Open Post

July 2023 Open Post

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

With that said, have at it!

476 Comments

  1. Continuing a minor thread from last month… While claiming status as a victim has become so common that these days I default to extreme skepticism about such claims, I may have overcorrected. Based on additional evidence that’s come out, Farage’s complaints against his bank do look justified. Regardless, though, it will be a relief when we stop politically fetishizing victimhood.

    (And to be clear, pointing out an injustice is different from trying to leverage something bad as a way to increase the social status of a person/group.)

  2. If I may…

    Two weeks ago @Clay Dennis brought up the topic of tattoos, and was wondering if there was a magical component to their current popularity. This got my mind whirling and I dashed off a reply. I started thinking though that my reply could be expanded for a writing project I’m working on, so I looked into the history of tattoos and found they have been used for sacred and aesthetic purposes since Otzi the Ice Man first rolled out of a cave. Egyptian priestesses were really into it too… I found it all fascinating, even though I’m not tattooed myself, and expanded my comment into an essay. I present it here forthwith for anyone who my be interested.

    Sacred and Profane: The Tattooed Body
    http://www.sothismedias.com/home/sacred-and-profane-the-tattooed-body

    Some of what I learned is how tattoos were had by people in both the artisocracy and the underclass in Victorian times. Sailors, military people and criminals in the underclass, by way of influence of Captain Cook’s voyages to Polynesia, but in the aristocracy they were often gotten by those who had completed a pilgrimage to the holy land.

    The basic redux is people have been getting tattooed, mostly for sacred purposes, for a very long time. It seems to be just something some humans do.

    [The first installment on the trope of “The Punk Body” for those who resonate with the idea of “Down Home Punk” is Henry Rollin’s Workout Plan: http://www.sothismedias.com/home/the-henry-rollins-workout-plan ].

    Happy Wed. I hope everyone here is having a good week.

  3. I thought I’d pass on a psychological insight relating to negative self-talk and the inner critic that I fluked into by accident.

    I was watching a video of a therapy session with a BPD patient with severe self-criticism. The therapist said that wasn’t the prime question, but what the patient was afraid would happen if she didn’t keep telling herself these things. I thought that was wrong because it made assumptions about motivation, but there was something to stepping back to view the problem from a more distant position.

    That percolated for a few hours and just before I was going to go to bed, while I was waiting for the computer to update and restart, the question became clear:

    “Even if we give it the benefit of the doubt and assume everything you’re telling yourself is true, why do you keep repeating it to yourself over and over again? Do you do that with anything else you know is true?”

    As soon as I finished the thought, the whole mental structure of it collapsed and my mind was calm and quiet.

    I was amazed how easy it was. It didn’t even have to challenge the beliefs, just knock out the ground they were standing on. Now I can’t even think of a way to hate myself that doesn’t sound ridiculous in light of the realisation.

    It does mean I’ve immunised myself against positive self-talk as well, but that never felt right to me anyway.

    It’s been three months and the effect’s holding.

  4. Almost finished with King in Orange. Great book. Of course Trump is our Julius Caesar. Why didn’t I think of that?

    Can we say that with his victory Trump crossed the Rubicon which nowadays is the Washington Beltway? Can we also say that this provoked the Praetorian Guard, nowadays better known as the Deep State, to launch a continuous coup against Trump which continues to this day?

  5. I looked up the current predictions for peak oil production and I got a general date range for somewhere in 2025-2035 with some guessing even later. There was also predictions of peak oil demand with demand for natural gas and oil declining due to conservation and the rise of renewable energy sources. What is your take on this?

  6. Is Ukraine a Faustian fractal?

    It is being forced to re-enact a convulsive summary of the last century at blistering speed – violent revolution, cleansing/Gleichschaltung, a clownish figure as the head of state, projection of everything evil, war, bloodletting, loss of the workforce and the meaning of work itself, virtualising work through corruption and a kind of double inverted wealth pump, the phantasma of a stable currency to facilitate maximum wealth export before the crash, begging for credit on all levels as a way of life, victory propaganda till the last day, kamikaze attacks and nuclear brinksmanship, deafeat (against Russia) and collapse.

    Like a fly trapped in a jar which lays eggs as a last act before dying.

  7. Older people have been complaining about the new generations since ancient times, like in Socrates’ famous quote: “The children love luxury, have bad manners, etc.”

    This is often taken to mean that old people are just grumpy and new generations eventually find their way in the world. I wonder, instead, if old people were right all along and each new generation is indeed worse than the previous one.

    For example, Anna Frank had a powerful and interesting writing style. She must have had a well-rounded education, too. Yet her parents complained about her bad schooling.

    My uncle, from the generation after Anna’s, still had a remarkable culture, but felt compelled to take matters in his own hands and teach himself, because he saw the schooling system as in decadence (circa 1960s).

    In my time (1990s), I learnt the same things as Anna Frank, but much more superficially. My parents were complaining about my poor schooling was, too.

    My son goes to the modern equivalent of Anna Frank’s highschool (the Gymnasium), which is probably the hardest type of school in the Netherlands. Yet he is barely literate. He was the best in his class in elementary school.

    Is there anything like a person’s value? Has it been decreasing since Socrates’ time, or am I just imagining things?

  8. I was watching a travel video on You Tube. Made by an Australian guy traveling around Russia, no politics just observation. He went in to the largest shopping Mall in Russia about a month ago to see how sanctions were affecting retail commerce. Every store was open and full of shoppers but all the western brands had been replaced by home grown ones, or they were selling the same exact thing but the name of the store had changed and now they were just getting the name brand sneakers straight from the source in China.
    It occurred to me that the empire might not be finished off by some kind of currency collapse, but by an increasingly large part of the world just ignoring us. Fewer and fewer people around the world will be interested in Apple, or Disney or Coke, or Budlight and will move on. I think the western elites worse nightmare is irrelevance.

  9. Hi JMG,

    I have been reading your ‘The Druid Path’ along with a book on permaculture and I was struck by the core tenant of both being the observation of nature. I imagine this not just a happy coincidence. Is this attributable to a single movement, like Steiner and his work in biodynamic farming, or is there a larger underpinning between these two seemingly separate endeavors?

  10. Hey JMG,

    Your astrological predictions for the US economy and work, especially related to the tech sector, have been very impressive. Being able to time things like this with the stars gives me the impression that the Divine has orchestrated a balance to everything. You’re doing a great service to the occult community. When is your next prediction due?

  11. Hello Mr. Greer,

    Last week I brought up my failed attempt at an exorcism. You mentioned that the Christian church previously had very effective ways of dealing with such supernatural phenomenon. I was wondering if any books came to mind that you thought did a good job of explaining the history of exorcisms, demonology, or the like. At this point in time I am out of ministry and the likelihood of me needing this information is small, but it’s still a topic I want to research at some point.

    Thank!

  12. JMG,

    Are you aware of Peter Turchin’s latest book END TIMES (2023) and earlier works like SECULAR CYCLES? He “invented ” Cliodynamics–a new field that uses an elaborate mathematical formula to predict the stages of a society’s life span–expansion, stagflation, crisis, depression. He claims earlier attempts at “big picture” pictiure ” predictions (Toynbee, et al) simply lacked enough data to be accurate.

    To me, his methodological hubris feels off-putting. I prefer your simpler “biological model”–all living systems (biological AND social) have a natural life span with identifiable stage from birth to death. I’d appreciate your comments.

  13. Greetings everyone, hope you’re having a lovely summer (or winter, for our friends in the southern hemisphere).

    JMG has mentioned the “home church” movement a few times, but I don’t know much about it. Do you JMG, or anyone else, have any recommended sources, whether articles, books, or otherwise, that go into what it is, how it works, and why folks are finding it a valuable alternative to traditional churches?

    Some context, if it helps: I’m interested in finding insights that might be helpful for non-Christian religions, but I’m just fine with explicitly-Christian materials (a copy of The Benedict Option just arrived, for example).

    Thanks very much, and my blessings to anyone who welcomes them!
    Jeff

  14. Whatever happened to Violet? She used to comment here every week. Does anyone know if she’s all right?

  15. I have read people born under an ecplise lead “highly karmic lives”. Do you think this is accurate at all astrologcally speaking? If so, what do think it means? I am asking since I was born during a lunar ecplise and my life reflects what little information I can find – obsessive mind like a full moon on steroids always; attract low vibe kinda people unless I keep up all forms of hygiene strictly, delusional a little, addictive tendancies. Ecplisces are generally considered malefic from what I can find. I always have the feeling like I did something wrong in the past. I very much appreciate you sharing your past life story recently on Magic Monday, I feel like I have been avoiding the hard work the universe seems to like, and must get down to business in doing the daily work required to develop as an occultist. When you are clearly called to a path it is scary! Been avoiding it. As for the karma quote, if true at all, feels like my life is on a track with very distinct chapters. Lives within lives, I am on number 7. Its like I have the choice to do what I want when I am within one of these chapters, but the prompts that tell me when opening a new chapter are so much bigger than me it’s crazy. It’s like it sudden becomes obvious that this action/move/change must happen. What do you think?

  16. Just wanted to extend an invitation to those who might be interested in coming to the Plant Cunning Conference – the early bird tickets close on Friday, and can be found here: https://buildwithmaple.notion.site/Plant-Cunning-Conference-Sept-9-10-2023-b7b505f1d48b414ebc02e7eb75ea54b0

    It’s in person at our small farm in Central NY, and we have noted herbalists Matthew Wood, Kate Gilday and Lisa Fazio presenting, as well as more esoteric speakers such as astrologer Zamboni Funk and JoAnna Farrer (from the Coffee & Divination podcast).

    I think these sorts of in-person gatherings with a cross-section of viewpoints is one of the remedies we need for the times we’re living in.

    (to JMG- feel free to delete if too promotional, and apologies if so.)

  17. American election notes: Here in the USA two candidates who didn’t, I think, intend or expect to win, are now giving the putative (anointed, in the case of the Democrats) nominees a run for their money. Either one could, possibly, win. Both are men and are both serious and accomplished persons. Chris Chirstie, former federal prosecutor and former governor of New Jersey is running a spoiler campaign designed and intended to keep Donald Trump out of office. I believe he has two motives, one public in that I do think he was genuinely shocked by the events of Jan. 6, 2021, and one personal, that he was seriously disrespected by the Trump team, especially by the former president’s son-in-law, Mr. Kushner. Christie had prosecuted Mr. Kushner’s father, the upshot of which was a plea deal in which Mr. Kushner, Sr. pled guilty to an array of charges, including witness tampering, something which American courts and prosecutors take very seriously indeed. As Christie recounted in a book he wrote about his experiences with the Trump campaign and White House, young Kushner told his father-in-law, in Christie’s hearing, that the case involving Kushner, Sr. had been “a family matter” and that “Rabbis should have handled it”. Now, the USA being a multicultural country, we get this a lot–Our community will take care of this ourselves; we don’t need no police or courts– is a sentiment which every prosecutor, judge and law enforcement officer has heard at least once, and a prudent Chief of Police might well leave small infractions to be dealt with by pater and mater familiae and informal community leaders, while concentrating resources on more serious matters. But there are limits to forbearance and the Kushners forgot themselves. I do believe that Christie thinks he is defending the honor and integrity of all prosecutors and of the courts themselves.

    Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., son of the late Atty Gen and Senator from New York, has had a long career as an environmental lawyer, with, I gather, a quite impressive string of victories against govt. agencies such as EPA, et. al. He is quite open about his youthful drug addiction, stating that he has been in recovery for forty years. Post GWB, and post the opioid crisis, this is not such a handicap as it might once have been. There was a recent release of documents relating to the assassination of President John Kennedy. I think this may have convinced his nephew, the present candidate, that the time had come for him to come forward with his claim that the CIA killed both his father and uncle. He is now (a very fit and healthy) 69, his children are adults and well provided for, and he is willing to take the risk. As he stated clearly in his announcement speech, he will not be silenced. “Vaccine denier” is the grounds the Dems. have chosen to discredit him, and, so far, their efforts have only increased his appeal to the public. He was recently summoned to Congress to undergo ritual humiliation and perform apology. He declined to submit to the former and not even the bullying of Democratic and AIPAC hit girl Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz could induce him to do the latter. Finally, someone stands up to the woke bullies. On air and under oath.

  18. Hi Everyone,

    I am making my collection of JMG books freely available to anyone in the continental US who wants to borrow them. Here is a post that contains a (hopefully) publicly viewable spreadsheet of the titles I have for borrowing:

    https://kimberlysteele.dreamwidth.org/96400.html

    Patrons can borrow up to three titles for three months at a time which I will mail at my own expense. I am only taking donations of JMG books at the moment because of limited shelf space. Donations always appreciated at http://buymeacoffee.com/kimberlysteele

  19. When I read your first recent post about the metaphysical, JMG, it didn’t resonate with me, and I couldn’t really see what you were getting at. I am in fact vague about what “the metaphysical” is supposed to mean, and sometimes I think it must refer to vagueness itself, as opposed to practical down-to-earthness. Or in fact something that is “vaguely philosophical”. Forgive my ignorance.

    When I read your next post about “the metaphysical”, I realised that you were writing about what I would call “the paranormal”. For long enough, I thought that “the paranormal” was confined to fictional stories and films. In 2013 I started to review my life and wrote down a list of “things that shouldn’t have happened”. That description then morphed into “the paranormal”, and I realised then that the paranormal was in fact part of the normal and was therefore occasionally part of my life.

    I wonder what you, JMG, think about the term “the paranormal” ? Do you like it, dislike it, have reservations about it? What would YOUR definition be of “the paranormal” ?

    There are other words, of course, that deal with the same concept but from a different angle. “Phenomenological” refers to an experience that one person regards as real but is not experienced by anybody else. A hallucination would be a good example of tha – though then you get the concept of “folie à deux” – in effect a shared hallucination (or vision, etc.). Then there is “schizotypal”, which is how mainstream psychologists describe persons afflicted by “magical thinking”. I would now be considered such a person, because I have had several experiences that I regard as both paranormal and simultaneously real. Then there is the term “the supernatural”, which some use as a synonym for the paranormal, but perhaps it is meant to refer to the divine – that which is over and above mere humanity and physical beings. How would you define “the supernatural” on a personal level, JMG ?

  20. Hi John,

    It looks increasingly likely that the Russians aim to absorb Ukraine and Moldova and returning to the Soviet Union borders.

    Putin will demand the removal of all NATO infrastructure from post 1997 member states who would effectively become neutral.

    The interesting question is the fate of the Baltic states. Will Russia move on them or just force them into a satellite type relationship.

    And of course the wider geopolitical and financial impact of the de facto end of NATO within 5 years will be enormous.

    Fascinating times.

    Given the above it makes sense that Trump if elected will pull out of NATO basically making the best of a dire situation.

    What are your thoughts on the US elections and the fate of Europe?

  21. Medical science has meant that there are more people alive these days who have been handicapped since birth. In earlier times, many of them would have been allowed to die.

    What would you think of the idea of the painless euthanasia of such babies, JMG? If we take reincarnation as a given, then the soul of an euthanised baby would simply reincarnate in another body. That soul would then have a greater chance of ending up in a viable body. That person could then lead a happier, more fulfilled and efficient life. I admit that this could all sound rather fascist, given what the Nazis got up to. However, the Nazis merely wanted to destroy such life. My idea is the equivalent of taking a faulty item back to the shop and getting it mended, with no suffering involved, in a way that medical science cannot achieve. In theory, do you consider that to be a good idea, JMG ?

  22. JMG and commentariat – Anyone read ‘The WEIRDest People in the World’ by Joseph Henrich? I am about halfway through and finding his writing style opaque and monotonous but some of his ideas very, very interesting; particularly the influence of the Church on kinship structures in Europe. (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, Democratic)

  23. Historically, it seems that dictatorships follow republics, eventually leading to feudalism. It looks like some are looking to go straight to i-feudalism (at least until the energy sources run down), perhaps skipping redistribution. Maybe we are already in the oligo-dictator phase now. Any thoughts?

    https://pluralistic.net/2023/07/24/rent-to-pwn/#kitt-is-a-demon post capitalist techno-feudalism

  24. Hi JMG,

    Thanks for your replies and knowledge over on Magic Monday’s.

    In your occult workbook, you mention that there are other beings who have ascended objectively up and past the mental body back to cosmic root source. 1. who or what are these beings? 2. how was this discovered?

    Thanks

  25. @ Justin Patrick Moore – check out sak yant tattoos in thailand and in other parts of southeast asia. these are magical tattoos done by monks on lay people as well as other monks and holy people. receiving one is a defacto magical ritual. and after receiving it, you are expected to follow specific rules, which are codes of morality the wearer of the tattoo must abide by. if you break them, you need to go back to the temple or a temple and make merit as well as go through a blessing to cleanse yourself from defiling the agreement you made with the tattoo. the tattoos themselves can be inked using various fluids, including things like blood. there are some books out there about this if you’re curious. as well as lots of photos and videos online.
    since it has become a fashion decoration now, popularized by angelina jolie. best wishes to you.

  26. @Princess Cutekitten re: #15

    Violet still blogs at violetcabra.dreamwidth.org

    A difference of views led her to go her own way. She has posted about it in the past, though not recently that I’ve seen. I’m not interested in taking sides or starting any unnecessary debates, so I’ll leave it at that.

  27. For everyone,
    If you are against it, why are you opposed to euthanasia programs (MAID in Canada, for example)? I mean most people will say dying is bad but that seems to be too instinctive and knee-jerk to be a proper reason. Shouldn’t people have choice?

  28. Hi JMG,

    I’m curious about your thoughts on Shamanism. I’ve seen some modern practices that involve journeys to the three realms to meet helping spirits. I know there are traditional practices that involve the use of psychedelics, but mostly I’ve seen it without.

    Is this something therapeutic like Jungian active imagination, a mere psychological exercise, or do you think there is actual contact being made with “spirits” or entities or maybe both?

    Thanks
    Chris

  29. @Justin Patrick Moore #2 RE: Tattoos
    Look into interviews with the tattoo artist Robert Ryan from Asbury Park NJ. He talks alot about spirituality, the ritual of tattooing etc. Here is one interview- https://www.tattoodo.com/articles/experiential-knowledge-interview-with-tattoo-artist-robert-ryan-13989

    A little less then 10 years so I had him do a backpiece on me of the hermetic androgyne. Over the course of multiple multi hour sessions we had such great discussion about all sorts of occult and other topics. Those conversations amidst the transformative pain of getting my back tattooed is an experience I truly treasure today.

  30. @forescating intelligence, #23

    My take, for what it’s worth:

    – Ukraine will be divided. Russia will probably absorb the oblasts of the former Novorossiya, ie those which are predominantly Russian-speaking. That includes the Black Sea coastline up to the border with Romania, including Odessa, and also up to the north-east, including Kharkov.
    – The predominantly Ukrainian-speaking oblasts will form a smaller, more homogenous, and land-locked Ukraine, which is neutral and demilitarised.
    – It’s possible that Russia might also absorb Transnistria, but it’s a bit of a weird place, so my guess is that it will be recognised as an independent country by Russia along the lines of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, with a possible future option of joining the Russian Federation if it stops being so retro-Soviet.
    – Moldova is basically Romanian; Russia has no interest in annexing it.
    – Russia has no interest whatsoever in the Baltic countries, other than ensuring that they are good neighbours. It certainly neither needs nor wants to absorb them: it would be far too much hassle. The exception to this is if these countries mistreat their ethnic-Russian minorities, in which case there may be an intervention. There’s also the possibility of Russian intervention in these countries if they participate in a military attack on, or economic blockade of, Kaliningrad.
    – Russia is not seeking to return to the Soviet borders.
    – Russia definitely is seeking to pressure NATO to withdraw its nuclear-capable missiles to their 1997 locations. I see no prospect of Russia trying to achieve this through military means, even thought NATO is now largely incapable of conventional warfare; I would expect that once Russia has achieved its military goals in Ukraine, it will start tightening the economic screws significantly on Europe.

  31. Moose
    The most reliable peak oil date I get, and i follow it pretty closely, is 2018. The more optimistic BAU types tend to go with the 2025-2028 time frame, with a plateau perhaps to 2035. A lot of people claiming a later date tend to have a financial interest in the industry. Though we have come up from the covid nadir, we have not yet equaled the 2018 peak, and many of the most reliable people think we never will.
    Stephen

  32. Forcasting Intelligence @ 23, I think pulling out of NATO would be a serious mistake. It would also be exactly the sort of stunt I would expect from Trump. Oh, we can just buy Greenland. Right. Using what for money? Right now, NATO is the only force which can protect the access of the Atlantic littoral and Baltic states to the warming Arctic Ocean. You will notice that Canada has no intention of cancelling its’ membership. I think it is that reality which is behind the applications of Finland and Sweden; the Ukraine War merely gave them a convenient excuse.

  33. @Mary Bennet #18

    I think it is a hoot that RFK Jr. recently said “If I believed the stuff that’s written about me in the papers and reported about me on the mainstream news sites, I would definitely not vote for me.”

    The guy has a presence… and it was really interesting to see Charles Eisenstein next to him last week at the congressional hearing on censorship. & Dennis Kucinich next to Eisenstein.

    No matter how things shake out, it’s going to be interesting…

  34. Florida, some people definitely are being victimized by abusive corporations and corrupt governments. They’re just not the ones who are constantly grandstanding about their victimhood.

    Justin, thanks for this.

    Yorkshire, good heavens. Thank you for this! That’s a solid and very useful point.

    Roman, nah, the Praetorian Guard hasn’t been formed yet. The opposition to our Caesar comes (as it always does) from the senatorial classes, which has been trying to stab Trumpus Caesar over and over again in an ongoing Ides of March.

    Moose, peak oil in the original sense — the all-time peak of conventional petroleum production — happened in 2005. What’s happened since then is a massive effort to replace conventional petroleum with anything that can be used to imitate oil, whether or not it makes any economic sense to do so. (Fracking, for example, never made economic sense — that’s a central reason why the US government churned out more debt between 2008 and today than it did between the signing of the Constitution and 2008; much of that was funneled into the fracking industry via various cutouts.) The costs have been piling up all over, driving the collapse of our infrastructure and our military among other things, but exactly when those costs reach a point that the whole charade falls apart and it stops being possible to pretend that natural gas liquids, tar sand extractives, vegetable oil, et al. have the same net energy profit as light sweet crude from shallow wells — that’s very difficult to guess.

    As for “demand destruction,” go look at the rate of petroleum (+ “petroleum”) consumption over the last twenty years; you can find graphs readily online. They haven’t decreased at all, because wind and solar are even less economically viable than fracking, and not much more ecologically benign.

    Michaelz, that may be the best quick summary of the Ukraine fiasco that I’ve seen yet.

    Disc_writes, I don’t think there’s been any decline in the quality of people, but yes, school systems across the industrial West have been in precipitous decline for most of a century now. You get a better education in the public schools of most impoverished Third World countries than you do in the United States. The reasons for that are complex, but they have a lot to do with the decadence and accelerating decline of the industrial West.

    Clay, that’s very possible. It’s not merely that we’re becoming irrelevant, though — the flows of unearned wealth from the rest of the world to the West are shutting down, and not too many people in the West have any idea how to get by in their absence.

    Steve, I haven’t studied permaculture, so I’m not sure where they got the idea. It’s been central to Druidry for a very long time; of course it’s also an important element of Steiner’s teachings, too.

    Prizm, I’ll have the autumn predictions up on my Patreon and SubscribeStar venues starting next month.

    Stephen, that’s one I’ll have to toss to the commentariat, as it’s not a subject I’ve researched in any depth. Anyone?

    David BTL, that would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. What fascinates me most about it is that nobody is looking at declining enrollment and thinking, “Gosh, maybe the quality of our product has declined!”

    Downside, I’ve read Turchin, though not his recent books. His “cliodynamics” strikes me as a classic example of premature mathematization — before you start running the numbers, it’s crucial to have a better overview than Turchin appears to have. But we’ll see.

    Jeff, I’ve seen squibs about it in various places but never a detailed discussion. If anyone else can point to some details I’ll be interested, too.

    Your Kittenship, oh, she’s gone off me, and is now posting screeds on how wrong all my ideas are. It’s a familiar pattern. I think it has to do with difficult relationships with parents or something, but over the years I’ve had a modest but steady stream of fanboys and fangirls who adore me for a while, then turn around and denounce me in equally unbalanced tones. Since one of the details of my horoscope gives me the odd karma of always profiting from my enemies, I don’t mind — it’s all free publicity.

    Jerry, that’s a good question I’m not qualified to answer, because I’m not a natal astrologer — that is, birth charts aren’t my specialty, and the principles of mundane astrology are different enough from those of natal astrology that you can’t use one to judge the other. From what you say, it’s entirely possible that you’ve got a lot of difficult karma and you’ve earned the chance to fix it; that being the case, might as well do it.

    Isaac, glad to hear this.

    Mary, this is shaping up to be a truly colorful election season!

    David BTL, oh, there’s more to it than that. The F-16 is not a very good plane, it’s been in service since 1978, and it’s hopelessly outclassed by current state-of-the-art antiaircraft systems. If NATO does supply them to the Ukrainians and they suffer the same fate as all the othe wunderwaffles NATO has handed over, that’s going to wreck the prospects for selling more of them to clueless foreign air forces — a major cash cow for General Dynamics. As the endgame in the Ukraine war draws closer, expect to see NATO finding ever more ornate reasons not to flush more resources down that rathole.

    Batstrel, I don’t use it because so many people pile the term full of urban legends and schlock from the media. I use the term “metaphysical” because it literally means “beyond or beside the physical” — which is a very good description of what we’re talking about. As for “supernatural,” I don’t believe that anything is genuinely above or outside of nature, as that word implies — nature is just bigger than our current notions allow for.

    Phil M, I’ve met some of the people who make them. They’re a really remarkable phenomenon, half prank and half folk art, with intriguing ritual dimensions. Jim Schnabel’s book Round in Circles is a good intro.

    Forecasting, NATO has backed itself into a corner from which I’m not at all sure it can extract itself. The goal of NATO policy since 2014 was to build up Ukraine as a rival to Russia, provoke a war that (supposedly) Russia couldn’t win, and use economic sanctions to crush the Russian economy and if possible cause a political collapse that would allow Russia to be broken up into weak, vulnerable states that would then be absorbed into the EU and stripped of their assets in the usual way. That was the plan, and it has backfired cataclysmically. The Russian economy has weathered the sanctions in fine shape, since the rest of the world was uninterested in obeying NATO’s demands, and the military situation — well, that demands a post of its own sometime soon.

    But the long-term prognosis for Europe is ghastly. A millennium ago it was an impoverished, depopulated zone of quarreling statelets on the outer fringes of the civilized world. It’s had a remarkable period of global empire and cultural efflorescence, but the last resource flows from elsewhere that kept it from falling back into its earlier condition are shutting down. A century from now it’s likely to resemble nothing so much as one of the more troubled parts of the nonindustrial world — say, central Africa or northern South America. The approaching US election — well, that’s also a topic for another time.

    Batstrel, no, it’s a typical modern attempt to play God. Each newborn infant is born into the body and the situation that will best allow it to deal with the karma of the indwelling soul. Insisting that we know better is standard modern pigheaded arrogance.

    Phil M, that’s one of the wry ironies of my life. I don’t generally like complex technology, but it’s a simple fact that I write better when I use a word processor. My writing process involves a rough draft followed by many small and some large emendations, and that’s almost infinitely easier when I can just highlight-and-replace. I became publishable as soon as I started using a computer for writing. One of those things!

    Ken, no, I haven’t. Anyone else?

    Gardener, that’s a misunderstanding of feudalism. Feudalism is a system based on mutual bonds of loyalty — the lord pledges support to his vassals just as much as the vassals to the lord — and that works all the way up and down the scale. What our would-be lords and masters want to have instead is a system in which everyone is loyal and obedient to them, but they don’t owe anyone anything. Such systems never last long, because the people who make it work — you know, the ordinary folks who are supposed to obey — have no incentive to play along, and every incentive to undercut or overthrow the system. That, finally, is where feudalism comes from — as the system collapses, individuals who can rally the loyalty of others by being loyal to them rise to power.

    Robert, there are many different kinds of them; it’s a complex universe. We know about them because it’s not that difficult, in states of expanded consciousness, to talk to them and listen to their answers. (That’s what prayer is, for example.)

    DT, the problem with euthanasia on the Canadian model is that it’s fully integrated with the medical and welfare system, which means that it’s apparently already being used to pressure people into killing themselves because it’s inconvenient for the government to pay their bills. It’s only one step from there to involuntary euthanasia, and I doubt it will take too long for that step to be taken.

    Chris J, you’d have to talk to a shaman. It’s not a field of which I have any personal knowledge.

  35. https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-35031186

    RIP Sinead O’Connor… what a voice. What a talent.

    For those of you inclined to Christian mysticism and magic, and actually good Celtic music, her version / setting of Psalm 91 is top notch.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_CoCepMu7k

    My wife and I were in Chicago to see her in the spring of 2020 and the concert got canceled the night of due to some virus that shall be named. Well, I am glad I got to hear her recordings. What a singer.

    You will be missed Sinead.

  36. Hi JMG, was tempted to post last week but saw your injunction to stay on topic or wait until the open post so I gave it a week. You’ve been talking about civilizational decay/collapse for a long time but it’s really amazed me over the last few years how many turds have hit the fan in rapid succession. Sometimes there are weeks when decades happen, I guess. Recently I read Tainter’s “The Collapse of Complex Societies” (and also “The Social History of the Machine Gun”, I get so many good reading recommendations here) and it laid out a pretty strong case for the declining returns on social complexity and the overwhelming urge to keep doubling down on it that desperate elites seem to have in order to keep grabbing bigger pieces of a shrinking pie. Chief Diversity Officers, anyone?

    My main focus through my personal porthole on the Titanic has been the Ukraine conflict — how the Western mainstream media has almost uniformly and voluntarily pushed Ukrainian propaganda (which often seems produced in London, NY, or DC), how the West isolated itself by openly pushing coups and wars in preference to negotiations and heavy-handedly warned China not to get involved (in the exact same things the West was already doing) while making it clear that China was next once Russia was defeated, how almost every Western institution has besmirched itself in some way or other in support of open insignia-wearing you-know-what’s whose stated goal is ethnic cleansing, forcing their foolish proxy to start a major offensive with almost no aircraft and a dearth of artillery and ammunition against heavy fortifications (which they can’t even reach), etc, etc, etc. It’s really unbelievable to me to watch it all happening and constantly escalating. And that’s only scratching the surface. They still think Nato can actually fight a war even though they’ve almost disarmed the west by sending weapons to Ukraine that get destroyed almost upon arrival, if they even make it to the front (assuming it doesn’t disappear into the black market and end up in the hands of Mexican cartels). They’re risking collapse of Nato and the EU, de-dollarization, and WWIII for a conflict they’re clearly losing, countries who see which way the wind is blowing are standing in a long line to join BRICS, and the worst they can conceive of, at least publicly, is that it may become a stalemate. It’s like a German general after Kursk saying “uh oh, this might turn into a stalemate”.

    But it’s becoming increasingly clear to me that the same logic by many of the same people was behind the bewildering “virus of unknown origin” response and medical care in general, the regular failings of the US transportation system, the entertainment complex (Disney for example is going bankrupt for the last 10 years of deliberately and methodically ruining every franchise they had by pushing what Disney wanted, rather than what fans wanted, and then insulting fans who complained, meanwhile MI7 goes up against Indy5 and surprise, they both underwhelm), the educational system, and, well, every failure we’ve all become so regrettably acquainted with. Every time I see Joe Biden I think “this is our Leonid Brezhnev” and assume, if history at least rhymes, that the US has maybe 15 years left.

    Sorry for the brain dump, every now and then I just look at how the world has deteriorated just since the turn of the century and think that I probably ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

  37. How do yo fix your karma?!! Lol

    Your past life story talked about running from yourkarma, facing it, and with a lot of “hard work”, turning the situation around. I thought when I read it, and even more now, what is this hard work that gets mentioned in passing. I know its different for everyone, but how does one know what their hard work is?

  38. Hi JMG, et. al.,
    Had a family friend want to pick my brain on the upcoming presidential election. My response to ‘who wins’ was ‘not us’. I honestly do not think we can vote ourselves out of our collective mess and even more to the point, with the changing world, I think the mayor or governor would be more important than the figurehead president in Washington D.C. That said, I read two great articles about our current candidates.

    https://tomluongo.me/2023/07/23/the-dnc-soap-opera-gets-a-new-villain-rfk-jr/

    RFK Jr. has me seriously considering casting a Democratic vote. I haven’t voted Democratic in 30 years despite being raised in a Teamster/union household. Clinton and NAFTA killed my support but I’m no fan of the warmongers that used to congregate on the right either. For many years, both sides sucked in my eyes.

    https://brownstone.org/articles/trumps-disastrous-final-year-in-office/

    The Orange guy, who I voted for twice has lost a lot of shine. I really didn’t see anything better but now, I’m not so sure. Still, and to come full circle, I’m not sure how much good will come of the next election and at this point, I have doubts it will even happen if things really start to go off the rails. We are in a strange calm and in that calm, all I can do is ask, what do you think?

  39. @Jeff Russell #14, I’ve heard about several house churches in the UK (I’m a churchgoer, but to a regular church with a steeple and an altar). Apparently they (and a similar story I read about a pub church) have proven quite effective at attracting people who have no recent Christian background (where they have two or three generations of their family who have never been to church) and who are intimidated by the idea of formal church worship but who are interested nonetheless in coming to faith. Some people just stay with the house churches and others prefer to move on to more formal worship.

  40. Hi JMG,
    Any thoughts about the work of Joscelyn Godwin? I was reading something about music and sound in occultism, and a reference to him came up. Having never heard of him, I looked him up and became skeptical when I saw he’s published translations of Julius Evola’s books… This seems like a red flag, although I know it doesn’t automatically affect the relevance of his personal research. I was wondering if you have any insight here?
    Thank you in advance

  41. Thank you very much for your replies to my questions, JMG.

    I am curious whether you think you can you remember any details of your last spell in the afterlife, JMG ? If so, I am guessing that they would be too personal to share.

    I woke up one morning in 2015 to find myself on a bench on the concourse of a busy railway station. I hadn’t a clue how I had got there. Commuters were coming and going. Before long a folkloric being saw my distress and came and hovered over me and intimated in a genius way (too beautiful for me to want to share) that I was in the afterlife. After persuading me to shake her hand, though she was successful only at the second attempt, she flew up and away, whereupon I woke up. Only then did I realise that I had been having my first lucid dream. Then there followed about 3 minutes when everything in my waking world appeared to have stopped. No sound, no traffic or people outside in my usually busy London suburb, (it was mid-morning in the middle of the week in summer) and no birds, squirrels, cats or foxes in my garden, and no flying insects to be seen either. Some months later I read about the concept of the “Oz effect”, then I remembered having read about it in the 1990s already. I expect that the folkloric being gave me the Oz effect experience (effective upon my waking) so that I would be convinced of the “metaphysical” nature of my experience (and of the being herself) in the afterlife.

    One book that I later read claimed that visits to the afterlife are common in lucid dreams. Non-human rangers there, like my folkloric being, watch over the scene to help out when needed. Non-human guides (higher beings) are apparently also available to those who are already experienced in lucid dreams but want to advance further.

  42. DT,

    I have a concern with the policies in Canada for at least four reasons:

    a) The safeguards being put in place to prevent people from being pressured into MAID are woefully inadequate. The protections on paper are much stronger than they are on the ground, and there are quite a few loopholes to the rules to enable all sorts of pressure. In particular, there are no effective protections against a kind of government abuse, where people are told they won’t have access to treatment for their condition, but are eligible for MAID. I doubt this will ever be officially spelled out as a policy, but it seems to me to be the effective outcome of the collapse in the medical system’s ability to provide services which we are seeing.

    b) It is spelled out in the policy that if someone applies for MAID, their doctor and nurses must arrange for it and cannot express their concerns. This is problematic in many cases, but when it is expanded to include people with clinical depression, or other mental health illnesses, this becomes deeply troubling because many of these people could recover if given access to proper treatment.

    c) As it stands, it is easier to get MAID than a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) in Ontario (the province I currently call home); which means that in some cases people may end up considering applying for MAID in order to avoid the risk of being subjected to the suffering that comes with trying to keep people with terminal illnesses alive as long as possible.

    d) The entire thing strikes me as a massive violation of the Hippocratic Oath, and given doctors still swear the oath, that seems dangerous at best to me.

  43. JMG,
    One of the other things that struck about the video of the Russian shopping mall was that one of the reasons it was thriving was because when the large international brands were replaced with local ones or “faux replacement” ones an entire level of tribute was removed. The modern imperial wealth pump works in many ways but one of the significant ones is money skimmed off to pay for Trademarks, franchise fees, licenses, etc. So a few months ago when you went in to the Moscow McDonalds and got a Coke with your meal a significant portion of the price was skimmed off by Coca Cola and sent back to the seat of the empire. Now the same ( almost) cola is produced in the same Russian Bottling plant under the name ” Dobra Cola” and all the money stays in the country. The same is true for the Ikea replacement etc. We are told the Russians are ready to overthrow Putin because they can’t get Coke and McDonalds but perhaps they have realized that Dobra Cola and Vkusno&Tochka ( replacement Mcdonalds) are equivalent and they feel richer after buying from them.

  44. (According to Taranatha (1575-1634)
    ‘…the more sophisticated (extremists) meditate on the coarse impermanence of birth, aging, sickness, death, and so forth; they know the suffering of this life and of the desire realm; they affirm that coarse substances such as material forms lack a true reality; they decrease their attachments and know contentment; they develop loving kindness and compassion; they meditate on the equanimity of friends and enemies; and they relinquish the four roots (killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying). Since they have an excellent view, meditation, and conduct, their path leads to exalted states.’
    (This is a brief Tibetan description of the non-Buddhist ‘path of the seers’, which may well have had a central role in Asian occultism in remote antiquity).

  45. Hi JMG,

    I’ve been seeing more and more discussion of demographic trends in economic discussions recently. Apparently, the prospect of declining population causing economic decline is starting to feel more real to more people.

    One podcaster I follow casually went so far as to say that with a declining population, all financial assets (real estate, stocks, precious metals) would lose value. He was predicting the late 2040s as crunch time. In his view, demographics will force a shift in which the most valuable asset was human capital–the ability to field a workforce that could actually accomplish critical tasks. This was in a right-leaning, but still pretty mainstream venue, so I was surprised.

    He then went on to blame left-wing elites for engineering a population reduction. You might remember my conspiracy-theory friend who became the #1 superfan of The Conspiracy Book when I gave it to to him as a gift. One of his favorite topics was how Bill Gates wanted to reduce the population for nefarious reasons.

    So my takeaways were 1) your advice to invest in skills makes more and more sense 2) when the economic wheels do finally come off, finding a bogeyman to blame will be top of many peoples list.

  46. I’m watching the rather drastic shedding of people by tech companies, the ongoing Reddit feud with their users, the rapid explosion in ads on a lot of internet sites, the rapid decline in quality of essentially every major search engine, the fact that big tech companies are now openly feuding with the government of Canada, the ways in which both cybercrime and the harms of social media went from being a taboo topic to regularly being talked about in mainstream media, the rise of laws restricting access to pornography across the world, the Twitter debacle, and the ongoing and building freakout in the mainstream media about the harms AI could do, and something has been bothering me lately: this looks exactly what I’d expect to see if the consensus that funnels massive sums of resources towards the internet was breaking down.

    Is anyone else getting the sense that the system that has funneled a large fraction of the world’s raw materials, energy, and finished products to the internet is breaking down? Is anyone else getting the sense that this might come to a head and drive some truly massive societal changes in the months and years ahead?

  47. Hello
    Going back to ‘Beyond Thaumatophobia 3’ and the Newfoundland folk story about the shuffling entity that comes in the night, I wonder if the settlers brought this entity with them? And could this be the case with other entities now in. America, and perhaps some not so terrifying? I ask this because of memorably authentic experiences recorded in JSE 16, 4, 621-634, 2002, by L. David Leiter, resident in Philadelphia, of the Vardogr (Norwegian) . Other persons saw him, David, as a Vardogr, turn up at work or at home while he was actually driving elsewhere. He discovered that there were accounts of this phenomenon, more commonly among persons of Norwegian and sometimes Scottish descent.
    it occurs to me to ask, again generally, whether there are Genius Loci, protective spirits of place, commonly experienced in America, similar to those traditionally known in Europe, and in my case in the British Isles? These persist here and are fairly commonly felt even today. They often in our case have a connection with the Divine and with well-lived lives – e.g. Saints, and it seems with the many nameless saints. I share similar experiences to those felt by Paul Kingsnorth as a boy exploring old rural churches, for example.

  48. Justin Patrick Moore @ 38, I previously only knew Kucinich as a leftist drama queen, one of the least effective members of Congress in recent memory. However, he does seem to have some abilities for administration. There have so far not been any outrageous missteps by the Kennedy campaign, and, possibly, Kucinich knows how to spot the kind of planted DNC agents who made havoc of the Sanders campaigns. I don’t say I like the guy, but I do find the Christie campaign very interesting indeed. He exhibits a similar rough spoken, take no prisoners speaking style as Trump, has not so far descended to name-calling, and his personal life is not a soap opera. I think his policies, so far as he has any, are Conservative business friendly and I doubt he knows much of anything about foreign policy. I find it a source of wry amusement that DeSantis’ going to Israel to pledge fealty has not helped him with public opinion so far.

  49. @Stephen DeRose, #11

    One potential source is Ft. Agostino Taumaturgo. There’s some free stuff in the blog too, but you’d need to acquire the book for the whole set of instructions. Disclaimer: I have deliberately not looked into this because it includes practices that are only lawful to perform by ordained clergy under the Canon Law of the Roman Catholic Church, and I am trying to remain a lay member in good standing (whatever my peculiar stances on other subjects might be).

    If you can read Spanish, or have some other means to obtain high quality translations, I cannot recommend you enough with the works of Ft. Antonio Fortea. Leaving the more practically oriented books aside (for the same reason as above), these will give you a strong theological and philosophical foundation to what the Catholic Church was been able to unravel about those sorts of entities through the pass of the centuries.

  50. @Lazy Gardner #27 — That’s what it looks like from here. My daughter and son-in-law are visiting this week. The conversation inevitably turned to their trying to buy a house. Short version: no way, even though they’re both working. The median home price has risen by 35% since 2020 Q3.

    On the other hand, Forbes estimated that there were 735 billionaires in the US as of April 2022, up from 614 eighteen months before. The net worth of the 400 richest Americans totals $4 trillion. Forbes magazine is despondent, though, because the year before, the tally was $4.4 trillion.

    To put that in perspective, the median home price is about $436,000, meaning that those 400 people control wealth equivalent to 10 million homes. That’s an average of 25,000 homes each. Firms like Black Rock understand the possibilities here. They’re buying homes in high-employment areas, making sure that they, rather than those workers, capture the equity in those homes, not to mention the eternal money flow from workers to their own coffers. It’s really no contest, since workers must borrow at retail rates, whereas Black Rock can borrow at wholesale rates. The impoverishment of American workers will continue as long as the money pump is running with Black Rock at the head of the line and my daughter down at the end.

    I think it’s pretty clear where this is headed. And I think we may have already passed the point of no return. I see no resolution until the Federal Government is constrained by a balanced budget amendment, which would seal off the money spigot. What are the odds of Congress doing this? Given that this will require a tremendous public effort, that Congress and its corporate allies will likely do everything in their power to prevent this from happening, and that even a grass-roots effort to enact such an amendment would entail a constitutional convention called for by 2/3 of the states — states that be bribed with Federal funds pouring from said money spigot — I see no hope of this happening.

  51. Dear JMG and commentariat,

    I am sending another of my translations of my poems hoping it will either bring a nice memory, meditative mood or motivation to go for a walk – or, perhaps, all three :o).

    Bellflowers
    Where the grasses of meadows breathe out their lovely scent
    A little gate is opening its road to hidden treasure
    You’ll find bellflowers ringing in the soul who meant
    To invite you into the house of strings with pleasure.
    And every single string vibrates its own ring
    In the moment of a cool and sparkling dawn
    And only a loyal friend of those little moments will have known
    How the temporal soul of human time
    Will be greeted in the heaven’s golden shine.

    With regards,
    Markéta

  52. Do you think President Trump’ will haul out a fresh batch of 2016 Russian Dem Flipping Facebook Collusion Leprechauns?
    Mueller didn’t find them neither did Two Impeachments.
    Obviously, they are still running Wild and Free.

  53. Hi JMG,

    I would like to ask you two questions concerning the meditation.

    1. I’m struggling with the breathing exercise. My thoughts are always wondering away so much.
    Do you have any suggestions on how to focus on them better? (Besides the sitting on an iron chair naked:) please?
    2. I’m at the chapter “More about the astral plane” in your Workbook. And I’m not quite sure what to make out of the region of impersonal thoughts and feelings and the region of creative thoughts? Could you describe them a bit more in detail or with an example so I know where to start?

    And thank you for your work and effort JMG. Your books’ve help me a lot during the years. I’ve grown up in a Protestant-Occult cult so it was/is very difficult to untangle all things. So thank you.

  54. @Batstrel, #24

    I have pondered this question myself, and have adopted JMG’s doctrine that people born in unusually harsh circumstances bring with them a bunch of karma that can be most effectively cleared if going through those circumstances. It is not very charitable to say that “people always deserve what they get”, but it might not be a matter of deserving or not. If this is a harsh lesson you need to learn, you may not have done anything worth the “punishment” and still get it.

