effectively than anyone by citing cases all around the world were ethnic disparities are the norm and many cases where an ethnic (or even racial) minority outperforms the majority economically even with no political influence (i.e. in an autocracy or colonial state).

    [1] I disagree with much of his libertarian views on economics but he certainly has interesting and heterodox things to say

  157. I’m gradually undertaking a process of “catching” up on studying a number of topics I was insufficiently introduced to in my over- but somehow undereducated early years.

    I’m starting with creation stories and wonder if anyone can recommend a source for a layperson’s intro to the big bang theory. Other people’s creation stories are easier to find (and will make up the bulk of this portion of my “curriculum”), but the Western materialist/scientific one seems designed only for experts (for this reason, I don’t expect it to live long in its current form once astrophysics et al. drop off the list of funded disciplines – where’s the narrative for us peons?). So, I don’t think I need a totally up to date explanation of big bang, but I do want to get the gist and some of the details. I’m mostly relying on Wikipedia at this point, but I was hoping for an actual book I could check out from the library.

    Any ideas, anyone?

  158. JMG and all,

    Yesterday I was talking with a new vendor at our farmer’s market who is a strong evangelical Christian. I believe God has directed me not to mess with people’s faith, which is often beautiful and useful to them as souls. So I tread carefully.
    After severe life stress he came down with melanoma and he did a mainstream treatment of immunotherapy which worked for him. He’s been clear for about a year now. He told me yesterday that when he was in the hospital the “big cheese” in charge of oncology told him that in those who make it he sees two characteristics: One, they live as if they do not have cancer. Two, they tend to have strong faith.
    I was so uplifted by this conversation that I had more energy that afternoon than I’ve had in a while. I also resolved to change my ways and live as if I don’t have cancer.
    In my case, unfortunately, my emotional reserves of strength and hope and courage have diminished. Nonetheless, I think I have let the cancer take over my life even though in many ways I am doing well and enjoying life. It has taken over my mind and thoughts. I live with a waxing and waning anxiety. My efforts to conquer fear are – well, not entirely victorious for which I scold myself. And, I have to admit, that my fear isn’t the strongest issue for me. The strongest issue, and it is probably a good sign, is that I do not want to be defeated by this. Dying is more or less okay, but not this, not now.
    I resolve to have a complete change of heart and then I lose heart. I am finding it hard to live as though I don’t have cancer because my mind is too active and I tend to get disheartened which saps motivation.
    I just read a book about people in extreme (accidental) survival situations and I was amazed at how his survival personality and traits are also pertinent to physical illness.
    As to faith – I have actually been thinking about faith and its spiritual role. I am aware that faith can heal and that some Christians are doing astonishing healing work. I am not sure what to think of my faith. I believe strongly in God and my own soul, but I’m not into the Christian dogma nor do I know or think we can know who or what the Jesus person was. I have had a life-changing experience of the Holy Spirit which stayed with me for years and taught me nearly everything I know. That joyous connection slowly dwindled, I believe due to the death of my son. Even though I have finally accepted it. I don’t know how to bring it back. I’m talking about it was with me, on tap, for at least 15 years. It’s part of me. But a bit buried now. I find myself floundering trying to think how to have the kind of faith I need. What would it look like. I used to be in love with God. I mean that. I called God the love of my life. I haven’t changed, but the emotion is largely gone.
    I think that to live as if I don’t have cancer means to feel safe instead of threatened. And that takes faith. So the two traits are related. My question is, how do I boost my faith? What is wrong? I see that I need to let go and trust and that is VERY hard! It would be a relief. I want to go a little way in that direction but hold onto the reigns just in case.
    Any advice. slightly letting go or contemplating letting go is not letting go.

  159. @Jack. I also have recurring dreams about finding new rooms in houses I thought I was familiar with. It’s very weird, waking up from them. And sad. I’ve seen similar interpretations suggested at various dream interpretation sites…that it’s about unused, untapped aspects of the self.

  160. On mouse trapping… Having come home to a bit of an infestation after two weeks of travel, and five caught so far (how many more, ugh?) I use the newer plastic snap traps with peanut butter. The trick that works for me is to bait the trap and then smear the peanut butter all over and under the mechanism that triggers the spring. Make it difficult for the mouse to just gently eat the peanut butter without snapping the spring!

  161. A very worthwhile IMO article on Ursula K. Leguin is up on the Front Porch Republic website:

    https://www.frontporchrepublic.com/2020/08/on-the-front-porch-with-ursula-le-guin/

    Among the many aspects of her work discussed the author of the article quotes her translation of chapter 57 of the Tao Te Ching, which I will paste here:

    “The more restrictions and prohibitions in the world
    the poorer people get.
    The more experts the country has
    the more of a mess it’s in.
    The more ingenious the skillful are,
    the more monstrous their inventions.
    The louder the call for law and order,
    the more the thieves and con men multiply.
    So a wise leader might say:
    I practice inaction and the people look after themselves
    I love to be quiet and the people themselves find justice.”

    Also, “Le Guin notes that the word she renders “monstrous” is more precisely translated as “new,” and that for Lao Tzu, “new is bad.” ”

    Like Lao Tzu, Ursula was not interested in progress. Quoted in the article she says, ““I am not a progressive. I think the idea of progress is an invidious and generally harmful mistake. I am interested in change, which is an entirely different matter.”

    All in all the article is a great invitation to discussion of the work of an American original and master.

  162. As you say, theories of time depend on your beliefs. I would guess the physical universe has a one-way direction. Let’s say it “foams up” (and reaching a threshold, probably Plank’s Length, it “pops” or “chooses”) and where the universe contacts itself, it expands. But what this means to souls is that the “vibration” or “nature” of the universe is different in 10,000BC than now. It was literally smaller and simpler then. So to go back there your soul would have to be smaller and simpler than it has become in the intervening “time”. So that’s a sense of why you can’t incarnate as a Barrister, then a Atlantean, then an Egyptian, and it seems fairly accepted that we incarnate forward.

    A related question is that the spirit worlds are not “timeless” or “outside of time” at all. Like dreaming, one thing happens, then another in sequence. However, time is clearly DIFFERENT there. Like Faerie, where you can live a lifetime between falling off a horse and hitting the ground. We suggest it carelessly, but probably only the highest dimension has “no time” where all things are one. As yes, the souls ARE one, they are splinters of the soul of God. But don’t get above yourself: a drop is not the ocean.

    I have heard the 2nd Civil War may have turned aside unexpectedly: instead of “The Nation”, it’s a civil war between the different parts of the Democratic Party. Odd. So like 1/3 is fighting itself, while 2/3s (actives plus moderates) stand free and watch in amazement and horror. Not entirely, but there may be something to it. If 2/3 say no, they may be the neutron rods stopping the reactor.

    To outsiders, don’t believe anything you read. America is BIG country. Really big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mindbogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to America. So every event, description, decision, here is local to THAT area and THAT situation. You must also understand our rules by truly grasping that there are areas where you could drive four hours and not find a policeman nor a hospital, nor a gas station, and are probably more likely to be eaten by a bear than meet a policeman. This is highly skewed and rightfully so as most Americans live in cities, most within miles of the coast. But you have to understand how hugely, mindbogglingly different situations are between areas. And thus largely, between the outlook of parties that represent these very different areas and people. Like having same rules for London and St. Kilda. Or Sydney and Kiwirrkura. No sense at all. Localize.

    In migrations, the Roman fall and motion was recorded as caused by a volcano that darkened the skies, caused a famine, that then ran into a centuries long cooling period. So it’s more than just “moving” and has little to do with Rome’s strength, decay, technology, politics, or culture. It’s probably true that given a string of smart and responsible choices, it could have been avoided. That never happens though: no one is that far-seeing, willing to go from Disney Resort to swinging a hoe on a Dacha decades ahead of the need, in one lifetime, in order to both shift habits and pile up decades worth of resources to respond. Que sera.

    “How these cops would’ve have known,” well, they were dispatched to a house with a 911 call domestic disturbance: a man wouldn’t leave and was trying to steal a woman’s keys, whether to steal her car or come back at night, no one knows. He was a 3rd Deg sex assault, so a de-facto rapist. The police radio then informed the police en route that there was an open felony warrant for this man. Who had attacked police before so they may have known him by name. The “magic” is just the radio. On arrival, the man had a knife, ignored the police, and tried to enter his car and drive away. Can you drive away armed while police are required to serve an open felony arrest warrant? If so, there is little point in issuing one. This is clearly a bad outcome, however it is also being strongly misrepresented. Google it, watch every video, and make month long a research project out of it, it’s illuminating. As said, it’s about trusting you are trusting your peers, an authority, or disinterested, detailed, autistic facts. The other guy is thinking something. Find out what that is and why. The more important reason is why did this tangled tragedy fall on fertile ground. Who fertilized it and with what?

  163. Juan Pablo, I don’t know whether anyone’s tried that. I’d encourage you to use a standard etheric condenser a few times, then try one with seawater and see how the effects measure up.

    Kimberly, delighted to hear it.

    Russell, of course the US will have to default on its national debt. Countries do that all the time, and come out the other side intact. As for what part of the country is best to live in, that depends entirely on personal factors; for one person, rural Kansas is the place to be, while for another, a small city on the east coast is much better.

  164. @JMG, re free will, karma, and eternity:

    Yes, your perspective makes sense. Perhaps my understanding of “free will” is a bit more complex than I’m letting on – I’m not really concerned about free will as an ability to make choices that the Gods won’t know about beforehand (since, as you’ve pointed out over and over, that’s the wrong way to look at it from the standpoint of eternity). Rather, the way I see it is that free will would be seriously diminished if you and I didn’t have the ability to influence other people for either good or evil without respect to any sort of cosmic balancing force which would make sure that – should we choose evil – the people in line to be harmed by our choices would be less than totally innocent.

    Or in other words, I think it’s a fairly basic-level assumption among myself and a lot of other people that the status of human beings as moral agents stems from the fact that, over and over again, we encounter situations in our lives where somebody else will be dependent on us for their well-being, and if we make the wrong choice, those people will come to harm, not because their karma put them in harm’s way, but simply because we failed them.

    And acting like this is true is the foundation of many (though I suppose not all) ethical systems. After all, to use one of your examples, very few people would have sympathy with a drunken mother who abused her children and then justified it by saying that the universe was only allowing her to do it because they had bad karma to work off.

    Maybe my presuppositions about the meaning of moral agency and free will are simply wrong. It’s very likely they’ve been influenced by Christian myths which center around the unjust sufferings of the innocent, and as the whole age-of-the-earth kerfuffle shows, the universe isn’t actually obligated to conform to Christian mythology.

    So I think the question really comes down to: is there room in the Druid cosmology for you, as a moral agent with free will, to take actions that preserve another person from needless harm that otherwise would have befallen him or her, not because of karma or destiny or anything like that, but simply because you chose not to act?

  165. Sylvia – I do have allergies, of the sinusy kind, but my nose runs, and I sneeze, I rarely get any kind of headaches. The immediate onset of a headache when handling the unfriendly purse was noteworthy, to say the least. When I quit working on it, the headache ceased quickly. I took all the salvaged beads, cleaned them in jewelry cleaner, then rinsed them in running water under the faucet. I expect that they will not be problematic when I string them into a necklace. Goldenhawk, I love beads, and beadwork. I made and beaded a pair of side seam moccasins, long ago, and a small beaded pouch for my cellphone. Now my hands won’t really do the work on the tiny beading, due to age, but I still love stringing beads into necklaces and such, which is not as taxing as lane stitch on leather! Old beads that have traveled speak to me.

  166. I don’t want to hijack the discussion back to sex, but here we go.

    I was out of town during the ‘Metaphysics of Sex’ post and so could not comment about the lack of desire in wives.

    Fatigue, sleep-deprivation, and exhaustion play a huge, enormous, all-encompassing role. My dear husband and I didn’t have the sex life he wanted and I, to be blunt, didn’t care because I was a zombie.

    Fast forward a few years to us both being home full-time, on the same sleep schedule and well. The difference is astounding. He’s much happier and so am I. We are both sixty and he does not require those little blue pills.

    Bill got his golden ticket on 31 December 2012 and it took us BOTH almost a full year to recover and catch up on lost sleep.

    I think one interesting side-effect of the Covid-19 quarantines is how much more sleep some people are now getting as opposed to before when they were running the Red Queen’s Race. It’s helping them think better and more clearly.

    Never discount how much sleep matters.

  167. Hi John

    I will be writing a blog post soon on the conventions but I would be interested in your thoughts so far.

    Key data points:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/26/us/kenosha-wisconsin-trump.html?fbclid=IwAR2QrnmkDK0E6jl9cGum6aTHPNeV7OIYatwgb8EoL316ptmmqmgLcwrzwdc#click=https://t.co/1gZKrpquIy

    A NYT article on how undecided/swing voters in Wisconsin are already shifting to Trump after the recent riots/protests. Given MS is a battlefield state and could go either way, this is potentially very important. My prediction is that the Midwest will go for Trump in November.

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/pollster-lee-carter-dials-independents-law-order-economic-recovery

    Independent voters are loving the RNC according to this pollster. GOP messages on the economy, law and order and patriotism are resonating well with swing voters. Interestingly the same swing voters were neutral about the Democratic convention.

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/race-reset-trump-acceptance-speech-marks-new-phase-as-gop-looks-for-convention-bounce

    Whilst Biden is further ahead from Trump in the national polling (compared to Clinton at this stage of the race), in the battlefield states Trump is doing better than Clinton at this point in 2016.

    “Biden leads Trump by 3.5 percentage points in Wisconsin. At the same time in 2016, Clinton led Trump 49.5% to 38% in the RCP average. Clinton led Trump by 6.5 percentage points in Wisconsin on Election Day 2016. Trump won.

    Pennsylvania: Biden is leading by 5.8 percentage points, per RCP. At the same time in 2016, Clinton led Trump 49% to 39.8%. Her edge was 2.1 percentage points in Pennsylvania on Election Day. Trump won.

    Michigan: Biden is leading Trump by 7 percentage points, per RCP. At the same time in 2016, Clinton led by 9 percentage points. Her edge was 3.6 percentage points in Michigan on Election Day. Trump, again, won by a very small margin.”

    My own view is that Trump is going to win, again, in 2020. Whether he can win the popular vote remains to be seen.

    Right now it looks unlikely, however, if the GOP continue to message well with the undecided and the Democrats continue to make mistake after mistake, that could change by November.

    I’ve placed bets on Trump getting reelected, the GOP regaining the House and Trump winning the popular vote.

    I’m confident of winning the 1st bet, the other two I’m not so sure.

  168. @Neptunes Dolphins
    I’ve had success with the Rapp mousetrap (https://www.rappfellene.no/rapp2-mousetrap). After finding some mouse droppings I got one and set it up in the evening, and the morning after it killed the mouse. I set it back up again (why not) and half a year later it took another mouse, which I hadn’t seen any evidence for yet.

  169. Prizm – I’ve seen the comparison between the 1918 flu pandemic and the covid-19 pandemic several times before, and the glaring logical error that I just can’t accept as a good-faith mistake is that the covid-19 pandemic isn’t over yet!

    Read the Wikipedia article “Spanish Flu”, if you don’t have time or access to John Barry’s book “The Great Influenza.” The first wave caused “only” about 12,000 excess deaths in the US, and we’re still in the first wave of covid-19. The 1918 pandemic took over two years to settle down, and we’ve only been aware of covid-19 for about 8 months. Of the 50 million dead (your cite), 12-20 million were in India. India’s daily infection rate hit a new record today, so they’re still on the rising edge of their first wave.

    It may well be that our modern understanding of viral diseases and their treatments will limit the impact of covid-19, but that requires us to take it seriously and use the information we have. Personally, I think vitamin D supplements are essential, especially for people of color and others who don’t absorb much sunshine, zinc possibly useful, with a variety of well-known and inexpensive medications to be administered when symptoms develop (anti-inflammatory and antibiotic). I’ve gotten my 2020-2021 seasonal flu vaccination. I don’t mind wearing a mask, just as I do when I’m making sawdust fly.

  170. Thanks for the open posts, JMG. I have been for several years pursuing a career in wildlife biology. However, as I’ve been reading more of your works this year, I began to come to a conclusion that wildlife biology, especially concerning nongame species, is a field whose existence is almost wholly dependent on federal laws, bureaucracy and regulations being in place that create the conditions requiring people to survey for wildlife species, or that provide funding for studies of wildlife. And in a Long Descent, I can’t imagine it being a field with careers that will last my lifetime (I’m probably one of the younger readers of this blog). So I believe I need to start pursuing skills and other interests on the side that can provide a career outside of wildlife biology in the times ahead.

    My question is, do you have any thoughts as to what wildlife management or, perhaps broader, our relationships to wildlife will look like as the Long Descent progresses?

  171. JMG – the August 15, 2020 issue of Science News magazine has a feature article “Fractured Rituals”. The blurb: “There’s a reason that putting the ceremonies we use to mark importantlife events on hold during the pandemic, or changing traditions to fit this moment, hurts so much.” By Sujata Gupta. One of the scientific studies described in the article compares two groups of Israeli women. One group stayed in war-torn Tzfat in 2006; the other fled. In each group, some of the women read psalms, and some didn’t. They were all scored for “anxiety” during the study. The data show that there was a significantly lower level of anxiety reported in the group that stayed AND read psalms. The other three subgroups were about equal.

    Now, the scientists interpret the data as “when your environment is outside your control, rituals help you feel better, but when you actually have control, they don’t.”

    I think there’s another way to look at it (based on what’s in the magazine, since I haven’t read the actual study): “If reading the psalms makes you less anxious, you don’t need to flee your home.
    (This was reported in American Anthropologist in 2011.”

    From the report: “…rituals give participants a sense – or a comforting illusion – of control over the uncontrollable.” It’s not as though rituals could actually provide additional control over one’s environment, of course. 😉 I mean, we’ve just asserted that these things are “uncontrollable”!

    Reactions?

  172. MizBean, that wasn’t it, but it certainly looks interesting.

    Jack, the last dream I remember I was at a Hollywood mansion, jumping in the pool with music and movie stars. Not sure what that says about the state of my subconscious. 🙂 In the waking world I think a lot about work rooms. Partly because I know a lot about how to design them, partly because I really like the idea of the snug workshop or study.

  173. @DT

    If you dont mind, could you explain what you mean by the claim that “free will is an illusion” and why you think this is so?

  174. Mr. Greer,

    You have mentioned chaos magic in the past. I confess that I myself tend to be as obtuse as a boulder when it comes to such things. Nonetheless, because anyone’s magical, or religious, practices are none of my business, I tend not to think about such things. But here in University-land I have encountered more than a few people who seem to be totally confused with respect to their outlook on current events– especially the election. And no amount of calm, modest pointing out of contradictions seems to do any good. I hesitate to say this because I try to “steel man” my opponents if possible, but I am beginning to wonder if there is some sort of force or energy confounding them. Because, in the main, they all strike me as rational, normal people in most other respects. But, when the topic of Trump, or the election, or unrest comes up they abandon reason. I am at a loss, frankly. Am I being uncharitable? Is chaos magic more subtle than that? I admit I might be totally off base.

  175. Hi John, I read your post that focused on male sexuality/masturbation. What you said makes sense, but I’m wondering what you think about complete celibacy? I personally would probably end this if I found the right partner, but am curious about life long celibates as well.

  176. What’s the most useful way to deal with feelings of envy? To make a long story short, I am a low-level manager, and one of the people who report to me could very likely end up being my manager very soon. This is triggering some emotions which feel tangled together and dense, and I don’t know how to rise above them. At heart I believe they are feelings of envy.

  177. Heya, I was curious as to your thoughts on what happens to lower human astral gunk (like what might be left behind after an old war site, burial grounds etc). Will it eventually cleanse off or does it form like a permanent memory in the land which will keep reliving until it becomes too faint (hence why some places need to not be lived on).

  178. I’ve done some more interpreting my natal chart and have concluded that sexual relationships, serious or casual, are a bad idea for me in this incarnation. My 7th and 5th house rulers and my Venus are afflicted with negative aspects to Saturn and Mars, with Mars in the 7th and Saturn in the 1st. Since whenever I’ve tried to pursue a romantic life,

    Given this, I’m thinking this incarnation would be a good one to look at other outlets for sexual energies. With this in mind, do you know where to look within a framework of Qabalistic magic for things to do with excess sexual energies?

  179. Hey jmg

    Since you have been reading Australian news, what opinions have you formed about the current government of Australia?

  180. JMG,
    thanks for your thoughts! As I am learning (mostly from you) I do believe the only ways for free will to exist is a combination of a “seed” (a small nucleus of reason of passion) followed by a lot of arduous work.

  181. @RussellTheMussel

    Just take the US debt for example. The US national debt is projected to reach 78 trillion dollars by 2028.

    So what! The other side of public debt is private wealth which means that anyone with a buck (an iou from the Fed) in their back pocket is a creditor. All sovereign currencies pretty much work the same way. The important question to ask relates to the sustainability of the debt. The US is the richest, most powerful, resource rich nation that the world has ever seen. That won’t last forever of course but it’s not something I’d worry about.

    @Onething
    Sometimes I imagine myself as this Peter Pan like super-being who loves all, heals all and is adored by all. It’s quite a thrill but it usually doesn’t last long!
    Most of my time is spent in an ageing body whose sell by date is looming larger. That also can be fun, especially if surrounded by good people, good energy and good music.
    Pick and choose however you want to live, even make up other options perhaps, and let go of the futility of having to be right all the time.
    Being wrong and not knowing, and not even wanting to know also can be fun 😉
    Buena suerte – and thanks for sharing.

  182. @Jacques on vaccinations
    Just one view. All of my four children had vaccinations, but on my schedule. If the mom breast feeds, then the baby is immune to whatever the mom is immune to. All my babies breast fed and they only got shots while still breast feeding for things I was not immune to (like polio, diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus). Nobody got a measles shot until after they stopped breast feeding — I had every kind of measles when I was a kid and so my breast fed babies were already immune. What that did was delay and space out the vaccinations. It just seemed wrong to me to take a newborn or almost newborn and start shooting them up with things — so we avoided all we could as long as it was safe.

    I could make this choice because all my babies were born at home. If the baby is born in the hospital, you won’t get a choice — they take the baby away and you don’t really know what shots they gave them until you look at the hospital records. But if you aren’t breast feeding, just my opinion, I would get the baby the shots.

  183. Maxine, it only counts as suicide if the person deliberately set out to die; otherwise it’s an accidental death, and the karma is quite a bit different. The geomancy reading says to me that the situation will clear up by itself in a little while (Fortuna Major very often means difficulty at the beginning, followed by success).

    Viduraawakened, it’s possible, yes, but the suddenness of the Younger Dryas event makes me wonder if that ancient civilization got stupid with its environment and brought about its own end.

    Michael, yes, I saw it and chuckled. These are exactly the same arguments I used to refute once a month like clockwork on The Archdruid Report. As for the ingress charts, the tier structure of the sites that I’m using doesn’t really accommodate that, and I figure that for $5 a month people can afford to pick and choose which ingress charts they want to read.

    Ozquoll, it happens fairly often, because people on the autism spectrum tend to find one another easy to understand and get along with!

    Jakob, beginners don’t hurt the egregor any, since those who stick with it improve steadily and contribute their energy to it. As for work with mental energy, in my experience the practice doesn’t have to be modified; what you need instead is some kind of physical exercise at intervals during the day to get your body energized.

    Ramaraj, the other thing you do when faced with a serious color revolution is make sure you have a lot of armed force on hand in the capital. The final move of a color revolution is normally a sudden rush on the presidential palace, intended to capture, kill, or drive into exile the government leadership. You stop that by having plenty of heavily armed soldiers in the presidential palace and a lot more right around the capital city, so that when the sudden rush happens it can be stopped in its tracks. That’s certainly what Trump did, in addition to the other steps you’ve listed, and of course it worked; the sudden rush never happened, because everyone knew the White House was full of soldiers and there were many more in bases right around Washington.

    Alexandra, yes, I have. In that case you should strictly avoid doing any magical or spiritual work that involves moving energy through the body. Your body’s energy channels simply can’t handle that.

    Your Kittenship, funny. And on cue, as the Democrats figure out that the riots are hurting them, the governor of Oregon is insisting that the rioting has gone on too long…

    Tanya, you’re welcome and thank you!

    Frater N, I certainly hope so. I’ve thought for some time that starting on November 4, we’re going to see a lot of pop-culture occultists and Neopagans angrily turning their backs on magic and everything connected to it — after all, it didn’t work against the Bad Orange Man! (That their magic failed because they didn’t do a competent job of it will never, ever enter their darkest dreams.) That will allow the people who are serious about their magical work to clear away a lot of detritus and get back to work.

    Jbucks, it’s an astonishingly good book, and those two posts are in process — the one on synchronicity will be next Wednesday’s post.

    Balowulf, it varies. There seems to be a mild tendency for your next life to begin somewhere more or less near where your last life ends, but “near” is a relative thing; my last life ended in the hills near Los Angeles and this one began in Bremerton, Washington; the life before that ended in New York City and my last life began in rural Iowa or Nebraska — I’m not perfectly sure which, because most of what I remember from that childhood is a farmhouse amidst immense flat cornfields and a small farm town about fifteen miles away where I went to school, and I’ve never recalled the name of the town.

    Daniel O, if you need feedback, other writers are not the people you want to ask — they are your competition, remember, and in my experience there’s always a subtle or not so subtle one-upsmanship in such groups. I know too many would-be writers who got into a writer’s group and ended up with permanent writer’s block because they got so much criticism from their rivals. Find a couple of people who like your work and are willing to serve as beta readers, and go with that. Alternatively, as I generally have, say to heck with other people’s opinions, write what you want to write, and see what readers think of it.

    Abraham, I’m delighted to hear this. (1) That’s why it’s a good idea to limit work on each chapter to one month. You can overdo this. Go on to the next chapter when the month is over; you can always go back later, when you’ve finished working your way through the book once. (2) Don’t worry about this. There are layers within layers within layers of meaning, and most of them aren’t accessible to anyone the first time through. (3) Don’t worry about that either. Your interpretations are valid first approximations, and that’s all they need to be.

    Clay, there’s that!

    Court, I’ll turn this over to my other readers — interpreting dreams is something for which you have to have a special gift, and I don’t. Anyone else?

    David BTL, well, if you’ve read The Weird of Hali: Kingsport, you know my idea of a suitable devotional practice, which need not be restricted to deities with tentacles…

    Matt, roughly “GWID-ee-on ap DON.”

    Aidan, any technology that requires huge amounts of highly concentrated energy either for its operation or in its supply chain.

    Buzzy, that’s really quite funny — but you’re right that it implies a wholesale shift away from American global empire. That’s very good to see.

    Jbucks, because the elements cycle in different ways, depending on what aspect of the cosmos or the individual you’re asking about. One of the drawbacks of some kinds of theoretical occultism is that they fixate on a single order of elements or other primary factors, and get dogmatic about it.

    Methylethyl, thanks for this! “I am being saved” seems very sensible, and a useful balance to the sky-high hubris of those bumper stickers that say, “In case of Rapture, this car will be unoccupied.”

    Jess, one of the downsides of inner plane communication is that it’s always filtered through the mind of the listener, and can easily be influenced by his or her existing belief patterns. Yes, the Tarot is a good practice for that. You might also consider meditation to help get your stress level down a bit.

    Neptunesdolphins, I’m pretty sure that it will just make them feel good. As for calling for justice, that’s a risky thing if you’ve decided in advance that “justice” is determined by your political hatreds! You may well get justice, but it may not be what you expect…

    Lydia, how about Hillary Clinton’s recent statement insisting that no matter what, Biden should not concede the election? That’s not something you’d hear from a party that expects to win.

    Jack, speculative occultism is a perfectly valid path in and of itself. As for panspermia, until we find evidence that there are such “seeds,” it seems like an unnecessary hypothesis.

    Mark, (1) delighted to hear it. (2) That’s one of the things that very often happens as past life memories surface, and it’s worth doing — of course it’s a good idea not to pat oneself on the back for doing so, but the practice itself is worthwhile. (3) I’m hearing that from a lot of people these days.

    Jacques, it’s been a long time since I’ve looked into the matter. Anyone else?

    Neptunesdolphins, Donald Trump is a bright orange tar baby, and they’re stuck to him as thoroughly as Bre’r Rabbit was. Wherever they turn, there’s his face gloating at them, plunging them into rage and hatred and misery — inevitably, because what they see reflected in that orange mirror is themselves. That’s the downside of projecting the Shadow, and it’s also an unusually nasty form of blowback.

    As for ethics, the details vary but the principles don’t. Basic guidelines such as the Golden Rule apply — how would you like it if someone else was doing X to you? — and so does the core principle that messing with another person’s free will is not to be done except in extreme cases (to bind someone so they don’t commit violence against another person, for example).

    Curt, welcome to a wider world. Yes, that’s a colorful example of what I’ve talked about.

    KevPilot, traditional occult lore holds that it’s not a good idea in general. There are exceptions — doing something to save someone else’s life, knowing that you won’t survive, is one of them — but in general, suicide is usually a way to try to get out of facing your karma, and it doesn’t work; you just get to face the same karma again in your next life. It’s also held that suicides don’t go on to the normal afterlife process right away — they get to sit in the equivalent of a holding area until they would have died anyway. It’s not pleasant.

    Ethan, I wasn’t planning on writing more on the subject, but we’ll see.

    Renaissance, I suspect the switch from “we can overcome anything” to “we are unable to do anything because we’re thwarted” happened about the same time that it became clear that no, we can’t overcome everything…

    Yorkshire, in theory, every soul eventually ripens to the point of beginning to exercise free will. That ripening process is wholly internal — it can’t be forced from outside.

    Ecosophian, (1) Yes, I saw that and chuckled. (2) Of course we can do that here. The Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s did a lot of it, and would be worth reviving. (3) Too funny. (4) It hasn’t been updated in a while. I don’t happen to recall if there’s a contact email; if there is, you might consider dropping them a note.

    Leon, I take it you only watched the corporate media. Large detachments of US troops went to Washington DC, including a sizable contingent that was stationed inside the White House itself. Army intelligence units, including the highly classified MSA (Mission Support Activity), were activated and sent into the field domestically. Federal police units from more than a dozen different agencies also went into the field, and the necessary legal steps were taken to activate the Insurrection Act, which allows the president to send the US military into action against US citizens and also allows the mayors and governors of cities and states that refuse to stop an insurrection to be replaced temporarily by officials appointed by Trump. Once those steps happened, the riots fizzled; it was never necessary to take action under the Insurrection Act, because the leaders of the color revolution knew perfectly well that they’d lose. That’s the thing about color revolutions — they look much more dangerous than they are, and if the government acts decisively, they crumple.

    Ben, one of the things that makes conversation so difficult these days is that so few people seem to be able to realize that a given set of events can have more than one cause. Are African-American people genuinely upset about the disparities in the US police and criminal justice system? Of course they are. Are political extremists trying to use that in order to push a radical agenda of their own? Of course they are. Are Democratic politicians trying to exploit the results of the first two factors in order to try to embarrass Trump? Of course they are. Is Trump sitting back and letting state and local officials try to control the mess they’ve uneashed, because polls have told him that voters blame the state and local officials for the riots, and that improves his chance of reelection? Of course he is. I could go on. It’s a complex, constantly changing situation, and the fact that one of the above statements is true does not make the others false.

    Gollios, if you take an active role in a working, it doesn’t matter whether you believe in the Unseen or not, the effects will follow. Your intention links you to the working. Yes, that includes coming in for the magical blowback. If you don’t put energy into the working, on the other hand, you’re not part of it and you don’t get the magical blowback — though you do have to deal with the less metaphysical effects, such as seeing stores in your community looted and burned to the ground.

    Peter, I’ll be there!

    Ian, it’s a very sensible thing to do. The old fraternal lodges were a vital part of the structure of American society back when it was still more or less functional, and anything that helps them survive and begin to retake their former role in the community is a very good thing. Among other things, they played a large role in counteracting the divisive dimensions of church membership — we all know how easy it is for members of different religions and denominations to distrust and distance themselves from one another; if they’re all members of the same lodge, though, that pulls the other way.

    DT, one of the great strengths of reincarnation is precisely that it resolves the problem of evil neatly. As for your question about sin, it sounds to me as though you’re still basically thinking in Christian terms, as though human beings didn’t evolve from anything else. Animals live in what you might call a constant state of mortal sin; they kill and eat each other, steal from each other, fornicate with each other, and so on, all in a state of serene indifference to moral issues. The question, then, is not where sin came from — it was perfectly normal behavior among our evolutionary ancestors — it’s where virtue came from, and that can be explained quite readily by surveying the recorded history of religious and ethical thought. One implication — and this fits very well with many religions, as well as with nonreligious points of view — is that our moral sense is still evolving and developing over time, and has not yet reached a final form if in fact it will ever do so.

    Aidan, thanks for this. And of course much of the shrill quality in both the early 20th century eugenicists and the early 21st century critical theorists is that their theories simply don’t work when applied to the real world.

    Mouse, I know. It’s a very serious crime, and can carry the death penalty.

    Onething, I wish I had an easy answer. In my experience, surely, trying to make myself have faith doesn’t do much good, and I end up walking a complex path in which a sort of tentative trust very often has to suffice.

