Open Post

February 2024 Open Post

This week’s Ecosophian offering is the monthly open post to field questions and encourage discussion among my readers. All the standard rules apply — no profanity, no sales pitches, no trolling, no rudeness, no paid propagandizing, no long screeds proclaiming the infallible truth of fill in the blank — but since there’s no topic, nothing is off topic — with two exceptions.

First, there’s a dedicated (more or less) open post on my Dreamwidth journal on the ongoing virus panic and related issues, so anything Covid-themed should go there instead.

Second, I’ve had various people try to launch discussions about AIs — that is to say, large language models (LLMs) and the chatbots they power — on this and my other forums. The initial statements and their followup comments always end up reading as though they were written by LLMs — that is, long strings of words superficially resembling meaningful sentences but not actually communicating anything. That’s neither useful nor entertaining.  Thus I’ve decided to ban further discussion of this latest wet dream of the lumpen-internetariat here.

* * * * *

One other thing. Several people have asked me where donations in my late wife’s memory should go. Sara’s favorite charity was the Scottish Rite Childhood Language Program, a Masonic charity which runs free clinics for children with speech and language difficulties. You can visit their website here; you can also contact your local Scottish Rite Masonic organization and inquire about donating directly to the nearest clinic. Since it’s a Masonic charity, all the administration is done by volunteers, so every dollar goes to pay for therapists and care for the children they help.

* * * * *

With that said, have at it!


  1. What do you think of Jesus saying to pray for your enemies? I’ve found it particularly powerful

  2. Hello again,
    I was watching German news (in English) when they were discussing the 5 percent land saving for nature. I dimly remember a post about that or something like that saving that the 5 percent land was not a good idea. That set asides were not going to solve any problems. I am hazy on the reasons for that. On the surface, it seems to be a good idea to have land left for nature. The U.S. Nature Conservancy does that with volunteer landowners.

  3. BeardTree, er, okay; did you want me to comment on that?

    Bradley, certainly if you’re one of his worshippers I’d encourage you to follow that, along with his other instructions. Me, I prefer not to have enemies. There are unquestionably people who consider themselves my enemies, but why should I reciprocate?

    Neptunesdolphins, my post on the subject was here:

    It fascinates me that they’ve downshifted from 30% to 5% so quickly.

  4. Hello,
    An astrology question. I read your book on Pluto and enjoyed it very much. You mentioned somewhere that Pluto is not well placed in your chart. I have Pluto conjunct my Moon and Midheaven, trine my sun and Mercury. So I understand Plutonian themes and currents in society quite well I have noticed, but I don’t like them. The way I see it, Musk’s neuralink, EVs, “green” energy, social media and the latest craze of two letters are all Plutonian themes. Would you also credtit Pluto with those “advancements”? If so all of them would have trickled out and died by 2036, which frankly would be a great sigh of relief.
    Thank you for the note on The Scottish Rite Childhood Language Program btw. I will see if I can manage to donate from my country, which is not always possible.

  5. Thank you for the note on The Scottish Rite Childhood Language Program.
    Donations on the way in Sara’s name /|\
    May her ight shine

  6. At this link is the full list of all of the requests for prayer that have recently appeared at and, as well as in the comments of the prayer list posts. Please feel free to add any or all of the requests to your own prayers.

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

    * * *

    This week I would like to bring special attention to the following prayer requests.

    May Trubujah/David’s shingles outbreak on his stomach be healed; may his discomfort and pain be eased, and the illness clear up quickly.

    May new mother Molly recover quickly and completely from her recent stroke, and may newborn Lela and husband Austin be comforted and strengthened through this difficult time.

    May John Michael Greer’s wife Sara Greer, who passed away on February 20th, be blessed and soothed as she moves into the next stage of her spirit’s journey. And may John Michael Greer be blessed and lent strength in this most difficult time.

    May Timmy W. have the guidance, support, and strength he needs to overcome his PTSD, and may his mother, Rachel M., have the energy and wisdom to support him through it.

    May Erika’s partner James remain cancer free, and make a full return to robust health.

    Tyler A’s wife Monika’s pregnancy is high risk; may Mother and child be blessed with good health and a smooth delivery.

    May the surgery for Yuccaglauca’s mother Monica‘s malignant mass be safe, successful, and conclusive of the matter.

    May Frank Rudolf Hartman of Altadena California (picture), who is receiving chemotherapy, be completely cured of the lymphoma that is afflicting him, and may he return to full health.

    May Just Another Green Rage Monster‘s father, who is dealing with Stage 4 Lymphoma, and mother, who is primary caregiver, be blessed, protected and healed.

    May Kyle’s friend Amanda, who though in her early thirties is undergoing various difficult treatments for brain cancer, make a full recovery; and may her body and spirit heal with grace.

    Lp9’s hometown, East Palestine, Ohio, for the safety and welfare of their people, animals and all living beings in and around East Palestine, and to improve the natural environment there to the benefit of all.

    * * *

    Guidelines for how long prayer requests stay on the list, how to word requests, how to be added to the weekly email list, how to improve the chances of your prayer being answered, and several other common questions and issues, are to be found at the Ecosophia Prayer List FAQ.

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

  7. Good day John & fellow commentariat…

    I was looking up connections between geomancy and I Ching, and glancing at the wikipedia page on geomancy, saw this image from 12th century Egypt or Syria of some kind of geomantic tool. To my mind it looks quite like something that could be called radionic. The dials and knobs!

    Have you come across this before in your geomancy studies?

    You & Sara continue to remain in my prayers. I burned a candle for her again this morning.

  8. Maxine Rogers, if you happen to notice this, please let me know in a response here. I’ve been trying to let you know about something for a few months now, but the stars haven’t aligned yet!

  9. The new editions of your peak oil books published by Founders House (“After Progress”, “The Ecotechnic Future” and “The Long Descent”) seem to not be available. Are you changing the publisher for those books?

  10. Imaginary Stations has a new time slot on WRMI… 0300 UTC on 9395 kHz on Thursdays. That’s 10 PM EST and 7 PM PST.

    This week we have WOOF, a tribute to the late P.D. Q. Bach.

    “Leap Day is almost upon us, and to celebrate we have a musical tribute to Peter Schickele, Composer, Satyrist, Radio DJ and lots lot more. Our tribute is an hour of music from PDQ Bach, the “youngest and the oddest of the twenty-odd children” of Johann Sebastian Bach”. The show is certainly one interesting listen and something differentthat’ll be bouncing off the ionosphere. Tune in on Thursday 29th February 2024 at 0300 UTC on 9395 kHz and enjoy some classical madness.”

  11. JMG,
    The Substack writer going by “A Midwestern Doctor” has written an article on Cults, Meditation, Drugs and Psychosis. The article is partially paywalled, but there is quite a bit in the open section. What is in the open section seems to more or less correlate what you have talked about. As far as I can tell, this person is probably the doctor we all wish we had.

  12. I was wondering about your opinion on the Voynich Manuscript, in terms of the possible content (magical or otherwise), and the means by which any content is disguised – do you think it’s a late medieval cipher, a constructed language, or some sort of hoax?

  13. Greetings Brother Greer,

    Is it yet another synchronicity that I got my 4th degree and became joined the Scottish Rite over the weekend?

    After 17 years of being a Master Mason in name but not attendance or practice, one of my resolutions for 2024 was to engage fully with the fraternity. I am so glad I did. My long absence was not held against me, and I was welcomed with open arms and big smiles. (The image of the prodigal son comes to mind as I type this.)

    Speaking of synchronicities. I have been looking for someone with whom to practice Turkish, a language I studied on a lark nearly two decades ago, and as it turns out, one of our newest Master Masons is Turkish. When I greeted him as “my brother” in his native tongue, his eyes nearly popped out of his head. I’m starting to dream in Turkish again, so something is fermenting there too.

    As Spider Robinson noted via his Callahan’s Law, aka Law of Conservation of Pain and Joy: “joys shared multiply and burdens shared diminish.” That’s definitely one of the open secrets of fraternity, as is fraternity – loving fellowship – as a bridge between liberty and equality.

    I consider this blog and comment section to be another fraternity of sorts (albeit non-gendered fraternity), and like you said last week, JMG – I wish we could all get together and have a giant, well, get-together.

    One last note in this directionless rant – has any one else seen the trailer for the upcoming film Civil War? The author/director Alex Garland says it “serves as a sci-fi allegory for our currently polarized predicament” but methinks it no allegory.

  14. Hi JMG, thanks for your response to my question on this week’s Magic Monday about Steiner’s clairvoyance. I re-read your blog post on him from March of last year and wanted to offer one addendum: you cite as evidence of clairvoyant fallibility Steiner’s claim that the Earth and the other planets emerged out of the sun, and this is not quite right.

    In fact, Steiner claimed that Venus and Mercury emerged out of the sun, and that the sun, moon, Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars emerged out of the Earth. (Yes, you read that right- citation here:, paragraph beginning “Now I will supplement…”)

    I work at a Waldorf daycare centre, caring for two- and three-year-olds while their parents are at work. The ladies on my work team were trained in mainstream models of childcare and child development, but they tell me they switched over to Waldorf because it works better than the mainstream methods and models.

    Practicing Waldorf childcare has led them to study Steiner (I did the reverse, read the books first and then applied for the job), and we occasionally have some very interesting workplace conversations about the weirder parts of Steiner’s worldview. What stumps me is that his elaborate cosmogony explains and supports his elaborate anatomy of the human subtle bodies, and it is this spiritual anatomy that informs Waldorf early childhood education, with the physical, etheric, astral, and ego bodies each presenting a different timeline of development and different needs in the young child.

    I guess I’m still wondering how a theory that doesn’t make sense could produce results that make excellent sense- unless of course the process actually went the other way around, and Steiner’s clairvoyance provided him with visions that ‘proved’ the empirical results he was discovering in his very active waking life.

    Any other Steiner or Waldorf people out there who can help me untangle this knot?

  15. What a lovely synchronicity. I’m a Fellowcraft Mason with an ASD 5 year old who is currently in language therapy due to issues with language comprehension and being able to answer questions coherently. I had no idea this existed! Unfortunately the nearest clinic is in the next state over, which is to say it’s not of much use to my family — but still, the fact that this even exists is fantastic. Sara had good taste in charities…or at least taste that aligns with my own.

  16. Recently I read ‘Many Lives, Many Masters’ by Brian Weiss, and I was wondering what you thought of the book. Also, what books/resources on reincarnation do you recommend for people just starting to learn and understand it?

  17. Just wanted to give my heartfelt condolences to you and your family, John. Wishing you well from Medford Masonic Lodge #103 AF&AM in Medford, Oregon (I’m also a candidate in AODA).

  18. Dear JMG,

    Oh, good, open post.

    I would like to say that I am sad about Sara’s death😢, and also glad that you are recovering!😀I said much last week.

    I never have paid “demons” much mind. That is, until I discovered one living INSIDE the house, namely “Kamilla” (not her real name). Otherwise known as my 84-year old mother-in-law, who transformed herself from a human to a demon within a day. To my mind, she took the form of a hungry adult Komodo dragon🦎because she behaved just like one. Of the seven months she lived with us, she was a demon during latter half of that, roughly three months.

    Some demons live in houses. Some are relatives. I never knew demons could be relatives. Some drive cars; we all have met a few of those. Some are babies. Some are elderly. I would guess demons come in all varieties.

    Kamilla was chaos personified. She was also profoundly unaware of the impact she had on her surroundings. Her chaos was not just that she was aged. There was something else going on. She had to have made some pact during her years living in Arizona. She used to be not like this although even early on, we never scratched the surface. While she was here, after her change, I took a proverbial fireplace poker, and poked her. I couldn’t help it. I needed to find out how far into evilness would go. I found out, then let up. Then for the eleven weeks, I knew where her Komodo boundaries were, and we stayed clear. I could tell when she stepped out of her room and was about to gun it towards me. She was voracious in her need to destroy. I learned how to avoid her jaws which, like a real Komodo dragon, the vast majority of the time, would have been lethal.

    I created Pagan bubbles of protection around all the other beings (person; two cats) in the house under her purview,— many, many times. Even when she was not physically right next to me, I could feel her brushing against me, trying to enter. Anger was her way in,— as long I stayed emotionally neutral, there was no “in” for her to enter. It was exhausting to be on my guard for eleven weeks. She herself was perpetually angry and hateful.

    She was looking for “the fountain of youth.” In the current healthcare system, she found it. To her, if MDs could surgically fix her heart, then her lungs, liver, kidneys, brain, stomach, intestines, hands, muscles, skin, bones, etc. would all sort themselves out and be new again. She badgered MDs and their staff until they relented and did the heart surgeries she demanded. Free of charge, Medicare. They bought whole houses on the money they made from her delusions. Not only does current medicine not heal chronic illnesses, but since MDs need to have an income flow, they choose elderly feebles.

    Kamilla had transformed herself into something that was non-human. Her humanity was shot. I am convinced that modern medicine creates demons, and if not quite that, heals people enough “to abuse again.” These demons cost families a heckuva lot. In not letting people die when it is their time (early), modern medicine keeps them alive enough to do huge damage to the living. MDs harm.

    The end did happen. I unceremoniously escorted Kamilla out of the house a month ago. She now lives in another state. Thank God that nothing material happened. The negative energy about the house was where anything COULD have happened during those eleven weeks, such as the burning down the house, assault, or murder. Those things were “in the air.”

    I don’t feel confused. My feelings are pretty clear. I am not so much confused as I curious: how a person change into a demon? The changeover, I am not versed in. And dag nabbit, why isn’t there a front page article in the New York Times about demons? If anyone here in the commentariat has a booklist which would clue me in, please mention it. Or personal experiences.

    Actually, Kamilla was the second demon I have met. I met up with the first in 1991 — that was a different experience, and I did not deal with it at all well. In that instance, the demon did enter me, and it took months to purge it. I would rather not get blindsided yet another time.

    There is no shortage of videos of Komodo dragon behavior on YouTube. Think of a hungry adult Komodo dragon INSIDE the house, with two people and two domestic cats trying to not get bitten.

    💨Northwind Grandma💨🐦‍⬛
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  19. Hello JMG,
    Last week was hard for me too. “The guy with the scythe” knocked on the door that was very familiar to me… A dear friend of 40 years went for his morning swim, as per his usual, and was found dead at the bottom of the pool. He was not old at all, fit, health-conscious ( and yes… vaccinated up to his eyeballs). Thank you for taking the somber occasion of Sara’s passing to talk about death in general – a much-needed conversation. Looks like un-tabooing taboos is a part of your job description. Please continue.

  20. Hello,
    I found myself traveling a few weeks ago and decided to re-read your excellent book “The King in Orange”.
    So, of course, with primary voting underway in the U.S. and Trump seemingly winning each one easily, I was wondering if you see some kind of magic at work this time?
    Do you think something like 2016 is happening? Some kind of “high strangeness” behind the scenes? or just the usual political campaign like in 2020?
    I’d love to hear your thoughts on the current political situation. And what you think might happen next.
    Maybe even in one of your next articles.

  21. @Bradley,
    I’ve found that praying for people who I’m angry with/hurt by can help me calm down and regain my sense of perspective. Reminding me that they too are human, with the usual human flaws and foibles. And helping me let go of the hurt and leave it in God’s hands to a certain extent. It often doesn’t make the anger go away completely, but it definitely helps me not end up controlled by the rage or do or say things I’ll regret.

  22. First and foremost, thank you all again for your support and encouragement during the very difficult times of the past month or so. I deeply appreciate it; it’s made a very unhappy situation much easier to bear.

    Fredrik, it’s important not to confuse the influence of a planet on your natal chart with the influence of the same planet in mundane (that is to say, political, economic, and social) affairs. Since Pluto is strongly placed in your natal chart, you can expect to be influenced by Pluto when he affects your chart by progression or transit; since Pluto is very weakly placed in my natal chart, I don’t notice the effect of Pluto progressions or transits. (One of the reasons I started the course of research that ended in my Pluto book is that I went through a Pluto transit to two planets in my natal chart, the kind of thing that’s supposed to cause all kinds of upsets, and…nothing happened.) Your natal Pluto placement doesn’t affect whether you like or dislike Plutonian phenomena in society, though. Yes, the things you’ve named are Plutonian factors; since Pluto in mundane charts is the planet of failed predictions, overblown hype, and mass delusion, we can be confident that none of these things will get very far.

    JeffinWA, thank you profoundly for this.

    Quin, many thanks for this as always.

    Justin, you bet — it’s famous in geomantic circles. I’ve talked to half a dozen people who wanted to build one but I’ve never seen any results from the project. It would be seriously cool.

    Michael, I’m making no significant changes for the next year — that’s standard advice for the newly bereaved. Come 2025 I’ll begin thinking about what I want to do from here on.

    Packshaud, Founders House has dropped the last of my books. I’m doing my best right now to get them placed with other publishers.

    John, thanks for this. I’ve appreciated her writing on the Covid fiasco, so I’ll definitely give this a look.

    Strda221, it’s a hoax. A couple of years ago, while doing research on the career of Sidney Reilly (real name Zygmund Rosenblum), one of the great international spies of the early 20th century, I ran across a reference to the Voynich manuscript in relation to a ring of document forgers who manufactured fake historic documents as well as more mundane items such as fake passports. Having carefully examined a facsimile of the manuscript, I’ve come to think of it as one of the masterpieces of the forger’s trade, the Mona Lisa of fake manuscripts.

    Bro. Monster, I’m delighted to hear this! Welcome to the weirdest and most entertaining of the Masonic rites. As for the movie, I haven’t seen the trailer but I’ve read about it, of course. It’ll be interesting to see how that plays out.

    Dylan, thank you for the correction! One way or another, though, Steiner’s astrophysics are very good proof that the Akashic records are not a reliable source for accurate information about the distant past. (His accounts of the Polarian and Lemurian ages also fall into that category.) That doesn’t mean that clairvoyance is always wrong, just that there are things it won’t do well, just as a telescope doesn’t make a good microscope and a hammer isn’t very useful as a saw. Waldorf education and biodynamic gardening are among the triumphs of Steiner’s method, and they show us some of the things that his approach to clairvoyance does very well indeed.

    Bro. Deathcap, she did indeed. Sara used to say that books were what got her through her childhood alive and more or less sane, and so anything that would help other children master the challenges of language and reading was always high on her list of things to support.

    Dave, I haven’t read that book so can’t comment on it. As for resources on reincarnation, hmm. Most of what I picked up on the subject was bits and pieces in occult literature, so nothing more focused comes to mind. Anyone else?

    Bro. Benjamin, thank you for this. I attended the Medford lodge more than once when I lived in Ashland, though that was quite a few years ago and I doubt anybody remembers me.

    Northwind, what a horrible experience. You might find Felicitas Goodman’s classic book How About Demons? Possession and Exorcism in the Modern World worth reading, as a guide to the phenomenon.

    Kirsten, please accept my condolences. I get the impression that this is happening more and more often these days, so it’s probably just as well that Sara’s passing started a conversation on the subject.

    Tris, I’m watching the current situation closely, of course. 2024 has a very weird vibe to it, a sense — how’s this for an oxymoron? — of hopeful catastrophe. It’s as though a lot of things are going to fall apart in a hurry, there will be a lot of suffering and chaos, but quite a bit of good will come out of it in the longer run. But we’ll see.

  23. Mr. Greer,

    I would like to once again express my deepest condolences for the loss of your wife and hope you are doing okay.

    That discussion about the Age of Aquarius a few weeks back spurred me to do a little research project. I am not astrologer but I do like history so I decided to do a deep dive into famous leaders who where born under the sign of Aquarius to see if I could find any patterns. Well I noticed something odd right off the bat. During most of America’s transformative periods the leaders driving the changes tended to be Aquarius. Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, Dick Cheney, William McKinley were all Aquarius. This is also applies to military leadership as well: William Tecumseh Sherman, Stonewall Jackson, Jeb Stuart, Joseph E. Johnston, Douglas MacArthur, Omar Bradley, etc…

    This also extends to religion as well; Cotton Mather who is generally regarded as the founder of American Evangelicalism and the first American Evangelical was Aquarius. So was William Miller, the founder of Adventism and Thomas Campbell, the founder of the Restoration Movement. So were a lot of orators or rabble rousers like Thomas Paine, Fredrick Douglass and Alex Jones. So were several key American engineers such as Thomas Edison, John Deere and John Moses Browning.

    So I find it a little odd that most of the mentions of the Age of Aquarius in American culture has had left-wing connotations but most public figures in America who were born under the sign of Aquarius tended to lean more to the right or were centrists. Also, most Aquarius leaders I have found throughout history have tended to be authoritarians to one degree or another; Fredrick the Great, Kim Jong-il, Babur, Manuel Noriega, Hadrian, Volodymyr Zelensky, Kaiser Wilhelm II, etc… Hell, even Sir Thomas More, the Catholic patron saint of statesman and politicians and the guy who coined the term Utopia was an Aquarius. So I also find it kind of odd that a astrological sign associated with the people responsible for the terms ‘enlightened despot’ or ‘benevolent dictator’ is associated with freedom.

  24. Last Sunday, Aaron Bushnell self-immolated in front of the Israeli embassy in protest of Israel’s actions in Gaza. He lived streamed it on Twitch, and captures of that stream can still be found on /pol/.
    I’ve been trying to actively ignore what is happening in Israel since the judicial overhaul last summer. Just a screen capture was enough to move me deeply. I feel this is perhaps the most significant event of the year.
    I was hoping that you could offer some insight into the magical dimensions of this form of protest?

  25. What is your opinion of Robert Anton Wilson?

    Over the past several years, I’ve found myself drawn towards Discordianism, perhaps as a reaction to my overly rigid mindset. This inevitably brought to my attention the works of Robert Anton Wilson. One of the things that I’ve noticed about him in my cursory research on him is that his life didn’t fall prey to the same levels of chaos that often happens to other chaos mages; my own theory on this being that he had a deep understanding of the occult which he took seriously.

  26. Jan 2024 renewable energy summary for the BPA service area.

    This will give three January’s of data for the later average.

    For wind, the best day was 78.7% of nameplate capacity on Jan 9th. The worst was yet another 0% on Jan 15th, and a second zero on Jan 20. Average for the month wasn’t too horrible at 19.4%.

    For solar, the worst day was the 13th as the storm front arrived at 1.3% of name plate The best day was the 23rd at 14.6%. The average for the month was 6.7%. As a reminder, this is over 24 hours. On the best day over just the daylight hours it averaged 38.8% with a peak of 65% of rated power, though only for a few minutes.

    The Dunkelflaute was 21.25 hours at average load of 9,022 MW, or 191,729 MW-hr, or 49,161 Tesla MaxPower batteries at a total weight of 20.6 Nimitz Class carriers.

    As I mentioned last month, we had that cold snap. At its peak, the power draw on the grid was 11,438 MW. (My heat pump couldn’t keep up and I had to activate “The Resistors” so 5 kw of that was me.)

    At that moment the wind was still blowing so we had 26.7% of nameplate capacity available, and since it was late morning we had 4.35% of solar capacity available. So to keep up with that demand purely with wind using on-shore 2.5 MW wind turbines would take 17,109 of them. To do that entirely by solar panels assuming 300 W per panel comes to 877 million of them. (yes, I am laughing.)

    Obviously the proper economic balance for wind, solar, and battery is a non-trivial problem.

    For other planning purposes the average wind availability over November through January is 19.5%, and the average solar is 9.9%.

    Oh, there was one more disaster in January. The month started with two normal overnights with a just barely any power in-between. Combined we have 42 hours (that number again!) of near continuous dunkelflaute with a total energy demand of 323,224 MW-hr even accounting for the whopping 79.4 MW-hr available from the solar power (wind was gone again). Though the continuous time period was not technically a dunkelflaute, to get through this would have taken 34.8 aircraft carrier equivalents in batteries to keep the lights on, or more importantly, the heat on.

    That’s the last one of these reports. I have the information I needed when I started this. To summarize for this area wind is essentially useless. When you need it it won’t be there. Solar could be made to work for three seasons, but not dying in the winter would be a challenge. But then that was always the problem in northern climates.

  27. A French film recently released in the U.S. — well photographed and well acted, but the plot, such as it is, might not thrill everyone — includes shots of and a brief explanation of antennas placed in a garden to make the vegetables grow better. The antennas are large and clearly shown, with zinc spikes atop copper shafts. I recall that you have both practiced and written about this technology. What intrigued me is that the film was set in the 1880s.

    If anyone is interested, the film is “The Taste of Things,” originally “La Passion de Dodin Bouffant.”

  28. I tend to see the upcoming civil war movie as a tacit admission that the elites here in the states are becoming increasingly worried. It’s beginning to dawn on them that things could go pear-shaped and the tumbrils could start rolling very soon.

  29. Quinn,
    Hi, yes, I tried to get in touch with you but my post was not added for some reason. I would love to talk to you about this very personal matter. My email is

    Thank you so much for your kindness.

  30. Greetings JMG and Commentariat!

    A blogger I enjoy ( introduced me to the English philosopher R.G. Collingwood, and I wonder what thoughts Ecosophians have on him.

    Blessings to all who will have them, and continued prayers for Sara and JMG,

  31. For a long time, I have been perplexed by the self-hatred present in Western countries. It is unusual to despise oneself, one’s country, and one’s culture. I see it as a type of pathology, and it used to confuse me greatly. Finally, I found a name for this problem – Oikophobia. That is “the fear of one’s home” and yes, it is the opposite of xenophobia.

    Poet and essayist Robert Southey first used the word Oikophobia in 1808 to describe the desire, especially among the English, to leave home and travel. In his 2004 book England and the Need for Nations, British philosopher Roger Scruton redefined the term to mean “the rejection of one’s inheritance and home”. He believes that this is a common stage that adolescents go through, but it can also be a feature of certain political ideologies (particularly leftist ones) that promote xenophilia (preference for foreign cultures). In 2022, Cornell University Press published a book by Swedish-American philosopher Benedict Beckeld titled “Western Self-Contempt” which also used that word.

    Here’s a good review of the book:

    I’ll allow myself to quote from it:
    “…Beckeld starts from the assumption of the historian Thucydides that human nature is fundamentally constant. Human nature and mass psychology remain the same, and therefore the same symptoms recur: a successful society enables a societal elite that does not have to work and can educate itself. This elite becomes aware of other people’s attitudes and over time distances itself from its own culture. Thus, successful societies bear within them the seeds of self-contempt, fragmentation and a return to smaller social communities…
    …we come to recognise self-contempt as a kind of career path for the societal elite. When external enemies have been defeated, and society becomes richer and the state stronger, the easiest way to gain prestige and money is to find enemies within one’s own culture. By identifying “the enemy”, we strengthen our own identity. By exposing people as phobic, sexist or racist, intellectuals get to feel like magnanimous promoters or defenders of justice. In reality, these people have stopped taking responsibility for any common society.”

    I believe JMG expressed similar thoughts in the past. It’s nice that these ideas are being shared. However, I wonder how the problem of Western self-hatred can be resolved peacefully if it can be resolved at all. It may simply be a symptom of the decline of the Western civilization.

  32. Hello Mr. Greer,

    You have on numerous occasions spoken of your appreciation for Spengler and Toynbee’s views of history. With that said I was hoping you could illuminate the coming second religiosity. If I understand Spengler correctly we should first see a return to traditional Christianity in our society in the years immediately ahead. Then at some point traditional Christianity will be challenged by an up and coming new faith, which at this point could be just about anything including a revised version of the older faith. My question is when do you expect this to happen? Can we see it now in seed form or is this something that will probably manifest after our lifetimes?

  33. “It’s as though a lot of things are going to fall apart in a hurry, there will be a lot of suffering and chaos, but quite a bit of good will come out of it in the longer run.”

    I have been thinking along these lines. What would I do? How to think “catastrophically local”? The goal is to get through it, nearby. Things like immediate physical needs not being met. To me, the top three would be keeping one’s body heat within range, eating, and clothing. If I were left standing (not blown over, or blown up, and still operational), so to speak, if I became aware of a family “growing cold,” I hope I would, if able, humbly offer a warm, safe place to stay. Or help with food. Or clothes. On the flip side, if I were a party in need, I hope to will have situated myself around such people ahead of time. No-one in tarnation knows who will immediately be affected.

    Maybe this is a weakness, but I am not (the least bit) interested in aiding people in far flung places. Your writings have helped me value neighborhood, village, town, that is, local taking precedence over “further away.” Right here — not there. Far away others to be in charge of “over there.” Someone trying to get me to donate to Mississippi or Mongolia (for example), I would say “Absolutely not. Sorry.” I want to help the well-being of LOCAL people, animals, plants, and minerals/earth, because they are able to reciprocate. I have opportunity to get to know local beings by sight, and to make them part of my world.

    💨Northwind Grandma💨🕯️
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  34. Dear John Michael,

    Apropos of absolutely nothing, I am curious to ask you a question regarding a metaphysical matter that I have dealt with for most if not all of my life, that I have never heard or read addressed by anyone, anywhere, in any way.

    As far back as I can remember, I have had (at least sporadically) a very certain sense of the truth, or falsehood, of certain claims, statements or situations. It is by no means universal, but not infrequently when confronted by a statement, situation or hypothesis, I will get what feels like an immediate, instinctual and absolute sense of the veracity, or lack of veracity, of that statement, situation or hypothesis. And when I do get this sense — and it can be about something of which I know relatively little — I have never been wrong about it.

    I have never before, in any way, discussed this matter with anyone. Nor have I ever read of such a sense being mentioned or referred to in any way. Is this at all a common phenomenon, do you happen to know, and do you have any idea, or any metaphysical framework, by which to explain it?

    This “truth sense” does not distress me in any way, I just find it curious, particularly as I have simply never heard of it in anyone before. Do any of the Ecosophia commentariat reading this, by chance, have or have ever had any similar experiences?

  35. I’d be interested in your thoughts and an occult perspective on the notion that conflict and the often bloody struggle for survival and dominance seems to be built very deeply into the fabric of the universe and existence, in a way that very much predates humanity and even biological life itself. I say “notion” because I’m hesitant to assert it as an objective and undeniable reality, although there’s a case to be made that it is an objective an undeniable reality indeed.