    More over, the fact that so many non viable babies are being born might have more to do with us adults than with said babies. Sure, they get to suffer for a short while and then fade… which might be a convenient way to burn off some bad karma while you take a rest in between more purposeful incarnations. But the adults who’s lives are impacted by these hardships are the ones who are presented with significant choices; it is an opportunity to learn compassion, and the distinction between healthy vs unhealthy attachment; it is also a test to our judgement and moral compass.

    I think this is why the Prolife arguments are upside down in the abortion debates. You don’t do any favors to unwanted babies by letting them be born; instead it is a test about who you decide you are vs who the World tells you to be.

  55. Interestingly the latest Ed Latimore newsletter (mostly standard self improvement schtick with the point of difference being his experiences growing up in the hood and being a boxer), which addresses the topic of improving focus, has as its recommendations:
    1. Remove distractions. By definition, they only hurt.
    2. Get clear about your goals. This keeps you from being distracted while trying to sort things out.
    3. Practice meditation. It’s like weightlifting for your mind.
    4. Read Franz Bardon’s ***Initiation to Hermetics.** Especially levels 1-3.
    5. Learn how to visualize. Your reticular activating system makes focusing easier, and your visualization is how you develop it.
    6. Use nootropics. Especially Alpha Brain combined with black coffee.
    7. Breathe deeply and slowly. Your mind and breath and closely related. Regulating one will regulate the other.

    I suspect the only controversial one here would be 6.

  56. Hi JMG,

    Thank you. In a word, you mean spirits, such as those found in grimoires and other traditions correct?

  57. This one is more for the commentariat than JMG, but does anyone have thoughts or advice on the practical side of keeping cats in the coming long descent? I have two lovely cats who are starting to get on in years, and so my thoughts inevitably turn to what I’d do differently if and when I were to get a new kitten or two when the time comes.

    Most of all, I’ve grown more concerned about industrial cat food as I slowly (ever so slowly) try to eliminate all the less than wholesome industrial products from my life. Are there any sensible alternatives, or any way to make your own without access to your own livestock? My cats are allowed outside and do hunt (this is much more common and accepted in my country than in the US), but I doubt they’d be able to sustain themselves off wild mice and birds even in my fairly rural setting. I’ve never dealt much with dogs, but seems easier with them since they can eat a wider range of foods.

    I’m also growing more skeptical of industrial veterinary medicine, both because of personal experiences and all the things that have been discussed on JMG’s blogs. And of course it’s unsustainable long-term, not to mention expensive. So far my cats have been mostly healthy, but they do tend to get dental issues, even if I only use dry feed. Are there any natural ways to mitigate this? Having to fully sedate them to have a vet clean their teeth is both costly and invasive. In light of the Covid debacle: are cat vaccines worthwhile or a scam?

    In the end, maybe pets are another luxury of the industrial age and not really sustainable unless you’ve got a working farm. Still, I’ve been very fond of cats ever since I was a kid, and I’d like to have them in my life in the future too.

    Any advice from more experienced green wizards would be appreciated. Also, I’m in Europe, so very US-centric recommendations probably won’t be useful to me. Thanks in advance!

  58. For anyone interested in Cornish and / or Celtic gods. A couple of weeks ago I posted a Magic Monday question over at the Ecosophia Dreamwidth blog asking for information on Cornish deity names. My feedback was that, (similar to modern knowledge of the druids), nothing much is known, mostly due to the fact that any contemporary accounts were written by the Romans. Archeology is another avenue to discover the past and I received a suggestion to look into Roman / Celtic temples in SW Britain for clues.

    I decided to dive into the archeology topic and also look into Celtic religion as a whole. A couple of main points I discovered:

    – Not many temple sites from Roman times have been discovered in Cornwall. In fact, not many Roman sites at all and at least one of the sites it is only speculated that it served as a temple.

    From The Druids: Piggott, Stuart, 1968

    – Not related to god’s names but one site in St. Erth, Cornwall “…was a shaft 36 feet deep containing Roman votive deposits (note: similar to other sites on Continental Europe mentioned in the book). With all these shafts go a very strange series of what have been called wells, funerary wells, or offering-pits, mostly Romano-Celtic and scattered over Gual from the Rhineland to the Pyrenees and the Atlantic Coast….and associated with certain Romano-British temples. pg. 82 What we seem to be encountering are the representatives of the cult concepts which found expression in the Greek bothros and the Latin mundus, ritual shafts communicating with otherworld deities, and in the favissa, the pit in which objects rendered holy by sacral use, and the bones or ashes of sacrifices, where buried in the consecrated area.

    – As for god’s names, at the time of publication PIggott stated that throughout Europe there have been “…374 god’s names from discovered from inscriptions but 305 of those names only occurred once and only 4 or 5 god’s names were found from 20 – 30 times”. This aligns with JMG’s initial feedback but the Celtic pantheon was very localized.

    For those interested in the topic, links below. Note that these posts serve more as a notebook than something for an audience but hope they can serve as a resource for those interested in these topics:

    The Druids: Piggott, Stuart, 1968 – https://scottyc.dreamwidth.org/1109.html

    Archeology in Cornwall – https://scottyc.dreamwidth.org/779.html

    Holy Wells and Clootie Trees – https://scottyc.dreamwidth.org/767.html

  59. I hope everybody is having a wonderful week! 🙂

    A question to JMG and everybody else:

    Looking at Cat Yronwode’s hoodoo course, I’ve been wondering if you know of any comparable courses (books, lectures, people, …) about European “folk magic” systems? Middle European or German would be particularly nice, of course, but I’d also be interested in adjacent regions.

    There is a lot of lore out there, bits here, and scraps there, etc. But that doesn’t give a systematic picture.

    Does anybody know of any good course of study, or of a person, a book, … who/which systematically teaches a certain system of European folk magic or natural magic from the ground up, including the relevant background etc?

    Thanks,

    Milkyway

  60. JMG and anyone else who might have input — I’d love to hear your thoughts on subject of UAP (Unidentified Anomalous Phenomenon) and NHI (Non-Human Intelligence). The language has fortunately evolved in recent times as we used to call these things UFOs and ETs respectively. There was a congressional hearing today reviewing what was probably sparse and carefully controlled evidence, as well as whistleblower accounts. I’m not as concerned with the statements of a military ranking veteran than I am with the significance behind this being a legitimate phenomenon that reveals much greater potential with magic than we currently know.

    There’s a very interesting subreddit called r/Experiencers full of people who claim to have real interactions with NHI. The accounts are supremely fascinating and as I was reading, I realized that if we can tap into our greater consciousness to manipulate ourselves, our beliefs, and thus our reality, another species that is advanced enough to contact us is likely doing so through the same veil, rather than through the distance of space. They unquestionably have the capacity to influence our perceptions and that might stretch as far as even manipulating things at the atomic level if reality is truly within our collective creation.

    In other words, while NHI might not directly intersect with magic, but they are of the same source and have mastered its use. That would make them not estranged from spirit entities we might converse with, adding in that they have the option of using physical bodies when necessary, and a more relevant interest in us.

    “We are part of a symbiosis with something disguising itself as an alien invasion so as not to alarm us.” -Terence McKenna

    I don’t have a specific question. I’m recommending the sub as an interest factor and asking if anyone has any new perspectives to add.

  61. Hello JMG and fellow readers,

    I was wondering if anyone could recommend any books on the occult origins of the scientific method. I know that many of the early pioneers of the approach like Bacon and Newton were up to their eyeballs in occult and esoteric study; I’m trying to figure out if it started with them or if they were drawing on some earlier techniques or schools of thought.

    Thanks,
    JZ

  62. @Kim A. #63 re: Keeping Cats through the Long Decline

    While I certainly won’t call myself an “experienced Green Wizard,” I know a few things that might help and might help you track down some folks with further experience.

    First off, cats seem to have spread to most of Europe during/after the decline of the Roman empire. In its heyday, minks and similar animals competed with “foreign” cats as the preferred mousers employed on farms. So they are likely going to weather any future dark ages pretty well!

    Secondly, historically-speaking, it was rare to feed cats much at all beyond the occasional scraps – hunting and finding food scraps accounted for most of the diet of even mostly-domesticated cats. Feral/stray cats today still show some of this pattern, as places with a lot of food scraps laying around (like near fish canneries) have large populations of strays, places with more modest food availability, like a farm, tend to support smaller groups.

    Next, cats are “obligate carnivores,” which means their bodies are designed to eat meat and nothing but meat (well, and other things that come attached to it, like small bones). Commercial dry food that includes lots of rice/potato/grains is a big change from cats’ wild ancestors ate, and frankly what cats have mostly eaten since they’ve been domesticated.

    Where I’ve noticed how this plays out in my own life is that growing up, our cats always ate mostly dry food (but who knows what they ate while they were outside). As an adult, I’ve always made wet food a big part of their diet, and usually supplemented with dry food to keep costs from being too crazy. My cats as adults have never had teeth problems (my current two are 13), and their coats have been shinier, and they produce far less dander. So giving them more meat seems to make a big difference!

    Now, as for how that might play out in a more resource-constrained environment? As I said above, scraps are a big part. You might also look up the “raw meaty bone” approach to feeding pets (it seems to be more popular with dog owners, but I seem to remember seeing some applications to cats). Basically, you make an appropriately-sized raw bone with meat on it the meal. Animals raised on commercial foods with all kinds of flavoring apparently sometimes turn up their nose at it for a while, but it’s what their bodies are made to eat. The raw part is important, though, as cooked bones can splinter in ways that can hurt them. I reckon that if you prepare any kind of meat that involves throwing out the bones (or turning them into stock, or whatever), maybe some of them become cat food.

    If you’d like to learn more about how cats were domesticated, their history with humans, and what their natural instincts can tell us about how to better live with them, the book Cat Sense by John Bradshaw is fantastic.

    Anyhow, I hope some of this helps!

    Cheers,
    Jeff

  63. Justin, I note with some discomfort that she was 56 years old and no cause of death has been announced in the media. These days, that’s especially troubling.

    Mandrake, well, yes. I’ve had similar thoughts about both these subjects rather often of late.

    Jerry, the hard work in question is a matter of facing yourself, confronting your problems, and dealing with them. Do that and the rest falls into place.

    Jeff BKLYN, an election is not going to solve our problems. It might have some impact on the body count, but that’s about it. That said, the body count matters; it’s one thing to have a president who at least recognizes that there’s a problem and another to have a president who clearly doesn’t.

    Noodles, I’m a serious fan of Godwin’s writing on music. Yes, he’s a Traditionalist, but that’s a much more mixed label than it’s made out to be these days; for all his problems, for example, Evola had some useful things to say. (Heck, even Karl Marx came up with a good idea from time to time.) You could do much worse than to study his writings on esoteric music.

    Batstrel, that’s a classic experience. Mine was not. I was furiously angry and grieving about being suddenly thrust out of a life that seemed finally to be making sense, and I basically huddled around my anger and grief straight through the period between lives. It was one of several things that messed me over in the opening sections of this life, because I didn’t do any processing between lives and came back into incarnation miserably unhappy and sullen. There were good karmic reasons for what happened, and I know them now, but it’s been a long road.

    Clay, exactly. The sanctions are going to go down in history as one of the world’s all-time own goals, because they actively benefited the Russian economy in the way you’ve sketched out. Of course Dobra Cola, unlike the international brand, can also be adjusted to fit Russian preferences…

    Tengu, interesting. That sounds as though Taranatha thought fairly highly of that system.

    Samurai_47, good. I’m glad someone has noticed, because of course that’s quite correct. The coming of contraction means that all investments on average lose money. It also means that there’s no longer any incentive to borrow or lend money — no loan can buy anything that will make enough money to cover interest payments — and only the most pragmatic or nonfinancial incentives to any economic activity at all. This is why religious movements thrive in such times — they have essentially nonfinancial motives — and why economies and societies unravel the way they do — maintaining them no longer pays for itself, much less makes a profit. If we get to 2040 before that starts cutting in I’ll be startled.

    Anonymous, that’s occurred to me as well. If so, it’s going to be a wild ride.

    Philip, my guess is that they were already here. You might be interested to know that the native peoples of the Puget Sound area of Washington state have legends about little people who live in mounds in the forest; the stories are basically identical to northwestern European fairy lore, but these beings were there long before Europeans arrived. Yes, the New World unquestionably has place spirits; you might want to read Vine Deloria Jr.’s fine book God is Red, which talks about the sacredness of place in Native American tradition.

    Markéta, thanks for this!

    Michael, there are plenty of strange critters running wild and free right now. To my mind, all bets are off, the casino’s on fire, and the dealer’s made off with the table and sold it to the Chinese.

    YarrowMoon, you’re most welcome. (1) This is literally the most difficult thing you will ever do. There are no easy ways to do it; all you can do is keep practicing. Every time your mind goes running off, catch it as soon as you can, and bring it back. Then do it again, and again, and again. Yes, I know how frustrating that is! Been there, done that… (2) Don’t worry about it. You can’t reach those levels by trying to claw your way up there — your mind has to ripen, and the best way to let that happen is to keep going with your practices. In time, you’ll notice that your thoughts no longer cluster around you and your likes and dislikes the way they once did, and you’ll look around and think, “Wow! So this is the region of impersonal thoughts and feelings.”

    KAN, well, I drink a lot of strong green tea — I’ve got a cup in front of me right now — so I’m not going to turn up my nose at #6. Generally speaking, this is wonderful to see. Anyone who follows these suggestions will be much the better for it.

    Robert, those are only a very small fraction of the total. Think gods, angels, intelligences, spirits, etc., etc. — the universe is a very busy and complicated place.

    Kim, I’ll definitely have to pass this one to the commentariat.

    Scotty, thanks for this.

    Milkyway, I wish! If there’s anything of the kind, I haven’t heard of it.

    Nicole, well, I’ve written a book about the subject…

    …and the short form is that any time, any time, someone from the government or the military says anything about UFOs, or UAPs, or whatever they’re calling them this week — they’re lying. The US air force has been playing games with UFO reports and the UFO community since that summer day in 1947 when the whole thing got started. This isn’t a matter of speculation; it’s well documented. (Again, my book has the footnotes.) Are people experiencing contacts with nonhuman intelligences? Of course — and people always have. If you haven’t read it yet, please find a copy of Jacques Vallée’s fine book Passport to Magonia, which shows that all the activities currently being credited to UFOs were interpreted as the activities of the fairies in the Middle Ages. As John Keel (another writer to read if you haven’t checked him out yet) used to say, they’ve always been here.

    John, good heavens, yes. There’s a very extensive literature on the subject; Frances Yates is a good author to start with. You might be interested to know that the oldest known description of the scientific method appears in one of the published writings of John Dee, Elizabeth I’s court wizard; he called it “archemastry” and described it as the use of experiences to test the conclusions of logic.

  64. Milkyway #65 – If some work like this exists I’d love to know. Although I suspect that if some systematic work does exist, it will be localized to a rather small region. German dialects are very different and especially when you are talking to elders who have grown up with little contact to High German, they will probably have problems to understand each other. This is of course only my gut feeling and I may quite well be wrong, but I somehow feel that this matters.

    Schwaben and especially the vicinity of Ulm might be a good place to start a search…

    Cheers,
    Nachtgurke

  65. To #65

    Hey Milkyway,

    Mark Stavish has a full course and a condensed course on German folk magic as practised in Pennsylvania. I believe I had to create an account at his Institute for Hermetic studies to get a better idea about the course. The full coarse looks very comphrensive, and priced accordingly. I want to take the full coarse, but need to wait to give it full attention. Mark, much like our host, is amazing at contextulizing esoteric concepts and making them more understandable. There are a few free lectures on the Institute’s site that are great if anybody is hearing these words.

    The study guide:

    https://www.amazon.ca/Pow-Wow-Traditional-Grimoire-Institute-Hermetic/dp/1982029412

    The condensed course:

    https://institute-for-hermetic-studies.teachable.com/p/pow-wow-traditional-folk-and-grimoire-magic

  66. Kim A. #63 – I’m not sure if that will answer your question… A farm setting, as you suggested, might be one of domestic cats’ preferred habitats. We visit our local farmer two times a week to get fresh milk. A lot of cats are living on the farm and they are mostly living their own lives. They always get fresh milk but other than that they live their own wild lives. They produce a lot of offspring every year, some of them will be taken to live somewhere else, but most just stay. The farmers say that the cats are living there since as long as anyone can remember.

    They are living a different life than most other domestic cats and they do look different. Many of them are rather skinny, some of them show signs of past injuries and I suspect most of them won’t live as long as their pet friends living in city flats do.

    We are living in the buildings of what once was a farm and in the last maybe 10 years we might have made 1/3 of the transition back to something that could be called a farm again. We are living with cats, chicken, a few sheep and sometimes rabbits. Not to forget the variety of mice and other wild animals that live in and around the old barn. What I have noticed is that the further you go into the direction that you want to take responsibility for yourself and especially responsibility for the production of your food, the attitude towards animals changes.

    At some point you have to let go an accept that animals should just mind their own business in their own ways and that you don’t have to (and can’t) be more kind and merciful to your animals than they and the rest of nature are to each other (most chicken, for example, are rather cruel animals!). That of course doesn’t mean that one should be indifferent or should generally refrain from showing affection towards domestic animals – but there is definitely a distinctive shift in the balance.

    The further away you are from the natural habitat of the animals you are responsible for, the more external input you need. I suspect that somewhere along the long descent the external input in the form we have it today will not be feasible anymore.

    Cheers,
    Nachtgurke

  67. disc_writes #7 – I suspect educated parents have always questioned their children’s education partly as a result of forgetting the journey their education was. It is for many difficult to recall just how barebones one’s understanding of the world was at school and how much was dependent on the path you took over the decade(s) following it. I think of education (or Bildung in German – the noun that you possess) as a growing thing that needs tending and feeding, where untended branches can wither, but new branches can be grown, and which does not stop growing until your dead – the rate and direction of growth is up to you.

  68. Mr. Greer, all

    I’ve just started delving into Barbars Tuchman’s 1978 historical tome “A DISTANT MIRROR – The Calamitous 14th Century.” .. which I found recently found whilst perusing the aisles of a great Port Townsand used bookstore. Having only read though the first few chapters, I can readily see how the modern/postmodern centurys we(‘ve) live(d) in, rhyme in similar fashions with those medieval times. The following chapter brings the Black Death into play. That should be rather fascinating reading in it’s own right..
    In one chapter – ‘Born to Woe’, Tuchman writes about the various guilds of the day, and how their beneficence to members and their family’s, as well as the poor, helped greatly to keep lower society somewhat whole – while the straying Church .. came to embrace their avaricious and gluttonous pieties. Reading this immediately brought to mind your regaling of such relatively recent modern versions of fraternal/maternal organizations you’ve so noted in past posts..

    Anyway, I have 9/10ths of the way to go in reading this fabulous book. Looks to be a keeper in my humble library.

    polecat, over and out

  69. re: #55
    CR Patiño,

    What are your opinions on Fr. Chad Ripperger? I assume you know who he is, but if not, he’s a popular Catholic priest and exorcist who is active on youtube. He has a wide range if interests, from Gregorian chant to human psychology and mental illness viewed through a Thomist lens. SOme of his stuff is great, but the few things I’ve heard him say about exorcisms, seemed a bit… goofy? No disrespect to the Fr. who by all accounts is a good and faithful Catholic.

  70. Hi all, thanks for all the comments, I really enjoy the discussion. Well, maybe not “enjoy” (as gloomy as many of the comments are) but I definitely learn from them.

    JMG, a question, apologies if you’ve answered it before on other threads. Someone in the Stellar Sorcery FB group mentioned that, in spite of co-translating the Picatrix, you gave up on astrological magic because it’s “too complicated”. Is this true? I find the system rather complex on one hand but on the other hand I’m fascinated by complicated intellectual problems and am thus drawn to it. Thus far my talismans have been rather weak (but I don’t use the optimal materia magica given the expense).

    Hope all of you are doing well in these trying times.

  71. Hey John,
    Just read an article about the slow death of the US Dollar. The link is here (https://harici.com.tr/en/the-rise-of-national-currencies-against-dollar-hegemony/)

    From the article:
    “While the dollar accounted for 72% of international reserves before 2000, it fell below 59 percent in 2023. With the Russia-Ukraine war, the rate of decline of the dollar in reserves increased 10 times more. The dollar in world reserves is now at its lowest level in 27 years. Again, while nearly 70 percent of global trade was carried out in dollars in the early 2000s, today it has declined to around 40%. Although the dollar is still the most widely used currency and reserve in the world, today it is in an indisputable decline.”

    What do you think about the decline of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency? I suspect that without a strong dollar, they might not be able to grease frackers enough for it to be profitable.

  72. I 2nd the recommendation of Cat Sense and add a recommendation of Dog Sense, by the same author.

  73. Hello JMG

    Could you recommend some good resources on learning dowsing? Preferably books. Many thanks!

    SMJ

  74. JMG,

    I’m curious what your thoughts are about peak oil in Russia. Russia has a huge reserve of fossil fuels, oil, gas, and coal, for the size of its population. The Russians will still have cheap and abundant energy resources decades after peak oil hits the west hard, but not centuries. They might be one of the last industrial economies.

    Which, to my mind, means that they will be able to deindustrialize by choice. Currently no one can deindustrialize because it puts them at a disadvantage to their peers and competitors. Do you think that Russia will manage to wean itself off of fossil fuels in a graceful manner? Or will they suffer the same fate as everyone else, just later?

  75. On a Greek island I saw many little chapels. The template is a little room with a few chairs, one step up to a theater stage, some icons and other decorations, a shelf for candles and accessories, and a little barn or side room, apparently for livestock. Back home, I hear about some religious organizations selling properties and consolidating congregations instead of moving to smaller churches and staying close to their worshippers, while driving becomes less affordable.

  76. It seems to me that these UFOs are unmanned. Just like our long range spacecraft are unmanned (except for the Apollo series). Otherwise, wouldn’t we have seen these aliens by now?

  77. @Stephen DeRose (#11) on exorcism:

    Two really excellent books on the history of exorcism in the Catholic Church and in the Church of England have been published by an English scholar, Francis Young: A History of Exorcism in Catholic Christianity (2016) and A History of Anglican Exorcism: Deliverrance and Demonology in Church Ritual (2018). He also writes a blog: drfrancisyoung.com

  78. @Noodles (#46):

    Godwin is a first-rate scholar on esoteric matters. His books on the history of the Theosophical Society and on the Hermetic Brotherhood of Light (or, of Luxor) are among the soundest historical studies ever published on occult movements in the period of roughly 1875–1945. (In general, a true scholar like Godwin tries very hard to keep his personal views on anything from influencing his scholarly work. And right-leaning esotericism such as Evola promulgated is no less a legitimate subject for research than left-leaning or progressive esotericism.)

  79. JMG — I’ve actually got “Disneyland of the Gods” by John Keel and “Passport to Magonia” by Jaques Vallee on the way to my house right now. I’ll add you to the list! I’m thrilled to know there’s a book about it by a magic practitioner. Thanks for the tip. And thank you for reminding me the government will never tell the truth about them. I know that, but sometimes I hope too much.

    Gratitude!

  80. Hi JMG,

    I’m certainly fascinated by what new religious forms may spring up as decline really starts to bite.

    My understanding is that the population decline trends will play out in other countries before the USA. I believe Japan has had a lot of difficulty, despite efforts, to create population growth. The result has been stagnation for decades. So we may get a preview of coming attractions by looking abroad at countries further along in the aging curve.

    I think it’s too early to say that having large families or being a part of a growing population is the ticket to success, though. The PMC will come up with all sorts of new gimmicks to maintain the status quo. Fracking showed us that.

    Are you seeing any indication that a new economic model is viable yet? I’m not. I deal with a lot of skilled tradespeople, and some are making really good money right now. Plumbers especially. I am not seeing many young people going into the trades however.

  81. What sad news. I loved Sinead O’ Conner. listen to her do The Parting Glass. A fitting goodbye to her.

  82. @Robert: #29 I’ve heard just a bit about Sak Yant tattoos. It sounds interesting, and I’ll look into it. I’d seen some books on Thai magic that had appeared too over the past ten years, distributed by the same people who circulate a lot of industrial music (probably because Coil member Peter Christopherson lived in Thailand at the end of his life?). Anyway, I’m not suprised Angelina Jolie put them on the radar for her followers.Thanks for the kind wishes!

    @GP: #34 Your hermetic androgyne tattoo sounds cool and if I did get tattooed it would probably be some kind of western magic symbology. When I was in highschool and reading the Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman’s “Death Gate” cycle of pulpy fantasy novels I wanted runes tattooed like their characters… I’ve heard from other people experiences like yours getting something very meaningful done and talking with the tattoo artist throughout. Others had mentioned having candles burning to keep the atmosphere tuned. I’ll check out the Robert Ryan interview. Thanks!

    @Mary Bennet #54: I only know Kucinich as former mayor of Cleveland, and fellow Ohioan, and that’s about it. Don’t know anything about his drama queen antics, but won’t say I’d be suprised. He’s a politician after all! I will have to look more into Christie’s place in the game, as I have heard the name but haven’t followed as much. I’ll keep ’em peeled for word on Christie. Thanks for your analysis!

    @JMG: Yes, no cause of death. She had a lot of mental health problems as years went by, and her son took his own life about a year ago, and I know that devastated her and had hinted at doing the same herself afterwards. I don’t know. But yes, there is of course the other possibility of cause of death you hinted at.

    She tried out a lot of different religious paths, and IIRC, she was ordained in an independent catholic church lineage / independent sacramental movement, because she thought (and I agree) that women she be able to be priests (priestesses). Not sure which one. I have no basis for this following idea, but she was also really into the Rastafari thing for awhile too, and I always felt lion powers flowed through the Rastafaris, and that somehow the power of Sekhmet, or other Lion Goddess went through her. Whatever it was, I felt like she connected to some different spiritual currents and was able to transmit them in her music.

    I don’t drink anymore, but I’m raising an imaginary glass of some fine Jameson spirit in salute to her spirit.

  83. Hi JMG, thank you for taking our questions.

    Do you happen to know of any western philosophers who wrote about the astral and etheric bodies? And are there alternate names for them? I was thinking perhaps Schopenhauer, given his interest in Buddhism.

  84. Although I’m not claiming any Canadian technocrats actually met in a smoke filled room and literally agreed to their real-world policies, Canada is killing older fixed income people via MAID to free their apartments up for international student rooming house use. So much for the supposedly more moral northern neighbor of the USA – at least sending young men to fight Iraqis offers them the opportunity for valor which has value that transcends the questionable ethics of the war they were sent to fight.

  85. @Clay Dennis,

    Ikea opened in my country in the middle of the pandemic, before Russia’s Ukraine invasion. One of my first purchases was a set of modular shelving components, all of which were labeled “Made in Russia”. Since there was a massive supply chain crunch at the time (and there still is now to a large extent), I wasn’t able to get all of the components I needed. Months later, post-invasion, everything else I needed came back on stock; this time the new items were labeled “Made in Poland”.

    When news came out that Ikea was pulling out of Russia and the Russians were taking over their operations there, I thought, that could only be a good thing for the latter! They already have the infrastructure and the relationships with the suppliers. Practically everything else that wasn’t Made in Russia was from India or China, plus a handful of Ikea that are from Vietnam, and none of those countries are part of the “international community” that is officially participating in the sanctions regime against Russia. So, the Russians get to take over Ikea’s operations on the cheap while cutting out the foreign middleman, while Ikea has to find some alternative suppliers to Russia that are probably a combination of more expensive, worse quality, and can’t produce in the needed quantities. Yeah, that’s totally sticking it to Russia there, good job Western powers!

  86. Polecat, which store? I used to know Port Townsend tolerably well back in the day. As for Tuchman’s book, good — the lodge system I’ve talked about is in fact descended from the guilds she talks about.

    Bonaventure, I enjoy his books — very thoughtful.

    Iguana, whoever said that was lying. I don’t do much with astrological magic these days not because it’s too complex, but because I’ve consistently gotten better results with talismans made using Golden Dawn methods — which are more complex than the Picatrix method, not less. That said, astrological talismans worked tolerably well for me, and I enjoyed working out the charts; I do a fair amount of electional astrology for more practical purposes, and sometimes for magical workings. I simply find the GD method superior in practice — though of course your mileage may vary.

    Enjoyer, the only reason the United States has been able to prop up its economy with gargantuan deficit spending and unfunded government liabilities is because the US dollar has been the global reserve currency and so US treasury bills can be dumped on the rest of the world. As that changes, it’s not just fracking that will become unaffordable — whole swathes of the US economy will shut down, and whole swathes of government, corporate, and nonprofit bureaucrats will be out of work permanently. The big question is whether that happens slowly, as in a time frame of decades, or suddenly, as in a time frame of months. I don’t know the answer to that.

    SMJ, I like Christopher Bird’s The Divining Hand and Tom Graves’s The Diviner’s Handbook as practical dowsing manuals.

    Team10tim, that’s a heck of a good question and I don’t think it has an answer yet. Russia is in flux; it is still shaking off its Western pseudomorphosis, and whether it can do so fast enough to descend the far side of Hubbert’s curve gracefully is one of this century’s more important questions.

    Lunchbox, I hope that habit catches on here!

    Roman, they’re not spacecraft. The insistence that either they’re spacecraft or they don’t exist at all is one of the main things that’s kept the whole issue so insoluble.

    Nicole, delighted to hear it. If you have the chance sometime, I also strongly recommend Keel’s The Mothman Prophecies — that’s his masterpiece, one of the great works of Ufology.

    Samurai_47, Japan’s population is dropping like a rock. The same thing’s happening in a growing number of other countries — another direct hit by Spengler, who predicted that. (It always happens to decadent civilizations.) As for a new economic model, no, nor will there be one except temporarily — not for about 400 years. In an era of decline, all economic activities on average lose money…

    Justin, I know little about her, but I gather she meant a lot to a lot of people. That’s not a bad epitaph, all things considered.

    Lavender, no, philosophers in general have stayed far away from that since the time of Proclus. I wish Schopenhauer had gotten into that!

  87. Dennis Kucinich was something of a Mrs. Jellyby—instead of representing the people who’d elected him, he spent most of his time on world hunger. A good cause, certainly, but while he was working on that the people of Cleveland were pretty much leaderless. A President Kucinich would probably cause more problems than he’d solve.

  88. @Bonaventure, #76

    Nope. I might be aware of who he is, but I don’t recall watching his videos or reading his works. I think I listened to an interview, but I am not sure it is the same guy. I will try to put remedy to that since a priest who puts together singing, mental health and the subtle dimensions of existence is my kind of guy. Thank you for the reference!

  89. Dear JMG, In February 2022, on the Dreamwidth site, there was an exchange about Hunters Lodges, the American Secret Society that launched the Patriot War in an attempt to liberate Canadians from the Monarchy in 1838. You wrote, “Hmm! Can you point me to some sources about these? I’m not familiar with this and it’s the kind of thing I like to research.” Did you ever find time for that research?
    https://ecosophia.dreamwidth.org/170530.html?thread=26847266#cmt26847266

  90. This is a link to a list of all of the requests for prayer that have recently appeared across the Ecosophia community, as well as in the comments of the prayer list posts. Please feel free to add any or all of the requests to your own prayers.

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

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

    Mindwinds’s mother Nancy has been diagnosed with adult hydrocephaly, in which the cerebro-spinal fluid is not properly circulating and is putting increasing pressure on her brain, and she is scheduled for surgery to correct the condition on July 27 in Missouri; for a successful outcome to the surgery, and for blessings and healing.

    Steve T’s brother Matt is currently in the hospital after a sudden violent seizure, and his daughter is having extreme panic attacks; they were both in a terrible car accident last fall. Steve asks for prayers for Matt’s recovery of health; for the emotional and psychological well-being of the rest of the family, including his wife Megan, his daughter Diana, and his young son Jake; and for the lifting of any spiritual harm afflicting the family.

    Freddy, Ganeshling’s neighbor’s 10 year old son, hasn’t spoken since a traumatic hospital stay a few years ago; for Freddy to start speaking again and to help him develop into a functional adult.

    Tamanous’s friend’s brother David got in a terrible motorcycle accident and has been diagnosed as a quadriplegic given the resultant spinal damage; for healing and the positive outcomes of upcoming surgeries and rehabilitation, specifically towards him being able to walk and live a normal life once more.

    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. The reasonable possibility exists that this is an environmental disaster on par with the worst America has ever seen. (Lp9 gives updates here and also here.)

    * * *

    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 now 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.

  91. JMG, I was very impressed that in Magic Monday you said remembered the better part of 8 previous lives, and then later, on more reflection, that you had the courage to face them.

    Currently I am on Day 15 of a water fast, that’s not really so important in itself, except that maybe for a time it somewhat changed my perception. (I might also mention here, for anyone who might care, that I was suffering Bursitis that was becoming severe, and the fast has 75% alleviated it. That is not reason I began the fast, and I was not expecting that.)

    On day 5 of my fast, at a distance of a hundred to a 150 feet, I saw someone who immediately strongly caught my attention, in a way most people do not usually catch my attention. Usually I am more or less indifferent. As this woman walked closer, there was a yank at me, not of desire but of recognition, as if I was seeing someone I knew, such as my son, or my grandson after not seeing them for many years. Except I do not know her at all, or not in any form that I recognize. She was a surfer girl. There are hundreds of them in this town, so in that she was not someone special. She walked towards me, and as she got very close it felt like she stabbed me with a knife to my chest (also an unexpected feeling I felt when I saw my father after many years,) and then as she walked by she gave me a big friendly smile. I am 70 and look kind of wild, women her age don’t usually smile, they may even turn away. And then she was gone and I am left with these strange feelings of “recognition”.

    I keep questioning myself wondering if the feelings could be some variation of sexual, I’m not sure, but I don’t think so. Just recognition, as if I really did know her in a past life in a different form.

    I once felt this very long ago with a different woman I went out with. She was an attractive but damaged soul who was very destructive to all around her. I felt I knew her from a previous life in which I had done her great harm. I thought maybe I could help her or try to make up or atone for whatever I had done in the past that I could not remember.

    We went to her therapist, a first nation woman, who took me aside and spoke to me alone on several occasions. After several sessions I told her the reason I was attracted to her was that I felt like I knew this woman from a past life perhaps a thousand or more years ago and in that past I had done her great injury, and I felt a need to atone and help heal her now.

    She told me, “You cannot fix what you did to her in a previous life in this.” And in additional words to these, she was basically warning me away from this damaged woman, letting me know there was far too much damage for me to heal.

    Hearing that, knowing it was not a very good relationship, and I had a son to take care of, sometime after that we split apart.

    When I first heard of JMG’s 8 pervious lives I was impressed but also rather envious. I would like some sense from this life. But then I remembered a time almost 50 years ago where I thought I was remembering previous lives, and I was exhilarated, and seemed to be able to slide from one to the other. It was intense and interesting and I was enjoying it very much, until I had the thought, I wonder how I died. And then suddenly I was seeing all the deaths of all the lives all at once. It was far too much for me, and I broke out of it, and never tried or wanted to go back.

    Was that experience really true? I have never really known, but I believed it. And in a manner of speaking I almost deliberately forgot it. For it was altogether too terrifying. And if a real memory it probably could be said, I had not done the necessary preparation and was not ready for it.

    The Nigerian writer, Ben Okri has several books about what he calls the “Spirit Child,” a child in the place before birth, who is about to be born, and doesn’t want to be. As far as I remember I have always felt like that, but I don’t know if that is actually true, since I can’t remember well enough in the first year after I was first born, when I lived with my grandparents. I think I might have been happy then, which might mean the term “Spirit Child” did not really belong to me. I think perhaps the idea of Spirit Child does not quite perhaps conform to JMG’s outline of such things, before birth, but then again I think I read him mention once that perhaps not all persons born want to be. It seems to me it is not too much of a stretch to imagine some about to be born, don’t really want to be.

    The big thing that bothers me is evil, or the not good. It is easy enough for me to understand relative evil as it pertains to humans, and the planet, and in my life and living I try to focus on the good, and encourage that.

    But what troubles me is not that evil exists, especially on the relative level, but that if evil exists it must have been created or allowed by the supreme beings and therefore has as much right to existence as good does.

    I cannot understand this and it bothers me. On the one hand there is a series of lives I live that are a gradually refining and improving of the very substance of what I am. But to what purpose, cocaine is refined too. There has to be a point or meaning that makes sense to me. Perhaps it will come after many more incarnations, but why all the incarnations? If the gods can intervene through our rituals and help us, why not intervene directly in spite of our age, or the “Age of Reason” resisting? I am sure there is a reason but I wish I could more quickly find it.

    I wanted to give links here to 2 short stories I found on the web and recently re-read, which gave me great solace. One is ETA Hoffman’s “Ritter Gluck.” The other is Herman Hesse’s “Augustus.”

    I am not trying to deprive anyone of any income, and think of these stories as more of a taste, much like Amazon’s “Look Inside” which if the reader enjoys would encourage them to buy and read more of the writer at whatever sales outlet they prefer.

    However if I am in error please delete the following link

    http://tpcitf.xyz/stories/

  92. Already a lovely discussion going on this week!

    I’d like to follow up on a conversation I saw last week that I didn’t respond to at the time since it was too far off topic: why Buddhism got so squishy and secular.

    I’m from from an expert — I’m not even a Buddhist — but for various reasons I’ve had a keen interest in Buddhist philosophy and practice for a while now. From what I’ve gathered, modern Buddhism is the result of several crises faced by the religion over the past few centuries. The first seem to have been in Japan in the 1100’s during the Kamalura period: there was something of a Buddhist Protestant Reformation, stemmed from corruption in the then-dominant Tendai and Shingon sects, resulting in several new sects including two schools of Zen, three Pure Land schools — including the now-dominant Jodo Shinshu aka Shin Buddhism — and Nicheren Buddhism.

    This fragmentation eventually became seen as a liability when Western powers came to Japan. Not wanting Christianity to encroach into Japanese life, the Japanese government had a two-pronged response: they officially adopted Shinto (in a revised form sometimes called neo-Shinto) as the state religion, and then they also created a cut-down version of Zen specifically for export. They presented this version of Zen, and Buddhism as a whole, as a non-metaphysical religion, more an science of the mind than a religion, thus appealing to the increasingly-secular Western elites. This is how it was presented it this way at the World’s Parliament of Religions in 1893, and the idea got stuck in Western consciousness.

    As a side note, Shin Buddhism had already come to American shores with Japanese immigrants and continues to have a significant presence in Hawaii and on the West coast. However the big organization, Buddhist Churches of America, at some point gave in to the secularizing trend and now teach that Amida is a symbol rather than a person. (Of course as someone with an esoteric bent I’m don’t see those two things as being contradictory!)

    Then as JMG mentioned, the 1960’s happened. Eastern spirituality caught on but a lot of Westerners were uncomfortable with the supernatural aspects so they got psychologized or otherwise downplayed. It probably didn’t help that this is when some less-than-ethical Hindu gurus and Tibetan Buddhist monks came over and, under the cover of the idea of “crazy wisdom,” started cults and sexually and financially abused their students, all while producing fraudulent miracles.

    Then there was what happened to Theravada. There seems to have been a bit of an identity crisis among Theravada Buddhists in Southeast Asia. I’m fuzzier on the details here but apparently it was only a few centuries ago that Mahayana and Tantra were definitively rejected in Theravada, and vipassana meditation — long since lost to the sands of time — was reinvented. Theravada now sticks very closely to the Pali Canon, although it seems to be common for Western Theravadan monks to be agnostic about its more blatant metaphysical contents like the Buddha’s conversations with gods and spirits. Probably this is tolerated because of the irrelevance of it to following the dharma, and because of the Buddha’s injunction to only believe what you have found yourself to be true.

    On the other hand I could be wrong about this tolerance since some of the Western Theravadans I’m most familiar with are on the outs with their original traditions anyway for ordaining nuns. (The bhikkuni order died out centuries ago and it has long been held that men may not ordain women, but a few monks including Bhante Sujato and Ajahn Brahm read Buddhist monastic laws thoroughly and came to the conclusion that this prohibition does not actually exist.)

    Anyway I thought this would be interesting. Like I said I’m not an expert so I’d welcome any corrections from anyone more knowledgeable.

  93. Time for the June renewable energy report for the BPA service area. June was a good month, but then it should be. Lots of sun and the heat dome doldrums have not set in.

    For wind, the worst day was 6/11 when the capacity factor was 2.9%. The best day was 6/14 when the capacity factor was 88.0%. The average for the entire month was 32.4%

    For solar, the worst day was 6/8 when the capacity factor was 17.9%, and the best day was 6/21 (surprise surprise) when the capacity factor was 50.3%. (Remember these capacity factors are for the whole 24 hour day.) You might think best day should be better, but when you are far enough north to get a 6 hour day the sun rises and sets so far north that the solar panels don’t see full sun until quite a while after sunrise or before sunset, unless they are on trackers. On the 21st, the solar panels didn’t hit 70% of capacity until 7 AM (sunrise 5:10) and was back down to 70% at 7 PM (sunset 9 PM). Between 7:30 AM and 6:30 PM the PV panels were running at 90 to 95% capacity. Very decent.

    As for the dreaded dunkelflaute, the night of June 6 to 7 had a 10 hour calm. The average power demand over this period was 5662 MW, so the total energy needed for ten hours is 56,620 MW-Hr. As the Tesla maxpower battery holds 3.9 MW-Hr, it follows that powering through the night would take 14,518 of them. Since each one weighs 42 tons, and a Nimitz class aircraft carrier weighs 100,000 tons, that comes out to 6.1 aircraft carrier equivalents.

    Note that on night of Jun 10-11 there was another Dunkelflaute but it was shorter, saved by the clear skies that got the solar panels back over the 10% threshold. The wind was dead calm for 43.6 hours.

    There was also an article that I didn’t bother bookmarking because we already know that, but the gist was that the carbon emissions of PV panels production is about three times higher than officially admitted. Granted this is hard to pin down. Is the silica reduced to metallurgical grade silicon with coal or charcoal? (Yes Rima in Brazil uses farmed eucalyptus to make charcoal to reduce silica.) Is the electricity needed to purify the metallurgical grade silicon to semiconductor grade silicon produced from hydropower or coal? And on and on.

  94. @Sam Salzman #45 re: house churches’ success with newcomers

    Thanks very much for this bit of info! If you know and don’t mind sharing, do these house/pub churches conduct a similar service to altar+steeple churches (as you helpfully termed them!)? Is it still ritual, sermon, and prayer? In similar amounts/ratios? Do they give communion? If so, more, less, or about as often as the traditional churches?

    Apologies for the barrage of questions, I quite understand if your answer to all of them is “I dunno, I haven’t heard much.” Mostly I’m trying to figure out if the different physical spaces are doing more of the work of making these less intimidating, or if there’s something different about the things they do when they come together as well.

    Thanks again for sharing,
    Jeff

  95. Speaking of dropping population… while real estate prices in some countries are in the middle of a prodigious bubble, Japan struggles to deal with all the empty houses left by the shrinking population.

    These houses present a number of difficulties. Although there are people who would love to rent an older house for an appropriately low price, it is often impossible to do so because ownership has passed to absentee landlords – the children of the previous occupants, who moved away decades ago and rarely, if ever, come around – who cannot be contacted.

    We’re not quite there yet, but I figure it won’t be too much longer before squatting becomes a viable method for acquiring property. The law allows it. If you occupy a property openly and peacefully – introduce yourself to the neighbors and get your mail delivered there – for some number of years, there is a procedure to have the fact of your possession recognized officially.

    Then there is the issue of what to do about farmland. The country is about due for a major reformation of land ownership. How are things looking in the rest of the soon-to-be-deindustrial world?

  96. re JMG on the dollar
    I think it’ll be a slow process, just another cut in the death of a thousand cuts that is the Long Descent. Maybe it could even be a good thing long term, the United States will have to actually export and produce stuff in order to survive. Hopefully that means our economy will become less of a consumer economy and more of a productive producer economy. Maybe more jobs in manufacturing and agriculture. But who knows.

  97. Anonymous #52:

    I too have noticed many changes on the internet. But it appears to be a gradual erosion of privacy and usefulness, rather than a structural breakdown:

    A few things I have noticed:

    —I like to open multiple browser tabs when reading or comparing products. Lately I get pop-ups on every single tab (geolocation requests, “cookie preferences” requests, or capchas).

    —sites no longer allowing viewers who are not logged in (Twitter).

    —sites blocking acess via a vpn. They ask you to either disconnect the proxy, or sign in with a Facebook or Google account.

    —private search engines including the user’s search term in the request URL, which the ISP can collect and likely sell. It is a simple thing to code an http request without the search term in the URL, but I have not seen any private search engines make use of it.

    — the Dreamwidth “Expand Comments” link just hangs, and the company has not fixed it for several weeks. (however there is a workaround, right click on “expand comments” link, copy the link, and load the link into the browser.)

    —a new trend of libraries emailing links to books not as a plain url, but embedded in the url of an organization that tracks “persistent identifiers for digital objects.”

    —search engines ignoring specific requests in quotes, and offering a ream of “similar things.”

    This is all annoying, unecessary and wrong, but in a way I have benefitted, because the search for better sources almost always leads to some pleasant surprises. 🙂

  98. JMG, thank you for the response, and thanks for the tip on GD (though I don’t think I can handle more complexity at this stage). Cheers…

  99. For comparison purposes here is the pollyanna viewpoint I posted last week,

    https://www.discoursemagazine.com/abundance/2023/07/19/where-did-our-belief-in-abundance-come-from/

    and a longwinded rebuttal here.
    https://consciousnessofsheep.co.uk/2023/07/19/our-predicament-re-stated/

    The last article has a few factual errors, at least where the US is concerned, one being that a third of the power generated is lost in the grid. It’s between 5 and 10%. Yes I looked it up. It does vary depending on how far it has to go and how many transformers and even DC converters to AC inverters it has to go through. The latter are required for high-voltage DC lines which are more efficient over very long distances (Columbia River to Southern California being the one I’m most familiar with.)