    Justin, thanks for this!

    Jasper, having the Democratic Party plunge into internecine conflict would really put icing on the very strange cake of the last four years. It doesn’t seem at all impossible to me, and it would be a highly desirable goal for some of that party’s enemies. Still, we’ll see.

  184. Well, Sowell documents many cases around the world where combinations of intellectual ideologues and political demagogues exploit the presence of such disparities for social gain.

    In Malaysia in both the late 1960s and Indonesia in the late 1990s (after the revolution against General Suharto), there were riots against the wealthier and better connected Han Chinese minority. The Malaysian case is particularly interesting as they instituted their own version of affirmative action called “Bumpiutera” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bumiputera_(Malaysia)) that paralleled contemporary events in the US only it was for the “sons of the soil” majority [1]!

    In colonial East Africa in the 1940s and 1950s as well as the immediate post-independence period, the Indian minority owned a substantially larger share of the economy than the African tribes and the post-colonial demagogue of Idi Amin of Uganda seized their assets and chased them out in the 1970s (many of them settled in the UK).

    Finally in 1920s Poland (immediately after independence from the old Russian Empire), the Jews owned about a third of commerce in spite of being only 11 percent of the population. This did NOT end well!!!

    [1] – Another of Thomas Sowell’s books “Affirmative Action Around the World” illustrates comparable cases in Malaysia, India (colonial and post-colonial), Ceylon (colonial and post-colonial), and Nigeria.

  185. Wesley, moral choice never takes place in a vacuum; there are always other factors contributing to the situation, pushing and pulling this way and that. On the human level, free will is never absolute — if it exists at all in a person (and as already noted, many people never achieve it in the course of a lifetime), it’s likely to amount at most to a little wiggle room, an opportunity to change the course of events a little bit one way or the other. To think of the individual human being as a wholly independent moral actor entirely outside of all constraints, free to act or not act on no other basis than personal choice, strikes me as claiming for humanity something that only properly belongs to the gods.

    Teresa, an important factor! Thanks for this.

    Forecasting, that’s my guess as well. The Democratic party seems to have miscalculated fatally in encouraging the riots — it’s been a truism of American politics for many decades that when voters are frightened for their physical safety, they back conservative candidates. What’s more, if the Democrats now do another of their patented 180° turns, and start insisting that Trump is to blame for not stopping the riots, they’re going to lose what credibility they have left; the sudden swings they’ve already made from “Quarantines are racist!” to “Trump isn’t doing enough to stop the virus!”, and from #BelieveAllWomen to #BelieveJoeBiden, haven’t helped, and if Kate Brown now starts parading around her supposed credentials as a law and order candidate, I doubt anyone but a hardcore true believer will be able to listen without giggling. “Oceania has never been allied with Eastasia,” indeed!

    Saltpeter, it’s going to be very complex. I expect some parts of the country to continue to lose population steadily as economic contraction continues, and those regions will see widespread reversion to second-growth wilderness, with a combination of wildlife and feral domestic animals providing the first sketch of their fauna (and the basis for rapid evolutionary proliferation in the couple of million years ahead of us). In other areas, wildlife will become an increasingly important food source for an increasingly impoverished population. The spread of “invasive species” (i.e., species that are successful at moving into new niches) will accelerate, and cause various transformations in faunal populations. Then, as serious depopulation sets in, forests and wild grasslands will spread over very large tracts, the way they did in post-Roman Britain, and in those tracts wildlife will flourish. Beyond that? Depends on the shape of history in post-Dark Age America.

    Lathechuck, a wry chuckle. Watching rationalists frantically trying to hammer round pegs into square holes is just as amusing as watching religious dogmatists doing the same thing.

    Millennial, I’ve seen the same thing. Whether it’s simply media-induced psychopathology, or whether (as I suspect) forces beyond the physical are causing it, the derangement is real.

    Robert, for some people, celibacy is very healthy. For others, it’s intolerable. Your mileage may vary!

    Anonymous, you might try journaling about it. Write about your feelings, have written conversations with them, and see if you can tease out unfinished business from your past that’s feeding into your present emotional state — that’s very often what’s going in in cases like this.

    Rose, it can take a good long while to clear off. That’s why many people are creeped out by places where murders were committed, for example, and why battlefields tend to be abandoned for a while until the energy dissipates.

    One of Many, you might see if you can find Dion Fortune’s books The Esoteric Philosophy of Love and Marriage and The Problem of Purity. The latter has a specific exercise for redirecting sexual energies.

    J.L.Mc12, that’s a subject for a blog post, not a casual comment here — and it’s not a post I’d write, since what government Australians choose for themselves is ultimately not my business.

    NomadicBeer, that’s certainly my experience.

    Shaun, huzzah! I’ll get something up on Dreamwidth shortly.

    Aidan, no surprises there; it’s helpful that Sowell listed them, though.

  186. Neptunesdolphins,

    Would love to see a citation for snakebite death statistics. The CDC is reporting a rate of about 5 deaths per year from snakebites for the United States.

  187. All—

    An interesting prelude to the kind of thing I expect we’ll see more of in the decades to come. As you all might recall, I work at a modestly-sized municipal utility, one that by accident of history happens to own a considerable amount of generation given the city’s electric load. It has been a long-standing (and recently affirmed) policy of our governing board to be able to “light the city” in the event of trouble on the broader transmission system.

    This afternoon, the transmission company had to take some equipment out of service at one of the substations feeding into the city at short notice in order to avoid a potential failure. As a result, all of our generation was brought online and ramped up to the top; when I left the office today, we were running at about 95% of our max output. This should come down as the cooling load drops off tonight. But the point is that if there are any other issues on the local transmission grid, the next step is shedding load (i.e. turning off customers). “Firm load shed” is the last step taken to keep the system going, like the recent rolling blackouts in CA.

    Now, this is a very localized issue and will be resolved, probably with a temporary fix while a permanent replacement is put in place. But it serves as a reminder how complex the electric system is. Had we not had the amount of generation we do, we’d have had to open some circuits to reduce the city’s load. (We may still have to, if any other issues arise before the temporary fix in brought in.) It says something about the value of resiliency over short-term economics, the cost of maintaining a generating plant versus depending solely on other’s production on the grid.

    Working at a utility is a very quiet, behind-the-scenes affair, but it has its moments of excitement as well. Particularly if you can translate the tea leaves and understand what you’re witnessing as a peek into the future. What can we take from this?

  188. @Stuart re:poetry

    I would love a technical discussion of various common and uncommon forms of poetry, what makes a sonnet a sonnet versus a limerick and so forth. I suffer the deficit of an unremarkable Canadian high school education that struggled to get the class past the idea of ABAB and would dearly love a good introduction to different forms, how they work and what they’re good for. “Poetry is whatever you want it to be” does me absolutely no good if I want to know how to write something in a classical style! Power in the limits of the form. How can I stay abreast of this project?

  189. A few final comments from me, at least, on the jacob Blake situation in Kenosha. Apparently, it has come out that there was an outstanding warrant for Mr. Blake, but there is some question if the cops on scene were aware of it. And, to be sure, the story seems to have changed. It has gone from Blake was breaking up a fight to he wasn’t supposed to be there and a complaint call was phoned in. I guess it will be sorted out eventually. But however it goes shooting a man seven times in the back is the act of a coward. I am neither anti-cop or pro-Blake/BLM but back shooting is cowardice any way one cuts it. We can walk and chew gum. Maybe Blake deserved to be arrested; he did not deserve seven bullets in the back from a coward. There is no contradiction in my statement.

    Mr. Greer, you are probably right as to the number of liberal gun owners vs. rightwing (for lack of a better term) gun owners. This is unfortunate, in my opinion. I wish more of my liberal cohorts would buy a gun. I remember when I bought mine. Liberals I know were shocked. Many said, “I thought you were a liberal.” I answered that I am. Many, sadly, were confused. Now, the only time I have shot my gun is at the target range. I probably will never have to shoot my rifle in anger. But I’m glad I have it nonetheless.

    Please, stay safe all.

  190. Hello, JMG. It’s been a few years now since, in your old blog, you mentioned Kim Stanley Robianson’s novel “Aurora” calling it brilliant. On that recommendation, I read it twice and pretty much agreed with your assessment. That got me reading other KSR novels. One that I especially liked was “Pacific Edge,” part of his 1980s “three Californias” trilogy. It’s his (more or less) utopian version/vision of California; not that everything is wonderful, but some things have been improved. There’s been a stab at limiting the size and power of corporations, for example, and sailing ships are back in use. I like the local political angle especially; I found it very realistic. Another one of his books that I like is “Years of Rice and Salt.” It involves “cohort reincarnation” for lack of a better term. A small group of people keep reincarnating together over centuries. And if that’s not enough, Muslims are bombarding Mt. Everest to reduce its elevation! That’s one I intend to re-read. And, oddly enough, I have no interest at all in reading his most popular work, the “Mars Trilogy.”

  191. Onething, I’ll delurk to reenforce what you were told and provide encouragement- I would never have survived my Stage 3 cancer without a steady commitment to prayer and a firm belief in God. My radiologist, at the start of treatment, said that survival was a matter of attitude, and I took it to heart and saw it myself among fellow patients. It’s hard to focus on prayer or even stay moderately polite when you’ve just been beaten down by chemo or radiation, but even Mother Teresa struggled with prayer, after all. It’s a ongoing war you fight because the cancer is trying to kill you and the treatments are a kind of targeted poison and collateral damage to your body and spirit is everywhere – but your job from here, hour by hour, is simply one thing, which is do not die. Every single day that you accomplish that is a victory.

  192. Jmg

    Ok, fair enough. But can you say anything that strikes you as interesting about the difference between the Australian government and the American one?

  193. John & Forecasting—

    Re Democrats and their miscalculations

    The thing that I can’t quite gasp is “why?” Why are they running a policy clone of the candidate who lost last time? Why have they ignored every opportunity to learn from what went wrong four years ago? Why do they refuse to surpass the very low bar Trump sets for them?

    I keep saying that I hold out hope that the party will wake up and rediscover its roots as the champion of the “common man.” Perhaps I’m foolishly nostalgic. I just don’t understand the decisions that are being and have been made, particularly given the evidence right in front of them.

  194. @Neptune’s dolphins, JMG “There’s a known psychological syndrome of adults trying to force their own children to parent them; this may be the same thing on a societal level.”

    This is a strong left-wing thing again – I see it a lot in the Deep Adaptationists (Jem Bendell followers) of the strongest Social Justice pursuasion. The Gen Z generation are our Redemption and Saviours. The older generations have Sinned and now should follow the children, anything they say is by definition correct, because they are The Future. That they are still children who will either be puppets or reactives against their parent generation just like any other has not occurred to them.

    However, I think there is also another thing going on – the Perky Pat game. Forgive me if you’ve read it, but it’s one of my favourite Philip K Dick stories:

    It’s post nuclear war (because 1960s SciFi) and we’re in a community living in an underground bunker. The adults spend all their time playing an elaborate Barbie doll-like game. They’ve built whole reproduction model neighbourhoods of how they remember life Before for Pat to live in, and argue endlessly about the minutiae. The children are ignored, they have learned to hunt and forage and build fires to camp beneath the stars in the desert world above. They return below to check their parents still have enough canned food left, but they refuse real food.

    There is at some point another community; the children meet, they try to introduce the two groups, but the other group plays Connie Companion. It is all wrong, they have the wrong story from Before! The adults can’t play together, they fight, and the survivors retreat to their bunkers. The children give up on their parents and live above together.

    It would be nice if some adults were above to save the kids the trouble of relearning what berries to eat, I think. But they’ll do it on their own if they have to, they’re very resilient.

    More interesting data points: “They” can’t figure out where all the preemies have gone. They’re all being born at the right time instead. They think maybe the air quality got better? Pregnant women staying home and resting?

    There haven’t been anywhere near the same SIDS deaths either. “They” have stupid theories, but mine is that men and women have had to stay home and hold their babies, long enough, maybe, for them to learn how to beat their hearts properly. Studies in countries that give that year or more maternity leave tend to show this strong effect, but in the US it is obviously discounted.

    A life that is good for children, but our adults can’t handle it…. Yikes…

  195. viduraawakened,

    Modi is VERY popular among the Indian American community. My mom is a lefty and even she supports the guy. I don’t know if you got to see the Howdy Modi event down in Texas? That’s the kind of support the man has across the Indian community, and it’s also the reason why Trump got close to him. The bank account of this community is DEEP.

    Archdruid,

    You know, I’ve never gotten mad at you before, but you’ve crossed the line. I just saw on your dreamwidth account that you mentioned some bands that made metal albums to your work. HOW THE FRACK HAVE YOU NEVER SHARED THAT WITH US?! Not cool, Archdruid, not cool at all.

    Regards,

    Varun

  196. @Jacques:

    I’m just a parent, and have no expert resources to offer you on the subject. But after relatives went through some scary vaccine-related stuff with their new baby… we’re cautious. The child had to be rushed to the emergency room with a 106-degree fever following routine vaccinations (same evening). They were assured it was not related to the shots. It then happened again. Twice (after routine shots). Doc still insisted the two things were not related. The child is elementary-age now, and is… not normal. Nothing glaringly obvious like autism or retardation, and nothing diagnosed, but there are clearly some issues. It’s anyone’s guess whether the issues were caused by the vaccines, or there was already something weird going on and that caused an unusual reaction, or the two things are unrelated. I don’t pretend to know.

    But I concluded from this that adverse events were underreported (if the doc is swearing it’s not related to the shot, he’s also not reporting it to VAERS), and caution was warranted. When my own kids were born, we refused all vaccines until after 12 months, we never got more than one shot on the same day (it is normal to do two or three at a time), and we’ve stuck to the slate of vaccines that *we* had when we were kids, in the early 80s: diptheria, tetanus, polio, measles… we found an old-school pediatrician who doesn’t harass us about it, and he just says “if you only get them ONE vaccine: make sure it’s polio! I’ve seen that and it’s terrible!” We did decide ahead of time that *if* we ran into any bad reactions like our relative, we could end it there: no more shots for that kid. But that never happened. So far, so good.

    CAVEATS: We felt comfortable with the regimen we chose, because our kids have never been in daycare, and we homeschool. If your kids are in school, then the school system is going to require them to be fully vaccinated before they start kindergarten. If we’d had to use a daycare of any sort, we probably would have started earlier. Kids who are mostly at home with you are a whole different risk category from kids who are around strangers’ children all the time. We do other things to make sure their immune systems are healthy: they play outside every day, we don’t do junk food, we get plenty of sun, etc. It’s important to look at the whole picture. If any of them had turned up with a chronic illness, or was prone to getting sick, we might have chosen differently. But they’re hale and hearty so we don’t worry about it.

    That’s light on info, but I hope it’s at least marginally helpful for navigating the question.

  197. KevPilot – I know at least one thought in Judaism with regard to suicide is that nobody who is mentally well would kill themselves, and so the self-killer is not considered to have capacity in that regard, in the same way as say a murderer would have, even though they have taken a human life. There are also stories in the Bible, such as Samson who took the decisión to end his life for the greater good of his people ie the death of the Philistines, and there are incidents in Jewish history where mass suicide by religious Jews took place in situations where the alternative seemed worse. I’m not sure if that is helpful, but I think it shows a slightly approach than perhaps some denominations in Christianity may have. At the end of the day, all Christian and Jewish belief systems have to acknowledge the words of the Bible “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right”? And leave the final judgment to God.

  198. @JMG said: “Moral choice never takes place in a vacuum; there are always other factors contributing to the situation…. To think of the individual human being as a wholly independent moral actor entirely outside of all constraints, free to act or not act on no other basis than personal choice, strikes me as claiming for humanity something that only properly belongs to the gods.”

    I think that you’re flattening out my beliefs too much here. Of course human beings aren’t unconstrained moral actors, and obviously there are lots of things that limit the extent of free will, and there are limits on the degree to which our choices can impact the world around us. I am well aware of all of that.

    I think the crux of my difficulty in accepting your philosophy here lies in the role that is played by that limited amount of human moral agency. I find it very hard to believe in a universe that is set up to make sure that bad things don’t happen to individual human beings except in proportion to their bad karma. And I am also struggling to make sense of how this fits in with your larger philosophy of indifferentism and how “the universe has no eyes”, and how we should expect to be battened about by forces that are indifferent to us, and how “the notion that if things go well, it’s because you did everything right, and if they go badly, you must have done something wrong, was critiqued in blistering terms in the Book of Job a couple of thousand years ago and it’s just as stupid now as it was then.”

    It’s obvious that a lot of the things that people want are not things that nature is required to give us; if we want food, we need to plant and grow crops, if we want freedom from disease, we need to learn remedies, and so forth. Our efforts are subject to natural limits and are not guaranteed of success, but they can still make a big difference. My hypothesis is that justice – which includes the protection of the innocent from pointless harm – is the same way; it is partly but not entirely a product of human effort, and is thus subject to human failure, with no natural forces guaranteed to pick up the slack.

    Obviously, non-human forces like karma are going to play a big role (I am neither denying that those forces exist, nor that you know way more about them than I do). I am just not sold on the idea that the universe cares about human well-being enough that it would make sense to believe (using your example) that if a woman drunkenly abuses her children, then that was only possible because the universe provided her with children whose karma required them to have an experience along those lines in the first place.

    Am I misapplying the concept of indifferentism in this sort of situation?

  199. @JMG, One of Many

    Good, grief! I just looked at my own chart and I have a similar set of afflictions as One of Many. As you might guess, my love life has been less than great.

    It’s not quite as bad as One of Many’s chart sounds. An interesting twist is that rulers of the 5th and 7th both have beneficent aspects to Uranus, which is in my 7th. (Why, yes, I’m attracted to partners of unconventional character and beliefs. Why do you ask?)

    JMG (or anyone), do you know of any good books on coping with messed-up horoscopes? I’m not ready to give up on sex and love just yet, although that may be my Venus-conjunct-ascendant talking.

    — Anonymous Because I’m Talking About My Natal Chart

  200. Ben,

    ” Isn’t it possible that black people are genuinely upset about a justice system that disproportionately imprisons them, rather than trying to discredit the sitting president?”

    Sure, but it also possible that the BLM presence in a few places like Tulsa and my own capitol city are actually nonviolent and something of an exception. But what has been going on in many cities, and their behaviors and ideology is something else again.

    BLM won’t help them anyway. The issue with the high crime rate among blacks is almost 100% tied to their failing inner city culture due to the breakdown of the normal, human species family unit, and one of BLM’s platforms is the destruction of the nuclear family.

  201. JMac,

    2008 was an enormous wake-up call for me and my wife. I lost my job as an ecologist in Florida – which accounted for about 65% of our household income; we moved cross-country with a newborn daughter into the only house we could afford (because it was free), and ultimately lost our house in Florida and our car.

    Since then, our priority has been to NEED LESS, instead of making more, and to keep our income diversified. Just as one example, while my wife works full-time as a librarian, I run our tiny herbal products company – simply products we made for ourselves when we lived primitive in the woods that got sorta popular locally through the farmers market; I home-school our two children; I make a fairly serious contribution to our diet in the form of fruit, veggies, eggs, fish, and ‘shrooms; I do most of the cooking and cleaning, and make fresh bread regularly; I referee the local club soccer league; I drive a box truck once a week for a friend’s company; I do odd farm work when we need the extra money, usually building barns and fences, and usually in the winter…

    Most of all, when we have extra money we pay bills ahead. Always paying ahead. Never know what tomorrow will bring…especially these days!

    I’ll never get caught with all my eggs in one basket again, though. It wiped us out, and it took over a decade to recover. Could we get popped again? You bet. But it would be a lot harder to take us out completely than it was 12 years ago. What I’m hoping to do though, ultimately, is get a business moving consulting with householders on Green Wizardry, designing complete property-scale retrofits to help other people follow our lead down a path of less resistance. Maybe buying the property, doing the retrofit myself, and then selling it for a profit. I could get into that.

    And that’s just the material plane work…

    Just some thoughts from the peanut gallery, though. You may be doing more than this already.
    Best of luck to you.
    Grover

  202. I’ve been mulling over the possibility of Canada breaking apart since I’ve noticed two omens which seem to indicate it, and have realized there’s a very good cause for it to happen in the next few years. We have two cultures which do not get along very well: there’s the English speaking majority, and then the French speaking minority, concentrated in Quebec. For justifiable reason, many of the Francophone do not trust the Anglophones, and a lot of the Anglophones have taken to waving Quebec around as a bogyman, since the culture there is different enough to grate on us. It takes a fair amount of effort for us to get along well enough to share a country, and even then, there’s still a separatist movement in Quebec.

    The reason why they don’t is that since the 1960s, and especially the 1980s, a core goal of the federal government has been keeping Quebec happy, and this means a few things, but one is that the rest of Canada is heavily subsidizing Quebec’s welfare system through Transfer Payments. This is viable as long as the rest of Canada has enough to go around, but the way our politics have heated up since 2015 suggests this is no longer the case.

    I’ve just realized there’s a very good reason for this: Donald Trump. Specifically, one of the core elements of the American Empire has been keeping control over Canada. For a variety of reasons, this hasn’t taken the form of military forces, but rather economics: Canada gets a sizable fraction of the wealth of the American Empire in exchange for not upsetting the apple cart. In exchange for us being calm and quiet we get to have a higher amount of real wealth per capita than the US. This has been the case for quite some time now; we’ve benefited from the destruction of the American working class while ours has been shielded from the worst of it.

    I live in an inner-city working class neighbourhood, and things aren’t as bad here as they are for my American working class relatives. Our infrastructure is better; the quality of most things available for sale are higher; and in general most of us have higher standards of living than most Americans. I’d say about half the country are within the top 20% of Americans, and this is because the US has tried to make sure we’re stable and happy, since there’s no way to safely pursue global military adventures if there’s even a chance we’re going to side with their enemies.

    The problem with this is that Trump appears to be pulling the military back, and trying to use the last income from the empire to rebuild the country: this means addressing a major leech in terms of real wealth: Canada. This also explains why the Canadian government and media class have been so aggressively anti-Trump: they know what he represents, and are struggling to cope with the reality: Canada will have to make hard choices which we’ve been able to avoid because the US was willing to subsidize our lifestyles at their expense. This is also why we were so against NAFTA renegotiation: NAFTA was probably one of the main ways this systematic transfer of wealth was done.

    If Trump wins reelection, the results will be ugly for us, especially if he wins a decisive victory. One of the first things he’s likely to do will be attack a base of power for his opponents, one which provides no benefit to him, and where the bulk of the population can’t vote for him anyway: Canada. Given a huge component of how we’ve kept the francophone minority in Quebec content is funnelling massive amounts of money there; a policy which is already unpopular in much of the rest of Canada, taking this away will likely see social tensions heat up to a very high degree.

    The most likely outcome to my mind is that Canada loses at least one province by the end of the 20s, and probably more; given that the only route connecting the Maritime Provinces to the rest of the country runs through Quebec, they may very well end up going their own way as well; and Western Canada might want out as well.

  203. Hi Kevin,

    Clueless American here—why is it so important to the Canadian Federal government to keep Quebec happy?

  204. David BTL, thanks for this. I don’t think most people realize just how much work it takes to keep those 120 volts coming out of every plug in their homes…

    Arthur, when a man with outstanding warrants for domestic abuse, rape, and criminal trespass resists arrest, breaks away from officers, flings open the side door of his car, and goes for a knife, what do you expect the police to do? Law officers die every year when suspects lunge for weapons just a little quicker than the officers react, you know. For what it’s worth, I wish more liberals would buy guns, spend time at the target range regularly, and maybe even talk with other gun owners and notice that they’re not the monsters some people on the left like to claim.

    Phutatorius, glad to hear it. I haven’t read the Pacific Edge novels; they sound interesting.

    J.L.Mc12, are you trying to make some particular point, or just trying to get me to free associate?

    David BTL, that really is the big question. The Democrats could have had this in the bag so easily; Trump was vulnerable from many angles, and it should have been easy for the Establishment to target, neutralize, and oust him the way they did Jimmy Carter back in 1980. Instead they’ve literally done everything in their power to marginalize themselves and alienate voters. It really is bizarre.

    Pixelated, I haven’t read it, but it sounds like classic Dick — and painfully relevant to our present situation.

    Varun, I posted about it when the albums were released. As I noted, it was a while ago, and you may not have found your way to this weird Druid caravan to the future yet…

    Your Kittenship, no, but they sound cool.

    Wesley, don’t assume that Lovecraftian indifferentism is the same thing as occult philosophy or the teachings of Druidry! You asked me about the latter, not the former. From the point of view of occult philosophy, the world is a nonrandom phenomenon, and so the concept of chance is an illusion; it is not, however, subject to strict cause and effect, but rather to something we’ll be discussing next Wednesday. From the point of view of occult philosophy, btw, the universe is not so much just as mathematically exact, and the law of karma is as impersonal as the law of gravity: it does not care and it will not take up anybody’s slack, it simply functions the way it does.

    Because Reasons, I don’t know of books on the subject, though it’s a worthwhile question. Do your 5th and 7th house rulers have any other positive aspects? Also, how’s your Venus dignified?

    Kevin, many thanks for this! That makes a great deal of sense.

  205. @ David, by the lake

    Here in Victoria, Australia, I’ve had the popcorn out for several years now watching as more renewables get added to the grid while coal power gets taken offline. In our state there are several companies, including an aluminium smelter, who are responsible for a fairly large share of power usage . When things get unstable in summer, they’ve been paying those companies to shut down for a day or two thus reducing load. As extreme heat usually only happens sporadically here, that’s a fairly viable and cost effective option. It’s even pretty good for the workers. Who wants to work in an aluminium smelter when it’s 40+ degrees?

    If we were to leave things as they are, it might even work pretty well for several decades. Of course, we are not going to leave things as they are. We are going to keep adding renewables because ‘progress’.

  206. Jacques:
    My children are adults now, but we had them immunized against the basic childhood diseases. As a six-year old I was desperately ill and almost died of the measles so I didn’t want my kids to take that chance. That said, I understand that these days the number of immunizations children are scheduled to receive has greatly multiplied since mine were small so if we had young children at this point, we would probably take a more cautious approach to a vaccination schedule, perhaps only agreeing to the (many fewer) shots that were standard in the 60’s or 70’s.

    neptunesdolphin:
    Last year we were inundated with mice in our house, including inside our woodstove (!), which due to its glass window provided great entertainment to our cats, who are clearly inefficient mousers. We used catch and release traps bated with peanut butter to great success. The mice were taken way out to the edge of the woods a considerable distance from the house, released and wished well. Some of the mice actually had distinctive markings so we know that those mice did not return to the house. We also snagged a large dormouse that made its way into our cellar. These are the traps we have: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B074MDBH92/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Andrew001:
    I could have written your comment myself. After I left fundamentalist Christianity two decades ago I was sure I would never again have anything to do with that awful, evil religion. Paganism was very, very appealing to me, but whenever I started any practice associated with it it was just plain wrong and felt as if I were role playing, going through empty motions. A couple of years of that left me really discouraged and pretty much without any spiritual practice at all. It was reading – and reading a lot! – with some meditation and lots of thinking that eventually led me back full circle to Christianity, precisely the place I’d sworn I’d left behind for good, but not to the fundamentalism I once followed. Instead, I’ve found a spiritual life in a somewhat more conservative, ritual-centered Christianity, much deeper an experience than I imagined possible and a much richer Christianity than fundamentalism offered.

    Keep seeking and you will find a place, but don’t make the mistake of taking anything off the table from the outset.

  207. Jmg

    No, There’s is no point to my question other than wanting to know what you think is the most outstanding feature of our government in comparison with yours.

  208. @KevPilot,

    From the perspective of Catholic Mysticism, I’d say we don’t really know. The hierarchy of the Church is adamant about claiming it is a mortal sin, and many believe it is a one-way ticket to Hell, since it is a sin you cannot repent from.

    However, the lore I have received from my mother claims otherwise, I think it was Lucia Dos Santos, one of the visionaries in Fatima, (cannot really recall, and was not able to find a reference online) who had this divine revelation. She was talking to Jesus and she claimed it was a waste of time to pray for a particular man, who had taken his own life. Jesus’ response was: “Do not judge, for you don’t know if I stand between the barrel of the gun and the temple of the suicide’s head”. This is of course considered private revelation, therefore not part of the official teachings of the Church, though AFAIK it is not against it either.

  209. @JMG said: “Wesley, don’t assume that Lovecraftian indifferentism is the same thing as occult philosophy or the teachings of Druidry!…”

    So noted! Obviously there is something in Lovecraft that speaks to you on a deep level, but it seems I was amiss to assume complete alignment between indifferentism and your own religious/philosophical views.

    At this point I think it’s pretty clear that there’s more nuance to the law of karma than I seem to be understanding, specifically in how it relates to human concepts of justice, viz.

    We naturally think that good things ought to happen to good people and bad things ought to happen to bad people. We have a (very) limited ability to implement this ideal in human societies, though in many cases we fail, and in many cases we don’t even try. Nor do we typically agree with one another on what a just society would look like in the first place.

    I suppose that a typical atheist-materialist would say, with a certain amount of condescension, that the idea of karma is simply the wish-fulfillment fantasy of a bunch of religious people projected onto a meaningless cosmos. I am assuming that you would respond that this is only a caricature of the law of karma, and that the real thing is both more complex and less adapted to fulfilling mankind’s collective wants.

    Is this accurate?

  210. @Lady Cutekitten, if I may: if Quebec left it would take 25% of Canada’s population alone, a large percentage of its natural resources not least hydro power, and functionally split the country into three. I read an article a while ago that the hydro was the main thing for the Maritime provinces, they might actually need to join Quebec to keep power, and since they have robust Francophone and poor cousin history, that would not be to Anglo Canada’s benefit to create a larger bitter neighbour.

    The other thing is that without Quebec, Ontario essentially is federal Canada, and would then be on its own, as the West was in some sense tacked on only by the railroad grab Kevin had talked about before, maybe on the other blog. Alberta (and BC’s Peace Country), Saskatchewan and Manitoba would go together, and BC I think would revert to Indian Country circa 1860. Take awhile though for BC to have the guts, though… Or maybe we’d suddenly 180 on our anti Alberta sentiment and join the west, because that’s mostly the city…. Hmmm…

  211. @Aidan, the urban-rural divide (and resultant politics), well, they-be-a-changin’. Even though I fully expect the pandemic fears to subside the urban flight and subsequent decline of cities will accelerate. Life is different outside the city, and progressive politics don’t generally survive the transition.

    @LateChuck, it’s mostly over. The charts show pretty much everywhere that once COVID reaches a certain percentage of the population it mostly exhausts itself. It’s damn near statistically gone in Sweden which never locked down and never forced masks. Ultimately it won’t register a fraction of the Spanish Flu, and certainly not enough to justify the economic destruction the politicians have wrought.

  212. Temporary Reality
    Probably the best canonical book on the big bang is Steven Hawking’s A Brief History of Time…
    Berserker

  213. @JMG

    For the 5th house ruler, Uranus is it. For the 7th house, it trines Venus by a wide orb (~8.5 degrees). To make things worse, the 5th and 7th house rulers are opposite each other as part of a grand cross.

    For what it’s worth, the sextile between the ruler of the 7th and Uranus is partile, but it’s separating.

    Venus is peregrine, but at least it’s direct and closely conjunct the ascendant; close enough that without looking up my exact birth time again I can’t be sure whether it’s in 1st or 12th, although as I understand it many astrologers count the last few degrees of a house as part of the next house, anyway.

    On the other hand, Venus is also oriental, and (given its elongation) probably slow in motion. It’s also in a partile semisquare with Mars, which is combust. Finally, Venus is opposite Uranus by about an 8.5 degree orb.

    Looking over this, even with lack of talent at astrology, I have to say it looks pretty grim. It does make sense of my love life, though: mostly non-existent, and the few relationships I’ve had have ended pretty quickly. I find whole the dating scene to be confusing and terrifying, and a part of me honestly doesn’t think that it’s worth it. I frequently feel like nobody could want me. On the other hand, the idea of giving up entirely just seems dreadful, like giving in to nihilism.

    Maybe there is no way out of the bind for me? Maybe I just have to take a page from Camus and find some sort of happiness in the Sisyphean task of trying and failing over and over again?

    Also, just, thank you for looking at this, and providing a space for people like me to talk about these sorts of things (astrology, love, existential philosophy, how messed up modern dating is… all of it).

  214. Thank you for all the enthusiastic replies so far! I knew I could count on folks here.

    @JMG I’m very pleased that you and others have picked out the sonnet as a topic, because that’s precisely where I plan to begin! Other benefits aside, it’s an excellent flake filter. 😉 Thanks too for the Lovecraft material– such vivid imagery, and it gave me a thought about how to talk about the two main sonnet forms. My favourites are “The Lamp,” “Hesperia,” “Nostalgia,” and “Background.” He’s good with seasons.

    @temporaryreality I can totally relate! T.S. Eliot liked to say that he could write one good poem a year, which I take as some reassurance. I’d love to hear more about your land-writing practice. Have you tried writing about being cut off from your inspiration? That’s a classic move.

    @packshaud Thanks for the link. It’s fascinating to see learned commentary on the popular grimoire and witchcraft traditions, so far in advance of Yates’ and Tillyard’s seminal books about the period. (Funny that the review you quote mentions Buffy, as I have some longer-range ideas involving that series. Are you a fan?)

