Open Post

June 2020 Open Post

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

A few words before we proceed, though.  Over the last few weeks, I’ve had several people comment favorably on the thoughtful, polite, and interesting conversations that so often spring up on this blog, and ask me how I manage to keep it free of the boorish and moronic misbehavior that so often stops such conversations from happening elsewhere online. Part of it is certainly the people who happen to have been attracted by the blog—I have the best readers on the internet—and part of it is the fact that a blog that posts lengthy, ornately written essays on unpopular subjects just isn’t that appealing to trolls. Still, there’s another factor worth mentioning.

This blog has a courtesy policy, and it is enforced. I moderate every comment before it’s put through, and if the comment violates the courtesy policy, it gets deleted without mercy. People who repeatedly try to put through abusive, insulting, profane, or manipulative comments get banned, and if they switch IP addresses to try to get around that, I ban them again. It’s that simple.

That approach generates heated denunciations in some online circles, but you know what?  I quite literally couldn’t care less. A forum for conversation is a commons, and it’s subject to the same tragedy of the commons that Garrett Hardin and Elinor Ostrom studied so closely.  If people are allowed to abuse a commons without penalty, the commons will be destroyed:  for example, trollery unchecked will drive away thoughtful commenters and drag discussion down to repetitive stupidities. Ostrom won a Nobel Prize for showing that you can safeguard a commons by the simple expedient of allowing it to be used only by those people willing to work together to keep it going. That’s what I’m doing.

And freedom of speech?  The First Amendment prohibits the government from restricting what people can say, and that’s all it does. It doesn’t give you the right to walk into someone else’s living room and start yelling insults at them, which is basically the “right” that trolls claim they ought to have. This blog is my virtual living room; if you’d like to come by, grab a beer from the fridge, and join the conversation, you’re welcome to do just that—so long as you follow the house rules. If not, there’s the door, and you can walk through it or be thrown through it, take your pick.

So that’s my recipe for thoughtful, polite, and interesting conversations online. With that said, have at it!

634 Comments

  1. What do you think of the various theories of art – what it is, how it works, and so on?

  2. Dear JMG,

    Many thanks for this! If I may ask a question on many people minds, how far do you think this current spat of craziness will go? Every single day the leftist meltdown seems to grow worse: more and more leftist publications are discussing police abolition as sensible and necessary with the most feeble logic, and now counties in Oregon are mandating that only white people must wear face-masks! It really seems like a lot of people have, whole-hog, done lost their minds. Of course, more and more people seem to be “walking away” but the level of collective lunacy really is something that frightens me. The redbag amulets you discuss on your Magic Monday FAQ last year would keep working for about 2 months. Now they hardly last a week.

    With these policies so divorced from reality, with the strange strained artificial miens of the devotees of progress, the level of craziness entering public discourse in a serious way has risen to heights that make the last few rounds of TDS seem…sane and balanced.

    Basically, then, my question is how much crazier do you think that this well get? Certainly, it seems that this will last at least until the Presidential election in November. Seriously — I’m utter astounded by the proceedings. Back in the day I was a squatter punk and hung out with radicals who embodied a certain praxis, we scoffed at the classes who are now screaming things way more radical then we ever dared. This all seems so loony to me. Certainly I want this to be over as quickly as possible so I can go back to my more active and sequestered life. Your thoughts on how far this insanity might go would be very much appreciated on my end!

  3. Have you or Sara worn face masks when outside? I am having to make one now to use public transport in London. The government introduced this rule on 16 June, months after peak covid. As usual, the government always acts too late to make a meaningful difference.

    I wonder where this is going though. Forcing us all to wear face masks every flu season? Also, some scientists argue it does more harm than good as it restricts our supply of oxygen.

  4. Hi JMG,

    I noticed a post on your Dreamwidth journal from June 17, which stated that your novel Retrotopia was the best selling of your books for its publisher. A few months ago, I offered the suggestion that you edit an anthology of stories set in that universe and open it up for readers to submit offerings for that anthology. I don’t remember getting a response to that, so I wanted to float the idea again. Any possibility of this happening?

    Thanks!

  5. JMG

    I finally found a note I made at the beginning of this blog of subjects I saw you mention you might write about in the future. I C&P’d my note because I’m wondering if you would still be interested in writing on any of the following?

    ****
    1. post on the decline of beauty as an aesthetic
    2. post about zero and negative interest rates
    3. post on democratic syndacalism and distributism
    4. write on the way that a plot device Tolkien adopted for literary effect has been stood on its head and turned into one of our time’s most misleading metaphors

    *****

    Don’t know if you’ve posted about line 2. It’s possible it was addressed at your earlier blog and I’m just not remembering it.

    Still…I’d especially be interested in your thoughts on subjects 1, 3 and 4.

  6. JMG, If we had managed to achieve nuclear fusion following initial conservation efforts begun in the 1970’s would we have been able to break the cycle of rise and fall?

    You mention in the long descent that breeder reactors and fusion could possibly have been developed following the initial energy conservation phase. Do you know of any books from the period that talk about proposed plans for the expansion of nuclear power?

  7. Dear JMG and Fellow Ecosophians ~

    Reflecting over high emotion worldwide events over the past few weeks; and themes I’ve been reading in comments to JMG’s blogposts, I thought I’d share…

    About a month ago, I was made aware of a negative energy/entity which I had picked up. Being an empath, psychic medium (and psychopomp – yes, I only discovered this phrase last year when I told someone what I “do”, or rather, what “does me”!), this is kind of an “occupational hazard”.

    I immediately knew something was “off”, as I was experiencing feelings and thoughts that were not mine.

    The moment I said, “Wait a minute! These are not my thoughts and feelings. Whose are they?”, the hidden character presented itself.

    I knew exactly then where it had originated. I had inadvertently bought-in to someone else’s fear-based reality, and his question of self-worth.

    I had been working with this person for 9 years; and it was something that I hadn’t picked up on before.

    [Quick tangent – the COVID-19 situation has brought much to light for us all. Despite external appearances, it has been a great opportunity to reflect, and to release that which no longer serves us.]

    So I wondered then, what part of myself I found unworthy?

    I realized that it wasn’t my question of worth, but those of others who had projected their lack of worth onto me as a child (generally, conditioning by primary caregivers takes effect before 7 years of age).

    With this realization, there was nothing for the entity to attach itself to. It was quite disappointed! …and so I was able to usher it to Light.

    My visitor was a blessed gift and reminder.

    Coincidentally (or not), I was writing something at the time which touches upon this theme.

    “Reclaim Your Power” can read be read here – https://bit.ly/BeyondMind-Coaching-Reclaim-Your-Power

    You’ll notice the underlying vein of the very subtle use of control and dark magic. I know many of you will relate to this, as you’ve been part of groups where you’ve realized something is amiss… and why we’re pretty much all here!

    It’s important to remain aware, to be vigilant, and to question. As JMG has commented in a past post, it’s helpful to cleanse or banish daily the effects of any misaligned energies; particularly during more “volatile” times.

    Those who are well on their Paths of “Know Thyself”, might take encouragement to continue onwards and inwards.

    We may not have control over others’ fear-based reactions (and their underlying karma), but we do have control over how we choose to respond.

    Yours in Light,

    ~ Tanya

    PS It’s a delight being able to read such thought-provoking posts and comments. Thank you JMG for providing a solid foundation and space for sharing.

  8. I’ve been trying to make sense of the current state of our society, and it’s lead me to some very interesting books and ideas – from Seneca’s “On Anger” to Eric Hoffer’s “The True Believer” (and many in-between). Do you have a suggestion of a book/essay/story/whatnot that you would recommend as a “Must Read” for understanding – or staying sane through – the current moment?

  9. Hi JMG,

    Within the context of a declining American Empire and the managerial elite class that rules it, what’s your take on the recent vandalism and toppling of statues of figures such as Teddy Roosevelt, George Washington, Ulysses S. Grant, etc.? These destructive acts have proceeded with the tacit approval of that same managerial elite class–is it a simple “fiddling as Rome burns” moment for those elites?

    Or, more nefariously, is this a move on their part to use mob violence to consolidate their power, by attacking symbols of Constitutional democracy which, in theory, still has the means to check and undermine it?

    Thanks!

  10. Part of my wife’s job is managing the creeks, wetlands and riparian areas in a large watershed in Oregon. Since the virus she and her co-workers have noticed a significant return of birds, insects and water mammals. Almost as if nature is heaving a sigh of relief at a short respite from the heavy hand of humans. We have been talking about how the virus may be a form of pushback by mother nature ( choose your earth diety here) . I have been thinking lately about this and realized how cleaver ( from a non-human perspective) this pandemic really is. At first glance it seems to be a minor event as the death rate is really very low and effects a group near the end of their lives. But if it had a very high death rate like small pox, the response from governments and society at large would be very significant and unified ( like the much used WWII mobilization example). It would also act to solve one of human kinds major problems in that there are just too many of us. But what we are facing is much more devious. It leaves almost all the humans in place but causes chaos in all of the systems that prop up first world industrial life. Growth dependent economics, globalization, economic stratification, the myth of a service based economy and our weak self serving government apparatus are all brought under the Covid-19 microscope and then taken to the woodshed. Its as if mother nature is saying, I won’t solve any of your problems for you, but I will certainly rub salt in to your wounds until you get smart and change your ways.

  11. Hello JMG,

    Recently on Dreamwidth you posited that a person having a large number of affectionless sexual encounters might be causing damage to their aura. This would apply to prostitutes and porn stars, and one characteristic of people in those professions is their predilection to having tattoos.

    Tattoos are also very prevalent on other people who are likely to have damaged their auras due to their personal behaviour, for example alcoholics/winos and drug abusers. So there would seem to be some correlation between having a damaged aura and feeling the compulsion to be tattooed. This is of course not universal, as many people get themselves tattooed purely for aesthetic reasons, but I do wonder if tattoos, especially the cheaper, uglier, kind, are attempts to repair or mark off damage parts of the aura.

    Does this make any kind of sense?

  12. Hi,
    I think you mentioned in a reply to another open post some time ago that you are now living in an apartment. Is this correct and if so, how do you manage any Green Wizardry (presumably) without access to a garden? Especially at the moment I would have thought access to a garden was essential.

  13. I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of the Higher Self, or Individuality, or whatever other names it can be called. I understand that it is my true self that exists and evolves throughout multiple lives. Does the Higher Self retain consciousness of all previous incarnations, or does it lose it as it comes into incarnation and experience each life as a new personality? Are my (meaning my current personality) experiences and memories all the Higher Self knows, or is there an awareness separate from the personality that is more conscious of the wider universe?

  14. I’ll get to the energy news tidbits a little later, but a couple of things for now:

    First, the national foolishness touches even small town Midwest. There’s a business property along what we locally call “The Drive” — the road connecting my city to its larger sister to the immediate south, running along the shoreline of Lake Michigan — whose owner has covered with numerous pro-Trump signage. Large, hand-painted signs of various sizes with various pro-Trump slogans and statements. These have been there for years, since the 2016 primaries, in fact, though the various messages have changed over time. I drive past this property every day in my commute to and from work.

    Yesterday morning, I saw that the property had been vandalized. Black spray-paint covered every single sign, mostly “RACIST” in poorly legible scrawl. This morning, about half the signs had been cleaned up and the scaffolding present showed that owner was in the process of fixing the rest.

    One can disagree with another’s political views, but the destruction of private property is a line that cannot be crossed for reasons of mere disagreement. As many have pointed out here, Trump is hardly the ideal leader, but the other side has lost its mind. I just shook my head at the whole affair and thought to myself how counterproductive these acts of vandalism and “cancel culture” are for the causes they purport to further.

    Secondly, a question for John and the commentariat. I have mentioned the deity with whom I have been developing a relationship over these several years, Whomever She May Be, and I have never had a good grasp of who She might be, though I have generally seen her as Ge (Gaia). There are, however, a few clues which i thought other might be able to help me interpret.

    A key symbol in my interaction with Her has been the snake. A physical encounter with an actual snake was involved in the event that took me from a scholastic monotheist to a polytheist whose patron is a chthonic earth goddess of some kind, but there was an earlier encounter, several years prior, that played a role as well. It was during a guided meditation at the end of a yoga session and we were to go make our way along a forest path to a grove where a guide would meet us and we would be able to converse. Well, when I got to the grove, a massive serpent, mottled black and deep yellow, rose from the undergrowth. It was very large, say two feet in cross-sectional diameter. I asked “Who are you?” and it answered “Why do you need to know?”

    In later conversations, I have asked Her who She is and She has said I can call her whatever I wish, but I must avoid becoming too attached to the label. “I belong in no box,” She told me.

    I have remained respectful of that–one of the reasons I still refer to Her as Whomever She May Be– but I would like to know whether or not my initial identification of Ge is at all reasonable or if there is a goddess of another pantheon who might be particularly associated with the kind of serpent I saw. Would anyone have any ideas? It would be much appreciated.

    Finally, back on the political front, I think the Democrats’ convention in a few months ought to be labelled the first convention of the Dem-Reps, as we are seeing whole chunks of the Republican Establishment line up in support of Biden. This election is going to be another pivotal one in this nation’s history, as the forces of the status quo (ante) attempt to squelch the unexpected revolt that caught them so flatfooted four years ago. And the Democratic Party will have completed its transformation into the party of the establishment (economic globalism, American hegemony), something I’d thought would occur but am still amazed to be witnessing firsthand.

  15. JMG, you don’t need to post this necessarily, but I want to thank you again for moderating your blogs in the way that you do. It makes it them reading and thinking about.

    Sincerely,
    Brother Josephus

  16. @ JMG – I’ve seen quite a few comments, both by other readers and by you, lamenting the removal of statues of Confederate leaders over the last few weeks. In the interest of starting thoughtful conversation, I have a two part question:

    1 – The CSA fought a war to leave the USA, and they lost. Yet statues memorializing their leaders are all over the place, and many in public spaces, maintained by the very state governments that attempted to secede. The 13 colonies (along with the French), fought a war to leave the British Empire and won. I don’t see many monuments to British ‘heroes’ of the Revolutionary War here in the US. Everyone knows about the Revolution (to some degree) in the USA, and yet, there are no monuments to the British here. However did they learn about the Revolution without statues?

    2 – What do you think would be a good middle ground? Should we leave statues up, but put big disclaimers next to them saying, for instance, “Nathan Bedford Forrest was a slave trader and started the KKK. Not a good roll model to follow!” or “Robert E Lee broke his oath to defend the United States and uphold the Constitution to side with traitors and secessionists because he felt he had to side with his state. Noble maybe, but not a good role model.”

  17. Looking for advice about dealing with anger: I’m extremely hostile towards my (former) leftist friends who nearly shut down my business with their C-flu fear-mongering and then supported riots that kept it and other small businesses like it in the path of the wrecking ball. I’m not sure I can ever be on civil terms with these people again, especially considering how they don’t understand their role in the destruction of many people’s livelihoods.

    I am not fragile; fire away. Maybe I’m projecting a shadow or personal guilt?

    I wrote this essay about it. https://kimberlysteele.dreamwidth.org/4896.html I’m not sure how long I will keep it public.

  18. Hello everyone, I wanted to share something.

    Through a strange series of events I found myself studying the Navajo language. Among the things I learned was a prayer and blessing song called “Walking in Beauty” or “The Beauty Way”. There are many versions of this song but all versions have common elements.

    Here’s a translation of one version:

    Beauty in front of me, Beauty behind me,
    Beauty Above me, Beauty below me,
    Beauty all around me,
    I walk in Beauty…..
    In the house of long life, there I wander.
    In the house of happiness, there I wander.
    Beauty before me,
    Beauty behind me,
    Beauty above me ,
    Beauty below me,
    Beauty all around me,
    In old age traveling, with it I wander.
    On the beautiful trail I am, with it I wander.
    In beauty, it is begun,
    In beauty, it is finished.

    The Navajo word Hózhó stands for the concept of living Beauty, Balance, Harmony and Well-Being.

    The invocation of Beauty in four different directions (as well as all around the singer) reminded me of the Druid “Sphere of Protection” ritual. So I found that interesting. Maybe we should learn a thing or two from the the Navajo worldview.

  19. I wanted to thank you for that Magic Monday link to The Changer in American mythology. In meditation today, when lately I’ve been asking the two gods of wisdom to help me gain some, I called on Mercury – the planetary deity of the day – and got an unexpected bit.

    First from Woden, who I’ve called on in the past, to remind me that his search for wisdom all centered around a search for mythological knowledge, and that I have all the lore I need in my own library. Then, that his natural end is Ragnarok, and the current crisis will not be Ragnarok. And the natural end of his followers in Valhalla, and I’m no warrior, but an old woman who will die in bed of natural causes. And at that, he bid me farewell, almost as a mentor to a student who has graduated.

    Then Minerva/Athena, who let me know that they are goddesses of reason, common sense, and civic order, none of which prevails now nor is likely to until the dust settles.

    Finally, Mercury noted that the current president embodies all the qualities of Mercury: a merchant, if only in real estate; an incessant communicator via Twitter, a traveler, and – well, Mercury is also the god of thieves and liars. And the President is The Changer this saeculum has thrown up to horrify the respectable and overturn everything.

    Then – “and who is The Changer in the mythology of the region I lived in for 50 years?” Well, yes, of course; Coyote. (Anyone with clip art of Old Man Coyote, let me know.)

    So – my focus for Wednesdays has undergone a 180, and it actually feels right. Right as if a trapezohedronal peg has found its found a hole that fits it.

    Thanks again.

  20. Dear JMG,

    Thanks so much for providing hopeful commentary during these turbulent times. In your four part series on the 2016 election, you stated that many or our elites had accidentally created a working that prevented them from seeing the world as it is. Is this working still effective and is it contributing to the ongoing civil unrest? So much that seems obvious to me can’t be discussed with others without provoking either anger or a struggle session. Although people talk like they are in a revolution, it seems much more like a battle between two wings of the (mostly white) elites in which the concerns of African Americans are being treated as a prop. As for those that are engaging in violent and gleeful destruction of monuments and history, are they acting this way because the assumptions created by the working can no longer be sustained? That would seem to explain to me the religious fervor they seem to be acting under.

    Unfortunately I have some friends caught up in this. I’m no mage, nor am I especially religious, but I have been praying for them. Trying to focus on 1) that they stay safe and not hurt others, 2) that they begin to see what they are doing and think about whether it helps or hurts people, and 3) that they integrate the experience afterward in a positive manner and realize they were fighting themselves rather than some imagined enemy. Three may be the hardest…the gulf between their actions and good intentions will be hard to reconcile. I worry about a mass (figurative) reenactment of the myth of Oedipus, where they out out their eyes rather that face what happened. Hopefully I’ll be able to help them when the time is right.

  21. Those awful AWFLs:

    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/progressphiles-big-sister-democrats-david-shor/

    Short version: “Walter,” a Democratic party operative, whose job it is to help more Democrats get elected to more offices, tells Rod that the current nuttiness leads back to AWFL Hillary fans who are STILL mad she lost, nearly 4 years later. My instinctive response to this kind of thing tends to be “So act like a man and stand up to those girls, you twerps! Unite and fight back!” HOWEVER, this guy’s a high-up Democrat and certainly knows more about what’s going on in the party than I know, so since JMG is having trouble figuring out the cause of the nuttiness, I throw out Walter’s theory.

    I also notice these AWFLs seem quite young. I wonder what their home lives were like? Kids need boundaries and structure, and will push till they get them. They don’t feel secure unless the adults in their lives care enough about what they’re doing to say No when it’s appropriate. I wonder—are these girls still looking for someone who cares enough to say No? That’s a difficult thing for a chronological adult to find without giving up her class privileges. (Take a [unDruidly word] job and you’ll hear enough No to last you the rest of your life. No, you can’t take off to go to the protest. No, you can’t take off to go to the funeral. Get your [unDruidly word] in here and fry those nuggets. [I actually saw the funeral example happen, at what would normally be considered a good job!])

    For those just joining us—AWFL stands for Affluent White Female Liberal.

  22. Hey JMG and gang!

    First I want to report that despite my previous mental health/religous trauma – induced misgivings about the Tarot, I’ve been able to move past them and have gotten a deck and am working on learning about it! (It’s the Lightseer’s Deck and it is gorgeous.) That is a huge deal for me and has become a hugely useful tool in my life.

    Second, I suppose that I don’t really understand the whole erasing the past because it’s bad thing that the “woke” people are doing. I wanted to get some help in understanding. So — I suppose that I figure that if someone did something that we call bad now, like owning slaves, and we want to erase that from the past — are you saying that (either) we shouldn’t erase it because it’s important to learn about the bad things from the past (or) we shouldn’t erase it because what we think of as bad now is not “objectively” bad and may not have been bad in the past?

    I do get a lot of the faux-woke stuff and how it’s faux–for example, a lot of the “in this house we believe that black lives matter, science is real, love is love etc” yard signs that you see spring up in largely white neighborhoods far away from where minorities often live–I suppose I am just trying to understand more of the reason behind what you are trying to say. My brain doesn’t always pick these things up easily 😉 Thanks!

  23. Illargi linked to this the other day at Automatic Earth. https://mobile.twitter.com/ChinaInFocusNTD/status/1274779317583708166?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1274779317583708166&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theautomaticearth.com%2F2020%2F06%2Fdebt-rattle-june-23-2020%2F

    For those who don’t like video it’s a Chinese news report noting that in four provinces in China there are instances of fish leaping out of the water. Some people there are taking it as an omen for some sort of natural disaster the scientists state that it’s something the fish are doing while spawning.

    Since I know some other readers find things like this curious. I’m wondering if anyone knows about wildlife/fish omens. Also even if it’s regularly “just” spawning, does the fact the some people see it as an omen give it more meaning?

    Thought it was an interesting aside especially in light of JMGs mundane Astrological eclipse Regarding strife in India/possibly China.

    Of course sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

    Thanks for any feed back.

    Candace

  24. JMG and all…. How do you see this BLM/Anti-fa CHAZ/CHOP zone thing playing out? I keep hearing Civil War 2.0 being mentioned by media pundits if Trump is reelected. When I look around my liberal home state, I am starting to feel the urge to flee it because anti-white sentiment is at an all time high.

    For example, my Grandparent’s street is a pro Trump neighborhood and every Trump banner on a front lawn has a few bullet holes in it. The guy with the house by the rotary took his Swiss-Cheesed Trump sign down and put up a thirteen star flag. Honestly, I feel like a race war is not out of the question. The police here have been instructed to do nothing and are being defunded…. Enough is enough.

    There just simply aren’t enough conservatives here or sane people to outvote the liberal crazies. As such, I’m considering moving to upstate New Hampshire, New York, or Maine’s red district. Moving out to Montana or Wyoming also has a certain appeal.

    If Trump is not reelected, I am genuinely afraid for the future of the USA. I just cannot see the first and second amendments surviving a Biden presidency. California just stripped away their civil rights legislations. If Trump is reelected, the crazy rioting factions on the left I think will go into overdrive. You know what? I hope Trump crushes them. Thoughts anyone?

    Even if Trump is reelected, I think leaving this liberal area is a good idea.

  25. A complete audio course of ambient initiation in just under seven hours of music is now available for adventurous listeners. Listen! Silent!

    https://www.mixcloud.com/sothismedias/licht-an-electronic-ambient-journey-through-stockhausens-cycle-of-seven-operas/

    This is a mix of the more ambient and electronic aspects of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s cycle of seven operas, LICHT. LICHT is, among many other things, a practical application of the principles of the Glass Bead Game. Herman Hesse was one of the great influences on the thinking and spirituality of Stockhausen, and he used the Glass Bead Game as a reference point for many of his compositions. As such, LICHT, being in many ways, a modular opera (with the scenes being able to broken down into stand alone compositions, or recombined in various ways to produce other settings for the music) it makes sense also that the individual parts of various versions from the whole opera can be mixed or played in a recombinative manner. The entire cycle last twenty nine hours and their are many different arrangements, so this is only one possibility among a multitude!

    Listening to this mix of excerpts in one sitting is designed to produce an illuminating effect. Each of the days of the week is represented in turn, thus it is also a journey through the seven planets of classical astrology. This version goes from Sunday through Saturday, beginning with Sunday’s Farewell for Five Synthesizers and ending with Kathinka’s Gesang for Flote and Musick Electronische.

