Open Post

January 2022 Open Post

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

In other news, a heads up on two forthcoming books is in order. I’m delighted to announce that The Twilight of Pluto: Astrology and the Rise and Fall of Planetary Influences has made its way through the various current challenges facing book publishing, and is being printed as I write this — it’s scheduled to ship right around the spring equinox. I’ll be doing a post or two about the subject, but the basic theme is straightforward: just as the discovery of Pluto in 1930 (like the discovery of other planets) marked the emergence of a significant new factor in human society and consciousness, the fall of Pluto from planetary status in 2006 marked the beginning of the end for that factor, and major changes can be expected as it continues to sunset out. Interested? Coples can be preordered here if you’re in the United States, and here if you’re elsewhere in the world.

On a different end of my writing activity, I have a new book on Druidry also in press right now. The Druid Path: A Modern Tradition of Nature Spirituality is intended for complete beginners to Druidry, and provides a user-friendly intro to the traditions of the Druid Revival, not linked to any of the existing orders but compatible with all of them. (If you see references to “Volume 11,” it’s because the publisher is issuing it as part of a series of introductions to Neopagan and nature spiritualities.) It’s gorgeously illustrated — the publisher’s the one that did my books The Occult Book and The Conspiracy Book, and if you’ve seen those you know how glorious the graphics are. If you’re interested, copies can be preordered here if you’re in the United States and here if you’re elsewhere in the world.

With that said, have at it!

579 Comments

  1. Brother John, I was hoping to get your thoughts on Martinism and the Theurgy of Pasqually’s Elus Cohen. If any. Thank you so much for doing this for us. Peace.

  2. Hi JMG,
    I’m hoping to get your insights on the current Ukraine situation. It really highlights how precarious Europe’s balance of power and energy situation is. What do you think the underlying factors are for this recent increase in tension, and what do you think will come of them?

  3. Continuing with last weeks discussion regarding the managerial class, it has been fun to see the Covid narrative begin to unravel. More and more are beginning to ask questions, civil unrest popping up around the world, sometimes violent.

    Truckers in Ottawa Canada are staging their protest which continues to grow and yet the media looks the other way. In Quebec, the unvaccinated who want to shop at a Big Box store are put in a holding cell “penalty box/hockey style” until an escort arrives to walk with them thru the store.

    You are seeing the managerial class backing down off the Covid mandates in Europe. I guess it doesn’t help when healthy in the prime of their lives, world class footballers aka “soccer players” in Europe are collapsing on the pitch “field” with what appears to be heart related problems.

    On Rumble, someone posted a funny video titled, “it’s starting to look, like genocide”.

  4. The wisest advice I have ever seen.

    https://getpocket.com/explore/item/we-ve-reached-peak-wellness-most-of-it-is-nonsense?utm_source=pocket-newtab

    Source: Outside online

    Note: I resolved some time back to stop reading anything from the media designed to make me healthy, wealthy, or wise. “Outside online” is my one and only exception; I idly picked up a copy from the freebie table well over a year ago that greatly impressed me with its down-to-earth advice. I have forgotten the subject but remembered thinking “I’ve read everything I can on the subject from media aimed largely at women, and all of it was overly complicated and hedged about with garbage. This is a magazine aimed at men, and it had a very simple, straightforward, sensible answer answer I had never, ever found elsewhere.” I’ve been reading it ever since, and should think of subscribing.

  5. JMG, I recently read Journey Star and I’m about to re-read The Fires of Shalsha. I’m endlessly fascinated by both novels, and I have some questions for you about them.

    First, how many solar systems has humanity come to inhabit in this future? I recall that there were originally 14 colony worlds, but they weren’t all in separate solar systems from one another, correct?

    Second, you mentioned in your dreamwidth journal that writing Journey Star was a very challenging project for you. What aspect of it did you find most challenging?

    Lastly, what were the inspirations for the dwimmerroot and the robes worn by the Halka and the Halvedna?

    Thank you so much!

    Frank

  6. Since this is open post, I can talk about something we don’t normally discuss.

    I’m teaching myself Instagram and have been following — of all things — posts on hanging out laundry.

    It’s fascinating.

    Pictures of laundry all around the world, hanging in all kinds of configurations. There are rarely people in the picture but what you get instead are houses of every sort. Very little of what I’m seeing is obviously suburban USA. Most of the houses look like European villages, but villages from the Mediterranean up to the Arctic Circle. The houses are crammed together, cheek by jowl, rarely more than three stories high, often brightly painted, with nary an ADA-mandated elevator or ramp in sight, nor are the streets wide enough to accommodate multiple big fire trucks. The ways of hanging laundry vary immensely from using fences and hedges to balconies and stringing lines across the narrow streets from third-floor building to third-floor building.

    The pictures are — I’m sure! — chosen for their beauty but that doesn’t change the fact that they are about that most mundane activity: Drying the family’s laundry.

    Laundry will always be with us. It’s all very human and not high-tech at all.

  7. I’m a traditional astrologer who enjoys practicing his art for strangers on the internet. With our gracious host’s leave, I invite anyone with a question on just about anything to contact me at FlexOnMaterialists@protonmail.com, and I’ll examine your query using the toolkit of traditional horary. I am as discreet as a courtesan.

    Best,
    Andrew

  8. Curious if you’ve read The Man Who Loved China by Simon Winchester (and by extension any of the works of Joseph Needham) or the book The Abundance of Less: Lessons in Simple Living from Rural Japan by Andy Couturier?

    I ask because both remind me of your writings; the former as an exploration of scientific progress in China which appeared, in the eyes of the West, to have stalled out. The latter book because it is a collection of profiles of individuals in Japan who have rejected the dominant culture and living simply, according to their own designs and desires.

  9. I began the doctrine and ritual of high magic with you but my move has caused me to miss 6 months at this point. Should I just join in on the current chapters work/meditations while reading the material already covered then after our work on the book is completed do the meditations for the months that I missed or is there a better way?

  10. Just a quick update on my situation… I’m closing down the Kimberly Steele Studio commercial location this week and moving all operations to a combination of my home and my parents’ home. I made the heartrending decision to close because of the overreaction to the Covid virus. I have been limping along for the last two years with half my usual student load, this is par for the course among music lesson teachers.

    In happier news, the new situation will be resilient and sustainable even if there is another round of lockdowns and continued/worsening economic depression. My husband built a beautiful, state of the art vocal booth in our house where I will be teaching voice, piano, and guitar. This is a huge blessing because it means I can teach for the rest of my life out of my house. My grand piano, Rex, will be moving to my parents house. My upright will be squeezed into my house.

    I will soon be starting work at a nearby tutoring center that is essentially a school without formal accreditation. The building has quite a few vacant spaces, and though I’ll be playing it entirely by ear for at least the next few years, there are whiffs of the possibility of a space for a subscription library and/or possibly another Kimberly Steele Studio in a commercial space. I’m still working on the Sacred Homemaking book every day. It’s actually more slow-going than writing fiction for me for whatever reason. That said, I’m chugging along. Thank you all for your prayers.

    I wrote an another essay relative to Sacred Homemaking on my blog where I do the free Ogham readings every week:

    https://kimberlysteele.dreamwidth.org/53515.html

    Also, Shadow and Ash, my two cats, are doing fine. A bit bratty sometimes but sweet in general. My four ferals Tommy, Miss Piggy, Aladdin, and Silhouette outside are staying warm in their four story heated cat condo.

  11. This should have been a comment on last week’s post but wasn’t ready in time, and since this is an open post it should fit in well enough here.
    It seems to me that there is a major difference between typical American and typical British ideas of the future. (I do not know enough about current European ideas to generalise further.) To put it crudely, an American thinks, “In ten years’ time we will be colonising the stars.” A British person thinks, “In five years’ time we will be like present-day Americans.”
    That means that in Britain there is far greater scepticism about any golden future. We look at the USA and think, “Do we really want to be like that?” This tendency has existed in the UK since at least the second world war. I was born in 1940, so I observed it myself from a very young age, particularly in my own family. In those days, of course, Britain was an occupied country, and the American presence was often strongly resented. The idea that America was the “wave of the future” was at best ambivalent, and the whole idea of a beneficent future was regarded by many with scepticism. After all, “1984” was written by an English writer, as was “Brave New World”, which even antedates the war.
    So while there are British believers in the American idea of progress, there is also a large number of people who mistrust both the way American society works, and more generally the whole idea of “progress” and a beneficent future, and as American society falls apart that number is increasing rapidly. That doesn’t mean that the future will be any better for us than for the Americans, but it does mean that that particular set of blinkers about the future will be easy enough for us to discard.

  12. Hi Rod,

    What, if anything, is the rationale behind having the Unvaccinated escorted thru a big box store?

    —Princess Cutekitten

  13. I was recently fired from a cushy job firmly in the comfortable classes, and so found myself suddenly needing a new job. I wound up deciding on going for an entry level job because that way I could avoid dealing with some of the madness currently sweeping the comfortable classes, and a lot of places were talking about a labor shortage. The first job sucked, since the schedule was all over the place, and when I went back to job hunting, I figured I’d take any job, even at minimum wage, but I wanted to have a reasonably consistent schedule. It didn’t need to be the same each week, but I wanted to have something where I’d be able to know roughly when I’ll be working. Say, I usually work 8-4, but this week I have a few shifts from 10-6 because someone’s out, or whatever. Not: Monday I work 11-7, Tuesday I work from 8-4, Wednesday from 7-11, Thursday I’m off, etc. and next week is completely different.

    It was amazing how few companies were willing to say they would give reasonably consistent schedules: most companies I interviewed for treated it as standard practice to give people completely different schedules each week with shifts wildly differing from day to day, and viewed my request to have some consistency as unreasonable! I am pleased to say I did find a job which has been mostly consistent from week to week, but it took a lot longer than I thought it would, given how so many people are freaking out about a labor shortage, and how basic a request for a reasonably consistent schedule is.

    The fact that so many companies said outright they wouldn’t be able to accommodate a request for a stable schedule makes it abundantly clear to me why there’s a labor shortage: people are not willing to be exploited, and are taking any opportunity to avoid it. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out in the longer run: companies like the one I work for now that treat employees well have no problem finding and keeping people, but these seem to be quite rare these days.

  14. Hi JMG,

    Possibly similar to Tyler Ellis’ question, but given that the current Russian situation is running in parallel with a rise in oil and gas prices, do you have any guesses as to what the next 12 month energy situation will be for Western Europe. There has been a general trend here, amongst the chatting class, to a decarbonated electric powered infrastructure, and I wonder would the current crisis accelerate this need for “energy independence from Russia?”

    Here, in Ireland, the energy prices have spiked causing the government to give everyone a 100-euro voucher for gas and electricity. That includes Billionaires . We’re somewhat insulated from the gas spike and putin because we rely on British connections and reserves, but with a lot of data centres now wanting to set up on the west coast are energy grid is looking like it is on unsteady rocks.

    So do you thinki this energy spike is going to go on further, even without putin, and what are the possible issues for the domestic energy market for the consumer?

    Thanks,

    Adrian.

  15. Speaking of the senility of the elites and stupid road maps for the future. I have mentioned before the NYT reporter who grew up in rural Oregon and has now returned to try and run for governor. Here is a recent article to introduce you to this poster boy for hubris and elite stupidity.
    https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2022/01/24/nick-kristof-governor-campaign-oregon-527606

    My favorite part is his solution to the problems of poverty and homelessness. He spouts the party line from the last 40 years that we. need more education and better jobs because the people he knows in Yamhill county that are in dire straights would be fine if they earned $60,000 per year instead of the $20,000 per year at the margins they earned now. Also in response to his lack of managerial skills, he replys that he can hire smart people for that as he is good at ideas and communication.

    So we are saved, the newsroom at the NYT can be emptied out and its denizens spread across the country to solve our problems and lead us in to the uncertain future.

  16. To Piggyback on Rob#4’s comment regarding Truckers in Canada:

    One of the routes from the Prime Minister’s house towards the central part of Ottawa passes by my (home) office window. I just saw an older model very noisy very smokey Cab-over transport truck roaring (slowly) down the street. The convoys are set to arrive on Friday. I think the media downplaying their size will cause local people to be unprepared for the disruptions this will cause.

    My personal opinion is that some truckers have chosen the profession due to a lack of other “good” options available to them. Some of them might be right up against the wall financially, with few other gainful sources of employment readily available to them and significant costs due to their business. So I can see why they’d rather just sit in their trucks and try to gridlock the city. Where else do they have to go?

    I’m a bit worried about how angry people will get and how my daughter will deal with that. The demands are not ‘reasonable’ in their entirety … but I do hope our fearless leader Boy Wonder shows some humility towards his inferiors and dials down on the rancor himself.

  17. teresa from Hershey,

    Some years ago, I laid out a 10’×10′ area in the sunniest spot in the back of our lot with pavers, mounted an umbrella-style ‘solar’ clothes dryer in the center. We utilize it from about May thru Sept. when the weather is most cooperative here in the PNW. Works great! It also converts in winter as a log/kindling processing area (we mostly burn wood for heat..),along with enough space to use, say, a table saw or router when the necessity arises.. Said solar dryer gets retracted and stored in the shop ​in winter.

    When we had our regional heat wave last June, the clothed dried in a hour flat!

  18. My opinion on Ukraine is that I don’t want anything to do with what happens in Ukraine or care that much about it so long as it doesn’t end in genocide, WW3, or involve my country in any way. I just don’t want anything to do with that mess. I feel like I ought to care more, but I can’t seem to work up the energy. Maybe because I don’t like or trust either Ukraine or Russia.

    Not that the world cares about my opinion!

  19. Bro. Glen, those are very deep waters! As I’m not a Christian, I haven’t gotten into the Martinist tradition, though I’ve read a certain amount of the writings of Louis-Claude de St.-Martin and Martines de Pasqually, and studied some other materials (such as Mouni Sadhu’s book The Tarot) that draw extensively on Martinist sources. No question, Martinism is one of the most influential traditions of Christian occultism in the modern Western world, and I’d encourage any of my Christian readers who are interested to check it out.

    Jerry, I’ve been scratching my head about that too. I’m used to the managerial aristocracy being stunningly clueless — I think all of us are used to that at this point — but this is a new low. I suspect that what’s happened is that there are now so many layers of corporate bureaucracy between the people who make the decisions and the people who know what’s actually happening that accurate information is no longer making the trek from the latter to the former, and the CEOs are bumbling ahead with the 5G rollout in even more of a state of serene detachment from reality than usual.

    Tyler, my guess is that the whole thing has been whipped up by the Biden administration and its flunkeys in Europe in a desperate attempt to distract attention from the total failure of their economic and public health policies, and the rising price of oil — did you know that Brent, one of the standard benchmark grades of petroleum, hit $90 a barrel today? (You’ll know about it soon enough at the pump.) The Russian government is perfectly willing to use military force to advance its interests, as we saw not so long ago in Syria and Georgia, but my take is that they’re playing a long game in Ukraine and can afford to apply pressure more slowly and efficiently over time. But we’ll see.

    Rod, the situation is definitely shifting, and it doesn’t look as though it’s going the way the managerial aristocracy want. An enormous amount depends at this point on what the long term effects of the experimental vaccines turn out to be — and we haven’t yet had enough time to find out.

    Patricia M, funny! I hope that catches on.

    Frank, glad to hear it. You’re correct that not all the colony worlds are orbiting different stars — in the story, it’s mentioned that there are two colony worlds around Tau Ceti and two in the Sirius system. The challenges I faced in writing Journey Star — well, keep in mind that the original version of Shalsha was written in 1985-1986, and it was finally published after two thorough revisions in 2009; my take on a lot of things has changed since then, and it took serious work to get back into the headspace that shaped the original novel. I also had to do a lot of research into orbital mechanics; one thing that I find irritating about most science fiction is that combat in space is presented in so wildly unrealistic a way, as though there was a resisting medium controllong motion (think of those absurd scenes in Star Wars) and as though planetary gravity wells don’t matter. I wanted to do it right.

    As for the dwimmerroot and the robes, there used to be a lot of interest in alien psychoactive compounds in science fiction — think of the role of melange and the Water of Life in Dune! — and I was influenced by that; I also was at the peak of my interest in psychology when I wrote the original novel, and I wanted to explore the possibilities of a society that was psychologically rather than technologically sophisticated. The robes, and the lifestyles of the people of Eridan generally, are modeled in various ways on medieval Japan, since that was roughly the aesthetic I wanted.

    Teresa, fascinating. It never occurred to me that there could be a great diversity of ways to hang out laundry, but of course it makes sense.

    Andrew, thanks for this.

    Gavin, I haven’t read either book, but I read quite a bit of Joseph Needham back in the day — at that time there was no better source available on Chinese alchemy.

    Trystan, I recommend going back to where you left off, and continuing six months behind all the way through. There are other people who are doing that, at various delays, and it’s perfectly fine for you to ask questions about past chapters in the current month’s post.

  20. Hi JMG,

    There have been a few comments under the last post about the future of Europe. Do you think it was inevitable that Europe would end up on on the course to being an extension of the Maghreb or do you think if it could have been avoided if Europe had united in the past under France or if the First World War had been avoided or resulted in German victory? Is it the division and war guilt that make it inclined to not defend itself?

  21. I am noticing a rather sudden pivot with regards to the narrative and policy direction with regards to climate change and peak oil.

    Which is that it’s very clear to me that elites are now very aware that oil production is post peak and climate change is being used as a stalking horse to enact policies which amount to the upper classes of society hoarding fossil fuels for themselves and locking out everyone else

    I noticed the first signs of it in the UK through reports from the motorcycle youtuber Stuart Fillingham, talking of the very sudden and heavy handed laws in the UK being passed with regards to motor vehicles. It’s a three pronged strategy.

    First is “Anti Tamper Laws”, which are sold to the public under the reasonable guise of a legal means to punish people trying to bypass emissions controls. Meanwhile, the way they are worded, makes using any third party parts in a motor vehicle an offense. The government claim this isn’t the intention, and yet this is how the laws are worded and that wording has remained the same even after motoring groups expressed their concerns. The intention of this is clear – make it effectively impossible to repair vehicles after manufacturer support has ended, taking them off the road much sooner than otherwise. The police will have a legal means to pull over and harass any vehicle which looks more than 10 or so years old, at will.

    Second is the ban of the sale of internal combustion engine cars in the UK after 2030 and the ban of ICE motorcycles after 2035. So after then, if you want to buy a new vehicle, it has to be zero (tailpipe) emissions.

    Thirdly, is the imposition of extra fees by local governments for so much as owning a car or motorcycle, as much as 5 or 10 GBP a day, clearly putting them beyond the financial means of anyone below the upper middle class.

    It should be noted, these rather sudden and drastic legal moves lack any accompaniment by an equally sudden and drastic investment in charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, or public transport for those who are now priced out of vehicles, or redesign of urban areas to make them more livable and workable without cars or motorcycles. The intent simply seems to be to coerce the peasantry into getting rid of their vehicles and then leaving them stranded and abandoning them to their fate.

    And the only rationale I can really see to that is just a blind panic on the part of elites who have realised that the days of fossil fuels as an effectively infinite spigot of cheap energy are coming to a close and the biggest priority on their minds is trying to restrict access to it as much as possible, so they can enjoy it as their exclusive privilege for as long as possible. And if that hurts people who they had previously made reliant on vehicles in order to live and work, they simply don’t care.

    Since ideological contagions are rarely a local madness these days, I am seeing the early signs of similar moves being taken in many places along the West. So far, no signs in Asia since they never adopted widespread vehicle ownership, they already had the transition strategy in place – widespread use of low capacity motorcycles for commuting.

  22. I recently finished Journey Star and am currently rereading The Fires of Shalsha. I love them both, along with your Haliverse stories. I recall the discussion thread a while back over at Dreamwidth where you talked about how you had written the first two chapters of Journey Star but didn’t expect to ever finish the story because you didn’t believe you could find a publisher for it. I for one am grateful you did go ahead and finish it. One thing that I found really refreshing about the story was the lack of cheap moralizing.

  23. I know you’re not a strict adherent of the forth turning theory, however, I had a thought today related to the boomer generation. I have noticed that many more of them have a righteous “my way or the highway” attitude than Gen-Xers, who tend to have a pragmatic, “live and let live” ethos. Do you think my generalization is valid? And if so, is that the reason why the Prophet archetype tends to lead their nations into great wars.

  24. Hi John Michael,

    Nature puts on a great show! Continuous lightning strikes lit up the sky for hours this morning and thunder boomed and cracked. Great stuff. The dogs were freaked out and unfortunately committed the ultimate sin of waking me up before dawn 🙂 It’s alright though as we’d planned to get up early and get off to an early start on work. It’s been super hot here the past few weeks (after a super cold and wet start to the growing season). I’ve visited the Amazon and I’m noticing similarities. Hmm. Parts of the continent to the west of here received record breaking rainfall over the past week – we’re talking more than the annual totals in only a few days. The storms are getting stormier.

    That old oil price business is on the up! Up and up it goes, where it stops, nobody knows. And yeah I do recall your prediction. Nice one. 😉 There are mineral shortages too, so apparently production of solar panels has declined sharply. With that in mind, earlier this week I went out and nabbed some more panels – always prudent, and put into service some older renewable energy stuff I had to hand. The thing that I never know about, is what I have I forgotten or overlooked? Always an intriguing question which will be resolved in due course.

    Cheers

    Chris

  25. Fra’ Lupo, funny. Why don’t they just ‘fess up and admit that they’re telling myths?

    Kimberly, thanks for this.

    Sardaukar, that’s one of the reasons why I don’t expect the threats of war to go anywhere. Via energy. Russia has a very tight grip on Europe’s dangly bits and can squeeze hard whenever that would be useful.

    Skygazer, I’m very glad to hear this. The sooner people extract themselves from the mythology of progress, the better.

    Anonymous, exactly. It would be easier for the corporations to give people predictable schedules, but they won’t do it, because the unpredictable schedule makes it harder for their serfs — er, employees — to get second jobs or go to school and get training. It’s purely exploitation, and should be treated as such.

    Adrian, Europe is screwed. In the short term, Russia can shut down your natural gas supply any time it wants to; in the middle term, Russia’s busy building new pipelines to ship its gas and oil to Asian markets, leaving Europe twisting in the wind; and going long on renewables simply means that you’ll have an increasingly unstable grid. In the long term, of course, you’ll have no grid at all, and neither will the rest of us. Right now the price of oil is skyrocketing and there’s a decided shortage of other options, so yes, things will continue to tighten. Learning how to get by with a lot less energy is a good idea.

    Clay, oh my. This promises to be very, very funny.

    Stuart, I’ve been watching that situation with great interest. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Canada hasn’t had its government overthrown yet, has it?

    Devonlad, no, I think it was hardwired into the core dynamics of European culture. It’s central to the Faustian mindset to pursue infinite extension, and so once Europe was no longer the imperial center of the world, and had to return to its former status of global backwater, the heart went out of it and it started collapsing in on itself.

  26. @JMG and All,

    Frequent commenter Sister Crow has popped into my mind the last few weeks, and I am wondering if anyone has heard from her recently. I know she was having some medical procedures last year, so I hope she’s doing all right. Granted, I don’t keep up with the comments, so it could be that she’s been around and I just missed it!

  27. One of the issues that is shaping up into a huge liability for the Democrats in the upcoming elections is skyrocketing crime rates in Democrat controlled urban areas, much of it fueled by misguided policies and politicians who have been more concerned with kowtowing to Woke activists than protecting public safety.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/biden-looks-to-navigate-a-moment-of-reckoning-for-democrats-on-crime/ar-AAT8nOz

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/either-eric-adams-makes-new-york-city-safe-or-the-democrats-are-toast

    https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/democrats-treat-criminals-victims-killing-cities-jason-rantz

  28. So I have two things this month. The first is how does one make health etheric chooses when one is grocery shopping? I am thinking fresher is better. Low processing is preferable to high processing. Are there any other guide lines to watch out for? Is canned food OK? Frozen? what does everyone think?

    Second some time awhile back, I think our Princess of the cute kittens or someone else, mentioned something about vitamin B12 and pre-diabetes. I think it was on one of the Covid open post but I can’t find it. So does vitimin B12 have anything to do with diabetes

    Thanks to everyone here

    Will O

  29. I just looked into getting ‘The Druid Path’ and I’m going to struggle. Barnes and Noble don’t ship to the UK (or Europe) due to GDPR and I don’t really want to trust a third party. I’ll keep a lookout for a third way, but if you know of a potential option, I’d be grateful!

    Also, the 5G thing is such an own goal! Aircraft altimeter’s use radio waves and 5G decided to use frequencies just next to it. Any noise interference and the aircraft measurements go haywire. Just not using that frequency would solve it….but that requires common sense!

  30. Re: Stu Cram post #19: I’m a relatively new trucker, having gotten my license literally the day before the first lockdown here in Montréal in March, 2020. I can’t speak for others but I consider it a calling that I came to later in life (I’m 48) after working many horrible customer service /office jobs as a way to supplement the meager income that being a professional saxophonist provides (long story).

    I have to say that compared to the toxic work environment, stress, bad pay and regular humiliation that characterizes service work, trucking is a dream come true. You get to work alone, actually given trust by your employer to get the job done without kindergarten-level supervision. And I’m not sitting behind a bloody screen all day, watching the pixels. You’re actually engagung with the world in a real, immediate way.I absolutely love it.

    I am baffled, though by the convoy. If anything characterizes being a professional driver, it’s rules and regulations. There are a million of them and you don’t get to pick and choose. Anyway, the US has their own border restrictions so I fail to see the point of this action. It’s a small but loud group of malcontents from what I can see. More ominously, some of the organizers are not even in the industry and are well-known right-wing agitators connected to coded white supremacist causes (sons of Odin).

  31. Congrats on the books, JMG!

    I was looking into the phenomenon of synchronization, such as when metronomes begin to oscillate together because of the vibrations between them.

    It occurred to me that there might be an astral component to this. As waves of imaginative thoughts course through the astral field and then interact with the sphere of sensation, there could be a sort of entrainment. Another way to look at it might be the way a trail of smoke gets pulled into an air current and sucked away.

    Perhaps one’s ideas need to be similar to these “imagination waves” to get entrained by them. If you’re working class and not part of the PMC, you won’t get affected by covid madness, for example.

    Has any occultist discussed this?

  32. Hi JMG,
    I have two questions:
    1) Can you explain what the effect of the Appleseed chant was? Or did I miss that discussion?
    2) Is the cell salt experiment complete? Were there any interesting results?
    Thanks

  33. Okay, if Russia shuts off gas to europe I care about Ukraine. Some of that gas flows out of the EU to the UK, where most of my relatives live…

  34. The laundry pictures are gorgeous. Some of them could fit — except for the collection of Disney Princess t-shirts and yes, they are world-wide — in travel magazines!

    However, most of the pix are of summer laundry.

    It’s easy to dry clothes in the summer.

    I use my clothesline in the winter as well (central PA). It’s doable but January weather requires a lot more thought at every stage than July’s weather does.

    Winter laundry on a line is the last frontier.

  35. This recent post, “The Unmanageable Future,” was extremely important. Frow where we are to where it could be better, like slow food, slow and slowly evolving unique cultures, how would we get there? If I ran the zoo, I’d nationalize everything and then repurpose universities to manage the environments in each of their respective regions (the online ones just need to go away (7 years history watching an adequate third rate U going big all online)) and let regions determine their own future. The reason I go there is that they have the facilities, the abilities etc to order the training and alignments to make regions work – well sort of – long discussion necessdary… I have no belief in managerial rule, neither capitalist nor socialist. I’d love to see the end of isms and their ists. Trying to “think” it through is, from my perspective, unworkable. I think the best path is what is going to happen anyway, probably, the universe will make it so. And, in that case, it really doesn’t matter if it all burns down, the future won’t wait, idling nervously by, it will come on as it comes.

  36. Two comments on The Weird of Hali.

    First, I’ve been trying to read the entire series for the last 2 years. But I find that I can’t. What has happened is that I have started a book, read the first couple of chapters, and then felt inclined to put it down. And then, months later, I pick up the book and read the rest of it in a day or two. So far, I’ve read the first two books. And then I started the third, I read the first two chapters or three, and felt “Well, I just don’t want to read this anymore.” Except I do want to read it, I’m just not able to… Yet. It’s the strangest experience I’ve ever had with a work of fiction.

    And speaking of strange experiences, do you know what is a really strange experience? Rereading the Shadow Over Innsmouth for the first time since reading the weird of Hali: Innsmouth.

  37. @JMG
    If a government wanted to help its citizens prepare for the long descent, what advice would you give that government?

  38. Hi John,

    Looking forward to the new books. Any chance of more Shalshaverse novels? I could see lots of great story threads spinning off of Journey Star.

    Hi Patricia Matthews,

    Thanks for the wellness article. Lots of great common-sense stuff, as opposed to the corporate marketing cr@p aimed at over-privileged Bobos that passes for “wellness” these days.

  39. @24/Berge Shiba

    Amazing take, in terms of obsoleting working-class vehicles.

    I’ve started anticipating “mitigations for me but not for thee.” Against working-class objections, a major development near me was recently vetoed over objection to “resulting emmisions at a drive-through restaurant.” I estimate offset credits would cost about two cents per vehicle, and that cars parking for any other purpose (in a large lot) would burn about as much gas.

  40. Dear JMG & community have you seen this great new News “BMW powered flying car gets green light” Fancy pictures and some animated graphics to prove this time it’s different…your thoughts?;)

  41. JMG, thank you for your thoughtful response to my first post about The Fires of Shalsha and Journey Star.

    Another thing I really appreciate about the milieu of those books is that it reflects your belief in a world that goes beyond what can be accounted for with the limited tools of modern mainstream science. Some of Eridan’s phenomena (for example, plant pigments that differ from those found on Earth) are given explanations grounded in mainstream science, whereas others simply fall into the realm of the unknown, because they can’t be measured or quantified–and mainstream science is all about the measurable and the quantifiable.

  42. “An enormous amount depends at this point on what the long term effects of the experimental vaccines turn out to be”
    I also wonder what will happen if people in general ever realize how much of the suffering related to covid could have been avoided by not suppressing Ivermectin and by giving out zinc and vitamin D like they were candy. Though perhaps people will never realize it.

  43. Hello Mr. Greer,

    Last week you encouraged me to write a book and/or blog when I mentioned being a philosopher who transitioned into the blue collar factory world. With that said I wanted to run a couple questions/points by you.

    First, of all the blog platforms you are aware of which one do you think is the best? I value freedom from censorship most highly, but user friendliness and other such features are also appreciated.

    Second, does you fiction or your non fiction sell better? Like you I enjoy writing both, but I am curious to know if you feel like one is generally more marketable than the other.

    Finally, I should have mentioned this last week after your comment about publishing a book and just totally forgot to do so. For whatever its worth I have published one book titled “Who is God?”. Its definitely not some version of blue collar philosophy, or for that matter blue collar theology, seeing as I published it before I entered the blue collar world or started my philosophy PhD. Still, it describes God in mostly concrete, non abstract terms (namely as a dancer, musician, painter and so on). I’d be happy to send you a copy if you want to email me a snail mail address.

  44. Hope you and the wife are doing well, keeping everyone in my prayers.

    There’s been a few things on my mind as of late,

    1. While I don’t play music, with all attempts at learning the piano and the violin failing, I absolutely enjoy listening to music and much prefer to draw what is going through my head, and so after a long five years of drawing on and off, a hiatus of sorts, I’m getting back into drawing. Would exercising the creative faculties of the mind in any way possible be it through crafting small trinkets or creating a new recipe, basically help strengthen the mental sheath? I know someone asked this question in a MM or another open post, but they were referring to music specifically.

    2. I had an individual contact me today from a Discord server asking if I knew of any reliable computer programs that are up to date and are compatible with the updated Windows OS. She said she used Clairvision and is considering using Sirius. I told her that there is a lot of literature on how to cast charts by hand, however as far as I know the books offered up today on the issue for the most part specializes in fluffy bunny astrology. are there any reliable sites and books you’d recommend?

  45. Food find! For those in areas where Publix is the major grocery chain: Retro ketchup on the highest quality.

    Primal Ketchup. USDA Organic. Unsweetened. In a wide-mouthed glass bottle of roughly 12 ounce (ketchup, not water) size. Ingredients (all organic):

    Tomato concentrate. Balsamic vinegar (white wine vinegar, grape must). Less than 2% salt; onion powder, garlic powder, spices.

    Produced by Primal Nutrition, LLC, Oxnard, CA
    Very plainly new on the market and aimed at the elite, but not that much more expensive if you don’t have to watch every penny. And when it’s empty, the bottle makes a great in-fridge watee bottle for me.

    Every little bit helps.

  46. “Sardaukar, that’s one of the reasons why I don’t expect the threats of war to go anywhere. Via energy. Russia has a very tight grip on Europe’s dangly bits and can squeeze hard whenever that would be useful.”
    On the other hand, that wouldn’t be any skin off the US’s nose. In fact, they are offering to ship the Europeans LNG.
    {Your media at work, but not for you: Buried in maybe the fifth paragraph of the article about the US offering to make up for any natural gas shortage in Europe was the perhaps a little important data item that the entire world LNG capacity is well below what Europe would need}
    Any European readers care to comment about why Europe follows the US lead even when it is manifestly harmful to Europe? I get that the elites there are part of the same neoliberal professional managerial class. And I have at times gotten the sense that deep down, many Europeans remember that the last time Europe ran itself was the first half of the 1940s and the Pax Americana was once actually pretty good for Europe, more prosperous and peaceful than basically any other time. But surely there are other major factors at work.

  47. Beige Shiba, it’s quite possible that this is exactly what’s going on. I note that the new stringent restrictions on vehicle emissions being proposed by the EU explicitly exempt private jets and motor yachts

    Sardaukar, thank you! One of the core themes in both those novels was moral ambiguity. In the first volume I set up what was meant to look like an obvious good guys vs. bad guys scenario, and then took it apart bit by bit, showing the problematic moral logic underlying the Halka and the high ideals guiding the apparent villains of the piece. In the second, of course, I start out by portraying a group of people meant to hit all the good guy buttons — survivors of a tribal community fleeing through the winter night, pursued by relentless foes — and then it turns out they’re Outrunners, who were portrayed in wholly negative terms in the first book, and the “meat” they talk about is human flesh. And then the survivor of the group becomes the protagonist of the story… I’m glad I had the opportunity to finish it and get it into print.

    Nate, in this case, certainly, it fits.

    Chris, that’s fascinating to hear about the shifts in your climate — if the rain belts change so that more of Australia gets abundant precipitation, that would definitely throw an unexpected curve into the shape of the future. I’m not at all surprised to hear that production of solar panels is down, either: any product of the industrial economy is a fossil fuel product, directly or indirectly. Hang on for a wild ride!

    CS2, as far as I know she hasn’t posted since last summer. I hope she’s okay.

    Sardaukar, that’s another great example of blowback from stupid ideologies!

    Will O, it really varies from case to case. The best approach is to pursue a good balanced system of occult training, so you can develop the ability to sense etheric energy directly and simply pick what looks best on an etheric as well as a physical basis.

    Blinky, I’ll see what I can find out. As for the 5G business, there are established rules dividing up the radio spectrum to prevent this sort of thing — I have no idea why those weren’t followed in this case.

    Jon, the only references to entrainment (another term for sychronization) I’ve seen in occult literature simply use the physical phenomenon as a metaphor to describe what happens on the etheric and astral levels. It might well benefit from more exploration and experimentation.

    Pam, “to know, to dare, to will, and…” As for the cell salt experiment, yes, and I posted the results on my Dreamwidth journal quite a while ago. The short form was that the protocol was associated with statistically significant improvements in mental and physical health, as reported by participants, and as compared to the control group.

    Coboarts, exactly — the future doesn’t have to wait for us to make it, it makes itself and we just have to deal. As for universities, I’d like to see their current staff and most of the professors go find honest jobs, and turn the facilities over to groups of people who want to pursue a galaxy of diverse educational projects. Not that this will happen, but a being can dream.

    Steve, hmm! I wonder why.

    Stellarwind, that’s a topic for a post, not a comment. The very short form is that I’d focus on backyard gardens, family-owned farms and businesses, energy-conservation retrofits, and economic decentralization.

    Sardaukar, nope. That’s why the last chapter was titled “A Farewell to Eridan” — it was my farewell, as well as Asha’s.

    Martin, another fifty million dollars or so down the same old rathole…

    Frank, the two Eridan novels are my sole venture into hard science fiction. I worked out the biochemistry and ecology of Eridan in quite some detail, and that structures every detail of the setting and stories — the fact that native Eridan life forms don’t use proteins as we know them (they have an analogous set of chemicals that don’t contain amino acids) and that protein hunger is therefore a massive limiting factor for human settlement, is just the most obvious example. As for the unknown and unquantifiable, well, science fiction used to do a lot with that — again, Dune comes to mind. A large part of the reason so much recent science fiction bores me is that it gave up on that, and tried to impose a rigid materialist rationalism in its place.

    Jessica, good question. That’s one of the unknowns just now.

    Stephen, (1) I switched to a paid blog platform with a small provider, and never looked back. For a very modest annual fee you can get a platform that won’t censor you, and prompt help if you need it. (2) Nonfiction is far and away the most profitable. 80% of all books published each year are nonfiction; ironically, around 80% of all writers want to write fiction. So you can be one of the 80% chasing after 20% of the market, or you can be one of the 20% chasing after 80% of the market — take your pick! (3) Thank you; let me consider that.

    Copper, (1) yes, any creative activity will help. (2) Regrettably, no — anyone else?

    Jessica, as you point out, neither the US nor anyone else has the spare natural gas capacity to make up the difference if Russia shuts off the pipelines. I suspect that’s why the US and its European, er, allies — is that how “fiefdoms” is spelled these days? — are awkwardly backing down just now.

  48. I’ve been slowly reading my way through this headache-inducing essay with Bernard-Henry Levi on the necessity of liberal intervention across the world:
    https://bariweiss.substack.com/p/a-conversation-with-the-last-liberal

    My initial reaction was anger, that this guy is advocating for war in Ukraine for the sake of humanitarian principles.

    But the anger has slowly given way to puzzlement: Here is a man who has traveled across the world and experienced a great deal, and yet he appears to have absolutely no understanding of anything. It goes to support my hypothesis, that liberals don’t actually understand what they are.

    Some quotes:

    Liberalism was never as “in favor” as you say it was. The natural inclination of humans and their societies is egotism: Every man for himself.

    Europe and the United States had far-right populists before the influx of poorly assimilated migrants. Before World War I, half of France was proto-fascist, if those words have any meaning at all. But, unlike today, there were hardly any refugees from Muslim countries. The same was true of Germany (and France) in the 1930s, before the Second World War. I don’t have to draw you a picture: There was zero “failure to assimilate.” There was zero “denial” of any sort of difficult realities. Yet we still got Hitler. Here, too, the putative connection that we hear so much about between the rise of the extreme right and the migrant crisis falls apart, doesn’t check out, makes no sense.

    As long as a few hundred American soldiers remained in Afghanistan, there was a free press and girls were going to school, music and poetry were allowed—in short, the intervention worked. On the second point, I’m afraid we’re going to come down with a thud and discover very soon the enormous cost of our retreat—a cost far greater than that of remaining there. The symbolic and moral cost, as well as the economic and military cost.
    …[Invading Afghanistan] was the essence of prudence. It was necessary to prevent another 9/11. To do that, it was necessary to destroy the regime. Afterwards, it will not have escaped your attention that the “invasion” turned gradually into a symbolic, very light, noncombatant presence that nevertheless served as a shield behind which a civil society came together. Let’s not fall for the propaganda of the Trumpists and their de facto allies on the so-called far left. Contrary to what the world says, the United States could have stayed far longer at a cost many times less than what their other deployments cost.

    The world of Greta Thunberg, a world without travel, a world where we closed ourselves off from others, would be an impoverished world. Spiritually, of course. Civilizationally, no doubt. But also, in the most trivial sense of the word, economically. Globalization must be reformed. The ecological battle must be fought. And to correct the damaging effects of technology, we need much, much more technology. But the tragic error would be to try to undo everything.

  49. Over the years Robert Mathieson has written in here with his extensive medieval occult knowledge, and I gather he was once a university lecturer. Are there any lecture recordings, transcripts, essays or published books that might substitute for sitting in on one of Robert’s lectures? I’d like to absorb his wisdom and learning just like I’m trying to absorb all the knowledge and ideas published and referenced here.

  50. “the US and its European, er, allies — is that how “fiefdoms” is spelled these days?”

    I like the term “satrapy”.

  51. @ Will O #32

    As far as I’ve read on the issue it seems that a deficiency in vitamin B12 specifically is found in many patients that suffer from both types of Diabetes. A deficiency of the vitamin is indicated by lethargy, fatigue, weight loss, foggy memory, loss of appetite, headaches, depression, and constipation.

  52. Good afternoon, and thank you for hosting multiple fora of such interest! Your level of engagement with your audience is both impressive and appreciated.

    A handful of (hopefully) pretty brief questions, aimed at JMG, but I welcome any thoughts anyone else might have (please let me know if I’m being too greedy with the multiple questions for this venue – I’m happy to save them for future months):

    1) Do you, JMG, or any of the commentariat, have recommendations for a history of craft guilds? I’m fairly familiar with the broad outlines, but I’d like to learn a bit more of the nitty-gritty than overall histories provide.

    2) Speaking of guilds, have you read The Guild State (1919) by George Robert Stirling Taylor? If so, any thoughts on it? I found it through Wrath of Gnon, and it’s apparently linked with the “Guild Socialist” propositions of the early 20th century, as put forward in The New Age periodical, with its best-known proponent being G.D.H. Cole (all of which I found out after I started reading it).

    3) You’ve mentioned Nassim Taleb in some of your interviews, but I can’t recall seeing you talk much about him or his thoughts here on the blog. Do you have an overall thumbnail impression of him and/or his thoughts you’d be willing to share?

    4) Spengler predicted two centuries of Caesarism starting around 2000, but your writings seem to 1) place us a bit farther along, and 2) anticipate slightly less time in that stage of our civilization. A) is that accurate, and B) if so, what things have led you to predict differently?

  53. Well, as I expected, I started reading Corazin again after posting that, and got the familiar rush and the sense of pressure in my brain; I imagine I’ll be finished with it by Friday this time. Didn’t you intend the books to work as initiations? I think my Higher Self only lets me read them when it decides it’s time.

  54. Hi Jerry,

    Don’t know about airports, but I got a message from Verizon that our phones won’t work starting 1 January next year, so I suspect 5G is an excuse to sell everyone expensive new phones.

  55. Hi JMG,

    I just gave The Ecotechnic Future another read-through, and I think your concept of successional cultural seres is very useful. I am intrigued by the idea of Scarcity Industrialism. With the benefit of 12 years since the book’s publication, I wondered if you have any specific ideas about the forms Scarcity Industrialism will take here in North America.

