Open Post

January 2024 Open Post

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

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

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

With that said, have at it!

469 Comments

  1. hi from Argentina Mr. Greer
    i would like to ask you if its possible for you to answer about Magial practices.
    Is the sense of ‘pressure’ and kind of felling of faint but you dont faint (that’s the best explanation that I can give) are the results of ‘integrating’ the shapes I draw and the ‘presence of the archangels ? or should i check myself to the hospital for a blood clot?
    thanks for all your work!

  2. Mr. Greer,

    Have you been following the saga of the Peregrine Lunar Lander? The Peregrine was somewhat special because controversially, the spacecraft is also carrying human remains. Specifically ashes of the science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, Roddenberry’s wife, Majel Barrett along with the ashes of Nichelle Nichols, James Doohan and DeForest Kelley; the actors who played Nyota Uhura, Montgomery Scott and Dr. McCoy on the original series. And if that wasn’t interesting enough it also carried samples of DNA from George Washington, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan.

    It failed to land on the moon and crashed into the South Pacific on January 18; the site of several US naval victories over the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II. A few hours later on the 19th Japan’s SLIM lunar lander successfully landed on the moon. This also happened coincide with the anniversary of General Douglas MacArthur starting the war crimes tribunal against Japan’s defeated World War II leaders. It feels like there is something very symbolic about that entire incident.

  3. Thus I’ve decided to ban further discussion of this latest wet dream of the lumpen-internetariat here.

    YAY! Can we nix the bitcoin fanfare as well? 😉

    Things getting interesting these days as numerous mainstream narratives — and their promoters — are dying on the vine.
    * It’s broadly obvious Ukraine is a lost cause and protests are arising regarding austerity at home to pay for it
    * The “Green New Deal” style initiatives are killing those countries that pursued them (e.g. Germany)
    * Immigration is becoming massively unpopular in the Western world and turning over governments
    * The growing negative health effects of the vax are now impeding the WHO’s efforts towards global control
    * WEF had two different major speakers tell the attendees they were the problem and not the solution
    I could go on and on (and on).

    Am I wrong, or does it seem like we’re really reaching a major historical inflection point? I don’t have nearly enough popcorn stocked up.

  4. Transformations
    by Thomas Hardy

    Portion of this yew
    Is a man my grandsire knew,
    Bosomed here at its foot:
    This branch may be his wife,
    A ruddy human life
    Now turned to a green shoot.

    These grasses must be made
    Of her who often prayed,
    Last century, for repose;
    And the fair girl long ago
    Whom I often tried to know
    May be entering this rose.

    So, they are not underground,
    But as nerves and veins abound
    In the growths of upper air,
    And they feel the sun and rain,
    And the energy again
    That made them what they were!

  5. The mention of Mr. Trump in your “Three Stigmata” post led me back to your post “What Evil Lurks.” Now, it’s pretty obvious that to the PMC Trump represents the Shadow – most of what he’s accused of are things the PMC are doing themselves but can’t bring themselves to acknowledge. But “What Evil Lurks” discusses another archetype, the anima/animus. To quote: “For all practical purposes, once it’s triggered by some complex set of psychological stimuli, the anima or animus functions as a prolonged case of beer goggles, projecting itself onto the other person and making them look just like the woman or man of your dreams, no matter how faint the resemblance might be…” And it occurs to me that Mr. Trump has assumed this archetype in the minds of his followers. After all, he’s not really a God-Emperor – he’s not even a Fred Halliott. But many of his supporters seem to believe in Salvation by Trump. Do you think the animus archetype would explain this phenomenon?

  6. Something that I’ve been wondering about is how much energy can be produced (in the United States, if it exists by then) by wind, water, and solar power once the fossil fuels have run out and are no longer providing hidden subsidies to renewables. And biofuels for things like public bus systems? I’m mostly interested because I’m now trying my hand at writing some deindustrial fiction, and having a broad estimate of that might help me flesh out some of the details of my fictional world.

  7. I was taking a look at the new covid post on dreamwidth, and it occurred to me: did any astrologers predict the whole shebang? I didn’t really follow astrology or magic or anything back then, so I don’t really know how the vibe was in late 2019 early 2020 (when everything was still very much up in the air).
    Can anyone who was following the stuff back then point out any writings on this nature? Backward-looking would be fine as well.

  8. I know a group of people moving to the Southern Cone – Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, and Chile (in that order, more or less). They’re farming or starting businesses or just retiring. The basic premise is that the West proper (Europe & North America) is cooked, so it’s a kind of Constantinople (or Irish monastery) strategy. Smart strategy or a just a rich people larping exercise that will fall apart if the West really circles the drain?

  9. I can’t believe it’s Open Post-week again – seriously? Hasn’t January just started?? 😀

    Anyway… for any MOE practitioners who might have missed it on Magic Mondays: I’m going to offer a Master Attunement on Sunday February 4th, at 6pm German time. More details here:

    https://thehiddenthings.com/moe-master-attunement-on-sunday-february-4th-2024

    And for everybody: I’m offering weekly blessings in order to practise my blessing skills. If you wouldn’t mind receiving a blessing from/through me, you can sign up here for next week (or at any time in the following posts for the weeks afterwards):

    https://thehiddenthings.com/weekly-blessings-4

    I hope you’ve all had a wonderful year so far! 🙂

    Milkyway

  10. Hi JMG,

    I have a question regarding hard vs soft polytheism. Is it accurate to say that Zeus and Jupiter would be two separate Gods in hard polytheism whereas they’d be considered the same God in soft along the lines of “whom you call Zeus we call Jupiter”?

  11. JMG and commentariat, are any of you aware of any religious/occult legends or associations with the Knights Hospitallers? I’m well aware of all the blah blah about the Templars, who were a different order, and am specifically interested in historic connections of the Hospitallers with miraculous events. I’m working on a project about the middle ages, and for some reason the Hospitallers keep turning up in connection with some rather weird happenings. Any pointers much appreciated!

  12. Good morning JMG and fellow Ecosophians! On Jan. 22 in the city of Ayodhya in northern India a new temple to Shri Ram was dedicated. It’s apparently kind of big political deal as well as a big religious deal, about which I am supremely uninformed. Out of curiosity, I watched one the videos that broadcast the event. So many flowers! During the ceremony, the participants are in the inner sanctum seated in front of the idol. Standing beside the altar was a gentleman wearing a very obvious wristwatch. At one point he checks his watch several time, then directs the others present to stand and start the next part of the ceremony. The translation of the video I was watching identified him as the astrologer in charge of the timing of the consecration, Very cool!

    Here’s a link to one of the videos (there are lots) of the ceremony. The moment mentioned is at about 30 minutes in: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBwfbsv3WjU

    Many blessings to Indian and the new Shri Ram temple!

    Squirrelly Jen

  13. Have you ever been south of Cincinnati? Have you ever been to Peru, Indiana or Paris, Maine? If not, we’ve got you covered.

    Jugular Jones from the Imaginary Stations crew is here to let you know that this week we present another installment of WDWD – Off the Map Radio. Programme 2 in the series will be going out to Europe via the services of Shortwave Gold on Sunday 28th January 2024 at 1000/1400 hrs UTC on 6160 kHz and then at 2100 UTC on 3975 kHz. More journey, location and place name related tunes.

    Then on early Monday 29th January 2024 we have KPET for all pet lovers out there at 0300 UTC on 9395 kHz via WRMI. We’ll have songs for your cat, dog and guinea pigs alongside reviews of dry cat food, dog collars and hamster chews. It will be one exciting show so do tune in!

    Flyers & more here:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/shortwave/comments/19ekleo/wdwd_wrong_direction_radio_gets_you_off_the_map/

    Don’t get amwayed, get shortwaved.

  14. Hi JMG,
    A decade or so ago I recall you made a comment about technology and the cost incurred by government to implement it for surveillance/Big Brother purposes would be very high. I believe you provided the East German Stasi as an example of how they ran into limits related to bandwidth, in spite of many in the general population “helping”/ratting out their fellow citizens. In context, I believe your comment sort of downplayed the worry about .gov and absolute control over our lives, but I don’t want to state that as fact. It was also a response to a thought that the race between decline and technological dystopia was neck and neck.

    Covid brought about the fear of Jab passports, and lockdowns that were hit or miss in their efficiency. The Canadian truckers suffered some of the most egregious violations of rights, but there were limits with that too. Now it appears, IMHO, that decline is outpacing technological advancements, as complexity and usability of data (in spite of AI) doesn’t seem to be keeping pace with outages, poor functionality and error filled analyses.

    Any change in your thoughts on this topic? Some folks are quite worried about .gov’s reach, and others like myself are less concerned as institutions are crumbling all around us….

  15. Hello JMG,

    Recently I have found myself reflecting on how technology has changed people through a book called “Together Alone” by Sherry Turkle, a psychologist who has been recording how peoples relationship with technology has evolved starting with ELIZA, a program which she was directly involved as a researched alongside Joseph Weizenbaum.

    Turkle uses decades of interviews to show how people project their emotions and challenges onto robots more and more and how it deadens the level of experience people expect for each other. How it is a type of trade-off people don’t realize they are making.

    I see this theme everything, that the relationships and changes to people with the advances in technology are something new, that it is often insurmountable. I’m skeptical of this, Marshal McLuhan wrote that TV and all other media had a profound impact on how people think and act too through adopting extensions of themselves. An image that comes to mind for me is the animated head from That Hideous Strength by CS Lewis.

    From your perspective, is there a parallel to the hunched over disembodied nature of heavy device use and past phenomenon in cultures or is it truly unique? Is this an element of disenchantment, of where we are in the cycle of cultures, or is it truly just that behaviorism tools are extremely effective at changing behaviors?

    There has been a surge in communities looking to simplify life and a major hurdle is a functional relationship and establishment of boundaries with technology. From my own experience, intentional technology use was a complex web of disentanglement, and I still have plenty of work to do as I do find myself ensnared from time to time.

  16. When I started reading the archdruid report around 2009 there were very few, if any, people outside the peak oil blogosphere really questioning the religion of progress. Now I’m shocked to find that bloggers I started following because they talk about books, music, etc. are suddenly saying very archdruidy things.

    Here’s one good example: https://www.honest-broker.com/p/i-ask-seven-heretical-questions-about?utm_source=profile&utm_medium=reader2

    People who write about culture are really starting to imagine other futures, hopefully this will trickle down to politics sooner rather than later. Although i fear Curtis yarvin may be right that the Elon musks of the world are the only people with enough cultural capital (and capital capital) to realistically replace the current senile elite. In which case, we can only look forward to warmed over techno utopia.

  17. the first desert of Brazil.

    Brazil always had a semiarid climate in its northeast provinces. This year some municipalities in Bahia are officially arid. This the beginning of the mega desert that’ll stretch from Ceara to central Minas Gerais. Of course nobody will do anything. Government is too busy hunting supposed fascists and raising taxes. Businessmen left the region long ago. The people is too disorganized, ignorant and dependent upon someone else to do things to self organize and try to plant trees to slow/halt the desert like the Chinese or the Africans are doing.

  18. Hi John,

    A few questions:

    1) what is your take on this investment outlook for the longer term- https://d1-invdn-com.investing.com/content/picde40c3cd63ff914a7b1678fe4facab5b.png

    Do you think its plausible – e.g. that the US equity markets will peak within a year or so and go on to have a Greater Depression over the next 13 to 21 years or so. Avi also thinks the bond markets will collapse and most peoples wealth will evaporate over the coming decades.

    2) This article talking about our civilisation facing a tipping point next year is very interesting – https://thehonestsorcerer.medium.com/2025-a-civilizational-tipping-point-da84d11a0e35

    3) What is your take on the recent rather panicky calls by European Generals and defence ministers warning of war in Europe? Lots of talk about the return of conscription and dire warnings that Europe isn’t ready for a Russian invasion – see https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/25469878/conscription-age-uk-war-russia/

    Do you have any update on your take on when and in what form Europe will return to warfare over the next 20 years?

  19. Here is a possible topic for conversation: The work of Alejandro Jodorowsky, director, writer, tarot reader, occultist, freak.

    Does anyone have any thoughts & opinions on this character?

    I have read some of his graphic novels. These were first serialized in Heavy Metal magazine IIRC and drawn by the amazing Mobius. The ones I read are The Incal and the Metabarons.

    Looking him up in the catalog there is a newer graphic novel I am going to put on hold now that looks really interesting called “The Knights of Heliopolis” Here is the blurb:

    “The 18th century. In a monastery in the North of Spain hides the sacred temple of the Knights of Heliopolis: an assembly of immortal alchemists cut off from the world. As disciple Seventeen prepares to complete his training and integrate order, his master Fulcanelli reveals to the other knights the terrible secret of his origins – Seventeen is actually the hidden son of King Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette! Will the young heir claim the throne or remain in the shadows, faithful to the millennial precepts of Alchemy?”–Provided by publisher.

    I have seen two of his films, El Topo and Santa Sangre. I really enjoyed them both. I really liked Santa Sangre, because I am fan of circuses and anything involving side shows and stuff like that. It’s always captivating to me.
    The part I remember most is the funeral they have for the elephant when it dies.

    His movie The Holy Mountain I have not seen yet, though I would watch given the right time & head space.

    Let’s see… he has perhaps come back into the broader publics eye due to the documentary “Jodorowsky’s Dune” about his failed attempt to make Dune… but the influence of his Dune movie Bible is immense in film as shown through the documentary.

    He apparently reads cards quite often in the cafes of Paris and wrote the book: The Way of Tarot: The Spiritual Teacher in the Cards. He also wrote one called Psychomagic: The Transformative Power of Shamanic Psychotherapy. Given the nature of his films, I can possibly understand why it is called Psychomagic.

    Does anyone else have any thoughts on Jodorowsky?

  20. We’re heading for the homestretch on “International Agatha Christie, She Watched” and there are films we’d like to get, but still haven’t managed.

    If anyone here has access to DVDs (region is unimportant as we’ve got a region-free player) or streaming WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES, we’d be grateful.

    In particular, we’d like
    AUSTRIAN Miss Marple series
    ESTONIAN Miss Marple series
    INDIA:
    Tarka (Logic) (1989) (The Unexpected Guest)
    Puriyaadha Puthir (Mystifying Puzzle) (1990) (The Unexpected Guest)
    Chupp! (Silence!) (1997) (The Unexpected Guest)
    Aduthathu (Next) (2011) And Then There Were None
    Don Ghadicha Daav (2011) (The Unexpected Guest)
    Grandmaster (2012) (The A.B.C Murders)
    Aatagara (Player) (2015) (And Then There Were None)
    Charlie Chopra & The Mystery of Solang Valley (2023) (The Sittaford Mystery)
    JAPAN:
    Meitantei Akafuji Takashi: Aishi no sandoriyon (名探偵赤富士鷹: 愛しのサンドリヨン – Great Detective Akafuji Takashi: My Beloved Cendrillon) (2005) (Murder on the Links)
    Uso o tsuku shitai (The Corpse which Lies) (嘘をつく死体 ) (2006) (4.50 From Paddington)
    Yokoku Satsujin (Notice of Murder 予告殺人) (2007) (A Murder Is Announced)
    Daijoyuu Satsujin Jiken (大女優殺人事件 The Great Actress Murder Case) (2007) (The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side)
    Paddington hatsu 4ji 50pun: Shindai Tokkyuu Satsuhin Jiken (パディントン発4時50分 ~寝台特急殺人事件~ 4.50 from Paddington – Night Express Train Murder) (2018) (4.50 From Paddington)
    Yokoku Satsujin (Notice of Murder 予告殺人) (2019) (A Murder Is Announced)
    LEBANON:
    Abriaa Wa Laken (Innocent… However) (2015) (Ordeal by Innocence and Appointment with Death)
    RUSSIA:
    Taina “Chyornykh Drozdov” Тайна “Чёрных дроздов” (Secret of the Blackbirds) (1983) (A Pocket Full of Rye)
    Zagadka Endkhauza (Endhouse Mystery) (Загадка Эндхауза) (1989) Peril At End House
    Myshelovka (Mousetrap) (Мышеловка)(1990) The Mousetrap
    YEMEN:
    Abwab Moghlaka (Locked (or Closed) Doors) (2016) (Crooked House)

    We can find many of these films at places like Daily Motion, but they don’t have English subtitles!
    If you’ve got access, email me at tdbpeschel at gmail.com.
    We’ll pay for shipping. If there’s a purchase cost, tell me how much.
    In exchange, YOU, dear contributor, will receive credit in the book’s acknowledgements and a copy of the trade paperback as well as the warm glow of contributing to Agatha Christie film scholarship.
    If you have access to an Agatha film not on my list, check our master list at https://peschelpress.com/agatha-christie-foreign-movie-adaptations/
    If you know about a film that we don’t know about, even if it can’t be found, we’d like to know!
    Thank you!

  21. Something that occurred to me and that sort of related to last week’s post, but not enough, I felt, to go ahead and comment there:

    It is my understanding that part of the reason the dollar is the reserve currency is because that’s what’s used to price oil. This being the case, if people stop using oil for whatever reason, what happens to it?

  22. After all the talk of Warhammer 40000 here a few weeks back, I decided to go take a look at the lore and see for myself what the fuss was about. I kind of get it now. It’s so determinedly grim-dark that it doesn’t entirely take itself or the genre its in seriously, and the fan parodies are darkly hilarious. Kind of like Dilbert in the grimdark future, some of them. Though I still haven’t figured out why the tech priests seem obsessed with toasters. Does anyone know where that comes from?

  23. John–
    As a follow-up re my comment last month on House Bill HR6544 “Atomic Energy Advancement Act” permitting/requiring direct subsidization of new nuclear power plants by means of purchase power agreements entered into by the Department of Energy: I did some additional digging and found that GovTrack gives the bill a 34% of enactment.

    https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/118/hr6544

    This is somewhat less than I had figured, but I can only presume that the folks doing the calculation know whereof they speak and have a better understanding of the labyrinthine process then I do. That said, I will be curious to see what happens, particularly in an election such as the one we are experiencing.

    On that broader topic, does anyone have odds for a Grover Cleveland redux? From the perspective of a historian, this is fascinating stuff. As a voter, less than thrilling. As an inhabitant of a declining empire amidst a declining civilization, well, we make do.

  24. I’d like to share an essay from my favorite socialist-adjacent rag, Current Affairs.

    https://www.currentaffairs.org/2024/01/what-is-civilization

    It is an essay on the popular video game series, “Civilization”, as well as an analysis of the underlying myth of linear, ever-more-perfect progress through industrial development and colonization. I thought this would be the perfect audience to appreciate it. I like how the author points out the implicit Eurocentric post-Enlightenment view of history and current events, through the lens of 4X-style gaming.

  25. JMG & All-
    Inspired by Nick Nelson’s link at #18 any recommendations for other Substack bloggers that write from a collapse aware or “progress questioning” perspective?

  26. December was dire for wind and solar in the inland Pacific Northwest. The numbers from the BPA were;
    For wind, the minimum was once again 0.00%. Actually twice again, Dead calm on Dec 16 and 21. The best day was a respectable 62.1% of nameplate rating on the 7th. Average for the month was 14.6%. From the 11th until the 22nd we had a continuous wind failure where the turbines were putting out less than 10% of rating. So it was up to the PV systems to carry the load.

    Except it’s December, so PV was not doing well either. The worst day was 1.57% on the 27th. The best day was a stunning 12.7% on the 23rd. The monthly average was 4.4%. Remember these are 24 hour numbers, on the 23rd the panels made almost 37% of their name plate. The unsolvable problem is the 8.3 hour day.

    As for the formal dunkelflaute where wind and solar are both less than 10% capacity, The longest was 43.2 hours. starting on the 11th. Average power demand was 7245 MW, so 312,735 MW-hrs of batteries would be needed. This is 80,189 Tesla Max-power batteries with a total weight of 33.7 Nimitz class aircraft carriers. That assumes you went into the dunkelflaute with them fully charged, an unlikely event. The solar panels ran at 11.5% on the 11th, and 6.0% on the 12th, and 15.6% on the 13th. I don’t see a whole lot a recharge capacity there.

    I was going to stop this tracking project as I have the data I wanted, but January was interesting so I’ll do one more month. January 12th will get its own report later, that was an interesting day.

  27. BPA renewable power for 2023, monthly averages.
    JMG, I don’t know how this is going to post given the formatting on your site, but here goes, it’s a CSV listing. The second to last column (# of maxpower batteries needed to get through the dunkelflaute) is in quotes because it contains a comma.

    Month,Avg wind capacity,Avg solar capacity,Dunkelflaute (hrs),# Maxpower,AC equiv.
    Jan,19.98%,10.58%,19.17,”37,632″,15.8
    Feb,37.32%,18.69%,15.75,”32,602″,13.7
    Mar,29.28%,22.44%,10.92,”18,577″,7.8
    Apr,29.35%,29.58%,24.75,”53,825″,22.6
    May,26.65%,32.79%,11.17,”16,882″,7.1
    Jun,32.37%,40.16%,10.00,”14,518″,6.1
    Jul,31.91%,44.66%,9.83,”13,795″,5.8
    Aug,28.73%,31.82%,16.92,”53,633″,22.5
    Sep,28.16%,26.19%,16.25,”22,422″,9.4
    Oct,14.44%,19.34%,15.75,”20,697″,8.7
    Nov,17.21%,10.59%,18.08,”31,186″,13.1
    Dec,14.56%,4.43%,43.17,”80,189″,33.7
    ,,,,,
    annual averages,25.83%,24.27%,43.2,”80,189″,33.7

  28. @Karl Grant: I could imagine this spawning, quite literally, a SF story. The DNA of JFK and Reagan combine in the salty sea with the ashes of Rodenberry and the Star Trek crew to give birth to a splice-work monster more terrible than the any of the Kaiju to ever emerge from the depths of the ocean!

    @Nick Nelson: Thanks for the Honest Broker article. It was really good. Spot on. I’m looking forward to reading his Notes Toward a New Romanticism article next… that sounds quite interesting.

  29. Justin Patrick Moore #15: This doesn’t really have anything to do with the substance of your comment but I actually grew up not far from Peru, Indiana. I always enjoy seeing references to Indiana’s obscure little towns, lol. I’ll tune into the show.

  30. Diabetes runs in my family. I’m working on avoiding the risk of developing it, to the extent I can do so, which requires learning about it. One other issue is that given I’m only in my 20s, there’s a decent chance that I won’t develop the disease for decades, which means I might not have access to insulin when I do. This, plus a desire to avoid becoming dependent on any medication, has led to me looking into how diabetes was treated before insulin.
    It turns out that insulin completely changed things. Prior to the discovery of insulin, type II diabetes was treated with high fat, low carb diets, of the sort we’d call keto diets. These diets worked for a lot of people with type II, but almost never for type I, where insulin is a miracle; it transformed the previous death sentence into an inconvenience. However, insulin treatment is dangerous if there is not enough sugars in the bloodstream; which meant that it was either insulin or low carb diets; but doing both was catastrophic. Therefore, the advice switched to “take insulin, and make sure to eat enough sugars and starches.” The previous habits of using high fat diets to treat diabetes went away; and remarkably quickly.
    These days, the dominant advice we’re given on avoiding diabetes is that we need to avoid dietary fats, which is the exact opposite of the diets used to treat type II diabetes prior to insulin; and I wonder if this has anything to do with the fact so many people are diabetic these days.
    The other issue I see is that something in our environment or diet is leading to subclinical diabetes in a lot of people, and manifesting with the steady rise of heart disease, strokes, kidney failure, etc, among younger people. I’m not sure what it is, but it would explain why the keto diet, which apparently helps reduce diabetes symptoms, is so popular these days.
    Does anyone have any ideas as to what environmental conditions might have poisoned the endocrine system in this fashion?

  31. @furnax #9 – Yes, French Astrologer Andre Barbault predicted a pandemic in the 2020-2021 time period back in the early 2000s (2006?) from larger Astrological Mundane time cycles. Most of his books were published in French and a few have been translated into English, of which “Planetary Cycles Mundane Astrology” has the prediction of a pandemic in 2020-2021.

    In the 2020 yearly forecast of The Astrology Podcast, recorded in late Nov. 2019, Kelly Surtees, Austin Coppock, and Chris Brennan predicted that there would be no hugging starting in March 2020 with a lot of folks in some sort of lockdown due to the Saturn-Pluto conjunction and the Mars transit over said conjunction.

  32. @ Justin Patrick Moore,

    Hi Justin, I know a little bit about Jodorowsky. so will give you some pieces of information I know.

    I saw his Holy Mountain movie back when it was traded around on bootleg videotapes in the 90s. Prior to it getting a proper release, it showed in a theatre in Toronto which he spoke at and I attended. During this he mentioned that he saw himself as a comic book writer primarily, which surprised me at the time as I I love comics and hadn’t realized he’d written any, so it started me on a path of looking for his work. He has quite a massive body of work. I get the impression that he is quite charming and persuasive, because a commonality of all his series are that he works with absolutely the best artists – it is almost staggering when viewed as a whole, and I can’t think of any other writer in the field that has accomplished this. Most of his comics have been published in English now, and are back in print, the majority through Humanoids, but also a few other publishers, including some strips he did for newspapers that he drew quite skillfully himself, which were more occult focused. All in all his comics are much more successful and interesting (to my mind) than his films, but there are so many it’s almost difficult to discuss them.

    I think he has three careers if you will, comics is his main one, although that may have changed with his impressive rise in popularity (he has become surprisingly influential in some unexpected circles, with Kanye West and Erkah Badu giving him high praise and mentioning him in interviews), due to his films coming back into circulation after a dispute with the copyright owner being resolved after decades of feuding, and the release of the documentary on his unfinished Dune, which exposed a lot more people to his charismatic ways. Film is his other career then, the one he is most famous for in the west, but I think these are more symbolic than traditional movies, and much more disjointed and difficult to process than his comics writing. I couldn’t speak to all of it off hand, but I remember discussing Holy Mountain with a girl who was into tarot cards and some other occult things decades ago, and she went on at length about all of the things that were going on in it below the surface.

    His third career is as an occultist, for a long time (perhaps even still) he did free readings for people in a cafe in Paris every weekend, and has pioneered something he calls Metageneology, which is something to do with healing past traumas through symbolic actions in the present. His most recent films (made in the past 20 years) are explorations of this, creative biographies of his youth, that try to heal the traumas he experienced as a child from his father, recasting his father in a heroic and more positive light. He has some novels that I believe explore this same territory, and several non fiction books on this practice and the tarot.

    I quite enjoyed “Sacred Trickery and the Way of Kindness” which is a transcription of a couple long interviews with him discussing this aspect of his life, meeting Carlos Castaneda and whatnot, he mentions Gurdjieff in this a few times also. My take on him is that he seems to want to exert a positive influence, and generally seems quite good natured in interviews, but also seems to enjoy toying around with the role of a charlatan, and is always weaving myths around himself that perhaps shouldn’t be taken at face value.

    Thanks,
    Johnny

  33. Forecasting Intelligence #20

    If I may, I agree on #1 and regarding #2 already commented (in a manner of speaking) in this thread about tipping points.

    On #3 I see this a desperate bid to keep the whole NATO racket from going down the toilet given everyone’s either recognizing or reluctantly admitting the emperor has no clothes.

  34. Zarvoc,

    That article is more about the author publicly admitting to feeling shame for being a guy who played and enjoyed games about war and conquest than a serious look historical notions of progress. This paragraph in the middle of the essay spells that out very clearly:

    “As a millennial cis white man disillusioned with war, nation-states, and toxic masculinity, I find that there is a transgressive thrill in virtually enacting the kind of ruthless world conquest that allegedly has no place in the world today. I salve my guilt in such playthroughs by selecting underdogs from history, imagining a world where the Maya, for example, last until the postmodern era and conquer Washington, D.C., the center of contemporary military and economic hegemony.”

    And as somebody who has played a lot of strategy video games over the years I can also tell you he is being very selective about what kind of strategy games he is talking about and is also omitting certain facts. For example, there are a lot of real-time strategy and 4X games were the opposing sides did develop different radically different technologies and went down different paths. They tend to be science fiction and fantasy strategy games though and Civilization is a historical game. And judging from what else this author has said he ain’t going to be happy with those games either because according to him he is not supposed to enjoy thinking about – or exploring any ideas related to – developing resources and supply chains, building towns and cities, or building armies and leading them into battle.

  35. @ Justin Patrick Moore,

    Hi again Justin,

    I re-read your message after sending mine and realized I hadn’t read it all initially, and I covered a bit of the same territory you already had. Apologies for that! I will say that he did a sequel for El Topo as a comic book that might interest you. I read it, although I don’t remember anything particular about it now, other than that I liked it at the time. You might enjoy his Bouncer series which is terrific and also a western.

    Thanks,
    Johnny

  36. In the woods and weeds at the edge of a walk/bike trail right-of-way near my home, there is the rusting hulk of some old auto or farm machinery. (I haven’t gotten close enough to it to make out the details.) I’d like to plant a historical marker next to it, something like “As the 21st century began, refined metal was so incredibly plentiful that large manufactured items could be abandoned to rust away, rather than recycled. (History of the Future Project)” But I haven’t come up with a medium for the sign that won’t fall apart before people have time to notice. Maybe if I stamp it into a sheet of aluminum, fill the letters with paint, and spray lacquer over the whole thing? That’s a lot of stamping, and my stamp dies are only 1/4″ (or less) tall. Suggestions, anyone?

    Lathechuck

  37. JMG and VOG (hope I missed no one else), thx for the Steiner info on biodynamics and bees. Very helpful. How are the Hadley cells looking these days? It’s been a mild winter here in Arkansas.

  38. A tale of January 12-17, 2024.

    A cold front moved in setting up a snowstorm. The wind turbines were running happily at 2400 to 2500 MW out of their 2827 MW of nameplate capacity up until about 3 PM on the 11th. Then they began to drop off even though the wind speed was not. Either they were freezing out as the unusually cold weather hit or the wind was too much and they had to be parked.

    My midnight they were down to about 1000 MW. Total load was about 7700 MW. By 10 AM on the 12th the wind output was at about 1200 MW while the solar panels were cranking on 30 MW out of their 138 MW nameplate. It was cloudy. Load on the grid was about 10,100 MW.

    By 5 PM the wind turbines were down to 600 MW, the sun had set and solar was done for the day. Grid load was 10400 MW or so. At midnight the turbines were down to 500 MW while load was 9300 MW.

    On the 13th at 6 AM the wind had picked up to 900 MW, load was 10,300 MW, and the sun hadn’t risen yet.

    At noon wind was back down to 622 MW, demand was at 11,275 MW, and PV was up to 10 MW. Snow on the panels? The peak PV output for the day was 14 MW.

    At 6 PM the wind was down to 220 MW, the demand was 11,080 MW, and the sun had set.

    At midnight wind had dropped to 143 MW, the demand was 9323 MW, and, well, midnight.

    On the 14th, wind is generating 16 whole MW, demand is 9809 MW, and the sun is not up yet.

    At noon wind was holding at 20 MW, demand is 9877 MW, and solar is generating 26 MW on its way up to a high of 44 MW when the sun came out over at least one of the arrays.

    At 6 PM wind had dropped to 1 MW, demand was 10,000 MW and the sun had set.

    This silliness continued until the 17th when the wind got up to 700 MW for a few hours before it petered out again. Solar rarely topped 40 MW over this interval, and demand was holding between 8800 and 11,000 MW through out this period.

    At my house the heat pump couldn’t keep up at -5 F and a 25 MPH wind so I had to switch on the baseboard heaters. So at least 5 KW of that extra power demand was me.

    The month’s averages will be interesting.

  39. There was a big article in the Washington Post on Tuesday (yesterday) about the recent evolution of “bird flu” from commercial poultry in China to wild fowl in China, to migratory wildfowl, to wild birds on every continent (except Australia and Antarctica), to Finnish fur farms, elephant seals in Argentina, and other mammals. We may have the opportunity to apply lessons learned from the recent pandemic to another one shortly. Today might be a good day to think about what you’d like to do, or not do, if the alarms go off again. If sustained human-to-human transmission occurs, I’m pretty sure that the alarms WILL go off, because this virus (probably) won’t be carrying “lab leak” baggage with it, and health authorities world-wide have been watching for new flu for years.

    Lathechuck

  40. Can, I’m not a medical practitioner and I certainly can’t diagnose you from the other hemisphere! I recommend that any mage who gets odd physical symptoms should get a checkup from a competent medical practitioner, just in case what’s going in is a medical rather than a magical issue.

    Brunette, it was coined in the 1960s by geologists who were trying to talk about humanity’s impact on the natural world. It’s used from time to time by scientists and activists who want to address that in one way or another.

    Karl, yes, I heard about it. The Navajo nation protested the sending of human remains to the Moon, for religious reasons; they got a patronizing response from the US government — and apparently took matters into their own hands. Navajo medicine people have quite a reputation in their part of the Southwest. That’s interesting about the Japanese dimension!

    TJ, so far I haven’t had cryptocurrency fans babbling incoherently about their favorite subject here. AI? I wish. As for the changes afoot — yes, I’ve been watching these and other trends with quite a bit of interest. To quote Ghân-buri-Ghân, “Wind is changing!”

    Larkrise, thanks for this.

    Roldy, he’s definitely become a target for archetype projection for his followers, but it doesn’t seem to be the anima-animus complex — not many of them are frantic with sexual desire for the man, which is what that archetype triggers. No, he’s become the Once and Future King to his followers, the golden monarch who will set everything right once he returns.

    Brenainn, that’s the big question which, to my knowledge, nobody has definitively answered yet. My working guess is that it’ll be a little more than was in common use in 1800 or so, but that’s a guess.

    Furnax, that’s a good question. My astrological readings very strongly suggested that the Covid business would be over by the summer of 2020, and the fact that it wasn’t suggests that some influence other than public health was involved.

    Brian, I wonder how many of them have considered that it’ll be open season on their money and resources once the US isn’t powerful enough to protect them. Constantinople was smack in the middle of the wealthiest and most populous section of the Roman Empire; the Irish monasteries thrived because they were dirt poor — and when they stopped being dirt poor, Vikings started showing up to relieve them of their excess wealth.

    Douglas, that depends on which hard polytheist you ask! There’s no fixed dogma in polytheist traditions, nor is it a matter of two and only two options — more of a spectrum with lots of intermediate points. To the best of my knowledge, the Greeks and Romans both believed that Zeus and Jupiter were different names for the same deity, for whatever that’s worth.

    Bogatyr, that’s fascinating. No, I’m not familiar with anything of the kind.

    SquirrellyJen, thanks for this.

    Drhooves, you’re quite correct that I said that, and in fact I argued that fears of a digital totalitarianism were overblown because the resource costs would be too high to support during an era of decline. I expect to see various attempts made to impose digital controls on people, but I expect those attempts to be hamstrung by a combination of resource shortages, political pushback, and the sheer incompetence of the current elite.

    Dabilahro, every society is shaped and distorted by its choice of technologies. Ours has gone further than most because we’ve had such extravagant energy and resource stocks to fling around, and so we’re somewhat more distorted than most. That’s already begun to unravel as the technosystems become frayed and dysfunctional, but it’s got a lot further to go, of course.

    Nick, that’s one of the entertainments of being a fringe thinker. If you’re right, and it becomes impossible for people to avoid noticing that you’re right, they start borrowing your ideas. That’s one of the ways that a fringe thinker can literally shape the future.

    Geronimo, thanks for the data points.

    Forecasting, (1) the link got me a chart of market behavior, not an article on investment strategy. Whether US equity markets peak and crash is a good question. Sooner or later, though, the mismatch between trillions of dollars of unpayable debt and the very much more modest amount of real wealth is going to become impossible to paper over any more. (2) Glad to see someone else has been reading my work! (3) This is setting the stage for the return of European warfare. The nations of Europe will rearm to stop the Russians, but the Russians don’t have to invade, and they know it. It won’t take too long, once Europe rearms, before those armies will go to war within Europe. No doubt, as Bismarck so presciently put it, it’ll be caused by some damn fool thing in the Balkans…

    Justin, I’ll have to pass, as I haven’t watched any of the movies and I don’t recall those graphic novels from my long-ago Heavy Metal days.

    Brendhelm, that’s one of the potential reasons for the dollar’s collapse, but at this point several others have elbowed their way to the top of the stack — the utter irresponsibility of the current US debt binge first among them.

    Pygmycory, thank you — I needed a laugh, and the thought of Dilbert in space marine armor provided one.

    David BTL, I expect the bill to be passed, and the half-completed nukes to be abandoned when the bottom falls out of the dollar. As for our current Grover Cleveland — would Jim Kunstler call him the Golden Grover of Greatness? — at this point it seems likely enough, but we’ll see.

    Zarvoc, thanks for this.

    Pygmycory, I heard about that! Good for the Canadian courts.

    GP, I’ll look forward to seeing if anyone else can recommend some.

    Siliconguy, ouch. That’s pretty dismal. The chart — well, you saw how it posted, but anyone who wants to can cut, paste, and put in tabs, and have the whole thing nice and clear.

    Anonymous, fascinating. I don’t happen to have an answer to your question, but I’ll be interested in what others have to say.

    Lathechuck, not sure what to suggest — materials science isn’t one of my specialties — but I hope you do it.

    Celadon, I’m waiting for more data on the Hadley cells, but it’s a mild winter here in southern New England, too.

    Siliconguy, ouch again! Earth sheltered and superinsulated housing sounds better and better…

    Lathechuck, one consequence of the orgy of shouting “wolf!” a couple of years ago is that if we do get a genuinely nasty epidemic, many — perhaps most — people will refuse to believe it…

  41. Political notes:
    We in the USA have now seen one caucus and one primary, well, half a primary, the DNC having decided that NH votes would receive no convention delegates. On the Dem side, Biden “won” a hastily organized write in vote. I guess you can believe that if you want to. More interesting is somewhere around 6000 already counted votes for “ceasefire” protest against our support for Israel, when the organizers were expected only around a few hundred. While not statistically significant, 6000 elevates this effort beyond being a mere stunt. Even if 6000 is the approximate population of folks of ME origin in New Hampshire.

    The primary was preceded by the withdrawal from contention of Florida Gov. Mr. DeSantis. Anyone who runs for president in the USA must have what is called a base. A candidate’s base is a portion of the electorate, defined as those persons who do in fact vote, who will vote for that person no matter what, short of death or conviction for a capital crime. If you are a contender, that is, someone to be taken seriously for the Oval Office, that base should be at least 30%.

    DeSantis, despite being that rarity, a governor who thought it his duty actually to govern, had no national base, which is a pity. He could, surely, have reached out to the more conservative and devout portion of the Hispanic community. Trumps’ “Ron DeSanctimonious” jibe could, I think, have been effectively used against him. As in, this privileged White Boy doesn’t understand how we Hispanics feel about our faith and our families. Family pictures could have been deployed, the subtext being I am still happily married to the girl I fell in love with when I was a teenager. There are ways to point out the contrast between a family man and a guy married three times, whose present wife can’t stand him, and who has a history of infidelity, without making a vulgar display of one’s own family. There is still a Catholic vote in the USA and it does not necessarily belong to Biden.

    Haley does have a base among Republicans with college degrees and in professional employment, especially educated Republican women, and lots of money behind her, allegedly from neo-con sources. The idea seems to be to keep her going as long as possible and then have a sit down with Trump to lay out what they expect. You lose without our voters and here is what we want. Haley the attention seeker will get some sort of (highly visible) appointment, State Dept. probably. Her backers won’t settle for VP or other ceremonial position where she can be shelved and ignored.

  42. JMG,

    Can the EU realistically re-arm? I ‘m putting that in the same bucket as the ‘digital controls’ threat. Sure, they can try some things in the short-term, but long-term I think they’re already screwed.

  43. Hello JMG. A bit late for last week’s post about an anthropocene worth having, but on that subject I have a data point worth having. I’m currently in Spain, and the area I’m in – a backwater part of Andalucia – was quite heavily depopulated due to the Spanish Civil War and the general move away from subsistence living and into cities. The result was aridity, erosion and creeping desertification.

    However, in recent year, there has been the opposite movement. People are moving back to this particular area – many of them buying up the old ruined fincas and cortijos and making a go of them (including me, once). Yes, I’m mainly talking about people from northern Europe seeking to escape their technocratic societies and live more simply. It’s also developed to be a centre for Sufism, and you can see plenty of its adherents picking olives and walking around town. As a result, all sorts of life is returning to this region. Just in the last few days I’ve seen deer, toads, an eagle and many different types of bird. And the area is a lot greener than it was 20 years ago – I know, because I saw two comparative satellite images recently. Just goes to show, people can integrate into an ecosystem and bring benefits.

    Further to GP’s query above, I’d like to share my Substack blog. Some people here may remember that I once wrote a Peak Oil blog called 22 Billion Energy Slaves. But Substack seems the place to be these days, so here it is. https://magicmountain.substack.com/

  44. Another oopsie for elite of the elite.

    “The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, is seeking to retract six scientific studies and correct 31 others that were published by the institute’s top researchers, including its CEO. The researchers are accused of manipulating data images with simple methods, primarily with copy-and-paste in image editing software, such as Adobe Photoshop.”

    That joke resume with one line; “Not a Harvard graduate” comes readily to mind.

  45. @TJandtheBear #4 and @JMG,

    It sure feels as if certain people “up there” have not just believed their own press releases, but had gotten caught in the same larger currents as a lot of other people – and are now swinging back with the pendulum just as everybody else is. Not a big surprise, I suppose, but still a very weird thing to watch…

    Milkyway

  46. @Brenainn Griffudd #32: When my wife and I celebrated our 20 years together this past October and went up to Michigan to be on the lake for a few days. The route took us past Peru. We stopped on the way back because it had been a place I’d written a short article about -it being the Circus Capital of the World and all, as well as home to Miami Nation of Indians of Indiana ( https://www.miamiindians.org/ ). I got a postcard from a secondhand store we stopped in and I sent it to my friend DJ Frederick who is the maestro for Imaginary Stations. He had a good laugh about that, because he had put together a show of Peruvian music. This exchanged spawned the idea for Wrong Direction Radio. WDWD.

    BTW I really love just tooling about in small Midwest towns. I love the buildings, the people, the history. & the diners. Did I mention the diners?

    Thanks in advance for tuning in to the show!

    @Johnny: That’s cool that you got to see him speak at a showing of one of his movies!

    No worries about covering some of the same ground. You gave a better general overview then I did.

    I did get the sense from the Jodorowsky’s Dune documentary that he is a really warm character, friendly and just kind of bubbling with a nice mania towards creativity. The title “Sacred Trickery and the Way of Kindness” seems to sum that up.

    And FWIW I was being a little flippant when I described psycho and psychomagic with regards to him. I think he is a fascinating dude. & thanks for the reminder about his approach to trauma work. Something like that I think will be very useful to people as the trauma of the unraveling of industrial civilization continues. After all, if psychotherapy was just a blip on the radar screen of history, then it will be reasimilated back into magic and mystery. The shamans and mages and priests, etc., will be the guides to help people. People who mix different spiritual systems together in an eclectic manner like he is doing may hit on some good techniques.