    @jbucks Great! Send me an email at scienceofverse (gmail) and we’ll get you going.

    @Korellyn An excellent suggestion and a huge topic! I’m glad to see your passion is unblunted by our crummy schools. Please do get in touch (see my response to jbucks above for the address). Is there a poem or poet whose style you find inspiring? If you’d like a suggestion, I wonder how this one might grab you: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/52299/nuns-fret-not-at-their-convents-narrow-room

  215. @JMG and David BTL

    On Democrats and their miscalculations,

    The primaries was a good opportunity to get some insight. This cycle, holding onto their power and status in the PMC seemed crucial and they were scared; a lot of energy was spent on this. I have seen excellent planning and more will poured into stopping Bernie Sanders’ nomination than winning the general election. His nomination would’ve reduced the power of the vast network of establishment think tanks, money funnels from donors and top democrat leaders; but not Trump’s victory. The schemes around trying to bring down Trump through wasteful tactics are already widely discussed on the blog here.

    A lot of the conversation during primaries was based on “Which candidate beat trump?”, the obsession was crazy. When your evaluation is based on which candidate can beat trump rather than who has the best strategy to win over voters, you’re asking to lose. Also, they have a candidate who is not effective in pushing any agenda. It doesn’t matter what platform they have, what they learnt from the previous election; if he cannot communicate clearly and instead prefers to hide, you’re going to be in a “embarrassment reduction” mode. In recent news, they’re already aligning themselves to avoid debates with Trump.

    I feel they’ve been miscalculating the amount of control they have over reality since Trump won in 2016.

  216. Wesley, Hey 🙂

    I too have struggled with fitting karma into my understanding but by being a bit of an oddball has helped me as I’m unusually sensitive to inner worlds. What I’ve noticed is (just observations not studied from a book) is that karma is a bit like a window into your inner levels, it’s like when you intend on something or perform an action it leaves a track through your self, a memory. That memory has twists of frequencies in it, what happens is that track might have twists and blocks in it that block your self actualization, your higher self cannot connect with your primal self accurately and the outer world then starts to act accordingly to work the twists and blocks out.

    But you can move the tracks yourself through inner work, but the outer world will usually need to help you move the tracks to help you gain the understanding needed to self actualize and move yourself into a more complete version of yourself. The more inner work you do the less of a movement your outer world has to make the track connect into a higher understanding, thus why spiritual work is so important, but the outer work will always seek to work on you too, it’s just how the energy flows, it’s always trying to connect. It’s not eye for an eye though it’s just whatever takes to connect the two bits to form the whole you.

    Anywho just what I’ve noticed 🙂

  217. @JMG: Since reading your post on “subtle bodies,” I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my own configuration, and I’ve realized that my etheric, astral, and mental bodies would all be feminine. Not the typical female configuration of M-F-M either, but F-F-F. (Or possibly just F-F-M. I’m not 100% sure about my mental form, since I still don’t have a great understanding of what gender on the mental plane actually entails and I could, but I’m absolutely positive that both my etheric and astral forms are feminine in nature.)

    Are there any complications or drawbacks to having one’s etheric body and astral body (and possibly one’s mental sheath as well) all be feminine? If so, can anything be done to mitigate them? Would there be any benefits to having such an arrangement?

  218. @Alexandra,
    Your question was about magic, but I thought I’d butt in. (Can’t help myself.) Have you ever looked into the possibility that your autonomous nervous system dysfunction could be partially caused by electromagnetic radiation? The reason I ask is it is typical of people with radiowave sickness to go from one doctor to another for years and not get any help and it typically presents with endocrine or neurological disorders, especially chronic fatigue and brain fog. The mitochondria can be harmed as well, resulting in lack of energy. There is a huge body of scientific evidence of harm from non-ionizing radiation that has been swept under the carpet because it is inconvenient for the military and some of the most profitable industries of our time.
    I find detoxing from heavy metals (using chlorella and cilantro) to be very helpful. If you have mercury fillings, you’ll need to find a qualified dentist to remove them first. I was also recommended to try yellow dock, and found it tremendously helpful. That turns out to be one of the most concentrated sources of quercitin–which coincidentally is being indicated recently as prophylactic/early treatment together with zinc for COVID. In addition, you need to identify and remediate sources of EMF exposure (Wi-Fi routers, cordless telephones, etc.)
    Just as a start check out Nick Pineault’s blog https://theemfguy.com/ , Lloyd Burrel’s https://www.electricsense.com/ and the BioInitiative report: https://bioinitiative.org/ The first two are aimed at people new to the topic and BioInitiative report is quite comprehensive.

  219. @Courtney,
    You lucky guy! Sarus is your guide and protector. Study everything you can find about her. She’s provided you a riddle to help keep you focused on her. There will be some reason for the “u” in her name, but you might not find out for years.
    I am occasionally visited by deities in dreams. The first was a mother-like goddess who gave me an important warning. and in my annual New Year’s dreams I always have an anonymous guide from the spirit realm. Only one dream visitor has revealed his identity to me. In all my waking encounters the identity has been quite clear.
    I was given a riddle in my most recent New Year’s dream, which serves as a protective spell. I was warned that this year would be relentlessly negative and that I might have to go along with some really scary things just to get along. The spell would serve me at those times. I cannot reveal it. Half is readily clear, the other half is puzzling, but whenever I recite it I smile. That part of the dream was similar to one Patricia (Matthews I think) related earlier this year involving dancing as a way of getting by with all the absurdities this year.
    Similarly, she may have given you that spelling as a protective spell. In any case, it is very important.
    Many of the early leaders of Japan’s Fuji mountain faith were given explicit information in dreams, including newly coined ideograms, which served as protective spells, and at least one recent leader I was acquainted with would keep a journal by her bed at specific times.

  220. @Lady Cutekitten of Lolcat: There are a few reasons, but one is that no federal government can win an election without Quebec’s votes. The population of the country, despite its size, is centered in Ontario and Quebec. Another reason is that Quebec came very close to separating from Canada in a referendum in 1995 (the vote to stay in Canada won by half a percentage point), so there were a lot of concessions made to make sure Quebec was happy within Canada.

    @Kevin, and everyone else: Although I’m probably in the minority of Canadians, I quite like that the country has two official languages, and that in many parts of Canada you have to learn either language in school (because of the the cognitive and cultural benefits of learning a second language early on).

    That said, I recognize that other parts of Canada might not like paying for Quebec’s social state with equalization payments. There is a chart here which shows the payments to each province, and what Quebec collects from the rest of Canada is significant.

    I live in one of the Maritime provinces, and although these provinces are also recipients of equalization payments, I am fairly open to the idea of Canada breaking apart into multiple countries. Perhaps there could eventually be a ‘Maritime Union’ of the current Maritime provinces along with Newfoundland and Labrador, and which could perhaps include the New England states if the US also breaks up. I wouldn’t campaign myself for a such a thing to happen, there are still lots of benefits to staying within Canada, but if such an event should occur ‘naturally’ I wouldn’t be necessarily opposed to it.

  221. JMG (and others)

    What do you think of all the media talk about how big cities are dead, people will flee/are fleeing New York, London et al and salary class professionals will basically work from home all (or most) of the time and only go to the office maybe 1 day a week etc?

    Google , Facebook and the other big tech companies have already announced basically optional to come into the office indefinitely. They can save on rents for city centre office space (same for big banks etc).

    This will then have knock on effects for retail in downtown areas, restaurants and night life, Uber drivers – basically huge economic dislocation (although to some extent compensated by more money being spent in residential and rural areas I suppose). Plus collapsing tax revenues from retail

    In the long term (10-20 years plus) I suppose there will be other pressures from energy resources, Internet becoming more expensive due to degrading infrastructure making the present kind of full video home working difficult and a push to localization etc, but I’m thinking more about the next 10 years or so.

    It seems to me that people are underestimating the tendency to revert to the mean and normality bias. Of course there will be big changes, and some changes are permanent but if Dec 2019 was “100%”, and we hit 0% in April when everything was closed, I have a feeling we will go back to 70-80% and then (based on longer term trends in the Long Decline) it will keep changing but more slowly.

    Plus there are jobs which can’t be done from home – only some kinds of professional managerial jobs can be done (and impact on training of junior people etc by not being in the office and so on).

  222. Dear Mr. Greer, this article could be very interesting to you an the readers of this blog, and we may find some common ground with the author about the recent worrysome developments :

    https://unherd.com/2020/06/the-woke-have-no-vision-of-the-future/?=refinnar

    I quote one small sample of the article:

    “For Cohn, the study of medieval millenarians was an essential part of understanding modern totalitarianism. It is also useful in understanding the woke movement. Medieval flagellants and woke militants combine a sense of their own moral infallibility with a passion for masochistic self-abasement. Medieval millenarians believed the world would be remade by God when Jesus returned after a millennium of injustice (millenarians are also known as chiliasts, chiliad being a thousand years), while the woke faithful believe divine intervention is no longer necessary: their own virtue will be sufficient. In both cases, nothing needs to be done to bring about a new world apart from destroying the old one…….There are some differences between the two movements. Mediaeval millenarians attracted much of their support from illiterate peasants and poor urban workers. The woke movement, on the other hand, is mostly composed of the offspring of middle class families schooled in institutions of higher learning. Like their medieval predecessors, woke activists believe themselves to be emancipated from established values. But, possibly uniquely in history, their antinomian rebellion emanates from an antinomian establishment.”

    It would be great to hear your opinion on the whole article.

  223. Hi John Michael,

    Just letting you know that I’m lurking away and reading everything as is my usual wont. I moved rocks for most of the day today, and six of those rocks were huge things. Feeling a bit tired tonight and may hit the sack shortly. Rocks are very useful resources.

    As an interesting side story to the comment upon the performance of the Australian government, I did a double take about two months ago when I was told from an unexpected source that they were doing a good job. Not sure what that means, but it seemed like a genuine opinion. The fear button has been depressed rather forcefully down here, and people mostly agree with that, although they have genuine fear about other unspoken matters too. We seem to be going out of our way to poke the ‘land of stuff’ hard, and the geopolitics of all this is fascinating.

    Also I just wanted to say that I appreciate your perspective on the subject of ecology. People have some seriously funny ideas about that subject that generally aren’t evidence based. You mentioned that you may one day pen a book about the subject, and I would certainly purchase a copy.

    Sleepy… Snooze…

    Chris

  224. Thank you, Peter, for hosting the annual ecosophia potluck once again. If I were younger and less immuno-compromised, Elva and I would happily come on the 19th. Unfortunately, I am not, and so we won’t be there this year. (We started self-isolating in the middle of last February, and we don’t expect to go out into the world again until the virus has lagely burned itself out nationwide.)

    We hope that everyone enjoys the potluck and also stays healthy. We will miss you all, and we’re looking forward to seeing everyone once again at some future potluck.

  225. @Korellyn re: Poetry: I would recommend Stephen Fry’s The Ode Less Travelled: It goes in detail about the technical parts of writing poetry, from feets to stanzas. Very instructive and very entertaining as well

    Manuel

  226. John and David BTL,

    The question of why the Democrats act the way they do is one that I’ve thought about a lot too.

    They started off with so much bad faith – the ongoing betrayal of the working class and they responded to being called on it with a lie and an on-going coverup called Russiagate. Then they kept on going, digging themselves ever deeper into their hole and totally unable to take advantage of any of Trump’s mistakes (I think Trump’s initial response to the pandemic was politically yuge. If the framing had been in a Churchwellian fashion it could have covered over Trump’s biggest obstacle to being re-elected – the economy failing noticeably before the election). I suspect they chose the candidate they because he was dirty enough that it was felt was no chance he’d ever unset the corruption applecart. This don’t say much for his VP pick, if those are the selection criteria.

    Since bad faith is standard in politics, it does appear here that the overwhelming amount of it here without much of anything to counteract it seems to the key issue. There are tipping points, and the Democrats have gone over them. The issue of karma does seem to come into play here, as well as things beyond human control taking command.

    Since another John B is posting here, I’m changing my alias, at least for this post. 😁

    John B

  227. Arthur and others; I, too, am a military vet (Viet Nam era) who owns guns and practices occasionally. I still consider myself a liberal for various reasons. I won’t vote for the party of neoliberal policies like deregulation, privatisation, tax cuts even while running up huge budget deficits and more. I think “free market environmentalism” is mere snake oil. Also I have big problems with many individual Republican politicians such as George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich. To be sure, I dislike the Democratic party almost as much; Obama carried forward most of Bush’s programs. He made the Bush Tax Cuts permanent and continued Bush’s “Global War on Terror” which I believe was a misconceived blunder right from the start. He began the nuclear modernisation program that Trump wants to take “credit” for. He caved right away on single payer health care, without even attempting to make the case for it. Some lawyer! There really is no good alternative in the USA today. A dark vision for our future? Yes indeed, unfortunately.

    @JMG re KSR’s “Three Californias” trilogy. “Pacific Edge” is the title of one of the three novels in the trilogy; the best of the three in my opinion, and not as long-winded as some of his other novels.

  228. @ JMG (again) Since Robinson Jeffers’ name came up a couple of weeks ago I found my copy of “The Double Axe” and attempted to re-read it. I found that I lacked the stomach for the cruelty in Part 1, “The Love and the Hate.” I simply gave up. (For those who aren’t familiar with it, it’s a zombie poem.) Maybe I’ll skip ahead to the “Shorter Poems” before long, but I’m putting the book aside in disgust for now. .

  229. Phutatorius, my favourite part of The Years of Rice and Salt was the scientific revolution in Central Asia, and how its steam engines and poison gas became known as ‘the black alchemy of Samarqand’. 🙂

  230. @ JMG – I understand that complex situations involving human motivations are just that, complex. Re-reading my comment, I see that I didn’t sum up my second point. I see the view expressed in the comments here, quite often, that the BLM protests are some combination of looters, rioters, stirred up by Antifa or ‘elites’ or as cover for a color revolution. As I tried to illustrate with my anecdotes about my home city, that narrative is, at least in our case, almost totally false. With tongue firmly planted in cheek, may I suggest that Tulsa is just an unusual island of calm and honest actors?

    I see those arguments used to dismiss the protests and, as you often put it, to handwave away the notion that the protestors have any genuine reason to be upset with the justice system, in particular, or historical marginalization in general. It might be an interesting challenge for you as a commentator to spend one of the ‘5th Wednesday’ on the subject. I’m sure you could find an interesting take on it. For instance, how does the rise of this movement interact with, or portend the creation of the internal proletariat, as we move along the long descent?

  231. About snakebites: This is from WHO:
    https://www.who.int/snakebites/epidemiology/en/

    One of the consequences of inadequate efforts to control snakebite envenoming in the past is that the available epidemiological data are fragmented and lack both resolution and completeness. Accuracy is further reduced by the fact that many victims do not attend health centres or hospitals, and instead rely on traditional treatments. As a result, in some countries the degree of under-reporting is greater than 70% especially in rural areas with poor infrastructure.

    Despite such shortfalls with the available data, there is evidence that 4.5–5.4 million people a year are bitten by snakes, that 1.8–2.7 million of them develop clinical illness (envenoming) after snakebite, and that the death toll could range from 81,000 to 138,000. Improving the quality and resolution of the data is essential.

    The distribution of envenoming and mortality worldwide is variable; while numerically lowest in Europe, Australia and North America, it is highest in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and South-East Asia. This is also where most of the world’s population lives, bringing humans and snakes into direct conflict.

    —–
    There is more at the website.

  232. About stories of children taking care of adults in the media.

    I remember when the March for Our Lives came to Washington D.C. It was organized by the Stoneman-Douglas students after the mass shooting there. At the time, I wondered if the children were being coached by the adults or seeking attention from them. I think in a couple of cases of the more famous children, it was both.

    What I do remember as well was asking my social justice friends why the children? And where were the adults. They shrugged their shoulders and said the children know better than the adults. Besides they, referring to themselves and other adults, had messed things up completely.

    I was struck with the notion that these social justice (now core shamans who curse Trump) were waiting to be rescued. Their level of passivity was astounding.

  233. Pixelated and JMG:

    Philip K. Dick’s novel, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch features Perky Pat culture too, and is an entertaining read. So much of his writing was chillingly prescient.

    “Perky Pat Layouts were the biggest thing going in the extra-Terran colonies. Entire artificial worlds for a miniature golden tressed doll and her muscular, artificial boyfriend….And the reason for the fantastic success of P.P. Layouts? Can-D…the illegally distributed hallucinatory drug that enabled the colonists–bored literally to the edge of death with their never-changing lives–to be, for short times, the two handsome make-believe lovers in their flawless dolls’ world.”

  234. For those interested, the recent hurricane strike on Lake Charles LA was no picnic, but after personally driving through the damaged area, one of two things sort of congealed in my mind; the amount of ‘hype’ used in ALL media is going hyperbolic, or the previous hurricanes took out the ‘weak sisters’ (shoddy construction, mobile homes, etc.) so the damage was not as bad as expected.

    I fully realize that the internet is filled with trolls and misinformation. That being said, building a web site to manipulate weather data seems like building a boat designed to leak – the maintenance would be just too excessive for things to function. With that, I might point out that during this event, I used several satellite based weather apps for tracking the winds around the globe. In all 3 of these sites, the winds actually being tracked never matched what was espoused on the news of from the NOAA, NHC and other .gov outlets. The final nail was viewing the damage – it just wasn’t what Cat 4 damage looks like – and I have been through 50 years of these Gulf Coast hurricanes.

    Another note in reference to the hurricane; it took out sections of electric service along the track. What I did NOT know is that my electricity is delivered via the same ‘grid portion’ as the track, even though my primary home is north of Houston. We had no rain or wind or even inclement weather from this storm – odd if it was a Cat 4 and the effects did not even reach us here a little over 100 miles from the storm track…? But back to electrics.

    We are being dosed with rolling blackouts in order to avoid grid shutdown per Entergy. Apparently the grid where I am was pulled together by George Mitchell before he began developing the immediate area, and it is tied into Louisiana along a weird swath of control that differs from the rest of the area. It might be something to know how your local grid ties into things, as this was a new data point for me.

    There have been a lot of fear porn articles about ‘the coming food shortage’ making the rounds. At my farm, in a very rural and poor county, I participate in delivering donated foods to those in government housing, poor folks and others via a group of local churches. The flu (CV19 IS a flu) that caused everyone to lose work and income and mobility also threw a lot of people into limbo, and the local group simply finds excess foodstuffs and delivers them via volunteers to those on a list that is put together by locals. The county has a population of 24,000, my nearest city is population 650.

    We have been delivering weekly foods (fresh veg/fruit/can goods, etc.) without any issue in obtaining them other than requesting donation from producers. Further, this past few weeks we have had trucks deliver frozen chickens, sausage and even some pork to add in the mix. Today we are separating 1215 50 lb boxes of frozen chickens – much more than we actually have recipients.

    I think the ‘coming food shortage’ will be engineered if it ever arrives – we are simply not at that point of brreakdown in our food system. We are nowhere near that from my view of things.

    I would encourage readers to remember that regardless of your political bent, we all need a hand now and then. Help when you can, if for no other reason it does help your karma. Myself, I just like helping people because you meet so many different ones and their stories are fascinating.

    The open postings are working great – please keep your same filter applied. People need both sides to the political game displayed. I find it incredibly interesting watching Trump populists take over the red team while the old neocon guard rises in the blue team in the guise of ‘wokedom’.

  235. I noticed that a lot of the people here are grappling with ethics and anti-Trump magic. I am glad I am not alone and can take solace from the fact that others have the same questions. This is a good place to do do these things. When I am confronted by the core shamans who demand everyone do anti-Trump stuff because … fill in the blank, I remember the postings here and back off.

  236. Anonymous Millenial,

    Because, in the main, they all strike me as rational, normal people in most other respects. But, when the topic of Trump, or the election, or unrest comes up they abandon reason.

    It strikes me how similar this assessment is to a situation I had encountered with a young man with schizophrenia. He had a break and was in the hospital. You could speak, and joke, on any topic and he was just like anyone else. But he had a major delusional belief system that was impervious to any reason.

    So I have been thinking about what you said above for some time now. It is probably not really new but somehow more intense and widespread than I’ve ever before seen in our society. I cannot avoid the conclusion that it is some sort of brainwashing campaign. We know that repetition is one of the tools used for brainwashing. The Trump bashing in the media is daily. It seems to be like a fix. We know that faceplant, gaggle and twatter use mind control techniques. You can read articles about it. A part of that is the information bubble. Since these platforms use algorithms to continually present you with items that are already in your bubble, it ends up being an exclusionary process against outside info. Since it rewards your most quick and base responses – usually negative emotion – it can be reinforcing. And unfortunately, I note that when “they” have got you on one topic, they usually can get you on several. Maybe they sort of build on one another.

  237. @Pixelated – Generation Z are WHAT?!?!? These are kids born into a world in crisis. If my experience as the equivalent (b’date 1939) is any guide, they’ll be overprotected and taught to be helpful. Of course, I was raised by the so-called Greatest Generation, whose parenting style was quite no-nonsense and who, by the end of WWII, wanted only a “normal” existence for everyone.

  238. @ Onething – Sure, the protests in Tulsa could be exceptional, but as I commented to JMG, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, I doubt Tulsa is an island of calm and honest actors.
    Based on my anecdotal experience with people involved in the protests locally, and with friends farther afield, across the country, they all have nuclear families (either because they’ve started their own, or, you know, come from families, and I have never heard anyone say “What do we want? Racial justice! How do we want it? By destroying the nuclear family!” I just don’t think that’s a demand anyone outside of some fringe, tiny radical group with no power or influence is calling for.
    Can you provide a citation for that statement?

  239. Last post. Sorry about all of this. I have a lot to ponder through and have bent the ear of everyone who is sane in my life.

    About the popularity of sigil magic. I noticed more and more neo-pagans are doing sigil magic as in they are copying other magicians sigils and plastering them everywhere – internet especially. I also noticed that Michael Hughes has a sigil or chaos magic symbol to destroy Trump. I have also noticed that all of this sigil stuff seems passive and inert.

    Why the popularity of sigil magic now? And does it only work for the one who made the sigil?

  240. How does one go about uncovering past lives? I have 0 intuition as to anything beyond my own earliest memories.

  241. @JMG

    Beyond mentioning that I’m waiting for the UK Libra ingress with excitement, I’m giving up on politics for a bit. Time will tell and I’m in no position to influence matters at home or abroad. I thought I’d mention something about a far more controversial subject – diet!

    Ever since I was a kid I’ve been regularly struck down with unpleasant food poisoning symptoms with everything that entails, abdominal pain, bloating, etc. [I’ve had a lifetime to master the associated euphemisms]. Three or four times a year I’m pretty much out of action for 24 hours, but in the last 6 months it’s been happening rather more regularly and it’s becoming harder for me to bounce back. The latest incident was late this last weekend and was accompanied by a kind of brain-fog that unusually kept me away from my desk much longer than usual. Up to that point it was a very pleasant weekend too.

    This time the NHS has sprung into action and demanded samples of pretty much every by-product that I’m able to produce. Results will take some time but one idea that did emerge while I was – well just sitting there really – was that the weekend in question had been an unusually wheat heavy one. Wheat – something I eat pretty much daily, could it be that?

    I generally don’t have specific questions for my daily divination and stick to ‘What will the day bring?’ but the following day I did a house chart for the question ‘Should I stop eating wheat to improve my health?’ A 6th house question I think. I got a most extraordinary response – Fortuana Major, Laetitia, Fortuna Minor, Fortuna Minor, Caput Draconis, Fortuana Major, Laetitia, Laetitia, Puella, Fortuana Major, Fortuana Minor, Populus. It perfects by occupation and conjunction and with trine and sextile aspects (just noticed the sextile when I looked at the chart again). Even I can see that this is essentially ‘For the love of Pete – Yes!’. I feel there’s a undertone of ‘He always was slow on the uptake’, although I’m probably just imagining that. In an earlier comment here you reminded me that Fortuna Major also means eventual success with difficulty at the beginning.

    Anyway, I’ve decided to try a month without wheat, just to see how that goes and this is day three so it’s really far too early for me to understand if that really is the source of so much personal physical pain. However, I did take the time to look into some of the latest thinking about wheat, and although I was dimly aware that the stuff they grow around here is called wheat, I was surprised that really very different from what my Great-Grandma would have called wheat. The modern dwarf wheat, about half a century, disease resistant, very productive in the presence of fertilisers and possibly producing quite a lot of very strange organic molecules along with its gluten. Also, again to my surprise, on the grounds that dwarf wheat is essentially just wheat but a bit shorter, there seem to have been no actual tests done to see if there’s impact on actual human beings. As far as I can see, the world’s food industries took one look at the new breeds, whooped with joy and started thrusting it in the form of bread and pasta on an unsuspecting population.

    If it does turn out to be wheat, I shall be a bit miffed.

    Andy

  242. @Jack
    Thx for your reply –
    Well, it was certainly an interesting occasion for me!

    I’ve had sleep paralysis a lot too before and felt like some cold entity is entering my door or trying to choke me, and given that I lived in a energetically more than unclean room for some years, that may not be far off.

    I have had one and the clearest lucid dream many years ago in Basel, Switzerland where I slept one afternoon in a very tidy, bright and clean room. Suddenly I awoke in my dream and wondered how things are looking when I look at them closely in my dream. When I tried, the things (ie newspaper) all disappeared! Then I wanted to see whats behind the door but I woke up – this was really interesting, but absolutely a one time occasion.

    Before my delving into energetic practices, I discounted those things as…possibly my brain doing something strange, or a vague notion of something being different from my everyday experience.

    However, drastic visions like these lately, the psychedelic (but sober, in case you’d ask) state I was in when awake and the room full of disembodied entities, that was certainly new to me!
    A very positive thing for me though.

    To your comment to Darkest Yorkshire: I have had dreams very often of dusty, dirty, downtrodden houses, and hidden rooms full of dust that haven’t been entered in ages a lot. One very funny dream was about an endless hallway that circled around within a big building with a court yard (my high school more or less), just to end in a room with an old toilet in it.
    I live in old Europe, and you can find old dust here frequently, besides having grown up in a crumbling inheritance of my burgeoise family.

    Another dream was that my neighbouring building (~5 storeys) is completely downtrodden and decrepit inside, and at the top there are crystal statues of the house owners son. I enter and break these statues. Its all very disgusting and dismal, and outside its dark.

    Recently, I want into the attic of my ~120 yr old apartment building. Its dark and disgusting, and there people have scratched things into the walls, mostly the date and some words. One kid seems to have had a hatred for a peer and inscribed a flurry of angry slurs against another kid. The inscriptions besides this one say “1987”, so one year before I was born (and have always lived in that house).
    Some inscriptions say they are from 2019. I wonder who that was, but could be anyone living in the building.

    The attic leads to the neighbouring building, and is totally dark and gloomy. I wanted to venture to the other building, but frankly felt too afraid to do so. Maybe next time.

    Your idea anyways of how our homes are an extension of ourselves, and these are hidden compartments in our consciousness is certainly intriguing!

  243. David, BTL

    My explanation to the perplexing question of why the DNC is so moribund in its foolishness is that the fact of extreme corruption has changed everything, quite fundamentally. They cannot be what they are not nor serve their true motives while also serving the people honestly.

    It’s for this reason that I feel impatient toward my old hippie friends who adore the democrat party and vilify the republicans. It’s an old playbook that hasn’t been true for 20-30 years. It is no longer reality. And one who sees this ought not to want them to merely wake up a little but have a complete overhaul.

  244. A couple of random items.

    1. In an essay somewhere you discussed the similarity (or near-identity) between the idea of the Tao in Taoism and the One in Platonism. To your knowledge, is there any direct evidence of direct contact between Taoist and Platonist thinkers? I ask because, as I continue to explore Neoplatonic philosophers, I keep coming across ideas that are familiar to me from my earlier exploration of Taoism. There are ideas in Proclus– and in the Phaedrus, from which he’s drawing in the section that I’m thinking of– which bear striking similar to concepts in the Secret of the Golden Flower. Meanwhile, Plotinus’s discussion of purification in the Enneads reminds me almost exactly of the idea of separating yang from yin in certain Quan Zhen internal alchemy texts I’ve read (Thomas Cleary translations, I can’t remember the names of the texts in question and the books are in storage). And then, of course, there’s the Tree of Life and the Taiji Tu…

    2. Do you remember the discussion from a few weeks back of how practicing certain sword forms seems to have the effect of a banishing ritual in the space in which they are performed? I’m thinking of adding to that effect by consecrating a taiji style sword, using the Celtic Golden Dawn formula of consecration, specifically for the purpose of chasing off larvae and other unwelcome critters. Is there any reason not to do this?

  245. On the subject of vaccinations: my late mother was a pediatrician, and she had seen several children who were her patients die of whooping cough (pertussis). She was very concerned that many of her younger colleagues had not had the same experience, and so were not adamant of the subject of DPT vaccinations. I doubt she would have the same insistence on the prolific number of vaccinations that have been added in the past decades, however.

  246. @Varun

    Thanks for your reply. I hope Trump wins, at least he’s not anti-India, the way the Democrat party is. I would even say that had a Democrat administration been in power in the US, Modi would not have been able to revoke Article 370 or pass the CAA.

  247. Kevin, your assessment of the situation in Canada sounds very similar to the things Peter Zeihan has been saying. Have you read any of his books? I highly recommend them.

  248. @Cliff & all: Fellow library worker here. I’m very happy to report that with the change of administrators about two years ago here, they significantly reduced the amount of copies of so called “hot” authors they buy. With budget cuts and other needs that must be met, that was one of the areas they changed for the better. I hope your system may eventually follow suit.

    Re: Horror / Fantasy / Weird

    …anyway I just wanted to riff/muse on horror / weird tales / fantasy for a bit…

    I also happen to be a fan of horror fiction. Not the biggest fan out there. But it is part of my love of all different genres. Some of the best horror writers aren’t really all that gory, but more spiritual. In the past horror, fantasy and SF often all got mixed together into the Weird tale and that is what I really love. I don’t think the “guilty of being alive” theme is at the core of horror, really. But fantasy seems to be an element of a lot of horror, and the horror that leans more on fantasy elements is what I like best. Though when I was younger gore for gores sake held a certain appeal, it doesn’t really all that much now.

    As probably the most popular horror writer Stephen King has a lot to offer. Horror as most of his fans know isn’t his only genre… but he spans fantasy, SF, and crime as well. All bound with a supernatural. The Dark Tower series, a fantasia on Robert Browning’s “Childe Roland to A Dark Tower Came” is my favorite of his works, a weird western take on the grail mythos in multiple worlds. Elements of horror are in it, but its so much more. My favorite book in the sequence is A Wizard in Glass which could easily be classed as a “western fantasy romance” with some minor horror undertones.

    And I have a real soft spot for “It” which is genuinely scary, but his insight and characterization of children and evocation of childhood is very well done. There is a reason he is so well loved and sold so many books. I’m not a hardcore fan of his (meaning I’ve only read about 25 of his novels). I don’t read every new thing that comes out by him but pick and choose when I’m in the mood for a King novel. There is something transcendent in his work, a connection to deeper mysteries, that shines through in his best works.

    And I’ve been meaning to re-read a couple of Clive Barker books too that I really loved in highschool when I devoured his ouevre. The Great and Secret Show, Everville and Imajica in particular. These all have horror elements, but they really could be classed as fantasy.

    So it seems many horror books are tinged with fantasy or the supernatural. And conversely the subset of ghosts stories may have little of fantasy and little of horror. But the early horror writers like William Hope Hodgson all seemed to span genres.

    Ray Bradbury’s book “Something Wicked this Way Comes” was very spooky to me as a kid, and still is, but is it really horror? I’m not sure.

    New writers who take the same tack like China Mieville are also very good IMO. The so-called “New Weird”. His most “horror” sided novel is King Rat… a very good tale of a rave going Were-Rat.

    I think the term “Weird” can encompass so much more.

  249. @Valenzuela
    Our decisions are controlled by influences that we don’t control. If we say we control our influences it is only because we have been influenced to do so. We think we are deciding freely but we are merely a product of our experience.

    @JMG
    Thanks! Much to think about.

  250. @Lady Cutekitten
    Sorry to burst your bubble, but the article about mysterious stairs in the woods is using this as its source:
    https://old.reddit.com/r/nosleep/comments/3iex1h/im_a_search_and_rescue_officer_for_the_us_forest/
    It’s a very interesting series of stories on a reddit (ick) board dedicated to creative writing of horror stories. It’s one of my favourite stories since instead of the bog standard “there was a terrible and gross monster that was so scary I’m literally shaking you guys” it lists series of very strange and inexplicable experiences that are never resolved by an ordinary search and rescue ranger. It’s very realistic and chilling, but unfortunately, very fictional. The fact that mysteriousuniverse couldn’t be bothered to take five minutes to see that the story and all subsequent “reports” came from a creative writing subbreddit is why I don’t tend to browse that website for any serious research. If you like weird tales and subtle horror where the threat isn’t ever confronted head on, I highly recommend the 7 part series.