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

    And as for the dollar;
    “The dollar in world reserves is now at its lowest level in 27 years. Again, while nearly 70 percent of global trade was carried out in dollars in the early 2000s, today it has declined to around 40%.”

    And that is why we have stubbornly high inflation, and why the Fed raised interest rates again even though banks are creaking and popping all over and officially inflation is down from its peak. We can’t export inflation anymore, at least not as well.

    Synchronicity, Mozart’s Requiem just came on the stereo. 🙂

  100. A well known sorcerer is claiming to have enriched himself in the sum of millions for a second time using images from the Picatrix. He attributes his initial boon from a 2nd Face of Aries ring. I believe this is possible.

    What are the implications for our development over lifetimes if one does big money magic successfully? You have talked about unearned wealth and power….is this considered unearned? The first million came in the form of a mysterious inheritance from a relative thought to have no money. IRS spent a year looking at at. The second came in the form of a lawsuit settlement after a working with that intended result.

    I’ve read works by occultist Emil Stejnar and he is clear there is no free ride and this type of success may hinder one’s unfolding in The Big Picture. I’m some what in the middle, the idea of millions for millions sake is boring, enough to live out a few extra dreams or go to art school fully funded sounds nice. The Picatrix keeps pushing itself on me and I want to use it wisely. What say you JMG?

    Favourite quote from Stejnar’s book series Magic and Mysticism 3rd Millennium:

    “The goal is not to use magic to rule over the world and the spirits; rather, it is to transform yourself in such a way that the world and spirits can no longer rule you”

  101. JMG,

    Have you ever read Dhalgren, by Samuel R. Delany, and if so, what are your thoughts?

  102. I have a question for the commentariat, are there any dutch people here? Would any dutch people be interested in a meetup? My emailadres is wajbokken at geemeel.com.

  103. Hello JMG and kommentariat.
    I’ve read “Song of increase”. In this book, Jacqueline Freeman tells the reader to take care of bees, for being a better beekeeper, according to Nature. I’m very surprised when she tells the reader that she can hear the bees talk. She writes the supposed bees speeches in her book, there are beautiful ideas.
    She’s very influenced by Rudolf Steiner Antroposophy and Biodynamics, by the way.
    Did you know this naturist beekeper?What do you think about her “dialogues” with her bees?

  104. Hi JMG,

    Thanks for recommending Francis Yates. I’m going to hunt down a copy of ‘Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition’.

    To both JMG and my fellow readers,

    If I may, I have another question on a tangential issue. Throughout my life there are several locations I’ve found myself, usually with at least one other person, that I could never get to again. By that I mean places in familiar areas that for whatever reason I could never physically find again.

    Mind you, most of them I was able to find again after some work, or I realized I misremembered their locations. But there are a couple that I truly cannot find again. All of these lost places had a sort of “borderland” feeling, like I was on the edge of somewhere else if that makes sense; that if I continued on I’d be somewhere very different from where I expected to be. Almost like places I’ve ‘been to’ while meditating except in a normal state of consciousness and with other people!

    Has anyone else found themselves in places like this? Is there some sort of esoteric explanation to these experiences or am I just losing my mind?

    Cheers,
    JZ

  105. Hi JMG – just wondering what your views are on what happens to reincarnation during an extinction event when there are no large intelligent species around? This is not because I believe it will happen any time soon, although it will almost certainly happen at some point in the future on a long enough timeline. Thanks.

  106. @team10tim #81

    As JMG says, that’s a good question. Russia’s immediate priority has to be to break NATO, since the Anglo countries at least have been fairly open about wanting to dismember the Russian Federation ever since the end of the Cold War; the aim is to turn it into a number of small, weak statelets whose natural resources can be plundered by western corporations. So, establishing national security has to be done before anything else, and that’s in progress right now.

    After that, we come to your question. This is not an area where I’m an expert, but Russia has extremely well-educated leaders. Russia is being effected by climate change just like the rest of the world, and is going to have to react. On the one hand, they’re benefitting, with the northern sea route to Asia opening up, for example. On the other hand, they have wildfires in Siberia just as north America does, and in their far north there are entire cities built on permafrost which is now melting. So, once they’ve dealt with NATO, I would hope to see a national project aimed at coping with environmental change, including relocating communities to more sustainable locations. If they’re wise, they’ll use their edge in resources to get that done in a way that minimises internal chaos.

    That’s just speculation on my part, but, as I say, the Russians are very well educated, and I imagine they can see what’s coming down the road.

  107. @JMG #69

    You might be interested to know that the native peoples of the Puget Sound area of Washington state have legends about little people who live in mounds in the forest; the stories are basically identical to northwestern European fairy lore, but these beings were there long before Europeans arrived.

    I recall that we had a discussion some time ago about there once having been a continuity of culture in, perhaps, the Neolithic or earlier, which spanned Eurasia from the Atlantic coast, through the steppes, into Siberia and as far as the Pacific. You mentioned Puget Sound then, as well. Your reply to Phil H. also made me recall you prediction that boat people from Japan would one day be washing up in that area, and also that debris from Fukushima did so a few years ago.

    So I did a quick bit of research on Wikipedia (yes, I know), and it turns out that the material and spiritual cultures of the Even and Itelmen peoples of Kamchatka seem to be incredibly similar to those of the peoples around the Puget Sound. It implies that at some far-distant point in the past, people in Kamchatka got into boats and set off along the Aleut Islands, and then followed the currents to avoid the Gulf of Alaska, to arrive safely, and settle successfully.

    So, the spirits may have been there before post-Columbian Europeans arrived… I wonder whether they were there before the Kamchatkans arrived, or whether they also came on those small boats?

  108. @Karim Jaufeerally

    Thank you for your contribution on a civil discussion last open post on the matters of political islam, muslim adherents of various kinds and the implication for EU politics and society.

    I was shortly taken by an overstimulation of catastrophic news – a typical issue with modern day media, or with an abstract notion of the world in general.
    Far from considering many of the political organizations devoted to Islam and their adherents as my friends, it still bears the question on how relevant this is as a whole.

    After all secular turkish academics, or bosnians, to name examples, are not very different from other PMC members over here. Nominally they are “muslims”.

    I have noticed with glee how apparently Christians and Muslims in Canada are rallying against woke politics in schools. It used to be that leftists liked to defend everything coming from minorities and villify everything homebrewed but alas, that is the old divide and conquer.

    Since Erdogan has openly defied many alliance statutes in the 2010s already (trading with Iran, buying russian military gear), the town of our “leftists” established classes has changed against our native Turks sometimes in a way that would have been considered extremely rightwing just a few years before.

    In general, as to the riots in France, as to ethnic gangs and the intersection of religion and politics, I think these are not yet very relevant to political rule, for ethnic gangs do not dabble much in general politics, only in business and within their own communities.

    These war-bands still have a way to go before they’ll have a noticeable impact on general politics in the EU as it appears.

    @Michaelz

    Thanks für your contribution to the topic of psychoanalysis and self-help. I also listen to several podcasts (or the audio of youtube videos) about topics such as trauma related depression, since I have long been affected and without proper navigation for a long time.

    Lately to “Psychotherapie Ruland” (in German) amongst other things, also more broader Ralf Dobelli’s audiobook on cognitive biases, he is a co author of Nassim Taleb’s Black Swan.
    Also a book by Martin Wehrle roughly in translation as “the nice guy is bitten by the dogs”, which in German is a reference to a common proverb (the last one is bitten by the dogs – those two rhyme in German).

    I confirm these things to be very very helpful and I recommend it to the commentariat, if problems of depression, uneasiness, and recurring falling into social traps is a problem.

    Here I also want to mention this seemingly absurd fact, that people affected by trauma through maltreatment are condemned to repeat the experience even in different settings with different people around, until they find the root of this.

    We humans resemble dogs in many ways, and if your behaviour speaks “victim” somehow, you will be victimized again.

    Short comment on Martin Wehrle: there’s some exercises in his book, among them actively debating with your inner critic, employing affirmations of self-confidence before sleep, revisting past situations in you inner dialogue and finding contemporary solutions, journaling…

    I’d call that quasi-occult.

    @JMG

    I do pray sometimes and it helps. I thought I’d be a christian on grounds of my heritage, but I also feel a strong connection to my local wildlife and nature in a religious way, ever since my childhood. In fact in that rather traditional region of Austria I have mentioned often, I really feel the celtic roots of the place have simply been wrapped up in Christianity.

    So I pray and it helps, and I start to wonder: whom am I praying to actually? I plea to “god”, but at this point, reading in this forum, I notice it is a god I have no imagination of, no real identity to give to. *Someone* is always responding and in a good way is for sure.

    Unfortunately I don’t have real rites or any liturgy there.

    Another question: I have several times mentioned my myopia is definitely not some genetic fate by birth as is for most people – the cases of South Korea and Singaport have shown that despite the roots not being clear, and it has been mentioned ONCE in the Western Media, just to be hidden from view again, while the named nations are already actively taking measures.

    So I had an eye operation, UNFORTUNATELY before I learned a lot about energetics and mind methods- for sure I had a few times success in improving my vision by more or less occult methods, but it was haphazard and my mind not free and calm enough ever. As I said, long before I even knew about any schools of mind and magic at all.

    Is my eye operation in a sense a karmic missstep, preventing an experience to be made from happening, do you have ideas about this?

    ——- GENERAL RAMBLING ON ECONOMICS AND POLITICS———

    As far as Ukraine and the war is concerned, Western Media a sluggishly following what dissident analysists have already predicted in early spring, namely the failure of the summer offensive, and NATO in vested language follows what these same analysists have predicted as a Western reaction, namely, blame Ukraine, find excuses to withdraw support.

    If we believe them further, this will result in a chaotic come-down once the curtain lifts and a lot of what was said suddenly shows as the opposite. Political chaos will ensue, I am sure, and it is not off the mark I guess to assume that – someone will have to be blamed for this!

    In other news: we have heard Germany is deindustrializing, BASF is moving production to China among others. In reflecting on my own expectations, the process has been much slower than anticipated, economic come down is slower than anticipated, until now.

    The “state” pays for lost production in Germany, meanwhile that Outdoor Chiemgau reports the grid of the EU and Germany specifically is becoming more and more unstable, when looking at the offical numbers, as well as statements of insiders of the business.

    However, that has not yet translated to widespread brown-outs and shut downs (though there were some). Why? Apparently for these reasons:

    – Germany simply pays its neighbours for their services to keep its grid stable – and dearly, it has to be said
    – Sanctions have been porous and circumvented, at times resulting in higher costs, but maintaining the business as usual still (Austria has not stopped importing from Russia)
    – Holes and gaps have been stuffed temporarily, mostly through additional coal capacities.

    And a US study already talks of Germany reactivating 18 nuclear plants, while Finland has seen an actual glut in electricity recently, taking a new nuclear plant online. Of course nuclear isn’t efficient, but at least the high costs in the past present some partial reflow now.

    Another interesting thing: A govt emissary of Poland recently declared distrust in Russia (not very spectactular) and Germany, in the same breath, with the same weight (that IS spectacular).

    From what I read a lot of production from EU industry (legacy industry I’m tempted to say) has been outsourced not only to China, but in some cases to Eastern European countries.

    I am not sure, but it seems the economic weight of the East in the EU is rising against the West. It really appears these actors as well as other formerly grand actors like France are secretly happy about a deindustrialization of Germany and they see that country as a genuine rival, forget about any EU grand solidarity.

    Poland increasingly presents itself as a self confident actor in many places.

    Germany is already since spring officially in recession – despite its government in December 2022 promising that cannot happen.

    Meanwhile the West is trying to court India, and India seems to maintain this more or less neutral stance it had since the cold war – make no bloc commitments, go a third way.

    Austria does comparatively much better, but of course, there are dangerous interdependencies. Austria to my knowledge profits from its geographical intersection between Western Europe, the former SU as well as former YU, making it a slightly bigger and less wealthy Switzerland as an actor.

    The country is pressured to parttake in NATO affairs, however, counter forces to that politically have been stronger here than say in Germany, the Netherlands or France.

    ——————MY RESUME————————————-

    Once again the long descent is for longer than I thought, has happened time and time again. I reflect on my premature expectations and their failure.

    However, I also have no reason to believe we could not be in for the next surge of economic problems, and I think defeat in Ukraine may accelerate the pace.

  109. Just curious if you’ve read “The Fourth Turning: What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America’s Next Rendezvous with Destiny” by Strauss and Howe? They have a new book out called “The Fourth Turning is Now,” and since you’re a student of history and its cyclic nature I was wondering what you thought of the book.

  110. Anonymous #52,

    In the last few weeks I‘ve noticed a number of friends and acquaintances becoming more aware and critical of their smartphone use (myself among them), and a local club is in the process of getting rid of its Discord-based digital communication, intending to replace it with – get this – physical meetings in real life.

    Talk about limiting computer use is common enough now for people to develop a vocabulary around it, and a set of norms or generally understood good practices.

    So yeah, I see it as well. About time, imo.

  111. >this looks exactly what I’d expect to see if the consensus that funnels massive sums of resources towards the internet was breaking down.

    More like many of these internet “companies” were only viable when interest rates were kept zero or negative but begin to have real problems when required to turn a profit. And it wasn’t just limited to internet companies either.

    Now you see reddit (which has never turned a profit in its miserable career) doing whatever it can to extract money from its users, to great hilarity. Twitter (or whatever it’s calling itself now), they keep pressuring their users to upgrade to the paid subscription service with uneven results. They’re all feeling the pull of interest rates, the pressure to turn a profit. My opinion? If they haven’t been able to do so by now, what makes you think they can tomorrow?

    Honestly, a lot of these companies should’ve disappeared and never come back when the .com bubble popped but the economy has been heavily “managed” by the government for decades now.

    >I’m watching the rather drastic shedding of people by tech companies

    Tech goes through a 20 year cycle and they are rather scammy about it. They like to shovel everyone out the door right when they are getting too old and expensive, lay low for a few years and then quietly hire a bunch of inexperienced cheap college grads to replace them all. Or outsource. Or offshore. Mark my words, they’ll be doing the same things you see now in 2040. If you want a line of work you can do when you’re 70, tech ain’t it. Go do just about anything else.

  112. As regards tattoos, I remember seeing the album cover of David Bowie’s “Aladdin Sane” for the first time. Bowie’s face has a large lightning flash painted across it, which resembles a pseudo-runic letter “S”. That symbol appears to function as a sort of face tattoo. A double version of that symbol was used by the Nazi SS, of course, and it’s known that Bowie had a brief obsession with Nazism, back in the mid-1970s.

    As a teenager I too had a a brief obsession with Nazi insignia and armbands. When I saw the Bowie photo in question, it gave me the insight that the Nazi insignia and armbands functioned as tattoos. I already had the Nazis down as “neo-tribalist”, so that concept fitted the picture. Tattoos are designed to separate “us” from “them”. The Nazis were very keen on dividing people into different tribes, and the Jews were forced to wear a yellow star, while gays had to wear a purple triangle in the concentration camps. These were pseudo-tattoos that marked them out as different, but in a negative kind of way, from the Nazi point of view.

    I remember reading a story in a Rupert Bear annual of the 1960s, in which a mad inventor had more or less kidnapped Rupert and forced him to test out a kind of TARDIS. Rupert went whizzing across the sky to some South Sea island. As usual, he was able to find his way home in time for tea. What fascinated me about the inventor was that illustrator Alfred Bestall had depicted him with an armband showing a symbol of concentric circles. It reminded me of the Nazi armband and was maybe in similar colours. I always adored Alfred Bestall’s artwork and still do. Looking at his stories now, of underground elves in the countryside and such like, I do wonder now how much he knew. What had HE experienced of the “metaphysical” ? Was he even some kind of shaman?

  113. On fanboys (#39). I have also noted over the years a small, but consistent number of commenters who go all in for a while and then suddenly leave in anger.

    Myself, I have been reading all your blogs since the end of 2015. You convinced me that we had passed peak available energy, since that is a subject where numbers and historical data can convince, On the other hand, we differ almost on almost every point where a person’s stance is determined from within and can’t be changed through logical argument. That begins with the nature of the divine and goes all the way towards collective vs. individual political solutions or sympathy with American presidential candidates.

    It seems to me that I have profited a lot by reading almost every week an argument that I don’t entirely agree with yet can’t disprove either. For example, while defending my Christian faith (mostly in interior argument) against the atheists and materialists around me, I had ceded more ground to them than I had noticed. By defining it (mostly in interior argument) against polytheism, I have come back to living the fuller and richer Christian understanding of the soul.

    Those commenters who ended up leaving had usually seemed to agree with you on all points. I am still here. So to the spirit of respectful discord!

  114. I know that for some this may be ridiculous and even childish, but I have a saved up space in my altar for reluctant Heroes and Saints. Tonight I will add Sinead’s picture to it, make offerings, and pray to her. May she keep fighting for the truth and protecting children.

  115. @polecat #74

    Agree that A Distant Mirror is informative and a great read. Off topic (from mysticism) question is a passage from that book that I cannot find. Tuchman quotes a French knight who describes the love one feels when seeing a companion surrounded by enemy knights and one’s heart goes out to the friend. I believe the quote is not only about love but bravery as when seeing a comrade in such peril, the love one feels impels one to act and forget about self-preservation. That’s how I remember it but would like to reread the passage to confirm.

    I hope I’m not confusing the passage with another book but figured I’d ask you since you read A Distant Mirror recently. Last two times I tried to dive in there to recover the passage I missed it.

  116. Hi JMG,

    I’m surprised to have another garden ecosystem update for you, seeing as how I wrote you one already this week, but just this morning I saw a tiny frog hopping around out there! It was about 1 cm long and green. Another species I’ve never seen in our yard before (we’ve been in our house about 16 years now), and it was rather surprising as we live in the downtown of a city. I’m not sure where it was coming from or going to, but I wish it well!

    Anyway, hope you are well too, and thanks for the encouragement in getting started on this gardening before it became a matter of survival. I’m still new to much of it, and still have a lot to learn, but I’ve started to get the hang of it, I think.

    Thanks,
    Johnny

  117. @Stephen H. Pearson: Yes, indeed, sad news. Her version of Parting Glass is wonderful. That album of trad Irish tunes is probably my favorite of hers, right next to Faith and Courage. After that, some of the songs on Theology.

    Here is the song for anyone who wants to join in raising a parting glass.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8WEWToNQ_o

    @Jeff Russell: #14. I don’t have any books on the home church movement, and even looking up in the library catalog didn’t come up with much. I did find this list someone put together:

    https://traviskolder.com/2015/02/24/the-five-best-books-on-house-churches/

    My wife and I were married by a skateboarding, motorcycling home church minister in a non-denominational outdoor wedding service. He lived around the corner and our kids were the same age and friends growing up, since we did the wedding all ourselves, everything homespun (even catered it ourself). We asked him and he did it for us even though we weren’t Christian or part of his group. My younger step-daughter did a lot of stuff with their youth group, though was never a convert.

    There are several homes in his group “Just Some Jesus People” around the few blocks in our neighborhood. All the interactions I’ve had with this crew have been great, and one of their elders is someone I knew from the music scene and a friend of a friend, who moved onto our street. Both of these guys had come from the mega church scene of the late 90s early oughts and decided that wasn’t for them, and so started doing this.

    Recently I was in an email conversation with the elder about Jack Parsons and Crowley, and he had this to say: “Drugfiend is a great book! Everyone puts Moonchild down… I rather liked it. I do think all people should read Book of the Law at least twice… and then move on with their life.”

    If you looked at these people you wouldn’t necessarily think “church” -but they act more than many others I’ve known.

    I can see the ministers home right from my front porch, he’s around the corner. Anyway, they often have gatherings in their backyard, campfires, singing. A real community, and its cool to know they are in our neighborhood.

    There was another “home church” but of a different kind that I went and had dinner at in our neighborhood before, The Mustard Seed House. But these people might have been socialists or Christian commies / anarchists of some kind. Unlike the different homes clustered together and meeting in each others homes of the ones above, all of these people lived in a collective home, and I’m not sure how long that experiment lasted for them. I only met them the one time.

    All anecdotal, but perhaps helpful to you.

  118. Amongst all the gloom there is a fascinating and quite optimistic movement spreading from the scandiwegian corner of Europe regarding beautiful architecture. It’s called Architectural Uprising and it demands that governments and architects start designing beautiful, traditionally styled buildings again.

    It seems that people are finally getting the nerve to express their disgust with modern architecture out loud. Finding this group of people has been one of the most optimism inducing events I have experienced in quite a while. Things are happening!

    You can find pages on your preferred social media for chapters across the globe. I don’t think it would be too much of a stretch to say that there might be some sympathy in this forum for a more human way of building so I am making an especial pitch for my group which is Architectural Uprising East which covers much of the east coast of the US. You can find my page on Instagram but we will be expanding soon.

    We just started and I am looking to engage with folks on the subject. As an architect I have my views on this but what I want to highlight is a more “man-on-the-street” perspective. As such I would like to get folks to tell me something they can see from their windowsill. Those stories can fall in three categories…

    1. What beautiful building has your community lost to be replaced with some glass box eyesore or worse… a parking lot?

    2. What new building in your neighborhood has gone out of its way to avoid the glass and concrete box style and has something traditional and beautiful about it?

    3. What affect does architectural design (good or bad) have on your experience and enjoyment of the built world? Why are traditional styles better and why should we care whether we have beautiful buildings in our cities and towns? Enquiring minds want to know your thoughts!

    No need to write a 10k work essay (unless you are feeling especially inspired!). A few lines will do. Contact will be made through the Instagram page. If the building you highlight is on someone else’s patch I will let them know. Feel free to contact with any questions.

    And thanks to JMG for creating a space for people to talk about old things (gasp) without having the usual argument of “Old thing bad. New thing good” constantly thrown in our face.

    Looking forward to hearing from folks.

    -Daniel

  119. Stephen #11: I’d recommend Richard Gallagher’s book Demonic Foes, which is his perspective on the process of Catholic exorcisms as a psychiatrist in the medical consulting step, a requirement that the Catholic church mandates nowadays. Quite engaging, yet also deeply disturbing.

    One other historical and seminal work on exorcism that is comprehensive (if a bit dated, its circa 1920 ish) is T.K. Oesterreich’s Possession.

  120. I have a few questions/points this week, comments from JMG or the rest of the commentariat are welcome.

    1. I am re-reading Spengler chapter-by-chapter, with some peaking ahead.

    Honestly, I am worried about the form the second religiosity of Faustian civilization takes.

    Across different chapters, I feel that the most hopeful take he has on the second religiosity is the final chapter of Volume One, where he frames the last great intellectual task before the second religiosity happens as a fusion of fields of knowledge, which itself results from a breakdown in the “Classical” Faustian ideals of the age of reason.

    I think, as far as this goes, Skepsis and Relativity have indeed been the operative word across academia over the later 20th century into our present era; across many fields, probability and statistics have overtaken the clear, one might said self-satisfied, certainty of the 19th century. Machine learning is entirely based on probability, and is a black box to scientists who expect certitude. Today’s self-proclaimed Rationalists talk far more in terms of probability than their intellectual forefathers did.

    For many in the Right, it seems that relativity has become a bugaboo, a mass of chaos and uncertainty; I personally find the alternative they offer, a Procrustean straight-jacket of dogmatism and unqualified certainty, something quite unpalatable; it gives me smacks of a certain Austrian talking about “einen ruhenden Pol”.

    I think Spengler’s concept of “philosophy as history” grounded in the morphology of different fields of knowledge, offers a kind of grounded relativity.

    To me, it seems like the hopeful case for a Faustian second religiosity is this synthesis of sciences, with a post-rationalist outlook, possibly based on probability, surviving in some form. Chinese civilization settled into syncretisms at all levels of society, with a Confucian-Legalist intellegentsia, and a syncretic Chinese folk religion among everyone. If Faustian civilization survives, I hope it settles into a form where at least some amount of this post-rational synthesis of knowledge exists alongside maybe the “fellah” religions.

    2. I asked about homeschooling in one of the previous open posts, and am grateful for the links to Benezet’s experiment. I will definitely try to adopt what he mentions.

    One thing I am pondering right now is whether to improve my Latin and speak Latin to my future child so that it can grow up with Latin as a native language.

    There are numerous benefits but foremost in my mind are:
    I. Exposing the child to a way of thought and expression, and a culture, different from any in the modern world.
    II. Expanding the child’s native phonology and grammar, so that it can more easily learn other languages in the future, whether modern European languages, Japanese (which also has SOV word order, particles function similarly to case endings, etc), or historical Indo-European languages (Greek, Sanskrit)
    III. Appreciating Latin literature in itself. Speaking for myself, I find the Aeneid more aesthetically pleasing than any English poetry I’ve read. Also, like Montaigne, ideally, the child would be able to read the classics like other children read novels.

    This would be a huge undertaking though, since I need to get my own Latin up to scratch, and it is quite possible the child will reject Latin if I am the only one speaking to it in the language, at least in real life (maybe I can introduce online friends/tutors at some stage). These benefits are ultimately rather subjective, and might be of limited use depending on the child’s own interests.

    The child will already at minimum, learn Mandarin and English, since I and my wife are ethnic Chinese.

    Anyway, I expect this is something I have to decide on my own, but if anyone has some strong opinions either way, I would love to hear them.

    3. I have been thinking of starting a Substack or some other kind of weekly writing online. I read your previous posts on writing with great interest JMG: https://www.ecosophia.net/tag/writing/ and I was wondering if at some point you might consider a further post in the series for non-fiction and online writing especially?

    One common piece of advice I’ve seen, that aligns with your last post in the series about genre and writing to meet readers’ needs, is that you need to start with a well-defined niche. It can be a broad niche but you have to narrow down and offer your own take on it. I wonder what’s your take on this, with respect to writing online, JMG? You started off with a blog focused on peak oil, but at the same time you were writing articles and books on occultism, and then incorporated those topics into the blog as well if I understand correctly. If you have different topics you hope to write on, would you recommend focusing on one first?

    Thanks

  121. Also on books, I recommend An Immense World by Ed Yong, about how various animals perceive the world. There’s at least one fascinating fact on every page.

  122. Hi John Michael,

    It always interests me when you – rightly too – point out the difficulties of future economic viability. A curious and recurring issue where I believe this matter already presents itself, is that of the small holding – those activities make little economic sense from a monetary perspective. It is weird to me too, mostly because I have been told by so many people over the years that we should do this or that activity here so as to make money.

    Dunno why, but I never expected to make money out of any of the stuff I do here.

    The whole thing seriously brings to mind the ‘render unto Cesar’ story. That’s a powerful story.

    Cheers

    Chris

  123. My besetting sin is procrastination (a form of sloth). It seems to get worse the older I get. Does anyone have any ideas for cleaning up my act?

  124. JMG (and anyone else who wants to weigh in):

    What are the odds that the current war in the Ukraine takes a life of its own and reignites the old European rivalries? While it is true that the Atlanticist-led “West” no longer has much of an industrial capacity to win such a war, it does have millions and millions of young men who don’t actually care about winning given the current alternative is… sitting hunched over at a desk to pay off college debts while taking orders from hideous old crones until you keel over and die. Combine this sentiment with a pathological ruling class that wouldn’t mind expending the blood of its youth and I suspect you have the perfect recipe for a scaled-up version of what we just saw in the Bakhmut.

    Curious to hear your thoughts, especially in light of your Wulfkult post a couple months back.

    Thanks!

    Chris

  125. I have been reading about memes and fiat news. (Fiat news is like fiat currency. It is not based anything except everyone’s agreement to use it as real currency.) Fiat news has narratives that people want the rest of us to consider to be true. Such as the current meme stressing that Hunter Biden’s judge is a Trump appointee. The inference is that she is of course out to get the Bidens.

    I found myself ranting at the TV about the climate change/global warming. Now, growing up in northern Maine, 80 degrees was considered to be a heat wave. So, heat waves are relative to the people and the area.

    The meme is oh my god we are all going to die unless we stop using fossil fuels. (FYI, I am a stockholder in Exxon-Mobil.) It just grates on my nerves.

    What I have observed is that people are panicking since no human can stop it or control it. That the great technological universe has fallen apart. No one has suggested energy conservation or cutting down on demand. The whole fossil fuel thing seems to be a religion rather than a fact. It seems that if we close our eyes and believe in solar power, we will have a cooler world without sacrificing a thing. Bah.

    Meanwhile, what is happening in Phoenix, AZ is that it is an urban heat island with miles of paved roads. That will create heat more than having a desert. No one mentions perhaps we should look at land use and water conservation.

    In other words, no one want to do any of the hard work.

    Watching “California Insider” on Epoch TV was an eye-opener. People from various industries come on and complain that they have to leave because the laws are onerous. Insurers are leaving since the insurance rates set by Sacramento are so low that they cannot fund any more wildfires. However, no one seems to have the political will to correct anything.

    It made me think of the Democrats anger over the Supreme Court and abortion. The meme of the Court being extreme, etc. What they don’t tell you is that after Dobbs, Congress was run by Democrats, who decided to pass a protect gay marriage act because doing abortion access was too hard. They had their chance but no will.

  126. About the U.S. dollar.
    I worked on the decision to go off the Gold Standard. (true confession). The Pound Sterling used to be the currency of last resort. The U.K. went off the Gold Standard in the 1930s and then back on. However, WWII made the U.S. dollar more of currency to use instead of the Pound Sterling. Since then, it has been the U.S. dollar.

    For the currency of last resort to change, various international groups such as the Bank of International Settlements (B.I.S.) will have to agree. I know China is trying to have the yuan replace the dollar. Problem is that the yuan is not usually traded openly and no one knows what the exchange rate is. China has been secretive about their exchange rate. Until that gets resolved, the yuan will not be universally accepted.

    What needs to happen is another Bretton Woods or something similar, since the whole monetary system is well off the rails. No one can agree on what to do. Going on the Gold Standard means that gold producing and hoarding countries will have the upper hand – Russia, China, South Africa. At present, the U.S. holds at least 90 percent of the world’s gold at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. So, that has to be dealt with. (Russia, China, Saudi Arabia are notable for holding their own gold.) The reason for the U.S. is that it is a stable country – or is believed to be the most stable.

    Anyway, I am not pro-dollar or any currency. We are using fiat currencies world-wide, so it has to be decided among large groups of people what they will use among themselves. At present the B.I.S. is the 900 pound gorilla in the room.

  127. Is it common to have a rabid fan turn against the object of their fandom? What is the process – they become disillusioned? Or is it like Princess Diana – where no one really knew her, so she became a Christmas tree to hang various things on. Then the person does something very human, and well disillusionment sets in.

  128. Hello Mr. Greer,

    I’m the guy that’s been asking about how to keep my Golden Dawn work in a holding pattern while I focus on my work with AMORC.

    What are the major differences between them? I get the impression that GD is focused on magic while AMORC is more focused on mysticism. Is this correct? Too simplistic?

    Thank you in advance for any answer you give.

  129. JMG,

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s noticed. And yes, wild ride indeed, if it turns out there is a major elite backlash against the internet building, the next few years could get quite colourful. The really interesting part will be seeing just how far it goes: there seems to be a growing movement towards blaming the internet for all the problems that have occurred since 1990 or so, and if this catches on, I could see the internet being very rapidly gutted.

    Medium to long term, I think shrinking the internet will be a huge benefit to society, given the mess it makes of so many people’s minds. Short term though, I expect any reduction of the internet to be catastrophic, given that a ton of people seem to be unable to cope without it’s constant presence.

    Lavender,

    Something I think is worth keeping in mind is that every system has some degree of slack in it. Any that doesn’t have any will very quickly collapse at the first hint of trouble. So, if the internet has survived this long, it has to have some slack. What this means though is that the first reduction in resources available won’t break it: but it will force people to remove anything which is now too expensive, before it does break.

    So the wave of reduction in quality is a sign that something has changed. Pair it with a change in how the mass media talks about the internet, and the shift where Big Tech is now on the defensive against governments, and it looks like that something is not internal to the internet.

    Eike with an „i“,

    Interesting. Thus far, I haven’t noticed much change among the people I know, but I’ll have to keep an eye on it.

    Other Owen,

    Some of the changes I’m watching are not just attempts on the tech companies to make money. The rise in bans and restrictions on pornography, for example, have little to do with interest rates. I’m wondering in fact if you have the relationship backwards, and the rise in interest rates is part of the process of redirecting wealth and resources away from the tech companies. It’s needed to bring inflation down, but there are other tactics available to cut inflation that are not being pursued.

    As for the tech companies shedding people, sure, they’ve done it before, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a useful data point when paired with a lot of the other oddities.

  130. Princess Cutekitten re # 132

    You’re in good company. Procrastination has been my bete noire since I was born almost 69 years ago. According to my late mother, she was in labor with me for 40 hours so needless to say, the pattern was laid down right at the get-go and it’s been an ongoing issue ever since.

    I’m doing Kimberley’s clean toilet challenge as a way to get a routine started. I’ve missed a few days but so far have been able to stick with it. One thing that helps is when something occurs to you (oh that tub needs cleaning or the laundry taken down from the drying racks) DO IT AT THAT MOMENT YOU THINK OF IT. The minute you put it off, you’re doomed to the cycle of procrastination. New habits are tough to establish, especially as you get older, but I believe you’re never too old to learn new tricks.

  131. Can anyone point me to JMG’s “Rescue Games”, Transactional Analysis, or “Games People Play” posts? I did a bunch of sleuthing on a name brand search engine and could only find these mentioned in the comments. I’m sure there were a few blog posts where these ideas were central & I wanted to share them with a friend.

    Thank you in advance!

  132. Mr. Greer,

    William James is the store in question. They expanded a few years ago, knocking out the way of an adjacent space next door, turning that into an open high-ceiling room with even moarrr books to choose from; a kind of large reading room with some benches scattered throughout.

    Oh, and by the way.. it’s *Barbara* Tuchman …. Not the embarrassing fat-fingered moniker of which I mis-typed. ‘:]

  133. Scotty @ 124

    I couldn’t say. I’ve only read the few chapters, and have as yet come across the passage you are referring to. Sorry.

  134. @Jeff #14
    Re: Home churches

    Hi Jeff,

    You can learn something about Home Churches from the following books, but home churching is more of a learn-by-doing phenomenon:

    Viola FA. Rethinking the Wineskin; The practice of the new testament church. 1998, Present Testimony Ministry, Brandon FL. ISBN 0-9666657-0-8

    Viola FA. Who is Your Covering? A fresh look at leadership, authority and accountability. 1999, Present Testimony Ministry, Brandon FL. ISBN 0-9666657-1-6

    Jacobsen R. Unchurching; Christianity without churchianity. 2016, Unchurching Books. Website: Unchurching.com

    Mr. Viola’s books are published in many languages, and you can see them on Amazon. Last I heard, he was very interested in being a sort of Pope of the home-churchers, so take what he says along those lines with a grain of salt.

    You might do better to read the blog of Baptist missionary Guy Muse, who set up home churches throughout Ecuador. It will give you more of the flavour of home-churching, which is about being a better follower of Jesus and helping people around you;

    https://guymuse.blogspot.com/2007/06/how-house-churches-get-started-in.html

    Guy had real trouble with his denomination, as they quickly found that the home church folks were not at all interested in making buildings or sending funds to the home office-just hanging out together and meeting local needs.

    Hope that helps!

  135. Princess Cutekitten, Dennis Kucinich is not running for president. He is candidate Kennedy’s campaign manager. So far, the Kennedy campaign does not seem to be doing too badly, no major gaffes or scandals, and none of the sabotage, one can hardly call it less, which bedeviled both Sanders campaigns. I suspect he may have been hired because he knows who is whom among lefties, and he can spot the fakes, phonies and moles.

  136. Great section in King in Orange about the class system in our economy being based on types of income which are investments, salaries, wages, and welfare. This is one of the best explanations of our economy I have seen.

    This explains why government and corporate bureaucrats (including teachers), journalists, and professors are the most ardent supporters of the status quo where the salary class runs the country.

    But there are ways to beat the system. If you get a good commission position, you can have a salary-like income without the hassles of being a salary employee. If you are a top producer, management generally leaves you alone. They are too busy harassing others and someone has to get the real work done.

  137. rcastle, damaged people need to be left alone. That is why we are so often destructive. My life was made needlessly miserable by presumptuous people “just trying to help” until I figured out nonconfrontational ways to make them keep a respectful distance. I have a very good sociopath face. Now, I can think, I can be moderately productive, and I am able to do no harm.

  138. Hello JMG,

    A couple of unrelated questions if I may.

    Firstly, fairly early in your “Long Descent”, you described a woman (IIRC) born in 1960, who by the time she turned 70 would see swathes of her city without running water or reliable electricity supply. That would be 7 years from now. Obviously your book was written a few years ago, and some weird things have been happening along the way, so I was wondering if you felt that timescale (and those you set out for rest of her family’s futures) was still about right, or are things moving faster or slower than that?

    Secondly, a few months ago, you discussed the quest for the ‘one true way’ and again IIRC, suggested that different religions and spiritual paths really are quite separate and essentially akin to climbing different mountains and although the skills to getting to the summit are much the same, the views from the respective peaks are not.

    I was wondering how that fits with reincarnation; do those who follow a path, such as Christianity or Islam, that expressly does not include other lives, really experience a one-strike- and-you’re-out existence, or does the mountain climbing analogy only work within the single lifetime that a person is incarnated as a Christian or Muslim? Not sure that was me at my most eloquent, but I hope you get what I’m asking.

    Finally, as a point of interest, in this part of the world (Pen Llyn, North Wales) we’ve been seeing greatly increased numbers of wildlife, both in absolute numbers and different species. Granted it is pretty rural, but there are things around that I have never seen here before, somethings I haven’t seen in 10 years or more, and the ‘regulars’ seem to be much more abundant – including, I’m delighted to say, our resident toads.

    Is anyone else noticing this too?

  139. Hello, everyone. I’d like to offer this recipe, which I came up with over the past year.

    We all know that ramen is not nutritious or particularly satisfying. But with the addition of a few high quality ingredients, it offers an easy and inexpensive meal.

    Improved Chicken Ramen
    1 packet chicken ramen
    1 egg from a really free range chicken
    2-3 coarsely chopped leaves of small kale OR 1 scallion coarsely chopped *
    Spices (hefty pinch of Celtic sea salt, generous black pepper and onion powder, sprinkle of paprika, and cautious dash of cayenne pepper)
    Small dab of miso (I’ve been using red)

    Set a pot of water to boil. If adding kale, put it in right away. While waiting, add half of the mystery powder packet that comes with the ramen to your bowl along with the spices from your cabinet. Add noodles to water when it boils and set timer for 2 minutes. As soon as the noodles soften (a bit less than 1 minute) crack the egg into them and quickly give the egg a hard scramble with fork or chopsticks. At two minutes dump the whole thing into your bowl and mix with spices. If adding scallions instead of kale, do it now and set bowl aside for a few minutes to cool. Add miso just before eating (it isn’t good for the miso to get too hot).

    * Even if you don’t have much space for a garden you can grow a fair amount of kale or a lot of scallions. They are both easy to grow, even in small containers. For kale I really like Red Russian. The leaves are pretty and the purple stems add a nice touch of color to the dish.

    Chris in VT

  140. JMG,
    often these communications are a stream of concous blurb that I trim 80% after typing. then wanting to be considerate of the forum after writing i delete 80-90%. sometime I am faced with a life situation where i have to dump the message or post before deleting stuff. anyway where I was going with the mention of violence was that as an adult the experience of a social equivalent of a beating. its been a long road to get on top of that as an adult and those situations are finally starting to resolve to better boundary setting. apologies for not cleaning that up before sending in that case.

    in regards to fanboy and fangirl resentment, consider as well to some you serve as a guru. may not be parental. from my end – transmission with a guru is always richest through dialogue and interaction – thanks for giving your influence, knowledge experience and perspectives as part of this advertisement for your writing!

    in regards UFOS – theory for me is that nonmilitary spacecraft are strange atmospheric effects. a mixture of electron imbalances, metallic dust and as not yet understood states of mattern when the right pattern collides to cause what appears to be fast moving metallic disks of light. cheers!

  141. Whispers, you might be interested to know that the Ancient Greeks distinguished between honors paid to gods and goddesses and those paid to heroes. The heroes may have been historical persons around whom legends gathered, just as they did around Charlemagne. I maintain an unprovable opinion that the Athenian Theseus was a real man, a basileus of the dark ages, roughly contemporary with David of Israel.

  142. I know the media currently have their climate change coverage dialled up to 11, but it does appear things are moving pretty quickly now with wild weather events.

    Here in Nova Scotia, in just under a year we’ve had the ‘costliest and most intense’ hurricane to ever hit Canada, then a couple of months or so ago Nova Scotia’s largest recorded wildfire, then last weekend a ‘1 in a 1000 years’ rainfall event that caused quite a bit of flooding (I don’t know how they can measure a 1 in 1000 year storm!).

    I think I saw somewhere that a season’s worth of rain come down in a 12 hour period. It caused a number of road and bridge washouts, including a bridge along the only railway line that connects the port city of Halifax to the rest of Canada. The only thing remaining of the bridge are the tracks themselves (Photo here).

    It remains to be seen what the economic fallout will be from a major port being unable to transport goods by train until the bridge is repaired.

    It appears that the costs of the damage from three major weather events in the past year are compounded by all the labor shortages. It’s already hard to find contractors here, it appears that some are having trouble getting insurance payouts from these events due in part ‘to a lack of insurance adjusters’, and the province is already grappling with labour shortages in health care.

    In terms of gardening or farming, it looks increasingly the case that people will need to buffer for both extremes of very dry and very wet weather. The wildfires came after an unusually dry spring with almost no rain, and then we’ve had an unusually wet June and July which came to a head with all that rainfall last weekend.

    There’s my Long Descent report from this neck of the woods!

  143. Stephen DeRose

    I commented on last week’s post describing a metaphysical experience I had with a chaotic demon that had inhabited my childhood home and parasitized me for most of my life. I followed up with another comment that described how I exorcised it.

    Are you willing to use entheogenic substances as a way to open the door to spiritual realms? Are you aware that they were used regularly by the earliest members of the Church? Are you aware that the Catholic church obscured their use to the point that those who use them in Catholicism (and the sects that split from it, e.g. Protestantism) are vilified?

    I don’t think these spirits can be killed in the physical realm, although, I think we can send them back to the realm they originated. I also think that an inexperienced exorcist will allow the spirit to escape and find another host. Are you willing to take on the moral obligation if that happens?

  144. Curious has anyone else has seen the TikTok videos of the viral NPC phenomenon? I think that they become possessed when doing this, and, that once possessed cast spells on those watching.

  145. @Anonymous

    “Is anyone else getting the sense that the system that has funneled a large fraction of the world’s raw materials, energy, and finished products to the internet is breaking down? Is anyone else getting the sense that this might come to a head and drive some truly massive societal changes in the months and years ahead?”

    I guess I can say yes, I have seen at least some signs- here are my personal experiences since two years:

    Banking and Finance Job

    I worked until recently in a middle sized banking and finance firm, in software development of one of the most important project that company has (or maybe soon had). It was total chaos and mismanagement, and I can’t disclose details but, there were some old managers of the big project customer I saw giving speeches, and it was clear that 1) they had no clue about the product they specifically wanted 2) they were spoiled by decades of success and not bearing the brunt of slow economic decline 3) they gave enthusiastic economic predictions absolutely in line of the progress ideal down to the details. Already, their predictions of autumn 2021 have officially become the opposite: an alarm that we are declining in the most bland newspapers!
    It is really too bad I cannot publicize a lot of things there – some hilarious in various absurd ways.

    So – in these two years the company kept taking in new salary workers at a really rapid pace, both for this project as for many other and unrelated projects. An almost exponential curve, and not only hiring for professionals, but also many people new to the trade, many women who made 1 1/2 year course reeducating themselves away from an unrelated field, by courtesy of the govt office of labor.
    In beginning of June I and one of these women got fired. Before that, an old guy. Shortly after the company announced severe “restructuring”.

    The follies of the project I worked in were in line with a failures and expectations due to faith in progress – pointless overarching complexity, over-emphasis on marketing, design and advertising strategies, failing business hierarchies, suspiciously heavy rotation of personel in many places of other companies, where I got a glimpse in.
    In Feb 2022 shortly before the russia ukraine escalation, an older family member asked me about the great prospects my new job. I answered, let’s see whether that job still exists in one year. Well it was one and a half then.

    Since then:

    I have literally been showered with offers and requests for me taking a job in my digital “trade” since then, also from many companies searching via govt labor office data they may look into.

    This would not speak in itself for a decline in the digital economy, but:

    It is most prob due to the old “after war” or “boomer” generation going into retirement, with them all the senior pioneers of new trades, also mechanics, technicians, engineers…

    Since years increasing I hear of frustration of employers to find proper personel. People tend to be too disinterested, chaotic, illiterate, untimely, insufficiently socialized…you name it. And I suspect too mentally ill. As various social studies are said to show, loneliness progresses in big cities. Another factor to all of the above I think. An electrician about 30 or 35 yrs old I guess told me he is one of the few who knows how to repair some old but paramount equipment within the electrical grid, on an indirectly related note.

    So – we have a shortage of adaptable personel and I also suspect, of financial breath to train new staff. Education costs resources and requires things – money, social capital, available institutions and financial subsidies – with an overhead for the increasing number of required certificates of every kind. Either by virtue of govt subsidies or corporate loans, with expected return. And that return seems to be diminishing.