    Kathinka’s Gesang (also known as Lucifer’s Requiem) is a fitting end for the cycle, and for the initiation as it is a series of musical exercises designed to help the soul reach the eternal light after departure in death. Stockhausen wrote this piece to be played for the departed for a consecutive 49 days after death.

    So, if you are so inclined listen to this audio exploration of Ars Recombinatoria. I also fashioned this very long mix to be an introduction to the music in LICHT, and of Stockhausen, in general.

    “But being quiet and meditating on sound is something completely different and will be discovered very soon by a lot of people who feel that the visual world doesn’t reach their soul anymore.” -Stockhausen

    “We are no longer the same after hearing certain sounds, and this is more the case when we hear organized sounds, sounds organized by another human being: music.”-Sockhausen

  26. For the second time (on the other blog) I’ve seen Robert Mathiesen refer to the notion that “everyone contains a multitude of different selves; and the shifts and interplay between these selves can be well worth studying and learning how to control the process for one’s own advantage”, so I thought I’d note, for those unfamiliar with it, that Edwin C. Steinbrecher, The Inner Guide Meditation (Weiser), with a foreword by Israel Regardie, discusses and develops this topic in some detail. The book combines tarot, astrology, Jungian active imagination and archetypes, so while this is not a question directed at our host, I thought I’d note it here, since the topics are of general interest to this group.

  27. Thank you for keeping open this space and for tending it so well.

    Do you have suggestions on how to handle precognitive dreams, beyond journaling? What, if anything, tends to travel in tandem with them? What should I be aware of, avoiding, or cultivating, as someone who has them?

    I have had them a few times a year since my early 20s. With one upsetting exception, they’ve been mostly very positive and seem centered around creativity and fertility. They are precise, not symbolic. Example: I dreamt that a pregnant acquaintance called out to me that her baby was being born. I woke up and texted her; her water had just broken and she was getting in the car to go to the hospital when she received my text. Another time I dreamt that a close friend was showing me an artwork she had made. It was unlike her other work. I called her that day and described it, in a lighthearted way. She fell silent, then texted me a picture of a work she had made the previous day. It was exactly as I had described. Most of the other memorable precognitive dreams have been along these lines, involving friends’ pregnancies, creative work, families, and so on.

    I have had fewer precognitive dreams since my daughter was born three years ago. That seems normal though.

    I come from a family of occult practitioners but due to time passing and some malign practictioners in the family orbit, I don’t have anyone to ask these questions, about how to navigate this.

    Thank you!

  28. Hi John,
    I’d like to comment on “privilege,” a word that means, etymologically, “private law.” Certainly, some sectors of society have undeniable privilege. I’m betting you could cite a number of tailored laws (or the repeal of laws like Glass-Stegall) that conferred real privileges on the Wall Street crowd, and made it more difficult to legally prosecute them for the malfeasance back in 2008. But when applied to groups of ordinary people (like “white privilege”), the phrase in not only inapt but can undermine the position of those who employ it. Being treated fairly and politely by the police, having a real chance at a job if you’re a strong candidate, etc.–those aren’t privileges. They’re either instances where basic human rights are honored, or instances of being treated with common decency. People being denied these things are not being denied privileges: they’re being denied their basic rights and human dignity. To think in terms of privilege, rather than these basic rights, invites two destructive paths: 1) Viewing ill-treatment as the common lot of human beings and merely insisting that everyone be treated equally badly; or 2) Viewing good treatment as restricted to one group or another and now it’s time to reverse roles and lord it over the previously privileged. The first path serves the elites well, since they will happily subjugate everyone they don’t murder; the second path sits well with a policy of collective guilt and revenge, but ultimately plays into the hands of the divide-and-conquer elites. Let’s think instead in terms of human rights and dignity. Truth to tell, a lot of whites, particularly among the working class, don’t have “white privilege” either. Don’t level down. Level up.

  29. My town of South Minneapolis has been seeing evil times. After the death of Mr. Floyd, there was much rioting and destruction, including the burning of the little bookstore that employed my upstairs neighbor. I spent the next week helping to guard one of our remaining bookstores against looters and arsonists, while my partner stayed home to protect our house and neighbors. Neither of us got much sleep. My parents were angry that I supposedly put myself in danger, but to me a bookstore is at least as sacred as a church.

    Since then many statues have been pulled down all around the country. I was curious to see in the news today about a statue that was just torn down in Milwaukee. It was a statue of some Norwegian immigrant who had fought on the Union side in the Civil War. It seems the iconoclasts are no longer content to tear down the icons of Pro Slavery. They want to tear it ALL down. I’m not overly emotionally attached to statues, but, being me, I fear for the books.

  30. Citizen of Ingsoc– Noam Chomsky used to talk about how the US essentially rigged the Nicaraguan election of 1988, by promising to continue to fund the Contras if the Sandinistas were reelected.

    It’s amazing the way the Left and the Right have switched places without anybody seeming to notice.

  31. From time to time, you write that a little bit farther down the decline curve, you might earn some of your income from doing astrology readings for individuals.

    I’ve been dipping a toe into some of the online natal charts and thinking about the resulting reports with a view to getting better at timing my activities to more auspicious times.

    Typically, I just barrel ahead and try to maintain a non-attachment to results, Buddhist-style, or go into a burnout phase and try to recover in quietude before the next effort. My natal chart indicates that I do have a confrontational streak, which particularly plays out in digging up local government and corporate corruption and trying to stimulate reform efforts among the local citizenry.

    I believe I could be more effective if I had some more clues about timing.

    I’m interested in consulting with someone who has that skill set, but don’t know how to find a list of reputable, well-trained people who do it.

    Do you have a referral list or know of one that you find trustworthy?

    Also, I do pick up your training books every once in awhile, but find myself unable to concentrate long enough to follow through on the exercises.

    It may be that at some time later, I’ll be able to work through those exercises to figure out more of the timing things on my own, but it also may be that that’s not the area of activity in which my energies would be best used.

    Thanks for any guidance, and also for your rigorous moderation of your “living room.” I’ve run blogs for quite awhile too, and know it can be a time-consuming and boring aspect of the work.

    I also attribute a lot of your success at maintaining a civil online space to your framing of issues as you initiate topics: your tone and word choices strike a good balance between acknowledging the range of views that might exist on a topic, and tipping over into framing things as super-controversial and inflammatory from the get-go.

  32. @Kimberly Steele

    Be mindful of how you have allowed negative energy to affect you… like a domino effect. Yes, it takes an incredible amount of equanimity and willpower to remain unaffected by external events around what’s happening worldwide. Tap into your power – use it for good vs your words falling on deaf ears… sing some more! Perhaps read my post? It may apply.

    @Ecosophian

    Thank you for sharing. Immortal and Divine beauty – a lovely reMINDer. Sublime and powerful words of love and protection.

    @David BTL

    Regarding your goddess and snake visions.

    Heed what the Great Mother says… she needs no label.

    What an auspicious sign. She takes well to you!

    David, it’s true, you may call her what you wish, it makes no difference; it’s your intention to connect with Her that she feels and responds to.

    A potent image of transformation. “Snake” has many meanings, and has been misrepresented and feared… I wonder why?!

    For you, this relates specifically to kundalini energy. To the balance of masculine and feminine within. To union.

    David, this also relates to the transformation that you’re currently going through.

    Ahhh… just incoming… you may like to call Her “BELOVED”. This could be your “pet name” for Her. She wishes that you honor Her, and speak with her daily, if you don’t already. Place something on your altar that specifically reminds you of Her. A stone. A crystal. It’s a small, dark object.

    Meditate on that and see if it resonates.

    Blessings brother

    ~ Tanya

  33. @Kimberley: The best way I’ve found for dealing with anger (and in my case more with jealousy -but the two often mix) is to bless the person in your mind. If you are comfortable with prayer, praying for the people you are angry at has always helped me dissipate the emotion until I get to the point where I really do want that person to be blessed in their life. I know JMG has written not to pray for people who haven’t asked for prayers from you, or given you permission, but I think of this as getting in contact with Divinity and/or a deity, and asking them to bless the person, if it be Divinities will, etc. The point is you start wishing them well to heal your own mind and self and so you are free to do what you need to do, and let them get on with their life too.

  34. Hello,
    There is a topic which really piques my interest. We all know the kind of poetry or romantics that buildings built prior to the 20th century can have, especially when they get old. Also, they can be dismantled, repurposed, brought additions, or accommodated. That is because their building materials are tiny organic components: brick, stone. Even plaster or wall coatings can be removed without tearing down the wall itself. And this ‘granular’ feeling gives the stains from age an almost ornamental quality, since the material itself already forms a visual pattern. Besides the architectural features were mostly handmade, so on a human scale and rich in detail. Thus have a greater pleasing quality to the eye than your modern cubic concrete building.

    Now comes the big question : how would buildings made in today’s age? Esthetically what would be the appeal of such a building when it will be decaying? Assume that nobody has the means to maintain it other than just inhabiting it. Or that it falls to ruins. How do you then dismantle some parts of it, or graft new parts onto it? Concrete is not very modular, especially when it is steel-reinforced. Assuming you use pre-1950 building techniques (hand tools and handy work) and materials (cement, chalk, stones or bricks, mud…). Similar question, if it falls to ruin, which parts can you salvage? Other than road paving material made out of high-entropy remains. Is there more incentive to tear it down for salvaging than to maintain it in some form of usability? Which events or major shifts in society would reorient that choice? What is the number of floors beyond which a building will be good for recycling? I don’t believe people will just let them stand unoccupied forever.

    Examples here, in France. The choices made do also stem from the current set of ecological constraints on insulation, which may make those buildings valuable assets in the future. I know they look dull, probably because buildings made nowadays tend to be neither beautiful nor ugly.

    https://imagine.icade.fr/display?url=https%3A%2F%2Flibmedias.icade-immobilier.com%2Fprogrammes%2F71513%2Fmedias%2Fperspectives%2F2018.11-373_e1-1.jpg&w=320&h=230&op=thumbnail&q=50

    Or one made of glass and metal frames

    https://res.cloudinary.com/jll-global-olm/image/upload/h_1000,c_fill/q_60/t_main/v1555708889/fr/location-bureaux-massy-91300-12-14-avenue-carnot-10067044.jpg

    Given which venue this is, I believe I can safely assume that these questions are interesting not just for the wonders of imagination but also because they will be answered in a few centuries. They will be asked in a few decades first, of course… It will depend on the natural / agrarian resources available in their area too. At the moment the scale of urbanization in rich countries negates the importance of how those resources are spread, at least within their economies. This could change in turn as the availability of cheap imported products from overseas will gradually decrease.

  35. (Raising a virtual glass to toast the commentariat) May you all have health and wealth in the years to come!

    This really is one of most unique corners of the internet, and thank you to our gracious host for having standards and keeping them.

  36. And now for my question – can you recommend some decent histories of the First Great Awakening or the Second Great Awakening in the U.S.?

    I’m piecemealing things together and figure there has got to be some sort of coherent work done by a scholar.

  37. Yorkshire, I haven’t looked into any theory of art more recent than that of the 19th-century Symbolists. As I’m not an artist, I haven’t pursued the matter.

    Violet, I don’t know. I really don’t.

    Bridge, the state of Rhode Island requires people to wear masks when going indoors in public spaces, but not outside. I carry a cheap paper mask in my pocket, put it on when I go into a store or what have you, pocket it again when I leave the store.

    Chronojourner, I’m somewhat hesitant about Retrotopia fan fiction, because all the way through the period when I was posting it as a sequence of blog posts, the people who either radically misunderstood what I was getting at, or who insisted that I should change this or that or the other thing, greatly outnumbered the people who got it. (You were there at the time, iirc. Do you remember how persistently people kept on misunderstanding the tier system no matter how often I corrected them, to the point that I very nearly had to throw a series of public tantrums to get them to stop, listen, and realize that they’d gotten it wrong?) I’m potentially open to the idea, in other words, but only if there’s reason to believe that people won’t try to twist it out of shape to fit their preconceived ideas.

    Happypanda, I haven’t dismissed any of those ideas, but we’ll see when and if it feels right to pursue any of them.

    Devonlad, nope. The cycle of rise and fall doesn’t depend on any one variable, such as energy. If it hadn’t been that, it would have been something else. As for plans for the massive expansion of nuclear power, there were plenty of them, but they all quietly hit the recycle bin in the 1980s when it became all too clear that nuclear power, far from producing electricity too cheap to meter, produced electricity too expensive ever to pay for itself.

    Tanya, that’s very good advice; thank you.

    Hans, no, and in fact I’n grateful for your suggestions!

    Chris, as I noted in a post over on my Dreamwidth journal, I see it as a last frantic attempt to uphold the failed religion of progress by abolishing the past.

    Clay, that makes a great deal of sense.

    Aidan, no, I expect a gargantuan backlash against social media mobs in the years immediately ahead. Watch for people to start abandoning the social media that foster mob behavior — that’s the first move in the backlash. Others will follow.

    Your Kittenship, thank you.

    Logan, that’s a fascinating speculation. Yes, it makes some degree of sense, but quite a bit of research would be useful — do you know, for example, whether that association of tattoos and damaged auras is crosscultural?

    Lenihan, it’s a very common misconception to assume that green wizardry is purely about gardening. Quite the contrary, it’s a set of attitudes to human relationships with nature and technology that can be applied in almost any context.

    Kwo, different teachings make different claims about that. My take is that the higher self does indeed fall into forgetfulness during each life, until spiritual awakening really gets under way.

    David BTL, (1) as I noted on my Dreamwidth post, I see this as the frantic rage of the losing side. (2) Snakes are very common accompaniments of chthonic deities, so that doesn’t really narrow the field much. (3) Of course! It was clear to me well over a decade ago that there was no actual difference between the Democrats and the pre-Trump GOP, and that they would line up into a single party if faced by a real alternative — as in fact they have.

    Brother J, you’re welcome and thank you.

    Patricia M, thank you for this! I prefer shantaks, but these will do.

    Ben, (1) I’ll let you pound that straw man all by yourself, thanks. (2) My idea of a middle ground? More statues, not fewer, and of a wider range of historical figures. Why isn’t there a big bronze statue of Sun Ra in Birmingham, for example? (You might also want to keep in mind that statues aren’t automatically role models. In downtown Providence there’s a big statue of Gen. Ambrose Burnside. He was a local boy; he was also the most incompetent general on either side in the Civil War, and everybody knows it. He’s memorialized because, you know, he’s a memorable part of the history of this state and this nation.)

    Kimberly, Jung’s take — which I’ve found very reliable — is that anytime we get unreasonably angry at someone, it’s because they remind us of qualities in ourselves we can’t stand. Hateful people are very useful because they give us opportunities for self-knowledge.

    Ecosophian, thanks for this. I tend to shy away from borrowing Native American traditions, because of a certain discomfort with the role of clueless white guy, but of course your mileage may vary.

    Patricia M, you’re most welcome. I think you’re quite right about Trump!

    Gollios, yes, that’s an important part of it. What we’re seeing, as I’ve noted elsewhere, is the final implosion of the myth of social progress — the notion, hardwired into the thinking of our comfortable classes, that history must inevitably move in whatever direction the comfortable classes consider to be just. (And which, let’s remember, always involves the comfortable classes staying comfortable, no matter who else has to suffer.) Praying for your friends is a very wise thing to do, and I hope it helps them.

    Your Kittenship, hmm. That may well be a good part of it.

    Jess, glad to hear that the Tarot thing worked out. As for the issue of erasure, it’s the first one. If we were to completely erase every memory of slavery, what’s to stop people a hundred years from now from saying, “Hey, I’ve got a great new idea — why not buy and sell human beings?”

    Candace, that’s something that very often happens before a bad earthquake. If you hear that snakes have started to be seen slithering all over the place, brace yourself.

    Citizen, I expect the whole thing to wind down in early September as the influence of the June 5 eclipse goes off. As for a civil war, Trump’s supporters are far more heavily armed, many more of them are military veterans, and if he’s reelected and is thus the legal president, he can turn the National Guard and the military on the would-be rebels. I give them about a week — though being in a redder state during that week might be a good idea.

    Justin, thanks for this.

    Someone, thanks for this also.

  38. JMG and all –

    >> A forum for conversation is a commons, and it’s subject to the same tragedy of the commons that Garrett Hardin and Elinor Ostrom studied so closely. If people are allowed to abuse a commons without penalty, the commons will be destroyed <<

    I think not unlike R Giuliani’s former”broken window” policy in NYC. I for one am grateful you delete the abusive commenters with extreme prejudice. On other sites, when somebody starts flinging profanity-peppered personal insults at me, I just let them know I can’t take them seriously as human beings, much less thinkers, and let them know I won’t be reading or replying to their comments again. Actually I do read them, but remain silent; that seems to drive them batcrap crazy, and eventually most of them do stop replying.

    Question – I know you have said, in line with Kabbalist, Druidic, and other sources, that the “Godhead” of the universe is basically an Unknowable Nothing about which nothing can be said, save for edging around It in metaphor. But It couldn’t have been a complete and utter Nothing because if that were the case, nothing would exist, no? Granted, nothing “exists” within the Godhead/Ein Sof as we understand the term, but as J Boehme put it, It was/is a “sea of potentiality” in some way no finite mind can comprehend. We can’t say the Godhead is love, for example, but in some way the potentiality for love “existed” within it. Same with everything that comes into manifestation, space, time, angels, planets, Ritz crackers, bowling balls, you and I. In some way, you and I and everything must have been a gleam in Ein Sof’s eye, so to speak, do you think?

    One reason I find Boehme appealing is that his schematic for the Creation process seems to mirror the human process of spiritual transcendence, a macro/micro dynamic. Put very simply, on the macro-level, the Nothingness desired to become a Somethingness, but the Oneness of the Nothingness prevented such a manifestation, and thus there came an Anguish arising from the insatiability of Desire. (of course none of this occurred in linear time because time did not yet exist). It was the *acceptance* of Anguish that sparked the manifestation of Creation. Love therefore, is the result; Desire and Anguish are the building blocks.

    This dynamic obviously is mirrored in human spiritual nature – to progress spiritually, we must accept in full the anguish that arises from insatiability of desire. Would you suppose in this sense, the Unknowable is somewhat knowable, at least as is mirrored in our own spiritual natures?

    (I acknowledge that there may be manifestations of being in the universe in which “love” as we understand it has no place or meaning, in which case that would be yet another potentiality of Ein Sof come into manifestation).

    Thanks!

    Will M

  39. Mr. Greer, have you ever considered beekeeping as a soothing .. well, mostly ..’;] .. ‘activity’?
    I loath to use the term ‘hobbie’!, which I often sense uttered in a rather woke-like dismissive way ..
    Speaking from my own experience, I find it a delightful to be such close proximity to these thousands of facinating, but barbed creatures, who if provoked, could do me great physical harm .. but instead put their trust in me, as I do in them. I tend to think of our mutual interactions as a kind of slow dance of repect!

  40. Dear Mr. Greer,

    With the imminent arrival of the last book in the Haliverse I was wondering if you there was a recommended reading order you could recommend? I look forward to re-reading the series again.

  41. I’d also like to hear anything people have on how to deal with anger. My issue is a little different from Kimberly’s, but it’s also related to Covid-19. There are three reasons in particular why I’m angry about it.

    I’d decided earlier this year I hate my job, and to pursue an attempt to get into a trade. The program I looked at was supposed to start in May, and it is shut down, since it’s “too dangerous” to have people gather together, and no one will hire an apprentice for anything right now, since things are still shut down and most people working in the trades are preparing for another round of insanity come the fall. For the sake of my sanity I need to get out of where I am now, and every avenue for getting a new job which won’t crush my spirits is gone for the foreseeable future.

    Second, my grandfather has very severe dementia. He lives in another province, and I’ve been making a point of seeing him as often as possible. This usually means twice a year: once in the summer and once around Christmas. I’m doing this because he still recognizes me, but I don’t know how much longer this will last. His memory is almost completely gone, and so I want to spend time with him while he still knows who I am. The trip in the summer is off for sure, while I don’t know if I’ll be able to visit at Christmas.

    The third reason is that I’d started martial arts, I’d started getting in shape, and making a lot of changes I need to make in order to be healthy and happy. I started finding communities, and all of those have been taken away. My martial arts classes are on hold because it’s illegal to gather in groups of more than ten here. Gaming groups, same thing. It turns out there is very little which can be done if groups of five are illegal!

    The worst part is that everyone insists it’s fine because the internet exists, but it’s very different from actually seeing people. The result is that a great many things I value are not allowed, because of insanity around this virus.

    Your Kittenship,

    One of the weirdest things about growing up in an upper class household in the past thirty years or so is that any form of discipline is frowned upon. The result is that the kids act out to try to find out what isn’t allowed, and I’m quite convinced a lot of people have scars from it. I know I have issues around that myself….

  42. I have a question regarding Star’s Reach.

    It is briefly alluded to that the Pacific Coast of 25th Century North America is ethno-culturally dominated by the descendents of Japanese refugees from the late 21st Century.

    I was wondering if you could provide me with more details on this new nation.

    For example, were the old inhabitants completely displaced or did they intermarry into the newcomers. If the latter is the case, what percentage of the 25th Century population of the Pacific Coast is what we today would call ethnically Japanese?

    Also what is the system of government?

  43. @Kimberly Steele

    Re Anger and returning to civil terms.

    I grew up very very angry. I was lost to toxic anger for years. My 4 useful pieces of advice are:

    #1. Anger is a secondary emotion. It is a response to pain, fear something else. Dealing with the anger is one thing dealing with the underlying pain/fear of losing your business or even fear of the mental state they’ve pushed themselves into is something else, as mentioned in other posts the true pain of watching someone you love devolve into a rage/drug addict/madness is terrible. When you can’t save them you get angry at them and (sometimes) yourself for not being able to save them.

    #2 We do not forgive people for THEM we forgive them for OURSELVES. After walking around for years filled with anger and resentment I realized that I was only hurting ME. Putting the burden down by forgiving THEM, allowed me to not have to drag that stuff around anymore. Though I realize your anger is fresh and that often makes it more difficult.

    #3 (Probably doesn’t apply to you but did to me) At a certain point it isn’t the rest of the world that has a problem, it’s you. Getting right with the way things ARE versus the way they SHOULD be is critical. Not least because to drive towards a goal it helps to know where you are.

    #4 Everyone needs to be the hero of their own story. When (if) you’re ever ready you can offer them a way that doesn’t turn them into the bad guys. Getting people to admit they are the bad guys is a non-starter. A useful path back to sanity might involve a way for them to be the (possibly wayward) hero of the story.

  44. @Violet

    The prevalence of Newspeak among academics and the press now is alarming at a high level. I am seeing old friends who are talking as if completely brainwashed. I have reprimanded and argued on Faceplant and I have good ammunition with which to fight because, in part, reading this blog, in part, utilizing common sense. However, there seems to be a good many new initiates coming into the cult led by the author of White Fragility ect. I recently watched a single mother of two autistic children get demoted because she made a comment about the Chinese food that was delivered. I was in that instance able to convince the misinformed accusers that in fact they made three times her wage…however she didn’t get her job back. I am going to repeat that giving up personal autonomy and taking up self flagellation isn’t productive to these brainwashed people until it is over…. I have never voted for either Liberal or Conservative before in Canada however I think I am changing that practise this year.
    If my opinion is of value I feel we are in over correction territory now. There are much larger problems afoot that are on pace to overshadow the current narrative.

    James Howard Kunstler wrote just recently in his essay,
    “Disorders Now and To Come”

    https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/disorders-now-and-to-come/

    “USA faces a graver set of circumstances than the animus between blacks and whites. In the background these weeks of protests, riots, looting, and arson is the disintegrating economy, which signifies that pretty much everybody in this land will not be able to keep on keeping on in the ways we’re used to. Everybody will have a harder time making a living. Everybody will endure shocking losses in wealth, status, and comfort. And, sadly, everybody will be too perplexed and bamboozled by the rush of events to understand why.”

  45. When you mentioned that Retrotopia is selling well and that it reflects the recognition “across a very wide range of American subcultures…[that]…the present really is worse than the past,” I thought of some very popular examples and have to agree that it seems to be picking up steam.

    Last week I fell into a rabbit-hole of historical dress tutorials, blogs, and videos. Turns out there are youtubers filming themselves hand-sewing and making both period-appropriate and modern-adaptations of historical clothing and they have a LOT of viewers. T

    Bernadette Banner (737K subscribers to her channel), in a video (itself viewed 770K times) about dressing in historically accurate or historically inspired styles, expressed a sentiment that’s certain to be familiar to Ecosophia readers: “We just naturally assume that because we are now in the present we have technologically advanced such that our clothes are better, our technology is better, our methods are better and more superior, and our clothing is more comfortable and more practical.