    In some sense this is Darwinism but it also relates to the ideas of Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, et al. Nick Land has also touched on it more recently. It doesn’t seem to factor much into much of the classical occult philosophy that I’ve seen.

  36. The 7th Annual Ecosophia Solstice Potluck will be June 22nd, 2024 at my house! Please sign up at the link here. As always, whomever comes from furthest away is welcome to stay in our guest room. (Chris at Fernglade: this could be you!)

  37. Jmg,

    I hope it’s okay to keep talking about the Cathars? I’m a bit late to the topic, but it so happens that i have visited a good portion of the Cathar country, including Albi, wich is a little jewel that i heartily reccomend to anyone who goes to southern France. The paintings of it’s cathedral are beyond words, and i have seen a lot of cathedrals.

    I would add to what you have already said about the crusade that it was one of the most succesful invasions in continental Europe in the Middle Ages; The nobility in the entire region was efectively wiped out, replaced by Normand lineages.Simo de Montfort proceeded methodically, town by town and castle by castle, with extreme cruelty. The king of Aragon was badly defeated at Muret, and the Catalans lost it all, forever.

    Many of those Nobles took refuge in Catalonia, and where deemed there the “Bons homes” (good men) they enjoyed a lot of sympathy from the catalan nobles for a while.

    So if i may ask, did Sara remember where exactly she spent that live?

  38. Karl, most of what’s been said about the age of Aquarius since the 1960s has been pot-addled balderdash. In traditional astrology, Aquarius was ruled by Saturn, the planet of hard choices and hard knocks; in modern astrology, it’s ruled by Uranus, the planet of sudden crises, disruptive events, and iconoclastic individuals. “Harmony and understanding, sympathy and trust abounding…” Not hardly. That said, it’s almost always a mistake to mix up natal astrology and mundane astrology; the personalities you get in people who were born with the Sun in Aquarius are not necessarily a good guide to the cultural, political, and economic events you can expect during the 2,160 years when the spring equinoctial point is in Aquarius. It will certainly be a period of colorful individuals and of ideas and cultural trends that support them, in place of the Piscean “everyone must believe the same things” ethos of the last 2,160 years. Expect a bumper crop of charismatic dictators, visionary rabblerousers, eccentric messiahs, idiosyncratic spiritual leaders, absolute crackpots, and the like!

    Misty, if the person who does it can concentrate on the purpose of the act all the way through, it can be potent stuff, because their remaining life energy flows into the intention and charges it. In Ireland in past centuries, people who were abused by the powerful would literally fast to death with the intention of cursing their abusers, and quite a few of the abusers dropped dead or otherwise suffered a messy fate shortly after the fasting person died. So it can be potent stuff. I don’t recommend it, though, as the karma’s kind of ugly.

    Waffles, Wilson — RAW, as his fans like to call him — was a fascinating guy and someone who influenced me quite a bit back in the day. He’s not someone to believe blindly — and of course he would have been the very first to insist on this! He had quite a bit of knowledge of occultism, and he also had a good solid dose of common sense. I would recommend a good strong dose of his ideas, preferably by reading his books (and above all the Illuminatus!, trilogy, the brilliant satire he wrote with Robert Shea), to anyone suffering from excess mental rigidity.

    Siliconguy, many thanks for this! It’s embarrassingly rare to get hard data from a specific area like this, so it’s much appreciated.

    Gray Hat, the technology has been around in various forms since the late Renaissance. It’s one of those discoveries that the reality police keep on erasing from the collective memory of our age.

    Ariel, now if they’ll only draw the obvious conclusion and stop abusing the rest of us quite so blatantly!

    Jeff, I haven’t gotten to him yet — I tend to focus on one philosopher at a time.

    Ecosophian, it’s a very odd thing. That I know of, it started in America and other European colonial nations, where the intellectual classes were taught to despise their own lower classes and ape European upper class fashions. Then, once Europe lost its independence after the Second World War, European intellectuals started aping American fashions, and the feedback loop spun out of control. I’ll check out Scruton’s book when I have a chance, since he’s generally pretty sound, and take a look at Beckeld.

    Stephen, it’s a little more complex than that. The revival of Christianity that will spearhead our second religiosity is of course already well under way, and it’s already showing the fixation on religion as a social appliance rather than a way to contact the living Divine that always characterizes second religiosities. As that fixation becomes more and more deeply rooted, and the religious forms of the time become more mummified, some other religious impulse already present among the poor and disenfranchised will become the focus for the rising religious vision of the next cycle. In all probability the religion of the future already exists, but it won’t emerge from the background for a couple of lifetimes yet.

    Northwind, that’s one of the reasons I encouraged people to contact their local Scottish Rite organizations with donations in Sara’s memory. Among other things, the more local it is, the less of it will get scooped up by vast national bureaucracies.

    Alan, it’s one form of intuition, and tolerably common. Socrates had a variant of it; his intuitive sense always warned him when he was about to say or do something wrong. Students of occultism practice divination as one of the ways to develop it.

    Alex, conflict is certainly part of the cosmos. In the Cabala, it’s the principle of the fifth sphere Geburah, and thus one of the ten great principles that govern all things. It’s important not to jump from this to see it as the most important principle — it’s just one of the ten — but it’s also important not to neglect or ignore it, or to pretend that it can be made to go away.

    Great Khan of Potlucks, thank you for this; I’ve just signed up.

    Guillem, thanks for this; I’ve wanted to visit the Cathar country in the south of France, but never had the chance. No, Sara didn’t remember the location; she had fairly fragmentary memories of that life, because whenever she tried to explore them, what came back was mostly the experience of being burnt alive.

    Mac, many thanks for this.

  39. Hi everybody,

    I really missed this space, the discussions and all the great ideas and helpful pointers I get from you folks. JMG, thank you very, very much for providing the room for it! :-))

    Two offers today, if I may:

    1. Each Wednesday, I perform a small blessing ceremony which is open to everybody. You’ll need to sign up each week in order to receive the blessings:

    I work on improving my blessing skills, and in particular my ability to handle such ceremonies for larger groups of people. I.e. you’d actually do me a favour in signing up! A win-win, I hope… 🙂

    2. There was such a lively discussion about the pros and cons of tapping (EFT) this Magic Monday… I’ve meant to write up some infos about tapping for a while, based on my own experiences, and took this as a prompt to finally do it. If anybody is interested, the text can be found here:

    (It’s on the longer end of things, but since we’re all used to JMG’s standards, I hope it’ll be manageable 😉 )

    Hope everybody is having a good week! 🙂


  40. John & esteemed commentariat,

    Have you or anyone else read the work of Dane Rudhyar? I find this character quite fascinating, and recently discovered him, first as a composer of a series of piano pieces with the name Pentagram ( & ) then as a Theosophist and Occultist, writer on astrology and psychology.

    Scanning a few of his works to see what I might read, or where I might start, I was impressed by his familiarity with Toynbee and Spengler and citing their work in multiple instances in different books. I’m guessing, since he was an occultist, he didn’t need to be respectable, and could cite Toynbee and Spengler as much as he wished. At the same time, it seems, that in what we might call his second or last phase, the era of the 60s through the 80s, people were also generally more interested in these historians.

    Ray Bradbury’s Toynbee Convector story was published in 1984. That was the first time I heard of Toynbee, through one of his collections as a kid (I think it beared that name). Later when I asked people who had been trained as historians about Spengler (early 2000s) I was scoffed at or ignored.

    Dane seems like he was part of that grand tradition of American occultism, even though he was a European transplant. It seems he really took to America and was aware it eventually having to cast off the manacles of Euro culture.

    What is your take on this occult cat, if you have one?

  41. @Justin Patrick Moore #8

    What an interesting picture! On the face of it it looks like it uses the settings selected on quarter circle controls on the right hand side generate a shield chart on the elements of the left hand side. This would certainly be a natural arrangement for a culture where text runs right to left.

    I wonder what the internals look like.

  42. Hi JMG,
    Donation gladly made in Sara’s name, by clicking on the link you kindly provided. Kudos to the builders of that website! Incredibly easy to navigate, and it even told me “Well Done!” when I fixed an error I made. That made me chuckle. Hope that gives you and Sara a smile. 😊

  43. Mr. Greer,

    I suppose a Post-Peak Oil is a pretty good herald for an age ruled by both the planet of hard choices and hard knocks and the planet of sudden crises and disruptive events.

    Also something real odd happened in pop culture these last couple of weeks. Arrowhead Game Studios, a small Swedish video game developer, released a game called Helldivers 2 which promptly blew up in popularity. The game sold over 1 million copies in just three days; soon the servers handling the game’s multiplayer functionality were overloaded. The game’s popularity has been spreading like wildfire ever since. The premise of the game is that your character-a helmeted, masked and therefore faceless soldier- is part of an elite paratrooper unit, the Helldivers, and is pretty much fighting a for a science fiction version of George W. Bush’s government.

    And I mean that quite literally. You are invading the planets of a insect alien species to take their oil and spread “freedom and democracy” to their people. You are also attacking a rogue colony of cyborgs, named Cyberstan of all things, because their leaders are developing weapons of mass destruction. You got a senator named John W. Killjoy who talks about seizing WMDs from aggressive aliens and preventing them from being “too advanced” along with a general named Cowel Pollin.

    The thing is Bush has been out of office for the last 16 years. About half the people playing this game were still in elementary school when he left office and the other, older, half includes a lot of veterans of the War on Terror. You wouldn’t think an science fiction send up of his presidency were you play a soldier fighting for a sci-fi George W. Bush and Dick Cheney would be the most popular video game in the world right now but it is.

    Any thoughts on why that might be?

  44. With regards to that awesome geomantic instrument Justin Patrick Moore linked to in #8:
    Has anybody happened to come across something like a construction plan? Or an explanation of how it works (preferably also behind the scenes)?

    I just did a quick search and came across some generic description, but not enough to guess what all the knobs and sliders mean and do…


  45. To Pygymy Corrie,
    I read your post on forgiveness and I have had problems with holding on to rage. Couldn’t really get rid of it.

    I developed a mantra which is to say the full name of the person I am enraged with and add, “I forgive you with all my heart.” It works really well. My sister loves it and thinks it is the best thing I have done. I last used it after an appalling trip with a beloved niece. I was able to forgive her in twenty minutes!

  46. “I don’t recommend it, though, as the karma’s kind of ugly.”

    In what way? If karma is trajectory, self-destructive and/or fanatical tendencies? (Not a comment on Bushnell or his act taken by themselves, for the record. The overall impression that I got from his video is that of someone extremely lucid doing something that was demanded by a carefully thought-through conviction – whatever one might make of that conviction. But where would that kind of act push you beyond death?)

  47. @Dylan #16 There is a theory, developed by Simon Shack, that Tycho Brahe was correct and the Earth is at the center of our solar system. The newest edition of the book laying out the theory is available for free in pdf format here:

    There is also a three dimensional model available here:

    If this model is correct it would support Stiener’s claims.

  48. Archdruid and company,

    It’s been awhile since I’ve posted here, but I have a question that I thought all of you might be able to answer. I’m currently looking to break out my fantasy/sci-fi reading niche, and want to try diving into political, spy, and mystery thrillers. I’m looking for books that are heavy on procedural content, bureaucratic intricacies, and etc…would you all happen to have any suggestions?


  49. Thanks for these comments as well as this blog. I always give locally, and have since before I came here. My daughter and her family give to every international good cause and subscribe to every science magazine published, including 2 out of England. Again, blessings.

    My computer and landline have lost their connectivity. Am writing this from a very inconvenient public computer, so the comment may or may not go through.

  50. Hey JMG

    I have just remembered that a long time ago I talked to you about a interesting constructed language called Solresol, based on music, that was made around the 1800’s and which I theorised may have occult applications, and which intrigued you enough to download material on it.
    Though I’m pretty certain that the answer will be no on account of your other more pressing work, I just wanted to ask you if you ever got around to looking at it?

  51. Bradley #2: “…Jesus saying to pray for your enemies…”
    I’m not sure this is a good idea in every situation. In particular, for survivors of child abuse, it can be counterproductive. The late Andrew Vachss wrote a good essay on that topic; here’s an excerpt: “A particularly pernicious myth is that ‘healing requires forgiveness’ of the abuser. For the victim of emotional abuse, the most viable form of help is self-help—and a victim handicapped by the need to ‘forgive’ the abuser is a handicapped helper indeed…The abuser has no ‘right’ to forgiveness—such blessings can only be earned.”

  52. Before we proceed, a comment. It impresses me, and not in a good way, that ever since I put the “no discussions of AI” requirement on these open posts, at least one person every month has somehow taken that as an excuse to try to start a conversation about AI. I gather that a lot more people have trouble with basic reading comprehension than I thought. Still, that’s what the delete button is for.

    With that out of the way…

    Justin, I’ve read some of his astrological work and found it very mixed; he was one of the leading figures in the turn toward psychology that ended up making so much late 20th century astrology an exercise in navel-gazing, though to his credit he didn’t take it as far as later writers did. I wasn’t aware that he was au courant with Spengler and Toynbee. As for his iconoclasm, he came by that honestly from his French roots — half the really disruptive artistic movements of the century came from France, after all.

    OtterGirl, many thanks for this. Sara isn’t accessible to contact right now — like any newly dead person, she has a lot of work to do to wrap up an incarnation and get ready for what comes next — but I’ll pass that on when I next have the chance.

    Karl, why not? Mockery is an underrated tool for healing.

    Milkyway, I wish I did. As I mentioned, I heard from some people who were trying to make one, but never saw any coherent plans.

    Daniil, I was speaking of the Irish fasting practice, not specifically of Bushnell. If he did in fact do it as a self-sacrifice motivated by ethical reasons, he’ll have cleared away a lot of karma.

    Varun, do yourself a favor and read plenty of Eric Ambler. He invented the modern spy thriller, and took it out of the realm of make-believe into the gritty realities of day to day espionage and crime. Early Frederick Forsyth is also well worth your while.

    Joe, I don’t happen to know much about that. You’d probably want to talk to someone who has a background in Native American traditions.

    Patricia M, as you see, it came through just fine. I hope you can get things fixed!

    J.L.Mc12, er, I’ve had a few other things absorbing my attention of late.

  53. Have you looked at the new Electional Astrology feature on If so, what do you think of it?

  54. @JPM #8: That looks like something an ancient Egyptian might have bought at a hamfest in Atlantis.

  55. You have my heartfelt sympathy my friend. I too had one of my 2 oldest friends pass – just got back from saying my goodbyes.

    In the midst of the commonality of experience we sooner or later come to, I want to relate another discussion had with the children (their group now around the age of 30) . We were drinking some satsuma port wine I put back just before I got sick, like in 2021. Someone brought up that things were looking ‘apocalyptic’ in the middle east. Some comments were made, mostly anti-Israel, and then someone blurted “but is that really an apocalypse? What got revealed?”
    Then they veered off into the many things that have been/are rapidly becoming facts from their initial disclosure as ‘conspiracy theories’. The list they came up with was lengthy, but most people here likely can imagine much of the list. I hadn’t said much,but there was a lull. I decided to interject with an injection from my life, which they had trouble comprehending. “None of you here grew up before the advent of computers. None of you have held a slide rule in your hands, or actually ‘dialed’ a telephone. Most of your lives have been in the era of the internet. Now that we know the various alphabet agencies have been censoring the internet, how much easier was it for them to censor a few newspapers and 5 or 6 TV networks? Because that was all we had when I was growing up.”

    Lively discussions ensued….

    After a bit, I told them I felt we were living in truly apocalyptic times based on the revelations cascading all around the world. Before the internet, smart phones, etc., secrets could be kept or squelched by exerting pressure on the few major arteries of media. Now there were just too many people, pictures, etc. flying around with access to internet so that nobody can squelch much for very long.
    That got things going,but at the end of 30 minutes or so, I said, “Well? Do you guys think we are living the apocalypse?” There was laughter, but also acknowledgement that the internet and things digital were driving all the skeletons from myriad closets across the planet.
    Later, my sons buddy asked me what I thought about this. I told him that until the internet breaks or gets too expensive, the apocalypse will continue. And that his generation would likely see the dissipation of the internet or its transformation into some thing else entirely. He asked me why – I told him that porn was the biggest driver of the internet, and he thought I was loony, so I left it there. We drove home listening to Alabama’s Greatest Hits…

    I was wondering if other here feel that this is the apocalypse? And am I right in connecting it to the info-flood concurrent with the arrival of smart phones and ubiquitous internet?

  56. Thank you for your intolerance of the mislabeled ‘artificial intelligence’ currently being ballyhooed.

  57. Hey JMG

    Sorry, I thought that would be the case, it’s just that this question suddenly occurred to me as I was browsing through this weeks open post, and the only other thing I could think of was to share some covid related news.

  58. JMG

    Firstly, my deepest and most sincere condolences for your loss. Beautiful eulogy to a life clearly lived well.

    Second: I’m just starting out on my journey through your writings. Just finished ‘Long Descent’ and quite apart from the subject matter, it has stimulated a lot of metacognition, particularly around the ‘monkey trap.’ Thank you. It is quite evident looking at the country and communities around me that we are well on our way.

    Lastly: am seeking to catch up by reading ‘Collapse Now’ but cannot find it in the UK. Are there any plans to reprint it or (gods forbid, but perhaps needs must) make it available as an e-book?

  59. Hi John Michael,

    For once I have nothing to ask! 🙂 Just wanted to let you know that down here I’m thinking of you and hope that you are doing OK?

    2024 does have a weird vibe to it, yeah. A bit of simplification in the civilisational arrangements wouldn’t hurt, and in fact I believe it would produce some good outcomes.

    In a weird turn of events, the spy chief down here has just publicly announced that a former politician has allegedly been acting for foreign powers. Now why that person hasn’t been named, then prosecuted is a question which bothers me. Who are the spies to decide upon such matters? That isn’t their job. Hmm. What do they call it again, is it mission creep?

    Anywhoo, in farm news despite the foot or more of rain a month or so back, the weather has warmed and dried lately. Quite nice really. The media were in a bit of a lather about how bad yesterday’s conditions were going to be, but it didn’t seem any better or worse than any other hot summers day – and I’d experienced much worse. Such wild talk in the media has impacts though, and I noticed that there were no tourists up in the mountain range yesterday. Could be a solid plan, huh? 😉 Far out man. The problem with the ‘boy who cried wolf’ story was one of the reasons I left the local volunteer firefighting brigade. I have a pivotal memory of sitting in the fire shed during winter with snow falling outside and the head honcho saying: “It’s going to be a bad summer for fires”. It wasn’t, and so I decided to instead spend my time slowly preparing the land since then for the inevitable. Why most other people seem to instead want to wait for the inevitable and do nothing is something of a mystery. Beats me. But you’d see that with issues like Peak Oil I guess? The implications of that weren’t lost on me.

    Shoot! Contradicted myself there. You have this uncanny knack of drawing questions out of your readers! Respect as always. 🙂



  60. I had a question: I have downloaded and begun to study the MOE material and I see that there is an audio file with an AE Attunement, I assume by John Gilbert. Lots of people would take issue with “distant initiations”. My sense is that this is fine if it was the intent of the person who started the lineage. However, an attunement that is done remotely STILL has a person doing the transmission as a conscious entity at that time with the intention of transmitting the “mana” to the recipient. But does this hold true for an attunement that was done only once and recorded? Does it still work if the Healing Master (in this case) isn’t intentionally involved in the process and not even still incarnate?

  61. @Jeff Russell, #32 — I ran across Collingwood in college, many years ago. I first tried to read The Idea of History and totally failed to understand it. But I had better luck (I think) with An Essay on Metaphysics. Collingwood’s understanding of metaphysics is that it is not a collection of timeless truths, but rather a historical study of the “absolute presuppositions” that underlie the beliefs of a particular age.

    He gives the example of causality: if you ask a physician what causes a certain disease, he’ll give you an answer. If you ask the same physician how does he know that diseases have causes at all, he’ll just splutter “Because everything has a cause!” The spluttering tells you that you have touched on one of his “absolute presuppositions.” Collingwood builds on this idea, and ultimately turns his essay into an attack on behaviorism (of the B. F. Skinner sort) because he sees enormous dangers in its absolute presuppositions.

    Of course he wrote much more than that. This is what I was able to understand.

  62. Mr. Greer, first of all my sincere condolences. Though I’m by no means well versed in praying (many years of atheist or agnostic skepticism verging on scientism have dulled my practice, and from which I’m trying to recover), I have offered whatever prayers I could to you and your wife. I hope that even prayers so flawed can make a difference, however small.

    I’m wondering if you know anything on the subject of learning more deeply. I wanted to ask about learning faster, but I think faster is maybe not the right call; just making it stick better might be more productive. (In any case both are somewhat connected).
    I am already looking into the Art of Memory by Yates (thanks for the recommendation btw), but I figured it didn’t hurt to ask in a more general sense. I have recently changed fields of study and the new learning required is somewhat staggering for a short period of time, so anything that can help would be useful.


  63. @Ecosophian, #33 — You posed a question about the self-hatred of the West, and quoted the suggestion that “self-contempt [is] a kind of career path for the societal elite.” With respect to America in particular, I think you can take the idea a step farther.

    Historically, one of the important threads of American culture has been the use of violence against external enemies. (I mean this observation dispassionately, and not as a criticism.) This is visible in specifically American narrative forms like the Western. And for many years, we had external enemies to fight. So ambitious young men (for example) could drop out of society to go fight them, gaining honor in the process and hoping to win treasure.

    But after WW2, we found ourselves in the awkward position that the only remaining enemies who were really worthy of us were armed with weapons that could destroy the world. And winning victories in Grenada or Panama wasn’t very inspiring. So when ambitious American youth looked for an enemy to vanquish, in order to win honor and make a name, the only available enemy strong enough to be dangerous—strong enough to require valor in the fight—was America herself. And therefore our most ambitious and aggressive youth began to attack America … all in the hopes of making a name for valor and achievement.

    I don’t disagree with anything you wrote. Just adding a bit of extra nuance. (I talk about this idea in a little more detail here:

  64. Thanks for your replies today John… I can see how Rudhyar’s work helped usher in the psychological / personal approach to astrology for sure.
    Something about the French… The books I’m interested from him are, specifically: Dissonant Harmony: A New Principle of Musical and Social Organization from 1928 and Culture, Crisis and Creativity from 1977.

    There is an archive of some of his stuff here:

    Do you, or anyone here, happen to know about any books or research into the occult milieu in Austria and Vienna specifically, say from the late 19th century up to WWII? It seems obvious that Steiner would be an influence in those circles, but I’m not sure what or who else. In my reading I’ve come across all these, lets just say Bohemians (expressionist painters, modernist composers, poets & architects) all hanging out in these different salons and what not. I’d be happy to find some more concrete occult connections. There are some that can be teased out… and that’s part of the fun (I found Rudhyar for instance) . Other instances would be good. Thanks for any pointers

  65. Hi JMG. I hope you are holding up well. I hope your life is as “back to normal” as it can be under the circumstances. I’ll be happy to oblige your desire to dive back into your blog with some questions and comments!

    I recall you had a post some time ago that included a fictional future history of the US. Part of the story included a Constitutional convention of the states (I can’t recall if it was a one-off or if it was in the Retrotopia series of posts).

    Anyway, I wanted to let you know if you’re not already aware, there is an organization working towards just that. And they have some heavy hitters endorsing them on their website, including the governors of Texas and Florida. They call themselves simply the Convention of States and they are calling for an Article V Constitutional convention:

  66. Hi JMG,
    How much are you allowed to comment on a copyrighted work without violating fair use? I know quoting should be kept to a minimum. Can a commentator, in their own words, explain, elaborate, and synthesize the other author’s ideas that they’re commenting on as much as their heart desires? All the websites I see attempting to define fair use all talk about commenting on short pieces of an author’s work. I haven’t found anything on extensive commenting. The sites seem most focused on quotes. Your book clubs are good examples of the kind of work I want to figure out in relation to fair use. I ask this knowing that you are probably within the bounds of fair use in your bookclubs, and want to know the reason behind how that works. Thanks a bunch in advance!

  67. Question about karma. Thinking about the history of communism recently got me wondering to what degree bad karma acts at the population level. Specifically, I think we can all agree that the communist revolutions in Russia and in China were tragedies to befall the Russian and Chinese populations, respectively. My question is: Is this a karma related phenomenon?

    Is it possible that the people of both
    those countries, collectively, had done something in the past to deserve this horrible fate? I can’t imagine anything so bad as to deserve either scenario, so I have trouble chalking it up to karma myself. The number of innocent people affected—I would have trouble accepting that all of them had bad karma to work off.

  68. Mr. Greer,

    I understand that but the fans of the game are not treating it as a mockery. Quite the opposite, they are openly and unironically embracing this science fiction version of George W. Bush’s America which the creators of the game dubbed Super Earth. So much so that a lot of Democratic aligned media is having a major freak out about it. For example, NBC just put this article out today:

    And that is what I find interesting, and a little odd here, is that a bunch of young men are openly embracing a science fiction repackaging of the Bush Admin and the mainstream media is treating the game as a cultural threat which seems to be increasing the game’s popularity. This is not a healing feedback loop; this is an escalating culture war feedback loop.

  69. @Varun,
    When I was younger, I enjoyed Tom Clancy. I think his novels would count as political and spy thrillers, though they are probably a little dated now. I also really like Jo Nesbo (translations, as he is Norwegian) and his Harry Hole series. (I am a bit behind, though, so haven’t read the most recent books.)

  70. Hi Maxine,
    I suspect that would only work for me in situations where I can forgive easily and completely. Because otherwise I am telling an untruth by saying it, and that makes me massively uncomfortable. For messy situations that are hard, I much prefer working through it in prayer.

  71. JMG, glad to be of service 🙂

    I wanted to ask you next about the Polarian, Lemurian, Atlantean ages etc.- these ideas seem to be something like peer-reviewed in Western occultism, as Gareth Knight, Dion Fortune, and I think Mme. Blavatsky all refer to them. And yet I have no reason to think that any of them were using methods any more sound than Steiner. So why do they (and you, as far as I can tell) consider these epochs of earth history to be fact?

    You also mentioned (in the blog post on Steiner) having tested out his training methods for yourself. What qualities exactly are those methods well-suited to developing in students, and how do you see those qualities leading to his discoveries in education and agriculture?

  72. Monster @15, if the trailer you’re referring to is the one I saw, then I don’t plan on seeing the movie. It appears that wokesters are the good guys, and working class White people from the red states are the evil bad guys. There was also some plot detail that California and Texas formed a military alliance; I can’t think of anything more implausible. Is the trailer you saw different? I’ll hold my popcorn until the Temple of Cinema is cleansed of the wokesters.
    –Lunar Apprentice

  73. @Misty Friday #50:
    Thanks for the links! This looks like a really interesting theory. The simulator won’t work on my ancient computer, but there is a nice image in the Preface of the book text.

    How would this model support Steiner’s claims about the origins of the celestial bodies? I can’t tell from the little I’ve seen of Shack’s work.

  74. @Alan
    The desert fathers point out that there’s more than one kind of knowing. There’s the sort of information you get from your senses, the sort of thing you learn from other people– directly or by reading- and then there’s what you’re talking about: when your nous apprehends something directly. It’s OK, normal even, and it can be trained to work more consistently through prayer, humility, and ascesis. You’re right to trust it.

  75. Bradley, regarding praying for enemies.
    My mouth tends to be overly active and I’m not the best at gaging situations, nor slow at responding or defending my stance, so I’ve gotten a fair share of people that don’t like me, understandably.

    My experience is that they just go away if you pray for them so that’s what I do when someones starts pestering me. Two things happen, something good happens to them so they are less angry and thus stop pestering, or just go away with it and follow something else, the other is that I suspect some sort if psychic rapport is created and they can sense me sending good wishes (they have to be truly genuine good wishes) and since they can’t stand me, they just go away.

  76. Packshaud: I talked to you through e-mail before – if you still use the same address, would you do me the favor of looking into the e-mails you got today? (Also: sorry.)

  77. I missed last week’s post since I thought you were taking the rest of February off. Let me express my deepest condolences on your loss, it’s a hard thing to face

  78. Varun
    I would wholeheartedly recommend Alan Furst and Philip Kerr. Alan Furst’s stories are about espionage and life in general in Europe in the 30s and 40s: ordinary people performing extraordinary acts of courage when they had to. Philip Kerr’s are about a German detective in the interwar and WWA II era. He is not a nazi, but is not political or idealogical enough to leave and gets cought up in the events of the nazi era, also some stoties in the aftermath of the war. Just read another book called The Last Time I saw Paris. Can’t remember the author’s name, but about a woman who becomes involved in the resistance in Paris in WWII. A treachery Of spies by Manda Scott is wonderful.There is an awful lot of good stuff written about that era.

  79. Joan, I haven’t looked at it. I do my elections the old-fashioned way with an ephemeris.

    Oilman2, ha! A very literate way of thinking about it. I suspect that in that sense, the real apocalypse is still ahead.

    Thomas, depends on the working, of course.

    Oilman2, you’re most welcome.

    PCC, glad to hear it. It’s currently out of print but I’m trying to get it back in print.

    Chris, hmm! That’s fascinating news about your top spy. As for peak oil, yes, exactly.

    Ridgely, you need a living master teacher on the other side of the interaction to pass on the attunement; a recording won’t do it.

    Furnax, one essay you may find well worth reading is The Lost Tools of Learning by Dorothy Sayers, which you can download for free here:

    Justin, I wish I did! It would help clarify a great deal, not least concerning the origins of Nazism.

    Blue Sun, it’s in the series that became my novel Twilight’s Last Gleaming. Yes, I’ve heard of the outfit in question; I think they have quite a good chance at pulling it off.

    Luke, you can quote 500 words verbatim; if it’s in your own words, though, you can write as much as you want. There are entire books written about the ideas of living writers whose works are still in copyright.

    Blue Sun, my take is that when something like that is going to happen, people are born into the country in question so that they can work off karma. It’s not that their karma causes it, it’s that it’s going to happen and so they make use of it.

    Karl, that’s really remarkably weird. No, I don’t know why, then.