  251. John—

    Re Democrats and lost opportunities

    What puzzles me, though, is the rejection of the obvious set of potential strategies. There’s nothing at all mutually exclusive about economic nationalism and retreat from empire on the one hand and the pursuit of a fair and equitable society for all citizens on the other. Given Trump’s faults, which are legion, there are any number of ways one could do better. He’s stumbled in the right direction by instinct and opportunism, but he’s arrogant, inconstant, and a braggart, whose policies are largely slipshod and slapstick. It’s such a low bar and yet the Democrats keep failing to clear it. One could easily put together a methodical, coherent policy platform that, for example, invoked tariffs and trade reform to bolster the working class while also supporting social efforts like marriage equality and prison reform. But the Dems have so wedded themselves to empire and the PMC that they can’t take advantage of the strategic openings right in front of them. That’s what I hope will change, but by the time that happens, Trump will be done and his successors are likely to already be picking that low-hanging fruit, making the Dem’s task that much harder. It’s such a waste.

  252. @Onething @Ecosophia Readers

    I am making a recommendation for those interested in the topic of dying and death. Probably the best book I’ve ever read on the subject is the following:
    Death; An Inside Story: A book for all those who shall die

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B084ZSS7GP/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    It’s written by someone I deem to be a Siddha. Or as Meher Baba calls them a Perfect Master.

    What most people these days don’t need is more “belief”. What they need is clarity. Sadhguru says the moment you believe something that is not within your direct experience you close the door to real understanding. Don’t believe anything, don’t disbelieve anything. Just keep the door open for new discoveries. The moment you believe something that is not within your own experience he says it means your ignorance has gained confidence.

    To give an example (I hope he doesn’t mind if I use him as Exhibit A), JMG doesn’t “believe” in reincarnation because belief doesn’t factor into it for him. To use an analogy Sadhguru uses – JMG has “blown a bigger bubble of life” so he now has access to many memory layers within that the majority of humans don’t have direct access to yet. That’s what Yoga and Magic practices and rituals are trying to do – to help you “blow a bigger life-bubble” so that you won’t have to rely on dogmas. Or rather, dogmas or teachings are kept for their appropriate role – they’re meant to be provisional training wheels so that some day you won’t need to rely upon them anymore. You’ll finally have direct access to the memory that’s already inside your “life-bubble” (as above, so below). Someday you won’t even need to blow a bubble anymore (unless you just want to for some reason). Life-Bubbles are just a series of provisional training wheels on the way to infinite bliss, infinite power and infinite knowledge.

    [side note: I just realized that’s what our physical universe is doing on a fractal-cosmic scale. Scientists say it’s expanding (i.e. busy blowing itself into a bigger life-bubble plane). If what Sadhguru says is true someday our universe will phase-shift entirely to the non-physical and itself be on the still-long-ways-away road to being a Divine Plane (“no one goes around the ring twice” for Cosmic Doctrine readers). Sadhguru says the first 20 of 84 prior Big Bangs have already undergone this non-physical phase shift.]

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXc43GJ4bXY

    Having said all of the above it’s still necessary to re-invent the wheel (practices) so you actually do gain direct access to everything I just wrote about in the above post. Otherwise it’s just another interesting story. Reading about it is great start but only a start. It’s also why JMG is right about the Magic Resistance imo. I figure it’s composed of mostly very young life-bubbles who are about to get their first surprise lessons on why it’s not a good idea to stick your finger in a fire.

    P.S. According to Tantra and Dharma teachings life has several layers of memory (causality) and to access them directly you have to do the right things with your system. JMG has blown a big enough life-bubble from the ocean of Superconsciousness by doing the right things with his system to have access to some of these other types of memory. It is for this reason I say he is teaching a type of yoga even though he himself makes no such claim. His methods work and anyone who does them is busy capturing a bigger life-bubble from the infinite ocean of Superconsciousness. [Side note: The word memory as Sadhguru uses it is anything that retains even an infinitesimal trace of influence from the past. ]

    For those not opposed to watching videos here a the full 1 hr 45 minute talk Sadhguru gives on the topic of dying and death (suicide included).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqedhV9uW84

    And having said all of the above – Onething – I wish you a delightful journey of new discoveries in blowing an ever-bigger life-bubble whether in this lifetime or any other. 🙂

  253. One other thing I forgot to add.

    What happens once you’ve ridden all the cycles of the universe’s time up the planes? Congrats. You’ve popped out of causality and attained to fully enlightened Superconsciousness. As I understand it this is the Eternal Now JMG has mentioned on occasion. Time and Space no longer have any hold on you anymore. Cause and Effect have no hold on you anymore. You are so free even freedom has no meaning anymore to you.

    Fun song to give you an idea of it – turn on the English subtitles while listening:

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

    (or you can listen while reading the lyrics below) – further note for those with an aversion to hinduism: Shi-va is the sankrit word for No-Thing. The unmanifest before evolutes. It is not and never has been a deity though it is sometimes portrayed as such as a spiritual aid.

    I am not the mind, the intellect, the ego or the memory,
    I am not the ears, the skin, the nose or the eyes,
    I am not space, not earth, not fire, water or wind,
    I am the form of consciousness and bliss,
    I am the eternal Shiva…

    I am not the breath, nor the five elements,
    I am not matter, nor the 5 sheaths of consciousness
    Nor am I the speech, the hands, or the feet,
    I am the form of consciousness and bliss,
    I am the eternal Shiva…

    There is no like or dislike in me, no greed or delusion,
    I know not pride or jealousy,
    I have no duty, no desire for wealth, lust or liberation,
    I am the form of consciousness and bliss,
    I am the eternal Shiva…

    No virtue or vice, no pleasure or pain,
    I need no mantras, no pilgrimage, no scriptures or rituals,
    I am not the experienced, nor the experience itself,
    I am the form of consciousness and bliss,
    I am the eternal Shiva…

    I have no fear of death, no caste or creed,
    I have no father, no mother, for I was never born,
    I am not a relative, nor a friend, nor a teacher nor a student,
    I am the form of consciousness and bliss,
    I am the eternal Shiva…

    I am devoid of duality, my form is formlessness,
    I exist everywhere, pervading all senses,
    I am neither attached, neither free nor captive,
    I am the form of consciousness and bliss,
    I am the eternal Shiva…

    Composed by the Sage Adi Shankara

  254. Darkest Yorkshire,

    I hope you find the reference on rooms, because it sounds fascinating and I would like to read it, too.

    I am currently reading The Original Green, by Steven Mouzon, which I suspect you would like. This passage on architecture reflecting the human form seems relevant: “…our face is always arranged symmetrically around our nose. Architecture has traditionally mirrored this arrangement, wings may be more or less symmetrically arranged according to the formality of the building, but the entrance typically mirrors the symmetry of our face in some way. Internally, buildings are often arranged like our internal organs: less symmetrical according to the job each room needs to do.”

    I would love to hear more about your theories about work rooms in particular. There is a fair amount written about homes and their design, but I have a hard time finding many good resources about stores, offices, and commercial spaces.

  255. @Darkest Yorkshire: It’s nice to hear from someone else who liked “Years of Rice and Salt.” I haven’t met many other people who’ve read it. I started re-reading it last night.

  256. re: Dreams about discovering hidden rooms in a house

    I was listening to a lecture by Jordan Peterson this morning in which he discusses this exact phenomenon. Apparently dreams about discovering hidden rooms, often in a familiar house, or your house, are reasonably common. The rooms are often in attics or basements, and many times are filled with water or debris.

    Jack’s comment above appears to be right on. According to Peterson, these rooms symbolize a journey into the chaotic underworld, and represent a newfound understanding of the self. Exploring the rooms is a process of integrating the new aspects, and is a process of growth and maturity.

    I’m not 100% about which lecture it was, but it was one of the lectures having to do with Noah and the Flood Myth. I believe it was this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNjbasba-Qw

  257. Andy, while not as bad as you’ve had it, I’ve had my share of intestinal horrors. I can tell you the things that worked and left me asymptomatic.

    1. Under no circumstances ever eat chia seeds. Vegans will tell you they are a superfood. What they don’t tell you is they expand in your stomach, and you get to spend the next 12-24 hours sweating, shaking and vomiting, as this ball of agony works its way through your system.

    2. If you drink cows’ milk, try switching to goats’ milk. As you’re in the UK I can recommend St Helens as the best brand. I drink a lot of milk so when I became intolerant to cows’ milk this was the most imortant change.

    3. Have you tried probiotics? I take one from Silvertown Health called Probio Gut and a lot of problems were gone in a day or two. But if I stop taking it for more than about three days, they come back.

    4. If your innards are misbehaving, you can starve yourself for 36 hours (night, day, night), drinking only water. This acts as a kind of reset button for the gut.

    5. The last dregs of the problem left when I started leaving a plate of vinegar in my bedroom. I don’t do that anymore because I started to suspect it slowed down the healing of injuries, but the symptoms didn’t come back when I stopped.

    Hope some of that can be useful.

  258. Dear JMG and commentariat,

    In a past Magic Monday you quoted Dion Fortune’s wise dictum: “Political activities are a terrible temptation to the occultist; knowing what he does, it is very difficult for him to avoid the use of his knowledge and power to amend abuses, and in doing so he is very likely to run ahead of the times and do more harm than good. It seems as if fanaticism is inseparable from the application of the principles of the higher life to politics, and spiritual zeal has shed quite as much blood as worldly ambition.”

    This got me wondering, there has been much discussion at length the increasing fanaticism of the doomed social class that rallies against the Populist tide sweeping politics, and the curiously inept magic of said doomed social class. But there are, of course, also a large number of mages who use their magic to support the rising Populist tide. This causes me to wonder — notwithstanding the greater general competency of the Populist mages — if Fortune’s dictum were to hold true, it would hold true for every sort of political magic. For this reason, I would imagine an increasing Populist fanaticism as blowback from their magical involvement in politics.

    I’m curious, then, if this increased Populist fanaticism is something that you or the commentariat have observed, and what direction this fanaticism may be moving? Certainly the recent events in Wisconsin seem that they may be a move in this direction. Are there other straws in the wind that potentially speak of fanaticism amongst occultists on the Populist Right?

  259. David by the Lake,

    If there is any one thing that has me seething over the state of current politics, it is the staggering levels of strategic and tactical incompetence demonstrated by the Dems.

    None of the left factions seem capable of going for the glaring weaknesses of the right. It isn’t so much that the right is strategically brilliant, it’s just that that the left is incompetent.

    Regards,

    Varun

  260. The likelihood that Canada will break apart due to Trump cutting off our access to American Empire largess raises an interesting question then: it seems like at least one other reader here is intuitively sensing that Ottawa will become an unpleasant place to live in the near future. I thought my sense started because I started doing occult practices, but looking back on my journal I realized the first inklings of this sense predates that by about a month. Given how easy it should be for the Democrats to beat Trump, I’m wondering if the default path was for Trump to lose the election, and so this sense is coming into being as the futures where Trump wins become more and more likely, and so futures where Ottawa runs into massive problems with Quebec separatism and instability become more and more likely.

    Lady Cutekitten,

    People and politicians in Western Canada (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and BC) get fairly agitated about the “Eastern bias”, a perceived (and to my mind quite accurate) bias in the federal government towards the two largest provinces, Ontario and Quebec. Speaking as a resident of Ontario, the only reason this doesn’t blow up in our face is that Ontario and Quebec bicker about issues all the time, and so aren’t able to get along well enough to use our combined advantages to control the federal government.

    If Quebec leaves, Ontario would be the dominant region, with effectively all the major industry, half the population of the country, the capital city, six of the ten largest cities, and Western Canada would probably get very, very worried. Meanwhile, the Atlantic Provinces (Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and PEI) would be cut off from the rest of the country; and as I understand it they get a lot of power from Quebec.

    Since the Quiet Revolution which started in the 1960s, Quebec has had a very active separatist movement, which came complete with homegrown terrorists (the FLQ, active until the early 1970s); and which has enough influence today to shape Quebec governments and sometimes elect governments outright in favour of independence; a separatist party (The Bloc Quebecois) manged to win the second most seats in Parliament in 1993; and was able to push referendums on the issue in 1980 and 1995. The 1995 referendum was absurdly close, coming within a hundred votes (out of close to 5 million) of winning.

    Anonymous,

    I think knowing both English and French is a very useful skill, for a wide range of reasons which extend beyond being able to know more about what’s happening in the country. The thing is that most English Canadians never learn French, even those of us who live right on the border with Quebec. As for paying for Quebec’s social welfare, I think it’s okay now, but it will become radioactively controversial if we start having massive economic issues, and if it gets cut hard enough, I expect to see the separatists start acting up again in a big way.

    I don’t know that any of the Maritime Provinces would try to go alone, but I could see a Maritime Union forming quite easily if Quebec splits off. Personally I think that might be better for you: I don’t know that I really trust the Canadian government much…

    Ethan,

    I’ve never even heard of Peter Zeihan before, so I’ve never read him. I’ll need to fix that.

  261. @Patricia Mathews: yeah… tell me about it. Though I think there might be a sub-generation distinction though between the kids the Boomers and old X’s (maybe?) are talking about, who are just finishing high school, and the kids in elementary school who are nominally of the same generation, in much the way we have Gen X (late 60s to early 80s), Xennials (1977-1983) and Millenials.

    As a Xennial, I think it on face looks like a stupid nitpicky distinction, but I have found it to be VAST in practice – Millenials and Gen X do not get along in the workplace or have remotely similar worldviews (millenial entitlement rankles Gen X cuthroat survivalism) and the Xennials straddle those qualities, but are distinct because of one thing: internet use. Millennials grew up with internet as a required, constant part of the world, and Gen X only adapted as full adults. Xennials started getting exposed as teens with dial up, but didn’t have constant internet until university or work. It’s an utterly different mindset. Millenials and Boomers catfight each other so much because they are actually very very similar, they are each others’s Shadow (I use the AARPs old, but utterly fascinating, “Leading a Multigenerational Workforce” for my reference:https://assets.aarp.org/www.aarp.org_/articles/money/employers/leading_multigenerational_workforce.pdf) .

    Similarly, I think that the older Gen Z will have the Millennial We’re the Future Gonna Change the World ideals programmed in (which will similarly cause them astounding amounts of anxiety and despair when they fail to live up to it… the suicides have started in my friends’ younger siblings group among the ones who went into social work, and my husband’s recent graduates), and similar damaging exposure to constant internet, but ratcheted up to the Nth by social media that matured during their time. But the younger ones, I think they will be more like the Silents. They are going to be the ones who see what all the older gens idealism cost, and can slip between the cracks of the failing systems, then just persist doggedly while the world fails to end, and fails to become Utopia. Overall, I feel pretty okay if my kids end up being more like the Silents than the rest of us, all things considered. Would prefer they felt less like they’d be blow up at any moment for their entire lives, but in fairness, that possibility can’t really be discounted…

    My mom (a late Boomer) was asking why the young people were all partying so much and ignoring distancing despite all the warnings, why weren’t they taking Covid seriously? I told her it was hard to scare a generation that never really believed they had a better future anyway. What did they all think the climate march generation was going to do when they were like “You’re gonna diiiiieeee! Unless you do as we say society will EEEEEENNNDDD!!1!!”?? They’re like “We knooooowwww, you’ve been giving us platforms to say this since we were fiiiiiiiive!! Bring it ooooonnnnnn!!!”

  262. @Ben about protests:
    I thought that JMG at least responded to your question already. I know that there are great reasons for protests (for example the horrible caste system in US that pushes down on the poor) but that does not change the fact that these particular protests are supported and manipulated by the deep state for their own purposes.

    Can I ask you something that weighs on my mind? As a supporter of the protests how do you feel when MSM, local govs, CIA and most big corporations are on your side?
    This is not a snarky question – I cannot understand how you can believe you are fighting the man when all these corrupt power centers tell you what to do?

    I really hope you can give me a good perspective on this. Just to clarify my position: I grew up under communism so I have a strong reaction to manipulation, especially when is so transparent as in today’s USA.

  263. @ David, by the lake (August 27, 8:13 pm comment)
    Re: Electrical transmission issues. A few years ago I traveled with my husband to his country of birth in the middle east. I had, fortunately, read up on the area before traveling, so it was no surprise when the electricity went off; this occurred at least once a day, sometimes multiple times daily, and would be off for minutes to hours at a time. The area was hotter than Phoenix. I understand that in some countries electricity is on for only a few hours a day (or night?). Also some remote areas of the USA still have limited access to this utility. I realize I am very spoiled.

  264. @JMG and Arthur,

    regarding the police shooting Jacob Blake as he reached into his car. This dashcam video is a good example of what can happen in such a situation:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/FormallySomeone/status/1298363963089072128

    !spoiler alert!

    The man gets to his car, gets his gun, and the cops get shot…

    As far as 17 year old Kyle Rittenhouse killing the two guys and wounding another, here are some links.

    The videos showing all the angles I’ve seen so far:

    https://www.liveleak.com/view?t=C1Sjs_1598460586

    A pretty good text summary for those that don’t want the video:

    https://old.reddit.com/r/news/comments/ihk2wa/kenosha_shooting_suspect_is_a_former_member_of_a/g30wsy5/

    And an article about the legal team now representing him, which goes over it again:

    https://www.independentsentinel.com/lin-wood-arranged-for-a-top-legal-team-to-defend-kyle-rittenhouse/

    My take is there is almost no chance the murder charge sticks. He might get in trouble for being a minor in possession of a rifle, but otherwise, it’s a pretty clear case of self defense.

    The bigger picture surrounding the Rittenhouse incident is there is a LOT of support for the kid growing on the right.

    The vibe I’m getting is similar to what was building around Nick Sandmann in the beginning, but stronger.

  265. It occurs to me that the conclusions you draw from comparing Halsall’s data with the 21st century situation might not be the same as the ones that Halsall draws. Here is my summary of what he writes on his blog:

    1. The numerous people who immigrated into the Roman Empire while it was still prosperous did not destabilize the Empire – to the contrary, they provided loyal recruits for the army. They also did not change civilian culture in any way that historians or archeologists can detect nowadays. Halsall spends a lot of time showing that cultural changes supposed to have originated with ‘Germanic barbarians’ were indeed endogenous to the empire (burial with grave goods, houses dug into the ground, decoration on weapons etc.). Likewise, he does not say explicitly, but implies by attacking certain historian colleagues like Heather and Ward-Perkins, that he sees no reason to fear a submersion of European culture by modern immigrants.

    2. This is true also for large groups (factions of peoples) who entered the empire all at once, starting with the groups in the first century AD referred to above, up to a large group of Sarmatians in the 4th century. They posed no threat and were easily integrated. Things only started to go wrong with Tervingian ‘Goths’ in 376 (see below). Again, he doesn’t say so explicitly, but by attacks on Heather and Ward-Perkins implies that he sees no threat even in the large-scale immigration of 2015.

    3. All through its existence, the Roman empire dominated the barbarians, militarily, economically and culturally. The cultural domination became ever stronger, at least until the end of the 4th century, but in a way even after the empire ended.The parallels to today are obvious.

    4. The one point where he does see barbarian influence is in the outlook and identity of the Roman army, which after its separation from the civilian service in the 4th century adopted Barbarian elements (I haven’t been able to read his analysis in full yet). However, the highest ambitition of ‘barbarian’ leaders up till the 6th century was to rise in the Roman administration. “Kingdoms were for losers”: those who did not manage to intermarry with the imperial family, become patricius, magister militum etc. The Vandals had this goal until 471.The Merovingians took over Gaul starting as commanders of the Roman army on the Loire. Make of this what you will in the present – no Western army has yet been transformed by immigrants.

    5. The Roman empire (like all others) underwent periodic crises for reasons of its own. The crisis of the 3rd century brought it close to falling apart, but was superated. The next crisis, which started with civil wars in 380, was accompanied by huge economic and social problems in Gaul and Britain that were not due to barbarian invasions – in fact, the barbarians were also weakened by the same crisis. However, this time, for probably contingent and avoidable reasons, the Western part of the empire did not manage to overcome factional unrest, did not restore proper frontier management and therefore did not manage to deal with two large groups of barbarians who entered in 376 and 406. Even then, the crisis was still, in principle, solvable until the wars of Justinian. The East managed to scrape by in the 5th, but succumbed in the 7th century. The lesson for today would be that our nations, our economy and culture can certainly fall apart – without any necessary contribution from immigrants.

    6. Like many people who have studied deeply the Roman empire in its prime and the state of Europe after its breakdown, he is strongly in favor of the European Union and against Brexit.

  266. Interesting thoughts from a reader at Aero Mag., on the evolution of Leftist views of class:

    “Steve Moxon says: 28/08/2020 at 1:05 pm
    … Again, all are abstractions rather than groups per se. This relentless expansion and then the use and abuse of these mis-identifications of under-privilege, by *educated* individuals belonging to one or more of the categories, has been dubbed ‘the *oppression olympics’*, making ‘identity politics’ a gravy train for the *already privileged*, serving actually to substantially increase inequality.
    Worse still, it is an instrument of oppression, *against the very ‘group’* perennially disadvantaged and the victim of prejudice, which formerly had been identified as worthy of the liberation Marxism promised: the vast majority of (necessarily lower-status) men — ‘the workers’. This was *the whole point* of the political development, of course.

    The pretense to egalitarianism is perfect cover, for what actually is ‘identity politics’: the very perennial and ubiquitous *elitist-separatism* (status-grabbing) the political-Left ethos (supposedly) is to attack, and which Left zealots **vehemently deny** exists in themselves. Leftist bigotry betrays either unusually high **status-seeking motivation**, or particularly deep frustration in the quest for status, which is *‘projected’ on to everyone* else, who actually have normal levels of motivation to achieve status, and manage to ride the ups and downs of life without requiring such dysfunctional ideation.
    The Left’s egalitarianism is a **feint for selfishly pursuing** the very opposite. If everyone else is held at a uniformly low status, Leftists thereby become ‘the chosen few’.

    From https://areomagazine.com/2020/08/26/at-the-crossroads-of-critical-theory-and-compassionate-humanism/comment-page-1/#comment-42456 .

  267. Lady Cutekitten,

    I sometimes tell my children about the foresters cutting down the hollow tree and finding a human hand growing into the middle of it. There’s something next-level freaky about that image. Loved those stories back in the day!

  268. @JMG, @Ecosopia Readers

    On a completely different topic. Has anyone else seen news like the following?

    https://citizentruth.org/kamala-harris-as-vice-president-was-predicted-by-wikipedia/

    Snippet from the article:

    [quote]About two months ago, a Reddit user ran a script that monitored how many edits were being made on various VP hopefuls Wikipedia pages, and surprise, surprise Harris outstripped the field with over 400 edits in a 3-week span, with the next highest only at 66.

    Notably, Wikipedia’s founder and top executives have close ties to the national security state, as the Grayzone reported earlier this year.[/quote]

    To be fair it appears to be standard operating procedure at Wikipedia to allow political operatives to control what gets approved for a politician’s page. I suspect this is true even for countries outside the U.S. as well. Or at least the one’s the U.S.’s PMC class have ties with.

  269. @Jack, JMG on panspermia,

    I think that the question of panspermia has very different implications depending on what you believe about the origin of the universe.

    If the universe began with the Big Bang ~14 billion years ago like most present-day scientists think, then panspermia doesn’t really answer anything. Life had to get started somewhere, Earth has been around for most of the time that the universe has had a high enough metallicity to support life, so without a good reason to believe otherwise, we should assume it’s most likely that life got started right here.

    But if the universe is infinitely old and has always been capable of supporting life, then things become very different. In a beginningless universe, there’s no need to believe that life ever arose from non-living matter, and since science provides no known mechanism for abiogenesis, then the most reasonable thing to do (in my opinion) is to believe that it has never happened, and that every planet with a biosphere must have been seeded by another life-bearing planet early in its history.

    (This could happen through natural or technological means. If the latter, then tool-using animals like us are Gaia’s reproductive organs. Make of that what you will).

    The physicist Fred Hoyle (famous for his work on stellar nucleosynthesis in the 1940s and 1950s) believed very strongly that abiogenesis was impossible, and argued from this standpoint that the Big Bang never happened and that new matter was continually being created in the intergalactic voids as the universe expanded. He kept arguing this even after nearly everyone else had accepted the Big Bang based on discoveries in the 1960s and 1970s, to the point that it pretty-much ruined his career.

    Then, in the 1980s and 1990s, Hoyle started beating his dead horse by claiming that all viral pandemics were caused by pathogens brought to Earth by comets. He died in 2001, and it’s a common belief in the physics world that Hoyle would have ended up with a Nobel Prize on the strength of his original work if he hadn’t taken such an odd direction in his later life.

    As for my own beliefs on panspermia, I think that, like anything else in science, the only real test is experiment. Meaning that, if we want to find out if life on Earth and life on other planets have a common origin, then we need to build the giant radios from Star’s Reach, make contact with our nearest neighbors, and find out if they have the same genetic code that we do.

  270. I have a fair amount of experience with home mouse infestations and the use of mousetraps. This comment was just going to be practical advice, but I realized there’s also a slightly esoteric dimension to it too.

    The practical advice is, first, besides the choice of bait, the other important choice in setting traps is location, location, location. Putting the traps in places convenient to you (or to the pro exterminator) is less likely to work well. Those are places where the mice will be wary, and they’ll lick delicately at the bait. Think of the places you’d least want to have to reach into — the grime-filled nearly unreachable zone behind a heavy cabinet, the remotest extreme of the grungy space under the sink, and so forth — and that’s where the traps go.

    Second, mousetraps should have a hair trigger. Some (like the classic Victor traps with the metal trigger arm, if you can find them) still do. But many are designed where the end of the hold-down bar is tucked completely inside a little plastic box on the trigger arm, and they won’t snap unless the trigger arm is pushed all the way down to the base. You can pick one up and shake it like a cocktail and it won’t go off. That’s easier on your thumbs, but less likely to actually do the dirty deed. If you’re stuck with that kind of trap, you have to set it with the trigger arm already almost all the way down, just before the point of release. Some painful trial and error is likely to be required.

    Third, I’ve read (and been told) by various people that when a mouse is killed in a trap, it secretes hormones or something that warn away other mice, and that trap (and that location) will never work again, even if they’re washed. In my experience, that’s false. I re-use traps with no trouble, though I do wash them off in between, for practical sanitary reasons. I even keep count of each trap’s kills by drawing a row of little symbols (quite similar in shape to a certain mouse-themed corporate logo) on the back. (No apologies. If I’m killing, I can act like a killer. Apologizing to the departed mouse is not incompatible with celebrating a success.)

    And that brings me to the unconventional part: intentionality. It seems to me, in my experience, that when other people set mousetraps and they fail, it’s often because they don’t really want to be responsible for killing the creatures. If mice can’t wait to rush into to your humane live-capture traps but avoid your snap traps like the plague, it could be because that’s what you really want. If you couldn’t bring yourself to use a mallet or other implement to finish off a live mouse sitting in front of you, I applaud your gentle spirit, but you shouldn’t be setting snap traps or glue traps either. (Especially given that, since no kind of trap always does the job 100%, doing the latter usually means you’ll have to do the former, sooner or later.)

    A helpful affirmation/declaration, when setting traps: “This house is a place of death for mice. Those that don’t leave will die.” I usually find no mice remaining after five or six nights of trapping.

  271. Hi John,

    There is a rumor circulating in military, intelligence and law enforcement circles that the reason why the Portland riots have suddenly gone quiet and Kate Brown is now insisting its time for them to end is because federal agents have uncovered evidence that the riots were part of a seditious conspiracy by the usual suspects. It’s also been rumored that Portland Antifa leaders have gone into hiding because FBI agents are actively looking for them with arrest and search warrants in hand.

    If true, this is huge and will be seen as a major turning point. It will be very interesting to see what evidence they have of ties between Antifa, BLM, the organizers and paymasters of the riots, and Democratic Party officials.

  272. Hi Justin,

    I loved Stephen King, from 1977, when he got me through a season in hell, to 2017-ish when he came down with TDS. Our divorce has been final for a couple of years. I no longer even bother ordering samples of his new stuff. I miss good old Uncle Stevie! You might try his farm-team version, Bentley Little. Little lacks King’s eye for telling detail and his human insight—but Little’s a lot of fun. He likes to break taboo. E.g. in The Store, a high-school girl applying to what is obviously Walmart is told by the hiring manager to strip if she wants the job. Little’s heroes are a step up the class ladder from the old, worthwhile King’s. Little’s heroes are within sight of the PMC. The choice they face is, do they go along with the taboo-trampling evil entity, which can give them what they want, or do they do the right thing and remain heroic, but high working-class, peasants?

    Hi Boulder Chum,

    I’m not upset, I knew Mysterious Universe is pretty much like Listverse—99% bull[unDruidly word], but fun to read. I read both sites and when I find something interesting I poke around elsewhere for whatever nuggets of truth there may be. I have seen crumbling stone stairs in the woods twice, most likely dating from when the accompanying building was burned in the U.S. Civil War (saw both in southern Kentucky). Have seen pictures of others. I did like the story! It would make a good movie.

  273. Hello, John! If I work through the rituals outlined in your new book, “The Mysteries of Merlin…”, will they bring me into contact with my HGA, or do they serve a totally different purpose? Also, would the concepts in that book conflict with an already established routine of meditation, Middle Pillar, bibliomancy, etc.? I don’t want to change up the practices I’ve already established much, but I am now interested in pursuing the Great Work using Arthurian symbolism because of a few “meaningful coincidences” that have happened to me this year (I had no real familiarity, or even interest, in Grail legend until recently – well, outside of Indiana Jones movies!).

    Lastly, I was curious if Gareth Knight’s books about Merlin and the Arthurian Legend (e.g., “The Secret Tradition in Arthurian Legend”) would make for good complementary reading?

  274. @ Naomi etc., on “not concede under any circumstances”, and CA, OR, & WA secession:
    I could see Trump letting them go, esp. if trying to block them would be a bloodbath.
    The main downside of doing that would be the risk, that the new country would invite other powers (e.g. the ChiComs) in.
    The main upside would be, that the rump US would be much more governable, with the Dems lack of the 74 EVs of those 3 states guaranteeing the GOP holding the W.H., unless the Dems moved far right from their recent drift.
    A major prospect would be secession mov’ts *w/in* states, and border walls (e.g. in mt. ranges) to minimize chances of war between the new countries.

    If we see civil war, it’s more likely to emerge from secession mov’ts, after a Dem win of the White House, and subsequent moves by the Left to implement Sarah Jeong’s “plan” for white extinction.
    Most likely, the main targets of this plan would be the Deplorable middle/ working classes, who voted so heavily for Trump.
    (Dems nowadays carry mainly the upper-middle class, and the underclass.)

  275. @Oilman2

    Thank you so much for the hurricane update! We went through Michael two years ago, and I was worried about Lake Charles and surrounding area. Watching drive-through video, I could tell it wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been: there were still leaves on the trees! (this was not the case here after Michael). It was good to have outside confirmation. We helped fill a truckload of relief supplies that headed over the day after. It looks like there will still be a heckuva lot of cleanup, and we are all wishing them well (Lake Charles had volunteers over here helping us out with chainsaws and hot food for weeks after our storm).

    Any word on how Cameron fared? I’m having a hard time finding any news on it.

  276. Dear JMG,

    Hi… So I’m a little nervous cause I only talked about this one other time to my brother who actually referred me to you….
    Here’s a little back story that maybe able to help you, help me, understand what happened.
    So I never knew my biological mother or father but the man she dated when she was pregnant with me signed my birth certificate and raised me with another woman (sense my bio mom was an addict). My dad wasn’t in the picture a lot when I was younger cause he also struggled with addiction but he was my bestfriend.
    My step mom was great until she also fell back into addiction and when that happened so did the abuse.
    So to get to the bigger picture… When I was younger. I’m unsure of exactly how old…any where between 3-6 years old I remember seeing a man…who kind of looked like a wizard but creepier. He would constantly tell me to kill my step mom. One day I remember covering my ears and literally screaming “SHUT UP!” I may have also told him to stop or go away but all I know is after screaming he did just that, he went away. I couldn’t see him like I could see you or I but I could see him like a subconscious … If you know of suffer from ptsd then you could possibly understand when I say he was like a flashback image except more vivid and stayed there.
    My brother suggested that it could have been tulpa…but I looked up the definition and am kind of confused. It says its paranormal but also an imaginary friend? I do have a demon paranormal event I believe that happened to me years later when I grew up and I’m wondering if that’s what it could have been or if It was all in my head? Any advice or anything would be greatly appreciated.

  277. #Sleep paralysis

    I lived an episode just once, and maybe it is not related to what you are describing. 18 years ago I was living in a campus, that night I was sleeping with a girl. Just before dawn my mind woke but my body did not. I was lying in bed for I don’t know how long, but more than 15 minutes for sure, hearing and seeing everything that can be seen from the pillow, I could move my eyes, but not my head. No other part of my body responded. I wanted to ask for help to my partner, she was asleep, but I could not articulate any sound. That was distressing, just waiting impotently until my body finally woke up. Later I read that this is a kind of somnambulism, but I’ve been lucky to never experiment it again.

    #Question to practitioners

    How can you say what is good to visualize for one self? If I were still a boy, I would want to feel joy, no pain or sadness ever, but I’m older and I know better. Protection sounds good, but excessive protection prevents maturity (damned taoists!). I know I want to lose weight and be healthier and think more clearly but not at any cost. It is not worth to achieve all these things for myself if people around me feel miserable in exchange, for example.