    That is not necessarily true….”

    Three-quarters of a million people heard Bernadette Banner say, essentially. “Progress is not all it’s cracked up to be,” and I’ll bet most of them nodded along.

    I think this sentiment is very prominent, and gaining traction, among people who make things. Maybe there are lots of people who want to make 3D-printed plastic doohickeys, but I’ll bet there are more who want to work with life-affirming, more natural, materials and who come to the retrotopia point of view through contact with craft.

    Here I think of woodworkers (and the Lost Art Press and the associated (By Hand and Eye, etc.) books that express this so beautifully, of Craftsmanship Magazine, of the whole knitting frenzy and the Fibershed movement, and of the many ways that people under lockdown suddenly had to find easy, homemade ways of doing things – old-fashioned-style in many cases (sourdough starter, anyone?). Jumping rope and roller skating became quite hip during lockdown as well, and typewriters and fountain pens’ popularity are positive aspects of the poser-realm of “hipsterdom.” In some ways, cosplay helped generate this attitude, too.

    If people are coming to retrotopic thinking (to coin a phrase) through creative and health-promoting acts, I think that’s a good sign. Such an approach, and the experience of such activities, builds something that people can turn to (even if just a little bit, through even just one venue or genre of life activity) so that as Progress wobbles, falters, and falls, there isn’t just a vacuum with nothing “wholesome” to fill it (as Chris (?) noted in an earlier post, relative to how the current round of history bashing has constructed nothing in response, nothing as an alternative).

    Let’s keep it up!

  46. Our host thanked me for a cute kitten! 🐈

    My plan (duly screened against the Evil Overlord List) to kitten everything is working! Today Ecosophia—tomorrow the world!

    Kittens—the irresistible force! Surrender to the wave of cute! Chuckle before our battle cries! We have two—a loud “Kawaii!” and an itty-bitty “Meow?”

    I am now pondering the image of American soldiers, bedecked in expensive, scary-looking gear, rattling like ‘75 Gremlins as they run, thundering across a disputed piece of land, screaming “CUUUUTE!” As they close with the enemy, each one singles out a man and hands him an irresistible ball of fluff. Behold a hardened fighter melting as the tactical kitten looks up at him with big eyes and pats him with a tiny paw—or sneezing his head off, because he’s allergic. Either way, he won’t hurt anybody. And DARPA is already working on remote tactical kitten delivery.

  47. Mulberry, I don’t get precognitive dreams, and I haven’t done much with dreamwork generally, so I’m sorry to say I can’t help you. Anyone else?

    Greg, that seems like a reasonable analysis. My take for some years now is that talk about “white privilege” is mostly used as camouflage to hide the larger reality of class privilege, where in fact the meaning of “private law” applies — consider the way white collar crime is handled as compared to the crimes of the poor…

    Materia, as I’ve noted above, it’s an attempt to erase the past entirely, because if you know about the past you can’t hide from the reality that progress has failed. Yes, until this whole business burns itself out, books and many other things are at risk.

    KW, at this point my political astrology has turned into my single largest income source — thank you to everyone who’s a subscriber or patron! — so natal astrology is on the back burner for the foreseeable future. I don’t have anyone specific to recommend; you might ask the people you know and see if anyone can recommend a natal astrologer. A thorough birth chart delineation by a professional astrologer is worth having.

    Jean-Vivien, my guess is that a few hundred years from now, chunks of concrete quarried from old buildings, freeways, etc. will be an important building material. Cut it into roughly cubical chunks, mortar them together into walls, cover with some kind of surface layer, and it should be very sturdy. In my novel Star’s Reach I had city walls in 25th-century Meriga made of chunks of old freeway mortared together that way.

    Robert, yep. It’s become totally insane now.

    Denys, thank you. I haven’t looked into that; anyone else?

    Your Kittenship, I wonder if they sell tentacle gloss… 😉

    Will, the Absolute is not a Nothing, it’s a Nothing-We-Can-Understand. There’s a difference! As for whether we can know anything about it via love, or via some other expression in ourselves, that’s a good theme for meditation. 😉

    Polecat, I have friends who are beekeepers, but it’s never appealed to me. I think it’s one of those things that you should do if you have a passion for it.

    Crayon, either the order of publication or the internal chronological order, which runs like this:
    – Innsmouth
    – Kingsport
    – Chorazin
    – Shoggoth Concerto
    – Dreamlands
    – Voyage to Hyperborea
    – Nyogtha Variations
    – Providence
    – Red Hook
    – Seal of Yueh Lao (forthcoming_
    – Arkham

    Aidan, I didn’t work any of that out; it wasn’t relevant to the story, since the Neeonjin country (as people in Meriga call it) is a distant rumor to the people in the tale.

    Temporaryreality, thanks for this! That’s very good to hear.

    Your Kittenship, just for the phrase “remote tactical kitten delivery,” it was all worth it! 😉

  48. There have been discussions here of ugly buildings recently. I’d like to expand it to ugly noise.

    Disclosure: I’ve been a classical music fan since my teens, which is quite a few years ago. But I also liked rock-n-roll and jazz (of the “better sort,” of course). I’m also an amateur musician; I play 2nd violin in a community orchestra, which is only slightly better than being a viola player or even a wind player.

    I think the pop stuff that has held up well over the years is in the power pop genre; trios, bands like Cream and Jimi Hendrix stand out. (A four piece band in the case of the Pixies.) I like the genre because it’s raw and pared down, not overproduced like the worst stuff of the 70s. (Queen, for example.) In jazz, I like Charles Mingus and many others, mostly black musicians, but I avoid the “soft jazz” that became popular, especially since the 70s. And, with a few exceptions, I cannot take what people listen to these days. It’s quite an ordeal to spend 15 minutes walking through the supermarket, with their music and announcements; I don’t know how the people who work there can stand it for an entire shift.

    And the noise part: I used to listen to NPR much more than I do now. Now it’s about 5 minutes of news headlines and then the radio goes off. (Commercial radio has become completely un-listenable.) At some time in the past, NPR started putting brief “music” or rhythm tracks over, under and in-between most of their announcements. If you pay attention, you might count as many as three or four of these unrelated tracks in just two minutes. Is the listener not supposed to notice?

    One specific complaint: that concerns the theme “music” for the NPR show “1A.” It’s simply awful. If I tune in for the late morning news headlines on the Ann Arbor station, I can’t help hearing it. It’s a repetitious clattering, probably computer generated. It feels so good when it stops — but then it starts again when they air the “spot” for the next segment.

    I guess we are getting so accustomed to such ugliness in our audio as well as our visual daily lives that we barely notice anymore. I used to have a fantasy where you could put coins in the Jukebox and select three minutes of silence.

    Then there’s the noise that comes from sub-woofers. I used to have a another fantasy….. words can’t express my thoughts.

    That’s it; that’s my rant for this month.

  49. JMG,
    I am curious to know what your thoughts are on the neolithic stone circles and other large earthworks in NW Europe, particularly those of Britain and Ireland. Many of these sites are of a huge size and would have required a great deal of planning to raise, a great deal of people to work together to do so; and some sort of powerful underlying cosmology that is largely a mystery to archaeology. The people responsible are referred to as ‘grooved ware folk’, due to a style of pottery deposited at many of the sites, and they seemed to have had an understanding of the heavens, as they aligned many of their sites to celestial events. These celestial events are largely restricted by the ‘experts’ to solar events (apart from the stones of Callanish on the Isle of Lewis, which are now accepted as having an orientation towards the minor lunar standstill). Are you aware of links between any of these monuments and other celestial pehenomena, and do you think it is possible that this culture could have had some form of Hermetic tradition that attempted to replicate the heavens on the ground? Is it possible that there was a body of complex astrological knowledge which has come down to us today in some form?

  50. Dear Mr Greer

    Like you I think that the SJW movement is on its way to the dustbin of history. My thinking diverges from yours a bit, because I think the death of the SJW movement will not be the end of the myth of progress and it will take other forms. However I do not think these other forms last that long as progress is a god that is dying.

    My question to you is this. What revitalisation movements do you think will replace the myth of progress?

  51. @ Tanya, JMG

    Re Whomever She May Be

    Thank you both. There’s a point that a certain Someone is making here, I believe.

  52. All of this recent political and economic instability has lead to a division over issues with my black girlfriend.

    Rising activism from groups like BLM, watching main stream news propaganda and the echo chamber of her social media has really turned her towards progressive left views ranging from systematic racism, America is inherently racist to these riots/civic attacks being justified by the wrongs previously done to black people. This is especially difficult given I’m white and more aligned with your (JMG) general worldview regarding politics, history etc.

    Trying to have a conversation where I cite stats on how minority groups are not specifically discriminated against, how it’s not a good idea to hold current generations at fault for the past and having issues with SJW fundamentalistic iconoclasm has usually lead to bad to worse outcomes. I spose this is a taste of what people went through in 2016 with family and friend seperation over politics, but still it’s hard to see and bear in such a close relationship. Any recommendations on how to handle connections with people who are ideologically captured?

    Andrew

  53. What is your opinion about the narrative pushed by ‘BlackLivesMatter’ and the radical left that law enforcement in america is incredibly racially biased against black people?

    My position is that the narrative is almost entirely false. From the research I’ve seen that take crime rates into account the criminal justice system has in fact been pretty fair to blacks. Black overrepresentation in the prison system and among those killed by cops stems from their behavior rather than a biased criminal justice system.

    Here is the sort of thing I’m looking at:

    https://quillette.com/2020/06/11/racist-police-violence-reconsidered/?fbclid=IwAR3_HaCzzsU764kC-QxbrYVOR9UXbVOSplWNry5IoSV7WaL5kWzGIChCBR4

    https://www.unz.com/article/the-manufactured-crisis-of-police-racism/#comment-3957960

    https://thealternativehypothesis.org/index.php/2016/04/15/is-the-criminal-justice-system-racist/

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/how-much-more-homicidal-are-blacks-than-whites-7-4x-more-like-the-obama-administration-said-or-11-7x-more/

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/james-q-wilsons-wise-words-on-crime-and-race/

    While there are certainly problems in law enforcement that I think should be reformed like criminal asset forfeiture, No-knock warrants, and police forces being militarized in general, those fixes are nowhere near what the BLM crowd is demanding. The narrative they’re pushing is that cops have essentially been waging a race war against black america and they are simply fighting back. They’ve brought some powerful allies over to that belief as well.

    For example, as of writing this the ACLU has up on its homepage the statement, “Black people are being murdered and brutalized by police with near impunity,” https://www.aclu.org/

    The perspective I’m seeing on the leftward end of social media is similar. A sort of blind acceptance that ‘of course that is whats happening’, without any serious effort to prove it. The discussion/debate stage is skipped over for the screaming that ‘something Must be Done!’ phase.

    So, I’m wondering what your perspective is on the issue and – if you tend to support the BLM side more than I do – If you can show me the research or arguments that supports the BLM/ACLU/left’s narrative in light of the arguments in those five links I posted above.

    Thanks for hosting these.

  54. Hi Kevin,

    Wow! I had always understood the upper classes were quite firm with their children, so they’d have the qualities needed to manage the family empire and be able to keep the family line going. Maybe that’s the British upper classes? In any case, thanks for the info—I will rewrite my SJW accordingly. You saved me from a HUGE blooper. I can’t thank you enough!

    Now I can add a little humor, too, as General Nuisance and his officers unwittingly give her all the discipline and structure she doesn’t consciously understand she wants. I anticipate mutual bafflement, which can be very funny.

  55. Forgive the long preamble of premises to my questions, which arose from meditation:

    If:
    1. the ‘language’ of the subconscious consists of images and symbols,
    2. and these representations/impressions exist within the personal unconscious,
    3. but also the collective unconscious, which may be a synonym for Will, or the One Life of nwyfre or perhaps the astral plane,
    4. and everything has consciousness,
    5. then many impressions and random thoughts that one has throughout the day would be coming from other beings via the collective unconscious.

    Given that, how do you determine your own thoughts from those which come from other beings? And what does it feel like to sense the thoughts/impressions which come from plants?

  56. JMG, I have been watching some really smart people discuss our current predicament and the future of humanity (and I use predicament the way I have seen you use it, instead of problem.) Although these speakers (Eric Weinstein, Daniel Schmachtenberger and Jordan Hall on Rebel Wisdom) are very rational and quite versed in game theory, I see them bumping up against the conclusion that you have stated in The Long Descent, but unwilling to come to the same conclusion.

    They seem to want to invest in the New Age analogy of the butterfly. I am sure you have seen the idea that humans are like butterflies in the larval stage right now, but we will enter an imago stage and become something completely unforeseen and unimaginable compared to our current understanding of being human. Of course this metamorphosis will be on a cultural level not a physical level.

    So if we follow this line of thought, we will for the first time in recorded history, (unless you believe the other New Age story that previous groups of humans evolved past the physical form and ascended into pure light bodies), develop a new way of being that will make all the previous historical cycles obsolete. They seem to want to believe that we can grow to an enlightened culture, instead of succumbing to our tribal instincts.

    Personally, I am not convinced that we will overcome human nature on a large scale. I do believe that we can do it on an individual level through alchemical practices, but unless alchemy becomes easier than I currently understand it to be, requiring less time and effort, then I do not see the masses being able to meet the escape velocity required for transformation.

    Am I missing something? Or are these folks wishing upon a star? Is there any chance that humans will self-organize into a non-rivalrous group on a global scale with no out group to fend against?

  57. JMG, we’ve come a long way since you were worried about the site being swamped with cute kittens and VERY CAUTIOUSLY granted me monthly kitten privileges! Little did you know that strategic cute-ening was going on behind the scenes. 😈🐈

    Lovecraft Beauty did sell (very expensive) lip gloss, which could probably also be used to brighten pale tentacles. 🦑

  58. Though I sometimes feel mildly disappointed by my lack of TSW experience, it turns out I DO have one and it relates to the book “Someone” mentioned up above. Back before I started the banishing/meditation/divination triad of practices, I picked up “The Inner Guide Meditation” book and started working with it.

    Well, I got some of the way in, met a guide, was being introduced to a being who emanated golden light and had the head of a falcon (yes, I know what that looks like) and though I don’t recall all the details of the exchange, he reached out and touched the right side of my face and I felt intense heat and I drew back.

    Within the day I felt tingling energy coming up and out through my neck vertebrae, along the jawline to the point where I’d been touched. It felt like I’d been injected with ginger – a spicy-hot, nerve-hyped feeling. It didn’t resolve immediately.

    Within a few days it revealed itself as shingles – only the one spot ever manifested (thankfully, and thankfully not near my eye).

    I can’t say which was cause, which effect; was it a warning, or just pointing something out that already existed? I have no idea.

    I still have the scar and I won’t be going back to that practice anytime soon – if I ever do, it won’t be until I am certain of my protective skills and am wise to what the method really requires and provides, and only if I know there’s some need for it.

    Not trying to scare anyone off, it looks like a useful book; just, you know, be careful out there!

  59. @Mulberry:

    Hi. I have precognitive dreams as well. They seem to be fairly natural. Some of mine have been slightly disturbing, as I’ve had precognitive dreams of three peoples deaths, and two were close to me. Each time I had a feeling, and then it happened. Getting to know that “feeling” seems to be key to working with the precognitive aspect. A lot of my precognitive dreams though I only know are telling the future when the future becomes the present, i.e, when it unfolds before me as it did in the dream.

    This kind of psychism can be developed in waking life though too. For instance sometimes I’ve been able to “dodge bullets” -not literal ones, but personal ones that could have blown up into unnecessary issues- by knowing that I needed to not be somewhere at a certain time. You start to get a feel of what to say yes to and what to say no too.

    Doing regular divination work, aside from keeping a dream journal, also has the effect of opening up your latent psychism.

    I recommend the book “Dreaming True” by Robert Moss as it deals extensively with this subject and will give you more detailed guidance for working with and developing this ability. One thing he does write about that I can attest to real quick is how keeping a dream journal will help you develop your own set of symbols & guidance. Then when you see certain symbols in dreams or waking life you will have a better understanding of how to react and work with that showing up at that time.

    Researching the Scottish lore on the “Second Sight” might also be a good option for you. For that I could recommend the book Scottish Witches and Warlocks by the late Michael Howard.

  60. @violet

    Don’t we all wish we knew the answer to that one! I saw one list today that compiled forty people who had been fired, placed on administrative leave, or were being investigated by their employers (mostly universities), for being critical of the BLM protests in public.

    The one that got me was seeing this morning that physics professor Mike McCulloch was being investigated by his uni. Someone compiled a list of his “likes” on Twitter and sent it to his employers:

    https://twitter.com/memcculloch/status/1275399702314455042

    Let that sink in. He’s being investigated by his university. For liking the wrong things on Twitter.

    It feels like this is accelerating. Nothing inside the movement will stop it, because I don’t see anything outside the movement with the heft, organization, and backbone to do so. There is no way that, left to their own devices, the mobs will be content with toppling statues and torpedoing careers. I half-expect to hear, any day now, that the CHOP folks have erected a guillotine.

    I fervently hope I’m wrong.

  61. I promised an update on how the changes I was making to my life were going, so here’s the June update. I’ll get a new apartment on the 1st, and have an elevator booked for move in on the 4th of July, so for now I’ve been busy going through what I have and deciding what to take and what to leave behind. This has proven challenging, since I have far more stuff than I need. I’ve also put together a budget, and will be able to save at least some money. Exactly how much is something which I’m currently unsure of: I have plenty of things which I may want to spend money on but which I haven’t decided to do yet.

    By any reasonable standard I won’t be poor, but unfortunately my family has a ridiculous amount of money and stuff, and so the shock of being “poor” will probably still be there. I’ve decided to let it happen and see what I can learn about myself. I also figure that this is the only way to get over it, and the only way to go further is to get the first steps over with.

    My short term goal for July is thus merely to adjust to having moved out, and to the shock associated with that. I won’t worry too much about anything in particular, as I’m realizing I don’t know what I need to do. One of the things which is causing me problems is that a very wide range of life skills, such as budgeting, meal planning, etc. were never taught to me, and so I have to figure them out now. I’ve made a budget and will be making meal plans, but I’m positive there are other things which I’m missing: once I know what they are, I’ll start learning them, but for now I know I’m missing a great many skills.

    I’ve also decided to set a longer term goal though: I want to get everything organized to get rid of my cell phone. I’ve been reading scientific studies on EM radiation and realizing that even though it’s easy to buy a scientific study, there’s loads of them out there suggesting cell phones are dangerous.* Given the extent to which I currently rely on it, I’ll probably need at least a couple months to get everything in place, but I’m already starting to reduce how much I use it, and working out what I need to replace it. This obviously means a landline, but it also means other things (a watch, alarm clock, calculator or slide rule, egg timers, etc).

    *See https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S221475001730063X, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3184892/, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19513546/, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1241519/pdf/ehp0111-000881.pdf, and https://arxiv.org/pdf/1711.03683.pdf for examples.

  62. JMG,

    >> the Absolute is not a Nothing, it’s a Nothing-We-Can-Understand. There’s a difference! As for whether we can know anything about it via love, or via some other expression in ourselves, that’s a good theme for meditation. 😉<<

    Yes, I’ve been meditating on that one for a while now. One thing about Boehme’s Creation dynamic that I’ve found particularly inspiring is that when I do accept the necessity of anguish and suffering, I am actually, literally participating in the Creation process, the flowering of manifestation and divine love.

    As much as I find D Fortune to be helpful and fascinating, thus far I’ve yet to find anything quite that direct in her writings re the relation between the Absolute and the individual human and how they mirror each other, but I suppose it’s all in the way we as individuals perceive things. 😎

  63. Do you have any idea what the genetic makeup of 25th Century (largely Arab) Europe is then?

  64. My “liberal” freinds and family are of course going to vote for Biden. I have challenged them to convince me to vote for Biden w/o mentioning Trump. Talk about a conversation stopper. As far as I can tell Joe is definitely a war monger, and definitely likes the idea of cutting SSI. It’s also very likely he’s a rapist, and given his early opposition to bussing maybe a racist. I’m hard pressed to see what is “liberal” about Joe Biden. I’m hard pressed to see how anyone who voted for Bernie in the primaries could vote for Biden in the general election. From my perspective the current leftist protests, and the predictable right wing reactions are just a ploy to prevent as maniy people as possible from noticing the bipartisan consensus on war, taxes, austerity, environmental policy (or lack thereof), ignoring peak oil, etc. It doesn’t seem possible but the two major parties have given us an even worse choice than last time. I will again be voting 3rd party.

  65. Hey hey JMG,

    A question from Magic Monday: RE: we’re under a malign enchantment

    “Something caused people across the Western world to start insisting that a whole realm of ordinary human experience, which everyone else in the world treats as normal, does not exist. ”

    Is it possible that Spengler was on to something when he called us a Faustian culture? That is that western culture surrendered its soul in exchange for knowledge, wealth, and power? Or, perhaps, that we gave up our knowledge of everything except the material world to gain a much greater knowledge of the material world.

    I would have replied in the thread, but I didn’t read the post until today.

    Thanks,
    Tim

  66. @Mulberry

    It seems your “dreams” are linked to people with whom you’re acquainted, or with family. With the coming of your daughter, your attention has been focused on her, and your family. Energy goes where attention flows.

    Remember, there are no physical limitations nor boundaries in the higher realms. When you go to sleep, your higher self (spirit or consciousness) doesn’t sleep – you journey through the realms and “touch base” with your connections or soul family… along with any spiritual guides and guardians.

    This information is being relayed from your Higher Consciousness, and you’re remembering it in your waking consciousness. You’re more aware of what lies beyond the physical realm, and you’re open to it, so this information is easily recalled or known to you.

    Seems like your awareness hasn’t produced any major problem. You seem to be receiving information as it happens, so please, if anything, do not feel that the responsibility is up to you to prevent something “bad” from happening.

    If you received information days or weeks beforehand, and you are absolutely compelled to share it with someone, then heed that feeling.

    You are quite protected it seems. To maintain that, before going to sleep you could see yourself surrounded by a white bubble of Light, or a protective circle.

    Generally, there is a wonderful poem / affirmation you might consider saying before going to sleep. It’s a form of “dream yoga”. About 10 years ago, I used to repeat this before sleep for years. Very helpful.

    This will definitely help to cultivate and expand your awareness…

    “For the welfare and wellbeing of the world and the sake of spiritual awakening, may I seize my dreams and awaken within them; and realize the True Nature of Mind and All things.”

    Happy travels 🙂

    ~ Tanya

  67. A wee while ago, you, JMG, mentioned that your “comfort food” was rice and beans IIRC. I’d be interested in hearing what people’s comfort foods are. (With the proviso that, to spare our host’s patience, no reply veers into diet proselytising.)

    In my experience comfort foods are often more than just comforting, they can be very healing – and my working theory on this is that a comfort food probably takes on some extra solidity in the imaginal realm, through continuous pleasant associations, on top of (sometimes, despite) their run of the mill material benefits.

    Anyway, for myself, I find a bowl of porridge, well stirred while cooking to prevent lumps, topped with a well full of melting butter and a goodly sprinkle of brown sugar to be eminently comforting. And easy to eat during a convalescence.

    I’d love to hear what foods anyone else feels especially comforted by.

  68. Greetings, all:
    Somebody here met a snake deity in a dream and asked for input. So:
    Many years ago I went through a time when my dreams were crawling with snakes: huge ones, little ones, strange ones. At the time I connected it to my Chinese astrological sign; the snake is associated with subtlety and wisdom.
    The snake was all over the place in the Bronze Age: The serpent was associated with metallurgy, which was practiced for millennia as an initiatory “mystery”, and became associated with religious, magical, medical, and artistic traditions that arose out of that very important organization. Alchemy and the whole tradition of initiation into mysteries are connected with snakes and caves.
    There’s the Egyptian goddess Wadjet.
    The oracle of Delphi was originally under a snake deity, before Apollo vanquished it and took it over for himself; but the mouthpiece of the oracle was always known as the “Pythoness”. The Acropolis in Athens kept and fed a snake who was essential to the welfare of the city; the old statues of Athena often showed her holding a snake.
    There are the snakes on the caduceus carried by Hermes.
    There are connections with YHWH—look up “nahash” and remember Moses raising up the brass serpent. Interestingly enough, the nahash got evicted from Hebrew religion about the same time as Apollo evicted the python from Delphi.
    Historical – political factors account for why the snake religions got violently repressed.
    Although the snakes in my dreams never actually SAID anything to me, the period of dreaming about them coincided with a spectacular run of inspiration for musical performance and songwriting, with a Muse who came into my dreams and did actually dictate things to me.
    So, for me, dreaming about snakes was a good thing!