    Dylan, if you read my pieces talking about the Lemurian and earlier ages, you’ll find that I treat that teaching as a tradition that may or may not be accurate. As for Steiner, that question would require a long essay or short book to answer.

    Raymond, thank you.

  80. @Hosea Tanatu #66 re: Collingwood

    Thanks very much for this! I asked the blogger I mentioned where to start, and he recommended Collingwood’s Autobiography and the “Essay on Metaphysics,” so thank you for some further pointers on what’s there.


  81. Thank you. That is exactly what I thought. The inclusion of that audio file was what raised the question. Thank you again.

  82. @Dylan #78:
    Why would the Earth be at the center of our system? One possible explanation is that it was the original star in this system. In the Tychos model Mercury and Venus are moons of Sol. Mars and Sol are in a binary orbit around the Earth and all the other planets orbit the Earth. With that possible origin and configuration it is wholly possible Steiner was correct.

  83. I have several random links normally lined up for an appropriate time to drop in ecosophia, an open post is an excellent time.

    First up, this is a few years old, but is a rare occasion where scientists have told us not merely to consume less fossil fuels, but to consume less generally.

    “For over half a century, worldwide growth in affluence has continuously increased resource use and pollutant emissions far more rapidly than these have been reduced through better technology”

    Next up, an article on how elites are spending literally hundreds of thousands of dollars on coaching to prepare their child for Ivy League entrance exams. I’m reminded of the elaborate court ritual of late-monarchical France – obviously there’s a surplus of well-educated well-off people all fighting for status. If it were simply a matter of education, the $120k a year this guy charges could pay for a live-in tutor to give a child the most excellent of multilingual classical educations. If it were simply a matter of making money, the half-million or so they’re spending (remember, they’ll have gone to a private school, too), could be given them at 18 years old with some business coaching for them to start their own business. It’s pure status, like a knighthood or baronetcy.

    In a similar theme, this study looked at social mobility in Imperial and Republican China. The interesting thing is that even with the Cultural Revolution and everyone’s property being seized by force, families of name X who were well-off in 1950 were more likely to be well-off in 2020. You can call this “kin-based networks” or “nepotism”, but the end result is the same: there’s less social mobility than is commonly imagined. Thus the desperate spending of money on tutors, etc as in the article above.

    The social mobility of the population generally and people’s consumption are connected, since obviously elites tend to consume more than others, and will have an interest in not seeing consumption reduced. These are some of the things making productive change difficult for societies as a whole. Of course, this does not prevent productive change by individuals, households and communities. Which brings me to my last bit.

    I would not normally post a link to my own stuff, since JMG is against sales pitches, however it is a free substack, and JMG has previously said I should return to article writing as the online world lacks what I called a “cammo green” (ie conservative conservationist) perspective.

    It’s free to read (though people can contribute if they wish) and will publish each Monday starting this coming Monday 4th March 2024.

  84. JMG (and everybody),
    This is a follow-up question regarding your comment on Dane Rudhyar. What criteria ( or a single criterion) would you use to distinguish between the pursuit of self-mastery with the concomitant necessary pursuit of self-knowledge from “an exercise in navel-gazing”?

  85. Waffles-I knew Robert Anton Wilson and his wife, not as well as I would have liked, although Arlen did hold a baby shower for me. In addition to the Illuminatus trilogy, I recommend the three books in the uncompleted Historical Illuminatus: The Widow’s Son, The Earth Will Shake and Nature’s God. RAW was an initiate of the bootstrap wiccan order known as the New Reformed Orthodox Order of the Golden Dawn (no relation to the original Golden Dawn.) He was also interested in Aleister Crowley’s OTO which was active in the SF Bay Area at the time and was a close friend of LSD pioneer Dr. Timothy Leary. RAW and his family did suffer a tragic loss when his daughter was beaten to death by a deranged street person while clerking in a Berkeley shop. Both before this and after, RAW was interested in the idea that Western medical science was close to achieving human physical immortality and the idea of persons with a fatal disease being able to have their bodies frozen to await a cure for what ailed them. I had a fairly complete set of his works and started rereading some of the non-fiction recently. However, I was seized with the feeling “that that was then”, and much of the material just didn’t seem to retain much meaning. But, that’s just me, I would not claim that the work is irrelevant to others.

    Re local action: I have felt for some time that in a democracy of the American type it is actively unethical to donate to candidates or causes outside of one’s own area, i.e. state, city, county, congressional district, state senate district, etc. . What business is it of mine which candidate the voters of Wisconsin or Delaware choose to represent them in Congress or the Senate? I receive appeals for funds based on the idea that the Small Enders must retain control of the House, or Senate, and that to further this goal I should donate to the Small Ender candidate in another state, or for the same reason, a candidate for a state office in my state but a different district because heaven forfend that the Big Enders should acquire or maintain power. I utterly reject this logic and wish very much that it would be possible to legally block such donations. A citizen of Orgon should have no more influence on the elections of California than a citizen of Canada should, which is none except the power to comment privately or publicly.

    Stephen Pearson – have you read _Dark Matter_, Kerr’s historical mystery novel which puts Sir Isaac Newton in the role of detective hunting a counterfeit ring (in his role as Master of the Mint)? Quite interesting. Kerr also wrote a series of fantasy novels for children: the Children of the Lamp. I haven’t read any of them, so can’t comment.


  86. @Hosea Tanatu, thanks for linking to your blog, it looks interesting. What you say about American anti-Americanism makes sense to me, at least as part of the picture. I might quibble that both the cultural importance of using violence against external enemies and a certain sense of… anti-patriotism or reversed patriotism are not an isolated American phenomenon. Certainly we have a lot of both in Russia, and I keep encountering it in other countries as well. It may be universal. But there is something special about the American version of this reversed patriotism. Maybe it is because the cultural significance of violent struggle has outpaced the reality of it? As you say, America hasn’t been in credible danger from any of its enemies for a while (unless we count the possibility of nuclear war, of course, but that may indeed be a special case). Yet this state of safety existed side by side with a culture of glorious struggle that became increasingly disconnected from the actual high-stakes struggles in the past. So more imaginative outlets needed to be found. Just my two cents, though.

  87. @blue sun If I understand correctly, karma is not a question of “deserving” something morally, so much as of being unable to escape the consequences of one’s behaviour. So one can move from seemingly relatively harmless indulgences to worse and worse things, culminating in collapse. A lot of people here in Russia have spent decades trying to puzzle out how this might have happened (though most of them would not have put in terms of karma). I’m not sure that I find any of the explanations offered convincing, since much of it just blames it on widespread failure to live up to the inquirer’s political and moral ideals.

    Maybe the best one has to do with a widespread decline in societal solidarity and responsibility that took place over centuries. Peter the Great is a key milestone in this case. Though he had some genuinely good intentions and did achieve some worthwhile things, he also vastly disrupted Russian society by placing a cultural wedge between the nobility and the peasants while also introducing European-style absolutism instead of the earlier Muscovite despotism (which, for all of its many defects, was more organic, grounded, predictable and balanced). You can trace the slowly but surely increasing disaffection of all parts of the population to his reign and its borderline anarchic aftermath. Disaffection led to more irresponsibility and apathy. This eventually meant that, in a true crisis, this society could only muster a very limited defence against an organised sect seeking to conquer it from within. The vast majority of Russians weren’t involved in the revolution, but neither did they fight it – they sat it out. Same thing happened at the end of the USSR. But that’s just a theory. I suppose it isn’t particularly karmic by itself, but I think it has that component as well.

  88. Kind Sir,
    I only read last weeks post today so let me use the open post to express my condolences.
    And my thanks for sharing your wife’s and your story.
    To me it was one of your best and most touching posts ever.

  89. Forgiving your enemies or abusers does nothing for them but does plenty for you, mostly, it gets rid of resentments. As they say, resentment is like drinking poison and hoping the other guy will die. It is a huge obstacle to healing.

    Re Steiner’s cosmogony: I don’t know anything about it, but I do know that solar systems are tricky things to keep going over the long term. Tiny gravitational disturbances can mount up over time and end in a planet being flung out of the system. Try Super Planet Crash yourself.

  90. Hello John Michael,
    Please accept my condolences for the loss of your lovely wife. I never gave up hope that Clare Vaughn would publish another book.
    My question is about why the current ideal female body type resembles a nearly starved Scandinavian. I recall that you mentioned, some years ago, that you knew the answer to this question and I’m eager to learn the answer. Thank you.
    Live from Pelican Place,
    Mrs Clifford

  91. I am reading “Doctor Antonio”, a book from 1858 and set in 1840 in Italy around Genoa.
    An Italian doctor cures a British noblewoman and falls in love with her, but then dies fighting for his country. All very romantic and patriotic.

    There is an interesting part where the dear doctor wants to bleed his patient, but the girl’s father steps in to stop him, afraid that she might die. At that point, the doctor gives the worried father the “so-you-do-not-trust-The-Science” treatment, subtly insinuating he has racist motives, and demonstrates how the best doctors, including British ones, would have done the same. Bloodletting: safe and effective! Some things never change.

    About patriots: I remember you mentioned the Carbonari in a previous post of yours. I was wondering if you know whether they still exist, and how to reach them.

  92. I am pleasantly surprised to find several Brother Masons here! I was finally initiated this month with the Fellow Craft scheduled for April. If any brother happens to be near Jerusalem Lodge 104, you can contact me at betwixtworlds at protonmail dot com

  93. Thank you for the recommendation! This is a fascinating essay by Sayers, and frankly a rare defense of scholastic education, which I always suspected was unfairly maligned. It takes a little thinking to make the idea of the Trivium more generalized (I haven’t the time to properly learn logic, dialectic and rhetoric right now…) but my take from it is that one should focus more on how one learns, as opposed to what one is learning, since the former is applicable by definition to all subjects.


  94. TJandtheBear #297 – Deindustrial Warfare post
    “Scotlyn, Again, why would you voluntarily put yourself at such a disadvantage? You can be certain that anyone that would want to do you or your’s harm and/or take things from you would take every possible advantage without compunction. Misplaced principles don’t mean a damn thing when you’re dead. Your confidence can be easily addressed by getting training which I always recommend to everyone.”

    a response to my post, #296, as follows:
    “…at least in this life, I will absolutely refrain from using guns. My thinking is as follows. To bring a gun into a situation is to add a gun to that situation, and this makes the situation more dangerous than it otherwise would be UNLESS a) you are 100% certain the gun will remain in your posession AND b) you are 100% that you will be willing to use it promptlly and without hesitation. I lack confidence on both scores, and so, I will not bring guns into situations where they may end up being anybody’s. For self-defence I will have to rely instead on things like staying below the radar, camouflage, social skills, and so on. The weapons of the weak and the small. Which have their place.”

    Which, if TJ is agreeable, I would like to follow up with the question:
    TJ, having read my post again, can you say more about the “disadvantage” to which you propose I would be putting myself? Thank you! 🙂

  95. John – Ongoing condolences and positive vibes going your way, and supporting Sara in transition.

    A while ago, you were seeking potentially re-publishable and constructive older books, with a publisher potentially interested. After finding online prices of $500 – $1000, I have recently located and borrowed a copy of E. B. Balfour “The Living Soil and The Haughley Experiment”. The Living Soil portion was published in 1934, and the combined book in 1976 – so I am not sure if the copyright works for republication. In light of the prices found online, there is wide interest. There are a couple websites that supposedly will send you part one, but they did not work on my ancient computer.

    This book has solid long term research, both primary and from other sources, about healthy soil and agriculture, secondary nutrition and human/environmental health. Interestingly, even in the late thirties, her long term concern was swinging from soil depletion to pollution effects.

  96. William, it’s been a very long time since I kept up with tarot literature. The book I used to learn with originally was Eden Gray’s Mastering the Tarot, and I’d still recommend it.

    Hackenschmidt, many thanks for these.

    Kirsten, I’ll refocus the question on astrology in particular, since that was what I was talking about. What made post-Rudhyar astrology an exercise in navel-gazing was that it never did anything but psychology. The older astrology made firm predictions about future events, offered advice about the right and wrong times to do things, diagnosed illnesses, analyzed political and economic trends, predicted winning stocks in the stock market, and — crucially — explained what you could and couldn’t expect to get out of this life. The post-Rudhyar tradition circle obsessively around personal psychology, with the occasional detour into relationship counseling (another branch of psychology) and a lot of handwaving about how you really can get anything you want out of life and there are no negative planets at all. That was what I characterized as navel-gazing.

    DropBear, thank you.

    Chris, oh, it’s quite simple. By convincing people that the only acceptable body type is one that next to nobody can achieve, the corporate system keeps its inmates in a perpetual state of frustration, misery, and self-hatred. That makes it much easier to sell them vast amounts of consumer crap on the pretense that this will somehow fill the void.

    Disc_writes, sounds like a fun novel. If the Carbonari do still exist, they’ve retained their tradition of strict secrecy; I’ve encountered initiates of quite a few secret societies over the years, but I’ve yet to meet anyone who admits to being a Carbonaro.

    Chuaquin, an interesting hypothesis that turned out to be incorrect.

    Bro. Jon, delighted to hear it. Jerusalem Lodge #104 in which state?

    Furnax, glad it was of interest.

  97. I mentioned before that I think I’ve worked out the pathophysiology of type II diabetes, but it was not relevant to the question I had. JMG, I know you’re not a medical expert, but I know several of your readers are, and I would love to hear from them about whether or not any of them see anything I’m missing, because if I’m right, then this suggests that type II diabetes is one of the results of one of the most catastrophic failures of the modern public health system, by encouraging the food system to use the very chemical responsible for diabetes in the name of fighting the disease.

    I think I’ll qualify this by saying I think I have the pathophysiology for some cases; probably a majority of them, and most likely the majority, if not the entirety, of the increase since the early 1980s. Simply put, I think it is the result of excess fructose consumption, extended over a period of time. Fructose is a fascinating chemical from a biological perspective. Although it is chemically a sugar, it is processed in the liver almost identically to alcohol. Since fructose is quite reactive, and thus toxic in any concentration in the bloodstream, the liver responds to large influxes of it by shutting down anything not essential to survival at that time; just like it does for alcohol, for the same reason. Excess consumption of either causes various liver problems, such as fatty liver disease or cirrhosis, because these include various maintenance processes. One of these is glycogen synthesis.

    Glycogen is the main storage system for sugar for the body. The amount of sugar in the blood is usually around 4 grams, which is less than 20 calories. Since the human body quickly burns through that, it’s essential to have a storage system, as well as a means to create new sugar as needed. The two main places for glycogen storage are the liver, and the muscles. Muscular glycogen is almost physiologically irrelevant; it’s used by the muscles, but rarely if ever released into the blood stream. It’s main function is to allow muscles to function for extended periods of time without needing to draw down blood sugar too much. Outside of serious and extended physical activity (which is fairly rare for most Westerners), these stores seem to be mostly physiologically irrelevant.

    Given that the liver’s glucose synthesis can be blocked by a number of factors (including fructose or alcohol consumption), the liver’s store of glycogen is crucial. It allows for blood sugar regulation even if carbohydrates are not consumed. There are about 400 calories of glycogen stored in the liver; this can be depleted, but usually it remains stable because it is mostly intended as an emergency reserve, with most blood sugar coming from either the diet or synthesis in the liver. However, extremely large quantities of fructose will stop glycogen synthesis and block the creation of new blood sugar. This will then allow for the gradual depletion of the glycogen stores, which is commonly seen in Type II diabetics, although it’s usually attributed to liver insulin resistance.

    The next step in the puzzle is cortisol. There are studies which show that cortisol levels are elevated during periods of time when the liver is synthesizing glycogen; but when I looked into it, it seems that the idea cortisol causes liver glycogen synthesis is just an assumption. It may be the case that when the liver is synthesizing glycogen, or even just low on glycogen, it signals to the adrenal glands to create cortisol.

    Cortisol is a major stress hormone in the human body. It’s main function appears to be to signal to conserve energy for important uses, and to create more energy to ensure there is a steady supply. This would be a very useful thing for the body if the liver, which normally supplies a huge amount of blood sugar, is incapable of doing this, and in fact is seeking to draw down copious amounts of blood sugar over an extended period of time in order to restoke it’s stores.

    Extremely high levels of the hormone lead to a medical condition known as Cushing’s Syndrome, which appears to be metabolic syndrome on steroids. It’s thus plausible to suggest that metabolic syndrome is a chronic condition resulting from lower, but still elevated cortisol levels. One crucial point is that one of the common symptoms of Cushing’s Syndrome includes type II diabetes; so it is clear that excess cortisol can cause diabetes.

    I’d like to hear if anyone has any input into this hypothesis, because I’m still developing it and would very much like to hear if anyone can think of anything to add to it.

  98. About the 5 percent set aside – the commentator seemed to present the idea as a major concession by the EU Parliament. They seemed happy with it.

    When I read your blog, I immediately thought of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where the rich have taken over and forced everyone out. They don’t want development, but want cheap labor. Meanwhile, the help has to travel an hour or more from where they can get cheap houses to their employers’ homes.

    There is a lot of upper class folks moving to parts of West Virginia, hoping to change the culture and all of that bother. It is almost like the “triumph of the will.” I will it, and it will happen.

    Sigh, I remember in Maine, when the “summer people” showed up. Now, they have taken over my home town, and drove out the locals.

  99. About my absence – I became a lurker. My son had a psychotic break, and so we are having a three-ring circus. Never a dull moment. I am sorry about your wife. I have heard of others who made the same decisions as she did. I understand why, and hope I never have to decide that.

  100. Just sharing some moon trivia:
    Like about the moon being the only known moon with a tidal locked orbit,
    the moon is 27% the size of Earth (which would mean it should be too heavy for Earth to hold in its orbit unless it is hollow) also its orbit is a perfect circle….
    the moon “rings like a bell” when impacted, and that the vibrations became stronger with time and reached their peak 40 miles below the surface.

    moon rock is 2 billion years older than earth rock, and 1 billion years older than our solar system.

    all 9000 of the craters on the moon are the same depth
    the moon is 400 times smaller than the sun, and exactly 400 times closer to the Earth making an “almost impossible” (says many mathematicians and astronomers) perfect solar eclipse
    its surface chemical makeup is neptunium, and Uranium-237 (a bi-product of nuclear reactors and plutonium production).
    There are places where boulders roll up hill, and ahem..
    Ingo Swan, George Leonard, and of course the Apollo crew talking about weird music sounds coming from the dark side
    lots of unclassified pics of structures anyone can google (but not the pictures and footage that NASA …lost. and…retouched..Oopsy)
    plans to mine minerals from the moon were scrapped following first voyage,
    Neil Armstrong becoming fixated and spending the rest of his life searching for Aghartha (moon inspired)
    Buzz Aldridges comments on encountering beings on the moon, really I could go on. BTW did you know it is illegal to go to Cydonia (the area of the face thing and the pyramids on mars) I digress.
    Seems like there could be some things to go into though.
    Is the moon a giant metaphor? A light in the dark? A strange attractor for awakening awareness?

    Have a wonderful day

  101. More pondering on the land set-aside, Jackson Hole, and all that.
    It seems that the professional classes are in full panic, and trying to will their way to stay in power. I noticed that both the Washington Examiner (Conservative) and Washington Post (Progressive) are upset by populists being lead by Donald Trump.

    However, they do divide on how the world should be. The Post wants to continue the Post-War Order, and the Examiner says that we need a new order. I think both are not adjusting well to the universe they find themselves in. We have a new order, and right now we are muddling through. The old days of U.S. hegemony are gone.

  102. Varun #51:
    If you want spy thrillers with lots of procedural and bureaucratic detail, I can heartily recommend the novels of John le Carré. Any of his George Smiley books will fit that bill – maybe start with Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. They’re more than “just” spy novels IMO.

    The Sound of Falling Leaves

  103. Lunar Apprentice @77

    That’s the one, and I couldn’t even get to the part of the trailer where I saw who was fighting whom (Texas and California as allies is pretty far-fetched, at least at present). Out of the gate, the tone of woke PMC as the good guys and working class white folks as bad guys was established, and I hit skip.

  104. Dear John,
    In your last post your tender love for Sarah was so visible and powerful. Thank you for sharing that with us. I read your post to my wife and it put things in perspective for the both of us as a young couple starting out. My prayers are with you and Sarah.

    In your post, you mentioned that you and Sarah were able to retrieve memories of your past lives. Could you share how you retrieved those memories and any other details you would like to share? I’ve read about past life memories in the works of Ian Stevenson and Jim Tucker, but I don’t know any good method for retrieving those memories. I have looked up such techniques on the internet, but I don’t really trust it on occult matters because of the plethora of low-quality information. I would prefer to hear from an experienced occultist such as yourself.

  105. John, I’ve just learnt about your loss by reading your latest posts. I’m feeling very empathetic for you and I’ll be glad you accept my deepest and most sincere condolences.
    I feel now a bit awkward to announce that my RPG campaign reports you expressed interest in are now online :/ It’s all in French, everyone should be able to access them at this address:

  106. Since I didn’t respond to other recent threads except the personal one (once again, I offer condolences), I’ll do so here, if you don’t mind.

    That Tolkien post was very on-point. I’ve watched with fascination as the media fabricates and gaslights on a massive scale regarding the Ukraine war, with a narrative not far from the opposite of real events. I’ve figured out that US intelligence agencies are coordinating Ukrainian officials, the AFU & NGO’s in crafting this narrative, which then gets reported to Reuters & AP, and from there everywhere else. More to the point, the “fantasy war” (as I call it) has all the marks mentioned: the horde of enemy goblins (as pathetic and evil as possible, of course), the Dark Lord Putin, and Western wonderwaffe as the magic sword. I think the glorification of WWII as the founding mythos of Progressivism also plays an important role in this.
    Sooner or later, Russia will achieve victory, and it’ll be interesting to see the fallout as the propagandized crowd experience mass cognitive dissonance, even moreso than in 2016. Modern Liberalism has arguably never experienced direct military defeat in a peer-level conflict, and I predict that it will receive its well-deserved comeuppance from Russia, China & Iran.

    The post on de-industrial warfare of the future was also insightful, even if it’s a bitter pill to swallow for the average person today, who seemingly expects the decadence to roll on indefinitely. While I agree with most of it, I think you were being a bit too pessimistic on the preservation of technology. I think that tinkering & repair would thrive in such a setting, and generations of people highly accustomed to computers/internet would be loath to give it up, even in a collapse scenario. It’s also worth considering planned obsolescence, a terrible & wasteful practice in which our appliances are not built to last as they were in the past; it’s a blatant symptom of decadence, and would quickly get defenestrated in favor of reliability. I’m thinking there would be coordination between cottage industries trying to preserve just enough of current technology (especially computers & internet, but other things too) to keep it going in a much more limited form. At least, I can be hopeful.

    As for an anthropocene worth living in, I think it ties in well to collapse — current society will need to crash before we can seriously overhaul our relationship with nature, in my view. A symbiosis, with the natural & artificial complementing each other: green spaces, amenities on hiking trails, and controlled burns (as opposed to our foolish policies of fire suppression, which leads to infernos), all that would be for the better.

    Once again, I hope my digest response format is acceptable, I feel like that’s the best way to express my thoughts.

  107. JMG,

    I dare to say that you would probably like Occitanie, if you ever happen to visit the Region. People is really nice, they are normally quite happy to talk to strangers( as long as you don’t ever try to adress them in english!) there is not so many tourists outside the main hotspots and the entire area has an air of pleasantness and tranquility.

    Another thing that may catch your attention there,as a retro-technology lover is the Canal du Midi. I’m not sure if you already know it, but it was the first canal to connect the mediterranean with the Atlantic, across rivers, hills…in the late 17 century. The Germans still used it to plunder the French industry more comfortably in WW2. Nowadays the watergates are automated and powered by electricity, but it is still entirely viable without modern technology, and quite impresive to behold if you are the kind of person that can imagine this infraestructure surviving and being used in the future, by other peoples.

  108. Dear John Michael and MethyEthyl,

    Thank you for your responses to my comment about my lifelong “intuitive truth sense”, if that is a proper way to name it. And you are correct, MethyEthyl, it does indeed feel to me not in any way as a mere hunch, but as an absolute, definitive, unquestionable knowing.

    I do of course at times get a feeling that something is probably true, or not, but the sense I was trying to describe is far from that — it is very distinct, and instant, and profound, like having God(s) tapping me on the shoulder and whispering directly into my brain.

  109. @Misty Friday #50 and Dylan
    An astronomer friend once explained that if the Big Bang theory is correct, from the point of view of any individual atom. the atom remains still, whilst all the other atoms are moving away from it. Therefor, that particular atom, (or any particular atom), is at the center of the Universe. From there it is only a short step to Earth located at the center, (and the further short step to my being the center).

  110. Varun #51 –
    Another vote for John le Carré here. Besides the George Smiley novels, I particularly enjoyed The Little Drummer Girl.

  111. I just have a question about the Five Rites. I am a 70+ year old female well into menopause and I don’t think the goal of the Five Rites as I have added them to my Way of the Golden Section studies is to make myself more “virile” as the author claims for men. What should a woman expect or strive for in doing the Five Rights?

  112. @Maxine Rogers, @pigmy Corrie
    I take 45 seconds to repeat “may you be surrounded with light and filled with peace and harmony” then give myself 15 seconds of the same blessing.
    These types of actions do seem to help negative situations.
    Instant karma maybe.

  113. @Karl, JMG, re: Helldivers,

    I don’t think the Bush-era callbacks are relevant to the gen-Z and -alpha audience. I’d heard of the supposedly “problematic” plot of the game, and while the “managed democracy” angle came up, Bush didn’t. The kids actually playing don’t remember the great Dubya, so the connection won’t come up. They like it the same reason the excerable “Starship Troopers” movie is actually quite enjoyable– the satire goes “woosh” and the enjoyable elements stick.

    JMG, you will not have seen the “Starship Troopers” movie, but doubtless you read the book– which is something the director of the movie famously did not. He wanted to satirize the “fascist” novel anyway, and missed the mark to put it outside of the blast zone of a B61 nuclear bomb. Everyone unironically cheers for the “bad guys” in jackboots when they watch the film.

    Why wouldn’t we? It’s got everything a man has needed since the neolithic: My Tribe Good, Me Kill for My Tribe, My Tribe Reward Me. Same deal for “Helldivers”; near as I can tell without playing it, it makes all the same mistakes as the “Starship Troopers” movie.

    We’ve talked on these open posts before about the popularity of Warhammer 40k, and the “managed democracy” in Helldivers is a fracking paradise compared to the grimdark future of the Imperium of Man.

    I mean, if someone was going to “manage democracy” (like they did in 2020?) in a way that actually favoured the material interests of the bulk of the population… yeah, that sounds awesome, compared to the “democracy” of an elite that hates us. Why not cheer for that team? Especially when they’re juxtoposed with evil-looking giant bugs. (Pro-tip for propaganda: if you don’t want us to cheer for your satire of an “evil” social system, don’t make their antagonists giant scary bugs, and don’t make it out as better for the common man than what we have now. )

  114. @Alan
    I don’t get that sense of true/false for statements or assertions. But I do get it sometimes for people, which has always puzzled me because I’m autistic and I’m really terrible at stuff like making eye contact, reading body language, and picking up social cues. Not all people, just sometimes I encounter a person and insta-read them in a way that has been 100% accurate and completely divorced from any logical process. I like to think my guardian angel, knowing my deficiencies, gives me a heads-up now and then: this person is dangerous (run!), this person is not to be trusted (don’t give them personal info), this person is weak (be nice, but don’t rely on them), and this person is worth getting to know (introduce yourself!).

    I’m pretty sure this inexplicable “knowing” has preserved my life more than once. I don’t try too hard to understand the mechanics of it, I’m just grateful. FWIW, I think this sort of thing is historically quite normal, and it’s just that we moderns have a lot of hangups about stuff we can’t explain with data and evidence, and many (most?) people actively suppress it because anything that introduces doubts about strict materialism makes them profoundly uncomfortable.

  115. Anonymous, fair enough; I’ll leave that to the medically literate among my readers.

    Neptunesdolphins, I think it’s more a “triumph of the Waaaaah!”, in the sense of an infant squalling. I’m sorry to hear about your son! What a difficult situation.

    Travis, you really ought to read some serious astrophysics sometime, because most of your claims here are quite simply wrong. That’s not surprising — quite a remarkable number of people gladly pull factoids out of their nether regions these days, and not all of them work for the mass media and the government — but it really does get dull fielding the same made-up claims over and over again.

    Bro. Jon, no problem!

    Neptunesdolphins, they are indeed. It’s going to be interesting watching them ring all the same changes on elite panic and failure that, say, the French aristocracy did in 1789 and the years immediately following.

    Enjoyer, there isn’t an easy way, precisely because most people aren’t ready to remember their previous lives. The whole point of the temporary amnesia that comes with each birth is that it gives you a fresh start and a chance to break out of the bad habits of your last life. Daily discursive meditation is the thing that did it for Sara and me — in my case, after six years or so — but we both had previous lives of extensive esoteric practice, so we weren’t starting cold. What happened, with both of us, is that odd little fragments of memory started surfacing; in my case, I was helping an old man at a nursing home light his pipe, and I suddenly remembered exactly what it feels and tastes like to smoke a pipe (which I’ve never done in this incarnation). I just held the memory in mind, and bit by bit more memories constellated around it, giving me glimpses of a very old man, English by origin but living in New York City, as he went about his daily affairs in the residential hotel where he lived and the Rosicrucian lodge to which he belonged. Yes, he smoked like a chimney. 😉

    Sébastien, don’t feel awkward about it — interesting distractions are really quite welcome just now. Thank you for this; I’ll read it as soon as time permits.

    Xcalibur/djs, thank you for this. We may get to see how the Western elite copes (or fails to cope) with defeat sooner rather than later; word is spreading that Russian troops have just stormed Orlivka, the linchpin of the defensive line the Ukrainians were trying to build west of Avdiivka. Unless the Ukrainian forces can get some reserves into place fast, they may be looking at the collapse of the entire eastern front.

    Guillem, I may be in trouble, then, because I can read French quite well but I can’t speak it! But I’d love to see the Canal du Midi, among many other things.