  56. I had mentioned on the previous discussion thread that the Ukrainian government officials are saying that the Biden administration has been exaggerating the threat of a Russian invasion for political reasons, making the situation worse than it otherwise would have been and playing right into the hands of the Russians.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/us-warns-russian-attack-may-be-imminent-ukraine-disagrees-heres-why/ar-AAT8qRA

    Now there are reports that the Russian and Ukrainian governments are working on a peace deal of their own.

    https://www.snafu-solomon.com/2022/01/did-russia-and-ukraine-just-solve-this.html

    If that works out, Biden and his handlers are going to be furious. They were counting on a ginned-up confrontation with Russia to distract attention from the Democrats failed policies here at home, while the Ukrainians may well have looked at the situation and decided they would better off cutting out the backbiting middleman and coming up with a compromise they and the Russians can both live with.

  57. Re: Josh #34 – Canadian Freedom Convoy

    Congrats on your new profession Josh – I’ve done a bit of trucking myself here in Ontario.

    As to the rest of your comments – thanks for parroting the propaganda being spoon-fed by our bought and paid for media outlets..this isn’t some far-right wing, fringe movement. It is already the largest convoy in world history and thousands of people are coming out in every town and village along the route in support. We’ll be there ourselves when it runs less than 15 minutes from our farm on Friday.

    If you don’t understand why this is happening, you are woefully behind on this whole conversation (and I don’t mean just the convoy). As an ardent follower of JMG’s writing for over a decade, and with a fairly good grasp of the insights and awareness of his audience, I’m rather shocked that you are here and made those comments, especially living in the covid-totalitarian nightmare that is Quebec.

    I can only suggest shutting off CBC and engaging directly with these groups and the people supporting them. It will be enlightening. I concede the organizer has a suspect past – but this has gotten so big that transparency is assured at this point. As an example, Go Fund Me is holding the $5 million + raised until it’s clear how the funds will be distributed, and attorneys and accountants are overseeing that process. Fortunately they didn’t fall for Trudeau’s attempt to label the initiative as domestic terrorism.

    It isn’t about left/right, vax/unvaxxed etc. It is about 2+ years of utter incompetence, drastic government overreach and non-sensical restrictions, ever-shifting goal posts, lockdowns and mandates that are not following any of the latest science and data, along with hateful and divisive rhetoric from a Prime Minister and virtually no opposition from any politician. We are going on year 3 of two weeks to flatten the curve, while large portions of the world have moved on and opened up or are doing so imminently.

    Why a handful of leaders across the world are still clinging to this “vaccine is the only way out” narrative should be enough to at least get you asking some questions…

  58. Sardaukar (and JMG) – The story I saw in the Washington Post today said that if the West cuts Russia off from SWIFT, the Russians will have no way to accept payment for their gas, and so they will be unable to provide it.
    (At least, that’s the way I read it… I don’t have the exact text in front of me). This is not tit-for-tat confrontation, this is “If you refuse to eat, you will get hungry.” logic. And it makes the West’s politicians look all the more clueless!

    An “analysis” piece on Washington’s news/sports/weather station, WTOP, solemnly assured is that “whatever Russia is going to do in Ukraine, they’ll have to do it in the next few days.” Something about not wanting to steal publicity from the Chinese Winter Olympics? How’s that, again? They did not allow for the possibility that Russia may do nothing in Ukraine at all this year.

  59. I think that one of the reasons that no war has broken out in the Ukraine is that it does not benefit the Russians to start it as they don’t really want the economic basket case that is this former Soviet republic. So the only way a war will start is if the Ukrainians attack the Donbass and draw the Russians in. I think if the US had their way ,they would get get the Ukrainiansto act as Cannon fodder and allow the Europeans to shiver in the dark ( yes the elites are senile). But I also think that the Russians intelligence gathering in the Ukraine is very extensive and so is their ability to disseminate their message to the members of the Ukrainian military. My guess is that the Russians have widely distributed pamphlets, videos, photos etc showing in gory detail what will happen to the Ukrainian grunts and commanders alike if they attack the Donbass in full force. They fully know what salvos of Iskanders, Kalibers and Thermobaric Grads will do to them, and this time around the Russians would have every intention and ability of targeting missiles all the way up the command ( and political) structure. So they are probably happy to just camp near the front and collect their pay but have no intention of doing anything.

  60. @ Kimberly Steele

    Congratulations on your move and the more resilient basis you’ll have for your work! I suspect it will play out as an excellent decision as the future unfolds.

    @ JMG

    Re writing

    John, how would you go about developing an interesting villain? I vaguely recall an example from some time ago where you offered your version of MoldyWort (or rather, of Tim Puzzle) in contrast to the one that got written. As an author, what elements do you see as necessary for a deeply compelling antagonist?

  61. To JMG and everybody else – a question about salt. 🙂

    I‘m wondering where people way, way, way back got their salt from.

    I’m talking about people who didn‘t live close to the sea (or in later times close to a salt mine). Not everybody would have been able to get salt through trading routes, methinks.

    But they would still have needed salt not only for personal health, but also to preserve food (meat, fermentation, …), and maybe also for other uses (Animals? Health issues? Magical/spiritual uses?).

    I reckon that some of people‘s salt intake back then was covered by animal products (blood?). Some of it might have come from salt/mineral-rich soils. And some from plants. (Am I missing any potential salt sources?)

    One of my herb books says that native Americans dried and burned coltsfoot leaves, and that the resulting ashes were a replacement for salt. With a different taste, but very healthy and containing lots of potassium.

    That‘s about the extent of my current knowledge, and as you can see, there are still quite a few question marks and gaping holes in there.

    I tried researching the topic of salt/salt replacements in earlier times, but all I‘ve found so far are references to salt mining, to salt extraction from sea water, and to relevant trading. But as I said, there must have been other options for a lot of people, and I‘m interested in those…

    I’m going to try the coltsfoot ashes later in the year (if I can find some coltsfoot that hasn‘t been peed on by dogs), but tbh I‘m a bit hesitant to go around and taste random soil for its saltiness properties, especially as I‘m not sure what to look for in terms of soil type (and the upper soil levels nowadays probably aren‘t what they used to be anyway)…

    Since the people here on this blog are so well-read and widely interested, I was wondering if you folks had any references or information related to this topic? Do you know anything about plant, soil or animal uses to gain minerals/salts, or to replace salt e.g. in food preservation?

    Any pointers are highly appreciated. Thanks!

    Milkyway

  62. Kind Sir

    For those of us who believe in scientific materialism, death is a rather unproblematic affair. Lights out and that’s it.
    I cannot make that leap of faith anymore. While I have no firm beliefs about what death exactly means, for a number of reasons I think that it is not just the end. Possibly reincarnation, but this is a rather loosely held faith.
    This creates a problem. If death is something that i will actually experience, that experience might benefit from preparation.
    What do you recommend to prepare for death? Not death in the immediate future, just death as an inevitebility.
    I am not a particular religious person, so something that can be done while having a normal life would be nice.

  63. @ Beige Shiba

    Here in France, we have equivalent laws, but not so heavy-handed so far. We have what we call “Crit’Air” laws, which progressively make old vehicles illegal. I know that Belgium has similar laws, under another name. My 17 year-old jalopy will become illegal in all major French city centers in June this year, and eventually, by 2035 or so, all gas-powered vehicles will be illegal. How we will produce the enormous amounts of electricity that will be needed to power several tens of millions of electric cars isn’t clear, since France already has to import electricity from Germany in the winter.

    I am retired, and I drive only about 2,000 kilometers per year, which is very little even by European standards. Basically I use my car to go to the mall and visit my children. An old car is good enough for me, and if I have to give up my car I’ll do without one since I live in a region with good public transportation.

    Of course, people who drive 17 year old cars usually can’t afford to buy new cars, otherwise they would already have new, cleaner cars… Mostly, they are people who work for minimum wage in the countryside, where housing is cheap, and they need their cars to go to work in other towns. That’s several million people in France. They need their cars, which they can barely afford. I don’t know what those millions of people will do in the present economy, with rising prices of everything, including gasoline.

    During a town fair last fall I talked about the issue with a city councillor, a charming lady who is in charge of the environment in the town where I live, in the greater Paris area. She admitted that pollution is not the real issue (contrary to the official narrative about the Crit’Air laws), it’s about reducing oil consumption. I told her that the policy would deprive the poor of their cars. She didn’t seem to understand, all she could say was that the reports on the future of petroleum were frightening (“Ça fout la trouille” she kept saying, in colloquial French).

    I understood that she knew that the easiest way to reduce gasoline consumption is to deprive the working poor of their cars, and she tacitly accepted it, but she wasn’t cynical enough to admit it, especially to one of her constituents. Besides, telling the people that their cars pollute more than the yachts and the private jets of the rich isn’t her job, it’s Macron’s, and he has no qualms about it.

  64. JMG & anyone else

    Has anyone read Dreamer of Dune by Brian Herbert? Would you recommend it? I’m curious to learn what I can about Frank Herbert but Brian’s intros to some of copies of the Dune series rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe I’m being overly critical. I don’t know. I’ve seen commentators say Brian’s sequels/prequels weren’t good which contributes to this. I’ll be reading all the books written by Frank.

    Also, I was highly entertained by a video of two older white women yelling at a maskless black man to get out of an elevator because of his facial garment status or lack thereof. One of the women hits the black man who is filming them freak out. He asks “did you just hit me?” and then the women start shrieking “Black Lives Matter” as if that made hitting him acceptable. No comedian could do better than this. Video title is “Women Freak Out Over Maskless Man In Elevator While Shouting ‘Black Lives Matter'” on Youtube for those who do video and are interested.

  65. @Stuart Cram #19

    The demands are not ‘reasonable’ in their entirety

    Haven’t read the full demand list, but I’m curious which ones are “not reasonable”?

  66. In the past you’ve pointed out that a new spiritual sensibility will emerge to replace the current dying ones.

    Today’s most popular fantasy soap operas are Game of Thrones and Wheel of Time. Does this seem to you to indicate a return to polytheism in Western culture? If so, where does this leave religious narcissists (I am the One and Only God, thou shalt have no other gods before me) and those with an authoritarian mindset?

    Is it too much to hope they’ll be sidelined?

  67. RE: Tyler Ellis #3

    I know that you asked JMG, and not me, but I’d like to provid some background because the MSM has done a dismal job of explaining the situation. This is the best description of the post cold war history of Russian security treaties with the West that I have found:

    https://www.pressenza.com/2022/01/common-security-approaches-to-resolve-the-ukraine-and-european-crises/

    The VERY short version is that after the Soviet Union dissolved Russia made various treaties with the US, NATO, and Western Europe to guarantee mutual security. Since then the west has violated the letter and the spirit of those agreements to bring western military to Russia’s borders.

    The most recent breach was the Maidan protests that toppled the pro Russia government in Ukraine and installed a pro western government. The coup looks very much like a CIA sponsored color revolution. Find a transcript of Victoria Nuland’s leaked call* planning who should and shouldn’t lead the new government (and in fact did and didn’t) before the Maidan protests became violent and the government collapsed.

    * Victoria Nuland got in trouble for it because she said “F the EU” for which she apologised, but the US has never commented on the plans to install a new government in a democracy or anything else in the call.

    That pretty much explains how Russia sees the situation and what her interests and concerns are, but not Putin’s tactics or strategy.

    This explains American interests, tactics, and strategy, but not the timing:

    https://swprs.org/us-foreign-policy/

    Again, VERY briefly, the US cultivates client states through various measures and Russia, China, and Iran are not interested in being American client states and they are strong enough to resist. That makes them adversaries.

    And that is as much as we can know about the situation with out access to inner workings of the states in question. As for the timing, it is increasingly clear that China and Russia are ascending and the US is in decline. I expect that pressure will continue to build on a number of fronts until some unknowable event occurs and then things will change quickly. The world has been extraordinarily stable since WWII and it is about to go back to being very dynamic.

  68. The Covid thing has resulted in problem situations running from trivial to tragic. The one I’m facing now is so far over on the Trivial end I’ll report on it here, rather than the Covid open posts.

    I had long wanted to hedge against deranged behavior by the US government by getting a second passport, with some different travel privileges, and at least one other country I could move to in an emergency without asking permission. When i retired in 2010, I moved to Ecuador, which grants citizenship based on three years of residence.

    Then, a few weeks ago, the government of Ecuador jumped the shark on vexes. All travelers arriving in the country must present a vex certificate acceptable to the local authorities, or be vexinated on the spot. I’m not a volunteer to be vexed, I’m sticking to the control group as long as possible. They are also joining the countries where all residents are required to be vexed. Considering what some of the local Indian tribes seem to think of the experimental therapies, very lax enforcement would be wise. Otherwise they are going to need a bigger army. This is another example of a country whose PMC elite follow fashions in the countries they identify with, mostly Europe. With the UK and France dropping many of the silly Covid requirements, I do wonder about their timing.

    Naturalized citizens who live outside the country are required by black-letter statutory law to enter Ecuador at least once every three years, or their naturalization is subject to revocation on a presumption of fraud. My deadline is May 3 of this year. With a fire like that, I think I’ll be staying in the frying pan. I’m glad I picked Florida when i moved back to the US. I just applied for a new purple passport, but I have to count on administrative lethargy to keep me a dual citizen. The revocation is authorized by law, but the Cancilleria doesn’t have to do it if they don’t feel like it.

  69. @coboarts #39

    If I ran the zoo, I’d nationalize everything and then repurpose universities to manage the environments

    You lost me at “nationalize” and “universities”. You’re looking to the people that created the problems for solutions.

    StellarWind #72

    If a government wanted to help its citizens prepare for the long descent, what advice would you give that government?

    Tell their citizens the absolute & total truth and then leave them to their own devices… which of course will never happen.

  70. We are engaged in a titanic struggle of humans against earth. We want to show who is more powerful. When the odds are offered at my local betting shop I will bet on earth winning. Oh that is right. If earth wins I can’t collect. (btw this is all rather tongue in cheek).

  71. Stellarwind about how the govt can help the people prepare for the long descent.

    There are surprisingly small changes in the laws that would have a humongous positive impact.

    Example: Property taxes encourage fast destruction of what you own.
    If you own a small piece of forestland, you pay taxes based on its commercial value. So, you have to exploit it and destroy the forest, or else you will be punished every year.
    Instead, the govt could tax the destruction – when you cut down the forest, pay all the taxes for it. If you don’t do anything, why pay taxes? That would encourage more people to just use the forest as a service (mushrooms, fallen branches etc) instead of rewarding complete destruction.

    Similar for agricultural land (discouraging long term investment), and even a house in town (people are taxed more if they make the house pretty and the town a nice place).

  72. JMG I’d be interested in your thoughts about the crazy inverted pyramid that is the world financial system. Namely how the non-productive parts vastly dwarf the productive parts and how the governments of the world protect the non-productive parts at the expense of a work force that is something like twice as productive (USA) as it was in 1980, but has had no real improvement in standard of living since then. When is the parasite going to become intolerable, and when the revolt comes what is it going to look like? Or, is the world financial system just one of a huge number of things teetering on the brink?

  73. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but Canada hasn’t had its government overthrown yet, has it?”
    Very much not.
    No one has really tried since before Confederation, and it didn’t work out in Upper or Lower Canada back in 1837. You couldn’t possibly compare then to now, though. Those rebellions were against… a small clique of well-connected oligarchs running the country for their own benefit. La plus ca change, eh?

    There weren’t much in the way of “Indian Wars” in Canada, either. (We’re officially sorry about Pontiac’s War, but it was fought on US soil. If you count the Metis, Louis Riel’s first Red River Rebellion was negotiated to settlement before the redcoats even made it to theatre. ) Something about this land makes armed resistance seem like less of an option than it does south of the ‘great medicine line’.

    We may someday be thankful for that.

  74. I continue to study bookbinding. So far I’ve managed to create some hard cover volumes with glued binding; these are blank notebooks made with high quality mostly recycled materials. Next I’ll take another shot at sewn binding. I’ve found there’s a trick to making the covers articulate so that the book opens properly, and this time I mean to get it right.

    I’m still looking for texts in the public domain, with an emphasis on occult titles, especially those from the Hellenistic period or in that tradition. I’ve tried to find an online version of “Ad Herrenium,” checking on iaosop, Sacred Texts and Archive[dot]com, so far with no luck. Can you suggest any other possible sources for a translation that is in the public domain?

  75. Aren’t flying cars just planes without wings and properly trained pilots? I really don’t want to get under any such vehicle. How high will they go?

  76. Dear Mr. Greer,
    My name is Chad A. Haag and I am an independent philosopher living in India who, as you may recall, presented the idea of writing a book called “The Philosophy of John Michael Greer” to you in the open post on this blog in April, 2019 (I have since then released books on the Philosophy of Ted Kaczynski and Pentti Linkola, and have referenced your work often in all eight books I have completed). I apologize that it has taken so long to start work on the book over your ideas, as I needed to think about all your writings I could get ahold of very thoroughly before beginning to attempt to reconstruct a general idea of your philosophy. If you don’t mind, I would like to ask for your clarification regarding the following subtle distinctions in your philosophy.
    From the first year of the Archdruid Report onwards, you have used the term “abstraction” to refer to linguistic constructs which don’t actually exist but often trick the person who spends too much time using them into reifying them into pseudo-objects which may eventually cause one to fail to perform the more primordial operation of “figurating” the actual sense contents one experiences into the proper objects they correspond to, simply because the higher-order manipulation of linguistic abstractions had become an end in itself rather than a useful short-hand for referring to those real objects. In a post last year, you seemed to suggest that corrupt elites might close the gap between abstraction and figuration by simply paying someone to construct “Potemkin Villages” to satisfy the criteria of phenomenological givenness by having so many spurious objects be figurated into the kind of evidence which could confirm that the abstractions known before only linguistically were in fact based in reality. However, we seem to have reached the point now where even those Potemkin Objects are no longer necessary, since the media can convince people to accept the linguistic abstractions even if there is no corresponding phenomenal intuition to back them up.
    Back in Summer, 2018 you seemed to tie this in to Existential Phenomenology explicitly when you posted about Sartre’s Being and Nothingness, arguing that what Sartre calls “Bad Faith” might be such an abstraction which allows one to linguistify one’s personal identity into some label which is much more preferable than the painful experience of actually bringing oneself to figurate a truer image of oneself from the real evidence of looking back on all the decisions one had made over one’s life, let alone confront the void of negativity which one “really is” as the freedom to exist without having any pre-defined essence. In this case, the abstraction of Bad Faith is not an image (as we usually think) so much as a label, and if there ever is an image that corresponds to it, this is just a mental equivalent of the Potemkin Village, a pseudo-object that has to be retroactively reconstructed in the imagination rather than figurated from the sense contents of one’s real experiences.
    How though can this Bad Faith image be reconstructed mentally except through mythological narratives? You mentioned very early on in the first volume of the Archdruid Report that “people think with stories as inevitably as they walk with feet.” The appeal of Bad Faith is simply that it allows one to narrate a better story about one’s identity and fate than what the facts would support. The deeper ecological truth, of course, is that one would have no need to engage in such Bad Faith if one were not exposed to the gaze of the Other(s); it is only because we are a smaller part of a broader ecosystem of other free, conscious selves that we would have to respond to this anxiety by telling such lies about ourselves.
    The worst example of “Bad Faith” on a collective rather than personal level is of course the Myth of Progress because the future it promises is literally ecologically impossible (i.e., the cheap, abundant, and easily-accessible resources don’t exist in sufficient quantities to power a future of unlimited technological advancement, nor do environmental limitations allow unbridled pollution to go on forever without severe consequences.) The ecologically impossible object of Progress however continues to define our “Bad Faith” self-identity not because it makes any sense on rational grounds, but only because it assumes the form not only of language but, more specifically, of a narrative which hijacks our sensitivity to spiritual absolutes such as the symbols of happiness etc. in much the same way that you say advertising uses literal “black magic” to induce people to buy stupid junk they don’t really want.
    On the other hand, the Myth of Progress is not an example of “pure narratological solipsism” because it was indeed “backed up” by concrete evidence, albeit from the misplaced figuration of short-term economic growth which had occurred in the past due to the initially-profitable return on investment from tapping into the low hanging fruit among the fossil fuel reserves. You mentioned in an October, 2007 post called “The Age of Scarcity Industrialism” that any attempt to “impose the thinking of the past on the realities of the future” will prove “futile” if the conditions of the former and latter differ too much from one another. Mythology cannot function in a vacuum, for a minimal accord with external historical conditions is necessary.
    Here’s where things get even more complicated. The Myth of Progress is, under this view, a “composite essence” in which linguistic abstraction (situated within narrative usually but sometimes reified into a pseudo-object in isolation), the figuration of experienced sense contents (i.e., observed short-term economic growth), the spiritual morphology of happiness, and the confrontation with the existential dilemma of one’s own freedom (albeit in the form of Bad Faith) all intersect in one confused form which is virtually always misrecognized as a single unified “type” rather than a mixture of at least four distinct ontological regions (abstraction, figuration, spiritual essence, and the self-reflexive freedom of consciousness.)
    Habermas and Husserl both argued in their own ways that “rationalization” is defined as the process of explicitly distinguishing such distinct spheres of Being from one another which otherwise cause one to get stuck in unsolvable puzzles. But whereas Habermas fell back on Linguistic Turn Communication and Husserl favored Transcendental Phenomenology, you yourself have suggested that unscrambling this hodge-podge requires ecological thinking, or a thinking in terms of part-whole relations which includes not only the realm of Nature (i.e., oil is finite because the Earth does not have a pipeline from outer space delivering more of it) but also the realm of spiritual ecosystems (i.e., your explanation of “Old Hag nightmares” in your 2002 book Monsters, or your idea in Blood of the Earth that repeating “They’ll think of something” is a magical chant to sooth oneself rather than have to actually think about Peak Oil.)
    In an October, 2007 Archdruid Report post “Climbing Down the Ladder” you went as far as describing any manifestation of historical morphology as really an instantiation of ecological law in disguise, as you defined history as “ecology mapped onto the dimension of time.” A label, then, is never enough to reveal a thing’s true essence, for that can only be unearthed through an ecological hermeneutic. As you stated in one 2008 blog post that your main philosophical influences included Ibn Khaldun, Spengler, Vico, and Toynbee, the common denominator among them seems to be their ability to suspend the commonly-accepted narrative of history in order to examine the laws of historical change from a more rationalized, inevitably more morphologically-based perspective, as all four tended to downplay the role of language. For example, Spengler claimed that the “prime symbol” of a given civilization is something of a geometrical shape which provides the hermeneutical condition for higher-order words to make sense. In addition, Spengler noticed that the morphological essence of any culture entails a finite life cycle ending with an inevitable decline (i.e., exhausting the possibilities of that worldview then falling into redundancy or noise or importing influence from abroad.) Only if one ignores this shape of a finite life cycle can the linguistification of progress induce one to maintain faith in the pseudo-image of an infinitely-ascending arrow which can’t be experienced directly but can only be imagined on the basis of first hearing it described within mythological narrative. Disaster follows because this imagined pseudo-object then convinces its hosts that it is more real than what they actually experience.
    Is such a pseudo-object a “meme” in the sense you used the term in your 2012 book Apocalypse Not? In that book, you noted that the Apocalypse Meme has never actually been observed in history, but has only ever been imaginatively reconstructed by the power of human thinking (no doubt, within the medium of narrative). Although purely virtual, every instance of apocalypse retains an identical morphological form (i.e., an innocent golden age followed by a linearly-worsening corruption of human values, leading up to a climactic destruction of everyone except the lifeboat community that happens to hold the same views as the person narrating the tale etc.), with only superficially-different words layered over it (i.e., Kurzweil’s Singularity, the Rapture, 2012 etc.) The knowledge of memological form is, then, clearly superior to that of mere linguistic abstraction, for if one ignores all the surface-level details in order to extract the skeletal form of the underlying meme, this alone will be enough to accurately predict that every speculative bubble will pop, every apocalypse will fail to arrive, and every utopian lifeboat community will fail to function longer than a few weeks etc. Yet even this memological knowledge is only fully understood if fit into the broader context of ecological explanation, as bubbles, apocalypses, and utopias all fail within history because, on a more primordial level, they were always already ecologically impossible objects in disguise.
    Similarly, one can only understand the crises of the present age if one first shuts out the linguistifications of the media in order to examine the underlying ecological arrangement.
    As you noted early on in the Archdruid Report, the circular logic of the compost bin’s recycling of resources (from garden to table and back again) is more functional in the long-term than the one-way movement of food waste from trash can to landfill because Nature itself tends to work in cycles. In your book Mystery Teachings of the Living Earth you warned that giving in to the human temptation to impede these natural cycles in order to advance one’s own pathological self-interests only ends up creating unnecessary suffering within the whole, as both environmental waste and social inequality result from forcing things to build up in one place too long rather than let them move throughout the whole in a productive circular motion.
    Interestingly, a variation on just this theme seemed to play a role in your ability to correctly predict the inevitability of Donald Trump’s presidency all the way back in 2015, precisely because you called out the ecological truth that it was a reaction against the political arrangement whereby salary class interests had been forcefully privileged over those of all the other classes within society for too many decades. The media’s non-stop ramblings about the chimeras of “race, gender, and sexual orientation” in response served as nothing more than so many groundless abstractions meant only to prevent one from observing the ecological arrangement whereby concentrating too much power and wealth in one class generated needless suffering among all the others, as well as a predictable backlash.
    Similarly, in your 2017 The Retro Future you brilliantly revealed that any talk of “modern technology” is always really a euphemism for a technology with more externalities than its predecessors (that is, a technology that pushes more of its costs onto someone else). The externalities which build up in the broader ecosystem, though, don’t cease to exist just because they are not linguistified by the bookkeepers, so as they build up there they go on later to collapse the system.
    Since I’ve already written a lot here, I will wait until next month’s open post to ask some more specific questions about how your philosophy compares to that of Kant, Husserl, Heidegger, and other classic philosophers but I’d appreciate if you could provide some feedback whether you feel that this account accurately reflects your general philosophy?
    Thank you for your time and for all the great work you do,
    Chad A. Haag

  77. I’m gonna be doing a little review of a new translation of Paul Sedir’s “Occult Botany” for a podcast episode but can’t find much biographical material. Do you, JMG, or any other commenters know of where to go to bone up on Sedir, his oeurve and milieu?

  78. And … while I’m not sorry to see movie dwarfs played by real ones….

    “Disney has responded to Peter Dinklage’s pointed criticism of the studio’s forthcoming live-action remake of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, pledging that it’s taking “a different approach” to the potentially problematic material.

    “To avoid reinforcing stereotypes from the original animated film, we are taking a different approach with these seven characters and have been consulting with members of the dwarfism community,”

  79. Hi folks: I wanted to say that I just ordered The Druid Path. One of the books that has really affected me is your book Mystery Teachings of the Living Earth. I sometimes just ponder “What would our world be like if we actually put those 7 laws into our lives as the moral code we lived by?” I hope your new book is as good. Thanks for all you do.

  80. Hi everyone. I was hoping to get people’s opinion on the novel “Crime and Punishment”. It seems to me that the whole premise of the novel depends on the idea that there is a morality laid out by the creator of the universe and transgressing this morality leads an individual into a hellscape.

    1) From a Druid perspective, is this an example of a binary which could be usefully turned into a ternary? For example, an individual can use their compassion for others as fellow souls in the realm of Abred to have a reason to treat them well.

    2) What do atheists get out of the book? Is it that it vividly depicts the last-gasp efforts of traditional Christianity to turn back the tide of rising materialism and atheism?

  81. #16-Anonymous

    Hello. The scheduling you talk about is a notorious feature of retail jobs in America. These gawd awful schedules are created by computer programs that analyze previous week store traffic. We are literally at the mercy of AI with these schedules. You said you were able to a regular schedule with an employer. Was it a mom and pop business or a big chain? I currently work at Costco and my schedule tends towards evenings and afternoons in general. Morning shifts are usually given to workers of high seniority. However, we get time and a half on Sundays. So, I recently asked to work as many Sundays as possible. Even though I am part time, I will start getting health benefits and insurance in March. My premium will be about 50.00 a month.

    Thank you,
    Elizabeth

  82. Hello Mr. Greer,

    I’m excited that the open post has arrived so I can share with you an interesting incident that happened to me and my partner back on January 2 at 7:45 pm. A minor snowstorm was forecasted to come in that night so my partner and I just stepped outside to bring in more firewood. I happened to look up at the cloudy sky and noticed a bright blueish-white light in the west coming over us heading southeast. This object’s speed and appearance were similar to the international space station and satellites that we frequently get to see near Covington, Virginia. We have even been able to see the string of Tesla satellites when they came by a few months ago. The only issue was that the current cloud cover ruled out the previously mentioned flying objects. While we continued to watch the object, we heard a jetliner flying over us but the thick clouds made it impossible to see it. This was helpful to compare the flying object to for reference.

    To start, the object was brighter than any satellite, space station, or airplane light and had a continuous light. From what I could see, it reminded me of a plasma ball for static electricity and had circular rotating bands like avatar Aang when he was fighting the Fire Lord. After the object passed, we could still see it for a considerable distance as it traveled in a southeast direction. My partner suggested we each draw what we saw and we came up with very similar-looking objects. We also checked the cloud cover and NOAA said the clouds started at 2,500 feet so this object flew under the clouds. At first, my partner suggested it may be a drone but after watching it fly miles away and the size we ruled that out. My partner is former military intelligence, and he thought the size and range didn’t make sense. Apart from the Greenbriar an hour west of us and the NSA Sugar Grove Spying Station two hours north, there are no known military bases near us. I certainly do not believe it was an “alien” as I very much agree with your thought process as most of these objects emanate from military installations. Regardless, I wanted to share this with you as I have listened to many of your interviews discussing potential UFOs and thought you might appreciate it.

    P.S. We finally have our website up and running with a handful of articles already. I do not know if it will reach many but we are finding it to be very therapeutic for growing our mental resilience! We have you to thank for this and want to encourage you to keep up the great work inspiring Millennials to work towards creating organic parallel systems.

  83. It’s another Wednesday and we’ve got an interesting question on the main page this week. “Can Religion And Science Co-Exist In The Long Descent?” In the last two years, Science hasn’t done much to show us we can trust it, and Religion was shown it’s all too comfortable hitching itself to those seeking power. Are these two forces heading towards a conflict as resources get scarce? Come by and give us your take on the issue.

    On the Green Wizards Forum this week, we continue the discussion from last week’s post “The What, How And When Of Eating Better” on nutrition and healthy eating with some observations on the downsides of fasting. Not everyone can or should do it.

    Then we look at some of the emotional issues of raising small animals for food. First in “Thin Line Between Pets And Livestock” we consider, is it easier to just name your chickens “Dinner”, “Breakfast” or “Soup”? There is a real emotional cost to raising animals who are aware, and with whom we make a connection but whose ultimate fate is a “in pot retirement plan”.

    And then in “Farming Rabbits For Sale Vs Raising Rabbits For Food” we look at taking your backyard flock to the next level. If you have the time and the space, you could supplement your income and food supply in the Long Descent.

    We also have something for the writers. “E-Book Distribution” looks at the mundane issue of fonts, and the new popularity of e-books as a way to get your story out there. Who knew that something as mundane as a choice of letter could get you in trouble?

    As always, to read the posts on Green Wizards is open to the public, but to comment you’ll need a free account. Contact me via email (green wizard dtrammel at gmail dot com) or on Facebook Messenger to set one up. Join us and learn some things you didn’t know, and share some knowledge you do.

  84. Ok, to continue with the tradition for the last months, please let me gift you with a song from my homeland.

    This time I do not have any specially strong emotion to guide the selection, so I tried something different. I wanted something that was related to the energy of this time of the year. I first thought of “Las nieves the enero” (January snow), but decided against it because, IMHO, it does not really capture the spirit of Yin triumphant, with Yang barely beginning to form at the former’s core. But if it is not the Sun, then the Moon goes through the same cycles: today we are just past Ebbing/Third Quarter, which is sort of January’s energy too.

    So today I present Luz de Luna (Moonlight), in the voice of The Lord of the Shadows, Javier Solis.

    MOONLIGHT

    I want Moonlight
    [to shine] on my sad night;
    and to sing, divine,
    of the illusion that you brought me.

    Just to feel you mine.
    Mine you [were], like no other.
    ’cause since you left
    I’ve not had [any] moonlight.

    I feel your moorings,
    like hooks, like claws,
    that drown me on the beach
    of binge and pain.

    And I feel your chains drag
    in the quiet night;
    Let it be a plenilune one,
    blue like no other.
    ’cause since you left
    I’ve not had [any] moonlight.
    ’cause since you left
    I’ve not had [any] moonlight.

    If you never come back,
    my dearest provincial,*
    to my dear cell
    that is sad and cold.

    May at least your memory
    put a light over my haze.
    ’cause since you left
    I’ve not had [any] moonlight.

    * I wanted to go with “yokel” here, but I am not sure if it is an insult or not. The idea is that the girl is rural and untainted by the vagarities of the Big World.

  85. JMG,

    I will take this opportunity to try and continue the discussion from a few posts ago, re: Kant and Steiner.

    What Steiner was trying to point attention to in PoF, more than anything else, was our inability to perceive our present Thinking. More and more, I am seeing why it was such a crucial insight. We are the ones asking questions about the “things as they are”, the “objective universe”, so we are beings who are not satisfied with mere fragmented perceptions, desires, and feelings. But that unique desire does not, by itself, mean we can attain our desire. Granted. So then, as time moves on, we begin perceiving the way in which images of the world can point our attention back to something beyond themselves. Myth and folklore is born across the world. But these are still symbolic images, and we are not yet perceiving the “things as they are”. Granted. Then, we begin asking ourselves why we can’t directly perceive what makes the analogies possible through the images of the sense-world. Modern philosophy and epistemology is born. Finally, we get someone like Kant who says, “I know what it means ‘to know’, and we simply can’t know beyond strict limits to cognition, no matter what evolves in the future.” Kant makes pretty clear, “I had to deny knowledge to make room for faith”.

    The fact that the person’s *thinking* is making the claim about what it means “to know” is lost in the entire process. I would say this happens due to extreme abstraction, but the fact is that it happened. Thinking came to deny its own reliability and, in the wake of Kant, its own existence. Among idealists and materialists alike, it is implicitly considered an illusory activity. Schopenhauer considered our ideas ‘fata morgana’, like mirages we hallucinate in the desert of the oppressive Will. Thinking can only make these claims, however, by ignoring the role of one’s own Reason while philosophizing and assuming a ‘neutral observer’ perspective which simply doesn’t exist. Meanwhile, throughout this whole process, humanity is becoming more integrated through its capacity to think; more united in its ability to perceive archetypal meaning. The Imagination is born. Our mode of perceiving and thinking is clearly evolving, just as the individual from infancy to adolescence to adulthood. Yes, there are clearly ‘squabbles’, and they become rather nightmarish in the wake of Kant and Schopenhauer. Yet there remains the capacity for people such as yourself to unite people *in thought*. Your insights in response to me are all the result *of thought*.

    Steiner’s central insight in PoF is that we do not perceive our own present Thinking precisely because it is our own intimate activity. Just as our physical eye cannot perceive itself when observing the world, the spiritual “I” cannot either. It can only perceive its own reflection in the mirror of past thinking and thought-forms. Our present thinking is our most trusted intuition, even if, or especially when, we fail to acknowledge it. And the modern age has been one long progression of people failing to acknowledge their present Thinking, with a few notable exceptions. So, I will stop there and pose a few questions for you or anyone else who wants to engage this discussion:

    1) How can the meaningful content of phenomena we perceive in the world considered less “real” than any other property it discloses, such as shape, size, color, taste, etc., without adding in metaphysical assumptions (such as dualism or naive realims) from the outset?

    2) Do you agree that we cannot ever perceive our present Thinking but we are, nevertheless, always engaging it when evaluating the world content?

    3) If you agree that perception-cognition has evolved over the epochs, then what is the principle limit to potential modes of cognition in the future? Why can’t there be a mode of thinking which transcends subject/object dualism, i.e. abstract spatiotemporal perception, and functions more like our audial or even touch-sense, like an octopus which mimics its environment through its tentacles?

  86. When I read the article linked to below, it reminded me of gerontologist Aubrey de Grey, who thinks that arresting or eliminating the cellular damage caused by ordinary aging could allow humans to live for 1000 years or more. (He believes the first thousand-year-old person has already been born).
    https://www.euronews.com/next/2021/12/14/can-we-live-forever-new-anti-ageing-vaccine-could-bring-immortality-one-step-closer

    On the other hand, Susan Ertz said: “Millions long for immortality who don’t know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon.”

    Imagine an effective anti-aging vaccine being invented and made mandatory for the supposedly admirable purpose of saving/extending lives, inadvertently condemning already-bored people to a thousand years of playing nothing but Uno, for example. Could it happen?

  87. JMG, a few months ago, you advised everyone to “get out of stocks now.” My intuition told that too, and I’ve changed my 401K to reduce my exposure to stocks. In the last few days, the Dow and S&P have dropped; do you think this may be the beginning of a long slide? Any thoughts about bonds, as opposed to stocks? (I realize you’re not a financial advisor and I won’t hold you to any predictions you make, but I respect your opinion.)

  88. @ Steve T: #40
    I have the opposite reaction to the WOH. I just read the entire series all the way to Hyperborea in about 3 weeks. I think I’ll read a couple chapters before going to sleep, then end up reading half the book… It does get in the way of more intense reading, such as for our monthly book club, and the many books recommended by the commentariat here.

    @ JMG #51 to Blinky: regarding 5G, the established rules on radio spectrum were written before someone realized that the government could auction it off for $10 billion. When there’s that much money sloshing around, there’s a lot which slops on the floor, just available for bond salesmen, consultants or specialist attorneys to lap up. No one wants to get in between those rapacious hordes and a few $10s of millions available.

  89. Hello JMG and fellow Ecosophians,

    As many know, those of us with 3G phones need to upgrade now. I would like to keep using a dumb flip phone and currently use Tracfone. So, does anyone have any insights as to a good replacement phone? I like not having a service plan but will consider one if I have to. What do folks know about the Nokia 2720 V Flip? I considered going cell phone-free but as a resident of a fairly rural state (and pay phones being non-existent), I will keep one. Any advice will be appreciated!

    Just as an aside, Clay Dennis, Kristoff was for years my parents’ neighbor in New York, they lived in a beautiful arts and crafts bungalow…

    Ellen

  90. @ Your Yo-yo

    First, the idea of an immortality vaccine is pure BS, because aging is not an infectious disease. And second, if aging were “cured” that doesn’t mean infectious diseases still wouldn’t exist and accidents wouldn’t happen so only a few would be able to make it to age 1000. But in a pretend scenario I imagine that the irrational risk takers would quickly take over because the risk adverse would become even bigger pathetic cowards than they are now and never leave their homes.

  91. Imagine a pandemic in the future when only medical doctors get to use the media to talk about the proper precautions. You have to have an M.D. to satisfy the FCC. Bring this to the grass roots level. Next time you visit a health care provider, pul out you cell phone and ask the medical professional if he or she wants to check the diagnosis with Tucker Carlson, Rand Paul, or Joe Rogan.

  92. @NomadicBeer says:

    Example: Property taxes encourage fast destruction of what you own.
    If you own a small piece of forestland, you pay taxes based on its commercial value. So, you have to exploit it and destroy the forest, or else you will be punished every year.
    Instead, the govt could tax the destruction – when you cut down the forest, pay all the taxes for it. If you don’t do anything, why pay taxes? That would encourage more people to just use the forest as a service (mushrooms, fallen branches etc) instead of rewarding complete destruction.”

    Evidently you have never heard of current use taxation. Not sure how widespread it is nation wide, but it is in all the New England states as far as I know.

    You are NOT taxed on the commercial ‘free market’ value of your land. Rather, you are taxed on the annual productivity of the land, as determined by soils, topography, operability, etc. E.g., here in New Hampshire, I own 5 acres with my house and such on it, and 10 acres of hilly, stony, crappy woodland which is in current use. I pay $10 per year property tax on the woodland. Yes, $5 in June, and $5 in December. Yes, you pay a stumpage tax if you sell trees off the land. Fair enough. But basically, if I don’t do anything to profit from it, I don’t get taxed.

    There are significant penalties for taking it out of current use, so it’s not typically abused to dodge taxes and then cash in. Minimum 10 acres of ag land or forest. I could not afford to have my woodlot if it weren’t for current use taxation.

  93. @Blinky #33. The spectrum auctions have been going on a long time, auctioning off (privatizing) the commons that was formerly known as “the public airwaves.” The band in question here is around 4 Ghz. The airline altimeters use a frequency a bit above 4Ghz and the auctioned-off spectrum in question here is a bit below 4Ghz. 5G is, as far as I know, all pulse modulated at various frequencies, so there will be all kinds of spurious emissions at the sum and difference frequencies, quite conceivably impinging on the frequencies airliners use. Why this wasn’t foreseen by the engineers and the standards committees is a mystery to me. (The technical books teaching 5G are pretty expensive, so I’ve not yet been tempted to buy one.) Perhaps the answer lies somewhere in a Dilbert comic.

  94. Clotheslines, mysterious lights in the sky, a book length treatise/inquiry on the philosophy of JMG, bookbinding, nonfiction writing, trucking, erratic work schedules, Ukrainian politics, solar panel costs, questioning atheism, historical access to salt…

    We have a WIDE open post this week 🙂

    I wonder if it is a manifestation of the wild astral weather being reported these days.

    I don’t have anything of substance to add. On a societal/economic level it does seem increasingly like the engines have failed but the plane is still flying and the pilots haven’t noticed.
    A metastable state. Turbulence ahead. Carry on.

  95. @Jessica #46:

    Re: “I also wonder what will happen if people in general ever realize how much of the suffering related to covid could have been avoided by not suppressing Ivermectin and by giving out zinc and vitamin D like they were candy. Though perhaps people will never realize it.”

    This reminds me of the adage “science proceeds one funeral at a time.” In my experience, most people never acknowledge that their previous outlook may have been incorrect. They have too much invested in it, and so they simply rationalize their position, insist that they were right because of blah blah blah, or move on to other topics.

    My brother-in-law is a PA who works in a cardiology clinic and even teaches in the PA program from which he graduated. I sent him a research report that compiled more than 100 studies of Ivermectin, nearly all of them showing it to be beneficial in treating Covid. The report contained links to each of the studies cited. His response: he didn’t know how these studies were conducted and so he placed no credence in them. When I responded that there were links to every single study cited, so he could see for himself exactly how they were conducted, he dropped the conversation.

    This is a smart and highly educated guy we’re talking about here, who is quick to talk about “evidence-based medicine”. If he can rationalize away the evidence that does not support his opinion, I’m pretty sure most others can as well.

  96. @Beige Shiba, #51;

    Yow!!!! That’s truly draconian, and not even covid/vax-related! In fact, that’s the first draconian measure I’ve can think of that’s not so related. I wonder if more are on the way, esp. on my side of the pond…

    Several months ago, it became big news that there huge semiconductor bottlenecks are shaping up, and looking none too likely to clear soon. That same week, a head-lamp in my 2009 car went out. I haven’t owned the car for very long, and so I don’t know it very well, and was quite annoyed when I could not figure out how to replace the bulb. So I brought it to an oil-change outlet, where I know they’ll do such things for a few bucks. The guy on duty didn’t even pop the hood. He said I have to bring my car into a dealer, or full service mechanic. Just to replace a bulb in the head-lamp! Needless to say, that was an expensive procedure.