    Speaking of tricksters, I’ve been meaning to read Lewis Hyde’s “Trickster Makes this World.” Have you come across that one? Jodorowsky’s sounds good. He’s certainly a mercurial figure.

    I may well read that El Topo graphic novel sequel too.

    Stay wingfooted…

  47. @Anonymous #33 re: Factors that Might be Driving More Diabetes

    Diet and nutrition are, of course, wildly difficult areas to study even if you’re doing it honestly, and there are massive incentives to do otherwise, so take what I have to say and anything else you find with a grain of salt.

    That being said, a search term you might find helpful is “metabolic syndrome,” and/or “metabolic diseases.” Dr. Peter Attia is a medical doctor interested in long term health and life extension who did extensive self-experimentation with ketogenic diets and has worked with a lot of people on diet, weight, and other long-term health related issues. He believes that a number of “diseases of civilization,” like cancer, heart disease, and stroke (also, likely, diabetes, though that’s less common) are downstream of long-term metabolic effects, and that those metabolic effects might be caused by developing “insulin resistance.”

    Short version as my limited understanding has it: when you eat carbs, your body releases insulin to help absorb it. Simpler carbs and sugars provoke a stronger, more immediate insulin release, whereas slower-to-digest carbs prompt slower releases (the former leading to sugar rushes and crashes, the latter to feeling more satiated on whole grain options and the like). Like many other biochemicals, the more insulin you release, the less strongly your body reacts to it – you develop a tolerance/resistance. Therefore, if you spend your life eating food that prompts large, fast dumps of insulin, you are building up a tolerance for/resistance to insulin that gets stronger and stronger as you age, assuming you keep doing that. In the West, our diets tend to be custom made to release large amounts of insulin all the time (lots of carbs and sugar).

    If all of this is right, and if we imagine that susceptibility to suffering from diabetic symptoms is something like a bell curve, then in a culture with a diet less prone to provoking insulin resistance, we’d only see the very most susceptible people suffering from diabetes. As more and more people develop insulin resistance, more of that curve would begin having symptoms of being (pre-) diabetic. So, if the premise that there are more cases of diabetes is right, this hypothesis predicts that the diet over the time we’ve seen more cases would have shifted distinctly toward more and stronger insulin responses, which at least feels anecdotally right (all the processed food and what not).

    As I said up front, though, diet and nutrition is super complicated, so it wouldn’t surprise me if there are multiple factors that are hard to disentangle involved. At any rate, you might find Attia’s work helpful, because he is both rigorous in examining scientific studies (and identifying garbage ones), but also deeply practical.

    Also, if you’re interested in trying out a ketogenic diet, I can share some tips on how to make it easier and more pleasant to get into and stay in ketosis, if you like.

    Cheers,
    Jeff

  48. ‘I expect to see various attempts made to impose digital controls on people, but I expect those attempts to be hamstrung by a combination of resource shortages, political pushback, and the sheer incompetence of the current elite.’

    I think theirs enough people waking up to the threat , that the infrastructure they need to implement this will also start being targeted….for example remote cell phone towers on a hill in the middle of nowhere….the cost of protecting these isolated sites would likely become prohibitive if an anti tech insurgency arises…and if they dont have blanket coverage it becomes hard to implement full surveillance…just saying wouldnt want to give people ideas….

  49. I came across an essay about Rudolf Steiner recently that was published in Waking Times, Steiner and the Blood Demons https://www.wakingtimes.com/steiner-the-blood-demons/. He posits the existence of a guiding force behind all the darkness and horror in this world. It has always seemed likely to me, that some such being exists. Others have written about this – Paul Levy, Carlos Castenada, Jack Forbes.
    So,JMG and community, is there such a thing, a wetiko, an Ahriman, that works to keep us enslaved?

  50. I found a very cool video about three ways to make fire using regular wood ashes — It’s here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JUhMdQ73VM The first method is by using a stick rubbed in a hole in a plank of wood, which is a method I believe most people know. He uses the ashes to coat his hands as well as the wooden stick which creates the friction necessary to create heat. The second way uses an empty lighter. He takes the metal protector off the front, coats a tiny piece of rag in ash, sticks it by the flint, and rolls the lighter on the ground until he gets ignition. The third way was the most fascinating of all. He strips a leaf of yucca that was sitting out all day by combing it with a chunk of rock. He gatheed the resulting fibers, let them dry out a bit, and then rolled them in a bunch of ash like a cigarette. Then he put a chunk of wood on top of the ashy yucca cigarette and rolled it back and forth under there. He had fire in under 10 seconds — it was amazing!

    To Anonymous: I believe diabetes is a disease of etheric starvation. I wrote some of my thoughts on etheric starvation in this article: https://kimberlysteele.dreamwidth.org/47334.html and this one: https://kimberlysteele.dreamwidth.org/29931.html
    My husband is a type 2 diabetic. He has had some success with amla, otherwise known as Indian gooseberry. Here is a video about the herb: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/amla-versus-diabetes/

  51. AAARGH how did I miss last week’s post? It’s one of my core interests! It *is* my core interest! The intersection of our infrastructure and ecology. I’ve gone back to university to get a Master’s degree in ecology, because my brain is wired for getting to grips with complex systems and relationships (I poked around with other stuff, then I read Dungeons And Dragons Honor Among Thieves The Druid’s Call and… yeah, I’m not too dissimilar to Doric in many ways).

    Anyway. Mutualism. Ecosystem engineers. I agree; we are not above nature, for good or ill, we are a keystone species within it. This is what I love about canals — they’re a form of transport that *also* creates new habitat for wildlife. A field with a canal through it is, I’m willing to bet, more ecologically rich than one without a canal. I wanted to do my dissertation on canal transport but it’s too big a topic, instead I’m going to do it on hedgerows and air pollution. Probably looking at the ecological value of hedgerows in high pollution areas compared to ones that aren’t e.g. ones along busy roads vs dividing fields? But also their effectiveness at trapping pollution and filtering out the junk our cars produce. Which reminds me of a drabble I wrote about an urban dryad — I hope you don’t mind me plugging it? https://aetherictree.tumblr.com/post/650999582170497024/dryads-have-battles-and-the-scars-to-prove-them

    Okay okay, I don’t have a question or anything, I’m just excited to have somewhere to mention what I’m doing where people will be able to understand more than 10% of what I’m talking about 🙂 I can ramble for hours about sanitation systems, canals, hedges, Willow (2022), Frozen, faerie… I assure you they do all cohere somehow…

    People will probably quibble with my throwaway mention of space settlement, but I wrote up, well, much of my philosophy here in the Fae/acc manifesto, in response to the e/acc techno-optimists. If I may? https://cerereanscratchpad.blogspot.com/2023/12/the-faeacc-manifesto.html Been having fun on twitter arguing with both them and degrowthers lol. And pushing hot water, the number one contributor to our quality of life. The latter suffer a lack of vision — I’ve asked, but no-one has given me an answer to *how* they expect people to live in the world they want — and the former from a lack of realism. I prefer to be a hard nosed dreamer.

  52. @Anonymous, #33

    I have not looked too closely into this issue, but I can tell that what you are describing sounds a lot like metabolic syndrome (aka “pre-diabetes”). There are many factors that pumped that once rare condition to the status of public health hazard. One of them is the change into the commodity markets and the manipulation of the USDA in the Cold War era. One political goal was to make lots of cheap food, therefore they pushed to choose between ever increasing high yields or bankruptcy. Also, because a profit has to be made, this excess food did not translate into cheaper prices at the grocery store, but in the production of ever increasingly industrialized eatable products that resemble traditional foods only in name. High-fructose corn syrup is often discussed in relation to this, but it is by no means the only culprit.

    Also, keep in mind that in the primitive environment, we were not supposed to have concentrated carbohydrates all year long, specially high amounts of simple sugars. The usual sources of those are fruits (which are not nearly as concentrated as crafted sweets, too) and those are highly seasonal. Our bodies evolved to recognize the signal “sweet” as “time to fill the belly, ’cause winter is around the corner”; and then scarcity would reassert itself and prevent us to go too far into an unstable balance. Of course civilization allows for several methods of preserving, but only in relatively recent times we can eat whatever we want all year long (long term freezing + sourcing from around the world).

    As for why is the Gen Z population so much more affected. Us middle aged people got affected by our lifestyles and indirectly our environment, but we had the advantage of having been born to healthy parents. Many of these phenomena are epigenetic in their nature, so that many gene expressions take place only if the right signal is present near the time of conception, or some others during the pregnancy. It took sick people to grow up and get children of their own for the whole affair to fully develop.

  53. Hey John, I read this news article about the problems in Yemen with the Houthis. It’s titled * US urges China to help curb Red Sea attacks by Iran-backed Houthis* Basically, Iran-backed rebels in Yemen are causing problems for shipping routes in the region, and the United States is begging China to urge Iran to put a stop to it. I found this absolutely hilarious, how absurd is it for the #1 world superpower to politely ask for help stopping some rebels??

    Here’s the article. This link is behind a paywall so I will link an archived version.
    Original:
    https://www.ft.com/content/bba68661-6c9b-41b5-ab74-d573b3a27c54
    Archived:
    https://archive.ph/KtzQj

    I would love to hear your thoughts on this. As oil production plateaus and US hegemony falls apart, I expect that we will see more groups like the Houthis that will dump sand in the gears of the global petroleum-distribution machine. War and conflict will make oil supply problems even worse.

  54. @Mary Bennet, #45
    The primary was preceded by the withdrawal from contention of Florida Gov. Mr. DeSantis. Anyone who runs for president in the USA must have what is called a base. A candidate’s base is a portion of the electorate, defined as those persons who do in fact vote, who will vote for that person no matter what, short of death or conviction for a capital crime. If you are a contender, that is, someone to be taken seriously for the Oval Office, that base should be at least 30%.

    Funny how things play out on the other side of the river. In Mexico, it is as if all the political parties will only consider a potential candidacy to be serious until at least 30% of the electorate think the contender is guilty of a capital crime him/herself. Then everybody has to go vote and settle for the lesser evil!!!

  55. Jmg

    Governor Abbott just told the feds to come and get it regarding the border and that is their right to defend their state border and would ignore both Bidens and Supreme court orders to let the feds keep smuggling in their new voters and cut their fences . He also called Biden a lawless president

    Full statement plus letter

    https://gov.texas.gov/news/post/governor-abbott-issues-statement-on-texas-constitutional-right-to-self-defense

    It looks like you are getting into the USA is falling to pieces stage don’t know about the civil war since the MSM are silent while the news is making rounds in the social media

    Good luck to americans i hope you won’t get shot

  56. GP #28: “any recommendations for other Substack bloggers that write from a collapse aware or ‘progress questioning’ perspective?”
    Mary Harrington’s substack “Reactionary Feminist/Feminism Against Progress” has interesting writings about the effect of “progress” on women and families specifically: https://reactionaryfeminist.substack.com/. In one essay she questions whether the invention of the contraceptive pill was really an unmitigated good for women: https://reactionaryfeminist.substack.com/p/the-contraceptive-tetrad

  57. Anonymous,

    The causes of diabetes are not well understood, but we have learned a lot. One is that there are extensive interacting signals from the gut, back and forth to the brain, the biome, the liver and elsewhere. Hence, gurus who preaches who claim they have “the” answer, may warrant skepticism.

    From the contamination side of etiology, antibiotics, PFAS and other medications (like lithium in our water supply) have been suggested. ( Ethan Ludwin-Perry, Contamination theory). Looking at US maps, high rates are in low lying areas where lots of contaminants, pesticides and PFAS might gather. The one high altitude US area with a high rate is West Virginia, home of PFAS early manufacture. Looking at diet, carb use started to drop around 2000, after specialists shifted blame from fats to sugar, but obesity and diabetes continued to rise. Now they blame ultra processed food, but only look at processing after harvest – not a mention about contaminants or how they are grown/raised).

    Studies have also found that timing of when you eat matters, and giving your gut a rest (don’t eat for a 13 hr period overnight, or intermittent fasting), can be helpful.

    Dr. Furhman ( Eat for Life) claims great success in reversing it with an extra aggressive high vegetable/low sugar/ modest meat diet, and there is some published data. Tim Spector (The Diet Myth) has some interesting twin studies and gut biome info, demonstrating that it varies a lot between different people (many good references). He, Mark Bittman and Dave Montgomery all seem to suggest whole foods, meats/eggs raised in a healthy manner, and avoiding junk food may help. This makes sense to me, along with listening to your bodies response to foods. With the exception of Sarah Myhill (Sustainable Medicine) who suggests that Paleo cures everything (with limited references) I haven’t see many who push paleo discuss how toxins accumulate in fat, including the fat with meat and seafood.

    I don’t have time to pull references now, but if interested in any in particular, mention it and I will try to dig some out for you.

  58. @Geronimo #19: You plant trees when you own the land and plan to pass it to your children.

    Have you looked at the proportion of people who own their own land in Brazil, especially the Northeast, compared to Africa and China?

    Land reform failed in 1964.

  59. Mary, thanks for this.

    Patricia M, it seems to me that he’s missing the elephant in the room. It may be expensive and difficult for Britain to rearm, but the alternative isn’t necessarily to sit basking in the sun in perfect peace…

    TJ, depends on which country we’re discussing. France probably can, and most of eastern Europe certainly can — if Germany can’t, it may end up much smaller in the not too distant future…

    Jason, fascinating. I’m glad to hear it!

    Walker, I wasn’t familiar with him until you mentioned him and I looked him up. I was pleased to find an online archive of his work —

    https://www.jmichaudarchive.org/

    — from which I’ve downloaded a couple of books to read as time permits.

    Siliconguy, oof! Advice to Harvard: If you’re going to fake your data, at least be a little more clever about it.

    Koyaanisqatsi, I think Biden needs a cup of covfefe… 😉

    Kiwigaz, well, there’s that! I’ve started seeing memes mentioning, for example, just how much copper is in a surveillance camera, as a hint to metal thieves!

    Bill, not as far as I can tell. Human beings love to find someone to blame for their own bad decisions. Are there evil spirits? Of course, but they only have power over us if we give it to them.

    Kimberly, hmm! Thanks for this.

    Alice, I don’t know how you missed it but thanks for a belated contribution. BTW, there’s a glitch in comment formatting in some browsers that makes the preview look like all the paragraph breaks have gone away; they haven’t, as you see.

    Kimberly, er, are you sure it was me? I can’t find anything of the sort in my back posts.

    Enjoyer, ah, but the United States isn’t the #1 world superpower. It used to be, but that time is over, and the Houthis know it — as of course do the Chinese. I’ll be talking about this to some extent next week.

    Emily, this is how empires fall. It’s fascinating to watch, isn’t it?

  60. Yesterday’s article by Mike Whitney here
    https://www.unz.com/mwhitney/are-the-houthis-being-punished-for-doing-the-right-thing/
    quotes Tim Anderson as saying, among other things, that Yemen’s Houthis have been designated as “terrorists” merely for trying to stop a genocide, when the real terrorists are the ones that are carpet-bombing hospitals, schools, and entire neighborhoods — Israel and the United States.
    This perspective is one I haven’t encountered in western mainstream media. Thoughts?

  61. On Jodorowsky, I don’t have very much to share. I think there is or was a strong Gurdjieff connection, probably filtered through Oscar Ichazo. In 1978 I was involved with one of the many Gurdjieff or pseudo-Gurdjieff organizations. One of the more peripheral members (for lack of a better term) asked me if I’d seen “The Holy Mountain” and commented on how it was very disturbing. I had not seen it and it would be several decades before I obtained a copy of the Japanese release which, according to Wikipedia, was heavily censored. I watched it and found it to be very disturbing indeed; I doubt that he could honestly state that no frogs were harmed in the making of this film and I sort of hate to imagine what was censored out in my Japanese release, considering what was left in. I immediately connected the film with the novel “Mount Analog” by Rene Dumal, author of the equally famous, “A Night of Serious Drinking.” This is all Gurdjieffian stuff after a fashion, or at least having something to do with Alexander DeSalzman (whose wife was one of Gurdjeiff’s mistresses and upon whom G. fathered two children who later became prominent in the Gurdjieff movement. For those who have watched “The Matrix” the pill scene (what happens to Neo after taking the pill) seems to me to have been stolen right out of “The Holy Mountain.” I was unaware of Jodorowky’s involvement with comic books. I’m not a fan of the comic book genre — aside from some of R. Crumb’s work, and I have never felt brave enough to watch “El Topo.”

  62. JMG,

    I don’t spend much of my attention on national politics these days, but it caught my eye this past week that Biden basically skipped the New Hampshire primary and wasn’t appearing on the ballot due to some maneuvering on the part of the DNC and NH’s subsequent refusal to follow orders. Apparently he then won via write-in. Something about the whole situation just struck me as being off and gave me weird vibes, but I can’t put my finger on anything in particular. Any thoughts?

  63. Hey JMG –

    When I first started reading you on the ADR you talked about something you called ‘Cultural Conservers’. Do you think you could give a little reminder summary of what that was all about?

    Thanks.

  64. For consideration by a man of consequential truths such as J.M.G.
    Through many years of formal and continuing study of Hebrew and Christian scriptures, I have had to ponder the differences between the “prophetic’ and later “apocalyptic”. It would seem to me that today, as in many eras past, the ‘prophetic’ has lost its existential frequency, and is leading onto the next stage of ‘apocalyptic’. I agree that imagining and hoping for an immanent expectation of the ‘rapture’ is a non-starter.
    But we are in an era, as you yourself among so many others describe in terms that lead at best to a future of “LESS”. My own granddaughter brought home our dilemma with her comment, a feature of her generation unknown to mine, about not wanting to bring a child into this world!!
    It is as if as the ‘prophetic’ has been ignored, again, people are asking, “What comes next?” This new question leads many to ‘apocalyptic’. This is manifest in conventional terms such as ‘lakes of fire’, ‘rivers of blood’, bodies and/or spirits being raptured to heaven, or some transcendent force fixing it all. But the premise of all this can instead point to a hopelessness for any meaningful change of existing systems and indicate that a new direction in thinking and acting is needed [and soon if not yesterday!]. Thus those who invoke ‘apocalyptic’ may firstly be showing that they live at the end of something, but seldom have any or enough focus on what actually could be done about the predicaments within which they are captured. Many, thus, follow one of your former president’s advice to people to “go shopping”.
    But ‘apocalyptic’ could be seen less as a ‘rapture’ than as a ‘rupture’ that could lead to seeing the need to change of the whole system. A re-imagining of ‘apocalyptic’ as a necessary response to ‘modernity’ that acknowledges the truths of former and current ‘prophetic’ voices that does not stop at reform, but continues onto reshaping lives to birth an attempt to deflect from the worst consequences of the propaganda for western ‘progress’ onto some sort of living within radically different realities.
    There is a minority reading of the Book of Revelations of Christian scriptures that claims just such a ‘rupture’ from the tyranny of Roman rule rather than further accommodation to such. This did come to fruition and Christianity became the official ‘spiritual’ [political] backbone for Roman imperialism from Constantine until the complete demise of the Western Roman empire. Christian ‘apocalyptic’ thus succumbed to periodic ‘rapture’ moments like at the year 1000 a.c.e. and 2000 a.c.e.
    But maybe….

  65. JMG, Douglas, re your comment on Jupiter and Zeus being the same. Linguists would agree it seems. I recently came across a fascinating podcast called “The History of English” the first 10 episodes or so explores proto Indo European language.

    Zeus, Jupiter and Tiu (as in Tuesday) are all cognates from the original Deus Pater (approx) meaning sky father.

    If you want to explore this further this article is most fascinating… I enjoyed several hours down that rabbit hole.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Indo-European_mythology

  66. @JMG,
    glad to hear you’ll be talking about the Houthis and the situation in the red sea next week. I’ve been watching that with fascination. Seeing a relatively small and poorly armed group of rebels cut a major global supply chain route, and the number #1 superpower with help from some friends try to stop them and fail is highly educational about a) the USA’s acual warfighting abilities these days
    b) the vulnerability of global supply chains to relatively minor actors. Incidentally, all those rerouted ships not going through the red sea are now going past Somalia. If piracy there were to resurge… hmm.
    c) how poorly aircraft carriers and the suite of tech that goes with them handles drones and swarms of cheap missiles.

    It makes the USA look rather a paper tiger, and the world order ripe for a shakeup. Also, makes dependence on world-spanning trade routes for essentials look increasingly dicy.

    Looking at this, I’m expecting more military and economic shakeups in the next few years, since it’s getting more and more obvious that the USA is not what it used to be and there’s serious power and wealth coming up for grabs shortly for those in a position and with the guts and lack of wisdom to try their hand at the empire game. Or those who just want to control their destiny. There’s opportunities for them too.

    Times like this tend to get messy, and result in alarming numbers of dead people. Probably a good idea to keep some medications, food and other essentials handy, as you can.

  67. @ForecastingIntelligence #20: Thanks for your “tipping point” link! it led me to this original study: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0306261921011673?via%3Dihub

    If I can get the full text, it will be a very useful updated and authoritative source for declining EROEI! The tipping point article in itself is interesting, too, for spelling out the consequences in clear terms.

    @all: In the same vein, does somebody have a source for life expectancy and/or total mortality standardized for age over a long time span (ideally decades) up through 2023? In early 2020, I combined a very informative article on the US life expectancy since 1980, which decreased 2014-2017, stratified by age group, with the then-recently released data for 2018, which showed a slight rebound. I know such data is probably on the CDC page, but you need to register to download it. Maybe somebody has already plotted it! For Europe, there is this sample: https://euromomo.eu/graphs-and-maps/, but it only goes back to 2018. Of course, data for other continents, or worldwide, would also be interesting.

  68. JMG, There seems to be a strong trend towards anti immigration here in the US. As populist trends seem to be shaping discourse do you see mass deportations becoming a thing? (I’m skeptical if those are possible) Secondary to that will self deportations likely become a thing once the dollar collapses. Thank you.

  69. I recently read some older essays [1] about C.G. Jung which aimed to prove his complicity with the Nazis and his endorsement of their anti-Jewish policies. While I formerly believed (and what I had read up to then confirmed this) that most of the critics simply did not understand his work and basic presumptions, my view has become somewhat nuanced. It’s interesting to read that in rather early public statements, for example in journals, he shows a stance that is hard not to interpret as anti-Jewish and openly endorsing Nazi-policies. This changed with the years – and rather quickly, I’d suggest – and as one critic acknowledges, Jung’s essay Wotan already contains little in this direction and his later writings did so even less.

    I believe Jung himself was very “ergriffen” for a while – possibly in a twofold manner. For one, he might have had a strong “TSW”-moment in relation to his own theories and was carried away by this. And then he was possibly also ergriffen by the same force he described in Wotan. But it seems he recognized this himself and slowly got himself out of the maelstrom and backed away. The fact that he did so long before everything collapsed is at least interesting, too. Surely there is much one would have to read to fully understand but from the scraps I have collected so far I conclude that Jung probably had a much stronger and far-seeing mind than most of his critics are capable of perceiving. On a MM I asked you about your opinion about Jung’s health issues, mainly heart problems like Tachycardia. You replied that he probably suffered panic attacks resulting from his involvement with the archetypal forces man is subjected to. I was somewhat doubtful of this claim back then but now, knowing a little more about his evolution, I believe that you are probably right. Being able to perceive these forces, seeing how easy it is to get flushed away by them even if you know about their existence, the helplessness in the face of overwhelming forces that smash entire nations like flies on the front shield of a car driving 100 mph. Not to forget the hard decisions you have to make once you realize that you can actually decide – nobody could blame him for suffering panic attacks. And then he (obviously) had a very analytical approach to the matter which probably also didn’t help as I get the impression that the more you try to dissect these forces, the more scary they become.

    But here we go again [2], and so many seem to be “ergriffen” – although it’s not clear by what or whom. Sometimes it does take some effort avoid a panic attack…

    Cheers,
    Nachtgurke

    [1] things like this: https://www.kritiknetz.de/images/stories/texte/jung_fasch.pdf – it’s German, though. But I guess there are English variants of this circulating, too.
    [2] What sparked above train of thought was eugyppius latest article on the current anti-AfD-protests in Germany. It’s just a small pebble, but though I don’t support any German political party including the AfD, images like these give me chills (not to mention that the German Antifa publicly wanted to “find, catch, intern (!) and vaccinate” everybody who was not willing to do so). https://www.eugyppius.com/p/days-of-government-sponsored-protests

  70. Hi Justin,

    Thanks! He was quite friendly as I remember it, although I didn’t ask him any questions. Supposedly we were going to see a proper uncensored print of the movie, without the white circles covering exposed private parts that were added on the Japanese laserdisc, the copy the tapes had been dubbed from, but there was some sort of screw up and the same Japanese version is what we saw. He thought this was all quite hilarious and joked about it a lot, I think in a typically European way, finding it amusing that people from elsewhere take such issue with naked bodies.

    I was impressed that he did all his work with people over there in Paris for free, perhaps “career” was the wrong word to use, but I couldn’t think of a better one. I want to say he believed it was wrong to charge for this, morally. He has some interesting sections of that book where he talks about Jesus (as a magician worthy of respect). I remember there being some entertaining stuff in that book generally, somebody mentions him being in their office (or something similar) in some of the additional material, him wanting to get some work done and then casting some sort of spell on the doorway that prevented anyone from being able to pass through it. He claims a few people tried but just couldn’t do it.

    I haven’t read the Lewis Hyde book although the name sounds familiar, maybe you or somebody else mentioned it here before?

    Thanks again,
    Johnny

  71. I’m also think about drones and cheap missiles and their ability to empower weaker belligerants more broadly, including non-state actors. Mexican drug cartels are using weaponized drones now, too https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcOjvYBABcM

    This looks likely to encourage warband formation because it makes it easier for warbands to win against established states. So: drug cartels, insurgencies, breakaway states, random people with a grudge, jihadi groups etc.

    I assume states that want to survive this will need to figure out ways to respond successfully to these changes in modern warfare. Kind of reminds me of Egypt and the Sea Peoples, although changes in military technology happen a lot more often than that without creating that level of giant mess. The way this one empowers smaller actors does make me think it has more than the usual amount of potential to shake things up, especially combined with a lumbering empire on the decline that is having plenty of problems for other reasons.

  72. Kiwibaz, those towers are going to be useful. In the near timeframe for growing vining plants, such as runner beans (Jack’s beanstalk beans)–don’t forget that the tuber they produce is said to be highly toxic–kiwi, various berries et. al., and later on when it becomes necessary to protect what folks have built, for watchtowers.

  73. What are your predictions for dental care in the future? How long will it be around in its current form and what will people with a toothache do, say 50 years from now? I think future dental health is my biggest fear as a 30 year old…

  74. For lathechuck, 316 stainless steel is highly corrosion resistant, as is a tin-based bronze, aluminum bronzes do well too. But copper alloys will likely be scavenged.

    Using a diamond tip to etch something into a fired roofing tile might last better. Or press your words into clay sheets and then fire them. Getting things to last in a wet four-season climate is a challenge.

  75. I went to Bookshop.org to by one of our host’s books, only to find that I have to set up an account in order to purchase there. Could someone please explain why is this necessary? I generally decline to do business with firms who insist on personal accounts. What this practice looks to me like is that the company doesn’t want to spend for good encryption.

    Another question for the commentariat, what is your experience with microgreens? The one time I tried, I concluded they were a waste of good potting soil. Are they really an improvement on sprouts? Now, sprouts can spoil, so must be regularly rinsed, but the water could be reused in cooking if you begin with organic seeds.

  76. Hi John Michael,

    I don’t happen to know the answer, but what it looks like to me is that as the reach and influence of the west declines, the economics of empire becomes all that much harder to maintain, which produces a feedback loop effect. Take the hootis for example, they hit, then disperse, then randomly hit again. The response from the west is expensive, and adds a burden of costs and uncertainty to something that was a relatively simple and cheap process not all that long ago. So local costs in the west go up, and up, and the arrangements in place in the west begin to falter as they make less and less sense. This is not a complicated story.

    Did I read correctly that assets in the US have been seized from an oil sanction breaker? It sends a strong message – about the relative safety of assets that is…

    Thunderstorms have woken me up each night for the past couple of nights. Nature can put on a good show. 🙂

    Cheers

    Chris

  77. In previous posts, JMG has mentioned aphantasia (not being able to visualize an image in your mind). I definitely have aphantasia and I also know my preferred learning modality is visual.

    Then I wondered if there are people who cannot ‘hear’ thoughts in their head. I know my husband’s preferred learning modality is auditory, so I asked him if he ‘heard’ things in his head when he read them silently. He thought I was nuts (and no, he has no ‘mind’s ear’). (And at first he felt very sorry for me when he realized I couldn’t see things in my mind, but then he realized that I could replay music in my head whenever I wanted and he was a little jealous.)

    Made me wonder if preferred learning modalities are dependent (or at least influenced by) on our mind’s ability to hear or see without external stimuli…

    And I know that aphantasia is on a spectrum (so I would think that the hearing version would be too), so perhaps people who can visualize (or hear) some might not have as strong as preferred learning style as people who are rather extreme with their mind’s eye or ear.

    If anyone would be willing to share if they have a correlation between their preferred learning modality and a strong (or not) mind’s eye or ear, I am quite curious.

    Thank you.

    PS: And if anyone knows the proper name for no-mind’s-ear, please let me know. My internet searches have been unfruitful…

  78. I read last week’s post last night, too late to comment, so I’m glad this is an open post.

    Permaculture can be daunting. It’s a lot different than what we’re used to, plus you don’t get much return on it for a few years at least. I recently read about the Grocery Row Gardening method (by David the Good, with a book and a YouTube channel), which combines permaculture and annual gardening. He also recommended a book called Grow a Little Fruit Tree, the reading of which freed my mind and opened a lot of possibilities for me.

    See, I’d always thought that I couldn’t really do permaculture because there’s no way I could handle the maintenance for full-grown fruit trees. Sorry, not getting on a ladder with bird netting! Now that I know how to prune the trees to keep them around my height, I’ve planted five of them and am restraining myself from planting more. In the spring, I’m going to add a few bushes, perennials as groundcover under the trees, then annuals between the trees.

    David also mentioned fruiting hedges. I looked them up on YouTube, and, wow! Because of how our property is shaped, we need a lot of fence for a little yard. (To keep the deer out. Otherwise, they eat everything to the ground.) A tall hedge could keep the deer out and also provide food for them. That way they’ll be good and fat when someone eventually kills them for meat. 🙂

    In the past, I’ve had huge pest problems at this location, plus plant diseases. It’s almost enough to make me wonder if this property is cursed. Our priest is making his yearly round of house blessings, so I’m going to ask if he can bless our yard too. Plus I’m hoping that the variety of the grocery row system will discourage pests, while encouraging pest predators.

    Maybe pests will still get a lot of the results of our hard work, but hopefully we’ll end up with more than the almost nothing we have gotten from previous gardens.

  79. Hi JMG. Is banishing in a room where you have a candle working set up going to diminish or nullify it’s effects?

  80. For those who like tentacles as well as sea shanties, here’s a little music video that has a charming combination of both: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yeh1S_kl8YI

    @SquirrellyJen and others who are interested in Hindu ritual and astrology: the installation and invigoration (literally, ‘breathing life into’, if you translate the Sanskrit term ‘prana pratishta’) of the Shri Rama idol in Ayodhya was very strictly adhered to with respect to time. Priest-astrologers had identified a supremely auspicious 84-second period on the day of January 22 (one of those once-in-20-years level of auspiciousness) for the most important part of the ceremony. Given that it was a fractious 30-year period to get the temple constructed, they certainly didn’t want to screw up at the last minute!

  81. I have found the latest “scandal” of the Republican party offering Kari Lake an offer not to run as amusing in the extreme. Especially when she tries to portray it as a “bribe”. An established political party offering a person money not to represent them seems to me to be part of the course.

    You can only be bribed if you have the job. The party telling you they don’t want you and that they will pay you to go away seems clean to me.

  82. Here are all of the requests for prayer that have recently appeared at ecosophia.net and ecosophia.dreamwidth.org, as well as in the comments of the prayer list posts. Please feel free to add any or all of the requests to your own prayers.

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

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

    Right now (1/23) Alvin from Singapore’s wife is in the early stages of labor. Please direct positive energies to a healthy and smooth delivery.

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

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

    May the brain surgery that Erika’s partner James underwent for his cancer on October 16th have gone successfully; and may he be blessed, healed and protected, and successfully treated for all of his cancer.

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

    Lp9’s hometown, East Palestine, Ohio, for the safety and welfare of their people, animals and all living beings in and around East Palestine, and to improve the natural environment there to the benefit of all.* * *
    Old guidelines for how long prayer requests stay on the list, how to word requests, how to be added to the weekly email list, how to improve the chances of your prayer being answered, and several other common questions and issues, are to be found at the Ecosophia Prayer List FAQ.

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

  83. To tie into Emily’s comment, I am watching Texas closely. It seems to me the conditions are right for a Fort Sumter-like flash point. What is your crystal ball telling you?

  84. Since the subject of Trump and archetypes came up, I thought I’d share an idea I’ve been mulling over on the subject.

    Traditionally, the elites of society comprise three archetypes: Ruler, Warrior and Sage. These can be combined. It’s common to have a Ruler-Warrior combination. Less common is a Ruler – Sage combination. That’s what Plato wanted with his Philosopher-Kings. Arguably, the earlier Popes who built modern Europe were Ruler – Sages (and sometimes Warriors too!).

    What is archetypally weird about the British and American empires is that they have not been run by the three traditional archetypes. It was the British East India Company which conquered India with only occasional help from the government. The founding fathers of the US were inspired by the British East India Company’s “self rule”. They also stole half their flag. Don’t believe me? Do an internet search for “British East India Company flag”.

    The British East India Company was nominally a corporation but it has its own flag, its own governance structure, its own army and even its own coinage. It was a corporation pretending to be a nation. This makes sense since it was based on a charter granted by the English queen/king. Nevertheless, the Company was led by merchants, not by Rulers, Warriors and Sages. Part of the humiliation suffered by the Mughal rulers was that they had to sign peace deals with lowly merchants and these were often done in some grubby office instead of with the pomp and ceremony that would normally be conducted for affairs of state.

    Since the British and US empires are based on the template created by the British East India Company, they also have not been led by the traditional archetypes. Rather, they are run by capitalism in combination with parliamentary democracy. In practice, there’s a revolving door between the two and always has been since the start of the British East India Company. For example, here in Australia, it was announced our ex-Prime Minister, Morrison, is going to work with Mike Pompeo as a “strategic adviser” to a nuclear submarine contract which Morrison signed while PM. This is why our politicians do not manifest the Ruler archetype. They are not Rulers, they are merchants and technocrats.

    Despite all this, the British kept the Ruler archetype in the person of the king/queen even though they had no actual power. America has ended up turning the Presidency into a de facto Ruler archetype too. The problem for the US is that the president has real political power and is not just there as an actor to project the archetype to the public.

    In one sense, having Trump as president makes perfect sense. The US empire is based on capitalism. Trump is a capitalist. It’s an accurate representation of the way the US empire works. However, it doesn’t fit with the Ruler archetype who is supposed to at least pretend to be magnanimous, wise and just. Therefore, Trump is simultaneously failing to manifest the Ruler archetype while also revealing to America what it actually is: an empire run by merchants.

  85. Agreed, John. It should be very clear to everybody at this point that the sun is setting on American hegemony. Of course, people are still in denial.

    I have a question about western occultism. I have spent a lot of time reading eastern philosophy. There’s a repeating theme of an ultimate spiritual reality which is the unity behind the apparent multiplicity of the world. It’s called different names in different traditions (Brahman, Dao, Sunyata, etc.)

    As I’ve studied western esotericism, I’ve noticed that it has concepts which to me seem to bear similarity to this idea, such as The All, The One, Ain Soph, the World Spirit, the Absolute, etc. In your writing and in the writings of other western occultists it is common to find mention of a ‘root substance’ which underlies the apparent duality of spirit and matter. Is this cosmic root substance ultimately reducible to the absolute?

    Do you think that there is a kind of spiritual ultimate reality and that all these different traditions are catching glimpses of the same thing and conceptualizing it in their own way? The Dao that can be told is not the eternal Dao, after all. But that doesn’t stop us from writing about it!

  86. JMG:

    In many of your works you discuss the utility of a daily divination practice. I’m wondering if you would share a bit what this is like subjectively: what are your inner qualia when doing this practice? what your mindset? what characterizes the enjoyment of it?

    I am a novice yet, and cultivate a sense of openness to whatever comes. It often feels as though I am overusing a powerful tool, and then I fall off the daily practice for a couple of weeks. Any thoughts?

  87. A few articles which I think may be of interest to readers here, and our esteemed host himself:

    An unexpected and roundabout take on systems thinking, and specifically the concept of POSIWID (“the Purpose Of a System Is What It Does”):
    https://thefederalist.com/2024/01/17/how-and-why-the-ivy-league-will-die/

    A scientific (and it seems to me a truly impartial) evaluation of astrology:
    https://neofeudalreview.substack.com/p/astrology-science-or-psuedoscience

  88. Pygmycory, the tech-priest obsession with toasters is a non-canonical meme which comes from a youtube series called “If the Emperor had a text-to-speech device” where the emperor suggested the tech-priest had an uh, alternative interest in the toaster’s slots. Additionally the tech-priests are canonically obsessed with archeotech, and although a 20th century toaster is technically archeotech, it is certainly not the kind of archeotech the armies of the Imperium of Man are interested in, hence the irony. My personal interpretation is that the humor ultimately comes from a toaster having slots about the right size for a penis that nonetheless would be an unpleasant place to put one. Unless you are a cyborg with a technology fetish.

  89. Yoyo, of course you haven’t seen it in Western mainstream media. It’s all over the alternative media, though.

    Jen, Biden’s handlers did everything they could to prevent a stronger Democratic candidate from moving in and taking the nomination away from the incumbent. The shenanigans in New Hampshire were part of that.

    DaveinWA, the original post is still probably the best summary:

    https://thearchdruidreport-archive.200605.xyz/2008/05/cultural-conservers.html

    Bruce, that works. The prophetic impulse assumes that people can heed the prophet and change their lives. The apocalyptic impulse assumes that it’s too late for that and all we can do is hunker down until the rubble stops bouncing. There are still opportunities for many of us to change our lives, but not all — and of course the financial and emotional cost of doing so is something many people can’t contemplate. So they hunker down and wait for change to be forced on them.

    MCB, linguistics are slippery — did you know that the English word “black” used to mean “white”? (It’s a cognate of French blanc.) If Proto-Indo-European is more than a phantom conjured up by linguists, though, yes, Dyaus Pitar may be behind it all.

    Pygmycory, excellent. I see your crystal ball is in fine working order; those are points I’ll be discussing.

    Croatoan, it can certainly be done. The US did it to 1.3 million Mexicans in 1954:

    https://www.history.com/news/operation-wetback-eisenhower-1954-deportation

    But you’re right that self-deportation will also be a major factor. Once there are no longer plenty of jobs here for illegal immigrants, a lot of illegal immigrants will go somewhere else to find work.

    Nachtgurke, antisemitism was fashionable all over Europe until 1945. It was so fashionable that many Jewish writers and public figures said and wrote things that would now be considered horribly antisemitic! Jung wasn’t exempt from the habits of his own culture, and so, yes, he (like most other people of his time) said things that are grist for today’s social-justice mills.

    Pygmycory, also excellent. Yes, and I’ll also be talking about that.

    San, basic dental care is tolerably easy in a relatively low-tech setting, and toothaches are treatable by various alternative-medicine means. Mind you, you’ll probably need dentures in old age!

    Mary, did you consider contacting Bookshop.org and asking them? I have no idea why they do that.

    Chris, yep. Once economies of scale turn into diseconomies of scale, empires go down fast.

    Random, that’s fascinating, but I have no idea what it’s called.

    Housewife, thanks for the data points.

    Chris, no, it’s fine. The candle’s not consecrated — it’s simply an anchor for your concentration.

    Degringolade, maybe so, but the guy who did it has just been forced into retirement…

    Quin, thanks for this as always.

    Blue Sun, the question is whether the Biden administration decides to risk a confrontation. My guess is that they won’t, but if they do, yeah, things could get very violent very fast.

    Simon, hmm! Yes, I can see that.

    Enjoyer, yes, that’s very much a part of traditional Western occultism: one ultimate reality incomprehensible to human beings, from which all things emanate and to which all things return. Cosmic root substance isn’t that ultimate reality — it’s the first creation that emanates from that reality, the substrate that makes manifestation possible.

    Leo, I approach it in a meditative state, and consider the pattern created by the divination as a set of metaphors for the events of the day.

    Blue Sun, thanks for these

  90. @Degringolade (#89)
    I have a slightly different take on this event. My interpretation is the offer came from a source beyond the party. I don’t believe the so-called “powerful people” making those kinds of threats care a wink about the stated goals of any particular party, or even which party is in power.
    I can’t prove that, of course. And I could be wrong. That’s just my interpretation based on my observation of other recent events.

  91. @Jen,

    I am a NH citizen. Neither Joe Biden, nor anyone else, was on the NH Dem Primary Ballot because the Democatic Party didn’t want NH to be the ‘first in the nation’ primary – NH was deemed not representative of the nation. As though SC is. Basically the Dems boycotted the NH Primary.

    NH has an open primary, which means that people with undeclared party affiliation (most of us) can vote in either party’s primary, which is funny when you think about it. I’m here to tell you that there is a LOT of ‘strategic’ voting going on. Me? I took the Dem ballot and wrote in Bernie Sanders. Call it a protest vote.

  92. @Jen,
    an addendum to my last comment. Regarding ‘strategic’ voting, ALL the Dems I know took the Republican ballot and voted for Nikki Haley. So the election results in NH do not represent the ‘pulse’ of the Republican Party voters.

  93. @blue sun and @degringolade, if only someone had bribed Marjorie Taylor Greene to go away instead! I can’t stand her voice. It’s even worse than Hillary Clinton’s, by far. Desperately grasping for power seems to do something awful to women’s voices. Not sure why, but it doesn’t seem to affect men’s voices.

  94. Croatian, IDK about mass deportations, but isolationist sentiment is rising daily in the United States. The coming wind down of large scale industry and agriculture means there will be little or no demand for more workers than our communities can themselves produce. Sooner or later those business establishments who are trumpeting Buy Local are going to be hearing demands that they must Hire Local. There is rising resentment for what are, fairly or not, seen as special favors for the newly arrived, and actual anger for folks who have, so it appears, no interest in respecting our laws and customs or even learning English. Members of the American working class are notoriously sensitive about being denigrated, talked down to, insulted, and do find even the appearance of a superior attitude offensive.

    Furthermore, we know very well that the use of cocaine, the cartels’ main product, is mostly an elite vice, and I think I am not alone in believing that anyone who buys product from these criminals, whether cocaine or a plane ticket, is a complicit enabler of their crimes.