    Alan, that’s a useful distinction, and other intuitives have said the same thing — there’s one kind of intuition that’s like a hunch, and another that’s like a sudden message from the gods.

  116. Justin, funny. “Carbonaro” means “charcoal burner.” There was a sauce made by charcoal burners; then there was the secret society, which was based on charcoal burners the way Masonry is based on stonemasons.

    Kay, the whole “virility” thing was a sales pitch suitable to the 1930s. These days at least as many women as men practice the Five Rites, because they promote general health, vitality, and flexibility into old age. You’ll want to start off very slow and gentle, of course, unless you already have an exercise practice; also, don’t worry about getting to 21 reps of each rite — even a few of each of the exercises will do you a lot of good.

    Siliconguy, I wish I could say I was surprised.

    Tyler, I have indeed read the book, and enjoyed it — though I also enjoyed Harry Harrison’s parodic sendup of it, Bill, The Galactic Hero.

    Justin, thanks for this! Another worthwhile distraction. 😉

  117. Since the topic of Karma greatly interests me, and it’s on debate, I’d like to ask a couple of newbie questions:
    Is Karma a strictly personal affair? Which is to say, can you “absorb” Karma from social arrangements? I mean, supposing someone lives in a state committing odious crimes, do they get the bad Karma by “osmosis” or is it strictly related to what one does or does not do?

    On another note, though I am personally interested in the topic of past lives, I cannot even fathom remembering such a thing. How does it feel to know the people “you” used to be? Does it feel like they have something to say, or do they feel more or less wholly disconnected from you current reincarnation?

    (maybe these would be more fitting for a Magic Monday, but I missed the deadline…)

  118. @Justin Patrick Moore #8, Milkyway #47, and JMG,

    As far as I’ve been able to tell, the 13th century geomancy tablet doesn’t have any mechanical connections (such as gears or linkages) between the dials. There’s no mention of any such mechanism in any of the literature about the al-Mawsili tablet, and there are no visible signs such as axle ends on the front or rear surface. So, I conclude its purpose isn’t to mechanically help generate a chart, but to display charts via setting all the dials by hand, as an alternative to using writing materials.. Some of the inscriptions suggest it was used for training in the art. I’d speculate it was designed for a tutor or for a very wealthy and enthusiastic student.

    I’ve looked into what it would require to make a machine that actually does generate a chart from the four mothers, purely mechanically. (Electronically would be easy but I don’t want one of those.) It’s a challenge. There are two general approaches. One of them would, like the artifact, treat each figure in the chart as a whole, such as as one of sixteen rotational positions of a dial. But those angular displacements don’t combine in any linear way when two parent figures determine a chid figure, so the interconnections would be quite complex. The other would treat each element of each figure separately, which simplifies each interconnection (mothers to daughters by direct copying, parents to children by the XOR function) but requires 44 of them between 60 individual elements for a basic shield chart. (And that way, the mechanism wouldn’t “know” which of the sixteen figures it’s displaying in any position, so it can’t provide e.g. the name or correspondences of the figure for aid in interpretation or training.) A hybrid approach would likely be best overall. Dials or sliders to display the figures but somehow linked to binary element-wise logic behind the scenes. Difficult.

    The other mechanical design challenge is the number of connected layers. Each mother figure affects ten other figures in the shield chart, and each element of each mother figure affects six other elements of other figures, taking four stages to reach the judge. Friction and play in the mechanism could make dialing in or otherwise selecting the mother figures difficult and/or the operation unreliable, unless the whole thing were built to the highest quality and precision. I’d want a design that can be built from laser-cut plywood gears and linkages (the way many mechanical hobby models are made currently), that is to say one I could afford to build, but that might not be possible.

    Likely, those are some of the reasons why the dozen or so people who’ve expressed interest in such a construction haven’t reported back.

  119. Anonymous @ 105
    Your comments on type 2 diabetes are on the mark, IMO. Functionally, fructose is not much different than alcohol, in how we metabolize it and many aftereffects of heavy use. Multiple factors may influence these, with endocrine/immune/gut-biome disruptors, and stress being prime candidates . Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist, has had more than 24 million views of his U-tube video “Sugar: The Bitter Truth”, posted around 2010 – including a detailed overview of the biochemistry. A more recent interview with Nate Hagens includes a bit broader perspective:

  120. Good news! Gene from IT came in and spent a good deal of time to find out why my computer was not connecting. NOT a hardware problems! He fixed it through “Settings.” I’m reminded of the old joke about the mechanic who got the car to start by hitting a surface, hard. “$5 for hitting it and clearing out the clog. $200 for knowing where to hit.”

    Pat, rejoicing.
    Also – I did get onto the in-house website through the kiosk touchscreen in the Centre Pointe hallway. Though – small touchscreen keyboards and arthritic fingers are not the nest combination in town. Anyway – the To Do list has gotten a lot shorter!!

  121. John,
    That’s a fascinating story, thank you for sharing that with me! I wonder if you could ever track down the identity of your past life. I have no evidence or experiences of any of my past lives, but I think that this lifetime is the first that I have become interested in esotericism and spirituality, and I think I am finally beginning to get myself out of a deep hole. I think that it’s good that memories of past lives are held back. Once I talked to a Hindu monk and he told me that past life memories only bring trouble unless you are already spiritually experienced and that people generally shouldn’t seek out those memories. Still, I think they’re interesting, especially the cases where an actual person has been tracked down or where there are birthmarks.

  122. @Alan (#76, 117), JMG (#41) & Methylethyl (#79, 125):

    I have a variant of that sense, too, and I long ago learned to trust it implicitly. Sometimes it manifests as suddenly seeing the real person behind an outward mask. Occasionally it manifests as knowing absolutely how to deal with a problem, although I have never experienced anything like that problem before. And once or twice it has actually instructed me how to do a bit of magic that I has no idea how to do before.

    My own “microcosmopgraphy” posits a multitude of variant selves within each living person (including me), which can work well together to get the person through life. But this sense does not seem to me to be associated with any of my own selves. I call it the “Teacher Within,” because it feels like a wholly different, much wiser and more experienced being than I am.

    Like our host, I am not neurotypical, though I lie on some other spectrum than his. I suspect that neurotypicality gets in the way of recognizing such uncommoj senses and inward beings. If one is neurotypical (for one’s culture and society), it’s altogether too easy spend one’s days just “going with the flow” without paying attention or thinking about one’s perceptions and actions.

  123. Hi Peter Khan,

    Thanks for the invite, however I’ll be unable to attend the event due to being on the other side of the planet and stuff. I have a strong disinclination to fly anywhere, for any reason.

    It’s possible that the disinclination arises due to concerns regarding the treatment of the ecosphere by our species. But then again, it may be equally possible that my grandmother taking me to the cinema to see the film Airport ’77 way back in the day, left a strong and lasting impression upon me about the fallibility of those flying machines. It could go either way, so please feel free to choose which works best for you, or hey, come up with some other random explanation! 🙂

    Hope the event goes well.



  124. Thanks JMG for your answer. I was guessing/hoping that was what what I could expect. I have started slow and after about two months, I am doing 4 reps of each right. They feel good to do and I very often feel a boost of energy to help get on with the day. I don’t know if I will ever get to 21 reps, but I do think I will be able to add an additional one every two or three weeks.

    PS Is there anyone else in the Salt Lake area working with the Way of the Golden Section? It might be good to compare notes sometime.

  125. Guillem and JMG, my wife and I have recently traveled through Cathar country, briefly. We stayed at a hotel (quite reasonably priced, in this season at least) in the fortified Cité in Carcasonne. The Musée de Inquisition there is quite gripping; it’s difficult for even me (vivid imagination…) to imagine why there were SO MANY ways implemented to torture and execute heretics.

    We then traveled north to stay overnight with some relatives of my wife who live in the Montaigne Noire (a quite densely forested region) and the next day drove briefly to Albi to see the cathedral there, before returning to Toulouse. The landforms throughout the Languedoc are quite distinctive and engaging; there’s something quite special afoot there! With the snowy linearity of the Pyrenees, the lowlands where the Canal du Midi is routed, the forested ridges and mountains, I found myself as a native Californian thinking “Hey, this seems familiar” with the region having echoes of the Sierra, the Central Valley, and the Coast Ranges but in a much more compact and well-watered landscape.

    Both my wife and I find ourselves drawn to the ideas the Cathars are reputed to have believed: a very gnostic direct-connection to God or Gods, cycles of reincarnation, and a vision of both hommes and femmes as being encouraged to embody practicing and communicating through spiritual works within their community of shared belief.

    A link to five photos we took in the region: (Carcasonne, Pyrenees, Albi cathedral, evocative statuary, and the river Tarn.)

    Guillem, thanks for bringing up the Cathars and perhaps planting seeds encouraging JMG to one day travel and explore where the Cathars once dwelled. And JMG, since you can read French, you can definitely get along fine there by just initiating interactions in broken French; they’ll peg you immediately as an American due to your accent and will likely have pity on you and transition to English, which you will then find almost impenetrable due to THEIR accent! Mirth will ensue! Guillem is correct that the people there are all quite friendly and willing to help.

  126. Hey JMG

    Since there’s been a lot of talk about RAW, what do you think of that other counter-cultural icon William s. Burroughs? I personally find him a mixed bag. For example, as much as I liked his novel “cities of the red night” some of his use of themes of drugs, sexuality and death were a bit more provocative than was necessary.

  127. Furnax, there’s collective karma as well as individual karma, but the collective karma of your community and society affects you for good or ill only to the extent that you cooperate with, or benefit from, the actions that create it. As for past lives, the thing to keep in mind is that it’s not some other person — it’s you, just in a different body and with different experiences. Quite a bit gets passed on from life to life: likes, dislikes, qualities of character, some habits, and so on.

    Walt, thanks for this. That makes a good deal of sense.

    Patricia M, glad to hear it.

    Enjoyer, I’ve never tried, but I suppose it’s possible.

    Pygmycory, once the smoke has cleared, we’ll see who’s telling the truth. But it’s always possible that the Ukrainians did in fact bring up reserves in a hurry.

    Robert, interesting. I have something like Socrates’s sense: if I’m about to do something stupid, I get into a very distinctive emotional state, which I’ve learned to recognize; if I change my plans, the emotional state goes away. It has never failed me yet, and has saved me from some really serious mistakes. I’m starting to wonder just how many people have some such source of intuitive guidance.

    Kay, delighted to hear it.

    Bryan, of course it’s also possible that if I have the chance to go, I can spend six months or so studying conversational French; I’ll still sound like an American, for the entertainment of the locals, but I can avoid babbling complete nonsense.

    J.L.Mc12, I’ve never been able to appreciate Burroughs. Not sure why, but his prose leaves me cold.

  128. I don’t tend to have memories of past lives (so far) and I’ve had pointed instructions in one of those very clear “teaching” dreams I occasionally get to focus on spiritual training in this life and not worry about the past ones for now. But since childhood I’ve had a visceral memory of what it feels like to have your ear turned inside out, the way cats do sometimes. A funny, uncomfortable feeling. That can’t happen in humans as far as I know, so maybe it’s from an animal life. It just came to mind when you were writing about smoking the pipe, JMG. As a kid I could never understand how I knew so clearly what that feels like—not because I’m imagining how it might feel but because I’ve FELT it. It feels strange!

  129. @xcalibur/djs, in post #115, you write: “Sooner or later, Russia will achieve victory, and it’ll be interesting to see the … mass cognitive dissonance.” As I read that, I had a terrible thought.

    Members of this community have remarked before now that the “Left” of the 2020’s is coming to bear an uncomfortable resemblance to the “Right” of the 1920’s, and there have been speculations about whether the resemblance might ever become exact. But it is possible that you have answered the question.

    After all, if the Ukrainian forces have been reported all along to be “winning,” and if the war finally ends with a Russian victory, how is the average person supposed to resolve that dissonance? One obvious way would be to conclude that the Ukrainian forces had been “stabbed in the back” ….

    I hope devoutly that I’m wrong.

  130. Hey jmg

    Yeah, I can definitely understand that. He is entertaining to read, and has good ideas, but sometimes his writing is either too tedious or too gonzo. Kind of funny that his father owned a mechanical calculator company considering that another subject of this open post was a mechanical geomantic computer.

  131. Maybe my reading selection is a bit biased, but I‘ve had the impression for a while now that things for the Western world and the U.S. in particular might look a lot worse than people like to think.
    Between the unfolding Ukraine fiasko, the border crisis, the tensions around the upcoming election, absolute isolation in the U.N. regarding Israel, and the fiscal trouble connected to the debt ceiling, I wouldn’t be too surprised if something went *snap* and the whole place pulled a Soviet Union on us.

    Things aren’t looking better in the land of farmer protests and runaway inflation, either.
    Curiously, I share JMG‘s impression of a possible strong upside to the destruction.

  132. JMG, I re-read your piece on Lemuria from a little over two years ago, and yes, I’d forgotten that you make your views on the matter quite clear there. And much as I’d like to hear you talk shop about Steiner’s meditative exercises, it’s also a bit intriguing just to know that there’s more there than a simple online conversation can convey.

    I guess I’m just waking up to a hunger for an epistemology of the occult. To be frank about my own lack of insight, apart from a few bedrock experiences in my own life that tell me this stuff is real (whatever it may well be or mean), my basic guiding principle is ‘well JMG takes [fill-in-the-blank] seriously, and he’s the most reasonable person on the internet- so let’s at least check it out’. And I have a lot more checking out to do.

  133. #105: I have been (technically still am) a professor of biochemistry and have taught glucose metabolism exhaustively. At first blush your hypothesis sounds quite interesting, even plausible, but of course many plausible hypotheses don’t pan out in the end. To my mind, the crucial part of the mechanism you line out is that high concentrations of fructose (in the blood or the liver?) would shut down glycogen synthesis in the liver. Would you mind posting some of the evidence that led you to propose this?

  134. I was listening to you on Hermetix podcast (always a treat) talk about how modern anthropologists and archaeologists are incapable of interpreting anything save through the lens of religion.

    It reminded me of how recently they found evidence of ancient psychedelic use further back than they ever had (several thousand years). Of course every article mentioned anthropological assumptions that such use was religious in nature, without a shred of evidence to back that up. Of course it may have been religious — we’ll never know without a time machine — but god forbid the hypothesis that humans back then, like humans now, just liked getting high. 🙂

  135. Hi y’all. I have a follow-up to JMG’s post from Sept 20, 2023, “A Neglected Factor in the Fall of Civilizations”. In it, JMG outlines the “Shirky Principle”, the eponymously named idea that “Institutions will try to preserve the problem to which they are the solution.”. The post stands up to re-reading very well.
    Today, I encountered a news-item that confirms a comment I posted then, and reproduce it here between the lines of ***************.

    Here’s a friendly word to those who haven’t seen the memo: The online/app dating industry is the star poster child of the Shirky principle:

    I concluded something was deeply amiss and deleted all my dating accounts well before Shirky-via-JMG cast a floodlight on the wasteland of these gigantic mutant parasites. Dear gods, I had joined several services that seemed to be automated ghost towns of femme-bots and vacant profiles, several others peppered me daily with dozens of emails from purported women whose accounts could not be replied to (all with blurbs like “How are you doing?”, “Let’s meet!” and attached photos), another that blocked all my messages because my profile was always screened out by the women’s filter settings, another’s help-desk told me “…well, no, sending messages is a premium feature which costs extra. Would you like to upgrade?”, though the contract I paid for said nothing about this… Every dating site had it’s own particular pattern of how it did NOT connect you.

    My former wife encountered entirely different patterns of non-connection, notwithstanding the tediously repeated option of offering her womanhood as a bedroom accessory to a stranger; even I felt bad for her. But she did have the sense that God gave geese and bailed within one month. I was a slow learner and bailed only after 2 years.

    And all of the above was BEFORE all this AI stuff took off.

    Lord help us.

    Well, it turns out that Match Group owns virtually the entire online/app dating industry except for Bumble. And now there has been class action lawsuit filed against Match Group as reported in Business Insider:

    An excerpt:

    “The operator of dating platforms Tinder, Hinge, and OkCupid is being sued over claims it makes its apps addictive and puts profit over love.

    In a class action lawsuit filed on Wednesday in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, six plaintiffs said that the platforms deliberately created addictive, game-like design features to lock users into an endless “pay-to-play loop.”

    They claimed that Match Group, the parent company, actively presents the platforms as “effective tools” for building relationships off-app while exerting every effort to attract, retain, and reward paying subscribers online.”

    Karl Denninger in his acerbic commentary, points out that Match Group is in fact a monopoly, and therefore illegal (as in felony), yet not being prosecuted:

    I knew things were bad, but I never imagined this. Holy moly. I wonder if I might be able to get in on any settlement. The odds are probably comparable to finding a sweetie.

    I’m sticking with real life…

    —Lunar Apprentice

  136. JMG —
    I have to admit I’ve never understood why the Cathars played such an important part in recent esotericism. Their more or less anti-cosmic dualism isn’t an esotericist doctrine per se; some esoteric traditions do have such teachings, while others don’t. I haven’t seen anything that looks like initiatory process any different in effect from the initiatory processes in sacramental or non-sacramental Christianity — although the Cathar notion that impurity in the initiator (even years later) invalidated all initiations conferred by that initiator (requiring re-initiation of all initiates) certainly doesn’t apply to most Christian initiations.
    To my mind the key factor that’s missing is a teaching and technique for generating “gnosis” — again, beyond the sort of enthusiasm (in the old sense) conferred in Baptist settings. No Gnostic gates and passwords, no exercises or meditations; the methods of Ignatius of Loyola seem much more esoteric.
    I always put the 18th+ century esotericist fascination with the Cathars down to French anticlericalism, German Protestant antipapism, along with a healthy dose of admiration for a Lost Cause, on a par with Michelet’s ideas (or, as Levi might say, reveries) about witchcraft.
    So I was very interested by your reference to Cathar scriptures of a Gnostic/experiential type being printed in Layton’s collection of Gnostic scriptures. I retrieved a copy from the library, but was disappointed to find that it deals only with Gnostic texts from the first few centuries of the Christian era.
    Is there some other book in which Layton includes Cathar texts? Or were you thinking of some other collection of texts? If there is evidence that Cathars cultivated a set of teachings and practices aimed at conferring Gnosis, I’d be very very interested looking at them.
    Thanks for your help.

  137. JMG, is Asperger’s part of one’s karma? I wonder if it’s supposed to compensate for something I’ve done in past incarnations …

  138. Hello, Greer

    Why haven’t you released your forecast for this year recently?
    I was very surprised that you predicted that Trump would be president in January 2016.
    As I am Japanese, I rarely see real reports of Trump supporters in the mass media, and I really enjoyed it!

    I look forward to another discussion on American politics.

  139. Dear JMG and commentariat:
    As a bit of synchronicity, the day before this post, I reread An Anthropocene Worth Having. As I read it, I thought of the Enclosure Acts of the 18th and 19th centuries. I did some looking around on the internet and found an article that may be of interest:
    A wealthy land grab, and with lots of unintended consequences (generally bad to very bad). How the elites square that circle of the indigenous populations smelling out the 30 by 30 (or its little cousin) and calling BS will be interesting.
    And Varun #51; agree on le Carre’s Smiley series (and his other books but I would start with Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: the Spy Who Came in From The cold is very good too), Eric Ambler, Alan Furst (although in my opinion he has some silly things, my pet peeve is in The Polish Officer: the German insight he describes on how to get armor through the Ardennes is hogwash).

  140. Regarding the Geomantic Instrument – I agree completely with Walt F’s assessment. It is a beautiful example of metalworking craft, with silver figures inlaid on brass, but “what you see is what you get”. One would slide the sliders to generate the initial set of figures, then turn the dials instead of drawing in the sand, or on paper to keep track of the results. (As JMG once described it, “more abacus than slide-rule”). Paper (parchment? papyrus) may have been scarce/expensive in its time. The owner of the fabulous instrument would have instant credibility! And, after the analysis is done, it could quickly be erased to leave no trace of the work.
    I suspect that any attempt to automate the process would be counterproductive, anyway. Manipulating the figures gives the user (or consultant) time to ponder the question (consciously and un-consciously), and to associate the question with the various figures and positions.

    A full set of photos (inside and out) can be found here: The figures on the wheels are visible from both sides, as shown in the rear view with the back removed. I think this is because the dots were drilled through, then contrasting metal used to fill the holes.

  141. Hi JMG,
    Gray Hat mentioned in his comment that you have written elsewhere about the technology of using antennas in the garden. I am interested in learning more about this. Could you please share with me where you have written about this?


  142. Archdruid and company,

    Thank y’all very much for the suggestions. I’ve started to track down books and authors that you recommended. I’m
    really excited to jump into this new genre. I have to admit that I’ve gotten pretty sick of Sci-fi/fantasy.

  143. Erica, hmm! It’s certainly possible.

    Matt, sure. There are any number of ways to invoke a planet. The simplest is to burn a dark blue (indigo) candle on Saturday during the hour of Saturn — you can find planetary hour calculators easily online — and recite the Orphic hymn to Saturn as the candle burns. Do this 3, 9, 15, or 45 Saturdays in a row — those are the magical numbers of Saturn.

    Eike, the fate of the Soviet Union has been much on my mind as well.

    Dylan, figuring out just how seriously to take occult teachings is of course always a challenge. Dion Fortune’s warning in The Cosmic Doctrine that the material in the book was to train the mind, not to give it some kind of canned truth, is a rare and refreshing bit of clarity in a very murky field.

    Lucky, I have no idea how to answer that question; after all, I wasn’t thinking about bards at all until you mentioned them. Could you please be more specific about what you want to know?

    Zachary, there’s that! I appreciated the maverick anthropologist a while back, I forget the name, who suggested that all those “goddess” figures with exaggerated breasts and buttocks may simply have been the Stone Age equivalent of Playboy centerfolds…

    Lunar, ha! Doesn’t surprise me for a moment.

    LeGrand, hmm. I thought it was Layton’s book that had the Cathar material; it may have been Barnstone and Meyer’s Gnostic Bible, or one of the other collections of source texts that didn’t fixate entirely on the Nag Hammadi material. I don’t recall anything in those that had detailed instructions for practice, though — nearly all the ancient and medieval Gnostic groups seem to have left whatever they had along those lines out of their written materials. (Not an uncommon habit, but annoying for later researchers!) I’m not sure why the Cathars have played so huge a role in past life memories among recent occultists, but you’ll be familiar with some of the examples, of course.

    Bruno, yes, like all health conditions it has a karmic dimension. It might be a compensatory thing in your case, or it might be protective; I’m fairly sure I got it so I would be practically immune from peer pressure, which has been a necessary thing for me.

    Watanabe, I haven’t done an annual prediction here in a while now. I do my prediction on my Patreon and SubscribeStar accounts these days, and, er, there’s a fee involved. I need to pay my bills like everyone else!

    Cugel, thanks for this. I assume that the elite classes will simply blithely ignore criticism from outside their bubble, as they normally do.

    Lathechuck, many thanks for this.

    Angelica, I posted about it briefly, as I recall, in my Dreamwidth series about radionics:

    I haven’t discussed it in any detail yet, though.

    Varun, I know the feeling. I’ve been purging the household book collection of volumes that aren’t of interest, now that it’s just me, and a lot of the science fiction and fantasy Sara collected is going to charity; it just doesn’t hold my interest any more.

  144. Rita
    Yes I read Dark Matter: great story. Thanks
    Pygmy Corry, et al
    Apropos Orilivka:as they say ” When the tide goes out, you find out who is swimming naked”

  145. @Robert
    Yes, it feels very much like being advised by someone far more knowledgeable, rather than somehow deducing the information by my own rational/perceptive powers– it is laughably clear that I do not possess in myself that caliber of discernment. I don’t think that fast, and I’m never that sure of my own conclusions.

  146. The Carbonari have been mentioned in this open post. There is a short story by Stendhal about the Carbonari called Vanina Vanini that is about their activities as republican anti-monarchists who plotted in remote forests where they made charcoal. Here’s a link to the story:

    I spent some time searching for other legends of revolutionary charcoal makers for a book I wrote and I thought I would share this short summary. As a biochar maker trying to encourage more to practice this art, I take inspiration from this history, while putting my own twist on it as a regenerative, not an extractive practice:

    “I like to call our new place-based biochar workforce the New Carboneers. Historically, the independent entrepreneurs who made charcoal in the European forests had a special place in society. Living on the fringes, they were sometimes seen as clever, wise, and magical people, and other times as lowly drudges. Folklore from medieval times ‘often attributes to them courage and cunning, the ability to use their force and wit to cope with many dangers, factual as well as symbolic (ranging from philosophic issues to the struggle against savage beasts). . . . It is no coincidence that charcoal burners have become the legendary forefathers of the prominent Bohemian and Moravian noble families. . . .’ In France they were called charbonniers and in Italy they were known as the Carbonari. The Carbonari were active throughout the turbulent political events of the nineteenth century in Italy. The Carbonari were revolutionaries who hatched secret plots in their remote woodland hideouts to replace the absolute monarchy with a constitutional republic. Our New Carboneers are plotting to change the way we relate to forests and fire and bring about a new paradigm of forest regeneration and renewal. Future generations will revere them.”

    The quote is from Jiøí Woitsch, “Charcoal Makers in Bohemia: From Privileged Craftsmen to Strange Forest Dwellers,” in Woodland Cultures in Time and Space: Tales from the Past, Messages for the Future, ed. Eirini Saratsi (Embryo Publications, 2009).

  147. @Justin Patrick Moore #119 I’ve heard similar about our Emperor Alexander II, although it’s more contentious. Revolutionary terrorists injured him grievously, but he died in the palace after some remarkable medical bungling. He may well have survived otherwise. The only question is whether it was merely medical incompetence (believable – the Romanovs had shockingly bad court doctors) or the result of political pressure (reactionaries hated the author of the Great Reforms at least as much as did the revolutionaries, and the former category included many in the court who could not wait for his outspokenly illiberal son to rise to power).

  148. A few years ago you had predicted (not in so many words) that the Saudi Arabian regime is committing a folly by turning too many of it’s neighbors into adversaries, and that this may not end well for them. But in the years gone by, their crown prince has shown himself to be remarkably nimble. He has managed to fend off security threats, established a detente with Iran, positioned himself right between the US-led camp and the China-Russia led one, all without really suffering any major consequences. Of course he has good company — others like Erdogan and Modi are playing a similar game with no smaller degree of success.

    What are your thoughts on that, if at all you have been able to pay attention to that part of the world lately?

  149. I intensely dislike the term “ear worm”—used to refer to music that continuously keeps going through your head, but most people understand the term. Somedays, I am a victim of the phenomenon.

    The cure I have heard, where you listen to a recording of the music, does not work for me.

    I tend not to listen to lyrics, only to the music; Herbie Hancock says the same, by the way. But, often, the music’s lyrics have something either mundane, or more significant, to say. An unfortunate example was hearing the melody to some pop tune over and over and then, after some conscious work on identification, realizing it was that “Raindrops keep falling on my head” song. Yep, it was raining.

    Lately, I look up the lyrics and see a line that is much more profound and appropriate to what is going on.

    Anyone have advice for getting this music out of my head so I can focus to the matters at hand? I guess we can get all philosophical and ask whether you should this, or should you get the message.

  150. In #160 JMG comments,

    “I appreciated the maverick anthropologist a while back, I forget the name, who suggested that all those “goddess” figures with exaggerated breasts and buttocks may simply have been the Stone Age equivalent of Playboy centerfolds…”

    There was an article recently suggesting that these carvings may been self-portraits made by women themselves, particularly pregnant women. Absent a mirror, if a woman looks down at her own body… Now take one of those figurines, look from the top and compare.

  151. Hi John Michael,

    Thought a quote from Robert E Howard would be most useful at this moment in history: “Civilization is unnatural. It is a whim of circumstance. And barbarism must always ultimately triumph.” How good were the Conan books? I even laughed along with the moronic adventures of Sailor Steve Costigan. Could this really be happening to the stalwart character yet again? Yup, all those punches kind of impacted the protagonists abilities to discern the Machiavellian pretty young ladies who he was meant to be rescuing. He never learned… But he never lost either.

    And I completely missed: Bill, the Galactic Hero, which incidentally turned into a ponzi like sign-up and pay off your debts scheme at the very end. How very fitting. Do you have the frame of mind at the moment to read anything fictional? Hmm. Bookshelf space is a limited resource, and you know what? You’re setting all those books free so that they can be enjoyed by new readers. Books are there to be enjoyed, or inform, maybe sometimes even both. Sometimes they annoy, or frighten, maybe even perplex. That’s what makes them all an unknown adventure.

    We have floor to ceiling bookshelves lining either side of the hallway in the house. It’s one of the first things visitors encounter. Books are such a lovely technology, and I wouldn’t have spent time in the author’s (Mr Howard’s), interesting mind without them.

    I’m re-reading the classic book: Gardening When It Counts: Growing food in hard times (Steve Solomon). Thought it might be appropriate to refresh the brain.

    PS: I believe that a suggested person in question was allegedly named, as it appeared to be hidden in lengthy articles which you can read, but err, defamation being a problem down here I shall say no more on the subject other than some of the err, anonymous (is anything really like that on this huge beast of a database?) interweb places alleged it to be the same person. Looks like the issue may fade. Strange days indeed.



  152. @Walt F #130… Milkyway and JMG,

    I haven’t studied geomancy divination yet, but what fired my imagination about this device was how it reminded me of the dials on various radionic machines. Just looking at it gave me the idea that, by setting the dials onto different geomantic figures, you could potentially use something like this not for divination, but for conjuration, in other words, to induce the vibrations of what the various figures represent into the aether and astral worlds, to cause change here. I.e., might it also have a magical purpose? If not, then something like this could be built with the intention of use for magic AND divination. It need not necessarily be using geomantic figures but other symbol sets might be appropriate according to the needs of each radionic mage. If using other symbol sets it might not have the mechanical challenges you’ve described in your modeling of the difficulties involved in reproducing the al-Mawsili tablet.