    I don’t want blowbacks before I know what I am doing.

  278. Very quickly to Someone as I go charging out the door, I put in a little mention of you in my morning prayer. Is this okay, and you you like more?

    To JMG, the conversation on reincarnation is fascinating to me. Could you tell us a little about how you became aware of past lives? I promise to do the same, but will be out until Wednesday–but that will still be in time for this week’s discussion.

  279. @ onething, John of Red Hook, No,ad

    Re the Dems, corruption, and bad faith

    No disagreement on the issue of the party Establishment and it’s machinery. I guess their thinking is that it’s better to keep the flow of $ going to the various entities feeding off the party’s structure in the short term than to make any long term changes needed for the party’s survival. In essence, they think (or force themselves to think) that Trump was a fluke and not an indication of any sea-change. That will come back to bite them, of course.

    @ Simon S

    Re renewables

    There are limits, as with all things. The issues with renewable are generally their intermittency (non-controllability), which isn’t a problem at lower levels of penetration but which will cause problems as the percentages grow. If you don’t have fast-ramping (e.g. natural-gas) generation to manage the grid, then you’re going to need a lot of storage capacity (e.g. batteries), which have their own costs and issues. There’s always a trade-off. Here in the Midwest US, for example, the interconnection queue for the next few years is chock full of solar projects, gigawatts worth. At 5-10 acres per MW, that’s a lot of land that’d be no longer available for agriculture and questions are starting to be asked about those kinds of opportunity costs to the economy.

  280. The other day, the Democrat governer of Wisconsin said he was deploying the National Guard to protect protesters, state property and critical infrastructure. He said nothing about having them protect businesses, private property or law abiding citizens who are being victimized by Antifa and BLM rioters.

    I think it’s pretty clear the truth is starting to come out about the riots and the complicity of Democrat politicians. Sounds like Governor Evers just let the vat of the bag about what’s really going on.

  281. I’ve never actually read any of The Cosmic Doctrine, but have decided I really need to fix that. I ordered a copy and should get it in early September, so when the next post goes up I’ll be part way through the first chapter. Do you mind if I post questions and comments about the earlier chapters on the posts for the Cosmic Doctrine, or should I save them for the open posts?

  282. I doubt Glenn is correct that cell phones and other screens contribute much, if at all, to America’s implosion. If they did, Japan and S. Korea would be in big trouble. I think the screens are an effect, not a cause. I think some of his other points are good suggestions, though.

  283. Abraham, re sleep paralysis.
    I had this at one time in my life which was particularly stressful.
    Had it on many occasions and felt a bit panicky. Then I decided to simply relax and remember that the sensation would pass. That worked for me and it gradually receded although writing this has mad me slightly nervous about it again.
    Good luck.

  284. A nuance on Quebec: it is not quite true that “have” provinces (Ontario, BC, sometimes Alberta) are subsidizing Quebec’s welfare programs. The principle governing equalization payments has always been that each province should be able to achieve similar per capita revenue assuming similar tax levels. Quebec has higher personal tax rates (its corporate rate is the same as Ontario’s) to pay for its more lavish programs.

    There is, perhaps, an indirect subsidy to the extent that Quebec’s higher personal income taxes may somewhat depress its economic activity (and per capita revenue absent equalization). But of course language and the history of political uncertainty are just as relevant there. Anyway, the point is that Quebec could slash and burn its welfare state without much affecting its entitlement to equalization.

  285. JMG, somewhere up there you told someone you would be posting to Dreamwidth shortly (or it may have been last Wednesday). Was that the one about the podcast? Everything else was previous, yet it sounded like you were planning on putting up something new and intriguing. Did that not pan out? (I don’t remember what you said the topic would be, and can’t find your entry, but do remember the expected new topic sounded highly interesting.)

    Also, last night I dreamed about the Rev. Fastleft reading a book in one of the local languages. I was reading the same book, translated into English. It was well-written and genuinely interesting. I woke up halfway through chapter 3. I know this sounds silly, but would discursive meditation allow me to finish the book?

    Finally, I need to switch from being a night person to getting up at dawn or thereabouts. Sonkitten’s a night person but too chatty for me to get as much done as I like. (People who think the autistic don’t talk should meet him!😄) I want to write in the early a.m. when he’s asleep. Can those who have done shift work offer suggestions for the least painful way to accomplish what amounts to a shift change?

  286. @Varun, JMG, those interested in albums inspired by JMG, this album that my alt-folk band put out in ’16 was partly inspired by reading lots of ADR posts for years: https://thehillsandtherivers.bandcamp.com/album/apocalyptic-dreams

    @Violet re: fanatic Trumpers: it seem to me that alot of people who are into Trump are REALLY into Trump. There’s a house near where I live that has a bunch of Trump and Confederate flags, and a big flag with Trump’s face on Sylvester Stallone as Rambo’s body… I’d count that as fanaticism probably…

  287. viduraawakened,

    I prefer Trump on a range of issues. I’m still unsure about his support base, and I’m a little worried that the populist right is being slowly co-opted by corporate interests. I really feel we need to reign in the security state, but with more sane reforms than simply “defunding the police.” I don’t want Trump to win, but I don’t want him to lose either.

    Right now I mistrust and dislike the right and the left, but I’m willing to give the right some slack. They’re headed in the right direction on a range of issues, and seem willing to negotiate on a range of others.

    We’ll see though.

  288. I had sleep paralysis once. What a weird sensation! The only thing weirder that I have ever felt was Sonkitten doing acrobatics inside me.

    Sneaking in extra you-know-whats—a friend of mine was adopted by a cat who has just given birth to 4 cute KITTENS! 🎂. I’ll try to talk Sonkitten into letting us take a couple. (He has been adamantly against getting another pet since our most recent betta died.)

  289. @KevPilot

    I recommend reading Meher Baba’s book God Speaks for in-depth info on the Planes in addition to what JMG recommended. It comes with a lot of illustrations and even a separate booklet and huge fold-out poster to help gain understanding.

    As for gaining access to past lives? Well JMG’s Discursive Meditation – if you do it exactly the way he teaches it including all his optional details will – eventually with enough persistence and dedication – do the trick. Compared to some alternate methods his is surprisingly gentle. The downside is that most people don’t have the capability yet to determine which or what kind of memories they’ll unearth. You could start remembering a lot of boring stuff. Or maybe great stuff or as some people on this blog have admitted to – memories that shook them up so bad they lose sleep over it every night. One of the gurus I follow on Youtube (Sri Rohit Arya) said one of his disciples discovered to his very great distress that his wife in this life was his MOTHER in the last. He could not have sex with her anymore after that because he now had direct knowledge he was sleeping with his MOM (albeit from the immediately prior life) and it was completely ruining that part of his marriage for him.

    As for why Suicide is generally frowned upon in many religions it’s because the tone of your final thought and emotion will be the starting point for your very first after-death moment. At death the Buddhi’s (Intellect) discriminatory function is completely lost and you will only go on whatever the tone or tendency of that very last moment of life was. Probably the closest parallel in life is the ordinary non-lucid dream state most people enter into every night. Lucid dreaming means your Buddhi “life-bubble” has blown big enough it is still functioning even when the body goes to sleep. In fact, according to Sadhguru there are some yogic practices that use the dream state to slowly introduce and train disciples for what it will be like for you after death. Suicide is usually – though not always – a tone of despair, hopelessness and misery. That is not the kind of afterlife even the Suicidee is wanting. They’re wanting relief – not the even greater intensity of misery that will begin cascading the moment the intellect’s discriminatory function is lost.

    Sadhguru compared that final moment to an avalanche down a mountain. It may be only a pebble of peacefulness or of pebble of despair at that final outbreath. But once the Buddhi is lost it will then begin cascading into an avalanche of either a heavenly paradise of bliss or alternately into a hellish afterlife. There’s no discriminatory function left to stop the avalanche either way. Again the closest parallel is to the ordinary, non-lucid dream state.

    The despairing Suicidee doesn’t realize he/she just set up the conditions for a cascading nightmare to begin. And it will stay that way until one’s vibratory energies are within a certain bandwidth that begins the cycle all over again of seeking rebirth. If it takes 500 earth years to bring those energies within that range well then that’s how long you’ll have to wait for the rebirth process again. Mother Nature doesn’t care if you’re experiencing “heaven” or “hell” and she’ll toodle along until all the requirements are met before rebirth can begin again.

  290. JMG,

    I remember a post a few years ago, where you said something like how the American working class has, again and again, refused to play along with the violent revolutionary fantasies of the Marxist intellectual class. You reasoned that all they want is plenty of working class jobs at living wages, and as long as those are plenty, they are not too bothered with revolutions. The class dynamics in Retrotopia was broadly in line with this — as long as working class had comfortable jobs, a moderate level of wealth inequality was tolerated, even celebrated. You have even talked about why Noblesse Oblige needs to come back. And how the French Revolution happened not during an economic decline, but during a period of sudden growth reversal preceded by a high growth and prosperity.

    I am trying to piece all this together to get an idea of how the comfortable class should quickly react to changes. This is what I have gotten so far: When economy is growing, it seems simple enough — plenty of jobs at good wages, and keep prices of ordinary goods low. When the economy starts sputtering, the wealthy needs to part with some of their wealth to maintain stability, or else they risk getting the wrong end of a rope. But when you throw in the myth of perpetual progress this becomes next to impossible. So being in touch with reality is key to all of this. It is also never wise to promise too much, because the sky high expectations can get you trapped.

    Now suppose a ruling class believed in myth of progress and rode to power on the promise of delivering it. A few years later they find that the progress is not sustainable. Is there any way they can deal with it without risking violent upheaval because the people feel shortchanged? Is there a way to retreat from progress without risking the popular backlash, while at the same time minimizing hardship to people?

  291. @Phutatorius, in many ways you’ve described me as well. I used to dislike both parties equally for various reasons, but lately it seems like the DNC has gone entirely off the deep end and can hardly be trusted to manage anything. That Biden represents the best they can put forward amply demonstrates that.

    @David by the Lake, the larger problem with renewables is that they simply couldn’t exist without non-renewable support whatsoever.

    @Varun, you nailed it. The Reps are as bad as ever, but somehow the Dems strive to be even worse.

  292. J.L. Mc12, that’s one of those questions I’ve never known how to answer. There are a lot of differences and also important similarities; picking out one of them seems rather pointless to me.

    Wesley, I spent a while brooding over this today — it’s a good theme for meditation! — and I may be able to explain the matter a little more clearly. Do you recall the difference in occult philosophy between the personality and the individuality? If not, the short form is that the personality exists for one life, and the individuality persists through the entire sequence of lives. Each personality is an expression of one set of potentials in the individuality, and the individuality ripens as each of its potentials is expressed in a personality. From the point of view of the personality, indifferentism is valid — that personality didn’t do the things that created the karma that it must live with, after all. But the individuality is the sum total of the lives that created the karma, and from its perspective everything that happens in each life is a precise consequence of the lives before it. What makes this complex is that the personality, through spiritual practice, may become aware of the fact that the will and consciousness at its heart is in fact the individuality, that each personality is simply a mask of self-forgetfulness worn by one enduring being — which is why one of the common elements of the experience of enlightenment is a realization that no matter how bad things look, everything is exactly as it should be.

    Because Reasons, it’s not grim at all. Oppositions can be very fruitful if handled well. You’ve got a conflict between love and sex — what excites your desires and what stirs your heart are two very different things — but that’s not uncommon. Uranus in the 7th and ruling the 5th, with the 7th house ruler resolving the opposition with a sextile to Uranus and a trine to Venus, shows that your perplexities can be resolved, too, just not in a direct way. The dating scene is the wrong way to go about it — the person you want will be just as repelled by it as you are. The 7th house ruler, by its planetary nature and the sign and house that it’s in, tells you where to look instead.

    Stuart, delighted to hear it. Lovecraft is underrated as a poet, and he’s a good source of examples for students who think that poetry is old-fashioned and boring. Fungi from Yuggoth is what inspired me to put poems in classic forms into each volume of The Weird of Hali — and yes, four of those are sonnets. (One of the others is a villanelle, the other two aren’t named forms but they follow strict rules for rhyme and scansion.)

    Nomad, that seems like a very sensible analysis.

    Ashara, you have the arrangement of bodies best suited to the needs of this incarnation, the one challenge you’ll face is that relationships, especially romantic and sexual relationships, will be a little harder because your arrangement of bodies isn’t a common one, and finding one complementary to it may take some time and searching.

    BXN, I think some of the big coastal cities have made (and are continuing to make) exactly the same mistake the big cities of the Rust Belt made in the early 1970s — they lost track of the fact that if they made life too difficult for residents and businesses, those can move. Thus I expect New York, London, et al. to undergo the same experience that Detroit and Manchester did in their day — steep declines in population and economic importance as people and businesses move away. Meanwhile other cities, currently much cheaper to live in and with less idiotically dysfunctional governments, will rise in prominence in their places.

    Bourgeois, thanks for this — typical John Gray. I think he’s quite correct about the wokesters but quite mistaken about the long-term impact of their activities. They are succeeding in alienating a growing number of moderates who might otherwise support them, and thus giving the Trump administration a convenient punching bag — not to mention a stick with which to belabor Democratic officials who are encouraging and exploiting the riots. “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake” is a fairly good summary of Trump’s response to the rioting, after all..

    Chris, sweet dreams! Rocks are indeed useful — more useful than many politicians, on your side of the planet or on mine.

    John, that seems like a reasonable summary.

    Phutatorius, so noted. As for Jeffers, his writing can be very harsh; I prefer his short poems to his long ones, some of which are too brutal for my taste.

    Ben, fair enough. I’ll put some thought into such a post.

    Neptunesdolphins, waiting to be rescued is one of the supreme recipes for failure. In my own not especially kindly way, I’m glad to see the sham-mans embracing it.

    Goldenhawk, thanks for this. I’ll keep it in mind!

    Oilman2, many thanks for the data points. This corresponds to what I’m hearing from other, non-hysterical sources.

    Neptunesdolphins, delighted to hear it. As for sigil magic, the fact that Neopagans are abandoning their own magical methods and flocking to what amounts to the latest pop-culture fad does not bode well for the survival of Neopaganism. I suspect the appeal is that you can use sigil magic without even pretending to believe in deities, spirits, or anything but your own sense of entitlement. As for its function, it will work to some extent for anyone willing to invest the effort in charging it — if, that is, someone else hasn’t already monkeywrenched it…

    KevPilot, then don’t worry about it. Those begin to come through when you’re ready for them; the regular practice of discursive meditation can help foster that readiness, but don’t rush things, and especially stay away from hypnotic “recall” — hypnotic evidence is no longer accepted in law courts because hypnosis is such a good way of manufacturing fake memories.

    Andy, I am not a doctor nor do I play one on TV, but what you’re experiencing sounds very like the symptoms my wife had, which led to her being diagnosed with celiac (on your side of the water, coeliac) disease. The abdominal pain, bloating, brain fog, sensitivity to wheat — well, check with your licensed medical provider and by all means try ditching wheat, barley, rye, and triticale for a while (all four contain gluten).

    David, thank you! Both squamous and rugose…

    Steve T, (1) not that I know of. I think the similarities come from the fact that they’re contemplating the same realities. (2) Try it! It sounds worthwhile.

    KW, glad to have you aboard.

    David BTL, agreed. It’s as though they’ve completely lost the ability to think clearly.

    Violet, what happens to occultists who get deep into politics and avoid malefic magic is the same thing that happens to religious believers who do the same thing: they become purely political, and the magic and/or religion trickles away. That’s why the established religions of European nations are so moribund — they started out trying to control the political sphere, and got absorbed by it. In the same way, I expect the alt-right chaos mages who have been backing Trump to end up as common or garden variety populist political activists who dimly remember when they used to practice magic. Not fanaticism but plodding normalcy is their doom…

    KW, thanks for this.

    Your Kittenship, he’s cherrypicking his data. The ancient Greeks had very little in the way of sexual restraint, to cite only one example, and of course we all know how little cultural creativity they had…;-)

    Jason, thanks for this. Rittenhouse has one of Sandmann’s lawyers working on his case, and she’s already encouraging people to collect libelous statements made about Rittenhouse by media figures and celebrities, so they can be sued for damages. It’s intriguing to watch the right finally figure out how to do what the left has been doing for so long!

    Matthias, fair enough. I’ll consider his views when I have time to read his essay.

    Mouse, excellent. I’m glad to see this sort of thinking getting some attention.

    Panda, no, but it doesn’t surprise me at all.

    Wesley, it’s fun to speculate, but since we have no data, I’ll pass.

    Galen, interesting, if true. I’d assumed that Brown’s outburst came because polls are showing that the riots are driving independents and moderate Democrats into Trump’s camp, and it suddenly sank in that more rioting will just accelerate that process. Still, if Brown was actually complicit, she’s closing the barn door when the horse has not merely left but sent back a forwarding address from another state. Over and above criminal charges, she’s already on the hook personally for civil suits on the part of every person and business in Oregon who has suffered losses on account of her nonfeasance.

    Bret, it serves a different purpose. The invocation of the HGA comes only after quite a bit of preparatory training; this book provides some of the training. It won’t conflict with the kinds of magical work you’ve described. As for Knight’s book, it’s specifically recommended for study in the last chapter of my book. (BTW, all posts to this blog are moderated and must be approved by me before they appear, which is why you didn’t see yours pop up instantly.)

    Kelsey, one of the problems with being around addicts is that their condition makes it very easy for demonic entities to manifest nearby. My guess is that that’s what you were dealing with, and your strong rejection of the entity forced it to leave you alone — but it left an imprint in your subconscious. That will fade over time, especially if you take up a spiritual or religious practice.

    Abraham, this is why I don’t usually encourage people to take up “creative visualization” or anything else of the kind outside of an established spiritual or magical practice — it’s very hard to know what you actually need. Regular practice of meditation and divination can fix that.

    Galen, and of course he fielded far too few National Guardsmen to do much of anything. Yeah, it’s pretty clear what’s up.

    Your Kittenship, it got put on temporary hold due to other things having to be done in a hurry; it’s still on the agenda. To finish the book, I’d use active imagination rather than meditation; imagine yourself in the same place you were in, with you and the Rev. exactly where you were in the dream, and imagine yourself opening the book to Chapter 3 and going from there. The results can be quite fascinating!

    Isaac, thanks for this.

    Ramaraj, exactly. The comfortable classes need to realize that their prosperity and survival depend on keeping the working classes comfortable and happy. That doesn’t actually take much — plenty of jobs at a living wage will do it quite nicely, and still allow the comfortable classes to enjoy an inflated standard of living. But you’re right — that can’t coexist with the myth of progress, because that myth leads the comfortable classes to think that their share of the national wealth ought to be constantly increasing, and this can’t happen without depriving the working classes. If the comfortable classes realize this and figure out that they need to backtrack in a hurry, they can do it. The first thing they need is a major crisis which will require everyone to tighten their belts and do without some goods and services. Once this gets going, they need to identify sectors of the comfortable class who can be thrown under the bus. For example, let’s say the dollar loses its status as a reserve currency and the US has to default on its debts — that’s a suitable crisis, justifying lots of belt-tightening. In response to this, the government might cut all Federal funding for the universities, causing a lot of unproductive members of the salary class to be dumped into the work force. That will convince the working classes that everyone is in fact being expected to tighten their belts more or less equally. Meanwhile you stop talking about progress and start talking about a return to stability and normalcy, and when the crisis ends, you make sure the working classes get a good share of the returning prosperity. Everyone’s happy, except the former comfortable class members, and they have no power and can be allowed to twist in the wind.

  293. Galen and Varun’s typos brought to mind a very important factor that could break the technology sector. Our autocorrects may not be around for long. Let me tell you why.

    As more people get wise about how their personal data is being used by corporations to mint money, more governments are starting to put restrictions on data collection. Tech giants like Facebook, Google and Amazon use torrents of user data (what we type on the phone, what we search for, where we go on the internet & real life, what we write in email, etc). They run massive machine learning algorithms (modified statistical techniques like correlation, regression and probability) to predict what is the best ad to show to a person.Now because of regulations like GDPR, the torrent of free data that fueled the tech boom is starting to slow down.

    The surest sign that this is serious came a few days ago. Apple has decided to keep all the user data for itself and not let everyone collect it freely, as it used to be.

    https://techcrunch.com/2020/08/27/facebook-vs-apple-ad-tracking/

    Facebook is scared. “in testing we’ve seen more than a 50% drop in Audience Network publisher revenue when personalization was removed from mobile ad install campaigns”. 50%. What will happen when governments make laws that mandate every company to pay people like us for our data?

    Now in this blog we already realized that internet can never pay for itself, much less make money in its current form, and will degrade into a much smaller, more restricted form in the future. So this is just one more event helping that process.

    Finally, a fine bit of unintentional comedy.

    “Data is the New Oil of the Digital Economy” declared Wired in 2014.
    https://www.wired.com/insights/2014/07/data-new-oil-digital-economy/

    And we all know what is happening to oil.

  294. Thanks, JMG! I am not sure I understand the difference between discursive meditation and your suggestion, but your instructions are clear enough, so I’ll give it a try!

    Just think, if we could all learn how to read while asleep, as well as while awake, there might be a chance of getting through the to-read pile in your lifetime. (An accomplishment that, in my opinion, should be included in a person’s obituary.)

    How on earth did a nice fellow such as yourself end up doing something bad enough to get coated with raspberry jam in your previous lifetime? Just doesn’t sound like you! Are you sure you aren’t getting blamed for some of John Michael Greeg’s nefarious activities? I never did trust that guy…

  295. JMG, I forgot to ask, do I really need Fastleft around, or would I (possibly) get results if I just assume I’m in my house picking up my copy of the book?

  296. JMG,

    That’s great to hear. No, seriously. And your analysis makes a lot of sense, given my experiences. Thank you so much.

    By the same logic as you mentioned for the ruler of the 7th, would looking at the ruler of the 5th, and its placement by house and sign, suggest avenues for fulfilling my sexual desires?

    P.S. One correction, which I think is just you not writing what you meant to: Uranus is not my 5th house ruler, it trines my 5th house ruler.

  297. Just a brief chime in here — I think those hidden rooms in dreams aren’t merely symbolic: they’re actual astral plane places that cannot be seen from the physical plane. Just as the giant malls and schools so many dreamers go to every night technically exist, just not in the physical sense.

  298. @Your Kittenship, JMG re Unwin’s theory of sexual restraint:

    I read the article you linked to, and I also take issue with pieces of the argument, though for somewhat more complex reasons than our host. Simply saying “what about Greece?” leaves out the fact that Unwin’s theory involves an elaborate time-delay between loss of sexual restraint and loss of cultural creativity, and I’m sure that if you look at his data he will have found a way to make Greece fit the mold.

    The first big problem I see is the sheer difficulty of finding good data about the sexual habits of ancient cultures. This becomes an even bigger issue when you remember the crucial role played by the timing of when the restraints were loosened. Does anybody here know during which decade the average young man in the Roman Republic no longer had his first sexual experience in the bridal chamber? I didn’t think so.

    Another problem is that, in most cultures, the state of “strict prenuptial chastity” likely never existed. Within America, for example, there have been religious subcultures that demanded it, as there still are today: for example, I would put hundred-to-one odds on my closest Mormon friend having been a virgin on his wedding night. But for most people, especially in the working classes, that wasn’t the way things worked even before the sexual revolution.

    The impression I get, based on what I’ve heard and read from people who grew up back then, is that it was much more typical for young people to start having sex whenever they felt ready to, and then when their families found out – usually because the girl got pregnant, which happened with more regularity back in the day – the couple were strongly pressured to marry. Both sets of my grandparents got hitched this way; one couple had an abusive relationship and ended up divorced a few years later (this was in the late 1970s) while the other couple (married in 1961) had a happy and faithful marriage which lasted until my grandmother’s death 51 years later.

  299. JMG,

    I find your blog very interesting, particularly your ideas about the near future and how it will be a lot less technological than what the mainstream narrative seem to imply. I just finished a BS.c in Physics and now realize my future may not be in building power hungry superconductors from scarce materials as I thought as I started this degree. I am interested in your views as a Science Fiction writer and thinker about the societal role someone with Physics training could have as we face what you call “The slow Descent”.

  300. JMG and poetried others, could you please recommend a guide to the classic poetic forms like sonnets and villanelle, that’s not dripping in icky postmodern sludge? I’ve found this discussion fascinating.

  301. Regarding John Gray’s points, Musa Al-Gharbi has noted,

    “Students are taught to really hone their critical capacities at university – but what of their affirmative ones? Put another way, there is a big focus on identifying problems, criticizing, problematizing, deconstructing, highlighting differences, etc. – but much less on coming up with practical solutions, or explaining what works, what is good (and why), or acknowledging what the people we engage are right about, or building consensus through the things we share in common. These are not skills that are prioritized in higher education today. To our detriment.”

    I am concerned that elite overproduction of this sort can create a deeply apocalyptic attitude towards society. Look what happened in the Arab World! Do you think the popping of the higher ed bubble might alleviate this issue?

    Community colleges tend to offer a more practical and (surprisingly) less anti-intellectual culture

    https://heterodoxacademy.org/viewpoint-diversity-community-college-system/

    In any case, as eloquent as much of Gray’s philosophy is, it seems to be a common theme of his to imagine that contemporary trends have long-term legacies. For example, in another article, he stated the belief that COVID-19 were create a long-term autistic effect on human culture.

    I thought to my self, “How autistic was the 1920s in the aftermath of WWI and Spanish Flu?”

  302. Regarding your comment on big cities to BXN, you have been predicting since roughly 2008 that the American West Coast would become the next Rust Belt. If you’re remarks on the future of the Internet turn out to be true, California will IMO be in particular trouble!

    The post-materialist, post-national vision of society promulgated by the new “knowledge elite” was followed through in California more than anywhere else in the world…and the results speak for themselves. It’s no longer the “Golden State”; the “Bloated State” would be a better term: bloated billionaires, bloated media, bloated lawyers, bloated underclass, bloated welfare state, bloated education system, and so on.

    The best case for the future of California that I see is if it gets a Coleman Young like figure in the 2030s or so (a charismatic cult-of-personality from the underclass who succeeds the technocrats and stays in power with a combination of demagoguery and building large mega-projects).

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coleman_Young

  303. Dear JMG,

    Hiii it’s me again 🙂 Now that I have your opinion and the fact that you agree with me … I was wondering if I must take up a religious practise or if it would be a bad thing to ‘make friends’ with my demon/demons. Would that cause more harm than good? Do you think I’m crazy for wanting to open myself back up to that world?

  304. JMG and all,
    An observation from my daughter who is a college professor that I thought might be of interest to the community: for the first time, yesterday, she told me that the college teaching community has agreed that colleges are done. As in, will close soon and not reopen again – at least in their current form. I know this is something many of us have been expecting, but the fact that she and her colleagues, who are the “true believers” in the current system, are finally discussing that it is all ending, seems significant. She said that first and foremost, the big public universities (she teaches at one) are realizing they don’t have the infrastructure and budget to teach tens of thousands of student remotely — and parents won’t pay the going rate for a remote program. And they can’t have those thousands attend in person because – pandemic. She said the small private universities are in worse shape and are just going to go broke and close. My daughter is switching over to teaching remotely through a company that provides classes to home school students, which is the growing market. And one other comment, again a big switch for a former “true believer” — she said the home school high school students she is teaching are better prepared and have better skills than most of her college students.

  305. @PatriciaT

    Re grid reliability

    Yes, in the “developed” world, we are rather spoiled. As I mentioned, the utility business is a very behind-the-scenes affair: most folks don’t even think about what we do until the monthly bill comes or the power goes out in a storm or other major event. Technically, the transmission grid is built to a high degree of reliability—what’s called “loss of load expectation” or LOLE—of one day in ten years.

  306. @JMG Sorry to hear about your wife, I hope giving up wheat bought her some relief.

    @Darkest Thank you for this advice, my wife has a few packets of Chia lurking in the cupboard, I’m trying a lot of new stuff at the moment to fill the wheat gap, but I’ll give these a miss. The only pro-biotic I’m using at the moment is Kefir, I will see if I can source the brand you mention.

    I do quite regularly fast – water and black coffee excepted – but I’ve had no appetite for it lately. I can handle up to four days without difficulty, but it requires a certain level of equanimity for me to manage. Professionally, things do seem to be calming down a bit and so I hope to find the mental strength required to start this again later in the year.

  307. @patricaormsby
    Thank you so much for the encouraging words regarding Our gracious Goddess Salus and “the mystery of “U”).
    I have already purchased a small statue (off the web) of Her as Hygieia, which I now use to focus my daily prayer towards. If you (or anyone else here) knows of some good sources of information about Salus and the worship of Roman Dieties, I am “all ears”.
    Again I say “Thank You” to our host JMG, to you Patricia, and to everyone who contributes to this wonderful and illuminating forum.
    Courtney

  308. @ TJandTheBear

    Re renewables and their dependence on fossil fuels

    You’re not at all wrong, certainly. Most avid supporters of renewables don’t acknowledge that and so we have “carbon-free” policy goals that are only such at the surface level. My point was that even at a purely operational level, high penetrations of renewables in the grid are going to cause issues, even setting that ultimate dependency aside.

    In the long run, the answer to our predicament is going to have to involve that unmentionable term “conservation”—that is, simply using a whole lot less energy. That’s also one reason I’ve chosen to work for a municipal utility rather than an investor-owned utility (IOU): we don’t have a profit-motive; our job is to serve the demand that’s there, at whatever level. An IOU wants to increase “plant” (physical assets) because that’s where they get their rate of return to pay their stockholders. We, on the other hand, only need to cover our cost of proving the service.

  309. Re the morality and mechanisms of karma

    It seems to me, that when we ponder how the ills one faces might be the consequence of acts performed in this or a previous life, we are ignoring a vital component, namely the future. If we look forward, we might consider that the circumstances faced today are necessary, not as a punishment for future acts, but as training for future challenges. For the soul to develop, it passes through experiences, meets challenges, and grows. If we step back from a myopic focus on this particular incarnation (something I’m only now beginning to be able to do), then we can see the possibility that what’s occurring in this life may be in preparation from another, later life, and not always a consequence of a prior one. So perhaps that child being abused by the drunken mother hadn’t done anything to “deserve” those experiences in a previous life, but instead that experience is needed to prepare her for a later challenge, either in this life or a future one.

    Just something to consider.

  310. Your Kittenship, here are a few pointers to shifting to an earlier waking time.

    First, be aware that if you’re on a reasonably consistent sleep schedule, the hardest time to fall asleep is two to three hours before your regular bedtime. It’s easier to fall asleep in the middle of the morning or afternoon than in that early evening period. This means if you go to bed a few hours early because you plan to get up earlier than usual, don’t expect to fall asleep quickly. Relax, rest your body, stay in dark surroundings, and don’t let worrying about not falling asleep right away turn into anxiety that keeps you up half the night.

    Apart from that, the basic method is to get out into daylight as early as possible in the morning.

    Your body’s clock (that’s a real thing, not a metaphor; a part of the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus) evolved to adjust or reset itself as needed based on daylight. But indoor room light isn’t enough. (A sunny daytime sky is about a thousand times brighter than typical room light. Our eyes are so good at adjusting that we rarely perceive how extreme the difference is—though photographers using non-automatic cameras have to know.) A cloudy sky (still about twenty to a hundred times brighter than a typical artificially lit room) will do just fine, though.

  311. Neptunesdolphins, waiting to be rescued is one of the supreme recipes for failure. In my own not especially kindly way, I’m glad to see the sham-mans embracing it.

    As for sigil magic, the fact that Neopagans are abandoning their own magical methods and flocking to what amounts to the latest pop-culture fad does not bode well for the survival of Neopaganism. I suspect the appeal is that you can use sigil magic without even pretending to believe in deities, spirits, or anything but your own sense of entitlement.
    ——
    After reading about the various postings, I realized something which should have been obvious to me.

    First, the mouse problem made me realize do I want to kill the mouse? If I do not want to kill the mouse, then do I live with it in my home? If I do kill the mouse, then I am responsible for taking a life. However, if I get the mouseman to do it for me, then I can have my cake and eat it too. i.e. He kills the mouse, I reap the reward, and not be responsible for the mouse’s death. Neat, huh.

    I do believe that the sham-mans and Neopagans are doing the same sort of calculus in their hexing spells. They get someone else to administer the curse, and they get the rewards without taking responsibility for the curse. It is passive-aggression in a neat package. You feel that you are striking a blow against the bad guys, i.e. Trump etc, but you don’t get the blowback since it is someone else’s working.

    The local sham-mans have decided to curse the Postmaster General because he is evil.
    ——

    Piddletwit 1, who openly calls themselves: Spokesperson for Spirits, Witchdoctor
    Anyone want to join me in cursing this man ritually on Sunday? This is the Saboteur General of the USPS, Louis DeJoy, while he was lying and refusing to take responsibility for his ordered destruction of federal property in his recent House of Representatives hearing.

    I want to work with Hermes and all the other Divinities of Communications on this issue, and YES! I already have both Rum and Wine. Since the USPS is closed on Sunday, I thought I would actually go to the Post Office and do a livestream of the offerings ceremony. I am angry beyond my ability to express in words at this horrible man. Working conditions in his business were reportedly so physically challenging that women employees sometimes miscarried pregnancies. It was reportedly brutally hot because he did not bother installing AC for mere employees. He’s a monster.