    I chose a new job in the govt – at a place I’m somewhat optimistic will be a friendlier place for a somewhat sensitive man like me. Maybe it’ll hold another some years, more than the age of corporate hire and fire. We’ll see.

    Adventures with my printer I had not used since two years:

    It turned out it will of course not work after two years non-use, due to ink drying.
    Could have thought of that earlier but I tried to find a solution because it printed blank pages without anticipating.
    The “App”, even on PC: you click on the offered help&support pages. Links to some Error 404 Page not Found pages of HP, the seemingly almost monopolist printer cat in this game.
    So dead links, then of course irrelevant stuff, offers to open up an HP account online with no help if refusing the kind offer, dead buttons.
    Gigabytes of drivers and help programs to download and clog your drive with, all these little “Apps” prone to absurdities of many kinds.
    Every annoying function you’d like to access with these “apps” is accompanied by endless loading sequences, and what for? To suck more data? To process the immensity of it’s own
    spectacularily satirical and pointless complexities? For what the hell do many of these functions even require any internet access?
    Search for help from HP online? Pretty common questions to printer functions are answered by some Indian support people, often literally just copying the general help and FAQ page in a comment, sometimes that being even entirely related to the question. Like we don’t give a frack about you and your petty cheap printer customer problems, haha!
    Goes without saying that if you want to use your USB cable for laptop to printer connection – it’s officially possible, but you have to specifically look for it, and it is never encouraged.

    Seriously, this is not giving the least like I don’t remember seeing it.

    My assumptions about the overarch of our digital infrastucture:
    There’s gigabytes and gigabytes to download in updates, patches, help tools…rising complexity in software stuff.

    An interesting angle was a guy in a forum saying, the size of say Photoshop as software is not corresponding with it’s increase in functionality since the first version.
    It’s just that things are always added up to something preexisting, a central pillar of core code that after a time is not understood anymore by most.
    Great and rising overhead of everything in the internet – online gaming serves with ultra graphics, countless youtube stuff, even clips of friends when they were 16 in the beginning of the 2000s and such, clogged with an enormity of random stuff apart from all the useful stuff there also is.

    My assumption localized for Austria is this: a major newspaper recently reported that there is growing worrying shortage of building projects in the construction business, as well as there is rapid declining potential of Austria too feed itself on it’s own soil, due to long time construction activity disabling the land.
    I think we’re in the final throes of where economic problems become official and sprawling complexities must unravel.
    Recently, in a very rural and place in Austria 1 hour away from an industrial city, they routed fibre cables for internet access through rough territory to all the houses in the village and sorrounding area.

    Long time in the 2000s, electronic equipment got cheaper and cheaper. Towards the end of the 2010s, it started staying even, I think even getting more expensive at times.
    If the building and construction sector declines, we know we’re in for recession, as simple as that. And that is already happening.

    We may be in for times where basic functions of state and society are lacking.
    But I think there may be some room for a stagnating and ever debilitating digital market. Like in the Soviet Union but digital: increasingly failing services, increasingly daft advertisment for the same. But drudging on for a little in its final phase.

  146. Anonymous, the simple ways are sunlight, fresh air, cold water, and unprocessed foodstuffs. The less simple ways are energy healing modalities — everything from Essene palm healing and Reiki to acupuncture and Ayurvedic medicine. Since the etheric body is the source of the life force, pretty much any traditional healing method addresses it directly or indirectly.

    Fritter, no, I’m sorry to say I haven’t had the chance to chase that down yet. I’ve been up to my eyeballs in other projects.

    Quin, thanks for this as always.

    Rcastle, it’s a common occult teaching that most people get glimpses of previous lives — people they recognize, places where they feel oddly familiar, that sort of thing — but don’t recognize them as such. There’s good reason for this — as you learned, it can be overwhelming to recall the harsher aspects of previous lives! As for Hesse and Hoffman, as far as I know they’re both out of copyright at this point so you’re fine.

    Slithy, thanks for this. Most interesting.

    Siliconguy, and thanks for this as well.

    Weilong, I’m quite sure you’re correct.

    Enjoyer, well, we’ll see!

    Matt, of course it’s possible. The old Rosicrucian adage finem respice — “pay attention to the end” — comes to mind; the long term consequences may be less pleasant than the immediate results. In response to your question, my suggestion is that you decide what you want to do — what dreams you want to follow, what you plan on doing in art school — and focus on those, not on the money. Let the universe open the way in the manner it chooses; the results tend to be much cleaner that way. Certainly this is what I’ve always done, with very good results.

    Gallifrey, not for decades; I barely remember it.

    Chuaquin, I haven’t read it. It wouldn’t surprise me, though, if she was on to something.

    John, the world is a weird place. I haven’t had that happen to me but I know people who’ve had similar experiences.

    Sam, that will happen when the demand for large intelligent bodies has gone away. Sooner or later, all the souls that are passing through this particular mode of incarnation will have completed their journey through matter, and the supply of bodies will drop off accordingly. Dion Fortune mentions late in the Cos.Doc. that very late in Earth’s life cycle there will be another type of entity that will fill in the gaps of the ecosystem for a while, and gain certain things by that experience; my guess is that they’ll enter into the dwindling populations of microbes, fungi, and blue-green algae as Earth ages and dies.

    Bogatyr, my guess is that they were already there. It’s a common teaching that the fae are an evolution much older than ours.

    Curt, (1) a lot of people are in that situation just now. I’m not sure what to say, as the options are very diverse and different people seem to benefit from different approaches. (2) Not necessarily. Your karma may have been to deal with that issue and then overcome it. In the same way, if someone’s starving in a gutter, karma’s no excuse not to help them; it may be that their karma is to be helped by you, and yours is to help them.

    Joshua, yes, I’ve read it. It makes some useful points but it does a lot of cherrypicking of historical examples to force things into a too-rigid scheme; that said, history does go in cycles, so they’re not completely out to lunch by any means.

    Aldarion, I’ve appreciated your presence on this and my previous blog precisely because the two of us disagree, but handle that in an adult manner.

    Johnny, hurrah for the frog! I’m delighted to hear this.

    Daniel, thanks for this. Can you point me to a few websites on the subject that you like? This is important enough that I may devote a post to it down the road a bit.

    Alvin, (1) remember that the essence of the Second Religiosity is the construction of barriers against chaos. For that reason syncretism and tolerance are inevitably the order of the day, because social divisiveness is not something anyone can afford to foster. (2) What a wonderful idea! Please do consider doing that; I know from my own experience that if you know Latin, you can get a reading knowledge of any Romance language in about six months of not too exhausting work. (3) I’ll consider it.

    Chris, that’s an excellent example, you know — it’s not something that makes money, but it’s also the one thing that will still be left when nothing makes money.

  147. @Justin Patrick More #126 re: Home Churches

    Thanks so much both for the link and your personal experiences, they’re certainly helpful (and the contrasting examples help to point out that there’s variety in the movement).

    If you don’t mind a follow up, do you happen to know what they do when they meet, besides the campfires, communal meals, and the like that you already mentioned?

    Basically, as I’m finding out more, it seems like what is making them appealing to a lot of folks is mostly some combination of unpretentiousness, low-intimidation, and small, actively-engaged communities. But what I haven’t yet been able to find out is whether there are any/many differences in ritual/liturgy/other aspects of practice (for an intentionally somewhat ridiculous example: it’s possible that there is a home Episcopalian church that has a fellow in full garb walk up the middle of the living room swinging incense and that the other 6 folks in the room bow to the cross as it passes, but I find that somewhat unlikely).

    Thanks again for your help!
    Jeff

  148. @Your Kittenship #132 re: Procrastination

    This has also been a particular struggle for me, and for a while there I was deeply into the whole productivity/self-help scene, which is mostly bland-ified spirituality and New Thought, but with occasionally helpful practical advice.

    For me, procrastination usually comes down to either the fact that deep down, I don’t really want to do it, or that I am afraid of what will come once I start something.

    I’ll start with the second one first: for example, I often put off sending an email on a potentially unpleasant topic, because I don’t like folks being upset with me, so I hide from it. This despite the fact that every single time, the dread of putting it off has always been worse than the response. For me, dealing with this mostly seems to be habitual – I get better or worse at being brave in this small way depending on how often I’ve been practicing lately.

    A related, but slightly different flavor of this is the “small” task that you just know is going to turn into a whole thing. The thing you need to do right now is make a phone call, but you know that’s going to lead to scheduling an appointment, which means checking your calendar, which means making decisions about what you can and can’t do for the next week, which means possibly disappointing people or missing things you want to do, which means. . . When I can figure out this is what’s going on, it’s often helpful to try to map out what the “whole thing” actually will be, realize it’s made of manageable chunks, and then tell myself I only have to get the first one or two done right now. Often the spelled-out version isn’t as scary as the amorphous threat of never-ending entanglement.

    As for the “don’t really want to do it deep down” bit, this can be harder. I used to have to fly to a client almost every week for my job. I’m normally a pretty punctual, responsible guy, but I missed two flights. Looking back, I’m pretty sure I had already figured out I had to get out of that job and it was bad for me, but I didn’t know that consciously.

    This one’s harder to deal with – it takes either reconciling with the thing and finding a way to make yourself believe it’s important enough to be worth doing, or else admitting you have good reasons not to do it and finding a way to make that okay (get someone else to do it, change your situation so it doesn’t need to happen, decide it can go undone after all, or whatever).

    For more mundane stuff, like putting off chores that have to happen or the like, I’ve found routine and a principle from The House that Cleans Itself very helpful: make doing the right thing easier. Stuff piling up on a credenza? Put some drawers or shelves there to hold it. Can’t consistently fold your clothes and neatly put them in a nice chest of drawers? Get some big rubbermaids and just throw your clothes in them – at least they’re away!

    Anyhow, good luck, and hope some of this helps!
    Jeff

  149. @Emmanuel Goldstein #143 re: Home Churches

    Thanks very much for these, they look quite helpful. As for “learning by doing,” so noted, and thank you for the reminder – I tend to default to books as my go-to way to understand things.

    Cheers,
    Jeff

  150. Here in Nova Scotia, in just under a year we’ve had the ‘costliest and most intense’ hurricane to ever hit Canada, then a couple of months or so ago Nova Scotia’s largest recorded wildfire, then last weekend a ‘1 in a 1000 years’ rainfall event that caused quite a bit of flooding (I don’t know how they can measure a 1 in 1000 year storm!).

    Lol, they don’t measure it. Rainfall amounts follow a typical standard deviation. From the recent record of rainfalls, the “1 in a 1000 years” amount can be calculated.

  151. “an impersonal absolute unity without qualities, intention, or consciousness”
    Ouch, I’m bleeding, man.
    I suspect that wherever this concept is coming from is not a branch of Christianity that I have a lot of sympathy for.

  152. Robert Mathiesen mentioned Francis Young’s A History of Exorcism in Catholic Christianity (2016) above. Below is a link to a review of the same author’s Magic in Merlin’s Realm: A History of Occult Politics in Britain (2022). The review is well worth reading. Here is how it ends (not a spoiler, and it’s what got me to read it, given some of the discussions on this blog, when I was on the hunt for something else and found it cited): “No matter one’s views on politics, monarchies and the like, this book may very well start one wondering who exactly benefits from the myth of disenchantment, while at the same time surrounding us with images and branding drawn from the wildest dreams of propagandists, spin doctors and advertisers.” https://www.paralibrum.com/reviews/magic-in-merlins-realm-by-francis-young

  153. Daniel, I don’t do instagram but I can tell you that here in Utica, a rundown neighborhood of quite nice mid and early 20thCentury buildings, some in art deco style, was demolished to make way for a steel and glass hospital of uncompromising ugliness. Anyone who opposed this brilliant idea was denounced as racist, because the downtown area is adjacent to an impoverished neighborhood who saw the hospital as a source of jobs we can walk to. (I am in my 70s, and I can walk just about anywhere in Utica).

    I like to track what I call watershed events, those events like the Simpson murder trial and the Monsanto trials of a few years ago, which mark a turn in public opinion. I think that the recent riots in France may also be one such. Lamestream media, with its’ usual favoritism for certain, but not other, minorities and religions first tried to ignore the ongoing chaos. Then, the usual tired excuses were trotted out, everything from ghetto like conditions–I am not aware that migrants in France suffer anything like American Jim Crow era segregation–to British intelligence provoked it, with not even a pretense of offering evidence for that assertion. Even the antifa provocateurs didn’t burn libraries or the busses their grannies ride.

  154. That makes sense JMG, thanks. I may just put in a vote for this topic for the next fifth Wednesday post.

  155. Princess Cute kitten @ 132 re. procrastination

    I can only give a recent personal account. Every time that I’d open the freezer, I’d invariably would have to dodge/catch the avalanche of frozen debris as they slid into free fall, often landing on my bare feet. Ouch! Amoung the stored items were ziplock bags of fruit, from the harvest of seasons past. Well, polecat .. in anticipation of NEW harvests to come – soon I may add – I decided to go on a canning binge, thus producing 4 cases of various jams, jellies, and fruit butters .. along with the cases of pickled dills.

    So, more available freezer space – check! Fruit transformed from frozen heaps into preserved state – check!

    Now, the next phaze of procrastination begins anew: labeling 80+ jars of said canned goods … then putting them into storage WHILE sorting through all the older stuff! But hay .. there’s time to wait until that nagging feeling to DO SOMETHING returns once more. Whew! makes one tired just thinking about it, no?

    Hope that ur, um .. helps. ‘:]

  156. re: dollar and gold standard

    You forgot the replacement of gold with oil. Although in doing so, Nixon more or less took the financial fate of the dollar out of the hands of the U.S. and handed it over to the oil producing countries (like Saudi Arabia). And now that the Saudis are ever so tired of dealing with dollars (for reasons), well, I guess it was good while it lasted. And then Russia demands rubles for its oil, which has gone more or less unchallenged. Well, I guess there’s all that unpleasantness near their borders, but it’s hard to say whether that’s stupidity or malice at work.

    I’m not terribly enamored with a new gold standard, but I think it’s pretty much the only thing that people will trust in this New Era we find ourselves in. Nobody will trust the Chinese, that’s for sure. Gold has historically been the currency of last resort, well before the Age of Trade began.

    As far as what happens when nobody agrees on anything to replace the dollar? Less trade. Globalization goes away, replaced with Regionalization. I guess we get to find out who actually still makes things here, instead of being some thin passthru to China.

  157. @Slithy 101: I was in Buddhist groups for about 16 years. What you say sounds correct. There was some attempt in a Japanese-heritage Zen group to reconnect with Chinese Zen; Andy Ferguson’s book “Zen’s Chinese Heritage” was an important text there. However, I don’t know that this changes any of the basic points that you have made very well.

  158. I really look forward for your future post about the future of modern war in the next decades. I sense a strange interrelationship among high tech equipment and its implications (no fog of war, low cost drones, precision weapons, a battlefield of small dispersed and hidden units…) versus the expected effects of resource depletion that paints an impossible to predict landscape. If you can connect this ideas with your post about the next European war we would really appreciate it in the old continent (we really really need some ideas here).

  159. @Gallifry 110: … and Dhalgren is not an easy book to forget: you love it or you hate it but you don’t forget it.

  160. JMG,

    Thanks for the response. The best place to start is theaestheticcity.com. Check out their blog. This is all fairly new so there isn’t a lot out there at least in english. I think one of the best stories is this one… https://theaestheticcity.com/2023/02/04/the-town-that-did-the-impossible-le-plessis-robinson/
    It’s really a video with some text to point out the salient points not a proper blog post. The video shows the before and after transformation and talks about the economic impact that the revitalization project achieved. It will be interesting to see how the area ages.

    There are other videos where it’s just two people talking about the philosophy behind the movement that are worth a listen. I’ll look around to see if there is more in the usual blog format. You’ll have to forgive us millennials for so much video.

    My hope is that the inevitable conversation about why it’s anathema to design in traditional styles really gets some traction. I have yet to see anyone really address the religion of progress’s “old=bad” formula. But it will have to be done at some point if we continue to advocate traditional styles having anything to offer to we enlightened moderns.

    Much cognitive dissonance incoming possibly from the very people who began the movement. Exciting.

    Thanks!

    -Daniel

  161. @Chris W re: #133 –

    The usual argument pitched against this is “Europe can’t fight a war; there aren’t enough young people,” which I think is at best disingenuous. Europe has plenty of young people. They make up a smaller percentage of the population than they did in 1900, but even if only 6% of the entire population consists of males between age 20 and 29 (which seems typical right now for “developed” countries) and even if you can only persuade, bribe, or compel a third of them to go off to the front lines…well, that’s still 200,000 soldiers for every 10,000,000 population you have. And if they aren’t the best-trained or the best-equipped, well, conscript armies seldom are.

  162. JMG,

    When I lived in Japan for seven years, I always felt a strange, distinct absence of the spiritual. The only exception was when I was out in their wilderness, climbing up mountains, and swimming in waterfalls. Other than that, the place seemed spiritually dead to me. Is that normal for when you live in places outside of your home country? To this day, I debate whether I just didn’t notice it, whether the spirits were different and unknown to me, or if modern Japan just drives the spiritual away.

  163. “they routed fibre cables for internet access through rough territory to all the houses”

    Or the lack of houses. Three plastic conduits went into the ground in the middle of Washington’s Douglas county. South of US 2, between Moses Coulee and Banks Lake, the lines went from the highway down Road J (AKA Highland School Road) to Road 6, then off west to Whitehall. There is like seven houses along the roads. OK, fiberoptic to everyone is the goal, but three conduits?

    And where I live, (Grant County) the same three conduits went in the ground and we already have fiberoptic hanging from the power poles. I don’t know what they are doing, other than burying plastic to puzzle future archeologists.

  164. Hello Princess Cutekitten #132

    In my experience, I would name a disciplined schedule routine as a remedy for procrastination.
    I flow best with a “Monday food prep, Tuesday, dust and vacuum, Wednesday, laundry etc. for some examples.

    My most challenging is, as for most, making time for study and writing (around work, partner obligations and household stuff), and though I’m still working on it, the old “getting up one hour earlier” thing does work some days.

    My new favorite thing to do is before getting out of bed, visualize myself getting all my tasks of the day completed.

    And just a thought-experiment: I’ve enjoyed mapping the seven deadly sins on the 7 Chakra energy centers in order to understand and deal with them more efficiently:
    Crown Envy
    Third Eye Sloth
    Throat Gluttony
    Heart Wrath
    Navel Pride
    Sacral Lust
    Root Greed

    Third-eye is basically “intuition”, which, as an “excuse”;-) for sloth/procrastination is that waiting till the last minute gives more time to receive/determine intuitively how to best proceed.

    Nothing like a rationalization to make all problems better, lol!

    Hope this helps a bit.

  165. Hello John,
    I have been ruminating on some thoughts, mostly driven by concerns of the unfolding chaos and lawlessness, about beginning to incorporate some martial training into my routine, both weapon and hand-to-hand. I am wary of creating a mindset of overconfidence or a narrowness of perspective that would lead me to use the skills developed when not absolutely necessary. I know many martial arts traditions have some components that address these dangers. I am sufficiently remote that a regular attendence at a dojo would not be feasible. I would be interested in your perspective of the wisdom of A: pursuing martial skill development B: if affirmative, best practices to assure these skills are used appropriately. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and perspective with us each week.

  166. I have four go-to recipes for toothpaste, hairspray, deodorant, and an all purpose cleaner that doubles as a hair detangler. I made a post about it here:

    https://kimberlysteele.dreamwidth.org/96655.html

    The price of toothpaste these days is absurd, at least in my area of Illinois. It’s $7 at the drugstore for the cheapest tube! It’s even worse if you prefer toothpaste without fluoride. Has anyone else experienced $7-$12 toothpaste in stores? If so, where are you located?

  167. @ kim a #63

    The great advantage of strictly indoor cats is we *DON’T* use any flea treatments, tick pesticides, or even visit the vet at all. We’re able to get away with this because we also no longer have a dog, bringing in the outside world and its parasites.

    That said, as a result of sad, too-early deaths, we use a “good” brand of dry cat food (Iams) but we supplement it with two cans per day of wet food, which we never used to use. I can no longer accept that cats (who are obligate carnivores) can get by on meat-flavored compressed sawdust. Thus, a “good” brand of meat catfood (currently Friskies). We mix it up too, using different flavors. We do the same with the Iams, figuring that a more varied diet can’t hurt.

    In addition, we treat with sliced turkey, roast beef, ham, etc. All four cats quickly learned to beg at the counter when I’m making dinner.

    If they were outdoor kitties and hunting, I’d be less concerned but then we’d be forced to use the very effective and very toxic flea treatments and all the vaccines.

    You should also keep your litterbox scrupulously clean. It can’t hurt.

  168. ” if we close our eyes and believe in solar power, we will have a cooler world without sacrificing a thing. Bah.”

    There was some histrionic raving I only glanced at about “How we have to return to pre-industrial climate levels.”

    They never mention which “preindustrial” climate they want. The Little Ice Age? The Medieval Warm Period? The Roman Warm Period? The Holocene Climatic Optimum? The Pliocene Climatic Optimum? Do we all agree that the Eocene thermal maximum was too much, and we do not want alligators in the upper Missouri River?

    It all comes down to hubris again, Man is going to hold the earth’s climate at the level most convenient to him.

    Oh by the way, half of Greenland’s ice sheet went missing 400,000 years ago. Of course they are spinning it as doom. DOOM. We need more DOOM!

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2023/07/long-forgotten-frozen-soil-sample-offers-a-warning-for-the-future/

  169. @Robert #29
    Sak Yant (yantra) are Mon-Khmer in origin, and mostly Hindu. The script used is almost always an elaborate and occult version of Old Khmer. Only one temple in Thailand officially continues this tradition because it is regarded as disreputable, and a minor offence for ordained monks. Most Sak Yant tattooists are Thai occultists who belong to the esoteric Theravada ‘reusi’ tradition (Skt: ṛṣi). These tattoos were originally for Khmer soldiers who wished to magically acquire the power of wild animals and spirits. There are many Sak Yant tattoos that are simply auspicious symbols in Buddhism. However there are some that are considered quite dangerous. Angelina Jolie’s tattoo was meant to bestow the power of a tiger, but it was not accompanied by an initiatory ritual, so it’s inactive and merely decorative. The initiatory commitments of specific tattoos are often moral codes, but they also include bizarre taboos, such as avoiding certain places and foods. The most common result of breaking these commitments is spirit possession and madness.

    @Slithy Toves #101
    Buddhism is only ‘squishy and secular’ in the West. Japanese Buddhism is just a minor side chapter in the history of Buddhism, although it is widely believed that Japan will play a central role in the future. Their married priests are considered to be rather unfortunate and slightly embarrassing by other Buddhist nations. There was no plan to package Buddhism for the West, and the pseudo-scientific focus of nineteenth and early twentieth century Buddhism was merely a Western projection. The ‘crazy wisdom’ of imported gurus was more often than not the result of their unsuccessful attempts to internalise (and purify) Western culture.
    Theravada is the type of Buddhism practiced in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Eastern India, Southern China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Southern Vietnam. Each country’s situation is different. The Mahayana continues as a substrate in Theravada Buddhism (Esoteric Theravada), particularly in Myanmar. Vipassana meditation was just neglected for a while in Southern Buddhism, but it was certainly never lost or forgotten. Western Theravada monks are an experiment in progress, so their misunderstandings are tolerated for the time being. Ajahn Brahm is well intentioned but grievously ignorant. Only a World Buddhist Council can recreate the broken nun’s ordination lineage (using an unbroken one from East Asia).

  170. JMG I recently finished an interesting book that left me with a metaphysical question. The book “The Chaos Machine” by Max Fisher. It is an expose on the big picture problems with the social media companies especially in terms of their effects on populations that are not resistant to their influences. The author is a bit of a whiny liberal but I found his information well documented and compelling. It seems that the business model they are using focused on maximizing screen time to generate add revenue and they could care less about other effects. In several countries where they have dominated there have been genocides generated their which the companies have refused to day anything about when challenged by local organizations paying attention to the issues. This has been the case in Myanmar and Sir Lanka for instance.

    It appears from the reporting that the electronic internet is capable of amplifying and supporting negative actors to the extent that they can dominate the local population to such an extent that ugly things begin to happen. When local activists have been able to turn off the platforms the problem rapidly fade. Which says to me that the platforms are supplying the energy that supports the negative results.

    Does it make sense to you that the AI platforms could be supporting energetic beings that are non human?

    It was a disturbing read and does not bode well for the image of our country. One more reason for the rest of the world to write off an America that cannot control its corporate players from causing damage.

  171. @cutekitten, I recently ran across advice to treat procrastination not as sloth or poor time management, but as a symptom of anxiety. If you don’t feel anxious about something, you are unlikely to want to put it off. The recommendation was to exercise vigorously, then tackle the task when your brain is happy and relaxed from exercise. I know I am always more effective and calm after exercise, especially if I work out early in the morning.

  172. @Jeff Russel

    Thanks for the thoughts and advice, and good point re. plant carbohydrates in dry food. That’s one of the things that made me worry after I started paying closer attention to what actually goes into this stuff. A feline diet with so much that isn’t meat can’t be ideal. And funnily enough, one reason I’ve always gone with dry food was because I was advised it’d be better for their teeth. Will also consider the book recommendation.

    @Nachtgurke

    Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I suspect you might be right that it’s ultimately about a change in perspective, and that we simply have to let go of many of the expectations we grew up with in the age of abundance industrialism. Point taken, will muse on this further.

    @JMG (and anyone else who feels like weighing in)

    Since I’m already commenting, and your comment above re. Europe’s ghastly future made me think: in your opinion, is the prognosis so bad a younger person with the means to do so should seriously consider getting out of Europe, with all the challenges that entails? Or am I worrying about problems that won’t show up until after my lifetime anyway? I did note you said “long-term prognosis” in your comment.

    To be clear, I’m not asking you to make major life choices for me. I know it’s ultimately individual, and that it’s my own responsibility. I’m just interested in your thoughts as one more data point, from someone whose perspective I tend to respect and find wisdom in.

    I feel like I’m coming to a crossroads in my life, and the possibility of leaving has already been on my mind for these as well as other reasons. Mostly wanting a less harsh climate, but also just feeling stuck and fed up in general. For better or worse I don’t have any obligations or deep commitments keeping me here, other than the aforementioned cats, haha. I’m in my mid to late thirties, with a non-trivial amount of money at my disposal, but not rich.

    More tangentially related to the question, but a few thoughts on the situation in my country (maybe of interest if anyone here likes Ecosophian perspectives from around the world too?):

    For the moment, my north European country still feels mostly safe and comfortable, but even here you can sense the winds of decline whispering around the doors now. For instance, costs of living have gone up, and there’s a big wealth disparity between the Boomers and the younger generations, as in the US. Property prices are totally out of control, etc.

    In spite of this, the religion of Progress still stands firm here, since we came so late to consumerist wealth compared to the United States. It’s still possible for people to convince themselves everything is getting better all the time and that we live in the best of all possible worlds, and we have so much to lose.

    The mainstream political parties seem to basically approach the world as if it’s still 2005, where “the climate” is a moderate technical problem to be fixed and our wealth will keep growing into the sky forever because we want it to. Our generous welfare state has also become something of a talisman of Progress for many, and I suspect it’ll be a hard mental blow when and if it goes away.

    Of course, a materially prosperous and small country might also make a very attractive target for warbands and the like down the line. One more reason not to stick around? I have a bad feeling it’s going to fall hard once it does fall, to put it that way. We’re certainly less used to hardship than most, myself included.

    When I read Jared Diamond’s description of how the biggest and most prosperous farm in Norse Greenland ended, I thought it was a very fitting metaphor for the situation my country finds itself in as the rest of Europe declines around it. (Yes, I know Diamond’s theories are discredited, but the Greenland example is still worthwhile as a narrative.)

  173. Here’s something interesting I thought was worth sharing.

    This article makes the case for conceptualizing the earth as “Yggdrasil”—the mythological Norse tree—rather than as a sphere (or a plane, for the flat-earthers out there). Crazy, I know. You just have to read it.

    I’m curious how (or if) this lines up with the occult way of looking of the world. Even if it doesn’t, I think other Ecosophians would find it’s premise interesting—especially those interested in physics, geometry, and Norse mythology.

    Electric Yggdrasil
    https://barsoom.substack.com/p/electric-yggdrasil

  174. Straws in the wind: facepalm variety.
    Trivial – from the USA Today Crossword puzzle, “Eco-friendly party announcement — evite.”
    Fake nutrition fanatics (grrrr…) here in The Village, the single serve jellos* all proudly boast of being “sugar-free,” and all their fruit pies are “N.S.A.” The single-serve gatorade I bought there, which said “lower sugar,” has both sugar, sucralose, and a bunch of potassium stuff. (Having just had three teeth extracted this morning, I was trying to buy the sort of food recommended for the first day, and being lactose-intolerant, the puddings etc suggested were out of the question.)
    And the King Canute Memorial Trophy goes to the massive effort proposed to save Cedar Key, a small town on a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico which has “been given a Stage 4 diagnosis” – the 4th highest rate if sea-level rise acceleration in the nation,” with a 6″ rise since 1992 and the rate is accelerating. BUT! It has the only coastal boat ramps for miles around. Multiple state and federal agencies host labs and offices there. 17% of the people in the surrounding communities live in poverty and Cedar Key serves them with support services. (clipping in an envelope to send you.)

  175. @Matt, 109, happy to share my experiences with astrological talismans. I have purchased three: one to help my spouse with success in a business he is starting (didn’t work as intended, instead it helped with a modest increase in his other business); another to help both with wisdom and safety (I hope it worked on both counts, but I can’t evaluate my own level of wisdom), and a third for help with things running more smoothly with management at work. I believe these are all modest goals (well maybe not the one about wisdom, that seems like the one with most overreach although with spiritual intent).

    Overall, since I’ve started worked with magical systems, I believe I have become more calm, virtuous and wise; I have also become more prosperous, but not to the tune of empty millions of dollars, simply enough that I can focus more on what matters to me (spiritual development) rather than worrying about the day-to-day. I would like to find a way to “give something back” but I don’t know how to do that in the areas of life that matter to me, though I do try to be a good mentor in my professional setting (which unfortunately is tied to all the stuff we know will eventually collapse).

    I personally think asking for help in setting yourself up materially to pursue your calling is reasonable.

  176. Weilong & JMG,

    I’ve heard about the abandoned Japanese house phenomenon. Apparently you can buy a house for almost nothing in rural areas that have depopulated. One complication in Japan is that it is common to have a ground lease, so the homeowner owns the structure but not the land. This disincentivizes homeowners to maintain and invest in the home over time.

    My mother in law is from Japan and she says that there is a bias against “used” housing. Her sister, who still lives there, has let her house go completely to pot and it is almost uninhabitable at this point. She will eventually move out or die and no one in the family will want that house. People want and expect new construction if they can afford it.

    Many of the houses are junk but some are built with traditional Japanese joinery methods and are incredible. I’m hoping to go next year and check it out for myself.

  177. Hi Daniel,

    I’m glad to hear that architects are finally coming around about attractive design. I have hired multiple architects and it is amazing how poorly trained they are in basic design concepts. Many have no sense of the importance of vertically oriented windows or regulating lines. They have become, unfortunately, primarily code lawyers. When they do try do design, they often seem more interested in making something novel than something attractive.

    Here are a couple of resources you might be interested in:

    * James Howard Kunstler has written a lot about architectural design and is the authority on the doomed suburban sprawl landscape. You might enjoy “eyesore of the week” on his website. Check out his book_Home from Nowhere_
    * The Congress for New Urbanism is an architectural group that promotes attractive, walkable developments. Those who follow their proposals will be left with physical spaces best positioned to weather the Long Descent
    * Steve Mouzon is an architect I think you will like if you haven’t discovered him already. His books _The Original Green_ and _Traditional Construction Patterns_ are classics

  178. John,
    Just simply curious to know what you think of the recent invention of room-temperature super-conductors.

  179. @ Daniel (#127): I grew up on the west coast of the US, surrounded by architectural ugliness. I am now settled in an east-coast commonwealth state that retains some of the look-and-feel of its colonial heritage (though mostly through inertia and poverty). It does comfort me to be surrounded by more humane architecture. I regularly attend a church that occupies a historic building (yes I know I’m a pagan occultist, I am full of contradictions) and that also comforts me.

    @ Alvin (#129): probability theory is the key to resolving the self-satisfied dogma of the 19th century west. It has been a component of my path from mainstream scientism to spiritual commitment. Re: Latin and Mandarin, I am impressed with your dedication, Latin (which I took in high school) seems doable but I recently tried and failed at learning Mandarin 🙁

  180. @ daniel banker #169 and anyone else interested in urban design

    I like https://www.strongtowns.org/stmedia

    They routinely discuss traffic planning, parking minimums, bicycle paths, and in general, development that is incremental and human-scaled.

  181. Jerry #43

    > Your past life story talked about running from your karma, facing it, and with a lot of “hard work”, turning the situation around.

    This is my personal experience of been-there-done-that:

    “Hard work,” to me, means taking a bad, even evil, act I remember doing (in my case a criminal act for which I never got caught). The first thing is honest regret, looking at the bad act right in the face and seeing it for what it is. Then true, deep, long, permanent contrition. A bowing down. There is a “never do it again” element. But there needs more. Take a similar situation (the bad act) and do the right thing (or ‘a’ right thing). Over and over. In my case, I did some bad acts, but felt my “making good” was in the ratio of ten good acts for each one bad act, quietly, noiselessly. Base ten. I spent ten years in a state of remorse, and did what I felt were good deeds, then eventually got plumb tuckered out. I couldn’t UNDO what bad acts I did, but I could DO much better in the then-present and in the future. I turned it around. I paid back the rotten karma I had created for myself.

    After I did the heck of a lot of grueling, penitential work (figuratively on my knees ascending a mountain), it feels like my karmic slate is clean. I did the hard work for ten, fifteen years, and since those years, I have been given, so to speak, good luck. The monkey is off my back.

    This I did on my own, telling no-one except my husband. I still feel deeply ashamed for those bad acts and wonder how I could have done them. The details are no-one’s business. I have done my time, and don’t need humans the least bit thinking it is their business to punish me. If humans knew, some would feel I needed “to be taught a lesson” however that played out,— getting lynched even. It is, literally, not for humans to judge. I will go to my grave with this secret — both the bad acts AND the good acts.

    I take personal responsibility.

    However, I must tell about a second thing. I grew up extremely secularly. Part of my world-view changed by this whole experience.

    I now believe there is such a thing as a demon, and that one needs words of protection against them, on an on-going basis. A demon is not an excuse, but I believe one infected me just before I started doing the bad deeds. I was weak,— clueless — I was the one who let it in, unbeknownst to me, at the time. Only in retrospect can I see the void. I met up with a demon, who I let enter me due to naivety. I wrestled with it for years — it was a thing. The demon lost, but the inner experience was like being at sea in a ship pummeled by a hurricane. Every good deed shrank the demon a tad — until — finally it left. I say a prayer of protection against demons at least once a day.

    Secular people are so easy for a demon to enter.

    Maybe not oddly, I recognize a demon when I brush shoulders with one, or more accurately, when a person has a demon inside him/her. It is a feeling I get, and I do in fact say such to others, “So and so is a demon.” But others say I am being ridiculous but that doesn’t mean my assessment is wrong. But I steer clear of that person as if she is walking around spreading the Black Plague. I snuff that person out of my life, no ifs, ands, or buts, permanently. Demons don’t mess around, and I don’t mess around when I sense one afoot.

    I will not let that person near me. A demon entered an in-law recently, and I witnessed her actions showing me big-time what was what. She did not even try to hide it. If someone is stupid enough to do an obvious series of demon-like actions in front of me (where I personally witness it; no hearsay), that person has let a demon in, and I am on guard to protect myself and my loved ones. Either that person has let a demon in, or, I suppose, the person is actually a demon. I never wish ill that entity (because that feeds them)—, I just pile on tons of protective prayers. Sometimes I can feel a demon “scratching” at the edge of my soul, in the hope I will let it enter — not gonna happen.

    If I get creeped out in the presence of a particular person, I honor that. THAT is a person to avoid. The feeling of creepiness is all I need. I have a creepiness alarm. I stay away. I do not let that person into my circle. And if that person is already in my circle, I unceremoniously boot them out.

    I see what I see, and every now and then, I see a demon, and am not quiet about saying what I perceive. Demons often act like angels when people are watching, and love to gaslight. I know nothing about the intricacies of demons. I feel no need to research them.

    My prayer of protection is simple. I draw a circle three times in the air clockwise; that opens the prayer. Sometimes it is a big circle, as wide as my arms; sometimes it is at the side of me one inch in diameter where no-one can see. I then whisper something like “Protect me, my family, and any being that is on my land, and so-and-so, and so-and-so… Please banish any being out to wish us ill or out to harm us.” I draw a circle three times in the air COUNTER-clockwise; that closes the prayer. So far, so good, for five years. It certainly does no harm. Secular people don’t know there is such a thing as a prayer of protection, and if they do, they poo-poo it. But it works.

    If one needs ‘an adage in eight words,’ “Do ten good deeds for every bad deed.” (I probably overdid it with ten, but I am an extremist.)

    The moral of the story: Each human is equally capable of doing bad👎🏼and doing good👍🏼. No-one is exempt.

    Northwind Grandma💨➖➕
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  182. Hi John Michael,

    Yeah, the activities sit off to the side as an ‘other’. There’s no getting around it, the activities are a loss maker. You’re right though, it is a preview of the future, and I’d not thought of it that way before this week. However, making money out of this stuff has never been my goal, but I appear to be in the minority there. It’s better in some ways if it doesn’t make money.

    There’s no need for you to listen to such things, but you can hear the disbelief at this unexpected turn of events, expressed in podcast interviews with other small holders.

    When the powers that be recently changed their tack in relation to money matters, mostly due to external global events, and not to mention the energy and resources side of the story, we did discuss at the time that they’d blow it. My opinion in this matter has not altered.

    I lived through the recession we-had-to-have in the early 1990’s as a young bloke, and it stomped the daylights out of my comfortable day to day existence, and I had to scramble to keep food on the table and a roof over my head. What surprised me were the policy choices taken from about 1997 onwards. It all seemed like a bad deal to me. As a side story, I do wonder if the people who were involved in those choices now regret their decisions, thus their hanging on (in your country at least) to power? Dunno.

    But I have had one lesson rammed home many times over in my life. And that is, problems are best nipped in the bud early. The fact the core problems were only ever papered over, suggests to me that when the bill comes due, we (as a civilisation) won’t be able to pay it. Few people grapple with the question: And then what do we do?

    Man, history provides a guide. Mostly there has been a lot less of us. Certainly only a few folks at any one time lived opulent lives. And nowhen had access to as much energy and resources as most people today think are the norm. And we’ll get there, with a degraded biosphere as a side bonus. What were we all thinking?

    Chris

  183. @Kim A #182 – in the downward slope of civilisation I think local knowledge and local networks will be increasingly valuable.

    An understanding of the local geography, water sources, soils, wild foods, hiding spots etc will be of great value when the more severe crises hit.

    Likewise a network of people you can trust with your life, and the lives of your family, will be a source of stability and strength. Those types of bonds tend to be forged over long periods of time.

    There is no perfect “place” to ride this out. But some “situations” are much better for you than others. All things considered, I suspect being a native of northern Europe would be a pretty good starting point.

    Darren

  184. Regarding Canadian “MAID”, or as I prefer still to call it, physician-assisted suicide, what I have to add is that it’s remarkable how quickly this became mainstream. I won’t go so far as to say that it’s “expected”, as in, expected that everyone avail himself of it, but, we have arrived to the point where it is at least expected that it’s an option that everyone consider, and the idea of any objection, any notion that the whole scheme might not be a great idea is almost outside the Overton window already. I don’t have any trouble envisioning a future where the pressure to accept it is tacit but strong.

    @Anonymoose #48:

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    I agree with your thoughtful post almost entirely, except, for the love of Druidry can folks PLEASE stop perpetuating the mythology that modern doctors take the “Hippocratic oath”. THEY DON’T. Do you know how many times over the past three years I’ve wanted to bash my noggin against the computer screen wondering why on earth SO MANY people still think this???

    For the record, and I will never stop challenging this misconception every time I see it: modern doctors DO NOT recite the “Hippocratic Oath”, which contains elements that many regard as controversial today. They will often “swear” an alternative oath that is watered-down and in any event certainly has no legal force.

  185. Your Kittenship, I’ll leave this for the commenters who have already posted useful replies.

    Chris W, that’s an intriguing possibility, but I don’t know Europe well enough to hazard a guess about how likely it is.

    Neptunesdolphins, thank you for the term “fiat news” — that’s exceedingly useful! As for rabid fans turning on the objects of their adoration, good heavens, yes. It happens all the time.

    Ray, I’m not a member of AMORC and so have only an outsider’s idea of the content of its teachings. Anyone else?

    Anonymous, I don’t expect to see it gutted. My guess is that it’ll become passé, and become increasingly neglected by most people, leading to the financial death of a thousand cuts.

    Bob, it’s been answered further up the comment thread, at #171.

    Polecat, a lovely store. I’m glad that it’s expanded!

    Roman, equally, membership in the royalty classlet (like me) has many of the advantages of salary class and almost none of the drawbacks.

    Marsh, (1) I wrote that very early on, when I hadn’t yet gauged the rhythm of decline accurately. It’ll be a while yet before that happens. (2) The experiences you have as a Christian, a Muslim, or what have you may be what your karma needs during one incarnation. The work of the path can be useful even if some details of the teaching are inaccurate. (3) I’m very glad to hear this!

    Jstn, thank you for clarifying.

    Jbucks, things are definitely changing. The weather here in Rhode Island is really rather odd. Thanks for the data points!

    Sam, the next of those will be in September. By all means propose it then.

    Fragile city, I’ll certainly keep that in mind.

    Phutatorius (if I may), I don’t find Delany especially memorable. I’ve read half a dozen of his books and have a hard time recalling much of anything about them.

    Daniel, thanks for this. I’ll certainly look into it once time permits.

    Dennis, it certainly hasn’t been normal for me. Odd.

    Selkirk, combat skills are not something you can learn on your own; you have to have at least one training partner, and if at all possible a teacher who knows what he or she is doing. If you’re serious about learning, you may have to make some adjustments to your lifestyle, at least temporarily.

    Tom, yes, and in fact there’s been some speculation that the internet may basically be possessed — thus the tendency it has to amplify nasty habits of all kinds.

    Kim, if I were young and living in Europe I’d be seriously considering getting out. Things could go pear-shaped there in as little as a decade, though it may also take longer. Thank you for the data points!

    Blue Sun, I have to say “Electric Yggdrasil” would make a great band name. I’ve bookmarked the article and will get to it as time permits.

    Patricia M, straws indeed. King Canute is badly needed these days.

    Richard, let’s see if it’s actually happened. The state of scientific ethics is bad enough these days that an announcement like this means nothing until it’s been replicated several times.

    Chris, we weren’t. Human beings don’t think that much, or that well. Calling our species Homo sapiens is a bad joke.

  186. This is a response to Daniel’s post #127. I am very lucky to live in a neighborhood that was developed by very creative architects/builders. They sited the houses so they fit into the landscape, each house similar, yet placed within the topography of the land. I think this could have only been done if the architects cooperated with the building company, which happened in our case. Our neighborhood was built in the early 1950s and is Mid-Century Modern in design. Each house has large windows, which increases our exposure to nature, but due to the way the houses are situated, we don’t feel we are staring into each others’ living rooms. We have a strong sense of community, yet retain our privacy and individuality. Also, people seem to retain their vitality and beauty living here. My neighbors and I all seem to want to put an effort into making our land more beautiful and our community stronger. Maybe it is because of our large windows and what we see everyday. We care about our trees, our land, and help each other. I sincerely feel it is partly due to how this neighborhood was built. People here get upset if someone buys a house and tears it down to build something that doesn’t fit with the aesthetic. We feel it is destroying what we have.

    https://www.holmesrunacres.com

    To me, this can be an example for how architecture can affect how communities can be developed. It really has to be a coordinated effort between architects and builders, who unfortunately usually just focus on the cheapest way to do things.

    When we moved into our house, our back yard was overgrown with English ivy, bushes and brush. I made an effort to clean it up. One day, my wife said she saw a small little entity running away. He probably was happy living in the mess in our back yard, but now that it had changed he was looking for somewhere else. I have been planting several trees back there and hope that other entities come and feel at home there.

  187. Nicole #66,

    Your comment triggered a thought in my head (which may be obvious to others), that space could be as infinitely vast as it is specifically to prevent the myriad beings in different regions of the cosmos from coming into contact with each other before they’re ready. (Even if they possess an infantile cultural bent toward the domination of Nature, their Mother.) I see no other necessity for there to be so much physical distance between hospitable worlds. Only once a being has developed the ability to communicate outside of space and time will a connection be made – presumably between two or more beings who are mature enough mentally and spiritually to handle the contact.

    Many thanks for the spark!

  188. We are presumably in an interglacial period which means it should be getting warmer until a peak is reached and the process reverses itself.

    With all the hysteria surrounding global warming, it is hard to get any reliable information on the subject. Just wondering if there is any reliable system that explains how much global warming is natural or man made.

  189. Further to JMG’s comments about people meeting extranormal beings and every region having its own mythology, I thought this little post was interesting. It’s a map of UFO sightings worldwide from 1906 to 2014.

    https://twitter.com/goddeketal/status/1684705899749765120

    It concentrates in the United States, UK, and the Benelux areas, with only a slight scatter everywhere else. If we were talking about aliens in the “hard scifi” sense of beings growing on some world, travelling between the stars and then studying us as humans, we’d expect a more even distribution. So there’s something else going on, either paranormal, cultural, or both.