  153. @LeGrand (#153):

    Almost nothing survives of Cathar writings, nor of the writings of their presumed forebears, the Bogomils of the Balkans and the “Paulicians” of Armenia. From Western Europe we have only the Liber de duobus principiis and the Interrogatio Iohannis plus a few scraps. There is also the Armenian Key of Truth, edited and translated into English long ago by Conybeare from the sole surviving fragmentary codex. (We have somewhat more from the pens of various heresy-hunters, but not all that much even from them; and it’s not at all certain how well-informed they were about the teachings of the “heretics” they were combatting.)

    The Western European Cathar writings are available in English translations in Heresies of the High Middle Ages by Walter L. Wakefield (1969), part of Columbia University’s “Records of Western Civilization” series. This book also includes the most important anti-Cathar writings of Western heresy-hunters. It says (IIRC) nothing of importance about the Bogomils or the Paulicians.

  154. @ J.L.Mc12, et all … regarding Burroughs…

    I like his non-fiction much better than his fiction. I really really like his friend Brion Gysin’s paintings though. I also built my own Dream Machine once, but it wasn’t very sturdy. The book they collaborated on “The Third Mind” is my favorite.

    His Calligraffiti of Fire is very magical to me… here are some if you (or others) haven’t encountered them before.

    Here is a good image of the Calligraffiti of Fire:

    What I like about his style was the way he combined Japanese brush painting and calligraphy with Arabic inspired scripts.

    The best graffiti, often in the “wild style” also has such beautiful scripts, when the letters themselves are hard to read. I find it magical, like this stuff:

    Anyway, Gysin was also friends with Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones… and introduced Jones to the Master Musicians of Jajouka (you probably know all this stuff already… but for those who don’t) who he went on to record.–renewed-pandemonium-the-continuing-legend-of-the-master?rgn=main;view=fulltext

    Brian Jones would have been 82 this past Feb. 28 this week if he hadn’t been potentially murdered by his bandmates:

  155. Seaweedy, I’m delighted to hear this. I wonder if it’s possible to get the old Carbonari initiation ritual and update it a little…

    Anonymuz, I’ve been rather impressed by the career of Muhammad bin Salman (MbS), the current crown prince and effective head of the Saudi state. He started off clumsily enough and made some whopping errors but, unlike many other leaders, he seems to have the capacity to learn from his mistakes. If he keeps it up he may succeed in getting his regime intact through the collapse of US global hegemony — not a small achievement, that.

    Moserian, the only thing that’s ever worked for me is to drive out one piece of music with another. For me, the song that always clears everything else away is Donner’s solo from the fourth scene of Wagner’s Das Rheingold, where he summons a storm to clear away the nasty energies of the Ring’s curse — but then I’m a Wagner buff and your mileage may vary. Here’s a decent modern recording:

    And here’s the inimitable Gerd Nienstedt belting out the same thing, with more verve but less sound quality:

    Warburton, hmm! Yes, I could see that too.

    Chris, one of the benefits of going through the book collection just now is that it’s reminding me of all the first-rate books Sara and I collected. About half the total are going back out into the world — her collection was much bigger than mine, and includes writers such as Agatha Christie and Anthony Trollope whose works do nothing for me — but it’s still some comfort to reorganize the shelves and remember lots of good times reading and talking about favorite books.

    Justin, it’s an interesting prospect. At least in theory, it should be possible for a skilled Hieronymus machine operator to work out the vibratory rates for each of the sixteen geomantic figures, and then hardwire (using fixed rather than variable capacitors) a machine with a set of 16-pole rotary switches. To keep the complexity down I’d probably do two such switches — one for the situation to be addressed, one for the energy to be brought into it — and then, of course, an intensity dial with a rheostat, hooked up to the touch plate. That would be an intriguing aetheric technology. “Okay, we’ve got a situation that’s stuck — Carcer’s the figure for that. Add some Amissio energy to it and it becomes Fortuna Major. Now let’s see how much eloptic force that requires…”

  156. Varun

    Although it is technically fantasy – may I suggest the jointly written Raymond Feist/Janny Wurts Empire series? Starting with Daughter of the Empire? It’s set in an alternative version of feudal Japan on an alien world where magic works – the same fictional universe as many of Feist’s other books – but the focus is mostly on the political manoeuvring aspects and the magic fantasy stuff is relatively incidental.

    I mostly read it as a political thriller about a young girl thrust into leadership of her noble house after her father and brother unexpectedly die and how she has to help her house and herself survive in the ruthless political environment (this is not a spoiler – you find this out in like page 1 or 2). It’s excellent – much better than anything else either author has written.

  157. @Moserian re: ear worms

    I think it is essentially a GIGO problem, the same as when little kids endlessly repeat snippets of radio and TV ads. They’ve been exposed to it a lot, it’s charged with malign magic, and… unfortunately their perception has *not* been loaded up with better-quality material to a greater degree. I stumbled over it as a parent, because I can’t do TV (neuro issues), so my kids simply weren’t exposed to it. My eldest, at two and a half, would instead issue forth quotes and paraphrases from Peter Rabbit (his favorite bedtime story, which we read approximately one hundred million times) that were… weirdly appropriate. “Amongst the potatoes!” he’d say to himself, wandering around the house looking for something. Or “he shed big, big tears” when upset. It was… weird. And delightful actually.

    So… we get exposed to a lot of pop garbage. It gets stuck in our heads because there’s nothing else there to crowd it out. So when your subconscious wants to tell you something, it fishes around in the bin, and spits out an answer from… whatever happens to be there. So if you don’t like the earworms you’ve got, the solution is to fill the bin with something better. If you go out and actively learn (as in commit to memory) better music (I’d bet it works with lyric poetry also), on a regular basis, you can crowd out the garbage, and your mind will still offer up random snippets, often appropriate to the situation, but it’ll have a better databank to draw from. I watched it happen in my own head several years ago, when I embarked on the task of becoming a liturgical chanter. The body of work to learn is epic, I’ll never reach the end of it, and ever since, the little snippets of verse and song that spring into mind tend to be short prayers or snippets of psalms appropriate to the situation. They have almost entirely crowded out pop music, and their influence is greatest when I’m actively working on learning a particular tune/text. Which is perpetually these days.

  158. A while back you mentioned moving to a new location in part because the astrology is better where you are now – could you speak to the kind of things the chart showed versus what you’ve experienced now you’ve been there a while?

  159. A couple of Modern Order of Essenes announcements:

    I will be offering an attunement on March 13, at 7:30am Pacific Standard Time if someone RSVPs. This can be for whichever level you need. If we have people who need different levels, or require a different time, please PM me on Dreamwidth ( or email me, using the word fratch, and adding that to gmail in order to obscure my address from web scrapers. I will ONLY perform the attunement if I have a definite RSVP here or via those channels, so please let me know if you’re interested.

    Additionally, I am offering MOE healing hands to anyone who feels they might benefit. You can let me know here or through the above channels. This is a standing invitation, so even if I don’t happen to post, you can always contact me when the need arises.

  160. To Bryan and Jmg,

    To my family, France is our default vacational setting. Catalonia is great, but it’s so overpopulated these days (240 people for km2 !), and the turistic industry is so out of control, that France ends up being cheaper than our own country, specially the south, although Provence is still affordable.

    Bryan, your conversational scheme may work, specially if you make the slightiest of the efforts with French. However, if you try to avoid that crucial initial step, it can fail. The French are very peculiar in regards to language, and when you are in France, by and large, don’t expect them to spoke other languages very often, or to adjust to your level. French is the best language of the world, and it’s too bad if you didn’t know it. 😉
    Who can blame them?
    I’ve had the experience more than once to start a conversation in French with a native, only for him/her to get enthusiastic and start talking as if i too was a native, and leave me like: Er, excusez-moi monsieur, mais je ne comprend pas…
    In the south, they are more disposed to speak Spanish, since it has an exotic air to them.


  161. @Hosea Tanatu,
    if someone were to be accused of betraying Ukraine, I’d imagine it would be the countries and the people running them who promised aid, and gave enough for the ukrainians to fight but not win a war that went on for years and killed and displaced huge numbers of ukrainians, while discouraging ukraine from coming to terms with Russia, then stopped sending weapons and money fast enough to keep the Russians at bay a couple of years in. So the rest of NATO, especially the USA, the UK (Boris Johnson cough cough), and the leadership thereof.

    I’m not sure you’d really get the depth of feeling within say, the USA or Canada. I don’t think most people on this continent care enough about Ukraine to get the reaction seen in Germany over losing WW1 and the huge toll in money, land and blood that cost germany. It’s more likely to be Ukrainians feeling used and resentful at NATO, with a side order of NATO citizens mad at their own government for getting into a fight, spending a lot of money, and losing.

    Unless this turns into a wider war through NATO stupidity and we wind up paying a much higher cost in blood and treasure ourselves rather than by proxy. One thing that hasn’t been happening is NATO troops coming home in bodybags on a large scale, or a NATO country getting invaded. There’s been plenty of economic damage to NATO, especially in Europe, and people there will likely be mad about having made sacrifices and losing anyway, but I don’t think this is what dolchstoss legendes are made of outside Ukraine itself. Unless the war widens.

  162. Varun, you might like to take a look at Georges Simenon, Andrea Camillieri, Peter Robinson, and the Marseilles Trilogy by Eugene Izzo, which I think is brilliant, a modern classic. And Chester Himes, the best of American detective writers. (I say that as a fan of both Chandler and Mosely, but Himes was simply better).

    I can’t help with spy novels, not being a fan there, but all the above are exemplary in the genre of procedurals. Also, I can recommend W.J. Burley and Tony Hillerman. I read one by a Philippine writer, F. H. Batacan, her first and IDK if she has done more. The novel, Smaller and Smaller Circles won the Philippine National Book award and was well worth the prize. Also living up to its hype is the original trilogy by Steig Larsson.

    From what I can tell, SF and fantasy are both past their prime. The original charm is simply no longer there.

  163. Hey John,
    I just read this article from Strong Towns. I bet you’ve heard of them. It’s called “We Are All Detroit.” Here’s a link: (

    Many parts of this article and of Strong Towns thought more generally mesh very well with some of your ideas. The article argues that the Post-WWII way that American cities have been designed is financially unsustainable and heading toward collapse and bankruptcy. This is because car-centric spawling suburban infrastructure and city design is very expensive to build and maintain, while contributing far less to the actual economy than more traditional ways of building cities.

    My favorite quote from the article was “And if you think it can’t happen, that we can’t over-subsidize, overbuild and over-extend ourselves into collapse, just take a look at Detroit. While there are many complexities to the situation there that make simple analysis somewhat questionable, at that basic level, the rest of the country is trending towards Detroit, not away.” The ideas expressed in the quote echo your famous idea of catabolic collapse.

  164. About MBS, et al, how is it that other countries such as the KSA, India, Russia and Hungary can manage to find, elevate and support capable leaders and we in the west cannot?

    Is there a connection between personal virtue and responsibility at the individual level and good government? If there is, then the folks who like to make a mockery of the former are playing a very dangerous game.

  165. I’ve been thinking about computers in the salvage economy portion of the long descent. I really think there will be salvage– there’s microprocessors in toasters these days, after all. A wifi-enabled, colour-change lightbulb has more processing power in it than an old commodore*. Even if only a tiny fraction of all that e-waste can be salvaged from our landfills, if just 1% of 1% still works… well, there’s a lot of waste, so there are going to be chips, if you’re willing to dig for them. (To say nothing of the toasters, the cars, et cetera, et cetera. I discount consumer electronics as it’s not nearly as ‘tough’ as embedded stuff so won’t last long to salvage.)

    I take it as a given that our descendents will be mining our landfills. Will they bother trying to sort through and salvage our chips, though? That I do not take as a given, even though I just said I figure they’re in there. It’d take a lot of work to sort out the working fraction (whatever it ends up being). What killer app does embedded computing make available that would make it worth the effort of sortition?

    I’m serious. I grew up with 16-bits or better. I get that the world has changed due to computers, but it seems we mostly just do more stupid things faster. E-mail is great, but letters and telegrams were a thing. Amazon is convenient, but mail order was a thing. CNC is great, but there’s actually not very much the robot can accomplish a skilled machinist can’t… and just as much (that’s more applicable, like accounting for variable quality scrap metal) the machinist can do that the robot can’t. I personally couldn’t work without Computer Aided Design, but fighter jets designed with slide rules and drafting tables can fly circles around the computer aided design of the F-35. Et cetera, ad nauseum.

    So… what transformatively useful niches are there in a salvage economy world that could justify the expense– at least hundreds of man-hours per working unit– of digging through waste, testing for working chips, and repurposing them?

    The one thing I can think of is secure communications– if you have an 80MHz processor* in your radio and the other guy doesn’t, you can do quite a lot to encode your communications…. not just encrypted, but frequency-hopping, too, which makes you harder to detect. Your local gennel or conel might consider it worth the effort from his ruinmen to have secure communications, depending on the threat environment. We’re talking Software-Defined-Radio here, most emphatically not any kind of internet.

    Other than that… yeah, that’s it. Nigh-unbreakable crypto. Anybody else? Again, I want to consider those things that would be worth thousands of man-hours to a ruthless dark-age warlord, not “it’d be real swell to have…” from the perspective of the 21st century. (Since a missed or intercepted message can cost you everything in battle, I figure thousands-of-man-hours might be considered worth it– codebooks take oodles of man-hours, too. Of course codebooks will be the fallback once there are no fancy chips left to salvage.)

    *The clock speed of the ESP8266 that’s the most common processor in wi-fi enabled lightbulbs and electrical outlets is 80MHz. Yeah, megahertz. In a lightbulb. That is 486 clock-speed, but with only 40kB of usable memory, comparisons to an earlier generation of machines is probably more apt.

  166. JMG and Robert (170) —

    Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll definitely check Heresies of the High Middle Ages, just in case. Things I’ve read about inquisitorial trials of Cathars in Italy — considerably less severe and more informative than the records of Cathars in France — don’t really suggest to me that “gnosis” (in the sense of experiences of transformation, or transformative experiences) was a feature of the Cathar tradition or appeal, which to me seems to have been a matter of the charisma generated by purity and asceticism, and the satisfaction of belonging to a group of people who’d seen through the deceptions of the then-conventional account of the world.

    One other possibility that perhaps could be pursued was suggested to me by a snippet in Layton on the continence of Jesus. It seems that there were already difficulties posed by comprehending what a divine/human being could actually be in terms of concrete human life. Layton includes a fragment in which Valentinus states that, being without corruption, Jesus could not have digested food in the ordinary, biological way, and thus did not produce excreta. Now, this actually addresses an issue raised in Jewish anti-Christian polemic, mocking the implications of Jesus ascending into heaven and sitting at the right hand of the father. (Haskell’s Mystical Resistance, on depictions of Christianity in the Zohar, has material on this.) Haskell makes the point that the authors of the Zohar, and other Jewish authors previously, were fairly knowledgeable about Christian doctrine and imagery.

    This suggests that there might be more information on Cathars and Catharism that could be recovered from Jewish texts — religious and other. Certainly the suppression of the Cathars must have been noticeable enough. And Jewish authors already found standard Christian ideals of celibacy grotesque if not odious ; the much more radical Cathar ideal might well have occasioned some comment.

    Records of techniques for generating experiential transformation do exist — for example, in the Hesychastic controversy, and in other discussions of the “journey of the mind to God”, and what could go wrong along the way. If some key or keys to transformative experience were part of what the Cathars had on offer, I suppose that would have been part of the accusations against them.

    Absence of evidence is not in itself evidence of absence! I’ll still keep my eyes open.


  167. Friends, any extra prayers or healing energy for my wife Monika would be very welcome right now.
    Those of you familiar with the prayer list know she is pregnant, and the pregnancy is considered ‘high risk’… so far, every checkup has gotten a clean bill of health. Honestly she has been weathering the pregnancy better than I’d dared hope. So thank you, to Quin and everyone who has prayed or otherwise pushed positive energy for that.

    Today she’s on an IV on a medical cot at a work camp in a remote location in Northern Canada. Communications are spotty but it sounds like a bad sinus infection. I ask (with her permission) for renewed prayers for health of Monika and her unborn child (who should be OK unless the infection turns septic, and gods forbid that). At this point it’s not totally clear to me if she’s going to be well enough to make the scheduled flight next week, need to be medivac’d, or… what. I don’t know precisely what medical equipment or staff are on hand. I don’t know, or what I’m not being told to spare me worry. So I pray and invite anyone so inclined to pray along with me.

    She is also open to blessing and Essene-style remote healing. Thank you.

  168. Hey Justin Patrick Moore

    Thanks for this, I forgot about mr Gysin. He is also a very interesting man who did interesting things in the art and music, complementing Burroughs and RAW who focused more on writing.

    Hey JMG

    Since Justin brought it up, do you have any opinions on Brion Gysin?

  169. Christopher, it all depends on your natal chart. If you’re considering moving somewhere, cast yourself a new natal chart as though you had been born in the new place at the exact moment you were actually born (correcting for time zones, etc.). Sometimes you have a malefic planet strongly placed, or a benefic planet in a house where it doesn’t do much for you; if you move to a different place, the malefic can end up in a corner of the chart where it won’t do much, or the benefic can be in a house where you want it — and the results follow accordingly. I moved east to get Saturn away from my descendant (the planets are always powerful in angles) and Jupiter close to my midheaven, and prospered accordingly.

    Enjoyer, yes, I read the Strong Towns site fairly often when I have the chance. We agree on a lot — and this article strikes me as spot on target.

    Mary, it’s very simple. Every decadent aristocracy tries to arrange things so that its members never have to suffer the consequences of their own incompetence. The US is run by a thoroughly decadent aristocracy these days, and it’s got a worse case of that than most. Russia got rid of its Marxist aristocracy once the Soviet Union collapsed; India is going through a slow-motion version of the same thing; and Saudi Arabia is an anomaly of a kind that happens now and again in history, where you accidentally get someone rising to the top of a decadent society who has some executive talent, and makes the most of it.

    Tyler, it’s a valid question. Most of the “killer aps” only matter if you’ve got a nationwide or worldwide internet backing them up, and our descendants won’t have that. My guess is that some chips will be salvaged in order to build or maintain computers for military and economic purposes, but most will be garbage — and I also wonder just how long chips in a landfill will remain viable. Yes, I could see codes as a significant application.

    LeGrand, interesting. It’s quite possible that I’m seeing the Cathars too heavily filtered through the eyes of later occult legend.

    Tyler, positive energy incoming.

    J.L.Mc12, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of him before Justin mentioned him.

  170. In the Five Tibetans, it says that washing with cold water would undo the effects of doing the exercises. Does that mean only immediately after the exercises or at any time?
    I have found swimming in cold water enjoyable and beneficial.

  171. I have been working on how to focus more on what I want than on what I fear when considering society at large, trying not to obsess about the dangers and threats. I find this difficult given that societal decline and denial are both real.
    I can focus on a deeper level, where things are fundamentally ok, but then I deal with the mundane world and its trials.

  172. My warmest wishes again for Sara’s transition and you, dear Archdruid.
    In your understanding of former lives, do you think that glimpses of them can appear in dreams, before one gets conscious of those lives in other ways? Like the kind of dreams which show details of an unknown person’s life in a country you’ve never been to.

  173. Hi John Michael,

    🙂 In many ways, the departed remain with us. I know what you mean about the Agatha Christie novels.

    If computing technology is to get through and into the distant future, it won’t be the sort of machines and software people are used to nowadays. It’ll be older computers like say, the Commodore 64 which even today has an extensive fan base. Unlike current computers, that old machine is also entirely comprehensible to a person – possibly you could use the descriptive words: ‘an enthusiast’.

    Other than novelty value for an aristocracy or bureaucracy, I simply just can’t fathom why anyone would want to put such a machine to use in the far distant future. And how would they even maintain the thing? The lifespan of many of the components is simply not all that great. Paper is a far cheaper technology to maintain. Dunno. I know you introduced the idea of computers in Star’s Reach, but they were conspicuously absent in Retrotopia (please correct me if I’m wrong). Have you had any further thoughts on the subject?



  174. Varun
    I would add stories by Henning Mankel about Kurt Wallander, a detective in a small city in Southern Sweden

  175. I read that there’s some talk over in Euroland about sending troops to help Ukraine. Supposedly it came from Macron’s pie hole, no less.

    I’ve heard a few times that there’s special forces from other countries lending a hand but you know how it is with the ‘fog of war’ and that old saying that the first casualty is always truth.

    I doubt that there’s any stomach in any NATO country for the bloodshed that any such involvement would entail. Nor for that matter is there remotely the military or industrial capacity to make a go of it. So you wonder why Macron opened his big mouth. Are we really watching a remake of that hundred year old movie with a new cast, new costumes, new setting but basically the same plot?

    But you know how misapprehension and paranoia grow during wartime like forest fungus. What if Putin were to take such talk seriously? What if he asks China for an assist maybe just to forestall any more similar musings?

    I have no idea as to whether Russia and China could cooperate in such a venture, given the linguistic and cultural disparities never mind the huge difference in size. Russia is to China what Canada is to the US. Who would be the junior partner?

    Or what if China puts the bug in Putin’s ear? Why would China make such a generous offer? Maybe China’s motive would be to make a preemptive move now to hobble its rivals and gain mastery before its aging demographic make such a thing unrealistic.

    Great power rivalry gave us the 20th Century conflagrations. But now NATO is nothing more than a make-believe coalition of the incompetent and unwilling and unable.

    And I hesitate to call the US and Russia ‘great’ powers given that they look to me more like two slack-jawed, ape-armed pugs than fit and frisky pugilists. But still …

    And has Macron lost his marbles?

  176. Hi JMG,
    It would be very cool to have some clue about the initiation rituals of the Carbonari. I think we could come up with some of our own as well. In general, whether it is Carbonari or Masons or the Grange, it is interesting that such fraternal/sororal (is there a term for mixed siblinghoods?) organizations seen to derive from ancient, medieval or modern guilds. Unlike labor unions that are adversarial and set workers against owners, guilds are associations of independent artisans. It seems like there is lots of room for new guilds to form during the long descent and that these could become vital sources of social cohesion and spiritual growth. I know the best times I have had in my life have happened working with others for a common goal that we choose ourselves – especially when it involves working outdoors with Nature.
    I wonder if there is some sort of template that we could use to create new rituals for new guilds? Is there a checklist of things that we should include, adapted for each particular craft?

  177. I have a question regarding prayers for the dead. If the person you want to pray for did not believe in that practice or followed a religion that forbade it while alive, does that mean you should not do it? I know you’ve said to request permission from people in the here and now before praying for them; plus you shared that Sara specifically did not want Catholic prayers said for her. So I’m guessing the beliefs of the most recent incarnation carries over into the next realm and thus, no prayers if they didn’t believe in it, or no prayers incompatible with their most recent belief system? What if you are unsure what the person thought about it? I’m just wondering how we help those who move on, as in my own family most have been conservative Protestant Christians and would have scoffed at the idea of aiding the dead through prayer.

    Joy Marie

  178. Jessica, there was a knock-down, drag-out fight in the early 20th century between partisans and opponents of cold water bathing as a health treatment, and that comment belongs to that. If you find that cold water swims leave you feeling refreshed and energized, go ahead and splash around in cold water to your heart’s content. If you find that cold water leaves you feeling chilled and shocky, then don’t do it. As usual, different people have different needs. As for focus, well, yes — I know a lot of people who have that problem, not least because right now the mundane world really sucks.

    Njura, yes, some people experience scraps of past lives that way, though I never did.

    Chris, I think Tyler’s suggestion of using computers to make and break codes is good, and that may be one of the few uses that computers have in the far future. Other than that, it’ll be a prestige thing to have one, but not because it’ll do anything useful.

    Smith, I can only assume that Macron has taken leave of his senses. Most European nations have already stripped their militaries of arms and munitions to send to Ukraine — what on earth are the tiny European armies supposed to fight with? Pronouns?

    Seaweedy, there was a movement a century ago called guild socialism that wanted to reorganize the economy into independent guilds, so your idea is one that has had quite a bit of support in the past. As for rituals, well, my book Inside a Magical Lodge covers the basic template of lodge rituals, and might be worth a look.

    Joy Marie, if a person specifically asked while alive that a certain kind of prayer not be offered for them after death, I think it’s polite to abide by that. If they didn’t specifically say that, though, I tend to think that praying for them is probably a good idea.

  179. As to recovering computer chips from landfills, don’t get too optimistic. Corrosion travels up the legs or whatever contacts it has and travels into to plastic or ceramic package and that’s it.

    There are some sites dedicated to retro-computers what go into repairs pretty well. One common theme is capacitor leakage. The small electrolytic surface mount capacitors used on the logic boards have a high failure rate.

    As to who would make the best use of the surviving machines, who adopted them first? Bean counters. VisiCalc was the first “killer app”. Then there was WordStar, and a database, DBase? I never had cause to get into the SQL world so don’t trust me there.

    MS Office 98 was very effective on the 100 MHz Mac I had in the late ’90s. I did my dissertation on that machine with MatLab, 32 MB of RAM and an enormous 500 MB hard drive. Yes those are Ms, not Gs. But that machine was not rendering a 4K video in any reasonable time frame either.

  180. Oops, I just noticed this,

    “what on earth are the tiny European armies supposed to fight with? Pronouns?”

    As the new part of Dune is coming out, well, certain words have power. 😉 maybe they’ve invented those projector things, “weirding modules” or whatever they called them.

  181. Also, heart felt condolences. I read your stuff religiously. Here and there I share certain post with my wife that I know she will resonate with. “A life remembered” was one of those.
    We both shared in your pain, and were touched by your sharing.
    We have been married 25 years and I have a hard time imagining life without her. She is definitely the ballast to my speed boat with its little chain steering wheel I try an control it with.
    Strange feeling when someone close passes. How I felt when I suddenly lost my father anyways. You can almost see them and feel them more clearly.
    God bless

  182. I agree with Tyler A – cryptography is the most valuable thing a computer can do that people can’t, and yes, a WiFi lightbulb can put something like the Enigma machine to shame. The other thing that computers can do is store information very densely, which is useful for one-time-pad cryptography. One time pad cryptography is where both actors have an identical set of truly random data which is used to transform the plaintext into cyphertext and vice versa. A device that currently costs a few dollars could contain a one-time-pad large enough for many lifetimes of correspondence, in complete security.

  183. Dear John,
    A while ago I was gifted an old E-bike from a relative. Basically, it has a small battery and can go a bit further and faster than I could pedaling on my own. It makes it easier to pedal and comes in handy when going up steep hills or carrying a lot of things. It’s made it a bit easier to live without a car. Obviously this is no ecotechnic technology, but it makes me wonder something like it could have some application in the future as we enter the end of the oil age? It’s definitely more energy efficient than using a two ton vehicle to drive a single person around. On the other hand, it’s worse than a normal bike if it doesn’t have a charged battery because of how heavy it is. Would love to hear your thoughts about e-bikes.

  184. Hey JMG and others

    On the subject of Geomantic calculators, I do have some ideas. Firstly, a complex mechanical device does seem to be a cumbersome and relatively expensive way to accomplish the extremely simple binary arithmetic Geomancy requires. However simpler symbolic methods can be made that make casting a geomantic chart easier, of which the “Abacus chart” invented by Adam P Forrest and which is described in “The golden dawn journal vol 1 Divination” is the only example that has so far been devised.
    Another possibility would be devices similar to “Napier’s bones” that would ease the calculation of figures.

  185. Strange question that for some reason or another has entered my thoughts lately:

    When you see somebody who is possessed by an extreme outcome (e.g. astronomical amounts of wealth or extreme beauty or intelligence), what does it represent, karmically? For example, what does Bill Gates or whoever do to karmically bring about such wealth that the typical run-of-the-mill multimillionaire does not?

    I’m not trying to make a value judgment here (the wealth or beauty or whatever may or may not be beneficial)–I am just curious about what extreme actions generate such extreme outcomes.

  186. I didn’t want to put this on last weeks post as it was kind of stupid but light hearted.
    To all the folks on here, take note of the second picture on that post as we can now confirm that JMG does, in fact, have a chin! Probably hasn’t seen the light of day in 30 years. 😉
    Be well.

  187. So, I had a dream about a female doctor of central European origin, living in Thailand, with name and life events (quite negative). She spoke to me in the dream. How can I clarify if it is a scrap of a former life? If I were to use Geomancy, what to look for?

  188. Col. Douglas Macgregor suggested that Macron said what he said by prior arrangement; floating the idea of NATO troops fighting in Ukraine precisely so that other European leaders could deny it, thus reassuring their populations who have no stomach for a war with Russia. Certainly Chancellor Olaf Scholz stated very firmly that there was no thought of German troops fighting in Ukraine.
    Col. Douglas Macgregor: How Close Is WWIII?

  189. JMG,
    I wonder if you know anything about swámi A. P. Mukerji, who wrote in the early 1920s “The Doctrine and Practice of Yoga”, an interesting little book (links: Given that Western occultists back then used to just take up Oriental pseudonyms, I wondered if this is the same case here, and the contents seem (to my untrained eye) more like Western fare than Eastern.

  190. Hi John,
    I’m a school psychologist in Texas… just moved here in 2022. We use the Scottish Rite’s Take Flight program for dyslexia in our schools here. While I have a few reservations about who they identify as “dyslexic” ( not a big deal… in the gray scheme of things)…I just wanna sign the praises of their reading program. Basically, it doesn’t matter if you’re dyslexic, anyone could benefit from being taught to read the English language this way. It’s fascinating to watch and the kids just love it. Just wanted to let you know I see why your wife chose this charity 😊

    -Raci w.

  191. @Justin (#201):

    The real problem with one-time pad cryptography is the enormous difficulty of creating truely random key-strings. The key-strings actually available for use, back in the days when I was looking into it (in the late 1970s, when the brilliant Rivest-Shamir-Adelman method of encyrption was first invented), were merely pseudo-random, that is, they were approximations of randomness. And with enough computing power, pseudo-random one-time pad messages can be decrypted — the hard part is getting enough computing power, which is not so hard for the current NSA.

  192. Siliconguy, I got very good results from my first computer, a used Sanyo MBC-550 with two 5.25 floppy drives and no hard drive. It ran WordStar 3.3. I’m not sure the results would be enough to justify the resource inputs needed to build and maintain such a thing in a deindustrial age, though. As for pronouns as words of power, well, a US air force colonel apparently just insisted in a speech that using the right pronouns is a war fighting strategy

    Travis, thank you for this.