    I cannot *imagine* in my wildest dreams that Athena is on board with this scurrilous shit. Or any of the Gods.

    Piddletwit 2
    Oh, she’s majorly pissed. Definitely. This undermines the health of the polis “bigly.”
    Piddletwit 3
    I’m not far off cursing every single Republican, every Trump or Kushner male (plus Ivanka), every enabler of Republicans, Trumps and Kushners, and every single US politician or ordinary citizen who’s shat on the world and on their own country (or part thereof) since 1776. I’m that pissed off.
    Piddletwit 1
    Yes. I am planning to burn Trump in effigy on Election Night in a livestream.
    ——
    Anyway, it goes on. But at the core of it is passivity – I know that XYZ Gods is royally upset with the Orange Man and his minions, therefore I will have XYZ Gods smite the Orange Man and his minions. Meanwhile, I will sit back in satisfaction knowing that I have done Bigly for the Resistance. AND I DO NOT have to take responsibility for my actions since They (the theyest they there ever is, them they) are so eeeevvvvviiiiilllll.

    However, this is not going to work since the Universe requires action and activity. As for me, I am prepared to bash the mice with my hammer. I don’t like it but it is something I have to do. Action and responsibility is how I guess magic should be done.

    Perhaps a future blog could entail ethics and magic.

  312. My apologies to our host for the video, but I stumbled across this and was compelled to share:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vl6jn-DdafM
    We Are Going (to the Moon to stay)

    The cult of progress made manifest. Methinks there’s far too much rah-rah here and that it covers for a hollowing suspicion that it’s all coming to an end.

  313. Hello JMG. I am interested on the “colour revolution” angle because from outide the USA I saw the parallels, also it helps that in my country also suffered something similiar but done by a regional gouvernement.
    I would be grateful if you give me some links/pointer to the deployments of troops, MSA and agencies to counter any coup. I tried to search them myself but I that I was able to get trying various keywords is pieces for other colour revolutions and pieces accusing Trump of trying to establish a dictatorial regime.
    Thanks in advance.

  314. Does the astral body continue on after death and can each life be seen as the process of transforming the astral body from one form into the next form?

  315. Samurai 47, as you’re interested in shops, you can search for ‘cannabis dispensary design’. What you’ll find is pretty much everything Idon’t recommend – emotion and fantasy ahead of practical solutions. What I’ve come to think of as ‘the branding delusion’. Congratulations, capitalism. You just ruined pot.

    The way I mainly think of workroom design is first to get a deep understanding of the work that will be done there. The rest becomes much easier. Authors like John Seddon, W. Edwards Deming, Taiichi Ohno, Shigeo Shingo, and Jeffery Liker give a good understanding of how to figure it out. The other aspect is how one or more people will operate there. A lot of this is free online and the words toy want are ‘human factors’ and ‘crew resource management’. The best book is Under Pressure by Gareth Lock. It’s specific to scuba diving, but the stories are obvious enough to learn the principles. I’ve been on webinars with him and discussed things like the design of control rooms for nuclear submarines. Also the book I mentioned earlier, How Buildings Learn has some great stuff on how imporant flexibility is, and features the best layout I’ve ever seen – ‘cave and commons’.

    To deal with some specifics, if you’re interested in rooms for intellectual work, the first thing that comes to mind is The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel. If you’ve read The Weird of Hali: Red Hook, think of Dr Munoz’s consulting rooms. Now imagine that extended over several chapters, including setting it up. Also things to consider are the room investigative journalists work in from th film Spotlight and the intelligence centres in the original film Day of the Condor and the more recent series Rubicon. Think about what makes them appealing, and what would make them work.

    There are a lot of videos of people in their work rooms of various kinds. Some examples or workshops and machine shops are Pierson Workholding, NYC CNC, Adam Savage One Day Builds, and Bernedette Banner did a two-part video on setting up a sewing room. The series Garage Rehab is a reality tv format, but the reorganisations they do are legit. You can also search for ‘Big-Time Boxes’ to see the monstorous ‘you could live in that!’ toolboxes mechanics build up over their careers.

    A couple of my personal theories. Workrooms seem to extend up the walls and even cross the ceiling. Things like shelves, equipment or tools attached to the walls, even some things hanging from above. This encapsulates the room, making it aesthetically and psychologically distinct from other rooms. Readers here likely have bookcases lining every room, so the effect may not stick out as much to them. 🙂 The ultimate separation though is Biosafety Level 4 labs, that are as much a different world as possible. They’re like a submarine inside a larger building.

    I’m also interested in situations where people are to some extent the product that needs to be processed through multiple rooms. The baths at coal mines have clean and dirty sides. Miners go to one locker room to leave their clean normal clothes. They walk naked to the other room to put on their pitmuck (work clothes). Then they head to the lamp room, another interesting place with huge charging racks full of recharging batteries. On the return journey they leave their pitmuck on the dirty side, have a shower, then change back to normal clothes. If anyone’s doing the LRM and needs a subject to learn they have no need for, may I suggest the history of British colliery pithead baths. 🙂

    I went beyond that and thought about fighting a war from fortresses, and bedraggled soldiers coming in for rest. I thought through the layout of them handing guns needing repair to the armourer, radios and electronics cleaned and put to charge, handing clothes to the laundry, going to the toilet and shower. Decontamination ritual, debrief, maybe go to the physio or do some stretching exercises. Fresh clothes, food in the canteen, relaxing in the lounge, then bed. From trench warfare to a clean warm bed in a few hours.

    I remember you said a while back you were going to try putting a grey water heat recovery system under your shower. How did it go?

  316. Phutatorius, as you were in the military in the Vietnam era, have you ever read Working Class War: American Combat Soldiers and Vietnam by Christian G. Appy? If so, how accurate do you think it is?

  317. JMac-
    I can appreciate your trepidation about the future. These are indeed interesting times we are living in and I mean that in the most Chinese way!😉
    Way back in the 1st decade of this century a good friend turned me on to James Howard Kuntzler’s blog and subsequently his book, “The Long Emergency”. It was quite the Aha! moment for me as so much of what he wrote about I already understood on some level. My first response was (what I imagine to be) a typical North American response: I tried to shop our way to a more resilient post petroleum lifestyle, and I still have the fancy German fermentation crock, the non electric tomato mill, the Amish style laundry wringer, the books, the cookware, the garden tools, etc., etc., etc,. Of course this did wonders for my Husband’s and my overall debt burden.🤦🏽‍♂️
    It took a year or two before I discovered the ArchDruid Report and the writings and musings of JMG. What a lifesaver that was! I began to slowly calm down, trusting that the world wasn’t going to suddenly and utterly become some some Hieronymus Bosch painting come to life.
    We lived and ran a small family flower shop 12 miles from Manhattan in NJ. We closed the business after my husband’s mother died. We had been her live in caretakers for the last 7 years of her life. We sold the flower business and its assets for pennies on the dollar (it was the best offer we could get), despite being a popular and high volume business, we were never quite able to make a profit and each year saw our debt grow. We chose to leave NJ and “retire” to upstate New York for two main reasons: significantly lower costs of living (when we left northern New Jersey- $22,000 per year property taxes for quarter of an acre with residence and retail shop) and proximity to sustainable agriculture for my continued employment. I put retire in quotes because we will need to work for additional income until the day we die.
    The first trade I learned after high school was cooking (Seattle Central Community College had (has?) a first rate two year program), and it is cooking and other food related skills that I continue to rely on. I have always had an interest in where food comes from and how it is prepared, how it lived, how it died. I have managed to parlay that interest into several small part time jobs as well as sharing my skills with as many local farmer/producers as possible for the purpose of building relationships, trust, and friendships in our new home.

    A long way to say: don’t give up, trust your skills and put them to as many uses as you can, find community (and some degree of commonality) and strive to make a place for yourself, and perhaps most importantly, be of as much use to others as you can freely be.
    Kind regards, Courtney

  318. Dear Isaac, thank you for the data point!

    Dear JMG, thank you for historical antecedent! That’s a huge relief, frankly. Certainly I hope that the Populist mages have kept cleaner hands than the PMC mages — which from what I’ve read — seems to be the case.

  319. Hi John,

    Thanks, as always, for this month’s open post….a veritable smorgasbord of interesting opinions and perspectives!

    You’ve commented on numerous occasions “of course the US will have to default on its national debt. Countries do that all the time, and come out the other side intact”. While this is undoubtedly the case, might it not be more accurate to say “intact but devastated”? The degree of devastation and ruin will vary of course, but when the global hegemon goes belly up I imagine it will create shockwaves of pain and misery that will affect millions. The Decade of Default looms before us and it’s going to be a harrowing journey. Working on ‘collapsing before the rush’ and embracing LESS has been extremely helpful but I can’t escape a sense of dread about this gathering storm.

    I also wanted to thank Justin for the link to the Ursula Le Guin article and Tao Te Ching passage. I’ve always admired her work and wonder about your opinion of The Earthsea Trilogy. I remember enjoying it immensely 40+ years ago and might soon revisit it.

    Thanks again for hosting this extraordinary forum and to the superlative commentariat!

    Jim

  320. Berserker, thanks for the book recommendation. I’m sure the library has that one and if not, I’ve probably seen it at the thrift store.

    Stuart, I have written, in a journal (so, by definition, lengthily and complainingly) about it. Not exactly the “form” I’d like.

    Might I also email you to see if there’s any hope for my inner poet in the direction you’re pointing?

  321. @Lady Cutekitten of Lolcat: Thanks for the tip about Bentley Little. He’s now on my reading list.

    On another note though, I don’t really care if King has TDS or not. I like his stories. His politics are his own business and I don’t follow him on social media so they don’t bother me. He has done a lot of good things for the state of Maine where I have family. For instance he is turning his house in Bangor into a trust after he is gone and it will become a writers retreat / research center / sanctuary type deal. It’s kind of the same thing with other artists who get “canceled”. If I like someones music, films, or books, I like them. There are a lot of musicians who act like jerks, writers, actors, etc. It would be nice if they were nice, but I can still enjoy what they make. And he created and funded a non-clear channel / huge radio conglomerate rock ‘n roll radio station for Bangor, which I’ll say, rocks.

    The “cancel culture” could go both ways, so I’m not going to cancel those who say “Orange Man Bad” just cos.

  322. @Pixielated – yes! Great terminology – Millennials and Boomers ARE each other’s shadow. As for Xennials … that the prevalence of the internet made them a hybrid cohort makes extremely good sense. BTW, my father (born 1911) firmly believed in the Social Gospel as well as the teaching of his church (or as an extension of them); and that was originated by the settlement-house-and-modern-education reformers of two generations back.

    We had a similar hybrid cohort after the Civil War: the later settlers of the American Frontier. The ones whose deeds were the plot of a thousand Westerns: the sheriff cleans up a lawless town as the schoolmarm looks on approvingly. Well, except for Gunsmoke, in which the somewhat older sheriff and the local madam (bowdlerized to saloon/dance hall owner) were joined at the hip. And the cattlemen fight it out with the homesteaders. (Cue up “Oklahoma!”)

  323. JMG and Wesley, (if I may)

    Your discussion of karma and free will is fascinating. JMG, your last point about the different perspectives of the personality and individuality reminded me of a couple of analogies from physics where one thing is true of the universe as a whole but false on almost any scale smaller than that.

    For example, as far as we know, the universe is a closed system entropically, but any subset of the universe — for example, Earth — is an open system.

    Perhaps more appropriately, my understanding is that the best estimate of how much energy there is in the universe is that the total is zero: positive energy and negative energy exactly cancel out. (One thing that makes this possible is that how much energy there is in a system, and whether it’s positive or negative, is relative to the frame of reference.) Since matter is a form of energy, obviously this isn’t true on local scales, or else there would be no matter.

    So perhaps something that’s true from the perspective of eternity could very well be false to anyone situated in the flow of time. This suggests a way of stating the genuine occult version of indifferentism more precisely:

    From almost any perspective situated within the flow of time, there will be karma in effect which that perspective cannot account for, and which will therefore be experienced outside of the context in which it is meaningful. Since the perspective of an individual human being is a particularly small one, we can expect that a great deal of karma that affects us will be experienced in this way.

    As a corollary, any attempt to find meaning in those experiences, except in the broad sense of remembering that the universe is bigger than we are and so beyond our accounting, will be foiled by the fact that this is precisely the karma we can’t account for. Insisting that it has some particular meaning — for example, benevolence or malevolence toward us — is thus foolish.

  324. Hi John,

    Would you be able to explain your thoughts on the actual Age of Aquarius and what it actually entails? From my own research, everyone is repeating the same line about this age. That it is an age of science, democracy, human rights, world government, how it is going to lead to a golden age of utopia compared to the previous Piscean age that was basically just one big struggle between good and evil.

    Compared to the mainstream, I actually do not believe the Age of Aquarius entails all of these things and I see a very murky, dark energy coming from it, surprisingly.

    What are your thoughts on what this age could actually lead to? I’d be interested in your thoughts and it might even be interesting if you do share your own wisdom on the astrological ages in a future post as I would be very interested to read them.

    Thanks!

  325. Ben,

    https://blacklivesmatter.com/what-we-believe/?__cf_chl_jschl_tk__=3e04b996088c1f203c66e2bec471ecbc54e3f20b-1598718029-0-AUpVdnt5IxBfUFT6o8h5U0h4F7BbIoKtl1k43cH9bxxOq396nih9Jy-uPlD4PUzA2dsHcykkmzUL_fV771tdd5c4j-yTERzmwsTqRtedDT8JZauaTSap155rbA3t0kakaiXxqZAhWIDnSOxNQj4CABk6-PZK-z0MrI6opDZijithkB5dCbF_3FSPoy0kb2MVNNs4hAnJ2tjM2APnDIFPLQbCtZ12zkLBPKUC27KAroSEcXd1zO3OULFfVoGfDolu1nCWCyDsh9APoeCvkW5lG7g0KHqdZ9nnLqqh8iQwCzwITP75vU-hjpI1tSL1k-Cj35iltPcvrW99ghNYFbOnhyFasqXgIGhDF5I2ljL2wjy8

    We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.

    We foster a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual (unless s/he or they disclose otherwise).

  326. More straws in the wind – as you predicted, John! Courtesy of Dan Daast on the S.M. Stirling fan list, no links provided.

    “In the last week both Palantir and Pinterest have terminated their HQs in SanFran area. Both companies were a giant real estate presense in the Silicon Valley.

    Still anecdotal and local to SF’s role as the center of he tech industry, but a hell of a canary in the coal mine. “

  327. Happy Panda,

    Thanks, I will check out the book. I like Sadhguru and have listened to a number of his talks. I just want to make clear that when I said I want more faith, I am not talking about dogma. Terrence McKenna is even more stringent on beliefs and says every belief system is false.

    I mean faith of the kind that can perform various miracles, such as healing. Faith, a kind of confidence, is a necessary ingredient so far as I can tell.

  328. @Stuart:

    I never watched Buffy. Star Trek was my junk food choice. I know the book because of interest on the subject of fairies; Shakespeare used them in his works (assuming he was actually just one person).

    To be really frank, the only Shakespeare work I read was The Tragedy of Julius Caesar, eons ago. The only parts I remember are “lend me your ears”, “Et tu, Brute?” and the ghost of Caesar appearing. And this because I yelled, “What is a ghost doing outside of the underworld?”, based on the vast knowledge on Greek mythology I acquired reading a version of the Twelve Works of Hercules when I was a child.

    From this, I never touched anything Shakespeare again, because it was “unrealistic bad writing.” That, of course, didn’t stop me from reading everything science fiction I could put my hands on. Only now that I’m older I realize the irony of this.

    My own attempts at writing stories always failed because I noticed, even on science fiction, that the writers ignored parts of reality in almost all stories. So, while I spent a life without writing stories (because this or that cannot be), many people were doing fine. As Shakespeare did, you should use Buffy; never let facts get in the way of a fictional story; this is hard work, and it doesn’t pay off. This works fine, if you have the talent; that’s something I lack.

  329. John, et alia—

    Observations from the field, for what they’re worth. Out and about this morning in my smaller (~11k) Wisconsin city, I was paying attention to yard signage. While this city is modestly “blue” (the county as a whole is very much not), I’m seeing far more Trump signage than Biden, although both are present. This week, a good amount of “Law & Order” signage has popped up. This morning, I saw a new one, though: “All Abourd the Trump Train!” The difference in tone between the two sets of signage is striking.

    As to the broader campaign season, another thought. I don’t know if they’re actually going to go through with it, but there’s been talk of Biden refusing to debate Trump and holding up in DE until Election Day. I can’t see how any seasoned politician can possibly think that to be a successful strategy, but then again, it seems that the Democrats haven’t been thinking straight since something like 2015. You called it “eerie,” John, and I think that’s a very good word for it.

  330. Hi JMG,

    I tried opening the book. Went fine. But inside was the text and pictures from a big old coffee-table book, The Sacred Heart, which is at least 30 years out of print.

    I recommend The Sacred Heart to anyone who can find a copy. It shows photos of common surgeries, knee replacement, hip replacement, bypass, appendix, and so on. If I ever need one of those, they’ll be a lot less scary now that I’ve seen what happens. This was about the time the bypass operation aired on PBS. I was living in the only town in the U.S., Columbus, Ohio, where the bypass wasn’t aired. The station manager had a sissy stomach and decided he was qualified to censor the operation for several hundred thousand people. And there’s at least one medical school in Columbus, at THE Ohio State University. I think Capital University may have, or have had , one too. So those students may have had some passing interest in getting a good clear view of a bypass. PBS has never got a [unDruidly word] dime out of me since, and never will.

    End of digression. I’ll keep trying the suggested technique. And if turns out the Reverend Fastleft is hiding a fun manga behind a serious historical tome—I, the great goddess who created him out of nothing, will not be entirely surprised. 😁

  331. There’s an unexpected opening on my local Borough Council due to a member’s recent resignation before his term is complete. I ran for a seat during the 2019 election cycle, as an independent, and didn’t win a seat but got more votes than expected.

    I’ve done a few Tarot readings on whether or not to put my name in the running for the appointment process to complete the members term. The appointment will be done by the remaining Council members, and the readings have been strongly supportive of at least putting in an application.

    Application materials are due no later than Sept. 8, and I wondered if there is a best planetary day and hour to submit my application.

    A website I found

    http://astrologyclub.org/calculators/planetary-hours/

    suggests that day and hour of Jupiter might be best for political matters.

    Any guidance about how to use this approach for submitting my application is much appreciated.

    I will try putting in my geographic information and different days and times in the form at that site and see if I can learn more.

    Thank you.

  332. @ methylethyl RE: cameron

    I didn’y make the drive to Cameron – the governor closed I-10 as I was on my way to Lafayette. From talking with others in my business, Cameron got the usual – boats blown about, surge water and lots of metal roofing peeled away. It certainly helped that the offshore industry has been all but shutdown for the last year.

    Lafayette didn’t see much – trees downed, electric lines dropped by trees, etc. The people I went to see didn’t even lose power.

    It’s interesting to me that people listen to the media (which at this point are proven to do one thing consistently – lie) and refuse to remember our own history. IIRC, there were zero offshore platforms lost in this landfall. Zero oil platforms lost in Laura, currently being touted as “catastrophic”. We here in the Gulf Coast are the ones best suited to determining if a storm is truly catastrophic or not. If you want hurricane info and reporting, the NYT and similar east coast papers are NOT what to read. Similarly, reporting out of the west coast and Kansas should have ZERO credibility – they honestly only know what they read in other articles written by people outside of the affected zones.News consumption is an art these days – you have to ALWAYS consider the source and their area of expertise and operations.

    If this storm had “been all that and a bag of chips”, then the Isle of Capri gambling boat would not merely have shorn its moorings and been swept into the nearby bridge – it would have been disappeared completely. This has happened previously in Lake Charles, where an entire casino was disappeared.

    It’s so weird to me how people can see the Laura damage and then have zero recall of what a TRUE Cat 4 really does,

  333. Hi Justin,

    I think King is still a good guy at heart, but his TDS ruined his fiction for me because he’d interject it at the most inappropriate times, breaking the spell of the story. I’m hoping that after Trump’s out of office he’ll return to being good old entertaining Uncle Stevie.

  334. Greer said: “The strategy then changed to trying to use the riots to embarrass the Trump administration and slow the rise in his popularity in the African-American community, while scrambling to find ways to make the election inconclusive enough that it will have to be settled by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives.”

    John, I wanted to point out that in a presidential election in the House of Representatives, each state’s delegation gets only 1 vote, no matter the number of representatives. On that basis, it is not a Democratic controlled House.

    Currently in 2019 the Republican’s control 26 delegations and the Democrats control 22, with two tied. If the election gets thrown into the House, Trump would win.

    Now this doesn’t take into account any changes in that distribution due to the 2020 election, since newly elected representatives would be the ones voting, not the previous office holders. Democrats would have to pick up majorities in 4 more states. If they did that, I would argue that they would probably have a big enough turn out for Biden, that he would win the general election.

    (sorry if this has been pointed out earlier, I’m just getting to the comments. delete this if its redundant.)

  335. Hi JMG and all

    Talking as a foreigner (Spaniard), when one see the video of the shooting of Jacob Blake it seems for us it was an execution, of course we are not in your country where everybody and his mother has a AR-15 but the things the police choose do not do and what do seems to indicate very bad habits and an un-professional way to manage the situation avoiding any risks using the easy way to “shoot first and ask questions later”.

    Why the police pointing continuously the gun at 2 meters of Jacob did not choose to shot him in both legs to stop him before open the car door? Or more generally, why is so common in the videos of US police they choose to shot in the body always even if the men is nor armed and not in other lethal parts of the body?

    Why the US police choose to empty the magazine of the gun so frequently, choosing, in this way an almost sure killing of the suspect when it is not require to stop him to be a threat (overkill)?

    If the police saw the man was trying to use a knife inside the car, it is necessary to shoot 7 times to stop the threat or could be better to retreat a bit and use a non lethal force (or shooting)? (the people who were inside the car were the 3 small children of Jacob, they were not at risk, and the poor children were seeing how is father was killed)

    I am not sure if this happens mainly with black people, may be is a general way of managing things in the police in USA, but it remind me Franco’s time in Spain, when the police use brutal force always without any consequence; today even if the people they shot is a dangerous ETA terrorist the police would not dare to do what these US police did in front of the wife and children of Jacob Blake, and I think the same apply to any developed country. Those polices should face murdering charges.

    Anyhow, of course those events are being used by the Democrats for political advantages, and the same things have happened before in all administrations (dems + reps), this kind of things does not arise in few years, and they are very difficult to solve, but rioting is not the best way, because violence make a cause lost legitimacy.

    Cheers
    David

  336. Lady Cutekitten,

    Regarding your linked article by Kirk Durston. I believe I have seen this before. I am quite surprised that he says various cultures have engaged in sexual libertinism many times before. Especially not requiring premarital chastity, which pretty much really means women. How could such a thing have been possible without birth control?

    I also thought pretty much all prior societies were deistic. Perhaps I need to read the book.

    Alas it appears he is onto something. Sexual energy – perhaps it is too fundamental to be squandered. Perhaps it has effects on several planes and aspects of the human being. As I am becoming quite the antifeminist, I have begun to question whether sexual freedom, which has become almost a requirement, makes young women happy at all. I also recently came across something – no reference – about a study that indicates having numerous partners interferes with a woman’s ability to make a strong love attachment a bit more than it does men.

    Another thing I am noticing is that lack of a belief in divinity seems to me to lead to far greater vulnerability to silly leftist propaganda, i.e., philosophies that sound good but don’t work and will lead to human misery.

  337. Thanks, Walt! I’ll be on the porch at oh-dawn-thirty tomorrow. 😁. If I remember I’ll report back in a couple of weeks. If not, and if you remember and are curious, feel free to prompt me. Should I stay up after The Ensolaring even if I’ve been up for the last couple of nights?

    As long as I have you “on the line,” Answer Man, how does a game like BitLife work? It appears to me that it sets up initial situations at random, but that subsequent responses to whatever the player does have a limited number of possibilities. For example, After a few rounds I found I could reliably make a character a zillionaire. Is there a reason for the limited number of counter-responses from the game? Seems to me they could easily be infinite. (I only have time to play the game while in the reading room, or when it’s pouring and I’m in the car waiting to drive up to the store door so Sonkitten doesn’t get soaked while loading, so there may be infinite responses I haven’t seen yet.)

  338. Darkest Yorkshire,

    Thanks very much for the references. I like the idea of processing people through multiple rooms. The coal mine baths are the most extreme example of what in the US residence is called a mud room. I can’t find the reference, but there is an architectural idea that a foyer or mudroom or entry hall is designed so that to get from there to the interior rooms you have to go through an intentionally narrow passageway, which mimics the birth canal. Seems strange that you could be ‘born’ both coming and going, but there it is.

    I live in Massachusetts, and we have cannabis dispensaries popping up everywhere. The early movers made a lot of money, but I suspect that competition will erode away most of the profits over time. A friend of a friend was in the first wave of pot operations in Colorado a few years back and that was his experience. I haven’t been in any of the local shops, but it doesn’t sound like they will leave much building value behind if they close down.

    The grey water reclamation project didn’t work out. I had the perfect opportunity, but the carpenter and plumber I was working with were The Gang Who Couldn’t Shoot Straight. First we spent two weeks chasing down strange sewage smells, then they managed to break a live gas line in the basement which could have turned my house into an inferno of death. After that I just wanted them gone…

    How Buildings Learn is one of the great building books, right up there with A Pattern Language. The idea of flexibility is a tough one because the more specific the programming–i.e. for an industrial control room–the less universal flexibility there is for other uses. This is why I am so interested in stores. Retail stores and restaurant spaces turn over all the time, and future flexibility is almost never considered in the build-out in my experience. The building does eventually learn, but the tuition bill can be very high!

  339. Hello Andy!
    Regarding your possible gluten intolerance… I am no medical expert but humans have been consuming gluten for millennia but the high rate of diseases such as celiac and gluten intolerance seem to me as relatively new phenomenon (within the last 25-30yrs?). I am not suggesting it didn’t occur previously, just that it seems so very much more prevalent nowadays. I ask myself what has changed and I wonder if it isn’t the actual grains themselves.
    I want to be clear that I recognize humanity has been “genetically modifying” plants and animals (especially the ones we like to eat!) Since, well, since we’ve been human. Lately though, oh say in the last 100 years maybe, it would seem we’ve gotten frighteningly good at doing it.
    I would love to know if any studies have been done with gluten intolerant sufferers consuming landrace or ancient varieties of grains instead of modern grains.
    In any event I hope you find a diet that allows you to thrive and feel healthy.
    Cheers,
    Courtney

  340. Because citrus is always relevant…

    Happy International Lemon 🍋 Day, everybody! Serve up the lemon pie and the whisky sours!

  341. I’ve been thinking about the discussion about belief from upthread, by Andrew, Mitch, Markie, methylethyl, Jess, jbucks, JMG and others.

    I don’t want to write a tome about this but I’ve been where some correspondents describe being. Here’s the outline of how I’ve been addressing the question.

    1. You don’t need to believe in the absolute truth of a model for it to be useful. (You might deeply doubt that the stars are affixed to a transparent sphere that rotates around the earth, but you’ll likely still use that model to navigate your ship or aim your telescope.)

    2. Everything we believe or think we know is a model of the world, not the world itself. It’s all stories we construct to explain what we perceive and experience. (The theologies of major religions, the philosophy of science, and occult philosophy all attest this, though they all seem to prefer to mention it rarely.)

    3. Arguments about what is really true or real are actually arguments about which model is the most useful. But that depends as well on what you’re trying to accomplish.

    4. If it’s within your capacity, it’s better to be cognizant of multiple models, and adept at switching between them as circumstances require, than to choose one model to “believe” and defend against all others. (Adages about knowing many stories apply here.)

    5. Notwithstanding #4, there are good reasons to choose one model to focus on and develop proficiency in its use. Can that be done without buying dogmatically into the ultimate truthfulness of that model? I think so, but it appears human nature makes that difficult, or at least, very unusual.

    But, I have to say, more and more, I believe that if there’s an ultimate truth behind all models, the more of them you can hold in your mind, the closer you get to beginning to perceive it.

  342. About mousetraps:
    I can’t find any web-page description of this mousetrap, it’s only on YouTube:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yT2FSq_LGA

    Description: A glass box with two descending sets of of freely rolling cans on axles. The first one descends from the top to half-way down, the second starts at the halfway of the opposite side and lowers under the first. there are ledges to keep the mice from climbing out via the axles or from jumping out.

    It appears to be effective. Of course one could use wood for the box, but would have to be emptied regularly or the critters would obviously gnaw their way out. Sheet metal would be excellent.

  343. I think I was too subtle (and long-winded) in my comments on the recent alchemy post. Trying again:

    Two people who are bot good at spelling can communicate secret messages to each other by making deliberate spellng errors. Trained logicians can do the same by making deliberately bad arguments; this is the key to understanding Aristotle. A good place to start is the Sophistical Refutations and Book 8 of the Topics, which analyse common methods of deception.

  344. I see many similarities between you and Nate Hagens. While I have a pessimistic bent to my being that rubs most people the wrong way, I do engage in what you and Nate have to say about what he terms “the great simplification”, though that comes with a huge caveat for him – that a society wide recognition and effort towards such a project is not about to happen until the SHTF is a bigger way than heretofore. Much like your thoughts about there having to come into being groups who are necessary precursors to living with less so as to be exemplars for the rest of us, so Nate thinks and acts in order to bring these groups together. The following is his July 30, 2020 presentation on the system and system change. For what it is worth; take it or leave it.
    Thanks.

    fbclid=IwAR2DZrHhEi-awOV9NlbxehEvWox90UI8umMhYZV1TVmZeZoX6M_x29HgJFQ

  345. As for UFOs and entities, your recommendations of Jacques Vallee’s book ‘Passport to Magonia’ and John Keel’s ‘The Mothman Prophecies’ are indeed key. Don’t forget John Keel’s two books, ‘Operation Trojan Horse’ and ‘The Eighth Tower’. These were originally meant to be part of ‘The Mothman Prophecies’ but made it too long, so they were published separately. Mr Keel provides his analysis of the phenomena behind the Mothman, etc. – well worth reading.

    I can also thoroughly recommend Richard L Thompson’s ‘Parallel identities’ (originally published as ‘Alien Identities’, though he disliked that title). He compares the elements of the ancient Hindu Vedic texts to modern day encounters with entities and UFOs, then he goes on to analyse and categorise these elements. He is well acquainted with concepts such as ‘subtle energies’. I felt that I had learnt something deep about the multiverse after reading that book.

    I note that the History Channel’s recent ‘Unidentified’ series went in deeper than usual with its vindications of UFOs. Episode 6 of series 1 (series 2 is soon to be broadcast, I understand) gave evidence of underwater UFOs around Sicily. It would be worth revisiting Ivan Sanderson’s 1970s book, ‘Invisible Residents: The Reality of Underwater UFOs’.

  346. @ben, JMG on protests that are many things at the same time:

    I don’t live in the US and therefore don’t try to have an opinion on the BLM protests. My own experience from Brazil may nevertheless illustrate some points (sorry if I have told this story before).

    In June 2013, the federal Workers’ Party government had an approval rating of > 70%. The economy was not great, but unemployment was at record low levels. Cities approved the annual increase in public transportation fares, and a small leftist group in São Paulo started protests for free public transport. People knew public transport was a huge cesspool of corruption and therefore resented the increase, but the protests were nevertheless small (<10 000 people), as all protests had been for decades.

    For unclear reasons, the state governor told the state police to clamp down on the protests in an extremely hard way: rubber bullets cost a journalist's eye, and many people were hospitalized for tear gas. This fueled a counter-reaction, and more than 100 000 people each went on the streets in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. The mayors revoked the fare increase, and all was supposed to settle down.

    Instead, a huge influx of (overtly) unorganized people agreed on "social media" to continue to protest. More than 2 million people went to the streets, without any agreed-upon set of aims. Placards asked for better public health, better public education, protested against the upcoming soccer world cup and (ominously, see below) protested against a measure to put limits on public attorneys' actions.The original leftist organizers left in dismay as they couldn't tell who was behind the protests. I lived in Rio at the time and didn't go to the huge protest because I didn't know who I would be throwing my weight behind. When people were going home after the peaceful demonstration in Rio, the police blocked the only way out and attacked them from horseback. TV reinforced the image of destruction and riots.

    In the federal capital, huge throngs occupied the roof of the Congress and invaded ministeries. The biggest TV network showed, however, on its internet site how one of the most aggressive protestors, after smashing windows and jumping a pool into a throng of armed police officers, appeared to tell them who he was and was released to go on into the inside of the ministery. He was said to be a marine.

    At this point, the only opposition party in the municipal council of Rio made a petition to investigate the corruption in public transportation and in the general spirit of popular uprising managed to cow one third of the assembly members into signing it. Simultaneously, I was one of less than 20 people who assembled in front of the city accountability office to pressure the accountants into investigating this same issue. To our surprise, they also were frightened enough to agree to investigate.