  95. John Michael.

    Yes, I just heard of the poor sap getting fired, though I think he resigned. Truthfully anybody stupid enough to get caught doing what he did deserves more than what he got. Not from a legal point of view. Just bad form.

    For some reason this reminds me of the teapot dome scandal. Secretary Fall being convicted of a accepting a bribe from Doheny who was acquitted of giving the bribe.

    I’m really getting excited for the excellent high quality theater we’re going to be given over the next year. This is straight out of it. Simon and Garfunkel song. Mrs. Robinson.

  96. About Bookshop-dot-org: I was able to sign in as a guest, as I do with all online orders everywhere.
    About the Ruler archetype, and the East India Company and the U.S. Government having Merchant rulers being the exception: The Republic of Venice was very much a merchant oligarchy, and its Doge was expected to be able to make a profit.

  97. “One ultimate reality incomprehensible to human beings, from which all things emanate and to which all things return.”

    I think that’s such a unique and beautiful view, and I think it’s fascinating that despite all the differences, that kind of understanding has been reached by many difficult cultures at different times. To me, it’s a great alternative to the dualism of fundamentalist religion and the materialism of scientism. Consciousness and matter are not entirely separate- they are aspects of one great spiritual whole. ‘God’ isn’t separate from the cosmos- the divine will is immanent in every particle.

    “Cosmic root substance isn’t that ultimate reality — it’s the first creation that emanates from that reality, the substrate that makes manifestation possible.”

    I apologize if this comment is too long, but on a related note, what do you think about the alchemists? Perhaps they were trying to discover and interact with the spirit that is in matter, and the matter that is in spirit.

  98. @Phutatorius: That is really interesting about the Gurdjieff connection. He is a 20th century mystic / occultist / spiritual dude I don’t really know much about. One of my friends rather liked Ouspensky. Another guy I know was really into him as well, but I never knew the basics. To that end, I know people have talked about suggesting Gurdjieff for a 5th wed. post, but perhaps, you, Johnny and I can rally about a JMG themed Gurdjieff post one of these 5 Wed. months. (That, or Robert Graves, or William Blake would be good IMO ; )

    I can see the Wachowski’s giving a nod to Jodorowsky in the Matrix. That makes sense to me.

    Yeah, the animal cruelty aspect might be why I haven’t pulled the plug on watching Holy Mountain yet. I don’t really condone that just for making a movie. At the same time, I am curious, because of all the alchemy and mysticism and general mind frackery.

    As for comics, I don’t really care for superhero stuff, but I do like graphic novels from time to time, more as an additive spice to my reading diet rather than a main ingredient. Tank Girl by Alan Martin and Jamie Hewlett was my favorite comic as a teen, as well as the Honour Among Punks series by Guy Davis and Gary Reed. The latter is a female punk rock Sherlock Holmes set in an alternate history England. Pretty fun!

    I do like the R. Crumb strain of things (and his comic biopic of PKD was pretty wild -he is a fine old timey musician as well!). I like the other kind of things you find published by Fantagraphics. Charles Burn’s Black Hole was fun, and I liked Derf’s “Punk Rock and Trailer Parks” about the northern Ohio 1970s punk scene and his other autobiographical comic, Trashed, about his time as garbage collector is pretty good.

    Anyway, I try to work in at least a few graphic novels a year. Another one I’m eyeing to read now is Ed Brubaker’s noir crime comic, Where the Body Was.


    General question: what is it with comic book writer-artists often being drawn to the memoir / autobio style?

    For everyone, speaking of comics: There is a fun deindustrial comic called The Grot: The Story of the Swamp City Grifters that I really enjoyed. It’s in a humorous vein.

    @Johnny: That is interesting about the Japanese bootleg stuff, and that he was there, and didn’t even have his own print of the film! I can see him joking about the bodies / nakedness for sure.

    I think career is a fine word. Not all careers are profitable after all! I’m doing better than I’ve ever done before these days, but if I’d had money as my primary goal, I would have left the library a long time ago… I kind of agree with Jodorowsky about charging for spiritual things. I don’t think its wrong to charge dues or have some modest fees for things. Teachers need to eat, etc. But there has been a lot of grifting in the whole spiritual milieu and offering services as a service, in gift, etc. prevents a lot of that. The public/online occult teachers I’ve seen who were really into money, seem to have gravitated to some darker places over more recent years. The ones who never were don’t seem to have had that issue, fwiw.

    Yet, I would say Jodorowsky has had a career because look at his fringeworthy influence, and the body of work he has thus far created. And that people like Moebius wanted to work with him is another kind of testimony…

    Yeah, I may have mentioned the Lewis Hyde book, but others might have as well. His other titles look interesting too…

  99. A review of Mark Shepard’s book Restoration Agriculture and his permaculture efforts on his Wisconsin New Forest Farm. I am from a small farm background in that part of Wisconsin and am familiar with the nature of that area.
    The New Forest Farm is a permaculture version of the oak savanna native to that area. Oaks are replaced by chestnuts as chestnuts bear regularly and are more easily edible than acorns. The understory growth consists of apples, grapes, berries, hazelnuts and mushrooms and other small trees and shrubs and possibly native nut trees. There is probably a native spring green component and asparagus as a perennial vegetable is grown in the open areas. Asparagus has naturalized in that area and I remember in my youth people yearly harvesting patches that grew in the country ditches along the roads. Cattle, sheep, and goats graze in the open grassy areas. And there is a pig, goose, and chicken component.
    My comments. I am sure a widespread replacement of the present corn, wheat, potato, soybean, alfalfa based agriculture by Shepard’s system in that part of the world would generate sufficient food but would be a vast cultural change in eating habits – no wheat based bread and pasta, potatoes, French fries, corn chips, oatmeal, tomato sauce and so on. Also inexpensive pork, egg, and chicken meat production are based on corn and soybeans. Holding large numbers of chickens and pigs over winter would be a challenge as they need to be fed grain and soybeans during that period. Pork, chicken meat and eggs would be more limited than now. Possibly some chestnuts and hazelnuts could be used for that purpose. Sheep, goats and cattle can be alone fed on hay harvested, dried, and stored with some mineral supplementation. Grain is used with cattle, sheep, and goats to maximize milk production so the per animal production of that product wouldn’t be as high though I am sure sufficient to meet nutritional needs. Milk and other dairy products and meat would be present in the diet but in lesser amounts.I remember Mark talking about growing some squash so I suppose a little vegetable production could be part of it.
    It would definitely be more beautiful, healthy, and sustainable than what we have now, but the change required would be deep. Other climates to the north and south would have different communities of plants as the base and there is the component of freshwater fish and shellfish that could be part of the mix. Also a transition to a productive permaculture landscape takes a number of years.

  100. Emily (#63): Re: Possible secession by Texas and new United States Civil War. While I would never dismiss the advice to “not get shot”, people from other parts of the world often underestimate the size of the United States. Consider that the distance from Washington DC (East Coast) to the Texas-Mexico border (South Central) is roughly equal to the distance from London to eastern Ukraine. I doubt that Londoners feel the least bit of immediate personal risk from the hot war in Ukraine.
    U.S. “States” are sometimes referred to as laboratories of democracy, since they have substantial self-government.
    Lathechuck

  101. Jen (#70) The DNC (Democratic National Committee) has selected Joe Biden as the Democratic Presidential candidate for 2024. Period. Full Stop. Whatever primary or caucus activities are conducted to maintain some facade of democratic engagement with the voters, this much has already been decided.
    My 26-year old son got information about the Democratic primary in our state. I told him “you can vote for the Joe Biden of your choice in the primary election. You won’t get a choice between candidates until November.”
    Lathechuck

  102. Degringolade, no question, this is going to be one over-the-top melodrama!

    Enjoyer, I tend to think that mystics of all lands end up with something like this view for an unfashionable reason: it’s true, or as close to the truth as human beings can get. As for the alchemists, that’s in fact a very good description of what they were up to.

    BeardTree, thanks for this.

  103. sgage, I wrote in Bernie in the 2020 general election ballot. What do you think is the appeal of Haley?

    Patricia Matthews, I must have overlooked the guest option. I also always use it.

    BeardTree, thank you for that review. I don’t see why corn and potatoes, on a household scale, could not fit in. Also eggs at some times of the year. A farmer at the FM told me that back before rural electrification, farmers could get the then princely sum of $12. doz. for eggs at Christmastime. They used to set up kerosine lamps in the hen houses, which sometimes burned down.

    There is a lot of interesting OP breeding of corn being done. Baker Creek carries some of the new, short season varieties.

  104. Greetings JMG, I have lately been musing on ways in which we are conditioned in this culture, and often to our disadvantage. Some of it is pretty overt like the depreciation of mathematical competency, or pushing hyperconsumerism, but I’ve begun to sense that there are more deeply hidden and subtle influences that work against people not of the elite. As I’ve been working through the beginnings of learning the methods of discursive meditation, I wonder if it could help me explore what sorts of imprinting I may have been subject to which work to my disadvantage. I’m not exactly feeling like the Manchurian Candidate or anything., but a couple incidents have left me baffled as to my passivity and a sort of feeling of an altered state of numbness, when I would have very much expected myself to vigorously advocate for my interests. Anything thoughts you may have on this subject would be welcome.

  105. Hi Garden Housewife,
    I have been experimenting with elderberry bushes and find they can make a very good hedge. they grow very fast and tall and it is easy to get cuttings from a plant more than two years old to start more bushes. I prune mine short, or to the ground to get more berries and they still grow quite atll for me in a season. If you trim them to be as tall as you need to keep the deer out, I think they would make a fine hedge, great wildlife plants and provide you with lots of medicine to fight flu and colds. There are some excellent varieties coming out of Missouri.
    Maxine

  106. A crazy data point for me, is I can see and feel the world going more power down, but meanwhile, am being pushed towards cell phones. which need alot of infrastructure ! First, my offspring was over and pulled out a cell phone and asked if I wanted it as had just upgraded, not the first time. I again said no, but thanks for the kind offer ( now it can be sold used for a couple hundred I guess). Reminds me of the story you tell us here of everyone wanting to give you a TV. I get a bit of disbelief when I am out and they want me to just scan a code or what have you. Then, ATT wants to stop supporting the landline service in my area, and there is no cell phone coverage in my area in any case ( I do live in a neighborhood, not a hermit.)

    Just got a notice that the phone company, ATT, is petitioning the California public utility commision, CPUC, to be able to stop being the carrier of last resort. Form letters were mailed out. The few public forums are in just a few spots in California, so I cant go in person and will need to write. Most califorinians who get these notices in the mail, if they open them, will not know that this means that the landline telephone services can then go away, not be supported. And, if they do know what this legal language sentence or two means, they cant go in person as no one is going to drive 3 or 4 hours in the middle of the day. ATT has been lying to people here for the last 3 years at least that it is not available in our area, which is not true, they do not want new households to sign up, I met someone here who is retired so pushed it to the CPUC who reminded ATT they had to let them get a phone.

    This is part of the push to cell phones. But, alot of places in California do not have cell phone service due to the terrain. My area does not have cell phone service, although the county over all does, I would say half the county landmass is in the mountains, so does not or it is spotty, but more of the population lives where they get service. Actually, this applies to the state as a whole. Alot of the state, square miles, does not get cell phone service, but it is less populated than the parts that do.

    Many people in homes with no cell phone service are using their cell phones over the internet due to affordability. It is less expensive to do that as people like to have the internet in any case. ATT doesnt want to support landlines, so the price for them has gone up. It takes more power to run the internet lines than the old phone lines. So, my experience is that the phone lines never run out of power, and this is also due to the second thing in the form letter that ATT wants out of, they are required to keep those communication lines powered, so they do. Which is why it costs more, they go out in misserable storms and circuitous routes around crazy road closures to either swap out batteries or put more gas in their generators, to keep their phone lines powered. The cable company, who provides most of the internet out here, has no requirements to do so. They do it, but not as well, the internet lines run out of power used to be 2-4 hours, they are better now due to customer complaints, but in our realy long outages, 4 or 5 days, the landline phone lines are up the whole time, or close to it, and there is no internet after part of a day or a day.

    Another reason phone over internet is a problem is that people have to have power at their house to use it, and the landlines you can use with no power with a corded phone. People like to have power, and so usually do, but their generators can break, and they do run out of fuel. Last winter people ran out of 5,000gallon propane tanks alot quicker than they thought they would with such long power outages. And, alot of people of course are using gasoline powered generators and there is always an end to how much gas they have on hand if the outage is ling enough, so it is dangerous to rely on cell phones over internet for emergency communications. ( I dont have a generator, I have batteries, which also have a limit to number of sunless days they can go)

  107. Hi JMG

    I’ve been meaning to ask this for ages.

    I loved your articles on alternative political economy (An Introduction to Political Economy / Systems that Suck Less)

    I wondered if you had any recommendations for reading on political economy in general, but also for what informed your take on syndicalism. It wasn’t clear to me if you’d reverse engineered a syndicalism without the “revolutionary” part that’s usually a component AFAIK, or if there are lots of democratic syndicalist traditions that are more obscure. Searches don’t turn up much.

    I am about to read some Chesterton essays for starters, but I’m not sure what else there is.

    Many thanks

    JH / Morfran

  108. Dear JMG and commentariat,

    I kindly request help to find some research. Since last week’s post, I have been searching for information about biodiversity in different ecosystems.

    I got intrigued by the factoid that humans can increase biodiversity. We can even be a keystone species. How flattering.

    Since I am a professional agroforestry consultant and nut tree planter, I often use this claim myself, when we convert some barren land into lush silvopasture. After a few years we hear more birds and see more insects. It is great. A recent paper by Edo et al. measured bird song in agroforestry systems at several locations in Europe and found it superior to farmland and orchards. However, nearby forests were even more biodiverse. (open access here: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13593-023-00936-2)

    The abandoned old-growth forests on the border between Finland and Russia are the most biodiverse areas of Scandinavia (which is only a 10000 year ecology, since the last ice age). Approx 10,000 species according to ecologist Viktor Säfve, even though we only have 40 species of trees. It is a “continous forest” where human intervention has been minimal.

    A decade ago I was in a nature reserve in Thailand, where the forest had been growing for 1 million years. Species abundance! Just the trees were more than 1000 species, and insects etc were almost uncountable – something like 100,000 according to the wildlife ecologists at the place.

    Indigenous peoples live in biodiversity hotspots, and but I think that is not a cause-and-effect relationship. I suspect that everywhere the Industrial Machine has not yet shown up with bulldozers and mining, there are still habitat for “indigenous” people and at the same time biodiversity is not crushed.

    I suspect that “modern” regrowth forests and plantations are species-poor, but that after millennia, species find new niches all the time, and over the time scale of millions of years, speciation generates more diversity still.
    I know for sure, that humans can kick-start the process of regeneration by helping to plant trees in wasted farmlands etc..

    Here comes the question:

    Do you know of any research showing that humans actually increase biodiversity in “old” ecosystems? (Say older than 100 years or so.) Any books or articles of studies that have looked at this question?
    It is a difficult experiment to setup, of course, but like the Finland-Russia border situation, there are probably more “unintended experiments” out there.

    Peace,
    Göran

  109. Hi John,

    Thanks, they don’t have a investment strategy as such but use wave theory to predict long term market moves. They’ve had a good record to date and that is their likely projection over the coming decades.

    Regarding Europe that makes sense. We are a good 10 years away from functioning militaries in Europe but certainly after 2030 the war risks massively increase.

    I know i have asked you this before but my son turns 18 in 2040 and it looks likely he might get drafted.

    Anywhere we can move to escape this horror?

    I know you have recommended America in the past (easy if you are ultra rich but v difficult for middle class people).

    What about Europe? Maybe Norway or Switzerland might be relative safe havens?

    Regarding America, how worried are you about this?

    A distracting Civil War looms in the USA and for the same reasons present in 1861–State’s Rights:

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/border-battle-lines-dems-biden-seize-control-texas-national-guard-gop-allies-back-abbott

    As Texas Gov. Greg Abbott continues to tout the state’s right to self-defend itself from a migrant invasion, some Democratic lawmakers are calling on President Biden to take control of the state’s National Guard.

    Abbott issued a lengthy statement Wednesday, saying the federal government broke the compact between the U.S. and the individual states.

  110. What are your thoughts on Gordon White’s prediction of WW3 during 2025-2027 based on astrology? Anybody else here heard it?

  111. To JMG and y’all
    I am forced to watch television in the course of my job- and I am struck by the dearth of commercials for childcare products- diapers and the such- and the plethora of commercials for meal kits for pets, insurance policies for pets, internet delivery sites for pet products and such. I see bumper stickers on vehicles with “pet parent” proclaimed. I once saw a bumper sticker saying- “pet grandparent” and my heart sank.
    i am aware of the many symptoms of our civilization’s decline have analogs in the decay of other societies- but I cannot recall any society that replaced the normal love of children with love of animals.
    we have turned pets into substitute children and to my traditionalist Christian viewpoint the perversion of the natural love for pets into pseudo children- at a time when birth rates are cratering, homelessness is rising and there is widespread human suffering in general, a suffering that could be relieved by loving kindness and actions by other human beings- is frankly demonic- a manifestation of the anti-natal anti human worldview of the PMC (or as others have called it – the urban monoculture)
    any thoughts- anyone else noticing this?
    may you all be well in this dying evil empire.

  112. Can you share an image of yourself of reasonable quality that I can print out for my inspiration wall?

  113. @Croatoan #76: Bret Weinstein and Chris Martenson of Darkhorse Podcast and Peak Prosperity, respectively, just did a trip to the Darien Gap and reported on the migration situation. Their report is paywalled on Locals and on Peak Prosperity (I subscribe to Locals), but the gist is this: there were people from South America, and also people from Haiti and Africa moving through well organized, well financed camps up to the US, but a lot of the the people were from China, mostly males with military bearing. They also showed a video in Chinese that depicted the trip through the Darien Gap and up to the US as a great adventure (all in Chinese). Then they showed video of a gigantic bridge that is being built through that area, at great cost, to make the way easier. They hypothesize that China is looking for resources, farmland, water, and once the US has finished poisoning its citizens with pharmaceuticals, sterilizing its children with puberty blockers, etc., China will be poised to move in — with a readymade workforce moving in from the south. Those aren’t Mexicans coming over the Southern border…. Given that the politicians are all paid off by China, I don’t see any deportations on the horizon.

  114. Croatian, Mary,
    Immigration is a huge issue in UK & EU as well, you’ll just never hear about it through the MSM.

  115. Re subtitles:

    There are websites that specialize in publishing subtitles ripped from DVDs etc. They are usually zipped SRT files which are plain text files. Download them and unzip them. Your video player should have a menu item for pasting the location on your computer of the SRT file.

    Since there are often different versions of the same video, it is important to get SRT file that matches the same length as the video, otherwise they go out of sync.

    As a test, I searched google with “puriyaadha pudhir english subtitles download” (no quotation marks) and it sent me to
    https://subdl.com/subtitle/sd4860/puriyatha-puthir/english where I clicked on
    Puriyaatha.Puthir.2017.1080p.WEBRip.x264.AAC-ESub(by: Droneholic) which downloaded as
    SUBDL puriyatha-puthir-english-3150968.zip which extracted an SRT file looking like

    1
    00:01:36,805 –> 00:01:37,806
    Sorry!

    2
    00:02:35,155 –> 00:02:41,619
    ‘INCOHERENT PUZZLE’

    3
    00:05:31,372 –> 00:05:34,000
    She’s unbelievably gorgeous!

    4
    00:05:34,167 –> 00:05:35,084
    Who are you looking at?

    5
    00:05:37,337 –> 00:05:39,839
    You wait downstairs.
    I’ll join you.

    You could of course rename the SRT file to something a bit less clunky.

  116. @Brenainn Griffudd,
    re: total energy availability,
    Have you seen Tom Murphy’s “Do the Math” blog?
    https://dothemath.ucsd.edu/
    Dr. Murphy has gone off into the weeds and is not ‘doing the math’ anymore, but he did, and the archives are there.
    You can wade back a few years to find the relevant posts on solar, wind, hydroelectricity, et cetera, or get his free-to-download textbook “Energy Ambitions on a Finite Planet” here: https://escholarship.org/uc/energy_ambitions

    Now, Dr. Murphy might not get everything right, but he’s a smart guy. All of his math tracks and his assumptions seem reasonable to me. That said, Dr. Murphy focuses mainly on availability, not the economics of extraction. It doesn’t matter if Death Valley gets 9kWh/m2/day of solar insolation if there’s no economic way to produce and transfer power.

    JMG’s heuristic about the early 1800s is probably a safe bet– if you want to go much beyond that in your setting, check the math for availability with Dr. Murphy’s work, and then try and justify the economics.

  117. The entire Texas situation is pretty close to a no-win scenario for Biden and company. If the Biden Admin doesn’t do anything they take a massive hit in legitimacy and the federal government bleeds power and control to the state governments. Other Red State governors will likewise be emboldened and begin pushing hard on other issues. If they attempt to wrestle control of the Texas National Guard out of Abbot’s hands that has the potential to spiral out of their ability to control very quickly.

    On a side note I saw some people who are into astrology really freaking out about this since it seems to coincide with Pluto entering Aquarius on the 20th.

  118. I’ve had a thought that the notion that the West (whatever that means these days) should rearm to confront Russia may have followed the classic stages of a speculative bubble (viewed from the point of view of whoever benefits from a hawkish foreign policy stance most directly the arms industry).
    Namely the progression from pessimism, optimism, euphoria, mania, and then after that panic and the popping of the bubble.
    Perhaps euphoria begins with the invasion of Ukraine, then now if leaders are seriouly contemplating instituting conscription and building up something like a wartime level of armed forces this is the mania, which then once people realise how much this would cost, this immediately precedes the questioning of the whole narrative and the bursting of the bubble.

  119. JMG,

    One subject I am having difficulty finding substantive writing for is “Mastery” i.e. the idea that work/practice can more than means to an end.

    Do you have any book recommendations on the subject?

  120. Greetings all!
    I have the curious habit of re-reading your writings from time to time Mr Greer.
    Today I was reading your post of the 21st of November 2012 titled “in the twilight of empires”
    Allow me to quote the passage that struck me.
    “A far more likely scenario, as America’s empire enter its twilight, would see economic and political crisis in Israel spiraling out of control as moderate and extremist factions scramble for control of a dwindling stock of wealth and resources, and everyone who has the resources and common sense to flee the country gets out”

    The inept US response concerning the Houthis’ blockade of the Red Sea, the current Gazah war which appears not to go Israel’s way, the political bickering, divisions and fights erupting in Israel among its politicians, senior army and intelligence staff, the israeli economy which is now on life support and the startling reports that many Israelis have left or are leaving the country appear, to me at least, to be follow your 2012 scenario pretty well.

    I think you made a successful prediction there. Any thoughts about how the situation will evolve in the months ahead?

    Regards

  121. Greetings JMG,

    It takes much less oil to transport goods with maritime shipping than with trucks, so I would expect global commerce to continue mostly in the same way in the decades to come, and transport on land to decrease a lot . That would mean for example that there will be less trade between the regions of the USA (i.e. California and the East Coast), continued trade between Europe and the East Coast, between California and East Asia.

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/186576/volume-of-us-exports-of-trade-goods-to-the-eu-since-1997/

    Does that sound true? Any thoughts on this?

  122. The doctrine and ritual of high magic!
    What a powerful and awesome work that you and Mark Mikituk have resurrected from the past! What a gift!
    I am also studying the Hermetica (I know I know, blame it on my ADHD) very complimentary to each other.
    Thanks again!

  123. I know you’re a watcher of the UK scene, JMG, so what are your thoughts on SIR Jacob Rees-Mogg and his knighthood of 2022?

  124. Kimberly, you might be thinking of https://www.ecosophia.net/blogs-and-essays/the-magic-monday-faq/
    “One way that many people have found very effective is journaling, which involves doing written dialogues with yourself. Get a notebook… etc.”

    Jason H, a delightful book on reviving decrepit country areas is “Extra Virgin” by Annie Hawes. She bought a run-down olive farm in Liguria (top left of Italy) in 1985. The area was declining, only old people remaining, the kids all in the towns taking drugs. What saved them was government support for the olive industry. Farmers started pruning the trees again, the kids returned now that there was a future for them, the olive presses opened up, and tourists started coming. It turned out there are German olive oil snobs who travel around sampling the first pressings of the new crop, just like wine snobs with the new vintage.

  125. @anonymous #33
    Keto diet or at least something as close to it as you can reasonably manage is my recommendation. The high-vegetable oil (read grain oil) and high-carb diet extant today is flat-out wrong. Carbs metabolize directly to body fat and demand high-intensity insulin involvement, stressing the pancreas and inducing diabetes. Protein and animal fats first, quality carbs last. It works for me, plus I lost quite a bit of weight without going hungry. As a bonus, good beer (minimal hops) qualifies in the quality carbs category (in moderation of course).
    But don’t take my word for it. Spend some serious time looking into and understanding the metabolic pathways involved. Your life depends on it. Plenty of info out there.

  126. Earlier in the week I posted in Magic Monday about the difficulties my wife had going through labour.
    Today, I’m finally happy to say we welcomed our healthy baby daughter to the world! My wife went through a Caesarean section in the end. It was not our preference, but after going through 5 days of them trying out different things to induce labour, but my wife’s cervix not dilating, we went ahead with it.
    I really would have preferred not to induce labour at all, but that’s a lesson for next time.
    I would like to thank everyone who sent positive energy our way!

  127. >I am forced to watch television in the course of my job

    You are – paid – to watch TV. I guess it’s be careful what you ask for?

    As far as the pets go – I’ll leave this answer this guy gave to the question “Does any man still want to get married?” If’n you aren’t going to start a family after all…

    https://farside.link/invidious/watch?v=qDhde8MSwBA

  128. Hey John, it was great speaking with you the other day for the Plant Cunning Podcast recording on the 5 Rites episode (it’ll probably be published in a few weeks) – there are a few things I didn’t get to follow up on, and this would probably be the appropriate forum to do so. When I read “Secret of the 5 Rites” I immediately thought of a small book by Richard Rose called “Energy Transmutation, Between-ness and Transmission) and I thought of the stories of him taking a train from West Virginia to LA to find books and check out teachers back in the 40s. His idea was that tension builds energy, and concentrating the mind on spiritual practices transmuted sexual energy into spiritual energy. He also recommended celibacy for his serious students for a bramhacharya period. Another thread I forgot to follow up on was how limited this energy that can be both “masculine vitality” and spiritual energy, Rose definitely recommends the conservation of energy for use on the spiritual path, but I wonder if practices like the 5 rites creates more of that energy, or are there ways to create more of that energy, or is conservation the better approach.

    Speaking of conservation of energy, we did just put out this episode with Ben Falk that I think folks here would appreciate. Ben was one of the permaculturists who publicly stood up against Big Pharma over the last few years, and has multiple decades of experience actually doing the thing. In this episode we talked about his wood stove wizardry, and how he’s able to heat his living space, all of his hot water, cook, bake, and more all with just a cord or two of wood a winter in the mountains of Vermont. Serious energy conservation there. https://youtu.be/NieJqOmLltQ?si=67w_si-4KgsWuDK4

  129. @Glasshammer: You could try Robert Greene’s book “Mastery” for starters.

    I’m not a Greene fan, but I did read some of that book and liked what I read. I haven’t read his other books -which seem like training manuals for those who aspire to Power in the PMC. Your mileage may vary. Whatever the case is, his books certainly circulate a lot and we get new orders to replace the ones that have been stolen or gone missing, or just for demand.

  130. Hey John, I hope you are doing splendidly. I just finished the Twilight of Pluto, and it was an excellent read! Now I really worked up a considerable enthusiasm towards Tropical Astrology after reading the book, and I have been studying the topic with zest for the first time in my life. I have cast horoscopes and tried to interpret them, using the methods you have outlined in your series on Divination. I really am surprised by how often I end up being eerily correct! There is this one thing that does befuddle me however – the dignities of the planets and their aspects with one another remain more-or-less constant day-after-day. Their houses change, the ascendant varies with time, and the aspects do change, but rather slowly. So if I practice divination roughly at the same time every day, will I not end up receiving very little variation between the horoscope charts I cast on two successive days?

  131. @Karl Grant re: #128 –

    It has crossed my mind that Eagle Pass, where the current showdown seems to be taking place, is directly in the path of totality for April’s eclipse.

  132. “Another reason phone over internet is a problem is that people have to have power at their house to use it, and the landlines you can use with no power with a corded phone. ”

    The cell phone problem, I know it well. Lice over IP doesn’t work in a power outage, so you need a different phone to call the power company and tell them the power is out. The land lines avoided that problem but are high maintenance and maintenance has been sadly neglected. And there is a feedback cycle in effect, bad service loses customers which reduces the money available for maintenance which makes the service worse, so more customers leave (including me).

    Added to that two factor authentication is ever increasing and now you need to receive a text message to function. A few years ago there was an uproar when Social Security announced two factor was going into effect as many elderly did not have cell phones. They had to delay a year to work out a solution, the PMC failed to realize that that not everyone is interested in the latest trend.

    Shortly after that I ended up with a cell phone due to malign neglect of the land line so I don’t know how that was resolved. Back in 2010 I was expecting the government to make having a cell phone with you at all times mandatory. They didn’t do that, but it looks like they didn’t need to.

    Being helpless without your cell phone is a subplot in that so-so movie “Leave the World Behind.” There are enough stories of people blindly following the directions from their phone’s navigation system to their doom or at least embarrassment to make some of the plot believable. Kick their crutch out from under them and what happens?

  133. Hello Mr. Greer,

    I was wondering about the creation of the modern novel. As you know modern novels, especially those in the English speaking world, place a tremendous emphasis on the introspective view of their characters. When this is compared to Native American legends, the Bible, Bhagavad Gita, the epic of Gilgamesh, or what have you, it just seems like modern narrative spends a lot more words on people’s personal thoughts. This strikes me as strange because we are generally not in tune with our subjective side. How did this come to be? Why is it that cultures that were so much more in tune with their spiritual sides seem to use internal monologues and such much less often and with much less detail than the cultures that are less attentive to their subjective mind?

  134. JMG,

    It’s occurred to me that if diabetes is a disease a lot of people suffer from in subclinical form, and it gets worse if someone eats a diet high in carbs, then this could explain a lot of the neurotic attitude Americans have towards diet. The standard diet doesn’t work, and the only ready alternative a lot of people have available, the “healthy diet”, which should be better, works even worse. The cognitive dissonance this could create would easily cause a world class meltdown…

    Jeff,

    Metabolic syndrome is something I’ve started looking into, but for them sot part it looks to me as if it’s a term mostly used for “these issues seem to go together”, and not much else. That being said, thank you for suggesting Dr. Peter Attia, I’ve added him to my research list.

    And any advice you give on how to work a keto diet will be much appreciated.

    Kimberly,

    I think one major issue with diabetes is that it’s focusing on a symptom, blood sugar dysregulation; and that therefore it’s likely different cases have different causes. I think etheric starvation plays a role in some cases, but I’m not sure if that’s the only cause.

    CR Patiño,

    I wonder if one part of the problem might be the different types of sugars. As I understand it, high fructose corn syrup has much more fructose than anything in nature; and I wonder if the human body has issues handling sugars that are wildly different from the natural forms. I’ve also wondered about artificial sweeteners, for a similar reason: they are unlike anything we’ve evolved eating.

    I don’t think it’s just carbohydrates though: if it was carbohydrates in general, then diabetes would not have been much more common in the upper classes historically, who ate much fewer carbohydrates and much more fat, than peasants. Yet until recently, the rates of diabetes among the rich were consistently much higher than the poor. It might be sugars, but the old diets used to treat diabetes before insulin almost always cut out all carbohydrates, and not just sugar.

    Lazy Gardner,

    My library has a copy of The Diet Myth, so I’ve put that on hold and will read it in the next few weeks; and will be following up on the other material you’ve cited as I get a hold of the material and find the time for it. I would appreciate anything you have on intermittent fasting: it’s something I’ve been a little curious about, but it’s also something I know next to nothing about.

    Karalan,

    Amusingly enough, I’ve come across evidence that beer (or other alcohol) was actually commonly prescribed to diabetics before insulin was discovered. It provides calories and nutrients, and avoids certain problems that diets high in fat can have (ketoacidosis is regrettably common if any amount of fat is given to severe diabetics). So your prescription for beer is well supported by the historical evidence!

    As for weight loss, a lot of people seem to find that as a side effect of keto diets. I hope this will be the case for me as well, once I implement it.

  135. Just wanted to share: yesterday was the german lieder competition at the music conservatory. I won second place in the 19-39 age category. I’ve only been studying voice for less than a year and that’s the category that includes the post secondary music students, so I’m surprised and very happy.

  136. LOaks are replaced by chestnuts as chestnuts bear regularly and are more easily edible than acorns. ”

    That will depend on a variety of chestnut that can survive there. The American chestnut was wiped out by the blight and it was only in the south of the state. I’m not sure the European chestnut can tolerate the winters. The butternuts and bitternuts were in the area, but neither were high yielding. Potatoes do quite well in the sandier parts of the state, especially around Plainfield.

    Hay, with a side of oats were fine for dairy cows at what were good production rates at the time, (9000 lbs per year? Going from memories from childhood here). The corn was fed as corn silage, not as grain as the 95 day growing season was too short to reliably get the shell corn ripe. I don’t remember how much silage was fed per cow.

  137. P.S. My own $0.02, having just come off a binge-reread about a similar period, [which ended with the followers of a murdered (or killed in a chance brawl with political enemies) wildly popular populist rabblerouser, burning down the Senate House, rioting all over the place, and the usual bunch of criminals, opportunist criminals, people with private vendettas adding to the chaos and bloodshed], is that Orange Julius not only stands a good chance to make it, but that Florida is still stuck with our home-grown Cato. Of these 2 predictions, I like #2 a lot less than I do #1. In 4 years, I’ve gone from “Well, or COURSE I’m a Democrat” (2016) to “A plague on both their houses” (2020) to “I can live with that (2024.) Just don’t tell anyone in my family, or any of my old friends.

    To complete the parallels, and do a little filking on Mozart’s funniest opera, the parallel to the Democrats is “Cicero, Cicero, Cicero, Cicero!”

  138. @Stephen alexander,
    re: “pet parents”
    There’s a lot of sublimation going on, no question. It’s not demonic, by any means; just pathetic. I don’t mean the word “pathetic” in a derogatory sense; simply that it is deserving of pity. Be compassionate to the pet parents and grandparents. The natural human drive to love and care for a child powerful. It is going to find an outlet one way or another. If you create a socioeconomic milieu where kids are a non-starter (or people are made to believe kids are a non-starter– since their belief is what really matters) then those feelings are going to need an outlet. Pets are one such.

    You ought to be glad that pets provide such an outlet. Look up the Devouring Mother archetype, then read Jung’s “Wotan” essay to see where an archetype can drag a soceity. Remember the “we’re only doing this for your own good” tyranny of the lockdowns? The wokescolds who put hurting feelings above free speech? I’d much, much rather those aspects of the Devouring Mother had been sublimated onto pets than society.

    Aside from the obvious tyranny, misplaced mothering breaks society in other ways. I remember some years ago when the fad in the PMC was for sponsored immigration. The fashionable thing, for awhile, was to get a pet family of refugees. I don’t know if they’re still doing it. It only hurts the dignity of all involved, and the society that cannot absorb so many newcomers.

    God forbid the pet parents of this country ever take their smothering sublimation and push it onto the homeless; those poor souls are suffering enough.

    Next time you see a pug in a sweater? Smile at the poor woman on the other end of the leash. Feel not contempt, but compassion– and gratitude that she exhausts her misplaced mothering energies on the dog, and not you!

  139. Isaac Salamander Hill #138
    ” His idea was that tension builds energy.”

    This is interesting, and in contrast, I would say that the teachings of the Chen style Tai Chi that I practice, hold that “relaxation (provided it happens in the context of correct alignment) builds energy.”

    It sounds like a pair of ideas ripe for practical trials, eh?

  140. RandomActsofKarma,
    I can easily visualize or hear things in my head. I can also feel things – like which keys to press for a passage of music I’ve learned, or what my voice would do for a song I’ve sung or that is stuck in my head or I’m writing. I can learn visually or auditorially, but for most things I tend to learn somewhat better visually. It depends a bit on what I’m learning – listening to the music you are learning is a special kind of helpful for a musician when it comes to interpretation and/or memorization.

  141. @Justin,
    thank you. I’d been wondering what that was about and come up with no answers. Now I can stop wondering.

  142. @Stephen alexander,
    I tend to assume that the whole pet parent thing may be coming from how expensive and difficult it is to have kids these days. Pets are just easier, and a lot of people are using them as surrogates for kids they don’t have. But you’re right that it’s really weird.

    And honestly, I don’t think of my pet lizard as as my child, despite not having kids or being likely to. She’s my pet and I’m fond of her, but she is not and never will be the equivalent of a child of my own.

  143. “…he’s become the Once and Future King to his followers, the golden monarch who will set everything right once he returns.” Thanks for the correction – you’re right that the number of those sexually attracted must be miniscule! But that still leaves me with the question: what happens if/when the beer goggles fall off? He’s still a pretty poor fit to the archetype….

  144. @TonyC
    I’d imagine that the effects of this depends partly on the safety of shipping routes. Shipping by sea may be energy efficient, but if you’re risking piracy by sea and not on land, that changes the cost calculus dramatically. As witness the current situation with the Houthis.

  145. RandomActsOfKarma wrote, “If anyone would be willing to share if they have a correlation between their preferred learning modality and a strong (or not) mind’s eye or ear, I am quite curious.”

    My preferred learning modality has always been kinesthetic. In first grade, my teachers couldn’t get me off of the jungle gym and were quite concerned that I was not learning to read or write. My primary concern at that age was certainly not literacy, but how incredibly dull they had managed to make most of their lesson plans, especially for us kinesthetic learners. Spending all of my time testing out physical laws, gravity, eye-hand coordination, etc. on the jungle gym just seemed like a far more effective way to learn about reality than whatever lessons were getting tortured to death in their classrooms. Unsurprisingly, I grew up to become a dancer and musician. I also went on to teach stretching classes to dancers and gymnasts. When I aged out as a professional dancer, I started teaching early-childhood music, where my classes always involved at least as much dance as music, and somehow the kids naturally internalized much more musical ability and passion than from any of the sedentary classes I had ever had to sit through.

    With so much musical focus coming to the fore once I had to stop being perpetually rambunctious, my mind’s ear’s ability to audiate is clearly plenty strong. Experientially, the tone of voice of service announcements over PA systems can be utterly cringe-inducing for me. Even imagining those strained voices in my mind’s ear can inspire me to cringe. Ditto to the canned “musical offerings” and advertisements they drone out. The main distraction that television inflicts on me comes from its contrivedly unnatural soundtrack. Hearing a neighbor’s TV soundtrack through the walls can be utterly focus shattering. I will not eat at restaurants with TV’s blaring in the background; however, I have absolutely no problem eating with ten big-screen TV’s surrounding me on every wall, so long as the volume’s off and they’re only displaying closed captions. That I find easy to ignore.

    In school, my dream had been to become a visual artist, with pottery being my favorite full-bodied field. I even got a bunch of awards for my artwork, so my mind’s eye is able to do visualization well enough. But images can’t distract me the same way that sound can, and neither of them can distract me the way that vicarious kinesthetic experience can. I end up “feeling” unresolved body tensions expressed through others’ posture, gait, bearing, gesture, etc. There is nothing like a movement disorder stemming from injury or handicap to make me feel deep compassion for another. Similar to visualizing or audiating someone when they are not present, I naturally embody them in my mind’s proprioceptive organ with a kinesthetic experience of their ponderousness/giddiness, flexibility/rigidity, ease/awkwardness, etc.

    The involuntary way that I experience overly tense voices as being cringe-inducing is probably more linked to the held body tensions that result in that tonality than the sound waves themselves. Most likely, my enjoyment of the exaggerated nasality of Senagalese Griot singing or the guttural roaring of Balinese opera comes from their being intentionally produced through temporary body tensions rather than habitually produced through chronic ones. Given how naturally everyone registers and instinctually moves away from the strained discomfort of a righteous Karen on the warpath, I think that we’re all better at kinesthetically embodying in our mind’s proprioceptive organ than we were ever taught.

  146. Like many others in the group, I am watching the evolving Texas situation closely. One thing that has been making the rounds over the past 24 hours has been a series of US maps being churned out by Saxon Murray (who goes by the handle ‘North of Nothing’) who tends to be able to comb through info pretty well. Anyway, the latest map identifies 12 anti-federalist states (Montana, South Dakota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia); 2 states considering an anti-federalist position (Nevada, Utah); and 9 states in which the National Guard has been deployed to assist Operation Lone Star (Idaho, Wyoming, North Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Arkansas, Kentucky, Ohio, South Carolina). The odd thing as a Canadian looking at the latest map is that this pattern of states closely resembles the meme-country ‘Diagolon’ created by Canada’s amateur sit-down version of George Carlin (Jeremy MacKenzie) while he was high on weed edibles three years ago. Diagolon is the fictitious alliance of the least-woke jurisdictions in North America, stretching from Alaska in the upper left (northwest) to Florida in the lower right (southeast) and includes the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan and most of the states listed above. Strange – but I am not making anything out of it; I am just entertained and somewhat blown away by this coincidence.

    To be clear, Diagolon is a supremely silly meme-country which has a demented coke-addicted time-travelling goat figuring named Phil as the vice president; it is in eternal war with Circulon (mainstream woke society) and has made alliances with certain other meme-countries such as Jeepolon (consisting of jeep drivers) and Paddlon (consisting of canoeists). Oh, yes, and the Government of Canada invoked its Emergencies Act on Valentine’s Day 2022 out of fear of a coup by Diagolon’s non-existent terrorist ‘plaid army’. In case anyone thinks that Canada is a serious country, I’ve got news for you; it isn’t. A couple of days ago Tucker Carlson mocked my government over the matter.

    I was planning to hold off a related question until Magic Monday, but since I am a roll, I’d like to know your view, JMG, about the Diagolon flag (a.k.a. ‘old slashy’) from an occult perspective. The design was created by Jeremy MacKenzie with one finger on his cell phone over the course of three seconds while sitting on the john under the influence of weed. But it has become quite popular and has staying power. It is simply a black rectangle with a straight white diagonal line going from the upper left corner to the lower right corner: the same direction as the ray Gwron in Druidry (though I highly doubt that MacKenzie is aware of that). I am thinking of other black flags such as the pure black flag flown by Sayyeds – descendants of the prophet Mohammed and the iconic Jolly Roger. The flag has at least some international recognition: German EU member of parliament Christina Anderson happily stood beside it during a visit to Canada last year and she considers Diagolon to be a great ‘lark’. Anyway, I’m curious about your thoughts on the flag of the meme-country that, oddly enough, seems to be partially manifesting right now.