    Blue Sun, no, I don’t usually follow Carlson, though it’s been amusing to watch the mainstream media wet its collective pants about him. I’ll put that on the get-to list.

    Enjoyer, like so many modern technologies, it makes sense so long as you have immense cheap energy supplies for manufacturing the bike and its replacement parts. The energy that goes into making the thing, all the way along the process from mining the rare earth elements to final delivery, is usually far more significant than the energy it consumes. Once you don’t have all that cheap energy any more, it’s far more viable to make an ordinary bicycle and put the resources into strengthening your own muscles as a power source…

    J.L.Mc12, oh, granted. I’d love to see someone with mechanical skills get to work on it.

    Statistically, now and again you get someone who has developed one part of themselves in an unbalanced way, racking up a lot of positive karma in that one area while leaving the rest of themselves undeveloped. A life of the kind you’re discussing is a way to burn off that good karma in a hurry so that the soul can get to work on the other aspects of itself, unburdened by the imbalance. Bill Gates, for example, has a powerful intellect but other than that he’s got a very childish kind of selfishness; my guess, though it’s only a guess, is that he’s one of those people who did a lot of charitable actions purely because he wanted to rack up good karma (or get into heaven, or what have you). So he got the good karma, and he’s spent this life burning through it while racking up some fairly nasty karma as his innate selfishness turned everything he did into exploitation. In his next life, he’ll get to learn about compassion. (I doubt he’ll enjoy the lesson much.)

    Michael, I wouldn’t have minded. I have a very few pictures left from the days when I didn’t have any facial hair at all… 😉

    Njura, interesting. I’d treat that as a ninth house question, as it deals with (a) spirituality and (b) something long ago and far away.

    Furnax, Mukerji was a Hindu; he was the associate editor of _The Kalpaka_, the famous Indian occult and spiritual magazine from the early 20th century; he was connected with Latent Light Culture, an organization teaching an intriguing blend of Hindu spirituality and Western New Thought, which still exists. Mukerji had connections with the redoubtable William Walker Atkinson; he published books through Atkinson’s press in Chicago, and turned around and plagiarized Atkinson’s work for lessons he issued in India. Keep in mind that India wasn’t an isolated, backwards country when that book came out; it was being robbed blind by the British, granted, but it had a robust middle class intelligentsia, a thriving domestic publishing industry, and it both contributed to and borrowed from the worldwide revival of occultism under way in those years. Thus the western flavor of Mukerji’s work was fairly common at the time.

    RW, thank you for this! I’m very glad to hear it.

  193. Alright. Every month I pray that we have hit Peak Woke and begin descent back into the world of sanity. Could this be the month? No: “Colorado Democrats Block Legislation Punishing Child Sex Traffickers – Suggest Criminals Are Also Victims”.

    Or is this a pre-mature April Fool’s release? A misattribution from the Babylon Bee? Can this get worse? You just can’t make this stuff up. Take me now Lord (just kidding).

    –Lunar Apprentice

  194. JMG,
    Thanks for the fascinating response! Explains quite well the “Western” flavor in Mukerji’s book. I came to know about him by a mention that Kongo Langlois Roshi (the abbot of the Soto Zen temple in Chicago during 1971–1999) made in a lecture. Interesting how these names keep showing up even after so long.

  195. I have just finished reading the Dion Fortune book , The Magical Battle of Britain.
    I like to think that there are similar efforts going on right now regarding the political mess we are now in in the USA.
    I don’t know where they are- does anyone have any information, or is pursuing a thoughtful , positive meditation and prayer exercise. I know there are lots of prayer sites.
    I’m looking for something with a directed, positive plan.

  196. Hey JMG,

    I really like your characterization of the feel of 2024 as a “hopeful catastrophe”. I’ve been struggling to articulate what it feels like out on the world, and that is a perfect, succinct way of putting it. Hopefully the good outweighs the chaos and suffering.

    Also want to second OtterGirl on the simplicity of that donation page, way too many organizations make giving them money more of a pain than it should be. May the memory of Sara help many, many children.

  197. Hi JMG
    I was just reading about the fentanyl crisis in your country in this article of NYT:

    They say in 2022 around 107.889 people died from drug overdoses in US, round 70% by overdose of fentanyl (73.798), taking account that in the Vietnam War, in 10 years (1965-1975) around 60.000 americans died, the overdose crisis kills at least 1,5 times more people than the Vietnam War IN JUST ONE YEAR, and in the end of sixties and begining of 70’s that level of death in Vietnam was a shock to the american citizens, but it seems a much bigger number of deaths means nothing at all today.
    If you add around 50.000 died by guns in 2021 (probably more in 2022 and 2023), similar casualties than in 10 year of Vietnam.
    It seems that really a war, or a collapse, is happening in USA, may be still not “visible” for everyone, but real; life expectancy is decreasing, like in the post-soviet republics after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and the scenes of people behaving like zombies and living in paperboard houses in the big american cities, were not visible in Russia even in the height of the post-soviet crisis.

    That will be, I thing, the “Big Attractor” in the social space phase for a real Cesarist figure, like Putin in Russia, as Spengler pointed out this will be the second big fight of “The Blood against The Money”, the first were the peasants revolutions (in Europe from 1525 to 1650) that were totally crushed (very bloodily), the second will be the Caesarism that will prevail. It won´t stop the unavoidable decadence of the civilization that will end/collapse in any case (in fact nothing can), but it is an “adaptation” to the trend.
    I think the Cesarists figures won´t be men like Trump, not an hedonist but a Neo-Stoic figure, much tough and rude, and may be this require a kind of civil war/revolution to arise after an huge economic crisis.

    May be someone that could make the zombies to proudly march with a rifle on their shoulders?


  198. @J.L.Mc12 & JMG & all…

    The Third Mind Book was a big part of the background / theoretical work that went into the Thee Temple of Psychic Youth (TOPY) based on Genesis P-Orridges friendship with Burroughs and Gysin.

    Andrew Mackenzie (another experimental music & art weirdo from the 80s onwards, in the group The Hafler Trio… which is mostly just himself) transcribed a bunch of tapes of the conversations between P-Orridge and Gysin, into the book His Name Was Master. There is a three part interview here with Mackenzie on Gysin and the 80s counterculture, TOPY & more…

    A good deal of the Third Mind Book itself was derived from Burroughs reading of Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” and the concept of the Master Mind -I suppose a kind of egregore- when people get together and do work together. “When two or more are gathered” a third mind comes into play. P-Orridge refers to this in terms of how it played out in a lot of the music and art of Psychic TV, TOPY and related projects. It humors me that Napoleon Hill is part of that chain of ideas, but Hill had some fair points in his “Think and Grow Rich” book.

    John, when I got together with some of my friends who were into all of this stuff two summers ago when one was visiting from New Jersey and we had a picnic and went hiking I used your moniker on us “The Temple of Psychic Geezers” -well, they are in their fifties anyway, but the original members of TOPY who are still alive are definitely into or getting into geezer territory at this point.

    Pieces like this are why I love Gysin:

  199. @ Robert Mathiesen 211

    A method for creating large amounts of truly random numbers came into use in the late 90s if I recall correctly. Take a square rack containing a number of lava lamps and when a new number is needed take a photo, treat that photograph as a seed number and go from there. I think one of the big tech companies the era patented it.

  200. Re brethren and bodies Masonic

    I was raised to Master Mason some 2+ years ago now and was active in the lodge for about a year after that, with full intention of moving up the line of progression. However, I developed an energetic/auric reaction, whether to the egregore of the local lodge or just certain personalities thereof I cannot say, and have not been active for just over a year now. Moreover, repeated divination has warned against active involvement in the local lodge as well as against applying to the local Royal Arch chapter. I find this somewhat frustrating in that one of my motivations for joining Masonry was to seek esoteric companions. I have heeded the warnings, however, and not pursued further involvement.

  201. @JMG, @Walt F #130, @Lathechuck #157, @Justin Patrick Moore #169,

    Thank you all for your comments about the geomantic machine – very interesting and thought-provoking.

    I agree that generating the figures “by hand” is probably a worthwhile part of the process. But this machine just looked so nice and tempting… *sigh*

    Even if the mechanics of a full-on “working geomancy machine” was a lot more straightforward than it is, I wouldn’t have the skills to build it. But ah, the temptation of having such a beautiful piece of art and crafts sitting on my desk… 😉

    It also got me wondering how (or rather: if) one could, in theory, build a mechanism which chooses the figures at random, or if that would even be possible without electronics. Probably not, and just thinking about it made some of my brain cells short-circuit. But if anybody knows of any purely mechanical “randomization device”, curious mind would now be interested in learning how this could work… 😀

    Finally, the connection to radionics is an interesting idea and opens up some other rabbit holes. I doubt I’ll ever have the time to dive into them, but this has been a really thought-provoking, instructive and enjoyable threat – thanks a lot to all of you! 🙂


  202. @Louise #215 This is what I am doing daily. I pray the “Our Father” and follow up with this prayer based upon Jeremiah 29:7, Daniel 2:21-22, and 1 Timothy 2:1-2
    “Oh God, grant peace, prosperity, and welfare to the United States, pour out your Holy Spirit upon the people of the United States, guide our present leaders and those in authority as you did with Cyrus and other kings in the Bible and raise up Daniels, Josephs, Deborahs, Davids in places of authority to do good for our country, cast down wickedness in high places and reveal to the light the hidden things in darkness.”
    Yes, our country isn’t in a good place but there are prophets who say after a time of troubles the U S will pass through a period of relief and blessing. May it be so.

  203. JMG (and Robert) —
    It seems that I am quite out of date with respect to the Cathars, the existence of whom, it turns out, is quite open to question. (“The Cathar Myth”; “The Cathars — did they even exist?” etc). This redefinitional controversy (reminding me of the person who proved that all of Shakespeare’s works were written by somebody else entirely, who had the same name) is rather oblique to my own question, which has more to do with the history of spiritual practices, rather than branding issues.

    It seems this deconstructive trend was provoked in part by the burgeoning popularity of “Cathar” as a brand. (After all, the popularity of something among The Many is enough to raise eyebrows, and suspicions, among the Better Sort.) I’m not utterly unsympathetic, especially if “Cathar Country” has become a widely used selling-point for tours, lodgings, residential workshops of all sorts — to the point where there are evidently butcher shops selling special “Cathar cuts” of beef, lamb, etc. Then again, abuse of a term doesn’t necessarily count against its proper use.

    At any rate, my own inquiry will continue, as time permits.

  204. @Blue Sun (#72)
    I think that a majority of the folks in what had been the Tsarist Empire and in China would disagree. I think most Russians and Chinese nowadays would too.
    Russia now is quite anti-communist, but they still take rightful pride in defeating the Nazis. Hard to picture that happening without something like Stalin’s forced industrialization.
    China too had a bumpy path after its revolution (especially the Great Leap Forward), but even the Maoist era laid the foundation* for the reforms that produced the largest uplift out of poverty in known human history.
    *Healthy, widely educated population in a functioning society.
    Not saying that either history was smooth sailing or that either place would be some place I (with my American cultural values) would have wanted to live in, but their alternative was not 1950s American prosperity and the safety provided by two large oceans between the US and any serious rivals.
    For a Christian, the calculations could be different. The loss of that aspect of cultural freedom would weigh much heavier in the reckoning.

  205. Lunar, I really wonder at this point if the Democrats have a death wish. That headline is going to be splashed all over space and time by the GOP in the upcoming election campaign.

    Furnax, the thing is, you can get very good results by following Mukerji’s instructions. That’s the thing about the classic occultism of a century ago: whatever its origins were, it works.

    Louise, any such project that might be going on right now will be taking place in secret, since there are plenty of people who would try to disrupt such a thing with their own hostile magic. That said, if you want to do something of the kind yourself, it can only help; just remember Fortune’s rule: focus on trying to build up what you want, never on trying to tear down what you don’t want.

    Sub, I’m glad to hear that other people sense the same thing about the current year. As for the Scottish Rite, they have more than 200 years of experience accepting donations, and so understandably they’ve gotten fairly good at it! Once my own affairs are sorted out I plan on resuming the large donations Sara and I regularly made to the RiteCare program, and I’m pleased and grateful that other people feel moved to do the same.

    DFC, the US is in the midst of the same kind of crisis that overwhelmed the Soviet Union; our political and economic system has stopped working, nobody believes in the old slogans any more, and life has become almost universally miserable for everyone outside of the privileged nomenklatura who profit from the rotting corpse of the system. In the latter end of the Soviet era, a lot of people drank themselves to death; here in America we’re somewhat less traditional and so use slightly more exotic intoxicants to do the same thing. Once the system collapses and some less hopelessly incompetent ruling elite takes over, things will improve.

    Justin, er, that isn’t necessarily a recommendation. Call me an old fuddy-duddy but TOPY never seemed very impressive to me.

    David BTL, it’s not for everybody, that’s for sure.

    LeGrand, good heavens. I hadn’t encountered that yet. The entertainments of revisionist history!

  206. Hey JMG and others

    Oh, I don’t deny that a geomantic calculator would both possible and fun, just that it would be unlikely to be practical or strictly economic. That being said there’s another option.
    Along time ago the famous mathematician A.K.Dewdney published an article as a April fools joke/mathematical recreation about a mechanical computer unearthed by archeologists in Papua made by a civilisation called the “Apraphulians.” It was entirely based on ropes and pulleys arranged in various ways to act as logic gates to be used as a digital computer. He helpfully described and drew each component in detail, then suggested that such devices would be good models for explaining how electronic computers work.
    While I’m not sure how practical it would be to make this rope and pulley computer, theoretically it could be easier than making a computer out of hundreds of gears and other mechanical components. It also occurred to both dewdney and me that the rope and pulley logic gates could have lots of other uses. He suggested complex rigging for Apraphulian ships, while I think it may have potential uses for automata and maybe machinery in general.
    The book I found this article in is “The Tinkertoy computer ” which is on internet archive.

  207. Yeah. The e-bike is a fun novelty but overall it’s not going to be sustainable in the long term. At least they’re not as bad as driving around an SUV, but that’s a very low bar. It’s been fun, but I’ve been planning on selling the e-bike to get a nicer conventional bike.

    In other news, my wife works in the medical field. She’s a medical laboratory scientist, which means she works in the dungeon of the hospital and runs tests on blood and other fluids. Over her short career so far, she’s learned a few things. First is that the medical industrial complex is absolutely unhinged and dysfunctional. The hospital hires the least amount of workers that they can feasibly hire, meaning they run on a skeleton crew of exhausted workers constantly. Equipment shortages are commonplace, there isn’t enough communication between different parts of the hospital, and managers are consistently making terrible decisions that make things even worse. The icing on the cake is that bureaucratic and corporate agreements reduce effiency.

    Because of some complex agreement with the government and other hospitals, she has to drive all the way to another hospital to do a test that could reasonably be done on-site. The machines that they use for tests use chinese software that nobody can understand (Even the error messages are in chinese) and the hospital has to pay a huge subscription to keep the machines running. The machines are constantly falling apart and malfunctioning, they need to be ‘massaged’ in order to function.

    All of this makes my wife very concerned. She isn’t as obsessed with the Long Descent as I am, but she is aware. She’s very worried that very basic medical knowledge and techniques that could save tons of lives at the end of the industrial age will be lost or outright rejected because of the negligence of the medical industry.

  208. @LeGrand (#223) and JMG (#225):

    Hoo boy! Every time you think “historians” of this sort can’t get any crazier, they do.

    At least in the Balkans, the Cathar predecessors (the Bogomils) undeniably existed, and at one point even established a mini-state of their own in Bosnia (which lies right across the line dividing Western Catholic Europe from Eastern Orthodox Europe). When the Turks moved into the Balkans, most of the Bosnians seem to have become Muslims as a more viable “third choice” instead of either the Catholic or the Orthodox forms of Christianity. There is even at least one Church Slavonic manuscript written by a Bogomil: Krstjanin Radosav’s codex (1400s). And some of the extant documents about Cathars in France mention their still active ties with Cathar prelates in the Balkans.

  209. @ Andy (#219):

    That’s brilliant, and irt might just work … At any rate, it would probably approximate true randomness better than anything else short of atomic decay.

  210. Lunat Apprentice @ 213, I would be interested to know what is the back story here? My guess is that there is some sort of tribalism at work. I think it is clear that the Dems. voted as they were told. To their shame. Question is, told by whom?

    I have thought for years that we need to strengthen the 13th Amendment, to include an absolute prohibition on the buying and selling of human beings. Right now might be a good time to do that.

    Is anyone circulating recall petitions for the cowardly eight?

  211. Hi John Michael,

    Weren’t the first large computers constructed specifically to solve code cracking problems? Perhaps proving that on the way down, everything old will be new again! 🙂

    Dunno about your take on the world, but with technology I reckon that if you can’t repair and maintain the stuff, whatever it may be, and no matter how useful, the stuff is but an exciting moment in time. Computers are like that. I got to thinking about this issue years ago when hearing talk about self sufficiency. The first thing which popped into my head was: “I dunno how to make shoes!” And there are real limits as to what a person can know and do. Turns out the combined words (self sufficiency) don’t carry the same meaning that the individual words would suggest. Unless that is, a person is prepared to go a long way down the ladder in terms of what they consider to be the ordinary stuff required for a normal everyday life.

    I don’t think such a thing is possible in a western country anyway, the system keeps drawing you back in. Like a zombie. Do you reckon that sooner or later such wide reach will fail?



  212. Tyler A, my thoughts are with yr wife Monika, and her unborn. A sinus infection is a drag at best; but if she’s tough enough to be in a north Canada work camp, she’ll beat it!

    And on a different thought, I agree on your idea of computers and codes. That is the critical high value task that could make it worth salvaging for as long as possible.

    Another possibility is long range artillery targeting (naval). In World War I as I understand it was special built mechanical calculators in the ship’s heavy gun control, but they are another option for heavy calculations (can’t do the randomness for one-time). Of course, if you wanted a heavy naval gun (say 11-16 inch; the standards in WWI and II) you would need to build the factory, the design and build the manufacturing equipment, train everyone from scratch, etc, ). I just had a picture of future monks poring over brittle, yellow drawings and texts from the 1910s to 1940s, desperately trying to recreate the lost knowledge.

    Sorry, it was pretty vivid!

    And Lunar Apprentice #213; I am absolutely baffled! Insanity, demonic possession, a Democrat death wish?

    And JMG, glad to see you are doing well and my best wishes for this refuge of sanity.


  213. @Mary re: buying and selling humans:
    Eh. I think we should make an exception for politicians since they seem so determined to sell themselves, but with the stipulation that once they are purchased, they should be shipped immediately to the buyer, and not permitted to return. If purchased by more than one buyer, they should be divided proportionately and then shipped. It is still a dicey business, so no returns, warranties, or refunds should be offered.

  214. A Washington Post reporter apparently takes a dim view of all the heated coverage of shoplifting, titling her story The Zombie CVS, which is about a barren CVS pharmacy in DC with nothing much that wasn’t under lock and key.

    It brought to mind that famous bank robber Willie Sutton (RIP). Remember him? He was asked why he robbed banks. He replied that that’s where the money is.

    So, where’s the money nowadays? Banks, of course. Or, alternatively, stealable and sellable high value items. So, stores for sure. But also, I would argue, high income neighborhoods. That’s how it is in these environs, where home invasion and car-jacking are all the rage and police pretty much useless.

    Wealthy progressives might pour scorn on what they see as retrograde conservative crime narratives. But young and energetic gangsters need places to pillage. Wealthy neighborhoods won’t escape their notice. We’ll see how long the scorn lasts.

  215. Do you have any thoughts on the “Trojan Migration” hypothesis proposed by Bret Weinstein as a result of his observations on a trip to Panama? He saw several migrant camps near the north end of the Darien Gap, and noticed a distinct difference between them. Two of them were more or less what you’d expect, migrants of all ages except the very old, some with children. Many were from South America but others were from other parts of the world that had flown into Ecuador where they didn’t need a visa to enter and worked their way northward. Many were friendly to Weinstein and talked about economic opportunity as the main driver for their migration.

    However, Weinstein came to another camp that was different. This one wouldn’t let him inside and nobody was interested in talking with him. What he could see from the outside looking in were lots of Chinese military aged men. There were a few women also, but no children that he could see.

    His podcast about this situation is at

    He hypothesizes that the Chinese are using the larger economic migration as cover for their own covert operations, although he doesn’t speculate too far on the podcast of what those might be. This is quite worrisome to me. It made me think of your fictional Retrotopia where Lakeland is ready to sabotage the infrastructure of any country that would wage war. However unlike Lakeland, China might not necessarily wait until they’re homeland is under attack to do its damage.

    Or, could this be connected to the Chinese biolab accidentally uncovered in California a while back? Who knows how many other similar labs are out there? Could a bioweapon attack be a possibility? The normal deterrents to bioweapons are that it would be almost impossible to stop them spreading back to your own people, and also (like other weapons of mass destruction) it would likely lead to a nasty retribution. However in this case, China hasn’t used mRNA vaccines on its population so if a biological weapon took advantage of the immune system changes created by mRNA covid jabs, they could escape relatively unscathed. Furthermore, if the weapon was released secretly inside the USA, they wouldn’t necessarily take the blame for it.

    I’ve suspected for a while that there is a certain amount of Chinese influence behind many recent events such as the rise of the woke narrative and the way the covid response played out. Weinstein’s observations take it to another level for me. Do you have any thoughts?

  216. @Mary Bennet Whether or not there is a back story, while you and I and others might focus on an absolute prohibition on the selling of human beings, especially “of selling or buying children for the purposes of exploitation”, the article makes it clear, if it is to be believed, what is behind this: “Colorado Democrats reportedly argued that they oppose the harsher minimum sentences in part because offenders might ‘also be victims,’ … They assert that pedophilia is a form of sexual orientation, and once something is labeled an orientation it suddenly becomes a protected group status.” So, there you have it. Supposedly we’re in the age of Aquarius, the traditional ruler of which is Saturn. My question is when and how will Saturn, the god of boundaries, put in an appearance. I can’t see it all going the way of Uranus, the modern co-ruler of the sign.

  217. @Milkyway #221, a mechanical random selector? Like, some dice, or a spinner?

    It’s difficult to make any mechanical device that generates every number in its range equally (that is, without bias) in one try. But you don’t need a completely unbiased device to generate an unbiased random number. For instance, suppose you have a coin, and you want a 50-50 chance, but you don’t know whether the coin is weighted, or by how much. One flip won’t give you a 50-50 chance, but if you make pairs of flips, and ignore all heads-heads and tails-tails outcomes, the chance of heads-tails exactly equals the chance of tails-heads.

    @J.L.Mc12 #226,

    One thing that surprises me about the history of mechanical computers is that very few were ever invented that were based on binary logic, until long after electronic digital computers were familiar. (Examples include parts of the Clock of the Long Now, and the DIGI-COMP-I educational toy computer. But none amounts to a complete programmable processor.) Babbage’s Analytical Engine design, for instance, was decimal, which required mechanisms that could reliably distinguish between ten distinct positions of a rotary shaft, through any number of operations. That was too hard to build at the time. I believe there’s a lot more potential for binary mechanical computation, an alternate branch of technology that remains largely unexplored except in idealized abstractions like Apraphulian rope-and-pulley logic gates.

    The problem you run into when you seriously contemplate actually building a computer of mechanical logic gates is that electronic logic gates are also power amplifiers. That’s what allows any number of them to operate in sequence, each output being an input to the next, without the signals damping out to ambiguous levels. You can’t chain a series of rope and pulley (or Tinktertoy, LEGO, etc.) logic gates together in the same way and expect them to work correctly, without a way to feed power into each one. (Designs based on falling dominos, rolling marbles, water siphons etc. have a different form of the same problem; they chain well but only work for one operation each.) Distributing power to large numbers of separate logic gates is relatively easy with electronics, but in a binary mechanical computer it would require a lot of additional ropes and pulleys (or rotating shafts, or whatever type of mechanism you’re using).

  218. @Chris “If computing technology is to get through and into the distant future, it won’t be the sort of machines and software people are used to nowadays. It’ll be older computers like say, the Commodore 64 which even today has an extensive fan base. Unlike current computers, that old machine is also entirely comprehensible to a person – possibly you could use the descriptive words: ‘an enthusiast’.”

    Take a look at the Permacomputing space. It is taking the permaculture premise and applying it to computing. Could we make computers that last 50 years and can run using very small amount of energy? It has a long way to go but at least folks are starting to thing about this.

    Take a look at the ‘Computing within limits’ conference/papers as well.

    I have been slowly refining some ideas about the whole space but have yet to put fingers to board, if you will.

    Small/Intentional/Perma-computing is one of the missing pieces of the Free Libre/Open source movement. It isn’t enough that the software can shared if it takes a team of thousands of people just to get through it. It needs to be readable by a few people or a single talented person and to be on a machine that could be manufactured locally. The idea that we could actually make computers small enough in terms of complexity that you do not need million/billion dollar corporations to make them. It is tantalizing even if it may fall to the side as decline continues its slow marching pace.

    There are folks that figuring out how to make microprocessors in their garages nowadays. They have less function and speed compared with a C64, but it is still early days and far more than I ever expected to see. One example from about a year back was a single fellow made a 1,200 transistor processor at home. The processor in the C64 in 3,510 transistors. We are starting to get close to that base functionality that can actually be made independent of any major manufacturer and is free from all the potential security problems that comes from using big manufactured chips. The designs are too simple to hide back doors in them.

    It is the kind of technology that probably wouldn’t exist in 200 years because it would still require too many unique materials and equipment, but would be viable in the interim period.

  219. JMG: Thanks for the response about karma and Gates–at the risk of overkill, can I just ask for a bit of a clarification?

    I can see in theory how giving a pile of money for the express purpose of getting “good karma” in the future could perhaps make you a billionaire (although unless Gates and Bezos, etc were Rockefeller and Carnegie in previous lifetimes, I don’t see how they could have possibly given so much money so as to become deca-billionaires in this life), but how about people who are stunningly beautiful, or those like Mozart who were absolute musical prodigies, or Ramanujan who was a mathematical one or DaVinci and Michelangelo who were masters across multiple domains?

    Like, can I spend my entire life studying mathematics this life and become the Ramanujan of my time the next life? (and just to be clear–I do not mean for this question to be a “recipe for a happy future life” type of inquiry–I’m just trying to grasp how things link up, karmically-speaking, and am particularly fascinated by those who are at the extremes of talent/accomplishment).

    I hope this question makes sense/isn’t too annoying…it’s been gnawing at me for some reason lately, though.

  220. Dear JMG,

    I didn’t say anything in the comments on your post about Sara — I felt a bit paralyzed by having nothing to add — but I’ll write here, without regard to having anything new to say. I’m so sorry to hear about Sara, and I thank you for sharing with all of us a bit of what made your decades with her so happy. I give you my sincere sympathies that the two of you won’t have each other on the physical plane anymore, and I’m glad to hear that it seems she was, at least, at peace with where she was headed. I wish her the best travels.

    For your part, your copy of the Winter New Maps will be on its way soon. Are there any treats you like and aren’t already swimming in that I might be able to send with it? I have no particular baking specialties, but I do enjoy trying new things in the kitchen, and I did a tolerable job with my friend’s mother’s gingerbread cookie recipe a while back. If something-or-other tasty wouldn’t be particularly helpful or comforting to you right now, though, no worries, it’s just an idea.

  221. JMG, and whoever else might want to comment
    i have been pondering your concept of hopeful catastrophe. Perhaps you could do a post sometime elaborating on it, though you did say it was more just a feeling. I do feel it quite likely that for the “west” the catastrophe may very well come this year, though the hopeful part might be a bit slow arriving. Perhaps by crashing now the US or what it splits into, Canada and Australia might begin their descent to a more sustainable level sooner and level off a bit higher than by riding the pony till it drops dead. I see Europe as completely fracked unless they become totally dependent on Russia, for which they may have already run down the clock. I see Russia coming out this year in much better shape than anyone else, and Brazil doing pretty well. If the serious decline of the west shifts the flow of resources, China and India may gain a few years or even decades from what I otherwise thought they had. Likewise much of the ” Global South”
    I have lost enough of my teeth that eating popcorn becomes problomatic; what a terrible time for that to happen.
    Thinking of Canada’s situation, i am reminded of something Porfirio Diaz said about Mexico, which seems even more apropos to Canada now. Poor Mexico. So far from God, so close to the United States.
    Happy popcorn to those who still can. I guess I will have to settle for beer and wine

  222. JMG, I would like to express condolences for you by a close friend. That said, the year 2024 has been somewhat weird for me, too, beset with quite a few difficulties.

  223. Re the Cathars, the popular podcast The Rest Is History, covered this era on episodes 301-303 about a year or so ago. They explored the question of whether they existed as we have them in legend or not if I recall correctly. Whichever way it was, the Albigensian crusade was horrendous.

  224. @Walt F #237,

    I meant “mechanical” not in the sense of “ol’ me can do it manually”, but in the sense of “part of a mechanical machine”. 😉 E.g., as part of a mechanical computer, as being discussed by you and J.L.Mc12.

    Very interesting discussion, btw, thanks for that, too! 🙂 I’m learning a lot from these threads.

    Anyway, randomizing mechanical devices: Apart from the obvious practical issues (how to build them well enough to be truly random etc) – are you aware of any workable design which would achieve that in a mechanical “computer”?

    @Andy #219

    I’ve been wondering if the same concept could be used with more “natural” image sources. Goldfish swimming in a shallow pond? Sheep in a pasture? (They probably wouldn’t distribute randomly in their space, would they?) Or cloud patterns? (The latter only in a region with high cloud coverage, or the amount of cloudfree sky would defeat the purpose. And then you’d still have to deal with seasonly variation etc.)

    Putting it into more philosophical terms: Is there something like true randomness in nature, or can true randomness only be achieved by man’s design/intervention? 😉


  225. @Jessica #224 I certainly can’t speak for everyone in Russia, but I know I am not the only one who would strongly disagree. As for people at the time, it’s worth remembering that most of them never supported the Bolsheviks – they only gained something like majority support during and after World War Two. Family stories, memoirs and NKVD reports all point to extremely common negative views of those events and the new regime.