    On the day the assembly instated the investigative committee, hundreds of people including me waited in line to enter the building and accompany the votes. In the line, I met a very strange guy who didn't live in Rio de Janeiro, had a placard protesting the (federal !) law to put limits on public attorneys' actions, and spouted about how great the US are and how all universities in the US are free (!). He asked to become friends on Facebook, and to my surprise he had several accounts which he would delete successively.

    Over the next months, popularity of all office holders (federal, state and municipal) dropped like a stone, protests became smaller, but more violent (with persistent rumors about agents provocateurs), and the federal government hastily approved anti-corruption laws such a whistle-blower law, and fatefully gave up on restricting public attorneys' actions.

    A provincial judge and attorney task force trained by the US DoJ started to investigate corruption in the public oil company Petrobras, using that whistle-blower law, indefinite retention of suspects until they confessed, and leaking of preliminary accusations to the press and TV as their main arms. He appeared on the covers of Time and Newsweek and regularly entered CIA head quarters at Langley.

    The Workers' Party president was narrowly re-elected, but on the following day the losing candidate vowed to block her from governing and in fact managed to do so, with the help of opposition parties, press and TV and the Petrobras investigation, which shut down most of the biggest firms in Brazil. The country plunged into recession. Huge demonstrations in São Paulo were organized by groups who borrowed their names from the original June 2013 protests (e.g. Movimento Passe Livre became Movimento Brasil Livre). We now know they were financed by the Council of the Americas and the Koch brothers. The president was impeached, her vice assumed office, extinguished Petrobras monopoly on oil exploration, exempted foreign oil companies from paying taxes for the next 10 years, sold the successful Embraer company to Boeing, who proceeded to shut down their development division, then sold them off again, and abolished labor regulations.

    The public attorneys and judge who were investigating Petrobras corruption condemned a former Workers' party president and candidate for re-election to prison on flimsy charges, and got 2 billion US$ from the US government do administer as they saw fit. In the aftermath of the political earthquake, an extremist was elected president and immediately chose the judge who had condemned his Workers' Party opponent to be his minister of justice. In May 2020, the president planned to jail all judges on the Supreme Court, but was narrowly dissuaded by the retired generals in his cabinet.

    All of this is to say, nobody fully understands what happened in June 2013, there were many people with many different motives there, and the final outcome was probably not what most of them desired at the time.

  347. @Slithy, David, Rose, JMG, regarding karma (forgive me if this is long…)

    Thank you for sharing those all thoughts; they really do help me understand the concept better. At the same time, this whole discussion is also bringing to light some interesting things at the foundation of my own worldview – basically, ideas so fundamental that it’s very hard for the person who believes in them to notice that they’re there. In short, even though I’ve stopped believing in the literal truth of many Christian myths (i.e. that the Earth is 6,000 years old, or that there is a One True Faith which God wants everybody to join or be punished) I’m still working within a moral/philosophical framework in which the concept of unmerited suffering plays a huge role.

    We have it in the Book of Job: Job lives righteously but still suffers great misery, he and his friends debate the meaning of it all through 35 chapters of Hebrew poetry without reaching any real conclusion and eventually, Job is rewarded for his patience, although the Lord still rebukes him for thinking he is owed an answer.

    Then in the New Testament, Jesus tells his followers not to believe that when something bad happens to somebody else – i.e. a man being born blind, or eighteen people dying when a tower falls on them – that it must be because they somehow sinned. Worldly misfortune doesn’t reflect spiritual unworthiness, and when people are worse off than us, we need to just have compassion on them. At the end of it all, Christ dies on the cross even though he’s the most innocent man of all.

    Now I have come to believe that the upshot of all this is that, through centuries of meditating on these stories and ideas, Christian thinkers have built up a moral framework for understanding the universe in which the suffering of the innocent plays a massive and indispensable role. Which is why the idea that, in the big picture, there aren’t any totally unearned griefs makes my own understanding of the world completely fall apart.

    It undermines free will, since to my mind, free will involves having to choose between influencing the people around you for good or evil, in the knowledge that they might come to harm for no better reason than that you chose poorly. Likewise with the meaning of compassion: Christians are expected to see something deeply wrong with the uneven distribution of suffering in the world, and be moved to do something about it. (The Book of Mormon’s phrasing is, “As ye are desirous… to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light.”) My meta-belief here is that to really grock this, you have to feel deep down that the fact that some people carry burdens that others don’t often reflects no deeper spiritual reality.

    And so forth through the moral lexicon. Intimacy: being in an intimate relationship – parent/child, husband/wife, etc. – means that you will frequently make choices that might cause the other person to suffer, no matter how innocent they are. Justice: protecting the innocent from harm is something that human societies have to work at within their limited abilities, and some do so better than others. And I could do the same with practically every other virtue – to me, they only have meaning in a world where unmerited suffering is real and ever-present.

    I know perfectly well that these aren’t the only ways to define these virtues, and that a strong belief in karma will usually lead a conscientious individual to behave in pretty-much the same ways. Even so, these are the stories that I think with and that millions of Christians have thought with for the last two millennia, which is why the figure of the innocent sufferer appears all over in our philosophy and literature.

    Jesus being nailed to the cross to pay for the sins of his people. A man lying half-dead on the road between Jerusalem and Jericho, where the free choices of three strangers are the only thing standing between him and a pointless death. Job suffering despite living righteously, and eventually being reward for his patience, but never told why he had to suffer in the first place. And so on through a million permutations, which is why these are some of the first archetypes that any scholar of European literature knows to look for when a European writer is trying to make sense of the world in which he lives.

    Over the past year or so I have adopted large pieces of Greerian philosophy for the simple reason that they do a better job of explaining the world around me than the philosophies with which I was raised. When you think about the wild variety of circumstances in which people are born and live, reincarnation makes more sense than final judgment after one lifetime. The Magian idea of a one, true, unchanging religious tradition breaks on the hard rock of the inability of any single tradition to demonstrate either a wealth of spiritual experiences, or accurate knowledge of the past and future, or moral rectitude in its leaders, to a dramatically better degree than the what the competition has to offer. And so forth.

    And yet, with the doctrine of karma, which many people find enlightening or even comforting, I am just left groping about and asking, “But where is the innocent man who suffers for the sins of the guilty???!!!” Because without him, my whole moral universe falls apart.

  348. Not all Dems are completely stupid; Willie Brown, well-known black California politician, wrote an article for the SF Chronicle today titled “Looting in the name of justice will hand the election to Trump.” (That’s a paraphrase.) Since this looting and rioting is so obviously counterproductive, I find myself wondering if there’s some false flag activity going on. In particular, I am reminded of the Russian and Chinese plans to de-stabilize the USA in “Twilight’s Last Gleaming,” a fine novel which I have read and re-read.

  349. @David by the Lake, conservation never really happens, but this time it’ll be forced. Oilman2 can vouch for the fact that the shale boom is now mostly bust and regular oil peaked over a decade ago. Nobody’s noticed because consumption’s so far down. From here on out availability will act as an economic rev limiter, and a consequence of that will be that the capex & maintenance of “renewables” will make them far less economic.

  350. Ramaraj, glad to hear this!

    Your Kittenship, when you do discursive meditation, do you imagine yourself in a place, surrounded by whatever scenery is in that place, and so on? As for the raspberry jam, it wasn’t in my previous lifetime, It was about 1600 years ago, in Roman Syria. As for Fastleft, the trick that I was taught is that you imagine yourself in the exact surroundings you were in during the dream.

    Because Reasons, yes, the ruler of the 5th plus any planets in the 5th would tell you that. As for Uranus, my misunderstanding! Thanks for catching that.

    J.L. Mc12, nope.

    Wesley, I mention Greece in that context purely because it’s an obvious flaw in his argument. I could as well cite Tokugawa Japan, which was pretty much wide open sexually and was hugely creative for very nearly the entire period from 1603 to 1868. The fact that Unwin can find a way to fit such anomalies into his theory, of course, is not a good sign — a theory that can’t be falsified by conflicting data is a rhetorical gimmick, not a valid approach to understanding. You’re also quite correct that strict premarital chastity for young men is extremely rare in human societies, outside of certain religious minorities.

    Gideon, I know so little about what skills you learn as a physicist that I’m not at all sure what to suggest. If you’re comfortable with mathematics, you might consider accounting — that’s a skill in demand in every numerate society. Kings in Dark Age Europe had guys with quill pens who kept their books.

    Synthase, the best one I know is Robin Skelton’s The Shapes of our Singing, but I think it’s out of print.

    Aidan, excellent! These things are much more transient than they look at the time. As for the higher education bubble, yes — and I just learned from a friend, a college professor, that the Pennsylvania state university system is cutting 20% of its faculty, across the board. She’s aware she may lose her job. The end of the bubble may be here. As for California, yep — it’ll be the Rust Belt of 2050, and San Francisco will look like Detroit does now.

    Kelsey, you don’t want friends who tell you to kill other people!

    Jean, your daughter is right. As I just noted to Aidan, the Pennsylvania state university system has just ordered huge layoffs, and more will be on their way.

    Andy, thank you; she’s fine. She cut gluten and cow’s milk products out of her diet and her health improved sharply.

    David BTL, that’s an excellent point.

    KW, weird indeed — and the thought of corporate consultants, the most soulless profession I know of, trying to put soul into soulless corporate jobs is as unsettling as it is risible.

    Neptunesdolphins, I’m suddenly remembering a fine old fantasy story by John Brunner. A paranoid king wants his god, who rejoices in the name Lacrovas-Pellidin-Agshad-Agshad, to destroy the greatest threat to his kingdom. A mysterious Traveler in Black says, “As you wish, so be it” — and of course the statue of Lacrovas-Pellidin-Agshad-Agshad comes to life and proceeds to stomp the king…

    Eases, I’ll see what I can find. I didn’t keep the links at the time.

    SpiceIsNice, no, the astral body dissolves after it’s helped the soul process its memories, and a new astral body takes shape before incarnation.

    Jason, I’ve heard a little about it — thanks for this. The whole critical-theory industry is a steaming pile of horse product and the sooner it gets relegated to the same dustbin of history as, say, Marxism, the better.

    Violet, you’re most welcome.

    Jim W, not at all. Do you recall what happened when Russia defaulted on its debt in 1998? Its period of crisis promptly ended. That’s what usually happens after a debt default. Of course it will require some significant belt-tightening at the federal level, but that’s going to happen anyway — one of the consequences of the populist insurgency that put Trump in office is that many of the payouts to the comfortable classes are now available to be cut.

    Slithy Toves, that’s a great example. Another might be the way that laws of nature that seem hard and fast at the macrocosmic level turn out to be merely statistically true at the quantum level.

    Ksim, the sign Aquarius was traditionally ruled by Saturn, the Greater Malefic; in modern astrology it’s ruled by Uranus, which is also a malefic planet. Most of the pop-culture notions about the age of Aquarius are actually rehashes of Piscean themes — for example, world government and universal human rights are Piscean, not Aquarian. Aquarius is the sign of the eccentric, the iconoclast, the intellectual who cares more about abstractions than about individuals. The age of Aquarius will thus be a time of great divergence among nations and communities; it will be a time of harsh limits (Saturn) and sudden destructive events (Uranus); it will see the emergence of countless odd and self-isolating communities, religious groups, and the like, each following its own idiosyncratic vision. It will be an age of great intellectual achievements that will be very hard for anyone to synthesize into a world picture. Only when pragmatic Capricorn takes the equinoctial place a little over 2000 years from now will these have practical results.

    Patricia M, no surprises there. Thanks for the heads up!

    David BTL, thanks for the data points!

    Your Kittenship, definitely a theme for meditation. 😉

    KW, either Jupiter or the Sun will do very well for this.

    David T, okay, my mistake.

    DFC, the US isn’t a European country and its police don’t follow European customs.

    Walt, all good points.

    Dan, hi to you too. 😉

    Bruce T, Nate and I used to run together on the peak oil conference circuit. I’ll pass on watching the video, though — I don’t do those.

    Malcopian, thanks for this. I cited Prophecies simply because it’s far and away my favorite Keel book. Thanks for the heads up about Thompson’s book — I’ll take a look as time permits.

    Matthias, thanks for this. That’s a great example.

    Wesley, there I can’t help you. I didn’t grow up Christian and the concept of an innocent man suffering for the sins of the guilty plays no role in my moral universe.

    Phutatorius, good question. I’d wondered, back before Democratic mayors and governors started pandering so openly to the rioters, whether the Chinese were helping to fund and foment the riots.

  351. Not sure about specific police departments, but as a general rule, if the situation is serious enough that you feel you need to open fire, you continue to fire until your man is down and not moving or until you empty your gun, whichever comes first. Shooting the guy in the leg may also be fatal, and it’s Hollywood stuff. You’re frightened, adrenaline is flowing—you’ll be lucky to hit him at all.

    A guy with a street degree once said in my hearing, during a show where the hero deliberately shot the bad guy in the leg to subdue him, “The only way any real person ever got shot in the leg was by accident.” 😄

  352. DFC,

    This varies on a state to state, county-to-county basis but generally speaking police in the US are taught to aim center mass, and unload their magazines. Standard for my county is 14 hours of range time, no real martial combat training, and about 7-8 hrs of deescalation training. The deescalation training amounts to sitting through several lectures.

    Most departments also don’t have continuous psychological and physical reassessment. The archdruid mentioned above that one of the main ways for police to die in the US is for a suspect to get the officers weapon and turn it against them. That’s because a fair portion of officers are physically unfit, and very few have actual martial arts training. Most departments don’t have a requirement for officers to take martial arts classes, and don’t provide them in station.

    There’s also the fact that dead suspects can’t really argue back.

    Regards,

    Varun

  353. Hi JMG,

    What religion did you grow up in? My dad was an atheist and my mom was a nominal Baptist, although she paid no attention to religion until *sigh* “social issues “ started heating up. About once a year she’d say “I should start to church” and that would be it till next year.

    My problem with discursive meditation is I mainly think in words. It took me years to be able to do even simple kata because I had such a hard time visualizing a training partner.

  354. @Gideon,

    I finished my bachelor’s in physics in 2017. Back then, I was still under the influence of the Myth of Progress, and conceived of my role in terms of what I could do to make things like space colonization a reality. My abandonment of that intellectual framework since then came in several steps, viz.

    1) Admitting that Elon Musk’s plan for a Mars colony is full of holes big enough to drive a cybertruck through.
    2) Realizing that the real economic output of the United States has been declining since at least the 1990s, so we won’t be following up the current generation of NASA missions with even bigger and better ones.
    3) Convincing myself that no place in outer space has anywhere near the amount of resources that would allow a human colony to sustain itself independent of support from Earth, where the supply chains for the tech that keeps the astronauts alive would involve hundreds of laborers per astronaut.

    The upshot is that, by now, while I still have a positive view of space exploration as a scientific pursuit, I also have a much more limited view of the role it can play in the human experience. Perhaps, on the far side of the long descent, there will be a civilization that sends a few dozen or hundred scientists to Mars to search for fossil life, but the men involved will know that they’re just adventurers on a dangerous journey, not the first generation of a grand new interplanetary empire.

    As for what to do with a physics degree in the long descent: my own plan is to go on to get a doctorate and eventually teach physics. I intend to do this at a small university, not a prestigious, head-in-the-clouds institution where producing cutting-edge (i.e. diminishing returns) research is the order of the day. My work would instead consist of maximizing the number of young people with a good, broad, knowledge-base in practical and applied physics. If I could get away with it, I would make my students do things like take exams with slide rules and build homemade radios as a final project in Intro to Electromagnetism.

    This career plan is predicted on two things: 1) My belief that a smaller, albeit still functional university system will probably be around for the rest of my lifetime, and 2) My own talent for teaching.

    If your talents are different, then you’ll probably want to find a different career. I recall that our host has, at times, listed technologies that it would be a good idea to learn and preserve, such as letterpress printing, amateur radio, and computerless mathematics. If I could make my own addition to the list it would be glass-blowing. It’s easy to overlook the huge role played by glassware in making the scientific revolution possible, but from spectacles to telescopes to microscopes to Erlenmeyer flasks to vacuum tubes to X-ray tubes, it’s all there. And learning how to make that stuff outside of big industrial supply chains could be the key to making sure that physics holds onto its place as a practically-useful branch of knowledge.

  355. And …a quote from the Guardian’s article listed above…” a series of parks that can become lakes during storms.” We have one of those in the retirement community where I live. Between the road and the fence, there is a large, green, sorta bowl-shaped lawn which collects the excess rainfall and overflow from the ‘lake’ (large duck pond) on our side of the fence and sidewalk around the lake. The water birds that hang around the lake also gather in the overflow lawn when they please.

    Oh, and food news from The Village – they are starting an herb garden in Dining Services, and have changed their produce delivery from Jacksonville – a large city 2 hours away by car – to right here in Gainesville, and are trying to get as much of our food as they can locally. Three cheers! Even if their taste in redecorating runs a bit too heavily to plastic, and digitization.

  356. “Aquarius is the sign of the eccentric, the iconoclast, the intellectual who cares more about abstractions than about individuals. The age of Aquarius will thus be a time of great divergence among nations and communities; it will be a time of harsh limits (Saturn) and sudden destructive events (Uranus); it will see the emergence of countless odd and self-isolating communities, religious groups, and the like, each following its own idiosyncratic vision.”

    Hmm, this got me thinking… A few random thoughts…

    I’m someone who sort of fits this description. I absolutely love abstractions, and probably spend more time with my abstractions than I do with people…

    The real Challenge for the Aquarian intellectual then, is to constantly find activities that ‘ground’ them.

    I have caught myself caring more about abstractions than people. Its a challenge of mine.

    I do also notice how I’m someone who is much more drawn to my own, culture, my own ancestry than being a believer in a world culture.

    Challenges for an Aquarian intellectual…

  357. Lady Cutekitten, 28 August 2020 at 3:53 PM, responding to https://www.kirkdurston.com/blog/unwin, posed “Why Sexual Morality May be Far More Important than You Ever Thought”, Kirk Durston’s notes on Oxford social anthropologist J.D. Unwin’s 1936 book Sex and Culture, for our reflection.

    Here’s a suggested alternative to Unwin’s pre-nuptial and post-nuptial sexual restraint categories: Before any sexual or romantic relationship, that one commit, before God, to being, throughout the entire remainder of one’s life, loving and edifying to that person.

    A little imagination may immediately disclose difficulties inherent in this suggestion.

    One possible basis for reasoning about these difficulties may be to consider parent-child relationships. One usually considers a parent’s regard for her/his child to be of unqualified and life-long love, affection, and support, and one’s child is always in the parent’s fond and heartfelt prayers. This quality of relation would seem to provide the depth and strength of mutual caring and concern which would be foundational to the flourishing of cultures Unwin recognizes as of profound and enduring value.

    Our dear host, among many others, is only too painfully aware of the personal and cultural cost imposed by failures of such family fondness and commitment. I raise such an example only in support of my suggestion that such relationships might serve as useful models for how very fond and devoted sexual or romantic relationships, honored before God, and lived throughout one’s life, might, again, serve as strong foundations for the cultures Unwin (and we all) seek.

    Thank you again, friend Cutekitten!
    Sincerely,
    William Allen

  358. Onething,

    “As I am becoming quite the antifeminist, I have begun to question whether sexual freedom, which has become almost a requirement, makes young women happy at all.”

    As JMG as said many times, the opposite of one bad thing is usually also a bad thing. There certainly plenty of young women (some of whom I have known), of whom trying to restrain them sexually would be an utter waste of time. That said, there is probably something in the stereotype that men are overall more inclined to want more sexual freedom.

    The problem that I think modern feminism was initially trying to address was the polarization of the sexes. While for example, men may on the whole want more sexual partners than women, there are always large minorities who are the exception. Similarly, there are plenty of Women who would do a far better job of fighting in the army than I ever would!

    What’s happened of course, is the replacement of one polarization (total chastity until your married! if not you’re a sinner!) to another (have as much sex as you like, whenever you like! and if you don’t you’re a sinner!)

  359. Wesley,

    Regarding free will and reincarnation. I think it is important to understand that reincarnation does not mean that there is no innocent suffering. You might think of a series of incarnations as not completely different from the ongoing issues of one life – just with more continuance.

    On one level, none of us are guilty and all are innocent. We are in this maelstrom to learn.

    A person goes through life and does wrong and stupid things, and the blowback from this comes in the same lifetime. If you think on this, you will see that it works rather automatically. An angry attitude gets different responses from people than a kind one. If you like and ruin your reputation, lack of trust from others will keep doors closed. Likewise, being cheerful and helpful causes people to want to help you when you need it. Does this negate free will?

    Jesus may have told people not to focus too much on the idea that if a man is born blind it is not necessarily the case that someone sinned. This is very good advice. People in their immaturity and scapegoating only make people feel guilty and bad with no idea why. There can be various reasons why a soul chooses a difficulty and it can be because they want to use the situation to gain strength and virtue. They might choose innocent suffering!

    But it is also important to note that even if the beggar child was a thief in a previous life, they are an innocent child in this one. That’s kinda the point. Using a belief in karma to justify lack of compassion is a spiritual pitfall and is incorrect.

    An early death may also be planned. The soul may be done and may not have wanted the usual long dragged out life. It is the people who remain that suffer, not the one who dies. And that may be their lesson, too. You seem to think that unless the person who suffers is innocent (is anyone innocent?) that it negates the free will of the one who did them harm. I can’t quite wrap my mind around why you think that. Actually I think that the universe is more of a complex tapestry than that. I think karma and reincarnation are always accomplishing multiple goals for multiple players at a time.

    Of course Christians should be motivated by compassion to relieve suffering in the world. Remember, the way to stop cruelty is to stop it, not gain vengeance. The way to stop being racist is to stop it, not obsess over it. Otherwise, you perpetuate the cycle of sin and karma. It’s not about a perpetual scorecard, but clearing the scorecards.

    But as to where is the innocent man who suffers for the sins of the guilty, wouldn’t that be Jesus?

  360. Archdruid,

    Well I guess alls forgiven then. You probably posted up the metal album and I just missed it.

    By the way, I’m not sure I entirely agree with your response to Violet about what happens to magic users who get into politics.

    Historically magic users played an incredibly prominent part in the political process. In India for example the advisor to the First Mauryan emperors was a man named Chanakya Niti, who was a well respected Tantric practitioner. He practiced his tradition all the way until his death. Similarly, wasn’t the legendary Merlin also an advisor to the king and deeply involved in the political process of his kingdom?

    It would seem that intent is the key here. If a person starts their magical practice with the intent of using it to enter or alter the political process, then it would make sense that once their goal was accomplished that they would lose the interest in continuing their practice. After all the intent of learning the magic can itself be seen as a spell to accomplish a goal, and once the goal is accomplished the spell ends.

    If a person starts learning magic with the intent of improving themselves and raising up their consciousness, and in the process also becomes involved in the political process due to Karma and Dharma, then it would seem that their interest would remain after the disengage with politics.

    Intent isn’t a state, it’s a process unto itself.

    Regards,

    Varun

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  362. @JMG said, Wesley, there I can’t help you. I didn’t grow up Christian and the concept of an innocent man suffering for the sins of the guilty plays no role in my moral universe.

    So noted! I suppose it is just one of those things that are so basic to one’s worldview that one doesn’t notice it until one comes into contact with a worldview that doesn’t include it, and even then it takes a while to nail down what your core assumptions really are; i.e. the sort of phenomenon that Spengler would have a heyday with.

    Now, I can already wrap my mind around some of the manifestations of karma that you’ve talked about, such as a relationship between two people repeating itself in a future life so that an act of benevolence can be returned, or the act of suicide creating a pattern of giving in to despair that will not soon go away.

    Perhaps I should look more into the writings of Christian esotericists like Dion Fortune and Rudolf Steiner? If I understand correctly, you’ve said that Fortune’s belief was that the Powers intended each religion to have a certain number of adherents so that the “tracks in space” they left by practicing that religion would affect the collective spiritual development of mankind. If so, then having billions of people worship a God who was crucified for other men’s sins is going to need to have had some sort of big impact on the direction of moral philosophy.

  363. There has been as you say a religion of progress, particularly technological progress, for a long time. In my opinion, it has been particularly pronounced over the past decade. I have started to see signs of increased wariness as we enter a new decade. There is even a new Hollywood cartoon that satirizes the dangers of technophilia coming out (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Connected_(2020_film)).

    If the days of higher ed and tech dominance are numbered, it would have radical implications on the future of politics and culture. You have probably seen British journalist Ed West’s proclamation that cultural conservatism in the UK (and the Anglosphere generally) is dying, citing in particular its marginalization in the arts and higher education (https://www.amazon.com/Small-Men-Wrong-Side-History/dp/1472130820). However, a generation before West, another prolific conservative writer also foresaw a future where cultural conservatism would be in grave danger. That man was paleoconservative American thinker Samuel Francis.

    A few posts ago, I provided this blog with some brief descriptions of Francis (https://americasfuture.org/the-castaway/) and how, as an aide to the Pat Buchanan campaign of 1996, prophesized the basis for a successful populist right that could capture middle and working class America for the GOP (https://theweek.com/articles/599577/how-obscure-adviser-pat-buchanan-predicted-wild-trump-campaign-1996). He also, around the same time, prophecized the rise of the woke left and woke capitalism.

    In a 1996 speech, Francis laid out the basis for why he believed cultural conservatism, particularly that of “Euro-America”, was in danger. He fingered out, as the main culpret, the rise of a new elite, the “knowledge elite”. While it is true that the cultural left dominates the arts and higher education, as Ed West says, the cultural left has possessed an edge in these fields for centuries (although it has grown more strident in recent decades). What’s different in my and Francis’ view is the knowledge elite.

    I know you are not a fan of YouTube videos Mr. Greer so I will summarize Francis’ main points and provide the link at the bottom [1]. He begins by noting how most elites in history have been conservative be they aristocratic land-holders or bourgeois industrialists. Whatever one may say about the abuses of these elites over the common people, they were still rooted in local materials, locations, resources, and, yes, people. Hence, they had a vested interest in preserving the societies where they are located, to a degree. These elites prided themselves as being “flagships” for localities, municipalities, regions, nations, etc. The new elites, the knowledge elites in information technology and education, were (and are) not conservative. They benefit and profit from being strongly anti-conservative, by promoting continuous societal change. He notes,

    “Traditional institutions can be depicted not only as “unequal” and “oppressive” but also as “pathological,” requiring the social and economic therapy that only the “knowledge elite” is skilled enough to design and apply. The interests of the knowledge elite in managing social change happen to be entirely consistent not only with the agendas of the hard left but also with the grievances and demands of various racial and ethnic groups that view “racism” and “prejudice” as obstacles to their own advancement, so that what we see is an alliance between the new elites and organized racial and ethnic minorities to undermine and displace the traditional institutions and beliefs of white Euro-American society, which just happen to be the power centers of older elites based on wealth, land, and status. This process of displacement or dispossession is always described as “progressive,” “liberating,” or “diversifying,” when in fact it merely helps consolidate the dominance of a new class and weaken the power and interests of its rivals.”

    Regarding higher ed,

    “Furthermore, what this understanding of the real meaning of [cultural] egalitarianism leads to is that when we see university deans and presidents “caving in” to the demands of the hard left, they are not really displaying traits of weakness and appeasement. Universities are the breeding grounds of egalitarianism and its applications to society by the elites, and hence they occupy a special and strategic place in the functioning of the system. If the ideology of [cultural] egalitarianism were abandoned, many of the functions that universities now perform in the way of research and much of what their faculties do in designing egalitarian social programs and therapy would become obsolete. When the universities “cave in” to the left, therefore, they are simply pursuing their own interests, which are to preserve the political ideology of egalitarianism intact and suppress or silence those who dissent from it, and they are in fact behaving like any elite, like the French aristocracy of the 18th century, for example, when it punished Enlightenment writers who challenged aristocratic ideologies.”

    Sounds quite prophetic, doesn’t it! The knowledge elite benefit in no way by preserving anything about our societies. They are a post-industrial, post-material, post-modern, post-national, and increasingly post-human elite! The likes of which have never been seen in human history (even Marxism was centred on historical materialism)

    Indeed, a recent study of political allegiances of American elites speaks for itself.

    https://i2.wp.com/areomagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Lorenzo-1.png?w=1200&ssl=1

    The most conservative on the spectrum are agriculture (3.5C) and mining (4.1C) both of which predate the industrial revolution and are intensely rooted sectors with little patience for post-national cosmopolitanism (agriculture depends on local soils and climate; mining depends on rooted raw materials). Moving left, slightly conservative sectors include Building and Construction (2.3C), Oil, Gas & Coal (2.2C), and Tobacco (1.4C) all of which remain centred on rooted, materialist values. In the middle are Hedge Funds & Private Capital (0.5C), Real Estate (0.3C), Banking and Finance (0.1C), and Lobbyists (0.6L). Slightly Liberal Sectors include Automotive Manufacturers & Dealers (1.9L), Law (2.8L), and Pharmaceuticals (2.8L), all of which are more cerebral and tradeable sectors. Finally, all of the sectors that deal mainly with knowledge are VERY Liberal: Newspapers & Print Media (5.9L), Online Computer Services (6.1L), Academia (6.9L), and the Entertainment Industry (7.1L).

    One can see a clear pattern, the more post-materialist and non-rooted the elites are, the more likely they are to embrace “woke” pathologies to justify their predation. In particular, opposition to “whiteness” (to go along with post-national values) and “masculinity” (to go along with post-material, post-industrial values – Construction, Factories, and Mining are dominated by icky Fred Flinstone types who keep their wives barefoot and pregnant).

    The question for the future of ideology is whether the influence of the cerebral, post-material, post-national sectors will continue to grow in the future or whether their days are numbered. We will then see in Francis and West are right or not.

    [1] – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmGI_gswABw

  364. Dear JMG & Community:

    I’ve been intrigued by some of the things you’ve said about your personal reincarnation memories in responses to other people posting in your threads. I personally had a dream about two decades ago in which I was an aging male in 17th or 18th century garb. I knew, somehow, that my wife was deceased. I had two young children, a boy and a girl, that I was struggling terribly to care for. My children and I were very poor. In the dream, I visited a small store and my son indicated that he admired a wooden horse figurine while I was buying what I guess was flour. I did not have enough money to buy both the flour, which we needed in order to eat, and the toy. I wanted desperately to purchase the horse toy for my son and, at this point, I woke up, bolt upright in bed, tears streaming down my 20-year-old childless face, in my parents’ house, having just come home from my sophomore year of college. I was reaching out to take my children into my arms, and I could not understand where I was and why they were not with me. It took several minutes for the feelings of that dream to diminish and, though I can sometimes tell the story of it without being moved, at other times I break into sobbing and crying. Until I had this dream, I never took the idea of reincarnation very seriously. Now, of course, I do.

    In this life I’ve routinely struggled with powerful negative emotions. I’ve gone through several rounds of depression and have experienced panic and anxiety consistently since I was a young child. I also have a diagnosed case of OCD which alternatingly expresses itself as hypochondria and what is sometimes called “responsibility OCD”–terrible fears I may have done or not done something that might somehow hurt somebody, with the compulsion of running the matter over and over again through my head, litigating and relitigating the issue, attempting to anxiously discern—without success—whether or not I am guilty. This has sometimes expressed itself as classic scrupulosity.

    I often get the feeling that I suffer this anxiety and depression and OCD because of some old karma I do not remember. I’ve done a lot of therapy. I’ve taken and still do take psychopharmaceuticals managed by a psychiatrist. I’ve read a lot of self-help books. I’ve studied psychology myself. Then, on top of it, I’ve sought out relief and insight beyond the boundaries of modern psychotherapy and psychopharmacology in the realms of mysticism, the occult, magic, and religion. I am functioning, and doing better than in earlier years of my life, but I often feel I could be doing much better. The problem for me is, since I already struggle with “responsibility OCD” I cannot tell whether there may actually be something to my feeling that my issues are karmic or whether I’m just dealing with OCD again. That’s why I guess I had to tell you all of the above.

    First off, do you think these issues might be karmic?

    And… how can we clear karma if:

    a.) We aren’t even sure if we are dealing with karma in the first place.
    b.) The karma is from a lifetime we do not remember and are not identified with (which feels like we’re paying the price for someone else’s behaviors altogether).
    c.) The pain from the karmic cost is actually causing us to engage in more karmic debt-producing behaviors (In earlier years, I spent a lot of time consuming alcohol and self-medicating related to the symptoms listed above… which was accompanied by its own problematic outcomes, though I’ve stopped self-medicating now).

    I sincerely appreciate any responses to the above. Thank you very much for your time.

  365. Wesley:
    My aunt and I have been working on some family genealogy on our paternal grandfather’s side which has required picking through birth, marriage, and death documents from the former East Prussia, land which was ceded to Poland and Russia after WWII and the ethnic German population, including our family, subsequently displaced. We discovered several things, most surprisingly that there were a tremendous number of out-of-wedlock births. We’ve joked that nobody in our family was legitimate until the 1920’s. Not only were illegitimate births common, but these children were recorded on civil documents just like children born to married couples, so their existence does not appear to be something hidden in the way it was in other places where unmarried pregnant women were hustled off to mother and baby homes and everything was hush-hush.
    As a bonus, we’re also getting to be really good at deciphering old pre-war German handwriting.