  147. @Maxine Rogers, elderberry is one of the bushes I’ve been considering. I’m glad to hear that it works well. Thanks for letting me know. Have you tried other bushes? I have a lot of border area to “fence” with a hedge, so I plan to try multiple species. I’m thinking about elderberry, black currant, American hazelnut (already have two bushes from which to take cuttings), and mulberry (if you cut the small tree down, it gets very bushy), plus a couple just for flowers, like forsythia and Rose of Sharon. I may use willow for part of the hedge, because it grows fast and feeds animals too.

    I’m open to suggestions, if anyone else has tried fruit bushes for hedges. I need ones that will work for the temperate areas of North America. And does anyone know if huckleberry bushes grow big enough for a deer-blocking hedge? If they can’t see through it, then six feet tall is enough to stop them.

  148. I know this is more of a Magic Monday question, but I’m in a bit of a tight squeeze. I’m going to have to move from my current accommodation fairly soon. I’d like to find myself a new place to live ASAP. If I were to do planetary charity, which planet would I dedicate this to?

    Thanks in advance

  149. Selkirk, good. You’re starting to find your way into an aspect of meditation that most teachers don’t talk about very often– its capacity to bring into consciousness self-defeating patterns that have been imprinted in you by your family and your society. (We don’t talk about it much because the people who make it their business to push such patterns on you get very hostile about having them removed.) Daily journaling is also very good for this. The important thing in both cases is to take it a little at a time, and remember that the simple process of bringing such things into awareness does most of the work.

    Atmospheric, welcome to the future. I expect that half the country will have no phone or internet service in 20 years.

    Morfran, it’s been years since I last read up on early 20th century democratic syndicalism. No, I didn’t invent it, but you’re right that it’s hard to find much of anything about it these days. Chesterton and Belloc are one way into it; you might also look up guild socialism and the pological and economic writings of William Morris. One other author who’s adjacent to that is Murray Bookchin.

    Göran, I don’t happen to know of any research along those lines. Anyone else?

    Forecasting, well, can you give me a link that goes to the article? The one you gave me just went to a graph with no explanation — I think it was an image in the article. As for where to move, that’s a crapshoot at this point. I’m watching the situation in Texas closely; at this point 16 other states, including economic and political powerhouses Virginia, Georgia, and Florida (and such non-Confederate states as Idaho, Montana, Iowa, and Ohio) have lined up on the Texan side of the dispute.

    Sam, it’s very tricky to know what kind of war a given astrological aspect predicts. When I interpreted Joe Biden’s dismal inauguration chart, I thought the two wars it indicated were both domestic uprisings here in the US, and of course I was quite wrong: they were the Ukraine war and the currently unfolding mess in the Middle East. Thus it does look like 2025-2027 will be an era of wars, but which wars? The stars don’t say.

    Stephen, yes, I’ve noticed that. Spengler talks about how civilizations in decline always have a collapse in the birth rate, but he didn’t mention the stickily cloying sentimentality around “fur babies” et vomitous al.

    Aloysius, sorry, I don’t have any.

    JustMe, at this point the sky is black with chickens coming home to roost…

    Karl, it’s definitely a good time to go long on popcorn.

    Mawkernewek, ha! Yes, that works, doesn’t it?

    GlassHammer, I don’t. The sense I’ve always had is that it’s not something you can learn from books; work at the practice and mastery will come.

    Karim, that’s an exceedingly difficult question to answer right now, because the whole Middle East is potentially on the brink of convulsive change. I’m not sure anyone can say what’s going to happen next.

    Tony C, yes, but as we’re seeing in the Red Sea right now, maritime transport can all too easily be interrupted by any group of people willing to make a modest investment in rockets or drones. I expect to see more transport by inland waterways, which are easier to protect.

    Travis, you’re most welcome.

    Batstrel, I probably shouldn’t find him as appealing as I do. It amuses me also that if I’d relocated to England, as I’ve considered doing at various times, I might have ended up in his constituency — Somerset is far and away my favorite part of the country.

    Alvin, delighted to hear that it all came out okay. Please pass on my best wishes to your wife.

    Isaac, energy can neither be created nor destroyed, but how much of it flows into and through you can be increased by breathing exercises and other practices. Conservation is certainly an option, but it’s not the only game in town.

  150. I’m very concerned about the Texas situation. I’ve been seeing online people whose response is along the lines of, “This is our Ft. Sumter moment! Go long popcorn futures!” Don’t they realize that this is real life, and that it’s going to affect them too if this escalates into civil war? Even if it doesn’t go all the way to civil war, it could still get very bad.

    If there were still adults in the room, I’d say that they should sit down and figure out a real solution for a real life problem, but since there is obviously a lack of adults in the political room, that’s unlikely. Disaster is obviously ahead, with no way to stop it.

    And buying more guns and ammo isn’t the solution either.

  151. Brendhelm, Mr. Greer,

    That April 8 date is interesting as that marks the anniversary of the Battle of Appomattox. Union cavalry under the command of Major General Philip Sheridan on April 8, 1865 managed to capture Confederate supply trains at Appomattox Station and get ahead of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, cutting off their routes of retreat. Lee surrendered the next day on April 9. From what I understand Pluto retrogrades into Capricorn on September 1 and then goes back into Aquarius on November 19. September 1 is the anniversary of the city of Atlanta falling to Sherman’s Army, arguably the Union’s greatest victory in the war, while November 19 is the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.

    Also next week, February 1 to be exact, is the anniversary of Texas seceding from the Union and the week after that on February 8 is the anniversary of the Confederacy’s founding. If the Biden Admin does do anything I am halfway expecting them to pick one of those dates for symbolic purposes.

  152. JMG,

    Appreciate the response.

    To clarify I was looking for a book on Mastery as a concept, more what it is less how you get it.

    I never liked the “toil for toils sake” or “the Protestant Work Ethic ” that dominates Western discourse on work. Mastery was the only counter I found to those but…. Eastern texts (few of which I can read in the language they are written) were the only sources I ever found that covered it in depth.

  153. Somerset Levels near Glastonbury Tor, at least in the Wikipedia photo, really does resemble Hobbiton and The Shire!

  154. JMG, I found the article you wrote about journaling. It is called Returning to the Commonplace and it is from 2018: https://www.ecosophia.net/returning-to-the-commonplace/
    The “journal” in question was called a commonplace book. Here is the relevant material:

    “Thus one of the standard uses for cheap paper notebooks, from the late Renaissance straight through into the nineteenth century, was that once-familiar phenomenon, the commonplace book. Children were taught to start such a book as soon as they could write legibly, and a fair number of them kept at it straight through their adult lives. A commonplace book was a place to write down things you encountered that interested you, or set you thinking, or struck you as unusually true, or valuable, or beautiful. Short passages from books would go into a commonplace book; so would poems, your own or others’; so would recipes, household hints, useful facts; so would your own reflections on these things and others.”

  155. Hey jmg

    My first comment for this open post will be to share the latest act of popcorn-worthy comedy being committed by the rich in Australia.

    Essentially, our current prime minister, Anthony albanese, has changed the stage 3 tax cuts so that more middle-class earners save money, instead of the original arrangement where it was the richest who saved, despite saying that he would not change them during the election.

    You would think that the LNP and their allies would have the sense not to complain about it too much in public, but this is the modern world where common-sense is passé, so they have been screaming about how Albanese “broke his promises” and the Australian people will never trust him again.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2024/jan/25/the-stage-three-tax-cuts-are-finally-being-reversed-the-rich-complaining-labor-broke-its-promise-just-sound-vulgar

  156. Hi JMG
    Many thanks for these. Belloc was the other name I had heard, yep. I’ll check him out. Morris is someone I’ve been meaning to get to as well. Pological is a new word for me! Bookchin I only knew of hitherto as an anarchist. It should be an adventure teasing these threads out I guess.

    I find this whole area fascinating (particularly in looking for moderate-left alternatives to state socialism / marxism), and its complete absence from discussion in even most alternative media frustrating as heck.

    Best,
    JH / Morfran

  157. If anyone needs to receive one of the three attuneements in the Modern Order of Essenes work, please contact me on Dreamwidth (https://kylec.dreamwidth.org/profile) or reply here to set something up. You can also email me, using the word fratch and adding it to gmail and the usual suffix.

    Also, I have a few slots open for MOE healing hands work. This is a spiritual healing practice akin to prayer, suitable for any ailments physical or otherwise. If you would like to receive a healing cycle, contact me here or privately and let me know what it is you need. I don’t claim miraculous powers, but I will do my best, and if nothing else, you are helping me practice a craft that takes a lot of reps to dial in. Thank you.

  158. Hi Garden Housewife,
    Hawthorns are the go to hedge tree. The small trees are planted in a row and when they are established, the are cut diagonally, not all the way through and the upper part is bent to the ground. You do this with all the trees in a row and the folded over part sends up shoots, weaving the whole fence together.

    A man I knew long ago served in the Canadian Army during WWII. He was out with some fellows in a car in England, where they were training, and their car swerved off the road and into a hawthorn hedge. The car sunk far into the hedge and was then thrown violently back by the springy hedge.

    A well laid hawthorn hedge can stop a charging bull. Hawthorns are an excellent medicinal plant and good as a wildlife plant too.
    Maxine

  159. JMG wrote: “Batstrel, I probably shouldn’t find Jacob Rees-Mogg as appealing as I do.”

    You shouldn’t find him appealing at all, given his love for what I call “hyena capitalism.” Repent, I tell you – repent!

  160. Hi Göran,

    I’d recommend the book ‘Fire Country’ by Victor Steffensen. The indigenous author recounts an intriguing tale, and comes at the subject you mentioned from an entirely different perspective. From a western and historical perspective ‘The Biggest Estate on Earth’ by Bill Gammage is also well worth the read, although this book tends to belabour the point over and over again due to it’s need to impress the scientific community. Some folks need to be told several times, and then some! Fortunately, some of us, like you and I, are quick students and don’t need this! 🙂

    Things are different down here, and I can see forest (and some clearings) extending to the horizon for maybe 30km even as I type this comment. Forest edges are where the action takes place here. The forest is where the critters live, but the edges are where they eat. And those are the places where the biodiversity is greatest.

    Incidentally, over to the south west of the horizon I can see a distant line of the low and flat mountain range, the Brisbane Ranges. That area has some of the driest country on the ocean side of the continent spanning Great Dividing Range, but also some of the greatest of species diversity. It’s complicated.

    One of the issues I think facing the northern hemisphere which is probably not on anyone’s radar, is that right now many of those areas are only green and forested because they are on average cold. Those areas have low annual rainfall. And I’m beginning to wonder how a little bit of warming will affect them. Take for example the Canadian fires last summer, some of those areas have annual rainfall in the 500mm range, and down here that would be seriously marginal for forest (like a box ironbark dry forest). Like seriously dry. And here is where it gets weird. I have a hunch that in the far future, once the forests which grew in such places is replaced by grass and arid land vegetation, the soil fertility in those areas will improve when animals range the area. How could it not? Nature has all these wonderful positive and correcting feedback loops – there unfortunately may not be enough lumber in those areas to construct timber houses though…

    It’s a notable subject you mentioned!

    Cheers

    Chris

  161. @ siliconguy and 2 step authentication

    I actually have 2 step authentication for my “junk”email at Yahoo, and it emails my proton mail account. I have 2 step at Amazon that calls my house phone, so, no I do not order off Amazon off the library computer.

    But, my Protonmail account does not need this 2 step authentication, I just have a 2nd password, this is much better. I can check that email form the library or someone elses computer.

    As to what I will do if/when they cut my landline…hm… not sure. Most likely Magic Jack, I had one of those for a while to do my long distance and used the landline for receiving all calls and making local calls. But, then I went to an ATT nationwide calling one price long distance for convenience, but the magic jack worked fine at $50 a year I think at this point., and of course I have a ham radio, general license, and a neighborhood MURS to talk to the non-ham neighbors for longer term and outages.

    At this point, I am digging in my heels even more about being “forced” into a cell phone ! Like alot of people, I dont like being “forced” into anything and can be quite intractable when this seems to be happening.

  162. Great Salutations JMG and all,
    really enjoyed the last week blog, An Anthropocene Worth Having, helps to clarify my thinking and uneasy feelings about some of these Big Save the Earth ideas.
    Then this week listened to an interview and learned about an organization, Health in Harmony, healthinharmony.org and interview here:
    https://radioparadise.com/episode/nina-finley
    And recognize these people are doing things from the ground up, with and for the people living in the forests they are wanting to preserve. Enjoy

  163. Rajarshi, that’s quite correct. The Moon changes quite a bit from day to day; the inner planets — Mercury, Venus, the Sun, and Mars — take a few days to a week to move through a transit; the outer planets take their merry sweet time moving. Consider your life and you’ll find the same pattern. There are some things that change considerably from day to day — those are governed by the Moon. There are other things that change as one week gives way to another; those are governed by the inner planets. There are still other things that change only very slowly; those are governed by the outer planets. If you want to track how each of those patterns affects you, watch the way the planets enter into aspects with everything in your natal chart and you’ll be able to predict quite a bit.

    Patricia M, yep. About time they noticed.

    Steven, maybe it’s because we use novels to try to learn how to have an inner life.

    Anonymous, that does make sense, doesn’t it?

    Pygmycory, congratulations! Very, very well done.

    Patricia M, I won’t argue.

    Roldy, archetype projections are stronger than beer goggles. A thousand years from now Trump may still play the role of the Once and Future King in legends in deindustrial America, and there may still be people who believe that Mar-a-Lago will rise from the sea someday and the King in Orange will appear and make everything wonderful.

    Michaelz, do you mean “anti-growth traitors”? You’ll hear that and worse as we proceed. So many people have made economic growth their god, and they’ll have to find someone to blame now that their god is dead.

    Ron, this flag?

    It makes me think of someone saying, “Nope.” Also, of course, “diagolon” and “circulon” between them form the circle-and-slash pattern…

    First Time, Mercury is always the planet to invoke when you need to be quick and nimble and get out of a tight spot.

    Housewife, neither you nor I nor anyone else in this conversation has any control over how the confrontation between Texas and the federal government plays out. It’s all in the hands of a small number of politicians and, if it comes to that, military officers. That being the case, popcorn is probably a good idea; it beats sitting around and fretting uselessly.

    Karl, well, we’ll see!

    GlassHammer, hmm! Eastern texts are the only ones I can think of off hand.

    Phutatorius, it’s very green and very quiet, dotted with pleasant villages and towns that haven’t changed all that much since the Middle Ages.

    Kimberly, I had completely forgotten about that essay! Thank you for the reminder.

    J.L.Mc12, it fascinates me how often the rich in your country and mine alike don’t seem to realize that they don’t speak for everyone else…

    Morfran, it’s profoundly frustrating. I hope you find more than I could.

    Forecasting, thanks for this.

    Batstrel, oh, his policy stances are dreadful, but since I’m not British I don’t have to put up with those and can enjoy his eccentricities.

    Travis, of course. I’ve read it several times.

    Hankshaw, thanks for this. I’ll check them out as time permits.

  164. I haven’t followed the Texas situation that closely, so this may have been mentioned. It is my belief that if any or all of the aforementioned states or even just Texas secedes or continues to defy the federal government, and the latter orders federal troops or NG from other states against them, most of the troops would refuse to go. Those are the areas that most recruitment comes from, and when from elsewhere, from classes or demographics that would support Texas.
    We shall see, but I don’t see it developing as a conventional civil war. Even amongst people who are opposed to Texas’ stand, I don’t see very many who would care enough to go to war with them. Can any of you here envision doing so, or do you know anyone who would? I would imagine most people, myself amongst them saying ” Fine . Let them go”
    Stephen

  165. John Michael wrote, “You’re starting to find your way into an aspect of meditation that most teachers don’t talk about very often– its capacity to bring into consciousness self-defeating patterns that have been imprinted in you by your family and your society. (We don’t talk about it much because the people who make it their business to push such patterns on you get very hostile about having them removed.)”

    The folks who push energy-draining patterns on us are so disinclined to their ever getting recognized and removed that they imprint them with whole suites of self-defending sub-patterns to keep them persistently locked in place. Not only do those folks themselves become decidedly testy out in the physical world once they realize that we are succeeding in escaping from their controlling grip, their parasitical patterns in the metaphysical world inside of us also become peevishly testy and belligerent. Apparently, hell hath no fury like a self-defeating pattern scorned.

    Currently, I’m finding it highly motivating to study the ever-changing effects as the most deeply embedded energy parasites within me begin learning from each new clearing technique that I take up. They are in no way interested in my shaking free of them, leaving them to then fend for themselves or starve to death. Fortunately, they grew quite lazy and complacent from so many decades of always having a free meal available on tap. The really deep, old ones forgot how to put up a decent fight for their place at the feeding trough, as they once knew how to do back when I was actively resisting their initial unwelcome imprint. Of course, I too became complacent after so many decades shambling around, weighted down by such a bloated ecosystem of energetic parasites.

    Discovering how easily magic could cause changes in consciousness simply by shedding off those energetic buggers was utterly thrilling. Discovering that they have their own intelligence and willpower, however slow it may have been to adapt to my newfound willpower, was then sobering. Now that each side has thrown its gauntlet into the other side’s ring, the game has become much more engaging and mystical.

    My goal is to stay more adaptive than the horde of parasites depleting me, so that I can continue methodically clearing them from me. Their goal is understandably to discover how to undermine any techniques I might use to do that by paying close attention each time that I do successfully manage to shed one of them. Playing opposite a worthy adversary will always be a blessing to be treasured, as boredom is then not in the cards! If I came here simply to learn, I certainly couldn’t have imagined a better teacher than all of my beloved and despised, cherished and resented, clung-to and discarded baggage.

    Coming into incarnation whole, only to then shatter apart so that growth can take place, as we slowly learn to put our broken selves back together again, certainly sounds like a microcosm of what the life force did when it created this gratuitously unnecessary game in the first place. Or was it actually unnecessary? Perhaps the only way to ever truly learn that our adversaries are our blessings, our failures are our teachers, and our disintegration is our healing involves breaking ourselves off from our wholeness, shattering apart into isolation from ourselves. Won’t the life force be so proud of us when we eventually discover how to put ourselves back together again, one scorned part at a time? Thank goodness she’s given us all of eternity to do it in!

  166. Could I get a little more info on the activation of the anima/animus complex? Your brief comment about how it overcomes a person with feverish sexual desire hit me like a train. I’m happily married and have no desire to stray, but have recently developed an otherwise inexplicable and frankly irritating attraction to someone else. I’m hoping maybe if I understand the source better it might dissolve.

  167. @pygmycory,

    I hadn’t even considered how the mind could mimic tactile sensations! Hmmm… I wonder if people who are musical tend to have all the modalities represented (since you read music and hear music and have to do something tactile or kinesthetic to play music)? Thank you so much for sharing!

    @Christophe,

    Ha! I didn’t even know what proprioceptive was! So does being somewhat a klutz mean that I have lower proprioception than someone who is not a klutz? And I have not considered what modalities as distractions vs preferred modalities. Much to ponder. Thank you!

  168. @Chris @ Fernglade
    re Canada and things getting dried out as Canada warms: I’ve been thinking about that, too. For my area, it’s likely to mean a climate along the lines of Northern California, maybe mid or South if we go further on the warming. I figure the Californians of the 20th century did rather well with that climate, so we’ll have to adapt but will be okay so long as we aren’t stupid about it. Not a given, but as good as can reasonably be hoped for.

    The areas in the rain shadow of the coast range (aka northern cascades) already includes a lot of grass and scrub, dry forest, and Canada’s only hot desert. I figure the desert will get hotter, bigger, and the grassland and sagebrush will expand at the expense of the forest.

    There’s a few really odd places in BC, like a snowforest deep in the interior (think rainforest but colder and only that wet because of snowpack that takes ages to melt). They were saying that that will stop being a snowforest, and become a normal forest. It doesn’t get enough rain to be a rainforest without the snowpack.
    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/more-than-a-few-acres-the-vital-importance-of-snow-to-b-c-s-climate-1.4137862

    I know less about the rest of Canada and how it’s likely to adapt.

  169. Mr. Greer,

    Ron’s question about flags reminded me of something. Russian forces in Ukraine have a war flag, modeled after the Russian Naval Jack and the standard of the Crown Prince of Russia, that has a very familiar design:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flags_used_in_Russian-occupied_Ukraine#/media/File:War_flag_of_Novorussia.svg

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Russian_flags#/media/File:Imperial_Standard_of_the_Tsesarevich_of_Russia.svg

    So may I follow up Ron’s question and ask what is special about that particular design from an occult perspective? I get why why they use the St. Andrew’s cross as Andrew the Apostle is the patron saint of both Russia and Scotland; a lot of people of Scottish descent settled in the American south.

  170. Stephen Alexander re “pet parents” and Tyler A’s response: “If you create a socioeconomic milieu where kids are a non-starter (or people are made to believe kids are a non-starter– since their belief is what really matters) then those feelings are going to need an outlet. Pets are one such.”

    I’m not sure the socioeconomics are really the issue, since I’ve heard affluent middle-class mothers say that they wish they’d raised dogs instead of having children. JMG’s comment about the cloying sentimentality around pets reminds me of something I once heard Freud quoted as saying: “Sentimentality is repressed brutality.” There’s a brutality in women saying out loud that they wish they’d had dogs instead of children, knowing full well their comments will probably get back to their children – and then how do children feel, hearing that their own mothers said that? Perhaps it’s not an accident that the suicide rate among children and teenagers has risen over the last several years: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db471.pdf.

    I think at least one factor is that people prefer a creature they can control, who won’t challenge them or talk back to them. Pets are just less complicated than young humans. That begs the question: why such an aversion to youngsters who talk back and who are complicated? I get that kids are often challenging, if not exasperating – but…it’s called being young and human, right?

  171. @Justin Patrick Moore #21:

    “Here is a possible topic for conversation: The work of Alejandro Jodorowsky, director, writer, tarot reader, occultist, freak.”

    I enjoyed the Incal. More recently, I read his graphic novel follow-up to “El Topo,” and it dang near made me physically ill. I was in a nauseated mood for the rest of the day.

    Maybe I’ll read his older stuff one of these days, but whatever vibe that guy’s on now, it ain’t for me.

  172. @JMG, I didn’t mean that anyone here should do anything about the Texas situation. Ordinary people should stay out of it, as much as possible. That goes for all the upcoming events that we will have no control over. People from various factions will probably try to get us to do really dumb things, while they egg us on from the safest place they can find to hide in. We should refuse.

    No, what I’m talking about is this malicious glee that I see online. It’s like some people think that this won’t touch them, but everyone they don’t like is going to *get what they deserve*. No one in this thread has acted like that. I’m seeing it other places, and I think it’s nuts.

    I wasn’t clear about that in my previous comment, and I apologize to anyone on this thread who thought that I meant them.

  173. @Maxine Rogers, it sounds like hawthorn would definitely keep deer out, while providing food for wildlife. That might be a good idea to block where the deer travel.

    Thanks again!

  174. JMG,
    Have you kept up with the news from the middleast that the US ( though official diplomatic channels) has gone to China to persuade them to use their influence with Iran to shut down the Houthis targeting of ships in the Red Sea inbound to Israel. Since the Chinese and Russian ships are given free passage by the Houthis it seems that the Popcorn and Laughter must be flowing in Beijing and Moscow.
    I think this might mark the low point ( for now) in the arc of the Empire as it not only admits defeat at the hands of a one of the worlds poorest countries but also admits that China and Russia have more influence in most of the world than the U.S. does. The statement ” eating crow” comes to mind.

  175. For those who lack the opportunity, the desire, or the stomach to watch Jodorowski’s “The Holy Mountain” but are curious about the Gurdjieff connection, I will give away the ending. So here’s the spoiler alert.

    The whole story, what story there is, seems to be based on the novel “Mount Analog” by Rene Daumal, which Daumal died before finishing. At the end of the movie Jodorowski’s alchemist character is with a disciple (?) on the side of a hill, not really a mountain at all. At the summit of the hill can be seen a round table with nine hooded, robed figures seated around it. (I was imagining something like Crowley’s “secret chiefs”) The alchemist storms up the hill and rips the hoods off the figures, which turn out to be just empty robes. He then upends the round table, which can be seen to have the eneagram plainly inscribed on it and bowls it down the hill. That’s it. Did Jodorowsky advocate “abandoning the system” as Ouspensky was reported to have urged his followers to do? I don’t really know because it was all in Spanish with Japanese subtitles.

  176. Aye, that is the ‘Dag flag’, JMG. The whole circle and diagonal line thing also occurred to me (the ‘thou shalt not’ sign). Simple, and makes sense, as when the flag was born three years ago the Penitentiary of Canada was still in deep lock-down and Jeremy MacKenzie and his buddies were totally non-compliant regarding any and all government mandates. Or to use their more direct alpha-male military vocabulary, ‘FYMM’ (frack you – make me!). BTW, I see that the governor of Alaska has joined the republican alliance with Texas: the ‘Diagolon prophecy’ is nearly complete! 😊

  177. Just wanted to say real quick that my brief time on the prayer list certainly helped. I paid off my Canada Revenue Agency debt and bought and paid for expensive new glasses by the end of December and paid off all the outstanding debt to my cousin in early January. Thanks everyone.

  178. Stephen, I could see such an order sparking mutinies that would bring down the US government in a hurry. We are in a very volatile situation.

    Christophe, yes, exactly. What an adventure!

    Anon, the anima or animus is the inner expression of the reproductive instinct. That instinct, of course, cares about absolutely nothing in the world but mating, and so it will be activated any time you encounter a person who might, in a purely biological sense, make a good mate. If you’re unsatisfied by any aspect of your marriage, or if you feel age creeping on, the instinct can get tangled up with your dissatisfaction or your anxiety, and that’s when things get complicated.

    GlassHammer, sure. That would be the Tao Te Ching, a manual by a master for masters. Here’s chapter 15:

    “The ancient masters were subtle, mysterious, profound, responsive.
    The depth of their knowledge is unfathomable.
    Because it is unfathomable,
    All we can do is describe their appearance.
    Watchful, like men crossing a winter stream.
    Alert, like men aware of danger.
    Courteous, like visiting guests.
    Yielding like ice about to melt.
    Simple, like uncarved blocks of wood.
    Hollow, like caves.
    Opaque, like muddy pools.

    “Who can wait quietly while the mud settles?
    Who can remain still until the moment of action?
    Observers of the Tao do not seek fulfillment.
    Not seeking fulfillment, they are not swayed by desire for change.”

    You can spend a very long time meditating on this text.

    Karl, the saltire — that’s the heraldic name for the diagonal cross — is dynamic rather than static; it divides the flag not into nice neat squares or rectangles but into triangles striving toward a common center. Thus it’s no surprise that, despite the fact that it was never the official national flag of the Confederacy, everyone thinks of it as such — it’s got that kind of energetic, dynamic presence.

    Housewife, thanks for clarifying. I think a lot of people are so sick of the stressful, stagnant mess we live with these days that even a civil war sounds welcome by comparison.

    Clay, I see it as absolute desperation. The US is being shown up as completely powerless, and the people in the Biden regime are doing literally anything they can think of to try to avoid the otherwise inevitable outcome — the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq and Syria and the collapse of any remaining US control over the oil resources of the Persian Gulf. They’ll dine on crow and like it if they can prevent that! Mind you, the Chinese have zero reason to cooperate; I’m sure they see this as a great opportunity to tighten the screws.

    Ron, at this point 24 US state governors have sided with Texas — that is to say, half the country. This is a historically unprecedented event.

    Merle, delighted to hear this!

    Synthase, and a happy Australia Day to you too.

  179. Re: Request for Books on Historical Merchant Families/Cities/Companies

    I’ve just started the first book in a sci-fi series called “The Merchant Princes” by Charles Stross. The premise is that an extended family has a recessive trait that allows them to hop from our world to a parallel world. That parallel world had no industrial revolution and is at a roughly medieval level of technology, so this family has been able to use its ability to become fabulously wealthy and powerful – they can pick up, say, spices, then hop over to our world, take a plane ride across the continent or sea, and then hop back and deliver their cargo far faster than anyone taking a mule train. It’s fun enough so far, mostly for the intrigue and unorthodox problem solving that world hopping allows (easy to get past security when it doesn’t exist on the other side, for one thing).

    Anyhow, it has me curious about the real-world powerful merchant families/classes/cities that it so clearly draws inspiration from: the Medicis and Borgias, Silk Road traders, the East India Companies, both Dutch and English, and so forth.

    Do you JMG, or anyone else here, have recommendations for good books on historical merchants that you’d recommend? Either fiction or non-fiction is welcome, but if fiction, preferably of the historical sort.

    Thanks much,
    Jeff

  180. @Clay Dennis

    “Since the Chinese and Russian ships are given free passage by the Houthis …”

    It’s not just Chinese and Russian ships being given free passage. It’s any ship NOT bound for Israel.

  181. Forecasting Intelligence,

    You might be interested in this equity market valuation analysis which is updated every month. It is from a web site geared towards financial advisors. Valuation measures are imprecise, but you can see the general trend pretty clearly: at this moment in time the US equity markets are more than two standard deviations above their long term average valuation. The periods of over- and under-valuation can last for a long time, so it isn’t really useful for market timing. It is useful to know that stocks are very expensive right now though. They are priced in way that is similar to how they were during the late 1990s internet mania days.
    https://www.advisorperspectives.com/dshort/updates/2024/01/02/market-valuation-is-the-market-still-overvalued

  182. I’ve long harbored a not so secret admiration for the energy and inventiveness with which Democrats and their ‘woke’ ideology, for lack of a better term, took control of corporations, the msm, colleges and universities, much of the judiciary and the major organs of the ‘Deep State’.

    Just when you think that Democrat ideologues cannot possibly come up with anything crazier that what they already have, they come up with something crazier.

    Drag Queen Story Hour? Brilliant. No seriously, a stroke of genius. And the change-room wars of the Obama administration made a lot of people furious, made me laugh and had Democrats doing superiority dances all over the country. Menstrual products in men’s washrooms? Hilarious. What a scream.

    Transing kids? Men posing as women and competing in women’s sports? Not as funny this stuff, but really, according to convinced Democrats, no problemo, and if you come out against it you’re a bigot and transphobic, end of discussion and also your employment and career. Open borders and unregulated and unchecked immigration? More is better and less is racist, and again, end of discussion. Not using the right pronouns gets you run out of town, but according to the big thinkers, advocating for genocide requires, well, ‘context’.

    You can make a list as long as your arm. The thing I wonder about is why has the other side been so incompetent and somnolent in opposition to nonsensical propositions that should have been effortlessly swatted out of the ball-park. It really does appear that they show up with not much more than identical looking suits and hair-dos plus talk about tax cuts and not much else. And no ideas and no energy and no creativity and no conviction. They lose and lose and lose and retreat and retreat and retreat. Maybe they secretly agree with Democrats. Maybe they’re so focused on money, and doing service to their donors, that none of the foregoing has any meaning for them.

    So now Democrats and their enablers have such a grip on major institutions that the most preposterous legal charges against guys like Trump and his hired help leave people on the so-called Right fulminating helplessly and uselessly. The action recently taken by Gov Abbott in deploying razor wire along the southern border is decades too late.

    If Trump has even a remote chance of finishing a second term, never mind winning the November election, he’s going to need a critical mass of allies in all of the governmental and non governmental institutions that Democrats appropriated over the last few decades. Right now he has more help than in the last couple of rounds but I don’t think he’s even close. It’s like that Civil War general said, if you want to win, you show up firstest with the mostest.

  183. JMG and Michaelz,

    I hadn’t heard of “degrowth communists” but I did notice similar rhetoric coming from Jordan Peterson recently. I am a fan of his psychological writings and he has helped a lot of people straighten out their lives.

    He is involved in what looks to me to be a regrettable new project to create an international consensus that there are no limits to economic growth, energy should be cheap and easily available, and anyone talking about carrying capacity of the world population is a “Malthusean catastrophist”: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alliance_for_Responsible_Citizenship

    I sympathize with the pushback against the environmental movement, but this looks like the opposite of a bad idea being another bad idea. I’d be curious to hear your thoughts. It looks like it is setting the stage to blame enemies for energy shortages and declining population (and thus declining economies) rather than meeting the issues squarely.

  184. Hey John, recently I remembered something you wrote. I was dealing with some frustration online and I suddenly remembered a quote from one of your books, I’ll paraphrase it. “In the future, the internet will be endured, not enjoyed.” I don’t remember the exact phrase or what book it was from, but this has totally come true. The internet has become worse in every concievable way and has become bloated, invasive, and unbearable. There’s even a term for it now, “ensh*ttification.” Definitely a bulls-eye there, John.

    Here’s an article about it: https://www.versobooks.com/blogs/news/enshittification-the-2023-word-of-the-year

  185. Jeff, interesting. I don’t happen to know of such books offhand, though. Anyone else?

    Smith, that’s the power of the myth of progress. Once you succeed in getting your ideas accepted as “progress,” no matter how silly they are, the myth takes over and you march triumphantly forward, while your opponents are consigned to the role of mouthing woeful jeremiads that nobody listens to. Only by getting outside the myth can you break that pattern.

    Samurai_47, that’s really sad. Oh well.

    Enjoyer, the next step is that internet service will start becoming less reliable, and drop completely in rural areas…

  186. @Aloysius and JMG, I have 3 digital exposures of JMG seated on a stage, speaking at the Age of Limits event in 2014. The full frame resolution is 4000×3000 but much of that is the surrounding bare stage; each would crop to about 1500×2600 to show just his seated figure. (That should print at reasonable quality at about 4×7 inches. It’s not nearly high enough resolution to magnify into a head shot.)

    As one would expect from still photos of a person speaking rather than posing, the expressions and gestures vary and are a bit random. The one I’d recommend for your purpose looks a bit like JMG is quietly but sternly warning a Hobbit not to meddle in the affairs of wizards; another shows him (hands slightly raised, eyes a bit squinty) as if, perhaps, refusing to handle a Ring of Power; while the third (hands raised dramatically, mouth open) might convey the impression he’s informing a Balrog it cannot pass.

    If you think you can use it, I’m willing send one or all to you, but only with JMG’s permission.

  187. So, after my thoughts earlier on cell phones, I tried to call one of my offspring in Oregon, Over about 4 hours called 3 times, and each time got the message that due to high call volumes the call couldnt go thru. So, then since it was after work hours, called my other offspring in Oregon, got the same message, emailed that one who was able to call me, so it worked in this direction. During the afternoon I successfully called a fewa other Californians with cell phones. As far as I can determine, there is. no emergency or problem in Oregon… so, just a timely reminder of the unreliability of cell phone service I guess

  188. There’s also a state with a Democrat governor, Kentucky, that didn’t sign the Republican governors’ letter supporting Texas and Gov. Abbott, but had already sent National Guard troops down to TX to help with the border. Apparently, there are nine states that have sent troops down there already. I didn’t know that until today. That’s more concrete than signing a letter and tweeting moral support.

  189. Jeff #197 – re: merchant families. In the second volume of Werner Sombart’s Modern Capitalism (translated by moi – shameless plug), he draws on a number of such works in working through the origins of early capitalism. Pretty much all his sources are unfortunately in German or French.

    Key families that come up are the Fuggers and the Welsers (who both had fingers in all sorts of pies, including the Americas).

  190. My father had 4 children. He also always had a dog, usually of the retriever persuasion, for companionship.
    I think in the near and far future, we will see more and more working animals, sheepdogs, hunting dogs and such. And farm cats to keep down the mouse population. I have read about a kind of old time hog that was kept in people’s yards because it killed snakes.

    Nursing homes are now keeping small, cuddly, pets for therapeutic reasons.

    At the present time, our society seems to produce a fairly large number of people not temperamentally suited for parenthood, and best they not become parents. That does not necessarily mean they are bad people, or cannot be trusted around the children of their friends and relatives. As for the sticky sentimentality about adorable pets, I think we can blame Wizard of Oz for that.

  191. Hi everyone.

    I’d like to ask for advice regarding a destination for immigration.

    My partner and I decided that this coming summer is a good time to flee Israel, probably for good. I also hold a German citizenship, so our destination is somewhere in the Eurozone. For the next 3-4 years we’re thinking that a big or medium sized city would be best for us, to fulfill the social and educational needs of our teenage daughter, making the move less traumatic for her. It also seems that one of the still-rich welfare states (Germany? France?) will give us the initial support we’re going to need in order to get on our financial feet.

    My partner is pushing for Berlin. It has many short-term advantages: good academic opportunities for her (she is currently writing her MA thesis on medieval Jewish geomancy), and many Israelis to socialize with and give us a social safety net. But I’m afraid that as energy becomes more expensive Berlin might prove to be a trap, because it’s so overcrowded and cold. I’m thinking maybe a place like Marseille (or somewhere else in southern France), even though it’s much poorer right now, might be more resilient to economic shocks.

    So these are my questions:
    * Can anyone point me to good analyses of the economic/energy situation in western Europe, and specifically in Germany, maybe some forecast for the next few years, how bad is it now, how bad is it likely to get in the near future?
    * Do you have anything specific to say for or against Berlin or Marseille? or is there another destination you can recommend for us?

  192. JMG,
    With so many states joining TX, is it time for the constitutional convention?
    (Channeling your 2012 book).

  193. Not verbatim because I lent out both of my copies of Twilight’s Last Gleaming. Spoiler alert!

    The POTUS and the governor of Texas have given the Texas National Guard conflicting orders, but.. “a dispute between orders from Washington and Texas loyalties could go only one way.”

    I really enjoyed Twilight’s Last Gleaming. I should specify that I enjoyed reading it. Living it is every bit as exciting, but much less fun.

  194. JMG wrote: “if I’d relocated to England, as I’ve considered doing at various times … Somerset is far and away my favorite part of the country.”

    Did you ever live in Somerset in any of the previous lives that you remember?

    Also do you recall getting involved in or interested in any occult practices (in the benign sense) in any of the previous lives that you remember?

  195. @Jeff Russell: I loved the Merchant Princes series by Stross. It was quite the romp, and a homage on his part to the Chronicles of Amber. I read books 1-6 after they were already out, and then he continued the original series with another trilogy set some years later after the events of the first… and I haven’t read the last one. I read the first two of that extra trilogy as they came out, but missed the last one, Invisible Sun. Thanks for the reminder! A lot of cool spy tradecraft in the last two that I read. I always love a good multiverse story, besides.

    It was some fun storytelling, and I thought also insightful for things sometimes talked about here. Good, solid economic based SF. I think many Ecosophia readers would enjoy it because of the economic and technological speculation. & beside that, it is just a fun, twisty, story with lots of great characters, action, intrigue and adventure.

    @Cliff, et al, re, Jodorowsky: I understand. Not everything is for everybody. Yet, I’m reminded of some of the dark and terrible visions had by Carl Jung, recounted in the Red Book, and also of something R.J. Stewart wrote, about how not everything we encounter in the inner worlds is “feel good.” Some of it is scary and offensive to our own moral sensibilities. I think the same might apply to some artists like Jodorowsky who share these kind of visions with others.

  196. @ Smith #20

    It’s a matter of a really loud minority vs. the silent majority. None to worry, though, as their insane policies are always ultimately self-destructive. In some ways this lunatic administration had to happen in order to foster the self-immolation of all things woke, globalist and/or PMC.

  197. Cliff wrote: “…and it dang near made me physically ill. I was in a nauseated mood for the rest of the day.” I don’t know what the vibe is or why the surrealists (or whatever) think they have to make their creative efforts as difficult to view as possible. Luis Bunel started it when he sliced up an eyeball (from a cow) in “Andalusia.” David Lynch began his own film career with a film of a fellow vomiting, and followed that with “Eraserhead.” And Jodorowsky’s stuff needs no further description. There is gross, like in Rabelais’ “Gargantua & Pantagruel,” and then there is way beyond gross. So…… what possesses them? And what does it indicate for the viewer who watches it?

  198. Regarding the volatile situation in the US: on Telegram today, I saw some videos of a new organization called Patriot Front that appear to be a ‘pro-life, pro-family’ American nationalist group. They have been accused of being ‘feds’, but the leader addressed this accusation by saying that any feds who joined would quickly get bored, as they focus on helping disaffected young men get jobs and skills, helping the homeless, and generally building up positive community action.

    Whether or not one agrees with all of their stated positions or not, if this chap and his organization are focusing their energy as constructively as they say, they could become a force to be reckoned with in the near future. Ones to watch, perhaps.

    Re: Forecasting, regarding emigration: I too hope that the US changes its visa requirements. Even though I have a lapsed American passport through my father’s nationality, which I may well use for emigration someday, I would like a few of my countrymen to be able to come as well! Britain and the US seem to have this bizarre immigration system which simultaneously makes it extremely hard for decent middle-class people to get citizenship, but is a free-for-all for the ultra-rich, and for dirt-poor vagabonds. Another example of what Sam Francis calls ‘anarcho-tyranny’.

  199. @Jeff Russell: given that I work in the catalog dpt. I thought I could at least look up some books for you. Given the fiction you are currently reading, I thought this title was good:

    Merchant princes :an intimate history of Jewish families who built great department stores by Leon Harris, 1979. “A compelling history of America’s famous Jewish shopkeeping families shows how the Filenes, Gimbels, Marcuses, and others created renowned retail empires out of small pushcart beginnings, powerfully evoking the social changes that were transforming America early in the century.”

    But it’s not really what you were asking for, in terms of the inspiration Stross was drawing on. But who knows. Maybe it is!

    Here is another one: The Sassoons :the great global merchants and the making of an empire by Joseph Sassoon.

    “”A spectacular story, the making of a dynasty, one of the great untold sagas of a gilded Jewish Bagdadi family-the merchant princes of the orient, that built a vast empire through finance and trade: opium, cotton, oil, shipping, banking, that reached across three continents, and ultimately changed the destinies of nations. For more than two centuries, from the 18th to the 20th, they were one of the richest families in the world, known as ‘the Rothschilds of the East.’ Mesopotamian in origin, they descended from 12th century court families of Eurasia, and for more than forty years, were the chief treasurers to the pashas of Baghdad and Iraq. Forced to flee the tyranny of Bagdadhi Moslems to Bushehr on the Persian Gulf, David Sassoon with his fourteen children, started over with nothing, intent on reclaiming what had once been theirs. They began to trade in cotton and opium, expanded to India, taking control of the country’s opium export. The Sassoons built textile mills and factories, developed ports, and set up branches in banking, shipping, mining, oil, in Burma, Malaya, and China; expanding beyond, to Japan, and further west, to Paris and London. Sassoons became members of British parliament, barons; were knighted; owned and edited Britain’s leading newspapers, including The Sunday Times and The Observer. And in 1887, the exalted dynasty of Sassoon joined forces with the banking empire of Rothschild and were soon joined by marriage, fusing together two of the biggest Jewish commerce and banking families in the world. Against the monumental canvas of two centuries of the Ottoman Empire and the changing face of the Far East, across Europe and Great Britain during the time of its farthest reach, Joseph Sassoon gives us a riveting generational saga of the making of this magnificent family dynasty”

    Here is a novel: The Florios of Sicily by Stefania Auci (translated from the Italian).