    I then became acutely aware of how many computers and sensors were in my car: Electronic ignition, electronic fuel injection and smog control, what with oxygen, pressure, temperature and countless other sensors under the hood, all of which have analog-to-digital converters so their data can be fed to at least one computer. Then I looked at all the digital displays and functions available on my dash: Outside temperature, total mileage odometer, two trip odometers, average and instantaneous miles-per-gallon, coolant temp, oil change scheduler, blue-tooth(!), tire pressure for all 4 tires, door & seatbelt monitors/alarms, some function marked with a first-aid button on the rear-view mirror, as well as some sort of internet radio or service that scared the bejesus out of me when I pressed it, and a whole shi(p)-load of other functions I don’t even understand, much less use. All of it involving sensors, electronic converters, computers, wiring harnesses… I understand that the in-tank fuel pump is tied to a computer, and that the car is even tied to the internet (look up “car hacking”, not with Goggle, sometime). If I have to go to the garage just to change a light bulb, what will a real repair do to me?

    I resolved on the spot to get a low-tech vehicle: I bought a 1978 pick-up with a great body. Right now, I’m having its 6-cylinder inline engine rebuilt; I’m retaining the economical, one-barrel carburator, and replacing the factory transmission with a higher performance after-market manual transmission. It has no electronics. It’s almost done, then off to the paint shop, and I’ll have a good-as-new 1978 pickup. Then I sell my computer-infested trap. I can hardly wait.

    At least in the US, I can’t imagine that the repairing of old cars/trucks would ever be outlawed. Indeed there is a vigorous “Right-to-repair” consumer movement that has mandated at least some items to be repairable; e.g. car manufactures are required to publish interfaces, protocols and codes so that independent garages can read the diagnostics of modern cars.

    —Lunar Apprentice

  97. To Patricia Mathews (#5)

    One of the best bits of health advice I have heard came from a local physician (the article reminded me of this).

    He says, everybody wants to do something good for their health. They want to know what pills they should take, or what food they should eat, or what exercise they should do. Well, before you try to do anything good for your health, first stop doing something bad. Stop drinking so much alcohol or coffee. Stop smoking. Stop eating junk food and sugar. Stop eating so much in general. Stop taking so many pills. Stop spending so much time staring at screens. The effect of stopping just one thing will be so much greater than anything you could start.

  98. JMG, Blink, and Peter VE: Re 5G. I think the problem is that some people looked at a spectrum chart and assumed that the territory could be carved up without consideration of compatible “neighbors”. A few years back, there was an outfit called “Light-squared” that thought they could flood the earth with data from satellites, acquired some compatible spectrum, and then realized that a lot of their prospective users couldn’t see the satellites from their urban canyons. So they said “we need to supplement our satellite service with some terrestrial transmitters”, which it turned out would impair GPS receivers. In the original proposal, satellite data signals wouldn’t interfere with satellite navigation signals, but the terrestrial signals would have been vastly stronger, so the whole thing went down in flames. 5G vs. radio altimeters is kind of the same problem: up close and powerful, the disjoint frequency allocations don’t provide as much separation as the business-types imagine.

    I have wondered whether the Light-squared (now “Ligado Networks”) scheme was expecting to build out a terrestrial network in low-cost satellite spectrum from the beginning, but that’s just my cynical side showing.

  99. Cliff, why are you surprised? Privileged liberalism is all about abstractions, and those serve as a very effective filter to keep mere reality from getting a look in.

    Anon, you’ll have to ask him — he comments here fairly often.

    Jessica, I can go with that!

    Jeff, (1) I don’t know of one. (2) Nope. (3) What I’ve read of him strikes me as entertaining but shallow. (4) I think it’s fair to give Spengler a couple of decades of wiggle room, and with that in mind, we’re getting Caesarism in pretty fair doses right now — Trump was a classic example. It’s quite possible, too, that it’ll continue for a couple of centuries.

    Steve T, they certainly turned out that way. I hope you enjoy the novel!

    Samurai_47, I’ll consider a post on that.

    Sardaukar, neither Russia nor Ukraine has anything to gain by letting them be used as distractions by the US and EU; I’m glad to hear that they’ve taken matters into their own hands. You’re right that there must be plenty of wailing and gnashing of teeth in DC.

    Lathechuck, in other words, what those sinister Russkies will do during the next few days is nothing — that’s their evil plan!

    Clay, well, we’ll see, but that does seem sensible.

    Stellarwind, no doubt, if I had the spare time to listen to podcasts.

    David BTL, to make the antagonist compelling, work out the plot from his perspective and make sure that it makes sense. Give him reasonable, meaningful, compelling goals in the situation. Lousy fiction imagines antagonists who exist solely for the purpose of making trouble for the protagonists. Really lousy fiction — yes, Lord Moldywarp comes to mind — exist for the purpose of acting out moralizing clichés the author has picked up unreflectively from their culture, so as to give the protagonists opportunities for virtue signaling. Your villain should have reasons to do what he does that readers find not merely plausible but convincing, to the point that they get the uncomfortable shudder of knowing at a gut level that in the same situation they’d have done the same things.

    Milkyway, rock salt from shallow mines and sea salt from seacoasts was traded very widely from an impressively early period, as was really good stone for stone tools — I recall a particular type of stone, found only in one deposit in Ireland, that can be found in Stone Age sites as far east as European Russia. But there may have been other options as well, of course.

    DropBear, I’d encourage you to pick up a copy of Dion Fortune’s book Through the Gates of Death, which has exactly that theme — what is it helpful to know when you leave the material plane at the end of this life? Having some sense of what to expect takes a lot of the fear and confusion out of it, and makes it a lot easier to make the transition easily and deal with conditions in the first stages of the afterlife.

    Nachtgurke, the inside illustrations are just as good. There’s a complete absence of flying cars, too!

    Youngelephant, everything I’ve read by Brian Herbert was dismally bad. I don’t think he’d get published at all if not for his last name. As for the elevator scene, that’s hilarious.

    NoHype, I think it’s more complex than that, but polytheism does seem to be resurgent. I’m sorry to say, though, that I’ve met polytheists who were just as authoritarian and religiously narcissistic as any monotheist could be, so I doubt it’ll mark any kind of significant shift in that department.

    John, oof. That’s got to be awkward.

    JillN, I’d like to offer an alternative view. A minority of human beings are caught up in the delusion that they’re pursuing such a struggle. Most human beings aren’t interested in that notion at all, but right now the deluded ones are yelling and screaming and pounding their fists on the floor, trying to get the Earth to notice them. Meanwhile the Earth goes calmly about her business, breeding new species and causing older ones to go extinct, knowing that if we ever get seriously annoying, she can bump a few codons in a viral gene and exterminate 95% of us in a few months.

    Bonaventure, I’ve read it, but it was a long time ago, and since I’m neither a Christian nor a (heretical) Anthroposophist it didn’t really do much for me. I know people who think very highly of it, though.

    Bradely, the force that’s driving the gargantuan inflation of imaginary wealth in today’s society is the delusion that limitless growth is not merely possible but normal. In terms of actual, nonfinancial wealth, the global economy has been contracting for years now, but that’s so unthinkable to people committed to the dominant worldview that they’ve taken to manufacturing bogus paper wealth in ever-increasing amounts so that they can continue to believe that the world makes sense. I don’t expect a revolt as such; the end of the system is already under way, as more and more working class people walk away from miserable, poorly paid jobs and find other ways to support themselves, outside the corporate system. As that accelerates — and it’s accelerating — the whole shebang faces a messy unraveling.

    Dusk Shine, it’s not impossible that something of the sort may happen shortly. If I were in the business of launching color revolutions, I’d make sure that weapons got to Ottawa about the same time as the truckers do, and I’d have put the last several months into recruiting strike forces among disgruntled Canadian vets — of whom there are quite a few just now.

    Kevin, hmm! I don’t know of one. Anyone else?

    JillN, ssshhh! Don’t puncture the delusion!

    Chad, remember that what goes into my posts is in some sense stream of consciousness — it’s what I’m thinking at one moment, about one set of ideas, and there will inevitably be inconsistencies between different expressions at different times. I can try to offer you some suggestions, but inevitably they’ll simply make things more complex by adding another layer of expressions not necessarily consistent with what I thought, say, in 2006. That said, as I see it just now, abstractions are always elements in a narrative, ways of fitting together a set of figurations into a story that seems to make sense. The relationship between figurations and narrative abstractions is always complex, because the narrative highlights a set of figurations as evidence for its truth, leaving aside other figurations that conflict with it, but the narrative can also redefine figurations to suit its needs. (Consider the figurations that have been used to prop up the narrative claiming that in 1492, most Europeans believed that the world was flat.) What I am offering is not some way out of the realm of abstraction into the realm of reality, because there is no such way out; what I’m offering, rather, is the much more modest prospect of a set of abstractions that doesn’t conflict as drastically with our figurative experience as the one currently in use, and allows predictions to be made that are much more likely to be borne out by experience. The myth of progress also offer a memological interpretation of events, of the same kind as the Spenglerian narrative I’m suggesting; the difference between them is not that one is of a different type than the other, but simply that one has passed the point at which it offers useful guidance, and the other has reached the point where it’s a better guide to events. Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions is a strong influence on my thought here; different paradigms aren’t different ways to answer the same question, they answer different questions, and one replaces another because questions unanswered by the former have become more important than they were. Other than that, I have no objections at all to your characterization of my ideas. I’ll try to have something useful to say next month, but I haven’t studied either Husserl or Heidegger; my main influences in terms of philosophy, outside of the realm of Western esoteric spirituality, are Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, and William James is the writer whose works I’m currently studying most closely.

    Isaac, have you read Tobias Churton’s Occult Paris?

    Patricia M, both of those would be funny if they weren’t so hackneyed!

    Katherine, thank you! I hope you enjoy it.

  100. Will O.–I don’t know about Vit B-12 in treatment or prevention of diabetes. However, Joe Graedon, who writes and blogs as “the People’s Pharmacist, claims that the most common drug prescribed for Type II diabetes, Metformin (also sold ad Glucophage) depletes B-12 in the body. Doctors either don’t know this or don’t see fit to mention it.

    Rita

  101. On the subject of electric vehicles – there’s a snowball’s chance in Heck that the U.K and other Western countries will be selling only electric cars in 10-15 years. To fully electrify the U.K. transport alone will require the _entire world’s_ lithium supply. Just for cars mind you. We have other things we need those batteries for, like mobile phones, medical devices, etc. Right now in the chip shortage the auto industry is already getting the short end of the stick and have been forced to de-techify their vehicle offerings just to keep up with demand, good luck when they have to compete for the battery supply too!

    That said, The Future of Electric Personal Transport ™ is Now – here in Asia, that is. It’s not Teslas, though, those will always be a rich person’s plaything and nothing more. The common folks in the Third World are adopting electric vehicles in droves – which is to say, motorcycles, scooters, tricycles, rickshaws and the like, for short-range around-town use. But we will never get to those Living Rooms on Wheels fully electrified. If the West wants widespread electric personal transport, there will need to be big changes. Culturally, for the most part. Big changes in the way towns and cities are organized. A major overhaul of highway codes mandating big heavy vehicles in the name of “safety”… etc. And don’t expect “autonomous vehicles” to be widespread, within the next, I dunno, ever. Nevertheless the future is here, people – if you want it! 🙂

  102. Sir, thank you for your response. This was a very helpful clarification of your stance on a very complicated set of issues. I will make all the proper adjustments in my characterization of your philosophy and look forward to speaking with you again next month.
    Thank you for your time,
    Chad Haag

  103. JMG, Canada is a very stable country and although the trucker protest is interesting, it’s nothing compared to the FLQ crisis. Even though our current PM is small (soy) beer compared to his alleged father, I suspect that a) the trucker protest amounts to nothing, and b) it gets framed as a “Canadian January 6” and used to justify crackdowns. If the whole color revolution playbook kicked off in Ottawa with a MP getting killed by a gunman, followed up by some of the truckers getting killed by sniper fire, sure, all bets are off. But if no MPs or truckers die in the next few days, nothing is going to happen. I say this as a Canadian who resents the “very stable” status of my spectacularly corrupt and unfair country.

  104. @ Lathe Chuck, #62

    The US government blocked Iran from SWIFT years ago. Sure it’s hurt, but it hasn’t stopped them from being able to sell their oil. It’s worth noting that the Chinese and the Russians have been working on their own alternative to SWIFT and floated the idea of activating it when the Biden administration started threatening to cut Russia off from SWIFT. The presence of a viable alternative to the present American dominanted global financial system would seriously undercut what leverage the American Empire still has and accelerate its decline.

  105. Milkyway (#66)

    Animals will often eat or lick mineral deposits that have a lot of salt in them. In parts of the USA, you can find place names with “lick” in them for these (Big Bone Lick State Park in Kentucky comes to mind). People could observe the animals and imitate them. It is also interesting to note that people (pregnant women in particular) have been know to develop cravings for certain kinds of dirt when they have specific mineral deficiencies.

  106. Nope, thanks for the suggestion! I really haven’t studied French occultism much beyond Levi.

  107. JMG,

    I hadn’t realized just how little respect companies had for the majority of the population until I started working as one. I’ve spent my entire life in a bubble of privilege, and had little idea of what the world was like outside of it. Getting out of the bubble is probably a good thing: I’m a lot more open to things like your writing, and watching the new wave of crisis building I suspect that if I hadn’t walked away when I did, I would be forced out before too long anyway.

    One thing I noticed early on with my new job though was the manager is often on the floor: it’s company policy that they need to have shifts on the floor on a regular basis, and I wonder how much of an impact this has on the fact management here is so much more reasonable in general than my last job’s, where the manager remained in his office most of the day. If they are on the floor regularly, they can’t help but get to know the people they manage, and also have to live with whatever rules they make.

    More broadly, when my parents were growing up (born in the 1960s) it was common for teenagers and young adults from privileged backgrounds to work at least part time jobs in low wage jobs while going through school: while by the time I was growing up (born in the 1990s) this wasn’t really a thing anymore. I wonder if this change is a cause or consequence (or both!) of the changes in the conditions of the working class since the 1970s.

    Elizabeth,

    I think there’s more to it than the AIs though: one of my coworkers and I would note that we could have a decent schedule if only we could switch a few shifts around. The actual shifts were often the same from week to week, but sent to people in ridiculous ways.

    My new job is with a small chain restaurant: they have a half dozen locations, all in the same city. Some people I work with have worked for the company for decades, because they are treated well here. I plan to work with the company as long as it lasts, for exactly the same reason: I really don’t mind working, but I want to be treated with some respect.

  108. On the general theme of civilisational collapse, a long and not-entirely related article came out this week,

    “Russia as the “Great Satan” in the Liberal Imagination”

    https://richardhanania.substack.com/p/russia-as-the-great-satan-in-the

    The short version is that Russia is a country of white people who are somewhat homophobic, which upsets white liberals in the US, and so Russia must be presented as an evil enemy – as opposed to the non-white countries like Saudi Arabia who are violently homophobic and thus can be ignored.

    Anyway, he gets into the Russia-Ukraine thing, and comments,

    “there is no instance I’m aware of in which a country or region with a total fertility rate below replacement has fought a serious insurgency. Once you’re the kind of people who can’t inconvenience yourselves enough to have kids, you are not going to risk your lives for a political ideal.”

    I think we can fit this into the ideas JMG and others have expressed over the years. A great civilisation arises because it’s X% of the world’s population, but has access to much more than X% of the world’s resources. With these resources they build a live of relative (compared to those with less than their equal share of resources) comfort. Much is made of each civilisation’s elite’s share of the wealth, and sure, the Caesars had their golden thrones and what-have-you – but the free land and workers given to the knightly class, and the free bread given to the plebs of Rome, were in the end a much, much larger share of the empire’s resources.

    So as the working and middle classes of a civilisation get comfortable, they no longer feel the need to have a lot of children. This is after all a basic divide in the animal world – do you have lots and lots of babies and let them fend for themselves and mostly die, like a rat, or fewer babies and take good care of them and mostly live, like a chimpanzee? Humans err on the side of fewer, still there’s a big difference between a society where you have 6 children per couple and a society where you have 1.

    As there are more resources available, it becomes reasonable to have fewer children and devote those resources to them. As a civilisation becomes more comfortable, they’ll have fewer children. And as they have fewer children, they develop a culture where they are not willing to fight and die for what they want – or send their children to do so. They won’t fight for that civilisation’s culture and ideals – but also won’t fight for that civilisation’s access to resources.

    Recall the premise to Saving Private Ryan, that a mother had already lost several sons, and they couldn’t let her lose her last son. In the movie, other men, presumably those with living brothers, died to save Private Ryan. But if all Mrs Ryans had only had one child, then every soldier’s death in war would be the last surviving son. Who then will die to save Private Ryan, and keep Rome great?

    In this way, perhaps access to resources, by making people comfortable, ultimately erodes access to resources. And so the civilisation fizzles out.

  109. To continue the Europe discussion, from Adrian, Jessica, Devonlad et al –

    The dog in the street can see that the smart thing for Europe to do is to chummy up to Russia, keep the gas flowing, pivot trade east-wards, and prepare for the collapse of the dollar. And sooner rather than later, before her weak hand becomes even weaker.

    What would prevent Europe from doing the smart thing?

  110. “David BTL, to make the antagonist compelling, work out the plot from his perspective and make sure that it makes sense. Give him reasonable, meaningful, compelling goals in the situation. Lousy fiction imagines antagonists who exist solely for the purpose of making trouble for the protagonists. Really lousy fiction — yes, Lord Moldywarp comes to mind — exist for the purpose of acting out moralizing clichés the author has picked up unreflectively from their culture, so as to give the protagonists opportunities for virtue signaling. Your villain should have reasons to do what he does that readers find not merely plausible but convincing, to the point that they get the uncomfortable shudder of knowing at a gut level that in the same situation they’d have done the same things.”

    It could have been reworked fairly easily: the villain is motivated not by a hatred for the non-Magical population, but rather a justified mistrust of them, and cultural differences: after all, in the Harry Potter universe, it’s established at the Wizarding World went into hiding because they were being burned at the stake, and have remained in hiding ever since. Add to this that wizards can have a ridiculously long lifespan, and this very well could be living memory: there could be elderly wizards out there who still remember those days.

    Now, the other issue is that a non-magical couple can, on occasion, produce a magical child. This was fine when the population was limited, but if it’s a stable percentage of births, then the explosive growth in human population over the last couple centuries, that number could be rapidly increasing. Those children are raised by their families outside of the wizarding culture, brought into the society at age 11, and then maintain ties to the other world, the one which burnt wizards at the stake! As long as their numbers were small, they could be incorporated into the Wizarding World easily enough, but these days there are just too many of them for that to work as well as it used to. Add to this that it takes a few generations for those ties to fade entirely, and the result is a new subculture forming, one which embraces a mixed heritage.

    Meanwhile, the technical knowledge, and thus threat, posed by the other world has increased dramatically in recent years: instead of just burning people at the stake, chemical warfare is a possibility; as are any of a number of other technical means of fighting wizards, who due to a combination of long lifespans, magic interfering with technology and (my addition here): a strong tradition of pacifism (in order to justify having gone into hiding instead of fighting back), have never developed the kinds of weapons they’d need to defend themselves.

    Now, what’s the villains motivation here, why does this version of Lord Moldywarp do what he does? He’s trying to protect his people from a clear threat, posed by the flood of people who are intimately tied to a culture which once tried to burn his people at the stake, and are now able to do so much worse. He takes what actions he thinks necessary, not because he enjoys violence, but because he sees a threat, and believes that he lives in a society which moves so slowly it can’t possibly adapt to the threat it faces in time for it to matter: after all, these incoming children talk of marvels to come, and he lacks the ability to make sense of the fact that Progress is a self limiting phenomena: he has to assume that the changes which have already happened will keep coming, and that if he doesn’t act now, it will be too late….

  111. @Milkyway, re your question about salt, I looked it up in The Sioux Chef’ Indigenous Kitchen, and he said:
    1. Sea salt was traded far inland; and
    2. People just followed animals to natural salt licks; and
    3. Ashes can substitute for salt as seasoning, such as corn ash, sage ash, or juniper ash, as examples.

  112. @Sardaukar #60

    The biggest loser in a fight over Ukraine would be Ukraine itself, and you’d think they’d be inclined to play nice with their next-door neighbor and ignore those that seek to turn their country into the next great weapons live test field.

  113. There have been at least four Let’s Go Brandon hip hop songs, all of which have been wildly popular in spite of attempts at censorship by Big Tech and the Wokesters. Check out the size and enthusiasm of the crowd at this Loza Alexander concert.

    https://youtu.be/9YMmAqmTyCc

  114. JMG, I recently came across Nicholas De Vere and his Dragon Blood Lineage. Perhaps you are familiar with his retelling of the history of fairies, elves, vampires and such being the ancient royalty of Scythian kings and such. Any truth to this? And is this one of the Rosicrucian groups? What say you?

  115. “Bradely, the force that’s driving the gargantuan inflation of imaginary wealth in today’s society is the delusion that limitless growth is not merely possible but normal.”

    JMG, how do you think property ownership will devolve under these conditions? I ask because my parents have a house that I’m still living in…. can’t exactly move out with the cost of rent etc…. Once again my rocket blew up on the launch pad. Like you can’t have 60% of your population be homeless and have rooms everywhere and all the landlords asking $1,600 per month. Like if I want ensure my sister and I still have the house in 20 years what steps should we be taking?

    There is something else I’ve noticed this past month, hatred for the Baby Boomers is popping up in A LOT OF PLACES that I frequent. My coworkers have had many small conversations about the clueless boomers who come through the big chain store we work in. (I read enough of the sort of thing online but ever since this 1/2 assed Christmas has gone by it seems Boomer hate is everywhere.) Gen-xers, Millennials, and Gen-Z people, I’ve heard many from each age bracket weigh in on the Boomers this past month…..

    I almost think a political movement whose slogan was “Let’s get back to normal… Save the Wales not the Boomers.” would do very very well in the upcoming midterms.

  116. What gets me about demanding the crossborder truckers all be vaccinated is that there’s a shortage of truckers and a shortage of goods getting where they need to go. There was already far too many holes at my local grocery store. Adding this into the mix is so stupid – as I told my MP, and assorted officials by email.

    I want groceries far more than I want vaccinated truckers!

    Though to be honest, I don’t like vaccine mandates and passports, and was against them already, and had said so. I would love to have the truckers be the rock on which this breaks – though I am also worried about the situation with covid and overloaded hospitals. But this can’t keep on, and the civil liberties cost is too high, and the way the people in power and the NGOs that are supposed to protect civil liberties are just ignoring anything you say to them on this topic is so maddening.

    I thought if I stuck to how stupid an idea mandating trucker vaccination in the middle of a transport shortage that shows up in grocery stores, I might be able to get them to engage. Thus far, nothing. Radio silence. So much for my NDP MP caring about whether a low income, no car constituent of theirs can get food.

    I’m managing fine. Being unable to find quick oats, 2% milk or organic bananas for a few weeks won’t kill me, but I bitterly resent having this situation worsened because somebody is upset by the idea of some truckers being unvaccinated. And I know that there are plenty of others who don’t keep extra food on hand, and I bet some of them are hurting right now.

  117. Russell, that’s a very good summary of the Abrahamic vision of morality — the notion that a particular set of human social customs were handed down by God and must be obeyed as divine commands. There are many other ways to approach having a moral life, of course. As for why atheists get out of the novel, I have no idea — I didn’t know they liked it.

    Offgridchristopher, a classic sighting! Just recently I’ve been reading Charles Fort’s books, which are packed full of similar experiences. Obviously something, or more likely many different somethings, cause people to see bright lights in the sky, and you got to see one of them.

    David T, thanks for this.

    CR, likewise, thanks for this.

    Ashvin, by all means. 1) It seems to me that you’re presupposing what you want to prove by this question. Shapes, sizes, colors, and tastes are what Bucke called “percepts,” that is to say, sensory stimuli that are assembled into objects by the process of figuration. Thoughts — for example, the thought that I’m trying to communicate here — are sequences of abstractions; they’re not part of the objects they attempt to describe, any more than the word “rock” is actually a rock! As we see from the history of philosophy, the process by which reflection differentiates abstractions from their component figurations, and then differentiates figurations from the percepts that are their raw material, is a slow one, and it happens in each tradition of philosophy as that works through its life cycle — Lao Tsu points out that the description of a process is not the process itself in the opening line of the Tao Te Ching, a realization it took another 2000 years for Western philosophy to reach. Each starts from a different set of cultural presuppositions; each arrives at a broadly common realization — which Western philosophy, in the usual way of things, is still struggling not to grasp.

    2) I agree that thinking is always part of our evaluation of the world we experience — the paired processes of figuration and abstraction are always at work, assembling the paired “buzzing, blooming confusion” of sensation and mentation into a coherent subjective world. I don’t agree that we can never perceive our thinking — au contraire, that’s the whole point of reflection, and in a more focused way, of meditative practice.

    3) There are at least two serious problems with this claim of yours — and of course it’s not yours alone; it’s essential not only to Steiner but to the entire movement of European philosophy of which he was so creative and interesting an example. On the one hand, it’s based on a fundamentally mistaken notion of the nature of evolution. Evolution is not teleological in any sense. It’s simply adaptation to changing circumstances, and its results are not progressive but radiating in all directions, finding available niches. As Spengler shows, using classic Goethean morphological methods, this is as true of cultures as it is of species. On the other, the claim you’re making is rather reminiscent of the famous stock prospectus during the South Sea Bubble: “An enterprise of great advantage, but no one to know what it is.” Proving a negative is exceedingly hard, and so you can demand that others prove in advance that there won’t be some mode of thinking someday that might somehow winkle itself out of the limits binding human cognition, rather than offering any reason to think that (a) it will happen, and (b) Steiner, rather than Hegel or Fourier or any of the other people who made that argument, is right about its nature. As Schopenhauer pointed out acerbically about Hegel’s parallel claims about “intellectual intuition,” no doubt it seems very convincing to those who claim to have this capacity, but to the rest of us, it bears a remarkable resemblance to utter hogwash.

    Steiner’s work is a lot less problematic in that regard than Hegel’s — can you think of any social or political movement based on Hegel’s ideas that didn’t turn into a total flop in practice? I can’t — but he scored his share of misses; try mapping his account of the development of the Earth onto what’s known about the development of the solar system, for example, and it’s painfully clear that Steiner was far more dependent on the scientific notions of his own day, and far less connected to some objective source of truth, than he realized. That doesn’t mean that his work is worthless; it means that his insights need to be tested against other sources of information, and taken in their proper context, rather than turned into some sort of holy writ against which all other experiences are to be tested.

    Yoyo, every few decades somebody announces that the first immortal person has already been born. They’re reliably wrong — though it’s a great sales pitch. As for immortality, if I ever get around to writing my satire on Tolkien, the cultural senility of the elves will be a major theme…

    Yavanna, I don’t pretend to be able to time markets, so I don’t know whether we’re facing the bear market to end all bear markets or another slump to be followed by one more spike. One way or another, my advice remains the same. As for bonds, good question — I don’t happen to know.

    Great Khan of Potlucks, oh, granted.

    Ellen, there I can’t help you; I use a land line.

    Mark L, that’s one of the things I love about open posts! It would be cool someday to be able to do the same kind of thing in person, but not enough of us live in any one place…

    Waffles, figure out the roots of your pessimism in childhood experience, and release the emotional burdens involves. Journaling is my go-to method for that.

    Lathechuck, that wouldn’t surprise me for a moment.

  118. Waffles @106 asked:

    “How does one go from being a pessimist to an optimist?”

    Start testing your pessimistic assumptions/conclusions. The more personal, the better. Pretend your pessimistic idea is false, act on that, and see what happens. (Of course be mindful of the usual caveats, e.g. don’t take on potentially devastating risks…)

    It has taken me ages to figure that out.

    –Lunar Apprentice

  119. Hackenschmidt,
    I don’t think that’s what’s going on. I don’t have kids because I can’t afford them, and I’m not the only person in that boat. Housing prices are insane here, and prices of childcare are high. When both parents must work to keep a roof over the family’s head, and sending two children to daycare can cost as much as one person’s wage (assuming they’re low wage workers), why are you surprised that people choose to have few or no kids?

    Agricultural societies would have the kids helping in the fields from an early age, and the extra hands were an asset to a family, not a burden. I’ve heard claims a child could become a net asset at age 6. A modern child is a financial burden, in many cases, until they’re in their twenties!

  120. JMG
    You are right. It is probably a very small, but unfortunately very loud, minority caught up in the delusion. It certainly seems like a huge waste of effort. The earth will win and we might not like the battle.

  121. Sardaukar, glad to hear it.

    Carlos, I ain’t arguing. The future of transport is shoe leather, with a modest help from wheeled vehicles with sustainable energy sources — say, oxen, or human beings pumping pedals.

    Chad, you’re most welcome. Thank you for taking my ideas seriously enough to wrestle with them.

    Justin, maybe so, but we’ll see. Plenty of countries are very stable, until they aren’t.

    Anonymous, that’s quite possible.

    Hackenschmidt, the theory about Russia makes sense, but of course there’s another factor. Russia refused to be subjugated and stripped to the bare walls for the financial benefit of privileged liberals in the US and the EU. That’s the unspeakable crime for which it must be denounced — Russia stood in the way of “progress,” and made it stick. Your broader thesis is one that’s been suggested before, and it’s not implausible.

    Carlos, er, the fact that it’s been occupied by US troops since 1945, precisely to prevent this?

    Anonymous, exactly! The dead giveaway is that in those novels, Lord Moldywarp’s minions call themselves Death Eaters and parade around being evilly evil. Why? No successful movement does that. In a less dismally hackneyed story, he wouldn’t call himself Lord Moldywarp at all. He would be Tom Riddle, that passionate idealist with an earnest gaze and a bright smile, and his Wizard Freedom Front, full of fresh-faced, idealistic, enthusiastic young people who are just trying to protect the wizarding world from the rising tide of Muggledom. Of course of Rowling had done that she wouldn’t be richer than Queen Elizabeth, because pretending that all your opponents are evil because they want to be evil, or because they’re psychologically crippled in ways you can subtly or not so subtly mock, is central to the worldview of the modern privileged left.

    Sardaukar, I’ve been watching that with great interest. It amuses me no end that nowadays, we’re the counterculture…

    Clark, I’m not familiar with that at all. Where should I look?

    Austinofoz, the current situation with regard to rental costs is utterly unsustainable; the question is purely how it will end, and with what sort of explosions. The first political party to change the tax code so that the rentier class is penalized rather than rewarded for jacking up prices and leaving housing units empty will have a stranglehold on political power for the next thirty years, and I don’t imagine it will take all that long for someone to figure that out.

    JillN, it’s not even a battle. When a child throws a tantrum and pounds the ground with its fists, does the ground notice?

  122. I inherited The Astral Plane by C.W. Leadbetter as reference material. I am curious to know if he is an author who greatly influenced other occult writers, or if his works were mostly unnoticed.

  123. @Lunar Apprentice 107

    I had a laugh when I read your post.

    A few years back my folks got a brand new jeep. At some point I ended up driving it and I sat and counted something like 107 (I think that was it) individual controls for the driver, I immediately dubbed it “the spaceship”.

    Personally, I keep to old vehicles as well. I needed a commuter car for work this past year. I paid $2500 bucks for a mid 90s Toyota Tercel. I get 40 mpg and I can fix the thing!

    HV

  124. An IDF combat veteran talking about the effectiveness of Russian artillery and artillery doctrine as employed by the Egyptians and Syrians in the 1973 Arab-Israeli War. Modern Russian artillery would be far more lethal. No wonder the Ukrainians are showing a distinct lack of enthusiasm for used as cannon fodder to distract the American people from the Biden administration’s terminal incompetence…

    https://www.snafu-solomon.com/2022/01/the-horrors-of-siege-artillery-must.html

  125. JMG: “Ashvin, by all means. 1) It seems to me that you’re presupposing what you want to prove by this question. Shapes, sizes, colors, and tastes are what Bucke called “percepts,” that is to say, sensory stimuli that are assembled into objects by the process of figuration. Thoughts — for example, the thought that I’m trying to communicate here — are sequences of abstractions; they’re not part of the objects they attempt to describe, any more than the word “rock” is actually a rock! As we see from the history of philosophy, the process by which reflection differentiates abstractions from their component figurations, and then differentiates figurations from the percepts that are their raw material, is a slow one, and it happens in each tradition of philosophy as that works through its life cycle — Lao Tsu points out that the description of a process is not the process itself in the opening line of the Tao Te Ching, a realization it took another 2000 years for Western philosophy to reach. Each starts from a different set of cultural presuppositions; each arrives at a broadly common realization — which Western philosophy, in the usual way of things, is still struggling not to grasp.”

    We must differentiate between “thoughts” and meaning. The former, like perceptions (thoughts can become perceptions), is a reflection of that meaning. The abstract thoughts are far removed from the world content, although still continuous with it, but not the meaning. The intuitive meaning of a thought is given to our thinking-sense just as immediately as any quantiative or qualitative property is given to an object of our perception. My question was about the meaning. Take Schopenhauer’s assertion, “the World is *only* universal Will, reflected in my direct experience of bodily movements and endogenous experience”. The truth of that assertion can only be valid if the meaning of it, i.e. its semantic content, discerned by Thinking, is downgraded to some illusory sphere of experience, while the bodily movements and endgoneous experiences are considered more “real”. If that does not occur, then the assertion must at least be modified to “the World is both universal Will and Thinking”. (not representational thinking)

    JMG: “2) I agree that thinking is always part of our evaluation of the world we experience — the paired processes of figuration and abstraction are always at work, assembling the paired “buzzing, blooming confusion” of sensation and mentation into a coherent subjective world. I don’t agree that we can never perceive our thinking — au contraire, that’s the whole point of reflection, and in a more focused way, of meditative practice.”

    The question here was about our *present* Thinking activity. Here is a reference from Steiner’s PoF, and I am asking if you agree with his assertion.

    “The reason why we do not observe the thinking that goes on in our ordinary life is none other than this, that it is due to our own activity. Whatever I do not myself produce, appears in my field of observation as an object; I find myself confronted by it as something that has come about independently of me. It comes to meet me. I must accept it as something that precedes my thinking process, as a premise. While I am reflecting upon the object, I am occupied with it, my attention is focussed upon it. To be thus occupied is precisely to contemplate by thinking. I attend, not to my activity, but to the object of this activity. In other words, while I am thinking I pay no heed to my thinking, which is of my own making, but only to the object of my thinking, which is not of my making.

    I am, moreover, in the same position when I enter into the exceptional state and reflect on my own thinking. I can never observe my present thinking; I can only subsequently take my experiences of my thinking process as the object of fresh thinking. If I wanted to watch my present thinking, I should have to split myself into two persons, one to think, the other to observe this thinking. But this I cannot do. I can only accomplish it in two separate acts. The thinking to be observed is never that in which I am actually engaged, but another one. Whether, for this purpose, I make observations of my own former thinking, or follow the thinking process of another person, or finally, as in the example of the motions of the billiard balls, assume an imaginary thinking process, is immaterial.” (Steiner, PoF Ch 3)

    JMG: “3) There are at least two serious problems with this claim of yours — and of course it’s not yours alone; it’s essential not only to Steiner but to the entire movement of European philosophy of which he was so creative and interesting an example. On the one hand, it’s based on a fundamentally mistaken notion of the nature of evolution. Evolution is not teleological in any sense. It’s simply adaptation to changing circumstances, and its results are not progressive but radiating in all directions, finding available niches. As Spengler shows, using classic Goethean morphological methods, this is as true of cultures as it is of species. On the other, the claim you’re making is rather reminiscent of the famous stock prospectus during the South Sea Bubble: “An enterprise of great advantage, but no one to know what it is.” Proving a negative is exceedingly hard, and so you can demand that others prove in advance that there won’t be some mode of thinking someday that might somehow winkle itself out of the limits binding human cognition, rather than offering any reason to think that (a) it will happen, and (b) Steiner, rather than Hegel or Fourier or any of the other people who made that argument, is right about its nature. As Schopenhauer pointed out acerbically about Hegel’s parallel claims about “intellectual intuition,” no doubt it seems very convincing to those who claim to have this capacity, but to the rest of us, it bears a remarkable resemblance to utter hogwash.

    Steiner’s work is a lot less problematic in that regard than Hegel’s — can you think of any social or political movement based on Hegel’s ideas that didn’t turn into a total flop in practice? I can’t — but he scored his share of misses; try mapping his account of the development of the Earth onto what’s known about the development of the solar system, for example, and it’s painfully clear that Steiner was far more dependent on the scientific notions of his own day, and far less connected to some objective source of truth, than he realized. That doesn’t mean that his work is worthless; it means that his insights need to be tested against other sources of information, and taken in their proper context, rather than turned into some sort of holy writ against which all other experiences are to be tested.”

    Yes, I agree that my mere question is not positive evidence of higher direct cognition which moves beyond Kantian limits. That requires much more discussion. But, in my experience, mostly we never get to that discussion, because people are opposed to the very possibility of higher cognition. Once it is admitted as a possibility, which the “utter hogwash” reference makes me think we still have not reached that stage, then we can start to examine how it has already manifested, again assuming we have not foreclosed on the possibility of our Reason being equal to the task of assessing the likelihood of such things, given all the facts we have surrounding it. I would say the evidence for fully conscious Imagation is overwhelming, but also there is a good deal for conscious Inspiration and Intuition. Jean Gebser, in the Ever-Present Origin, documents extensively how the reductive view of evolution simply does not hold given the facts we have, and the integral view of cognitive evolution holds quite well over the last 5,000 or so years.

    re: Steiner’s cosmology – well, if we reject spiritual science and higher cognition outright, then yes none of his scientific claims will make any sense. Although, secular scientific models of the solar system and its evolution are entirely inadequate and incomplete, given the lack of accounting for our qualitative experience, regardless of our position on higher cognition and spiritual sight.

  126. So, if I am understanding correctly the point of the discussion of abstraction, figuration and reality is that trying to pursue “reality” with a limited nervous system that invariably adds something to the thing it is trying to grasp is that it produces brain farts, societal and economical collapse and irreparable headaches. Then, that implies, according to the history of philosophy you’ve sketched on a previous essay that the next step is to know the process of knowing itself and turn inward, not outward –trying to understand yourself and your creations; and the process of you making them paves the way to greater understanding.

    So, contrary to Physics, the way seems to be to explore the Cosmos as reflected in yourself, to turn around 360 degrees, instead trying to go increasingly far away into the faustian universe and claiming you’ve found it when you are but only assembling it differently. So you don’t trace the individual sensations back into the object but rather back into yourself. That seems like what occultism is about but a physical society dubs that “pseudoscience”, I think it is rather the other way around and what they are trying to do is “pseudo-occultism”.

    Does this imply that there is something of extreme importance, not conceptually speaking, that can be arrived at once you follow attentively enough the questions “how do I know what I know? and who exactly is it that is doing the questioning? If that has sprouted the synthesis you mention of Classical, Chinese and Hindu philosophy it sounds like it.

    So it seems that the western world it’s going through its own stage of denial, the way Hegel and Degrasse Tyson did with philosophy. Once we reach acceptance, perhaps we can pick up the staff and keep going with placing the human unfoldment at center instead insisting that the cosmos has to be folded down into human cognition? Stephen Hawkin’s book titled “The universe in a nutshell” is a very telling sign of that phenomenon. I am somewhat baffled that we are making such a gigantic mess out of that confusion.

    So where does this leave Magic? Is magic then a way of arriving at similar understandings by using the framework of the mind and the power and energy available to us to catapult the mage to a realization about us and the world?

  127. @Russel Cook, #90 regarding “Crime and Punishment”.

    I’ve regarded it as a stunning example of what you can see by properly treating the Bible as symbolic rather than historical or literal. I’ve longed to find similar, more comprehensive exegeses of the Gospels, so far no luck, and I’ve tried to discuss this with some Eastern Orthodox believers, figuring they would be the most attuned to this idea, but even they seem really stuck on historical/literal interpretations. (Perhaps my experience reflects my Aspergers getting in the way of Everything…)

    There is a commentary, written by Christian scholars/believers in India, on the Gospel of Matthew: Light on Saint Matthew by Radha, Soami, Satsang and Beas. I’ve perused it, and it goes beyond the literal interpretations Westerners are accustomed to, though I haven’t come across the symbolic reach that Dostoyevsky realized. I also know of an eclectic Western, scholarly commentary on the Gospel of John by James David Audlin, which is certainly helpful, but again, not Dostoyevsky grade.

    I can see such interpretations as being helpful in one’s own understanding, practice and devotion, but you got to have better communication skills than me to have any hope of getting a friendly reception, much less acceptance, in a US Christian community.

    —Lunar Apprentice

  128. Kevin #81, I found this website, which has a copy of Harry Caplan’s 1954 translation of Ad Herennium as well as a legal argument that it’s in the public domain in the US.

  129. pygmycory, you write that you don’t have children because you can’t afford them. I would suggest a casual stroll through some of the poorer neighbourhoods of your city. I think you’ll find they have more children than the wealthier neighbourhoods. Somehow they get along. I suspect the Ostrogoths didn’t have the same expectations for their childrens’ upbringing as the Romans did.

    Again, it’s a quite rational choice on your part. In order to continue your current lifestyle you must… continue your current lifestyle. This is a rational choice made by billions of people worldwide, thus the falling fertility rate overall, and it being under replacement in virtually every developed country. There are no longer any spare Ryan brothers.

    Relevant to this, a friend of mine just commented that at careers days in US schools, there is not an army recruiting stand at every place – mostly just the schools in poorer neighbourhoods. You know, the ones with more children per household. Johnny in Detroit’s parents will be glad to see him get a chance to see the world and make them proud and maybe inspire the other kids, Johnny in Manhattan’s parents spent a lot of money on daycare, tutors, private schools and music lessons, and will certainly not let Uncle Sam take him away from them!

    In any case, what you’re saying reinforces my point: you haven’t had children, so you can’t send them off to fight wars to keep your country’s access to a large share of resources. Other couples you know have few children, so will be less willing to do so. In the end, the land and its resources belong to whoever stands there with a firearm and is willing to die to keep them. So if fertility drops below replacement rate, then your country’s share of the world’s resources is going to decline.

    Empires die in daycare.

  130. @Jessica #50:

    “Any European readers care to comment about why Europe follows the US lead even when it is manifestly harmful to Europe? ”

    You should understand that Europe is basically occupied territory and has been since the second world war. Our so-called leaders wouldn’t know what to do if they had to make their own decisions, as they are simply used to doing what the US wants them to do.

    This may scare some people, but what Europe needs is an independant Germany. There’s no love lost between Germany and Russia, but I think our only hope is these two countries having some sort of direct relationship and the US knows that.