  69. @Violet

    Maybe it’s just me (I was born in the 1980s in what was then still Yugoslavia), but what’s happening in the United States looks like the beginning of a civil war to me. We’ll see, of course, but it doesn’t look good.

  70. @Kimberly Steele

    The only thing that has ever worked for me, is to pray for them.

    If you’re angry, and particular people are the focus for your anger… Detach from them if you need to, but think about them individually, wish them well in their life’s journey, and ask the deity of your choice to bless them. Do it every day. Then let go.

    At least, that’s what has worked for me. May you find peace.

  71. The vast majority of historical figures are never cast in bronze. Books seem to do a fair enough job of maintaining collective memory.

    The vast majority of Confederate statues were erected during the era of Jim Crow. Those monuments were put up, at best, to memorialize a lost war, and at worst, to remind Black people of “their place.”

    https://www.history.com/news/how-the-u-s-got-so-many-confederate-monuments

    But any mature understanding of history requires an acceptance of nuance and complexity. Ulysses S. Grant’s family once owned an enslaved person but as general he led an an Army that freed millions more. As president, he took on the KKK, a terrorist organization cum fraternal society comprised almost exclusively of Confederate veterans.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/aug/21/us-government-ku-klux-klan-charlottesville

    Amos T. Akerman, Grant’s attorney general who led the fight against the Klan, had previously served in the Confederate Army.

    Nontheless, if we are to draw a line against which we might orient ourselves, I would put Grant and Akerman on one side and the KKK on another.

    By tearing down a statue of Grant, protestors in San Francisco have crossed that line.

  72. A telling sign of what these protests and official reaction are all about occured this last week in Portland. We have had the same as around the country with blockades and vandalism to the justice center, city hall, statues, etc. But a few days ago a big group of protesters used dumpsters and such to create a 4 block autonomous zone around the fancy condo building where the democratic mayor has a residence. This condo building is home to mostly “progressive” members of Portland’s comfortable class. The zone was set up at midnight, and by 5:00 AM it had been swept away by the cops as if it never existed. I guess this crew was not clued in to the big picture.

  73. On tearing down racist and white supremacist monuments. New York City has decided to remove the monument to 19th century Alabama obstetrician J. Marion Sims, a founder of vital gynecological technologies (a good person?) who conducted experimental uterine and vaginal procedures on enslaved black women without using anesthesia (a bad person?) His “complicated” story is well known by those in the medical specialty and those of us who consume histories of black American women’s lives. How should society best memorialize this person (or any others) if a statue is deemed repugnant (especially to those who were never consulted)?

  74. JMG, I’m sure you’ve already gotten a million and one comments relating to the situation with George Floyd’s senseless death in the United States, but I’d like to ask you something about it. In one of your earlier posts on the Archdruid Report, you had talked about how one element of the United States’s foreign policy in its heyday was to spark internal conflicts in its enemy nations, right? I think you had alluded to the fact that the United States might be vulnerable to the same sort of tactic. I had recently reread that post, and it got me thinking: the US’s global rivals would have a strong incentive to fan the flames of racial animosity that are currently burning in urban centers, which could potentially cripple the ability of the US government to do much of anything. I don’t mean to come across as a conspiracy theorist, or blame the murder of an innocent person on foreign manipulation; I just thought it was worth bringing up.

  75. Dear JMG,

    That makes sense, thank you!

    Dear Robert,

    That is so very distressing that protesters tore down that statue of Col. Christian Heg, someone who worked so hard for such noble ideals that strike me as eminently worthy even after all of these years. Have you heard that there have been call to tear down statues of Jesus, too (https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/gross-form-of-white-supremacy-real-justice-pac-co-founder-calls-for-removing-statues-of-white-jesus)?

    Rather shockingly, a statue of Gandhi has been defaced with graffiti, (https://www.telegraphindia.com/world/mahatma-gandhi-statue-defaced-in-us/cid/1778497) along with the beautiful memorial to Gen. Shaw and the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment in the Boston Commons.

    Dear Ian,

    Thanks for this! The question that haunts me is how much further will this insanity go?

  76. What makes you so confident that, basically, this is all a temper tantrum that will pass? I appreciate that only a minority of people support the privileged progressive policy agenda. But as far as I know, most revolutions in history have been carried out by a minority. Certainly the majority of Russians didn’t support the Bolsheviks in 1917.

    I suppose you might say that in most circumstances the majority didn’t have upcoming democratic elections available in which to defeat the minority, but doesn’t that assume that people vote for or against policies? There are large numbers of people who would oppose defunding the police, for example, but experience warm fuzzies when reciting the mantra ‘black lives matter’ and so will vote for whoever signals commitment to the same cult.

  77. @Ben Johnson

    I am a 10th generation native Southerner and a 5th generation native Atlantan, and except for voting Bernie in 2016 fall squarely in the AWFL/salary class demographic. Most of my coworkers are black and are themselves a mix of wage and salary class. Over the years I’ve worked with them many have become comfortable enough with me to share harrowing experiences at the hands of police and white civilians alike. I grew up hearing frequent jokes about why Georgia has red clay (“It’s still soaked through with Yankee blood!), and had an excellent history education from a fellow native Southerner, regardless of it being in public school. All that to say, I feel my opinion is as nuanced as can be reasonably expected.

    To your first point, the Civil War was unique in that it was the first in in some jingoistic circles the only war we lost. All other wars were fought as the USA, and we can claim the victory, but the Union has a perfect record, leaving Dixie the only part of the country with a L in our column. That rankles. Especially because it isn’t just the L, it was all the humiliations of an occupied people being (partially, incompletely) remade in the image their conquers want. I’d get metaphorically p!$$ed too.

    To your second point- most of the CSA memorials went up during two periods – at the end of Reconstruction up until WWI, and then again over the two main decades of the Civil Rights movement. These were also the periods of some of the worst racial violence and terror in our post-slavery history. Their primary (post-Reconstruction) or entire (Civil Rights era) point was to remind blacks where their position in society was. That position, while certainly not precisely the same, has in important ways not changed, as attested by the lived experiences of my coworkers. All the laments of the Lost Cause paper over the fact that even if a majority of whites didn’t own slaves they all benefited from the racial caste system, and the CSA’s founding documents make explicit that preserving slavery was the reason for splitting the Union.

    To your question about why not just contextualize these monuments, if they could be properly contextualized with added plaques or inscriptions on blank sides based on when they were erected and what was happening at the time, that would be ideal. Just as good, put them in a sort of monument park, as was done with statues of imperial viceroys after the fall of the British Raj, where people enjoying the out of doors can encounter these figures as curiosities of a past age, but still encounter them. The problem, at least in Georgia, is that state law explicitly forbids almost any sort of movement or addendum to contextualize, such as a plaque on the base. Thus (in Georgia) you are at the mercy of the local authorities to allow equal and opposite monuments to be erected that emphasize the CSA’s warts and all the bloody white supremacy that the Lost Cause was used to justify. This in places where there are still annual conventions to clean up the local CSA cemeteries. The number of contextualized monuments is vanishingly small. Add to that mix people raised with a typically shallow public history education in a culture of Good People and Bad People, and all the CSA and Lost Cause proponents fall squarely as Bad People. If you can’t put up a plaque stating that and state law forbids removal you may literally take matters into your own hands, and all the more fervently if you have a lifetime of bottled rage at the system that minimizes your hurt – see “Harlem” by a Langston Hughes, who coincidentally was discovered by Vachel Lindsay.

    The Georgia state flag is another good example, especially in light of the current rumpus in Mississippi. The flag was changed in 1956 from the previous version based on the First National Flag of the CSA to one with the CSA Battle Flag, or colloquially “the Confederate flag.” Note that the Montgomery bus boycott started in 1955. In the early 2000s the NAACP was threatening Georgia with a boycott unless it was changed, so our Democratic governor did change it, to the ugliest flag ever seen, but that still contained the 1956 flag as a small inset, as shown in the link below. The Republicans flipped the governorship the next election for the first time since Reconstruction, based largely on the flag issue. However, the new Republican govenor (and current federal Sec. of Ag.) Sonny Perdue offered a choice only of the ugly flag or a new one again based on the CSA First National. The decent looking flag won the referendum.

    I was in Valdosta at the state-sponsored high school Governor’s Honors about 6 months after the flag changed to the current one -plenty of time for word to get out that it was the Confederate Flag, just not the one favored by the KKK. Perdue came to speak to us, and when his speech ended we went outside to the streets lined with protesters flying a few old flags but many battle flags. It was extremely jarring and at the time it convinced me claiming heritage to plainly be a lie – if you knew your heritage you would recognize that first national flag, but you don’t, or you don’t care, because deep down that was never the point. My vehemence on that has softened as I’ve aged, but at the end of the day some symbols, like the swastika outside of Hindu iconography, are so irrevocably tainted by the ill acts of those who use it that enjoyment or refusal to see the pain your use of them causes others fully discredits whatever point you were trying to make with them. That’s how I feel about the CSA battle flag, and since state law means I can’t contextualize most of the monuments I do favor civil disobedience in forcing that contextualization, even if I frown at flat out removal.

    https://m-georgiaencyclopedia-org.cdn.ampproject.org/ii/w820/s/m.georgiaencyclopedia.org/sites/default/files/styles/article-gallery-mobile/public/large%202001%20georgia%20state%20flag_001.png

  78. @Goldeneye

    Following on from your last comment in the previous post – I believe that this is a possibility – but a remote one. I read dozens of web sites daily, and the original post was 20 days prior, not the 14 I mentioned. The fact that it happened within minutes of an apple based meal where I’d mentioned the historical figure was a delightful and amusing coincidence. The fact that the actual video had been created quite recently (late May IIRC) even more so.

    This is far from the most extreme example that I’ve experienced. A few years back shortly after having taken up mantra meditation I was on a train going into London. Some tourists asked if they could borrow my spare phone battery and mentioned that they had flown in from Paris where they’d seen the Mona Lisa (dreadful woman, wouldn’t sit still, no eyebrows) we parted at Victoria where I noticed a book stand with the image on it promoting the biography of Da Vinci. Emerging from the underground we saw a pavement artist with a chalk Mona Lisa. Down the street there was a shop selling cheap silk scarves with the image of ML. This went on for the rest of the day – and in the course of 7 hours mooching around the West End of London I counted 23.

    I mentioned to my meditation teacher and he said that occasionally this sort of thing did happen; ‘natural help’ was the phrase he used, although I’m hard put to see what help or even message was intended here. It certainly felt more than mere coincidence though.

    So, since this is an open post, @JMG or anyone is there some better explanation for this sort of event? I’ve started to wonder if it’s a sign of something emerging or manifesting from another plane.

    Andy

  79. Dear JMG and Others,

    Thank you, it’s all excellent advice that I am taking to heart. I am going to work on another Orphic Hymn recording today — thanks Tanya — and I will use my anger as an energetic thrust block as I know my leftist contemporaries couldn’t compose and sing an original piece of music if their inherited annuities depended upon it.

    Justin Patrick Moore, I absolutely cherish your advice. I was blocking Facebook Affluent White Female Liberal (AWFL, thanks Lady Cutekitten) types yesterday and when I saw the one said she was grateful to be apparently undamaged from all of her past suicide attempts, I wished that she would be blessed. I felt sorry for her. I feel sorry for all of them; most leftists battle severe depression. It goes along with the territory, and those who aren’t depressed are even scarier because there is so much they’re repressing.

    Drakonus, thanks, that seems like what a Stoic philosopher would say and it is solid.

    JMG, thanks for the reminder about Jung. This whole debacle is a golden opportunity for self-reflection. I won’t let it pass me by.

  80. @ Lady Cutekitten – I live in Tulsa, recent host of the Trump rally that flopped. The protests here both against the President and pro-BLM have been overwhelmingly peaceful, and attended by all ages, black and white alike. To be fair, the pro-Trump people that came to town last weekend were also very peaceable people and whenever an argument between the two groups appeared about to get heated, people in the crowd would step in, separate the irate parties, and keep the peace. No action was needed by the police. I was very proud of my city. (like I own it? LOL)
    I would suggest that a lot of the violence is being incited as much by the police presence as is coming from the protestors themselves. I also think that most of this movement is organic and coming from communities that are over policed, but receive no other social services from the wider society, rather than being stirred up by ‘top down agitators’.

    @ Jess – I directed a similar question at JMG, because I think it is important to distinguish both the reasons WHY people want statues removed. Is it because slavery is objectively ‘bad’ (I think the easy answer there is yes)? Or is it simply because people are riled up and just want to destroy something (maybe)? Or is it because certain groups are trying to erase history (I’ll worry about that when the book burning starts)?
    Also – those ‘in this house we believe’ memes and signs make me roll my eyes so hard they might fall out… I guess that sounds better that “I’ve explored the possibilities and the scientific method sure makes sense based on repeated observation”

    @ Citizen of Ingsoc – I think the BLM movement would play out fairly peacefully if the police would take a step back and stop shooting chemical weapons at people (see my comments about Tulsa’s experience with BLM protests so far). I don’t think ANTIFA is really the massive conspiracy it is being made out to be. In fact, just last week a guy was arrested in California for using a BLM protest in Oakland as cover to shoot cops. He has been described as wanting to incite a race war and being vehemently anti-government:
    https://abc7news.com/steven-carrillo-damon-gutzwiller-pat-underwood-santa-cruz-county/6255122/
    I don’t want to paint with too broad a brush, but I don’t think the vast majority of BLM protestors are nearly as violent as you are being led to believe.

  81. John,

    I’m in complete agreement about the need for more statues. I have tried to express this to others but have had very little success. My insistence that this is a great opportunity for learning seems to enrage or confuse people. I gather they believe I’m making light of their very serious issues, which of course I am not.

  82. @ JMG – I want to pause here for a moment, and let you know that half of my family is from Louisiana and Texas. When I was about eight years old, on a family visit to Louisiana, I was given a Confederate flag (which I still own), by my southern kinfolk, because I had gotten into learning about the Civil War. I am not wholly unsympathetic to the importance of Confederate history to the southern half of my family, or southern folks in general. My concern is that a great many of the monuments erected to southern Confederate leaders, were built at the same time as the Jim Crow laws were being ratified. I have more than a passing suspicion that some of those monuments were built explicitly to remind a certain segment of the population who was in charge.
    Of course, history is not a straightforward tale of the good vs the bad. One of my extended Louisiana kinfolk was the superintendent of schools for his parish during the 1960s. As the family legend goes, the Klan burned a cross on his lawn for moving forward with de-segregation. In response, he threw the burnt cross into the back of his truck, drove across town to the grand wizard’s house and threw it on the man’s lawn. He made it clear to the other man (in language I hope was as colorful as I imagine it), where he would put said cross if that happened again. The Klan did not bother him or interfere with de-segregation after that.
    So, as to question 1 – I asked it with a bit of tongue-in-cheek. That said, I don’t really think it’s a strawman. In conversations with friends and co-workers about this subject, I repeatedly hear the argument that removing statues is an attempt to remove or erase history. Circling back to my original point, plenty of Loyalists fought for the Crown and against the Patriots during the Revolution, yet I see no statues to them, or their lost cause. Why does the Confederacy get special treatment? Especially the leaders? (And yes, I would draw a distinction between statues honoring the fallen soldier, for instance, and statues to the people that lead the war against the union.)
    As for question 2 – I suppose more statues might be a good thing. At then end of the day, I tend to think of historical statues as the picture books of history. Sure, they may be nice to look at, but if one is really interested in learning the history, then one will need to pick up a real book or two and do some reading.

  83. @Ben Johnson
    I must respectfully say that I think the discussion you want to have is out of date. At this point the iconoclasm has now brought down statues of presidents Washington, Jefferson and Grant. As someone mentioned above, one of the most recent was a statue of Christian Heg, who was apparently an abolitionist and Union soldier.

    It no longer seems reasonable to say that this movement is about erasing symbols of the Confederacy. It has broadened to include symbols of the USA as well.

  84. Good Afternoon,

    No question this week but I figured I would plug a podcast that I think some folks around here might be interested in. I have been listening to the martyrmade podcasts series on Jim Jones over the last few months. There have been quite a few themes that rhyme with some of the recent discussions around here. Specifically on the ADF and con men in occult circles. Not too mention the political climate of the time which might have one or two parallels with the current craziness. Be warned the man is very thorough and a big fan of laying out ALL the context. Right now the series is in 6 parts and about 20 hours worth of content.

    https://www.martyrmade.com/

    He also has a podcast on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict that was fantastic.

    Other Dave

  85. Dear JMG and commentariat,

    if I may:

    the current round of iconoclasm is…striking to say the least. Apparently, thousands of people in Britain have been petitioning their government to remove a statue of Gandhi, of all people, calling him a “fascist racist and sexual predator,” (https://www.indiatoday.in/news-analysis/story/from-gandhi-churchill-to-columbus-why-black-lives-matter-activists-are-angry-with-statues-1688304-2020-06-12).

    Wait…what? What?! Now I’m not a British citizen and they can do as they please and sure, Gandhi wasn’t perfect…but, seriously, of all people to demonize, of all hills to die on, attacking Gandhi?! Maybe it’s a false flag operation? Next thing they’ll be tearing down statues of Malcolm X for the crime of being from the past!

  86. I’m not afraid to jump on a bandwagon! A hearty hooray to our generous host, for maintaining the very best combox on the internet! Long may he live!

  87. I was recently taking the no-work opportunity to breathe life back into a blog that I had abandoned. Much of the subject material is highly critical of our corrupt local government and police force, where I also express the kinds of ideas that could get me harassed and possibly black listed in my liberal dominated industry. Obviously total anonymity is impossible these days, but after reading about what the NYT did to the Slate Star Codex and experiencing several soft-doxing incidents from the big brother social media companies that my former partner had tied into the site, I am considering re-branding and re-launching most of the content under a different name. Are these the kind of moves that are acceptable under Mercury Retrograde conditions?

    BTW I am envious of your ability to put yourself out there and float above all the hostility. While I really detest the idea of practicing self censorship out of concerns for my personal safety, I also admire your even-tempered scalpel-edge approach to subjects that make me want to reach for a hammer.

  88. I’d like to publicly announce that the Astrology History Project is live. The first post is up, and more will be coming soon. It will be focused heavily on Canada and the 20th century to start, but I hope others will look at other places and times.

    I will post at least one chart a month, and I think most months will have two charts go live. For now, I plan to focus on the big picture events: Great Conjunctions, Coronation Charts, etc, and dig into other charts later on.

    Feedback will be greatly appreciated!

    https://astrologyhistoryproject.dreamwidth.org/

  89. Violet, and JMG, if I may (it is not easy stopping pounding repeatedly on the same ever-growing insanities), I have stumbled on just another example of the meltdown of the American Left: in the following article from Naked Capitalism the comment section is characterized by a monoculture of opinions, and by more and more vitriol against those who are, for better or worse, not on a page with the increasing sympathy for authoritarian, non-Western regimes and cultures in the commentariat of Naked Capitalism. They repeatedly called non-mask-wearers and other non-Left people idiots. But you are probably already weary of all these things: https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2020/06/america-sits-on-its-hands-as-covid-19-cases-rise.html. And do I need to mention the vitriol against Great Britain because of the deadly sin against globalism, which is Brexit? It is all really sad, because Naked Capitalism was until relative recent times comparatively sane.

    About the unrest in the United States, a good comparison could made with the Arab Spring in 2011 and its mostly deleterious consequences. I believe there was somethin in the Onion or a similar satirical site where the moniker “American Spring” was mentioned.

    I’m not an expert about conditions in the United States by any means, and I’m not an American, but what has happened the last few months in the USA is really astonishing; a bit like in Europe in 1989.

  90. Hi,
    Given the current neoliberal coup attempt in the USA, I am surprised that most commenters ignore its roots and treat it as a race issue or at most as a liberal/conservative or democrat/republican political fight.

    I think is important to look at the root causes otherwise we miss important things. Like for example why is Trump so impotent in fighting back? Well, the neoliberal establishment owns basically all media, all universities, most corporations and all deep state.

    Do you think it is possible for this color revolution to succeed? I look at the eagerness of most people to kneel and give in to the most crazed demands. Supporting freedom of speech or even scientific method can get you fired, cancelled or worse.

    Because I grew up in the communist bloc I can tell you that no, these people are not as bad as the commies. They are worse – most people under communism were harder to manipulate and more understanding. For example, the spying on your neighbor trope was never very common. People had a certain down to earth distrust of authorities and a long historical memory that made them less prone to 1984 style manipulation.

    Compare that to the whiplash of most liberals in the last decade – from anti-war, freedom of speech antiestablishmentarists to basically “good Germans”.

    I say that because I have this feeling that americans are much closer to Germans in terms of mentality. The obsession with work and careers, the “keeping up with the Joneses”, the incredible ability to enter mass psychoses and witchhunts – all of these don’t bode well for the future.

    There are two things that give me hope – one is that JMG does not seem to think the authoritarians will be able to completely take over the country.
    The other is the fact that most reqular (non-managers) americans are able to make fun of themselves.

  91. About facemasks and oxygen intake.

    I really, really wanted to not be involved in this mess, and abstained from comment last time. However, given that the consensus seems to be that “some scientist are saying that” now, I cannot in good conscience keep my mouth shut.

    1. Scientists have not said such thing. It apparently was a loose reporter that made a comment about N95 respirators (not fabric masks), which then was picked up by social media. N95’s are Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) meant for doctors, nurses, first response personnel, etc; but not for the general public.

    1.a. N95’s do indeed reduce oxygen intake, up to 20%, which is about as bad as getting yourself in a closed room with a fire. That sounds terrible, but anyone with serious fire drilling experience has gone through this. It is uncomfortable as Hell, but only dangerous if you have existing conditions, or if it is prolonged for long periods of time (hours, not minutes).

    2. The point of the fabric mask is not to protect yourself, but to protect others. Cheap face masks reduce chance of infection in 25-30%, home made masks do about half of that figure. But either of those are very effective restricting the range of sick people spreading their infectious saliva droplets (that come out when breathing, talking and, specially, coughing). It makes little sense to use those outdoors or in low density settings, but they are really useful in potentially crowded environments, like in buses or elevators.

    2.a. Also, please remember that people gets infectious up to 2 weeks before showing any symptoms. So, “I am not sick” or “I feel OK” are no excuses for not wearing a mask. It has little to do with your own health a lots to do with your civility.

    2.b. If you are taking care of an ill relative, are part of some at-risk demographic, or think you need some extra protection, the way to go is a surgical masks (not respirator). The ones I am familiar with have 3 layers of fabric and filtrate about 80% of particles, but not gases like O2 or CO2. You will need a doctor to show you how to use it, though. It is not quite as obvious how to put those on, and it will do you no good to leave gaps where polluted air can flow in (but it will still prevent you from accidentally sneezing/coughing directly onto others).

    3. Yes, as 2.a implies taking the temperature of people in public places is inefficient at best. IMHO it is pointless and a security theater. You will catch some already ill people that should have know better and stayed home, but a significant number of infections will come from contact with asymptomatic carriers anyways.

    References:
    https://www.health.com/condition/infectious-diseases/coronavirus/does-wearing-face-mask-increase-co2-levels
    https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/masks-dangerous-health/
    https://www.health.com/condition/infectious-diseases/coronavirus/asymptomatic-carriers-coronavirus
    https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/personal-protective-equipment-infection-control/n95-respirators-surgical-masks-and-face-masks

  92. Hi JMG,

    on a recent Magic Monday, I read something about certain esoteric sources claiming that humanity was the 4th intelligent species on this planet. Since I find that idea fascinating, and really not too far-fetched, I have a few questions:

    1. Who would be those sources?
    2. Which would be the earlier three species?
    3. What do you think about those ideas?

    Thanks in advance, and many thanks for all the good work you’re doing!

    To all:

    Best of luck to you Americans in these trying times, it looks like you can use it!