    “In this grand part one of a two-volume saga, inspired by the real lives of history-making titans, The Florios of Sicily brings to life the dark secrets, the loves and betrayals, and the cruel acts of revenge that marked the Florios’ century of influence. They were the uncrowned kings of Sicily: restless and ambitious, single-minded and determined to be richer and more powerful than anybody else. Yet their beginnings were humble. Vincenzo, who lost his father at eight, builds an empire from the docks of Palermo. Driven by an insatiable desire to rise above his station and prove a aristocracy that scorns him wrong, Vincenzo sacrifices family and love to transform his tiny spice shop into a trading empire. The name, Florio, soon instills fear and respect. The men of the family are stubborn, arrogant, philanderers and slaves to passions. Paolo shrewdly fights his way out of an earthquake-striken Bagnara to start anew in Sicily. Ignazio II rejects his one true love to fulfill his destiny as the head of a trading empire. Not to be outdone by the men, the Florio women unapologetically demand their place outside the restraints of caring mothers, alluring mistresses, or wounded wives. Giula, though only a mistress, is fiercely intelligent and wins over politicians and businessmen alike. Angelina, born a bastard, charts her own future against the wishes of her father. In this epic yet intimate tale of power, passion, and revenge, the rise and fall of a family taps into the universal desire to become more than who we are born as”–Provided by publisher.

    Criminal enterprise is also a kind of enterprise, so how about this one:

    Cornbread Mafia :a homegrown syndicate’s code of silence and the biggest marijuana bust in American history by James Higdon.

    “In the summer of 1987, Johnny Boone set out to grow and harvest one of the greatest outdoor marijuana crops in modern times. By doing so, he set into motion a series of events that defined him and his associates as the largest homegrown marijuana syndicate in American history, also known as “The Cornbread Mafia.” The author, whose relationship with Johnny Boone, currently a federal fugitive, made him the first journalist subpoenaed under the Obama administration, takes readers back to the 1970s and ’80s and the clash between federal and local law enforcement and a band of Kentucky farmers with moonshine and pride in their bloodlines. By 1989, the task force assigned to take down men like Johnny Boone arrested 69 men and one woman from busts on 29 farms in 10 states, and seizing 182 tons of pot. Of the 70 individuals arrested, zero talked. The who, what, when, where, why and how of it all, is a tale of Mafia-style storylines emanating from the Bluegrass state, and populated by Vietnam veteran and weed-loving characters caught up in violence and heart-breaking altruism. It is accompanied by a soundtrack of Southern rock-and-roll and rhythm-and-blues, and it is told in action-packed, colorful, and riveting detail.”

    BTW, have you happened to watch Duck Dynasty? I got the chance (finally!) to watch this show with my cousin the past two weekends when I went to visit him in the hospital.

  200. Hi JMG
    You said: “Clay, I see it as absolute desperation. The US is being shown up as completely powerless, and the people in the Biden regime are doing literally anything they can think of to try to avoid the otherwise inevitable outcome”
    When a see moderate people like you talking about his own government as a “regime”, as the same way the US government like to talk about to the non-compliant countries’ governments, I know the political climate in your country is not healthy at all.

    Have you read the works of John Galtung regarding the demise of the American Empire, he predict the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1980 with a quite accurate date (in more or less a decade) and in 2000 he predicted the end of the US empire in 2025, it seems he is not far from hit again.
    This is a summary of the root causes of the demise of the US empire and how things could develop:

    https://transnational.live/2022/10/03/johan-galtung-on-the-ongoing-decline-and-fall-of-the-us-empire/

    Cheers
    David

  201. Hi John,

    Whilst I am not a Marxist (in fact my politics is centre-right) the WSWS has a good piece on the growing crisis in Texas – https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2024/01/26/ljuh-j26.html?pk_campaign=newsletter&pk_kwd=wsws

    “hese developments recall the Nullification Crisis of the 1830s, a prelude to the American Civil War. Responding to unwanted tariffs passed by the federal government, the state of South Carolina declared that it had the right as a sovereign state to nullify the tariff within its state boundaries, threatening to secede if the federal government attempted to intervene.

    The crisis nearly came to war, with the government of Andrew Jackson passing the Force Bill in 1833, authorizing the federal government to take military action against the state of South Carolina. The federal government resolved the immediate crisis by easing the tariff to meet South Carolina’s demands, but the underlying conflict would continue to escalate until South Carolina became the first state to secede from the Union in December 1860.”

    And:

    “Several Democratic congressmen from Texas have urged Biden to respond by federalizing the Texas National Guard. Similar action was taken in several Southern states, including Arkansas, Alabama and Mississippi, during the period when Southern governors were the last-ditch defenders of segregation.

    The White House has given no encouragement to such calls, which Biden opposes, both because it would further highlight the issue of immigration during the election campaign and because there is no certainty that an order to federalize the guard would be obeyed by the state commanders.”

    They also have a great map showing all states that support Texas.

    https://www.wsws.org/asset/c8dbbf21-7612-4471-ac92-b3c5f9cb6f6d?rendition=image1280

    I’ve looked into the US investor visa system in a bit more detail. I would need a minimum $800k to get a residency right in the US and apparently I will also need to be covid jabbed (which I’m not).

    Practically speaking – even if the Covid jab mandate fades away – you are looking at 1.5 million dollars capital to realistically get legal right to reside in America. Utterly out of league for me and my family.

    Whilst I agree with you that the New England area, long-term is the best place for European emigrants fleeing the coming economic collapse wars in Europe, America will have to relax these requirements to ensure Europeans outside the 1% have a chance to move.

    I still haven’t really worked out an alternative plan B. Mexico is viable (although the language issues and crime is off-putting) and whilst some of the Caribbean islands golden visa schemes are viable financially I haven’t received sufficient comfort that whatever island I move to doesn’t get wiped out in a hurricane in the future.

    In a post-globalised world of shortages, what chances that these islands would recover after a hurricane and wouldn’t it be feasible these places would fall into anarchy and violence? In other words, not much better than staying in Europe.

  202. Hi Omer,

    I think you have made a wise choice to leave Israel. Whilst I am a personal admirer of what the state of Israel has achieved in its existence, a cold look at geopolitics suggests that in the longer term it will struggle to survive in a hostile world (something Greer has written before).

    Objectively speaking, most Arabs and Muslims in general have never reconciled themselves to the creation of the state of Israel. International polls also show widespread anti-Jewish sentiments among some Muslims which need to be factored in when you consider emigrating.

    The two cities you want to move to are probably the WORST cities for Jews to move to right now. Both faces increasingly Muslim demographics who are at best cold and at times actively hostile to Jews (and in particular anything Israeli).

    There is a certain irony that whilst French and German Jews are considering leaving their countries because of rising anti-Semitism and moving to Israel you are going the other way.

    I am not Jewish (although DNA tests show I am 11% Jewish) – is that why I have always sympathised with Jews? – who knows – but here is my advice.

    Only move to those parts of western Europe that has no sizeable Muslim presence, I’m thinking of some mid-sized French or German cities/towns that have avoided mass Muslim emigration. Whilst you may experience the odd casual or what I call “dinner party” antisemitism the real threat is to Jews is the all-consuming hatred that leads to horrifying attacks.

    Historically this came from the far-right but as you can see, the modern nationalistic and far-right (and that term is rather nebulous) is very pro-Israel (and by extension relatively pro-Jewish). The threat these days comes from mainly Islamist groups and to a much lesser extent their secular hard-core woke allies.

    From an economic perspective western Europe will face worsening energy and economic crises over the next 5 years but these should be manageable. Longer term, you may wish to reconsider western Europe as a place to reside but over the short term you should be fine.

    Regarding alternative places, well that is also a challenge for me. Maybe Switzerland or the UK might be places you could consider (both have a better record in terms of treating Jews, are wealthy and have less severe challenges facing Islam – although be careful which bits of the UK you consider moving to. The mid-sized cities like Bath, Winchester, Bristol for example are much more non-Muslim in their demographics over say London, Birmingham or Manchester)

  203. Anonymous,

    For raw data, for verification, this 2022 review is not paywalled and has references. Some of my notes follow. TRF is an abbreviation for time restricted feeding. I do not have a good easy read review, but I think Tim Specter discusses it in The Diet Myth. His book clearly disabuses the calories in, calories out mindset.

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36501110/ High-fat diets are the best-known circadian rhythm disruptors… relative distribution of macronutrients in diet can also contribute to modulation in humans… melatonin also exists in natural food sources such as fish, eggs, poultry, milk, nuts, fruits and seeds…. (re phytochemicals) These interactions are complex; phytochemical content from the plant source depends on various agricultural factors such as soil, light, season, temperature and even the endogenous circadian clock of the plant [138]. There are also seasonal factors, e.g., availability, polyphenolic composition from the same source and human-consumption patterns, which can add another layer of complexity… health-promoting role of caloric restriction has been shown to be partly due to TRF rather than just caloric intake and extended periods of fasting independent of caloric content share the same if not better health outcomes [230]. This leads to an alignment of the feeding-fasting cycle with circadian rhythms and offers a promising dietary strategy to mitigate the deleterious effect of chronodisruption [231]… Restricting the feeding period to earlier in the day (eTRF) provides advantageous outcomes than mid-day TRF (mTRF) or later TRF (lTRF), as this aligns better with circadian biology, though larger studies and more data are required to fine-tune the interventions [204]

    One problem with modern medical care is so much focus on markers (lab levels, blood pressure), rather than prevention or treatment of actual symptoms. Many with pre diabetes/hypertension/dyslipidemia just don’t feel good. This may relate to some combination of an industrial diet, loneliness, stress, inactivity, screen-socialmedia-overload, contaminants or others. Paying attention and using common sense, with a side of avoiding too much rationalization, may be more helpful than listening to the expert of the day.

    Garden Housewife,
    Depending on your location, you may want to consider blueberry bushes – they can be beautiful, are native in many areas (bees love them), and come in many varieties and sizes. They do require acid soil, may not fully block deer without a full hedge, and the birds may take most of the berries if you do not net them. They have lovely fall color and often will self propagate. Sunflowers are annuals, easy to grow from seed, often native, and can block deer when closely/broadly planted. They can grow very tall and birds love them so much you may not harvest many seeds. Forsythia can spread widely and overtake others, and you get no harvest.

  204. @ Anonymous – RE diabetes “epidemic”. I have spent some time researching and writing about this topic for my book on Sustainable Health: Simple Habits to Transform Your Life. I recommend Dr, Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution: A Complete Guide to Achieving Normal Blood Sugars. The author got a diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes (i.e. insulin dependent) early in his life. He began using a “keto” diet to treat himself with excellent results and tried to tell others, but as an engineer, no one listened to him. He then went on to medical school and practiced medicine well into his 80’s. His book is readable and well-researched. It will answer all your questions.
    As for “sub-clinical” diabetes or “pre-diabetes” I have a few thoughts. Our diet has exponentially increased in sugar content. It hides distasteful flavors of sub-standard ingredients in processed foods. It became cheap and plentiful with the development of corn sugars (high-fructose corn sugar) in the 1970’s coinciding with the agriculture department’s “go big or get out” motto.
    Also, “pre” diagnoses of all types move a lot of pharmaceutical products, for amazing profits. As part of my research for my “post industrial sci fi” book (Thanks JMG!) I have spent quite a bit of time researching billionaires. Not surprisingly large numbers hail from pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers of PPEs. Forbes listing provide an interesting snapshot of global economies. Diabetes is VERY profitable. In 2022, the US spent $300+ BILLION in direct health care services. That’s a hell of a “bottom-line” for a lot of companies.

  205. @Omer (#209):
    You might think seriously about relocating to Denmark, too. (You may already have heard about the efforts Danmark made to save its own Jewish population from the Nazis back in the days of WW2.) in Denmark your biggest problem may be learning to speak Danish, about which some Danes quip, “Danish is not a language; it’s a throat disease.” (It’s only the pronunciation that’s really hard to get right. The grammar and vocabulary are not too different from other Germanic languages. With German under your belt already, you’re more than halfway there.)

    @Luke Dodson (#219):
    What you say about the Patriot Front and its stated program of positive community action reminds me very strongly of the stated program of the Black Panthers in the San Francisco Bay area about half a century ago. It was only once they began making a difference with the poor and disaffected that the authorities got really worried and came down on them like a ton of bricks. ( Can’t have the underclass united and free enough from the stress of barely surviving, you know. They might actually work together to change things. )

  206. @GlassHammer – Mastery

    You might enjoy another book also called “Mastery”. It is a small
    book written by George Leonard in 1991. He was an American writer
    and educator who wrote many books and and published many magazine
    articles in the 1960’s and 70’s.

    George Leonard became a student of the martial art ‘Aikido’
    in the 1960’s or 70’s. He went on to become a 5th degree
    black belt and instructor. He also founded his own Dojo.

    The book is a practical guide to the ‘path of mastery’. It
    discusses the importance of having a ‘practice’ where skills are
    developed and enhanced. He also discusses in detail the issue
    of hitting ‘plateaus’ in practice where nothing appears to be changing
    or improving, even though the practitioner continues to work at it.
    The idea of mastery being a path and not a destination is a constant
    theme throughout.

    I have read this little book 2 or 3 times over the years. It has been
    a pleasure to read each time and very helpful in staying ‘on the path’
    in real-life endeavours.

  207. @Omer,
    do any of your family speak French or German? If so, which and how well? Knowing the native language will make things a lot easier, especially for those of you in school/uni or working.

    I am not sure that the Eurozone will continue to be a thing for decades into the future. Which means it may be better to move to the specific country you have citizenship for. There are natalist-type movements in both France and Germany, and if one of you is already a citizen you are less likely to run afoul of anti-immigration policies in the future, and it would probably make getting citizenship for the rest of your family easier.

    Also, with increasing heat waves and hot summers, remember that cooling without electricity is harder than heating without it. And there are lots of places in Germany that are not Berlin, some of which also have excellent educational opportunities.

    Best wishes for whatever you decide to do. For what it’s worth, getting out of Israel sounds like a good idea to me.

  208. @Anonymous #146 re: Keto Diets

    Okay, so first off, I’m not a doctor and none of this is medical advice, just sharing my experience with a particular way of eating that you may or may not find congenial. If it’s a health issue, you should of course consult with someone appropriate for your personal and legal situation.

    First off, ketogenic diets seem to work best for most people when they stay in dietary ketosis for long periods of time. Some folks seeking weight loss or performance goals will “cycle” into and out of ketosis on a set schedule, but in my own experience, trying to have a weekly “cheat” day and then get back into ketosis as quickly as possible was absolutely miserable. Every other week might be more reasonable.

    The second thing to say is that most of the unpleasantness with a keto diet is in the first few days, and most of the more positive stuff comes with being more firmly in ketosis for longer periods of time. It is very common to feel fatigue, headaches, and cramps as your body breaks down every last bit of glycogen it can find and then grudgingly kicks over into ketosis, but there are some ways to mitigate, which I’ll mention below.

    Third, it seems that folks vary in how good their body is at turning fats into ketones and/or making use of ketones as a replacement for glucose, which cashes out as felt differences in the positive and negative effects of being in ketosis. My own experience and some speculative genetic results (I sent my DNA sequence, taken for an ancestry site, to a website run by Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D. that compared it to studies about Single Nucleotide Pairs (SNPs) with nutritional and health implications) suggest that I am a mediocre keto-izer. Some folks report feeling amazing when in ketosis – lots of energy, mental clarity, little need for sleep. For me, it was more like I didn’t have energy crashes and being tired wasn’t as debilitating – it was like there was a floor on my energy and mental clarity I wouldn’t go below, but not much of a boost above normal that I experienced. All of which is to say that other than desired health benefits, you may find it easier or harder to stick with it based on what kind of immediate responses you get, which may affect whether it’s worth it.

    Okay, so if you’re going to try to get into ketosis and the first few days have the potential to suck, what can you do to minimize that? First, it helps to pick a weekend day to begin, for reasons that will be obvious as I explain the “ideal onramp to ketosis.” I got this from, I think, Tim Ferriss, who got much of it from Dr. Attia and a researcher in the Ketosis space, Dom D’Agostino, Ph.D. First, eat an early-ish dinner on a Friday or Saturday, ideally without too many carbs. Then, try to go to bed earlyish and sleep in as late as you can manage. From this point until you’re in ketosis, you’re fasting, ideally with only water and exogenous ketones. Any water you drink should have at least a pinch of salt added to it, and you might want to consider an electrolyte supplement that doesn’t have any sugar (LMNT is tasty and has a good mix of electrolytes, it’s not just table salt and sugar like most, but it’s a bit pricy). Exogenous ketones are ketones that you can drink (usually sold as either a powder or a liquid). They help to smooth out the process of going into ketosis by giving your body ketones it can use before it starts producing its own. For most folks, this practically eliminates “keto flu” – the negative side effects that come from your body burning up all of the stored energy it’s ready to use and not yet producing the new energy that will make up for it. On the other hand, they are pricey, the complete opposite of whole/natural food, and taste absolutely vile. Oh, and if you drink too much in one day, they give you the runs. Anyhow, on the first day of fasting (Sunday if you had your last meal before fasting on Saturday night), try to go for a nice, long moderately-paced walk (at least 30 minutes, but an hour or more is even better). This seems to be more effective than intense cardio, and less likely to produce extra soreness or cramps. Keep drinking salted water and checking your ketone levels until you are firmly in ketosis (usually 1-3 days, and it tends to get faster once your body is “used” to ketosis), then you can start eating ketogenesis-friendly foods. If you feel terrible and don’t want to use exogenous ketones, you can have some small amounts of broth or the like, but it might slightly slow down getting into ketosis. Also, cold immersion (like a cold shower or ice bath) can help accelerate the process by further burning up stored energy and maybe having some other ketosis-encouraging hormonal/biochemical effects, hard to say.

    The other option is to just start eating a ketogenic diet and more gradually get into ketosis. If you do this, your energy levels might be weird, and you might get cramping or soreness, and this will likely last a week or so, but it will also likely be milder than “cold turkey.” So, are you a “rip the bandaid off” kind of person or not?

    I mentioned “getting into ketosis” a couple of times. There are urine strips you can use and breath strips you can use, but these are rather inaccurate. If you want to be sure you are in ketosis, you have to test your blood, which means getting a glucometer and ketone test-strips and pricking your finger. I found this very helpful when I was first learning how long it took me and what I needed to do to reliably get into ketosis, but once I knew what worked and what it felt like, I would only check if something seemed off – the test strips are ridiculously expensive for what they are, because most folks who use them are diabetics testing for ketoacidosis, and their insurance pays for it.

    Okay, so ketogenic foods. The main goal is practically zero “simple” carbs (starchy foods like potatoes and grains), and whatever carbs you do have should ideally be in vegetable form and those ideally covered in some kind of fat (salad is great for this). You also have to be careful not to have too much lean protein, because your body will turn protein into glucose, and then use that, which knocks you out of ketosis. So, again, either eat fattier proteins (pork instead of chicken, fattier cuts instead of leaner, cheese instead of meat, etc) or cover the protein you have in fat (oil, cheese, etc). You also want to make sure that you are eating a lot fat.

    The first time I did a ketogenic diet where I was in ketosis for several months straight, I basically used it as an excuse to eat all of the bacon, sausage, cheese, and eggs I wanted, which was plenty enjoyable. I did also often have salads, but again, lots of olive oil, cheese, and bacon went on there. I lost the weight I was trying to and felt pretty good, but some of my other health indicators (like blood pressure) were not great, so after going off a ketogenic diet for a while, I tried again, this time with no dairy and trying to prioritize plant-based fats and not so many salty, cured meats. This was also the time I was cycling more or less weekly, since I had gotten to where I could get into ketosis in about 24 hours pretty reliably. Well, some combination of the change in diet and the cycling meant that I felt like crap most of the time. I suspect that I wasn’t getting enough protein, since I had cut out fatty sources of protein like cheese and sausage, and was paranoid about having too much lean chicken or the like and getting out of ketosis. Your mileage likely will, of course, vary.

    Once you’re in ketosis, staying there is kind of a pain in the butt, and getting back into requires the same measures you took the first time. Eating at restaurants is a hassle, as you have to be careful about what’s in sauces and the like (no Thai curry at my favorite restaurant, because there’s sugar in it). Mexican is good (fajitas), most Asian restaurants have some kind of meat and veggie dish that will work (But watch the sauce and stay away from the rice and noodles), and barbecue and breakfast food are easy, but harder to get good vegetables there. Once you have a routine going and know what you can order at restaurants, it’s not so bad, especially if you like the kinds of food you’re limited to, but if you’re like me, you might find yourself missing carby foods like noodles, or feeling like bacon and eggs isn’t the same without a pancake or biscuit. Coming out of ketosis for special occasions every once in a while isn’t so bad, but like I said, I had a bad time with trying to have a weekly cheat day, which had worked wonderfully with other ways of eating.

    Oh, and if you enjoy alcoholic beverages, a few thoughts. You can get away with a glass or two of a pretty dry wine, but more than that might take you out of ketosis. Beers are right out. Liquor will not take you out of ketosis, but the organ that makes ketones is your liver, and while in ketosis it’s working overtime, so while drinking a bunch of whiskey won’t take you out of ketosis, it might make you feel like crap, and it might be bad for your long term liver health. If you have any booze, drink even more water than you would otherwise, which should also already be higher than when on a non-ketogenic diet, again because of the work the liver is doing.

    Whew, that was quite long, but hope some of this is helpful, even if it’s to help you decide that a full-on ketogenic diet might not be for you (it seems likely that most folks can get many of the insulin-resistance-related benefits from moving to something more like paleo or Tim Ferriss’s “slow carb diet”, where you don’t get into ketosis, but you avoid most “simple” carbs most of the time, and have more fats and proteins).

    Cheers,
    Jeff

  209. @Kerry #207 re: Merchant Families, Sombart, and His Sources

    Thanks very much! I’ll have to check out your translation, though, sadly, I won’t be able to do much with his sources any time soon, but getting a reading knowledge of German is on the “to get to” list one of these days!

    Cheers,
    Jeff

  210. I’ve been thinking about a “ghost” encounter I had a few years ago, and I figured this might be the place to ask about it. Information’s below, and I’d appreciate insights from the more spiritually inclined.

    It started after I’d been living in a house with a roommate for about a year. One night, I woke up around 4 a.m. There was a terrible chill in the room, but otherwise it was normal.

    When I rolled over, I noticed something writhing near the wall next to my dresser. I can only describe it as a shadowy worm. It moved in a jerky way, snaking about in the spot between the dresser and the window. I watched it intently as I reached for my light. When the light came on, it “dissolved,” slowly fading from view. As it disappeared, the room got warmer.

    At first I thought it was a hypnogogic hallucination, but it kept reoccuring for several weeks, sometimes just after turning out the lights. It never appeared with the lights on, and always took a moment to disappear if I turned on a lamp. There was nothing in the spot it appeared in, so it couldn’t’ve been me misinterpreting a normal object in the darkness.

    It never changed shape. Always had the distinct wormlike form.

    After I moved out, I never saw it again. The guy who lived in the room before me never said anything, and neither did the person who moved in afterward.

    Interested to see what thoughts people have.

  211. @Justin Patrick Moore #213 and #220 re: Merchants (Princes and Otherwise)

    Thanks for your thoughts on the series! Somebody either recommended it or it came up in a search when I went looking for some inspiration a few years back about “merchants” for my homebrew D&D setting, and then I used some Christmas money to pick up the first collected volume (what was originally published as the first two books, I think). Glad to hear it stays fun and interesting.

    And thank you for these book recommendations! The Sassoons sounds like just the sort of thing I’m looking for, and not what I would have found with a search for something like “the Medicis.” The Florios also sounds like a fun way to get a handle on the kind of Renaissance Italian merchant families I was thinking of. And both Merchant Princes and Cornbread Mafia sound like they might obliquely shed some light on the kind of thing I had in mind, without being exactly what I had in mind, so added bonus!

    I have not ever watched Duck Dynasty, actually. Mostly out of my general distaste for reality TV, but if there’s some interesting stuff there, I could check it out.

    Thanks again!
    Jeff

  212. Atmospheric River,
    Here in Oregon over the last couple of weeks we had an unusual winter event. Temperatures and winds that were not really unusual for a winter event this time of year but for some unexplained reason ( not yet anyway) thousands of trees fell down severing power lines throughout western Oregon. In excess of 100,000 people were without power for as long as a week. Cell towers are powered by electricity from these same power lines and I know many people who lost cell service. I also know in many cases the cell companies could reroute calls over adjacent towers but this created traffic jams and many people had spotty service. So the cell network is very vulnerable to disruption from a failing grid, and you experienced evidence of this.
    Back to the trees. Many people are talking about the idea that the trees ( mostly Doug fir and hemlock and such) were weakened by the climate bands shifting Northward. We have mostly considered the effect of this shift on forests as making the trees vulnerable to forest fires, which then accelerate the shift to new tree species ( or other vegetation). But I had never considered the idea that a change in climate band would also make the trees vulnerable to failure in the winter.

  213. Jeff Russell – in fiction, try David Liss, The Coffee Traders. I’d recommend any David Liss historical fiction, actually. If you think big business is corrupt now, you definitely haven’t read the origins of the stock market he very accurately portrays in A Conspiracy of Paper.

  214. Walt, that would be fine.

    Garden, one of the news reports I read on the situation this morning indicates that the Biden regime won’t be trying to take federal control of state National Guard units, as some Democratic congresscritters have been demanding, because they aren’t sure the National Guard officers will obey. We are on the brink of a revolutionary situation at this point.

    Omer, I’ll leave this to those of my readers who know their way around the Eurozone.

    A Reader, I expect the push for a constitutional convention to go into overdrive this year. At this point 19 states have already called for a convention, only another 15 are needed, and 14 states have bills entered into their legislatures that would call for one.

    Team10tim, I keep on telling people that I meant that book as a warning, not as a prediction — or an instruction manual!

    Batstrel, no, the three lives I remember having in England were in other parts of the country — one in Lincolnshire, one that started somewhere in the Midlands but was mostly spent in Cambridge, and the third starting in Surrey but spent mostly in the greater London area. As for occult study, yes, at least three lives that I remember (including two of the English lives).

    Ron, I saw that. It interests me that so many of the standard themes for discussion on this blog are filtering into the mainstream just now.

    Luke, we’ll see how things proceed!

    DFC, no, the political climate here isn’t at all healthy. I haven’t read Galtung, but he’s almost certainly right — the US empire is unraveling around us right now in real time.

    Forecasting, the great difference here is that the Nullification crisis was a state objecting to laws legally enacted by Congress. What’s going on now is that the Biden regime is refusing to obey Federal laws and is actively assisting people to break Federal immigration laws that are on the books. So it’s not a rogue state — it’s a rogue presidency. As for immigration, you probably need to wait a few years until the border crisis is resolved and depopulation sets in; at that point I expect legal immigration to become fairly easy for people with adequate job skills.

    Anonymous, a classic example. It was probably a nonhuman spirit rather than the ghost of a dead human being, but if you read up in old volumes of “psychical research” you’ll find many experiences like this one.

    David BTL, ha! Bye-bye, Tomorrowland…

  215. In the last couple of years two female-owned businesses have opened up in my area. Both are named after the owners’ dogs.

  216. @ Luke Dodson #219
    Patriot Front is as obvious a Fed operation as it can get.
    * They’re all the same approximate age and they’re all fit.
    * They first arrived literally out of nowhere with full, pristine uniforms & props.
    * They all wear masks — no right wing groups ever wear masks.
    * The local police leave them entirely alone despite illegally covered license plates
    * The Dem-controlled cities never make any effort to deny demonstration permits
    * The MSM has absolutely zero interest in “investigating” let alone doxing them
    … and last but not least and perhaps most damning of all…
    * Left-wing counter-protestors — Antifa, BLM, etc. — are nowhere to be found.
    If you compare the general treatment of PF to say Oathkeepers or Proud Boys then you can’t avoid the stench of an “inside job”, which the Dems appear to specialize in these days (J6, Whitmer, etc.)

  217. Re: National Guards, etc.

    I good friend of mine is active duty Army SF. We recently had a chat over beers, and he explained how utterly divided the Army is. He characterized the officer corps as woke and out of touch, and the common soldier as fed up. He also mentioned that all the talented guys (special operations, etc.) are jumping ship into the national guards, because the Guard is typically commanded by old school officers who are competent and also fed up with Biden, et al.

    I asked him point blank, “Do you think if there were orders given that the rank and file really hated, there might be…” I danced around a word to be polite, and he interrupted me:

    “Mutiny?” Then laughed knowingly.

  218. Addendum: this conversation was before all this Texas mess.

    If there is such an action, I think it will come from clueless Democrats trying to call in the Guard to enforce some directive of theirs against a conservative wish, at which point I would be surprised to see the guns turn 180 degrees. The Guard for many of these states is internally aligned all the way to the top, and they aren’t woke.

  219. Garden Housewife, I can’ t help but put in a plug for climbing or large shrub roses as part of your hedges. They attract bees, which then go on to pollinate your vegetables. That point is not insignificant, given rapid declines in bee populations. They provide predator proof shelter for small birds, which eat garden bugs and delight you with their song. They also can help protect against unwanted trespass. For cold climates, look at John Davis and John Cabot large climbers from Canada. In the warmer zones you need Mermaid, which is beautiful, fragrant and repeat blooming. OK, so maybe you need to wear a hazmat suit to prune it, but the sacrifice is worthwhile. In the hot zones, 9 & 10, you have the fabulous world of Noisettes and climbing teas to choose from. For zones 6-7, the best choice probably is still New Dawn.

  220. @#9 furnax Vedic astrologer James Kelleher came close to predicting the coof. His teacher pointed in the early 2000’s at the year 2020 as pivotal. James himself made in the 2017 the prediction that in Jan 2020 a worldwide pandemic would appear that was infectious and most likely damage one’s blood. I don’t know if he initially predicted the duration of the whole endeavor although he said in one of his newsletters that things would impove in May or late June 2020. In his newsletter of April 2021 he stated “we will probably be dealing with issues related to the pandemic in one way or another until the end of 2022 or the beginning of 2023.” James put a video of his Covid predictions in the 2010’s on youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDHCOzqPVbk so you can check for yourself.

    @JMG “My astrological readings very strongly suggested that the Covid business would be over by the summer of 2020, and the fact that it wasn’t suggests that some influence other than public health was involved” – Does this mean that another house of the chart was running affairs, or is it possible that an influence from outside the reach of the chart (like a god or demon) can overturn the indications in a counties’ chart? If the latter, I wonder if you have examples from the past and how astrologers found out about it. On the surface it looks like such events could distort astrological knowledge.

    PS About Texas: is the USA going to Civil War about slavery labor again? And again the GOP is against and the DEMs are for. History repeats in unexpected ways….

  221. As a side comment; for the Spanish MSM nothing is happening in Texas, no one, any single article, any single note in any of the TV news programs or digital newspaper about the “issue” in Texas and the revolt of the 25 governors against the White House orders.
    Someone is trying to silence this (the big hedge funds that control all the media) with the ostrich fine strategy

  222. Hey JMG

    Recently I’ve been re-reading “A hundred years of solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and I want to know if you have read it, and liked it as much as I do?

  223. Looks like now there is a civilian element to the border kerfuffle regarding the US border. I heard it yesterday on informal networks but today it was announced on Fox TV: the Take Our Border Back Convoy, which will be rolling along multiple routes across the US next week (Jan 29 – Feb 3), gathering in Eagle Pass TX, Yuma AZ and San Ysidro CA. 700,000 vehicles are anticipated to participate. Look out, America: Canadian truckers have pledged to join in (“Convoy? Did somebody say convoy?”). The convoy’s website (https://takeourborderback.com) is calling for “active & retired law enforcement and military, Veterans, Mama Bears, elected officials, business owners, ranchers, truckers, bikers, media and law abiding, freedom-loving Americans” to peacefully assemble in honor of their Constitutional Rights to press their government to secure the country’s southern border.

    I hope my friends in the USA are fond of truck horns and traffic mayhem!

  224. Something that has been nagging at me: I spend a lot of time around adult and older adult music students. One thing I keep seeing is an extreme lack of self-confidence about their musical skills, and potential for improvement. This is true even of quite good players/singers. They’re convinced they’ll never go very far or get very good, simply because of their age. And some of the people aren’t that old.

    And you get this question: am I too old to learn to play x? from people in their 60s, 50s, 40s, I’ve even seen it from someone in their 20s online.

    It’s holding people back from trying at all, or from taking it seriously if they do start. Sometimes it is genuine fear of failure/ conviction they’re bad, but other times it feels more like an excuse for not trying to do what they say they want to. If you’re happy just learning a little and not putting much energy in, that’s totally fine and a very enjoyable thing to do for many people I’ve met, but you have a choice.

    This attitude of ‘I’m too old, I can’t possibly learn music or get good if I do’ is bothering me more and more. What is this belief in our society that you must start learning music, especially classical music, at a very early age or not bother at all? And that you must get good before you hit adulthood? A lot of families don’t have the resources to put into lessons for their children, or only realize they want to learn music once they’re an adult. That doesn’t make them any less capable or valuable than the people who start at age 3, most of whom will give it up at some point because they weren’t the ones who wanted the lessons in the first place. Starting early isn’t a guarantee that they’ll become a good musician, or even like music. I’ve also heard a few too many stories about people who took lessons for years but didn’t put effort in or really want to be there, and who learned nothing from those lessons.

    I’ve run into professionals online who started as adults, or did some lessons on a different instrument as a child or teen but never got very far, and then fell in love with a completely different instrument as adult and rode that all the way to a new career.

  225. #209 Omer, I think you made the right decision to leave while you still can. I share your somber outlook for Israel. Unfortunately, as a Jew you will have to think in Europe about your safety as well.

    Almost all West-European countries have large muslim minorities (10%) that are largely furious about the events taking place in Gaza. The muslim minorities are usually concentrated in the poorer parts of the big cities. This means that in the big cities it looks like the percentage of muslims is much higher even. In the city of Amsterdam where I often go it can look like a quarter to a half of the population is muslim.

    The countries with the largest muslim population (relative to total population) are Sweden (nr 1), Germany (nr 2) and France (perhaps nr 3). Denmark is the West-European country with the smallest muslim population (<1% if I’m correct). In former East-Europe are hardly any muslims. The socialists in Denmark decided years ago to embrace the anti-immigration agenda and both limited immigration and put serious pressure on the remaining immigrants to succeed in integrating in their society. That seems to have worked quite well. As it happens, the socialists in Denmark are the only socialists in Europe that still win elections… The rest of Europe will turn very right wing in the near future. I consider it a given that Orban (Hun), Meloni (It) and Wilders (NL) will get a lot of likeminded collaeges in other EU countries real soon.

    Another factor is how well the integration of immigrants has gone in the past. France really messed up and has ‘banlieus’ where the police doesn’t want to go and Sweden has by far the highest rape-incidence per capita. On the other hand, in the Netherland things are usually quiet if somewhat tense. The Germans did worse than the Netherlands but showed themselves very protective of their Jewish citizens after the Gaza war started.

    As for the energy situation: the countries that will be hit hardest will be the countries that rely most on their industries for their income. Those industries will go belly-up when the supply of cheap energy ends. I think Germany and the Netherlands will top the list of countries in trouble. Also countries that are depending on tourism (cheap travel) will suffer. That would be Greece, Spain, Portugal and maybe Italy. Countries where people still do a lot of farming and have many small family businesses like (rural) France and Italy will do better probably.

    Another factor to take into account is the possibility of war. The Balkans are notorious but all over Europe you can find countries that have a claim on part of their neighbours territory. I don’t think any country is exempt from that risk. I would like the fact that Switzerland and EU-member Austria are not part of NATO. If a hot war with Russia happens, those two countries would stand a chance to avoid the worst.

    I find it hard to suggest which city to go. My first instinct would be Denmark, thus Copenhagen or a nice smaller city like Odense. It will be cold, but you live among the happiest people of the planet, with some social cohesion and hopefully some good karma from their actions in WW2. As a highly developed and internationally oriented nation, it might be easier for you to find new friends (Or is it that you mostly would like to hang out with other Jews? In that case a sizable Jewish presence is more important)

    You can also try Budapest that is a modern, beautiful city in a country without mass-immigration. It is just far away removed from the coming ‘action’ in the Balkans but it borders Ukraine so it will possibly have to deal with fleeing Ukrainians after they lost the war. The many weapons in Ukraine will undoubtly be used by Ukrainian mafia to extend their businesses into Europe, but that will impact all of Europe, not just their neigbours (I know because the same thing happened with the “Yugo-maffia” after the Yugoslavian wars ended in the late 90’s).

    Other options could be Prague or Vienna.

    Good luck!

  226. @ Anonymous re. diabetes –

    This is not a sales pitch or medical advice. I have type 2. Last year I did, for a few months, a program called Bright Line Eating (there’s a book). In the space of three months I lost 25 lbs., my fasting blood sugar went from ~250 to ~115, and my A1C went from over 11 to 6.5. I’m pretty sure my numbers would have gotten even better had I stayed on it. The program consists of rigidly controlled portioning, three meals/day, no snacking, and absolutely no sugar or flour of any kind. Every meal has a ‘template’, which made it for me very easy to follow. YMMV.

  227. @ Scotlyn #152

    Yes I think relaxation and tension are two poles, which is the point of tension – polarity
    But here’s the way I see it:
    The tautness/tension is what builds the energy
    The relaxation is when the energy is released

  228. @ Omer #209 – If you plan to emigrate to Germany, it could probably wise to choose a place that still has a rather homogeneous population as I suspect that tensions between different ethnic groups will continue to escalate during the next 10 to 20 years. Under this premise most of the larger German cities like Berlin and Cologne are out. If I had no roots in Germany and would have to choose a place, I’d probably settle in or around the city of Ulm. It’s been a while since I last visited, but I have been there quite often for some time and I really liked the vibe. It’s a rather wealthy region, conservative but relatively open-minded, quiet, it should still be cheaper like other southern regions (Munich or Stuttgart, for example) and nowhere else in Germany have I seen such a density of alternative healthcare practitioners, healers, etc. And finally, if I haven’t missed anything, the next US Base is already 100 km away, which I consider an advantage should thing go really crazy.

    Outside Germany? I have no idea. There are lots of places I like, but few where I’d like to live. At the moment I consider most of Europe a powder-keg.

    It’s an important decision you’re going to make – I wish you good luck to choose what’s right for you!

    Cheers,
    Nachtgurke

  229. Ever since 2021, I’ve found myself being increasingly drawn by writers on the dissident right. It feels more comfortable than what the left has become. I’m heartened by the humor I see there, the emphasis on free speech and disagreement, and the creative dynamism that seems to be boiling up.

    However, surprise surprise, I’m seeing a broad kneejerk reaction against any notion of limits. This post is a good example:
    https://barsoom.substack.com/p/theres-a-crown-lying-in-the-gutter

    You will find love; you will have many children; you will live in a house, with a nuclear reactor in the basement and two flying cars in the garage; you will eat the steak; you will build amazing and beautiful things; you will own your own life; you will be happy; and your grandchildren will go to the stars.

    John Carter is purportedly a scientist, but his mind seems to be dominated by a vision of the future straight out of 1950s techno-optimism.

    I don’t see much point in arguing with anyone about it – I’d likely come across as nagging and scolding just like the billionaires at Davos. (Although it occurs to me to ask: If you’re looking for a future with greater human dignity and agency, why are you agitating for an endless increase in human population?) All I can do is quietly do my own thing, and let society slam its head into a concrete wall yet again.

  230. This was both amusing and depressing: Sweden, famous for its “green” approach to things with (its supporters boast) hydroelectric and nuclear power, and a huge uptake of electric cars, facing a lack of snow, has decided to build massive concrete tunnels with pipes running under them to keep the ground cold enough to hold the snow.

    “The effects of climate change on cross-country skiing is causing concern both in Swedish and international circles, Per-Åke Yttergård admitted, but thanks to manufactured snow, important venues can be safeguarded.”

    It’s good that they’re working so hard on the most important issues.

    https://www.bbc.com/travel/article/20240118-concrete-tunnels-and-permafrost-how-sweden-is-future-proofing-skiing

  231. JMG and fellow commenters, do you happen to know: what’s the deal with southern California and alternative spirituality?

    There’s such a strong history of occult, metaphysical, and out-of-mainstream religious people and activity from around here. I can provide a brief list if that would be helpful. But I suspect if you wanted to arrange a magician’s bookshelves geographically, you could readily fill one with works by or about people who peered out, from between the eucalyptus and jacaranda, to all kinds of views of higher realms and beings.

    And then there’s the waking dream factories of Hollywood making stars, and the space probes of JPL going to the planets. JPL, founded by Jack Parsons whose sex magic buddy was L. Ron Hubbard. Some people wonder if they blew open some leftover portal of Crowley’s to usher in the flying saucer era, as humanity’s latest interpretation of an intangible reality that’s been around us all along.

    If you draw a line for each connection between aerospace, military, early sci-fi, occultists, rock ‘n roll, and the initial wave of UFO “participants” with at least one end here, often with all those involved from here, you soon have a week’s worth of spaghetti even before you add Esalen and Star Trek.

    It would be expected for such a large metro area to have people with all kinds of interests, but it feels way out of proportion beyond simply the large population.

    In my own life I’ve had many circumstances when I was one or two degrees of separation from some of the key figures. It never occured to me at the time to ask for introductions or try to get into any inner circles. It does seem, looking back, this all has something to do with my own lifelong fascination with these kinds of topics.

    Is there an intersection of spiritual ley lines or something that makes for a metaphysical version of the San Andreas Fault?

  232. Hi JMG,
    While you have written about the waning influence of Pluto, especially since we are 12 years away from the 30 year window you gave us from its demotion, I found it interesting that Aquarius rules the third house in the US Sibley Chart. One third house topic is the relations between siblings. And civil war tensions in a country would be a matter between the country’s siblings. Pluto was not in Aquarius during the Civil War, however. Technically, Pluto is not in the third house yet, except if using whole sign houses. I’m sure that’s a meaningful distinction, too.

    A question to everyone: Was the time of Texas’ admission into the United States recorded? I’d like to know what the state’s house would be for Aquarius. The time for its independence from Mexico would also be interesting.

  233. A busy week has me posting late in the cycle and with a probably very-buried post-to-boot, but I had the odd experience the other day of feeling like an old codger. I was grumping about my bank requiring either access to email or use of their app on a smartphone to confirm identity while making a phone call to their customer service representatives. [insert grump grump grump, old-sounding grump about “new-fangled” technology and “if I want to make a phone call, it’s likely because their’s an internet problem”].

    Anyway, what preceded and precipitated the grumpiness was a series of notifications I received from AT&T indicating that they are seeking to be relieved of their contract with the state(?) or fed(?) government that allows them to receive funding to offset lowered prices for low-income customers; simultaneously, they are seeking to be relieved of their obligaction as “carrior of last resort” which requires that if they provide service in any given area, they must make said service available to everyone in the area. What they’re trying to do is essentially cut landline service to rural areas, where people already have intermittent cell phone or internet service. [More details available on request, I don’t have them in front of me at the moment].