  190. JMG #69,

    Re: your response to Justin Patrick Moore

    Sort of like 18 y.o. fit-as-a-fiddle Bronny James’ sudden cardiac arrest on the basketball court earlier this week?

  191. Princess Cutekitten, my slothfulness and procrastination are side effects of what is best described as my lifetime state of dubious sanity. That is probably not the case for you. What has helped me in daily tasks is a combination of scheduling and relying on intuition. I have alternate days for inside and outside, that is garden and sewing or housecleaning. Within that framework, I rely on intuition as to what should be done that particular day. Today was an outside day and intuition was telling me to weed my alba roses.

  192. Alvin,

    How wonderful to find another Virgil lover! I also appreciate the Aeneid and the Eklogues above any other poetry I know. And what an audacious plan!

    For all I know, you might be blazing a path for new native speakers of Latin. However, I would advise you not to hang your hopes too high. Our daughter grew up hearing her parents speak Portuguese among each other, and everybody speaking French. I have valiantly tried to only speak German with her since before she was born, but at age four she stopped speaking it. And that in spite of regularly speaking with her grandparents over Skype.

    I do continue to speak German with her because I can best express myself in my mother tongue. You won’t have that reason to speak Latin.

    Just some points to consider. All the best for your new family!

  193. Hi Mary, I was referring to Kucinich’s previous presidential efforts, but I didn’t phrase my point very well, sorry! 😳

  194. Thanks for all the anti-procrastination suggestions. I’m going to try those tomorrow.

  195. @JMG. Of course you may! In as few words as possible; I agree with you about Delaney’s other fiction – forgettable. But the depiction of collapse in Dhalgren felt way too real. I thought it was the most depressing book I’d ever read. But it presented a puzzle that I felt driven to solve through many readings and re-readings, always assuming that all of the pieces could somehow be made to fit. There. That’s as few words as possible. (Sorry, I’m this way about Moby-Dick, too.)

  196. Dear JMG, I have been watching the roll-out of Central Bank Digital Currency. The USA just rolled-out FedNow DC to banks. Some African countries are already using it, and the EU and China have one planned. Gov definitely want to get rid of cash. A grocery store near me put in palm readers for payments and got rid of cash in their self-check machines. The govt would love to get rid of cash and be able to track everything we buy. Also with CBDC they can decide what can’t be bought like wrong-think books or ammo. I like planning for the future , but it seems really hard to get around the future of CBDC unless you live in a community like the Amish, and I don’t. Am I worring too much as this could still be years away ?

  197. You know what bothers me about the idea of karma? It makes too much sense. I am instinctively wary of ideas that God may think the same way we humans do. No offense intended if karma is one of your religious beliefs; it’s just that I figure I understand the mind of God about as well as an ant understands my mind. Thus, the (for example) Jewish notion that God cares what fabric your clithes are made of is perfectly acceptable to me, because it makes no sense that God would care about something so minor. But he very well might. How would I know? I’m just an ant. What say you all?

  198. Roman, the interglacial warm period peaked about 6000 years ago; it’s cooled quite a bit since then. If not for greenhouse gas emissions, we’d be moving toward an ice age; doubtless we’ll resume that movement once the fossil fuels run out.

    Hackenschmidt, that map’s got some flaws — I don’t see any indication of the big Swedish “ghost rocket” flaps in the 1930s and again in the 1950s. But the point’s valid — and the answer, of course, is that the US air force is responsible for a very large number of the sightings.

    Grover, yeah, that was what I was thinking.

    Phutatorius, duly noted. I may give it a reread one of these days.

    Karl, the first thing that will happen if central bank digital currencies come into widespread use is that alternative means of exchange will explode in popularity. People are still going to buy illegal drugs, hire sex workers, and engage in all kinds of other activities they don’t want the Fed to know about; organized crime is still going to want to make money and launder it; millions of otherwise law-abiding citizens are going to want ways around a government-controlled system — and with a demand that robust, there will be an ample supply. My guess is that the CBDCs will be launched, the mainstream media will babble on endlessly about how everyone is using them…and it will peak and decline, the way the Threads pseudo-Twitter service is doing right now. Ten years later it’ll be practically forgotten.

    Your Kittenship, do you understand enough about the law of gravity to know which way something will fall if you let go of it? That law, in your religious beliefs, was created by God, and yet you have a good basic understanding of it. Karma is the same way. It’s not a commandment, it’s an impersonal law; you may not understand the fine details but you can grasp more or less how it works.

  199. There seems to be an increasing crescendo of doom loops based on positive planetary feedback loops,moreso than usual. It’s as if they are running out of hyperbolic verbs, and hope that the addition of an ever more escalatory verb will somehow convince someone somewhere to do something.

    The response to the slowdown and potential collapse of the AMOC is indicative. Most responses ignore the negative feedback loops, which see a form of anoxia and sulfur enhanced conditions building up in the deep oceans, resulting in enhanced carbon sequestration on geological time scales. Instead, popular scientific journalism seems to focus on the obsession that if we don’t do something tomorrow, there’s some switch, oh, it’s methane, oh it’s the AMOC, or some other process, that’ll send everything into an ever growing positive feedback loop. This is despite geological evidence that points in the other direction.

    There’s a great study out on one of those stratified anoxic basins – the Black Sea – which shows exactly that process. However, I don’t think that sort of result is popular, even if its what the planet will eventually do.

    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/06/210617163658.htm

  200. Been thinking or trying to, about meta history. Is it fair to say that the common folk want sustainability, homogeneity, stability and predictability? Or some combination thereof? And that various rises and falls can be explained by the dynamics of how this plays out? Eg some societies overvalue sustainability, for example american indian, and lack an appreciation for predictability or something else, and a tale ensues thereby? What got me thinking was an article about how the osage indians practiced shaping the forest by rotating living sites. Most groups will also take amiability and prosperity if they can get it. Ideally you get a nice balance and mix. And of course people embrace one or the other in the form of illusions. But at local levels where cause and effect are close, people normally want these same things. They just differ radically on the standard and goal, but share motivation. I’m probably leaving out a few adjectives. Obviously the west summed up an illusion of this balance in the adjective, rationality or progressivity.

  201. @Marsh, #147

    For what it’s worth, in the Fortenian thought planet Earth is the physical realm of the astral/spiritual space that Catholics call Purgatory. He’s also on record claiming that it would be an inconceivable catastrophe (my words, but you get the idea) if as many as 1% of humanity reached Eternal Damnation. This is in direct contradiction with many Traditionalist that consider Damnation the natural order for non Christians, or for Christians that are not pious enough.

    Ft. Fortea falls short of proposing reincarnation as a possible solution to this apparent dilemma, but IMHO it is obvious that if we all are sinners, and if sin leads eventually to Hell, and if we are all in Purgatory regardless of us being incarnated or not at the time.. it is only natural that any non-Tyrant God would grant each soul a sufficiently large (though not necessarily infinite) number of chances to learn an not be sinners at the Benemérita Academia de los Chingadazos (Meritorious Academy of Hard Knocks). So only those most stubborn students that flunk century after century after… millenia? complete the process of corruption that leads to damnation (and eventual demonification).

  202. I won’t go near CBDC if I can help it, although I anticipate that within 5 years Social Security will be “digitized” and you will not be able to withdraw any part of it as cash. Around here, at least, there’ll be a lot of bartering going on. Even the big chain stores in Kittenville accept cash and checks—not doing so would cut into their profits too much. Maybe one of the things we should keep an eye out for when looking for a place to live is a sizable population of old people; we geezers and geezerettes tend to be suspicious of all these innovations To Serve You Better, as we learned long ago that To Serve You Better translates to To [unDruidly word] You Harder.

    Now that I think about it, I haven’t seen the latest [unDruidly word]ing advertised as To Serve You Better in a good many years. I guess everybody’s now aware of the real meaning.

    JMG, I must ponder your interesting remarks about karma.

  203. JMG

    I read somewhere that bottles of detergents are the preferred currency for purveyors of certain “substances”. It is an item used by everyone regularly; it doesn’t perish if you store it; it is convenient to procure and carry; it is anonymous; it comes in a variety of sizes – pretty much everything you want in a currency. If governments start pushing digital currencies too hard, people will no doubt find more everyday objects to use as currencies – from boxes of cereal to rolls of toilet paper.

    Speaking of money, I am sure you must have read about the Nigel Farage – Coutts bank fiasco over at the UK. Two of the bank’s top executives have resigned in disgrace. This is a very different outcome compared to what happened when the accounts of Canadian Trucker convoy were frozen last year.

  204. First! (Very interesting.)

    https://www.boredpanda.com/interesting-inventions-from-past/

    I bet a lot of that stuff still works. My mom bought a mixer in the mid-1950’s, which we inherited. My brother never knew how much it cost, but we are sure it wasn’t expensive. (We knew Mom well.). It died in April 2023.

    Can anyone recommend a reasonably sturdy mixer that doesn’t cost $300?

  205. There is a discussion here about whether the Internet will be dropped by our elites.

    In my opinion, that would not be a great loss for mankind. You have to realize how many mental problems are connected with the Internet:

    Porn addiction
    Gambling addiction
    pathological consumption of conspiracy theories
    computer game addiction
    social media addiction
    Shopping addiction

    From this perspective, the Internet seems to be a suffering factory and I think we would be better off without it. This is curious when you consider that in the pioneering phase of the Internet, people fantasized that world peace would break out because everyone was connected. This seems to reinforce the old Taostic creed that a lot of technology leads to a lot of problems.

  206. @Hackenschmidt, regarding UFOs, I saw a similar infographic before, I think that one came with some explanation that the data was gathered from English forums online, so of course the sightings are more concentrated in those areas.

    The Chinese internet world also has a fair number of UFO reports.

  207. @disc_writes
    “…each new generation is indeed was than the previous one..”

    My take nowadays is history is moving in cycles – cycles of civilizations rising and falling.

    How is it not imaginable that some generations at the peak and thereafter are less literate, disciplined, loyal, hardy than previous generations?

    It was mentioned often, the fitness training standards for the military have declined in the US, since world war one!

    Not difficult to imagine – in 1900 or so, still the vast majority of US citizens was employed in agriculture directly. Already in the 1920s and 1930s that was very different.

    Physical discipline isn’t everything, but it is an indicator.

    Nowadays applicants are, according to official sources, often too sick, unfit, depressed, or otherwise compromised to join a basic and already downgraded military service.

    Whether a generation is “good” is a question of an angle – but health has declined.

  208. Thanks, JMG, appreciate your answers.

    Re your response to Tom, “in fact there’s been some speculation that the internet may basically be possessed” I remember thinking years ago that the internet would make a really great place for something evil and energetic to hide. Glad I’m not alone – but having said that, glad is probably not entirely what I should be feeling…

  209. Hello JMG! It would be great if you could answer about the Public Science image and how this image should be destroyed!

  210. I understand you chose Rhode Island to relocate to very carefully. In regards to global warming do you believe the state is well positioned to weather the storm (no pun intended)? What about the fact that it’s a coastal state and therefore vulnerable to rising sea levels?

  211. @JMG
    Just wanted to ask a question:

    For the past 5-6 decades, it has been a common trend for educated Indians to go abroad, especially to the West, and settle down there – thus giving rise to the (rather big)Indian diaspora in the US, Canada and Australia, for instance. However, now, many are choosing to stay in India – while the quality of life here is undoubtedly far less than what it should be (I’m not pining for a First World level, but something like that of Argentina or Uruguay is no doubt desirable and even doable, IMO), a lot of opportunities in newer areas are steadily coming up. No doubt this trend will continue through the years, albeit in a slower and quieter manner than what the Indian media likes to show. That said, as the Long Descent continues, do you think that a reverse migration of people from today’s First World nations to India for economic opportunities, etc. is possible? If yes, how do you think this could play out for us Indians of South Asian origin, given that the First World is witnessing a growing public backlash against immigration? Or is it possible that we may simply absorb these new immigrants, just like the Hindu society of the past 2000 years absorbed Greco-Bactrian, Scythian and Hun invaders/immigrants into its fold, with said absorption getting reflected only in the Indian gene pool and nothing else? Or do you foresee an uglier scenario?

  212. JMG,

    Thinking about the next decade or so with foreseeable issues like inflation und various other challenges: What do you see as the advantages and, especially, as the potential disadvantages or difficulties of being in the „royalty class“?

    Milkyway

  213. JMG, a couple of small inquiries about your novel The Witch of Criswell:

    1. The book never specifies what US state the city of Adocentyn is in. Is that deliberate?

    2. I noticed that Dr. Moravec lives in a green house on Lyon Avenue. A reference to the alchemical Green Lion?

  214. JBucks #151:

    The massive flooding in Vermont earlier in July was met with the usual ‘we’re all doomed’ hyperventilation – it just had to be climate change. What else could possibly have caused all this unprecedented devastation?

    Too bad the Vermont Historical Society, way back in 2002, wrote that severe flooding was not unusual in the state, that the topography of Vermont: the mountains and deep, V-shaped valleys, along with the many streams cut by snow melt, make damaging floods relatively common. I seriously doubt that this will change any minds amongst the faithful in the Church of Climate Doom though. They have a story that works no matter what the weather does and they’re sticking to it.

  215. @Gallifrey, @Phutatorius, @JMG

    As usual, I’d like to jump in on the Samuel R. Delany comments.. I do think Dhalgren is his best novel. But as Phutatorious mentioned people seem to either love it or hate it.

    I’m reminded of a quote from Robert Anton Wilson ““Like what you like, enjoy what you enjoy, and don’t take crap from anybody.”

    I do really love some of his other books and stories too…

    In that spirit… here are my top ten books by Delany, more or less ranked, with notes in parenthesis:

    1. Dhalgren (mirrors & prisms galore, poetry, mental health and mobius strips)
    2. Stars In My Pocket Like Grains of Sand (loved the concept of cultural fugue as a time when, in this case worlds, reach a point of multiple converging crisis)
    3. Tales of Neveryon (semiotic fantasy stories)
    4. Neveryona, or the Tale of Signs and Cities (semiotic fantasy novel)
    5. Flight from Neveryon (see above)
    6. Babel-17 (fun with the Sepir-Whorf hypothesis, alien language as military code and consciousness shaper)
    7. Nova (sensory syrinx instrument, grail quest and tarot space opera)
    8. The Einstein Intersection (aliens come to a post-human earth and inhabit our advertisements as myths and a character based on Orpheus)
    9. Triton (first installment of “Some informal remarks” metafiction essay here… as well as concept of metalogic and metalogicians).
    10. The Star Pit (novella, a fun edge of the galaxy space station tale exploring social themes of fitting in -or not).

    JMG, now that you are reading all this critical theory stuff in relation to Jason Josephenson-Storm & the Disenchantment-Enchantment continuum project, you might like to check out his Neveryona books and Triton which he has appendixes in that contain the metafictional essays “Some Informal Remarks Toward the Modular Calculus”… which I enjoyed.

    Of course everyones mileage may vary!…

    And for anyone who likes radio plays WBAI used to do a yearly version of Delanay’s novella The Star Pit. It’s available on archive.org in two parts:

    https://archive.org/details/pra-BB3818.02A
    https://archive.org/details/pra-BB3818.02B

  216. about Gold and currency:
    I was thinking as an internationalist since that is the world I was immersed in for years. However, locally, people decide whatever has value for them – copper or large stones or whatever. I think that perhaps a part of the long decline is to give up the global thinking.

    about Fiat news: I did not come up with the term. I am just passing it along.

    about Violet: I did comment at her posts about this blog. I had problems that I needed to thrash out and didn’t want to disrupt this blog. That’s when I realized my brain was going wonky and seeing the doctor was necessary.

  217. The Goddess that the Neo-Paganists are saying are contacting them is a storm God of unknown name.

    Reading the commentary of “Let’s name the Goddess,” has me concluding a few things.

    One: Everything has to be defined and has to have a name. Not simply be experienced and pondered.
    Two: The Goddess of course is pissed with humans damaging the earth. I.e. their Progressive concerns are rampant.
    Three: It fits in with the “Tower Time” or the trials and tribulations that they believe are happening to them.

    Four: Nowhere else, has anyone mentioned being contacted by an unknown Goddess or whatever. People are simply going about their worship. Only the Neo-Paganists seemed to be exercised over this.

    Five: I wonder if it something that people conjured up together or did something get brought into their group.

  218. @ Princess Cutekitten #132

    I have no idea if this is relevant to what you ask. I would say my own most besetting sin is better known as “sloth”. A different way to say it is that I really, really enjoy sitting around and doing nothing, I enjoy it quite a lot!. And once I’m sitting I am really not inclined to get up unless the reason is very compelling.

    As a result, I have always done better when something “else” structures my day for me – having to GO to work, or having appointments in my diary that define my workday. I am a perennial admirer of my own husband, who can make a workplan for himself every day, and go and do it. He is the original “self-starter”! Which is why I *know* that I am so NOT a self-starter.

    Anyway, given these circumstances, what I discovered a few years ago to be a most helpful method to ME (bear in mind this is NOT a recommendation, because it may not be helpful to anyone else), is simply to NOT sit down in the morning until I have gotten all of my “chores” out of the way. This morning these included some laundry, some kitchen cleaning and forward meal prep, putting out food for the wild birds, doing my morning practices and devotions, taking in well water, taking a look at the denizens in the greenhouse, and sweeping the clinic. This took me up to about 10am at which point I made myself my first cuppa, and sat down to collect myself before my first appointment at 11am – an hour I thoroughly enjoyed! I *still* do really enjoy my sitting and lounging around time, but I’m trying to treat it as dessert, and not the main meal… (as it were). 🙂

    What I’ve found is that if I do it this way, I can be extraordinarily productive, almost without noticing it! What’s changed is that while I’m actually DOING the chores, there is little thinking involved, and, especially, I’m not wasting time *thinking* about all of the things I could or should be doing, because, well, I’m already doing them.

    So, for what it’s worth, if this helps use it, and if it doesn’t, ignore it.

    Be well.

  219. @polecat

    Friends and relatives are great people who can’t say no (mwahaha) to your generous donations of surplus canned produce. However, if you donate too much, they may start to retaliate by donating back to you. Something something circle of something.

    You can also get a chest freezer to extend and defer as well. Maybe two.

    If you want to get really fancy, there’s freeze dryers too. They make a big racket and generate lots of heat though. Which might not be a bad thing in the winter. Heat your house and do something with your surplus produce. But you can really extend and defer with one of those puppies. Really really extend and defer.

  220. To PACKSHAUD, if you happen to read this: I (S. T. Silva) talked to you long ago, failed to reply to you at a point, for which I apologize, and, when I tried, got no response. In case you see this and use a different e-mail address these days, JMG generously offered his help in putting us back in contact, should you wish to. Again, sorry.

    To JMG: thanks for the above, and in general, and sorry if you get roughly this comment twice. (If it helps Geoff: I’ve been having nonce verification failures on commenting.)

    To Bogatyr: any chance barddas.org will be public-readable again? Though I hadn’t found replies in me at the time, I liked a lot what I read.

    To Markéta Nová: have you been publishing your poems in Czech somewhere, or blogging other things in English anywhere? On the first, by now I listened to way too much Slavic metal to want poems written in Czech only in English translation (I intend to learn Russian soonish, possibly Czech later); on the second, I’ve seen you know about Into-European history and linguistics, and would like to know about anything else you may be writing (in this case – in a language I’m already fluent in!).

    Anyone with ecosophic interests may appreciate https://www.schlockmercenary.com/2018-11-07 – though it does have a very Progressive attitude: https://www.schlockmercenary.com/2018-12-03 .

  221. “Karl, the first thing that will happen if central bank digital currencies come into widespread use is that alternative means of exchange will explode in popularity. People are still going to buy illegal drugs, hire sex workers, and engage in all kinds of other activities they don’t want the Fed to know about; organized crime is still going to want to make money and launder it;…”

    Remember this from a decade ago?

    https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/03/why-are-criminals-stealing-tide-detergent-and-using-it-for-money/254631/

    Yes, I see the pun.

  222. Alvin,
    I too love your idea of raising a child speaking Latin. I hope we get to hear the results of your experiment.
    I don’t know where you live, but there may be some immigrants there who don’t have many fellow speakers of their native language and their experiences raising their children (assuming that they try to pass on their native country language more or less on their own) might be of some use for you.
    I suspect that if your child goes to learn Japanese, they will find their Mandarin far more useful than their Latin, particularly if they learn to read Mandarin. (Even if the simplified characters seem like shorthand compared to the less simplified versions that Japan uses)
    I got never got past the intermediate level (in my own estimation 🙂 ) in Mandarin, but once I got past the basic level, many of the more complex sentences made more sense to me if I thought of them as being similar to Japanese sentences but with the particles missing.
    Good luck.

  223. Here’s a mundane example of a point I think we can all agree on. The point is that the quality of goods is declining which is another example of social decline.

    We are remodeling our bathroom including a shower stall. We simply assumed, without thinking about it, that the stall would have a door which closes mechanically. But now they have been “upgraded” to include some esoteric magnetic system for closure.

    Neither our installer or the salespeople at the big box store knew about this feature. The door now has to be aligned perfectly for the system to work. Needless to say our installer has not been able to align it perfectly and is working on a workaround.

    This brings up the issue that the elites running this country are trying to eliminate independent businesses and replace them with big box chains financed by Wall Street. Isn’t this what Globalism is all about?

  224. The Other Owen @ 219,

    Yeah .. I utilized a small chest freezer, but that was before the wife decided to give it away to an acquaintance of her’s when we were in the process of putting up the polecat domicile for sale. Otherwise it would’ve been plugged in here at the new-n-happinin polecat bachelor pad – HA! A freeze dryer would be of little benefit, as it ..or any freezer.. for that matter would be relegated to the garage. There is no more room in my tiny living space that can accommodate such. As far as reciprocation is concerned, yes .. I do give away some of what I produce to friends/relatives, and on occasion receive things as well. However, I’m thinking perhaps a tip jar next to the goods might be ‘workable’… if only to help cover basic material/energy costs. We’ll see how that goes.. Thanks for the pointers though.

  225. It seems that the main stream media are at the verge of losing control of the narrative in at least two places. The actual situation and likely outcome of the war in the Ukraine, and the extent of the grifting within the Biden Family. When this happens, how do they respond. Double down on Propaganda? Divert attention to something else? Have a mea culpa moment and admit they were mislead by the government?
    The big question is will this lead to a collapse of the “official” narrative in many other areas.

  226. Thank you for your response to my question on peak oil. Made sense.
    I agree that the UFO phenomena isn’t likely to be aliens in space ships but can be other beings that have been with us always. I suppose in what most people would put in the supernatural category. However I think a certain proportion are experimental craft. Years ago I had a student whose father was a member of MUFON, an organization that collects UFO sightings. A cousin of his father stayed with the family for a couple of weeks, a member of the military, he was doing some sort of work he couldn’t talk about. We have military bases in our area. While the cousin was visiting there was a big increase in UFO sightings. When he left the sightings went back to normal. I have heard accounts from other people of objects that they have seen that could also fall into this category. Also accounts from others that would be in the “supernatural” realm.

  227. Dennis Michael Sawyers,
    TLDR: I don’t think it was you; it was Japan.
    My experience of Japan was that there were few spirits in Tokyo. A few more when we lived in the one small section that wasn’t destroyed by bombs during WW2. Japan felt ruthlessly modern and economic to me.
    There seemed to be a general sense among people that getting out of society and into nature allowed folks to be much more relaxed and real.
    Okinawa though was so alive with spirits. The islands farther south from the main Okinawan island, such as Miyako and Ishigaki, even more so. Might have helped that I had a companion with a background in the local spirituality.
    Seeing ghosts there was not “Oh my god, it’s a ghost”, but rather “Whose ghost is it and what do we need to do to bring it peace?”
    I had the sense in my years in Japan that it was a society that was still under the strong influence of some deep past trauma. Not WW2, but something much older that played a big role in creating the disaster that WW2 was for Japan.
    I once spent a couple of weeks about an hour outside of Berlin, in an area that had been East Germany. There, it felt like the usual spirits of the land had somehow been scraped off completely. All that was there was deeper spirits that move at a much slower pace than humans, spirits that were just noticing the fall of the Roman Empire. [Which doesn’t completely make sense because I don’t think Rome ever reached anywhere near that far, so around Berlin should have been even outside the zone along the imperial border that was subject to centuries of raiding and depredation by Rome.]

  228. JMG – please delete this if my prior one went though – my old computer is a bit quirky.

    Jmg – Thank you for your response. When digital systems are viewed as a tool rather than a service, it seems clear the elites have much of the control. I had expected more people to withdraw usage due to crapified service, abuse of service-denial/surveillance function or escalating energy requirements. Instead, more and more basics seem to require escalating usage, including smart phone apps and “confidential” medical records.

    Bofur and Anonymous. The Hippocratic Oath was largely disabled when HMO’s got special treatment without accountability. The alternatives, using vague terms like population health, were never accepted by clinicians. Eventually, most institutions dropped the oaths. I posted the Hippocratic Oath in my office, and know many others who did the same.

    Physician assisted suicide, as well as futile heroic care, are both problematic. Patients, and their families, should ideally make these decisions – ideally with authentic pro-patient professional recommendations – but mandates often get in the way. At least in the US, families are often unable to completely disregard potentially horrendous costs (while private equity owners take advantage). Sometimes living wills are ignored by family, doctors or administrator hired-hands, care is denied unless all offered is accepted (no middle ground), or all care is denied for various reasons (?$$). Long-term trusted independent caregivers are replaced by corporate short-term employees/contractors, who spout the approved guidelines rather than seek the best care or most reasonable care. This system appears to be breaking down – let us hope for better alternatives.

  229. @ Beekeeper in Vermont re #225

    Not just Vermont. The 1936 flood which hit much of New England puts anything we’ve received so far this year in the shade. It was a late winter/early spring weather pattern which led to so much damage that it prompted the Army Corp of Engineers to build flood walls, levees etc in the hopes of mitigating future flooding.

    https://newenglandhistoricalsociety.com/great-new-england-flood-1936/#:~:text=The%201936%20flood%20badly%20damaged,and%20towns%20suffered%20flood%20damage.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8tz9fYYU2E

    If the tornado that hit Berlin New Hampshire back in 1929 occurred today, I’m sure fingers would point to climate change to explain the freak occurrence.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBn4_dLh6nQ

    Not everything is the result of climate change. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. But the hyperventilators are going to hyperventilate so what can you do?

  230. @JMG

    On leaving Europe: I wonder where to?
    Me as a 35 year old man alone stands not many chances any ways. A 25 year old woman will certainly be received easier, anywhere on this planet.

    You previously said the US has better circumstances still than the EU. I would agree, there is much much more arable land in reserve, legacy oil production, legacy coal production, a lot of wilderness to fish and hunt.

    That is more than can be said of the EU.

    What @Viduraawakened said is what I have thought since a time – India may be a logical destination for immigrants around the world of various sorts. Maybe.

    The official language in common use is English, that’s a major advantage of course, over China for example. Not that I’d expect every Indian to speak it, but it is certainly common in public affairs.

    Since India is a rising industrial power, globally seen maybe something of a legacy industrial power, where the remnants of modern production shift.
    There will be academic jobs and certainly trade jobs, and *some* of them may be done by foreign specialists. I would not be surprised.

    Apart from the US and India – my feeling about India is better – the rest of the world does not seem too alluring.
    Northern Africa – rather not. Sub Sahara Africa? May be a center of civilization in the future, but for now, is still in the barbarian founders stage. South America? Depends where, if anything then Chile, Uruguay or Argentina and they are highly dependend nations, I doubt they can do like India does.

    Singapore, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia may also be candidates, and China, but that is already in dire situation.

    Any takes on this one?

    What do you expect for Europe, in a vague big picture, JMG? A post soviet catabolic collapse, but Russia after the times of the SU at least still had ample resources..! We do not.

  231. Last week, commenter Cliff wrote: “My sense is that I have no idea what Buddhism is in Asia, but in America it’s atheism with a side of soy sauce.”

    Well, maybe, but sauce is often what makes a dish palatable. I am a French Buddhist, and I think it may be useful to some readers of this blog to know what Buddhism can be to a Westerner. I discovered Buddhism through books, but what decided me to make a formal conversion to Theravada Buddhism was some conversations with Vietnamese friends who introduced me to Sri-Lankan monks in 1995. I was 38.

    I was raised a Catholic, although as far as I know there were few true believers in my family, Catholicism was more like a tradition. I lost my Catholic faith when I was 14 or so, like many do.

    Basically, I am a natural/scientific pantheist who relies on Buddhism for moral guidance, and so far it did a lot of good to me. I am also very interested in paganism, especially the Greco-Roman tradition, but for me it is only a tradition, albeit one which I deem very important.

    Buddhism made me happier and more serene. I don’t boast about being a Buddhist, but I don’t conceal it either. I am not a vegetarian. Interestingly, I didn’t lose a single Christian friend after my conversion, and I remained the populist conservative I’ve always been.

    The Buddha, the Dharma (doctrine) and the Sangha (community) are the three refuges of a Buddhist. Where I live, here in France, Buddhists are mostly East Asian and Sri-Lankan immigrants wishing to retain their culture, so it’s like there is no Western Buddhist Sangha here.

    I guess that American Buddhism-Lite converts had experiences similar to mine. And, presumably, they, too, have become happier and more serene after their conversion.

  232. The article

    https://www.theguardian.com/music/2023/jul/28/falling-in-love-the-sinead-oconnor-i-knew

    ends with the note:
    The author is donating the fee from this article to Papyrus UK Suicide Prevention.

    My Danish lama of Tibetan Buddhism said that dying by suicide generates negative karma because one dies in the very act of killing, without time for remorse or regret. He taught that the exact circumstances matter, so I am sure that this negative karma would be greatly mitigated in Sinead’s case, but still good to send her extra good wishes.

  233. @Dékete moi sónt, #232.

    No, the blog has served its purpose, and is unlikely to be public again. I’m glad you found it interesting. I hope to expand some of its material into one or more books, but even if I can find a publisher I have several other projects to get out of the way first.

    On that topic, though… JMG, I don’t know whether you ever read my Barddas blog other than my review of your Coelbren book; if you did, do you have any suggestions for UK publishers who might be interested in that kind of Druid-related content? Any pointers appreciated!

  234. Hackenschmidt,
    I would be skeptical of any map of UFO sightings that did not show a large concentration in Brazil. However real or not all this is, a lot of folks in Brazil think it is and have for a long time.

  235. As a long time, long-timer, I notice you’re now letting leak a bit more about your personal path. Thank you for that JMG.

  236. @David #233 – you better believe it.
    Re: Dhalgren – I read it back in my Delaney days. My take on it then was “Dullgren.” Maybe if I read it again today I’d change my mind.

  237. On the plastics meets fast fashion front,

    “Shein, a Chinese company with its headquarters in Singapore, has become a lightning rod for environmental criticism. Its production speed and volumes far outpace those of more established fast fashion brands, which were themselves coming under fire for encouraging people to think of clothes as disposable. Shein’s explosion onto the marketplace, critics say, has accelerated that shift in the wrong direction from what the planet needs; H&M is said to release around 25,000 different products per year and Zara, 35,000; in the same timeframe, Shein’s product drops are estimated at 1.3 million.

    Producing that volume of clothing at that speed cannot possibly be done sustainably, experts say — both because of the need for cheap materials (64 per cent of Shein’s materials use polyester, making Shein the world’s largest user of the petroleum-based material, according to Bloomberg) and cheap, potentially exploitative labour, and also because there is no place in the world for people to responsibly put all of those clothes when they’ve finished with them.”

    According to statists, “In 2021, global polyester fiber production stood at 60.53 million metric tons.”

    It’s very hard to burn cleanly, doesn’t decompose, and it makes a poor cleaning rag.

  238. Roman #236:

    The war they’re waging is against practical stuff that works and lasts.

    My grandmother bought a refrigerator in 1957, just before my parents married. It was still running when she died in 2007. So was her magnificent gas stove, which was installed in the 1940’s.

    Grandma also had the best kitchen sink. It was a huge enameled cast iron thing that had terrific dish drain areas built into the sides. Incredibly useful, but do they make anything like that these days? No. Everything new seems (to me at least) to be a cheap simulacrum of familiar stuff, but without any of the quality.

  239. What do you make of the fact that multiple US agencies, including the FBI, now treat the lab leak hypothesis for COVID (you know, the obvious one — not that that makes it correct, granted) as true or at least plausible while many in the journalist class continue to denounce anyone who believes or advocates it?

    The obvious explanation is that they are too proud to admit they were so wrong for so long, but journalists have always been pretty good at memory-holing their mistakes, so why not just do that now?

    The second explanation I can come up with is that this is a naked power play, a kind of “Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?” but then that just seems truly bananas, all risk and no reward.

    Am I missing something?

  240. Re: the alien revelations in Washington.

    I just saw this tweet by Billboard Chris:
    “It’s not possible for aliens to be so smart that they can travel across the galaxy, defying all known laws of physics, only to be hidden by the most incompetent people on planet Earth — government bureaucrats.

    They have never been here.”

    He makes a fair point.

  241. Curt @ 244, if you were to settle in the USA would you be willing to: offer instruction, for a fee, naturally, in your native language, translate news articles (or website content) into English, again for a fee, I don’t ask you to work for free, and maybe write a blog or some essays about history, culture, traditions of your native country? I cannot be the only American who finds our collective ignorance embarrassing, and I think migrants should be willing to share more than exotic food and traditional holidays.

  242. @beekeeper

    The Media(tm) along with most other hoomans, live on what I like to call “Three Week Island”. They only know of last week, this week and next week. Anything else that happens is a genuine surprise to them.

    So you get such stories every summer that amount to “Gee it’s so hot”, and it sounds like those flooding stories are very much along those lines – “Gee it’s flooding everywhere”. And next year they’ll be back saying the same thing again with breathless earnestness. Like with an 80s top 40 hit, it’s OK the first three times you hear it and then it gets old and then you start to hate the artist who’s annoying you.

    I suppose it can be pleasant to live on Three Week Island, most of the time. I suppose it’s better than Three Mile Island. Then again, maybe they’re the same place.

  243. Peter, of course. Since the people who are doing the screaming aren’t willing to take the one action that would matter — cutting back on their own resource use by changing their lifestyles — they’re getting frantic to find some way to keep pretending to be the Good People, and shrieking about doom loops is part of that. Thank you very much for the link; I’m planning on a post sometime soon about climate change, criticizing both sides as usual, and this is grist for the mill.

    Celadon, I don’t thnk “the common folk” of all places and times can be summed up that easily. People are different, and so are cultures.

    Anonymuz, exactly. Where there is a demand, there will be a supply, if it’s physically possible to provide one — and it’s always possible to come up with some medium of exchange. Here’s a shallow but fun article on a few historical examples. As for the Coutts scandal, what astonishes me is that the perps are being challenged on that. Things are definitely changing.

    Executed, one of the embarrassing common features of modernity is that every new technology is hailed as the key to world peace. When airplanes were new, there was endless media drivel about how they would make borders obsolete and end war. Many of the people who wrote and believed those claims were still alive to see London flattened by German air raids.

    Marsh, I’m not sure if there’s a word for the complex emotion that comes when you find out you’re not the only person who’s recognized a serious problem. But there should be such a word…

    Yiğit, I’m not sure I follow you. Perhaps you could explain in more detail what you mean.

    Joshua, rising sea levels are a serious issue, but the speed at which they’re rising has been massively overstated by the doombat brigade. We’re talking a few inches a year when it really picks up speed, which it hasn’t yet. I live 70 feet above sea level; the whole community in which I live is around that altitude, and none of its critical infrastructure is in any danger of flooding in the next century or two. Since I’m 61 years old and have no children, sea level rise is not going to flood my basement in any time scale that needs to affect my locational planning. I really do need to do another post on climate change soon, don’t I?

    Viduraawakened, India is rising toward great power status and will become one of the richest nations of the world in another century or so — just as it was before the European conquest. You bet there’s going to be a migration back there, and I expect (though I won’t live to see) plenty of conflict between immigrants and the local population. Then, a few centuries down the road, there’ll be a new wave of migration outward as opportunities start drying up — the usual process as a great power peaks and begins its next decline.

    Milkyway, in times like these those of us who live on book royalties or the equivalent have to be nimble, flexible, and productive. Resting on your laurels is a ticket to failure; it’s essential to keep looking for new venues and audiences for your work, while keeping existing publishers and audiences happy, and to try new things all the time. Fail to do that and you become last year’s news, and poverty is always waiting to keep you company. The one big upside is that if you’re in the royalty class and keep producing, your income rises on average each year; writers are notoriously poor when they’re young, but once they’re old, when they’ve got shelves of books in print, they’re usually pretty comfortable.

    James, (1) it’s wholly deliberate. To be precise, it’s a state that doesn’t exist, somewhere on the Atlantic seaboard north of Florida and south of Maine; the cities, towns, bays, rivers, and everything else you’ll encounter in the novel and its sequels are entirely made up. (2) Good! Yes.

    Justin, somehow it doesn’t surprise me at all that you’re a Delany fan. 😉 I’ll consider giving a book or two of his another read. As for dengue, yep. I’m watching that too — though I wonder if there might be some cause or other of widespread immune system failure that isn’t being mentioned.

    Neptunesdolphins, Jehovah started out as a storm god…

    David BTL, it does indeed. The future is here, it’s just not widely distributed yet.

    Siliconguy, exactly. Where there’s a demand, if physical reality permits, there will be a supply!

    Roman, yeah, the term I’ve heard for that is “crapification.” Your example, which is a good one, might be called technological crapification — replacing a simple technology that works with a complicated technology that doesn’t.

    Clay, I’m watching both those stories with a great deal of interest. A third one that seems to be moving in the same direction is the latest attempt to push the UFO business. This meme caught my eye:

    Moose, a significant fraction of the sightings are US military experimental craft. Do you recall the days when UFOs suddenly looked like black triangles? That happened when the US was secretly testing the first stealth planes, which looked like…

    Gardener, that is to say, the system is trying to force people to use the internet, whether they want to or not. That should come as no surprise.

    Curt, almost anywhere, really. The US would be a logical choice, though — it’s facing a severe crunch in the not too distant future but should stabilize and function well on the far side. As for Europe’s fate, it depends on a galaxy of factors, but I expect it to become impoverished, depopulated, and even more obviously under someone else’s control than it is now.

  244. Hi JMG and Commentariate,

    I have noticed certain tools I have used for years now in a certain daily ritual have taken on certain qualities that I won’t name here. A wonderful development really. Seeing the results of all this work is very encouraging!

  245. I think, several lifetimes ago, I made a truly horrible mistake, and one of the more damaging consequences of that mistake is that I opened myself up to the Infernal Realms, an effect which I think is still a factor for me to this day. Do you have advice for how to go about reducing the impact of this link? I doubt I’ll be able to close the link in a single lifetime; it may not even be possible to ever undo the connection I made, but I’d like to minimize the damage it causes. I have daily prayer asking for divine guidance, and daily banishing rituals, but I’m curious if there’s anything else you’d suggest doing to minimize the harms.

    Since you often ask what kinds of magic people know how to do, I currently use classic Golden Dawn material; I can perform the LBRP, Middle Pillar, and Rose Cross rituals, and am working meditation into my routine; my daily prayers are to the planets when I wake, and to my higher self before bed. I’m not against learning something else, but I’d like to stick with what I have as it seems to work for me.

  246. Thanks JMG! What I’m trying to explain is to oppose the belief in Progress in general, which Theodore Roszak refers to as “industrial necessity,” also as you said in the last paragraph of your “The Myth of Modernity”, but more specifically from “Science as ideology” to “Science as the study of Nature”. as a return, stripped of any ideology, that is, as Theodore Roszak said again, he said that “science” is a part of human knowledge, and in addition, we need to bring other ways of acquiring knowledge to the place they deserve, that is, “superstition” to other kinds of knowledge that our age refers to as the Enlightenment. ‘ tagging the label bluntly means “you can cut off anyone’s tongue and speak! I gave you freedom of speech! I gave you democracy!”, meaning that other kinds of knowledge are given their due place, such as the ‘Ritual of Opening the Mouth’ mentioned in the Ancient Egyptian ‘Book of the Dead’. These mouths need to be opened and deserved respect! I meant this.

  247. JMG, Thanks for your detailed reply!

    @Nachtgurke #70, Thanks, that’s a good idea. Or the Alemannic area. Hm…

    @Jare-Bear #71, And thanks to you, too! I’ll have a look at Mark’s stuff.

    Hope everybody is going to have a wonderful and relaxed weekend! 🙂

    Milkyway

  248. @Justin Patrick Moore: My next favorite books by Delaney after “Dhalgren” are non-fiction. Namely, “Heavenly Breakfast” and “The Motion of Light in Water.” His lit-crit has not made a big impression on me. His out-and-out gay porn novel, “Hogg” — well, I’ll leave that for someone else to read, though if they turn to the exact center of “Dhalgren” they can get about a ten page preview.

  249. @ Kim A. #182, if I may: Throughout all times there have been trickles and waves of exodus. And in all those times the spectrum of staying to leaving and thriving to dying was filled in all possible variations. I’d say that usually times of mass migration are times of chaos. If I look at what happened to my ancestors during WWII, for example, some died because they fled, others died because they stayed, but others still lived because they left and many also lived because (or although?) they stayed.

    I suspect the most important part is to know yourself. The way your home or some distant country will develop might be hard to predict. But if you know yourself you might assess, for example, how you resonate with your immediate surrounding and that might provide a clue.

    I don’t know if you are inclined to practice some kind of divination. If I remember correctly, JMG said at some point that magic and divination thrive during times of crisis and especially in those circles who are powerless in relation to the elites who “run” society, which doesn’t surprise me at all. All I can say with my very modest experience is that divination can be a very rewarding way of reflecting your own thoughts and being and assessing the environment and how you resonate with it. And going for a walk daily for an hour or so. That’s probably even more valuable.

    Quoting Sun Tzu is always fitting (and of course very cool): “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

    Cheers,
    Nachtgurke

  250. As for the concern about CBDCs, if the pandemic taught us nothing else – and it taught us a lot else – it’s that what you do in life is, keep your expenses down, “collapse” as much as possible, and muddle through whatever gets thrown at you. This won’t be different.

  251. JMG – You once wrote an essay about deep time and the … hm … ridiculousness of the term “anthropocene”. In it, if I remember correctly, you mapped the time from the supposed beginning of life on earth to it’s presumable end in the distant future onto the timescale of one year. What I do not remember is if it was already during Ecosophiacene or back in the distant past of ADR. Thus I don’t know if a link still exist – and even worse I don’t have one. Can you – or anybody else who remembers – possibly help me with this?

    Greetings,
    Nachtgurke

  252. @Jeff Russell #158
    You mentioned home groups in regular churches– Here’s my bit on that;
    I have a lot of experience with that, and it is quite a bit like the home church environment.
    In a standard church, you have to have an excuse for any activity you do, so the home meeting is usually done under the label of ‘Bible Study.’ I preferred ‘Small Group,’ but this term can be alarming to church administrators.

    In practice, we would meet one or twice a week in a member’s home (meeting site rotates) and start off with a potluck dinner. After that, singing — usually Christian folk tunes or hymns that people know by heart. If you think about it, group singing is the only ritual, the only shared/participatory spiritual experience, that is left to the typical protestant/enlightenment Christian church.

    After that, sharing and prayers– What is going on with our lives? Often just the sharing reveals things that other group members could help with. Prayers for all issues.

    After that, Bible study on a pre-arranged topic, with discussion.

    After that, cleanup.

    Occasionally there is a special celebration or ritual, like a Christian seder (passover) supper, or foot-washing ceremony.

    Those are the bare bones of the program.– But the more important part is the egregore of the group that arises from their interactions.

    Patting the Elephants
    One of my friends, a retired zookeeper, told me about ‘Patting the Elephants.’ In the zoo, it is important for a keeper known to the elephants to go into the elephant pen once or twice a day and pat the elephants. Elephants are wild animals and can cause a great deal of harm, so it is important to get them used to the idea that when a human touches them, it is at least possible that nothing bad will happen to them. Then, if they have foot trouble (big in elephants), or need a shot, or any other veterinary attention, the attending vet and zookeeper are much more likely to survive the encounter.
    This is also true of people. Each and all of us will need help at some point in our lives. Maybe personal and embarrassing help, maybe many times.

    Being in a Small Group works much the same. When you let other people into your home, they begin to know you as you are. This is the most terrifying aspect of such a group. In your own home, the truth about you comes out. But you find out that these folks you are with accept you as you are. When you visit their homes, you find out the truth about them, and you accept them as they are. It is very liberating! Then the developing egregor of the group (I am describing this in the language of occult students), or perhaps the Spirit of the Living God, finds good works and other ways to bless the neighbors all around. In a year or less, the small group becomes the high point of everyone’s week. These have become your closest friends. And so, who do you call first when disaster strikes? Your fellow small group members, of course!

    Why is the church admin so set against them?
    It is not always the case that the admin goes against them, but in my experience this usually happens. First, successful small groups explode the myth that church attendance is mandatory to experience spiritual growth. Second, what happens there is not under the oversight or control of church admin, and that makes them nervous. Third, offerings are not taken so there is no money in it for them. Fourth, if most real spiritual growth occurs outside of the sanctuary or church building, it lessens enthusiasm for the building program.
    Fifth- With spiritual growth comes independent thinking and different ideas.
    JMG has observed that some occult study groups tend to ‘pup their own new versions’ of one group or another. I have come to think that this is natural, and not a bad thing.