    Why do you think they created the situation in the Ukraine, or blocks the use of the Nord Stream pipeline?


    fuzzy gnome

  131. @Beige Shiba

    Hey I remember you back in the days of twitter which you got suspended from. If I am not mistaken you had a Shiba Dog avatar picture.

    Welcome back.

  132. Thank @Rose (#89) Looks like I’ll get a copy after all! Hooray! 🙂

    As for 5G, when money gets involved, the rules go out of the window….especially the more zeroes are on the end…

  133. RE: Rent

    This article from the region I live may show that there is beginning to be some notice in the need for legislation to prevent renters from being taken advantage of. I was ready to take a job in Maine last year except it was impossible for me to find affordable housing with mortgages being around $1000/month and rent a little more, while I was only being offered $18/hour. That financial situation isn’t easy for a family of five.

  134. @teresa from hershey

    Being from Europe I always find it mildly amusing that, as you say, the most mundane activity of drying clothes is fussed about so much in the US. We have a combined washing machine and dryer, but we never use the latter. We live in an apartment with no balcony, so an outside clothes line is not an option. Instead, we have a simple collapsible drying rack. It takes up some 1.2 x 0.7 meters of floor area and is easily folded up and tucked away when not in use. It takes about 5 minutes to load it up after washing and the clothes are bone dry 6-12 hours later, depending on the specifics. Very simple!

  135. @David, by the lake #65, @Anonymous #122

    You remind me of Methods!Voldemort, as rationalism porn it has its own set of problems, but the main villain is quite compelling.

    1. Lord Voldemort looks like a Bond Villain because he is a Bond Villain. Originally it was a disposable persona and a strawman to be defeated by Tom Riddle’s other identity, David Monroe, who as a war hero was to win power the legitimate way. Halfway through the plan, Riddle finds the red tape and the incompetence of the Ministry of Magic unbearable, and decides to swing it, “kill” Monroe, and put Voldemort in the driver’s seat.

    2. Riddle does not crave political power itself, but sees it as an unpleasant chore. His actual motivation is to prevent the Muggles from wrecking the World with science/technology. Having lived in London during the Nazi bombardments in WW2, he’s been afraid of Muggle weapons since childhood. As an adult, he learned of nuclear weapons and the Cold War and thought enough is enough. He’s confident that his Horrocrux system will keep him alive if worse comes to worse but, in his own words “he does not intend to rule over a pile of ash”.

    3. Riddle does not mistrust or specially despise the Muggleborn, which are to be assimilated into the upper class in his new regime. He just finds bigot Purebloods a convenient constituency for his political platform.

    If you find some problems with this, it’s because the novel is a morality tale of sorts, and Tom Riddle is the epitome of “too smart for his own good” and “clever, but not wise”. You can check the original at http://www.hpmor.com/

  136. JMG, Weilong (#117) and Pat (#123),

    Thanks for your replies!

    I knew about animals – my sister’s dog regularly finds spots on the ground which she licks quite fondly. But I’ve decided that for now, my scientific curiosity isn’t pressing enough to go around and lick the spots the dog has licked… 😉

    Weilong, interesting point about pregnant women, I didn’t know that. Do you happen to know any further reading/resources for that?

    Pat, thanks for the info from The Sioux Chef’ Indigenous Kitchen. I looked up the book, and it went straight onto my “wanna have!!” list. 😉 It looks like a book teaching principles and background, not just separate recipes, so it should be possible to transfer that knowledge and skills to my native European plant and ingredient selection.

    I’m going to try the ashes, particularly sage, as that is growing abundantly right outside the kitchen (and definitely no dog pee involved).

    Milkyway

  137. @Peter Van Erp. The figure I heard for the 5G spectrum auction was $80 billion! With that kind of up front spend – they are going to push hard on this terrible tech.

  138. Sorry if this has been mentioned, but I had a thought about the birth number 8 and why it may have failed to resonate with people.

    The relevant numerology post says this: “If your birth number is 8, the challenge this incarnation sets before you is that of worldly accomplishment. You are equipped for this task with drive, ambition, and a talent for some field of practical endeavor; you have a forceful nature and have no fear of hard work, and you like to see others working as hard as you do. You like to set things in order and get them moving, and you are good at details. Opposition simply spurs you on to greater effort, and you are rarely so happy as when you are facing a challenge. You are naturally good at business and can thrive under high pressure.”

    I got to wondering if what “worldly accomplishment” actually signifies can change depending upon the shape of the “world” that one is facing. Whereas “worldly accomplishment” in an expanding, well-resourced, economy, might have once meant something like building a financially successful company, it may be that nowadays, in a shrinking, tightly resourced economy, the more significant “accomplishment” would resemble a really successful “collapse now, avoid the rush” effort. To be successful at this latter certainly involves a great deal of practical hard work, drive and ambition, and it may be that the materially successful 8-numbered “collapsers” are those who will actually do the most to shape the material world we will live in in the decades and centuries to come.

  139. Thanks to Beige Shiba #24; I had not realised regs on future car use were planned to go quite that far here in the UK. I have suspected for a few years that climate change policies were being used as a surrogate for peak oil concerns. Readers who keep an eye on British politics will be aware that Boris Johnson may well be out of office within a few days – scandals surrounding a dozen or more illegal drinks parties that he is claimed to have attended or condoned during Covid lockdowns, now being investigated by police – and many right-wing commentators and MPs are saying that his climate change/green policies should be dumped too. Of course there will be uproar from some quarters if his successor tries do that, but it will interesting see how it plays out.

  140. >If a government wanted to help its citizens

    That’s about as probable as a brick spontaneously jumping 1 meter in the air. Haven’t the past two years taught you anything? They never help, they just make things worse and then they try to punch you in the face. I don’t care what the problem is, whatever it is they’ll end up doing will make it worse.

  141. Hi John

    https://neo.life/2022/01/what-to-expect-in-neuroscience-genetics-longevity-biotech-and-psychedelics-in-2022/

    An interesting view of what the cutting edge folks in genetics are thinking about doing this decade.

    – He also predicts a tipping point for widespread neonatal DNA sequencing this year. “In 2022, the explosive progress in gene-editing and gene-targeted therapies for inherited conditions presenting in infancy will form an irrefutable rationale for offering genome sequencing to healthy newborns at scale,” Green says.

    – in 2022, “the first drug to slow aging will enter the final stage of human clinical trials,” which he said could be an NAD booster (which is in phase 2) or metformin or a senolytic.

    What could possibly go wrong!

  142. There are salt springs practically everywhere. Also mines. Remember the old “Roman slaves working in the salt mines”? “Salzburg” and such?

    Also all of Western Europe is like a mile from the ocean/rivers. The Mediterranean, Middle East, right through to India is made of ocean salt.

    The Natives in America never made much of salt, eating it, preserving in it, using or trafficking in it; might be genetic. The Whites when arrived used all the salt licks/springs/mines immediately though, which are everywhere. In addition to hauling in from the ocean as transport was the definition of the Colonies and the Frontier…and then they owned the Erie Canal and Mississippi a minute later. Steam trains a minute after that, and here we are.

    So if you want salt, look under your chair. If you go post-modern machine-wells have to be very careful to stay shallow and NOT to hit salt in many places. Salt is so common it has to be actively avoided. It’s far harder to find sweet water than salt water.

    Chad A. Haag’s work really, really cannot cook the rice. Buy this man a swan hoe pronto.

    Can we have people who cannot die but pray for death? Yes, it’s in Revelations 9:6 “In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will long to die, but death will escape them.” Possibly because of some Mark or Pharmacopia they took.

    Edit: Rand Paul is technically a doctor. So are most other dissenters. That he is not allowed to speak communicates quite clearly that science or being a doctor has nothing to do with it. No one even checks, notices, or corrects themselves. You’re a doctor if you love billionaires and not a doctor if you doubt them.

    They’ve quite exhausted trucker stupidity here. It seems they had to move to transport since closing beds and firing nurses wasn’t turning the “Stupido-Meter” enough to be noticed. For that, we needed far, FAR more stupidity. Shutting down all food in Canada in the depths of winter does the trick.

    I feel that Rowling’s exploration in Potter, once she wrote the first, became, “What makes something evil? I don’t understand” and set out from there to this day. Because in all books she understood there must be a villain, evilly-evil therefore. So we all learn by her exploration.

  143. Ellen- I’m also a tracfone customer, and was able to upgrade my bottom-of-the-line 3G flip phone to a bottom-of-the-line 4G phone by buying a refurbished unit from trakfone. I think it was $20. It came with a minimal service plan, and the person I talked to at the company said that they have an unadvertised annual plan which would be even cheaper, but I had to take the cheapest advertised plan for 3 months first.
    The phone is an LG/Android /snapdragon/LML202VL, about 2″ x 4″. I’m not thrilled with it as a phone, but the camera is nice, and it’s much easier to send text messages on the full keyboard.

  144. Last open post I mentioned something about young women being paranoid against men and following beliefs like “every man is a rapist”

    Michael Martin answered that his god son wanted to go to Serbia to get married, and that western women at large are bad.

    Now, I did not intend to open a can of worms here.

    Since the topic of having many children or not appeared here and was attribute to the moral attitude of the modern populace, I want to say a few words on the relation of sexes and modernity.
    One good example of a more conservative society where demographics are receding is Japan, but also Iran.
    It’s not exlusively a feature of liberal societies, I’d rather say a feature of urban societies.

    Paul Colinvaux in his excellent book “A biological theory of history” mused that an urban society will produce fewer children and someone else before me already comments:
    a child in an agricultural subsistence setting may become an asset at the age of six (by being able to do work).
    In a modern city, a child may be self-responsible by the age of 18 (or never, like me and others).
    In a modern urban setting, space to live is very scarce and precious, and there is high stress due to the high population density.

    The experiment of the B Calhoun under the term “behavioural sink” with rats in their “utopia” comes to mind – rats in high population density become aggressive, lose their sex drive and natural nurturing behaviour etc etc
    I wouldn’t burden modern dysfunction in the relationship between the sexes exclusively on western women and liberalism.

    Today’s liberal tropes certainly don’t play an all too honorable role there, but I think there’s other underlying causes like vested interest to draw resources from each other or satisfy basic drives without regard to another.
    If Michael Martin’s god son wants to revert to a more traditonal marital harbor that’s certainly reasonable – though also in this setting, the man has to provide and learn traditional skills after all!
    Nothing is for free.

    Friends who have been with foreign women notice their greater caring and nurturing behaviour vs the cold greed of many western women.

    But so as I said: I don’t think this is because western women are exclusively stupid, rather it is because the West as the most urbanized, sclerotic and energy intensive society is inherently cold and greedy at large!

    And since men and women simply have their differences and always will, the cold greed of our society will play out different in the behaviour of our men and women.
    I do not think that the women commenting and reading here on ecosophia are necessarily greedy, selfish or entitled, and neither the men commenting here.

    I will underline this with my entirely subjective experiences:

    – less modern people retain more bodylanguage, expressiveness, warmth and seriousness (thoughtfulness towards basic survival) than modern people
    – In a modern liberal circus, the greatest clown is he who can pile the most resources on leisure and entertainment, while in the free range of more down to earth societies, provision of basic necessities as well as a character geared for survival play a bigger role

    My final verdict our late stage civilization is simply decrepit at large and “liberal” and “conservative” as categories are dwindling in meaning (I second Ted Kaczynsky here in his assessment).
    It makes women shallow and hypocritical, but also men cowardly, subservient and far too comfortable.

    If that helps! Good riddance to my fellow rats in our Utopia.

  145. @JMG:

    I remember you once wrote that ignoring the unseen let’s you to be easily dragged by it, but this is weird considering that Pluto’s influence is waning (being, in a sense, ignored). What gives?

  146. @Kevin You could try hathitrust.org which is digitized editions of items on university shelves and the good old Library of Congress website loc.gov The Library of Congress will link if there is a digital edition available. They also have a “ask the librarian” chat feature on their website and I would encourage you to ask them. They are incredibly helpful and kind and seem to love uncommon questions.

    The issue with digitized materials is the lack of standardized practice in how they are stored and accessed. Things could be digitized as images but not indexed and only accessible in an archive itself, but considered freely available. It’s a real treasure hunt to find things and you’ll need to ask human archivists for where things are and who digitized them.

  147. Phutatorius – If you really want to know how 5G works, you can download and read the standards for free. They’re published at “3GPP.org” (named when 3G was on the horizon, and now they’re stuck with it). Here’s a link to the radio standard documents:

    https://www.3gpp.org/DynaReport/TSG-WG–R1.htm?Itemid=300

    You’ll want to start with 36.201, which is basically a 15-page index or Table of Contents. 36.211 is Channels and Modulation.

    Bear in mind that the physical layer (the radio signals that pass between the handsets and towers) is the part you’re interested in as far as compatibility with other radio systems, and that this is a small part of the overall standard library. The network logic (the stuff that happens between your tower and your called-party’s tower) is also mind-bogglingly complex (as if the modulation and medium-access control wasn’t tricky enough).

  148. @ Cliff #52

    Bernard-Henri Lévy (aka BHL) met with president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing in the Elysée palace when he was still a student, in the seventies. Then he became a protégé of president Mitterrand. When Chirac succeeded Mitterrand, he asked BHL to go to Afghanistan as an official envoy of France and write a report on the local situation. In 2007, BHL supported the left-wing candidate Ségolène Royal, but when Sarkozy was elected, he became one of Sarkozy’s closest friends, and later he boasted of having persuaded him to attack Libya. Then, when socialist François Hollande (Ségolène’s Royal former companion, they had four children together) succeeded Sarkozy, he became friend again with Hollande, was his unofficial envoy in Ukraine, and arranged a meeting of Hollande and the Ukrainian leaders in Paris.

    Since Macron and Lévy have lots of friends in common, I guess that Lévy still has some influence in the Elysée. Incidentally, BHL is also a personal friend of Bibi Netanyahu, and proud of being an “unconditional supporter of Israel.” He boasted about it on French TV.

    BHL has been repeatedly exposed as a plagiarist, a shallow philosopher (his books, which hardly sell, are hastily written and full of errors and even falsehoods), and a fraud in every respect. The fact that he has been chummy with EVERY French president since the 70’s, regardless of their political persuasion, and present on every TV screen, is a mystery to everyone.

    BHL is the 200th richest man in France, and he invested much money in newspapers (including the very influential Le Monde) and TV channels. He’s also a publisher, and for many years he has been the government-appointed president of the outfit which controls public funding of the French movie industry, which wouldn’t exist without public funding.

    This being said, I wonder. Have we had only morons and phonies as presidents of France since the 70s? As painful to our national pride the answer may be…

    Someone said, a long time ago (I quote from memory): One day we’ll be as surprised to have had politicians as leaders as we are today to have had barbers as surgeons.

  149. We have laundry lines for outside that we use in the summer, but we also have an indoor hook and eye line in every bedroom and in the basement, as well as those folding racks for small or delicate items. If you have a ceiling fan or small desktop fan to point towards the drying clothes, they wont be stiff. If they do get stiff you can just fluff them up for a couple of minutes in the dryer or other tumbler. And when you’re done, just unhook the line and store it in a nearby drawer. We dry many lightweight things on hangars separated by a couple of inches (you can use clothes pins to keep them separated) to save space, or heavier items can be hung directly on the line the traditional way. (Hope these images work, if not I’ll try again…)

    In our old townhouse we had a seldom used formal dining room. I made two four foot long boards, painted them to match the walls, and put a row of eyes on each one, about 6 inches apart. I then fastened them facing each other on opposite walls, high enough that I could just reach the eyes, and measured out the lines and attached the hooks to the ends. There was a ceiling fan, and a good window, either way. This made a very useful multi line drying rack, better than the outdoor ones! And as a bonus, we strung holiday lights using the eyes to make a beautiful tent of decoration, rather like an indoor sukkah effect, when we had holidays or birthdays.

  150. JMG,

    When observing people in online spaces it seems that huge swaths of the population are being animated by willful ignorance, malevolence, and divisiveness. Do you see any similarities to the idea of demonic possession with the current internet-enabled propagation of viral self-destructive ideologies/memes? I’ve always seen modern psychology as modern version of demonology; where the phenomenology and classification system remain intact, but with the causation switched out to be compatible with a different world view; it’s been interesting to watch that field throwing out phrases like “Mass Formation Psychosis” and I was curious about historical parallels we might draw on from occult thinkers.

    Leading up to our current pandemic there was a decade long popularity explosion of post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction which was very mainstream. Is our current reality just our collectively unconscious wishes being fulfilled down the sephiroth?

    I guess the question is any good occult(ish) reads that riff on these ideas? Dion Fortune seemed to have a similar view of her contemporaries.

    PS: Love it when you visit the Hermetics podcast.

  151. Re 5g cellphones. Both my carriers, Family Mobile, and Mint Mobile sent me emails warning that using 5g “might” lead to “excessive battery drain”. Then I started seeing articles from the geek world warning that 5g wore out batteries very quickly. Whatever wizzbang progressive thing 5G is supposed to bring us, I’ve not noticed any difference at all, certainly nothing to justify wrecking my battery is a short time. Then there are all the other problems with 5g popping up all over. Seems something new every week.
    As far as Ukraine, not our fight, stay out of it. Guess the PMC learned nothing from 20 years of Afghanistan? And the Taliban didn’t have nukes. Seems like the PMC is incapable of learning anything that falls outside of their vastly flawed algorithms and what they learned in MBA class. It’s telling to me, that a lot of people said they voted for Trump in 2016 because they were afraid Hillary would start a nuke war with Russia.

  152. Yavanna – Re: investments. If you’re a US citizen, you can buy Inflation-Indexed I-bonds, up to $10,000 per year. The interest they accrue is tied to the US Consumer Price Index, so (in theory) the purchasing power of the bond when you cash it in will be no less than it was when you bought it. If you haven’t heard of them, it’s probably because you can only buy them from the Treasury, and only sell them to the Treasury, so there’s no way for a financial advisor to skim a commission on the transactions. Also, there’s no news-worthy daily drama about current value (as there is with commercial bonds). Just go to TreasuryDirect.gov.

    Twenty years ago, there was a non-zero fixed-rate of interest in addition to the inflation-indexed part, but not lately. If you’re asking “Why would I lock up money in a way that won’t grow in value?” The answer is: because sometimes breaking even is the best available option. Bank CDs don’t track inflation. Stocks may be volatile. Real estate is subject to annual taxation (whether it grows in price or falls), as well as being volatile.

    Another option is TIPS: Treasury Inflation Protected Securities, which pay a regular dividend (which is worth practically nothing, these days: 0.125% interest), but the principal is adjusted for inflation.

    Not “financial advice”, of course, just “information” and “personal opinion” (like those exaggerated “bond ratings” that got people into so much trouble a decade or so ago. 😉 )

  153. All–

    A couple of interesting energy news tidbits that I’ve squirreled away since last month’s open post:

    Learning from the past? Modernity less efficient? We’re entering a new phase of the game…
    https://www.fastcompany.com/90712150/technology-has-made-buildings-far-less-efficient-its-time-to-find-solutions-from-the-ancient-past?utm_source=Area+Development+Site+%26+Facility+Planning+Newsletters&utm_campaign=1621b50872-SFP_this_week_554&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_94850a8d43-1621b50872-302650693&goal=0_94850a8d43-1621b50872-302650693

    Building A Better Grid Initiative
    https://www.energy.gov/sites/default/files/2022-01/Transmission%20NOI%20final%20for%20web_1.pdf

    The latter document I found rather interesting. By and large, it focuses on federal authority to designate critical transmission corridors and reduce regulatory hurdles to planning and construction. It also outlines a process by which the federal government can act as an anchor subscriber for new transmission construction (a new authority granted in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed last year) and then resell that transmission capacity after the project has been sufficiently funded. However, what I found most fascinating was the “window dressing” at the opening and closing of the document wherein terms like “equity” and “energy justice” were tossed about, but where completely dropped in the “nuts and bolts” portion where the programs being implemented under the initiative were actually being described. I suppose one oughtn’t be surprised by this sort of thing.

  154. @Milkyway: There is a place near where I live called Big Bone Lick, in Northern Kentucky. It was a hunting ground for the American Indians, and a place they got salt. There were also a lot of wooly mammoth fossils, saber toothed tigers and other old fossils there, hence the name “Big Bone” … the “lick” came from from the salt found there. The salt that came to the ground from the sulfur springs drawed in the animals, and the animals drew in the people. Some of the animals got stuck in the once marshy ground there, and hence all the bones left behind.

    I imagine one way people found salt was by seeing where animals got it from, and we followed them to places where salt was close to the surface.

    Cheers from landlocked Ohio.

  155. Re: ” Save the Wales not the Boomers.” OK, so I know it’s a typo. But still, envisioning Charles and Camilla being sent into protective custody in some remote region as England heats up to the boiling point.

  156. Re: being a pessimist. If you are one, you’ll never be disappointed. I find my attitude that, sure, it’s all downhill from here, and everything we lose in an emergency, we won’t be getting back, at least in full, has actually kept me from a world of disappointment and anger. I hear my tablemates at lunch complaining about this and that, and feel sorry for them. It can’t be easy to lose the comforts you thought you were paying for in your old age. But shortages of labor and supplies mean everybody does the best they can with what they have, and we’re living a lot better than a lot of residents did in their childhood and youth.

  157. On the topic of clothes drying.

    One of these months I’m going to write a Dendroica post called “An Ode to Clotheslines” discussing various ways we could decrease energy use substantially with minimal sacrifice. Air drying of clothes is at the top of that list.

    In the Midwest we hung clothes outside in the summer and inside in the winter, and in the winter it would help to offset the otherwise too-dry air. In Oregon outdoor drying works great in the increasingly arid summers, but adding moisture to indoor winter air is not such a good idea. We have eye hooks high on our living room walls with rope strung between, but if we hang clothes we have to run a dehumidifier or else we get mold on the walls and condensation on the windows. It’s still less energy than the dryer. Increasing ventilation works too but means we have to burn more wood to keep the house warm. Drying is not a natural process in Pacific Northwest winter and so is necessarily an act of rebellion against the permeating damp.

  158. JMG, I know you are not big on videos, but perhaps you have heard of Robert Sepehr. He is a Youtuber/writer that claims to be an anthropologist while largely sharing occult information. I found Prince Nicholas de Vere von Drakenberg through Sepehr’s videos. From what I can tell de Vere has spun quite a fanciful tail that seems like it might have some seeds of truth to it. I’d appreciate hearing your thoughts. This page gives probably the most complete yet concise sample of what he professed: http://www.dragonsovereignty.net/

  159. JMG but what is to stop the rentier class in the scenario you just outlined from calling their rental units, 2nd or 3rd homes and not rentals? That’s how they would try to get around said tax law. I feel it is a little more complicated than that….. like the problem in my opinion is the retiring generation using their houses as piggy banks and the fed’s money printer enabling it.

  160. Greetings,

    My question for the people here is: What are your thoughts on egregores and their presence in our global media society?

  161. Lathechuck and Yavanna

    One of the reasons why inflation-indexed bonds and TIPS isn’t very popular or spoken about is because the payout is based the core inflation numbers that are manipulated by the federal reserve to account for “volatility”. Food and energy prices are among the things the fed decided to exclude in their inflation calculations; how they choose to calculate this number changes based on political convivence.

    Personally, I think “how many taco’s can I buy for $5 USD” is relevant to measuring the relative value of my currency over time. Not Investment Advice

    Example based on the federal reserve’s own data
    Personal Consumption Expenditures Excluding Food and Energy
    Jan 2020 113.040
    Nov 2021 119.470 +5.6%

    Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers Food and Beverages in U.S. City Average
    Jan 2020 260.579
    Nov 2021 284.835 +9.3%

  162. JMG, do you make notes for reference when you read a random interesting text? It seems that you recall the content of many books an articles easily. I see that this is probably part of the profession and your experience. Still, I am curious if you use any specific system. Or is it enough to make mental notes and look for details when needed?

    Thank you for providing this platform for us.

  163. Hello John, I have just bought Ecotechnic Future 2nd edition. First was great. Very focusing for me in my work.
    I am wondering the main difference in the two editions?
    Thank you

  164. Ellen,

    With regards to dumb phones; I faced the same need to upgrade my phone, and landed on a Sonim XP3, which is a flip phone made for industrial and military contractors. I’ve been using it about a year now. It’s solid, dust and water proof (allegedly, I haven’t tested this), has good battery life, excellent call quality and volume, and is 4G compatible. Sonim also makes a “brick” phone version which apparently has even better battery life and lacks the weak point of the hinge on a flip phone, but buttons can be pressed in the pocket which is an issue for me as I’m often biking with the phone in my pocket. I’ve been pretty satisfied with it, though I would have preferred to keep the 3G network and my old phone! Hope that’s helpful at all.

    DutyBound

  165. NoHype @ 72 WOT is popular? What I am hearing is the book series fan community by and large hates the adaptation and are not shy about saying as much.

  166. Princess CuteKitten asked (in post #15):

    “What, if anything, is the rationale behind having the Unvaccinated escorted thru a big box store?”

    And my answer would be, for reasons of institutionalized shaming of the heretical unvaccinated (sic). Just as Christian heretics were paraded through the streets of medieval Europe (and even in post-medieval Spain) before being led to the pyre on which they were burned.

  167. So KD made an interesting post about certain cyber-stuff getting apparently tripped.

    His commentariat leans conspiracy-theorist, so it’s no surprise that several of the comments are asking/assuming it’s the US trying to sneak in and do it, but I suspect KD has already considered that and, since he presumably knows his systems better than his commenters do, either ruled it out or put it on the backburner – but there was one comment, with respect to Russia, about “SWIFT being in play puts everything in play.”

    So far as I know, the West is considering SWIFT the “nuclear option” with respect to Russia; cutting them off from it would mean they couldn’t sell natural gas to Europe. Problem: wouldn’t that also mean Europe couldn’t buy gas from them? And it’s still winter.

    From Russia’s perspective, IF they are going to be cut off from SWIFT, then the earlier it happens is actually better for them – before it warms up. From the West’s perspective, the later they cut them off from SWIFT is better… but then that basically means they can’t use that option until it warms up.

    Furthermore, I’m not altogether certain that a SWIFT cutoff is going to be as damaging to Russia as the West seems to think… they’ve been having to consider the possibility since the initial Crimea incursion in 2014, haven’t they? But if it is the “nuclear option” that they think it is, wouldn’t that presumably open the door on an equally “nuclear option” response by Russia? Maybe not actual nukes? Because I have to think that if a SWIFT cutoff really is an existential threat for Russia, they’d respond to it as such.

    On the other hand, I’ve also done divinations suggesting that we won’t get into a de-facto war with Russia within the next 3 months. So maybe it’s just brinkmanship and will amount to nothing? I’m not going to preetend to know what is or is not really going on with either the Russian or the US top brass… but either way, it strikes me that this could deteriorate into something very nasty, very quickly.

  168. Milkyway, about salt. The Via Salaria was one of the earliest Roman roads. It ran from Rome along the banks of the Tiber River to the sea, where salt was collected. Much of Rome’s early prosperity was founded on the salt trade. Why was the salt not shipped out of Ostia? In the early centuries of Rome, before she had a navy, the Tyrrhenian Sea was dominated by Etruscan and Carthaginian shipping.

  169. Hello JMG,

    I listened to an energy consultant I trust in France, and he said that the UAE is planning on increasing their oil production until 2040, and after that they will reduce it and try and do something else for their economy. Maybe there will be less demand after that because of electric cars or because of reduced oil reserves. He heard that OPEC will follow the same plan.

    So the world oil production may be flat for 15 more years, or decrease slowly, and decrease rapidly after that.
    The issue for Western countries is that more and more of that oil will go to Asia, and I don’t see what electric cars will be powered with exactly – ( maybe natural gas power plants ,which does have a serious climate change impact) ?

    After 2040, I think the oil and natural gas supply will decrease fast and electricity will become intermittent with whatever renewables can be put together. The other questions are what will factories be powered with, and how will houses be heated?

    Do you have thoughts on this outlook?

  170. Hi TJ#71,

    The demand that Trudeau Steps down as PM is not reasonable. No PM is going to step down because people who would have never voted for him anyways are demanding it.

    A reasonable (to me) version of that demand is that he makes these laws border vaccination laws confidence motions in the House of Commons, then if he does not have them passed his minority government falls and we have another election on this specific issue (and others). But he’s apparently been exposed to Covid and has to quarantine for 5 days. Not sure if it’s up the street at Rideau Cottage or if he’s back in Montreal. But it’s an interesting twist if he’s stuck in his house listening to the trucks blast their horns as they drive by …

    Hi JamesKRF (#61),

    Thanks for your reply. I couldn’t agree more.

    Hi Josh#34,

    If you’re vaccinated and like following these rules then surely this is a great time to be a trucker and hopefully you use this time to ask for a raise or better working conditions. Please help all your coworkers who disagree with the Convoy extract as much labour costs from your employers as you can. I’m 100% serious because I support People having Power … not people’s private medical choices …

    Based on your past work experience I take it you agree with me that some of these Convoy people don’t have a lot of other options? Many may not even have the money for fuel to get their vehicles home without a payout from the Go-Fund-Me setup to help them? That they perhaps can’t fly back either because they’re unvaccinated? That this could end in people begging for bus change to get back to Moose Jaw?

    ___________________

    I think one of the easy to miss points of the comment I made was that people are ignoring this convoy’s potential impact on the city and country. In the same same way our political class ignored Covid … I remember being told that “You don’t need masks” and now it’ll be “ignore the convoy” until there’s snarling gridlock across town and my parents or in-laws can’t get their groceries … how quickly the Twitterati class will switch from “What convoy?” to “You simpletons didn’t stock up two weeks ago?”

    Happy to revisit this next open comment session, will send an update from whatever trucks I observe over the weekend.

  171. @Hackenschmidt,
    I’m living on disability below what my country considers the poverty line. My current ‘lifestyle’ involves no car, and knowing that if/when I lose my current housing situation I’ll be back renting a bedroom in unstable living situations with questionable roommates for half my income – again. I’ve done it before.

    I don’t have to go ‘visit the poor neighborhood of any city’, because I live that way now, and have for a long time.

    Yes, some people have kids anyway, and find ways to manage. But it’s really hard on all parties, and I’m not the only person I know on a very low income who looks at their situation, considers kids and says ‘forget it’.

    And if you look at birthrates in developing countries lately, they’re dropping fast there too. It’s not just rich countries anymore. It’s places like the Middle East, South America and Asia, including large drops in places like Bangladesh. I think a lot of it has to do with increased urbanization, with children being a net economic drain in urban societies where they’re a net benefit in agricultural ones.

    The expectation in societies like the US and Canada do add to people’s choices to have few or no kids, but it’s much more widely spread than that. The birthrates worldwide have been dropping for decades, and it looked to me last time I checked like this was speeding up rather than slowing down.

  172. Tabitha, Leadbeater was very widely read back in the day, and in Theosophically inclined circles he’s still popular.

    Sardaukar, it’s not always the case that the side with the biggest guns or the most soldiers wins — I’d encourage a look at the Austro-Hungarian invasion of Serbia in 1914 as a useful reminder. There’s also the question of what kind of munitions the Ukranian forces have, of course. Fortunately it looks as though the Russian and Ukrainian governments are talking, so with any luck nobody’s going to have to find out.

    Ash, (1) you’ve completely misunderstood Schopenhauer here; I’d recommend another reading of Book 1 of The World as Will and Representation. As Schopenhauer says explicitly, “the world is my representation” — the experience of will in the form of body is simply our closest approach to the thing-in-itself, which of course cannot be known directly. All our experience is representation; we experience our bodies as representations, but the experience of willed action is the point at which, for us as embodied beings, we can think most clearly about our experience and come to an understanding of the inner nature of things. As for distinguishing thought and meaning, meaning is the relationship between an abstraction and one or more figurations, or between two or more abstractions. We know meanings immediately because we create them through thinking — we think, “A means B,” and that relation is transparent to us because it is a creation of our minds. That’s why meanings differ so often, and so significantly, between one language and another, one culture and another, and indeed one individual and another.

    2) No, I don’t agree with Steiner’s claim at all. Of course it’s possible to observe one’s present thinking — again, that’s the point of reflection, or in a more focused way, of meditation. Steiner here is reminiscent of those 19th century psychologists who insisted that it’s impossible for the mind to be free of thoughts; a few months of meditative practice would have cured them of that fallacy. I don’t claim to be familiar with the whole range of Anthroposophical spiritual practice, but those of Steiner’s practices I’ve examined — for example, the Foundation Stone meditation or the exercises in How to Know Higher Worlds — don’t develop that sort of reflective awareness the way, for example, discursive meditation or zazen do, so he may simply have been misled by his own personal experiences.

    3) To say that modern science is inadequate does not mean that it’s wrong. What makes modern science inadequate is that it only takes the material plane into account — but within its limits as a single-plane phenomenon, it does its job very well. When Steiner claims that the Earth used to be part of the Sun, and spun off it at a certain point in the development of the solar system, in strictly material terms he’s just plain wrong, and that has to be taken into account when reflecting on his claims to a source of knowledge free from the limitations on human cognition that Kant sketched out. (It’s far from the only place where Steiner’s spiritual work led him into claims that are factually inaccurate on the material plane; every beekeeper I know who’s read Steiner’s work on bees has said that he’s quite simply wrong about a lot of the details.) From a Goethean approach, furthermore, we need to take Steiner in context and compare his claims to those made by other Theosophists, and other practitioners of the same methods of visionary work — of whom there were quite a few, of course. No two of them agree with one another on all points, just as no one plant is the Urpflanze; by comparing them one to another, it becomes possible to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the process — which you don’t get by assuming as a matter of course that one such narrative is objectively true and every other narrative is not.

    As for hogwash, once again, a Goethean approach is applicable here. In the wake of Kant, a flurry of European intellectuals tried to come up with gimmicks to do an end run around the limits to human cognition he traced out. Each of them had his own claim to special knowledge, and all of them defended that claim by some form of philosophical handwaving, usually involving misquoting Kant. (Your earlier outburst claiming that it doesn’t matter what Kant actually said is typical.) Take one of those gimmicks and assume that it’s true, and no doubt you can make some kind of sense of the world; look at all of them in a row, as Goethe looked at plants and skeletons, and the underlying Urphänomen becomes impossible to miss. In Spengler’s terms, Faustian culture finds limitation of any kind intolerable, and so the pressure on European intellectuals in the terminal phases of Faustian culture to find some way around the limits to human cognition was immense — but none of them work. Just as Europe’s global empire crashed to the ground after 1914, the empire of human cognition that Hegel, Steiner et al. tried to impose on an irreducibly incomprehensible cosmos is falling to the ground as well. The sooner we outgrow that, the sooner the legacy of Western philosophy can begin moving toward its mature form.

    Augusto, exactly! That’s why every mature philosophy redirects attention away from unverifiable claims about the universe and refocuses on what can be known about the self. Yes, there are extraordinary things to be found that way. As for magic — why.magic is to philosophy what engineering is to science. It’s the practical application of accurate knowledge about the self and its relationship to the world.

    Scotlyn, thanks for this!

    Chuaquin, I have no idea. It’s certainly worth watching.

    Forecasting, I recall announcements of that sort going back to the mid-1970s. It’s just like fusion power — the inevitable breakthroughs are always about to take place, and never get around to happening.

    Chris, we’ve had absurd increases in real estate prices and rents in the well-to-do parts of the country, too — that’s one of the ways the torrent of manufactured money is driving inflation the fastest. It’s shown signs of slumping here, however, because — surprise! — once prices and rents get too high, people can’t afford them any more.

    Anonymous, first, no, Pluto isn’t being ignored, its influence is fading out — two different things. Second, Pluto isn’t the only planet that rules the unseen!

    Scotlyn, hmm! It’ll be interesting to see how that plays out.

    Void, there were quite a few studies back in the day on what happens when you have too many rats in too small a space. They start behaving in pathological ways, and eventually the death rate rises until the population is back down to a more normal level. That’s what our species is doing just now. We’ve got 8 billion people on a planet that has a carrying capacity under 2 billion, and we’re acting just like those rats. If demonic entities are involved, they’re lagniappe. Fortunately global population is already cresting and the downward curve awaits…

    David BTL, many thanks for these.

    Booklover, nope. We’re in a crisis period, and too many variables are in play to allow meaningful predictions.

    Clark, thanks for this. I’ll give it a look when I have the chance.

    Austinofoz, if a housing unit is not occupied by the owner for at least 180 days a year, the laws apply. That’ll limit such individuals to two houses each, and of course it won’t give them any shelter at all for apartments.

  173. Follower, that’s a subject for an entire book!

    Sleiszadam, remember that I’ve put a lot of study into the Art of Memory. I make mental notes.

    Travis, the differences are modest — I removed some comments that were out of date or specific to the time when the original version was written, and added in a few things that have become clearer since 2007. I was very pleased to see how well the book stood up after another 14 years.

    Brendhelm, if the US is idiotic enough to shove Russia out of the SWIFT system, the Russians and Chinese already have an alternative system in place, and their next move will be to encourage other countries to jump out of SWIFT and into their system. Of course there’s also the little point that Europe can be left to twist in the wind! I could see Biden (or rather, the clique telling him what to do) being dense enough to do it, but if it happens, the global economy breaks apart.

    Tony C, the UAE might be able to keep expanding their production that long, but depletion never sleeps, and most other oil-producing nations are running through their reserves at quite a clip. I expect oil production to flatline or move slowly downhill for a while, and then begin a series of irregular downward jolts. As for what will power electric cars, why, nothing — and there isn’t enough lithium in the world for the batteries that will be needed, either. So your answer is quite simply that many factories won’t be powered and many homes won’t be heated. Welcome to the deindustrial age!

  174. The most appropriately named vessel in the fleet: USS Gerald R. Ford. Four years after its official launch and it still doesn’t work. But we are going to start a war with Russia….

    Meanwhile at the grocery store, the latest thing out of stock: Crackers. Nothing fancy; just plain ol’ saltines. Not one crumb at any store in town. But the candy isle is fully stocked….

  175. Milkyway,
    I recently read this by Alma T.C. Boykin: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09KFKZC6T?ref_=dbs_m_mng_rwt_calw_tkin_5&storeType=ebooks&qid=1635372349&sr=1-1 which is a novel in a setting based off the Hanseatic League and learned more about salt springs than I ever thought I wanted to know! You needn’t read the other books in the series, it stands alone nicely, if you like a small-scale fantasy novel with no great villians or god-determined fates. However, what I want to give you is the author’s references:

    Harding, Anthony. Salt in Prehistoric Europe. (Leiden, the Netherlands. Sidestone Press, 2013).

    Ulshöfer, Kuno and Herta Beutter, eds. Hal und das Salz: Beiträtrage zur hällischen Stadt- und Salinengeschichte. (Sigmarigan, Germany: Jan Thorbecke Verlag, 1983)

    Kurlanski, Mark. Salt: A World History. (New York: Penguin Books, 2003)

    Podlecki, Janusz. Wieleczka Historic Salt Mine. (Warsaw, Poland: Karpaty, 2004)

    She also suggests that a German speaker should visit Schwäbisch Hall, which is one of the places she visited when researching, in her author’s notes, but that it’s not particularly English-speaker-only friendly. I’ve no notion if such is even feasible these days, but if I have the correct set of information attached to your handle in my head, if anyone here could, you could.

  176. @Curt
    I’ve been thinking about the Calhoun experiments too. The hikikomori of Japan remind me a lot of the rats described as the ‘beautiful ones’, and the hikikomori phenomenon hadn’t emerged and would not have been known to Calhoun at the time the experiment was done. I found it rather creepy, and I definitely think crowding is a factor in what we’re seeing.

    We agree on the rural-urban distinction in the economic usefulness/burden of childrearing, and I think the fact that birthrates have dropped dramatically in relatively poor but urbanizing societies, like Bangladesh for one example, gives a lot of support to this thesis.

    I also have to admit that people who blame female selfishness exclusively for low birthrates really annoy me. There’s a lot of other factors going on here that are more important – unless one expects women to have as many kids as someone else thinks they should, with no consideration of whether they and said children will be able to eat, stay housed, or not get the kids taken away by the authorities. This is not a realistic expectation.

    Children and families are way over-represented among the poor, and among people needing to access foodbanks, at least in Canada.

  177. I also notice that poor women also tend to get blamed if they have children and access any social supports, for having children. It seems to me that no matter what we do, we’re going to get blamed for it by someone.

  178. @ Leah Kiser #164

    What a fabulous idea about the hooks and eyes to string lines across the ceiling!

    We use big drying racks but they don’t work for sheets. The acreage is just too large. But sheets could work on lines strung just below the ceiling.

  179. JMG,

    Thanks for the hosting.

    If you could clarify something, please – you often say re our pampered elites feel that the universe owes them a glittery cruise through life … and you go on to point out that the universe doesn’t give a hoot about them or anybody else for that matter. Is this just a manner of saying, as my late father persistently drilled into my head, “life doesn’t owe you a living”?

    I ask because I often hear people saying “for an answer, just throw it up to the universe”, which I would suppose is a way of saying, “ask God for an answer” – and that does make a certain sense to me, albeit in this context “the universe” is rather abstract and non-specific.

    On the other hand, when I meditate on “the universe”, it’s not difficult for me to perceive what I could call “The Great Regenerative Force”, or perhaps the “Universal Kundalini”, the life-force that courses through everything. Yes, in a way, it’s the most impersonal I can perceive – and yet it’s the most *personal* thing I perceive. And I find it responsive to me, it does give answers.

    So there is a clear distinction between the material, not-give-a-hoot, Lovecraft-Ian universe and the universe of life-force and regeneration, no?

  180. “Anonymous, exactly! The dead giveaway is that in those novels, Lord Moldywarp’s minions call themselves Death Eaters and parade around being evilly evil. Why? No successful movement does that. In a less dismally hackneyed story, he wouldn’t call himself Lord Moldywarp at all. He would be Tom Riddle, that passionate idealist with an earnest gaze and a bright smile, and his Wizard Freedom Front, full of fresh-faced, idealistic, enthusiastic young people who are just trying to protect the wizarding world from the rising tide of Muggledom. Of course of Rowling had done that she wouldn’t be richer than Queen Elizabeth, because pretending that all your opponents are evil because they want to be evil, or because they’re psychologically crippled in ways you can subtly or not so subtly mock, is central to the worldview of the modern privileged left.”

    Or, if it were aiming for a very grey story, the Magical Freedom Front, instead of the Wizard Freedom Front: the rising tide of Muggledom, after all, will threaten goblins, giants, centaurs, etc. in due time as well! And so the organization is pushing for Goblin Emancipation; improvement of conditions on Giant Reservations; laws to protect Centaur Forests; revocation of the “Beast” classification and an acknowledgement from the Ministry of Magic that all sentients have the right to shape the laws they live under; House Elf Liberation; and a number of other reforms.

    He’s recruiting them for a war against Muggledom, and quite likely a first step would be a violent coup against the Ministry for Magic; and he’s extremely prejudiced against Muggleborns, but a large number of non-human beings in the Wizarding World would side with them, not because they are evil, but because Riddle is one of the few people in the Wizarding World who is advocating for their rights in a society which has treated them as second class citizens for centuries.