    Re: the implosion of higher education
    There have been lots and lots of reports of collapse in colleges and universities with the attendant lay-offs of academics, but it’s mind boggling that some of these same institutions are concurrently hiring more administrators in the diversity and grievance departments, which makes absolutely no sense to me. Is this happening at the universities the previous commenters are familiar with? It almost looks like the last gasp of critical theory and identity politics trying to hold on as long as they can.

  366. @Oilman2

    Haha! You do not have to tell me about believing the media, re: hurricanes. We watched the news after Michael (Which was definitely at least a 4, and was officially declared a 5 after the fact, but just barely). The national media mentioned it two or three times, and then forgot we existed as the next shiny disasterthing came along.

    …which means I now get all my hurricane reports by trying to find firsthand pictures and video from residents of the area, on Twitter. It’s hit-and-miss, but it’s far more reliable than the official news. Thanks for the word about Cameron. We were worried.

  367. Kevin, I violated my oaths as an initiate of the Mysteries, and for a completely stupid and tawdry reason. Not a good plan.

    Your Kittenship, I grew up in a nonreligious household — not so much atheist as apathetic.

    Patricia, funny. Yes, he gets one thing right. Thanks for the Grauniad article — if even they’re capable of grasping that point, there’s hope.

    BB, good. Challenges are helpful.

    Varun, that’s a valid point. Egyptian pharaohs also had substantial staffs of priests trained in magic. I wonder if the difference is the cultural acceptance of magic in ancient Egypt and traditional India, as distinct from the modern West.

    Wesley, you should certainly read Fortune’s Mystical Meditations on the Collects, which is the most Christian of her books. Steiner? Yes, probably, him too.

    Aidan, thanks for this. It’s a solid analysis, and interfaces very well with my take on historical cycles.

    Saltines, yes, this sounds like the hangover from a really difficult past life; I have memories of a life that was very similar in some ways. As for clearing karma, suffering is the most basic way of doing that, and the one that’s foundational to insight and action, which are the other ways of doing it. The feelings of terrible guilt that flail around looking for something to attach themselves to, because the event that gave rise to them was in a previous life — yeah, I’ve been there.

  368. @Justin Patrick Moore:

    For some reason, I can’t get into Stephen King. It’s like there’s a glass barrier between me and whatever sentiment he’s trying to cultivate. I liked some of his Dark Tower books, and The Eyes of the Dragon, but mostly I’m just left feeling flat by his stuff.

    I do like China Mieville, though, despite my growing disagreements with his Marxism. The guy knows how to write a good weird story.

    As for horror in general, I have a certain fascination with it, but it’s like eating spicy food – I’ll do it as a test, not because I enjoy it in any standard way.

    As for libraries, we don’t keep multiple copies of the same book, we’re too small. In general, I’m trying to think of ways to prepare for a future where the internet is seldom seen, while everyone around me keeps investing their hearts and minds in a digital future.

  369. JMG, your family sounds like mine. My dad wasn’t a real atheist, he was the misnamed American version—hated organized religion. (The Reverend Mom believes “organized religion to be an oxymoron. 😄. I wonder if the Pope feels that way?)

    It seems to me that you should have earned enough niceness points to at least make a dent in your ancient faux pas?

  370. @Lady Cutekitten,

    “Thanks, Walt! I’ll be on the porch at oh-dawn-thirty tomorrow. 😁. If I remember I’ll report back in a couple of weeks. If not, and if you remember and are curious, feel free to prompt me. Should I stay up after The Ensolaring even if I’ve been up for the last couple of nights?”

    Excellent! May you be rewarded with the finest of dawn sights and sounds.

    It’s best to then stay up through the day, IF you can do so safely. (Consider whether you’ll be operating the proverbial heavy machinery. Driving while sleepy is undruidly dangerous to yourself and others.) That way you’re helping prepare yourself to fall asleep earlier in the evening. If you have to nap, do it in the early afternoon and set an alarm to limit the time to an hour, or ninety minutes.

    I was going to say don’t take any caffeine after noon, but many people are addicted to caffeine enough to suffer withdrawal symptoms, and you don’t want that to get in the way of what you’re trying to do. I’ll say, instead, don’t take any “extra” caffeine to try to counteract sleepiness.

    The transition shouldn’t take weeks. Allow up to a week, but expect noticeable changes day to day.

    I’ll submit a reply to your computer game question tomorrow, after I get some sleep myself! (I was tempted to say it’s a good subject for meditation, but it’s really not. Or maybe it is. Whether it is or isn’t a good subject for meditation would be a good subject for meta-meditation. Or maybe not. If you start writing or speaking like this paragraph, you’re too sleepy to operate heavy machinery.)

  371. >> I violated my oaths as an initiate of the Mysteries, and for a completely stupid and tawdry reason. Not a good plan.

    Does this mean that the karmic blowback was agreed to in the oath as a penalty for violation (as in, “if I do this thing, then let this other thing happen to me”), or that the act of violation itself had impacts which caused enough suffering to merit that much blowback (as in, the power or secret was misused in a way that caused massive amounts of harm)?

    And how does that relate to modern oaths? I didn’t end up practicing the CGD, but I got the book to check it out, and remember thinking that there were some details of the oaths that I’d want to ask about if I decided to pursue it, because I wasn’t sure exactly what was implied–they’re worded clearly, but there’s enough ambiguity in language that I still had questions.

    Or something like oaths in Freemasonry. Would breaking those have similar implications?

  372. If you have mice, the best solution is a cat, Rat terriers work but from what I tell don’t provide the passive defense that cats do. They’ll catch and kill them but mice aren’t afraid of the smell.

    Also my usual opinion on Twitter is roughly “What does a potter make? ” “Pots’ So what does a Twitter make?” however I’m still going to do the near unthinkable and recommend a Twitter called Wrath of Gnon.

    Its about traditionalism, architecture, older ways of doing things and building stuff for actual people instead of ahem cough cough brutalism to satisfy the whims of sadistic nutjobs.

    They are quite hip to catabolic collapse and at least at some point used to read The Archdruid Report as they quoted our host back in a 2015.

    Now re: The political situation. The thing that should amaze me but doesn’t is the pure amount of lack of self knowledge and projection on the part of the Left even more than the Right. I’ve found that understanding how people think and will probably act while doing my best to not project , makes life much easier and deals out so much negativity without leaving one vulnerable to the bad people out there.

    Also neptunesdolphins, you really should get the facts first (it may well be self defense in the kids case ) and more importantly try not to be the thing you hate. Both are vital if you are working magic, the first to make it work and the later to help keep you from frying yourself.

    Anger and hate tend to attract bad stuff into your life and some hungry boys out there on the Lower Astral are happy to wreck anyone doing workings in that state of mind, if backlash doesn’t get them first.

    Finally, thanks to our host for indirectly helping me out with some lore. His mentions of lemures helped me figure out what was going on and to deal with a very nasty situation. Much appreciated,

  373. BB, and JMG, the interesting thing about the Aquarian age is that I am myself a person who is rather unsuited for collectivism; my interests are rather idiosyncratic and I wonder if there is something afoot with being born into the right astrological age, so to speak. The interesting thing is that Piscean universalism has its weird sides, too; besides the forms of Piscean universalism that all of us have encountered in our lives, there are some other movements, like the movement for a universal auxiliary language, which began with the writings about a philosophical language by Dalgarno and Wilkins in the 17th century and which was in the process of petering out during the last half of the 20th century. This movement has had its wirdos and abstruse thinkers, and quite a bit of Piscean millenarism.A prediction that is easy to make is therefore that in the Aquarian age, post-industrial civilizations won’t see equivalents of Zamenhof (Esperanto) and J. M. Schleyer (Volapük).

    And the properties of the Aquarian age are in stark contrast to many of those that the current internationalist, left-wing elite class holds. Typical ideas of the left like “What if every city practised doughnut economics?” (Resilience.org) and similar things then will be even more unsuccessful in accordance with the characteristics of the Aquarian age than they were without.

    A while ago it occurred to me that Druidry is the perfect example of an Aquarian religion / philosophy: the weirdness, the intellectual side and the many small and diverse groups are all there.

  374. JMG and all,
    I’ve just finished reading “The Power Worshipers” by Katherine Stewart (who also wrote “The Good News Club”). It is a very well researched investigation of the impact of Christian Nationalism on contemporary American politics. Notice I did NOT say Christian Religion or Fundamentalist Christianity. The book is about how a very well organized group of people with heaps of money are using aspects of Christianity and organizing evangellical churches for a political agenda which includes long-term converting the USA to a Christian theocracy.
    The current Secretary of Education is a member of the group and one medium-term goal is to take control of the US public schools, replacing them with religious charter schools which have Govt funding. This group rejects the notion of separation of church and state and portrays the US as a “Christian Nation”.
    They are incredibly well organized, keep data bases on the membership of thousands of churches. Pastors of these churches are regularly sent information on specific congreation members who can be worked on to vote for persons and policies the group approves, at local, state and federal level. The group supplies free “information” packets to pastors to be used to target swing voters.
    Here’s alink to Stewert’s site:
    https://katherinestewart.me/books/the-power-worshippers/
    This is not a wacko “hidden” conspiracy theory; its well documented and out in the open. Check if a public school near you has a “Good News Club” which targets primary school kids.

  375. @Grape Juice & Saltines:
    You can consider creation as “entropic energy” and karma as the dissipation returning to a balanced state; unfairness will occur, but over time, it will “return to a state of equilibrium”.

    I like to compare creation with matter and energy, because as above, so below; the spiritual echoes the physical, and vice-versa. As matter, you can say that creation fills a vacuum of all possibilities; for these to happen, it is necessary to “suffer all things, live all things, endure all things, enjoy all things”.

    This can be viewed as very impersonal and automatic, even with all the life that is and arises from this lack of balance. No movement, in a static universe, is death.

  376. @Dirk

    I think you are letting mainstream media program you with those falsehoods.

    So Trump is worse than anything the Democrats have done? Okay but are you sure your sources are accurate?

  377. If this has been posted already by another person, I apologize.

    Here is an article in the Rolling Stone magazine earlier this month (August 6) by Professor Wade Davis, suggesting that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the downward slope of the USA. He lahttps://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/latenightlive/the-end-of-the-american-era/12597368ys out a bunch of examples of this process in motion going back a ways. Ties in well with what JMG has been saying through the years and has been discussed both here and on the earlier Archdruid Report blog:

    “The Unraveling of America: Anthropologist Wade Davis on how COVID-19 signals the end of the American era”
    https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/political-commentary/covid-19-end-of-american-era-wade-davis-1038206/

    And here is an interview with Prof. Davis that was conducted by Phillip Adams of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. This interview is 53 minutes (although it deviates about two-thirds into the program for about 10 minutes or so on Prof. Davis’ studies in Central America):
    https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/latenightlive/the-end-of-the-american-era/12597368

    Prof. Wade is an anthropologist at the University of British Columbia. Although born in Canada, he became a naturalized American citizen when he married into an America family (which is also talked about some in the interview), but is now back to teaching in Canada, so has his perspectives in both worlds. (Warning: this article and interview are from a left perspective that may not agree with many currently reading JMG’s Ecosophia blog.)

    Kevin Anderson, K9IUA
    (the other Kevin who doesn’t post very often)

  378. A random thought that came to me re limits & meaning while I was contemplating a neighborhood tree in the golden morning sunlight:

    Consider a gang of kids in a vast open field. It is only once the field-of-play is limited (this is in-bounds, that’s out-of-bounds) that a ball game can be played. Meaning is derived from the limitation.

    On a completely different topic, I have decided that 2021 will be the year I write that gothic novel whose ending I’ve had in my head for something like a quarterr-century.

  379. @JMG

    I’ve been wondering about the news that came out quite some time ago about two computers communicating with each other at Facebook in a language that was never known before and had to be shut down (Link: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/facebook-artificial-intelligence-ai-chatbot-new-language-research-openai-google-a7869706.html). The media went ballistic with speculations of “Computers will take over!”, as expected. While I do think that automation will cause a bit of trouble in the short term, in the long term though, given the energy and material resources scenario, computers are obviously a temporary phenomenon which will end within my lifetime (I’m under 30 years). How would you assess this event?

  380. Wesley, aren’t we all, in a sense, Christ to ourselves? The personality that I am in this life (innocent of the causal sin) has suffered and continues to suffer from something another personality did. I have been crucified metaphorically for something I didn’t do.

    I think perhaps the expiation of the past sins is in the acceptance of the Christ to the suffering during the crucifixion. In Jesus’ case, maybe he was expiating his own former incarnations’ sins, not the world’s. And the early Christians simply got that part wrong? I know that goes against the teachings about who Jesus was, but it makes a lot of sense to me.

    Having said that, there is a huge caution here, and that is that we cannot impose that thinking on others. It does not follow that we should allow others to suffer unaided to let them expiate their past lives’ sins because we cannot know their past, and we cannot judge. I hope that makes as much sense to others as it does to me.

  381. @Courtney

    Thanks for your wishes, and yes – I think you might be right. The timing of the introduction of dwarf wheat, and the much more widespread incidence of these symptoms (including my own) is extremely suggestive. Not that that is proof of course.

    I’m having a go at making a paleo nut bread recipe from kvalifood.com today, but in fact I’m on day 5 and so far not missing wheat at all. I don’t feel any better or worse than usual but my immediate symptoms have cleared up. I’m grateful for that.

  382. @ Gideon

    I was planning on a Ph.D-level career in the biomedical sciences before I switched to high school teaching. I also knew a teacher with a physics degree (rare for a teacher), but after several years left for a lab job working for the military.

    I am not sure how good those options are (any comments, Mr. Greer?), but I thought I should share.

  383. Dear JMG,

    Dion Fortune writes:

    “All mystery schools, in all ages and races, except those given over to phallic rites and black magic, where such things have a use, unite in refusing admission to the hermaphrodite and the eunuch, or any one who is in any way sexually abnormal, whether by reason of homosexuality or frigidity.” [p. 118, _The Training and Work of an Initiate_, Weiser Books, 2000]

    I quote this because, as a sexual minority, I want to proceed carefully and tactfully in the Western Mystery Tradition. I imagine that Dion Fortune’s being a little bit of a prude in this quote, but then again I feel that she’s way wiser than I am and has way more knowledge about the technical details of occultism. Basically, I’m curious to what degree Fortune simply repeats here the unfounded prejudices of her age and to what degree she’s on to something.

    While it may not be politically correct, I could well imagine that a Mystery School comprised of shall we say ‘Uranians’ ending up a really toxic place with a tainted sphere on account of some sort of malfunction in what Fortune might term “the circuit of force.” While certainly Dion Fortune’s hangups reflects an earlier age, nonetheless I wonder to what degree her prudery has merit: I’ve known a lot of homosexuals and trans folks and the energy that a group of LGBT folks have tends to be quite distinct from a group of heterosexuals. I’m not sure I would say that a group of Uranians has more of an energy that tends towards ‘phallic rites and black magic,” but the energy is in my experience distinct enough to give me pause. I’ve spent a good deal of time with every category of sexually minority that Fortune discusses in the above quote, and again, the energy is noticeably different.

    JMG, you mention on the Heathen Middle Pillar posting:

    “*Students of mine have found repeatedly that it’s important, if you’re working a Middle Pillar-type exercise and invoking Pagan gods and goddesses, it’s important that the name you vibrate at your genital center should be of a deity of your own physical gender, to avoid odd and unpleasant energy effects. If you happen to be intersexed or transgender, you may need to experiment to figure out which name to use.” (https://ecosophia.dreamwidth.org/31086.html)

    So, I doubt you have the same hangups the Fortune does, and I, for one, am grateful for that! Still, I detect a possible distinction between practicing an inner alchemy like the Middle Pillar exercise, and doing work in a full on Mystery School. That said, I’m not even entirely certain the bounds that Fortune implies precisely by the term “Mystery School.”

    And so, to close this comment, I’m curious your thoughts on the issues implied by the ideas expressed by the Fortune quote, especially in light of practical experience.

  384. I definitely wouldn’t mind seeing how the reduced influence of the “knowledge elite” works out in your story on the “Conservation World” (where there is no internet) if you ever publish it.

    Because that’s the thing about new technology. Too many people assume that you can enjoy the short-term benefits while ignoring any tradeoffs. If the tradeoffs are brought up, they are to often assumed to be the product of some malevolent, external force corrupting the utopian dreams and innocence of the new technology (The “Devil Theory”). It is rarely the case that people consider the idea that there may not have been innocence in the new technology in the first place.

    A perfect example that comes to mind is that of social media. When I first heard of social media in the late 2000s, I was immediately skeptical. The idea of personally uploading your private information to a corporate database where it would be preserved for potentially all time was something I found repulsive…something that could lead to Orwell’s 1984 or the Borg from Star Trek. Not to mention the fact that it seemed to provide comfort to narcissists and addicts. And people said I was crazy!

    Many people today imagine that “cancel culture” is a product of economic precarity and/or determined ideologues, often linked to postmodernism and critical theory. All that needs to be done is purge these devils and we can go back to “sane society”. This notion is plainly as can be seen in parellel phenomena in other countries including China (where Western social media is banned) [1].

    The fact is that if critical theory and postmodernism never existed, someone would have to invent them to suit the pathologies that have been normalized on social media! As one recent Tablet article notes,

    “It has the appearance of a pitched debate but, in fact, the letter writers and their critics complement each other as two sides of the same digital coin. The new voice given to those previously shut out of debate and celebrated by critics of the letter is the direct result of social media platforms reengineering the American political environment. At the same time, the “stifling atmosphere” deplored by the more traditional liberals who signed the letter and tend to criticize “cancel culture,” is also a climate created by platforms like Twitter. Regardless of which side wins any particular battle in the recurring speech wars, both parties to the conflict end up reinforcing the power of the overall system in which the drama is enacted. And so a pattern emerges that is larger and more consequential than the specifics of the latest political flare-up. It is not the arguments or ideas of any political group, but the structure of the digital platforms that sets the tone of the culture as a whole.

    And what is the structure? It is an arena for perpetual conflict driven by an accumulation of grievances collected in a mass program of decentralized surveillance. We are incentivized, by the coded logic of the social media platforms where public engagement now takes place, to find reasons to hate each other. The algorithms that encourage and reward particular behaviors on Twitter and Facebook play on our deepest human instincts and desires to create spectacles of symbolic violence and sacrifice. Much of the time, the violence and spectacle has the appearance of a game or a light amusement. To take it too seriously, therefore, is to risk being an alarmist, and likely of the reactionary sort. But it is precisely the gamelike aspect of the platforms that keeps us playing. Playing and paying because the point, finally, is profit.

    The conflicts taking place over freedom, justice, and other noble ideas are captive performances in the most technologically advanced human cockfighting enterprise ever designed—one that has converted the essence of human struggle into a sure-win bet for the tech platforms who play the house.” [2]

    I won’t dispute the idea that economic precarity and determined ideologues play a role but throughout human history there have been periods of economic precarity and determined ideologues. Unless you lived in a society dominated by gangsters or an authoritarian/totalitarian state with Storm Troops, Red Guards, etc at the ready, it wasn’t as though such occurances were daily events that often hit ordinary people. Historically, there have been groups like Catholic decency legions that sought to boycott/ban books and films they thought were obscene. In the McCarthy period, we had the left-wing “Hollywood 10” who were banned from making films for a while. George Orwell noted how British leftists censored old literature removing mention of Trotsky and other figures deemed politically incorrect. As recently as the 2000s, there were concerns about conservative/radical Muslims demanding the heads of authors, filmmakers, and cartoonists they thought were offensive.

    But all of these groups, in any case, only targeted a handful of famous people. There was not technological mechanism to enable society-wide surveillance and induce mob mentalities and outrage culture on societies. There was no, #KillSalmanRushdie to enable the nearest smarphone user to slit his throat. Social media creates the critical theory utopia of a world constantly soaked in real or imagined injustices or oppression and the postmodern utopia of a world where everyone lives in their own algorithmically-defined, socially constructed realities.

    When will it end? I just hope you are right about the finite nature of technologies of connectivity, Mr. Greer

    [1] – https://www.gartner.com/en/marketing/insights/daily-insights/chinas-cancel-culture

    [2] – https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/science/articles/sacrificial-games-cancel-culture

  385. OMG – Early period epic set in the Dark Ages now translated into, essentially, street rap. And blasted well!

    https://www.npr.org/2020/08/27/906423831/bro-this-is-not-the-beowulf-you-think-you-know

    Opening lines ”

    Bro! Tell me we still know how to

    talk about kings! In the old days,

    everyone knew what men were:

    brave, bold, glory-bound. Only

    stories now, but I’ll sound the

    Spear-Danes’ song, hoarded for

    hungry times.

    And there goes my book budget.

  386. @ Kevin Taylor Burgess – check out the Roman Empire of 1600 years ago and things that were common practice then. Romans may have brought wine, roads, and aqueducts to the provinces, but they were Not. Nice. Guys.

  387. Lady Cutekitten _I think in words primarily as well, and have the same trouble. I find myself, doing the Lesser Banishing Ritual, silently saying “…golden angel…sword…dawn…” etc.

  388. @BB – “activities that ground them…” Dion Fortune’s novel The Winged Bull has a scene in which the bad guy, having drawn the intellectual, fastidious, high-strung heroine back into his orbit, sets her to scrubbing his filthy steps. When the lady’s guardian hears of this, he says “Good! That’s just what she needs! I hope he has her peeling potatoes, next.”

  389. @Matthias Gralle

    I have last year read Paul Colinvaux’ “A Biological Theory of History” – a grand book somebody on this forum suggested reading, whomever it was.

    It is a cultural theory of history based on demographics and resources, which such theses as, revolutions or outward warfare happens when a growing middle class cannot find more jobs or land.

    In it Colinvaux also suggests about the Roman Empire and its dynamics including migration:
    – Since grains were imported from Egypt mostly, small farming activity dwindled in Europe and with it the peasants knowledge. It was replaced by commercial cattle farms, with low labor intensity delivering high price products (meat) to the cities.
    – Similar to today, rural population dwindled because it moved to the cities, where the same demographics as today took place ie a far diminished number of children being born and raised by the inhabitants
    – The cities gained population through immigration

    In his view on the fall of Rome he noted not immigration per se, but a break down of defenses on an Empire with swollen cities with a large share of the population on the dole.

    Invaders will not have had any use for these urban populations and for the cities neither, so they either “put them to the sword” or expelled them from the cities, which also equals genocide because as Colinvaux himself compares it, urban populations cannot survive on the land without the knowledge of subsitence farming, similar like it happened in Cambodia when the Khmer Rouge expelled the urban populations.

    According to his analysis immigration was not the factor that brought the Roman Empire down, it was just systemic disorder, a civilization grown stagnant without potential for growth, having become inelastic to disturbances.

    When I look at contemporary Europe I see a lot of ethnic fragmentation combined with economioc disintegration that leads to problems, but the burgeois class I come from continuously also assimilates new members from the migrant communities and as long as it stays in place, I also do not expect immigration to be the death spell on us.

  390. I will make a short summary of our energy predicament as I understood it with the most salient points.

    Yes, it has been brought up here often times enough, but I may learn something:

    – Fossil fuels are irreplaceable because only they deliver the energy density to power machines like mining machines, trucks, (modern) container ships and cargo air planes. No other fuel or battery can physically reach to this energy to weight ratio.

    – To assume solar power can replace fossil fuels is also irrelevant because fossil fuels represent billions of years of stored sunlight with the same efficiency as any solar panel (or its equivalent in a wind turbine)

    – intermittent electricity from solar and wind does not provide a constant flow, continuously over- or under feeding the grid, which then needs to be balanced by energy and resource intensive storage, coal plants, and non-intermittent neighbouring grids that absorb over production in electricity and deliver when there is under production

    – oil and coal and gas are subject to diminishing returns ie less output for a the same input over time, but also metals and minerals are subject to this law. According to Vaclav Smil a metal bar needs more energy to be produced today then one hundred years ago (due to declining purity in ores I figure)

    – the Haber Bosch Procedure delivers the nitrogen for modern fertilizers that needs to be generated using the heat from coal (?)

    – modern pesticides and fertilizers allow to grow food on depleted soils, without them there would need to be fertilizer from animal husbandry and other sources, which itself is dependent on modern agriculture for feeding, and transportation, as is animal fertilizer. Depleted soils without fossil fuels would need biological input from the sorrounding landscape that cannot be produced mass wise, harvested fast enough and be transported at a reasonable cost without fossil fuels.

    – Many process temperatures in industrial production need coal as a source of heat. This is also not replacable by other means (?)

    – A prosperous oil field offers both a high concentration of energy in a limited area as well as a high Energy to Weight ratio to transport the harvested energy somewhere else. Wind and solar loose much more energy with the distance they are transported than oil, coal or gas does, through losses in the grid as well as the high weight of their potential storage (batteries).
    Thus a geographically wide dispersed network of solar and wind generating the energy equivalent of an oil field cannot concentrate this energy in one place without much higher losses than the oil field.

    Am I missing something?

    One funny aspect of me pointing this out in forums where there is a heated discussion about renewables vs whatever is, that will commentators are usually zealous and fervent, I usually get zero response when pointing these things out, not even dissent or an insult.

  391. Dear JMG and commentariat,

    Recently I’ve gone through my bookshelves in the spirit of eliminating clutter. In doing so I’ve employed triage: I’ve left the books I know I want to reread many times on my bookshelf, the books I have no foreseeable desire to reread have formed a pile near my door, and a third pile is the books I wish to reread immediately.

    Well, one of these books is Jon Krakauer’s _Into Thin Air_ a lively read on a doomed expedition up Mt. Everest. This got me thinking on Krakauer’s first book, _Into the Wild_ which tells the tale of one Chris McCandless who, like an early Christian, sells everything he owns and gives it to the poor, and then like a Viking wanders into what he considered to be uncharted lands, and then there he goes on something of a Vision Quest, which leads — through a series of uncanny synchronicity — to his death through starvation.

    In a certain sense McCandless story is of a clueless child of privilege who foolishly traipses into a wretched death. And yet….the bus where he perished has turned into a site of pilgrimage where other people…have stumbled into a death. There’s countless pictures of folks imitating McCandless posture by the bus where he died. In fact, the problem of folks making pilgrimage to this bus got so annoyed the authorities governing that land that they have, this year moved the bus to an undisclosed location.

    One of the touching mementoes that McCandless left is the last picture of himself gaunt, smiling like a saint, holding a note reading “I have had a happy life thank the Lord. Goodbye and may God bless all!”

    What I find so striking about McCandless is how incongruous his clueless death and the veneration he gets which strikes me as the sort of thing that Saints receive. I also, as mentioned earlier, find the way that so many religious myths intersected in his short life very, very impressive. It seems to me that he is a figure of the Second Religiosity in North America, a figure who resonated with the Christian, Norse, and First Nations mythos that inhere in the land of North America. If this analysis is correct, then McCandless prefigures the way that is to come, the synthesis of the Second Religiosity on the soil of North America.

    If I may I’m curious what folks may think of this, and of the story of McCandless in general and why he’s become such an icon.

  392. Thanks, Walt. After 3 days w/o sleep, I was so tired I forgot to set the clock, but finally fell asleep and will do so tonight and report back.

  393. JMG & Community,

    Thank you for your responses re: my karmic post.

    If there are any authoritative or illuminating books or blog posts or chapters of books to read on karma, I’d appreciate any recommendations. I’d like to understand how it might be impacting my and others’ lives and how to support remediating rather than adding to any further (negative) accrual.

    Sincere thanks!

  394. DFC,

    You are quite correct that politicians are attempting to use the shooting of Jacob Blake for their own ends. However I have a rule whenever something like this happens. That is wait at least a week if not a month before drawing conclusions. All we saw initially was a small snippet of time without a lot of context and certain individuals tripped over themselves to waive a bloody shirt. Since that video came out quite a bit of new information has surfaced.

    Now I am going to preface the rest of this with the assumption that you have not studied much in the way of martial arts and, being European, you are not terribly familiar with the use of firearms. This is not a bad thing. Most people are not familiar with interpersonal violence which is what makes waving the bloody shirt so effective. It’s shocking.

    Some details.

    The police were called by an ex girlfriend because Jacob Blake was violating a restraining order. The responding officers would have known this. They also would have known there was a warrant for his arrest for sexual assault.

    The officers tried to subdue him and apparently attempted to tase the man. Some sources I have seen said they attempted to do so twice and he shook it off. This is frequently a sign being high on some form of drug. So the officers did start at the bottom of the spectrum of force and worked there way up.

    As to the kids in the car. It appears that Jacob had 6 kids, 3 with the woman in question. There were 3 kids in that car but who was the mother? Was that even his car? I haven’t been able find solid details on that. I have seen some implication that those three children were his by the woman who called the cops and that it was her car. I hope you can see how that can could change the situation. But the media isn’t saying.

    As far as shooting him in a non lethal place like the legs. I will reiterate what others have said and say that only happens in the movies. No police force on the planet teaches their police to shoot anywhere but center of mass. Combat shooting is hard and most shots miss.

    As to dumping the magazine. Again unlike Hollywood, pistols are not great man stoppers. In fact, assuming you are not hit in the brain or a major artery, you will probably survive getting shot with a pistol. Especially if you get to a hospital within an hour of being shot. After all Jacob Blake is still alive.

    So this story could just as easily be spun as brave police officers protect a woman and her children from her abusive boyfriend.

    This leads to one of the most pernicious points with intersectionality and its attendant craziness. Instead of asking did a racist act occur it is assumed that one must have occurred and that it’s the investigators job to find all the ways the event was racist. So instead of waiting for the facts certain actors screamed racism and caused riots and other “interesting” times over what looks increasingly like a clean shoot.

    In short wait because it is never a black and white situation.

    Other Dave

  395. DFC et al

    Addendum

    The link below is to an article written by a former concealed carry instructor on the legalities of the use of force. It’s more than a little relevant to what is going on out there and to some of the posts in this thread.

    https://monsterhunternation.com/2014/11/25/the-legalities-of-shooting-people/?fbclid=IwAR1hCwZz-VmIcP9T5elxs1x0l9yjX-B3way2ZQM5Z9xiPJwQwFiE4O_Xh0c

    Also, Larry is a best selling fiction author these days and I happen to find his brand of brain candy enjoyable.

    Other Dave

  396. Hi JMG and all—

    Upthread, Isaac Salamander Hill left a link to an album inspired by writings at The Archdruid Report. I just gave it a listen, and I want to let everyone who might be interested in such a beast— it’s actually (in my opinion) excellent music. Enjoyable, energetic, and poetic, and the spiritual connection to JMG’s themes is not just lip service. Highly recommended to all here (including JMG).

    (I have no connection with Isaac and I leave this comment purely out of enthusiasm!)

  397. Your Kittenship, it was a long time ago and I’ve had a lot of busy and (usually) messy lives since then. Of course that means I’ve had plenty of unrelated karma to work on — isn’t life fun? But the main effect of that long-ago betrayal is that it took me a lot of lives, first, to stop running away from spirituality altogether, and then to find my way to the initiatory paths that are the modern equivalent of the old Mysteries — and there were some very difficult tests and some penalties to be paid.

    Yucca Glauca, there were specific penalties hardwired into the oaths, and there were also some fairly bad consequences as a result of my idiotic decision. As for Freemasonry, it would have an impact, but nothing like on the same scale — the Masonic secrets have been splashed about in print for centuries now, after all.

    Booklover, as the Aquarian age unfolds, more and more people are going to find Aquarian influences comfortable and appropriate, and the Piscean ideologies of the elite will become as baffling and distasteful as, say, the Roman habit of deifying emperors became to Christians in the Middle Ages. That’s one of the markers of the change of ages.

    Sandy, so noted. It looks very frightening, until you notice that there are far larger and better funded organizations on the other side of the political spectrum who are doing exactly the same thing with exactly the same disregard for individual freedom.

    Kevin, thanks for this! Slowly, bit by bit, sanity seeps in…

  398. The march of the Religion of Progress continues! A newspaper article touts the wonders and near religious worship of a new $1.1 billion power plant being constructed on Progressive Avenue (what a perfect name!) in Niles Michigan. Its scale and enormity are praised to high heaven, even stating that it “is capable of inspiring awe”. Because the nearby nuclear power plant is being decommissioned, the new energy center will use natural gas to run its turbines.

    “The new plant — called a combined cycle plant — will burn natural gas to turn turbines that produces electricity, but unlike older natural gas plants, it will capture that heat to produce steam that will be used to power another turbine. Such plants are considered among the cleanest and most efficient methods of producing significant amounts of electricity, especially since there is an abundance of natural gas available.”

    So it’s back to fossil fuel dependence (though not dirty coal; I’m sure the activists are cheering). The article goes on to proudly state that the plant “should have a life expectancy of at least 40 years” and is careful to point out the perceived benefits beyond the electricity produced: taxes for local government and schools, boosting the real estate market, good paying jobs, returning formerly polluted land to productivity, and “expos(ing) the region to outside investors since much of the money for the projects is coming from outside this country. ‘It puts us on radar screens that we wouldn’t normally be on…It raises the profile of the community.’” I am not sure that last point is for the good of the community; I know that I wouldn’t want to be on anyone’s radar! Notice it’s only at the very end of the article the fact is squeezed in that property taxes will be used to reimburse the South Korean companies doing the cleanup and containment efforts. I assume that should read “property taxes will be raised…”

    https://tinyurl.com/y4asolst<