    I’m in and from Germany, and I must say that the relative dullness, apathy, and resistance to change that makes our country so much less spectacular and entrepreneurial than yours is for once working in our favor: The pandemic has been handled with few complaints, and the little bit of unrest it (and whatever else is brewing) caused here has mostly translated into a certain openness to questioning real systemic issues, such as money in politics, or the horror that industrial meat production is for man and beast.

    We do have a bit of cringy wokeness, we had a night of riots in one city – but overall it seems that the un-adventurous German national character works like a shock absorber. We don’t get worked up about things, and while that does mean that we don’t set an awful lot in motion (obvious historical exceptions set aside), it also means that not much moves us, and for that I’m thankful while I get an ever clearer and more hair-raising picture of the decade ahead.

  93. JMG and Peter, you’ll be able to get a great deal on unused stationery soon! 😄

    https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/504111-rhode-island-moves-toward-changing-its-official-name-over-slavery

    This reminds me of the place I worked that decided to switch from American military dating—24 June 2020–to American civilian dating—June 24, 2020. Switch made AFTER they’d ordered and received hundreds of 24-June-2020 date stamps. We secretaries took about half of them for personal use and to give to our kids and friends’s kids. The rest were tossed.

  94. Re: pulling down the Confederate statues. I was interested to hear that the erection of monuments to the Confederacy mostly took place in the aftermath of WW-1. It seems that black soldiers came back from the war with experience that threatened the Southern power structure, and somehow the purchase and installation of these monuments was intended to remind them of “their place” as Jim Crow repression and terrorism took hold. Perhaps it was an indicator that since the white folks could organize themselves to put up a monument, they could organize themselves for a lynching?

  95. re: citizen – police relations A police officer of my acquaintance asked me this. “How is it that when a police officer uses a Taser on a suspect, it’s considered ‘deadly force’, but when a suspect steals a Taser and threatens a police officer with it, it’s considered ‘a non-lethal threat'”?

    Regarding the same incident (the drunk and combative Black man, shot in the Wendy’s parking lot): the police have arrested the girlfriend of the dead man for arson (while the dead man’s wife was at his funeral, in fact). So, I think we can put that property damage into the “personal” rather than “political” column.

  96. JMG – As the US approaches a demographic point at which “white” people are less than 50% of the population, do you think the category will be re-defined? For example, rather than “one drop” of Black blood making a person Black, suppose one drop of White blood was enough to make a person white? There’s a book “How the Irish Became White” (1995); if my Irish ancestors could become white, why not people with Asian, Hispanic, and/or mixed ethnicity?

  97. Violet and JMG,

    If I may, the lunar eclipse in January seemed to predict the outbreak of COVID, and via traditional calculation methods, suggested that it would all be over by about May 12th. (Which was my daughter’s 12th birthday, and I thought, what a great gift! Not.) The fact that the madness hasn’t subsided, a month and a half later, suggests to me that either a) someone/thing powerful is doing everything they can to maintain the panic, or b) our culture, or certain factions of it at least, have become so wholly disconnected from natural processes that even the stars are no longer reliable as a predictive tool for their ilk. That’s troubling.

    I realize of course that “the stars incline, they do not compel,” but an astounding number of people out there are waaaay too close to the edge of madness to qualify us as a civilized society. And that is also troubling…

    Particularly with an ostensibly “democratic” election coming up.

  98. In Aion,Jung mentions that conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn seem to herald events that really upset the applecart. There was one in 3 BC for example that we’ve commemorated as more or less beginning of our calendar. There was another around the time of the reformation in 1000. There is another one approaching in December 2020. Do you think the auspicious events we’ve had already this year are a piece of the conjunction?

  99. In a reply to a comment in last month’s open post you said, “The push toward mail-in ballots, to me, reeks of election fraud.” I wonder if you could elaborate on that a little bit.
    I’m not totally naive about the existence of election fraud (I don’t think!). I remember being awed by the description of LBJ’s activities in one of the Caro volumes of his biography. But I haven’t seen much to suggest that mail-in ballots are especially vulnerable to fraud.

  100. Something I’ve never heard discussed in all the talk about race is, what can we learn from groups who’ve improved their standing to the point they’re not even considered an oppressed group anymore, or at least the level of discrimination is significantly less? There are plenty of examples just in America, the Irish, Italians and Polish were disadvantaged minorities in the past and now they’re all just lumped into the “white” category. It’s true their oppression was never as extreme as Blacks, but Jews may be more comparable. They’ve been through so much persecution over many centuries, but now although there’s still some antisemitism out there, Jews are doing well enough that the social justice crowd tends to consider them privileged white people. Gay people have pretty rapidly improved their standing too recently.

    Looking at how it’s been done in the past seems like a much more effective strategy for someone looking to improve the lives of a disadvantaged minority than toppling statues. I personally wonder if the social justice left has really gone the way it has all by itself or if it’s been nudged by people with money and power. It could be a foreign power like the Chinese, or it could be American elites that were spooked by the whole Occupy Wall Street movement, that it might unify lower class Americans of different races and political persuasions against the elites, so they decided to infiltrate and nudge the left toward focusing on social issues. I remember noticing a change starting around 2013, before Trump was in the picture, although the Trump campaign and presidency greatly accelerated it. I had no idea how crazy things would end up turning out, but 2013 was when I first started noticing the changes that led both to the present social justice scene, and the general shift of the left toward greater authoritarianism. It was around that time that I started seeing more articles aimed at leftists saying to trust authority because “science”.

  101. Hi JMG,

    As Spanish, I’ve been following the sociopolitical situation in USA with concern because all this looks too familiar. 300 years after the end of the ‘catholic empire’ and Spain has going through 4 major civil wars and many more low-scale violent civil conflicts. Not sure if this imperial fate can be really avoided (except invasion by a foreign enemy) or if it’s just a natural thing the same way that corpses decompose after dying. The British empire comes to mind, as they managed to have a quite peaceful transition so far. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a British civil war one or two decades from now (the empire disappeared quite recently, historically speaking).

  102. Hello Mr. Greer,

    I have a couple practical questions. First, I wanted to know about transforming soil. I am in my third year of running a garden. I read your book on Green Wizardry and have tried to apply the closed system with minimal external inputs concept into my garden as much as possible. Nevertheless, there are still certain plants (my blueberry bushes in particular need acidic soil and the tomatoes want calcium) that are challenging to grow with generic compost. Do you have specialized compost piles in your garden? Do you have one compost pile for one group of plants and then another pile for others? I am currently cheating and using store bought soil additives for my blueberries but am interested in changing this.

    Also, I know you are a huge fan of home schooling. Do you know of any methods/curriculum in particular that you endorse? Are there any that you think are problematic?

    Thank you in advance for your guidance.

  103. Hey jmg

    Not so much a question, but something that might interest you.
    I recently bought a compilation of Jorge Luis borges’ Non-fiction essays, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only did he write a “capsule biography “ of Oswald Spengler he also wrote about Raymond lull’s “thinking machine.”

  104. You mentioned several time at Magic Monday that humans in the distant past had some kind of run-in with demons from an earlier creation, and that this was something we shouldn’t have experienced.

    Is there any book where this is described more in detail? Not necessarily one of yours!

  105. @Hans Might I suggest “The Authoritarians” by Bob Altemeyer. It’s available free on-line here:
    https://www.theauthoritarians.org/

    It seems to me like we have what Altemeyer refers to “authoritarian followers” on both the left and right going after each other with increasing virulence, and trying (and sadly succeeding) in pulling the rest of us along (well, not us here on Ecosophia, maybe).

  106. Mr. Greer,
    Yes, I agree it has been a passion, of sorts .. although, sometimes, such as when I loose an entire colony(ies) to predation, disease, and/or parasites, passion is left found wanting .. somewhere else! But come every Spring, I’m back at it again, thrilled to my core .. watching these insects crawl into their new digs, moving with a similar sort of of viscosity as the very stores they create .. a smitten addiction for moi indeed!.. I had casually thought beekeeping off and on over the years. Then, when checking out a beeclub booth at our county fair, I finally took the ‘hairy eyed’ plunge into Apis mellifera World .. well, as much a naked ape can anyway ..
    The honey ..ahh that viscously sweet golden ‘glass’, as I think of it.. it can be quite sufficient*, but surely not necessary. The Bees got eat too.
    Cheers

    * brewing my third summer melomel of this PM

  107. Jess–slavery–the ultimate evil, right? but consider what came before slavery–was is universal peace and harmony? Nope, it was “Kill them all and carry their goods and livestock home with us or settle the land ourselves.” Then it became “Kill the men and older women and take the virgins and children home to become part of our tribe.” Then it became, “Conquer while killing only the fighting men and take everyone else home to work for us.” Better, worse, different? Who is to say? And part of what a society does, by its very nature, is convince its members that its way is the right way. Of course there is a difference between recognizing history and celebrating it.

    gregismay–I was explaining the current use of ‘privilege’ to my sister today and had a sudden burst of conspiracy theory. I was wondering how the Left seems to consistently come up with such self-defeating rhetoric–Defund the Police, Pro-Choice, privilege–concepts that may make sense after 5 pages of explanation but are not intuitively user friendly. Some of it comes from academic theory of course, which has disdained the idea of being understood outside of the inner circle for some time. But, in talking about the right-wing think tanks that have crafted Right wing slogans and social policy for so long it occured to me that maybe there is a team of right wing linguists crafting self defeating slogans and feeding them into left-wing discourse. Just like that guy who advocates violence is probably an FBI plant, maybe the guy who says, “I know, lets demand they Defund the Police” is a Heritage Foundation plant.

    Rita

  108. Responding to Ben Johnson–and anyone who cares to read it: and reprinting the 2nd part of your post:

    2 – What do you think would be a good middle ground? Should we leave statues up, but put big disclaimers next to them saying, for instance, “Nathan Bedford Forrest was a slave trader and started the KKK. Not a good roll model to follow!” or “Robert E Lee broke his oath to defend the United States and uphold the Constitution to side with traitors and secessionists because he felt he had to side with his state. Noble maybe, but not a good role model.”

    I have heard that the French are following this model–leaving the statues up and adding plaques that add context and depth, especially when the person being enstatued (is that a word?) has embodied the hatreds of the time they lived in.

    What an idea–providing an educational background, and then allowing people to think and decide for themselves. Almost sounds like a democracy.

  109. You’ve mentioned before that your opus on occult philosophy would include A New Kind of Science. Have you followed his recent efforts to develop a Theory of Everything using the same methods?

    https://writings.stephenwolfram.com/2020/04/finally-we-may-have-a-path-to-the-fundamental-theory-of-physics-and-its-beautiful/

    From the conclusion:

    “While we view our universe – and reality – through our particular type of description language, there are endless other possible description languages which can lead to descriptions of reality that will seem coherent within themselves, but which will seem to us to correspond to utterly incoherent and meaningless aspects of our universe.

    I’ve always assumed that any entity that exists in our universe must at least “experience the same physics as us”. But now I realize that this isn’t true. There’s actually an almost infinite diversity of different ways to describe and experience our universe, or in effect an almost infinite diversity of different “planes of existence” for entities in the universe.”

  110. And, by the way, I would like to express my thankfullness for this blog and Ecosophia Dreamwidth, among the few places left for really deep-going ideas (e. g. even Slatestar Codex suffered from the current madness), whose discussions I look forward to every Monday and Wednesday.

  111. For JMG and the readers: I hope you’ll excuse my previous rant. I’ll admit upfront that the remainder of this post is intended as a joke. It has to do with Aidan’s question on your fictional world of “Stars Reach.” That is to say, if the Japanese dominate the west coast, I’d like to know the status of San Francisco’s Embarcadero Freeway; does it exist or does it not exist? In Philip K. Dick’s novel “The Man in the High Castle,” in the alternative universe where Japan and Germany won the war, the Embarcadero Freeway was never built. So it doesn’t exist in that universe. Of course in the universe we live in, it WAS built. But then, a few years after PKD died, the Loma Prieta earthquake struck and damaged it so badly it was torn down once and for all. So I’m intensely interested in the existence or non-existence of the Embarcadero Freeway in your own fictional universe. How, if I go to San Francisco, am I to get to the Hungry Eye, or to Big Al’s or to City Lights Books? Please clarify. .

  112. Hi, John, and any others here who might be interested in my two bob’s worth,
    I don’t normally like to comment on social or political conditions in other countries, partly because it is none of my business and partly because it is difficult to really understand the nuances of another nation. But here goes.
    For at least 30 years I have been wondering when the U.S. will explode. The huge and obvious inequalities must surely create enormous tension. Why don’t all the people who struggle so hard at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder join cause?
    I rarely read U.S. fiction anymore (although I do own 2 of your works of fiction and enjoyed reading them) because the attitude portrayed is so often one of contempt by the haves for the have nots. How arrogant!
    Something that strikes me is that people are only too happy to fight, march, scream, lecture for what they want but won’t work for it. I guess the lower orders are yet again expected to do the hard yards. No doubt they will. How anyone believes that being the loudest screamer with the most hatred on their faces is going to change things for the better is beyond me. We are well advised to remember the maxim, “The faults we see in others are those we so often know to be true of ourselves”.
    People get very hot under the collar about the actions of others now and in the past. Wouldn’t it be more productive to look at these things and ask ourselves how we can do better? How did these ordinary, good people go so badly off the rails and how am I doing this also? Why do I get so distressed about slavery in the past and so undistressed about the widespread slavery in the world today, whose only purpose is to provide me with a few cheap gewgaws while immiserating vast numbers of people?
    Unfortunately for me I do not look forward to a time in the future when we will all live happily together. The best I can do for my grandchildren is help to prepare them to look after themselves in whatever circumstances they find themselves. And to stay calm while doing it. That might be because half my degree was History subjects and I see no change in people at all.

  113. À propos of nothing, a poem by Friedrich Rückert following the Persian mystic poet Jelal ad-Din Rumi (please tell me if you find a good rhymed translation):

    Yes, death does end the pain of life,
    yet life will shudder at its touch.

    Life sees the dark hand stretched out,
    But not the chalice which it holds.

    A heart thus shudders fearing love,
    As if destruction menaced it.

    Well might it, for when love awakes,
    the “I”, that darkest despot, dies.

    So let it die during the night
    And breathe out free at light of dawn!

    ————————————

    Wohl endet Tod des Lebens Not,
    Doch schaudert Leben vor dem Tod.

    Das Leben sieht die dunkle Hand,
    Den hellen Kelch nicht, den sie bot.

    So schaudert vor der Lieb ein Herz
    Als wie von Untergang bedroht.

    Denn wo die Lieb erwachet, stirbt
    Das Ich, der dunkele Despot.

    Du lass ihn sterben in der Nacht
    Und atme frei im Morgenrot!

  114. JMG, could you suggest some statistics to follow in order to get some idea about the state of an economy? For example, Orlov mentioned looking at the sale of long haul trucks recently.

    GDP and the stock market seem so divorced from reality.

  115. Hi JMG,

    We have had some developments with the thing that shall not be named here in Australia this week that reminded me of your posts in relation to the decay of science.

    As you may know, the numbers of cases here is very low but the government has continued mass testing, leading to the inevitability of false positives.

    This week a footballer was given a false positive test which made the news because, well, it’s football. Football fans marvelled at how somebody could test positive and then negative again. The Chief Health Officer was asked to explain and, rather than state the obvious – it’s a false positive – gave a misleading explanation that went unchallenged by the media.

    I remember learning about biological testing in high school and the concept of false positives is not a hard concept to understand when you consider that these tests need to be calibrated. But it occurred to me that most of the public and none of the journalists understand enough to even formulate the right questions about the matter.

    It seems to me that science as an institution is now very similar to the Church at certain times in its history. Could there be a Reformation of science or is it just going to fade out?

    Cheers,
    Simon

  116. Materia, what Minneapolis bookstore was burned? I used to live there, and frequented many of them.

  117. Has anyone else gotten the impression over about the past five years that a lot of salary-class professionals in the U.S. just aren’t very good at their jobs any more? We’ve talked about how those jobs have become overly numerous, overly credentialed, overpaid, and often unnecessary, but it adds a whole other dimension (even for the unnecessary ones, who can obstruct necessary work) if the people holding them are bad at them. When reporters fail to ask obvious questions that would clarify some absurdly ambiguous interview statement, it could be ideology, but it could also be that doing so requires the reporter to actually comprehend in real time the meanings of words and sentences in context and they’re not up to the task. When architects design goofy “statement” structures it could be design-school snobbery, but it could also be that’s easier to do than designing something good. When epidemiologists seem clueless, when new Boeing jets crash for a reason that turns out to be practically unfixable, when cops rely on bullying instead of police work, when government public assistance web sites inevitably go down the hour they’re launched… well, one can imagine all kinds of less frightening reasons, but it often makes me wonder who retired recently and who replaced them.

  118. JMG I take it you do not expect to see another melt down like we saw after 2016 and Trump’s first election with the left screaming like children? I just look around here and their whole play game of “la resistance” has become absurd. Trump not doing anything about the CHAZ zones and taking the statues down, the rioting, etc. and leaving it to the governors to clean up the mess, is smart from a political standpoint….. and a tactical standpoint.

    He is drawing his enemies out into the open where they can be crushed like bugs on an ant hill if he is reelected. It’s hard to imagine this going anywhere good for the deep blue places…. As I said the Trump signs around here have all had pot shots taken at them.

    You know how we had reconstruction after the Civil War? I feel like when this far left juggernaut is finally put down there will be a similar reconstruction….. Any thoughts as to what that might look like?

  119. I know our gracious host doesn’t like video, but I think this video will be of general interest to this community:

  120. I don’t know if this comment would be considered a sales pitch. If you think so certainly do delete it without mercy! I had shared with you previously the kickstarter campaign Paul Wheaton was doing for his book “Building a Better World in Your Backyard Instead of Being Angry at Bad Guys” which was basically about doing the sorts of the things you so often advocate, ie. not pointing fingers at others but rather digging in and actually doing things that really make a difference. Anyway, he just recently launched a new kickstarter to fund a project that seems like something right up the ally of any green wizards out there and I thought this community might like to hear about it. He’s looking to make a truly passive greenhouse that doesn’t use any electricity or fuel beyond the direct rays of the sun that will work in a Montana winter. There isn’t even going to be a fan used to circulate air. The goal is to not just build it and see how it goes, but to film the whole process. So the kickstarter is to make the movie as well. There is a large permaculture community supporting this with goodies to be given away as rewards to those funding this project even at the $1 level. Much of which might also be of interest to green wizards. Additionally there is a huge load of stuff for anyone supporting early with at least a $1. The deadline for being an early supporter is this Friday, June 26 at 2 pm mountain time.

    Oh, and part of what I really like about the planned project from what I can see at this point is that it isn’t intended to use a whole bunch of complicated, specialized industrial materials to achieve the goal. The plan is to use mostly stuff freely available in the surrounding land, ie. round wood logs, and mud. Hence why I think this could be of interest to this crowd. It’s a sort of project that might be viable in a post industrial world! If you think this is appropriate to post here, JMG, and if anyone is interested here is a link to the kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/paulwheaton/greenhouse-1?ref=94ozs3

  121. Kevin Taylor Burgess,

    I wonder if you might have read the article linked in a previous post titled “The Real Problem at Yale is not Free Speech” (https://palladiummag.com/2019/08/05/the-real-problem-at-yale-is-not-free-speech/) and if so, how your experience of affluence tracks with what the author writes about. If you haven’t read it, and if it interests you to do so and then comment here about it, I’d be very interested to hear from you.

    Good luck with the move (even if it involves the (must-be-a-Canadianism) “renting of an elevator,” whatever that might mean).

  122. @Stephen D

    I would recommend doing what you need to do in order to give your plants the nutrition and protection from pests that they need, and then walk it back by finding suitable replacements when the opportunities present themselves. Malnourished plants (especially in a monocrop situation) are more likely to attract the kind of bugs and diseases that are very difficult to get rid of and can put your whole operation in jeopardy. Starting from a solid foundation makes it much less likely that one or two failed experiments will wipe everything out, along with your enthusiasm.

  123. @Greg,

    Thanks for pointing that out about the etymology of “privilege;” and I think we are agreed on the matter! As far as “white privilege” goes, my take on it is that if you shift the conversation away from “when cops don’t respect the rights of black people, that’s prejudice, and we should all be upset about it,” and toward “when whites are treated with basic human dignity, that’s privilege, and the whites should be ashamed of themselves,” then you’ve pretty-much lost me.

    @JMG, everyone – an interesting thought regarding the neo-Spenglerian “shapes of time,”

    A while back I read a book of Christian apologetics called “Everlasting Man” by G. K. Chesterton, in which the first half of the book is basically a history of the human race, and the second half is about the unique role of the Catholic Church. Chesterton takes the story of mankind from the Neolithic downwards (he isn’t the 4004 BC sort of Christian), and his story isn’t a story progress (he describes, in considerable detail, cave paintings that he believes are the equal of anything painted today). He makes no secret of the high regard in which he holds many civilizations of the distant, pre-Christian past.

    As far as Chesterton is concerned, much of the Old Testament is simply inaccurate, and while ancient Israel gets a place in his story, he’s quite a bit more interested in the poems of Homer and the orations of Cicero than in the stories that the ancient Hebrews told about their origin. His goal, rather, is to describe the various forms of animism, polytheism, philosophic rationalism, and demonolatry which supplied the ancients with their religions, and then demonstrate that, notwithstanding the real virtues of those who practiced those systems (excluding demonolatry) they all ultimately failed to satisfy mankind’s spiritual needs.

    The second half of the book is about the Catholic Church (Jesus, it’s founder, appears only briefly), how radically different the Church is from all other religious systems, and how it expanded out into the weary world – surviving every challenge to its existence and authority from infidel and heretic alike – to regenerate the human race and rectify once and for all the spiritual chaos with which the pagan world was enveloped.

    A while after reading the book, it occurred to me that Chesterton had done something very interesting – he had answered the challenges which early-twentieth-century skeptics had brought against the Christian religion by lifting the religion out of the Magian shape of time and recasting it into the Apollonian shape of time. Instead of focusing on a one true faith handed down from the beginning of time and preserved, for the sake of the righteous remnant, through an infallible tradition and holy book, Chesterton is talking about a world of spiritual chaos being slowly reduced to order under the benevolent authority of the Catholic Church.

    So my question to all of you is, has anyone here read that book and felt the same way about it? And in a broader sense, is Christianity, and Roman Catholicism in particular, capable of appropriating the Apollonian shape of time for itself, or otherwise escaping the problems which the Magian worldview poses for a serious student of history, who is fully aware that there are no infallible holy books, and no one true tradition handed down from the beginning of time?

  124. @LunarApprentice, the ones I know about are Uncle Hugo’s/Uncle Edgar’s (two lines of merchandise sharing the same retail space), which burned to the ground. And Dreamhaven Books, which was broken into, vandalized, and set afire but fortunately the fire went out by itself.

    In the case of Dreamhaven, it was not protestors or rioters who performed the vandalism. It was white teenagers who arrived and escaped by car, according to multiple neighbors, as reported to me by the store’s owner, who’s a relative of mine.

  125. Hello Kimberly,

    Looks like you have received some great advice wrt anger. I’ve had “anger issues” myself, so those points all resonate. But while you’re working through the self-reflection and forgiveness, you may want to find ways to let the accumulated energy out physically – I have a punching bag rigged up and I find 5-10 minutes with that is really helpful. Chopping wood too. My anger energy seems to get stuck in my upper body, so moving my shoulders and arms releases it. Yours may be elsewhere, but it will be somewhere in your body. Good luck!

  126. Good day all,

    With regards to the current state of affairs, I find incredibly interesting how many things have become binary; your either for or against something without any consideration for any other alternatives.

    Alongside this, there is an extremely narrow definition of what X or Y is, and a complete inability for people to have a civil discussion without full blow rage quitting if you don’t confirm to their exact definition. This is on all sides of the political spectrum IMHO.

    A recent example I’ve had was in a discussion around the riots. I have spend some time living in Baltimore I’ve seen how the police behave I a very similar way in which members of our armed forces patrol the streets the countries we occupy. While the recent murder by police officers seems to have been the catalyst, this has been an ongoing issue for a very very long time. People have tried protesting, tried petitioning local and state government etc and this has gotten them precisely nowhere. My argument is, where else is their sense of injustice to go but to full blown rage? Perhaps you agree, perhaps not.