    Consider the development of children–
    Children are like bonsai trees. When the gardener plants them in the restrictive pot, she has a plan for what the bonsai will look like, and she trims the roots to shape the tiny tree. But the tree has ideas too. Sometimes the gardener wins, and sometimes the tree wins. At maturity, there is a beautiful tree! It may not be exactly the tree that the gardener or the tree had in mind, but lovely all the same.
    We raise our children as best we can, and not all of our plans work out for them. Sooner than we think, they are on their own. They make their own decisions and their own lives. Do they remember all the things we taught them? Of course they do! Do they agree with everything? Probably not, and this is good in many cases. Your adult children turn out differently from what you expected, but this is most often a beautiful thing.

    In the same way, people may well be ‘raised in the church,’ but when they reach spiritual maturity they often use that spiritual toolkit to reach a different destination.
    It is currently fashionable in mainline denominations to lock people into the dependency of spiritual infancy, where they can be controlled, ruled by guilt and regularly milked for cash. This is reprehensible, IMHO. Better to let the growth happen…

    Sorry for the lengthy post Jeff & everyone. Hope that is helpful!

  253. “As for dengue, yep. I’m watching that too — though I wonder if there might be some cause or other of widespread immune system failure that isn’t being mentioned.”

    Speak of the devil, the latest Doom has arrived.

    “Alpha-gal syndrome (AGS) is a serious, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that arises after people eat red meat or consume products with alpha-gal, a type of sugar found in most mammals, the CDC says. The syndrome is typically caused by a bite from the lone star tick, which transfers alpha-gal into the victim’s body which in turn triggers an immune system response. The CDC says the number of AGS cases are underdiagnosed in the U.S. and — despite the spread of the condition — many clinicians aren’t even aware it exists, let alone how to diagnose it. Between 2010 and 2022, there were more than 110,000 cases of AGS identified, according to the CDC.

    The agency estimates the actual number of cases may be as high as 450,000 but notes the syndrome is underdiagnosed due to factors including that diagnosis requires a test, some providers are not familiar with AGS and some people with symptoms don’t get tested. AGS symptoms can include hives or itchy rash, nausea or vomiting, heartburn or indigestion, diarrhea, shortness of breath, and severe stomach pain. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and typically occur two to six hours after consuming products with alpha-gal. […] From 2010 to 2018, more than 34,000 suspected cases were identified. However, over the 2017-2022 study period, some 357,000 tests were submitted, resulting in just over 90,000 positive results. The number of new cases increased by about 15,000 each year during the five-year study period, with most cases occurring in the Southern, Midwestern, and Mid-Atlantic U.S., the CDC found.

    “Alpha-gal syndrome is an important emerging public health problem, with potentially severe health impacts that can last a lifetime for some patients,” Dr. Ann Carpenter, and epidemiologist and lead author of one of the CDC studies, said in a statement.”

    So immune systems are going deranged. They are letting glorified chest colds run wild and get all excited about things that are supposed to be harmless. On the other hand the great celiac disease crises seems to have petered out.

    No one was allergic to much of anything except poison ivy and ragweed pollen when I was a kid.

  254. Dear friends, I’d like to share what’s going on in my life. My experiment on “escaping the Matrix” has run into some serious drawbacks and this actually was my first week back as an engineer.

    I am sad that I was never able to make a living out of my alt-healthcare skills, and I found myself devoting more and more time and energy to teaching as a short term solution to make a quick buck. The pay was marginally better but never quite enough, and the work demands too high in comparison (at least if you happen to take the profession seriously).

    I have been blessed in many ways, and my timid practices[1] on the occult seem to have paid off. I landed a job in a Voice IP project (telephony over Internet), so I will be working in neutral infrastructure that presumably can be used for the good of the people and thus preserve my honor (at some point I was contacted by a very well known, overtly-laws-be-damned, SV company, the pay was 3X, but in the end I declined the candidacy). My short term plan is to recover, payoff debt and refill the war chest. I will be sure to give it another go but I don’t know in what time frame.

    On my teaching career, my direct coordinator was on vacation, so I had to present my resignation note to the principal of the school. I got a very strong sense that he was looking for an amicable way to say that I was about to be sacked, but then I cut him off and said that “the problem might have solved itself”. There’s some feelings of betrayal because I was encouraged, at the end of last term, to work for no pay in documenting everything I did in order to have more efficient class planning down the road. I know it was not just me, it was a general trend at the school. Also, my former coworkers are being asked to prepare 2 weeks worth of “emergency classes”, that can be overseen by an education with no knowledge of the subject being taught. Talk about dodging a bullet!!!

    Anyways, I will not pretend the last few years were not a failure: I set a goal and I failed to accomplish it. But I expect to do better next time and to learn form this experience. Thank you for your support all along. Specially thanks to John Micheal Greer for presenting me with a cosmovision that is realist and still much more worth living than the standard expectations of Da World.

    [1] I have never conceived myself as a good match for the mage path. I aspire to be an occultist, but my mystic streak is stronger than I like to admit. A series of fortunate synchronicities related with a charm coin that did belong to my grandfather has encouraged me to work on some overdue practices that I should have started long ago. But as they say, the best time was back then, the second best time is today.

  255. Hi John Michael,

    I tend to believe that we are smart enough to have gotten ourselves into this mess, and we’ll be smart enough to get us out of this mess – we’re just not smart enough to keep the mess going, let alone progressing. 😉

    What do you reckon about that? I’d like to believe I made that up, but sadly could have equally read it elsewhere. Ideas have a way of filtering outwards.

    In my day to day life I have a lot of interactions with other species, and the above is true for them as well. Observing the parrots here over many years (and there are a couple of varieties), they’d do exactly the same, and you can see their populations swell in some years, and then decline as resources become less available. They also adapt too, oh yeah. At this time of year when the pickings are slim, the parrots will follow the dogs around the farm, and oh yeah, this really happens…

    Anyway, the future is baked into the cake. And as you rightly say, there are heaps of people pushing hard on the doom button (the ocean circulation issue was the latest in a long string of over hyped future scenarios). Will it happen, sure, and it will probably be a bad thing. But the mere fact that worry and anxiety seems to be the desired response to the information, rather than substantive change, well, that says everything I need to know. They’d rather die, and have their kids die, than make any changes that matter. And the kids don’t get a free pass either, they want their European holidays and big cars too.

    Necessity is what will force change. What’s your thoughts about this? I would be interested to read an essay from you on the subject of Climate Change.

    Cheers

    Chris

  256. “Moose, a significant fraction of ufo sightings as US military experimental craft”…

    So.. Mr. Greer

    What fraction of ufo sightings do you attribute to Russian (orrr, pray tell Sino) experimental tech… I mean, C’mon.. they are LIGHTYEARS ahead of anything Northrop Grumman, Lockheed, or Boeing has to offer, right?? The current USuk + HATO induced Ukraine imbrogio proves this out, no?

    The West’s mantra: “We come in peace… We come in Peace … We come in Peace
    … We come in Peace” …… well, not really..

    In the words of a great celuloid planetary representative:

    “ack” … “aaack” …. “!!ATTACKTACK!!”

    Just about says it all, don’t it?

    Don’t know about you, but I’m keeping Slim of Whitman right close to my bursting chest! ..Cuz ya never know whos’s head needs exploding- just to be sure.

    Tongue firmly in human cheek ‘;]

    * yes yes .. I co-mangled a few metaphors…. sorry, well… no really.

  257. Princess Cutekitten #132,
    My approach is a bit different from Scotlyn’s, but it might help, or not. I found myself saying “I can’t be bothered” a lot so I have stopped that. I clean at least some part of my bathroom each day. It is an awkward room and if I try one big clean, I lose interest pretty soon. I don’t start too early in the day, especially in winter. If I am reading a hard book I like to do that first so I can still concentrate. I have breakfast then make the bed. After that I fiddle around. i might clean out a drawer, then dust around that area and generally tidy that bit of the ouse. THe computer has lost interest. In between I start to prepare my evening meal early. It is odd but I used to be pretty hard working but not anymore. Age probably has a lot to do with it too. Pushing 80 sounds older than I feel but there it is.
    Just keep moving and spend as much time on what you enjoy as you can. Remember dust is forever so don’t think you will ever win against it.

  258. JMG and Roman, if I could add my two cents on this AGW issue, I read a while back that hippos were lolling in Britain around a quarter million years ago. I just googled the topic and it appears that hippos regularly made their way north as the climate warmed.

    Now they’ve found hippo remains in Somerset a million years old, beating the previous record by a few hundred thousand years. Apparently hippos were also in other parts of northern Europe around the same time. Looks like recurring periods of subtropical climate in the more northern realms.

    Around thirty years ago I read a book on this business of fluctuating climate. The author said that 5 thousand years ago there was no northern pack-ice which corresponds more or less to what JMG said about a peak interglacial warm period about six thousand years ago.

    Earth’s climate does what it does, whether or not it suits us, and if we’ve managed to inadvertently forestall another glacial onset through carbon emissions, well, imagine the alternative, a steadily cooling climate and the Earth in the grip of several million cubic miles of glacial ice. Not fun. But as JMG sez it’s a temporary reprieve. When fossil fuels run out, and they will run out, and if there’s anything to the theory of the Milankovich Cycle then maybe it’ll be time for another go.

    Funny how the question that Roman raised gets precious little airtime. And if there’s anything to the Milankovitch theory of glacial onset and recession, given that it’s based on orbital variations, you’d think we’d be able to set our watches by it. Ok I exaggerate.

    But why the mystery surrounding this? I wonder, is there any estimate for when the Milankovitch theory forecasts another glacial onset, 1) in the absence of human carbon emissions 2) with human carbon emissions included in the calculation?

    Is there any other theory that comes up with a date range, or that does a bang-up job at post-diction? Because maybe then it can be used for prediction, cranked of course for human activity. But with modern politized science, maybe just forget about it.

  259. A rant. The connectivity breakthrough was achieved by 1940 with the telegraph, telephone, radio, six day a week mail delivery, cars, trains, planes, ships, ordering through catalogs, libraries, bookstores, newspapers, magazines, movie cameras, regular cameras – television and the internet, personal computers and the smart phone were not wonderful gee whiz positive transformational progress!

  260. @siliconguy #178: I found the Greenland article truly interesting. I also don’t think there were any hysterics involved. A world with half of Greenland ice-free might not be worse than the current world – it might even be better depending on the details. That doesn’t change the fact that on the way to that other world the seaside installations of most coastal cities would drown, just as the authors point out. You don’t relocate a city of millions further inland in a breeze.

  261. Hey JMG

    Have you ever read the auto-bio of famous western writer Louis l’armour “Education of a wandering man”? I am almost halfway through and so far it is quite an interesting read, both as proof that vagrancy and a lack of job certainty aren’t a barrier to self education or reading for pleasure as many think, and the fact that he touches on many themes you have written about such as the Eurocentricism of history, and the fact that he also read Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Thomas Mann and a few other writers you have mentioned.

  262. Interesting point in King in Orange that in 1918 Spengler predicted that Caesarism, where charismatic leaders challenge plutocracy, would soon return but be initially defeated. What was this first wave of rebellion? Could it have been Eugene V. Debs?

  263. Hi JMG,

    Several weeks ago, a commenter over on your other blog mentioned a book by anthroposophist Thomas Mayer titled “Covid Vaccines from a Spiritual Perspective.” What very little I know about Anthroposophy I’ve gleaned from your comment sections over the years. The book sounded interesting, so I bought it and am nearly to the end. So far, my take on what Thomas Mayer says is:

    Both the virus and the shots (esp. the mRNA) are heavily influenced by entities that are not native to our universe and are deeply anti-human. So anti-human, in fact, that they are the primary force behind the entire transhumanism movement. Their objective is to separate humans from their spiritual life, and turn them into, essentially, machine-like beings. Easy to control. Slaves, essentially. The entire covid drama is a part of this grand plan.

    The humans behind this project are essentially useful idiots, lured by the usual desire for power over others.

    For such a potentially upsetting book, he strikes an impressive balance between despair and hope. His objective is to provide information, and ways to use it to benefit ourselves and others.

    Have you read this book? If so, may I ask your take on it?

    Thanks as always,
    OtterGirl

  264. I just had a very, very weird and troubling thought: if the internet is basically possessed, then any kind of sudden shift away from it’s hold could, in theory, indicate that whoever is behind it has done what it wants with the internet and no longer cares as much about keeping it up and running. This makes it remarkably disturbing that the start of the trends we’re tracking which suggest a possible shift among the elite classes away from being willing to support the internet seems to correspond rather nicely with the time when the Covid vaccine push started winding down….

  265. Bogatyr, I’m sorry to say I didn’t — a lot of good blogs go unread by me because there aren’t enough hours in the day, and most of them have to go to making a living. The crucial issue in selling Druid-related manuscripts to publishers is whether or not they’re of interest to people outside the Druid community. If they are, you can place them quite easily with small to midsize occult publishers, of which the UK has several dozen at least. If not, you’re probably better off self-publishing; there are plenty of Druids, but most of them are off on their own unique trips and may not be interested in yours.

    Cobo, you’re most welcome.

    Siliconguy, thanks for the data point.

    Slithy, this sounds like a limited hangout to me — that’s the spook-speak term for letting some of the truth out in the hopes of distracting attention from something bigger and more explosive. The question is what that latter might be.

    Beekeeper, ha! I like that.

    Ian, good. That’s a positive sigh.

    Anonymous, what you’re doing is exactly what you should be doing. Just keep at it.

    Kurtyigit56, hmm. I’ll consider a post on that.

    Nachtgurke, it was back in the Archdruidic period, in two parts. You can find them here:

    https://thearchdruidreport-archive.200605.xyz/2016/10/the-myth-of-anthropocene.html
    https://thearchdruidreport-archive.200605.xyz/2016/10/an-afternoon-in-early-autumn.html

    Siliconguy, “alpha gal syndrome” sounds like it ought to refer to a surplus of bossy women…

    CR, sorry to hear that it didn’t work out for you, but them’s the breaks. May the new gig work well!

    Chris, I like it! As for an essay on climate change, that’s on the boards now. It’s really quite amusing to watch both sides babbling nonsense on the subject.

    Polecat, the Russians and Chinese don’t need to pretend that their latest experimental craft are flying saucers. They simply test them in their respective sections of Central Asia, and since they had the brains not to create a subculture convinced that alien life clusters around a certain Nevada airbase, they just mark certain regions off limits and handle things in the usual way.

    Smith, back in the 1970s and 1980s there were some interesting theoretical movements toward such a method, but those have been deep-sixed and it’s hard to find them these days.

    Moose, thanks for this.

    J.L.Mc12, hmm! No, I haven’t read it.

    Roman, er, I trust you’ve heard of certain people named Mussolini, Hitler, Stefan Bandera, et al.? They were part of the first wave of Caesarism. (Spengler wasn’t impressed; he said, after meeting Hitler, “What Germany needs is a hero (ein Held), and what we’ve got instead is a heldentenor.”)

    OtterGirl, I haven’t had the chance to read it yet. I’ve read some articles by him, and they struck me as interesting but inconclusive: more information needed.

    Anonymous, yes, that would follow, wouldn’t it?

  266. Two questions about two of your books:

    1) The Occult Philosophy Workbook
    In your Magic Mondays FAQ you group books together based on compatibility. Where does the Occult Philosophy Workbook fit in there?

    2) Monsters
    I recently chanced upon this one at a book store and was fascinated by it, reading it cover to cover rather quickly. I’m curious because it was published in 2001 and I’m wondering if there are any changes you would make to it 20+ years later. Additions? Subtractions? Alterations?

    Sorry if either of these have been asked and answered before, I’m new here.

    Cheers!

  267. The Milankovitch cycles consist of several regular cycles superimposed.

    There is an eccentricity cycle, a obliquity cycle and a precession cycle.
    The eccentricity of the Earth’s orbit varies according to a cycle of about 100,000 years, between e=0.0034 to e=0.058. Currently it is 0.017, which means there is a difference in distance of 5.1 million km between perihelion and aphelion, and a difference in insolation of about 6.8%.

    Obliquity varies on a 41,000 year cycle from 22.1° to 24.5°, that is the tilt of the Earth’s poles with respect to its orbital plane, which changes the intensity of the seasons.

    Precession varies on a 25772 year cycle with respect to the fixed stars, and the Earth’s orbital ellipse itself precesses on a 112000 year cycle, which means the overall cycle is 23,000 years, affecting the timing of the seasons with respect to the aphelion/perihelion. At the moment the perihelion is in January, and the aphelion is in July.

    Given that there are three different cycles with different periods superimposed, it is no longer a regular cycle, but a somewhat irregular one, and then there is the response of the Earth’s ice caps and climate system.

    The idea that we would soon be going into an ice age in the absence of man-made global warming isn’t necessarily the case. The link below shows the opinion of a scientist who working on a simplified model – assuming that the key factor for Northern Hemisphere glaciation is the summer temperature at ~65 °N, which if there are particularly cool summers, this can lead glaciation to expand. His analysis didn’t show much risk of that before at least 130kyr in the future, and nothing equivalent to the onset of previous glacial epochs before 0.6Myr.
    https://amper.ped.muni.cz/gw/articles/html.format/orb_forc.html

  268. @Dale: Thanks for the note about standard deviations and rainfall!

    @Beekeeper in Vermont: On the scale from climate change apathy and climate change doomerism, I fall somewhere between ‘disturbed’ and ‘mildly alarmed’ based on recent events. I don’t think climate change is the end of the world but I also don’t think it’s something to be ignored by not taking it into account in one’s own adaptions and by not reducing one’s own impact.

    Chris at Fernglade in #269 commented on the issue much better than I could (thanks for that, Chris!).

    @JMG: I’m looking forward to your post on climate change!

  269. @CR Patiño: Sorry to hear that your efforts at escaping the Matrix didn’t go as planned, and best of luck in your new position!

    If I may ask about your alt health care attempt. For the last two years I’ve been taking some fairly intensive courses in herbalism in my free time, it’s been extremely interesting and very useful in its own right, but I’ve been considering whether or not it could be my own way out from the Matrix. But I’m seeing signs that it may not be that viable as a profession for a number of reasons (I don’t care about taking a pay cut as we’ve reduced expenses, but I do need to be able to pay those expenses).

    If you’re willing to share, what were some of the difficulties you faced?

  270. Anonymous,

    Just a followup to our host’s response about strengthening the etheric body (#155):

    Last week I described an out-of-body experience I had just had, a spontaneous etheric projection, and his recommendations all fit with the timing.

    Sunlight – I’ve been outside a lot lately in the blazing Southern summer sun.

    Fresh air – I’ve done a lot of metered breathwork lately. I work in manufacturing management, but I also make myself a part of the production team (I would be bored out of my mind if I didn’t), and the steady drumbeat of manufacturing offers the perfect opportunity to breathe in a controlled way. Plus I often put myself to sleep via measured breath cycling, like I did when I had the OBE. Since breath and spirit are so closely related, “intentional breathing,” and lots of it, might have been the key here.

    Cold water – in the heat of summer I spend at least a few hours every weekend wading a nearby trout stream, mostly enjoying the forest and the cool water, but also putting dinner on the table. All those trout and chanterelles!

    That is, wild, “unprocessed foodstuffs.”
    Precisely the 4 things JMG mentioned…

    FWIW.
    Cheers.

  271. @JMG: I’ve been thinking a bit more about emotions and thoughts as entities, and archetypes. As you’ve said, if archetypes are on the causal plane, and some emotions or thoughts are along the continuum of the astral to etheric planes, then it seems that when you’re under the sway of an archetype, then it predisposes you to certain thoughts and emotions in a causal way.

    An archetype perhaps is almost like an ecosystem in which certain other entities like or need to dwell in, or perhaps a gardener who encourages certain plants to grow.

    I’m starting to wonder whether these thoughts, emotions and archetypes coexist with my consciousness in the same way that my gut microbiome coexists with me on the physical plane, and/or my consciousness exists as part of an archetype’s ‘gut microbiome’, as my consciousness seems smaller than an archetype in some way.

    The task for me now seems to be to figure out, after identifying the influence of these entities, identifying what is left which is ‘me’. Someone else last post mentioned something similar to this effect.

    But also the task is to ‘know’ this, rather than just to have the intellectual understanding of it. I’m realizing more and more that I find it relatively easy to have reflections like the above, but somehow I don’t seem to really ‘know’ them in an experiential way, and I don’t know how to do that.

    Thanks again for these ideas!

  272. Something I like about your approach. You mentioned the possibility that neo-pagans could feel the presence or call of an unknown god and have it turn out to be the Christian god. I think people who go to polytheism or other types of spiritual presences away from Christianity can carry along with them a monotheistic assumption that since these other gods are real and exist the Christian god(s) don’t, which in your viewpoint isn’t so. I can see how that could make some people uncomfortable – “You mean He is still in the neighborhood! I thought I got rid of him!” You have a very inclusive polytheism.

  273. Marsh,

    Re: increased biodiversity/species richness

    Absolutely! For years now. We have peregrine falcons in our area that weren’t here when we moved here 11 years ago. Amazing creatures. I’ve seen green grass snakes that I haven’t seen since I was young, maybe 40 years ago. We have a little gray fox nearby that keeps the neighborhood rat population in check.

    One of the coolest things I’ve ever seen was when I was out kayaking on a river very near my house downtown. A kestrel was in hot pursuit of a pileated woodpecker (about as big as it was!), the aerial combat ranging all through the woods on the river bank with breathtaking speed and agility. Had I not gone with my friend to kayak that morning, I would have missed that incredible moment!

    But yes, and it’s one of the things that brings a lot of hope to my worldview.

  274. @Viduraawakened #222

    Hi from Goa!
    I might be part of the first trickle of inward migration flow you refer to in your comment. I hail from Ireland but have spent the past 20 years working in California in tech.

    My wife is Goan and we decided to return to her homeland this past March. Several reasons really. We wanted to be closer to family and friends while our child was young. We wanted a slower pace of life and a more social lifestyle. And this was I suppose a part of our attempt to collapse now and avoid the rush.

    The move has worked out well so far and we have no regrets. I won’t deny that there was some culture shock and no place is perfect but all in all we are living a simpler, more fulfilling life.

    Who knows how long we’ll be here but it feels like a good place to be during the next few turbulent years…

    Where are you located? We must connect if you ever are in Goa…

  275. About procrastination:
    Decide what it is you are not going to do. While you are not doing that, you are doing this.

    If you are sitting on the couch reading, then you are sitting on the couch reading. By doing that, you have decided what it is you are not going to do.

    I know it sounds very Zen, it is not. I learned that while working and sighing over housework. Why was I not cleaning the toilet? Well, I was tired and I needed to rest. So I chose not to clean the toilet. Would I ever clean the toilet again? Of course, don’t be silly. It will be done when it gets done. Trust yourself and your cycles.

    We all have cycles of doing and not doing. Procrastination is telling you what you are not doing. You have figure why it bothers you.

    For me, I grew up with “You do the chores first unless you are dead, But do the chores, then die.” Chore voice takes over and I have to tell it to – well all those curse words- to go away. But it is so deeply ingrained that when I am ill, I get the “oughts”. I ought to clean my toilet, even though I am deathly ill.

    So decide and trust yourself. Is the toilet clean? Is it important to clean the toilet? Why? Why now? Why does it have to be now? Why does it have to be?

  276. About the Storm Goddess and the Neo-paganists.

    They are agreed that the Being is Female and not something that they conjured up together as a thoughtform.

    It seems to tie in with their fears of a declining earth and the Goddess being angry with humans.

    My questions are:
    Why Neo-paganists and no one else is being contacted?
    Is there something they are doing or not doing?
    Or is it ignorance, and they did create a Storm Goddess.

    As for me, I have cultus to Summarius, the Nighttime Storm God, who is Jupiter of the Night. He is a relatively unknown God but He has not been any more active than usual. So, whatever is happening is not being picked up by anyone I know.

  277. @phutatorious

    I probably will read his memoirs at some point. I have Motion…, and his years in the band Heavenly Breakfast are of interest too. I had the same reaction to Hogg as you. I started it, but not my predilection, and put it down.. the same with his latest novel Throug the Valley of the Nest of Spiders. That chunk you mentioned in Dhalgren fits in with the story, so is more readable to me than an out and out book just of that…

    I do like some of his criticism and @JMG you might like his long essay Wagner/Artaud in the context of your current readings, and the fact that you love Wagner.

    I have started The Myth if Disenchantment and got through the first chapter. So far I love his use of ternaries in the introduction and am excited to keep reading.

  278. UFOs, David Gursch fails the oubliette test, but there is evidence of alien technology transfer..

    I was dubious about Gursch’s UFO testimony because it had none of the usual tells for a leaker of serious secrets. The government didn’t lock him up and throw away the key. His credibility hasn’t been attacked. No one is slandering his character, and the MSM is covering the story.

    But, the UFOs were allegedly recovered after crash landings and the F-35 does fall out of the sky quite frequently. I think that it’s at least possible that we copied or reverse engineered some advanced alien falling out of the sky technology.

  279. @Mary Bennet

    (comment may appear twice – there was a network problem when posting)

    Thanks for your reply!
    It is a very appealing idea to me!

    Reading books and following intellectual occupations is what I did most in my life.

    I speak German and English, and I had 5 years of Latin in school plus French. I still could do basic conversation in French, and I understand a lot of Spanish when reading.

    Additionally, a wise friend versed in natural medicine diagnosed what others have diagnosed before, my “female” creative side is not cared for enough, also, my head is exploding with words that are waiting to be expressed.

    Writing and also painting are among necessary cures for that, one of the reasons I write a lot in this forum (plus until September I don’t have to work, so I have time).

    I am interested in the prospect you suggest, definitely!

    regards,
    Curt

  280. On a more serious note, the most interesting thing about the David Grursh story is that the powers that be think a conspiracy theory is a credible distraction.

    The government and mainstream media have been complaining about conspiracy theories and misinformation at the top of their lungs, but apparently they think that a story about the government covering up some big secret for decades is going to be well recieved by the populace. The take away being that the distrust in the official narrative has overtaken the trust in the establishment and they know it.

  281. Hello Mr. Greer,

    I was wondering what you thought of Mircea Eliade. The more I get interested in his work on the history of religious ideas and the cyclical nature of time the more he reminds me of your work and Toynbee/Spengler.

  282. I spent my Saturday reading this book:
    https://legendbooks.org/book/early-days-of-world-history/

    I just discovered this on Friday, it’s a posthumous publication based on Spengler’s notes for a follow-up book to DotW/dUdA. I’ve been reading the ebook version.

    It’s very fragmentary compared to his other books, since they’re really his notes, not even fully drafted out, but fascinating nonetheless.

    Essentially, it is an extension of the culture-organism concept to pre-history. Where the “high cultures” can be likened to plants, earlier stages of human development he likens to amoeba. Along the way, he lays out his views on how the high cultures grow as substrates on top of what he terms the type “c” stage, how the model of language development based on philology has been very narrow-minded (while not rejecting e.g. Proto-Indo-European, he thinks the way it’s been explained, especially conflating it with population changes, has been too simplistic), development of “race”, and plenty more.

    I will leave Spengler fans to discover more on their own, but I found that for his time (the months before his death) he anticipated a lot of changes in scholarship over the next century.

    I believe there was a general intellectual bias against nomadic pastoralists in his time, in favour of agriculturalists instead. Today, the intellectual tide has generally turned, there have been a number of pop science books showing that hunter gatherers and pastoralists generally enjoyed more freedom than farmers. Spengler anticipates this. He also questions the domestication of the horse, arguing that they were first raised for meat before being used as pack animals and then ridden; from what I have read of some of the recent research on the Proto-Indo-European people’s, this seems to be true.

  283. Yes, you’re right about Caesarism. I was thinking about right after WWI but a bigger perspective was needed. Anyway, shouldn’t we add Stalin to this list?

  284. Greetings all,
    @ Curt 117, You wrote: “@Karim Jaufeerally
    Thank you for your contribution on a civil discussion last open post on the matters of political islam, muslim adherents of various kinds and the implication for EU politics and society.”

    You are most welcome, Sir!

  285. Greetings all
    I have just begun reading Chris Gosden’s book called : “The History of Magic” It sounds promising. Has anyone read it before? Any comments?
    Regards

  286. NEPTUNESDOLPHINS:

    Papa gave you a polite short response about the infamous fickleness of fans.

    I smiled because the cute fickleness of fans is why we in the west, are in this predicament: because of how we love.

    what we think love is and why i think folks turned Jesus’ death into some sort of absolution, some cheap get out of hell free card, instead of a tedious responsibility at times.

    James and I are struggling with Iaian McGilchrist’s “The Master and His Emissary”–James, because it’s over-written; and me, because what he calls left brained thinking taking over the west, he traces back to Roman ascendancy.

    i no longer seek The Answers to Why We’re Here and How This Could’ve Happened, but i want to know and understand how The Other Side Thinks and why they’re the way they are.

    Living back in the real and now local world just got me banned from my beloved library. it was all Twilight Zone episode for me with them all surrounding me with dead eyes and face masks and after opening my heart to appeal to their humanity and they just stared… i said, “i can’t even READ you guys right now…”

    in my refusal to be so casually Othered and re-cancelled AGAIN, i went soft naked and true and she couldn’t even LOOK at me in the eye. just got angry like a bureaucrat and went for The Rules….

    but they gather around like jackals.

    not the men. the women.

    and thus… women in charge now and back to how we love here in the west:

    what can you do for me? how can you make me FEEL? and for how long? forever? ever and ever? how do you make me LOOK? do you inspire me? to do what? be adored or adore? or both?

    if we’re in Devouring Mother times, she may rape and sodomize you, but she’s a pillow queen. in all ways.

    the west loves like pillow queens and it’s why the innernet is dying… it’s all made manifest the “take take take!” now. so who wants to GIVE?

    it started out with all giving freely. we made it what it was. but now like AI, it’s feeding on its own urine and feces and you can’t get the dreamwidth site to unfurl anymore. no one cares.

    fans! fans are usually people who do what you wanna do and dig that you’re saying what they wanna hear. the moment you don’t reflect the fan, they get angry and turn on you. DENY you.

    (there’s that Christ stuff, again)

    so Papa G has attracted all the freaks oddballs thinkers and weirdos that the innerwebs had no soft landing for. i know because i ended up here, as did some of my old friends.

    when i first posted with my name and shared a link on here, i got inundated with some of Papa’s fans and WHOA! i’ll be hella kind. i ended up in the midst of some crazy mean couple’s sadomasochistic courtship and another would send me long sad trans screeds with no there there or anywhere.

    so Papa inherited a lot of the people who used to have a stage or outlet in real life to express themselves in a more varied world. now everything got channeled into… i don’t know. it all just got “ingrown” somehow. i noticed it in my own freak world. weird used to be fun along with sad and harrowing, but it got …slimy mean and twisted.

    twisted like knowing teenage girls who take pens and gouge holes in their thighs.

    Violet felt like one of the fans who didn’t like Papa saying a backlash is unfortunately coming, even for those who’re chill about being trans at this point.

    i dig Papa G precisely BECAUSE he doesn’t feed off his more vampiric doting fans. i’ve learned to fear and distrust gushing and most praise at this point, specifically BECAUSE i’ve had hundreds of women (and gay boy) fans gush and snap against me and hard.

    i immediately wanted to know James when he wrote me a fan letter back in 1998, at the height of my micro-fame when i was getting good reviews and naked fan letters, BECAUSE he never gushed or said anything overtly flattering! he just happened on my “Flaming Iguanas” book in the library by accident because of the “cool spine,” and by the way, thanks for not making fun of guys who ride crotch rockets.

    i figured i could trust THAT, and now in 2023, i can say i was right and proper to assume that.

    but the vampire fans exist because most folks CRAVE any attention in this world and end up mistaking it for “love” and well, that’s how we all ended up with our own TV shows and are each movie stars.

    i trusted Papa G because homie don’t play that. he also doesn’t trust the flattery or more importantly, NEED it. he just does his thang and will be doing his thang in the future if no one knows who he even is.

    so yes, NeptunesDolphin… i’d say fickle narcissitic vampire “do me! make me FEEL!” kinda “love” is a thing here in the west and has spread everywhere just about.

    when i’m a fan now, i actively try to give feedback argument or details of my experience so you can know how good your aim is. i’ve gotten that and it’s a massive form of respect.

    that said, i’ve “wasted” myself like at KPOO, but not really. because i was practicing and challenging myself even when i’d have to apologize for screwing it up and going cheap or easy. and even if those DJs are just there out of habit and boring “listen to me” (why???? is my question), the more i care in public and am the sucker, the less i’m the sucker as i don’t feel embarrassed or taken. i am faster at seeing who responds.

    even though i upended the entire mission library this past wednesday, i was performing loudly for the children obediently on the floor listening to a story. they saw everything and while they don’t know the details, i hope ONE will carry the memory and maybe get it one day.

    i performed. then i wrote and emailed everyone in the library system i could get an email for.

    this is how i love. because i wanted to be truly mean and say things i knew would and could cut forever. but you should’ve seen how these women gang up so easily and band together and …they ENJOY it.

    it’s the only adventure they get now that they’re running the world. the adventure of crushing dissent disagreement life humanity.

    ew.

    anyhow, the ones who gush the most will turn on you. they kinda can’t help it. they hate their NEED.

    it’s like Amadeus and Salieri.

    so yes. it’s a thing. because women loved and wanted what they thought men were, were about, and did. but the women missed all the underneath story the REASON the perceived honor in raping and pillaging.

    but modern feministy women are in agony because this story is…

    EW.

    women don’t tip like men because women don’t have that kinda compassion for the truly unseen work or world anymore. women tip for the wow and attention.

    and now boys and men are without a story an adventure to play out and are like pillow queen women. give me feed me DO ME.

    we’re outta balance. so yeah… vampire narcissistic fans are not only a thing but is the set up in our culture. who’d even think AI could write a screenplay??? do art? to WHERE???

    we’re drinking our own urine. this is why i’m trying to get through Iaian McGilchrist’s “Master and Emissary” because They so don’t get any of this and who’s the pretty one.

    Fran Drescher said this in her WGA speeches but she’s way late now that the acid of Nothing has laid waste to their own fans.

    this is why i stopped trusting even substack stars. many were getting fans for the first time and i saw then become groveling whores for the cheap change.

    i’m of the adage you have to write like you have no parents or what have you to tell me? i’ve already lost everything and am always giving up more. what have you to tell ME that i need to know???

    that’s a different approach to the vampiric “make me FEEL (a certain simplistic safe way)!”

    good writers and artists you love should piss you off occasionally and have you questioning why or where they’re going. it’s more interesting that way.

    ah! back to ENCHANTMENT! because that’s what enchantment IS: who and what are you? what do you bring? what do you mean? it’s curiosity and openness. it’s misunderstandings not leading always to divorce and war, but new conversations ideas ways….

    STORIES.

    no. NeptunesDolphin…and none of that is so NOT a “thing” in the west these days. and it’s also why finally the innernet is dying. it kills fresh meat. no one shows up in the real. it’s all fantasy and we’re at the end of all the stories we tell ourselves about who we are, and we’re at the end with the surgeries can (barely) accomplish and you can only legislate people’s language in going along for so long and so much.

    x

    erika

  287. Hi John,

    Do you have a favorite place and/or time period you would prefer to live? Since you seem to have some knowledge of past incarnations, was there one that you found suited you much more than the others? If the world was more peaceful and you could live anywhere without having to worry much about resources where would you go (if anywhere)? More to the point, are there any other cultures existing today that you would be interested in immersing yourself in if you had the time?

  288. John–

    What do you think is going on behind this (apparent) surge in burning or intent to burn religious texts in the EU? There were the incidents with the Qu’ran and now someone had planned to burn a copy of the Torah (went with an alternate symbol instead) and I’ve read of others talking about wanting to burn Christian and Jewish texts as well. Is the EU just going off the deep end?

  289. “Due to operational safety concerns, the Pentagon will continue to maintain its lightning storm flight restrictions on the F-35 Lightning II fighter fleet.

    The most advanced, supposedly “all-weather” fighter jet on the market is at serious risk when struck by lightning in flight. Even on the ground, aircraft exposed to the elements must be protected from lightning by special lightning arresters.”

    https://www.aviacionline.com/2022/11/f-35-despite-improvements-lightnig-ii-still-cant-fly-in-storms/

    It makes perverse sense, the metal skin the protects airplanes from lightning also reflects radar, to you need a different material for a stealth airplane. So the lightning gets further into the airplane and does more damage.

  290. Here’s a little bit of Dhalgren trivia for Justin and anyone else who’s interested: At the end Dhalgren, Delaney lists the cities where he resided when he was writing it, just like James Joyce did at the end of “Finnegans Wake.” Near one of those places he lived is a downtown department store with somewhat unique architecture. (Bill Griffith once featured it in one of his Zippy comics.) Anyhow I was pretty familiar with that store because it was one of the places my parents took me to buy school clothes back in the day. When I read the section of Dhalgren that involves the “run” on the Emboriki department store I got a sense of Deja-Vu. One of many literary frissons I experienced from reading that book: I think I know the store he was describing.

  291. @jbucks #285 writes:

    “The task for me now seems to be to figure out, after identifying the influence of these entities, identifying what is left which is ‘me’. …

    “But also the task is to ‘know’ this, rather than just to have the intellectual understanding of it. I’m realizing more and more that I find it relatively easy to have reflections like the above, but somehow I don’t seem to really ‘know’ them in an experiential way, and I don’t know how to do that.”

    I first came across what you describe a few days ago in Frater Acher’s review of Emil Stejnar’s “Magic with Astrology”. (The book is now called, simply, Astrology, if one looks it up on amazon.de.) I have the book on order so I can’t say yet what Stejnar’s answer to your question might be, but Frater Acher’s own Ingenium explores the same idea. Frather Acher seems to think that there is a “human quality” that binds all the “non-human persons that make up the human person.” Again, haven’t read it–will order it later this year–but it seemed timely to share what I have come across about this and which I intend to explore in more depth. Curios to hear what JMG has to say.

  292. A good book on The Milankovitch cycles and the climate affects they cause is David Archer’s “The Long Thaw”. Check the local library, or the used book store.

    If you want to hurt your head a lot more this paper “Astronomical forcing shaped the timing of early Pleistocene glacial cycles” by Yasuto Watanabe (lead author) wades way deep into it.

    I’ve posted this link before, https://arstechnica.com/science/2023/07/long-forgotten-frozen-soil-sample-offers-a-warning-for-the-future/

    The Milankovitch cycles lined up to give an exceptionally warm and long interglacial 416,000 years ago. Half of Greenland’s ice cap was gone. If I remember the graph from Archer’s book those conditions should repeat after the next glaciation that would be expected to start in 3000 years. The extra CO2 we’ve dumped into the air might be enough to foil that glaciation and then there would be a long interval until the cycles lined up for the next glaciation.

  293. I don’t have much to add to the really excellent discussion. But about the burning of Qur’ans and other religious books, it may well be that Europeans are slowly getting crazy due to all the developments of the last one-two years.

    About the internet, I didn’t notice any particular develolments lately, since I don’t visit many websites nowadays.

  294. Samuel, I need to revise that part of the FAQ. The Occult Philosophy Workbook belongs to the same sequence as The Way of the Golden Section and The Sacred Geometry Oracle, along with two other books now at the publisher but not yet published. As for Monsters I see you found a copy of the original edition! It’s now had two revised editions, one released in 2011 and the other in 2021; I made quite a number of changes, including adding a new section on internet monsters such as Slenderman, and revising the monster-hunting section now that monster hunting is practically a respectable pastime.

    Jbucks, that strikes me as a very helpful way of thinking about things.

    Moose, one of the points I made in my book A World Full of Gods is that if you take the evidence from religious experience seriously — and that approach yields the strongest arguments for polytheism — you can’t deny the existence of the Christian god. You may not agree with theological claims about his importance and unique position in the scheme of things, and indeed there are good reasons to challenge those claims, but he’s clearly a god, and just as clearly can provide abundant blessings to those people who enter into a covenant with him. If other gods are real, so is he!

    Neptunesdolphins, we’ll just have to see how it all works out. We don’t have any objectively testable way to identify a god, after all.

    Stephen, he’s very much worth reading. I found his book on alchemy, The Forge and the Crucible, helpful in shaping my own understanding of the tradition.

    Alvin, how fascinating! I wasn’t familiar with this, and will certainly want to read it.

    Roman, of course — also Juan Peron and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

    Karim, I’m not familiar with it at all. Anyone else?

    Patricia M, two for two. Oh, no question, the Ministry of Truth is hard at work in the field of history.

    Matt, I have a great deal of affection for the late Roman period; if I could go back, settle in Athens, and spend my life studying Neoplatonism and theurgic magic, I’d delight in that. Today? Glastonbury is my favorite among the places where I’ve actually been, though I’d welcome the chance to visit Japan and spend some time at Koyasan studying Shingon Buddhism. I’d also like to spend some time in Germany and central Europe generally. As things go, due largely to my wife’s very uncertain health, none of those are options — and Rhode Island is also very pleasant.

    David BTL, I’ve been watching that and shaking my head. It’s as though they’re deliberately invoking their own destruction.

    Siliconguy, yes, I heard of that. The Lardbucket can’t fly within 25 miles of a thunderstorm. Most planes can fly right through the middle of one, which tells every enemy fighter pilot how to carry out missions unmolested by the US Air Farce.

    Patricia M, interestingly, I’ve had much better experiences in the eastern half of the country. That’s one of the many ways you can tell the West is being abandoned.

    Roy, well, Mama Goat and all Her kids! That one had my jaw hanging open. I’ll read it as soon as time permits.

  295. @ Erika #300

    A long time ago I developed a mantra for myself – “no deference, no contempt”. Every person is out there doing their own thing, and their thing is not to be here to be my mirror or my foil, or a character in my play. It is something else, and only they know. I have found that when deference features, contempt cannot be far behind. Somehow, these two are two side of one coin.

    (Or in the cruder Irish idiom… 😉 …two cheeks of one bum.)

  296. @JMG

    There’s one thing I still have difficulties to grasp:

    my humble and limited experience shows that Qi Gong is seemingly capable of healing your own body as well as other’s. However you pointed out the German immigrant from present Romania in the USA (what was his name Jakob something…?) used his palms as a different means of healing, yet just as effective…-

    Qi Gong seems like something that was “invented”, but it is not a tool external to us humans, no device of new materials used, it is within us obviously.

    Was that ever invented then? It must really be something our earliest ancestors have already done, otherwise why would we all humans have the capacity?

    Damien Echols pointed to that in some way when he wrote that hunter gatherers also used magic (visualisation, probably also some form of psychic foresight) for their endeavour.

    And in my humblest experience or merely assumption, the occultists of the 19th century seem to have been interested in healing and training the mind, but less so in specifically healing the physical body, or in using occultist methods for martial arts?

    Why is Qi Gong breathing useful for martial arts, but the four fold breath isn’t – due to different targeted outcomes?

    Were the 19th century occultists like the Golden Dawn simply disinterested in the human body, or do I get that wrong entirely?

  297. I read A World Full of Gods a while back and found its logical arguments very powerful, though excellent logic doesn’t absolutely indicate the truth has been found. I combine my own experience of the Trinity with Pascal’s Wager and peacefully remain a Christian figuring no matter what the actual nature of the spiritual ecosystem is I will be fine in my covenant with my God. Again, JMG I appreciate your irenic attitude.
    As an aside it is not unheard of in alien abduction events for the abductee to end it by calling on Jesus. Why would an extraterrestrial from somewhere in our physical galaxy care about the name of Jesus? More evidence of the non normal physical nature of a portion of UFO phenomena. I ended my Night Hag experience I had years ago by doing the same.

  298. You’ve conjectured that the current magical doldrums are in part a function of the current astrological age, Aquarius, being co-ruled by Uranus and Saturn and exactly opposite those rules by the luminaries.

    Granting that we can’t be sure for another 2000+ years, what’s the likely implication for the Age of Capricorn, ruled exclusively by Saturn and the most pragmatic of the signs?

    I don’t imagine us being cut off completely from magic, much less the divine, but the current conditions that favor the lone individual’s quest to transcend the limits of the mundane (very Uranian) seem likely to give way to those that favor a more practical, community-oriented approach, focused on natural magic as would befit an Earth sign. Of course both will still exist, just like they both exist now and always have, but the balance of power between them in terms of ROI may shift.

  299. @Grover #287

    Thanks for that info. I have no idea what it all might mean, but as an old school, unreconstructed conservationist (before the whole ‘environmental’ thing got hijacked by all manner of snake* oil salesmen) I find it brings hope to my worldview too.

    * nothing against snakes, you understand – actually one of my personal favourites, though sadly only three species in the UK and one of those is incredibly rare.

  300. David BTL, I am afraid I will respectfully have to disagree with our host on this point. I had neither heard nor read anything about scripture burnings. A quick search revealed two incidents in Sweden, performance art carried out by an Iraqi refugee (Iraqi Christian?), and one in Denmark by a “far right group”. Meanwhile, there have been numerous reports of all manner of criminality and obstreperous behavior on the part of the Moslem refugee communities in both those countries. I hasten to add, I don’t live there, and anything I can discover is at best 3rd hand through all kinds of self interested filters. So far, the Swedish and Danish Govts. seem to be resisting demands from Mideast Govts. that Our People should get special consideration. It looks to me that some Europeans have finally had enough.

  301. Patricia M & JMG,

    I once took the Long Dog (i.e., Greyhound) from Sacramento, CA to Syracuse, NY. 1996? 80 hours and arrived sick as a dog. But what I noticed was that the experience got better the farther east I went.