    This could be a very interesting story!

  181. Beige Shiba @24
    You say:
    Thirdly, is the imposition of extra fees by local governments for so much as owning a car or motorcycle, as much as 5 or 10 GBP a day, clearly putting them beyond the financial means of anyone below the upper middle class.
    I’ve tried to find information about this. The youtube of Stuart’s that I watched said the local authorities were going to be able to impose fines for e.g. jumping a red light but I couldn’t find anything about a daily charge by the local authority for simply owning a motor vehicle. Can you point me to it please?

  182. JMG, I know that we are in a crisis period. For so many years, you wrote posts about the coming crisis period, and there were ample discussions in the commentariat about it. Now, after two years of Covid, we suddenly find us in the crisis period, and struggle to imagine the outcome. For years, New Year predictions here have mentioned full shelves in grocery stores, well-visited Super Bowl games and a steady dollar value. Now, suddenly the shelves in some regions of the Western world are bare, oil prices are rising and sports events get cancelled due to Covid.

  183. Thank The Gods for open posts.

    I have a theory on what’s happening (in part), and I’d like some feedback from this – from everyone.

    First, what we’ve seen the past few years:

    1) We know about how a lot of people have been losing contact with their gods over the past ten years, both Christian and Pagan. While I’m reminded of “The Dark Night of The Soul” from my Christian background, I found it interesting that many people were in a panic over possibly losing their access to the spirits forever even when those spirits were directly referring to this Dark Night of The Soul by telling their supplicants to keep up the practices (and work on themselves instead of making demands on the spirits).

    1a) With Christians, I can’t help but think that part of their loss of God is related to certain sins of Pride. I remember how the Christian Intelligentsia started talking about “Yahweh” as if it was God’s true name. And they’re not wrong – but that name was reserved for the memories of Jewish peoples, with his Adopted peoples (the Christians) given some version of “Elohim” to call Him by. For the English speakers (especially in America), we got stuck with Jehovah, and that name has done us well whether the worship was done by-the-book (The Midwest/Great Lakes area comes to mind) or after some fashion (Utah, the burned-over district in New York); but when the adopted peoples decided to take upon themselves a sign of “His Original Peoples,” Jehovah/Yahweh was not having it, so He removes himself – and “Mainline” Christianity collapses in The United States.

    2) In 2016, a group of outcasts united, learned Chaos magic, and in other ways connected with the spirit world. Despite the Egyptian trappings, JMG connected the God to a Changer Deity who, amongst other actions (at least in the story given) was to freeze people in response to their reactions. They come out in support of Trump, and Trump wins the Election.

    3) The Urban/Liberal complex responds with a four-year scream that was augmented on occasion with riots and COVID-19. In the end, they came up with an absolutely empty suit (whose main qualification was that he wasn’t Bernie Sanders) in an Alzheimic haze coupled with a partner who checked certain complementary buttons without being complementary in ways that mattered – and that ticket actually defeats Trump in time for the ugliest moment for an inauguration in recent history.

    4) And now, of course, we have the most disliked President in History with a Vice President worse than him (not much of a reach, but you’d think there was some competency that would act as a compensation; we’ve yet to see that yet), a governmental appetite for increasing restrictions in urban areas when even their own constituents are ready to the return to something passably normal (plus a virus that seems to act as its own vaccine), an economic system which has gone into wobble mode where shortages are only made up by causing shortages elsewhere, and the same disliked President working like crazy to stoke up a war where even those who would be the main combatants are trying to bring a peace about. About the only consolation I can draw from this circumstance that Biden is dense enough to act steadily no matter what, and I’m sure that whatever Trump inherits will be kinder towards him once he returns to office (and I’ll keep saying this until proven wrong).

    With all that in background, I keep wondering whether the Deity that the group of outcasts had activated is a Trickster God acting in These United States for His Amusement, acting and entertainment.

    Part of me, of course, is picking up on the Tricksters who, seeking their own benefit, successfully strike against power. I’m also reminded of many stories where the Gods grant human wishes, but in ways that turn them into curses, punishments, or other things left untold (An example: My favorite version of the Galatea story is, when Pygmalion gets his wish of The Statue coming to life, the first words out of the former statue’s mouth are “First, you need a bath.” You can hear Aphrodite laughing as the now-struggling Pygmalion gets forced into HIS transformation.)

    Color me paranoid, but I fear what happens when this deity ceases to be amused…or decides that it’s time to get serious.

    [And note what when I call the God/Deity “He/Him” I’m using the pronouns in their generic, universal sense. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that the God I fear is using us for amusement is actually female, dark, and from Africa (Via Egypt, where she found a Semitic race worth serving for many years before seeking out entertainment (and possibly other things) in These United States.). And as for NonBinary Gendered Gods, I won’t exclude THAT possibility, either.]

  184. Void – Yes, inflation-indexed investment bonds are subject to game-playing with the inflation estimate, and there are good arguments as to how the current CPI number underestimates inflation. However, as I write this, my credit union is paying less than 1% interest on any CD, the S&P index is down almost 10% for the month, and I earned +6% on my TIPS (for all of 2021). Should it have been 10%? Maybe. But 6% is far better than 1%, which is better than -10%. Where the S&P is going in the next year, no one knows. During the Great Crash of 1929+, the Dow index dropped 90%.

  185. @Horzabky #163:

    BHL has been repeatedly exposed as a plagiarist, a shallow philosopher (his books, which hardly sell, are hastily written and full of errors and even falsehoods), and a fraud in every respect. The fact that he has been chummy with EVERY French president since the 70’s, regardless of their political persuasion, and present on every TV screen, is a mystery to everyone.

    BHL is the 200th richest man in France, and he invested much money in newspapers (including the very influential Le Monde) and TV channels. He’s also a publisher, and for many years he has been the government-appointed president of the outfit which controls public funding of the French movie industry, which wouldn’t exist without public funding.

    Ah, that makes a lot of sense. Thank you for the context!

  186. @JMG

    Following up on a question I asked last week – have you ever considered writing a book on the different subtypes of thinking (i.e. imagination, reflection). Or maybe a book on the history of thinking in the context of civilizational cycles. Just trying to boost any desire you may have had in that direction, because your ideas on this topic are really unique and fascinating.

    Also, apologies if you already wrote something like that. I looked through your bibliography and saw some books that might already cover this in a chapter or two – but I’m not sure. And of course, I know of your blogposts from olden times which covered this topic – that’s how I was first exposed to your ideas.

  187. Ric, I still chuckle when I think of that carrier. Even the Navy admits that the Ford-class is a flop. I doubt any of them can sail and chew gum at the same time… 😉

    Will, not at all. You can definitely toss a question at “the universe” and sometimes get an answer, but if your question is how you can get the universe to pay your bills and solve your problems for you, the answer will be some form of “get off your rump and do it yourself.” Lovecraft’s universe isn’t material — it’s crawling, slithering, and oozing with life and consciousness, but that life and consciousness has much better things to do than run errands for us!

    Anonymous, nice. Yes, you could certainly do that, but once again, if you do something that interesting, you can kiss off the million-copy sales.

    Booklover, exactly. While we were pre-crisis, I could say “things will continue as they have been going, the grocery shelves will still be stocked and the Super Bowl will attract more attention than the crisis of Western civilization” — and of course I was right, then. Now we’re in different territory, and exactly how that will play out over the short term is anyone’s guess.

    Godozo, interesting. The question in my mind is whether the Changer is just having fun, or whether he’s transforming the world so that it will be ready for the People when they come…

    Wastelander, I’ll consider it, but it won’t happen soon — I have a lot more reading and study to do before I could consider such a project.

  188. @Milkyway [and other salty dogs 😉 -I mean that in good humor to all of y’all interested in salt! (Please don’t forget the sulphur & mercury though) :] …speaking of salt…

    I was looking up information on the road between Marietta, Ohio and Chillicothe, Ohio and found information about an ancient Indian pathway. That’s not what I was looking for per se, but it was something I was happy to find… [ http://www.oldeforester.com/marietta.htm ]. In any case I found this page on salt making activities in Ohio elsewhere on the Olde Forester’s website. I wsn’t looking for it… at least not consciously!

    http://www.oldeforester.com/saltrprt.htm

    …anyway, I feel like I’m going to be printing or saving a lot of the material on this website. I feel like I just fell through another hole in the blanket of America.

    I’m about halfway through reading David McCullough’s book The Pioneer’s about the settling of Marietta and surrounding areas of southeastern, Ohio, hence looking up that road.

    I have a book on Indian Trails of Ohio at home, I’ll be comparing notes.

    The quest is afoot!

  189. P.S.: I meant I wasn’t looking for an Indian Trail… but a white/euro settler made road connecting Marietta to Chilicothe, and instead found this website. Of course a lot of later roads were based on the Indian trails, themselves often based on animals “traces” to various springs and licks. This research is further helping me understand the “ley” of the land if you get my drift.

    Back at the beginning of December I visited Chilicothe with a friend to visit the Mounds their and to hike up the small Sugarloaf Mountain. It was a nice if steep day hike. The Mtn. was where the imagery for the Seal of Ohio came from. It was a nice day trip and I hope to do further exploring of Chilicothe and Marietta in the future.

    While in Chilicothe I also checked out the ground where the Hopeton Earthworks once stood. These are similar to the Newark Mound in Ohio in that both contain Octagonal shapes with a variety of astronomical alignments.

    Happy questing to all.

  190. The astrology for the current Canadian ministry is not great: since the new cabinet was sworn in October 26, 2021, at around noon, the chart features a near perfect Venus-Neptune square, among other negative aspects. This is not the concerning point, however.

    The concerning point is looking at synestry here with Canada’s foundation chart, July 1 1867 at midnight. That chart features a near exact (less than 1 degree) Sun-Uranus conjunction, with the Moon for Trudeau’s inauguration within a degree as well; Mercury in the inauguration chart opposes the foundation Neptune and ascendant to within a few degrees; and there are a host of other negative aspects between those charts.

    All in all, I’d suggest every other Canadian here brace for impact: the interactions between these charts promises a period of excitement for all of us….

  191. Pessimism can be a vice when carried to extremes, as with over protective parents, for example, but so also can optimism. The optimistic do-gooder or busy body who insists on rearranging everyone else’s life can be at best an annoyance. At worst, such folks do a lot of harm.

    Hope for the best and plan for the worst.

    It is easy for attractive and wealthy folks to disparage the pessimism of others who literally can’t afford to take risks.

    A well regulated pessimism becomes realism, which I call a virtue.

    Cliff @ 52, I read the BHL interview. Bari Weiss, the interviewer is a blogger, formerly with WSJ and NYT, who is author of a book entitled something like How to Deal with Anti-Semitism. The interview was altogether superficial, and I would not, on the basis of this interview, consider BHL a great or even very good thinker.

    What I noticed was the absence of any pretense of quid pro quo. According to BHL, we Americans are supposed to join this mad adventure in Ukraine..because he says so? On behalf of myself and other working class Americans, I think it is past time we asked the simple question, “What’s in it for us?”

    Most members of the first post coup govt. of Ukraine were dual Israeli-Ukrainian citizens (one was also a citizen of Cyprus as well). That much is simple fact, read into it as much or as little as you like. There is a theory, or meme, which shows up once a while in the far reaches of the internet, that Israel is looking for a bolt hole in case they lose the next couple of MidEast wars. “Government”, not public mind you, but “government” land in the Western USA was being considered, or so I read. That was before the Era of Fire got underway. More recently, there are whispers about hopes of reviving ancient Khazaria. I don’t say I believe any of this. My candidate for the bad actors behind our interference in Ukraine is the Agribiz industry who covet the famous black earth. Pre coup, Ukraine had a ban on foreign ownership of Ukrainian land.

  192. I’m not sure the truckers know quite what they’re up against. The reason the covid mandates have become the mess they are here is that the Canadian government erred greatly by assigning the matter to military personnel, to be carried out as an ethnic-cleansing project. Hence the intractable stupidity and belligerent stubbornness that have gone into those policies and their enforcement. (Don’t believe it’s the military behind this? Check this out: https://halifax.citynews.ca/national-news/liberals-tap-another-military-officer-to-replace-fortin-on-vaccine-campaign-3784797 A picture is worth a thousand words, eh.)

    The vaccination mandates are being enforced by the military, and the military doesn’t even reconsider, much less back down. Unless and until those truckers are ready, willing, and able to actually start killing people in the streets, this initiative will fail.

  193. @pygmycory, #195: welcome to the double bind of bigotry, as vividly described in The King In Orange. I used to describe it as : Too much = from A to B; not enough = from B to A; the middle ground is not, Goldilocks to the contrary, “just right.” It’s “You get flak from both sides.” From the same people. a.k.a. “Everything I do is wrong.” Yeah. It is. Every blasted thing we do or say, in their eyes. Grrrr…… and then they wonder why we’re “not cooperating.”

    And yes, everybody else, one of the best answers is to drop out of sight and do what we have to, on the down-low if need be. If and when possible. I’m not in any position to lend a sisterly hand to anyone, except either on the spot when I am, or by writing a check, but you in that bind, you’ve got my moral support, for what it’s worth.

  194. @godozo re: “connecting with the frog god.” I read that, and when it came to the image that was actually “the frog goddess Heqet,” I remembered, vaguely, that the Hermopolitan deities came strictly in pairs. A frog god and a frog goddess; a (frex) crocodile god and a crocodile goddess, if they did a crocodile pair of deities. So the young Chaos magicians were getting, not only Kek, but Heqet – his wife – two for the price of one.

    I’ve been meaning to post this to Open Post and keep forgetting in the wake of all the other topical topics, but there’s my observation.

  195. Also @Godozo: In the American Southwest, they call him/her/it “Coyote.” And you’d better believe he’s running things right now.

  196. I am getting quite concerned about what will happen this weekend. Simply put, the Trucker’s Convoy looks like it will mark a massive change: the videos coming out of Toronto are incredible, and we’re now getting notice from police to avoid downtown and in fact avoid travel altogether this weekend.

    Given just this morning it was a “fringe movement which will not be large enough to impact Ottawa”, this is a see change. I think the problem is that massive disruptions throughout Toronto as the convoy passed through were impossible to ignore; and as I understand it this is the smallest of the three major convoys coming to Ottawa!

    Given just how high tensions are right now, a small spark could set off a massive explosion, and I think there’s a very good chance that this spark will happen in the next few days; and I also doubt the explosion will be limited to Canada alone….

  197. What is a color revolution? I looked it up and still didn’t really understand the definition.

  198. JMG was kind enough to give an endorsment blurb for my book COVID Lockdown Insanity: the COVID Deaths It Prevented, the Deperession and Suicides it Caused, What We Should Have Done, and What It Shows We Could Do to Address Real Crises. Go to https://HughMcTavish.com to read the whole book for free. I have also blogged on COVID and lockdown issues and posted a recent analysis that calculates the Omicron variant is 38-fold less deadly than the original strains and therefore less than 5% as deadly as ordinary flu, or about as lethal as the common cold. That is based on U.K. government data and data from South Africa publised in the Journal of the American Medical Association. We put out a press release of that calculation and, surprise, surprise, the news wires refused to distribute it.

  199. Just a quick note on financial matters. A great many companies in the consumer retail business have their fiscal year-end on 31 January because of their heavy reliance on December sales figures to make up for losses in earlier months. With the economy in the mess it’s in currently, I doubt this past December was a good one for many of these businesses. Next week’s financial news may prove interesting….

  200. CS2 – I live downstairs from Sister Crow. I will let her know that people here are asking about her. I’ll ask her if she wants to check in.

  201. JMG:

    I could see the Changer (or whomever said Deity is) playing around and having fun WHILE transforming the world. Part of the attraction of being a Changer would be, methinks, finding fitting changes; which can be fun if you put your mind to it.

  202. JMG, do you or anyone else here know of any books / articles about the relationship between the practice of land surveying / laying out towns, etc. and Freemasonry and/or relationship to sacred geometry?

    I had a dream I was on a road to Bainbridge, Ohio earlier this week. It connected to distant points.

    I couldn’t figure out what the connection was, until I just looked up Nathaniel Massie who was the surveyor who laid out the city of Marietta. He was a member at some point of Scioto Lodge No. 2 I just learned from a Freemasonic website. He later founded the town of Bainbridge in Northeastern, Ohio.

    I had also learned sometime last year that the city of Sandusky, Ohio, laid out by Freemason Hector Kilbourn, embedded a square and compass into the street grid.

    Fascinating stuff~ just looking for more along these lines.

  203. Clay Dennis said, comment #63

    My guess is that the Russians have widely distributed pamphlets, videos, photos etc showing in gory detail what will happen to the Ukrainian grunts and commanders alike if they attack the Donbass in full force. They fully know what salvos of Iskanders, Kalibers and Thermobaric Grads will do to them, and this time around the Russians would have every intention and ability of targeting missiles all the way up the command ( and political) structure.

    The Russians have been putting out plenty of videos on YouTube and other social media sites showing what those thermobaric Grads and other modern rocket artillery systems of theirs can do, both as a marketing tool and as a warning to others who might be thinking of picking a fight with the Motherland. Here is an example I came across the other day.

  204. So Occultism (in the sense of the body of knowledge and practices that works primarily through meditation) births Magical systems. That is a magnificent way of looking at it! I used to want to be a Scientist –I still enjoy very much accurate calculations and elegant mathematical manipulations– but I think now I want to be a philosopher of the occult variety. Given that occult philosophy is already part of my study, what would you recommend to start studying western philosophy to someone that has already somewhat decent grasps on philosophical concepts?

    Hmm so we saw a Hegelian Deviation in western philosophy that crystalized in the modern managerial state. I wonder if there is something to the notion that corporate culture has some tinges of “giving you what you asked for but not what you needed” and then screwing you up as well as the devil being portrayed as a guy in a suit… or perhaps a lab coat?

  205. Speaking of Russian artillery, here is another video I came across thanks to SNAFU. These are the modern replacements for the 130mm, 180mm and 240mm guns the Israeli veteran was talking about which I referenced in comment #136.

    Incidentally, Ukrainian heavy artillery units are equipped with these same guns, along with BM-27 Uragan and BM-30 Smerch rocket artillery systems. This is not surprising, since Russia and Ukraine are both successor states to the USSR and inherited much of their military equipment and traditions from the Soviet armed forces, including tactics and organizational structure. As an example, if you look at the organizational chart of a Russian motor rifle brigade and a Ukrainian mechanized infantry brigade, they are nearly identical, the biggest difference being Russian units tend to have more modern and better quality equipment. So a war between Russia and Ukraine would be interesting in part because it would pit two major armies with very similar traditions, tactics and equipment against one another. And as William Lind has pointed out in some of his blog posts, Russian/Soviet style tactics are simple and easy to learn, while being very effective when employed properly by people who know what they are doing.

  206. For those who might be interested in juicy scandals involving scammers fleecing gullible buyers, try an Internet search for the Great Oil Sniffer Hoax. It’s been a number of decades since this little debacle played itself out. I’m thinking it shouldn’t be too much longer before it gets resurrected for a new generation of suckers.

  207. @ Anonymous, comment #202

    I was thinking the same thing. I wonder who is stirring things up from behind the scenes. We know colour revolutions don’t happen spontaneously or in a vacuum, as people like George Soros, Victoria Nuland and Gene Sharp have shown us. I always figured that sooner or later, some of America’s geopolitical rivals would get in on the colour revolution game and start serving us a taste of our own bad medicine…

  208. Hi John,

    What’s even funnier is that the Changer is already starting to refer to himself as the 47th president. Clearly, he expects to pull off a Grover Cleveland in 2024 and I think he stands a very good chance of doing so, in spite of recent media propaganda pieces and push-polls claiming that he would lose to Sleepy Joe or Cackling Kamala.

  209. A quick question on an occult concept. I have read some sources about the theory behind consecrating objects and wanted to confirm an impression that I have. Am I correct in assuming that a key part of this ritual is treating the process as seriously as possible? For example, if you were to consecrate a table as an altar used for ritual workings, would it be necessary to stop using it as an ordinary table and to treat it according to the ritual rules (i.e. performing banishing rituals, if required)? And that if you broke these rules and treated the table as just an ordinary wooden piece of furniture, that this would strongly reduce the power of the magical working?

    I suspect to a magical expert this question is very obvious, but I would still appreciate an answer, if possible.

  210. @NoHype & @JMG

    The issue of phasing out monotheism or polytheism is basically impossible unless by the use of force (something that has been tried and basically failed) and that the two systems are just two sides of the same coin. So long as the followers and dissidents cherry pick and forget the idea of following one God or law requires one to eventually follow all, they’ll all decay. If theres an imbalance of any kind, it all ultimately ends up collapsing as several karmic credit cards are maxed out and collections has virtually everyone by the family jewels.

    That being said It’s not really smart to attack any traditition much less disrespect a divine being of immeasurable power and their followers , blindly and at any given time, and expect nothing to happen. Call me a heretic, but the gods of various cultures of Europe are just as much mine as the Abrahamic god is yours. If I push away any one of your gods I push away my one and quickly go out of balance, just as a polytheist would quickly start tail spinning if they did the inverse.

  211. @Lathechuck: thanks for the link. Some of the reviews on “the river” insist that you should just read the specification. That’s kind of like reading statutes… and it’s why people would be willing to pay out the $$$ for a (somewhat) more readable text.

  212. Godozo said

    [And note what when I call the God/Deity “He/Him” I’m using the pronouns in their generic, universal sense. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that the God I fear is using us for amusement is actually female, dark, and from Africa (Via Egypt, where she found a Semitic race worth serving for many years before seeking out entertainment (and possibly other things) in These United States.). And as for NonBinary Gendered Gods, I won’t exclude THAT possibility, either.]

    There is a female counterpart to a certain frog god from Kemet currently popular with the Basement Brigade. Her name is Kauket. According Goddess Guide she is the “Deity of darkness and chaos and wife of Kek.”. We’ve already seen what a twisted sense of humor Kek has. Really makes one wonder about Kauket and what She might have in store for us. As if things weren’t already interesting enough, in the sense of that old Chinese proverb…

    https://www.goddess-guide.com/egyptian-goddess-list.html

  213. JMG: “Ash, (1) you’ve completely misunderstood Schopenhauer here; I’d recommend another reading of Book 1 of The World as Will and Representation. As Schopenhauer says explicitly, “the world is my representation” — the experience of will in the form of body is simply our closest approach to the thing-in-itself, which of course cannot be known directly. All our experience is representation; we experience our bodies as representations, but the experience of willed action is the point at which, for us as embodied beings, we can **think most clearly** about our experience and come to an understanding of the inner nature of things. As for distinguishing thought and meaning, meaning is the relationship between an abstraction and one or more figurations, or between two or more abstractions. We know meanings immediately because we create them through thinking — we think, “A means B,” and that relation is transparent to us because it is a creation of our minds. That’s why meanings differ so often, and so significantly, between one language and another, one culture and another, and indeed one individual and another.”

    JMG,

    I must be phrasing my points poorly, because what you wrote above is also how I understand Schopenhauer. He makes explicit that, in our experience of willed action (and music), we come into contact with the universal ‘blind’ Will which is the thing-in-itself. This is not a controversial reading of Schopenhauer at all. So I hope we cleared that up. What I am pointing to is what I used asterisks to highlight in your response above. 

    Kant, Schopenhauer, and yourself (and practically most other modern philosophers), are forgetting that Thinking is the faculty making the claims about what can and can’t be known about the thing-in-itself, which is blind Will for Schopenhauer. All such claims presuppose the capacity of Thinking i.e. logical reason to reach fundamental truths about the nature of the Cosmos and our relation to it. What we can or cannot possibly know is a fundamental truth. That simple fact is conveniently ignored by all those who subscribe to the Kantian limits.
     
    When you add, “we create meanings through thinking”, you have imported Cartesian subject/object dualism into the argument, since meaning is epiphenomenal and added onto the world content by thinking beings. That is an abstract metaphysical assumption which finds no basis in our concrete experience of the world content. We feel as if we are subjects beholding objects, using concepts “in our mind” to impose meanings on the objects “out there”, but to reify that into an inherent property of the Cosmos is naive realism. It is precisely our Reason which brings us back from the subject/object dualism to a more unified and participatory understanding of our relation with the Cosmos. 

    No one denies that – it is implicit in Kant and Schopenhauer, otherwise the latter’s Reason could not confidently assert any conclusions about the universal Will we all share. He could not assert there is “one Eye who looks out from every creature” without that Reason which gives the assertion any semantic content. This has been the core blind spot for all modern philosophy, from rationalism, dualism, and idealism, to post-modern and post-structural linguistic philosophy. Our present thinking, our most intuitive yet formless and unobservable activity, is left in the blind spot. “Out of sight, out of mind”. It is analogous to declaring the physical eye does not exist because it cannot perceive itself directly. 

    JMG: “2) No, I don’t agree with Steiner’s claim at all. Of course it’s possible to observe one’s present thinking — again, that’s the point of reflection, or in a more focused way, of meditation. Steiner here is reminiscent of those 19th century psychologists who insisted that it’s impossible for the mind to be free of thoughts; a few months of meditative practice would have cured them of that fallacy. I don’t claim to be familiar with the whole range of Anthroposophical spiritual practice, but those of Steiner’s practices I’ve examined — for example, the Foundation Stone meditation or the exercises in How to Know Higher Worlds — don’t develop that sort of reflective awareness the way, for example, discursive meditation or zazen do, so he may simply have been misled by his own personal experiences.”

    I suspected that this would be the core issue, as it often is. Are you able to expand on what specifically you disagree with? He addresses specifically what you are calling “the point of reflection” of meditation in the quote below, which he calls “the exceptional state”. 

    “I am, moreover, in the same position when I enter into the exceptional state and reflect on my own thinking. I can never observe my present thinking; I can only subsequently take my experiences of my thinking process as the object of fresh thinking. If I wanted to watch my present thinking, I should have to split myself into two persons, one to think, the other to observe this thinking. But this I cannot do. I can only accomplish it in two separate acts. The thinking to be observed is never that in which I am actually engaged, but another one. Whether, for this purpose, I make observations of my own former thinking, or follow the thinking process of another person, or finally, as in the example of the motions of the billiard balls, assume an imaginary thinking process, is immaterial.”(Steiner)

    re: meditation which is “free of thoughts” – yes our Thinking is capable of getting rid of its reflections in thoughts, but it cannot get rid of itself. The fact that there is duration of experience and formation of memory during any meditative state means there is still ideal content, i.e. meaning, i.e. Thinking. Practiced mystical meditators generally forget that they use their Thinking to get to their desired thought-free destination. It is with them the whole time and remains with them when they feel Oneness with the Cosmos. 

    JMG: “3) To say that modern science is inadequate does not mean that it’s wrong. What makes modern science inadequate is that it only takes the material plane into account — but within its limits as a single-plane phenomenon, it does its job very well. When Steiner claims that the Earth used to be part of the Sun, and spun off it at a certain point in the development of the solar system, in strictly material terms he’s just plain wrong, and that has to be taken into account when reflecting on his claims to a source of knowledge free from the limitations on human cognition that Kant sketched out. (It’s far from the only place where Steiner’s spiritual work led him into claims that are factually inaccurate on the material plane; every beekeeper I know who’s read Steiner’s work on bees has said that he’s quite simply wrong about a lot of the details.) From a Goethean approach, furthermore, we need to take Steiner in context and compare his claims to those made by other Theosophists, and other practitioners of the same methods of visionary work — of whom there were quite a few, of course. No two of them agree with one another on all points, just as no one plant is the Urpflanze; by comparing them one to another, it becomes possible to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the process — which you don’t get by assuming as a matter of course that one such narrative is objectively true and every other narrative is not.

    As for hogwash, once again, a Goethean approach is applicable here. In the wake of Kant, a flurry of European intellectuals tried to come up with gimmicks to do an end run around the limits to human cognition he traced out. Each of them had his own claim to special knowledge, and all of them defended that claim by some form of philosophical handwaving, usually involving misquoting Kant. (Your earlier outburst claiming that it doesn’t matter what Kant actually said is typical.) Take one of those gimmicks and assume that it’s true, and no doubt you can make some kind of sense of the world; look at all of them in a row, as Goethe looked at plants and skeletons, and the underlying Urphänomen becomes impossible to miss. In Spengler’s terms, Faustian culture finds limitation of any kind intolerable, and so the pressure on European intellectuals in the terminal phases of Faustian culture to find some way around the limits to human cognition was immense — but none of them work. Just as Europe’s global empire crashed to the ground after 1914, the empire of human cognition that Hegel, Steiner et al. tried to impose on an irreducibly incomprehensible cosmos is falling to the ground as well. The sooner we outgrow that, the sooner the legacy of Western philosophy can begin moving toward its mature form.”

    Modern philosophy and science is not wrong, only incomplete. Steiner himself points this out in Goethean Science (see quote below). Steiner’s descriptions of the Cosmic evolution are *not physical*. He is a monist and idealist. He must use physical images to convey the ideal experiences-perceptions. It is only our own tendency to reify all physical descriptions which leads to that confusion, but Steiner tries to caution the reader against doing that at every opportunity he has. Ancient Saturn, Sun, Moon, Earth, etc. are all the *same* ideal ‘planet’ moving through its various incarnations. There is no physical process, in a metaphysical sense, occurring whatsoever. It is not even occurring in linear time, but rather as a ‘decohering’ of certain states of being from superimposed meaning. Again, if he wants to convey these things to those who are thinking with the intellect, he must use spatiotemporal language descriptions of that sort. 

    The multiple claims to “special knowledge” critique of higher cognition makes little sense to me, just as the “constant squabbles” critique. If Steiner is correct, and higher Imaginative cognition blossomed towards the end of the 20th century, that is exactly what we would expect to occur. So how do we differentiate between the claims to higher cognition which are false, which are being used poorly, or which are true and being used properly? By testing them against our Reason! “Test all things and hold fast to what is good”. Of course, if we severely discount or eliminate the capacity of our own Reason to discern these things from the outset, even though we use it to discern that we “can’t discern”, then there is simply nowhere left to go in global philosophy, science, or culture in general. Who else is going to move the legacy of Western philosophy towards its mature form other than logically reasoning i.e. Thinking beings? 

  214. As for phone replacement due to no 3G service, Verizon’s 4g tower was on the wrong side of a hill so I had to switch too. Consumer Cellular has flip phones. It’s a bit clunky for texting, but it works well enough. $25 a month. More than Tracphone, less than the landline cost in 2015. Frontier sold the land lines locally to who I don’t know after they let it rot in place which is why I went to Tracphone in the first place.

  215. Forgot the referenced Steiner quote in the previous post:

    “This makes it explainable to us how people can have such different concepts, such different views of reality, in spite of the fact that reality can, after all, only be one. The difference lies in the difference between our intellectual worlds. This sheds light for us upon the development of the different scientific standpoints. We understand where the many philosophical standpoints originate, and do not need to bestow the palm of truth exclusively upon one of them. We also know which standpoint we ourselves have to take with respect to the multiplicity of human views. We will not ask exclusively: What is true, what is false? We will always investigate how the intellectual world of a thinker goes forth from the world harmony; we will seek to understand and not to judge negatively and regard at once as error that which does not correspond with our own view. Another source of differentiation between our scientific standpoints is added to this one through the fact that every individual person has a different field of experience. Each person is indeed confronted, as it were, by one section of the whole of reality. His intellect works upon this and is his mediator on the way to the idea. But even though we all do therefore perceive the same idea, still we always do this from different places. Therefore, only the end result to which we come can be the same; our paths, however, can be different. It absolutely does not matter at all whether the individual judgments and concepts of which our knowing consists correspond to each other or not; the only thing that matters is that they ultimately lead us to the point that we are swimming in the main channel of the idea.” (Steiner, Goethean Science)

  216. John–

    Re percepts, abstractions, and thinking

    How does one tell the difference between an abstraction he or she creates from figurations formed of material percepts on the one hand and a non-material percept on a higher plane? That is, when I’m dealing with a Form (in the Platonic sense), is it something I’ve perceived or is it something I’ve created? And how do I tell the difference?

  217. @Sardaukar, #228 – he may not lose to them, but he could just possibly lose to Ron DeSantis.

  218. It’s just occurred to me that Russia could be behind some of the dangerous rhetoric coming out of the Canadian Trucker Convoy: it would be very easy, and desirable given how aggressive the American rhetoric has become, to distract the US from the Ukraine and leave them scrambling by launching a colour revolution here: simply put, even if it failed, the ensuing crisis it would generate would probably leave the US unable to pursue much in the Ukraine as it scrambled to deal with crisis at home. If there’s credible intelligence on this, that could also explain why Trudeau is “self-isolating at home”: assassination attempts on the head of government are a common tactic during the opening stages of a colour revolution.

    I’d suggest keeping an eye on Thunder Bay. If there is going to be an attempted colour revolution, seizing control of Thunder Bay would be crucial: it is a central link between eastern and western Canada, and there are no major roads or rail links going from the Quebec-Windsor Corridor to Western Canada that don’t go through there.

    If things get ugly this weekend, I’d expect major protests in large cities (ex: Toronto, Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, etc), but Thunder Bay would be an odd site for a major protest, unless the goal is to seize control of the crucial transpiration link. Or, if there’s credible evidence of a military deployment there, that could be a sign that the Canadian government is planning for one as well.

    All in all, this weekend could get very colourful indeed….

  219. Hi, CS2! Thank you so much for asking. I did have surgery in the spring of 2021. The suspect mass was benign and everything healed well. Unfortunately, in the fall I suffered a severe sudden hearing loss; I’d had it in one ear over a decade ago and this time it damaged my good ear, so that I’ve had to get hearing aids. It’s been a very tough few months emotionally and psychologically (and spiritually, for that matter), but I’ll get there eventually.

  220. @Steve #12

    Unless and until those truckers are ready, willing, and able to actually start killing people in the streets, this initiative will fail.

    Not necessarily as they can simply shut down Ottawa — a tweet just noted that the convoy itself is now bigger than the entire Canadian military.

  221. JMG,

    Why did Spengler call our civilization “Faustian”? Was it some kind of tragic hero thing? I noticed that Spengler did have a frankly over-dramatic look on life as a kind of grand tragedy. “Amor fati”, Caesar, Catiline… Or did he actually believe that we made a deal with a (metaphorical) Devil?

  222. Clark, thanks for this.

    Anonymous, interesting.

    Ottawan, well, we’ll see.

    Your Kittenship, it’s the standard gimmick the US uses to overthrow governments now that it’s no longer fashionable to send in the Marines. The CIA funds “nongovernmental organizations” to destabilize a government through protests, and then smuggles in mercenaries for the final push. The protests become riots, the riots become a putsch, and the government is overthrown and replaced by someone more friendly to the US agenda. If that’s what happens in Canada, though, I don’t think it’ll be the US that’s funding it.

    Hugh, thanks for this.

    Steve, I’ll be watching for that!

    Godozo, and that’s also a possibility.

    Justin, nothing that’s reliable. You might read some of Paul Devereux’s books on leys, and Nigel Pennick’s book Earth Harmony.

    Augusto, read the Presocratics and Plato to start with; their work remains ancestral to Western philosophy.

    Sardaukar, Trump isn’t the Changer, he’s just a temporary vessel for an archetypal force.

    Wastelander, both of those are correct.

    SiliconGuy, one of the most fascinating things about the current situation is the way that people who think they’re being innovative just keep on rehashing the same old dreary 1950s daydreams…

    Ash, no, you’re still minsunderstanding — specifically, you’re insisting on importing your understanding of thinking into the very different system of Kant et al. We do not “come into contact” with the thing in itself, ever, not through the will, not through anything else. We can reason about it, to the extent of our limited powers, but that’s just another round of representations. Since “the world is my representation,” dragging in epiphenomena is again an importation of an irrelevant concept — representations are all there is, and a sensation, a figuration, an abstraction, a reflection, a claim about what human beings can and cannot know about the world are all representations; one is not an epiphenomena of another. . When you say that “nobody denies” that the understanding gives objectively true statements about the world, you’re manhandling the thinkers you’re discussing to cram them into your worldview, and then criticizing them for not matching your worldview closely enough. By all means do that if it makes you feel better, but to anyone who’s grasped what Kant had to say, it’s an unconvincing ploy.

    “The world is my representation.” Again, that bears repeating, and meditating on. If the world I experience is my representation, and my thoughts about it are also representations, my philosophy is yet another representation, and can at best have only a representational relationship with the thing in itself. Since every claim of an objective truth turns out under examination to be yet another representation, Kant’s dictum is true for the world of representation — and that’s the world he’s talking about. He considers the whole world and shows that there are no objective realities jutting themselves into the world of representation. What’s going on out there in the world of objective reality? He doesn’t know, and neither does anyone else. Yes, I know you can twist this around to insist that his claim has to be turned into a statement about objective reality, but when you do that you’ve falsified what he’s saying.

    With regard to meditation, of course thinking is present in the meditative state. That’s why it’s possible to reflect on it, and to turn the process of thinking on itself so as to become conscious of it. As for Steiner’s mistaken cosmology, I wasn’t talking about the “old Saturn” et al., but the stages Steiner weirdly named after Theosophical continents — Polarian, Hyperborean, and so on. If you want to treat those as symbolic images — more representations! — I have no quarrel with that, but something that is symbolically true is not literally true, you know. Finally, of course it doesn’t make any sense to you to compare different claims of higher cognition to one another, in a proper Goethean fashion, or to note the relevance of the bitter disputes over dogma that have shaken the General Anthroposophical Society over and over again down through the years. But those do communicate certain very important things to me, as I’ve already said, and they’re among the reasons I find Steiner’s teaching flawed in crucial ways. “By their fruits’ — that is to say, the representations they produce — “ye shall know them.”

    David BTL, that’s one of the great challenges, of course. Since all you can experience are your various types of representations, you have to use indirect methods — reason (the art of comparing abstractions with one another and seeing how they fit), science (the art of comparing abstractions with figurations and seeing how they fit), and philosophy (the art of comparing abstractions with reflections and seeing how they fit.) A recognition that you may not be able to settle the matter, and a light touch on your abstractions, is helpful.

    Patricia M, thanks for these.

    Sardaukar, I haven’t quite gotten to the point of using my UW diploma for buttwipe but it sometimes takes an effort.

    Anonymous, that’s one possibility that’s occurred to me.

    Sister Crow, good to hear from you again! I hope things work out well.

    Tidlösa, that’s a detail from Native American legends about the Changer from the Northwest; the Changer is the one who changes the world so that it’s ready for the People. In the stories, “the People” are the Native tribe whose members tell the story. Who will the People be this time around? The Changer hasn’t said yet… As for “Faustian,” have you read Goethe’s Faust? The deal Faust makes with Mephistopheles in Goethe’s version is that the devil will serve him until Faust says, “Okay, this moment is perfect, I want it to stay with me” — and at that moment, Mephistopheles can drag Faust straight to Hell. To Spengler, it was a perfect metaphor for the quest for infinite extension that pervades Western culture.

  223. @Justin ‘ my spectacularly corrupt and unfair country ‘ . I lived some years in Canada, and I felt there was corruption yet it was hidden. Do you you have examples of it?

  224. Milyway (#149)

    I’m afraid the best I can do for you is a duck-duck-go search for “dirt eating.” I’m struggling to remember where I encountered the idea. It might have been mentioned in the writings of Masanobu Fukuoka (author of The One-Straw Revolution); he promoted the idea that a person who is sufficiently in tune with his body should know intuitively what he needs to eat.

  225. Regarding the Trudeau COVID self-isolation: Either Trudeau is unvaccinated, he is going above and beyond the local public health recommendations for no reason, or it is baloney. Ottawa public health recommendations do not require isolation for vaccinated people who have been exposed to COVID unless the exposee works with vulnerable people. I don’t think it is either of the first two, even if Trudeau isn’t vaccinated (a distinct possibility), it is not like rules apply to powerful people in Canada.

    I’m not quite ready to retract my statement that the protest will either be a nothingburger or it will accomplish little while providing an excuse for authoritarianism from Ottawa, but it is encouraging to see the size of the crowds on highway overpasses!

  226. @Stuart Cram

    Our fearless leader Boy Wonder has gone into ‘isolation’ due to ‘exposure to covid’. That happened right after he strongly asserted that the truckers are “holding unacceptable views…”

    These are the valiant tactics of a leader adeptly managing a crisis from the frontlines.

    Actually quite surprised, in all seriousness, with the convoy itself and it’s reported size. Interesting that other countries; US and Australia to name two, are cheering the truckers on.

  227. @ JMG:

    Thanks for the clarification on the Changer. Be very interesting to see who the next vessel will be…

  228. Supply chain warnings

    Shortages of critical components are starting to slow down everything.

    My friend’s farm tractor has been out of commission for six months because it needs an electronic component. Maybe by July…

    From a railroad forum, commenting on many fewer containers moving in recent weeks:

    “This is not a slow time. This is a near-shutdown from my lone perspective. I can only imagine where supplies will be in 6 months.

    Try buying 10-ply tires anywhere. I can list 20 things off the bat that are almost unobtainable out west. I run a small mining operation. Learning to do without some items. Stocked up on Toyo 10-ply tires last month. Fan belts, truck batteries, diesel oil I can go on. Can not get these items. Start looking for cars driving on unmatched tires.

    We mine like we are in the early 1900’s. We do not need too many modern contrivances. We do have lots of solar installed but getting new solar equipment is no longer an option due to supplies.

    I’ve been watching trains for 60 years. Something is very wrong.”

    “Many of the supply shortages are occurring in areas that the average consumer does not see, but that will cause severe consumer shortages in a few months or less. As an example, a friend of mine works in a plant that produces a large amount of the plastic fittings used in plumbing. The plant is down from three working shifts per day to one because there are no replacement parts available for the various extruding machines, etc. that are used to manufacture the fittings. So, if a machine breaks down and need parts, it just stays broken down–and off line. Another fellow that I know said that similar things are happening in the food processing plant where he works. I’ve done some of my own economic analysis (I did it for years in my prior line of work)–if one includes the people under retirement age who could work, but just don’t want to, the “real” unemployment rate right now would be near 10%. With what is coming due to inflation (caused by excess money creation by the government) and supply shortages, that rate could easily double in the next 6-8 months. At that point, we’re talking near Great Depression-era unemployment. In a way, I consider the railroads the “canary in the coal mine.” When you see significant drops across the board in railroad car loadings, it usually signals economic trouble ahead.”

    From
    https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?1,5409801

  229. I’ve been thinking that Martin Luther King’s civil rights campaigns in the South were magical workings. A book I’ve been reading says it this way. “White Americans had the sin of racism. African Americans would walk into the face of that sin. They’d take it on their shoulders. They’d suffer for it. They’d die for it. And with the blood sacrifice, they would redeem the soul of America, a vision of the movement formed by revelation.”
    I’m thinking that it was a magical working because it made a significant sacrifice that represented an implacable will. By bringing so many people into this non-violent approach, King increased the power of the working. It worked because the white Southerners were also Christians, who fully understood the sacrifice’s connection to the core myth of the crucifixion and resurrection.
    When King left the South to campaign in northern cities, all of that magic stopped working. In Chicago, King became just another representative of an ethnic group, trying to get a fair deal for his group among all of the other ethnic groups seeking fair deals.
    King’s magic not only didn’t work in the North, it invoked “magical blowback.” (I know there’s a better word, but I don’t know it.) He was stripped of the protection that his magical working gave him, and became the victim of an ordinary assassin hoping for payment from the powerful of Memphis.