    I recognize this is a fine example of the collapse we’re enjoying, and my grumping is probably misguided. Right? I mean, I certainly recognize that it’s costly to provide infrastructure to the hinterlands, that once maintenance is no longer required, nobody will have the resources to bring everything back up to code, let alone rebuild it somewhere down the line.

    I’ll go ahead and register my complaint with the California Public Utilities Commission (so far I only have seen that this is occurring in CA, and maybe Kentucky, and would love on-the-ground reports from any other states – I also know this isn’t the first time AT&T has tried to do this), but perhaps this is a lesson in “speak your part, but accept what’s coming”.

    I’d be interested to hear others’ thoughts on this. Loss of (initially rural, but then likely all) landlines is a huge thing. Landlines are much less energy intensive than all the cell phone and internet apparatus and yet here we are… I suppose it does come down to AT&T wanting to keep their profits up, but it’s also true that it gets harder to turn a profit when, like Rome, you’re trying to support the distant fringes of an empire on the resources that can really support just the center.

    I’m not sure how sanguine to be about this.

  234. Kyle, that’s the same thing I’ve heard from many other sources.

    Boccaccio, it means that some other house was involved — that is, that the Covid business after the summer of 2020 had nothing to do with public health.

    DFC, I bet!

    J.L.Nc12, no, it’s been on the get-to list for a while but I’ve never gotten around to it. Latin American magic realism isn’t really my cup of tea.

    Ron, keep an eye on the convoy. It would not surprise me if, once it finishes going along the border, it heads for Washington DC.

    Pygmycory, I get a version of the same thing from people who are convinced they can’t write. Anyone who can carry on a conversation in English can write, but it’s astonishing how many people have convinced themselves that they can’t do it.

    Cliff, yeah, unfortunately that sort of thinking is far too common on the rightward end of things. I wish I knew how to tell them that conucopian fantasies are exactly what got us into the current mess.

    Hackenschmidt, that’s genuinely funny. Sad, but funny.

    Christopher, I discussed that in my recent book The Secret of the Five Rites. In every era there’s a city at the center of American alternative spirituality. In colonial times it was Philadelphia; in the early to mid-19th century it was Boston; in the late 19th and very early 20th century it was Chicago; and for most of the 20th century it was Los Angeles. Boulder made a try for that status in the very late 20th century but never quite managed it, and right now we’re between occult capitals. I don’t know why that succession of cities should have been the one that happened, but it’s an interesting historical point.

    Atmospheric, welcome to decline and fall…

  235. So it look like the Biden Administration halted natural gas exports today, officially for climate change but much more likely as an economic punishment for Texas and the states that sided with it as that it is where most of America’s natural gas industry, and the shipping terminals for it, are located. The problem is that Europe is now dependent upon those exports as it is cut off from Russian sources and the Nordstream pipeline is out of commission. Natural gas shipments via tankers from the Middle East to Europe are also running into a little problem in the Red Sea right now which is also impacting deliveries.

  236. JMG,
    Please disregard my previous comment. I forgot to use the house meanings in mundane astrology instead of natal astrology. Quite a big difference!

  237. @Yavanna (et al, re: pet parents)
    You’ve heard women say that they’d rather have had a dog? That’s horrifying.. I could see it as a joke, but in earnest? I’m flabbergasted. I wouldn’t want to trust such a woman with a dog, a cat, or a bloody pet rock, to be honest.

    On the other hand, I do maintain at least some of what we’re seeing is sublimated parenting urges, based on what I’ve seen in my neck of the woods. Here I thought the 38-year-olds with pugs in sweaters who’d “like to settle down and start a family someday” were sad. I’m glad that “wish I’d gotten a dog” crowd isn’t in my bubble.

    On the gripping hand– synthesis to my thesis and your antithesis– the Devouring Mother doesn’t want to raise a human child into an adult; she wants a permanent infant, so dependent on her it cannot resist her will or (horror of horrors) leave to start its own life. I can honestly see woman fully in the throws of that archetype bitterly saying “I should have gotten a dog” when the child starts to stretch the umbilical cord.

    Well, the Germans shook off Wotan inside of a generation. I’d say I hope it won’t take us any longer to shake off the Devouring Mother, but Wotan inherently craves the Gotterdammerung. After the final battle, what is there for Wotan to do? The archetype released its grip on the German soul once the war was done. The Devouring Mother, on the other hand? She wants you, helpless in her arms, forever. How the collective psyche of our age is going to get free from that, I could not begin to guess.

  238. I clicked on the link provided in post 222. This was an article in WSWS about the Texas. Federal Govt. standoff. This paragraph astonished me:

    The Biden administration, moreover, is still seeking to reach a deal with Republicans in Congress that would exchange agreeing on a massive escalation of the attack on immigrants for guarantees of increased funding for the US-NATO war against Russia in Ukraine, the Democrats’ primary concern.

    According to this particular writer the “primary concern” of the political party of which I used to be a member, Demexited in 2010, is war against Russia in Ukraine. Not the high cost of housing, not poisoned farmland, water and air, nor outrageous criminality of the banking sector, and one could go on. And on. No domestic problem is more important than Democrat hatred of Russia.

    Now, there is plenty of loaded language in this article, such as the phrase ‘attack on immigrants’. Cross into someone else’s property uninvited, what do you think is going to happen? President Obama, back in the day, thought it his duty to enforce the law, or at least some of the laws, and for this the left has never forgiven him. Constantly one reads in lefty outlets about Obama deported more people than any other president.

  239. re: Patriot Front – They’ve tacked up some posters in my area. Their graphic artists show what I take to be Slavic background, somewhat like Soviet Realism. If you read enough of their web site, you’ll see that their vision of America is only for white people.

  240. Thanks JMG! I’m glad to find out I noticed something that really was something. And, I learned of another book of yours I’ll want to look up. 🙂

    Diabetes discussers, please keep going! I appreciate the interesting information on nutrition.

    furnax # 9 and Esmewe # 35, Jessica Adams is another astrologer whose blog includes looks back at her published pandemic-related predictions.

    Brian # 10, if the ruthless top fraction of 1 percenters will throw everyone else under the bus in the West, what’s to keep them from doing that to fellow expatriates, who aren’t already in the elite, moving to their Uraguayan farms?

    drhooves # 16 “complexity and usability of data (in spite of AI) doesn’t seem to be keeping pace with outages, poor functionality and error filled analyses.”
    The forums for software engineering discussions have plenty of old-timers and younger folks alike pointing out that there’s a generation or two now who manipulate coding abstractions of coding abstractions, without any clear understanding of what’s actually going on in chips and wires.
    This approach certainly makes it possible to “move fast and break things” now more than ever.
    It also makes precarious, unreliable, difficult to maintain or debug systems with the usual disadvantages of any house of cards.
    Today, for example, an Ars Technica headline on giving up on a hyped complex Great New Thing includes “musings on why change isn’t always good,” with one of the top rated comments: “It’s sad because my starry-eyed young self loved the new shiny stuff, but my grizzled 54-year-old self now knows better. ”
    Comments at Hacker News on link to “Is Cloud the New Mainframe?” include “This is not an industry that learns from the past when scrap can be acquired by relentless fashion grifting.”
    Comments on The Register article “20,000-plus tech workers got the boot this month” include “Get into STEM subjects they said. It’ll be great they said.”
    Comments on Bruce Schneier’s column “Quantum Computing Skeptics” include “If that AI bubble bursts in the near future as I expect it will, then Quantum Computings promised land just got a load of idilic territory ear marked for strip mining then landfill by garbage dump so not going to be a pretty sight.”
    This is an industry with plenty of cynics!

    Lathechuck # 40 “I haven’t come up with a medium for the sign that won’t fall apart before people have time to notice” Why not use the sheet metal of the object itself, rather than finding some other piece of sheet metal to add to it? Embed your Historical Marker Note into the door or the roof?

    pygmycory # 79 “I assume states that want to survive this will need to figure out ways to respond successfully to these changes in modern warfare.” The term for those who have looked into this is “fourth generation warfare,” “xGW” for generations of warfare in general. I think you’d find good food for thought in a cross section of readily available presentations and discussions available under this banner.

    RandomActsOfKarma # 85, to answer the opposite of your question, I have a very strong imagination with both images and sound. I discussed this in response to this question: https://ecosophia.dreamwidth.org/262874.html?thread=45854682
    Perhaps “absence of auditory imagination” could be a start for what you want to look up on your husband’s behalf.
    The only thing I can’t visualize is that while I’m being pounded with outrageously loud and floor-shaking booming, akin to someone kicking the furniture twice a second for hours, I can’t visualize God having already provided me a quiet home where I can concentrate on whatever I want to envision.

    Simon S # 92 The British East India Company charter was basically a memo.
    To: Company funders
    From: The Monarchy
    1. Okay, We’ll deal with you as a group.
    2. Go do whatever you want out there. It’s none of Our responsibility. Just have those you conquer praise Us as your ultimate boss.
    3. Even if your crews lose their lives, We guarantee you’ll never lose more than the money you chose to invest.
    4. For agreeing to all this for you, We get our share of the loot when your ship comes in.

    Selkirk Astronomer # 113 Not JMG but I will point out a ruthless psychopath might prefer to have victims who brainwash themselves into abject compliant servitude, rather than the inconvenience to the cruel boss of having to physically lock up or coerce everyone. Key question: Who benefits from my being so passive about this matter?

    Morfran # 116 Mark Twain combined political economy with salesmanship of the latest must-have high tech item, in his “Political Economy.” https://www.gutenberg.org/files/3189/3189-h/3189-h.htm#political

  241. JMG,
    Do you think a second element ( besides the out of control border crossings ) in the Texas standoff is the perceived ongoing weakness of the Biden Administration? This is a common story in history and nature. When the Alpha Dog is wounded and showing weakness, not only do they face more challenges from their direct competition, but every other canine in the pack with an eye on a new mate or a bit of turf comes out of the shadows to challenge them.
    If LBJ had Bidens Immigration policies I still doubt that any Governor would challenge his federal authority or ability to bring down the hammer on him.

  242. Garden Housewife,

    FWIW, I can pretty much guarantee you that a significant fraction of the residents of my deep red rural county in N. Georgia will gladly load up their pickup trucks with anyone they can rally to the cause, every weapon they own, every box of ammo they’ve been hoarding, and all the venison pemmican they’ve made this winter, and drive straight to El Paso to stand up to whatever our senile “President” throws at them. Including plenty of the women as well. I’m very proud of my neighbors, and it’s time for this ridiculous nonsense to end.

    That said, yes, this is all pretty terrifying…
    Cheers.

  243. JMG,

    Re: your response to Boccaccio

    I for one would be fascinated to read your (re)interpretation of the relevant chart on the matter of COVID’s lifespan. I’m guessing a 10th/12th house override of some sort? With a dash of 2nd house money matters for flavoring?

  244. @M Carole #234 re: David Liss Fiction Recommendation

    Thank you! I’ll check those out! I’m a bit familiar with early stock market shenanigans from Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle (which also touches on early finance in Lyons) and from a D&D supplement called the “Magical Industrial Revolution” which imagines a Dickensian not-London going through the early, wild industrial revolution, but with D&D magic rather than steam power. The rules for creating joint stock corporations include many of the schemes that folks got up to historically and can be found on the creator’s blog here: https://coinsandscrolls.blogspot.com/2023/01/osr-joint-stock-companies-investments.html

    Cheers,
    Jeff

  245. Hey jmg

    Magical realism isn’t your cup of tea? I thought that it would be the exact opposite. Is it because in magical realism the supernatural is just regarded as normal rather than wonderful?

  246. @Karl Grant,
    seems like every major geopolitical thing that happens right now in any part of the globe is sideswiping europe’s access to energy. I wonder what winter 2025 will be like for them.

  247. Anonymous,
    I realize my response likely was not helpful, about time restriction. People who limit eating to certain hours, like 7 am to 6 pm, are more able to lose weight, have more energy, and are ABLE to stick with it long term. Fasting for 13 or more hrs daily is particularly helpful, and so is eating most of your diet early in the day. Some people do better fasting one or two days a week, or having just a mid-day meal those days.

    A major reason diets fail is because people relapse – often due to incessant hunger signals from the brain/gut/systems. As suggested, sudden diet change is hard, peaking around day 3, but it can take 6 months or more to adapt, without regular craving. If you can figure what (healthy) food makes you feel satisfied, it s more likely you’ll succeed. Junk food will satisfy short term, but then most people gradually lose energy and regularly feel bad.

  248. Karl, at this point I wonder if Biden’s handlers have a collective death wish. Halting natural gas exports when Europe is completely dependent on LNG from America is very nearly a guarantee that Europe will have to capitulate to Russia — at least to the extent of withdrawing all support from Ukraine, and possibly to a much larger extent. This is going to turn into such a mess…

    Jon, well, there’s that! Still, the best way to learn astrology is to make predictions and then see what happens.

    Isaac, just goes to show you that our “elite” classes get their ideas from the same bubbling cauldron of pop-culture schlock as the people they despise.

    Clay, yes, very much so. The states in general have a lot of grudges against the federal government, what with unfunded mandates and the endless encroachments on state autonomy by federal bureaucracies. Now that the federal government is losing control, I expect to see the states push hard to take back quite a bit of lost ground — just as nations everywhere around the world are starting to test the waters and see just how effectively they can push back against US hegemony.

    Grover, I’ll consider doing that as time permits.

    J.L.Mc12, that’s just it — magic isn’t supernatural. It works within the laws of nature; the mage simply knows about modes of cause and effect that current science doesn’t recognize. I recognize that some magic realist literature is very good, but it’s not the kind of thing I enjoy; as Tolkien said in a different context, it’s one thing to require readers to suspend disbelief and quite another to require disbelief to be hanged, drawn, and quartered. Give me novels with a strong plot and a consistent, believable setting any day!

  249. The interesting aspect of this border standoff is the repercussions that the realizations around troop command may have. Let’s assume the Democrats, who were clueless about how bad the situation has gotten for them with the state guards, heed the warning and realize they are sitting on a hornet’s nest. The red governors will also notice, if they didn’t already know, that the Guard is loyal to them over the federal government.

    This leads to many interesting questions. 1) Will the Dems take measures to weaken or dissolve the Guard? If so, and they go about it as ham-fistedly as they usually do, it could be bad. If not, they will have to tread very lightly, because 2) the governors may begin to treat the National Guard as the Army of the Republic of Texas, etc. Any time the Supreme Court or the national legislature tries to do anything these states don’t like, they can cobble together some excuse to put the Guard on alert, which means they don’t have to comply, and if anyone tries to force their hand, they’re inviting open rebellion. The cat and mouse game that comes of this would be very interesting if both sides weren’t so dumb that it’s bound to just blow up in everyone’s faces.

  250. Dear JMG,
    Now that Texas has won round one in the border razor wire war (the Feds didn’t try to go in to cut and said they would not), what do you think will be the next shoe to drop. The regime announced that all LNG terminal permits is on hold, which will hurt TX, but this was probably planned in advance. Seems like the Feds can pull on the states purse strings. Interesting times as usual.

  251. Lazy Gardener / Garden Housewife – Re: sunflowers. Before the deer population built up in my area, or before the deer discovered the bounty of my backyard, I was able to grow sunflowers best enjoyed from the 2nd-story windows of my house. But that was then. Now, the deer mow down the sunflower plants before they get a chance to bloom. I can’t imagine how they could be planted as a barrier to deer.

    I discovered a leatherleaf mahonia plant growing along my fence. Now, THERE is a plant for building barriers. It’s like a holly, with big spines along the edges of the leaves. The one I have is only a foot tall, but apparently they can grow into smallish trees.

  252. RandomActsOfKarma wrote, “So does being somewhat a klutz mean that I have lower proprioception than someone who is not a klutz?”

    That’s one possibility. It’s equally possible that you were born with a normal or even heightened sense of proprioception that, rather than being nurtured and encouraged, was interpreted as a threat by your initial caregivers. When overwhelmed family and friends overload young children with their own unresolved anxieties, any budding gifts and aptitudes can easily end up suppressed beyond recognition.

    That’s certainly what happened to me! My mother was a repressed and frustrated artist who was in no way comfortable having a rough-and-tumble athletic baby careening around the house and climbing up everything he could get a hold of. My father was a geeky biochemist who was mortified at the thought of having to bring up a boisterously energetic and confident jock kid, like all the ones who had so ruthlessly tormented him in school. So, they used me as a dumping ground for various unwanted fears, disappointments, doubts, and unfulfilled expectations that were burdening them. Once they had me sufficiently loaded down with their insecurities, my horrendous threat was temporarily neutralized. I became an awkward klutz who played zero sports all the way up through high school.

    Instead, I either put my energies into science and math, teasing out word problems for the sheer fun of it (I kid you not!), or dutifully tried to vicariously fulfill my stage mother’s stymied theatrical ambitions. I actually experienced both of those compensations as covert outlets for my buried kinesthetic aptitude. My favorite part of math was always geometry, because that involves bodies and spatial relations and other kinesthetic ideas. Most word problems describe geometric riddles, and even the ones that don’t can still be experienced as the equations stacking up like vertebrae or being stretched along from finger tip to finger tip or as variables popping up in front of you like playing a game of whack-a-mole. Yeah, I really do experience everything very kinesthetically, even math. In theater I got to play around with embodying different characters’ gait, posture, movement signature, etc., so long as the character wasn’t a verboten jock, of course — Momma never liked that!

    My favorite role was playing a deaf, dumb, blind child who got left behind on a trip to an old folks home. All the plot and exploration of theme came through the retirees’ and nurses’ dialogue. I had no dialogue whatsoever, unless you count animal-like wailing, so I just got to explore trying to embody confused fear at the loss of all familiar tactile referents or clinging to whatever newly appearing referents felt safe. I suppose that can only marginally count as acting on my part, given that’s what my life in general felt awfully similar to at that time. If you saddle a kid with enough energy drains to divorce him from his natural way of experiencing the world, he’s gonna feel pretty deaf, dumb, and blind and end up clinging to whatever he feels won’t lead to another attack. I clung to theater and science every bit as desperately as I clung to those old actors’ legs on stage. You know, I never before thought about that fact that I might have gotten rather typecast into that particular role. All this time assuming that was some peculiar sympathetic talent on my part — what a letdown!

    Anyway, when I eventually dropped out of high school to go to community college on early admission, thereby moving out of my parents’ funhouse of distorting mirrors, my own nature and talents and life slowly began to resurface from their premature interment. I could then enjoy any classes that I wanted to like dance or rock-climbing and caving. I am still thanking my protective angels and dieties for guiding me to a community college that only taught beginning jazz dance, so that I could witness my gawky incompetence drifting away like some toxic miasma, as I repeated that same class three times in a row. Had there been higher-level classes to progress to, I would have kept thinking of myself as the least coordinated oaf in the room. Instead, I got to go through the kind of remedial training I so desperately needed after sixteen long years of coercive brainwashing.

    So, while results may vary, being somewhat of a klutz could easily point to your having been blessed with a natural, innate aptitude for coordination, agility, and grace. It is utterly human for people (including parents) to feel threatened when they notice that someone else (including their children) has talents that they do not possess or were not permitted to express. The unknown often gets misunderstood and rejected as too upsetting or unsafe. That’s a pity, given how much of existence on all its subtle planes will always remain unknown to us. With so little of existence ever even managing to make its way into our limited awareness, why we would want to judge and reject any of it when it actually does manage will always be a mystery.

    Our culture is deathly afraid of any coordination that is not completely redirected towards competition, as any professional dancer or athlete trying to survive in this ridiculous Puritanical pressure-cooker will happily tell you. Who knows which planes your coordination has been frightened off to, or which planes your klutziness may have come from? What I do know is that you possess depths of coordination within you that your culture never allowed you to freely explore, as well as endless internal gatekeepers siphoning off your coordinating energies whenever they do succeed in welling up — that’s just par for the course. What would your life be like if you were to cultivate the hidden energies of coordination, agility, and grace within yourself? How might the world around you alter as those hidden energies express themselves? And is that something you’re interested in exploring?

  253. oh geez, I made my comment prior to reading the whole thread, but after searching for “AT&T” and not finding it… but of course folks were discussing it without using that exact phrase. looks like my “this is collapse” sentiment wasn’t too far off the mark and I’m glad it’s. been brought up by others as well.

  254. Kyle, all of these are important questions — just at the moment, it’s hard to think of any that are more important, not least because the federal military at this point is astonishingly weak and overextended and the National Guard is not. What I don’t know is what the answers will turn out to be.

    Karl, that’s the big question, isn’t it? There are limits to what the federal government can do with the purse strings without Congressional action, and the House won’t support the Biden regime. But I can’t see Biden’s handlers letting this pass.

  255. In regards to our minds abilities/types of ( I wont to say visualization, but generalized, dont know the word) and learning modualities

    From what I have observed, I see no correlation.

    For me, I can visualize auditory, so I can hear things I remember, songs mostly, While I can play musical instruments it is on an amataur level. I am a poor singer. A poor artist and I cant dance. I cannot vizualize visually, cant make those pictures in my head. My learning modualities are most of them, visual, auditory, reading, writing, hands on, etc… I am happy moving around and keeping busy all day or sitting reading all day performed well in school all ages.

    I have a friend who visualizes visually so well, she can not only see it in her head, she can rotate it, change it, etc….She also performed very well in school, and I think has no problem learning thru most.all modualities.

    My youngest is a kinesthetic learner, but also can learn in the other modualities, hands on, books, auditory. This one does best if able to have movement at least some so picked Veterinary Doctor instead of Software design as a career so thinking of how wants work day not just what subjects (math/science) is good at. This one also excelled at music and dance as well as academics, homeschooled k-12, but when decided to take community college classes at 16 had no problems with all learning modualities and sitting thru classes etc…. I observed when younger, no problem learning auditory, hands on, visual, reading books, etc… as long as there were opportunities at some various points during the day to go move around ( recess, lunch breaks, after school with no homework, our public school kids used to have those too — too many kids for a while now do not have enough opportunities to run, climb trees, etc…) Since I was following Waldorf teaching advice in any case, as a normal process times tables were walked out or bounced on a trampoline, beans bags tossed to the child as a question is asked, but my other children did that too at brick and mortar waldorf schools, I didnt do this special for this one, but it is not normal for public school kids.

    Another child of mine has the most interesting visualizations, to me, as they are so different to me, I dont know this until offsprings adulthood But, this one doesnt remember the date to do such and such, like I somehow just remember abstractly, june 16, this one sees the calendar pages flipping, etc… This one generally seemed to learn most ways, but actually had a bit of a visual processing problem which resulted in this one learning to read a bit later, and the first book read being the first couple sentences in Chronicles of Narnia chapters, while I then read the rest. A constant reader after that, no problems in general in learning in school except later in higher mathmatics and all those symbols, some of them can get so easily misplaced, but careful lining up took care of it. But, I again see no correlation with the visual mind and learning styles, an avid reader and writer, a great singer, and and visual arts, painting and photography. This one was at a brick and mortar Waldorf school so didnt go to a regular school until high school.

    I think that our public schools do not meet the needs of teaching children to a large extent, so many can feel that they are a failure ( at 6 !) or not find their potential. Obviously, some are better at this and others at that, but we treat the children like they are cogs in a machine and they feel bad or wrong too much of the time alot of them. They are told they are behind or not good at this or that. There is plenty of time for that later when they are older. My eldest, with the visual processing problem, more exactly, never had reason to think about the issue at all. Never had to think about it, could just be a kid. Then as a young adult could contemplate what worked and didnt and what wanted to pursue as a life path.

  256. JMG
    You might be interested to read B’s two latest posts at thehonestsorcerer.medium.com. “Civilizational tipping points “is about 2024-2030 in our descent. “The end of the Colombian age” is about the ending of the 500 years of European and American world dominance. In that he mentions and highly praises your three stigmata of JRR Tolkien and the Orc fallacy
    Actually anyone of the commentarist would probably be interested in them.
    Stephen

  257. Hi there John,
    I’ve been following the developing situation on the southern border. I can’t help but notice the eerie similarities between this and your fictional account in “Twilight’s Last Gleaming”. Do you think it likely the states might start calling for a Constitutional Convention if this impasse can’t be resolved?
    Cheers! Paul

  258. JMG,

    RE: Twilight’s Last Gleaming

    I know that you wrote it as a warning. A warning that wasn ignored, and unheeded warnings are effectively predictions. I have to say that it was an excellent warning, and by extension, an excellent prediction.

    Also, I have a question about a forbidden topic. But I’m hoping that it’s the right kind of question. From reading the comments over the last several years it appears that there is a market for a book about magic and children. What would it take to write that book?

    One could probably skim some internet articles and crap out a book that would sell, but what research and personal practice would one need to do it well?

    Omar, there isn’t a one size fits all answer to your question. The timeframe matters. The details matter. What you and your family are willing and happy to do matter, etc. There are a million different details that could make one happy, prosperous, and secure in a country in steep decline or miserable, persecuted, and poor in a country undergoing rapid ascension. That said, I would caution against Germany.

    Germany has a number of things going for it in the very near term, but pretty much everything is going to get worse over time. If you and your wife end up going, I would urge you to consider it temporary and to have active plans for the next destination.

    In 2010 the Bundeswehr’s report on peak oil was leaked. It was strongly hinted that the military intentionally leaked it to get the ideas into circulation to jolt the politicians into action. The report warned that the threats to German energy security by 2030 “could not even be estimated.” For an industrial, manufacturing, export-driven economy that is the reddest of red flags.

    Here is a link to the German and English versions of the report: https://www.permaculturenews.org/2011/09/03/german-military-peak-oil-study-full-english-translation/

    The USA and Canada will probably have nice niches to occupy for multilingual, skilled professionals after the current political instabilities have resolved. Iceland will likely weather the storm well and provide political, economic, and social stability if you can adapt to the language and culture. Latin America and Russia will probably emerge from the current chaos better off than they are now, but again, you will need to learn the language and culture to take advantage of it. Russia has a semi-autonomous Jewish oblast and Argentina has a large Jewish community, but I would urge you develop more Russian or Argentine roots in case the current flustercuck in the middle east goes even souther; the jews were unfairly prosecuted for 2,000 years and the current actions of Israel could supercharge that with a massive dose of “fairly.”

  259. Hello Folks!
    Thank you to everyone for their thoughts and prayers last year. I had cancer, which a “probably on the spectrum” radiologist saw. I thanked him personally. Now I am struggling with a rare neuropathy – painless, but my nerves in my feet and legs, at times, take on a life of their own. I am open to any remedy that people may have in their experience.

    To give the permaculture and farming folks some news – our farms has been doing well using guerilla tactics, that is planting anywhere that is convenient and good for the plants. Our main problems here are ranchers planting non-native grasses, hogs and deer. The animals we have fenced out with an 8 foot high goat fence topped and bottomed with barb wire. Animals are now outside the fencerows.
    We let the native wildflowers and grasses have at everything we cleared, except blueberry and blackberry rows, The result of this is an enormous crop of flowers and some very fine native grasses actually running out some of the imported grasses. We only mow the fencerows and paths to various buildings now. We mow before spring and not again until after the flowers drop seed. it looks pretty cool, and a beekeeper is now paying us cut of his honey to keep his bees there. He stopped when he drove by and saw our plethora of wildflowers. Now we don’t need to do our own bees – just take our cut. I wonder if that is the origin of the name ‘honeycut’?
    We have re-established pawpaws there, which one only finds in select spots in Texas currently. We should have enough sprouted seedlings to give away this Spring. Pawpaws and
    hickory tree seedlings are doing well, as we are sending our graywater to them downhill from the house.
    Passion fruit has gone nuts in the uncut clearings – enough to make gallons of either wine or jam. It runs throughout the grass in every clearing. I planted sweet potatoes on the inclines into the dry gully behind the house. Those now appear to be ground cover with a high yield, Not harvesting those that have grown into the steep areas – hope they help slow erosion.
    We moved all the large briar plants we came across – most survived their transplanting. After this past year, we now have a briar patch about 25X20. It makes enough sprouts to feed 4 people tear round. I had no idea a briar patch was a thing and the sprouts so good.
    Our pears and crabapples on the fencerow are nearly 20 feet – we will top them, otherwise we will not be able to reach the fruit!
    The huge success is the overflow of figs. We planted 6 figs in large excavator tires, thew filled the tires with clippings, leaf litter and wood chippings 3 years back. Each of these figs produces around 20 gallons twice a season! They have no pests and require no maintenance too!
    Our castor bean plants are 2 yers old now, and I have to find a press to get the oil to burn in the tractors – then see how much I can plant in places where the soil is crappy. I got about 30 gallons of beans from 6 plants, but how much oil? Hmmm…
    This summer I am going to crank up the fish farming, trying to grow white perch in old hot tubs – I have done catfish here in my suburban home, so I am thinking this will be fun. I have 4 hot tubs to put in a row going downhill so I can use a single pump to recirculate. Never seen it done, but gravity does work….
    That’s it for things of interest to me outside of a few blogs such as here. I am glad we planted corn – I am eating a lot as I read news each day.. we are living in a true apocalypse due to the internet The revelations just keep rolling out, while demons in their skinsuits are left without explanation for their misdeeds. The whole Fani Willis thing, Biden crime family and the orange man under indictment for daring to exist…..it’s all almost too much too fast. And I loved the British navy ships crashing together while in harbor.
    Anyway, thanks again for those who sent positive things to me – here I am, still.

  260. @ Christopher from California

    Maybe so. My point was that it is very weird from an archetypal point of view. Empires are supposed to have emperors and yet the British and American empires have never had one. Compare with Rome where Octavian was Caesar (Ruler archetype), Commander-in-chief (Warrior archetype) and pontifex maximus (Sage archetype) all in one. So were all the Caesars who followed him.

    Meanwhile, Faustian civilisation denied the Sage archetype in the form of the Pope which led directly to modern atheism. The British denied the Ruler archetype by cutting off Charles I’s head. The Americans did much the same by going to war against George III. These led directly to parliamentary democracy and capitalism.

    If we assume there is an innate desire for the archetypes, then we would expect this denial of them to cause exactly the kind of existential angst that has been a persistent feature of Faustian civilisation. Even Spengler, in his non-historical writings, clearly desired the arrival of Caesarism especially in the form of the Warrior archetype via the Prussian military.

  261. I’ve just been reading Karl Weinfurter’s “Der brennende Busch. Der entschleierte Weg der Mystik”, and in it he recommends Bo-Yin-Ra’s “The Book on the Living God” as a source of exercises for those pursuing the mystical path which can be followed by anyone without danger, unlike those described by Krebs/Kerning which can be unsuited for some, but he also warns that Bo-Yin-Ra shifted tracks in later works and he cannot recommend those works. Do you or any of the commentariat have any insights on Bo-Yin-Ra (beyond what the wiki page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Anton_Schneiderfranken and his foundation’s site gives)?

  262. RandomActsOfKarma wrote:
    “If anyone would be willing to share if they have a correlation between their preferred learning modality and a strong (or not) mind’s eye or ear, I am quite curious.”

    I guess I’m on the extreme end of the Aphantasia spectrum as I have no mind’s eye, ear, nose (etc) at all. Anything that enters through my senses is gone almost immediately. Well, maybe not gone, because it has to be somewhere for me to be able to function, but I have no conscious access to any of it.

    This means that I don’t have any concrete memories of things I read or hear (etc) and I don’t really understand how I learn things. There’s no way to analyse what I’ve read or compare two things I’ve heard, for example. In other words: I have no idea what ‘thinking’ means 🙂

    I basically have two ways of learning new things. The first is absorbing a lot of information, which can be reading, watching somebody else do it, listening to someone explaining it, etc, and letting it brew inside me for a while. What happens there I could not tell you, but somehow this forms my understanding of things.

    The second is to simply start doing the thing I would like to be able to do. Just start somewhere that seems like a good starting point and move from there. Again, i have no idea how I do it, but most of the time the result is better that you wuld expect. Quite often it feels as if I can pick up the knowledge on doing things from outside of me, maybe a bit like a communal mind, or something.

    bk.

  263. JMG Wrote:
    “Halting natural gas exports when Europe is completely dependent on LNG from America is very nearly a guarantee that Europe will have to capitulate to Russia — at least to the extent of withdrawing all support from Ukraine, and possibly to a much larger extent. This is going to turn into such a mess…”

    Yes, it will be a mess, but at this point I think capitulating to Russia is Europe’s only hope.
    What are our alternatives? Going to war against Russia because our American overlords want us to? Starving ourselves to death because we have no energy? Going to war against eachother? All of the above?

    bk.

  264. @Ron M: your comment at #160 gives me a chuckle, and all I’m going to say is that I’m always impressed by how small the world is.

    In fact, I would go further and say: it strikes me that the community of what one might call dissident-intellectuals, the people who write about ideas and discuss and weigh them and so forth, the people who are DRIVING dissident narratives across the whole west… probably number no more than several thousand.

    It must be a very small number of internet commenters driving it all. For example, I bet that many commenters on this blog also comment at one or two other sites. From time to time I’ll see a commenter “in the wild” on another website offer a link to this one, and I’ll think, “See look, it’s probably the same handful of people that participate everywhere.”

  265. @bk,

    Gosh. It’s kinda funny… I’ve been trying to think of a response, but all I could think was that I cannot even imagine what it is like in your mind. And then I thought maybe that is what it is like for you. 😉
    Hmm.
    So far, I don’t see any pattern to the mind’s senses and preferred modality. Maybe there isn’t a pattern to see. (Ha. Since I have a weak Mind’s Eye, maybe that is why I cannot see it. 🙂

    Thank you for sharing, though. I find learning about different ways of processing/thinking quite interesting.

  266. @Christophe,
    First, thank you for sharing your personal experiences. It helps me understand how proprioception manifests itself. (I think.) To make sure I understand correctly, proprioception isn’t necessarily a sense, but rather gathering and processing sensory data and then sending that analysis back out to the body, so it can move ‘appropriately’ (I would think being coordinated and agile would keep the body from doing things that could cause itself damage).
    So if the mind’s proprioception organ didn’t receive adequate sense data, then the analysis would be insufficient for the body to be coordinated and agile.
    If that understanding is correct, then I think my klutziness is probably not the result of some sort of repression (I had other things to contend with growing up, but no one was ever worried I would be more graceful than them!). Rather, I think it might stem from poor vision. Nobody realized I needed glasses for distance vision until the 8th grade. I could read fine (if the book was in front of me), but anything past three feet away was a blur and I just thought that was how everyone saw the world. But that would mean my mind proprioception organ would only get incomplete data about my environment.
    Hmm. I wonder if this correlates with my weak Mind’s Eye.
    Thank you so much for introducing me to the concept of proprioception.

  267. @Christopher from California,

    “Absence of auditory imagination” worked!

    First, I found this great article that did some studies on people with various levels of sense imagery. Didn’t give me the specific word, but lots of info about how different parts of the brain are involved. I am going to review that some more and go back to JMG’s Five Rites books and see how things correlate.
    https://academic.oup.com/cercor/article/25/11/4638/2367627?login=false

    But then I found the ‘Aphantasia Network’ https://aphantasia.com/topic/auditory/. They said that aphantasia “can affect various sensory experiences in one’s imagination… [which ] includes auditory aphantasia, sometimes referred to as Anauralia or the ‘silent mind’.”

    THANK YOU!!!

  268. JMG – Re: Biden’s LNG decision. According to today’s Washington Post, which has a half-page article on it, what Biden has done is to impose new restrictions on granting permits to NEW LNG export facilities. We currently have 8 in operation, which will continue. Ten more have their construction permits, and their development will continue. And, the new ruling has a “national security exception”. So, I’m thinking that this will have no actual impact on LNG exports for at least two years, if ever. But it gives Biden a talking point to soothe the environmentalists.

    I often listen to Bloomberg Radio while driving, and a recent theme has been how the recession expected in 2023 did not arrive, and may not arrive in 2024, and it’s just sort of a mystery why not. Stock indices keep rising (though on a narrow base), consumers kept spending (though racking up record levels of debt), increases in the cost of living have slowed (though not declined), and unemployment is low (according to the official statistics). And I hear that US oil & gas production is breaking new records, and that we’re exporting more than we import. Yet no one draws the straight line between the two: energy drives prosperity! I suppose that when energy production falters, the powers that be will find any number of other scapegoats to explain their misery.

  269. Adding to Kyle’s comments, it is not just the National Guard units the Biden Admin needs to be concerned about. Most of the United States remaining military industry is in the Texas Coalition. For example, Air Force Plant 4 is in Fort Worth, Texas and that is where the F-16 and F-35 are built. Air Force Plant 6 is in Marietta, Georgia. America’s only remaining operational tank factory is the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center, also known as the Lima Army Tank Plant, located in Lima Ohio. McAlester Army Ammunition Plant is in Oklahoma. Radford Army Ammunition Plant is in Virginia. Anniston Defense Munitions Center is in Alabama. Iowa Army Ammunition Plant is in, well, Iowa.

    And this is not touching upon the fact the Texas Coalition is where America’s oil, natural gas and coal industries are located. The South has also replaced the Rust Belt as America’s industrial heartland:

    https://www.economist.com/united-states/2023/06/12/the-south-is-fast-becoming-americas-industrial-heartland

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/as-the-north-rests-on-its-laurels-the-south-is-rising-fast

    So this looks suspiciously like the production sectors pushing back against the finance sectors in addition to a fight over immigration and historical grievances between the North and the South.

  270. Also on Texas matter:
    There’s a Tucker phone interview with Gov Abbott who is in India on business.

  271. I was surprised to learn last year that Gail Tverberg’s favourite music is bluegrass. I immediately visualised her doing a hoedown. You have told us that you were into heavy metal as a young man, JMG. Was that uranium or plutonium? 😉

    Anyway, today I’m hosting Desert Island Discs and you’re the guest. You may choose up to eight albums or musical works that represent your present day tastes. What would they be?

  272. @Anonymous, #146

    You are right about different types of carbohydrates. If you eat one pound of potatoes, that will provide ~97g of carbs, but only 5g will be sugars; most of the rest will be starches, which are complex carbs that take some time to digest and break down in the gut. On the other hand, one 20oz bottle of fizzly brown sugary water will provide just 65g of carbs, but the whole of it will be high-fructose syrup. In the first case, you get a steady supply of energy over o couple of hours, while the second will flow past your stomach and hit your blood stream as fast as your bowel lining can absorb it. A healthy pancreas can handle both, but the fast hit stresses it; the evolutionary pressures selected for short seasonal bursts of this situation. You may want to investigate “glycemic index chart” for practical advise on what carbs are healthier (aka “slower”).

    I do not think I have to tell you that once you develop type II diabetes, all carbs are suspect. This is because the pancreas is already damaged and the insulin it produces is defective. You still have to keep an eye on the glycemic index of the carbs you consume, because your extrinsic insulin dosage will depend on your food intake and how fast that food will be absorbed. But in a low tech environment, it will be safer to just reduce the overall amount of carbs (your brain runs on glucose exclusively, so cutting carbs out completely is probably not a good idea).

    This is also in line with the historic correlation of diabetes with wealth. Peasant diets typically are based on a handful of grain crops (with one main cereal providing the lion share of the calories), and supplemented with veggies from the backyard (of which the most caloric dense are root vegetables). All of these are high carbs, high starch, mid-to-low sugar. While nothing prevents said peasants from having a village orchard as part of their commons, most fruit producing operations were, more often than not, gentry owned cash crops for the city markets; where in turn, fruits would be overwhelmingly consumed by the well off.

  273. Comment on Quora on the hydrogen bomb and fusion technology:

    “It was never even remotely possible.

    The fusion part of thermonuclear weapons fuses deuterium and tritium. Deuterium exists as a minor fraction of hydrogen, but even hydrogen is rare in our atmosphere. Tritium is radioactive with a geologically short half-life and must be manufactured to produce the quantities needed for fusion weapons.

    The chances of getting even one fusion from atmospheric deuterium and tritium from a detonation are low. Igniting the atmosphere would be impossible.

    To cause continuous fusion to ignite the atmosphere would require fusion of things like oxygen and nitrogen nuclei. That just doesn’t happen.

    Also fusion doesn’t work from chain reactions like fission can. To continue fusion it is necessary to continuously maintain high temperatures and pressures in an environment highly concentrated in deuterium and tritium.

    It is possible to fuse two deuterium nuclei but much more difficult than to fuse deuterium and tritium.

    Fusing protons like happens in the core of the sun is beyond the means of any hypothetical technology anyone knows about. It literally requires the formation of a star.”

  274. * I wonder what the comment means – a nuclear bomb with hydrogen compression was apparently tested on the bikini atoll and turned out to be a bigger explosion than thought.

    I got no clear answer whether a “true” hydrogen bomb was ever tested, or whether it stayed an abstract concept of design ever since.

  275. Stephen, thank you for this — reading those was very cheering. After all the frantic attempts on all sides of the spectrum to ignore the future barrelling down on us, it’s a huge relief to read someone who gets it.

    Bootstrapper, 19 states have already called for a constitutional convention to limit the power of the federal government and impose term limits on Congress, and another 14 are considering joining in this year. Once 34 do so, the convention happens. I expect to see it in 2025 or 2026 if Congress doesn’t do the usual thing, capitulate, and move forward on the necessary amendments itself.

    Team10tim, you’d have to be a parent and a practitioner of magic, and you’d want to talk to other parents who are practitioners of magic. A good background in occult philosophy would also help.

    Oilman2, delighted to hear that you’re still on the right side of the grass!

    Kerry, I’ve heard of Bo Yin Ra but never got around to reading anything by him. As for Weinfurter, though, I was fascinated to discover that one of his books was translated into English in 1930.

    http://iapsop.com/ssoc/1930__weinfurther___mans_highest_purpose.pdf

    It looks pretty good.

    BK, I won’t argue. The current US regime pretty clearly wants to strip Europe of its remaining assets and then leave it twisting in the wind.

    JustMe, I took a few minutes to scroll through the comments. You’re quite correct — something very big is happening.

    Ron, well, of course! It’s a fond fantasy of intellectuals to think that they’re somehow independent of the zeitgeist. In reality, of course, they are merely its loudspeakers — and yes, I include myself in that. Now that the Second Religiosity is showing up on schedule, intellectuals who would never have given the traditional Western faiths the time of day ten years ago are finding reasons to praise it. Most of them will be in church on Sundays themselves within another few years.

    Lathechuck, thanks for this. That seems less blazingly insane.

    Karl, yep. Since the productive sectors actually create value and the finance sectors simply parasitize it, that clash is inevitable and can only end one way.

    Siliconguy, what a monument to wretched excess! I hope that when the cruise industry goes bankrupt, somebody sinks that in the ocean so the dolphins can contemplate it and giggle.

    JustMe, and since Carlson is the most widely watched media figure in the English-speaking world these days, that’s going to have an impact.