    The Sacramento bus station was full of bums and homeless. There was an underpass with a nasty tile floor covered with nasty footprints. There was a cigarette that someone had dropped and then been walked upon many times. It was squished flat and nasty dirty, but this homeless guy picked it up, and lit up with joy when he realized it was still unbroken and therefore smokable. Made his day. I’ll never forget that.

    First leg to Reno I let my girlfriend have the last decent seat, while I sat in the back with my head practically in the toilet.

    I guess we learned the ropes because by the time we were on our last bus to Syracuse we were in the front seat, together, on the passenger side, and chatting with the driver. Or maybe it was just more civilized boarding the bus. Around Omaha was when I really noticed how much cleaner the bus station was and how much nicer everyone was.

    It was a pretty dramatic difference between west coast and east coast.

    The cherry on top was we had to wait at the Syracuse bus station for about an hour for her parents to pick us up. They had my favorite pinball machine (High Speed). I didn’t have any money, but it was tilted on second ball. One ball left, no score to speak of. I managed to unstick the ball, and with just that third ball, proceeded to win a free game. And another. And ended up leaving 3 credits on the board when it was time to go. That really made my day, and hopefully someone else’s too!

  302. JMG and Commentariate;

    There is a provincial park, Elk Falls, in Vancouver island that encompasses a canyon with a series of waterfalls and plunge pools that might be a living manifestation of the tree of life. This system is in the far West in Vancouver Island. (Of course the southern part of the island was in a three month drought until recently and there were fires in the west part that have closed the highways.) You can visit Elk Falls as a tourist and just need to pay the park fee for entrance. The sheer power of the system is awe inspiring. I guess if your a tourist you pay the fee, get to see the place, and move on. A more serious nature enthusiast may swim in the plunge pools and risk the currents. You can go into much deeper interactions with this system I imagine if you want to, and put yourself in even more danger if your not careful. Conversely you can try to damage the place in polluting, or even go as far as trying to change laws so it can be commercially developed.

    I guess what I am trying to say is you are putting yourself at risk when you are more then a tourist here at Ecosophia. Some of us may not enjoy getting caught in currents and falling off waterfalls into new plunge pools. That doesn’t warrant polluting the waters afterwards, or trying to change the laws of the land that govern it.

    Contributing here and there to Kofi barely compensates what I glean from this place and JMG’s works personally. Perhaps that fact encourages fan, or tourist, behavior from time to time. Though a poor way to express gratitude, it is expected. Sucking up is a human trait. Some people need encouragement to express it in more appropriate ways.

  303. JMG, after a lively discussion with my husband about mysticism versus science, I thought this would be a great time to ask if you would reconsider being interviewed by Nate Hagens. I’ve been on this “collapse” journey for approximately six years and have no history of you and Hagens discussing our predicament. It would give a fan like me a chance to see/hear the elders debate. Kinda like seeing an old rock band in concert one more time.

    Please would you reconsider?

    Thank you.

  304. OtterGirl (#277): When you say “useful idiots, lured by the usual desire for power over others”, do you mean that this is Mayer’s theory about the people involved in vaccine programs (and that you find it plausible enough to mention without critical comment), or that it’s also Mayer’s theory about “the entire transhumanism movement” (and that you find that part of his theory to also be plausible enough to mention without critical comment)?

    If you mean the transhumanism movement, then the motive of “desire for power over others” is relatively alien to the parts of the transhumanist movement that are familiar to me. The activists who formulated the idea of transhumanism as a movement defined as their goal something like, “radically improving on what would otherwise be the inescapable human existential condition through rational application of of the technological implications of the natural sciences”, where “what would otherwise be the inescapable human existential condition” notably includes involuntary mortality and disease. The activists conceived of this as something that people would want to focus on and work together for, for the future good of everyone who opted in to those technologies once they existed and had been made legal.

    The transhumanist activists I know of had and have an attitude towards government-like exercises of power that is mostly the opposite of what someone like Mayer would confidently predict if he’d assumed that they were starting from a “desire for power over others”. They didn’t even think of this project as being for the direct good of everyone whether they wanted it or not: a big proportion of transhumanist advocacy comes from people who have strong libertarian leanings. Most transhumanist sentiments about government came from expecting the development of life-preserving and human-potential-expanding technologies to be stopped by government controls over the medical system, as well as by what they saw as ungrounded, contextlessly meaningless cultural taboos around human modification. They were organizing into a movement partly to try to coordinate political action and argument towards *preventing* the government exercise of power against people who wanted to develop or use such technologies, and towards making the philosophical case in the culture that the taboos were wrong and expected to statistically/ambiently kill lots of people who would have wanted to live.

    A theory about “desire for power over others” would also have predicted that transhumanists would be excited about some idea that some group in particular could be refused future transhumanist technological life-improvements so that other in-groups could have power over them. That is, in my experience, opposite to what is actually the case. They would be disturbed by the idea of anyone competent to consent being denied such things, regardless of group membership. Transhumanists are more “things-oriented” and less “people-oriented”, so that it’s harder for them to even hold groups in mind as important, long enough to get the idea that some bad thing or another should happen to whichever group it was.

    (Admittedly, the official movement organization was captured about 15 years ago by the part of the movement toward the people-oriented end. They renamed it “Humanity Plus” for image reasons. They spent a lot of time posturing in a ‘zine. And they threw into the toilet their organizational capacity to really interface with autism-spectrum people who couldn’t do automatic complex tacit intuitive political calculations about alliances and diplomatic signaling games, without ever really realizing that there had even ever been such a capacity to be had. Even though the autism-spectrum people were the ones who were actually, unlike the people-oriented people, at the cutting edge of personal involvement in advancing the technologies they claimed to hope to be liberated by. … But this was arguably the consequence of a power vacuum, created by a shift where most of the big-system-thinker types who would have provided the ideological backbone of the original World Transhumanist Association started instead reasonably gravitating toward activism about AI as the more immediately pressing problem than human mortality.)

    As for how anyone could suppose that death was something to be technologically staved off (perhaps until people found something with a better balance of benefits and costs to substitute in place of death), or human nature something to be technologically improved upon… I don’t know where to begin. Transhumanist ideas about projects to improve the world are usually justified in terms of a considered judgement that, among other things, there are no supernatural wiser minds at the wheel, choosing the details of human nature, history, or destiny for the benefit of whatever conscious beings would still exist at the end of the process. (Although, it should be noted, many of those justifications still go through, if one merely supposes that the supernatural wiser minds have been pointedly leaving certain opportunities of choice of details open to us, and passive-aggressively letting the consequences befall us for neglecting or not having learned to understand those opportunities.) If that judgement is reasonable and arrived at in good epistemological conscience, then the whole moral worldview denouncing transhumanists flips almost entirely inside-out.

    However, JMG has presented a position entailing a *very* lopsided view of what the evidence regarding the supernatural is, and what obligations an even-handed thinker would acquire upon being exposed to that evidence, and what moral culpabilities and shameworthinesses a thinker would intrinsically have to acquire if they were to not believe that the evidence is decisive for the supernatural, and were to instead reason about how to make a better world by proceeding on a provisional conclusion that the supernatural didn’t exist. His presentation has been lopsided enough, that in trying to plot out a plan of how to present the argument of how things look to the people on the other side, I find myself despairing of holding the argument together long enough to avoid undeserved moral outrage and rejection, rejection that would prevent me from getting a fair hearing for the rest of it. There are only so many justification layers of “that’s outrageous! how can you justify anyone interpreting that evidence in that way!” / “well, I can justify it by reference to this other interpretation they might have had of this other evidence, about this more fundamental question…” / “that’s outrageous too! how can you justify anyone interpreting that evidence in that way either!” / “well…” that I can recurse back through, before the odds of the whole enterprise just failing and making everyone mad at me get too high, even if I were *perfectly right* on *every point*.

    The problem is that, as it happens, it would seem that the universe is *specifically trying* to get into a state where the evidence is ambiguous, a state that happens to be one where you’d *specifically expect* that people would get mad at defenses of the other side and stop giving those defenses a fair hearing. I feel like, when the universe itself is angling for an outcome that so precisely impedes a fair hearing for my defense of transhumanists, this can hardly be my fault. I am, however, angry that other people aren’t living up to their epistemological responsibilities in noticing the fact of the broader awkward situation. (The rare people who have in fact begun to live up to this responsibility include James E. Kennedy, for example his article The Capricious, Actively Evasive, Unsustainable Nature of Psi: A Summary and Hypotheses, and George Hansen, who wrote The Trickster and the Paranormal, both of which are about ways in which the supernatural may specifically defy and frustrate scientific methods and efforts. Kennedy’s article does more to speculate about how this defiance by the supernatural might be motivated by something about the resulting states of belief thereby produced in the mass of humanity.)

  305. Just had a long an somewhat heated (pleasantly so, but still) discussion about genetic predispositions and free will, the arguendo being that such predispositions would essentially obliterate the issue of free will entirely, while my responsa was that no, predispositions are grounds that free will works within, to say otherwise is simplistic. I’m afraid I went on about it rather too long and monopolized the discussion a bit.

    Not mentioned, but part of my thinking, is that arguing anything about free will after the fact of a choice being made evident is futile in the extreme, free will (to the extent that it is a thing) is philosophically enormously complex, even fraught as a topic, and you can’t use the term simplistically or you’ll argue yourself into a box rather quickly.

    At that meeting, I was then asked if I would agree to lead a discussion comparing various topics in genetics, Buddhism and Judaism vis-a-vis the question of choosing and differentiating views between the three (!) disciplines. Oh, and free will. Mostly for the fun of it. At least three people in the room in addition to me had lots of hands-on experience with Judaism and Buddhism, I was the only scholar of Buddhism present, and none of us know a great deal about genetics but I was raising the topic of epigenetics and their influence on how genes manifest.

    The discussion arose as a result of one person present saying that they thought the urge many Jews felt to perform “tikkun olam” or repairing the world, was at least partially as a result of common traumas experienced by Jews over the centuries.

    And yes, before anyone asks, I have read “The Jew in the Lotus.” Don’t remember much except that it was a seminar held in Darjeeling at the request of the Dalai Lama on the question of cultural survival of Jews in a hostile environment and the applicability of lessons learned there to the Tibetan diaspora experience.

    Discussion and ideas on these topics would be most welcome. I’ve got maybe a month before I get put in the hot seat on this one!

  306. @jbucks, #283

    Sure, no problem. Just keep in mind that some of this is private. I will do my best to express truth as known to me, and to not twist the truth in such a way that you may come to false conclusions by reasoning about wickedly worded statements… but by no means I promise to lay bare all the truth.

    1. Marketing. From a business perspective I’d attribute 80% of the failure to launch as lack of marketing. In some sense, my practice seemed too scrappy for PCM customers and too foreign to blue collar folks. I also choose too low a price point in an effort to be more accessible to all comers, but that might have sent the signal that I was low quality. Also, my efforts to advertise were so shallow that I might have not bothered at all. This last has to do with…

    2. Regulation. The Medical Industrial Complex has a monopoly on health care. Period. Even in Mexico, where the law is very permissive in that regard it is an expectation, though not a hard legal requirement, that alt-healthcare practitioners are themselves MDs, registered nurses or at the very least clinical psychologists. I have some credentials but not the full range of credentials, and my own Goody-Two-Shoes traits made it impossible for me to go and do it the Standard Mexican Way (go out and do your thing, get fined, bribe, repeat).

    3. Misguided cost cutting. In retrospective, I might have been better of if I put money in so that I could take money out. I came across looking unprofessional instead.

    4. Family issues. My marriage took a toll when I put the wife in “main bread winner” role. We never lacked of any essentials, but unspoken social expectations create lots of pressure. Reverse machismo anyone? Also, while I had planned to have enough savings to shepherd my children at least into adolescence, the fact that I may need to provide for my aging parents blindsided me completely. This very last issue was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, and send me into job seek mode in early 2023.

  307. “well, Mama Goat and all Her kids! That one had my jaw hanging open.”

    That was about my reaction when I saw the headline, which is why I passed it along.

    It is very long, and Part 1 is largely historical background and problem statement, some specific to the Roman Catholic Church and some of which is covering the same ideas you have been talking about on here recently. He ends with this teaser:

    “There is clearly enormous appetite for such an enchanted vision, as demonstrated not only by the turn of Westerners to the mysticisms of the East, but by the return of theories concerning a ‘world-soul’ and ‘living nature’ throughout the Western academy in the form of the latest scholarly superstition: physicalist pan-psychism. These are all feeble attempts to respond to the fundamental challenge that the West faces, and the Church is the only institution that possesses the supernatural power to respond properly. But to respond thus, the Church, in the titanic task of unshackling itself from the modern paradigm, may have to offer a chair at its table to Hermes Trismegistus, perhaps next to Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Seneca, and so many other greats whom it has retrospectively baptised. How the Church might begin to do this will be the focus of Part II.”

    I’m very interested to see where he goes with this in Part 2.

    Some other Christian writers have been discussing similar ideas recently, so it is definitely part of the zeitgeist now, but this is the first one I am aware of (in anything even vaguely like a mainstream publication) to publicly invoke Hermes Trismegistus by name, and suggest Christianity might have something to learn from him.

  308. JMG, thank you very much! I have just re-read the first one about the “Anthropocene” and enjoyed it as much as I did almost 7 years ago. Judging from the perspective I have gained over the last years, the widespread (and today ongoing) promotion of the Anthropocene has a highly explanatory (and predictive back then) power. Throwing a conceptual framework over board in favor of our own grandiosity? Does that sound familiar to anyone?

    Cheers,
    Nachtgurke

  309. @Northwind Grandma, I salute you for your honesty and courage — honesty about your failings and the courage to address them in an honorable way. Everybody has something they’re deeply ashamed of and carries at least one embarrassing secret to the grave. I am no exception, having grown up semi-feral and fully wild. I heard a saying years ago that I’m paraphrasing here: “In the right circumstances, anybody is capable of anything”. There is another quote, sometimes attributed to Edgar Cayce that I like: “There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us,
    it doesn’t behoove any of us to speak evil of the rest of us.”
    In any case, your moral and spiritual awakening are admirable.
    Peace to you and yours.
    P.S. ~ I love your screen name!

  310. This is an odd question, but I’m finding a very weird thing is happening with my (Hermetic Golden Dawn) rituals: they seem to be picking up a quality of meaningfulness, for lack of a better word; it’s really hard to put into words. It’s as if, to put it in the best way I can, they’re picking up an additional dimension of meaning, as if I’ve realized what I thought was a painting was actually a view through a window.

    a) Is this sort of thing normal?

    b) Does this sound like I could be starting to work with the rituals on the mental plane?

  311. Re: fans turning on their idols – after the third of fourth time you’ve seen with your own eyes that (1) his view of the future fizzled in the 80s and his later writing were full of a weird obsession with inter-generational sex, (2) her theories didn’t work in the real world and the one True Believer you’ve met was brittle and bitter and a massive scandal broke about her chasing a younger man and she didn’t even end up true to her own theories when things got tough, and (3) her fantasy novels were great, and she really had a handle on how nations change from century to century, and she encouraged fan writers, but she was a tyrant, and one of her favorite words about her characters’ reactions was “cross”, and a really nasty scandal broke about her child abuse, plus she overreacted when a fan writer tried to bargain with her over a story and sent her into outer darkness as a failed extortionist…..plus when I realized one of her characters was her Mary Sue…

    Well, after having been on that wheel the magic number of 3 times in your life, you really get a clue about rational fandom, and run reality checks on how the ideas being peddled really work, what sort of people the fans are, and the distinct possibility of feet of clay.

    Or why I’ve mentally parted ways with the neopagan community I loved for 35 years, after they went off the deep end with what I thought at first was a fringe freak, a.k.a. Mr. Bad Magic slinging curses at Donald Trump and now following him in the footsteps of Faust. Becasue they’ve gone totally batshale crazy en masse.

  312. To Roy: I can’t but help think Morello has been reading Valentin Tomberg, 20th century Catholic Hermeticist and Platonist par excellence.

  313. Hi John Michael,

    🙂 Thanks!

    Can’t wait to read what you have to say on the matter. I believe we may see eye to eye on this subject, because after all, the actions taken by the very people promoting the message aren’t consistent with the message, and they don’t even notice the effect that has. And this sad state of affairs does in no way imply that there is not a very serious problem brewing.

    It’s really weird how that topic becomes the official discussable problem TM . There are some other problems which could also stand a bit of public discussion. Hmm.

    Speaking of which I recently observed a discussion on this very subject between a self confessed sceptic (whom I’ve known for a very long time, and respect) and another bloke with a background in science (whom I’ve also known for a long time, and value). The emotional content of the discussion came down to the repeated use of the ‘expert fallacy’, otherwise known as an appeal to authority. As an observation, it’s a very old technique – probably at the root of the official fear of gnosticism, if I may cheekily point out. 😉 But what interested me about the discussion, was that it displayed that at the heart of the scientific method, there should be a level of scepticism, healthy, or otherwise. That’s the pressure which keeps the method honed and sharp, and the practitioners honest. But then I guess the gnostics weren’t warmly welcomed either…

    The result really, and here I’ll be interested to learn of your perspective (now or when you publish the essay) is that the protectors of the method have sort of backed themselves into a cage, or maybe a vast echo chamber is a better description? Dunno, but you pointed out once long ago that the early Christian mages were successful because they had better magic than their peers. And there is something in that.

    Cheers

    Chris

  314. Curt, occultists of the Golden Dawn era were already having to contend with the same situation we’re in now, where professional physicians have a monopoly on health care and anyone who introduces some new healing modality, especially if it doesn’t rely on drugs and surgery, faces legal problems. So there’s a lot of occult methods of healing, but they aren’t very public. As for martial arts, it wasn’t until the mid-20th century that the idea of a spiritual dimension to combat found its way back into the Western world, and it did so then by way of Asian martial arts; in the 19th century nobody in the West had any idea that Asian martial arts were anything other than “Chinese boxing.”

    Moose, exactly. Even if all my arguments in A World Full of Gods are correct, it would remain the case that a Christian who maintains a proper relationship with his or her god will be fine in this life and the next. It’s just that the same thing is true of people of every other religion who have good relationships with their gods.

    Slithy, that seems very probable to me. The current astrological age, with its Uranian energy, will see idiosyncratic personal quests for the divine become normal, and astrology and other sky-oriented traditions will be prominent — though there’s also that Saturn co-rulership. In the age of Capricorn spirituality will be judged by its practical results and a more earth-centered, fertility-based spirituality will be common.

    Slink, the last time I took Greyhound in the west was a run from Medford, OR to Seattle, WA in 2006. It was pretty ordinary — certainly not the mess described in the article. More recently I’ve bussed to various destinations in the east, and had a decent time. I wonder if it’s primarily the long runs across the dryland West that are being allowed to go to bits.

    Ian, thanks for this. I wish I understood people well enough to offer the kind of encouragement you suggest, but — well, that’s Aspergers syndrome for you.

    Walt, Hagens can contact me via this blog or my Dreamwidth journal any time he wants to have me on, and my wife will schedule something.

    Clarke, I’ll leave this one for the commentariat, as I’m fairly confident that Schopenhauer is right when he suggests that the nature of will is outside the realm subject to logical proof.

    Roy, it’s an intriguing article. I’ll look forward to seeing where he takes it from here.

    Nachtgurke, glad you liked it!

    Anonymous, yes, and don’t worry about that — just keep on doing the practices.

    Patricia M, I didn’t have any trouble identifying two of your examples, though the second one escapes me at the moment. As for fans — oog. Yeah, and the thing is, every single one of us has feet of clay. There are no human beings without flaws, and that means there are no human beings who deserve uncritical adoration — and precious few of us who can handle that without negative consequences.

    Chris, and that’s one of the core problems that has to be discussed in this context — the way that institutional science has fallen victim to its own claims to authority, and is too busy proclaiming politically motivated dogma to practice genuine science any more. That may need a post of its own.

  315. Rcastle wrote, “But what troubles me is not that evil exists, especially on the relative level, but that if evil exists it must have been created or allowed by the supreme beings and therefore has as much right to existence as good does. I cannot understand this and it bothers me.”

    Try imagining that you created the most wonderful game for yourself to play out until the very end of time, space, polarity, gravity, etc., all of which you also created in order to play this magnificent timeless game. It wouldn’t likely turn out to be a particularly compelling game to play were there not ways to both win and lose, succeed and fail, move ahead and be set back. A truly compelling game’s outcome wouldn’t be some foregone conclusion in the way that so many of our self-flattering rituals, posing as actual games, turn out to be. Chance, the Fates, luck, and karma would all be invited onto the playing field to upset any preconceived expectations, thereby keeping the game endlessly lively and uncertain.

    Although we humans might tucker ourselves out writing great tomes claiming to know the actual outcome of that game, they would all of them only be inspired approximations at best, or outright lies at worst. Frankly, we don’t even know whether there might be several rounds to this timeless game — quite a paradoxical idea, which we humans can’t even properly conceive of yet. A lotus flower repeatedly reblooming from Vishnu’s navel may be as close as we can hope to get. Who knows, in the end it might turn out to be the best of five rounds, with time, space, polarity, gravity, etc. getting reinvented slightly differently for each one. Will good eventually manage to knock out evil? Will balance ultimately vanquish imbalance? Will good and evil finally resolve into a state of perfect balance? Will balance and imbalance finally resolve into a state of… wow, we really don’t have enough access to the mental realm to conceive of these concepts yet, do we?

    Evil has every right to exist, just as we have every right to work with it, for it, against it, through it, alongside it, or as a counterbalance to it. Of course, whichever choice we make regarding evil will seriously color our existence and our experience of the game as well. From my limited perspective, evil appears to be inherently destabilizing and imbalancing, so I’d have to be pretty hard pressed (or perhaps totally insane) to place all my bets on its ending up the ultimate victor. But everyone has had different experiences and thus comes away with different perspectives. The fact that some people (as well as some fallen angels and gods) have perspectives I can’t hope to comprehend, which led them to place their bets on evil, inviting it into themselves, is just part of what keeps the game so fresh and challenging. In the end, that seems to be a great blessing, as we will only get to matriculate once we’ve learned from countless challenges. Without evil, what important choices would we be faced with, and who would teach us all the important lessons we’ve come here to learn?

  316. Scotlyn,
    I like your no deference, no contempt comment. I have a similar saying, I think, which is everyone matters or no-one does.

  317. A major reason I believe in God is that the idea of a god in a world that is apparently only material and an idea that has been held by so very many people over time is odd. Therefore there must be some truth in there somewhere.

  318. With the media covering the current global heat wave in apocalyptic terms, it’s hard to know what’s really going on. Today I just happened to accidentally find an article from Washington University in St. Louis that seems to explain it all.

    Since global warming is basically a gradual process, it cannot by itself explain the sudden increase in heat this year. This article lists three factors. The first is the return of El Nino (which has been covered by the media). The second is an increase in solar radiation.

    The third is hiding in plain sight but hard to discern because of our 24/7 news cycle which seems to change every hour. In 2022 there was a major underwater volcanic explosion near Tonga. It was the biggest volcanic explosion in the 21st century. Some satellite caught it and you could see it all over the media.

    It turns out this explosion released a tremendous amount of water vapor into the atmosphere. Water vapor is a greenhouse gas but for some reason hardly gets any negative publicity. This explosion is supposed to affect the climate for five years.

  319. @ Patricia M: I have a guess about 2 and 3 but not about 1. It makes an interesting puzzle…. to distract me from my current hobbyhorse.

  320. Fascinating how cultural tendrils reach out and set root in places you’d never expect. I found by chance on youtube this trio of Muslim women from Indonesia doing some pretty good metal. Languages used are Sundanese and English. Playing is not bad.

    Voice of Baceprot – Live at Wacken Open Air 2022 – YouTube

    I can die now because now I’ve seen everything.

    One thing before I expire; I also found these two bands from Japan, also all-female, doing excellent metal.

    Did you think that Asian countries mainly produced candy-coated boy bands? I did (to the extent I thought about it). But this? On this level? Zounds!

    LOVEBITES / The Hammer Of Wrath [Official Live Video taken from “Knockin’ At Heaven’s Gate”] – YouTube

    BAND-MAID / DOMINATION (Official Live Video) – YouTube

    Shows you what I know (not much). See you in the Great Beyond.

  321. re: CDBC,

    A datapoint that won’t slow down our so-called betters, but we should be aware of — all of Canada needed to use cash for one full day last July, as the payment processing network went down. They may very well try and do a cashless society, but I doubt it will last long.

    re: Greyhound bus,

    A related datapoint — Greyhound pulled out of the Canadian West in 2018, due to the long distances, low population and high price of fuel. They left Canada entirely in 2021. (And, yeah, they weren’t allowed to operate at that point. So I guess they just said “OK, well, if you don’t want us…”) Greyhound had a monopoly on many of the routes they gave up on, especially in the west. I don’t travel much, but I get the impression many places simply cannot be reached by bus anymore. I don’t know how much competition Greyhound has in the flyover states, but I suspect it’s only a matter of the next surge in gas prices before you get triaged the same way Canada was.

    re: The Internet, and the infrastructure thereof,

    Perhaps the internet never made money; in the early days it did not matter as it was enthusiasts who thought the communication was worth the cost. (Even the cost of long-distance phone charges!) Later it became a befuddlement of bankers; lord only knows where the true costs have been borne.

    I think, overall, if computer networking went back to just being those willing to pay for it, it would be a net benefit both to the still-online minority and society as a whole. The old Usenet and BBSes, where the users often owned and ran and certainly paid for their own architecture, was arguably superior to the World Wide Web. If it wasn’t actually better, it certainly did less harm. I rather hope we can fall back to that for a while, if the big corporate money dries up online. I look forward to calling into the Ecosophia BBS or soc.hist.ecosophia at 1200 baud sometime in the 2030s.

    Actually, JMG, do you have any idea of the hypothesis that reliance on the ‘subnatural’ inviting in demons should be applied to all digital communication, or more specifically to the World Wide Web? Things could get pretty hairy on Usenet, so maybe it’s the former. If so, be careful on telephones– the old analog interchanges are long-gone.

  322. Hi JMG,
    I just wanted to ask if you are familiar with the work of Simon Michaux? He is Australian but is currently an associate professor at the Geological Survey of Finland. He has been doing research into just how unrealistic the green transition is and has some fairly hard numbers on the shortfall of materials required for it to happen. I recommend that you have a look at his web site, if you haven’t already (www.simonmichaux.com). He also has some other interesting research you might find useful.

  323. Princess Cutekitten wrote, “it’s just that I figure I understand the mind of God about as well as an ant understands my mind.”

    I’m pretty sure that an ant has much more understanding of and affinity for our minds than we could possibly have for whatever part of a god we might describe as being its mind. At least ants actually have minds that can be directly corresponded to the same category as our own, however limited they may be (you get to choose your preferred antecedent for that one!)

    Tiny, fledgling gods may well look up towards giant, ancient gods (the ones we tend to revere) with the same kind of awe and trembling with which an ant tries to navigate around a lumbering human. But those fledgling gods do already exist in the same complex realms as their elder brethren; similarly, ants already exist in the same somewhat-less-complex realms as we humans do. However, neither humans nor ants yet have existence in all of the same complex dimensions that gods, even the tiniest of them, already do.

    Whether a majority of the gods, for their ease and convenience, simply lump us together with ants, cuttlefish, and iguanas would be as yet unknown. I would certainly expect the ant god to consider humans to be quite inferior to his divine creation — likewise the cuttlefish and iguana gods! Perhaps there will turn out to be some majority of the great gods more concerned with our human antics, or perhaps that’s just us being more concerned with our own antics.

    If, on the other hand, as it so often does, your capital-letter God refers to the far larger life force, which itself created all of the lesser divinities, then that would be a whole new order of realms and dimensions above the gods, who themselves could hardly conceive of, let alone hope to understand, its truly unlimited “mind”. Whatever the case, I certainly expect that our human understanding of the vast “minds” of gods comes nowhere near any ant’s natural ability to understand our relatively dinky human minds.

  324. Darkest Yorkshire,

    Thank your for post 3. I know some people who are very self-critical. I’m going to share your insight with them.

  325. Clarke, on free will.

    I suspect that JMG and Schopenhauer are right that free will is outside of the realm that human logic can deal with. I think that I can explain it.

    We talk about free will as if we actually know what it is, an agent with agency that ‘chooses’ things. But we don’t really understand it. It’s like gravity, we know that it happens but we don’t know how it happens, why gravity works the way that it does.

    Looking at free will with the classic nature vs nurture argument you have two choices, A and B, and the scales are weighted by nature and nurture. But if you were to some how tease out the nurture weightings with identical twins in different environments or something, then you would be left with only nature. If you could somehow remove the nature weightings (as a thought experiment, nevermind how) the scales would be even. Logically, any choice in a secular universe could only be made in a predetermined, mechanistic fashion or a purely random one, a stochastic with 50/50 odds. There isn’t any way to break it down into a conscious agent making a choice without setting up a straw man that does away with what mean by the word choice.

    Adding the weights back in doesn’t change the nature of the issue, some conscious agent still makes a choice. Any argument against free will basically boils down to disputing the existence of either consciousness or choice, and at that point there’s no real discussing it any further. It might be useful to some people if you point this out to them. If not you may as well treat them like a meat machine, a human sized LLM that isn’t well trained and gives trite and vapid responses to intelligent prompts.

    I hope that is some use to you.

  326. Hey JMG

    By any chance have you also read anything by idries shah, or his son Tahir shah? Both have written of Sufism and experience of the supernatural in Morocco, and Tahir shah is one of the few people I know of who has written enough to come close to your output. He mostly writes short stories.

  327. VP Harris is lying aboit the FL curriculum standards in an effort to brand DeSantis a racist. That much is unsurprising. But there were two things that surprised me about her little stage play. One, the number of seemingly inteligent educated people who fell for the VP’s twisted interpretation despite the availability of Google. Two. the habit of thought that if something is evil it must be pure evil – no benefit could be possible. I wonder if thinking skills have really atrophied that much, or are people just blinded by politics?

  328. JMG
    I apologize for such a late entry into this open forum, but something that’s been bothering me ever since it started is the recent fashionable blaming of the “Boomer” generation for all the current ills that afflict today’s world. And even though I’m a Boomer, the reason I dislike the Boomer-bashing is because it’s erroneous, in addition to being intellectually lazy. Any generation can blame the preceding one(s) for its problems, which means the Boomers have the pre-Boomers to blame, who have their predecessors to blame, and so on, ad nauseam. To listen to the current hyperbole, one would assume there wasn’t injustice in the world until Boomers came along and made a hash of everything, totally ignoring the fact that Boomers were also in the streets protesting war and injustice in the 1960’s and ’70’s. And even they weren’t the first generation to do so. The world’s current problems started long before the Boomer generation and I just think the “Okay Boomer!” criticism comes from the fact that they’re the ones running things now, for the most part, which makes them an easy target. Any thoughts?

  329. Hello JMG,
    Scrolling through the comments and your responses last night, I must admit I was shaken by your verdict on Europe. I had imagined steep decline and chaos arriving some time in the second half of the century when – I am the same age as you – I would either not be around or too old to care and mainly wondered how best to advise and protect my grandchildren. As for my children who currently all have good jobs in the UK, the gentlest suggestions will have to do for the next while.
    At the moment in UK it’s already the case that no mainstream investments make any money. Inflation has fallen to about 9% from a peak of 11% and the best savings accounts only pay about 6% while the FTSE and savings vehicles based on shares and bonds are in about the same place now as last year. My brother and I have just inherited a fair chunk of money – what to do with it? My thinking is an investment based in emerging markets in Asia/BRICS+ as the last growth area of industrial civilization as Europe and N America crumble, plus of course developing something to give an income into old age.
    Any thoughts from the commentariat?

  330. @ anonymous #322
    “The activists who formulated the idea of transhumanism as a movement defined as their goal something like, “radically improving on what would otherwise be the inescapable human existential condition through rational application of of the technological implications of the natural sciences”, where “what would otherwise be the inescapable human existential condition” notably includes involuntary mortality and disease.”

    Whereas, it has been remarked here before that Marxism is Christianity with the serial number filed off, and UFO abductions are traditional fairy lore with the serial numbers filed off, it strikes me that this formulation sounds exactly, but EXACTLY, like the western version of Buddhism being discussed last week, with the serial numbers filed off.

  331. Anonymous #322
    PS

    “…if they were to not believe that the evidence is decisive for the supernatural, and were to instead reason about how to make a better world by proceeding on a provisional conclusion that the supernatural didn’t exist…”

    It seems you are under the impression that the important argument here is about the moral dimensions of accepting JMG’s presentation of evidence for the supernatural, whereas I wonder if the important moral argument is whether human attempts to “make a better world by [whether by natural or supernatural means or any other means]” are ethically dangerous and too likely to result in some form of authoritarianism or tyranny. Mainly because most conceptions of what a “better world” might mean, entail a vision of a “better* human”, which is where – in my view – the trouble begins.

    * to the transhumanist, this would be the technically enhanced human…

  332. Marsh (#317),

    Yes, I’ve heard you’re a little short on snakes over there…(from an episode of “Escape to the Country”) We have plenty here in the U.S., though most are, blessedly, not as deadly as some that our Aussie friends deal with…

    Taipan? Tiger snake? Sea snakes? No thanks!

    My son swears he saw an Eastern Diamondback rattlesnake cruising through our yard here in town, right after we moved here. And I’ve relocated more than one Copperhead from our rural property.

    Personally, I take the return and expansion of these species as a robust third-party verification that we are well into energy descent.

    Cheers.

  333. Speaking of our Aussie friends…

    Jared Diamond has been mentioned this week, and I just reread his book “Collapse” recently. In it he talks about the losing proposition of large-scale agriculture on the barren soils of the continent, affecting far more than just the agricultural sector. He goes on to hypothesize that Australia might be the first (over)developed nation to abandon agriculture.

    Has anything happened on that front Down Under? Chris at Fernglade? Anybody?

    This is a very interesting topic to me.

  334. Re: fangirl stuff: the converse of seeing the downside of whoever you’re a fan of, is being able to recognize and keep the good things in what you later dismissed as garbage. And every last one of them had things worth keeping and living by, some fewer than others, of course.

    In #2, the worst of the lot,the gem in the garbage was and is: “You have a right to live on your own terms and with your own agenda, with due respect for the rights of others to do the same, and within the limits of reality.” When you’ve been Number Last in a family that shoved Unselfishness down your throat, that’s powerful medicine. Plus, she really had a good handle on her villains-on-the-left, idolize as she may her villains-on-the-right.

    #1: the key message was one’s responsibility for those you’ve taken under your wing, especially your cat, plus some good old Missouri Show Me attitude. And so on. And senility explains a lot of the later creepiness.

    Current past fandoms: Steve Stirling’s Emberverse series and Eric Flint’s 1632 series, and I know where their personal outlook distorts the way their characters are presented.. And Lois MacMaster Bujold, who is far too down-to-earth to be anybody’s guru. One clue: does this person have a sense of humor? Neither #2 nor #3 did. Lois decidedly does. Eric does. Steve – sorta. #1, yes, with a very strong sense of “what fools we mortals be.”

    Some gems from Lois: “Loyalty must go both ways, or else it becomes betrayal in the egg.” And “Reputation is what others know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself. Guard your honor, let your reputation fall where it may, and outlive [your critics.]” (The original was undruidly slur on the origins of said critics.)

  335. Princess Cutekitten (#205) said:

    “Thanks for all the anti-procrastination suggestions. I’m going to try those tomorrow.”

    I’m glad I didn’t have anything in my mouth when I read this, because I probably would have sprayed it on the computer! I could almost see a little devilish grin creeping across your face.

    Thanks for the belly laugh.

  336. team10tim,

    Same for you. “advanced alien falling out of the sky technology…”

    What top-shelf humor to be found here this week!

  337. erika lopez,

    Yeah…I was just wondering where you’d run off to, Kitty cat.
    More than the usual quota of devils to deal with?

    Welcome back.

  338. @ Chris at Fernglade Farm #331

    “at the heart of the scientific method, there should be a level of scepticism, healthy, or otherwise. That’s the pressure which keeps the method honed and sharp, and the practitioners honest.”

    Oh amen to that!

    The default position of science must always be scepticism – and dare I say (?) – the moment ‘THE SCIENCE’ (whatever the blue blazes that is) becomes ‘settled’ (and in the modern sense unquestionable), it stops being science.

  339. I want to tell you a pair of stories about the ongoing Ukraine mess from my country MSM.
    I don’t usually read newspapers (my psychiatrist told me not to do it…OK, I’m kidding), but sometimes I flip through local press when I’m at a bar. Well, this morning I’ve read the editorial page in my town most read newspaper and I’ve realized there was a little change…or no so little, maybe.
    My town most read newspaper is a right wing tendence “legacy media”, and its main contribution to Russian-phobic hysteria was, since the first day of the war, publishing a big Ukrainian flag with the title “With Ukraine” in its editorial page.
    The thing is a bit strange, or maybe not: Ukie flag and “solidarity” thought stopper has disappeared mysteriously since last time I read that newspaper…Some weeks ago, they told me in the bar.
    What’s happened to journalists bosses to put off the lithurgic Ukie flag? May be they are tired after near 2 years on continous trenches war?
    Interesting.
    I’m waiting for your rational explanations, JMG and kommentariat.

    By the way, two or three months ago, a spanish humor magazine (some way it’s like the infamous French “Charlie Hebdo”) published a very bad taste joke about Ukie troops. It was a picture in which two maggots were very fat and they were asking for more Ukrainian fresh meat to eat…I don’t like such as dark humour, but that picture showed how there’s something moving in the NATOland fringes recognizing the carnage, heavy losses on the “good guys” side…

  340. First, thank you to JMG and others who replied to my comments earlier. Appreciate the responses and the thoughts.

    @Curt #244

    Since I’m in a similar situation/age group and have done some thinking on this lately, here are some stray observations. None of this counts as serious planning or research, of course, but might be a starting point?

    IMO, Australia and New Zealand would be the clear winners. There’s a reason all the obnoxious tech millionaires are moving there. Sure, Australia seems set for some heavy global warming impacts, but the habitable parts might still be as nice as anything in our new world. And it still has low population density, isolation from all the major conflict zones and a full continent’s worth of resources and climate areas.

    NZ, on its part, looks a lot like my native Norway from a distance, just more temperate and in a much better geographical position. Both countries are native English-speaking and should be relatively easy for a European to integrate in. The issue here is of course getting a visa to live in these countries to begin with, which seems to be out of the question unless you have the specialized skills and education they want.

    I agree with JMG that (parts of) the US also seem promising. Hawaii, future Lakeland Republic, maybe parts of the East Coast. Still, I feel the cultural divide would be pretty big, and the perpetual doomer fantasy of armed mobs and violence seems like an uncomfortably real possibility with all those guns around. Plus lots of nuclear power plants, GMO crops in the environment, etc. Either way, same immigration issues apply here. They’d never let me in, so not much use thinking about it anyway.

    So what are the realistic (ish) options, then? For those of us with Schengen passports, Madeira or the Canary Islands might be worth considering. All-year growing season, well-suited for appropriate solar tech, warm but not extremely hot (so far, anyway), poor by European standards but still reasonably safe and with rule of law intact. Learning Spanish or Portuguese should be doable for Germanic-speakers. Also isolated from conflict zones, and harder to reach for migrating populations since you’d need a fleet to get there.

    On the other hand: already uncomfortably dry, might end up annexed by some North African theocracy or warlord, economy totally dependent on unsustainable tourism, isolation also means less trade and resources from the outside world.

    Or, if you’re really tough and willing to go full-on “collapse now and avoid the rush” mode by looking into poorer countries: Costa Rica, Panama or Southeast Asia. The two former have pretty much the ideal climate as of now, but might be compromised by heat and humidity later. They seem safe and stable by non-Western standards, but might still be hard to get used to coming from EU. I’ve also seen them described as “second world”: much poorer than the West, but not all-out extreme destitution either, which might foreshadow where most of us are headed in the decades ahead. Unlike US/Canada/Aus/NZ, getting residency there should be doable if you’re determined and have some money (as I understand it).

    Much of the same applies to Asia, but the language barrier would be bigger, and you’d be (even more of) a permanent outsider.

    Just my two Euro cents… 🙂

  341. I arrived at the blog for JMG after seeing his 2015 book – After Progress – Reason and Religion in the Industrial Age, referenced in Chapter 7 of Jem Bendell’s Just released book – Breaking Together – A Freedom Loving Response to Collapse.

    While reading this chapter, and his many references to others on this topic, I was reminded of the phrase “The Center Will Not Hold.”

    I thought of that phrase as capturing the current moment. I (again) looked up the reference to it.

    “The Center Will Not Hold” originated in the 1919 poem by W.B Yeats, The Second Coming, which has been represented often in art and literature since it was published. One of many examples is the 1991 song by Joni Mitchell, Slouching Towards Bethlehem. Mitchell took the title from the name of the book of essays from the writer Joan Didion. A 2017 documentary about her life was titled The Center Will Not Hold.

    From the Yeats poem:

    “Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.”

    We are all falcons, flying towards the falconer. I’d like to think that I have conviction and am often full of passionate intensity, but that doesn’t change the fact that we are mere falcons heading towards the falconer.

  342. My local newspaper picked up an opinion piece by NY Times columnist Ross Douthat, which is titled, in the Times, “The Case for Tourism.” It starts out innocently enough, but gets into some unexpected (for me at least) territory. In examining why we go to places that are considered special, he turns to pilgrimage, including the phrase “openness to the place’s secret power, its numen or its god.” Later he says, “total disenchantment is something of a myth–the world still defies reductionism, the gods have purposes of their own.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2023/07/28/opinion/travel-vacation.html

    I don’t know Douthat’s work, whether this is typical for him, or whether he’s had an epiphany. He seems quite serious and not at all ironic about his comments.

  343. I was meditating on the Faust story and what struck me this time around is that if anyone has the right to be the aggrieved party it’s Satan. After all, Faust agreed to the contract and Satan delivered, only to see Faust try to get out of it at the end. It struck me that this could be applicable not only to our civilization (“you got two centuries of lording it over Nature, now back to your place you go’) but to Trump post-presidency (“you got your four years in the White House, now it’s time to go back to being a mere billionaire”). We humans do seem to have a reluctance to pay the piper, don’t we?

  344. (Apologies for the double, but I hadn’t read the full comment chain when I wrote the first, and thought this deserved a fuller reply)

    @Nachtgurke #263

    Thanks for this. Sounds wise to me, and for the record I’ve been reading JMG’s blogs for a long time and tend to enjoy your comments in general. Knowing yourself…yeah, that’s probably one of the keys, isn’t it? Figuring out what I truly want to do and unifying the will have been struggles for me all my life, so I think you’re right this would be a necessary avenue to go down no matter where I settle.

    As for divination, I’ve only done a few forays, but I actually do enjoy it quite a bit even if I’m still green at it. Probably my favorite part of the whole “spiritual practices toolkit”, to put it that way. Long story short, I’m a former Dawkins-style materialist who’s slowly come around, and after some dead ends and false starts I’m currently making a proper go of our host’s excellent CGD system. Looking forward to regular divination again once I work my way up to the geomancy lessons there.

    And walking? Absolutely. I’m blessed to live near some beautiful pine forests, and I very much value those long daily walks.

  345. @asdf jkl; – Thanks a lot for these links, I’ve got them open in tabs to read later on!

    @CR Patiño – Thanks very much for sharing what you could share! I hope the health care skills you learned will help with taking care of your family.

    I see a similar trajectory playing out for myself, too. I’m still on the fence about whether I pursue herbalism as a career or not, but I’ve been tending to think these are useful skills for my own family, but that’s it.

    Your first and second points are also very relevant here in Canada, and having “mainstream” health care credentials, even if not required, sounds like something that is indeed a major hurdle in order to be seen by others in a serious light. And as you say, that affects how you handle marketing. I’m going to want to think on all this further.

    Thanks again, and all the best in your new job.

  346. Jmg

    1) After reading the comment about canada maid system how it has inevitably become part of the welfare and healthcare what are the odd this will be replicated in europe which suffers the same fate having aging population and nobody willing to care for them?

    2) what would you say to a person born in the 80s but there is great chance to reach 100 years old or at least 80 and is dreading what the future holds ?

  347. JMG, One of the things that has greatly impacted bus services has been the rise in the homeless population ( at least in the west). Portland had a new bus terminal colocated with the light rail and the train station. The light rail line I rode to my shop from 2012 to 2020 went literally through it. But over time the homeless literally took over the bus station. Only a narrow strip where the light rail unloaded was kept clear by transit security. Greyhound does not have the profits ( managed well or not) to provide the kind of security it would take to keep the terminal clean and secure. So a couple years ago they shut down the whole state of the art terminal and went to picking people up on the sidewalk, next to some hotels downtown.
    The airlines ,as the favored mode of transportation by the establishment, enjoy publicly provided security to solve this problem. Even that is not enough sometimes. They are now in the process of rebuilding the light rail station attached to the Portland Airport ( literally under it). One of the main reasons is that they are constructing an entrance wall and turnstiles to control access to the airport. Previously the platform connected directly to the baggage claim area with an escalator. The homeless folk would roll in on the train and use the restrooms and seating areas in the airport. Now it will require some kind of airline ticket to get through the turnstiles in to the airport.
    That the empire is in decline, there can be no doubt.

  348. Green Fedora,

    The fact that there are problems in the world does not belong to any one generation. However, the fact that at current prices I’d need to spend nearly all of my income (and it’s not a small one) on rent if I didn’t have the option to live with family, is the result of policies which push up housing prices, for the benefit of the Boomers. The fact that younger generations are systematically locked out of politics, is the result of the Boomers. While it’s true it didn’t start with them running the show, the fact that our cities are designed for cars and not people could have easily been addressed had the Boomers chosen to do so. The cost of higher education went through the roof once they finished; and became almost mandatory for a normal life, because of policies they supported.