    The person I was in discussion with then assumed I was in favour of Antifa (which I am not) , said she hated communist and the conversation died. 🤔 The complete inability to entertain the idea, and then piggy back something else that she disliked onto it and then completely end the conversation is akin to a child saying your a goat, covering their ears and screaming… Amusing when my son does it, much less so when a 40 something does it. This is by far for an isolated issue.

    My concern is if we’re not able to converse with one another, what hope is there of attempting to address the huge range of problems barrelling down on us?

    Fwiw Academy of Ideas had a very interesting video released entitled ‘Do we Live in a sick society’ which I found very interesting. I especially like the Karl Jung quote. Would be interested to hear peoples thoughts. 😊

    https://youtu.be/YH07l10BbZY

  127. @ Walt F

    I think the best explanation is the one you stated: most of these salary class projects do not need to exist. We would all be better off if the people involved were paid to go to the beach instead.

    However, I can give you another perspective and this is from the trades/manufacturing world. I know several small business owners who have been trying to train up young people with the idea that they could take over the business. Trouble is, those young people do want to learn. They consider it an affront to be told that there is a correct way to do something.

    As a rule, salary class jobs have less to do with getting the job done and more to do with social status games so it’s no surprise that all kinds of whacky ideas take hold there which produce the results you mention.

  128. @ Lunar apprentice

    One of the bookstores that was burned down was Uncle Hugo’s science fiction bookstore. Probably my favorite bookstore in the whole world.

  129. Mr. Greer, I would like your thoughts on something please. I know that you’re very well educated in Druidry and the occult so I figure you may be able to give me a fairly informed answer. A couple months ago I had an encounter with a being but do not have a good idea as to what type of being it could be and what the encounter bodes for me. A few I’ve talked to thus yet who have some occult knowledge believe it may be an elemental of some sort, or a thoughtform. For several nights in a row around midnight to 1 AM I would feel a presence in the middle of the night. It was as if though I was being watched by a powerful beast and I felt a sense of impending doom. The last night I encountered it I used a banishing spell to be rid of it. As I finished chanting the spell I heard a sound like an explosion that sounded like it was coming from inside my head and all of the lights outside my apartment flickered on and off. Since that night I’ve never had an encounter again but I can’t shake the feeling that this encounter is the omen of something or has some other greater significance.

  130. Wow, Wednesday evening and 120 comments. This week is going to be a doozy and no wonder. The world is on fire.
    My interpretation of events is that not only the US, but really much of the world is at war. Things have come to a climax, in a way that many of us have uneasily sensed might happen for years, without at all foreseeing how it might actually play out. This is a spiritual war.
    A meme war, an information war.
    And someone asked recently, why couldn’t the democratic party have just waited, as we all do when we don’t get our choice? Well, because they couldn’t. Trump and his backers ran on a program of dismantling the deep state, which he called the swamp. He has done more than many people know. He prefers to dabble in small ruckuses while slowly but surely tightening the noose.
    Trump was very good friends with JFK, Jr. JFK, Jr grew up wondering who killed his father.
    A friend asked me (actually asked me!!*) why I voted for Trump. I told her, You remember how they assassinated Kennedy in broad daylight and got away with it? Do you know how much power that took? Do you think they went away? They did not. They are very strong now. I didn’t see it that clearly, but I knew for years that our govt was very corrupt, that the people were disheartened by lack of real representation, by those in power never really trying to make things better and I knew the media were owned. So when I saw the gobsmacking amount of hatred toward Trump and Republicans disavowing him, I knew something was different. And that is when I noticed that not just the USA, but the whole world is in lockstep. The deep state is world wide. The important players and abetters are in the thousands.

    No, David, I don’t think the left is trying to become the staid status quo. It is so much more sinister than that. Everything is a psyops. Covid, the race tensions and more. They have lost their minds, Violet, because this is revolution, and they are no more sane or kind or compassionate than the Bolsheviks, Pol Pot, the gestapo. This is serious. They want our minds, our sexuality, or wholesomeness, our hope and our spirits. They want to tear down everything. I mean everything. The Bolsheviks were mild in comparison to what they want to do. You won’t even have your mind left to you.

    I heard that 500 STEM faculty signed on some letter decrying STEM as inherently racist. They want to destroy even science. People keep wanting to refute their points – like do whites deserve this kind of hatred? Is it reasonable for people born male to compete in womens’ sports? Should statues of Jesus also be considered racist and be torn down? Is Western civilization uniquely evil in light of actual history?

    But keep your eyes on the ball. It’s not about any of that. It is about revolution. Don’t focus on the dream images in their collective nightmare.

    They are bullies and reasoning won’t help. They are deep in their subconscious minds and reasoning won’t help. Only we must stand up. That is all. We must stand up.

    But here’s the thing. They got this way by being surreptitious. Now, they have been forced out into the open. They appear to be acting but they are reacting. They are strong and they fight dirty, but I think we will win. Nearly all their tactics are causing people to wake up. And this is not just the USA. This is around the world. So many silly people are believing the nonsense, but at the same time as the violence and race hatred and pure insanity become more obvious, and as the pure destructive hatred they display get seen, as the truth seekers slowly refute the lies and spread the truth, as they get caught out in scandal after scandal, more and more people will back away from them. They are backing away now.
    It is only because they hid the truth that they have gotten so far. They can no longer hide because they are being prosecuted. Hundreds, and even thousands if certain reports are true, of pedophiles and human traffickers are being busted. Ever wonder why so many celebrities are on the TDS spectrum? It is one big cabal – heads of state, judges, entertainers, sports, media, corporations, politicians. Big list. They live in a different world. Not a good one.

    Kimberly I feel ya. I will read your essay. But keep in mind that they are the minority. Their numbers seem big like a cat puffing up its fur. They are a minority and shrinking. I don’t know when or how they will wake up or how many can. But Q says – We will fight for you until you wake up.

    * Meaning that most of my brainwashed friends don’t ask at all.

  131. @ Lathechuck, re: Tasers and Rayshard Brooks

    Tasers and guns are as if someone took a Star Trek phaser with stun and kill settings and split those into two separate weapons. Some targets may survive a kill setting (gunshot) and some may be overly sensitive and die from a stun (Taser) but the point of the stun is to provide a non-lethal weapon, otherwise why bother?

    As an aside, when the officers involved in the Brooks incident were first made public the first two things I saw were a post from a black grandfather showing his grandson smiling in the cab of Brosnan’s squad car from a week or so prior, followed shortly afterwards by a deluge of posts from teenagers who fingered Rolfe (who shot) as “It’s that a**h*** from Six Flags!”

  132. I have to agree with you JMG. Having long form content means the reader needs long term concentration and analytical skills, something that most trolls tend to steer clear of. They are after the quick attack rather than a meaningful insight.

    I’m sure you are like most folks here and are more than happy to entertain well meaning criticisms but that does not seem like the caliber of content you are addressing. I have come across folks that you have banned in the past and it is usually a series of exceptionally vile and hate filled meaningless rants used to justify themselves rather than engage others.

  133. Phutatorius, no argument there. That’s one of the underlying themes in my novels The Shoggoth Concerto and The Nyogtha Variations.

    James, there’s an immense literature on that subject, ranging from the strictly archeological to the straightforwardly occult, and I’ve read a fair amount of it. The stone circles were very clearly oriented to lunar as well as solar phenomena — Gerald Hawkins demonstrated that conclusively in the 1960s — and quite possibly to stellar phenomena as well; that I know of, nobody’s found any plausible evidence for planetary phenomena. Was there a body of traditional lore in megalithic times that guided the circles and the rest of it? Of course. Did it survive to the present? Only in the most fragmentary and uncertain forms. Is anyone trying to reconstruct it? Well, have you heard of a movement called the Druid Revival?

    Jasmine, you know, I think we’re seeing the revitalization movement right now. Since technological progress has so visibly failed, people are pursuing a fantasy of social progress. When that collapses, that’s when the myth dies.

    Andrew, I wish I had any advice to offer.

    Yorkshire, many thanks for this! That’s a useful concept.

    Jason, my sense — for what it’s worth — is that it varies a great deal depending on where you are, but the evidence does seem to suggest that taking the country as a whole, you’re right.

    Anonymous, excellent. The answers to your questions are, first, that it takes a great deal of inner growth and reflection to do so, and most people never achieve this — their minds are full of thoughts that aren’t theirs, and they never even reflect on that possibility. Second, this is something I’ve done, and the difference is easy to sense but very hard to put into words — there’s a flavor, if you will, that is definitely not human and definitely plant-ish about them.

    Clark, this is simply the fantasy of the Second Coming decked out in pseudoscientific drag. Spengler points out that the scientific rationality of every culture is its religion with the serial numbers filed off, and this is a great example. There’s zero evidence that anything of the kind will happen, or can happen, but clinging to a watered-down version of the Book of Revelations, with a technofetishistic New Jerusalem descending from the heavens, is a lot easier than recognizing that our culture has a life cycle like any other and we’re going to have to deal with the fact that we’re not destiny’s darlings after all.

    Your Kittenship, you’ve been very good about not overkittening this blog, so I’ve adjusted my expectations accordingly!

    Temporaryreality, thanks for this.

    Kevin, excellent! The adventure begins.

    Will, if Boehme works for you, you’re in good company. I’m not a Christian and so haven’t really pursued him, but a lot of occultists down through the centuries have found his ideas very good company.

    Aidan, ahem. IT’S A WORK OF FICTION. It’s a collection of words printed on paper, describing events that didn’t happen to people who don’t exist in a future that almost certainly won’t happen either. Neither the Neeonjin country nor Arab Europe are real places, and so they can’t have a genetic makeup. Yes, I know there are some authors who do the kind of obsessive worldbuilding that permits such questions to be answered, but I’m not one of them. Okay? Now please give it a rest.

    Christopher, Spengler points out that as culture gives way to civilization, politics stops being about issues and starts being about personalities. I don’t recall him explaining why the personalities in question have to be so repellent…

    Tim, that’s a hypothesis that I’m exploring.

    Divers, I read the other day that protesters in San Francisco vandalized a statue of Miguel de Cervantes, the author of Don Quixote. Very clearly what’s going on has nothing to do with the Civil War.

    Clay, exactly. The mayor of Seattle would have shut down CHUMP (that’s Capitol Hill Undefined Muddle of Protest) in a heartbeat if it had been in a wealthy neighborhood.

    Y. Chireau, why not just deal with the profound ambiguity of history by leaving the statue up and doing some serious education around it?

    Ethan, I would not be in the least surprised if this whole business is being funded by the Chinese government, in retaliation for our covert funding of the Hong Kong protests. It’s got many of the hallmarks of a manufactured uprising.

    Dot, the reason I expect this to blow over is what happened when the recent rioting showed signs of spilling out of the inner cities. Thousands of local communities and suburbs organized, in a matter of hours, for armed defense against the rioters. That large fraction of the US population that’s heavily armed is almost entirely on the side opposed to the rioters, and their readiness to mobilize showed that any attempt at actual revolution is going to end very badly. One other thing — onlty about 9% of Americans support the social justice ideology, and the current antics seem to be hardening opinions among the other 91%. Still, we’ll see.

    Kimberly, glad to hear it. As a wry commentary on Jung, cold readers — people who’ve developed the ability to do fake “fortune telling” for people they’ve never met before, using a patter that convinces the client of their psychic powers — have a standard rule; when you get to the bit of the patter about the enemy your client has, use the client’s own features and visible habits to describe their enemy. They’ll be convinced you are psychically perceiving the person they hate most. (To describe their unknown friend or lover, in turn, use descriptors that are opposite to those of the client…)

    Robert, of course. You’re asking them to think, and that can be a very challenging and frightening thing in times like these.

    Ben, how many of the Loyalists remained in the United States when the Revolutionary War was over?

    Other Dave, thanks for this.

    Violet, it’s entirely possible that they will in fact do exactly that.

    Methylethyl, thank you.

    Moose, no. Wait until Mercury turns around and picks up a little speed.

    Kevin, delighted to see it!

    Booklover, I was really saddened to watch Naked Capitalism descend into its current state. It used to be worth reading.

    NomadicBeer, the thing to keep in mind is that this whole business is being fostered and promoted by the corporate establishment and the mass media. It’s not a rising against the system; it’s the system itself. Jasmine’s question about revitalization movements up the thread a ways is to my mind spot on. This isn’t a color revolution, it’s a failing elite caste engaged in ritual acts of self-abasement to try to pretend that its great god Progress isn’t stone cold dead.

    CR, thanks for this.

    Eike, it’s all through the occult literature of the late 19th and early 20th century, starting with Blavatsky. The awkward term that was used in those days was “root-races,” and you have to read the literature of the time to realize that the first three of those weren’t actually human. The sources differ as to what the three earlier species were named and what they were like. Myself, I think it’s quite plausible.

    Your Kittenship, we’ll see how far it gets. An attempt was made to do that some years ago, and it was soundly defeated by the voters.

    Lathechuck, that seems quite plausible to me.

    Grover, it’s also possible that there were indications that I missed. I don’t claim to be infallible, and eclipse astrology in particular is something I’m rather new at.

    Jason, Jung was in the mainstream of astrological tradition there. (Did you know that he was an astrologer, and used to cast horoscopes of his patients?) I’ve written about that extensively on my subscription platforms. The short form is that we’re coming up on one of the most important such conjunctions — a Grand Mutation, when the conjunctions move from one element to another — and these are associated with major changes in history and society. The last Grand Mutation was in 1842, and ushered in what we call the modern world; the next will be in 2219. I’ll be posting a summary here in December, giving some idea of what we’re looking at.

    MikeL, any form of voting where you don’t have to have actual voters turning up at polling places is far more vulnerable to fraud. You can have a room full of flacks filling out mail-in ballots weeks in advance of the polls, and if you have friends in the post office, they can lose actual ballots and replace them with fraudulent ones.

    Kashtan, that’s an excellent point, but bringing it up these days will get you shouted down as — you guessed it — “racist.”

    Untipo, the possibility is a real one. The downside of empire is really harsh.

    Stephen, for a variety of reasons I don’t have a garden at present. When I did, I had a main compost heap, and a small bin for additives — for example, used tea leaves are nicely acidic, and you can sprinkle them over the bed where you have blueberries or potatoes. As for home schooling, since I have no living children I’ve never looked into specific curriculums; I’d probably have done something based on the old trivium and quadrivium if I’d had the chance.

  134. Where I am at it seems the mountains are high and the Emperor is far away. As the old book says, in times of molting it does not further for the wise guy to go to the big city.

    That being said I am trying to think with strategery about the current era. It’s somewhat scary, because things can go weird along the strangest fault lines, but I also smell a lot of opportunity.

    Been talking with a big market farmer I do some work for, he’s a Dave Icke fan, but we can translate pretty good between our varying metaphysics. I maintain that there are those with an authroitarian bend, but figure that the whole world is getting slippery so that should come out a wash. Trying to figure out if the economy is going to do anything strange later this season, or next. He is figuring to try not holding to many green backs, worried their value could be anybodies guess with so many trillions dumped on a idling economy. I am thinking how to get the farm really dialed in so that its ready to churn out much produce for next season; I think the hunger for local food is going to go up, and what counts as currency don’t matter to much, can always figure something out. I been advocating for storing wealth in the form of relationships by hiring young folk to help tidy up the farm, get work and a relationship, its a two for one deal. And set up the side garden better for seed saving and maybe dabble in some more bulk crops (mostly for experience for years later).

    I don’t have a good sense how weird things are getting outside my eclectic community. How crazy are things really? People seem pretty bothered, but I am in the habit of not paying that much mind, but to be clear, this is a habit, not something I know to be wise or unwise. As long as some folks around need produce I think I should be personally secure for having useful tasks and necessities. But I still have friends more insecure and am considering what proactive measures to prepare for being able to reinforce a few of them, and I have a feeling that a disrupted economy and ideology is an intrinsically powerful opertunity, if a person ain’t particularly dependent on most the economic flows or popular opinions.

    Also, if the current Aristocrats are due to have their economic realities rocked, how big of a disruption of Merican economy might we be looking down the barrel of?
    What are ethics and virtues to mind when there are such opertunities as a change in public dialogue going about?

  135. Raymond Reichelt’s link to the Stonehenge article reminded me of this wonderful article about the Druids of Australia.

    Think of the original Australian Druids as something akin to the masonic groups, it was used as a form of health/life insurance. Something that I would be glad to see return in years to come.

    “Why is there a wizard at the top of this Melbourne building?”

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-14/curious-melbourne-druid-house-history/10243302?nw=0

  136. Eika,
    Germany had more than its share of exciting politics in the 1930s and 1940s. Trust me, boring and ordinary are two good things to be. After all everyone doesn’t have to admire me.
    Someone mentioned the great nothing at the centre of all. Some Christian theologians have called god no thing which conflates rather well, in English, to n…g.

  137. Thank you again for providing this wonderful resource. I recall that you once mentioned an ancient pagan work on the topic of ethics, where the author argued that sex was basically a necessary evil since it lead to procreation, even though it was enjoyable. This was an example of the “anti-nature” sentiment that began to grow slightly over two thousand years ago, do you remember which author this was?

  138. Archdruid,

    So I think I’m beginning to understand whats going on here besides the end of progress. With your permission I’d like to share it. It won’t be an essay, but it will be longish.

    Regards,

    Varun

  139. Citizen of Ingsoc,

    First of all, consider everything you hear in the media is false. To say we will have a civil war if Trump is re-elected is a threat that they will muster their resources toward that. But I also think that they are shooting their wad right now and it is because they desperately want to wrest back control now, before he gets elected. That there will be a civil war by Americans against Americans is not true at all. There are a lot of very angry liberals, but they will not go to any kind of war.
    I doubt a race war, but it could be a real problem. There are many people spreading better truths, but is there time? To the extent that blacks believe the nonsense, it could be dangerous. But do they? Black people have their own waking up to do and it is proceeding nicely. But of course it doesn’t take great numbers of bad actors to cause a lot of trouble.

    It’s all about the election – covid and the race wars and god knows what they’ll pull next. An alien invasion?

    I agree that it is very important for Trump to get re-elected because I believe the deep state was on the verge of taking their plans to the next level, and its one reason they are so pissed. As to the 2nd amendment, you see, this is again one of those weird ways that the antics of the left are backfiring. Every time we get these crises, more people buy guns, but this last stunt with the riots really was amazing. Largest number of first time gun buyers ever. I know a certain young lady who lives a middle class life in the suburbs who told me that buying a gun has never entered her mind, yet now she is thinking of it.

    Trump is trying very hard not to crush anyone. But I think if we can get past the mail in ballot scheme and he gets elected, things will simmer down, not heat up.

  140. J.L.Mc12, what’s the title of the compilation? That sounds very much worth reading.

    Tidlösa, it’s mentioned more or less in passing in occult books in the Golden Dawn tradition. I don’t know of any work that discusses it in great detail.

    Polecat, you sound like the beekeepers I know. Follow that passion!

    Tom, I’ve given the article a couple of readings and am still processing it. It’s a fascinating essay, and Wolfram’s grasp of the role of different symbolic languages as defining different worldviews and kinds of science strikes me as extremely promising.

    Booklover, thank you.

    Phutatorius, since the Neeonjin country doesn’t exist, and neither does the Empire of Meyco, and California is more or less divided between those two in the world of Star’s Reach, why, I can promise you that in that future the Embarcadero Freeway doesn’t exist either!

    JillN, “arrogant” is the right word. What we’re seeing is in large part a collective tantrum on the part of a spoiled, entitled elite class that is utterly incensed that it’s not getting its way.

    Matthias, thanks for this.

    Russell, I find shadowstats.com a good source for these.

    Simon, whether we get 95 theses nailed to a laboratory door or not is one of the massive questions of our time. If not, science may not survive.

    Walt, that strikes me as an extremely important question — not least because elite incompetence would explain so much, and is so often the immediate precursor to radical political change.

    Raymond, thanks for this. Funny!

    Citizen, oh, I expect a meltdown of epic proportions if Trump wins reelection — my guess is that people will be found pounding their heads against the wall, screaming “Trump! Trump! Trump!” and the like. The thing to keep in mind is that the blowback is already building. We could see some very ugly scenes in the days immediately following the election — clashes between pro-Trump and anti-Trump mobs with dozens or hundreds of casualties. As for Reconstruction, pulling the plug on the universities (probably by ending the federal student loan guarantee program) will be a central part of it. Beyond that? We’ll see.

    David, I don’t normally encourage this sort of promotion, but just now that strikes me as a very good thing to support.

    Wesley, how fascinating! I haven’t read the book in question, but yes, it does sound as though that’s what he was doing. Clever, though ultimately futile, since the Apollonian shape of time has very few believers these days.

    13Strike, that’s a valid point. The world is composed entirely of gray areas and mixed motives, but people under stress default to extreme dualism. We may not be able to get out of that until the current contentions are settled.

    Rodger, that may have been a demon, or some other class of malevolent entity. They exist, and they seem to be increasingly active these days.

    Onething, that’s certainly one way to see it.

    Michael, exactly. I’m okay with people disagreeing with me — as some of the discussions above demonstrate! — but I find bullies and trolls incredibly dull, and since this is my little virtual space on the internet, I have no qualms about telling them to take a long walk on a short dock, as we used to say when I was a kid. As for the United Ancient Order of Druids, there were a lot of organizations like that — the Odd Fellows was another that was very active, and is still around. You’re right that they’re worth reviving!

    Poncho, I don’t remember the specific author, but there are good books on the subject; Lawrence Osborne’s The Poisoned Embrace: A History of Sexual Pessimism might be a good place to start.

    Varun, go ahead.

  141. Steven T-

    Citizen of Ingsoc– Noam Chomsky used to talk about how the US essentially rigged the Nicaraguan election of 1988, by promising to continue to fund the Contras if the Sandinistas were reelected.

    It’s amazing the way the Left and the Right have switched places without anybody seeming to notice.

    You know, I wonder if that is accurate. You are assuming that it was the right who did such antics back in ’88. But was it? Those are the kinds of things done by what I call the deep state. And now the deep state infiltrated the Democrat party. I guess that’s why people think that party has changed. It was infiltrated by the same types who play destructive power games anywhere in the world. It’s the same players.

  142. Stephan D – for calcium supplementation, use egg shells. I used to just throw them into my compost bin, but they would still be shell-shaped a year later, after everything else had rotted down. Now, I rinse the residue, let them dry on the windowsill, then crush them in a mortar and pestle. When I have enough, I take the jar outside and sprinkle the ground shells where I think they’ll do some good. There are other variables to consider, but I’m getting great tomato plants this year (fruit still green).

  143. Hello John Michael, do you see the current crisis (, economy , social , epidemy ) , as an acceleration of the Long Descent , or is it just another step down ? Will we be living again like in the 19th century in 20 years , or in 200 years ?

  144. @ Kashtan– More than just ignoring the experience of formerly-oppressed groups, there’s been an active attempt to silence them and forget that experience. There was an article in Pravda or Izvestia– um, the NYT or Washington Post, I can’t remember which– a few years which angrily declared that it was “ahistorical” to claim that Irish, Italian and Jewish Americans weren’t considered white at one time. The reasoning? Members of those groups were legally white, and therefore they were as white as anyone else, and therefore Shutup, no one cares what your grandparents remember. Of course, using the exact same logic, you could argue that black Americans are not currently discriminated against by law, and therefore they do not suffer from discrimination.

    I’ve often thought that the reason they don’t want to talk about it is that if you admit that certain groups which were once victims of discrimination are no longer, you have to admit that it’s possible for discrimination to end.

  145. Andrew – If I were you, I wouldn’t try to convince your girlfriend of anything. Your personal relationship is more important, in the long run, to the world than any particular news item. Live an example of peace and justice, rather than marching / not-marching to try to make Somebody Do Something. My wife (of 27 years) and I don’t see eye-to-eye on politics, but we give each other a fair hearing and she’s turned me around with some sensible fact-checking. That’s a win for both of us.

  146. Jason P – If you see the Wikipedia entry for Black Lives Matter, you’ll see a timeline of significant actions, which are pretty well synchronized to US election cycles. And this is the Big Election, so we’ve got lots of puppeteers pulling lots of strings.

    One might argue that BLM is active just before elections because that’s how we get CHANGE. But that assumes that the only way to change policy, to change attitudes, is to change leadership. How’d that work out for ya in 2008 and 2012? Why not march and protest to push legislation between elections?

    How is it that outrageous police behavior happens to coincide with the election cycle? Or is there something else driving BLM activity?