    More to the point, though, even the Bolsheviks generally came to see the revolutionary years as a time of calamity (I remember Molotov reminisced to that effect, for instance). The best that they could say for themselves was that they took over and fixed things after everyone else had failed (and, of course, that they were going to lead us to utopia after that, and therefore it was necessary and justified). So seeing it as a karmic punishment would have made sense to a lot of Russian people then and still makes sense to a lot of Russian people now – especially those who aren’t blinded by the admittedly-widespread Soviet nostalgia. The argument that this was necessary to win World War Two does carry water with some people, but that would only mean that something good had come of something very bad.

  226. This is really just an observation about my own life in relationship to our decaying society, so I don’t necessarily expect any sort of response to or comment upon it, I mostly just appreciate having somewhere to express something like this and not have doing so be completely inappropriate. This concerns why I eventually came to detest the ruling Professional Managerial Class into which I was born.

    I have discussed here previously that I did an inadequate job of “showing up for my life” when I was a lad in school by cos-playing the role of some kind of revolutionary leftist activist at the expense of more practical concerns. The truth was, I didn’t really know how to do anything else. So when I was denied any possibility of re-entry into the PMC or even its supporting clerical/ administrative class, I believed for many years that the reason I lost out was because I spent my formative years identifying with “the losers of the school”, namely the college-undergraduate “PC” scene. IOW, “Act like a loser, and you’ll be treated like a loser”. And so that meant that there was a moral basis for how I ended up in life.

    But starting around 2016, I realized that the official PMC had gradually adopted a half-baked version (scrubbed clean of any real concern for the economic plight of the working- and under-classes) of the very mindset that had supposedly made me such a loser worthy only of scorn and rejection. And so I was forced to realize that I mostly just lost a game of musical chairs that someone such as myself wasn’t very well-positioned to win from the get-go. Instead of the precious connections you need these days to even get an entry-level administrative/ clerical job, I only had my older brother’s risible ego-masturbation fantasies. (“Try to be more entrepreneurial about getting an office job.” [????])

    And this made me realize that our society has no real moral compass. It’s all just an arbitrary scramble for money, power, and position that you get in declining and decadent wealthy societies. And so I soured on the whole thing in a way that I never previously imagined that I would once I realized that there wasn’t anything there that might command any sort of moral respect. All that seems to be there now is “You better do as I say or else I’ll have a huge, ugly, psychotic temper-tantrum that will never end!”

  227. Greetings all,
    Eike said: “I wouldn’t be too surprised if something went *snap* and the whole place pulled a Soviet Union on us.”
    and JMG said: the fate of the Soviet Union has been much on my mind as well.

    Given the above comments and current world events, do you think any of you, US citizens, could give a possible time frame for a Soviet Union event onto the US? By that I would mean less than (1) 3 years or (2) more than 3 years or (3) impossible to gauge / uncommitted?

  228. @Seaweedy,

    I am aware about the Stendhal book, but I never read it. I guess I should. Carbonaro does indeed mean “charcoal burner”, but I take that it was a symbol for human liberation, and not the literal occupation of the Carbonari. The Carbonari were mostly middle-class urban dwellers and congregated in houses, not in the woods.

    The Carbonari hold a special place in Italian historical imagination, and you’ll find many streets and piazzas named after a Carbonaro. In the 1800s, they were the driving force behind the riots and revolutions leading up to 1848, and continued to play a role until the 1920s. Wikipedia says that there still were Carbonari among the members of the Italian Liberal party in the 1970s (liberal in the European sense of the word, i.e. law and order).

    All schoolchildren are taught about the Carboneria, though usually only as a revolutionary organisation, not as an occultist group: after all, the Pope still resides in Rome… So today’s Italians might speak fondly of the Carbonari and disparage the Free Masons, ignoring that the differences between the two are relatively small.

    @JMG, I found a site called It claims to want to re-found the order, but I do not know if there is actually an organization behind the website. There are two (hidden) email addresses: I tried to get in contact with the site owner, but I never received an answer. I do not know if that is because the organization is dead, or because I am not writing the right things (maybe some secret password? I have no idea).

    The site claims to represent an official organization (called Alta Vendita Italiana, the original name of the Carboneria), regularly registered with the authorities, and it should not be impossible to find their address and telephone number for someone curious enough: all their data are public, if you know where to look. But of course I do not know where to look (there are 20 different registers for associations). Also, the registration act dates from 20 years ago, so the project might be dead by now.

    The site contains materials in Italian, French and English, all in all several hundreds of pages of historical backgrounds, old pamphlets, rites, poems, historical documents from the mid-1700s onwards. It must have taken a significant effort to put all those materials together, so maybe a larger organization was involved.

    From what I understand, the new Carboneria looks to the early Druidic orders like the AOD and various newer Celtic orders. So probably more to the Anglosphere and less to France, as opposed to the original Carbonari who were an offshoot of the French Charbonniers. Again according to the site, some Charbonnier rituals are still used occasionally in some French Masonic lodges.

    I try to be a good Catholic, so I would not be a good fit for a new Carboneria. But as you write, secret societies are a way for oppressed minorities to influence change. The Carboneria succeeded the first time around, maybe it can do so again. Also, I am also curious and who knows: maybe there is a way to reconcile the two forms of spirituality (for example, the Waldensians, a protestant church, now accept the Free Masons).

    @Justin Patrick Moore, I have read about Garfield’s death before. What I always found surprising is that it is not all that long ago. The world in the 1880s was very modern and science was already very advanced. Alphabetization was very high. Many things we take for granted today already existed back then, and Garfield must have had access to the very best doctors available in Europe and America.

    I would have loved to read the Karens of 1881 tweeting against the “deniers” or yore. That it took so long before people stopped accepting “anal feeding” and bloodletting as science-based facts is not encouraging about the conversation we will one day need to have about the effects of the RNA Polyjuice.

  229. Re, TOPY. I get it. I think they were more interesting culturally than magically. But the culturally intetesting aspects, to me anyway, came from their engagement with magic. I was just off on another one of my obsessive, dissensive tangents. Thanks for bearing with me.

  230. Milkyway-
    I don’t think that “really random” events are what you want for a geomantic engine, anyway. You want something where the user provides a chaotic element: a seed that will grow into an unknown flower. If you’re going to let a random mechanism pick the starting figures, you might as well let it pick the result, and you’ll bypass all of that contemplative time while your conscious self is working through the process. I don’t think it would give you useful results.
    As a metal-working hobbyist, I’ve taken another look at this project. Brass sheet is typically sold (in the US) in multiples of 12″x12″ squares. The thinnest metal I would recommend is 0.032″, which costs $33 (plus S&H) per square today. ( To use 12″ stock, though, you’d need to shrink the device a little. It’s described in the museum as 33.6 cm wide (13.2″); some of that includes the frame, but I think the metal panel is still a little more than 12″ wide. You’d need two squares, plus misc bits for shafts and knows. So, let’s say that you can’t get into the game for less than $100. But the engraving and inlaying of the markings is the vast majority of the challenge. Just to reproduce the markings in INK would be impossible for me!

  231. @Milkyway #244,

    Ah, I see what you mean. If I’d built a binary mechanical processor and still had an extra few hundred square feet of floor space to spare in the private warehouse I’d built it in, a random number generator would be a nice accessory!

    I’d probably go with a variation of the lava lamp device described in #219, that doesn’t need the visual detection step. There are various driven mechanical oscillators (usually seen as desktop toys) that exhibit chaotic behavior. Their state at some interval of time in the future will be unpredictable even knowing their present state. Make one robust enough that you can tie some binary aspect of that state (such as, whether its largest moving mass is on the left or on the right) into your binary mechanical system without suppressing the chaotic behavior. This would make available a stream of random bits. A very slow stream, of course, but that might be all you need. Especially if you use them to seed a pseudorandom number generator, such as a Rule 30 cellular automaton (one of the best known, and easier to build mechanically than a function that requires arithmetic).

  232. All-
    On the generation of random numbers: the flow of electrons through gas-discharge tubes (e.g., neon bulbs) and reverse-biased semiconductor diodes (e.g., Zener diodes) produces “Gaussian white noise” for radio receiver testing. There’s probably a way to capture that randomness in the form of “bits” at arbitrarily high rates (> millions of bits/sec). Of course, then you have the problem of distributing your random bits to those who need them, and no one else.
    If anyone would like to see an plausible page from a one-time pad, check this out:

  233. “Lucky, I have no idea how to answer that question; after all, I wasn’t thinking about bards at all until you mentioned them. Could you please be more specific about what you want to know?”

    How it relates to Druidry and everyday life in general. They are the providers of our favorite distractions, after all…

  234. I’ve just read the 2023 Annual Report of the Community Ecology Institute, which is a non-profit organization near Columbia, Maryland, which runs “Freetown Farm” and the Green Farmacy Garden (medicinal plants). They teach ecology and gardening, host social events on similar themes, host monthly “repair cafes” where people can bring in broken stuff (to avoid creating more waste). I think it’s great. They’re doing stuff with “boots on the ground” and public outreach.
    That said, they took in about a million dollars in grants, donations, program fees; about 8% of their income is “earned” (sales, services, and rentals). They spent about a million dollars (just 1% on fundraising!). They donated 5,500 lbs. of fresh produce for distribution to the needy, estimating that 25,000 people received it. At this point, I’m underwhelmed. 5,500 / 25,000 is just 3.5 OUNCES (100 grams, if I’ve converted right) of produce per recipient.
    If we ignore the “Services” they provide, $1,000,000 / (5,500*16) gets us to a cost of about $11/ounce of food delivered. Given that an adult human needs on the order of 1 lb. of DRY food per day, and fresh vegetables are mostly water, I wonder whether they grow enough just to feed their staff.
    I don’t offer these figures to criticize their program, but just to point out how very far they are from actual agriculture.

  235. J.L.Mc12, some time ago I drafted a story set in the “old solar system” — the solar system, that is, that science fiction writers thought they lived in before space probes brought back the bad news — in which the Iru, the native intelligent species of Mars, use hydraulic computers. (Our world is wet and so the discovery of fire was the thing that sparked human technology; their world is very dry and so learning how to dig wells had a similar impact on the Iru.) I haven’t done anything further with the idea, but if that would work, ropes and pulleys are probably an option too.

    Enjoyer, she’s not mistaken. I found out from the undertaker the other day that there’s one laboratory in the US that does all the routine postmortem tests for medical examiners for the whole US, and of course it’s always months behind schedule…

    Chris, you can learn how to make sandals out of used tires — it’s not that difficult and the results are pretty good. By the time the supply of tires runs out leatherworking will be a widespread business again and so getting leather shoes won’t be too hard. As for the system’s reach, it’s already failing a bit at a time — a lot of products right now have suffered such extreme crapification that people are abandoning them and doing things for themselves. The result, of course, is frantic articles in the US media insisting that growing your own food is bad for the climate and that anyone who takes care of their own health must believe in conspiracy theories.

    Smith, the vacation from reality going on in the media these days continues to astonish me.

    Kashtan, the whole subject of illegal immigration these days has been packed so full of spin and political agendas that I believe nobody’s reporting on the subject. Is it possible? Yes. Do I have an opinion? No.

    Statistically, charity isn’t just a matter of giving money, you know. As for Mozart, though, that’s quite simple. He had very clearly been devoting his time to music for many lives. I’ve seen a very good case made that in the life before Mozart, he was the Baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi — there are some remarkable similarities in the styles of the two men. So if you want to become the next Ramanujan, get studying — it may take you a few lives, but if you don’t pile up too much nasty karma in the meantime, you can get there. “What you desire,” Blavatsky used to say, “that you become” — if, I might add, you pay whatever price is involved.

    Nathanael, thank you for this. I know I haven’t emailed you in way too long; I’ll be correcting that shortly.

    Stephen, I’ll plan on some posts on the subject in the months ahead. It really does look like we’re in for a wild ride.

    Booklover, thank you for this.

    Mister N., I’m glad to hear this. The illusion that our ruling elites care about anything or anybody but their own temporary advantage can take some shaking off — with me, the last of it didn’t go away until the Democrats under Obama cashed in the last of their ideals and cheered on Obama for doing everything they condemned about George W. Bush — but the resulting clarity is worth having.

    Karim, I don’t have a specific timeline in mind since it depends on so many factors. That said, I doubt we’ll get to 2030 without something of that kind happening.

    Disc_writes, good heavens! Thank you for this; my Italian isn’t that good but I should be able to pick my way through the rituals. A vendita is a Carbonaro lodge, an alta vendita is the equivalent of a grand lodge in Masonry, so there’s at least an effort toward doing things right. I hope they succeed.

    Justin, no prob — this is an open post, after all.

    Lucky, according to ancient sources, bards were part of the Druidical priesthood in pre-Christian times; later on, when the Druids were suppressed, a lot of Druid material was preserved by bardic schools, before they were suppressed in turn by English invaders. All that was a long time ago, of course. In terms of modern Druidry, the issue is much more straightforward: if you want to become a bard, start learning music, poetry, or both.

    Lathechuck, yep. That’s par for the course among grant-based organizations — they’re much better at consuming grant money than they are at anything else.

  236. @milkyway et. al about truly random numbers: It’s possible to create truly random numbers, though requires some (in some cases) or a lot technology since objective randomness is usually to be found when dealing with quantum mechanical processes. Here, objective randomness means an “experiment” with an absolutely unpredictable outcome in contrast to subjective randomness which is for example the throwing of a dice. In principle you can calculate the outcome of the throw of a dice – you only practically can’t, since you don’t have information of the dices properties and initial state, the surface it is cast upon, etc.

    That being said, quantum processes are – by all that is known today – truly random. The Taylor experiment (or it’s variety with a double slit), the Jönsson experiment (double slit with electrons, later reproduced with atoms and molecules) and especially the Mach-Zehnder-interferometer with the related “bomb testing experiment” are very instructive in this regard.

    That being said – there are a variety of random number generators available that use for example radioactive decay, atmospheric radiation or the noise of special kinds of diodes for random number generation, though their quality certainly varies. The best quality you probably get in laboratory settings where you have access to fancy technology. I have seen for example single-photon-sources based femto-second-lasers been used for that purpose.

    From the perspective of a mid-tech-environment I’d say that Geiger-counters detecting either natural radiation or the radiation of some radioactive substance are probably a good bet (and are used for this purpose since the 1960s), though there is the possibility that the detection mechanics and the electronics spoil the randomness to some degree. In a real low-tech-environment? I don’t see how you can produce random numbers that are truly random – but you never know, of course. Eve or Maloy or how you want to name your fictional opponents face the same problem, however, and probably haven’t got the computer power available to exploit the non-randomness of your random numbers. In that case, creativity, adaptability and initiative are probably your best bet – After all the Viginére-Chiffre is not that bad and if the opponent doesn’t know the alphabet you are using, he’s lost, at least for a while.


  237. JMG,
    My sincerest condolences, I just now got a chance to check back in on the site as we wee dealing with our own family tragedy. My wife’s brother ,who was cognitively disabled as the result of 4 concussions and who lived with us, passed away suddenly this last month.
    He had some spending money from government disability income and as we have been cleaning his room we found he spent a portion of it collecting masonic memorabilia. badges, rings, medallions etc. Apparently his thought process made hime susceptible to the theories about Masons running the world. I think he got most of it online from a place called Masons Warehouse as he was not a member of the masons.
    My question is what is the respectful thing to do with these items. Are they knock off chatskis which have no real connection to the masons and we should just dispose of them? If so is it bad to take them to goodwill ( charity resale) are should we put them in the garbage. If they are real items with some significance to the order is there a place we can donate and ship them to be used by the Masons?

  238. Kashan, I know you were asking JMG, but it’s something we’ve been thinking about at my house too and maybe another view would be of interest. Weinstein speculates very convincingly in that Carlson interview – but doesn’t back up his speculation with anything more than “these Chinese are all ‘military age’ and they didn’t want to talk to me…and they’re parasitoids” .

    He’s a poor investigative journalist:

    Regarding his open-ended speculation about the bridge being a Belt and Road initiative, he doesn’t explain why this one project out of the many dozens (hundreds?) China is engaged in, is completely lacking in documentation, media coverage, diplomatic correspondence, and general paper trail which would set it distinctly apart from every other B&R project. Additionally, all of China’s B&R projects are organized to benefit China’s unemployed – they hire nearly exclusively Chinese workers (who move from project to project as needed) and the host country receives the infrastructure in return. So, one strike against Weinstein?

    Then, “of military age” does not a military make. There are some Chinese and Taiwanese YouTubers who’ve looked at who is coming to the US and they speculate that it’s the people who don’t feel they have a future in China – there’s a trend of small-business owners (an easy thing to be there, unlike in the US) in China who, when as their business fails, take out a fantastic amount of credit that they default on by absconding for the US border. There seems to be a fair amount of networking – people sending them money from China, and WeChat based networks to connect people once they’re here. Of course the risk of failure is also high, but I believe we are underestimating the sense of despair many have in China, what with various social and economic woes for those who haven’t gotten a fingernail’s grip into its “new economy.” For those who take the “walking the line” approach, they’re using cell phones and those WeChat networks to navigate. And when they get caught? China is refusing to repatriate them. Likewise, many are declaring themselves “stateless persons.”

    Here’s one of those YouTubers (not particularly coherent subtitles, but you’ll get the point, as well as see some of the video footage of who it is that’s coming to the US via this route.

    It is contributing to a whole host of issues re: border control and excessive migration in to the US, but all in all, it’s not looking like a state-planned invasion, though that titillates the Carson/Weinstein crowd.

  239. MIlkyway,

    I have to generate random numbers at work sometimes. I’ve been known to pick numbers out of a hat. But I’ve also found the website that uses “space noise”, which apparently is as random as it gets.

  240. Karim @247 and JMG,
    Having been born and raised in the Soviet Union I do recognize the feeling in the US right now as very familiar and somewhat similar to the ’80s in the Soviet Union: lies everywhere, astonishing disconnect between reality and the official media, some true believers, but there are not enough of them to sustain the corrupt system. Then in the ninety everything exploded in Russia. Today you can hear 40-year-old Russians saying, “Don’t try to scare me, I grew up in the ’90s”.
    JMG, when you move and cast your natal chart as though you were born at this new place how do you then interpret this chart? How do you reconcile it with the original one? The new one doesn’t cancel the original, does it?

  241. Chris @231, I purchased the book “Bespoke Shoemaking” from author/publisher Tim Skyrme 12-15 years ago. I think he’s Australian, and he no longer publishes AFAIK. His book cost $200 then. I can’t even find used copies now. I think he wrote & published several other titles on shoemaking, one IIRC, was on how to make sandals from old tires, as JMG mentioned.

    If you look for his stuff on Amazon, other related titles come up. They may be worth looking into. It’s a shockingly arcane subject.

    –Lunar Apprentice

  242. The Elites are beginning to panic that the people may be getting on to them. Rishi Sunak, the current UK PM, decided that It’s beyond alarming that last night the Rochdale by-election returned a candidate who dismisses the horror of what happened on October 7, who glorifies Hezbollah, and is endorsed by Nick Griffin, the racist former leader of the BNP. Sunak is referring to George Galloway, one of the most consistent critics of the current governance of the UK.

  243. Kashtan @235. I saw that. My first thought was that all they need to do to shut down the US totally and permanently is for them to obtain rifles, and arrange to shoot out every substation power transformer on the same day. Only ONE properly placed bullet per transformer is all that is needed to do the job. Then no power grid. A total nation-wide blackout with no fix. A power transformer so destroyed can’t be repaired. It can only be replaced. AFAIK, all such transformers are now only made in Russia and China, and only China manufactures them to US specs.

    Yes, a few thousand bullets fired by a few thousand saboteurs can take down the US literally overnight. The US is openly enabling this, facilitating even.

    –Lunar Apprentice

  244. A couple of days ago, the news media were talking in ominous tones about Alexi Navalnyy’s funeral. Where would it be? When would it be? But it ended up being on Moscow. “Hundreds of police are standing by. Mourners are risking arrest.” Well, people are still queuing up in the area, and I won’t pretend to know what’s going through their minds, but I haven’t heard anything about any arrests. It’s the Event that Didn’t Happen. There’s no argument about “who started the riot?” because there was no riot.

  245. Clay, please accept my condolences! As for the Masonic stuff, it varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction; you’ll want to contact the Grand Lodge of Oregon via , and ask them. (You’ll have to scroll all the way to the bottom to get past the recruitment pitch…)

    Mary, in the future, may I ask that you say something about the news item instead of posting an anonymous link? I don’t do videos, you know.

    Kirsten, no, it doesn’t cancel out the original. You read it by noting which planets are in which houses in the relocation chart, and seeing if you prefer those placements to your natal placements.

    Great Khan of Potlucks, one of the least impressive features of the current ruling class is just how quickly they start shrieking in dismay the moment something happens they don’t like. I know overwrought six-year-olds who have more dignity than Sunak does, for example.

    Lathechuck, yep. The Western media just can’t get it through their heads that most Russians are fairly comfortable with their government…

  246. I’m on the spectrum. I have that sort of knowing about people (in person) a lot of times but not until my awakening a few years ago. Before that I tended to just believe whatever people said. These days it’s like I can interact with someone and just … know. If I can trust them, that sort of thing. Not so much over the internet, though.

    I never quite know what to think of karma. Personally I tend to believe in past lives. I got to “see” part of my past life. It was very sweet to see one of the familial relationships. I don’t know how in depth I want to get with this sort of thing. I’ve also had glimpses of other sorts of states and I don’t know how it all connects and if at all. And, oddly, a future life and the general beats and high points and low points it will have (if I go through with it). I would get some of the things I’ve wanted very much in this life, but in the second half of my life, would go through a painful awakening and then become a healer.

    When things are very difficult I find myself thinking “never again” (about existing as a human). But, I know it’s no light decision to make. My feeling from the previous life I got to see part of was that a skill I loved and tried to develop (but most people thought I was useless at, along with everything else, and nothing ever came of it), was a skill I got to develop and use professionally in this life, although not without challenges.

    And something I want very much in this life and don’t have (strength and health) will be a default, no-brained, never have to question if part of my existence if I do the next life as proposed. Will it be worth it? I don’t know. I know I took on too much this time. I was told I’m trying to do the work of at least two or three people, but I was the only one who made it through and showed up for the work. I wasn’t supposed to have to do this much on my own, so there is compensatory help sent, especially spiritual. Many days it still feels like climbing up a mountain blindfolded in a blizzard.

  247. To add to my previous comment, I’ve had flashes of things that feel they could be connected to previous lives, but in general they are not the sort of thing I want to dive into right now. I’m kind of afraid to know why I start crying about the “boys dying in the trenches” at basically any mention of WWI. It kind of still feels like an open wound to me. (I’m crying typing this. Oops.)

  248. Organic Consumers Association links to a good summary with some back story of the raid on the Miller farm:
    Dr. Mercola has his own spin and agenda, but his article does lay out the facts so far as I can tell.
    I prefer not to state an opinion, but I do say this incident and others like them merit attention.
    If anyone wants to watch the video I linked to above, it is well and professionally made. Interviews with outside the courthouse bystanders were especially well done.

  249. My family’s thanks to JMG, methylethyl, and anyone else who offered prayers or energy on Monika’s behalf.

    For an update: they’ve got her off the IV and on oral antibiotics. It is confirmed the main problem was/is a sinus infection. There’s also some abdominal pain that isn’t diagnosed but might be her spleen. I have official word that she’ll be on the next flight out, which is in a couple days. She’ll be seeing a doctor and a midwife as soon as she’s back in civilization.

    We are obviously still welcoming prayers and healing energy.

  250. Hey JMG

    That story sounds interesting, I do hope you publish it in the future. And as regards the “rope and pulley computer” it is possibly something I will experiment with one day, if I can get over the prospect of having to deal with all those tangled ropes. It reminds me a bit of when I briefly experimented with tensegrity structures. Very finicky things to get right, but rather interesting to contemplate when finished. I like to think people will still do tensegrity as an artform in the future.

  251. JMG and Chris, re shoes made from used tires. That’s a fact, the Vietnamese (incl. the Viet Cong) were making sandals from discarded US army tires. They apparently worked well on the arduous trek along the Ho Chi Minh trail.

    Also wood. My wife had a pair of wooden clogs in sandal form. They lasted a long, long time.

  252. From JMG – “By convincing people that the only acceptable body type is one that next to nobody can achieve, the corporate system keeps its inmates in a perpetual state of frustration, misery, and self-hatred.”

    The best jail is the one the inmates build for themselves. There is a reason self help books that achieve nothing are a billion dollar industry. You can have people “hustling” endlessly of their own accord to feed the beast.

    @TylerA “I get that the world has changed due to computers, but it seems we mostly just do more stupid things faster.”

    Someone once said to me “Computers are human stupidity accelerated to the speed on light”

    @JMG “The result, of course, is frantic articles in the US media insisting that growing your own food is bad for the climate”

    I am normally very calm and measured but when I saw an article title saying that my response was very blunt. Something like “Oh F*** that nonsense!”. That was a new low for media companies as a whole. My potatoes don’t need a tractor to till the land!

    @Stephen Pearson “I have been pondering your concept of hopeful catastrophe.”

    Recently I have been reading a lot of works by Bill Porter AKA ‘Red Pine’. For those that are interested, I would recommend his stuff. His works are primarily translations of Taoism and Buddhist texts but has a careful appreciation and commentary of them. To add to that, looking into his profile I came across this wonderful quote from him that many here may appreciate.

    “My sister and brother and I went to fancy private schools, but even at a young age I hated it all. It was so phony, with everyone caught up in wealth and ego and power. It all seemed to me to be so hollow. Later, my dad divorced my mother and subsequently we lost everything. It all went into receivership. My sister and brother had a very difficult time learning to live without lots of money. But as for me, I was actually relieved when this happened.”

    I hope that all our fellow ecosophians and beyond are in the same mentality as Bill has. In letting go on the attachment to wealth and power, that allows us to actually do something. At the moment, for many people, their society has fallen off a cliff and are clinging white knuckled to a falling rock. They are going down regardless, but in clinging to the rock gives the sense they still have some control. The joke of it all is that if they let go of the rock then they would actually have some control, maybe find the parachute on their back?

  253. Re: John Michael Greer replying to Chris
    “The result, of course, is frantic articles in the US media insisting that growing your own food is bad for the climate and that anyone who takes care of their own health must believe in conspiracy theories”
    I’ve noticed this myself! I’ve been bombarded with so many articles telling you not to be self-reliant. During the height of the egg inflation, I was getting tons of articles pleading with me not to own chickens! “They’re bad for the climate, they’re dirty, they’re expensive, blah blah blah.” And I see so many articles telling you not to grow your own food or garden! I’m sorry, but there’s no way it isn’t just blatant propaganda. I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed but even I can tell that it’s straight up manipulation.
    It’s a national shame that suburbanites in the United States don’t use their lawn space for anything productive. No gardens, no chickens, nothing. Just a hideous green desert. You can do so much even with a small garden plot if you’re clever. I’m hoping for the day I own my own home and tear up the lawn to build a huge garden. Right now I don’t have my own home, so I have to make do with a small garden and with a nearby community garden that nobody else uses. Say, John, do you have any advice for a young couple trying to get a house in this impossible economy? We’re doing our best to be frugal but it all seems so hopeless. 😅

  254. @JMG,
    If you would like to go through the materials on, be aware that the site will expire later on this year according to whois ( If the project is indeed dead, the site will then go offline. So you might want to download the files on this page and store them on a hard disk.

    If the site does not go offline by the end of June, though, I will know that someone is still paying the hosting bills.

    I assume that some people “in the know” about the Carboneria might be following your site. So by posting here, I hope that someone will want to contact me on Reddit (same username as shown here).

  255. Hey JMG and others

    Something I’ve been looking into is learning to read French, and rather than invest much money into it I chose to look through Internet Archive for old French textbooks. I quickly found this 1868 gem, “How to speak French”, by Achille Albites. It seems to use the parallel text method that Peladan advocated, using simple conversations and explanations of grammar in separate sections on each page. I think you could get a modest sum if someone were to update and reprint it since it does its job well.

  256. with me, the last of it didn’t go away until the Democrats under Obama cashed in the last of their ideals and cheered on Obama for doing everything they condemned about George W. Bush

    Oh trust me, this also made a mighty contribution to my “souring”. Not to mention the fact that Trump Derangement Syndrome made “liberals” (whatever the heck that word even means anymore) more cult-like, authoritarian, and full of hate than even the morally blindest MAGA-hat wearer could ever be. Foaming-at-the-mouth “Branch Covidianism” by early 2022, was simply the culmination of an inevitable process, and the “Joe Biden” Administration attempting to force the death-serum upon everybody eventually had me wearing one of those red MAGA-hats (even if only secretly as far as “In Real Life” is concerned).

  257. I recently spoke to my local Freemason lodge representative about joining, based largely on discussions here about Freemasonry’s commitment to liberty. When I brought up liberty as a value to the representative, he didn’t seem to agree that it was a core value for Freemasonry here in Australia. In fact he made a bit of a face. As for now I’ve set that idea aside. Is it likely to truly be as different here from what JMG has described?

  258. Nuclear news, re HR6544 mentioned in a prior open post

    An email alert popped into my inbox over the weekend with the following update:

    Nuclear Energy
    H.R. 6544: Atomic Energy Advancement Act passed on 2/28 by 365-36. According to the Hill, the bill would speed up environmental reviews, reduce fees for new reactors and extend existing liability protections for nuclear accidents.

    Here’s a link to the current text, for those who wish to delve into the gory details:

    I don’t know that I mentioned it in the last discussion–I was pretty focused on the provision for federal government direct subsidies via purchase power agreements–but there’s also a white-collar jobs program embedded here apparently by way of expanded NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) staffing. Quelle surprise!

  259. @JMG re: “— in which the Iru, the native intelligent species of Mars, use hydraulic computers.” Were you thinking of the article in an old Scientific American that described a hydraulic computer? It may have been the “amateur scientist” column, but it was many decades ago. So, if we’ve had fire computers and water computers that leaves two more elements to experiment with. Yes, I think that’s a joke.