    Batstrel, hmm! I’m going to suggest just two very long ones, which you’re free to reject: the operas The Magic Flute and Parsifal, by Mozart and Wagner respectively. Or selections therefrom — the prelude to act two of The Magic Flute and the finale of Parsifal are particularly choice. German opera is at the peak of my musical tastes these days.

    Curt, exactly. As for hydrogen bombs, the warheads currently in silos are all hybrids — a fission bomb yields the temporary radiation pressure needed to fuse tritium, and the tritium fusion then bombards an outer shell of fissionable materials with neutrons, setting off a second fission reaction. So it’s fission-fusion-fission, not straight fusion.

  276. It is amazing to me that the Biden Administration picked this border fight the way they did. I understand why the Biden gang, doing the bidding of the elites who desire downward pressure on wages and possible democrat voters, would show a policy of benign neglect to the border. But to actively prevent a state from protecting its border by actively having federal agents cutting fences and such provides such bad optics even to those citizens who did not have an axe to grind with Biden’s border policies before seems just stupid ( yes I know stupid seems to be the modi’s operandi of the Biden Administration ) but what a blunder.
    Are there other more sinister motivations? Perhaps a half baked attempt to separate and exclude the votes of many of the Red States in the 2024 election? Or having lost face oversees this is an attempt to make Biden look like a tough guy in the blue states? or is it just the stupid move of a group of elites who are so far down the imperial dementia curve that everything they do is stupid?

  277. @Simon S (#286), JMG, and the commentariat in general:

    The design of a country’s money, and especially its coinage, says a great deal about that country’s dominant archetypes. All through the 18th and 18th centuries no human being was ever featured on any United States coin — neither ruler nor warrior nor priest! There was a female head — or rarely, a full female figure — on almost every coin, but it was always a personification of “Liberty,” and it was so labeled on the coin itself. Even the so-called “Indian Head penny” ad “Mercury dime” actually show a personification of Liberty, so labeled.

    This all changed over the course of the 20th century. Before WW2 the penny got a portrait of Abraham Lincoln in 1909, the quarter a portrait of Washington in 1932, and the nickel a portrait of Thomas Jefferson in 1938. (These three, it could be argued, were human leaders who deeply embodied the country’s founding ideal of liberty in their personal political activity, — and not just during their terms in office as Presidents.)

    After WW2, however, the Treasury gave us coins that had portraits of men who embodied specifically “progressive” ideals in general, with no particular emphasis on Liberty as such: FDR (a ruler archetype) on the dime in 1946, Benjamin Franklin (a sage archetype) on the half dollar in 1948, and JFK (a ruler archetype and a martyr) on the half dollar in 1964. This change coincided with the massive extension of Federal power and the corresponding contraction of State power in daily life.

    There were also “ceremonial” dollar coins: Eisenhower in 1971, Suasn B. Anthony (replacing Eisenhower) in 1979, Sacagawea (replacing Anthony) in 2000. One can leave these out of consideration, as dollar coins were very rarely used in actual cash transactions by 1971. IIRC, the dollar and the half-dollar coins began to drop out of use as actual cash in the 1960s, possibly because the cash registers in use had long ceased to have compartments for them in their drawers.

    All these changes are, I think, highly significant for the changing shape of the “official ideals” of the US that were fostered by the Federal government, and thus for the trajectory of US history.

    Now, as we have begun to notice, there is a push away from the use of actual cash. One might see this as a push away from any actual ideals or archetypes at all in the country’s governance toward nothing more than raw power and control.

  278. Short comment on ATT and phones, again.

    It turns out that my problem may be something ATT is doing to my landline phone service. When I called Oregon the other day, both were out of state calls to cell phones, one had what to my area is an out of area area code, and the other even though actually out of state has a local area code, since I couldnt get thru to either one, and could call a few other cell phones located by me with local area codes, I thought it was an Oregon problem.

    Not so, yesterday while out with a friend, I used her cell phone and easily called my Oregon offspring with the out of area area code. 20 minutes later at my house, still get the “due to high call volume,,, ” message ! So, I called my 3rd offspring, who has a non local area code cell phone but is located close to me. And, I got the same error code ! I am simply baffled. Something is clearly wrong. must be at teh ATT switching station/computer, I will have to call them monday, and meanwhile cant call any of my family.

  279. JMG wrote: “I’m going to suggest just two very long ones, which you’re free to reject: the operas The Magic Flute and Parsifal, by Mozart and Wagner respectively.”

    Opera? That surprises me. I had opera down as being wordy and therefore for extroverts, yet I think of you as an introvert. I’ve never been able to get into Mozart, but dabs of Wagner I do find exquisite. I was very pleased with myself in the 1990s when I realised that Bernard Herrmann’s score for Hitchcock’s “Vertigo” was quoting, most fittingly, Wagner’s “Liebestod”.

    As a child in the 1960s, I had an aversion to orchestra, as I considered it old-fashioned. Probably I’d actually heard too much Mantovani on the radio! It was Walter Carlos, who later transitioned to Wendy Carlos, who first got me into classical music. I heard her synthesiser version of Beethoven’s “Ode to joy” (with Vocoder?) for the 1971 film “A Clockwork Orange” and was fascinated. As a result I bought her “Switched on Bach” and “The Well-tempered Synthesiser” albums, the latter of which led me to fall in love with piano versions of Domenico Scarlatti’s sonatas.

    In general I like music that stands out as a little different, so I’ll sign off with this:

    Ostinato (Live/1978) · Chick Corea · Herbie Hancock

  280. @ Simon S #92
    “What is archetypally weird about the British and American empires is that they have not been run by the three traditional archetypes.” Which you earlier listed as “Ruler, Warrior and Sage.”

    “…having Trump as president makes perfect sense. The US empire is based on capitalism. Trump is a capitalist. It’s an accurate representation of the way the US empire works. However, it doesn’t fit with the Ruler archetype who is supposed to at least pretend to be magnanimous, wise and just. Therefore, Trump is simultaneously failing to manifest the Ruler archetype while also revealing to America what it actually is: an empire run by merchants.”

    # 286
    “If we assume there is an innate desire for the archetypes, then we would expect this denial of them to cause exactly the kind of existential angst that has been a persistent feature of Faustian civilisation.”

    This is a fascinating line of thinking, and, of course you yourself have devoted many hours and much thinking to the Jungian archetypes. I have much less familiarity with them, and so, the following is only a “thinking out loud” sort of doodle, in comparison. Please forgive if inapt.

    Much hangs on whether, in the matter of social ordering, people have “an innate desire for [ANY] archetypes”, or whether people have “an innate desire for [one or more of those three specific] archetypes” – Ruler, Warrior and Sage. Because it strikes me that you mention merchants->capitalism as one engine of the peculiar entity that is the anglospheric empire, and democracy as the other.

    I wonder whether you have given any thought to how the merchant class, and the capitalist milieu they foster, might be an expression of the Magician archetype? In this case, our host’s speculations about Trump’s role as Trickster would have some resonance, but it may be that Trump is simply the best and truest expression of the Magician archetype which was already active throughout the lifetime of this empire?

    Likewise, I wonder if you have given any thought to whether democracy, and the forms it gives rise to, might be an expression of the Everyman archetype?

    Anyway, as always, thank you for good writings for thinking with! 🙂

  281. Hi John,

    What are the implications both domestic and foreign of America adopting a new constitution (or Congress adopting it)?

    A balanced budget would presumably lead to a substantially reduced defence budget? Would the Americans pull out of Europe?

  282. Greetings JMG,
    I came across an essay recently that I want to share with those to whom it may be of interest.
    It’s pretty erudite in the sense that the author does a pretty good job of incorporating personal
    experience together with intellectual material commonly used to understand the subject.
    What’s also interesting is the attempt to be “pantheon” neutral throughout. I do think that reading
    this essay added to my own thoughts and theories, especially regarding the objectivity / subjectivity
    of archetypes, the reality of the gods themselves, et al.
    What wasn’t real apparent was Dion Fortune’s concept of “All Gods are One God, and All Goddesses are One Goddess”?
    While the concept of “All That IS” is mentioned, in the form of the “Numinous”, the dichotomy into one Male, one Female God
    forms wasn’t so apparent. It’s a real attempt to make sense of a subject that many folks may find interesting.
    One of the best essays on the subject I’ve encountered, and worth sharing.

    I’d also like to post this link on your Magic Monday blog for those over there that don’t get over here?
    I sincerely hope that this will add to someone’s understanding on this subject! ;^)

    Here’s the link to the essay:
    If Gods Exist, How Can A Human Be Happy?
    http://ansuz.worldash.org/asatru/articles/misc/gods.html

  283. Dear JMG,

    I was as surprised at your use of the term “regime” as DFC was. I recall that you considered the 2020 presidential election just as fraudulent as an average US election, not enough to have affected its outcome. In any case, you considered Biden’s inauguration to be effective, or you wouldn’t have cast a horoscope for its exact timing. Biden has not been removed from office, and certainly not in a lawful way.

    As a writer and a mage, I am sure you considered the use of the word “regime”, as opposed to administration or government, very carefully. What moved you to choose it?

  284. RandomActsofKarma, Robert Mathiesen posted on his experience one or two Magic Monday’s ago – I can’t tell you where exactly to find it, but he is not a visual processor either (it’s much more complex than that).

  285. JMG, if the US withdraws its troops from Iraq and Syria, and leaves the Middle East for good, the raison d’etre of the petrodollar evaporates. That’s why Biden’s government won’t let it go easily. However, I fear as the US is pushed back from Asia, África and the Middle East, it will instead impose its whims over its old backyard – central and south America.

  286. @Bofur – granted there is likely a relatively small core of dissident-intellectuals but there are also a lot of ‘troops’ who participate, too, at varying degrees (from the wallflower to the full-blown keyboard warrior). Jeremy MacKenzie’s online ‘in group’ alone numbers in the several thousands. \\\

  287. Clay, it really does seem odd. My guess, though it’s only a guess, is that the sharply increased power of unions due to a contracting labor pool in the wake of the Covid fiasco has a lot of wealthy people spooked, and they’re frantically trying to enlarge the labor pool so they don’t have to let wages rise and have the whole jerry-rigged financial system take one more hit.

    Robert, that’s an excellent point and one that had not occurred to me. Thank you.

    Batstrel, I write for a living, and so “wordy” is right up my alley! You can certainly play Walter/Wendy Carlos’s synthesizer classics with my approval, though — I listened to Switched-On Bach quite a bit when I was younger.

    Forecasting, it won’t be a completely new constitution, just a set of amendments to the existing one — that’s what the 19 states that have called for a convention are asking for. The likely outcome would be a balanced budget, strict limits on what the federal government can require states to pay for, and term limits for Congress; it’s also been suggested that another amendment could allow a vote of 2/3 of the state legislatures to revoke any federal law or regulation. Yes, all this would force the US to back out of its current global military posture and require Europe to pay for its own defense, just for starters.

    Wizard, thanks for this. I’ll give it a look as time permits.

    Aldarion, the US media habitually uses the term “regime” for any government it dislikes, irrespective of whether it was installed by honest elections. We hear a lot about “Putin’s regime” even though the election that put him into office was considerably less corrupt than the one that put Biden into the White House. Thus it seems to me that what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander — and it’s past time to start hinting that maybe the US can and should be judged by the same standards it uses to judge others.

    Bruno, no doubt the attempt will be made; the question is whether the US at this point has the power projection capacity to maintain control over all 50 states, much less the continent south of us. The current situation in Texas suggests otherwise — and of course it hasn’t escaped my attention that the Iranian navy (well on its way to blue-water navy status) has been making friendly port calls in Venezuela and Nicaragua.

  288. @Christophe #208: I am a lanky, geeky biochemist who has always been very bad at striking a ball with my foot, at dancing or at drawing, while acing all other school subjects. I am quite happy that my daughter’s favourite subjects are physical education and arts!

    My actual question though is why geeky students in the US (judging from movies, but also from comments here on the site) are so exposed to ridicule and humiliation, apparently without any protection by adults. Is it anti-intellectualism shared implicitly by the teachers? Is it the veneration of sports and sports stars in the general population? I may have been lucky in life, but I have never had my pants pulled down, my head dunked in a toilet or suffered other humiliations one hears about.

  289. So I was reading Simplicius this morning, and I saw that the Biden administration has cut off LNG exports in retaliation against Texas.

    The sheer, unbridled stupidity of it is breathtaking:
    -Get into a proxy war with Russia
    -Sabotage the Nordstream pipeline to force Germany’s reliance on American energy
    -Insist that we must support Ukraine to stave off a Russian invasion of Europe
    -Get into a pissing match with Texas for the sake of allowing a massive flood of illegal immigrants into the country
    -Shut down a highly profitable industry in the middle of severe and growing economic difficulties
    -Undercut Germany and, likely, the rest of the EU, who form the bulk of our NATO allies, ensuring their eventual domination by hostile powers

    Am I getting this right? Is it as idiotic as it seems?

  290. Re: TX
    Watching that one closely. Relatives in San Antonio, and the family is throwing around contingency plan proposals in case they need to be leaving in a hurry. We don’t think it’ll turn into a hot situation– at least not soon, probably not before elections?– but I’m not sure we can rule it out entirely.

    It’s worrying that Bideninc seems to be doing on-the-DL sanctions on LNG exports in retaliation against TX.

    Have seen images around the veteran circuit proposing a new deployment patch with the Buc’ees beaver on it. Funny, but also kind of not.

  291. JMG,
    What effect do you think Friday’s International Court of Justice ruling on Israels actions in Gaza will have on both Israel and the US empire? It appears that it will have no immediate effect on Israel’s conduct of its war on Gaza, but it seems to me that the long term effects on the narrative that the US and Israel are the good, and rational actors in the middle east will be put out to pasture.
    It will also give an additional cloak of legitimacy to countries and groups that openly oppose Israel like the Houthis and Hezbollah. Overnight, from terrorists to enforcers of the International Rule of Law.

  292. Clay, Mr. Greer,

    I suspect the Biden Admin is partly motivated by two other factors. One, is that the South and the Midwest have a higher total fertility rate then the Northeast and West Coast. Two, is that the South and the Midwest have a higher combined population then the Northeast and the West Coast.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_and_territories_by_fertility_rate#/media/File:Total_Fertility_Rate_by_U.S._state.svg

    https://www.census.gov/popclock/data_tables.php?component=growth

    If present trends continue the Biden power base ends up becoming a small regional party and the immigration strategy seems to be an attempt to counteract that.

  293. re minds eye visualization:
    my ability to see things in my head does include rotating them, turning them upside down, adding or removing bits, shrinking stretching them in odd directions, changing the color or texture, if it’s a creature I can make it move and do things. Like a dragon opening and shutting its eyes, spreading and retracting its wings, shaking its head and making a huffing noise at me that produces steam.

    I can also write melodies in my head, and switch what instruments are playing a given piece in my head. For example, I experimented with mentally hearing eine kleine nachtmusic on kazoo, strings, flute, and brass, and the only one I had trouble with was brass. I got this blatty very badly-played trumpet when I tried imagining that! Maybe because I don’t play brass and I’ve never heard that piece played by brass instruments. Or I can hear an ambulance siren, or a varied thrush’s call, or a jackhammer (that one comes with the feeling of everything vibrating). Or a really bad recording of that squaredance teaching song ‘don’t break my heart, my achy-breaky heart, couldn’t ever hear the next few words…’

    I used to have trouble with writing letters backwards as a child, but that fixed itself when I began reading obsessively. I also had problems with numbers and +-X signs switching into different operations during long calculations during highschool. I would have had substantially higher math grades if I hadn’t been fighting that. I also find that now, when I write out music by hand, some of the notes are backwards.

    Oh, and I tend to get left and right confused – though less so than before I spent six years in a marching band. Left, left, left right left…

    I guess I have an unusually strong and flexible mind’s eye and ear, with a few odd side effects.

  294. @TemporaryReality #256 & @AtmosphericRiver #115, et al.,

    Yup. I got my notice today that AT&T wants to cut my landline service (I live up in Humboldt County, California).

    I don’t use it much, because they have made it so difficult. My landline is actually plugged into an old rotary phone. I’m somewhat amazed that I can actually still use a rotary phone, and I love it. But all too often a call I need to make starts with, “Press 1 for English”, or something, and I can’t do that. It used to be if you stayed on the line long enough, an actual human would come on the phone and help you, but I guess they gave that up. But it’s still my go-to phone for incoming calls from my father and a few others because the headset is more comfortable and often the call quality is better.

    But I mostly keep it around (and pay $50/month for the privilege) for emergencies. At the southern end of the Cascadia Subduction Zone, and not far from the Mendocino Triple Junction, I’m well aware that things could get seriously bad in less than two minutes. I want my Dad to be able to call me when he hears the news so he knows I’m alive and can spread the word to other concerned friends and family.

  295. Hey JMG

    Fair enough. I can personally say that it is a great book with a lot of human complexity, tragedy and comedy and casual acts of the miraculous that remind me of what you would read in the lives of saints or folktales. Of course if you still don’t like it the author has not only written other stories, but apparently did journalism as well.

  296. @RandomActsof Karma (#85):

    Temporary Reality (#314) is referring to the December 27, 2023, post on this blog, my comment #253.

  297. JMG wrote: “Curt, exactly. As for hydrogen bombs, the warheads currently in silos are all hybrids — a fission bomb yields the temporary radiation pressure needed to fuse tritium, and the tritium fusion then bombards an outer shell of fissionable materials with neutrons, setting off a second fission reaction. So it’s fission-fusion-fission, not straight fusion.”

    I’m old enough to remember when Howard Morland let that cat out of the bag in an issue of “The Progressive,” after a long court battle. It wasn’t by then a secret from governments who wanted to know; just a secret from the American public. Then lots more details followed thanks to a Silicon Valley engineer named Chuck Hansen (1947-2003). I’d also recommend John McPhee’s “The Curve of Binding Energy” because of his discussions with Ted Taylor, a bomb designer. I’m quite sure there’s lots more info out there now than these “classic” sources provide, but these are the ones that shaped my thinking for years.

  298. @ Robert

    Very interesting. I had a quick look for the coins issued by the British East India Company and its seem they originally had the British coat of arms on them and it was only when the British state took over in India that they began putting the king/queen’s head on the coinage.

    Electronic currency is a banker’s delight. I believe it was Jefferson who predicted that a central bank would be more likely to destroy the US than any tyrant/standing army. He may turn out to be right.

    @ Scotlyn

    Actually, I was thinking of the capitalists as the modern Warrior class. This is true in the sense that they are the engine of the US Empire in exactly the same way that the army was the engine of the Roman Empire. But capitalists also have a similar win-at-all-costs mentality. There’s also strong parallels between market competition and competition in war.

    It seems very clear to me that the scientists/experts have stepped into the role of Sage archetype, even though they probably never wanted to. The church used to control the main rites around birth, death and marriage, now the experts do that. Because scientists/experts have no training on how to be a Sage, they don’t do a very good job of it.

    That just leaves the Ruler. Nominally, we are in a democracy where the everyman is in charge. In reality, we are ruled by the Deep State. What happens when the President, whose job it is to portray the Ruler archetype to the masses, refuses to be the puppet of the Deep State? Well, we’re seeing an example right now and the psychological ramifications are very obvious.

  299. JMG, thank you for that link to the Weinfurter translation “Man’s Highest Purpose” – it turns out that this is a translation of the same work as what was translated into German as “Der Brennende Busch”, and seems to be considered his magnum opus in the German world from what I can tell.

  300. Brian, you mentioned that people are moving to S American locations “it’s a kind of Constantinople (or Irish monastery) strategy. Smart strategy or a just a rich people larping exercise that will fall apart if the West really circles the drain?” Two thoughtful negative comments were made about safety concerns in such area.
    Some of us are doing this in Japan, which in my opinion is one of the safest and health preserving locations in the world. If interested please contact me. we are yugeshima.com Mots

  301. Fiction about merchant’s families? In SF there is the Liaden universes–yes, more than one, by Lee and Miller, a husband and wife writing duo. The novel I read included sentient trees.

  302. Oilman2 (#285)
    It is lovely to see you post again! I’ve no suggestions on neuropathy, but will certainly be among those sending you good vibes.
    Congratulations on having a well thought out, beautiful place to live and create. The bee story makes me smile. All in all, I thought I was hot stuff because I cook/bake from scratch, make my own tinctures, and knit dishrags, but oh hey, I’m feeling pretty humble right now. 🙂
    OtterGirl

  303. Everyone and All,
    It’s most likely not just just my Wife and I that are appalled with the so-called U.S. Postal Service, and rightly
    so! Much or most of it contracted out if I’m not mistaken, and taking a downward dive ever since.
    Soon it will eat up “the Better part of a Buck” to mail a First Class Letter! That’s pretty Bad, and the service is atrocious.
    Of course they will tell you that none of the issues are Their fault. I’m a pretty Senior citizen, been around a Long time,
    and I simply have never seen anything like this. The Brits can probably mail a letter to anywhere in the “kingdom”,
    and you’d get it in the Morning Post! It makes the Greatest country on earth look like a laughing stock, at least in
    that frame of reference! Of course there’s a theory that it’s to escalate electronic commerce in All it’s myriad forms
    and of course the PTB want total electronic financial control by killing Cash, and Chipping your “Pets, Kids and You!”.
    It doesn’t appear that the Postal issues will be corrected from “within” the dysfunctional system it’s become?
    Any thoughts?

  304. Re the southern border, Grover’s comment about neighbors being more than happy to load up their trucks and head off to El Paso to lend a hand brought to mind militias (not National Guard units). This issue sounds right up their alley so the question is why the silence from them? Have they been active in this? Have I been missing something?

  305. Weinfurter is cited by mouravieff in Gnosis. I tried the feet exercises early on in my work, but didn’t get far. Bo Yin Ras book of the living God was inspirational and fascinating. Guenon steered evola away from him and claimed he was a charlatan. Meyrinck did the weinfurter exercises in Vienna. There’s a good article about all that if I can find it. I don’t think I really understood what I was doing when I first tried them. It’s a combination of mysticism and magic

  306. Cliff, as Lathechuck pointed out above (comment #297) the ban doesn’t affect currently contracted shipments or existing facilities — it just bans permits for new LNG facilities. So it’s not quite as moronic as it sounded at first.

    Methylethyl, I’m certainly not ruling it out, though things seem to be moving away from confrontation at the moment.

    Clay, I don’t know that it will accomplish that much, but it certainly gives any nation in the world minded to cut trade ties with Israel a good excuse to do so.

    Karl, yes, I could see that.

    J.L.Mc12, oh, I have no doubt that it’s a great book. There are many great books I don’t happen to enjoy, and some distinctly mediocre ones that I do enjoy.

    Phutatorius, I remember that hullaballoo as well.

    Kerry, you’re welcome and thank you.

    Wizard, er, before comparing Britain and the US in terms of the speed of postal delivery, you might want to look up their comparative sizes. (Hint: the US is 40 times larger and has far more in the way of rugged country and geographical barriers…)

    Smith, an interesting question. I should hope they’d have enough operational security not to have their actions splashed all over the internet!

    Celadon, interesting. Thanks for this.

  307. JMG et al,
    Has anyone heard or seen any allusions to the “antithesis” of “The Great Reset” being the concept of “A Great Awakening”?

  308. @Karl: I don’t think it’s a Dem strategy, fwiw. Neither party so far has had the least motivation to do anything about it, despite migration being a really big deal to the public, and the part where it’s been going on for years now. The uniparty is completely for open borders, even the ones who pay lip-service to a voter base that’s alarmed by it. Everything they do, they do in a way that ensures zero effect.

    Zoom out a little. Before the US became part of the onslaught, it was France, the UK, Germany, Scandinavia, and most of the rest of Europe (except what? Hungary and Poland? Are there any other countries that’ve tried to maintain their borders? I don’t think Iceland is being invaded: too cold). And that’s still going. I’m not a Democrat and never was one, but this didn’t originate with them. It’s global, and it’s aided and organized by a bunch of NGOs like USAID, HIAS, Red Cross (remember, these are not charities, they’re money-laundering and covert-ops fronts that let big operators and governments do stuff they couldn’t get away with if the public knew about it), plus the cartels, and then conveniently ignored by governments whose leadership is, I’d guess, well paid to look the other way and stall any action. Most of the immigrants these days aren’t doing well. It’s not the American dream (or the Euro dream) anymore– I mean, I’m sure the land of free stuff was what was promised to many of them on the other end, but… the reality’s a lot uglier for most of them. Why do they keep coming? They’re being recruited, and it ain’t their own money paying passage.

    So the real question is, who’s recruiting, who’s paying, and why? The scale of the thing suggests maybe China or Russia– a large government conducting a massive, covert, coordinated hostile action against *all* its enemies (basically, the industrialized West), with the end goal of global hegemony. Hard to say if the WEFfies are a significant part of it or if they’re just fanboys. I expect folks like the Chinese and Russian governments view them as diseased toads– possibly useful, but use gloves.

    If that doesn’t seem plausible… ask why USAID isn’t funneling Somalians into China or Russia. Arguably, China needs the labor– they’re having a bit of a birthrate crisis themselves. Russia has been importing migrants from all its old satellite states deliberately and in large numbers, lately, for labor reasons. Over five million last I heard. Clearly they could use some extras. Why doesn’t USAID give the teeming masses maps to the Russian border?

  309. This uncontrolled American southern border isn’t mere incompetence but a deliberate choice from the shadows behind Biden. Wonder what the motivations and reasonings and the goal(s) are. I suppose we can speculate and draw conclusions. But I am puzzled.

  310. @Doctor Hooves,
    I have particular reason to be concerned about gov surveillance. Several people have reported recently that they react to the latest smartphones, even when they are turned off, unless the battery is removed, and in recent phones, it can’t be.. My Russian student brought me his news 5G smartphone a couple years ago. I was getting a signal from it even when he turned it off.

    It is becoming harder and harder to function without wireless communication devices, and all signs point toward mandating it. Yours truly might wind up in jail.

    But it looks to me like a sort of “Tyranny? Take this you mofos!” sentiment is on the rise in a lot of places. It has not really surfaced in Japan, but that is also characteristic of how they’ve historically dealt with tyranny.

    Another thing I note, which JMG has included in his fictional prognostications, is that cheap drones made out of ticky tacky are becoming quite the thing these days.

  311. Just think, if you had electronic currency, this whole Texas imbroglio could have been sorted in a couple of days. Simply freeze all their money until they starve or see sense.

    The United States is protected by two oceans and 535 congressmen who need financing to get and stay elected. Spot the weakness in the US defenses.

  312. RandomActsOfKarma wrote:
    “I cannot even imagine what it is like in your mind. And then I thought maybe that is what it is like for you. 😉”

    Well, this is the mind I was born with and I have absolutely no problems with it. It took me the best part of 40 years to find out that most other people’s minds work quite differently..

    Yes, there are things I can’t do, but it’s also a blessing. Apparently, most people have a steady stream of thoughts going through their mind that they have very little control over. I don’t have that: my mind is very peaceful and quiet. I think I would go mad if I had that noise going through my mind all the time!

    Everybody has a part of their mind that they can’t consciously reach, I think. It’s just that I know I depend on it, while most other people hardly know it exists 🙂

    bk.

  313. @JMG Thanks for the response above. Well, if I can get this published, perhaps it will prompt others to dig deeper…

    @Omer #223 Conservative American writer Rod Dreher, whose readership overlaps this blog’s to quite an extent, is now an expat in Budapest, Hungary. He has repeatedly noted how safe the country is for Jews compared to other European countries. Good luck with the language, though.

    @Jeff #197 I’m not sure if these would fit what you’re looking for, but American author and later scholar Owen Lattimore wrote two books covering his trip accompanying a camel caravan taking goods from Tianjin through Inner Mongolia and onwards to Turkestan (now called Xinjiang) in the 1920s. It’s a travelogue, but contains a lot about how merchants operated on the silk road. The books are The Desert Road to Turkestan and High Tartary. Also not really what you want but perhaps of interest might be Forgotten Kingdom by Peter Goullart, a White Russian refugee and mystic, who was commissioned in the 1930s by the Republican government of China to set up textile collectives in northern Yunnan province, where various ethnic minorities lived on the borderlands of Tibet. It also contains material about trade in a largely pre-industrial society.

  314. Smith,

    For my part, I can tell you that the militias are likely alive and well. At least they are here. My mother was once staying at a local hotel with an indoor pool. This was back when we lived in a very tiny primitive cabin with no real room for guests, and we always enjoyed her visits, for one because we got to go swimming in a warm hotel pool at a time when we didn’t even have indoor plumbing. One time when we were there I wrapped my towel around my waist and went into the lounge to get a soda, but I didn’t expect a militia meeting when I walked in there! There were probably 40-50 young men in there, all in BDUs of one sort or another – not official military gear, more like shale they ordered from Brigade Quartermaster. Let me just say that I am not a little guy. I’m about 6′ 2″, 220 lbs, and I felt like a mouse among this congregation. These guys looked like they’d been training all their lives for the sort of thing that’s going down in Texas – piped, ripped, and all wearing sidearms, bowie knives, and so forth. They came in quietly, and left quietly, and I’ve never seen anything like that again.

    But they are there, I assure you…and when the time comes, I imagine they’ll be ready.
    And I highly doubt any of these boys voted for Biden…
    Cheers.

  315. Simon S – thank you!
    Yes, capitalists as a Warrior class, I could see that, too. If you have been at the business end of a new “market” being “opened” (and the forcible “opening of markets” WAS the East India Company’s whole “schtick” after all), you will have experienced going through the wars. And, of course, David Graeber speculated that the first coins were designed with a view to creating the kinds of markets that would sustain soldiers in the field, saving the king from having to maintain continuous, direct military supply lines.

    Still, the capitalist, as a warrior, carefully cloaks the sword held in his invisible hand, and weaves many spells (some of them the kinds of “malign enchantments” our host has discussed, including the dark arts of advertising, and even darker arts of marketing), his conquest to accomplish. So, Warriors, maybe, but not *just* Warriers.

    Be well! Stay free!

  316. #Forecasting Intelligence, #Robert Mathiesen, #pygmycory, #Boccaccio, #Nachtgurke –
    Thank you all for your useful insights! see you in Europe soon 🙂

  317. @ RandomActsOfKarma and others discussing interior mental processes…

    I have to say that Robert Mathiesen’s comment a couple of blog posts ago got me thinking and observing the “space behind my eyes” to see what it is like for me.

    Also, the huge variety of ways in which other people, including yourself, have described their “interior” experiences is wonderful to hear!

    So, here is what I have discovered.
    1) I seem to have a continuous “narration”, or soundtrack, going on in my head. My own thoughts “appear” to me in this narrative form, as if I was reading out loud to myself, and the only things that interrupt the narration are a) a decision on my part to closely listen to the environment in real time (this can sometimes silence my internal wordstream for a few minutes), or a physical activity – like tai chi, an outdoor walk, cooking or cleaning or other domestic tasks.
    2) I cannot abide background sound – radio, music, lectures, or any other kind of active listening fodder – when I am reading. And I love reading. So this is a LOT of the time.
    3) When I have to “active listen” – ie taking a lecture course, or conducting a patient consultation – I *must* take notes, or I literally cannot hear what is beiing said. (I now realise that this must be because the external narrative stream somehow competes with my own internal one). As soon as I take notes, I can “see” what the person has said, and this turns it into a non-competitive input, which I can then “hear” properly. In fact, a few months ago, I made an astounding discovery. My husband and I were shaping for a row, not a thing that happens too frequently, but, it can, and you can feel it coming… Well, so, I grabbed a handy notebook and pen and began to take notes as he was speaking and… wow! All of a sudden what he was saying was making a huge amount of sense, and I found I was able to back down from my own heightened (and somewhat defensive) emotional ladder unusually quickly.
    4) the only exception to disliking “active listening” material is when my hands are busy. Not if doing tai chi or walking, but definitely if I’m busy about the kitchen or cleaning or some other “handiwork”, then it is a pleasure to put on a podcast or piece of music and let my mind pay attention as my hands do whatever it is that they know how to do without much conscious input from me.
    5) It seems I *can* visualise – on demand, I CAN conjure images in my mind with relative ease – colour, shape, texture, gleam, etc. But I do not seem to do this spontaneously, and my thoughts do not take visual forms. If I have not asked my mind to visualise, it can be imageless, but it is almost never wordless.
    6) I always presume there is a whole heap of stuff (much of it wordless) happening somewhere in other “rooms” in my mind, but in terms of conscious attention, I seem to be stuck in the room that generates the continuous soundtrack, unless I can surrender entirely to the movement of my body and/or to the work of my senses (especially hearing).

    I hope this helps.

  318. @JMG #44, @Christopher #264

    I believe Uruguay is a safe place, America or no America. It’s where Argentines and Brazilians park their cash, the “Switzerland of South America.” so there’s tremendous local incentive to keep it that way. And these guys (all guys ofc) are making an effort to integrate, learning Spanish and aiming for naturalization. They are nice upstanding folks as far as I can tell. My concern is that for most of them, their income is still very much dependent on America NOT collapsing, so it’s just advanced larping at this point. The local economy cannot support their lifestyles. No way no how. To their credit, they’re trying to detach and earn locally but predictably earning pesos is never fun, some doing farming but most just living in the cities (Montevideo, Punta del Este). One guy is a plumber. I give him good odds! As far as them locking out other American expats that follow them, oh hell yes. It’s basically a libertarian group not a peak oil hippy dippy group. And @Marvin #333 oh wow that’s a cool alternative to the usual “run away to Latin America” ideas. Very safe, nice climate, and increasingly, open land for cheap. I’ve only been to Tokyo and Kamakura but loved it.

  319. @ Wizard_in_the_Woods_1949, JMG

    Sad to say, those days are long gone. A letter posted on Monday in London would probably not get to Edinburgh before Thursday at the earliest and that would require some luck.

    Also, given the convulsive scandal the Post Office is involved with, it’s unlikely to get any better in the near future. In fact Royal Mail floated the possibility of moving to delivering only 3 days a week (which requires a change in the law) just last week. The Royal Mail and the Post Office are different beasts but both involved in getting letters to their destinations.

    Would anyone be interested in the hearing more about Post Office Scandal, the general naughtiness of the PMC and the little bit of magic that happened a few weeks back?

  320. Some observations:
    * The National Guard comprised a major component of the troops engaged in Desert Storm.
    * Perhaps they’ve noticed that new LNG terminals may be moot given that the Permian’s rolling over.
    * I’m thinking perhaps SCOTUS’ JR & ACB may be giving the left the ropes with which to hang themselves.
    * Both “Project Ukraine” and the “The War on Trump” are obviously failing miserably given the increasing desperation of the neocons and the left.
    IMHO a lot of things are coming to a head this election year.

  321. @Bogatyr #349 re: Mercantile Book Recommendations

    Thanks for these! You’re right that they’re not exactly what I had in mind, but it sounds like they might be in the fruitful border of “what I was looking for” and “wouldn’t even have thought to look for it.”

    Cheers,
    Jeff

  322. Greetings JMG!

    I was looking to see if you had posted thoughts on Rene Girard’s ideas but haven’t come across anything. I’ve seen other thoughtful folks like Darryl Cooper be nearly fully on board with Girard’s philosophy. Did you share extended thoughts on Girard’s? Care to share abbreviated thoughts?

    Thanks,
    Matt

  323. If you can’t take the battery out of your cell phone, you can buy or find or make a metal box bigger than the phone to keep it in when you don’t want to use it. It must be made entirely of metal. When the phone is in it and the box is closed, it cannot receive signals from outside the box, nor can it transmit signals from inside the box. It’s the same principle as a metallized wallet protecting your chip cards from being read, or your car protecting you from lightning strikes as long as the doors are closed.

  324. Dave in WA: I tried the Bright Line diet for around two weeks. My experience was about the same as what our host described himself having with macrobiotics. My metabolism seems to need just as some crave meat. Maybe that is genetic inheritance from distant European peasant ancestry. After about two weeks of protein + veges, my body informed me it wanted biscuits. Now, if you please. One plate of cornmeal buttermilk biscuits later…

    About elites settling in places like Uruguay, sooner or later, the security staff, nagged by their indigenous wives, who all have family needing to be provided for, will being wondering why does that fat slob have all this land, etc. while I get peanuts?

    JMG or anyone, when there is and always has been an astonishing diversity of human cultures and civilizations, even in the distant past, see The Dawn of Everything, why do we assume that so-called archetypes are everywhere universal? Is not the doctrine of Archetypes–based, so far as I can understand, on a profound misreading of classical myth, itself the result of the mixing of centuries of earlier beliefs, yet another example of impudent western intellectuals imposing their personal theories on all humanity?

  325. Brian, thanks for the details about Uruguay. Isnt Soros heavily involved there?
    You mentioned “I’ve only been to Tokyo and Kamakura but loved it.” But the countryside here is very different- very open, wide beautiful spaces. Vacant housing. Abandoned farms with fruit falling from the trees. Very pro liberty. It is strictly against the law to coerce anyone to take any vaccine for example….. Prices for basic housing, used cars, insurance, basic food, medical are vastly lower than in America here. Outside the cities.

    Asia in some ways is leading the world. Even China.- now that they are following America with factory jobs disapearing the govt is encouraging young people to leave cities and build their futures in the countryside. Small rural resilient communities are the future. Asia is already the main source of created physical wealth, leading with most new technology and very vibrant, like America was 100 years ago. I recently won a new tech competition and went to China for a week. Its true that many factories that make stuff for Walmart are closing but they are becoming more resilient for their own future (moving away from being Americas slavelandia) and are preparing a new financial system based on gold (having 20x as much as America) along with Russia and many other countries. to replace the worn out American system. Asia is much more forward thinking and moving forward and has much to offer for those with skills, a hard work ethic and who seek a life free of guns and drugs.

  326. Wizard, no, that one’s not something I’ve seen. It doesn’t surprise me, though.

    Brian, for now, it might be.

    Andy, you certainly have my curiosity piqued! Tell me more.

    TJ, it really does seem to be crunch time.

    Matt, I field questions from Girard fans tolerably often on these open posts, and they always go away disappointed. I find Girard’s theories wholly unconvincing, for the same reason I find Freud unconvincing. Girard’s scapegoat complex is exactly parallel to Freud’s Oedipus complex; both men pulled one thread out of the intricate tapestry of human thought and behavior, gave it an entirely unjustified predominance, and turned it into the basis for an argument for the point of view they wanted to push. Both sets of arguments look very convincing to people who want to accept their point of view, and pretty vacuous to the rest of us.

    Siliconguy, of course they were. The delightful thing about all this is that it’s just going to encourage ordinary Americans to grow more of their own food, since so many people are sick to death of the endless preaching about carbon (inevitably by those whose lifestyles consume far more carbon than the average).

    SLClaire (if I may), it’s even better if you can fasten one end of a piece of copper wire to the outside of the box and the other end to a metal pipe — if your house has metal plumbing or steam radiators, those are great, and if not, you can literally drive a few feet of pipe into the ground outside the window and connect the wire to that. Grounding the box guarantees that the energy in electromagnetic radiation impinging on the box will be drained off into the earth harmlessly.

    Mary, you might want to read some Jung someday. He says in so many words that some archetypes appear to be universally human while others are specific to ethnic and national cultures. No, his theories are not just based on classical myth — but again, you might want to read him sometime and see for yourself.

  327. Many have commented about their inner thought processes. Mine are unremarkable, but I thought it might still be interesting to compare notes. Like Scotlyn, I usually hear my thoughts as a continuous voice in my head. This is particularly perceptible because the voice will be in different languages depending on the subject matter – e.g. English for scientific or economics issues or anything related to this blog 🙂 Again like Scotlyn, I don’t like any kind of background music or voice when I am reading or thinking. Since I was 10 or 12, I had a habit of rehearsing some kind of argumentative discourse to myself when walking in the street – tracing my steps back to the main thread of thought when I had got sidetracked. This may not be entirely unrelated to what JMG calls discursive meditation.

    My memory is greatly enhanced by visual cues – recalling that a sentence I read was in the topmost paragraph of the left-hand page in a book, for example – or auditory ones – putting words in a rhythmical pattern and stressing the sound patterns.

    It is very rare that I take any action or even speak anything consequential without having thought through the reasons for doing or speaking so. On the rare occasions when I have acted or spoken without knowing why I did so, it was (surprisingly to me) as often as not a good choice.

  328. TH and the Bear, I have nothing against Justice Barrett, who seems to me to be a perfectly pleasant, overachieving and virtuous woman, but she is not clever enough to give the left rope to hang themselves with. Especially since that faction is busily hanging itself without any help. She was nominated because Pres. Trump, not liking to read, looked over dossiers of women judges and picked the one who would make the best impression on TV. What I think is that she made deal to basically do what she was told in return for upper class level opportunities for her 5 oldest children and best of care for the disabled youngest. I sincerely hope it works out for her.

  329. @ Robert Mathiesen,
    Thank you for directing me to your post. My husband, too, says when he is not actively thinking, his mind is quiet. Mine is not. It is interesting to read about all the different ways people “think”. Thank you very much for sharing.

  330. JMG, I take your word for it, about Jung. I await your essay about Jung, and archetypes, explaining why one should read his works. I have a list of famous writers whom I simply do not care to bother with. The list includes such luminaries as Joyce, Freud and Marx and Jung I am not yet sure about.

  331. Good day JMG,

    It is quite surprising that there is not much mention in the major newspaper or google news , except one conservative news outlet) of what is happening in Texas, and with the other red states support.

    You would think that a major dispute between the federal government and lots of US states would make the news.

    In my mind it means that mainstream media is under tight control. The question is who? I would think it is the big corporations , money and their political and media representatives who have an interest in being on one side of this issue.

  332. @bk,

    Yup, for many years my husband did not understand that I cannot turn my thoughts “off” and I did not understand that he could. What bothers me, though, is that in all my teacher training, they taught us all these different ‘learning styles’ (modalities being just one type) and all the strategies we were taught were external… so long as we presented the information in different ways, it would ‘get inside’ the student’s mind and that was what we were after. I never realized that even if the information got inside, the processing is so completely different, even for people with similar style preferences.
    I have much to ponder…

  333. As an addition to my comment, I saw yesterday the head of the European Commission said in Davos this year that the main priority for the next two years is to ‘ reduce misinformation ‘

  334. Thanks, JMG – I didn’t think of that. I also want to mention that when one has to carry one’s phone, putting it in a metallized wallet or pouch would cut down on its EM radiation and keep it from being contacted by EM radiation from outside. I haven’t done this yet, but my imagination suggests lining the inside of a wallet or pouch big enough for the phone with aluminized PET, maybe multiple layers if one layer isn’t enough.