    Anyone who wants to put the blame for everything on the Boomers is a fool; but anyone who wants to say that there is no blame for the Boomers, is also a fool. There are plenty of things which could have been done to make our world better which were not done because of decisions made by that generation; and there are things which were done that play a massive role in our mess because the Boomers chose to do it.

    I’d also have much more sympathy for the generation as a whole if they hadn’t spent the 1960s and 1970s protesting everything they became, and if there was less bashing of the younger generations for the mess that has unfolded since they collectively sold out on their younger ideals.

  349. Emily (#364),

    I was born in the 1990s, and am also dreading what is coming for our future. As morbid as it is sounds, one trick I’ve found works is to remind myself that the worse things get, the less likely I am to live to a ripe old age.

  350. team10tim says:
    #343 July 30, 2023 at 12:10 am
    Clarke, on free will.

    Thank you, kind sir. Your post fairly sums up about 200 years of fruitless yammering on the topic and comes to a reasonable conclusion that I believe I can share when I have to try and engage a small group with the questions I described in my post.

    The Bard said: “There are more things in heaven and on earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio.” That’s the only additional item I feel compelled to share. Similarly: “The world is not only stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we CAN imagine… ” I can’t remember the source of that quote, but it’s from some scientist (the real kind) or other (maybe a philosopher of science) in the past 75 years. It’s good to have a little humility, after all. At least as much as Kant had, although I rather lean towards the humility of Newton or Bacon or even (oddly enough) Edmund Burke.

  351. A parable I came up with years ago.
    The coast of Namibia is a part of Africa where elephants swim in the ocean. One day two gnats were blown out to sea.one landed on the back of a whale and the other on an elephant. Both made it back to land and each exclaimed to the other gnats “Out there in the vast ocean I met the ultimate, it was gray, wet, unbelievably vast in size, it was alive and breathing and moving” Gnat theologians examined their testimonies and decided they had met the same being. In my telling I say the whale was the great Yah-Whale, the true god and the elephant was the use of Buddhism to make the inner human awareness, which is made in the image of God, the ultimate. But I can see how the parable could be used in your model of reality as a depiction of the polytheistic religious experience of various gods, you could throw in elephant seals, varied species of whale, basking sharks, dolphins, a surfaced submarine, manatees as examples of other gods.
    Embracing and accepting the mystery and sporting in the ocean of reality. Yah-Whaling along.

  352. Robert Morgan @ 347. IDK if this would help at all, as my situation is fairly weird, but when I have money, I buy useful tools. Were I to come into possession of a substantial amount, I would be looking for good land, not so much as to be conspicuous, but enough for garden and orchard (and indulge my obsession with roses), with a well-built house wherein I could have a library and sewing room. In the USA one might as well wish for the moon. But I do keep seeing on the internet articles about declining towns which will welcome new house and land buyers with low prices, and, one hopes, minimal fees. I wouldn’t try, because there would need to be a lot of refurbishments, but if you receive enough to hire good contractors and know enough yourself to explain what you want, would it make sense for your brother and you to establish a family homestead?

  353. I am amazed by all the mentions of Australia. When I came here from Australia in 1965 any mention of Australia was extremely rare. But the Crocodile Dundee movies later on certainly helped.

    Australia has “low population density” only because most of it is uninhabitable. It is basically a giant sandless desert with a habitable coast line. Most of the people live in five coastal cities which have a Mediterranean climate except for Brisbane in the Northeast which is subtropical.

    Australia is basically a combination of California and Florida on the coasts with Arizona in the middle. It is so hot in the interior that in Coober Pedy, the opal mining capital of the world, people live underground.

    When I lived there the population was 10 million. Now it’s 26 million. Jared Diamond is probably correct that it may be the first developed country to go down the tubes.

  354. JillN, it’s not an unreasonable argument. Granted, I have a somewhat different take — human beings throughout time and across cultures have reported experiencing contact with gods, and have benefited from that contact; it’s more reasonable to accept that there are gods involved in those contacts than it is to work out labored ad hoc explanations for why people keep on encountering gods that aren’t there!

    Roman, do you have a link to the story? That strikes me as something worth citing.

    Doomer, when I was active on Usenet, it was pretty thoroughly infested with the same sorts of sleaze that more recent versions of the internet have deployed, so I suspect it’s across the board.

    Chronojourner, no, I’m not — I’ll check out his website. Thank you!

    J.L.Mc12, I read some Idries Shah back in the day, though this was many decades ago. Sufism isn’t really something that interests me — if I wanted to get into monotheist mysticism, there are forms of it that belong to the culture that’s familiar to me — so I didn’t read much.

    Christopher, the defenders of the existing order these days love to present things in the kind of cheap moral dualism that belongs in bad superhero comics. It doesn’t say much for our intelligence that they can get away with it.

    Fedora, I’m also a Boomer and I agree with the critics of my generation. Sure, they were out there protesting injustice in the 1960s, until the draft got discontinued — at which point a very, very large number of them rushed to joined the system they claimed to hate. If you want to talk about my g-g-g-generation, to quote the Who, it’s by and large the story of a generation that had to choose over and over again between its high ideals on the one hand, and wealth and privilege on the other, and with enbarrassingly few exceptions, they eagerly cashed in the first to get the second.

    Now the Boomers are still clinging to power at an age when earlier generations had the grace to step back and let younger people take the wheel. Of course there were injustices before the Boomers, but they’ve made things markedly worse in recent decades by pursuing policies that benefited them at the expense of younger generations — the insane inflation of housing prices, caused by policies that benefit Boomer homeowners by giving them rising property values to cash out in old age, is only one example of many. Thus if somebody says “Okay, Boomer” to me, I don’t object.

    Robert, I’m very concerned about Europe in the relatively short term. Between anomalously high death rates, accelerating economic decline, increasing lawlessness, and major demographic trends going hard against the survival of historic Europe, the European subcontinent has a very rough road ahead of it. How soon things will go pear-shaped depends partly on whether the death rates and birth rates continue to rise and fall respectively, partly on how badly the war in Ukraine goes against NATO, and partly on climate change, but it could get very messy in the next few decades.

    Chuaquin, interesting. Wind is changing…

    BirdsofBmore, good heavens — I hadn’t heard of Bendell’s book. Thank you for the heads up! As for Yeats, he’s one of my favorite poets; he watched the collapse of European society in the run-up to the two world wars the way we’re watching the collapse of American society in the run-up to wars not yet fought.

    Karen, interesting. Thanks for this.

    Roldy, I recommend reading Christopher Marlowe’s version, Doctor Faustus. In it — and in most pre-Goethean versions — the Devil definitely gets his due.

    Emily, (1) it really depends on local cultures. (2) Sure, if you’re nimble, pay attention to possible trouble, and are ready to relocate.

    Clay, that makes a great deal of sense.

    Moose, I like that. There are lots of big living things in the sea, but that doesn’t make one particular whale nonexistent!

    Roman, I’ve got a fair number of Australian readers, you know.

  355. Asking an old boomer for a link is not a good idea. The story appeared on my phone through a Fortune article but the origin was an article by Professor Wysession at Washington University in St. Louis.

  356. Dear Grover, I love your name because i’ve never met a real Grover in real life, and only know about Grover the blue muppet and Grover Washington.

    no, i’m not really “back,” as i’ve nothing much more to say share give or do, except scream. (smile)

    i suppose i’d only said this on eco dream: when only Temporary Reality and her husband drove all that way to see me on July 4th, i realized …well there’s a story on zerohedge about how the Germans are the most social now and 75% of Americans are anti-social. i so get it.

    but that means we’re toast.

    so i don’t know what to DO. i especially don’t see any point in me even writing anymore. anywhere. it leads to nothing in the real.

    especially after the library incident. i was ambushed by women i thought liked me enjoyed me, but like the fickle vampire fans…

    i didn’t see it coming and walked into a trap that any girl who’s gone through junior high should’ve seen a decade away!

    and simply because the women are scared of me for refusing to go outside to be served like a good negro, now means that i’m the violent bad one in the eyes of the library and i’m trapped in a hell of women’s EMOTIONS gone awry.

    i’m used to “mean girls” but now i’m going back to the demon hypothesis. what sucks is that the more afraid and emotionally human these women (and pseudo men) get, the more they lash out.

    i’m sad and afraid. sad because they took the library from me. i thought it was the last democratic stronghold. ha!

    now i’m ready to move from san francisco even though i can use James’ library card. i want my own.

    but it’s the way they all THINK. all the bureaucrats. i wanted to understand them but i think it’d lead to me returning into a fetal position screaming endlessly.

    so no, Grover. i’m not really “back” as i also haven’t gone anywhere. just checking in.

    i’m phasing out and off the innerwebs because i’d just become another thing for AI to assimilate and i’m not inciting or inspiring or even logging my own changes.

    i think it’s seriously long past time for me to consider leaving the bay area the entire west coast because i don’t think i’m gonna make it here.

    i saw Death in the library women’s faces.

    they like me they hate me they want me gone and DEAD so i don’t remind them of anything or make them feel “uncomfortable.”

    it’s got nada to do with right or wrong or justice and injustice. at this point we’re all animals trying to not get eaten by unhappy women.

    i’ve got a full blown fear of women right about now. it’s not “the liberals.” it’s women.

    i’m a natural born woman and i have NO IDEA who they are or where i turned off and away from all this. but they will happily eat us alive just so they feel calm.

    they never even noticed the kids this was all happening in front of. how could they? this is the where drag queen story hour started. apparently my old acquaintance/nemesis michelle tea started it. of course she did!

    consider yourselves lucky her menstruating proudly and freely on public transportation seats wasn’t her big new idea that hit with the public.

    so no, Grover. i’m not back and not really “here.” don’t listen to a thing i say!

    (giggle)

    K-Lo
    (kitten lopez)

  357. Additions to encounters in my gnat gone to sea parable – the great white shark of course and LoveCraftian giant squid and giant octopus.

  358. JMG,

    can you write a bit of the causal plane and/or advise me of where I should read on it?

  359. P.S. I think I’m being banned from the library because of the kinds of books the staff sees me check out. I get skunk eye with the fake California smiles. I had to request they buy Mattias Desmet’s book and checking out Jordan Peterson was like buying porn at 7-11 back in the day.

    I don’t know what to do with all this.

    It is what it is…

    And one at a time…

    Life is so cheap to them, without fight I’m considering options I’ve never entertained. Like giving up any fight and just worrying about my tiny world for once.

    So un leo like I know.

    But seeing as we were on top of the sun signs for caving in first and best on the shots, we’re not killin it. So maybe un leo like is course correction.

    These people will kill us and if they ever have it in em to feel bad, remember how that worked for Jesus. They made it so he died FOR them. Us? We’d be so lucky to get in the acknowledgements as an anonymous entity: humanity.

    X

  360. This is a bit different to the discussion we have had so far, but I came across one of those articles that left me thinking “Is this a real article or is this a spoof?”. It’s about employers using surveillance and predictive analytics to discover whether their employees are thinking of joining a union.
    Here’s a quote from it: “Talking to your employees about unions is kind of like talking to your kids about drugs. A lot of employers don’t do it because they’re afraid that they’re going to magically give [employees] the idea to go call a union. That doesn’t happen.”

    https://www.hr-brew.com/stories/2021/11/03/how-companies-use-predictive-analytics-to-get-ahead-of-union-drives

  361. JMG, climate links.

    The volcano put 146 metric megatons of water vapor into the stratosphere and is estimated (conservatively) to raise global temperatures by 0.035°C. For such a large volcano it put very little ash or sulfur in the atmosphere, which would cause cooling.

    https://eos.org/articles/tonga-eruption-may-temporarily-push-earth-closer-to-1-5c-of-warming

    Also, the north Atlantic is unusually warm, visually it looks to be above 3 sigma.

    https://yorkshirebylines.co.uk/news/environment/north-atlantic-ocean-records-its-highest-ever-sea-surface-temperature/

    And Antarctic sea ice is not forming at the usual rate this winter (it’s winter at the south pole) This is at least a 6 sigma event and no one is quite sure why.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/collapse/comments/158t71i/daily_standard_deviations_for_antarctic_sea_ice/ (sorry, I don’t have a better link handy at the moment)

    The graph is off the charts scary, but remember this is the standard deviation chart. The sea ice extent data show that sea ice is still forming, but at a much lower rate than normal.

    Personally, I think that we are near to a transition zone from one stable climate regime to a different climate regime and that transition is inherently chaotic.

  362. What will the past industrial heartlands of Europe look like in the not too distant future? Today we took a longer hike through a beautiful small river valley not too far away. Lots of rocks, lots of forest, lots of up and down, very small, scattered villages and the ruin of a large medieval fortresses.

    Two hundred years ago this area was devastated. There were mines for copper, zinc, lead and other ores, the forests have all been cut down for construction purposes and to melt the ores. The animal population was decimated, people lived in poverty under harsh climatic conditions and many, many left, quite a lot of them to Brazil.

    What will we be pillaged for once the last of European power has waned? The low hanging fruits have all been picked and the land has been stripped of nearly all its natural wealth. What’s left to plunder? A lot of our wealth and the wealth we stripped of other countries can possibly be found in our landfills and possibly a lot of water will be needed and locally, a lot of poisons will be released to the environment once again. Other than that water itself, but that might become less than abundant in the future and wood, but that’s coupled to water.

    But the world is large and (Western-)Europe is comparably small – who will even bother? They condemn the right-wing party AfD for being “völkisch” or racial and of course a Nazi-party. While I think this criticism is justified and that the AfD public figures are making the same stupid mistakes than there forerunners 90 years ago, only that their mistakes are much more overt, stupid and generally, they are acting much, much more clumsy – their opponents unfortunately fail to realize that the general idea of some “race-mind” (in the CosDoc’ish and Magical Battle for Britain-sense), some attractor and unifying principle, is probably what would be needed to avoid the worst. Spiritually there seems to be no form, no confinement and so I fear the old Europe as we know it is indeed bound to dissolve in the not too distant future.

    But as the saying goes, hard times produce strong people.

    Cheers,
    Nachtgurke

  363. Related to last week’s topic of the new religiosity, have a data point:

    The Salvation Army church I’ve been going to for the past 12 years has kept getting smaller and smaller. Last year I pitched in and got the defunct worship team (choirlet) going again, but a month or so I looked around and realized that not only had the church getting smaller, every single person involved in the music except me and the pastor was no longer showing up or was about to leave. Almost all of my friends were gone, and I was getting very tired of grieving because people I cared about kept disappearing. And there was no one new to make friends with either. My last day there, excluding me and the other people about to leave, there was 7 people including the pastors and their kid. There’s also some other issues I’d been having that I wouldn’t mind getting away from.

    So I’ve been wandering around looking at other churches. 4/4 church services I attended at 3/3 churches looked way healthier than where I had been. Today I decided to join one. It’s an anglican church (anglo catholic subtype which is a bit of a shock to the system after the salvation army for so many years). The people were really warm and welcoming, it was well-attended, it’s part of the anglican church which is what I grew up in, and the choir is stunning despite it being summer and them being in-between choir directors. And apparently they want more sopranos. They also use instrumentalists sometimes, so I may get the opportunity to use my recorders to play baroque and renaissance music at some point. I’ll be going to choir practice this coming week, we’ll see how that goes.

  364. JMG, your reason for believing in gods makes sense. However, when I was younger, I did not have that kind of personal experience.
    Anonymous #367, Your comment reads exactly like that of a young man I heard on TV in the early 1970s, berating our own older generation for leaving the world in such a mess and poor us. I listened in astonishment as I thought we had a pretty good deal. When our parents reached employment age there was a depression and when they reached the age of settling down into their own homes and families, they had to go off to fight a war. I was always thankful that had not happened to me. (Please don’t mention Vietnam, I know about that).
    Increasingly we have come to expect too much over the last decades, much of it driven by marketing.
    In my grandmother’s house in the 1940s there lived 3 sons, 1 wife, 2 daughters, 2 husbands as leave from the army permitted and a baby. It was a modest 3 bedroom house, as most were then and I have no idea where they all slept. They were not poor but lucky to be accommodated.
    Perhaps we all need to adjust our own expectations.
    Much of the Boomer wealth came from 2 chance occurrences – a large population group and oil being pumped out as if it would never end.
    It is hard to feel that there is no rosy future but I hope you find your own peace and happiness as life goes on and most of us do.

  365. Kim A. #362 – A former Dawkins-style materialist studying the CGD – you covered some distance… I was raised to believe I am one and that everything else is ridiculous superstition. Being put to the test that house of cards fell apart very painfully, but without any resistance.

    It’s a weird experience to realize that there is someone in the room patiently observing you when you thought you were all alone with your worries and labours. Having said that, I wish you a good and fruitful time practicing Geomancy and the CDG 🙂

    Cheers,
    Nachtgurke

  366. @ Grover

    Modern Australia was “built on the sheep’s back” before the age of fossil fuels. There are cattle stations in the north bigger than the Netherlands. These run on very little inputs. I might also add that Australian farmers are well-positioned to deal with climate change since the weather here is already highly variable. In most areas, drought and flood are a constant risk. A farmer earns their living in the years between the two extremes.

    I haven’t read Diamond but he seems to be re-visiting Toynbee. Toynbee notes that being challenged by the environment is not the problem. In fact, the evidence suggests that the greatest civilisations are those who overcame the greatest environmental challenges. The real problem is failing to respond to the challenge.

    I’d say the greatest threat to Australian agriculture in the near term is not climate change but the imbeciles who run our country (what Toynbee called the Dominant Minority). To take just one example, we are now building solar farms on prime agricultural land. If we do “abandon agriculture” it will probably be because some bureaucrat decided to cover all the arable land with “renewable energy”.

  367. @JMG,

    I fully get why you would want to visit Germany – it‘s a great country! (despite some current, uhm, issues)

    If I may ask, if you could visit Germany, which things would you most want to do, see, experience?

    @and to everybody wondering about the current media-hyped „global heatwave“:

    If you come across that, could you parcel some of it and send it our way? The forecast for Saturday is 17 degrees Celsius max during daytime, and 10 degrees Celsius at night. That‘s lousy even for the last few weeks‘ very low standards… I feel that in July and August, and especially in a global heatwave, at the very least one should be able to sit outside during daytime without needing a sweater! 😉

    Milkyway

  368. An article in the Gainesville Sun’s US & World section noted that young Chinese are moving to Southeast Asia, where the living is cheaper and the pressures far less. Like “living on the continent” was for people in genteel poverty when the sun had not yet set on the British Empire? And American retirees et. al. settle in Mexico for the same reasons? In other words, does China now have The Imperial Capitol Blues?

  369. JMG
    You’re absolutely right about the boomers who ceased their activism when the draft was repealed. I’ve complained about the hippies who cut their hair and became stockbrokers and establishment sycophants when the draft ended. Unfortunately, the generations that succeeded them haven’t made anything better, but instead allowed themselves to get coopted as much as the boomers had, and that was the point I was aiming for, albeit poorly. lol. In any case, love your work!

  370. So I’ve only been banned from the library until October 26.

    3 months in library jail is time to use to death clean and see where calls us.

    And finish shower curtain art. First one is …magnificent so far! Because I’m way beyond my usual tripe.

    It’s juicy and human and alive and kicking my ass.

    Because I’m doing it all in brush. Pens bleed on this bristol and didn’t know until it was already all traced in photo blue.

    See? Art has always been my isolated defiance. Now I remember. Kick my ass but I win by imagining myself gliding over and beyond.

    Art, this one… she gives me many good talking to and each time I re draw her expression,

    So much white and black cracking ink of confusion on the bristol is my own.

    Oct 26. Death clean or bust. It took the library drowning in estrogen to make me crack drop to my knees and cry uncle.

    They win here. I’ll cede san francisco after all.

    Their curse I twist to a prayer.

    X

  371. It has been said that “every generation is what it has to be.” We Boomers were lucky enough to have grown up during the post-World War II prosperity which ended in 1973.

    Our biggest problem was our parents who had lived through the Great Depression and World War II. They were always mentally ready for the next depression or world war. But we intuitively sensed that a depression or world war was not around the corner.

    This is why The Beatles were an overnight success in the 1960s. Their early message was that “you can have all the fun you want to have.” There was no reason for us to live in any other era.

  372. Hi JMG,
    I have begun reading Dion Fortune’s “Psychic Self Defense.” In the preface, she mentions “The recent tragedy in Iona….” Do you know to what she is referring? I searched online for any incidents on or near the island of Iona both in the early twentieth century and more recently and found nothing I’d connect with Fortune’s reference. Can you possibly shed some light on it, please? Thanks!

  373. Yellow Freightlines filed for bankruptcy this weekend. They were the largest LTL Truck Carrier in the US. The press and the industry blames this on various things like unions, bailouts, Covid, mismanagement etc. But like the chaos in the airlines it is a symbol of an energy intensive industry being starved by high energy costs. That seems to be how things will be unfolding. No one will say ” air travel is collapsing because jet fuel is too expensive.” They will say ” everything is fine, and will go back to normal as soon as those pesky air traffic controllers get their act together.” Nor will they say, ” that new organ you want can no longer be affordably shipped from far away so you will have to choose a locally made one.” Instead the organ will be out of stock forever with no explanation. This game of “pretend things will be fine” is preventing us from thinking about practical options, and will thus hasten our way to collapse.

  374. Kim A
    I have lived in Canary Islands, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Cartagena, Columbia. I loved Cartagena while I was there, but I have doubts about Columbia long term. It still has one of the highest murder rates around. Panama I haven’t lived in but I have investigated, when I lived in Costa Rica, and from all I’ve seen and heard seems very American influenced.

    Costa Rica I lived in for quite some time. Everyone raves about Costa Rica but I am very luke warm. The Costa Ricans are nice enough, although they can be irritating as in, they will agree to do anything, but they are very reluctant to tell you what they can’t do. As if that is just too rude, so it can take an annoyingly long time to find out. The other big problem is as a gringo, most of the people you will interact with, or who are set up to interact with gringos are either gringos, or people who have learned to interact mostly with gringos.

    The gringos are greedy, the people they’ve trained to interact with gringos also tend to be greedy. Most people feel safer with the gringos, who speak English, or the gringo influenced and most of those are untrustworthy. A real Costa Rican tends to be honest, but it is harder to meet and interact with them, but better to do so, even in bad Spanish.

    Costa Rica is also quite expensive. Everything electronic, and vehicles cost much more, and tends to come from the USA. In fact most of what I dislike about Costa Rica is the US influence or corruption by the USA. But the biggest thing I dislike about Costa Rica is the earthquakes. I felt like I was actually living on the side of a dragon. There were tremors, tremors, tremors. No one talks about them hardly, they pretend they are not happening but they are far worse than anywhere else I have been.

    All these Central American countries have tremors but nowhere have I experienced as many as Costa Rica. Sometimes it felt like every day. One month after a big earthquake there were about 5000 replicas, maybe more in one month. I think one day had 2000, maybe I’m exaggerating but far far too many. And that is the biggest thing I don’ t like about Costa Rica. The real Costa Ricans are honest, but generally unassertive and very often trusting, but there tends to be a veneer that interferes with interacting with them. I once stayed at a nice hotel for a month, and the manager wouldn’t let me pay until I was leaving. When I was leaving, she was gone, for a month. I had to come back to pay her when she came back. No one else would take the money.

    My favorite country in Central America is Nicaragua. It receives false bad press. It is not communist, very capitalist, prices are good, supplies of everything at much cheaper prices, less than half Costa Rica prices, people are just as friendly or friendlier than Costa Rica.

    But they are more assertive. They will tell you when they can and can’t do something. I prefer that. They are 97% honest, unless they are gringos or Americanized, and there are not too many of those. To give an example, a dishonest Nicaraguan who has not been gringoized would think it a big triumph to steal $5. An Americanized Nicaraguan, or true gringo, might not be satisfied with a $100. So I stay away from them. My motto is, if they speak English and they are selling or counseling anything be very cautious, and unless they prove otherwise, start moving away. Of course you meet many English and foreign tourists but I’m not talking about them except where they have become con artists themselves.

    Nicaragua has lots of water Nicar-agua (agua is water), land is relatively cheap, they grow most of their own food and the food is far more real than that in the USA. I discovered many flavors I haven’t tasted since I was a child. I thought I was losing my taste. No, it is the food. One drawback about Costa Rica is they don’t seem to grow as much of their own food, and import a great deal of food from South America, especially Chile, which is fine in good times but what about bad.

    Most of Nicaragua’s imports come directly from China, and other Asian countries, which is what the US hates. Costa Rica receives from China too, but it goes through the USA first, which is why it is so expensive. Unless things get really bad I think it is likely China will keep supplying Nicaragua.

    Nicaragua’s generally honest, they’ve chased me down the street several times to give me back my camera, also my umbrella, my change, my hat and clothing. I don’t know anywhere else that would do that, though the locals in Costa Rica might. And even here in my little town in the Canaries, when they didn’t even know me, when I was new, they let me take all my goods home that I had bought from the Hardware store when the direct debit machine didn’t work.

    “Just come back and pay us next week.”

    The little towns are like that.

    The Canaries are not backwards in the slightest. I have been to Madrid recently and all over Europe not so recently. The Canaries are just not as stressed, and are cheaper than the rest of Europe, about as cheap as Central America, much more modern, but generally not as friendly and more insistent that you speak correct Spanish to them, especially in government offices and banks. I speak Spanish terribly.

    Right now the Canaries are great but if things go bad I worry about water and electricity and goods.

    If I had to leave and go somewhere else because times were bad I would likely go to Nicaragua, though I might be tempted by Thailand just because my son lives there, but I would be worried about all the countries around me, and I don’t know Thailand.

    One last thing. I don’t know how any of the people in any of these countries will behave towards foreigners if they become very stressed. On the other hand living in the USA with all its guns would worry me too. I think any country could become unfriendly.

  375. Princess Cutekitten #205 says: Thanks for all the anti-procrastination suggestions. I’m going to try those tomorrow.

    OK, I don’t know whether this was a procrastination joke to which I should say “LOL”, or if it was a serious reference to starting the next day and I should ask “How’s it going?”

    Joy Marie

  376. Roman, so noted and thank you.

    Moose, I’m pretty sure Great Cthulhu is somewhere out there as well. 😉

    Ian, human beings know very, very little about it, since it’s far above our capacity to perceive. It’s the plane immediately below the divine plane and contains the causes of all things on planes below it. A.E. Powell’s book The Causal Body and the Ego is a good place to start learning about it. You can download that for free (it’s out of copyright) here:

    https://www.theosophy.world/resource/ebooks/causal-body-and-ego-e-powell

    Mawkernewek, no surprises there. The whole focus of the managerial class these days is on denying anyone else the chance to have any say in their lives.

    Team10tim, thanks for this.

    Nachtgurke, depends on the speed and direction of climate change. Some of southern Europe is going to look like the Sahara desert; further north, think Italy or southern France.

    Pygmycory, thanks for the data point.

    Patricia M, big, big straws…

    Milkyway, it’s not a matter of specific places. I lived there a long time ago in another life, and what memories I have — I’m pretty sure they’re of the Rhineland — are very sweet. Mind you, I’d probably make time to visit the Externsteine and such other prehistoric sites that come to hand, and plenty of Gothic churches, but mostly I’d want to take in the countryside and the less modernized small towns. (By the way, where in Germany are you? I’d be interested to follow up on your inadequate global warming…)

    Patricia M, got it in one.

    Fedora, duly noted.

    Chronojourner, she’s talking about the mysterious death of Netta Fornario, who died on Iona under mysterious circumstances in 1929. It was all over the tabloid press at the time. Here’s a link with the details:

    https://www.strangeoutdoors.com/historical-strangeness/netta-fornario

    Clay, yep. As our economic contraction accelerates, it’s going to become harder and harder for any business to turn a profit, or even stay solvent.

  377. To the posts about UFOs and aliens: Back when I was an evangelical Christian (1980’s and 90’s) I know there were some who believed that aliens were actually demons. My church at the time didn’t get into that, but I remember seeing books in the Christian bookstore and some Christian programs that pushed the idea of demons deceiving us this way. Now I’ve noticed some YouTube videos are available that are talking about this again. I know there are others (usually not Christians) who believe the ancient gods were really aliens. I can see how this might also work in with Rabbi Jonathan Cahn’s book on the Return of the Gods. I haven’t read it, but I know very conservative Christians would not view these beings as “Gods”, but more likely demons and evil spirits. I tend to agree with JMG and think the whole modern UFO narrative was developed to cover up military technology, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t something going on out there that is being interpreted in different ways. In any case, those of us who don’t follow a monotheistic path probably need to be on alert especially around the more fundamentalist types; they would look at us as being on the wrong spiritual side and thus a threat to them. I keep my beliefs close to me because of this.

    Joy Marie

  378. @Grover and @Roman

    As Simon S says, Australia can produce enormous amounts of food; The interior of the continent, although dry, is certainly not a huge desert. There are deserts there for sure, but most of it is some form of semi arid grassland or Savannah, perfect for running low density livestock. The are literally hundreds of thousands to millions of wild to semi wild cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, camels, water buffalo, donkeys and horses.

    Away from the rivers, there are also huge underground aquifers there for fresh water, and it also seems to be getting wetter here over the past century. The long range climate history shows a trend of increasing rainfall since the mega drought of the last ice age. In many ways Australia is in the process of ‘greening’ slowly.

    The arable areas are also more fertile than advertised, and so much fertiliser has been added over the 20th century that the soils in these parts are no longer chronically deficient in phosphorus like they once were. It’s actually a case now of many of the native flora and fauna not being able to adapt to the higher levels of fertility. Australia was probably on a long term degrading trend of lowering fertility but has been ‘pulsed’ almost like a volcanic eruption with the addition of agricultural fertiliser and large herbivores roaming the land for the first time in 10,000 years.

    Finally, along with the difficulties of unpredictable weather, farmers here are almost completely unprotected by subsidies unlike their brethren in the USA or EU, which has the effect of creating a brutal market environment. This along with everything else does have the benefit of fostering innovation. There is a reason things like permaculture, natural sequence farming, and keyline landscape design originated here.

    Jared Diamond reminds of our other climate Doomer Tim Flannery, who predicted Perth would be abandoned in the near future from lack of water. The elephant in the room is that the historical record shows a warming global climate makes Australia more habitable, not less, as the increased rainfall could restart some huge watersheds (Georgina, Dimatina and Cooper) in the interior that have long been ephemeral and only go big in flood years.

  379. Hi Joy Marie, it was a procrastination joke. 😊. I did make 2 copies of the suggestions, and will be trying all of them. (Right now I’m preoccupied with urgent paperwork.)

  380. “The Russian economy has weathered the sanctions in fine shape, since the rest of the world was uninterested in obeying NATO’s demands, and the military situation”

    Nate Hagens on his weekly podcast said it last week that if we are looking at resources, Russia is one of the strongest nations on the planet.

    This seems to be where everyone has mistaken the menu for the meal. By talking about everything in dollars and cents, they cannot connect the dots between that and actual wealth.

    As for the Russian based brands, if I was interested in travelling to another country, that would be a huge sales point. To see things that are native to the people rather than imported junk. Like how Japan used to be unique, now it is most just western companies with a mild Japanese twist.

  381. @JMG
    @Milkyway

    No trace of any global warming in that sense in Vienna and Austria in general either.#

    More rainy and cold than many other years.
    2018 was the super year with 20 degress in march 15th, 26 degress in April 1 (super uncommon) and still 20 degress in October 30th, when the trees had not started to autumn lose their leaves (usually happens in the beginning of October in Vienna).

    That was that year, I always hoped every year would be like that. But wasn’t since then – long rainy and cold springs, some hot days June/July, but the past two years August was like October in other years, down to 15 degrees, rain…

    What IS alike global warming is unusually warm January and February months: 1. of February 2020 as I exactly remember that day, 20 degrees outside and sunshine, I walk the Vienna forest, people walking in short pants, people sitting in the (still green) meadows.

    That’s another indicator: all the meadows staying green throughout winter time, they used to be yellow then the grass dies from the cold.

    These past years, we had 15 degrees in February very often, when usually it should be core winter time.

    These winter months resemble a warming event, yes. But other than 2018, these summers or spring periods have been absolutely NOTHING like any global warming.

    The winters have been, no snow anymore in Vienna since the 1990s, and there was to be sure before. I learned skiing as a child around 1994 in the forests around Vienna – impossible today.#

    There certainly is some change with that!

    regards, Curt

  382. @Kim A.

    Thank you for your two cents! I absolutely agree on NZ and AU – lots of free space, and as David BTL commented, ideal for cattle herding. And remote from all the hearths of chaos and turmoil, no question.

    We’ll see if I’d even make it leaving here, I have no idea.

    About a decade ago I visited a course in Russian – specifically because I thought that in an event of chaos, I’d like to go there. But I could not keep up, unfortunately.

    As it is.

    BTW, for you or anyone else wanting to write to me outside of the open post, I have this email adress(@Milkyway – a new adress):

    oekosophie [Internet Sign :)] gmx [a little dot] at

    regards,
    Curt

  383. @Nachtgurke #383

    Some distance indeed. 😉 Took me the better part of a decade, though. And maybe my heart wasn’t really in my materialism, since I always had a lot of sympathy for the old pagan religions and “wanted” them to be true even back then, I just couldn’t literally believe in them. I guess I always did find an enchanted world more attractive, but I had (and still have) issues with the Abrahamic monotheisms. Monotheism still strikes me as a really bad idea in many ways personally, even if I respect individual practitioners.

    I think I’m one of those people who’re less sensitive to spiritual experiences, and I’m still not sure I fully “believe” in all this in an abstract sense. But I’ve also come to the point where that feels immaterial. For now I’ve decided to live my life as if it were all true, since that seems like a more interesting way to live anyway. I’ll approach the practices with an open mind and heart and see what results. And thank you for the well-wishes!

    @Milkyway #386

    Same thing here in Norway. It’s been a pretty chilly and rainy July, with hardly any days without rain, and the temperature rarely breaking 20C. No sign of any heatwaves here, even if we did have some days pushing 30C in June.

    @rcastle #393

    Thanks for these detailed notes. Very interesting. It’s not often you get a chance to hear from someone with actual on the ground experience in these countries who also knows JMG’s work and is collapse aware. Funnily enough, your description of the Costa Ricans reminds me a lot of my own countrymen/women. From what I’ve read, I already thought CR felt like a Central American Norway in many ways: 5 mill population, no big cities, peaceful and stable, somewhat ecologically aware. Guess some of the culture is similar too, haha. Well, at least presenting themselves as ecological outwards, but just as Norway isn’t as much of a tree-hugging paradise as we like to pretend we are, I suspect things wouldn’t be as glamorous if you scratched below the surface in CR either.

    And yes, point well taken re. gringos. If I ever were to relocate to another country, I wouldn’t want to spend all my time in an expat ghetto. Learning the language would be a matter of simple courtesy and common sense to me. If you don’t mind me asking a follow-up: how concerned were you about violence and crime in CR and Nicaragua? I know it’s a stereotype, but I’ll be honest, that would probably be among my biggest concerns.

    As for the Canaries, that would probably be a much more realistic option if I ever were to emigrate. I’d also be concerned about water there, as well as extreme heat. But maybe that’s a risk worth taking…

    (And on more of a trivial note, but I’m still curious: yes, Spanish is a must, but how is the availability of English-language books in the Canaries?)

  384. @ CR Patiño #266 and #324

    I wish you the best in your engineering job, which I know you will accomplish while being “in” the Matrix, but not “of” the Matrix… 😉

    The Machine (what I call the Matrix) is sticky, and very reluctant to let go of anyone, but I want to tell you that it is important that you not consider yourself to have failed. While setting a goal and failing to accomplish it is one measure of success, paying attention to your journey and all that it teaches, and all that it demands, even when it leads away from your goal, is another one. The importance of family… just for example.

    With the Machine, I take heed of what Ivan Illich spoke about in “Tools for Conviviality” and it seems that there is something very important about using your tools (even those of the Machine, when you must) but never *becoming* a tool. I know you have a strong faith and what you serve will never be the Machine.

    I do feel for you, because I had to go on the exact same job hunt in 2011, after having dedicated myself exclusively to my acupuncture practice since 2004. I had teenage children then, and I had not budgeted for bailing out failing banks – even though this is what we had to do after 2008. My customers, too, were thinking very hard about every penny and I could not pay my bills. So, from 2011 until 2020 I dedicated the larger part of my workweek to an office job in food safety and quality, but always kept the smaller part for my clinic. It was only when the children grew up that I could once again look at making the clinic the centre of my work life.

    I will say that it has worked better for me this time, much of what is working better now has come from various learnings I have had the blessing to have through these blogs. The most important thing, though, is to remember that every part of your life, every work that you do, can be approached as a prayer and as an act of service to what you hold as good.

    May you be blessed, and may you share blessing, wherever your journey takes you!

  385. @JMG: Thanks for your reply. The old churches have a very special atmosphere to them…

    I’m in the South-West. I mostly don’t follow the MSM anymore, so haven’t seen any German-wide weather forecasts recently, but I read a blog post by somebody who is located in Berlin (North-East) a couple of days ago, and that guy was complaining about low temperatures, too. (My partner said the weather forecast he checks showed 15 degrees Celsius for the upcoming Saturday – brrrrr!)

    Let me know what you’d like to know, and I’ll try to dig it up, collect it, and/or translate it for you.

    Milkyway

  386. Since Germany was discussed here in the context of emigrating, I would like to add that the already present und coming economic difficulties for Europe and Germany have resultes in a rise to 22% of the number of people in Germany who can imagine electing the AfD. This is despite the fact that the Germans don’t want the GDR or the Third Reich back, and that they would, in principle, like to have a democratic system.

    The economic woes of Germany are described without sugarcoating in the following link: https://www.politico.eu/article/rust-belt-on-the-rhine-the-deindustrialization-of-germany/. But still, there are crucial things the author of that piece simply doesn’t understand; things to do with the Energiewende, with immigration, with national culture.

  387. @Lazy G:

    Well, I am not sure that the change can be laid completely at the feet of “HMOs”, since we don’t have those in Canada but we’ve dispensed with the Oath all the same!

    But anyway I do have a larger point here, which is more than just nitpicking, and that is, that I really get the impression that people think there is some ethical standard that doctors are held to, which will protect them, and I think people would be well-served to realize that there isn’t.

  388. John, et.al.–

    For the energy geeks out there, a final report on electric and gas system coordination was presented to FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) and NERC (North American Electric Reliability Corporation) by NAESB (North American Energy Standards Board):

    https://www.naesb.org/pdf4/geh_final_report_072823.pdf

    The forward, written by the three (?!) co-chairs is particularly interesting, noting the high degree of inter-reliance of the two systems (highlighted by recent severe weather-related outages) and lamenting on-going divergence of views with regard to a number of the priorities discussed.

    From that forward:
    Excuses can no longer substitute for sound planning and judgment. If voluntary measures fall short owing to staunch opposition by some, it is time for the national regulator to consider more direct measures to ensure that both industries under its purview perform in tandem to ensure energy reliability and assurance for our country.

    Interesting times.

  389. dJMG,

    Some personal observations of South-West German weather over the past few decades, based on my own lyin’ eyes – please just delete unread if this isn’t what you’re looking for.

    Also, take the following with a good helping of salt, as memories can deceive. 😉

    Based on specific memories, experiences etc (which I’m not listing in detail to keep this somewhat concise), I tend to group the weather (or climate, if you want) of the past few decades into three or maybe four periods:

    1. Roughly from the 80’s to the mid 90’s: (aka the good ol’ days before climate change 😉 )

    Usually “cold” winters with plenty of snow. Cold enough for the snow to stay, sometimes for several weeks, i.e. on average below freezing temp for at least a certain period (and enough precipitation for there to be snow in the first place).

    Spring: somewhat cooler than now into late spring. April on average being particularly changeable.

    Summer: not all the same. Some warm, some cooler, sometimes more rain, sometimes less, but usually no unbearably hot phases. Also, the warm and sunny phases were usually more during June and earlier July, and less during late July/August

    Autumn: typical, changeable, cool with nicer, sunnier periods in between, lots of rain and wind

    2. Rougly from mid-90′ through the first decade of the 2000’s (aka the hot phase):

    Winter: warmer, with temps roughly around freezing temp. I.e precipitation either as rain, or if snow, then somewhat sludgy and prone to melt right away or very soon.

    Spring: warmer than before, and especially earlier warmth. Also more Sun, i.e. less rain.

    Summer: Hot. My personal measuring stick between “it’s summer, just somewhat hotter today” vs. “this is _really_ hot” are the nights: as long as they cool down enough to make sleeping bearable, it’s a “normal” summer. During this period, we had a large amount of hot nights, sometimes for days or even weeks on end. Rather less rain than before.

    Autumn: warmer, more pleasantly sunny, overall a tad drier than before

    3. Roughly from about 2010 or so (to either a few years ago or up to now, see 4.):

    Winters and springs as in 2.

    Spring: Overall still nice and sunny (i.e. warmer and mostly drier than in 1.). But a weird shift: Quite a few years with a rather cold spell around June (not just in Germany, but in larger areas of Europe) – as in _really_ cold. On the other hand, July and especially August more reliably warm weather than back in 1.

    Summer: cooler than in 2. Still warm and sunny (i.e. less rainy days, on average, than in 1.), but by far not as hot anymore as in 2. (again, on average). In particular, a lot less hot nights, if at all.

    Autumn: roughly as in 2. Still warm and sunny for way longer into late autumn.

    Overall, throughout the year (but especially in late winter, and parts of spring and summer) long periods of Easterly winds (i.e. very dry, and also oftentimes somewhat cooler). My guess is that the dry winds sometimes were even worse for the plants/trees than the fact that there was less rain during those times.

    4.? The past few years:

    I’m not sure if this is the beginning of a new period, or if it belongs to 3. The weather has been more unreliable, with some weirder spells in some years (e.g. a May which felt like the height of a November from 40 years ago, albeit a tad warmer: loads of mist, no sun visible at all for quite some time, plenty of rain. Or this summer: starting out warm (but apart from one night not hot-hot), and then (falling back into patterns from 1.??) a rather cool and very rainy July (and potentially August).

    The long spells of Easterly wind were an issue in the years before, especially for the plants and the water supply (but that’s not due to the heat, but to the dryness of the air and the lack of precipitation). But this year, we’ve had one such spell (the rather warm phase) in early summer, only to now have a phase of several weeks with purely Westerly wind – I can’t recall such a long period with wind solely from the West in any of the recent summers.

    ….

    So… Make of that what you will. 🙂 The climate is definitely changing, but from where I live, it doesn’t seem to change to ever more hotter, and (surprisingly enough after the past couple of decades) also not necessarily to ever less rain. It does feel as if there is some change in the air, though (although it doesn’t seem to fit with the hysterical screaming of the climate sect, and what is causing it is anybody’s guess, since hardly anybody is looking into that without a bias…).

    Hope this helps, and please let me know what in particular you’re interested in, and I’ll try to dig it up for you.

    Milkyway

    PS: The little bit I’ve seen of media reports here in Germany seems to freak out about a horrible heatwave in Southern Europe. Somebody who is on the more rational side of this debate tracked down a source of that: apparently, somebody in some press release wasn’t referring to air temperatures in 1 m height or so, which are usually taken to compare temperatures, but to satellite-measured temperatures on the ground which are prone to be hotter (some of them, if I recall correctly, taken on asphalt in cities). And then a good chunk of media people simply copied that press release, and the resulting press reports. Well. 😉

    And for the “ohmygoooood, it’s got 40 degrees in Greece, we’re all going to melt next week”… I remember a very memorable and very hot few weeks in Greece at the end of the 80s, including wildfires and all that. In particular, a day in Athens, visiting friends. The thermometer on their balcony still showed 40 degrees Celsius at 10.30 pm at night. So much for the incredible, totally unexpected, never-before-experienced heatwave in Southern Europe…

  390. It’s an interesting if concerning discussion about the future of Europe. A while back I listened to a radio podcast with one of the most prominent foreign policy and defence experts of my country who led several thinktanks, Rob de Wijk. He is of course very PMC, yet he made a stunning admission that the state of nuclear deterrence in Europe has a ‘hole’. I’ll summarize the discussion.

    The Russians have about 2,000 tactical nukes while in Europe there are 100-200 tactical nukes. They are property of the US but it is up to the European countries to deliver them to the enemy. Before the fall of communism we had many means of delivery like various planes, several types of rockets, nuclear howitzers etc. Yet since 1990 they are all abandoned except for the F-35’s.

    In contrast, Russia upkept their various means of delivery. mr De Wijk states that it is uncertain if the F-35 will be able to get through Russian air defences, so we might have no nuclear deterrence in Europe! His partner starts to talk about a project to develop nuclear rockets that can be launced from submarines, but De Wijk counters that this program was discontinued recently because it would take till 2035 before that system would be operative.

    Even in a military sense Europe is in a very weak position, but our leaders are completely oblivious. Later in the podcast, De Wijk makes a plea for fast-track development of means of delivery. I have to think of a blogpost of Aurelian where he pointed out that building an army requires much more than just throwing money at it. We don’t any more have the plants, skilled workers, knowledge and soldiers that can operate the needed equipment so it will take years if not decades to rebuilt this infrastructure.

    My interpretation: if the US leaves NATO, Europe will be toast and we better start practicing our Russian language skills. The military power of NATO seems like a fata morgana these days. The F-35 cannot fly in turbulence, we have the bombs in Europe but cannot deviler them and the navy is rusting.

  391. To wrap up my comment train on this post. Intellectually as a Christian I respect and defer to your polytheistic arguments in A World Full of Gods and can not