    Or, you could read the Babylon Bee:
    https://babylonbee.com/news/black-lives-predicted-to-matter-until-november

  147. Some thoughts on binaries – after reading 13Strike’s post earlier in the thread I mused to myself “Seems these days that gender is about the only thing that isn’t binary.” In other words, people seem to only be able to think in binaries.

    What else thinks only in binaries? A computer. Sure, it can do plenty of things, but at its core it’s still operating in terms of ones or zeroes. Something either is true or it is false. It can’t be both. Although in some respects a computer is smarter, because it can entertain the notion of “A or B is true” when both A and B are true. We seem to have lost this function and are operating on XOR only.

    @Untipo: I seem to recall JMG at one point mentioning that America essentially “invaded” and “occupied” Britain in 1945 – a bloodless invasion and a benevolent occupation, sure, but an invasion nonetheless. This may be part of why Britain hasn’t descended into post-imperial civil war yet. (And, arguably, you could consider the IRA actions in the ’80s to be a sort of civil war.)

  148. Hi Scotlyn—macaroni and cheese 🧀.

    JMG, can we negotiate twice-a-month cutening?

  149. Hi Aidan,

    Try George R.R. Martin. He has published huge compilations of his background material. Enjoy!

  150. Hi John Michael,

    Thank you for providing the forum, and also for your wise and iron fisted moderation policy. Without that framework firmly in place I wouldn’t pop my head up. After all, nobody wants their head lopped off. 🙂

    It’s been a fun ride, huh?

    Had to bury my oldest dog this morning. Tragedy stalks among the living.

    Cheers

    Chris

  151. @JMG,

    “I have no qualms about telling them to take a long walk on a short dock, as we used to say when I was a kid. ”

    I haven’t heard that one in a while! My stepfather used to say that to me when I irritated him. He would also tell me to “go play on the railroad tracks”.

  152. Kevin Taylor Burgess,

    I have great sympathy for your plight, and being a conspiracy theorist, I think that the emotional devastation from isolation is part of their plan.

    Due to the fear of a rather small chance of getting really sick, they have taken away everything that makes life worth living.

    For example, I have cancer, and I can’t tell if I’m going to get ahead of it or not, and I want to see my grandchildren. I’m going to get to see two of them this weekend, but would have seen them months ago if I could have. And the other one is off the table for a while.

    The cruelty of making people die alone, of not letting kids be with their parents who are dying, of not letting them have a funeral, the list just goes on. And I am really afraid that the young kids will carry indelible scars from this, like cooping them up for 12 weeks in apartments in Brooklyn, and then the mayor welds the gates to the park shut!

    Having closed down, many people and many places can’t figure out how to open again.

  153. @David by the Lake

    I also encounter a goddess who refuses to be named. At the beach once, I walked down thinking about what the area would look like one day when the over priced houses rotted, and the sea reclaimed the retaining walls, and the earth covered it all over again with a new forest. I felt a strong female presence, and the sound that sand makes as the waves wash back over it out to sea, or in a rain stick, rose around me. At first I thought it was just the sea, but I was sitting against the treeline, and the tide was way out. Maybe it was a hiss 😉.

    Since I think I share many of your over intellectualizing traits you post about, I think they avoid allowing names on purpose: to Name a thing is to be able to control it, and that is what we always try to do. When I asked why I can’t know her name, the tarot card I got was the Horned One – the Path of Ayin. No thinking your way through the veil!

    Have you also asked her whether she even yet has a name humans have used? My geomantic divinations trying to suss out if there was a pantheon she was associated with suggested none applied – they were Cauda draconis, she is Caput draconis – in basically the same way that Patricia Mathews’ conversations led her to the Changer rather than the other gods she’d been talking to. She belongs to here, but I think her true name is in the language of the people who belong here in the future… And the people who belong here from before the world changed knew her under other guises that aren’t mine to know. She told me to think of her as the earth or Gaia or Mother in my language, for now, too.

  154. JMG,

    You’re absolutely right. Now that you mention it, I do remember all the trouble you had. That’s sad, as I’d really like to spend more time in that world.

    Thanks for the response!

  155. Hi Scotlyn,

    Wrt comfort foods – agree on porridge. I also find most savory breakfast foods comforting (best meal of the day). And Sheperds Pie is therapy on a plate.

  156. @someone

    We got the idea of multiple selves in every adult person from such 19th-century writers as Frederic W. H. Myers and Charles G. Leland. Basically, it began as a way to account for some of the phenomena of the Mesmeric salon, the Spiritualist séance, various sorts of dreams, multiple personalities and post-mortem reawakenings where the revived person is nothing like the person before death. Leland took it much farther that Myers in his later works, and made some very profound observations on it.

  157. Jason P / Andrew

    For example, as of writing this the ACLU has up on its homepage the statement, “Black people are being murdered and brutalized by police with near impunity,”

    This sort of thing is just heartbreaking. The ACLU knows better. Why do they do it? By constantly promoting what amounts to huge lies, they will literally teach otherwise decent black people to murder and viciousness.

    Here’s a stat I heard today, about a recent year, not sure which one. Number of unarmed blacks killed by police: 10. 6 of whom attacked the policeman. Number of blacks murdered by other blacks: 8,000.

    I don’t know what to think, Andrew, about watching a person in real time succumb to propaganda even though she has someone right there refuting the worst of it.

    I don’t know, JMG, I can’t chalk things like this up to people losing faith in the religion of progress.
    How do revolutions happen? Aren’t they funded? Don’t those who fund them also organize them? What do they do it for?

    People like Andrew’s girlfriend are pawns. Who are the kings and bishops? Do the kings and bishops have the same motivations and rewards as the pawns?

    I think not.

    Try that, Andrew. Show her that she is a pawn in someone else’s game, the purpose of which she does not know. Is that what she wants to be?

  158. @someone on multiple selves:

    We got the notion from 19th-century psychic researchers such as Frederic W. H. Myers and 19th-century occultists such as Charles G. Leland. It was developed to try to account for some of the phenomena of mesmerism and spiritualism, multiple personalities of the more dysfunctional sort (they’re not always dysfunctional), nightmares and out-of-character dreams, after-death revivals where the post-mortem self has zilch in common with the prae-morte self (e.g. Jemima Wilkinson), and so forth. Of course, modern psychology owes an enormous unacknowledged debt to these 19th-century researchers–unacknowledged, because after all, these early researchers weren’t credentialed scioentists.

  159. @David BTL:

    I haven’t read to see what others might have written about Whomever She May Be. But what comes to my mind is that the Python at Delphi was the offspring of Gaia. Apollo slew it when he took over the Oracle, and had to do penance for doing so, if I have my mythology right.

  160. Tony, it’s just another step down. We won’t live in 19th century conditions exactly — rather, life in a civilization in decline is a patchwork, with practices from various eras pieced together depending on what resources are available and what information can be had.

    Brendhelm, true enough!

    Your Kittenship, nope. I have to hold the line against creeping kittens!

    Chris, I’m very sorry to hear that. “I drink to the shade of the dog, who knew no fear.”

    J.L.Mc12, thanks for this.

    Sgage, I hadn’t heard that one; where I grew up, it was “go play on the freeway.”

    Chronojourner, thank you for understanding. I’m going to be proposing a Retrotopia-themed project in a bit, once Mercury turns direct again, but it’ll be nonfiction.

  161. Hi Onething,

    You are in my prayers. I thought you were doing better for a while?

  162. Your Kittenship,

    My understanding is that that absolutely used to be the case, but these days isn’t. Another factor is that perhaps it’s still true in the elite: my family thinks of themselves as “middle class”, but my parents have a six figure tax bill, after going through all the possible deductions. Which means we’re upper class, whether or not my family admits to it….

    Scotlyn,

    Grilled cheese and soup would be mine. Really any kind of soup will do, but I think split pea soup is the one I’d most consider a comfort food.

    Violet,

    I’m not British, but one of the local universities here is mired in controversy over a Gandhi statue. It seems to be quite real.

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/carleton-petition-removal-gandhi-statue-1.5612763

    temporaryreality,

    The apartment build has elevators set aside for move in. I have it for a couple hours on the 4th, so that’s when I’ll be able to move my stuff in. I don’t know if it’s a Canadian thing or just that building though! 😉

    As for the article you linked, I think it’s spot on! A major source of dysfunction of our elite is that they don’t realize they are the elite. My personal favourite example is how no one in my family thinks we’re rich, despite having a tax bill higher than the average household income. It’s just baffling to me, and from what I can tell, the higher up you go the worse it gets.

    JMG,

    I’ve had a rather troubling thought, and I’m curious if you can think of a reason it’s clearly false. I don’t believe it, but the fact I can’t say why it’s wrong is troubling me. There seems to be a general rule that major events are preceded by prior ones (fore-shocks to earthquakes, omens, etc). This got me thinking of the way to interstellar objects have been discovered, both within the past few years, and how disruptive an interstellar planet would be.

    The past few years have been wild, in ways which don’t seem to make much sense by any prior logic. At least, as alien and unpleasant as it was, Pluto belonged in our solar system: an interstellar planet would be much, much worse. Do you think it’s possible the disruptions and instability we’re witnessing are the emergence of an interstellar planet?

  163. @ James

    re: stone circles: You might enjoy the Old European Culture blog –he talks a lot about stone circles (among other things), and has the clearest explanation I’ve seen anywhere of how they may have originated and been used. I understand he’s a bit of a heretic to archaeologists, but he’s fun to read 😉 Here’s one post on the subject, talking about neolithic calendars and henges:

    https://oldeuropeanculture.blogspot.com/2014/06/

    @ Kevin Taylor Burgess

    Good luck in your endeavor! How much experience do you have actually cooking? I mean, meal plans are great for naturally organized people, but they’re really overwhelming, and nearly impossible, if you’re learning to cook at the same time. Just remember: eggs are easy. And cheap 😉 But also: it’s easy to get caught up in planning everything, and miss important things like a really good sale on… that thing that isn’t in your meal plan.

    Anyway, I am rooting for you. You can do this!

  164. Hmmm. Colonel, we’re noticing unexpected cuteness resistance in Rhode Island. Hold the line for now, but check on how the Tactical Kitten Deployment Project is coming. It may be needed soonest!

    JMG ‘s next book: the stirring saga of Druid vs. DARPA! Who will win?

  165. JMG, I can’t resist this. Isn’t the indelible wisdom and effectiveness of your moderation policy a semi-decent argument for monarchy? If you can find a just king (or queen) to head up something worth protecting, they can be properly motivated and ideally placed to do just that? Hehe. Khuenhelt-Ledhin used to say that the monarchies were the incubators of Western freedom. Guess I’ve been thinking over the whole democracy argument lately – “it’s the worst form of government, except for everything else”. The problem, as Orlov put it pithily, is how to keep democracies from turning into oligarchies. At least with a monarchy, you know where to assign blame for bad policy.

  166. According to the New York Times, we’re heading into Covid 2: Apocalyptic Boogaloo, with dramatic resurgences everywhere across the country and certain death sure to follow. It’s half of the front page coverage, with the riots being the other half. MSNBC is following suit, with some yammering about all the foreign nations conspiring to rig our elections for good measure.

    When I look at the actual death tolls, they seem to be slowly dropping across the world, including the U.S. We were at 3,000 deaths a day at the peak of it, and now we seem to be fluctuating between 300 and 800. Significant, but not worth the white-eyed panic I’m seeing in the media.

    When I point out to my parents that there’s not going to be a day when all the Covid is gone and we all go back to normal, they take this to mean that we’re going to be wearing masks and suffering lockdowns forever. Rather than, you know, picking ourselves up and getting on with life. Every time I try to tell a joke about the matter, they act like I’m pronouncing a death sentence.

    Un-fracking-believable. I guess the left’s just going to have to mash its head against that brick wall a few more times.

  167. Lathechuck: here they are admitting how it’s done – https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-democrats-cant-rely-on-voter-anger-this-november/

    Either 1) anger or 2) social peer pressure/manipulation (if anger won’t work). Politics of anger and envy. I don’t answer surveys any more based on the Orlov theory that they only help the technopolists to more efficiently understand and control people. Voting is a form of taking a survey, so something to keep in mind before getting worked up at the polls, or in the town square. By the way, did anyone else see this:
    https://dateway.net/buzzkill-man-threatened-to-unleash-riot-control-bees-if-protest-became-riot/

    I guess it beats Quadafi calling in an air strike on the crowd calling for his head.

  168. JMG,

    I kept thinking about the current convulsions and its connection with how the Religion of Progress is failing to give the promised (ersatz) heaven on earth. After the coronavirus hit and venturing out became restricted and risky, the believers are realizing that many privileges of modern life: Vacations to exotic places around the world, travelling on the road, wining, dining and partying in cities, hookups – in short, all the luxuries of cosmopolitan life are not going to be the same. Many will go away forever, and you will always have the risk of getting infected.

    Instead, what everyone is being forced to become is a provincial (the way Spengler used it) – Homebound with a very limited horizon. In other words, the bicoastal elites are being forced to become the scorned flyover country hicks. Our world is visibly shrinking, and they don’t like it. And heavens forbid if you are forced to move into the country – all that horrible smells and noise, and people!

    Look at this piece in the Economist:
    French urbanites fuss about rustic noises and smells (It is paywalled, but you can get a good idea from the first paragraph).

    You can also read here: French urbanites fuss about rustic noises and smells Clucking geese? Mon Dieu!

    Moving on, I saw this piece in Politico: I’m Tired of Being the Help. I was startled that Politico caught on to this thing. Dems seem to be in a trance.

    About Trump, I have a feeling that he is letting the current tantrum play out, as it will anyway benefit him. Your comment above about the 91% who are against the social justice ideology seems to fit with that.

    And this whole business about manufacturing opinion polls to generate 14-point lead for Biden is a Textbook case of “Manufacturing consent”. I remember reading somewhere, “You start by fooling others, but you end up believing your own lies and fooling yourself”. It is like watching a huge train rolling at breakneck speed towards a cliff.

  169. Anyone else growing fatigued with the American soap opera? Just wanna leave? I’m seriously considering it. My shortlist:

    – Canada
    – Australia
    – New Zealand
    – UK
    – Ireland
    – Netherlands
    – Switzerland
    – Germany (Bavaria)

    They all have their problems, but all look better to me on a QOL scale. Realistically, the EU is my best shot, via dual citizenship by ancestry.

    For context, I’m married, 2 kids, born, raised and live in the SF Bay Area. Remote tech worker. My spouse is an immigrant from Hong Kong, and I’m a city person at heart, so while I respect rural areas as literally necessary for my survival, it’s not where I see my contribution. Our politics are socially liberal and fiscally prudent. Call us Libertarian lite or what have you, but we’re certainly alientated from the authoritarian “choose your dictator” politics of the 2020s.

    We could move to another city/state of course, but like politics, America seems to offer 2 unappealing options: dysfunctional liberal cities or soul crushing conservative suburban sprawl. There are minor exceptions of course, but they only prove the rule that America is fundamentally broken and will take generations to re-invent, on both the physical and cultural level.

    I’m well aware of the grass is greener phenom. I’ve travelled and lived abroad and felt homesick as heck for that friendly, optimistic American spirit. It really is unique and misunderstood by other cultures. On the other hand, because of that experience, I’m painfully aware of how fall America has fallen. Our infrastructure is a joke. Our leaders are liars. Our economy is a mirage. WFIO.

    Seriously, my feeling is that it’s just the start of our troubles and our destiny is for the states break apart. But we’re at least 20 years away from having an adult conversation about the topic and in the meantime much blood will be spilled for nothing.

    So… I just want to live out my productive years in a functional place and give my kids a chance to live up to their potential. Anyone else have similar thoughts?

  170. I’ll add my thanks for your vigorous moderating to guard the Commons!

    What is your perspective on the relative viability of community colleges compared to four-year public universities? It seems they might be more likely to be able to provide the skills and community development needed as more disruption comes about.

    Also, the observations about the AWFL madness are spot on. Woe, and reprimands, befall anyone courageous enough to question the absurdities being suggested. When speaking truth becomes insubordination, the neoliberals have become authoritarians, themselves.

  171. @JMG,

    Acknowledged. A worldview that casts the Roman Catholic Church in the role of the benevolent despot reducing chaos to order will indeed find very few takers these days.

    Another question for you: on the subject of the Apollonian shape of time, which classical thinkers(s) did it really get started with, anyway? It is all over in Virgil – imperium sine fine and all that – but Herodotus (my favorite classical author, btw) seems to take a very different view, as the main theme of the Histories is that the Gods like to lay mighty empires low, and the strongest nations of today will not be in the same place tomorrow.

    Perhaps the experiences of Alexander of Macedon were what did it? Or was there a philosophical work with an import similar to what City of God would have nearly a millenium later?

  172. JMG and others,

    Do you think Trump’s recent freeze on immigration will impact US economy much? There are some (clearly overblown) predictions about how US will fall behind in Tech, and American farms will not get workers. It seems to be an exaggeration when unemployment is in double digits.

  173. @David by the Lake,
    The goddess you are interacting with may have reasons for hiding her identity. The snake representing her would suggest Ryujin, the Dragon god, in Japan. That is usually a very masculine god, but I know of one dragon god nearby that is clearly female (when you climb her mountain you must struggle up a very impressive yoni). Still, I don’t know about the west, but I have had the experience of a god not fully revealing his identity to me until he’d managed to give me deep insight into shocking things of his early mythology: he’d managed to commit every sin of Heaven and get himself thrown out.
    Nevertheless, he is revered as a very positive god in Japan who defeated a multi-headed snake that was being a real bully and killing people.
    A god can come across with multiple identities, and i already knew one identity of this god: the Kompira Shrine god Ohmononushi-no-mikoto, because he was always revealing himself in vivid dreams when I slept at his shrine. One time he hugged me so tight I had real physical sensation and I asked in shock if I was dead. He said, “Not yet, my dear.” A few years ago, he gave me a dream of a beautiful lady with an ugly misshapen child. The lady had bare dirty buttocks. She ate medicinal plants, defecated and fed that to her baby to try to heal it. I was in shock. Then Ohmonomushi came to me and said, “Now let us say your father has a terrible cancer of the bowels and you must do the same thing in order to heal him.” I was in terrible shock, “I can’t! It isn’t human!” He said, “Okay, are you willing to let him die then?”
    He made it clear the next night that I was to confront a bully. He gave me explicit instructions, and I bargained. He had to show me that this was for real by fulfilling three conditions. Those conditions were fulfilled within 20 minutes of when I woke, so I immediately carried it out.
    In Japan, to confront a bully is shocking. Everyone just tolerates them. One of the priestesses subsequently stumbled during a ceremony in shock at what I had done, and I was reminded of the Kojiki myth of one of the weaving ladies of Heaven stabbing herself in the pretties fatally due to the shock of what Susano-o, younger brother of the sun and moon, had wreaked in Heaven, which included, incidentally, the scattering of feces.
    That’s when I finally made the connection. Susano-o is identified with Ohkuninushi-no-mikoto of Izumo Shrine, who is again identical (some say father) to Ohmononushi.
    After last week’s discussion, I asked him to say “Jesus” for me. He rolled his eyes, but he said it. I felt like a fool asking him, because he’s been a profoundly positive influence on me.
    Scientist Magda Havas wrote a few weeks ago in response to some pessimism by Arthur Firstenberg that in this life you need three bones: a wish bone, a back bone and a funny bone. Reflecting on that, I realized I’d gotten my wish bone several lives ago as a slave girl in India, my funny bone the last time around as a humorist, and now Susano-o is eager to help me develop a backbone.

  174. My response to the protests following the murder of George Floyd has been to attempt to educate myself as to the current lived experience of nonwhite people in the United States and around the world. This has led me into a deeper exploration of the framework of (racial) social justice, which seems at its core to be a powerful ethical argument for empathy and being better humans.

    I read “Me and White Supremacy” by Layla F. Saad, which – while it does seem to go a bit overboard at times – makes the case that there really is some uncomfortable, personal, subconscious-level emotional work to be done in order for a privileged group to combat inequality effectively without simply perpetuating the status quo through tokenism (selecting a few marginalized people to invite into positions of influence), saviorism (imposing one’s own vision of what is best for others without involving them in the conversation), blindness (pretending that the distinction on which the inequality is based is meaningless or doesn’t exist), or any number of other problematic approaches.

    As Saad states, her motivation for writing the book was to be a “better ancestor” and to motivate others to also become better ancestors. As I was reading it, it occurred to me that belief in the framework of social justice among the affluent left creates a potentially important vulnerability, because all of these concepts can be just as effectively applied to economic inequality in a way that could induce powerful cognitive dissonance and (maybe?) lead to real change.

    My next step was to attempt to apply the ethical framework of social justice to the economy by asking a few simple questions: What is the basic function of economic exchange? How is inequality introduced, and what precisely is unethical about our current economic system? And how might we follow a similar thought process to the Founding Fathers of the USA to create an economy of, for, and by the people?

    This evolved into a four-part blog series that really energized me to write, and at times seemed to come through me as much as from my own thoughts. I would encourage folks here to read it, comment if you wish, and let me know if you are aware of a good opportunity for it to reach a wider audience. It occurred to me that this is something that could get me assassinated if it were to really take off, but at the same time I have a feeling that this is a cause I might be willing to give my life for if it came to that.

    Part I: The Elephant in the Room
    http://www.luterra.com/blog/?p=936

    Part II: The American Casino
    http://www.luterra.com/blog/?p=958

    Part III: Rehumanizing the Economy
    http://www.luterra.com/blog/?p=978

    Part IV: Changing the Rules of the Game
    http://www.luterra.com/blog/?p=987

    @Andrew
    My partner is more social justice-y than I am, and I feel like our discussions around the topic while not always ending in agreement have enriched both of us.
    Here’s what I would suggest:
    –Try to see her as a person with her own ideas and perspectives that align with social justice, rather than someone “ideologically captured.”
    –If you have a solid connection and respect for one another, make a mutual promise to “assume positive intent.” Which is to say that while you may disagree on ideology, you both accept that the other is fundamentally a good person.
    –Try to separate the goals of social justice from the self-flagellation and white guilt and callouts. Listen to the lived experiences of black people who have – for example – been pulled over or arrested for no reason, been on the receiving end of racial slurs with bystanders remaining silent, or just generally treated as “other” in ways that defined them by their race rather than allowing them agency to define themselves. I am fully convinced that systemic racism is real, but this doesn’t mean that all white people are bad and ought to feel terrible. It just means that white people have more power to address the inequities.

    @Polecat
    Glad to see a fellow beekeeper on here. I started back in 2011 and have enjoyed it. In addition to the fascinating lives of the bees, it is a way to “farm” the surrounding 2000 acres or so without needing to own the land. Meadmaking can be addictive; I’m up to 71 batches so far at last count…

  175. @Logan and JMG, I can report that in Japan, I would never have been able to become a Shinto priestess if I’d had a tattoo, no matter how small. I had pierced ears a few decades ago and let them heal over. Anything you’ve done to alter your body from the form that your parents gave to you is frowned on. Basically, only the psychically injured who embark on careers in the underworld do those magnificent full body tattoos in Japan, and they have trouble finding public baths that will let them in.

  176. Eike, what you said about Germany is absolutely correct – but the problem is that the opposite of one dumb idea is another dumb idea. So the problem of all the apathy and dullness is when the situation becomes such that real change is needed. How would that go in such a country as in Germany where failed policies never have consequences at the ballot bos?

  177. John –
    In all the Black Lives Matter stuff, I haven’t heard _anything_ about the drug war (and its racist, bureaucratic empire building origins by soon-to-be-out-of-work alcohol revenuers like Harry Anslinger),
    or the war on poverty that keeps Black dads out of the home to keep those welfare dollars coming (hmmm, another sort of addiction?).

    What’s your take on this omission?

    Have you read/heard of Carl Hart’s book “High Price” ?
    https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062015884/high-price/

  178. Anyone else finding that fireworks are the new soundtrack to your life? In my sleepy midwestern city fireworks are set off from dark to dawn, every night. It used to be just a few days on either side of a holiday, and only during certain hours. Compliance used to be pretty good. Now, for practical purposes, there are no rules. Anyone else experiencing this? Any explanation?