  230. “The deal Faust makes with Mephistopheles in Goethe’s version is that the devil will serve him until Faust says, “Okay, this moment is perfect, I want it to stay with me” — and at that moment, Mephistopheles can drag Faust straight to Hell. To Spengler, it was a perfect metaphor for the quest for infinite extension that pervades Western culture.”

    Yes, that´s very much part of our mindset, isn´t it? Even in fine details. If you don´t change or “progress”, you are by definition regressing. Even Paul Ehrlich´s proposal to have an industrial-modern civilization with “only” two billion people (and enough food and space for everyone) was treated as super-reactionary. Despite my strong belief in progress (well, until recently), this is a mindset I never understood. To me, it´s obvious that once you reach “the perfect moment” (in my case, a functioning Scandinavian welfare state), there really is no point in moving “forward”. I never been that high on space exploration either. I sometimes feel mentally stuck in some kind of eternal 1970, 1980 or even 1990, with the rest of the world frantically moving on towards…well, it seems to be Hell! It´s funny, now when I reflect on it, that I´m actually quite “conservative” despite my “left-of-center” convictions!

    Will meditate on the above (sort of)…

  231. JMG – wondering if you could offer a step by step plan for dealing with anger about this mess we’ve in been in the past years? This past week I’m not sure what it is, but I’ve just really had it.

    I had a college professor butt into a conversation I was having with a friend about my daughter dropping out of college and let’s just say if I was a cartoon character there would have been steam coming out my ears. I was terse with her and told her flat out the policies she and others are doing are ruining kids lives. This women did not care at all. She felt it was her right to do things she is doing and that is that!!!

    I’ve stayed angry since that conversation Monday and I hate myself for it. But the more I try to stop being angry the worse it gets. I’ll find myself in tears thinking about the ruin people have cause and how they do not care at all about what they have done.

    I’m asking here how to get over it because I can’t be the only one. And its really hard looking at her, knowing she is vaxxed to the max, and knowing people expect me to have empathy for her if she is injured but I just can’t. The anger is in the way.

    There are people going through way worse and angry about a lot more significant things than this and I don’t know how they are dealing with it. I’ve heard if one buries anger it can turn into depression and maybe that’s how people are handling it.

    I’d love hear what others are doing too. I’ve always been able to deal directly with people one-on-one but in this situation people are so tied to some identity about covid that I’m talking with an actual thinking human but more like a representative of the covid borg who just repeats talking points and shoulder shrugs their lack of caring.

  232. “Color revolution” used to be a positive term used by liberals. I think the term gained in popularity in 2004-2005 after the so-called Orange Revolution in Ukraine. I haven´t heard the term for a long time, though. Perhaps it has been “hi-jacked”, so to speak, by the opponents of color revolutions? A bit like the terms “fake news” and “woke”, which I think were both liberal or leftist terms before being turned against the sender by Trump, etc. Indeed, wasn´t the flag of “Kekistan” (which looks parody Nazi) originally an anti-Alt Right meme? Libertarian, I think. Then, the Alt Right took it over. Welcome to the Internet, boyz and girlz!

  233. Has anyone noticed the coordinated media attack on Joe Rogan picking up over the last week? He’s too big of a hole in the corporate media narrative and they can’t stand it.

  234. I wanted to pass on an article. Some other readers may have picked this up already. It’s by Rod Dreher but is actually his review and commentary on an essay by Richard Hanania.

    For those like myself who’ve been scratching our heads about the sheer hysteria of it over the past few years, Hanania puts forth a thesis to explain the American elites’ hatred of Russia.

    I thought it a bit of a stretch at first, but Hanania’s well-argued references to both the senility and “soft racism” of the elites (which I think underpin his explanation) convinced me he has a valid point.

    I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this if you have time to look at it.

    Dreher’s article includes an outrageous cartoon of Trump and Putin that only the PMC could love!

    Cold War and Culture War

    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/cold-war-culture-war-russia-hungary/

  235. JMG and Commentariat
    Two book reports. I picked up a new book on a whim and it has proved very interesting, “Ages of American Capitalism” by Jonathan Levy published in 2021. At 760 pages it is long but is in 4 sections that could easily be read individually as they start with an overview that looks back enough to provide some perspective. Being an engineer and not a historian or economist I can’t speak to Levy’s accuracy but his content is fascinating. I am almost finished reading it and as I have gotten into the parts in my lifetime, I was born in 1948, I am finding that what I understood to be the situation with money and capital in America was in most cases wrong. I would love to hear back from members of this group who are more knowledgeable than I am about its contents. As I noted it has been a fantastic read.

    The second one is, “On Being Certain” by Robert Burton. A short, easy, fascinating read. Burton is a neurologist and he makes a great case for why we need humility around what we think we”know” because our evolved neurology is very limited. It was published in 2008. He ultimately echos much of what JMG has said about knowledge and the dangers of taking ourselves too seriously. Again I would love to hear back from anyone who has read it or does read it.

  236. JMG and everyone

    I’ve read that sapiens has on average shrunk in size quite a bit in the last 50,000 years, people nowadays shorter, lighter, with smaller teeth, smaller jaws, shorter faces and smaller brains. I’ve read that prior to the Holocene there was a lot more variation in our collective genetic storehouse than there is now, and that since the onset of the Holocene we’ve evolved to become a lot more like one another. I don’t know if this is because of convergent evolution by geographically dispersed populations or what. Someone called this the Holocene Filter, natural selection doing its thing on us.

    If you ask me sapiens used to look like a hockey team, ie tall and athletic, but in the last 10,000 years especially, we’ve become a whole lot less so. Would Woody Allen types (or reedy IT nerds for that matter) have survived during the last glacial maximum, especially in Eurasia? Maybe it’s the effect of agricultural technology on the food supply, the vast increase in available calories allowing the survival of specimens that would not have made it past childhood in an ice age hunting clan. And maybe it’s also the huge increase in the use of fossil fuels allowing a much less demanding lifestyle both physically and intellectually with people slotted in specialist roles instead of having to be generalists and having to learn a huge repertore of survival skills.

    The point is this, it seems to me that we’re careening towards a set of circumstances where selective pressures will no longer favour those types that we see currently see in socially and economically dominant positions, that is, we’ll see a return of the all-rounder, highly intelligent, physically capable, vastly unlike what we see today with the ubiquitous soft-handed, flabby, muscle-free variants possessing very specific sets of intelllectual abilities, sometimes very advanced skills, but otherwise as useless as can be in everything else. The dweebs we see in the office may have formidable programming and spreasheet skills, but how relevant will those be in the future world?

    Big Bang Theory types may be vastly talented and so too the actors that portray them but how good would those types be in hacking a patch of farmland out of a forest? Would they be of any use in a party of hunters trying to bring down bison without firearms? Or even with firearms?

    I wonder what sapiens will look like in 10,000 years. One guys said that by then the small percentage of Neanderthal genes left in us will have been culled out of existence. I wonder if increasingly difficult population movements (because of fossil fuel depletion) will result in more racial differntiation, or maybe the rise of new racial groups, variations that we haven’t as yet seen. They say that post-glacial European hunters were dark-skinned, with brown hair and blue eyes and that since that time, depigmentation, maybe with the rise of farming cultures, changed skin-tones in Eurasia, and with the expansion of farming cultures in Africa, skin colour in that part of the world also changed but it did the opposite, it darkened. IOW the world has since become both whiter and blacker.

    So I wonder if the process of natural selection will do a 180 so to speak with a change in the economy and environment and bring back into favour previously typical and numerically dominant physical and behavioral types.

  237. @John Evans,

    Maybe check if there is an embassy somewhere you can visit, forget your vaccine card at the hotel and go back for it, etc?

  238. JMG that’s some good fine print there. lol Did you ever think about becoming a lawyer? “if a housing unit is not occupied by the owner for at least 180 days a year, the laws apply. That’ll limit such individuals to two houses each, and of course it won’t give them any shelter at all for apartments.”

    Now the question is how do we get Congressman with a gazillion homes to pass such eloquent, simple, fine print? Because obviously such print won’t benefit them unless the choice is some form of French Revolution or passing such simple fine print.

    Booklover also made a comment about us being in crisis period. When in your mind did we go from normal to crisis period? Was it Biden’s election?

  239. Justin Moore – I’ve just pulled up the current street map for Sandusky, and I think I might be seeing what the old Mason put into the design. Most of the downtown area is a square grid, but there are three parks with triangular sides. These parks could be the ends and middle of the square, with Central Ave being the left side of the compass, and a “street with no name” (on my map) being the other. These two streets run diagonally through the grid squares. Whadda ya think?

  240. @jessica, fuzzy gnome:

    It’s been some years since I lived in Germany, but my impression is that all German governments since 1989, whatever they say to American presidents, have gone to considerable lengths to maintain a working relationship with Russia. Didn’t the USA threaten to impose sanctions on Germany if NordStream was completed, and wasn’t it completed nevertheless? After WikiLeaks showed the degree of espionage against the German government, and after Victoria Nuland’s comments on the EU, the relationship with the USA has cooled down noticably.

    That said, of course no Western or Central European government will directly affront the USA. There are still American soldiers in many countries, the American nuclear deterrent is still around, and overall the USA still treat their European allies/vassals much better than those in Latin America, for example.

  241. I’ve read quite a bit of material from and about Nicholas De Vere and my take is that he is the latest in a long line of colorful pretenders to the throne that one sees throughout European history, one who came up with his own (rather self-aggrandizing) monomyth.

    Here are a few links that might be of interest:

    http://www.paranoiamagazine.com/2016/05/kingdom-not-world/

    http://dragoncourt.net/09.html

    https://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/dragons/esp_sociopol_dragoncourt02.htm#part%202

    https://royaldragoncourt.com/the-royal-dragon-court

  242. @Davidbythelake,
    I read the architectural article. Very interesting, although I was puzzled as to why the writers were so careful of architect’s creative freedom. If they design things that leak and use lots of energy, why should they expect anyone to hire them? Why are people still hiring architects who do that? They’re supposed to be designing buildings for human use, not experimental art installations.

  243. I have a question this week. I was thinking about the article you wrote, “Hate is the New Sex,” and comparing it to my observations.

    I’ve noticed an incredible amount of “I am right and you are wrong” thinking, and also a lot of virtue signaling, judgement, and self-righteousness.

    Is this normal, historically? Obviously, the things that are judged as “right” and “wrong” have changed significantly over time, but has the amount of judgement changed? Does it stay constant, or follow cycles, or is this abnormally high (perhaps due to lack of community, or social media, or something else)?

    Just wondering your thoughts (and those of any other historians here).

    Sincerely

    Jessi Thompson
    anotheramethyst

  244. Responding to Mary Bennett (#211)–

    I highly doubt that many Israeli leaders or average citizens are thinking about “bolt-holes” to escape to in case they lose the next few MidEast wars; as someone with some Israeli family, and who’s followed a lot about Israeli affairs and the modern Zionist world in general over the years (I myself am a very non-Zionist Jew), I think that most Israelis feel right now they have “won.” The neighboring US-backed regimes in Egypt and Jordan are cooperative, Syria is still eating itself to the north, ISIS is done, they have relations now with the pro-western UAE and Bahrain, as well as an unspoken tacit peace with Saudi Arabia. They still whip up fear about Iran, but Iran’s main concern is of course the Saudis (though Iran still is backing Hezbollah in Lebanon, perhaps the main credible threat to Israel at the moment). And Israel for the moment has superiority over the Palestinians, though things are still tense, both in the territories as well as within Israel. And sure many American citizens and groups are increasingly boycotting Israel, but the US government’s military aid has strengthened during recent administrations..

    I think that Israelis are at their most arrogant right now regarding their status in the region (even as their domestic politics are increasingly divided). As with any small imperial client-state throughout history, and for all they fearmonger about Iranian nukes along with Palestinian knives and improvised rockets, they probably believe that the new Zion will last for centuries more, if not forever. Even for those who take note of US power declining, and citizen groups boycotting them, more Israelis are increasingly insisting that they don’t need US support anymore anyway, and they most certainly don’t envision what the long-term trajectory of events into the de-industrial age will do to their heavily tech-dependent economy, and the military that is sustained by it. In short, they are very strong believers in Progress, and believers in Progress don’t usually look for bolt-holes.

    Well, that started off as just a small response to what you mentioned about one of the possible factors in Ukrainian events over the past several years was some dual Israeli citizens there trying to have places to retreat to ahead of time if they see things go south for Israel, along with tenuous signs of reviving a supposedly Jewish ancient Khazaria (though I know you said you don’t really believe in any of those more fringe theories). I also find it hard to believe Israelis would be seriously considering Eastern Europe anyway (just yet), what with the collective memory of the Holocaust still fresh. Anyway, as you can see I have a lot of strong things to say about the matter.

    While it’s good to know that one day Jews around the world will again no longer base so much of their identity around an ephemeral nation-state thousands of miles away from them, I certainly *wish* that more Israelis would have more long-term vision and look for bolt-holes to fall back on, since like I said earlier I do have some family in Israel; I worry about what will happen to my cousins, their children, and their grandchildren as everything in the Long Descent makes the Middle East, including Israel (as long as it’s still around) even more chaotic over the next century or two.

    Regarding Ukraine again though, I found your mention of agribusiness going after black-earth there very interesting, I hadn’t heard about that stuff at all before! Definitely sounds like a particular resource curse we’ll hear more about going forward as the growing topsoil crisis gets much worse.

  245. Dear Sister Crow, It’s so good to read your comment although I am very sorry how challenging your past year has been. For whatever it might be worth, I’ve missed reading your comments and considering your perspective. Would you be open to it if I were to pray that you might be protected and blessed?

  246. Denis, may I ask why did you even permit the rudeness of the professor? IMO, rudeness deserves the same back. I might have said, I wasn’t talking to you, and if that did not work, Please mind your own affairs and I will take care of mine. I have found it helps me to treat conversations or encounters which did not go well for me as learning experiences. I ask myself, what might I have done. That does not excuse the other person or persons, nor does it saddle me with guilt. What that procedure does do for me is help me come up with new tactics in how to navigate an increasingly difficult social terrain. You have every right in the world to protect yourself.

  247. Anonymous #210: thanks for the high-level analysis of Canada’s charts. Warning taken; now in brace position. Your comments line up a lot with my intuition: a lot of psychic energy has been building in the country – and lately shifting and growing by leaps and bounds – and it will need to be discharged (there’s no way it is going to dissipate into nothingness). A new Canada is being born, but the birth will not be an easy one.

  248. Sardaukar, I’ve got my suspicions, but we’ll see.

    Mark L, roughly 15% of the shelves in my neighborhood grocery are empty right now, and it’s in better shape than most of the big national chains. Thanks for the heads up — I don’t have the least doubt that it’s going to get much, much worse.

    Tomriverwriter, that strikes me as a very astute analysis. “Magical blowback” is a perfectly good phrase.

    Tidlösa, the recognition that progress can be a bad idea, and maybe we should just settle down for a while, is literally the most revolutionary idea in the world right now. Thank you for making room for it.

    Stellarwind72, did you notice the contradiction between your first sentence and your last one? If we’ve been in decline since 1974 — and indeed we have — then it’s not a fast collapse we have to worry about, it’s the Long Descent, and we’re in it right now. We don’t have to wonder about what’s going to happen. It’s happening — and it’s happening in the same gradual way as in every other fallen civilization of the past. (BTW, it’s a source of great amusement to me to see Counterpunch talking about catabolism; they’re quoting me, though they probably don’t know it.)

    Denis, the only approach I know of is the one taught by the Order of Spiritual Alchemy, which I posted on my Dreamwidth journal over a period of a couple of months a while back. It uses systematic journaling and reflection to get to the roots of anger and other “stuck” emotions. You might consider it.

    Youngelephant, he also has an audience that dwarfs theirs. That’s why they’re so terrified of him.

    Blue Sun, I’ll take a look when time permits.

    Tomxyza, hmm! Thanks for these.

    Roger, that actually happens quite regularly whenever civilizations fall. You get Dark Age conditions, in which physical strength and vitality count for a lot more than abstract intellect, and there’s a lot of pruning of bloodlines through war, famine, pestilence, and so on. Then conditions stabilize, societies move toward greater complexity, and once again the geeky types are in the ascendant. It’s one of the normal rhythms of our species and we seem to have handled it very well for the last five thousand years.

    Austin, congresscritters will pass it if they think it will get them reelected — and they’ll pass it even faster if they think it will keep them from dangling from lampposts. I considered going to law school, for what it’s worth, but decided I wanted an honest job instead. 😉 As for the dawn of our crisis period, that was the inauguration of Donald Trump in January 2017; it’s accelerated from there.

    Sardaukar, thanks for these. I’m a fan of colorful scoundrels, so I’ll find time to give them a read.

    JeffBKLYN, yes, I saw that, and I was already familiar with Steiner’s prophecy. One of the things about visionary experience as a mode of knowledge is that it very often includes bits of accurate information — the challenge is always figuring out what to take literally and what to take symbolically. I’m still not sure which of those applies to this particular vision of his, but it’s interesting.

    J.L.Mc12, I did indeed. It’s funny, in a bleak sort of way.

    Jessi, the amount of rigid moral dualism in a society is a very sensitive measure of just how much collective stress that society is feeling. The current obsession with right and wrong shows that we’re under immense collective stress; there have been many other times in history when stress levels were lower and people were less fanatic about insisting that everyone had to think the same things they did.

    Ash (offlist), enough. You’re just hammering on the same points already addressed, and wasting my time and that of my readers. I quite understand that “Steiner said it, I believe it, that settles it” is a conclusive argument to you, but most people find it unconvincing — no doubt you’ll convince yourself that this proves that you’re at a higher level of evolution than the rest of us, or some such thing. In any case, you’ve made your point, I’ve made mine, and I fail to see any point in making another attempt to get you to grasp certain ideas that you’ve made it clear you’re not willing to let yourself think. Now go away.

  249. @Dropbear,

    In the alternative, unpublishable sciences, there is a lot of scientific study of death and the afterlife. I recommend reading the work of Ian Stevenson.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ian_Stevenson

    He studied many cases of apparent reincarnation and found some compelling evidence. From there, you can read about near death experiences, and that might just launch you into a broader study of paranormal science. One caveat, evidence of reincarnation derived from hypnosis generally isn’t credible, so don’t bother with that. (That’s not what Ian Stevenson studied, by the way. He investigated claims made by children who remembered past lives.)

    There are some incredibly compelling findings out there that will never be published in the “credible” journals solely because it would make those journals appear less credible. Yes, there’s junk science out there, too, but that’s true for the mainstream science, as well.

    Sincerely,

    Jessi Thompson
    anotheramethyst

  250. Grey Tuesday Man, thank you for your response. I don’t doubt you know much more about the ME than I do. I have also noticed that Israel seems to be taking steps to get along with its’ neighbors, a necessity when you move into a dangerous neighborhood. I doubt the USA can afford the military aid much longer.

    I have read that national seed banks were destroyed in Afghanistan, Iraq and Egypt. The scientists in charge of the Syrian seed bank have gone to heroic lengths to preserve their treasures. Some seeds were sent out of the frying pan into the fire of Svalborg, only to be “accessed” by a biotech organization. More recently, the Syrian scientists have sent seed to be stored in Morocco. Biotech covets the historic grains and pulses of the Fertile Cresent for the purposing of patenting.

    I do like to wander the far reaches of internet fantasyland; sometimes one learns things and a lot has to be evaluated and discarded.

  251. @sistercrow,
    glad to hear from you, and sorry to hear that you’ve had such a tough time. I hope that the worst of it is over, and things get better for you from here on in.

  252. @Roger re: #264 –

    I’ve often wondered if the upcoming (2025-26) ingress of Neptune into Aries, and especially the coming Saturn-Neptune conjunction at zero degrees of Aries, might be indicative of an impending “revenge of the jocks,” so to speak. I suspect the heavy predominance of the nerds in the present time is in part a manifestation of the heavy Aquarius/Pisces influences we’ve been having ever since 1996 (Uranus ingress into Aquarius)…or simply a reflection of the temporarily availability of technological substitutions for muscle strength and physical labor.

  253. Justin,

    He also claims he tested negative. Even if he’s unvaccinated, at that point he’s not required to self isolate…..

  254. @Hackenschmidt: “In the end, the land and its resources belong to whoever stands there with a firearm and is willing to die to keep them.” “Empires die in daycare”

    That is too simplified. As JMG has often written, declining natality is typical of a certain cultural stage. That doesn’t mean the land will immediately be conquered and invaded. Augustus, in the last decades BC, tried to boost natality among the Roman citizenry by all means available to him, with little success. Nevertheless, the empire stabilized in the following centuries, largely by expanding the definition of “Roman” to include Hispanic, African, Gaulish and even Syrian provincials. It only came near disintegration in the middle of the 3rd century AD, more than 250 years later. 250 years is more than the age of the USA so far. In fact, the empire rallied again, and even in the 5th century AD the military commanders of Germanic descent sought legitimate power within, not the destruction of the empire – men like Stilicho, Merobaudes or Ricimer. As long as the economy and the cultural nimbus of Rome were strong enough, the lack of Roman-born children was made up by the integration of foreigners.

    The Chinese landed gentry and the Muslim cultured merchant class dominated their states for centuries while disdaining military action. They made up by recruiting foreign soldiers, which sometimes backfired. But again, the duration of the Tang dynasty or the Abbasid caliphate was comparable or longer than the age of the USA so far. Every culture falls down at some point.

  255. I think another consideration in the decline of childrearing in the privileged classes depends on the rules of inheritance. The French, for example, tended toward smaller families in the countryside because the family land would be divided between all the sons, leading to smaller and smaller farms until you get property too small to support a family. In England, OTH, the eldest son gets the property, younger sons are forced to join the army or navy or choose one of the careers suitable for a gentleman: church, law or government service. So you end up with an educated class ready to go out and conquer and administer colonies. In the US anyone who makes a will can distribute property as they see fit, while for the intestate the law favors equal distribution. Polygamous societies get even more complex; questions of children by wives vs. those by concubines, rivalry between the mothers, and so forth. No wonder the Ottoman Empire ended up paralyzed and run by the court eunuchs.

    When a couple in the US are discussing costs of childcare vs income, they usually subtract those costs only from the woman’s income. If Dad makes $60000 and Mom makes $55000 and childcare costs $45000 it is seen as meaning that there is no point in Mom working as she will only be seen as bringing home $1000. Since abandoning a career while the children are young essentially means giving up hope of advancement once one returns, many women don’t want to take the chance, especially in this era of easy divorce, very little spousal support and difficulty even in collecting child support. A feminist I read a while ago pointed out that since the children belong to both parents it makes more sense to add incomes and subtract childcare from the total: $115000-50000=70000 thus erasing the idea that Mom is not contributing enough to be worthwhile. This line of thought is unlikely to overcome the traditional assumption that care of the home and the children is the responsibility of the wife.

  256. With regards to Joe Rogan, recently Neil Young demanded the music streaming service Spotify either remove Rogan’s material or his, claiming Rogan was spreading misinformation (translation: voicing opinions Young didn’t like on issues like COVID vaccine safety). Spotify responded by removing Young’s music while refusing to comply with his demands to cancel Rogan. I think it’s pretty clear which way the winds are shifting…

  257. Hi JMG,

    It is rare when I am NOT awestruck by your writing. I particularly enjoy when you come up with (at least from my perspective) novel and original definitions for standard and common concepts. Your reply to David BTL in post #248 is the most recent example, where you stated definitions for reason, science, and philosophy using … parallelism? (I hope I got that literary device right).

    Before today, the last example I remember (off the top of my head) of being awestruck at one of your definitions was when you defined empire as a wealth pump in your book “Decline and Fall.” I’m sure I’ve seen the official dictionary definition of empire countless times over decades, but coming across your definitions then and now felt and feel like being hit with Newton’s apple or seeing the light outside Plato’s cave.

    Which finally got me to work up the nerve to ask you:
    Do you have some sort of algorithm whereby you create such novel and original definitions? Or, in the most basic words I can state, How do you do this???

    -Eugene

  258. Austinofoz

    “There is something else I’ve noticed this past month, hatred for the Baby Boomers is popping up in A LOT OF PLACES that I frequent. My coworkers have had many small conversations about the clueless boomers who come through the big chain store we work in. (I read enough of the sort of thing online but ever since this 1/2 assed Christmas has gone by it seems Boomer hate is everywhere.) Gen-xers, Millennials, and Gen-Z people, I’ve heard many from each age bracket weigh in on the Boomers this past month…..”

    I was born in ’46, which makes me one of the eldest of the Boomers. When speaking of the Boomers, consider there were actually two distinct waves. The first was born between the late 40’s and the mid 50’s, and the second from the mid 50’s through the mid 60’s As broad categories based on pop culture, I call them the Hippies and the Punks. Worth noting, the Punks had a distinct antipathy for the Hippies, but now they’re all lumped together by succeeding generations.

    The first wave of the boomers distained their predecessors, the “Greatest Generation.” They weren’t called that then; they didn’t get their honors until later, after many of them were gone. They were called “The Establishment,” considered clueless, blamed for all the then current ills (largely the same as the present ones) and held in contempt. They mostly gone now, and the few remaining are not worth noting in the assignment of guilt. This puts the Boomers at the top of the list.

    The Gen-Xers are fewer in number by comparison to the Boomers, and being mostly the offspring of the Hippies, were really an extension of them, sharing the cultural baggage, ideals, music, etc. of the 60’s. They’re 50 and over now, and attempts to distance themselves from their parents are futile, since the mind of a twenty something makes little distinction between persons between the ages of 50 and 70.

    The Millennials are a much larger demographic, but they’re getting into their 40’s now, which is too old to be identifying as the nations’ youth. As long as they have the Boomers above them, they can rest on their virtue, but the Boomers are beginning to pass off. I keep track of former classmates and cohorts, and quite a few have died. When the Boomers are gone, or their numbers significantly reduced, the Millennials will take their place at the head, and inherit the mantle of guilt for the then current ills.

    I suspect that most of the Boomer hatred one hears comes not from Gen-Xers or Millennials, but from Gen-Zers, who have two places between themselves and the apex, and who are convinced that everything would be different if they held the power controls, as we similarly believed. Be assured that whatever generation one belongs to, at length it will be at the top, considered clueless and held responsible for the then current ills, guilty and despised.

  259. @JMG: If January, 2017 was the dawn of our crisis period, what do you call the period from 2001 on up? Which was definitely a massive turning point at 9/11 (The current cycle’s Pearl Harbor).

    And have you done a Mundane Astrology chart for the nation on Trump’s inauguration day? Would love to see one.

    @tomriverwriter re Martin Luther King … but look at who won in the long run! Who is widely considered the saint of the Civil Rights movement, whose birthday is now a national holiday.

  260. So many posts! and it is only Thursday. I have another nuke article you might like, and a question:
    https://www.powermag.com/blog/former-nuclear-leaders-say-no-to-new-reactors/

    Seems like a lot of bad news about nukes lately. And from some pretty reputable sources. The statement in the article is from some pretty reputable guys, and seems pretty on the nose technically. Is there a perception change about nukes, or has the “algorithm” got me dialed in to present me stories I will read? I would normally think the latter, but the quality and prominence of the anti-nuke articles is impressive. I am more used to nothing but cheerleading for nukes.

    To add to the discussions about compelling villains, just finished the Netflix series “Midnight Mass.” The villains were especially compelling because they were so absolutely certain that they were special, and the sole unassailable arbiters of Right and Wrong, and proceeded to do some pretty misguided things based on that moral certainty. Maybe a little like real life, but in a morre fantastic setting. Quite a nice change from the typical Netflix shows.

  261. “[And note what when I call the God/Deity “He/Him” I’m using the pronouns in their generic, universal sense. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that the God I fear is using us for amusement is actually female, dark, and from Africa (Via Egypt, where she found a Semitic race worth serving for many years before seeking out entertainment (and possibly other things) in These United States.). And as for NonBinary Gendered Gods, I won’t exclude THAT possibility, either.]”

    I think that the ground of all being would escape such a normative classification of sex before he took on humanity.

    The reason God is referred to as “He” is that God didn’t “give birth” to creation or that God is synonymous with creation.

    This God spoke reality into existence. His words “fertilized” the void and made all existence.

    Likewise in regards to God’s relation to human beings. Gods “uncreated energies” penetrates the materiality and spirits of mankind but vice versa doesn’t happen.

    Therefore referring to God as masculine makes more sense. Plus it looks like in the Prophets this God does refer to himself as the husband of Israel.

    The Man of the relationship in a sense without possessing maleness himself. Except in the human incarnation.

    And if this incarnation is the very Icon of God the Father whom the incarnate God refers to as his own Father.

    That also would confirm that classification. People who wish “God was a woman” don’t understand God on a fundamental level.

  262. @JMG, Jessi

    “the amount of rigid moral dualism in a society is a very sensitive measure of just how much collective stress that society is feeling. The current obsession with right and wrong shows that we’re under immense collective stress; there have been many other times in history when stress levels were lower and people were less fanatic about insisting that everyone had to think the same things they did.”

    Collective stress exacerbates polarization. Polarization produces tribalization in which the friend-enemy distinction is marked out.

    That results in a tinderbox that precedes War. I suspect this is a similar situation to the conditions that lead to the American Civil War.

    But given how it isn’t so clean cut and balkanized unlike last time. It is more likely to look like Yugoslavia if things hit the fan.

  263. @JMG

    “You get Dark Age conditions, in which physical strength and vitality count for a lot more than abstract intellect, and there’s a lot of pruning of bloodlines through war, famine, pestilence, and so on. Then conditions stabilize, societies move toward greater complexity, and once again the geeky types are in the ascendant. It’s one of the normal rhythms of our species and we seem to have handled it very well for the last five thousand years.”

    In those times I think. The Geeky types if they are good Strategists will find their niches advising Warlords on how to be effective in their application of violence.

    Men like Zhang Liang, Zhuge Liang and Sima Yi. Cunning never loses its place.

    Or those who are able to be both geeky and effective in himself fighting on the battlefield in many occasions too like Scipio Africanus.

  264. Hello JMG and fellow commenters

    @Jessica #50
    “Any European reader care to comment about why Europe follows the US lead even when it is manifestly harmful to Europe?”

    As a matter of fact, I don’t consider myself as an “European”. Europe is an appendage of Asia and should be named “Extreme Western Asia” in my opinion. I’m nitpicking 🙂 But, there is nothing such as a european people or nationality or what have you. Europe is a pure geographical concept and most of the political divides have been in place since the end of Charlemagne’s reign.

    My opinion may be a bit biased here for two reasons. First, I’m French and desesperately French in the patriotic way. Second, I’m a gaullist. Charles de Gaulle once said “Patriotism is the love of one’s country. Nationalism is the hatred of others'” (translation’s mine).

    Our so-called “elites” are, in my view, totally illegitimate. For the last 50 years, at least in France, our successive governments have been working against the highest national interest (which is basically high treason in the french law). and, more recently, they have ignored the result of the 2005 referendum by which the people expressed a clear no to further “european integration”. By the spirit of the constitution of the Fifth French Republic, they should have resigned.

    That being said, I think our european leaders simply don’t care about their people, only care about themselves and pleasing ther master when it serves their own interest. When they think they can get a better political bargain, they start to “bite” back as examplified recently by our so-called president who tries to get himself an international posture talking with Mr Putin just to appear irreplaceable in the coming presidential election this year.

    Hope this helps.

  265. Apparently an out of control rocket from Musk is on track to crash into the moon. What do we think that symbolises?

  266. Hello everyone (again)

    Sorry for the double comment but I have now a question for our dear host. After my first comment, I’ve kept on browsing news sources I like and I came to read this article:

    Is Old Music Killing New Music?

    I’d like to know John Michael’s opinion about this one.

  267. @Aldarion #268:

    “Didn’t the USA threaten to impose sanctions on Germany if NordStream was completed, and wasn’t it completed nevertheless?”

    Yes, that was a very hopeful sign of Germany finally growing some proverbial gonads, but the actual use of the pipeline has been blocked, officially because of some legal technicality. This week I read that this issue has been solved, but that it will take at least until spring before the pipeline can be used. How convenient.

    Luckily our great benefactor, the US, is willing to send us some ships filled with gas, so we don’t freeze this winter. In our local media this is presented as a good thing, because we shouldn’t become dependant on those evil russkies, as they might close the pipeline at any moment. Most people don’t realise that currently the US is keeping the pipeline closed.

    I agree that the relation between the US and Germany has cooled off quite a bit and I hope this will continue, but -as I understand it- the new chancelor is very much a US puppet, so we’lll see..


    fuzzy gnome

  268. Lunar Apprentice #107

    Re: 1978 carburated pick-up.

    You may already be aware, but carburetors do not like ethanol. I think the ethanol leads to condensation in the carburetor that eventually ruins the float.

    Just saying that it’s probably a good idea to use no-ethanol gasoline if you have a supplier nearby despite the higher price.

  269. Another magical question. After reading some more on the Golden Dawn, it seems that a lot of their practices have influences from the Catholic church as well as other sources. How strong do you think the influence of the Catholic church and its symbolism is on this ritual system? Or was the source all of this something more ancient passed down from antiquity and it got transmogrified into a Christian form due to the Chistian beliefs omnipresent in the 19th century?

    For that matter, how did Christianity get its ritual? Was it that there was a team of operating mages that turned Christian and crafted the basic concepts (i.e transubstantiation, eucharist etc.) or was it more organic, picking up practices from the other mystery cults and giving them a Christian spin?

    That’s a lot of questions, but I hope they’re interesting to answer.

  270. @ Info
    Yes, that’s me. I said I wasn’t going to go back after they banned me and I stuck to it.
    While I appreciate a lot of people miss me and I miss a lot of them, I don’t miss Twitter, which has become very No Fun Allowed.
    Anyone who misses me enough to want to get in contact, are advised to hit up Wombat in his DMs and ask politely.

    As for why I haven’t resurfaced elsewhere, to paraphrase an old game “All the effort in the world would have gone to waste, until my hour has come again”. Sometimes I need to be quiet, listen and gather my strength, otherwise I’ll just end up repeating myself, in order to serve some vain notion that I’m making a difference.

    @Yvonne Rowse
    The relevant video discussing the use of “Clean Air Zones” as a pretext for economically gatekeeping private vehicle ownership is in the following: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqtm7EvthUc

    Title is “Your Motor car or Motorcycle may become EXTINCT sooner than you think! HERE’S WHY!”

    Stuart’s video titles can be counter intuitive when he’s talking about politics, because never the intended focus of his channel. He’s just someone who really likes riding retro motorcycles for fun and I mainly got onto his channel as a result of a similar interest in retro style motorcycles. Unlike a lot of boomers, he is genuinely concerned about new generations missing out on pleasures he has enjoyed. I can sympathise, I know what it’s like to have a simple pleasure destroyed due to the petty cruelty inherent to contemporary politics.

    Stuart doesn’t necessarily share my view that this is about hoarding of fossil fuels for the upper classes. That’s an interpretation of the situation I have, because it seems the simplest explanation for the differences between the stated aims of climate change policy and their actual, black and white legal wording.

  271. @JMG #129:
    “As for immortality, if I ever get around to writing my satire on Tolkien, the cultural senility of the elves will be a major theme…”
    That reminded me of this, which I thought you might find interesting:
    https://existentialcomics.com/comic/353

    @Anonymous #122:
    There’s some Harry Potter fanfiction out there with _much_ better versions of Voldemort and company, aye. Though I don’t think I’ve seen your exact proposal anywhere, and I’m pretty sure I _would_ have remembered noticing a story that explicitly had the natural decline of modern non-magical civilization in it.

    @JMG #133:
    “Of course of Rowling had done that she wouldn’t be richer than Queen Elizabeth, because pretending that all your opponents are evil because they want to be evil, or because they’re psychologically crippled in ways you can subtly or not so subtly mock, is central to the worldview of the modern privileged left.”
    Even better (that is, much worse, from the modern privileged left’s perspective): So the evil Wizard Freedom Front doesn’t like Muggledom and its corrosive, invasive values. You know, things we Good People obviously support like, uh, not having legal gay marriage, because this is the 1990s at the latest and, checking Wikipedia, England, Wales, and Scotland didn’t get that until 2014. Magical Britain, of course, wasn’t keen to take relationship advice from the Christians persecuting them, and even the noble families very concerned with lineage can just use magic to welcome adopted children fully into the family. Okay, but what about gender equality? Surely those reactionaries must… oh, right, basically any differences in physical ability pale in comparison to magic, which the sexes are equally good at, so wizards and witches have fully equal rights and it’s a complete nonissue. Same with transgender people? Because a combination of the Mind Arts to figure out the best course of action and sex change potions if needed just completely take care of that, and then no one cares? Right… but they’re surely racist, at least? Actually, because instead of taking part in global imperialism for a few centuries and needing to find excuses to exploit and enslave their fellow humans, they were instead banding together even more tightly internationally to stay hidden? …These people _are_ the villains, right? I mean, it’s obviously not our plucky heroes who are the Bad Guys, these good-hearted kids and their teachers who, sure, make mistakes (like that little easily-overlooked oopsie of not noticing, for a decade, while actively monitoring him, that you’d put a child into an abusive home), but are still doing their best, and, after all, do favor Democracy (ahh, warm and fuzzy…). Neither of the other two factions like Democracy; the WFF favors an aristocracy people can’t just buy their way into. But we’ve already covered them, so I guess the Bad Guys must be this _third_ faction, then, the Ministry of Magic! That bloated, stagnant, bureaucratic body filled with incompetent “experts”, who control the mainstream media and feed the public upbeat-sounding pablum and distracting celebrity scandals while really just looking out for their… own… interests…

    Yeah, somehow, I don’t think that that would have sold as well.

    @Anonymous #198:
    I mean, even in canon, werewolves are pretty oppressed… and a whole _one_ of them decides the protagonists’ team is the best route to better rights and living conditions. Quite a few others? Yeah, they side with Canon Voldemort, the insane sadist who likes to torture his own followers. Sooo, it kind of looks like either the people in canon who talk about how werewolves are evil are substantially _right_, and Lupin’s an exception, or for _some reason_, the werewolves just have _that_ little faith in the Good Side.

  272. Hi John Michael and also Your Kittenship (meow! Respect, although candidly I prefer canines),

    Had to laugh at the comment about colour revolutions. The federal opposition leader down here a few days ago apparently made some, oh well, you can make of it what you will: Anthony Albanese praises communist China as the best economy in ‘human history’ – but expects relationship with superpower to remain frosty whoever wins election.

    Best economy ever huh? Well, maybe, but it seems like a big call to me as right now that lot are having some super sized property related economic troubles (as are we) – which may be a (dare I say it) may become a contagion? Hey, I thought that it was funny. 🙂

    Maybe it is just me, but the best economy in human history would to my mind be one that is sustainable over deep time. Perhaps I’m asking too much?

    An inch and a half of tropical rain fell today, after a very hot morning. Me tired from working outside in the hot summer sun.

    Hope your winter isn’t too severe and that you are enjoying the part of the world you both now reside in? For some reason my mind keeps coming back to Chowder whenever I think about your part of the world – dunno why. Whenever seafood chowder is done well, it is a meal of tasty beauty.

    Cheers

    Chris

  273. All–

    Wanted to pass along some happy news. You all may remember some time ago I had asked for prayers for a young coworker and his wife who’d miscarried. Well, two days ago the couple welcomed a son into the world.

  274. By the way (following up from my earlier comment), Bret Devereux is posting a series on a topic that is very near the the core interest of TADR and the current site: the end of the Western Roman Empire. A very thorough part 1 is up and has engendered a lively discussion. Part 2 should appear tomorrow.

    This week’s post, on how a university education in humanities can justify its cost towards those tax-payers who won’t themselves go to university, is also very interesting and produced an even more animated discussion that had to be reined in from time to time.

  275. (JMG) “Yoyo, every few decades somebody announces that the first immortal person has already been born. They’re reliably wrong — though it’s a great sales pitch. As for immortality, if I ever get around to writing my satire on Tolkien, the cultural senility of the elves will be a major theme…”
    Jonathan Swift, in the third of the four Gulliver’s Travels, made his hero visits Luggnagg, where each year, a few newborns happens to be immortal beings. The portrait of the destiny, physical decay and the miserable eternal life of these “struldbrugs” is the best antidote to any immortality wish…

  276. @ Dropbear and Jessi, regarding afterlife science–

    An organization called the Bigelow Institute recently had a very big– as in big prize money– contest for essays demonstrating the survival of consciousness beyond bodily death. You can read the 29 winning essays here:

    https://www.bigelowinstitute.org/contest_winners3.php

    Also, @ Dropbear, regarding preparation for death– This used to be something that people talked about openly, and in fact it was considered a major, or even THE major, component of spiritual practice. I strongly recommend approaching the topic from another angles. I can second JMG’s recommendation of Dion Fortune’s work. I’d also recommend reading Plato’s Phaedo, which deals with exactly this subject, and I’d recommend (if you like listening to lectures) listening to some of Pierre Grimes’s work on the Phaedo, which can be found on YouTube. Here’s a good place to start: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yTw7Jf1iErI&t=3600s&ab_channel=PierreGrimesandtheNoeticSociety

    Elsewhere on this page, JMG referenced Goethe’s method of comparative morphology. I tend to take exactly that approach to the spiritual life– set the teachings of a number of different traditions alongside one another, and look for the common denominator. In that vein, in addition to the scientific literature, Dion Fortune, and Plato, I’d recommend reading the extensive Tibetan literature on death and reincarnation, including the Tibetan Book of the Dead and commentaries on it, and Christian material as well– there used to be a whole literary genre called “Ars Moriendi” or “art of dying,” some of which material is still available online.

    Finally, it’s worth noting that Plato says in the Phaedo that the purpose of philosophy is to prepare for death– and JMG describes magic here as applied philosophy. Have you considered taking up an occult discipline of some kind? The work doesn’t care whether or not you believe in it.

  277. Ellen: I use a Nokie TA-1282. I spent $45 on it. It makes phone calls with a great battery life and works just fine. It has a web browser that’s kind of janky but works well enough if your idea of surfing the net on your phone consists of reading blogs written by Archdruids, actuaries, Italian chemistry professors, Russian sailboat enthusiasts, and ranty fellows who hate modern architecture.

    The downside is that you’ll have to delete your texts now and then cause it doesn’t have much storage space, and also the timestamps get weird sometimes. However if you wanna use it as an mp3 player you can stick an SD card in it, plus it has no problem with bluetooth.

    Getting off of the smartphone train was a great decision, it’s freed up so many hours from my day.