  260. Ooops! I posted too quickly. Of course: an earth computer would be a mechanical computer, so that leaves just one element with which to experiment.

  261. disc_writes – thank you for the Carbonari site. Looks like I can translate the pages into English. This will be fascinating to look into.
    If the Carbonari had their origins with a group of charcoal burners, that would make sense because the charcoal producers were key to industry at the time. Then, steel production transitioned from using charcoal to coal in the mid-nineteenth century. There is sure to be a lot of interesting history around all of these transitions – charcoal to coal and monarchy to republicanism.
    I am more interested in establishing a working artisan’s guild than in an esoteric society. But the esoteric aspect and sacred traditions of the craft will be very important to integrate.
    JMG, I will get the Magical Lodge book. I am also eager to pick up more copies of Retrotopia. I keep giving mine away.

  262. Thanks, JMG! I had a TSW moment after invoking Saturn. At a birthday party for my father, the overwhelming topic was how much cheaper one of the grocery chains is over the store closest to me. I heard it loud and clear! The other store is 20 minutes further but we will give it a try.

    Another question – will The Book of Haatan be arriving before the end of the month as planned?

    Thanks again!

  263. >frantic articles in the US media insisting that growing your own food is bad

    And now this thinking has been taken to its logical conclusion with more frantic articles [screaming in bluehair] “Farmers and other rural dwellers: We hate them, we hate them, we hate them” for approximately 2 minutes. You could say it’s a Two Minutes Hate.

  264. >I’ve been bombarded with so many articles telling you not to be self-reliant

    It’s the Path of the Globalist – Interdependency Ueber Alles. Utopia can only be achieved if everyone and everything is hopelessly and helplessly interdependent on everyone and everything else. Perhaps utopia isn’t the right word but JMG will censor this if I write it. The word begins with “cluster”. Also see: DLL Hell.

    I have a Modest Proposal. Let’s all celebrate Interdependence Day at the 6 month antipode from Independence Day, which would place it on Jan 4? Who’s with me? Let’s do it!

  265. Hello Mr. Greer,

    What are your thoughts about using music while meditating? Do you personally use it? If so, what kind of music do you use?

  266. Very quick comment – I’ve had a busy day (long story) and my writing arm is worn out, but glad to be back. Ran across, in one of my light-reading series of cozy mysteries, something reminding me of Sara, and of Brecken Kendall, that I hadn’t noticed before – will amplify tomorrow. Enlightening in a nice way. Was out of town from Friday night through to Sunday noon; you can imagine how I spent the rest of Sunday and today.

    Note: I do not have the truth sense some of you who are also on the spectrum report, though I can certainly predict what some people will do by what they’ve done, if I’ve known them for a long time. But The Village had started a group called “The Art of Conversation” to meet Thursdays at 2:30pm. Many schedule conflicts, but it’s an activity I need far more than any other, even physical exercise. Because I can join an existing conversation, and can start one if I feel strongly on a subject (a.k.a. deliver a good rant) but am utterl y toungue-tied otherwise. And cannot get into my daughter’s Spanish Inquisition mode that she tryly DOES consider a conversation! (Not just me. I’ve herad her on the phone with my college-aged grandson.)
    Ack. Tyy many toopoes! Will quite now.

  267. @ecosophy enjoyer:
    Wish I had the answer to the house situation! We are in the same boat– er, house, (boathouse?) conundrum, with the same gardening frustration! I’ve got a small garden (though the lease forbits shoveling of any kind) on the sly, in spite of a ridiculously huge yard, which breaks my heart a little. I could be running a small *farm* in that space, but no, don’t wanna get evicted for plowing up the yard…
    FWIW, Denninger (always vulgar, if you’ve got delicate sensibilities don’t read) thinks the credit bubble will burst before the year’s out:
    And if you combine that with what Charles Hugh Smith is saying about artificial scarcity and empty houses:
    then if they’re both right, the current unbearable situation created for regular working people who don’t want to rent anymore… won’t last much longer, because it can’t. What happens on the other side is not for the faint of heart, of course, but if you’ve been saving for a house there’s a chance– not a guarantee, but at least a chance– that the options will open up, in particular for people with a little cash, rather than a lot of credit.
    Here’s hoping, anyway!

  268. TemporaryReality,

    Thanks for your perspective. I hope you’re right, I’d much rather have it be that we’re dealing with Chinese migrants that want to be away from the Chinese state than Chinese agents up to no good. The thing that stuck out to me in Weinstein’s Dark Horse podcast (I haven’t seen the Carlson interview you mentioned) was the difference of attitudes between the Chinese camp and the others. If the Chinese migrants in that camp were simply economic migrants like those in the other camps, why would they be much more hostile than the others? Weinstein’s hypothesis doesn’t discount there being Chinese economic migrants as well, it was just that the ones in that particular camp seemed suspiciously different.

  269. Hey Mr. Nobody,
    Just want to say I am right there with you pal. I have followed your comments here and also I believe that I see you on the Automatic Earth site. It has been comforting to know there is a fellow traveller, so thanks for being you. I also felt the scales fall from my eyes completely when Obama refused to allow any public option in his health care reform. And then started bombing everyone. What a hypocrite, and most likely, Manchurian candidate. I had already clocked who the Republican neocons were after 9-11 but still held out some hope for Democrats.
    The current state of our civilization feels like a moment when the spell is broken – in the process of breaking right now. Like the fall of the USSR. What other civilizations have gone through such a sleeping beauty moment where one kiss from the right person wakes us all up?
    I have a MAGA hat too. LOL. I know there is going to come a point when I wear that hat in public.

  270. @Lathechuck #250,

    You’re right about the user-driven element, I think. That device just touched something inside of me, and I thought “wow” and went down a rabbit hole… 😀

    There’s no way I could reproduce anything remotely like this with my own non-existant metalworking skills, so I’ll probably be left pining, alas. 😉 Thanks a lot for indulging me and giving this some serious thought! It’s good to know that it would in theory be within reach, at least financially – who knows what the future will bring…

    @Walt F #251,

    > If I’d built a binary mechanical processor and still had an extra few hundred square feet of floor space to spare in the private warehouse I’d built it in, a random number generator would be a nice accessory!

    Yes, exactly!! Just this. 😀

    Thanks a lot to you, too, for indulging me. Hm. A double pendulum maybe? And the Rule 30 automaton looks great on first glance, although I’ll have to dive in a bit more to understand fully how it would have to look like to be applied for geomantic figures.

    Again, I don’t have the skills to build anything remotely like this, and doubt I’ll acquire them in this lifetime, but I’ll have a lot of fun pondering these ideas. Thanks!

    @Nachtgurke #256,

    And again, thanks to you for that very interesting information. I’d mostly been thinking about rather low-level stuff – things which could be used to build a “mechanical” generator of geomantic figures – mostly as a thought experiment, since, as Lathechuck pointed out, the human component might matter for divination, and also because I’m not able to build such a machine anyway (but I’m kinda weird and like such thought experiments… 😉 ).

    Do you have any theory why “true” randomness might only exist on the quantum level, but not on any levels of larger objects? I’m not asking about a scientific hypothesis, btw, but about an occult one. Anything to do with interference of spirit, or of divine influences maybe?

    @Slink #260,

    Thanks. “Random Space Noise”, huh? That could be another name for a garage band – JMG said he’s looking for some good ones… 😀


  271. John, everyone–

    Very tail end of the open post, but some fascinating publications re science, the state thereof, and public confidence therein:

    First, a discussion of Open Science (which is apparently a subject of recent discussion):

    Second, a study on public confidence in science:

    Finally, mention at the end of the last article of an upcoming “State of Science” address to be given this June:
    The inaugural State of Science address, to be hosted by the Strategic Council in June 2024, will serve as a public-facing initiative toward increasing awareness of public concerns and actions to take in response within the scientific community, government funders, and the media.

    Interesting times, indeed.

  272. Follow-on to previous comment.

    Here’s a quote from the “open science” article:

    It is now time to consider how much faster and farther the open science movement could go with more coordination. What efficiencies might be realized if disparate efforts could better harmonize across geographies, disciplines, and sectors? How would an intentional, systems-level approach to aligning incentives, infrastructure, training, and other key components of a rationally functioning research ecosystem advance the wider goals of the movement? Streamlining research processes, reducing duplication of efforts, and accelerating scientific discoveries could ensure that the fruits of open science processes and products are more accessible and equitably distributed.

    Reading through the article, I don’t find any clear definition of what exactly is meant by this thing being labelled “open science.” What I do find is a fair amount of vague, nebulous discussion about the need to advance from abstract principles to action and the language of the above quote is typical of that discussion. Talk of a “systems-level approach” and the need to “harmonize across geographies, disciplines, and sectors” sounds a lot like noology to me, John, and Noyes’ centralization efforts in Dreamlands. Perhaps this is because just finished rereading Innsmouth, but the similarities are still striking.

  273. “If you find that cold water swims leave you feeling refreshed and energized, go ahead and splash around in cold water to your heart’s content. If you find that cold water leaves you feeling chilled and shocky, then don’t do it.”
    That made me laugh because for me, both are true. My psychology and/or my etheric body loves swimming in cold water. I do it with respect for the water and for the cold. My physical body is not so sure. Lassitude follows a longish cold-water swim frequently enough that I don’t do them right before I am going to go out. Last winter, I swam in much colder water than before and my physical body drew the line at that much cold.
    Thank you for the advice. I would have hated to have to chose between the Five Tibetans and cold-water swimming.

  274. A, thanks for this. I know how you feel.

    Mary, thanks for the explanation.

    Tyler, okay, good to hear. More positive energy incoming.

    J.L.Mc12, oh, as an art form, possibly. Like most of Fuller’s creations, though, they’re far too brittle for any practical use — he never did grasp the importance of redundancy as a source of resilience, which is (to cite only one example) why a couple of professional drives who write for AutoWeek labeled the Dymaxion car “the scariest thing we’ve ever driven”.

    John, I read that and thought it was very cogent. As I’ve noted, we’re in a classic situation: our society is ruled by a decadent, corrupt, and increasingly incompetent aristocracy hopelessly detached both from the realities of its situation and from the needs and beliefs of the people it claims the right to rule. That story has a familiar ending, as I’m quite sure Simplicius is well aware.

    Smith, the hippies learned about it from the Vietnamese, and I learned about it from old hippies!

    Michael, exactly. I may do a post about both those issues one of these days.

    Enjoyer, yep. The system is in a state of accelerating panic because more and more people are realizing that they can improve their lives by ignoring it.

    Disc_writes, thanks for the heads up. I’ll go do some further downloading.

    J.L.Mc12, why not take that on as a project yourself?

    Mister N, trust me, I know the feeling.

    Synthase, Masonry varies considerably from nation to nation. In the US and Latin America liberty’s a big deal for Masons, since both the American Revolution and Simón Bolivar’s wars of liberation against Spain were largely planned and coordinated in Masonic lodges. In the British commonwealth, by contrast, Masonry was much more heavily involved with the status quo.

    David BTL, and the gravy train rolls on. Sigh…

    Phutatorius, I may have had that in mind, because I used to read that column obsessively in my teens.

    Seaweedy, now that’s high praise! It’ll be in print again this coming autumn.

    Matt, excellent. Saturn likes it when you pay attention and take constructive action, and tends to respond by sending more opportunities your way. As for The Book of Haatan, I heard yesterday from two people who’ve already got their preordered copies, so yours should be on its way.

    Other Owen, of course. It’s got to be terrifying to be in their heads right now — convinced that history is on their side, and then beginning to realize that maybe history isn’t behaving itself…

    Stephen, I find it a distraction. I prefer complete silence while meditating.

    Patricia M, I’ll look forward to it.

    David, and of course they want to “organize” (that is to say, control and exploit) open science. This was exactly the sort of thing I parodied in my tentacle novels!

    Jessica, thank you for the link! Common sense may be setting in after a long absence. Glad to hear my advice about cold water was useful.

  275. @David, by the Lake (##296-297), on the “Open Science” article:

    To paraphrase the excerpt you quoted, “the answer to all our problems with science is to install a layer of super-managers–who themselves need not be scientists–over all scientific work.”

    Yeah, that’ll end really well … (Just when I thought my cynicism had reached the limits of the possible, events proved me wrong.)

  276. When I was in my 20s I had hundreds of episodes of sleep paralysis, several times a week over the course of many years. I intentionally sought them out through focused meditation during the transition into sleep, even though and I was often visited by nefarious entities during the paralysis and I was often left with painful headaches when I awoke. I sought them out from a desire to better understand the generative creativity of mind (the intentional evocation of perceptions) that is activated during hypnogogic states.

    I’m now in my 40s and very rarely experience these episodes. It’s been several years since my last one, and I now have a pretty healthy relationship with normal vivid dreaming experiences.

    My question for you is how do I healthily process my past interactions with the various demons that came creeping about so many times? I wrote some songs about them, and have tried to draw them, but I feel unsettled about it. One thing that bothers me is that I’m unsure how much they are a part of my own subconscious mind, and how much they represent an autonomous, independent, and hostile consciousness separate from myself.

  277. The Simplicius post made me realize that we’re not headed for Utopia, we’re headed for Algorithmia — a world where each person lives in a hazy bubble of semi-reality, seeing only what algorithms have chosen to feed them after analyzing their likes and dislikes.

    Not only are the elite 1% disconnected from the bulk of the population, they don’t even realize they’re disconnected. And, because they pretty much run everything, whether we like it or not, the inevitable tendency is for the system to get less and less capable of providing for the needs of the majority, simply because those in charge have no idea what is needed for anyone but themselves.

    The rot started when people stopped buying newspapers, something I’m guilty of myself. Why pay for a newspaper when you can get news over the internet or on TV? As newspaper became poorer they became more dependent on and servile to their advertisers. Reporters, formerly heroic fighters for truth and justice who could gain great renown by breaking important stories, now had to bend to the financial wind and self-censor or be de-platformed or worse. And instead of getting a bracing dose of truth each day, we were served up a tasty mix of newsy snippets that ignored or distorted reality and turned our brains to sludge.

  278. So if you want to become the next Ramanujan, get studying — it may take you a few lives, but if you don’t pile up too much nasty karma in the meantime, you can get there. “What you desire,” Blavatsky used to say, “that you become” — if, I might add, you pay whatever price is involved.

    OK, This makes sense, but then sort of begs the question–what happened to the last Ramanujan (or Mozart, or whoever)? People of such stature seem to only come around very rarely.

    Also, is there a time period where, astrologically speaking, a disproportionate/overwhelming number of prodigies live on the earth for a “prolonged” period (say, hundreds of years)? That may be a fund time to be alive 🙂

  279. @ JMG & David BTL # 297

    In reference to your quote from the Open Science article, if you just do a search and replace:
    “It is now time to consider how much faster and farther the Noology movement could go with more coordination. What efficiencies might be realized if disparate efforts could better harmonize across geographies, disciplines, and sectors? How would an intentional, systems-level approach to aligning incentives, infrastructure, training, and other key components of a rationally functioning research ecosystem advance the wider goals of the movement? Streamlining research processes, reducing duplication of efforts, and accelerating scientific discoveries could ensure that the fruits of Noology processes and products are more accessible and equitably distributed.”

    Et Voila! A text Noyes would be proud of.

  280. Dear JMG, my condolences for your loss.

    The second part of new Dune movie adaption is on the theaters. It is in my opinion a worthy adaptation, where you get your money’s worth. I recommend in to all who doesn’t have problem with watching movies in theaters. I hope to talk about it in March open post

    Have you watched the David Lynch movie version of Dune?

  281. Hey JMG

    Regarding Tensegrity, when I began experimenting with it I quickly realised that an architectural or engineering technique that creates structures that reward painstakingly calculating the length of each rope, fiddling with getting all the struts in the right place and tensioning everything so it’s shape is perfect, with instant collapse the moment a string or strut is broken is not going to have a long shelf life going through the long descent. That being said people have made 3-legged stools using Tensegrity principles, and I regularly see the largest (partially) Tensegrity structure on earth, the Kurilpa bridge.
    Regarding the book project, I have wondered about cleaning up PDFs of old books and selling them, but it requires skills I don’t have yet. I’ve also thought of re-doing some of the PDFs of occult books that Harry Gardner wrote.
    While on the subject of books, another book I’d like to share is “Sources of Vietnamese tradition ” compiled by George Dutton. It is a lovely compilation of Vietnamese historical texts that serve as an introduction and reference fro scholars of Vietnamese history and culture. I’ve been surprised that quite a few things relevant to the themes of your work pop up in it, such as complaints of bureaucracy and “elite-overproduction” by various scholars, the Vietnamese pseudomorphosis of Chinese Confucianism, and even a 18th century philosophical essay that seems to be describing something similar to the concepts of “force and form” found in G.D. Cabalah. It also described an interesting order from some king commanding the local government officials to ensure everyone in each village got Married, and to pay for weddings out of their own pockets if the couple were too poor.

  282. >OK, This makes sense, but then sort of begs the question–what happened to the last Ramanujan (or Mozart, or whoever)? People of such stature seem to only come around very rarely.

    The Seth channeling talks about this quite a bit and in detail. I don’t know if I can do a TL;DR justice for what he said but something along the lines of this.

    A person builds a skill over lifetimes and takes it to its logical conclusion and then moves on to do other things, focus on other skills, whatever their oversoul is after. When you see a Mozart or an Einstein, you’re seeing something akin to a blossom on a flowering bush. The bush has other things going on too, like stems and thorns and leaves. And other flowers.

    I’d recommend reading those texts yourself. As far as where the Einsteins and Mozarts are? Probably “normal” people doing “boring” things. Unless someone comes along and pokes them to bring forth those hidden skills, those skills may stay hidden their entire life.

  283. Hi John Michael + Ecosophy Enjoyer + Smith + Lunar Apprentice,

    Years ago I used to volunteer with the local fire brigade. At one point a higher up suggested making money for the brigade (which is used to purchase consumables such as gloves, food etc.) by doing some of the local fire equipment maintenance for businesses in the area. Such equipment gets checked over every couple of years. An old timer farmer (whom I greatly respected) piped up with the opinion that work would be putting a local contractor out of business.

    Basically, cobblers need business, and it takes a village of varied skills to have a village. I’d rather trade. And I used to work in a factory producing boots as the factory accountant.

    You can see this story playing out in the larger sphere. And the joke about the supposedly intelligent computers (they ain’t!), is that they put people out of work at an enormous expense. That industry is running out of new tricks, and yes, bait and switch has worked quite successfully for them, but eventually they’ll burn through all of their cash. The story makes little economic sense.



  284. Hi Michael Gray,

    🙂 It’s completely bonkers to think of some dude building a home made processor out of 1200 transistors! Well done.

    Just to totally geek out for a second. Back in the day I was lucky enough to own a C-64 computer, and it was a very clever and simple machine. The Basic language was not all that different from the much faster 6510 Machine language – which was also easily accessible. Computers are now biggerer and fasterer, but underneath the hood, I doubt that they’re all that much different.



  285. @Berke Kevser – I watched the first part of Dune in a rental condo with my daughters over the weekend, and liked it very well. The people seemed real, not the clownish types in earlier versions; the scenes on Caladan were especially realistic. Disappointing: skipping over some nuances to prolong the battle scenes, but then, detailed descriptions of battles bore me as much as most prolonged descriptions of sex in a novel.
    @JMG – sorry to be so late with this. I’m coming down from a nasty tangle with The VIllage’s medical car reservations; somehow they lost one I made in good time and had a confirmation email for. Said email printed out to hand the driver tomorrow. Okay – what I was going to say was that I ran across a pure Brecken Kendall/Sara Greer moment spread over 3 of the Corinna Chapman mysteries – set in Australia, viewpoint character is a baker; the detective part is courtesy of the man in her life, a P.I., ably assisted by Corinna and her friends gathering clues.

    Corinna, we see in the first book, is fat. 220# fat, but very strong, as bakers need to be. And who refuses to diet or be ashamed of it, but who gets very annoyed at fat-shamers and at the clothes available. In this book she hires a skinny, starveling street kid as a mopper-up, out of compassion, and ends of making him her apprentice, as well as feeding him up. In Book 2, she mentions, offhandedly, that his appetite (he’s 15) meets her need to feed people. Her past history is, she was raised on a badly run hippie commune , fed on (she said) organic food that drops from the trees of its own accord, barefoot and cold, until her grandmother hauled her out of there at age 5 before she caught pneumonia. In book 3 we meet her mother, an angry verbal abuser with a nasty temper – her father has disappeared, and the plot revolves around the quest to find him. (“Like following Austin Powers around.”) Throughout, the man in her life, who enters in Book One, and is a volunteer on the Franciscan-run Soup Bus (feeding the hungry on a circuit of the city parks, much to the annoyance of the Keep Melbourne Beautiful crowd) explains why, to him, plump is good.
    “Skinny, on the street, and in Palestine (he’s a former Israeli) mean starving.” And he likes curves, as I understand a lot of men do in their heart of hearts.
    BTW, since she does care about her looks, it’s heartwarming to see her laced into a Late Renaissance/early 17th Century gown for something requiring costuming, and looks like what the Restoration poets lavished praise on.
    Now, when I was fat, I carried it badly, having bird bones and not much muscle, and it was due to eating cafeteria food if not take-out, but long skirts and laced bodices are still very attractive Renfaire garb for me. But Corinna’s story so reminded me of you and Sara.

  286. Milkyway #295 – It possibly doesn’t matter that “true” randomness is said not to exist on a macroscopic scale. As for why it shows on the quantum level – I’d suggest it is the building block and microscopic analogon to what we experience as “synchronicity”. Jung and Pauli had something to say about this in their exchange of letters – which are a fascinating cross-over between science and occultism. In some way, they postulate a kind of “uncertainty principle” analogous to the famous one formulated by Heisenberg, which allows a macroscopic object (for example a die or coin used for divination) to escape the mechanical determinism for a short moment, or even to form meaningful patterns without violating any probabilistic law at all. Thinking about the fractal nature of the cosmos as suggested by the CosDoc, I find this makes a great deal of sense. Basically, there is no distinction between scientific and occult phenomena – they are of the same nature but happen on different positions on a fractal scale. As above, so below.


  287. @Phutatorius #282,

    Here’s another example of a water computer: Specifically, a four-bit binary adder using a form of self-starting siphon as logic gates.

    Addition is a popular demo for gravity-powered computation using rolling marbles, falling dominoes, or in this case water, because the inputs give you all the “power” you need to sustain the computation to the end. The sum will never have more 1’s in it than the two addends have between them (though it can have fewer, e.g. 0111 + 0001 = 1000) so there’s never a need to add additional water, dominoes, or marbles to make a logic gate work. But that’s not true for digital computation in general. A ones competent function, for example, is logically simple but the ones complement of 0000 is 1111. In a siphon version of a four bit complementer, up to four quanta of water would have to be available from a reservoir instead of from the input bits, for each operation.

    There’s a familiar type of self-staring siphon that’s also self-resetting: the ordinary flush toilet. I recall from a discussion in another venue that a modified toilet bowl could be considered as a functional model of a neuron. Omit the tank and flush lever, but allow a gradual flow of water directly into the bowl (from some central source) and a different gradual flow out of it (into a central drain). If the outflow is slower than the inflow, the bowl will eventually fill to the point where it flushes. Flushing is the firing of the neuron. The flushed water is channeled to many other similar toilets, helping some of them to fill up so they’re closer to flushing in turn, and somehow causing other ones to lose a little of their own water so they’re farther from flushing. If you could figure out a mechanism to accomplish the latter, and also somehow get around the fact that siphon toilets are gravity powered but the water would have to be able to flow through the interconnections upward as well as downward, then in principle you could build a very large very slow brain out of about 200 cubic kilometers of intricately interconnected toilets. Whether such a brain could possibly think or experience is a question for the philosophers among us.

  288. Robert (if I may), it’s hard work to be a cynic these days — nearly as hard as being a parodist!

    Raen, that’s not something I have any experience with; you might see if you can find a competent Jungian shrink to advise you, as that’s more in their ballpark.

    Martin, “Algorithmia” is a keeper. Thanks for this!

    Statistically, being human is a transitional state. Mozart, Ramanujan, and their equivalents finished up their business at this stage of the process of spiritual evolution and went on to more interesting things, as we all will do in good time. Yes, there are bursts of prodigies every so often — they cause those bursts of amazing cultural achievement that happen in history at intervals, such as the golden age of ancient Greece and the Renaissance.

    Peter, that’s so precisely Noyes-some it’s scary.

    Berke, yes, I saw it, and found it very disappointing. I much prefer the book.

    J.L.Mc12, I’ll keep that in mind — might be a fun read.

    Chris, I’ll have something to say about that in tomorrow’s post…

    Patricia M, oh, I wish I could have introduced Sara to that series! She would have enjoyed it a great deal. Interesting to see another writer getting into the psychology of food and eating. As for curves, well, yes — while there are exceptions, a lot of men tend to favor more curves on women than most women are willing to allow…

    Walt (if I may), it would make quite a droll science fiction story to have the plumbing system of a city achieve self-consciousness!

  289. Some time back we were discussing the place of libraries in a deindustrialised setting. Obviously books are important for sharing knowledge, and with so much today sitting in digital archives reliant on delicate equipment, frequent maintenance, and massive energy inputs, there might only be books left.

    One thing we noted was that historically there were many privately-run public libraries, and that you can fit quite a lot of books in a relatively small space, and the library could be run by enthusiastic volunteers, with members paying a small subscription fee to keep up the supply of new books, keep the place lit and so on. As an example, the normal-sized (6′ x 4′) bookshelves in my loungeroom hold 500 small paperbacks or 250 large hardbacks. My own double garage is 5.5 x 6.5 metres, so if we just had shelves along three of the walls, an old index card system to record the books and who borrowed them, a small area to maintain or sell off damaged books, plus a table in the middle with chairs for people to idle in, we could fit easily 12 such bookshelves, making 3,000-6,000 books in all – enough to keep most people busy for some time!

    I thought of this after reading this article about a woman who, because she has photosensitive epilepsy, could never get into TV or video games, and got into books instead – and she has a private collection of over 30,000 books, apparently all fiction. She’s 40 years old so it’s taken some time for her to build her collection.

    The article doesn’t mention whether she’s willing to lend books out to friends.

    Of course, while the electronic world is still staggering along, I would note for anyone who doesn’t know that Project Gutenberg has many public domain books available, which of course you can print out at home or in a printing shop, much more cheaply than buying the paperback version (though of course your printout won’t be as sturdy). Gutenberg also offers us the benefit of the filter of time – if anyone remembers the book long enough for it to become public domain (75 years after the death of the authour) it’s probably halfway decent. Certainly anyone homeschooling their children or trying to teach themselves some things could do well there.

  290. Milkyway (et al) – one more note on “random numbers”. The CRC Handbook of Mathematical Tables includes a table of, I don’t know, 10,000 (?) random digits. Are these random numbers? Well, when they were GENERATED, they were. But now that they’ve been published, they’re not the least bit random. It all depends on your purpose and perspective!

  291. Phutatorius, Ted Chiang has a story called “Exhalation” (collected in a book of the same name) that’s very relevant to your collection of elemental computers. If you don’t want it spoiled, stop reading now … … … the protagonist is a scientist in an alien world investigating the nature of consciousness, and discovers that his kind have mechanical brains powered by tiny puffs of air from the tanks they consume each day like we do food. There’s a lot more to it, though, and it’s worth a read.

  292. @Nachtgurke and Lathechuck,

    Thanks again or your thought-provoking comments! This Open Post left me with much to chew on, and I*ve tremendously enjoyed our „conversation“. 🙂

    @JMG: Thanks a lot for hosting this space! This is a treasure trove of ideas and of fun!


  293. Chris #310: “Computers are now biggerer and fasterer, but underneath the hood, I doubt that they’re all that much different.”

    That reminds me of a witticism I heard back in the 1980’s: “If architects built buildings the way computer programmers write systems, then the first woodpecker to come along would destroy civilization!”

  294. Here’s the twist in the story: that sentient plumbing system is actually me! Finally understanding why I constantly want to tell the world to stop pooping in my brain…

  295. @TemporaryReality, Kashtan re: border things

    fwiw, when we were living in south america over a decade ago, there was a non-trivial community of expat Chinese in the same city as us. Did not get the chance to meet any, but the consensus among locals was that they had found ways to leave China and take up residence in SA, mostly so they could have larger families. No idea if that’s accurate, and it *would* be the conclusion of people in a culturally-Catholic country. At the same time, China was actively sponsoring the teaching of Mandarin in the schools there. Belt and Road? I don’t know.

    On the other hand, I think by focusing on the Chinese, Brett and others are probably missing the bigger picture: with the border so open, and the whole world coming in, it would be complete dereliction on the part of any and every hostile government *not* to be sending their own teams, with their own agendas, in with the masses. Do we need proof to assume that’s happening? It’d be silly not to.

  296. re: computers in a post-industrial future
    Aside from communications, cryptography, and number-crunching, a major reason for preserving IT is culture! There’s all sorts of music, movies, games, and other media that can be copied and distributed widely through technology. Sure, there’s film reels, cd’s, cartridges, and so on, but digitization goes a long way towards preservation, redundancy and accessibility. There’s also an increasing amount of media in which the original version is digital, eg computer games, some of which is worthwhile. That’s not to say we need to keep around all the clutter of the internet, but preservation is a concern of mine, and others as well.

    re: random number generation
    This is not well known, but divination rituals were actually intended for randomness! This is because many decisions would benefit from random value generation, especially if they weren’t aware of what was going on “under the hood” so to speak. Historically, divination rituals helped prevent overhunting, overfarming/exhaustion of soil, and provided an element of surprise in war, to name a few. Tea leaves, entrails, flight paths of birds, cracks in bone from heating… all these methods are highly random, depending on a huge amount of variables (eg heat cracks in bone would require differential equations to analyze). To this day, these are some of most inexpensive and effective means of generating random values. That’s not to say magic couldn’t have been involved, and I welcome JMG’s critique & correction, but what I said about divination RNG still holds true. For more info:

Comments are closed.