  335. @Scotlyn,

    1. I have continuous narration, too. And when I read a book, I do not like background noise, either. And when I read, I ‘hear’ the book, and the characters have different voices.
    3. I have to take notes to really understand when people talk.
    4. Background music when crafting is acceptable, so long as it is something that doesn’t require much counting. If counting is required and background music is on, I *have* to count out loud, or else I mess up if it is over 5 of what I am counting.
    5. Even though I cannot see things in my mind, I can tell if things will fit (or look right) in my mind. (for example, like deciding where to hang a picture)
    6. Oh, I know my mind has different ‘rooms’. Sometimes, if I am stuck on something from a meditation, I’ll stick it in the ‘percolate’ room. I can leave it back there for days or weeks and then say hey, come to the front of the house and let’s see if my mind figured anything else out. Sometimes it has and sometimes, it has to go back in the percolate room for a while longer. But usually eventually my mind figures it out (or finds it in the astral and brings it in?).
    Thank you so much sharing. I really am enjoying reading about everyone else’s internal mental processes.

  336. JMG and Silconguy,
    I expected this to show up eventually. I am wondering if this hoped for war on backyard food in just a case of them throwing something against the wall to see if it sticks, or they are telling us this is the start of a major push.

    If it’s going to be the start of a major push, well … 🐱‍👤 (that’s the Ninja Cat)
    Once again, we shall see.

  337. @Atmospheric River,
    I agree… so far, no correlation that I can tell. 🙂
    And I agree that public schools do not meet the needs of most learners. Decades ago, when I entered the teaching profession, there was a push to ‘differentiate instruction’. Back then, that meant to consider preferred learning styles and to offer different ways of learning the same material, but it also included offering different pacing. Some students learn some things more quickly, some more slowly. And especially in lower grades, a just-turned-seven-year-old can be at a very different developmental age then someone who is an almost-eight-year-old. So back then, you were encouraged to change your pacing for different students. But that made it harder for administrators to come in and check off their boxes on their observation instrument, so now they do not even consider pacing as part of differentiated instruction, which is absolutely nuts.

  338. Hello mr.greer,
    The latest news with climate change seems to be that earth’s climate is more sensitive than researchers expected and that things will get properly disruptive sooner. I am currently at a point where I have to decide what to learn right now in order to make a living. To me, the most future-adapted options seem to be the more down-to-earth professions (construction, nursing,etc) as the economy gets blown to smithereens but I have a hard time imagining anything appealing for me in that area. I have done farming and construction for a year but do not really enjoy it (I am close with people that are down-to-earth but that is not really what I am). I think I have a undevelloped talent for writing but that requires much free time for practice and I really worry that a collapsing society does not have much room or interest for artists. I would like to prepare myself to walk that very oppressive landscape but I have no idea as how to do it. Do you have any advice or suggestions ?
    Also how does one stay spiritually open to find and sustain some divine peace in themselves in such an oppressive and destructive time ? I worry that a lot of the increasing misery everywhere makes us selfish, distristful and uncaring of others, leading to a generalized sense of inhumanity in the world.

  339. So a couple of things happened today. One a kamikaze drone attack managed to kill 3 US soldiers and wound dozens more in Syria. The other is Nancy Pelosi going on CNN and calling the pro-Palestinian wing of the Democratic Party Russian agents. We already got members of Congress from both parties demanding military action against Iran.

  340. On cellphones: I suspect that if you put a new cellphone that can’t be turned off into a faraday cage, that it will increase it’s transmitter power to the maximum to try to find a tower to communicate with and run its battery down quickly. Well, that might be fine unless you actually needed to use it now and then. I have an old, cheap smart phone that can be turned off or placed in airplane mode, which is where I keep it unless I want to make an outgoing call. My broadband meter doesn’t get a signal from it in airplane mode. Out of airplane mode it “goes out” to find a tower every few minutes, even tho I’m not making a call, and my broadband meter notices.

  341. JMG,

    As you recently wrote about the 30×30 plan, have you come across this news?…

    New York Stock Exchange Abandons Plan To Control America’s Natural Resources

    https://www.zerohedge.com/political/new-york-stock-exchange-abandons-plan-control-americas-natural-resources

    After reading your essay in Ascendant II, I was researching ancient polytheism, eventually coming across this author and essay…

    Emil Mihai Cioran; The New Gods; 1968

    https://coronzon.com/pdf/cioran/The_New_Gods_Cioran.pdf

    …I’m curious to know what you think, should you be willing and interested. Much like your writings, Cioran helped me to start considering a variety of things in different ways. Maybe he comes off as a bit too grumpy, but I prefer that to saccharine optimism.

    Thank you for your time and efforts; they are very much appreciated.

  342. Marvin Motsenbocker,

    Your comment about China having 20X the gold reserves of the U.S. in their central bank vaults is a curious one. Do you know this for sure? I know that BRICS is planning on revaluing gold at some point to strengthen their emerging global economic hegemony and kill the dollar, but owning the lion’s share of the planet’s yellow metal seems like an important part of that. If they really do have 20X America’s stash, not even counting the B, R, I, and S of BRICS, much less the other nations that are joining as fast as they can, that time might be imminent. Especially with Trump doing so well in the primaries. They may try to get this done in ’24. The darkly ironic part is that they (like me on a vastly smaller scale) are happy to accumulate the stuff at the (very obviously) suppressed prices that the COMEX and London are forcing on the market.

    I’m extremely small potatoes, but my primary strategy for getting my house paid off fast – the only debt I have left on my books – is to accumulate as much gold as I can while it’s “cheap,” and then cash out and write that check once the value of it skyrockets due to said revaluation. I may be a fool, chasing fool’s gold, but I don’t think it’s likely to decline in value, at the very least. I’m also opening a coin shop, as a 2nd job, at some point this year to speed up the accumulation.

    Just curious. Thanks in advance for your time.

  343. @Siliconguy #360: as an avid urban vegetable gardener, I consider this to be a declaration of war! Time for torches and pitchforks (or if none are handy, hoes and trowels)! 😊

  344. Are there any protection rituals or spells that can be used for a friend or family member that you suspect may have been cursed? That family member is not living in my physical proximity at the moment.

  345. Siliconguy – Whenever I read something as absurd as the claim that backyard gardens are 5x worse for the climate, I try to imagine under what unstated assumptions would a reasonable author draw this conclusion. I’ve heard for years about new gardeners struggling to grow “the $50 tomato”. They buy self-watering plastic planting boxes, bagged artificial soil (with organic material mined from distant peat bogs), apply synthetic fertilizer, pump “fossil water” up out of deep aquifers, and give up mid-way through the season when something else catches their attention. The article assumes that there will be a new shed built on the allotment, and overlooks the idea of amortizing the start-up effort over many years of growing. The garden described as “an allotment”, that is, a portion of a community garden, implies that it’s not the gardener’s back yard, and may assume driving a vehicle to tend it. Which is to say, that if he assembled all of the worst practices of neophyte gardeners, he might be right!

    Good intentions are not sufficient to produce good outcomes (as history has shown so tragically).

  346. A Texas data point for the group’s consideration. Today I came across a TikTok video by a fellow who goes by the name “Tex As” who lives near Eagle Pass, and who questions what on Earth is going on. He shares video footage which he claims he took over the weekend in which just a half-mile east of the bridges that connect Eagle Pass to Mexico the Trump Wall has open gates or no gates at all, with no guards of any description. There is also nobody passing through these gates; maybe it was early morning or something. Tex As’s advice to viewers was to turn off their TV and come down to Eagle Pass and see with their own eyes.

    @Wizard_in_the_woods #343: among the freedom fighters in Canada, the terms “the great awakening” and “the great reject” are both commonly referred to as the antithesis of “the great reset”.

    @Wizard_in_the_woods & JMG regarding postal delivery: my mother used to tell me that back in the 1940s the mail was typically delivered twice a day in Canada and a letter in Toronto would arrive in Brockville (220 miles distant) in two days, but by the 1980s it would often take a week. And, of course, probably since the 1960s mail has been delivered in my country once a day five days a week. Nowadays it can take up to two weeks for a letter from Toronto to be delivered Brockville and three days within Toronto itself. Progress, I tell you!

  347. @Pygmycory #79
    What you need to keep in mind when thinking about these things is that modern industrial warfare is ultimately about manufacturing capacity. All other things being equal whichever side can outmanufacture their opponent wins.
    And despite all the hype “swarms” of drones and “cheap” missiles change nothing in that equation.
    The counters to drones and missiles do exist and have existed for quite some time. They would be point-defence systems like this one:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phalanx_CIWS
    If it ever comes to a serious engagement (not the clown show that is currently happening in Strait of Hormuz) involving drones and missiles on a large scale it will again be about manufacturing capacity. Does your warband have the manufacturing facilities to produce drones and missiles faster then the state can produce shells for their Phalanxes? If yes then your warband wins.

  348. @bk #289
    Ultimately Europe will have to go to war for resources whether it wants it or not.

  349. In New Zealand mail delivery went to 3 days a week a few years ago. Paper cheques have also been phased out (I don’t think any bank processes them anymore – including foreign cheques) in favour of electronic payments. By law cash is still legal tender, but some places do not accept it now (EFT-POS only) and have been allowed to get away with that (this started with Covid – apparently cash was considered a possible vector but pinpads were not!). Public transport in the largest city requires purchase of a stored value smartcard to pay for rides – cash is not accepted.

  350. Re: veggie gardening and CO2 article. I just went and looked at that. You’ll notice they didn’t show any references or data on which they based those claims. Shakes head…. this sort of manure is exactly WHY people don’t ‘trust the science’ anymore.

    I took a look at the comments. Every single one I saw was jeering at the article, and/or its assumptions or conclusions, or various things related to that. There were a couple of ‘I’m going to put in a bigger veggie garden just to spite people like you’ comments, lots about overly obvious propaganda, and a fair bit of fear that the government/WEF/powers that be might be coming for their veggie gardens in order to make people dependent.

    As for me, I’m about to go outside and get rid of some of the weeds in my veggie garden so I can plant things. I’m plotting some new season extension stuff this year, and I was buying seeds and other stuff yesterday, as well as ripping out weeds and harvesting the last of last years carrots.

  351. Hey JMG

    No arguments there, I have the same reaction with books also. I honestly couldn’t really appreciate a lot of classics like “VALIS” or “Stranger in a strange land”, but I enjoy some books that aren’t well known or appreciated by many, like “Bolo’Bolo” by P.M and “Courtship rite” by Donald Kingsbury.

    Btw, lately I’ve been thinking about what cities would be like in the Ecotechnic future, and I’m curious if you have had any ideas your self?

  352. Mary, if you don’t want to read him, that’s certainly your right, but in that case you probably don’t want to make sweeping statements condemning his ideas when you don’t actually know what his ideas were. That makes you look ignorant, which I’m sure is far from your intention.

    Tony, I read the sudden silence about Texas in a different way. I think a lot of people in power right now realize that we’re one triggering event from the kind of crisis that could bring down the current US regime, and the situation in Texas could very easily become such an event. So they’re desperately trying to pretend that nothing is happening and Biden hasn’t had his bluff called. As for Davos, of course! They’re discovering that controlling the narrative only goes so far when the narrative is too obviously a collection of bald-faced lies, and they’re frantically trying to figure out some way to get people to believe what they say — without, of course, telling the truth a little more often.

    SLClaire, it would be worth the experiment!

    John, we’ll have to see. The one thing I don’t think they realize is just how popular they’ll make backyard gardens!

    Lair, a deindustrializing future has plenty of room for the arts, as long as you avoid the arts that cater to the failing elite classes and pursue instead arts that ordinary people enjoy. There were people, quite a few of them, who got through the Great Depression by being good at playing the kind of music people liked to dance to; they’d go from town to town in rural country with their instruments, and somebody would find them a place to play and there would be a dance. The musicians got cash, food, and a place to sleep, and then it was on to the next town. In terms of writing, pulp fiction writers did pretty well while the literary types were struggling. As for the spiritual dimension, it’s important to have a regular spiritual practice — doesn’t matter what kind, so long as you’re praying or meditating or whatever every day. That offers a counterweight to the grimness.

    Karl, definitely time to go long on popcorn futures!

    Benjamin, yes, I was watching that. I’ll have something to say about it in an upcoming post. As for Cioran’s book, hmm! No, I haven’t read that.

    PhysicsDoc, well, what kind of magic do you know how to do?

    Ron, interesting. So there’s some kabuki going on…

    Kerry, oof. I’m glad I don’t live there.

    Patricia M, thanks for this.

    Dékete, thank you! I’ll just have to keep trying. 😉

    J.L.Mc12, that’s a topic for an entire post. I’ll see if I can make room for one down the road a bit.

  353. @Vlad Tepes,
    and yet, the USA doesn’t seem to be doing terribly well against the Houthis who are far from well-resourced, and the Ukrainians have been giving the Russians far more trouble than they should really have been able to using some of the same techniques.

    It’s quite possible for an empire to die the death of a million cuts if they try to fight too many enemies at once, even if they could win a war with each of them individually. Having a suite of technologies available to small groups that is effective enough to force the USA (or other large power) to put more resources into defeating them increases the likehood that the small belligerents succeed at their war aims, as well as increasing the likelihood of them trying in the first place, since they now think they can win. This leaves the USA fighting more wars at once, against more difficult opponents.

    That’s a bad place for any empire to be in, and the USA has a lot of other problems as well. I don’t think this is going to end well for the USA.

  354. @Vlad Tepes,
    I’m assuming small belligerents can often buy drones from third parties opposed to the empire in question, such as Iran in the houthis case. It’s my understanding that the missiles being used to shoot down the houthi drones and cheap missiles are vastly more expensive than the drones or the houthis missiles, meaning that if every defense of the US works perfectly and takes down the houthi weapon they were aiming at, the US is losing money far faster than the houthis.

    Of course, the US has a lot more money to lose, but the US isn’t just fighting the houthis. They’re also supporting the Ukrainians financially and militarily, and doing lots and lots of other things round the world, they have a giant national debt, and a large portion of their citizenry is very unhappy with their government right now. Then there’s the Texas situation.

  355. about the running narrative in your head – when I read something and run across words in, say, Gaelic, I get very frustrated, not knowing how to pronounce them. Aklo is even worse! For what that’s worth.

  356. Re: garden veggies vs. conventional farming
    I found the scientific article the media ones are based on. It’s here, and isn’t behind a paywall.
    https://www.nature.com/articles/s44284-023-00023-3.epdf?sharing_token=bu57HYSEuf5uIL-lZ5L-0tRgN0jAjWel9jnR3ZoTv0N-LlYQ9vCYuIp_pfSiuAlXFRgPgN-6w7Lt3YpFZEOyoAZlwMWojgKDe5g7qTMuxcsscgIsxETOOHs4rbvKfznTcdBUIKvOSkYnvp6LTJYQbAabhxH6tCQTGYkA1UT2jyc%3D

    a few takeaways:
    -they have urban collective gardens as being the worst, urban farming by professionals as being not significantly different from conventional ag, and home gardens as being in between collective gardens and urban farming.
    -the error bars on the gardens are very large, ie. there’s a large difference between different gardeners in how much CO2 they’re producing. The bottom end of the confidence interval is the same as the conventional farms, the upper end is much higher.
    -a large part of the problem appears to be infrastructure not being used for very long in gardening. Like 5 years vs. 20 for a raised bed. Though wooden raised beds tend to rot long before 20 years from what I’ve seen, so I’m not sure where they’re getting those numbers. This at least suggests they actually aren’t assuming that garden infrastructure is used for one year and then chucked. And they do have a point that insecure land tenure and people giving up on gardening often means that infrastructure often doesn’t get used as long as it might be. I have seen a lot of abandoned food production sites over the years. It then suggests improving the security of land tenure for community gardens to reduce emissions, which doesn’t seem like a bad idea to me. So this study might be slightly less biased than I thought? Let’s see what else I can dig up.
    -most of the CO2 in the gardens is from the infrastructure used. Supplies is usually second, irrigation last. This is less true for urban farms.
    -it looks like a lot of the greenhouse emissions is from home composting being often less efficient and producing more methane than centrally made compost. I’m not sure if they’re counting all the CO2 emissions from having trucks drive around picking up all the compostables when considering centrally-made compost. I doubt they’ve considered whether the carbon added to the atmosphere is fossil being released or already moving around the biosphere.
    -they talk a bit about social cobenefits, apparently meaning increased health lowered hospital admission and the like.
    -their data on garden inputs was less reliable than farms due to inadequate recordkeeping. Meaning they don’t have reliable data on things like water consumption for a lot of the gardens. Which would make calculation CO2 emissions less reliable and may be why the error bars for gardens are so large compared to farms.
    -if the conventional ag products are moved by air freight, the benefits of non-urban farms vanish compared to gardens.
    It sounds like they have been assuming that not all production area is being used for growing food in gardens whereas it is in farms. This assumption could be part of why some gardens fare so badly. Of course growing non-food items is less efficient at growing food for a given amount of inputs than farms growing just food! No offense, but duh!
    -all the collective gardens were not using synthetic fertilizer. Composting encouraged by the article.

  357. My conclusions about this scientific study:
    Shortcomings of the article:
    -comparing gardens growing partly non-food items to farms growing all food, and using this to say that gardens are less efficient at growing food. Actually from reading the details of the methods it sounds like they weren’t doing this, but were actually comparing food growing to food growing. Their writing in the main section needs to be clearer.
    -poor recordkeeping in gardens leading to inadequate data about garden inputs.
    -sorting infrastructure in some commercial operations may have been included in calculations.
    -I suspect the long-term warming contribution methane from inefficient home composting was overestimated compared long-term warming from CO2 produced by trucking compost around. This is a common issue with climate studies. Methane produces more warming per molecule than CO2, but it degrades to CO2 over a few decades in the atmosphere.
    -I suspect there’s other issues I missed. The details were pretty complicated.
    -sample sizes were very small. There were only 9 collective gardens, 7 urban farms, 55 home gardens, and 250 non urban farms analyzed. You can’t do a lot with statistics on sample sizes that small, and results could vary dramatically depending on which gardens happened to end up in the study.

    An interesting point:

    The study did not suggest stopping home or community gardening. They suggest reusing building materials, extending the life of infrastructure, and picking veggies and fruit that farms tend to use more CO2 when producing like tomatoes and asparagus. The whole ‘nonprofessionals shouldn’t grow food’ isn’t present in the article. It’s the media’s interpretation.

  358. JMG, Sadly I don’t know how to do magic, but I have dabbled in chaos magic a bit making sigils and such. Also tarot cards,

  359. Grover, I’m pretty sure too that the militias haven’t gone anywhere. Still I wonder what they’re thinking, what their plans are. We can divine some of it by their actions or lack thereof.

    It appears to me that they intend to do nothing on the border or they would have done so a long time ago. This even with millions crossing illegally over recent years with the apparent acquiescence of both Democrats and establishment Republicans (which isn’t surprising seeing as this fulfils their billionaire paymasters wish for disposable slave-wage workers).

    The militias must also be acutely aware that a multitude of migrants are fighting-age men. Which is of course extremely dangerous as these young guys will realize that they have got no path forward in life in the USA aside from one of destitution and permanent or intermittent homelessness.

    What might these facts suggest? It might mean that militia leadership have essentially given up on the idea of a coherent nation state called the US of A since no borders effectively means no country.

    What then? It might suggest that they’re thinking of an eventual carve-up of the USA a la Roman Empire into self governing units, ie Constantinople running the eastern piece, Ostrogoths running Italy, Franks running France, etc. Of course with militia leadership at the helm of these units or as the hired guns to keep newly reconfigured borders intact (and to keep politicians on a leash). I seriously doubt that they’ll disband because some official in Washington or a state capitol tells them to.

    It might also mean a violent struggle for power with recently arrived Latino gangs looking for their piece of the pie. Washington looks more flaccid and demented by the day and I think might be good for comic relief but not much more.

    But I just wonder what the Colonels and Lt Colonels are going to do. On whose side do they come down? What about the rifle wielding trailer park boy? They’re all gonna have to make some tough decisions, ones that could cost them their lives or their liberty. I suppose that goes for a lot of people.

    It’s not as if empires haven’t collapsed before. And so the imagination runs riot.

  360. JMG – perhaps there is some kabuki going on at Eagle Pass, but it is hard to say for sure. I was just checking a map of the town and from what I could see the guy on TikTok followed Highway 480 to the south of the bridges. Hwy 480 runs parallel to the Rio Grande but is often about 300 – 400 yards from the Rio Grande. If the main fence happens to be right along the shoreline, then the fence by the highway may be a secondary fence. Maybe all the guards (be they federal or state) are right by the river’s edge? Dunno. As I mentioned before, I just consider it to be a data point and would want several other data points from different sources before coming to a conclusion.

  361. Hey John,

    Thank you for replying to my astrological query, and I am sorry that I couldn’t catch up earlier. So Saturn, Uranus and Neptune provide the longest influences upon us, which have to most lasting impact and change least frequently, right?

    Also, I noticed that the Wikipedia article about the dignities of planets says that Uranus has taken over the Rulership of Aquarius from Saturn (and that, likewise, Neptune and Pluto have borrowed certain rulerships from the classical planets). Is this true? I have a ruling Saturn in my birth chart, sitting in Aquarius (in the sixth house). Uranus is right next door in Capricorn. If Uranus has indeed borrowed the dignity of Saturn, then I wonder how strong Saturn is in Aquarius since Hershel’s discovery.

  362. Vlad wrote:
    “Ultimately Europe will have to go to war for resources whether it wants it or not.”

    That’s a pritty broad statement, isn’t it? One could argue that every war is in some way about resources and there could be a war in a hundred years’ time between two european countries that don’t even exist yet, and you’d still be right 🙂

    bk.

  363. Hey JMG

    That’s understandable. I myself have wondered if Ecotechnic cities will become more spread out, like a vast and giant English village/town with lots of garden/farm in between buildings, or more compact and integrated. One idea that I find intriguing is the development of “Linear cities”, essentially skyscrapers turned on their side which could be elongated indefinitely, which were first proposed in the ’20s by Edgar Chambliss in his manifesto “Roadtown”. How an Ecotechnic civilisation would go about building a linear city is still opaque to me, but it is clear that it must have large tracts of land beside it for solar/wind power generation, as well as industry that’s not practical to host inside the building such as farming and chemical manufacture. It could also incline its inhabitants toward strong community since it would act like a giant long-house, similar to the ones tribes in PNG have.

  364. Re: the climate impact of food gardening. I haven’t read the whole thing in detail, but I think it’s worth study for those of us who grow. Here’s a link: https://news.umich.edu/food-from-urban-agriculture-has-carbon-footprint-6-times-larger-than-conventional-produce-study-shows/

    As I had suspected, the cost of irrigation with municipal water supplies has a lot to do with it. The authors recommend rainwater harvesting. (I have 150 gal. of rainwater storage, and haven’t used municipal water).

    They mention that “indoor commercial agriculture” is, indeed, much more carbon-intensive than even home-scale vegetable growing. (IMHO: Not as absurd as tissue-culture meat, but still pretty bad.)

    If your composting is anaerobic, you’re producing methane, and you should probably figure out how to stop doing that.

    As I had suspected, community gardens (in the UK) are more carbon intensive than traditional home gardens (in Poland), but community gardens provide significant social benefits that (they admit) were outside the scope of their study.

  365. Re: urban agriculture – Correction: Here’s a link to the actual research paper.
    nature.com/articles/s44284-023-00023-3.epdf
    The other link was to a U-Mich web page that links to the actual paper.

  366. Mr Greer, commentariat,

    About the situation in Texas, as DFC said, mass media in Spain largely ignored it – I had to make a search to find few references published in some regional newspapers this weekend. Today, however, I came across an article in a national newspaper that describes Texans as a bunch of lunatic, greedy separatists who care only about money. It also compares them with nationalist movements in some Spanish regions which are despised – not without some reasons – by most Spaniards.

    The only reference to current events consists of showing Texans disobeying the US Supreme Court. Of course, it blames evilly evil conservatives and involves, somehow, Trump. It’s a great sample of average so called journalism in my country. Anyway, I suppose the narrative conflict has reached us.

    Re: mail in Spain. I recently learned an anecdote about some acquaintances in Cádiz posting letters whose destinations where within the same city. Several weeks went past before the letters were delivered. They later found out letters in this area are sent to Sevilla (100 km away from Cádiz), where a regional processing centre is, before going, in this case, back to Cádiz. Needless to say, a century ago they would’ve been delivered within a day. Progress, I guess.

  367. Mary,

    Based upon readings of her past opinions, recent oral arguments and how deftly she handled her Senate hearings I’d say you’re vastly underestimating her. Now if you were talking about the most recent appointment I would wholeheartedly agree.

  368. Rereading “Witch of Criswell,” I ran across my penciled comment early in Chapter 13, where Ariel’s mother has sent her a massive rant with a heavy dose of “Daniel would have…” My comment read “Ariel’s mother is desperate to keep her children in the middle class [what used to be ordinary ‘normal’ middle class life] at all costs. These days it takes two people each working 70 hour weeks to do so.” Unpacking that – they’re in the same boat as the working class families with the same workload to merely keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. Except that they have escaped that level of poverty, for which any child of hers falling into it would mean her failure as a mother.. Not just privileged class status anxiety, but, as she sees it, keeping them out of the gutter.

    Also – the one weapon Grandpa hasn’t armed Ariel with yet, is religion. I’m sure he has some sort of belief or practiced some form of prayer, or if not, why not? Ariel’s ripe for it; she’s visited churches and sensed The Presence, but is pretty sure the preachers and priests of those churches don’t.

    P.S. – Ariel’s hair. If it’s straight and still unruly, then the hairs are thin and fine, and she has a good thick mop of them, like one of Harriet Wimsey’s college friends. I have the same kind of hair, which in my younger days was that dark ash-brown which silvers up very nicely and looks good through the salt & pepper stages. I can imagine how Ariel will look in her later years.

  369. @Marvin #363
    Thanks for the details on Japan and Asia more broadly. I looked at your website and what you’re doing and it’s amazing. You remind a bit of my dad. You’re a professional obviously with patents under your belt, but my dad was something of an amateur inventor. He built his own ultralight airplane, he built ham radios, re-built engines, did oil painting on the side. I’m not as handy as him, but became a software engineer… after studying fine art in Italy. I guess there’s a tinkering gene, a desire to make, a curiousity. I’m glad to see you’re inspiring kids to make something with their hands. It’s the future more than all this fiat financialization. And yes, Asia is where things are made. Gold!

    The problem I have with Asia is… I guess I’m too attached to Western Civ. I want to see a Renaissance or someway out of this mess, or at least a preservation of the best parts, somewhere the West’s seed corn can be planted. Is that fertile ground in Asia? But I can never be Japanese. Japan is for the Japanese. China is for the Chinese. How do you feel about integration or do you just not worry about cultural issues?

  370. So Britain’s Post Office Scandal, the PMC, and a bit of magic.

    There are three groups involved; the first is a Japanese computer company, Fujitsu, that took over Britian’s nationalised computer company in the early 90s. ICL as it was then was partly owned bu the UK government and had created a lot of the software the civil service relied on until that point. Fujitsu took over that role and became a leading supplier of computers to UK government institutions. The made a lot of money but the software they supplied had occasional problems.

    The second group is the Post Office itself. Originally this early Victorian institution was a government department and as the rural districts were relatively lawless they had their own investigation arm and the power to prosecute criminal cases through the courts. This power had been retained into the 1990s and survived even when it became a profit making company with the government as its single shareholder. By British standards its a large company with branches al over the place that provide people with the sort of government services that are boring but necessary – providing passport forms, paying out pensions, selling dog licenses and so on. As a profit making company it had an upper echelon of extremely well paid PMC members who had little understanding of the technical systems they depended on but could be relied on to roll out the latest management fads on demand.

    The actual branches that the everyday folk go into are run like franchises by the third group. The local subpostmaster who was in charge ran each one like a business and they often had other items for sale in the same space. Subpostmasters are responsible for the money going in and out of their branches and they were, well aided is the the word I’m supposed to use, by the Post Office software system Horizon, provided by Fujitsu that had been introduced in 1999.

    The problem was that Horizon was not high quality software and when the numbers it reported disagreed with the Subpostmaster the Post Office would demand and inevitably get the Subpostmaster to ‘pay back’ the missing amounts from their own pockets. Subpostmasters ringing the helpline would be told they were the only one having problems implying that the victim was at best negligent and at worst deliberately causing problems. The entirely fictional liability could build up over time to tens of thousands of pounds or more. The investgative branch investigated in a heavy handed way. Quite a few subpostmaster were deemed to be criminal and privately prosecuted by the PO; there were a number of court cases, some subpostmasters imprisoned, there were bankruptcies, and suicides.

    However by 2009 the cat was pretty much out of the bag as far as Horizon’s problems were concerned. There was a long struggle between the individual subpostmaster and the Post Office who pretty much refused to face the facts at every stage. The management dragged their feet at every opportunity, compensation schemes were invented that offered tiny amounts in recompense. Convicted individuals remained convicted until a group of subpostmasters scraped enough cash together to launch a class action and in 2019 they won. Partly on the revelation that Fujitsu could alter accounts at will and any evidence from the Horizon system could not be relied on. The prosecutions were declared by the courts as an ‘affront to justice’.

    The peculiar thing is that despite all this and the ruination of thousands of otherwise perfectly honest individuals, the whole situation barely caused a ripple in the public mind. Parliament had a few committee meetings and went back to sleep. With a few honourable exceptions MPs ignored the plight of supostmasters in their area. The majority of newspapers, even the quality ones, decided this was simply not a story. An excellent book was written on the whole saga by Nick Wallis and was pointedly ignored. One of the individuals actually in charge of the Post Office between 2012 and 2019 was awarded a CBE before returning to her vocation as an anglican priest, this despite having having presided over the period where arguably the most damage was done.

    And then quite suddenly in December 2023 everything changed. A four part docu-drama called “Mr Bates vs. the Post Office” was broadcast on ITV and it was if a dam had given way. Newspapers, TV, Radio, and X were full of detail, the current incumbent of No 10 clutched his pearls and declared that justice would be done. In fact rather than wait for the courts to slowly overturn convictions one at a time, there’s supposed to be a new law appearing that will simply declare all the subpostmasters innocent. The CBE was handed back (but not so far, the bonuses). Fujitsu recused itself from bidding for new public contracts until matters are sorted out. Or at least forgotten.

    The docu-drama is certainly an example of the art of causing changes in consciousness in conformity with the will if ever I saw one but the change has been so abrupt and so extreme that I’m certainly beginning to wonder if there’s more to what happened than meets the eye. If magic is the final refuge of the powerless did somebody somewhere place an expert thumb on the scales of reality?

  371. Good Afternoon JMG,
    I’ve been reading through and practiced the lessons in your Occult Philosophy Workbook. Currently I’m on the 5th lesson, about the etheric plane. My question is do items/products made in a factory, despite not having an etheric body or sheath, still have a bit of spirit in them? I’m also wondering if you know any good books & other types of resources on Christian Occultism and practices. Thank you for your help and enjoy the rest of your day!

  372. @ J.L.Mc12 #405:

    Thanks for the “Roadtown” reference by Chambless. It sounds fascinating. I’m going to read it.
    One thing that struck me though is that the “linearity” might itself be an expression of the Faustian civilization. Still, the idea of long buildings rather than skyscrapers is really interesting, and it does make me wonder. It seems like an ecotechnic city could even have interconnected grids with large areas in the center. Sort of like some of the planned communities here in the states where the back yards all open to face each other, so the kids can come out the back and play with eachother. In a city where there are long grids there could be large open courtyards where people gather, do work, and have other outdoor activities.

    Even just this hint of it is a compelling vision and it would be nice to see some deindustrial fiction picking up on ideas like these and putting them back upstream of culture.

  373. @pygmycory
    oh, I am not saying that death by million cuts is impossible. What I am saying is that behind all those warbands there will have to be someone with a serios industrial capacity able and willing to deliver all the gear required for the aforementioned cuts. In the end of the day it will still be industrial war between the big guys albeit by proxy.
    As for cost efficiencies or lack thereof: the most efficient way of dealing with swarms of drones is to destroy the factory that manufactures them.
    Which is what US of A should be doing by now if they were in any way serios about the whole thing. I understand that they can’t touch Russia or China, but surely targeting Iranian factories should be doable?

  374. @bk
    That was in response to your question to JMG
    “What are our alternatives? Going to war against Russia because our American overlords want us to? Starving ourselves to death because we have no energy? Going to war against eachother? All of the above?”
    The alternative is for EU to go to war to secure its own source of fossil fuels. Otherwise eventually it will be “all of the above” even if for now EU “capitulates”(whatever that supposed to mean) to Russia in exchange for a shot of nat gas.

  375. Re: the Texas situation, I saw someone write somewhere that America isn’t a country, it’s just 50 states in a trench coat, pretending to be the leader of the free world.

  376. As for linear cities – well, show me a real one, anywhere in the world, that has worked.

    Utopian city concepts are periodically mooted, and sometimes tried, but fail, for reasons well laid out in Jane Jacob’s book “The Death and Life of Great American Cities.” Cities are messy, dynamic networks. Excessive Euclidean planning kills them. Our host is a fan of “dissensus” and much the same phenomenon – many people trying many different things – is what allows cities to evolve.

  377. A few cultural developments have come to my attention that may be of some interest to others. They pertain to two countries: Russia and India. Here are the ‘detes’:

    Russia

    #1 – As more and more people leave the madhouse that is Canada, Russia has become an immigration destination for some. From what videos I have seen, rural Canadians absolutely love Russia and if they bring a large brood of kids with them, the Russians are absolutely delighted. If I were a young man, I would be tempted to follow suit. Will ‘go east, young man’ become a new mantra?

    #2 – Putin was quoted in a recent piece in RT (https://www.rt.com/russia/591371-putin-ukraine-veteran-russia-new-elite) in which he said, “I met today with students, who put their studies on hold, many of them, [and] went to the warzone” … “It’s out of these people that we should be forming the country’s elite in the future” … “Hence, they should be supported [and] assisted.” The prospect of an elite warrior caste harkens back to days of the Russian Empire. In this day and age where the old ‘global order’ is crumbling and a new one is forming, powerful countries that are led by men who have been forged in the blast furnace of war will likely have a distinct advantage over those nations which are led by corrupt feckless virtue-signalling narcissists.

    India

    #1 – Brief mention was made earlier in this week’s open post about the inauguration of the new Rama temple in Rama’s birthplace of Ayodhya. I’d like to dive into a few small details associated with Prime Minister Modi’s participation in the event. After the event, some of the highly revered Hindu leaders were interviewed about the inauguration and the prime minister, in which some interesting details emerged. Modi, who takes his faith very seriously, fasted for 11 days (consumed water only) prior to the inauguration. Once the central ceremony of the inauguration was completed, the officiating priest approached the prime minister to offer him lemon-water, which is the traditional item for breaking a long fast. Very humbly, Modi replied with a request that instead of lemon-water, if he could break his fast with the holy water that was used to wash the feet of the idol of Sree Rama. The priest was absolutely dumbfounded by this unusual but highly devotional request. When he came with the holy water, the priest prepared to pour it into Modi’s hands, as per tradition. Again, Modi made an unusual request – that the priest pour the water directly into his mouth (as a mother would feed her infant child). Again, the priest was dumbfounded. After pouring the water into his mouth, the prime minister proceeded to touch the priest’s feet in reverence.

    There was some debate among people – including some priests – about Modi having such a prominent place during the inauguration ceremony, as the prime minister was a politician as well as ‘low-born’. The most prominent of the holy men in the assembly were unanimous in declaring that Modi had full right to be front-and-centre in the ceremony because for all intents and purposes he is the ‘king’ of the country. That silenced the critics pretty quickly!

    I will just add here that it was about 9 months ago that Modi installed in the house of commons (Lok Sabha) the ceremonial mace that was handed over during India’s moment of independence in 1947 and which had subsequently languished, forgotten for decades, in the private residence of India’s first prime minister until a series of seemingly miraculous events caused the mace to be rediscovered. And now, the temple dedicated to Rama, the avatar of the god Vishnu – universally revered by all Hindus as being the ideal king – has been rebuilt five centuries after its destruction by the Mughal emperor Babar. Potent cultural-spiritual forces are being re-awakened in the country.

    #2 – Fairly recently the chief minister (equivalent of governor / premier) of the state of Uttar Pradesh was interviewed in an extremely popular long-running Hindi TV program ‘Aap ki adalat’ (translates to ‘your court’). The studio is a law-court setting and the interviewer often asks the guest questions that are pretty uncomfortable, as conducting a cross-examination. The chief minister’s name is Yogi Adityanath and he is unusual in that he is a sannyasi (a renunciate monk). During the program, the host showed a video of an extremely poor middle-aged woman doing house chores in her decrepit mud hut. The host asked Yogi, “Is this your sister?” Yogi answered in the affirmative. The live audience was shocked. “And you let her live like this?” the host asked him, incredulously. “Sir”, Yogi replied gently and respectfully, “as chief minister, the people of my state are my responsibility – not my sister.” I only mention this incident because chief ministers in India are notorious for being fabulously corrupt, amassing huge fortunes not only for themselves but also their relations. And here is the chief minister of India’s most populous state (pop: 241 million) who will not even make a bid for her to get some simple government-assisted housing let alone a huge mansion. Many vedic astrologers predict that Yogi Adityanath will become the prime minister in the near future. These are some of the changes that are happening in this rapidly changing enigmatic subcontinent of a country.

  378. Don’t you’all just LOVE being tethered to The great post-postmodern globull discombobulation?? .. No wonder, with the plethora of clowns calling the shots! If I had grasp of a nearby tapir thighbone, I’d try at severing the umbilicus that has moi attached to this increasingly frenetic idiocracy … but alas, tis not in the offing, as the ride skips and jumps, excelerating into hominid hell.

    yay, the wise apes. ‘;[

  379. @ RandomActsOfKarma

    School never was a good place for me. In my own weird way I’m quite a quick learner, but I never fit into whatever ideas teachers have had about me. That includes the ones that were really interested in their students.

    bk.

  380. Vlad wrote:

    “The alternative is for EU to go to war to secure its own source of fossil fuels. Otherwise eventually it will be “all of the above” even if for now EU “capitulates”(whatever that supposed to mean) to Russia in exchange for a shot of nat gas”

    JMG called it capitulating, so you could ask him what he means by it, but for me it would mean replacing one feudal lord (the US) with another (Russia). We would become vassal states of Russia in stead of vassal states of the US.

    It would be a really messy transition, but it’s the only one I can think of without the horrors of war, famine, etc.

    bk.

  381. JMG, “Energy necessary for the production of oil liquids is growing at an exponential rate, representing 15.5% of the energy production of oil liquids today and projected to reach a proportion equivalent to half of the gross energy output by 2050 (Delannoy et al. 2021).

    When the energy required for the extraction and production of these liquids is taken into account, the net-energy peak is expected to occur in 2025 at a level of 400 PJ/d [1]. In the foreseeable future, the energy needed to produce oil liquids could approach unsustainable levels, a phenomenon called “energy cannibalism.”

    From the Journal of Petroleum Technology – https://jpt.spe.org/plummeting-energy-return-on-investment-of-oil-and-the-impact-on-global-energy-landscape.

    I found your blog in 2012, while searching the internet for a few articles on Hydropower. How exactly your old blog showed up I’ll never know. Thing is, you’ve been eerily right ever since. Things are showing up on schedule!

  382. JMG – Another aspect of the LNG (liquified natural gas; methane mostly) permitting pause just crossed my in-box. When LNG is exported, the domestic price goes up to the world-market price. The US chemical industry would prefer to pay a lower price. Whom do you suppose has more influence over this administration: the environmental lobby (arguing that the NG should be left in the ground to save the climate), or the chemical industry lobby (arguing that inexpensive NG is Good for consumers who heat their homes with it, and for the workers (and, um, managers) in the plastics industry)? They’re both arguing that exports are bad, so there’s no conflict between them on this issue, but which one gets the credit for changing the policy?

    Lathechuck

  383. Scotlyn,
    I also have a constant stream of talk going on through my brain. I can also make pictures in my brain but they are not there all the time. Sometimes I would like my brain to have a nice rest, perhaps a stay in a convalescent home.

  384. Christopher from California,

    You offered to provide a list of occult authors and books from southern California. Could I take you up on your kind offer? I suspect it’s quite a list but would be well appreciated

    Many thanks,
    Boy

  385. …and, par for the course, I had someone ignore the text up top and try to post something about AI. It was deleted. Please do keep in mind that when I ask people not to post something, any attempted post on that topic gets the response I cribbed — okay, misquoted — from a Dr. Bronner bottle: “Delete Delete OK!”

    Now, on to the comments that got put through.

    Patricia M, maybe it’s because I was a crazed dinosaur fan at the age of six, and adored all those long and Latinate names, but I can sound out just about anything — including Aklo. Or, for that matter, Welsh. 😉

    SimP, no, I’ll leave that to people who know Finnish politics and culture, which I don’t.

    Celadon, it does indeed — I read that article while working on my recent book The Secret of the Five Rites.

    PhysicsDoc, unfortunately that means there isn’t much of anything you can do. Magic is a skilled craft, and dealing with curses requires considerable skill and experience.

    Ron M, so noted.

    Rajarshi, yes, those are the slowest planets, and Jupiter’s not exactly fast, either — it takes him a year on average to go through one sign. As for the rulers of Aquarius and Pisces, that’s a subject of feisty debate among astrologers these days; I figure it’ll take a century or so of close study of astrological charts before anybody knows for certain.

    J.L. Mc12, dispersed cities were standard in ancient America — there was typically a ceremonial core and then a very broad area of houses and gardens interspersed with roads. These were not small cities; in 1500 Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital, had a bigger population than any city in Europe. So it’s a good option. Linear cities? Not so much, since a linear arrangement doesn’t make much sense unless you have rapid transit along the line, and the resources won’t be available for that.

    JustMe, I’m concerned with the possibility that what gets sprayed in Texas will be bullets rather than manure!

    Hispalensis, many thanks for the data points.

    Patricia M, that’s certainly part of Carmen Moravec-Jones’s motivation, yes. As for religion, we’ll get to that; Dr. Moravec has a troubled relationship with his birth religion, and one of the things that will be happening in later books is Ariel’s religious maturation.

    Andy, thanks for this! I’d wondered if you were talking about the subpostmaster brouhaha. I’m glad to hear that this finally made its way into public awareness.

    Dave, everything has some connection to spirit or it wouldn’t exist at all, but things fresh from the factory have about as little as they possibly can. Have you noticed how new products gradually take on a certain amount of personality and energy once you bring them home and start using them? That’s the process by which you put spiritual forces into them. As for Christian occultism, the starting point I always recommend is Experience of the Inner Worlds by Gareth Knight. Knight was a devout Anglican Christian and also one of Dion Fortune’s students, and his discussion of Christian magic is first-rate.

    Isaac, we used to be 50 states in a trench coat; we’re now at the failing end of an attempt to turn that into a single monolithic country. Did you see Desantis’s proposed constitutional amendments? Those would shift power back to the states good and fast.

    Ron, many thanks for the data points.

    Polecat, medieval peasants had the same experience with local barons and priests. It’s just on a bigger scale these days. (Same Stupidity, Different Scale?)

    Hackenschmidt, Osiris will doubtless be pleased. I’ll have to look into what exactly they have in mind before I can get a sense of the symb