  278. @youngelephant: Yup, I’ve definitely noticed the attack on Joe Rogan, this past week or two. Also, meanwhile, Tim Pool has been literally attacked/”swatted” (a term I hadn’t heard before). I don’t listen to Tim Pool but some of my family do and from what I gather the MSM can’t stand him, as something of centrist, talking to people like Bannon and many others, humanizing them.

    @Lathechuck: Re: Sandusky! That’s it! Here is a little bit about it with maps of the original street plans: https://freemasonry.bcy.ca/history/sandusky/sandusky.html
    I’ve never been up there, but really want to go up there and do a psychogeographic drift around Sandusky now, as well as walk out that pattern.

    & BTW… getting ready for Winter Field Day with my ham club this weekend. I kind of prefer it to the summer version as the big contesters in the club stay home and people can just have more fun. It’s more low key and people can hop on and off the radios. We do have some great Summer Field Day traditions, like the “Midnight Steak Out” feast for the Knights of the Radio Round Table, but the contest mentality in the club can be a turn off to new people -kind of a power struggle within our club, from those who’d like to try different things / locations, and those who want to keep it the way it is -having it in the same location for the past forty years or something. Either way, it’s still a good club… but maybe you’ll be on the air this weekend?

    @JMG: I’ve read some Deveraux in the past, but will have to revisit him now that I’m getting into this again. I like Pennick’s writings quite a bit, those I’ve read, so I’ll look into finding a copy of Earth Harmony. Thank you!

  279. A very heartfelt thanks to everybody else who replied to my question about salt, notably Jasper, Justin, Mary, BoysMom, Weilong – you folks rock big time!! I think I might need a few days following up all your links and pointers… 😉

    BoysMom, yes, I‘m in Germany. Thanks a lot for the references, lots of material in there!

    Weilong, I have a copy of the One-Straw Revolution here, but haven‘t gotten along to reading it yet. That‘s a good reason to put it more to the top of the pile.

    Justin, I prefer to think of myself as spicy rather than salty. 😉 Very interesting links, thanks! One could easily get lost on that site.

    Hm, so the essence seems to be that trade and (surface-level) mining were way more widespread than I thought, even down to very small villages and far-off living tribes. A shame – I was kinda excited to explore the possibilities of generating salt from plants. 😉

    (That‘s not to say I won‘t try the sage and coltsfoot ashes!)

    Milkyway

  280. Hi JMG,

    If I remember correctly, you predicted a few years ago that the price of bitcoin was going to crash in a relatively short time-frame, and end up being worth a few dollars at most. Do you still expect that to be the case?

  281. I was wondering if any one knows the status of the Aztec chanting in California schools. Is it still going ahead? Has it started?

    Will O

  282. @Roger @JMG

    While I think the archdruid has a reasonably good point, I would like to add one additional take to this discussion. Namely, while I agree with the archdruid that overspecialized nerds might find it hard to make it through a decline era, I think there will still be niches for them to fill. After all, some of the more balanced descendants of the people hunched over a computer today could well find their niche hunched over a craftman’s bench in the future. The partially autistic obsession with detail and objects can be useful in many scenarios, so long as it does not go too far.

    And additionally – while it is true that the more prestigious roles in a truly dark age society might be filled by warriors, it needs to be remembered that they have their own “occupational hazards” to contend with. In many cases, the humble craftsman raising his family in a cottage might do better than the flashy warlord, who after all is one unlucky break away from dying in battle or in a power dispute.

  283. A hypothetical situation: What if NATO stages an incursion into Russia and establishes a bridgehead on Russian territory, and Russia then wipes it out with a tactical nuclear weapon small enough that the blast and fallout affect Russian territory only.

    Would this be justification for a nuclear attack on Russia?

  284. @jmg, lately I’ve been reading books from the 70s (most recently Muddling Towards Frugality and Small is Beautiful). That era was well before my time (I’m 30), so it’s fascinating to get a sense of what people were thinking about then. Seems similar to what those on the environmental fringe are thinking about now, but with more hope and less cynicism. The cynicism today obviously comes from the fact that we’ve doubled down on everything these writers maligned back then, which brings about this question — what the heck happened? Why did concerns about resource depletion and the like fade out of the collective consciousness for 40 years? I’m fairly certain you must have written about this before, so I’d appreciate it if you could point me to anything you or others have written about it.

  285. Grover #250:

    I read that article after seeing a link around somewhere. It’s kind of an interesting study, but basically all it boils down to is “5G is probably way more hazardous than we think and it’s probably not a good idea because of this long list of past studies we are citing that indicated that prolonged, high level rf exposure can cause health issues” and “COVID symptoms seem to be worse in areas with a lot of 5G but there are a zillion compounding factors that overlap and obfuscate any attempt at drawing a direct correlation between the two”, before concluding with “yeah, probably but we need to study this further”. It’s basically a study that says approximately nothing other than “this might be a thing worth watching and we are concerned”.

    That isn’t to say that I think their suspicions aren’t worth following up on. It does warrant further research! It’s just the paper is basically a literature review on RF hazards with a layer of being concerned about COVID stuck on top.

  286. In the literal back to the 14th century box…

    CNN has a story about an actual princess (daughter of the tragic Caroline of Monaco) riding an actual horse on Channel’s fashion runway at the annual big deal. The rest of the collection features “equestrian curves.” That is in case we didn’t get it the first time.

    https://www.cnn.com/style/article/chanel-horse-charlotte-casiraghi-haute-couture-paris/index.html

    The princess looks very nice on the horse, which looks suitably expensive. She is a competitive show jumper, so at least she is putting her own squishy bag of bones on the line for her display of privilege. She hasn’t gotten it yet. In the 14th century, show jumping was for guys and rebellious teenaged girls. Her job is to bear the next generation of aristocrats, which requires stashing 80,000 calories on her slender frame and not falling off horses.

  287. info @ 294, I recall a Catholic priest telling a group of the soon to be baptized that God is above all gender but in the Bible He presents himself as male because men are so dumb and stubborn that they won’t get the message any other way.

    Women in the USA can exercise their First Amendment right to join the worship of female deities. I know women who pursue a vaguely pagan spirituality at home, usually with a handcrafted altar of sorts. Again, First Amendment rights, which, I sincerely hope, you do not wish to curtail for anyone.

    About Scipio Africanus, I find him the least impressive of the three great men, there were three, not just Scipio vs. Hannibal remembered in popular culture, involved in the 2nd Punic War. I am inclined to think the greatest statesman of the lot was the African man whose name has come down to us as Manassa (I hope I have that right) a Numidian prince or war leader who came to rule Numidia for about 60 years as a Roman ally.

    When the testosterone addled bullies take over is when the nerds found monasteries, which is a good thing for them in that they have to do physical work themselves, give up aspirations to wealth and high position, and make themselves useful to their neighbors.

  288. @Jed #301

    It’s not just the carburetors that don’t like alcohol. The presence of alcohol in the fuel alters the chemistry of the reaction such that a higher temperature is needed to get the same mechanical force output. This, in turn, causes premature degradation of the lubricating oil, and consequently premature damage to the engine. On smaller engines – especially air-cooled ones like chain saws and lawn mowers – the result can be catastrophic. Here in Canada, ethanol-free gasoline is only available from a handful of suppliers – and it’s usually the most expensive grade they have – but it’s worth every penny to switch to it if you can.

  289. @Mary Bennet I’m not interested in avoiding conflict. In my view too many people have been doing that which is partly why things are so messed up right now. What are the ways you deal with anger that sticks with you? Or do things not bother you in that way?

  290. @Godozo,

    I think your theory is plausible (though I disagree that Biden is “the most hated” since Trump and Biden are both so horrible it’s difficult to measure a difference, and if Hillary had been elected I’m sure she would be hated just as much…ahhh empires in decline…we’ll be quite lucky if we don’t get a Hitler out of this… or what was his name, Fred something…)

    Some data points for you: my deeply devoted Christian friends and family have no problem feeling the presence of their Lord, none of them are prideful people. As a Pagan, I have no trouble connecting with Deities regularly, and since right now I’m going through a difficult time and have absolutely no time to do any sort of practice, I feel them reaching out to me and trying to help quite regularly. The Christian God has also been helpful to me as others have been praying to him for me. (I pray to the Christian God when Christians ask for prayers, by the way, something to the effect of “Your follower who loves you is in need…”) I also don’t consider myself a prideful person, but you might do better asking people who know me to find out how prideful I actually am LOL!!!

    As far as awakening a trickster god, as a Pagan I find old gods who used to be widely worshipped but now are nearly forgotten are INCREDIBLY responsive, they clearly miss having relationships with humans. Anubis gave me signs and warnings for YEARS before I realized it was him. Now I love him, but there was a long stretch where I regarded the appearance of a black dog as a terrible omen, before I learned it was Anubis warning me. He just visited me again, unbidden, while I was going through a difficult labor. While he was there, all my pain was gone. Naturally I was nervous until he explained psychopomps also usher souls to earth when they are born, not just when they die.

    Another example, I had never worked with Mars or Ares, and I had a problem dealing with metal. I called Mars- Ares to help and immediately I saw a metal coin-like tag at my feet that said “Thompson” which is my name. So I called his name and he answered with my name. He was unable to help with the problem, but clearly he answered me even though I had never worked with him before.

    I can’t say for sure whether the god in question is actually Kek or if it’s the Native American trickster, instead. Neither would surprise me. I’m sure he misses his old worshippers and is looking for some new humans to work with.

    Sincerely,

    Jessi Thompson
    anotheramethyst

  291. Oh, and another data point. I have also found that I need to work on myself, and have spent what little “me time” I have doing that, so that also supports your thesis.

    For those of you also working on yourselves, I recently discovered the concept of “emotional flashbacks,” which are a sign of childhood trauma. It’s been very helpful to me to discover some of my current emotions are actually recurring emotions from my childhood that need to be processed.

    Sincerely,
    Jessi Thompson
    anotheramethyst

  292. @Wastelander, #302.

    Yep. That was my only hesitancy, as it’s been a huge issue for boat owners. The truck has been a runner in rural Oregon for ages, and I’d be surprised if the owners were all that conscientious about obtaining ethanol-free gas. The seller, FWIW, said it’s fine. I read up on the topic, and came across quite a few owners’ reports that the Ford carb’s at least (I got a ’78 F150) seem to tolerate 10% ethanol gas just fine, and I didn’t come across any first hand reports of problems. I wonder if rebuilt carb’s use floats with ethanol-resistant plastic. I wouldn’t expect 45 year-old plastic to be sound anyway.

    I’ll be button-holing my mechanic on this soon, and I anticipate relying, at least initially, on two local gas stations that offer ethanol-free gas. But yeah, it’s something to think about, and I should re-investigate it.

    —Lunar Apprentice

  293. [JMG, use this, I ref’d the wrong commenter]

    @Jed, # 301. Yep. That was my only hesitancy, as it’s been a huge issue for boat owners. The truck has been a runner in rural Oregon for ages, and I’d be surprised if the owners were all that conscientious about obtaining ethanol-free gas. The seller, FWIW, said it’s fine. I read up on the topic, and came across quite a few owners’ reports that the Ford carb’s at least (I got a ’78 F150) seem to tolerate 10% ethanol gas just fine, and I didn’t come across any first hand reports of problems. I wonder if rebuilt carb’s use floats with ethanol-resistant plastic. I wouldn’t expect 45 year-old plastic to be sound anyway.

    I’ll be button-holing my mechanic on this soon, and I anticipate relying, at least initially, on two local gas stations that offer ethanol-free gas. But yeah, it’s something to think about, and I should re-investigate it.

    —Lunar Apprentice

  294. @Wasrelander

    That type of magick is easier, but it’s not necessary. There’s another type of magick called Kitchen Witchcraft that uses everyday objects for magick, cooking spells into your dinner, cleansing space with your regular broom and mop while you clean up the house, etc.

    Go with your gut and do what seems right to you. Magick is 100% mental, emotional. So the system that works for you is the one you should use, but don’t let physical constraints limit you. If you only own 1 table, you should use that table.

    Sincerely,
    Jessi Thompson
    anotheramethyst

  295. Do you believe that magic and creativity come from the same place? The definition you (and Dion Fortune) give for magic “the art and science of causing change in consciousness in accordance with will“ also seems like a pretty good definition for creativity as well. I’m curious how you view the two and what you feel the differences are.

  296. RE: counterpunch

    They do cite you!
    [2] The term “catabolic capitalism” used here is somewhat different from the theory of catabolic collapse developed by John Michael Greer. Greer looks at the demise of all civilizations (capitalist and non-capitalist) as a catabolic process. How Civilizations Fall: A Theory of Catabolic Collapse .

  297. Dennis, I can only speak for myself. However, as a physically unattractive woman in a society which worships female pulchritude, I have been subjected to a lot of unpleasantness. Including from women, who found that my presence detracted from their public image.

    What, eventually, worked for me: 1. Boundaries do matter. Set your boundaries and don’t permit them to be crossed by anyone without explicit permission. That is perhaps a bit easier for me than for some, as I have long since given up the yearning to be liked. In the example you gave, the professor’s conduct was indefensible, and I would have told her as much. Right then and there, not caring how embarrassing others might have found it. Not only did she interrupt but she inserted herself into a conversation about private matters–your daughter. I might have said something like I support my daughter in her right to make her own adult decisions. Do you have a problem with that? Something like that turns your righteous anger back on the proper target, the rude person.

    2. The second thing which has worked for me is, as I described above, to see what, if anything, I can learn from the encounter or altercation. I might decide to avoid toxic professor whenever possible. I might conclude that while I was not at all at fault, it might be wise to have private conversations in private locations. There are sound, practical reasons for practicing the virtue of discretion. Some folks like to have at hand a repertoire of ambiguous remarks on the theory that toxic interrupter doesn’t deserve a straight answer. That is not my choice, but it is a tactic I have seen used to great effect.

    3. Finally, it was liberating for me to realize, however belatedly, that no one is obligated to answer up to whatever impertinence someone else might demand. Private matters are no one else’s affair and need not be aired in public, unless I want to do so for reasons of my own. Discretion, again. I tell my daughters and grandbabies that two useful formulae are “I’m sorry, I can’t help you with that.” and “I don’t have an answer for you.”. For those who think those formulae are too highfalutin, there is “You’re getting kind of personal, aren’t you?”.

    I have never had useful results with what I believe is called journalizing, but maybe that would work for you. I have found what I think of as reflective meditation to be very effective for me. Also, don’t forget that living well is the best revenge.

  298. Blundering into a theme in which I am a distinct layperson, I have a layperson’s question.

    If, as Schopenhaur says: “The world is my representation,” what is wrong with treating representations – whatever we experience – as something worth studying and knowing?

  299. Layperson question two follows on this: “Since all you can experience are your various types of representations, you have to use indirect methods — reason (the art of comparing abstractions with one another and seeing how they fit), science (the art of comparing abstractions with figurations and seeing how they fit), and philosophy (the art of comparing abstractions with reflections and seeing how they fit.)”

    When discussing things like the “facts” which you point out, from time to time, can slap one upside the head (and which the PMC class are reputedly particularly fond of ignoring)… do such “facts” count [in your description] as “abstractions”? as “figurations”? as “reflections”? or as… something else?

  300. @Milkyway (#149) – search for the term “pica” which is the technical term for “the eating or craving for things that are not food.”

  301. @Denis,

    Maybe it’s an emotional flashback?

    What I learned recently is a sign of an emotional flashback is that the emotional reaction is much stronger and longer than one would expect from the situation that caused it.

    For example, I was getting REALLY UPSET at my new job (which is very difficult, it’s quite normal to feel like a failure when you start out). But I was much more upset than I should have been. Then I realized I felt like a failure. Then I realized that made me feel like I’m not good enough. Once I found the core emotion (which is decinitely related to childhood trauma for me) the emption started to dissipate more easily. Now I know that I should expect to feel this way when I go to work there, so I can mentally psych myself up beforehand and go straight to the core emotion when it happens, thus dissipating it even more quickly next time.

    What do you feel beneath the anger?

    It’s perfectly normal to feel angry after an exchange like that. But if the anger won’t leave you, it’s trying to tell you something. What’s it saying?

    Sincerely,

    Jessi Thompson
    anotheramethyst

  302. JMG and Frank @ #6 –

    Re. accurate orbital mechanics in sci fi, there’s a tv series called The Expanse which has done a better job at portraying this than I’ve ever seen on screen, along with how zero-g and acceleration affect people inside a spacecraft.

    I know JMG isn’t a fan of the idiot box, so here’s a good summary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcKaW8uo8JQ

    (Unfortunately they still have sound in space on that show)

  303. A couple of side points:

    1) Harry Potter is a children’s story. A fairytale, in the debased way that American society with its oil surplus and subsequent prosperity has allowed those stories to develop. I find it interesting that Disney and a couple other places have put out stories centered around the Villain, filling out their story and giving them solid reasons (outside of born evil) for their turn to evil (Not just Voldemort, it turns out – think Wicked, Maleficent, and Revenge Of The Sith).

    2) Interesting additional information about the Neil Young/Joe Rogan row: Evidently Neil Young withdrew the letter demanding it be “Remove Joe, or remove me” before Spotify removed Neil Young from their service. Evidently Neil Young has some second thoughts (or came to understand where he stood) and tried to take back what he said – to no avail.

    And finally, thanks for all the responses, especially Jessi with the comment that, sometimes, older, once-popular or once-feted Gods will pay attention because they’re being paid attention to. I get that – fully.

  304. @ Will O re #315

    Last news reports state that the chanting got dropped from the curriculum after parents complained and trotted out their lawyers citing violation of separation of church (!) and state etc. So, it’s sunk like the Titanic for now. Whether it will get revived again remains to be seen.

  305. Chris in Fernglade #305: I’m with you on the hope of a nice stable economy, but we live in the times we’re born into.
    I’m in the next town over from JMG, and the weather service is predicting a nice blizzard for tomorrow: 12″-24″ of snow, or more or less the same amount of water as you just got. by late tomorrow I expect to by good and tired from shoveling the snow, even though I live in the city with only 50′ of sidewalk and 3 cars of driveway to clear.
    I do enjoy a nice chowder on a cold day, and we are blessed with ample quahogs (clams) to make it with from the bay. Lady Cutekitten lives inland some 800 miles, near the southern border of the Lakeland republic, so any chowder she has is apt to be canned.
    I get the impression that you are relatively close to Melbourne, where I have friends. If you ever see folk singers with the family name Wise (mother or daughters) say hello for me.

  306. Brendhelm (if I may), a major conjunction in the first term of Aries is always a very big deal, since it kicks off a new cycle of time, and this Saturn-Neptune conjunction — in the first degree itself — may be even more of a big deal than usual. I plan on posting something about it well in advance.

    Eugene, thank you. It used to be that any good essayist could do that every few pages. I had the same experience repeatedly the first time I read Oswald Spengler, or for that matter Darwin’s Origin of Species. Partly it’s a matter of knowing literary devices such as parallel construction — those make clear prose easier, just as rhyme and meter make good poetry easier — but I have to wonder what’s happened to the conceptual imagination of our time, to make that so rare these days! As for how I do it, I don’t have a particular system, other than avoiding the mass media, reading a lot of books by people who lived when good writing was more common, and thinking about what I write while I write it.

    Sardaukar, somebody needs to start printing a program. “Git’cher program! Can’t tell the scandals without a program!”

    Patricia M, RFQZ should be NRQZ; it’s the National Radio Quiet Zone, an area in Virginia and West Virginia where radio broadcasts aren’t permitted. Officially the reason is to clear the airwaves for a big radio telescope; unofficially, but in reality, it’s where the US has its most important broadcast intelligence facilities, scooping up whatever’s on the airwaves and snooping on it. As for 9/11, I see that as the beginning of the blowoff period of American empire — the Bush and Obama administrations used that as an excuse for their harebrained attempt to conquer the Middle East, which is ending badly as we speak. No, I haven’t done a retrospective chart for Trump’s inauguration; I’ll consider it.

    BCV, I think it’s sinking in that nuclear power technology is a white elephant we can no longer afford to keep funding.

    Info, a civil war is one possibility. Fortunately there are others. As for dark age conditions, of course — monasteries, when they aren’t simply sheltered workshops for people on the autism spectrum (like me), they’re refuges for geeks in ungeeky times. You’re quite correct, too, that a lot of warlords in various dark ages recruited scribes and scholars out of monasteries to give them intellectual backup.

    Sam, nah, don’t be so passive about symbolism! Choose what you want it to symbolize, fire up your meme cannons, and make it symbolize something in the popular imagination.

    Sébastien, I’ll have a look at it when time permits.

    Wastelander, good. The Golden Dawn got its Christian influences not from the Catholic but from the Orthodox church — notice that the Cabalistic Cross, for example, is done the Orthodox way, touching the right shoulder before the left shoulder, not the Catholic way, which does left shoulder first. There’s a lot of speculation about how that happened, but I don’t know that it’s settled yet. One way or another, there’s a lot of Christianity in the Golden Dawn system, just as there is in most European magic from the Renaissance to the beginning of the 20th century; that was the spiritual path most people knew about and practiced, and so it’s not surprising that a great deal got borrowed. As for the origins of Christian ritualism, a huge amount of it was borrowed from various Pagan sources for exactly the same reason: that’s what people were used to, and as Christianity turned from a circle of disciples around a charismatic Jewish carpenter to a big new religious movement, lots of things were picked up and repurposed for Christian use. That’s normal in religious history.

    Reese, that’s a very thoughtful comic! I like your revision of Potter, too.

    Chris, we’re about to get a decent snowstorm for the first time this winter — just a few flakes so far. As for chowder, no argument there; here in New England we’re in the heartland of seafood chowder. Yum.

    David BTL, delighted to hear it!

    Aldarion, thanks for this.

    Laurent, an excellent point.

    Justin, you might also find this site interesting.

    Alex, the one thing you can be sure about any bubble is that eventually it’s going to crash. When? That’s always the hard part.

    SheepdogWine, I have indeed written about it. You can find a good summary in the three-part series here, here, and here.

    Raphanus, funny.

    Berserker, yes, I heard about that. Welcome to what happens when you no longer have the resource base to conver the maintenance costs for your capital — i.e., catabolic collapse.

    Patricia M, thanks for this.

    Joshua, that’s an immense issue, but fortunately it’s one I’ll be discussing in next week’s post.

    Aldarion, good heavens. Okay, I’m genuinely surprised.

    Scotlyn, nothing at all. All we can study and know are representations. The word “fact” literally means “something made by somebody” — think of “manufacture” — and the facts I’m discussing are assemblages of abstractions and figurations created by means of reflection.

  307. Scotlyn (#335),

    Thanks. I stumbled upon the Wikipedia entry. I mostly avoid Wikipedia nowadays, but this time I got curious, and lo and behold… it pointed me to „Geophagia“, which is the term for „the intentional practice of eating clay or soil-like substances“.

    What I learned from Wikipedia is that a. this is classified as an eating disorder; that b. poorer people did that, but learned to stop it when their living conditions improved, and that c. while it can be beneficial, there are health risks associated with it (with stress on the health risks, which are spelled out in detail).

    Stuff like this reminds me why I usually avoid Wikipedia. 😉

    But this gives me a term to explore further, thanks!

    Milkyway

  308. #Berserker 323
    The bridge collapsed the day Biden was scheduled to visit Pittsburgh to talk about infrastructure.

  309. Godozo,

    Ol’ Neil could’ve learned a thing or two by watching that time honored flick – “School of Rock”!

    I mean really .. what doesn’t he get about giving the Establishment a much needed case of ‘Stickit tothemaniosis’??

    He sounds like a bitter, old has-been.

  310. Thank you for your answer, JMG, it made me really glad I asked the question.

    Sincerely,
    Jessi Thompson
    anotheramethyst

  311. Mr. Greer, All

    Seems as though ‘convoys’ are now becoming verrrry popular. Could the global brother/sisterhood of big rig conveyors be the spark that puts an end the western world’s pandemic of malicious elite authoritarianism?

  312. @Patricia+Mathews King may have a holiday named after him, but northern cities and schools are still segregated, and African-Americans are poorer and have worse heath than the average American. His work had large effects in the South but not in the North. Sometimes we memorialize people who represent a hope.

  313. @Martin Back, #317

    I’ve read expert opinion that the Russians would not contemplate even tactical nukes unless they faced defeat. No one disputes their conventional superiority to NATO forces deployed in the region, and any NATO “incursion” would be an overt act of war on the part of the US, and would get wiped out with conventional weapons. If the Russians were to nuke in response to a European theatre attack, they’ve stated bluntly they’d go after command centers of the “originating powers”; read US.

    There is something that worries the Russians more than Ukraine: The Aegis Ashore missile bases in Romania and Poland. Those host Tomahawk missiles that are capable of carrying nukes that can reach Moscow. While the Tomahawks are slow, and the Russians have demonstrated ability to shoot them down (in Syria), the US is working on hypersonic missiles, and surely have them be launchable from existing launchers. Those, the Russians would not be able to counter, at least not if launched so near their border. They’ve been clear they want those systems removed, and won’t take no for an answer (implying they won’t wait until the US upgrades them with hypersonics), saying they’ll respond with “military-technical” measures. If things really go kinetic, that may well give them an out to launch a conventional air and missile attack on those bases.

    JMG, (and any vets?) you’ve studied military history and strategy I understand. Your opinion is probably better than mine.

    —Lunar Apprentice

  314. I just realized that most people go on holiday to experience the dramatic scenery to a film they have no intention of starring in.
    On the other hand, a minority of us gets to assume that role without having to board any plane, and then their landscape starts unfolding around them.

  315. @Anonymous

    re: comments on management: this was absolutely true back in my younger days working in food service. Our restaurant had fantastic shift managers (this was unexpected, as it was fast food– we had a drive-thru and everything). They made the schedules, counted the drawers at the end of the night, and spent most of their shifts out working guest services or kitchen with the rest of us. They filled in when staff was short, and they had to know all the jobs. They were the best! At the same time we had a whole string of truly awful store managers. They spent all their time in the office, none lasted more than a few months, one had charges filed for stealing from the till, another was fired for stealing from inventory, not sure about the others. But: more time on the floor seems to make for better managers.

  316. @Steve T

    Thank you for sharing that!

    @BIG JILM

    Who’s the Italian chemistry professor? I’m familiar with all the others 😀 That actuary took a really weird turn, recently! I was not expecting that!

    Sincerely
    Jessi Thompson
    anotheramethyst

  317. @ Hackenschmidt #141 and others WRT Military recruiting in schools

    I can answer this question although it’s been nearly 30 years. I doubt if the situation has changed for the better (for the military).

    My last command was a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) in Charlotte, NC.
    I was the testing officer in charge of the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) tests.

    We did two kinds of testing.

    Recruiters brought volunteers to testing stations. Those were easy and straightforward.

    We went out to the public schools and tested all the students, providing information on general academic achievement to the school administration and *potential* information to local recruiters.

    Remember that this MEPS was in Charlotte, NC, a state that historically has sent tens of thousands of young men and women into the military as a way of escaping their poor prospects, back in the early 1990’s. Over three years, I’ve personally sworn in thousands of young men and women.

    Public schools could choose from these options:

    1) Never set foot in our building, you bloody-handed baby killers.

    2) You may test because we want the free data but you may not release the information to recruiters, ever.

    3) You may test, but only those students who are willing to take the ASVAB and you may not release that information to recruiters.

    4) You may test, but only those students who are willing to take the ASVAB and you may release the information to recruiters.

    5) You can test everybody with a pulse and release the information to recruiters.

    6) You can test everybody and if recruiters want to come along and set up booths on career day, have at it.

    There was a lot of variation.

    Our educational specialist would travel to schools all over our area of the Carolinas making his pitch and trying to get the school to accept the last two options. Option 4 was a fallback because at least those students who wanted to test could take the ASVAB and get the data to a recruiter.

    I was surprised at how many schools wouldn’t let us in the door. I’m positive that number has only grown since the early 1990’s.

    I believe I’m remembering this correctly, but it’s been decades.

  318. @ Hackenschmidt #141

    I forgot to add that the poorer the school, the more likely they were to let us in.

    They wanted the free testing resources and the data it provided AND their students didn’t have many other options.

    Richer schools in richer areas were less likely to let us in the door.

    Poor people exist to fight and die for rich people, I guess.

  319. Although it wouldn’t be relevant at all if the story featured the Wizarding Freedom Front rather than Lord Moldywart, I think it’s worth rethinking the Dursleys for a moment. They could have had a very good reason to hide the letters from Hogwarts, if they weren’t abusive, but rather just a troubled family. First, Petunia doesn’t like the Wizarding World very much: it’s established that there was clear favourtism from her parents towards her magic sister, which is both understandable and would easily drive resentment. Things get worse, however, with how the Wizarding World chooses to handle the aftermath of the Potters’ murder.

    Petunia’s sister and brother in law were murdered by a madman, and the Wizarding World’s response is to drop their baby on the Dursley’s doorstep, without anything in the way of explanation. Further, the Dursley’s don’t really know what happened, nor has anyone ever come in to check in on Harry. It’s been 11 years now, and no one has come in to check in on him, explain any of what happened to them, and all they know is that their family was killed. Of course, they didn’t have the best relationship, but they took Harry in and raised him.

    They could easily be very concerned about how the Wizarding World would treat him, and think long and hard about presenting Harry with those letters, since yes he has magic, but it really doesn’t seem like that world is a very safe place for someone who is, after all, effectively their child. This would also reframe the “trying to get rid of magic” thing: they are trying to protect him from the world that killed his parents and seems to now be treating him with malign neglect.

  320. Hello Great Khan,

    I’ve never seen canned chowder around here. My dad liked canned oyster stew.

  321. Justin Patrick Moore

    Do you live in or near Marietta? That was a town I was thinking of moving to from the West Coast. It looks to be about the right size to survive future difficulties. Plus, it’s next to a river and surrounded by countryside.

  322. I would like to give a shout-out to andrewdavidskeen (who has offered horary astrology readings, see post #8). I asked a very vague question and got a very specific answer, including some of the inner turnings of my brain that I knew but hadn’t shared. So TSW and Andrew KHS (knows his, ahem). 🙂

    Thank you, Andrew!!!

  323. @Steve T,

    I’m really surprised that I’m familiar with the first place winner. Jeffrey Mishlove runs a great youtube channel called New Thinking Allowed. It’s full of interesting topics in spirituality and parapsychology. I’m sure he will put that prize money to good use!

    Sincerely
    Jessi Thompson
    anotheramethyst

  324. @Denis,

    Another option for dealing with the anger is to do an affirmation. I don’t have a suggestion for one for anger. (My issue is fear.) But perhaps JMG or the commentariat might be able to suggest one? For me, if fear starts to overwhelm me, I say the affirmation over and over (even if I have to do with my inside my head voice) and focus on it until it pushes everything else out. It isn’t a long term solution; I agree with the other comments that you eventually need to get to the root of your issue. But for getting yourself to the point where you can function effectively in public, affirmations have worked well for me.

  325. Wastelander, I think you’re right. I’ve read that they’ve uncovered paleolithic sites with ‘workshops’ ie apparently specific places in an encampment where stone tools were made. You see stone chips and flakes, misshapen or broken blades that didn’t work out as intended and discarded by the maker. So it seems that work-benches of sorts may have a very long history.

    As you say, nerdy obsessions can be highly useful. So it isn’t out of the question that not everyone way back when had a special knack for shaping stone or for creating those elegant, long and narrow, almost translucent blades that seem to have been made not for any workaday purpose but just because they were beautiful to look at. Can you imagine cave paintings created by a special class of artist, the Michelangelos and Da Vincis of their day? Given the artistry it’s hard to believe that such abilities were widespread. They’ve found bone flutes tens of thousands of years old. Maybe it was the same with musicianship.

  326. Brendhelm, astrology is beyond me. I would say that nerd predominance is because of the temporary technological substitution for muscular strength and physical labour. Nowadays we do drone strikes. Operators sit at a screen and keyboard many miles from the target. They don’t have to trek for days or weeks with pack and mule-train and attack with weapons like spears and swords.

  327. On Ukraine: weren’t they known as “the Breadbasket of Europe”? Who suffers if Ukrainian wheat doesn’t get to market next summer? Who profits? Who suffers if Russian gas doesn’t get to Europe? Who profits?

  328. I have another idea for the Magical Freedom Front: what if the story was set in the immediate aftermath of World War II, and the Magical Freedom Front was not interested in killing muggles, but rather reacting with terror to the fact that that the muggles were building weapons of mass destruction, and locked in a cold war which was unavoidably affecting the Wizarding World? They want to overthrow the muggle governments and take over because they view them as dangerous: a nuclear war would result in mass destruction in the Wizarding World as well, after all, and most European wizards remember the horrors of World War II very well, which proved beyond a doubt that the muggles can cause serious destruction if they set their mind on it.

    Meanwhile, the Ministry for Magic is trying to figure out what to do about this situation, where a large fraction of the wizarding population is supporting overthrowing muggle governments, but they’re a sclerotic, bureaucratic mess, and have been informed by their Russian counterparts that the USSR will respond to any kind of wizard rebellion in any European country which threatens the stability of that nation’s muggle government by launching a preemptive strike of their own….

  329. Thank you all for the phone recommendations! I’ll see what I can find, may try out the Sonim phone.

    Different topic but something I keep forgetting to post here. Kunstler wrote a kid’s book about Johnny Appleseed, came out in the ’90’s. My 5 year old likes it.

    And for all of us in the Northeast, good luck shoveling!

    Ellen

  330. I know you do podcasts pretty frequently. I don’t know your perspective, but for me I’m surprised you haven’t been on Joe Rogan yet, or one of the other podcasts in the orbit of the so-called “IDW”. Is it because you’ve been invited but you’re unwilling to fly across the country? Have you been branded with the “peak oil” mark? Or is it just that conversations of that sort don’t interest you?

    I could imagine some pretty interesting conversations emerging from you discussing why climate change activism failed with Bret Weinstein or dissecting the occult dimensions of psychology with Jordan Peterson, for example.

    When it comes to the topic of civilizational decline, I feel it has become less and less taboo over the past fifteen years. So many people that would never have even conceived of it in 2007 have come around to accepting the decline of the US, for instance.

    I’ve also noticed some of the other “shocking yet true” ideas you’ve been proclaiming for years are finally dawning on people in the new media. For example, Tim Pool recently interviewed Newsweek journalist Batya Ungar-Sargon about her new book and one of her main points was that America’s real divide is about class, not race. I thought to myself, JMG has been pointing that out for years!

    It made me think: You’ve been right about so much for so long I just think it’s a shame you’re not getting credit for it in the popular conversation.

    Anyway, that’s my perspective.

  331. @randomactsofkarma, andrewdavidskeen

    I, too, had a reading by andrewdavidskeen. It was fantastic. Andrew touched on things not related to the horary but were still affecting me deeply. Highly recommended.

  332. @Mary Bennett

    “I recall a Catholic priest telling a group of the soon to be baptized that God is above all gender but in the Bible He presents himself as male because men are so dumb and stubborn that they won’t get the message any other way.”

    I think that Catholic Priest is making speculations without good basis. God created Men and Women. So it is on him for making Men and Women with particular tendencies.

    “When the testosterone addled bullies take over is when the nerds found monasteries, which is a good thing for them in that they have to do physical work themselves, give up aspirations to wealth and high position, and make themselves useful to their neighbors.”

    They do need good advice. So they recruit nerds to do technical work for them or to be their Strategists.

    Idiots don’t last very long either. Especially when they fighting a War. Ever since the advent of weapons like throwing spears and slings that sling stones.

    Brawn alone doesn’t cut it anymore.

    And they must look after their Men and their interests to a certain extent. Otherwise they will lose support from key power players and they may end up dead.

  333. @Reese

    Btw. I do like Gandalf far more than Dumbledore in terms of the cool factor. Gandalf fought a Balrog after falling into an underground lake continuously for 12 days and nights before expiring after defeating him and smiting him on the mountainside. Of course being of the Valar makes that possible.

    Dumbledore just pales in comparison 😉

  334. @Mary Bennett

    “About Scipio Africanus, I find him the least impressive of the three great men, there were three, not just Scipio vs. Hannibal remembered in popular culture, involved in the 2nd Punic War. I am inclined to think the greatest statesman of the lot was the African man whose name has come down to us as Manassa (I hope I have that right) a Numidian prince or war leader who came to rule Numidia for about 60 years as a Roman ally.”

    Interesting. I may have to look into that. What’s your thoughts on Aurelian?

    I think he is the best Emperor of the 3rd century crisis. Except for being framed and assassinated not long after his victories over Zenobia.

  335. Another shout-out for andrewdavidskeen, who replied SUPER promptly with a forecast for the future of the Cutekitten dynasty, and helpful suggestions for same.

  336. Polecat, good question. We’ll have to see.

    James, thanks for this.

    Anonymous, I could see that! Rowling’s portrayal of the Dursleys was a tour de force of sneering class privilege, a classic example of the snotnosed arrogance the intelligentsia like to display toward those they consider beneath them. I’d like to see the Dursleys get the chance to tell their side of the story!

    Lathechuck, that’s quite correct. Russia exports a lot of wheat these days, so Russian wheat farmers would be happy to see prices go up, and of course China would love to see Russian gas on sale cheap…

    Anonymous, you realize you should probably sit down and write one of these, you know.

    Blue Sun, nobody from the IDW has contacted me or my publishers. I’d be surprised if they did so — as an occultist, I’m much further out on the fringe than most people are willing to go. As for getting credit, I don’t worry about that. It’s a deliberate part of my strategy. Respectable thinkers don’t take me seriously, and so nobody bothers to argue against me…and one after another, the ideas I’m inserting into the collective conversation become strange attractors, and people repeat them without ever noticing where they come from.

  337. Roger, this is the way I see it. Archaeological digs, and modern versions of these cultures, don’t really support the idea of non-civilised being a bunch of Conans. The sturdy conquering barbarian usually isn’t that sturdy – he’s usually fleeing other barbarians, most great migrations in history were a sort of domino effect going from China to Europe. If he were a sturdy barbarian he could stand and fight the other sturdy barbarians, instead of having to look for easier pickings among the next lot of barbarians, or the civilised. He’s not sturdy so much as desperate with nothing to lose. This is why every sane and sober person fears scrawny meth-heads. Now, the barbarian chieftain-king might be a big and sturdy fellow – if he weren’t, they might not let him be king – but his underlings much less so. Guess which one gets the lengthy description in the history books, and whose remains are more likely to exist for us to dig up a thousand years later?

    Rita, it’s surprising how few people think of finances and other affairs as a household matter, rather than a pair of adult individuals sharing costs and benefits. I think it was Erich Fromm who commented that many people negotiate their marriage the way they would a divorce – arguing over who gets and has to do what.

    I think this is a mindset thing connected to wider social issues: is your household a place merely of consumption, or of production, too? If it is merely a place of consumption, then you get situations like you describe. If it’s also a place of production, then the things which can be produced even in a small home – food from bought raw ingredients, basic medical care, clothing repairs and so on – will be considered as valuable as the plain cash an outside job brings in. And of course, if you have a larger home, it can be a place of producing other things, such as growing your own food, or even a small business bringing in a cash income.

    Once we start thinking of the household as a place of production as well as consumption, then things like having one or both parents at home most of the time, along with their children – well, they make more sense, whatever the dollar value attached to it all. This is why I chose long ago to do paid work part-time, and chose work I could do outside school hours, and eventually do from home. This leads to lower cash income, but better physical and mental health for me, my wife and children – things which couldn’t be had with a higher income.

    It’s my hope that if anything good comes out of this awful combination of pandemic and authoritarianism in the West, it’s turning people more towards their household as a place of production as well as consumption, and bringing families closer together.

  338. “Anonymous, you realize you should probably sit down and write one of these, you know.”

    There is at least one other anonymous spitballing these as well, but yes I do indeed! I’ve started working out details I’ll need for the story, have started looking into the Harry Potter lore for ideas as well. I just finished writing one scene because it’s crystal clear and gives a lot of character.

  339. A long, long time ago, when I was in Sunday school, the teacher, a serious, strict, humourless lady that I cannot recall ever smiling, would tell us about the various prophets in the Bible and the various goings-on like God talking from a burning bush or telling Noah to build a boat or getting Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt etc.

    And it was a source of enduring wonder to me as to why God would speak to only one tribe and then an even bigger mystery as to why this era of God communicating with us seemed to stop.

    And then maybe thirty years ago I read a book by a Jewish theologian/philosopher whose name I cannot recall, nor the title of the book. And he said that maybe God hasn’t stopped talking, it’s that we’ve stopped listening. And then it occurred to me that maybe it was only in that one tribe that a certain subset of fellas were listening and talking because it does seem that there was give and take between Earth and the celestial realms. Or maybe others on other continents were also communicating but because of differing cultural and linguistic filters, the accounts got written down so as to sound wildly dissimilar.

    But it does seem like the era of the holy book is over. It seems like the Koran was the end of it. Are we now tuning into different radio frequencies or are people born nowadays with different factory settings such that God is now pretty much inaccessible? Is it natural selection playing tricks on us?

  340. JMG, something important about the way Rowling portrayed the Dursleys was that the Dursleys weren’t poor. They lived in a nice suburb and Vernon Dursley had a middle management position at a company that made drills. This was of course, ghastly for a number of reasons. First of all, how crude and phallic. Secondly, a real-life Vernon Dursley, especially in the ’90s, would have made far more money than just about anyone with JK Rowling’s background, despite possibly only having a high school education or two years of trade school. I remember the same class bigotry at work in Canada in 2005-9 when 19 year old oil workers could easily make six figure incomes turning wrenches in Alberta.

  341. Teresa, very interesting, thankyou.

    Here in Australia we have a smaller military, and so recruiters need not go to schools at all to get the numbers they want. Nonetheless the military has more than its fair share of the unemployed and working class, the rural, and those from troubled backgrounds.

    The ones from the most difficult backgrounds – say, the bottom 5% of society – won’t last it through recruit course, let alone a term or two in uniform, and are generally rejected on the basis of literacy and numeracy tests, criminal convictions or drug use. But those from the rest of the bottom quartile of socioeconomic status are welcomed and tend to do well, and after a term or two can leave and will have moved up to the second bottom quartile (or third top, if you like) instead. Those in the second top quartile become officers, and those in the top quartile never join up, the only place you meet them is some doctor or priest who becomes a reservist doctor or chaplain.

    Aside from that you get quite a few lacking direction and skills in life who are looking for someone to tell them what to do (I was one of them), this is well-described by the artist Fred Smith – who stayed with Australian soldiers and Afghanistan and wrote songs about it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y46evJ7wrOc

    But overall, there’s a reason CCR’s “Fortunate Son” resonates with so many around the world. It was not always thus. FDR’s son served on a destroyer. When Churchill’s Gallipoli plan failed, he resigned as Lord of the Admiralty, took a commission and went to the trenches in France. This is unimaginable now.

  342. The Scottish Highland Bagpipes have always been an interest of mine. When I started learning about the different types of music played on them, The music is broken into two categories: Ceol Mor (also known as Piobaireachd) and Ceol Beag. It has long intrigued me that Ceol Mor, which could be understand as “real music”, but more commonly as “great music”, is the less popular of the two. Ceol beag, or “little music”, are the tunes people today are most familiar with.

    Learning about the occult has helped put this into a perspective that helps me understand why the “little music” is more popular. Just as the average person doesn’t really become aware of initiations, such as initiation into life as a human, which many traditions encourage. Whether the average person isn’t aware of initiation, or just isn’t interested in the task, or perhaps feels too busy to take on anything more they just frankly aren’t ready for another more.

    Listening to jazz with my eight month old, specifically Miles Davis’ “Kind of Blue”, I recognize a lot of similarities with piobaireachd. Ceol Mor can be recognized by having a simple melody, which each time played becomes more and more complex by using embellishments, such as grace notes, strikes, doublings. It continues this until the end, when the simple melody is played again without any embellishments. One of my favorite examples, the “Lament for the Children” really helps understand what I am trying to explain. It’s long, about twenty minutes. The change from the 15th minute through the 17th minute is a very obvious example of the complexity going back to simplicity. Jazz tends to have a simple melody, and a lot of complexity especially through the improvisation.

    Both of those styles, along with a lot of classical, feels as if it contains symbolism. One symbol in specific that keeps occurring recently is that of life and the phases we go through as we grow, both in one human lifespan, but also through reincarnation as we continue to grow and work on ourselves.

    All this to say, I’m realizing what a powerful tool music can be. It’s making me very curious about any known occult connections within bagpipe music and jazz, and if you know of any examples of music being used as a tool in occult traditions?

  343. JMG (no 378), Rowling is from a middle class background. She has spoken about this, and indicated that middle class people can be just as snobbish to people below them (as we see in her adult novel, “The Casual Vacancy,” which was loosely inspired by her hometown.)

  344. @JMG

    “one after another, the ideas I’m inserting into the collective conversation become strange attractors, and people repeat them without ever noticing where they come from.”

    I’ve noticed this phenomenon, and I’ve also noticed it with a few ideas that I’ve “inserted” – most recently the concept of vaccination as a holy sacrament of Progress.

    My readership is probably a thousand times smaller than yours, so I’m not actually convinced that others have picked up my ideas directly, though that is a possibility. I wonder whether there might be a collective “mental field” – potentially influenced both by human thoughts and by non-embodied consciousness – which all of us are able to access and which might help to explain the apparent simultaneous independent emergence of ideas or discoveries in different human minds and even different human cultures.

  345. Hey jmg

    I have started reading a book called “Shock of the old” by David Edgerton and I want to know if you have heard of it since it talks about a lot of things you mention concerning technology and progress, such as how a lot of innovations were flops, and how older tech uphold the world still, and how the myth of progress distorts the history of tech.

  346. @Sardaukar @Lathechuck, and anybody else interested.

    We need to look at the big picture to understand current events. As I tried to point out last week, what’s happening is that after an interlude when Europe and then the US dominated global trade, the centre of balance is now conclusively shifting back to Asia. The elites in Washington and London are freaking out because they’re just waking up to their imminent loss of control over resource and wealth flows, and they’re realising that they have no way to stop it from happening. The EU is being split as member states have to make their choice: do they stick with the Anglosphere, or do they join the new Eurasian sphere?

  347. @Mary Bennett

    “When the testosterone addled bullies take over is when the nerds found monasteries, which is a good thing for them in that they have to do physical work themselves, give up aspirations to wealth and high position, and make themselves useful to their neighbors.”

    Genial wording! Thanks for this 🙂

    @JMG

    When I did Yoga with a capable good teacher woman (breathing – stretching – meditating > spiritual content included), I sometimes left the studio with this special state where you feel satisfied within and radiate love.
    People on the street notice this and react in surprise.

    I am not the only one with this experience, others have met such states through vipassana too. I also got into these states (to a lesser degree) through Qi Gong and standard sitting and breathing meditation.

    Now I am asking: so if western meditation is discursive and content meditation, is that also a passage to such a state of mind?

    You mention exercising the fourfold breath sitting for example – but isn’t that close to the same meditation methods of the East?

    When I do the solar/lunar breath standing, I notice how blockages in my body are lifted, and my physical sensation improves, showing tensions in my body.
    Might be because I practiced standing and breathing a lot before – and relaxing my muscles.

    I do the LBRP and notice clearly its propensity to drive away negative thought.
    Given I do it 1 to 2 times a day, that’s not that much, but I guess this drives down the same road as concentrating on one’s breath in classical Eastern meditation?

    I currently follow the path of Mystery teachings of the Living Earth again, at the moment this week the law of balance is the focus. It certainly inspires good insight, but its markedly different from these yogic states of mind.

    Are there differences in the midterm goal of Eastern and Western practice (the ultimate goal will be the same)?

    I aspire to come closer to this self satisfied peaceful state of mind again.
    These days my interactions with people are mostly harmonic, yet I clearly am a very grumpy and ruminating man.

    I would also be interested to know if breating-standing exercises relaxes the body of those commentes who aren’t physically all too active and haven’t done Qi Gong or yogic breating-stretching before.
    Stretching and exercising also clearly improves energetic practice.

    Are there any other commenters here doing energetic/meditative work without being physically very active? I’d be curious to know about their experiences. JMG mentioned many neo-druids do “Do-In”, the standard practice of shaking, kneading and acu-pressuring one’s own body back to health (ie self massage).

    JMG promised an article about physical exercise in September 🙂 But I understand if other things go first.

    After all, physical exercise is my personal focus. A shamanically trained man attested to me: “The disease of unbalance in modern day and age will unfold either in over-emphasizing on intellectuality and physical training or emotionality and sensual desires”.

    Yep, I am the first type. Not much of a hedonist…

  348. @RandomActsofKarma Thank you for the suggestion. I’ll do a search on what JMG has written on them and come up with one to repeat. I think honestly I’ve been trying to bury or ignore the anger and there are times it just really bubbles up.

    And really there is fear underneath it. My kids were mandated to get vaccinated and boosted, I’ve been low grade afraid for their lives and health ever since. I don’t want to have to bury my children. I always thought I’d get the chance to be a grandparent and it looks like that won’t happen now and well, that makes me incredibly sad and angry.

  349. Hi John Michael,

    Snow sounds lovely to me, but then my experience of snow is usually a day or less per year. And last calendar year there was no snow to speak of. But your talk of chowder in your part of the world is making me salivate with envy! And just the thing to warm your guts on a cold winters day.

    Had good intentions of catching the train into the city this morning. The train was cancelled. Ordinarily there are replacement bus services, and they’re usually very pleasant. It was only when I was standing in the cold, cloudy and drizzly summer’s day (57’F maximum) at the train station that it dawned on me and the other travellers that this time there was no replacement bus service. A young lady who also wanted to travel into the city, advised me that there is a shortage of train and bus drivers due to you know what. And it was an hours wait for the next train. Hmm.

    My wife used to catch the country trains into the city as a young adult, and my experience today was her experience but multiplied many times over a number of years. As a result, she has an unnatural loathing for the service, although appreciates train travel if the system works – it’s complicated. Mate, it’s like we’ve time travelled back in time to three decades in the past, and nobody seems to be talking about it. I observe and experience so many recent changes to all manner of things which only recently used to work, that it is hard to understand why nobody seems to concerns themselves with this downward trajectory. That’s really odd that is. Oh well, moving on, nothing to see there.

    Do you see that disconnect in people between what strangeness is taking place in their day to day lives and the weird excuses which get spewed out in order to justify the strangeness?

    Cheers

    Chris

  350. I came across a question on an occult image board that I found quite interesting, and I’m curious what grampa Greer and the community think of it. Someone was asking whether it was possible to learn magic if one had aphantasia, which I understand to be a condition where one is incapable of consciously visualising anything. My sense was that it would be like learning a martial art while blind, in that it would always be possible to improve, even possible with enough work to become the kind of outstanding specimen people admire before noticing the handicap, but that a lot of the usual advice out there wouldn’t be directly applicable. Strange question I know, but for some reason I’m fascinated by the idea of it.

  351. @Jessie and @MaryBennett I didn’t see your posts until I scrolled up far enough. Lively thread this week.

    I appreciate your responses. I’m going to need to dig deep using the OAS materials to figure out why the trigger. Its amazing to me what hangs around unresolved and covered over in the rush of life.

    The setting of boundaries is a reminder I needed. I completely stunk at this and no idea how to implement them. Slowly over the past three years or so I began to do them. But they still don’t go up automatically when I’m triggered.

    Mary your #3 about keeping things private – you said it almost exactly how my grandmother used to say it to me. I wish you could have seen my brain melt. That was super weird. Cool synchronicity and super weird. Now I feel like shouting “OK OK I’ll remember this time!”

    @JMG I got up to lesson #2 on those materials and will pick them back up again to complete them. I got stuck on the making amends and trying to decide what to do. I kept thinking there was really good thing that would be better than other things. Realizing now that just doing it was the point, not making it picture perfect.

    Man these past two years have been quite a trip. Things I thought I could ignore or dealt with just keep coming back.

  352. @pygmycory

    Yes I had the hokikomori of Japan in mind, too!

    Heard third hand from many japanese and South Korea people telling how awful the situtation really is where they come from. A young man from S Korea told a friend he met travelling: he has to work 60 hours for a company and is treated like garbage, with the strict code they have leaving the company means he will never get a job again!
    Another friend met girls from S Korea who travelled, but they had to be ready to be contacted by their company via their phone 24/7h a day during their holiday and if failing to take a call, would be fired.

    This is even worse than in the West and I personally can attest that most Japanese people I met (solely in a business context) we’re really nervous, overly correct, like they had invisible chains hanging on them all the time, their body language always spoke pressure and subservience.

    And these cultures are really considered conservative by our standards…but with so little personal space, with so little free time for socializing and self expressions, how should natural instincts still work? They’re conditioned to function like robots!

    For women it is easier to find a man at least for sex, no wonder the men who have lost all their natural drive and vitality choose to stay behind closed doors, the ONLY space left in these over crowded concrete pigeon holed dystopias where they are not pushed around by business traffic and scolded for not living up to absolutely insane standards.
    AND experience pain from seeing other people but not being able to live their social and sexual urges…!!!

    We in the West are more hedonistic still…but our managerial goal is clearly the same.

    And to @Hackenschmidt yes ofc poorer neighbourhoods have more children: 1) the first generation of migrant families tends to have children as they do at home in their often agrarian societies 2) the same law of a child becoming an asset applies here:
    poor kids leave their home earlier nilly-willy. My oldest friendship, is a working class man who earned his first income at 15 when he was in car mechanic apprenticeship- a far cry from me, pushed to be an academic from an early age and nothing else with parents who disdained working class training. Not only me, many I know lived the same – we all have been on our parent’s pockets for a long time, there are exceptions ofc but still, that is the way, that is the expectation.

    If you constantly need to reroute resources for certification and an academic career (as pygmycory also mentioned), having children is a different consideration than if you get into your job at 18 and expect that this is both the beginning and the end-point of your career.

    Other factors coming into play are ofc: whether you are integrated in a religious institution that supports child rearing, whether you have a network of extended family as support, whether you live in the country side where there is a lot of *space* available-

    because I see kids all the time here in the big city who are like 4 years old and they are tied to child buggies on the street, their parents not having time and patience letting them run on their own even if they could. I see children wanting to move freely but they are denied, I see them screaming with their over stressed parents trying to silence them.

    I’d scream too if I was a (yet) fully functional human lifeform being forced to live like someone with a severe disablity!

  353. Out of personal interest: is there anyone in the commentariat who manages to do energetic practices and get somewhere while having
    a full time job?
    Is there anyone with a full time job here anyways (hehe), and if, how do you manage to balance your life concerning health,
    social needs, spiritual needs, hobbies, physical exercise?

    And are there those of you who have foregone the 5 to 7 wheel, if so, how did you do it? How did you manage to not work
    full time?

  354. Re Stuart Cram #187

    My lack of support for the convoy is not a result of an overdependence on the CBC and other MSM sources, it’s also social media activity surrounding it. I know most readers here would scoff at and reject Facebook but it can be a good tool for examining the attitudes and motivations of not the truckers but the bedfellows involved. The fact that western Maverick Party operatives, the neo-nazi “Sons of Odin” leaders and certain individuals who have been organizing antivaxx/covid denialist protests outside hospitals (sometimes blocking ambulances and harassing hospital staff) to name a few makes me question the sincerity of the whole thing. If you’re politically active, you know that the rhetoric people use is often code for other things and in this case it’s pretty easy to spot.

    I agree that the pay and conditions for a lot of long haul work just sucks. Which is why drivers need muscular organized labour power to fight the bosses for improvements. That’s the only thing that will work, not whatever this convoy is. I assume that the majority of the truckers involved in this are owner-operators as there’s just no way a company driver is going to get to use their employers’ rigs to attend this. They keep meticulous logs and there would be hell to pay if they just took off with them to attend a rally. In that case, yes. Owner-operators have a really shitty deal. Yes, they own their in trucks and command a higher rate of pay but they have to pay for everything themselves. Maintenance, fuel, insurance, etc. In the end they often barely scrape by. I understand the frustration but in my opinion the solution is again a reinvigoration of labor organizing (yes I’m talking the big bad Unionization) and focusing their efforts on taking on the bosses.

  355. From The Atlantic – just the headline, since I’ve used up my free articles quota:

    “The Battle for the Future of the West”, subhead “The real prize in Ukraine is the end of American influence in Europe.”

    Being The Atlantic, I can guess this will be accompanied by moaning, tears, and a heartfelt plea to not let this happen.

  356. From Wired-dot-com, “The U.S. refuses to fall in love with electric cars.”

    Though the young (under 80) and hip – even a guy in from Kentucky but whose job was in finance – are gaga over my daughter’s family’s 2 Chevy Bolts. And think electric cars are Soooo! environmentally friendly.

  357. @Anonymous #360 – but, giving Harry the cupboard (“Closet”, for those on this side of the pond) for a bedroom? Now, if Harry, being a small boy, had chosen it for his private hideout and den – as indeed I did, technically a grown woman, in my parents’ basement, after a major meltdown, licking my wounds, that’s a whole ‘nuther story.

  358. @JMG re The Dursleys: YES! I noticed the one trait the series pounded on, hard, was that they were exceedingly vulgar.

    On the other hand, the Weasleys were also working class, and my (Ravenclaw, if you’re wondering) hat has always been off to Molly Weasley.

  359. JMG and Commentariate

    I wanted to share this article pulled from Substack; https://tarahenley.substack.com/p/speaking-freely

    And then compare it with this recent headline from the CBC;
    https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/health-minister-vaccine-protest-1.6331223

    And now a National Post article;
    https://nationalpost.com/opinion/rex-murphy-should-justin-trudeau-be-deciding-what-views-are-acceptable

    Canada has reached a surreal and oddly soft kind of Tryanny. Within this land governed by the modern equivalent of an idiot son, it requires a news outlet founded by Conrad Black; a man who has styled himself the Last Tycoon, to report somewhat honestly about the state of affairs.

    I donated $25 to the freedom convoy go fund me, and found a live stream here;

  360. One final addendum to Harry Potter & The Dursleys:

    Geeky boys (and girls) DO find themselves out of place in families like that. A million biographies and autobiographies attest to that, JMG, you did so yourself.

    And, from reading a lot of British novels written in period (and later), and even one Australian series, upper-class Brits have always been a lot more comfortable with working-class people than with what said books call “middle class” – meaning, in the stereotype, conformist, all front, obsessed with what the neighbors will think, and phony-genteel. As Heyer’s upper-upper characters consider specimens thereof, “toad-eaters.” (Brown-nosers, for moderns on this side of the pond.) Now, what was it JMG had been saying about the intelligentsia?

  361. For astrologers: we have a massive pile-up in Capricorn right now. Mercury, Pluto, Mars, Venus, and now the Moon.

  362. @Milkyway, re: pregnant women eating dirt: I know of two separate reasons. My grandmother, in the 1920s & 1930s, learned of her own 2nd 3rd & 4th pregnancies because of an overwhelming desire to eat the garden dirt, that she remembered from her 1st pregnancy. I suspect the dirt started to smell tasty when she was on her knees, weeding. Her 3rd child died at a few weeks of age due to spina bifida, caused by maternal vitamin deficiencies. I was born healthy, but I have been told my lower spine on x-ray looks like I started to develop the same birth defect & then recovered. She smelled the necessary vitamins in the dirt. My mother likely had a genetic predisposition to the same deficiency, but had access to better food. So that’s one reason. I know another family from down South that passed on a special place where there was “medicinal clay” that was “sweet” and would act as a tonic for chronic disease. The person who told me about that family tradition heard about it from a great grandmother born in the 1800s.

  363. The flurry of philosophy questions this month strikes me as a sort of ecosophia version of martial arts dojo storming. I’m not trying to be critical; just think it’s a fun analogy and have enjoyed reading them.

    RE: IDW – I’ve never seen any IDW types have anyone fringe on their shows in general. Most of their guests are at least tangentially mainstream and Rogan sources a lot of new guests from social media. FWIW, Rogan has talked to one of his comedian friends Duncan Trussell about occultism who seems to have a lite chaos magic practice. Rogan was fairly open minded to the discussion from what I can recall. I would say it’s more of Rogan not exploring the less travelled portions of the internet for guests yet than an occultism thing. If JMG/you were on the JRE, I uh, might explode.

    RE Justin Patrick Moore: I listen to Tim Pool some, and yeah the swatting happened right after he had Marjorie Taylor Greene on the show.

  364. Thank you.
    1) “Scotlyn, nothing at all. All we can study and know are representations.”

    Yes. So, if I read your answer in the context of my question, are you confirming that you, also, think representations ARE worthy of study and getting to know? Because, that to me is the simple answer to those who only wish to apportion “worth” to whatever it is that they think “objective reality” is (which most of us are content to accept as “the mystery”).

    2) “The word “fact” literally means “something made by somebody” — think of “manufacture” — and the facts I’m discussing are assemblages of abstractions and figurations created by means of reflection.”

    Ok, so this circles a “fact” back to something made – or done? – by somebody – ie an act of will. People “make” assemplages of abstractions and figurations by means of reflection, it is true. But it strikes me that people (and other willed beings) also “will-to-do” concrete acts which will be experienced by the differently willed as a “limit”, an “obstacle”, a “thrustblock” or something like that – a “stop” in a person’s trajectory *which cannot be avoided by any act of wishing or believing it to “appear” otherwise*.

  365. @JMG
    What do you think of Jared Diamond’s book Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed?

  366. Have you heard of the anime/manga called Shingeki No Kyojin? If not, it basically is a world where humanity has backed down into walled cities because uncontrollable, unmanageable giants want to destroy humanity. But the giants managed to get into the cities after all in ways humanity can never predict and murders and destroys everyone in contact in brutal ways.

    I find that interesting because if you are a firm believer in Progress and you are blinded by the shiny lights from the causes and effects of what that is creating and has enflasked humanity from into a bubble of self delusion it really does feel like the world is breaking apart by supernatural, uncontrollable, interested forces, but in the end it is us (portrayed by anthropomorphic giants, which actually end up being humans in the end).

    It also was the most popular T.V show of 2021 according to a friend who is a fan. Isn’t that telling?

  367. @Curt (#395),

    I’m not in your shoes, but I can tell you one thing for sure: On the one hand, there is never enough time. And on the other hand, there is always more than enough time for everything that is important.

    I know this sounds silly, or like I wouldn’t take you serious.

    But I do, and I fully get where you’re coming from. I know how it is to work full-time, and juggle small kids and a ton of other things on top, plus everything else.

    At some point, i realized that time is in my head, so to speak. All that freaking out about “I’m not having enough time” is just an expression of more basic issues like “I will never have enough” or “I’m not good enough”.

    If you just switch to a part-time job, I can almost guarantee that you will still have the very same problems – time will still be too short, and you will still have the same fears and problems and doubts.

    You will need to figure out what the underlying issues are, and then face them and deal with them.

    Then, once you have done that, you might even realize that your job isn’t the problem at all. Or you might realize that it is a problem, but maybe for another reason. Either way, you will be able to make the necessary changes and actually achieve what you set out to achieve.

    @Pat (#404),

    That’s a very interesting story, thanks for sharing!

    Milkyway

  368. I have a resource related question:

    It’s no wonder many people think our civlization has “progressed” more and more, since ever complexer technology has emerged since 1971. After all, complex technology masking its originate source, fossil energy deposits, has indeed for a time enabled material wealth for the average citizen in the West only accessible to kings once, has enabled to avoid several risks of death and disease in new ways. It has ofc also created new risks, but with a time lag and often invisible
    due to the complex nature of a global supply chain.

    Now if energy availability per capita is sinking since 1971, why is complexity rising (until now – were prob at a turning point)?

    Complexity is a bundling of energy I gather.

    There are basic premises:
    1) human and animal labor is more energy efficient than machine labor, but slower. Modern complex tech is all about speed
    2) The average citizen of a wealthy country must be paid the minimum resource use required to participate in the economy, ie the wage of a worker and its tax is also a share of the infrastructure cost of the state like roads, electricity, water, gas…and administration costs > therefore the wage of a citizen in a poorer country counts for less resources
    3) Higher complexity means more speed means an advantage over competitors, ie if I bring my products faster to the markets, I win, if my cannons shoot further, my drones fly faster, my CPUs employed process my robots actions faster, I win

    But still, more complex tech with a sinking per capita energy is counter intuitive.

    In the case of the US, the rise of the fossil age started domestic, just coincidentially it sat on the biggest stash
    of oil available…then less pure sources were exploited, but in the case of China and the falling Soviet Union I would also argue: by 1971, not all the world was looting its resources as intensively yet – there was still much to loot outside the West.

    So all the while the average citizen in the West got poorer, the principle of fossil resource exploitation spread around the world and generated a higher energy per capita use on average, globally.

    Complex tech like smartphones of course neither does physical work done like heavy machinery, nor produces fertilizer like the Haber Bosch procedure, so its relevance is nil to this civilization when compared to the basic foundation.

    However since smartphones are addictive and in a way miraculous while mining and fertilizer production is invisible for the average citizen, there is a cognitive distortion about the importance.

    Is it in the end that automatization not only generates higher speed than manual labor, but also the costs of automatization for a while have been lower than the wage in a high consuming industrial nation?

  369. @Weilong and Milkyway re: dirt eating

    The clinical term is “pica” but that covers eating any non food item, not just dirt. Dirt more specifically is “geophagy”. It is a well-known thing among rural women in Georgia and Alabama– so much so, that the particularly delectable white clays found there used to be (maybe still are) available for sale in weird shops in Boston, for transplants who missed it. It seems to be particularly associated with women.

    You can order Georgia white clay here: https://www.whitedirt.com/ and that page also has a bit of information on geophagy.

  370. Can any of our wonderful readers post their Canadian astrology predictions? I remember someone had some good ones on dreamwidth but I can’t find them now? Apparently some malevolent stuff is due to happen.

    Also, I’ve been wondering, since JMG started posting his mundane astrological charts, it’s been almost all malefic positions, one after another. Does anyone know when things will turn around for Canada or the US in terms of mundane astrology?

  371. Another on the list of receiving a reading from andrewdavidskeen.
    Have to say I was truly surprised by the details provided, and will confirm a very positive outcome regarding my question. Thank you Andrew….

  372. blue sun @ 371, ideas can be accepted into respectable circles only if presented by writers of appropriately exotic name and cultural background. The particular writer you cited was most likely assigned the article and told what to say.

    info @ 375, my current reading project is classical history and I have not yet got to the Principate. Sorry, I can’t answer yet.

  373. @info #374:
    While “cool factor” can of course be difficult to judge, aye, I think I’d agree. 🙂

    (Also, it is _so_ easy to interpret Dumbledore as a much more sinister figure than either he presents himself in universe as or the canon presents him to the reader* as. Like, what was going on with the Dursleys, just for a start? He had one of his agents living as one of their neighbors to keep an eye on Harry, even personally looking after Harry on a number of occasions when the Dursleys wanted to do something else. So… was his monitoring system so poor that he never found out how Harry was being treated (including not checking in _once_ in a _decade_), or did he know, and either not care or actively _want_ Harry in that environment? It can be argued that, at least early on, he’d taken more personally hostile action against Harry than Voldemort had; after all, Harry’s parents volunteered to fight Voldemort in a war in which they knew families were at risk. Of course, they had good reasons for that, given Canon Voldemort, but it was a choice they might. And then _Pettigrew_ betrayed them, sure, but once Voldemort _had_ the information, he just went to kill some of his enemies in a war. Even actually did make at least a token effort to spare Lily, so, if anything, he was _less_ hostile to the Potters than expected. Whereas Dumbledore was their leader, the one they volunteered to fight _for_. They trusted him, and then they won the war for him. And how does he _repay_ that trust and sacrifice? Yeah…
    And it can even be argued that Dumbledore is responsible _for_ Voldemort. Yeah, decide that obviously troubled eleven-year-old is just evil, introduce him to yourself and the magical world by making him think you’ve set what little he has in the world on fire, and then regard him with suspicion and hostility at best from then on. Make no attempt reach out or actually _help_, ignore his fears of being sent back into an environment that was hostile to him even _before_ it was being _actively bombed_, and when he comes to you to apply for a job putting his skills to use doing productive work somewhere he loved, in an environment where you can even keep a close eye on him to make sure he’s not getting up to anything, turn him away to do who knows what who knows where. All while increasingly taking on a public persona of a paragon of Good. What _ever_ could have led Mr. Riddle to develop the view that there was no good or evil, only power and those too weak to seek it? Dunno, guess he must just have been born irrevocably evil after all, and Dumbledore was right again!

    …Seriously, I could go on, I expect, but the more one thinks about Dumbledore, it seems to me, the more it looks like the interpretations of the character where he _actually is good_ are the alternate ones…

    *I saw some of the films as a kid, but not all of them, whereas I went through all the books, and some, maybe all, with audiobooks as well, if I remember correctly. Though admittedly, it has been _years_ since either, with much fanfiction _not_ hewing to canon versions or interpretations of things in between.)

  374. JMG,

    I’ve asked you a few questions about the extent of the coming dark age and now I’d like to get your opinion on the subject of war.

    With regard to nuclear war, I’ve read arguments from people that the most lethal weapons always get used to the maximum extent possible. Also, The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has recently moved their doomsday clock to 100 seconds before midnight vs something like 20 minutes at the maximum decades ago. Though I read this doomsday clock now measures both global warming and nuclear war risks.

    On the subject of conventional war, we are hearing rumblings that Putin will invade the Ukraine and could get to Paris within 30 days. And, of course, there’s China and Taiwan.

    What is your opinion on war during the long descent, especially given the more recent news? My personal opinion is that since the long descent has started, the ability of nation states to organize and prosecute war is less than it was in the 1940s. However, many others seem to think it is greater for some reason. What is your opinion?

    CRC

  375. Hyperbole going hyperbolic?

    JMG,

    I’m wondering if the Faustian nature of our civilization is going to lead to a faster cultural decline than previous great cultures. It seems to me that the drive to infinity and beyond and the rejection of limits is behind our senile elite’s willingness to put ideological purity and doubling down on abstractions that are clearly disconnected from reality into overdrive.

    TDS, Russiagate, the extinction rebellion, BLM riots, defund the police politicians when 80% of blacks oppose it, antiscientific covid policies in the name of trust the science, widespread censorship and misinformation, reckless and dangerous brinksmanship with Russia and China, etc. Are these normal problems for a civilization in decline? Or is Faustian culture jumping the shark on its way out?

  376. Patricia Mathews, and that pileup is transiting my 12th house. (I gotta Sun, Merc, and Mars conjunct In 12th ). Whoa mama, the going is a bit treacly. But interesting!

  377. From my vantage point, some of the ideas from the old peak oil scene are gradually starting to go mainstream. Yes, it’s almost as if the ideas eventually filter through but nobody in the (new) mainstream knows where they come from.

    When it comes to the public conversation, I sense there’s been something like a “blooming” of ideas over the past year. This whole Covid fiasco knocked everything off balance and opened the door to alternative models of conceptualizing what’s really going on. There’s been a definite uptick in the number of times I hear some pundit’s take on current events which causes me to exclaim: Hey! Check this out! JMG has been saying this for years!

    I must say, I greatly admire your ability to not be concerned about getting credit. As a fan of yours, it bothers me!

    I guess it’s just hard for me to reconcile your prophecies coming true or your explanations becoming widely accepted, and yet it doesn’t change the (new) mainstream’s stance to you. It’s hard for me to understand how they can accept your ideas but not you as a thinker. But I guess I lack whatever prejudice they hold.

    I guess one thing I can point to, come to think of it, is, despite all the lines crossed by the more popular new podcasters, the one line I can’t recall any of them ever crossing is the underlying belief that Progess will eventually just pick up where it left off (after the current crisis is over).

    Maybe that’s what they can’t accept. Even while they might accept your explanations for current events, they ultimately believe that after all this, the future will be the shiny space-age future promised by “Progess”(TM).

    I think it’s made plain in the way they talk about Elon Musk. If you’re still able to believe—after all this—we’ll be colonizing Mars in a few years, I guess that’s the litmus test of your true worldview.

    Even the “IDW” can’t seem to break out of that box. The way Lex Friedman and Eric Weinstein talk about Elon Musk betrays their true faith. And when I hear Scott Adams or Tim Pool go on about how nuclear power is “the answer,” I wish you were there to talk some smack into them! Probably the only guy of the whole bunch open-minded enough to engage with you is Bret Weinstein. That would be my guess.

    If it’s a prejudice against occultism, which I confess I shared when I first encountered your writings (and is arguably even more widespread than a belief in progress, if only because what occultism actually is is entirely misunderstood), the great irony is that you are one of the most sane and grounded thinkers of our time. I listened to part of Joe Rogan’s interview of Stephen Tyler, and hoo-boy—Tyler is a full-on conspiracy nut. So I just don’t see how the new podcasters can interview someone that “woo woo” and dismiss you as a quack. I guess because no one expects Stephen Tyler to be a serious thinker. And while Joe Rogan does occasionally interview serious thinkers, he also interviews complete goofballs who happen to be famous.

    (As for Rogan, it’s another rich irony of our times that the guy who drinks and smokes pot with his guests while he’s interviewing them is the only guy who can get the opinions of serious thinkers broadcast out to the masses.)

    Anyway, that’s my rant. Thanks for listening.

  378. Re: writing villains. One precept that has really stuck in my mind from a radical pamphlet out of the late 60s, was “Never dismiss someone’s action with “She’s just a (she-warg)”, or “she’s just a (harlot).” First, seek the reason.” Combined with, from a more respectable source (male, academic) “First assume (the statement) is true. Then try to figure out what it could be true OF.”

    P.S. I only picked up two Unforgettables from that pamphlet, or possibly two pamphlets. The other one was “Never pick on the front line clerk, who is caught between the customer and the management. If you have a complaint, go straight to the guy on top.” Amplified by one of Steve Stirling’s most Machiavellian Emberverse characters, “Courtesy costs nothing, and pays generous returns.” And again, in another context, “Even if you are going to have to kill him.”

    I have tried to live by those two (and a whole slew of others, from other sources) ever since then. Without the killing, not being a Confederate gentleman.

  379. Materia Indigo, thank you for letting her know! And to Sister Crow, I’m glad you’re doing well, or at least as well as can be expected. Good to hear from you.

  380. JMG and his astute commentators
    I’m pushing 40. Any advice in general or from an occult perspective on staying healthy as you get older?

    I believe in the last post JMG mentioned how it’s better to focus on staying healthy and fit as you get older than to act like a kid. That sounds like an interesting topic explore I would be curious for his or others thoughts on that topic. Health is wealth.

  381. There is this meme going around that says “If you are not a scientist, and you disagree with scientists about science, it’s actually not a disagreement. You’re just wrong” I post in answer “Umm, no. Some of the many reasons people disagree is we know a lot of them are bought, along with the deepening replication crisis.” I got this long screed in reply, that did not address either of my points, but could be distilled down to ” STFU and trust the science” And I was called a Conspiracy Theorist”! *laughing!* Good thing I didn’t mention “Progress is DEAD!!There is no “normal to go back to!” That would likely get me amongst “The Deplorables”

  382. Anonymous, delighted to hear it. Once you finish it, you can either put it into circulation as alternative fanfic or change the names slightly and get it out there as very edgy parody.

    Roger, and yet in every religion on the planet in those days there were people listening prayerfully to their highest conceptions of Deity. I think it’s much more a matter of a certain kind of monotheism being fixated on what I’ve called hostage logic: “There’s only one god, we’ve got Him, and if you ever want to see Him again you’d better pay your tithes!” As for the time of the holy book being over, er, I take it you don’t contact the world of new religious movements much — there are new scriptures being written all the time by new visionaries and prophets. Most of them will be forgotten; a few of them will find a following; one or two might become the foundation of a future world religion.

    Justin, exactly — class is not the same thing as income. The bigotries of the intelligentsia are especially hot toward successful members of the deplorable class, who have the stable incomes the intelligentsia think they ought to get. If Rowling had taken the time to engage in a little imaginative sympathy toward the Dursleys, and plotted their actions based on believable personal motivations rather than just making them do whatever fit the plot she’d gimmicked up, her story would have been more interesting and less a matter of shoddy clichés flying in formation — but of course then she wouldn’t have gotten anything like so rich.

    Prizm, excellent! I don’t know enough about bagpipe music to know what might be woven into it, but I do know that the golden age of jazz was also the golden age of hoodoo and of African-American magical lodges. As for music in occult traditions, good heavens, yes. The books of Joscelyn Godwin are a good intro to the subject; I’ve also been asked by a publisher to do a workbook on that theme, and it’s in process.

    Bei, Rowling is a typical middle class intellectual who did a downwardly mobile phase — as indeed I did — but replaced the standard seet of middle class British prejudices with another set, no less shrill, from her social superiors on the privileged-progressive side of things. It’s a common tale.

    Mark, indeed there is. The collective consciousness of humanity as a whole, and of human nations and groups, are major factors in our social and mental lives; occultists of the old school talked about that quite a bit (Dion Fortune has a number of essays on the subject in various corners of her work, for example), and work of the kind you and I are doing has its effect largely through those collective minds. It’s work worth doing!

    J.L.Mc12, interesting. No, I hadn’t heard of it; I’ll see if the library here has a copy.

    Bogatyr, thank you; this sounds a good deal more like you. I hope you’ll find time to comment on subjects other than geopolitics sometime, too. You used to have a lot of interesting things to say.

    Curt, I hope you plan on adding the Middle Pillar exercise to your practice of the LBRP — that’s an important element and fills the space the LBRP clears away with positive energies, leading to that state of inner positivity you mention. As for your broader question about exercise, that’s something I’m still exploring; my job as a more than full time author is rather sedentary, so I’ve worked with a variety of exercise regimens to counter the negative effects of that. Right at the moment I’m doing the Five Rites aka Five Tibetan Rites (they aren’t actually Tibetan) daily, but that’s as much for other purposes as for simple exercise. Yes, the article’s still in the works — but I’ve had some other things to talk about…

    Chris, for the first time this winter we’re actually getting normal New England winter conditions — i.e., freezing temperatures all day, snow falling fast, a good stout Nor’easter whirling the flakes about. Of course the media’s melting down as though this is something unusual! Through December and most of January we had closer to what used to be April weather: rain rather than snow, days varying from the 30s to the 50s F. But of course climate change isn’t happening. 😉 As for the accelerating decline of the industrial age and the increasingly bizarre paralogic people are using to pretend that it’s not happening, why, yes, I’m seeing both of those quite a bit just now!

    Christopher, visualization is only one of many human capacities used in magic, and there are whole branches of magic — for example, natural magic — that don’t make use of it at all. The imagination need not work through visualized images; there are plenty of other options, and since no one person can possibly master all the different branches of magic, a person with aphantasia would simply need to choose an appropriate set of specialties.

    Curt, I was practicing magic systematically back when I still worked 40 hours a week. I had an unfair advantage, since I was married and didn’t want much of a social life, so I could devote a lot of my spare time to magical study and practice and not feel as though I was missing anything. (Since Sara’s also an occultist, we had an easy time making room for each other’s practices.) I got out of the grind, in turn, by hard work and a willingness to accept poverty. Once I’d started getting published, Sara and I lived for a while on her salary alone, until my writing income started ratcheting up; once that happened she went down to part time, and then quit work entirely, except for handling my publicity and some of my correspondence; we agreed from the start that this was the goal, and I’m happy to have achieved it sooner than either of us expected. Mind you, I still put in 40 hour weeks, but I enjoy writing and I don’t have to obey the idiotic mandates of a boss or a corporation.

    Patricia M, two very funny articles! As for the Weasleys, of course. It’s standard British privileged-left ideology that there are good working class people — they’re the ones who automatically believe everything the Labour Party tells them. It’s the ones who get uppity, ask questions, and rise in the world instead of waiting for handouts who are condemned to Dursleyhood.

    Ian, fascinating. This whole situation is intriguing to watch.

    Patricia, as awkward as my relationship with my birth family was, they didn’t give me a closet to live in or snicker, take me to a train station, and leave me there thinking I’d spend all day looking for a track that didn’t exist. I’d have been less bored and annoyed with Rowling if she’d made the Dursleys simply unable to understand their stepson, trying to do their best by him and failing because of the lack of understanding rather than because she assigned them the role of cardboard-cutout villains.

    Matt, I’m looking out the window at blowing snow and sipping poping hot green tea. I have no complaints!

    Youngelephant, the main reason that nobody pays any attention to Rudolf Steiner these days, outside of the rather cultish groups that treat his every word as gospel, is that if you mention Steiner online you’re sure to get a brace of pompous trolls charging on to lecture you about how everything you say is wrong unless you believe exactly what the party line in Dornach is this week. Most people just avoid Steiner as a result. That’s unfortunate, since he has a lot of useful things to say. I may post something down the road talking about how we might rescue Steiner’s legacy from the Anthroposophists, but if I do I know I’m going to have to delete a lot of trollery for the following few weeks.

    Scotlyn, again, since all we know and all we can know are representations, what else can we study and get to know? The people who fuss about how objective reality is the only thing worth studying and getting to know are by and large trying to insist that some set of representations they like is not to be questioned. And yes, facts are limits; what you do limits what you can do, and what others can do.

  383. @Rita Rippetoe re: cost of childcare

    That’s one way to calculate it. But I think (particularly in low-income families like mine) it leaves out an extremely important calculation: How much is a second job (doesn’t matter which partner!) COSTING your family?

    This is laid out in magnificent detail in the book *Your Money or Your Life*, and I have found it extremely useful. In our family/income situation, raising three kids on a single, below-the-poverty-line income, I opted not to go back to work after kids, because my (non-college-degree) job would be a net-negative for our family both in terms of income *and* less-quantifiable resources.

    Childcare is only the most obvious one people think of. But there are quite a lot of monetary costs to having a household where all the adults work outside the home. You also need to factor in work wardrobe (both the clothes *and* the dry-cleaning), transport, entertainment (would you need the booze and netflix if your job wasn’t stressing you out?), vacations (again, would you need to “get away” if you weren’t so stressed?), food (restaurants and convenience food because you don’t have time to cook?), services you pay for that you wouldn’t need if you didn’t have a job (haircuts, yardwork, household repairs)… even stuff like doctor and pharmacy costs: are you taking meds and paying doctors because you can’t afford to take a week off from work to just *be sick* and recover? Are you doing the same to your kids because you can’t stay home when they’re sick? Are you all getting sick more often *because* your kids are in daycare?

    Even within those categories, it is surprising how much people can pay for a job! Like, could you have purchased a reliable-but-junky-looking car instead of your newer-shinier one, if you weren’t concerned about projecting the right image at your job? Obviously this applies more to some jobs than others, but it’s important to really get down into the nitty-gritty and *do the numbers*. It is definitely possible for a resourceful family to come out *ahead* by having one adult forgo paid employment and having less official on-paper cash income.

    My kids are enjoying a better quality of life on far less money, than I did growing up with two working parents. I spent a lot of time in daycares and recall that we had our electricity, water, or gas turned off at least twice a year due to non-payment. Our household diet was total crap because my parents did not cook, they lived in fear of the credit card bills, and my grandparents sent money twice a year to make sure we could have Christmas presents and new school clothes. My kids have never experienced *any* of that (and again, we make *less* money than my parents). Part of that was poor money management, but… a lot of it was simply that having both parents working all the time has its own costs. It’s important to calculate those correctly. At $80k/yr maybe it’s a wash. At $25k a year… I’m far more valuable at home.

    And that’s *before* you add in my value to friends and extended family as the consistently *available* person they can call for emergency help, and the ways that gets paid back in kind. Kin networks and gift economies become vastly more effective when you have at least a few useful adults who aren’t chained to jobs.

  384. @Curt #411 Alot of that increase in complexity is enabled by Moore’s law which may ending soon.

  385. Josh #369,

    “If you’re politically active, you know that the rhetoric people use is often code for other things and in this case it’s pretty easy to spot.”

    Allow me to break your code for those who may not be as politically active as I am: “If I take the worst possible interpretation of these people they look very bad!”

  386. @Helix #105

    Science might proceed one funeral at a time, but medicine, unfortunately, proceeds a thousand funerals at a time, and we supply the bodies.

    It took 60,000 deaths before they admitted Vioxx was dangerous and withdrew it. Vaccine deaths will have to be in the hundreds of thousands to make an impact on official policy.

  387. Re Several Convoy Commentators here is my summary from earlier today:

    My wife and I arrived near Parliament Hill about 12:15 PM. The Party was in full swing. Just NW of War Memorial the Ottawa Police had used their Water Rescue Unit Truck to block the road. I’m assuming it was the heaviest and large vehicle that was not aggressive, just a big truck. The Ottawa Police seems to have started out (at least) with a very light-handed and appealing for calm approach. The younger guys looked stressed but the older ones mostly bored/exasperated. I hope they can maintain their composure if this drags on but so far so good.

    A few blocks up the street directly across from the ‘main’ entrance to the Parliament was a ‘Boom’ Crane Truck with a large Canadian Flag hanging from the boom way up in the air. Trucks radiated out from these roadblocks on al thoroughfares. But it wasn’t just 18 wheelers, it was all sorts of ‘Wage Class’ vehicles. Lots of honking and revving and displays of utter contempt for our PM but I never once felt the slightest risk of aggressiveness from anyone. Everyone just wanted to be heard. I don’t know how Justin Trudeau can come out of this seeming like another but a completely pathetic dork. Weather or not his government falls, his legacy is going to be severely tarnished and he’ll never be able to face an un-vetted crowd again …

    The Quebec /French Canadian people in the crowd acquitted themselves very well. It seemed like they were a huge percentage of the crowd with almost as many Fleur de Lys as Maple Leafs.

    Hearing a fellow later on describe being charged by Horses while having smoke bombs thrown at them by the Police at a protest in Montreal; I think I can understand why they felt they had to protest now while they still could. Again so far so good for the Ottawa Police.

    I saw a lot of flags, Canadian, Quebec, Provincial, Acadian, Gadsen, USA … but absolutely zero confederate flags (and I was looking) so it