  179. I really don’t think this SJW thing will turn into a revolution. Those people don’t have guns. If a revolution comes, it’ll come from the right, as a reaction to the shenanigans of the left. What I think could happen is something like this. Joe Biden wins the election, partly because (as Dot said) people often don’t vote on policy, and partly because he’s not Trump. Obviously, Joe Biden is just a marionette at this point (and he might well die of perfectly natural causes early in his term). Someone else (or rather: a group of someone elses) pulls the strings and tries to implement some fairly nutty reforms. The right rebels. The army splits into two: the loyalists (i.e. those loyal to the President, be it Joe Biden or his VP-turned-President), and the insurrectionists. And there you have it: a nice little civil war. JMG, what do you think are the odds of a scenario kinda-sorta like this playing out?

    On a different note… I know you’ve written about revitalization movements before, but I can no longer remember what you wrote. Do you happen to have a link to one (or more) of the relevant posts?

  180. @Kevin Taylor Burgess,
    Thank you for bringing up the research showing biological effects from cellphones. This forum is open to the idea of that, and our host has been kind enough to let me bring it up repeatedly. There are at least two other regular participants here who have experienced bad effects from cell phone or other telecommunications equipment. Still, I often feel like a lone voice in the wilderness, so your bringing it up is of great comfort to me.
    Look into ECHOEarth.org, an organization forming up to encourage people to get rid of their cellphones. The original deadline was last Sunday, but Firstenberg was aiming that at a group of researchers and activists who were rationalizing their own use of mobile communications–feeding the beast they were trying to fight. It is the equivalent of climate activists jetting around. I have a friend here in Japan who like you is trying to phase out his use. Firstenberg ought to be encouraged to accommodate this kind of effort, say with categories of membership based on how much progress one has made toward getting rid of this frank ball-and-chain, and lots of tips on how to get by without the old pocket monster. I think a supportive forum would help a lot of people, because we are still bucking the social trend, and most people do not know about the research you have pointed us all to.
    Firstenberg, like me (and our host for that matter, I think) has never had a cellphone. Each time a new challenge has been thrown at us, such as loss of public phones, we’ve had time to adjust and find creative solutions. It is harder for him to see what a big shock and adjustment that will be for anyone who has had a cellphone for many years.

  181. About the rioting in Stuttgart, Germany: https://www.dw.com/en/germany-riots-and-looting-grip-stuttgart/a-53886746

    Although I’m not in the United States, the atmosphere of the current times is irritating and it points to the possibility that something nasty is going on, about which we don’t know really what it is.

    Today morning I got a strange omen: A forest strawberry plantin one of my pots, which looked healthy the day before, suddenly mostly wilted. I have given it water and will see if it recovers.

    A question: Is the situation with regard to coronavirus infections really that much worse in the United States as compared to Europe? I ask, because that is what was repeatedly asserted at Naked Capitalism, and I’m not sure how reliable are official and mainstream statistics.

  182. The question of whether modern civilisation actually is a Faustian bargain reminded me of something from the animal kingdom. There was a wildlife docuentary about a pride of lions. Normally they won’t attack animals bigger than Cape buffalo. But one time some juvenile lions got enthusiastic and were climbing on a hippo. The hippo didn’t even care, but then the lions’ older siblings arrived.They knew not to go after targets that big, but seeing it already happening, their hunting instincts kicked in. Together they brought down the hippo and this was the single biggest meal they’d ever had.

    They knew they were onto something, so they tried it again. Another hippo, then a small elephant, both successful. They refined their system and it became their standard hunting method. Well fed from young ages, they became the biggest and strongest lions in the area. This allowed them to go after even bigger elephants. A rival pride who’d driven them out came crawling back. The pride took them in and taught them the technique for bringing down the biggest game.

    At this point it turned into a bloodbath and they were taking an elephant nearly every night. The elephants were really freaking out. They’re funny about death anyway, and as well as the severity of the threat, seemed to regard it as a massive violation of the natural order of things. The lions changed too: not just bigger, fatter and more muscular, but a seeming air of contempt. Way beyond what cats normally have – and that takes something. A herd of elephants were walking past and the lions were lounging on a hill watching them, looking for all the world like they were perusing a menu.

    The only thing I can compare it to is in Star Trek: Voyager ‘Equinox’ where they find a Starfleet vessel has been kidnapping aliens from another dimension and using their bodies as fuel to create one of the fastest warp drives that ever existed. I know this is different as the lions were a natural process with no apparent immorality or outside influence. But I could just imagine a lion moral prophet coming on the scene and telling the pride they’d become corrupt and decadent, and needed to go back to living the right way. That’s a film Disney is never going to make. 🙂

  183. Imagine if all these protestors took all that energy and put it into doing something productive for other people?

    I think back to all the nuns who used to run schools, hospitals and orphanages, and how they dedicated their lives to serving people. But people now would never think of that level of service. Heck for a woman just to stay home from work and raise her own family, she is shunned by other women and seen as some kind of traitor.

    My mother watches daytime soap operas. She worked full-time since the 1978, so she recorded them on the VCR as soon as that came out. Talking with her is like talking with a character from one of those shows and she goes through times where she cuts me out of her life. I assume its part of the script and she has imagined I slighted her in some way.

    I share that story because its clear watching the protestors that movies and tv have influenced this behavior they are doing. They think the movie they are in that “the good guys”, sorry “the good people”, will gather and chant and in rush of energy topple the most evilly bad dictator and they will stand triumphantly in his office waving their arms some more. Then roll credits, movie over. Right? It’s just that simple.

    Meanwhile their social media profiles bragging of what they’ve done, the endless videos of their faces, are all being gathered and saved. They are unlikely to ever get a decent job again and maybe get put on the no-fly list or its equivalent. They can’t grapple with the idea that there might be a consequence to their actions.

  184. Last open post I commented on the lack of tangible, productive demands by BLM and their accompanying allies. Here’s a list things they could have demanded and frankly would have immediately received immediately:

    Small business start up money
    College scholarships
    Corporate board placement
    Technical school scholarships to teach electrical, plumbing, computer coding
    Loan forgiveness for homes and colleges
    Free homes and rental forgiveness

    Instead they are focussing on statues.

    Why is that?

  185. Amusing, from the Bujold fandom list: ” “hubris” can be summed up by Artemus Ward’s description of Napoleon Bonaparte: “He tried to do too much and he done it.”

  186. To Eike’s commentary about the temperament of the Germans I would like to add that, quite a few years ago, I had read somewhere that societies, if they have positive extremes, inevitably have negative extremes, too, when it comes to the kind of people which inhabit these societies. So the current condition of the German culture is that, one the one hand, there are not so extreme forms of negative behavior, but on the other hand, there is not much in the way of extraordinarity in the positive direction. It seems to me that after the traumas of the First and Second World War, and the mass thaumaturgy of the Third Reich Germany has developed an aversion towards charisma and extraordinary personalities due to bad experiences, and this nondescriptiveness and averageness is itself becoming at least partly problematic (where would come the independent thinkers and the trailblazers of different ways of doing things, if there is only mediocrity?).

  187. My thanks to everyone who replied re my question pertaining to Whomever She May Be. In particular, thank you, Tanya, for those messages, which are much appreciated. Also pixelated, because it is nice to know I’m not alone!

    I have been praying to Her daily for many years now. I’ve put together a regular devotion which I call the “Gaia Thea” which is closely modeled on the “Ave Maria” and cobbled together from that source, my vague recollections of one year of high school Latin from far too many years ago, some phases from the Latin Vulgate, and our host’s help with a few technical details. I can share, if anyone would be interested.

  188. @ C.R. Patino – thank you for the fact-filled discussion of masks. It’s the most sensible and informative statement I’ve read or heard to date, and that includes the media and the information handed out by the management of the institution I’m in. We seniors are being urged not to leave campus yet, but more on-campus activities are in place or in the works. Thanks again,

    Pat

  189. Some of you may be familiar with the blog Slate Star Codex, written by Scott Alexander. I’ve always found his posts informative and interesting, so check it out from time to time. What a shock I had when I decided to take a peek today! The blog has been deleted by Scott, due to the New York Times (surprise, surprise, as Gomer would say) threatening to “out” him. Scott left one entry up explaining the situation.

    NYT Is Threatening My Safety By Revealing My Real Name, So I Am Deleting The Blog
    https://slatestarcodex.com/

    This is why I don’t want to blog. I value my privacy too much, especially in today’s touchy environment.

    Joy Marie

  190. A Comments section is your parlour (Parler). When it’s your house, any rules the host makes are the rules. One’s own house is not a democracy, it’s a castle. This host-guest etiquette goes back before Ulysses and into the stone age I’m sure, but seems to have been lost. Is it part of the universal loss of responsibility and self-control, the war against rule and order itself?

    At our level of development, universal free energy would be the worst idea ever. We’d pave the remaining topsoil, erect an indoor-waterslide hotel Gap, and turn the planet into the universal waste heat of the 3rd Law of Thermodynamics (entropy). Please for all our sakes, never discover this.

    I wouldn’t mind statues of Tories — John Adams defended the Boston Massacre and everyone before 1776 was a patriotic King-loving Tory – it just didn’t turn out that way. If you keep your mind, it’s only a statue, no one is harmed, unlike the other side who perceive it as more. The symbol is not the object? If you read how complex history is, often even the object is not the object. CSA is an interesting question, but we’ve gone past it in seconds. They are now pulling down Lincoln, Grant, Whittier , slaves such as Cervantes, and mega-abolitionists like Heg and Wilberforce. They are moving on to Jesus, meaning all windows in all churches, all icons, all paintings. That tells me the good-faith argument doesn’t apply and their motivation lies elsewhere. I propose rebellion against all restraint and order, although you’re probably right: they are seeking a Daddy figure to finally set rules and say no, and cannot rest until. Who is the bad Daddy?

    Isn’t anger pretty natural for people who are trying to kill you for false reasons? It’s a raw energy that can be channeled to get things done. Ho’ponopono.

    Walking in Beauty reminds me of the “Great Mystery.”

    Ugliness in any form, via eyes, ears, imagination, puts the ugliness into mind, and thus causes the mind to “lower” in sympathy. The “lower” you are, the more easily controlled and extracted.

    Someone suggested that SJW-speak is emotional. Therefore, to communicate with them, facts are the total wrong approach, and should discuss how you feel, events (like burning abolitionists, black businesses getting hurt) that made you personally feel and realize something. This creates personal empathy and expansion. Unfortunately it is also completely illogical. Depression is a manifestation of fighting, being un-aligned to reality. This can be engineered if you start early to implant personal flaws via mass-media you can activate and abuse later. It’s called “influence and advertising.” The worse you feel and more isolated and inadequate you are, the more you buy to compensate. For one.

    There is no voter identification with mail-in ballots. If you get one (or a few boxes) in your hands, you can vote whoever. Ask the NAACP in NJ who just had someone vote on his ballot. Even your roommate or husband can toss your sealed ballot. Another man (judge) was arrested for voting 300 times. If contested, re-counting and affirming them will take years while both side claim the government levers that do that re-counting, and demand the Army too. Please no. That’s why we have walk-in affirmed by voter authorities, overseen by both party officials, and until recently, on machines that had giant pull-levers and bank-worthy double-key locks. All gotten rid of. Why? To be safer? Or less safe?

    What about people who have improved themselves to be no longer oppressed? Forbidden to discuss. Claim Irish, slavs etc were never “really” oppressed, it’s different, etc despite that Chinese, Koreans, and Jamaicans move from slums to upper class M.D.s in one generation. Ask Harvard who is oppressing Asian minorities on entrance exams in the name of equality. This is considered totally approved and okay. Discussing it? Not so much. Just like actual slavery, say in Libya or by Nike? No. Fictional slavery gone lo 200 years? Front page. As someone said, it’s not about anything but power. Over you.

    Passive greenhouses had several in https://www.lowtechmagazine.com , as well as fully-fleshed, complete, successful methods in Eliot Coleman’s “Four Season Grower” in Maine. Lemons in Russia? Yes. And why not. You prune them. That’s it. Easy enough?

    Yes, if you think the Catholic Church is bad, you should try pre-Christian Rome. If you think they were bad, you should see their predecessors. In old books, you can read old religious edicts: “Here’s an new idea: don’t bury your newborns alive in the sand or sacrifice them on hot irons to the sex god.” No joke.

    As with human progress today. Racism is bad? Hey, let’s visit 1959 and tell me how we haven’t moved forward at all. 1859? 1659? 59 B.C.? I’m sorry you’re impatient but isn’t patience a virtue for reason? It keeps people from getting killed. Cool your jets. Humanity is large, it doesn’t move fast. Guess what you can move fast? Yourself. Not the other guy: you. Put your own house in order first.

  191. @Lathechuck

    That sounds like sensible advice, thanks so much.

    @onething

    Alas, that very idea has crept up into our talks only for me to be denounced for not empathizing the deep hurt of the “pawns”! Hard to be compassionate towards what I see as feelings untethered from reality. I appreciate the response!

  192. There have been lots of eclipses. What was special about the one of 5 June 2020, that it helped cause the rulers of an entire country to go crazy(ier)? Also, did eclipses have anything to do with the worship of the goddess Hillary?

    I don’t hold it against her that crazy people worshipped her, you can’t help what crazy people do, but I do think she might have done more to discourage it.

  193. @Dusk Shine:
    Does the email address I have for you still work? You’ve not replied in a while. Not a problem if that’s how you want it or need it to be for external reasons, but I thought I’d check that access to the account hadn’t been lost somehow, or it’d stopped receiving email from me or something.

  194. JMG, I was wondering if you have an opinion on A Course In Miracles; whether it’s the “real deal” or something fishy. This was a book that was channeled through Helen Schucman, a psychiatrist who was an atheist. She heard an inner voice which claimed to be Jesus, that dictated the text to her word by word. It’s popular among the New Age crowd. I first ran across it while browsing the Metaphysical/New Age shelf at the bookstore. This was after I had left evangelicalism, and was exploring different belief systems. I picked up a copy, and read it for awhile, but for various reasons didn’t continue. I still don’t know what to think of it, other than if it was Jesus who was talking to Helen, it’s a different Jesus from the one evangelicals follow!

    Joy Marie

  195. Re: “Defund the Police” – Laurie King’s “Mutterings” has a very sensible suggestion: “Refund the Police” and explains her program well.

    ****

    “Defund the police” is a terrible, all-or-nothing slogan. Sure, we could do without the police if nobody owned a gun, if no one could drink or abuse drugs, if we had truly robust social services that cut off domestic violence and treated mental illnesses before things got ugly.

    Until those things happen, we need a police force. However, recent events have made it clear to the most oblivious among us that the system is not working—that giving civilian police military equipment, encouraging the police to think of tasers, tear gas, and rubber bullets as safely non-lethal, and training cops to greet every situation by inflating their chests and trying to dominate only creates a terrible circle of escalation, violence, and mistrust.

    90% of the time, confrontation only makes things worse. Yes, we need to be prepared for that remaining 10%—but not at the cost of escalating every situation until it ends up there.

    Instead, we need to Re-fund the Police. We need to get rid of those massive armored vehicles, retired from war zones, that make a department think–hey, this demonstration might be the time to finally make use of the thing. After all, when you have a really sexy new hammer in your hand, don’t you just ache for a nail to use it on? And if the only tool you’ve been trained to use is a hammer, why would you expect anything else but to bash?

    We need to stop equipping regular cops with enough arms to put down a Russian invasion, and instead equip them with the skills to defuse a tricky situation. We have to make police unions accountable for their members, so “bad apples” don’t keep moving on to spoil new departments. And we need to shift a whole lot of their budget to the police department’s natural partners, the services that aim to change things before they spill out onto the street and into the emergency rooms: mental health, social services, women’s clinics, housing inspectors, school counselors. Schools, period.

    We also need to rethink what a cop looks like. Not just the color of their skin, but the person under the uniform. Time after time, studies have shown that more female cops would help stop the brutal police response, that women cops are better at de-escalating violence rather than pushing it higher. Women cops even have fewer citizen complaints against them.

    Women are taught from birth to be aware of our vulnerability. Even a tall, muscular woman will automatically check her surroundings in a dark street, has learned how to carry keys as weapons, and will back away from a belligerent drunk in a bar.

    So bring in women, and cops of color—which will in turn make the police an organization where women and people of color feel more welcome. Make the police into peace officers, not a paramilitary. Lock that equipment away, teach them how to defuse, de-escalate, and introduce a human link into a situation.

    Like this cop answering a noise complaint:

    Which ended up not with a shooting, but with a surprise guest:

    Which in turn ended up as a national project, #HoopsNotCrime.

    When the question of #DefundThePolice comes to your community, think a while about what it actually means. Here’s the basic Wikipedia definition. “Defunding the police” doesn’t necessarily mean doing away with the police, but it does involve changing how we think about punishment. It sound irresponsible, but when only 5% of police time is spent dealing with serious offenses, wouldn’t it be more sensible to assign those traffic violations and late-night noisy parties to someone who might have other tools for dealing with the trouble than just arrest?

    The police are a major part of why Black Lives Matter. Maybe it’s time to look at what we can do about that.

    *****

  196. John–

    Re disease and dissolution

    The recently-announced travel quarantines got me thinking. While such things are hardly unprecedented (le mot du jour, certainment!), when you mix them in with all the other events going on and the state of the nation generally, it seems to me that this is one small step in the unraveling of the broader union. The mos significant hurdle w faced as a nation was to get people to think of themselves as Americans, rather than Virginians or Georgians or Rhode Islanders, and the thing that enabled the final transition was a failed revolution and four bloody years of fratricidal conflict.

    Likewise, the undoing of that accomplishment will involve the reverse shift: from thinking of ourselves as Americans to seeing ourselves as something else, whether it’s members of a state or of a region. So if I can’t travel to New York without being quarantined because I come from a specified state, this reinforces divisions along those state and regional lines, augmenting the already-existing cultural divide that will figure so prominently in our future history.

  197. Neptune’s Dolphins

    Multiple selves.
    My brain injury causes me to split into three people. Doctor couldn’t figure out why. So there are three of me and we have interesting conversations. We do move in unity after long discussions.

    R.E Lee.
    In my younger life, I visited every civil war battlefield in the east. No one discusses Bentonville, N.C. Which was Johnson surrendering to Sherman, thereby ending the army’s involvement. Sherman said the 40 acres and mule as part of the surrender agreement.

    Meanwhile, Lee detested statues and hero worship of himself. He hated Early’s Lost Cause. So it is an irony that people are fighting over his statue, that he didn’t want in the first place.

  198. Patricia Matthews said:
    Then – “and who is The Changer in the mythology of the region I lived in for 50 years?” Well, yes, of course; Coyote. (Anyone with clip art of Old Man Coyote, let me know.)

    Not clip art but the cover of Charles de Lint’s book “Spiritwalk” has a nice cover of the Changer in its coyote avatar. The book is a great one too in relationship to that spirit.

    https://img.bookfrom.net/img/charles-de-lint/spiritwalk.jpg

  199. JMG & Ben Johnson re: Loyalists thought I’d do a little cursory research to see if there were an statues or things memorializing Loyalist figures. First it is estimated that only around 10% of Loyalists left the country after the American Revolution (mostly for Canada). The majority stayed in the US and by 1787 they were fully legally brought back into the fold of American society.

    Now for statues or memorials. There do not seem to be an statues or memorials dedicated explicitly to the “cause” in the US; although there is United Empire Loyalist statue in Canada and in the Bahamas. There are a handful of place names honoring well known Loyalists like William Tyron, Lord Thomas Fairfax and William Allen. There are two monuments to Benedict Arnold in the US. I only found one statue of a Loyalist in my limited looking; it is of painter and Loyalist John Singleton Copley in Copley Square in Boston.

  200. After reading a biography with Sun Ra, I’ve been inspired to play around with words again. Neologisms and inversion and reversions and new versions of words is the way of the word world.

    Reading through the comments I thought of one to offer to the group: ICONOCHASM.

    Iconochasm: Our system of society has long been the plaything of languages viral load — the vary fabric softener by which we brainwash meaning — is biased and indoctrinated with iconic frills and lace that we simply take for granted as ornamental re-definement; therefore we must challenge the definite, finite, and infinite of what icons may or may not stand for, signify, and sign the necessary release form and resign them as needed. Otherwise these symbols will be held in lockdown, quarantined in the asylum and subject to barbaric brain mutilations. This flux of electro-schlock therapy is essential for re-imaging the world and taking back from the boomers, increasingly suffering from tardive dyskenesia and related mail(dis)order marketing campaigns. Iconochasm sees crossing the abyss into the undifferentiated light of pre-prismed existence as a necessary step towards realigning the landmarks. No prior exposure to the courses of the Landmark Foundation is necessary, and those may be foregoed by those who show the appropriate gaps in their thinking.

    For it is by having gaps and chasms between the icons that we can see them as they truly are.

    Add grains of salt as needed to make palpable, because here in America, you can triple the fat and things will still be tasteless!

  201. Hello John Michael, regarding your answer ‘ We won’t live in 19th century conditions exactly — rather, life in a civilization in decline is a patchwork, with practices from various eras pieced together depending on what resources are available and what information can be had. ‘ . Can you say more about what life may look like in this patchwork in 20 years , and in 50 years ?

  202. Dear Methylethyl, I’m glad to see that not only has CHOP been undone before any public executions of crimethink, but even more heartening, upon disbanding the leaders of CHOP apparently instructed everyone to go and vote for the “revolutionary” candidate Joe Biden! This truly has reached the level of utter farce!

    Dear Irena, luckily the radical progressive side doesn’t have popular support, doesn’t have arms, and doesn’t have much internal cohesion. I know: I used to roll with them. They simply lack the mojo to effectively make war. Even now, they still are not armed. I think that most all of us in the United States will survive these scary times and then will be free to go on and live beautiful lives in the new world.

    Dear Grover, here’s my take. Over the course of the next few years most of the 9% of the population that currently are losing their minds will have a few different fates lined up for them:
    a) some fraction will either lose their minds or commit suicide or become hardcore drug addicts and alcoholics.
    b) some fraction will simply leave the movement and become regular, largely unaffiliated Americans.
    c) some fraction will become hardcore Alt-Right.
    d) some fraction will become hardcore Islamists.
    e) some fraction will become hardcore Fundamentalist Christians.
    f) some fraction will take up arms and engage in violence before getting stomped.
    g) some fraction will keep on going through the motions even after the masses leave.

    The problem I see about thinking about these possibilities, as I see it, is that if any of these options were to gain all or most of the Woke brigade that would mean a big shift in the United States. If 9% of the population were to commit suicide on a single day, to illustrate an idea that seems fantastically unlikely, their would be a huge problem of what to do with all the bodies, and then we’d be living in a different country. If all of the Woke Brigade were to convert to Wahhabi Islam we’d have a population that was something like 11% Muslim and we’d be living in a very different country, one in which we’d undoubtedly see a lot more lone wolf terror attacks and fighting between different religious groups, and a new unpredictable political faction.

    Those are two examples, and they both strike me as rather extreme. Most likely as the movement will splinter into several large shards in the months ahead. But what the largest of those shards will be remains to be seen. If a good fraction of these people convert to some other violent ideology then we’re likely going to be seeing similar problems transposed to a different scale.

    Dear JMG, you’re right, of course. Certainly I hope this ends as quickly and painlessly as possible and that afterwards we might collectively erect way more statues, and bigger ones, too!

  203. @James:

    “…do you think it is possible that this culture could have had some form of Hermetic tradition that attempted to replicate the heavens on the ground?”

    I visited Callanish in 2007. Our group met Margaret Curtis, who took us on a tour of the main Callanish monument. She and her former husband Gerald Ponting have written about their findings, and her/their books are available online.

    See https://janetomlinson.com/margaret-queen-of-callanish/ for a start.

    We also visited Newgrange in Ireland. I believe the concrete-reinforced reconstruction of the front of the Newgrange mound does not represent the original appearance of the temple. At Knowth, nearby, the white stones have been left lying on the ground in front of the mound, which in my opinion is how they were originally intended to be arranged. This opinion is shared by George Eogan, the archaeologist/director at Knowth, who points out that the façade could not have stood without concrete reinforcement (https://www.knowth.com/excavation.htm).

    It seems intuitively clear to me that the stones were meant to represent a river, the great sky-river of the Milky Way, as well as the sacred river Boyne, which one would cross on the way to and from the sanctuary.

    “We who still labor by the cromlech on the shore,
    The gray cairn on the hill, when day sinks drowned in dew,
    Being weary of the world’s empires, bow down to you,
    Master of the still stars and of the flaming door.”

    — William Butler Yeats

  204. @ Stephen D

    A lot depends on what kind of soil you’re starting with! Here, it’s basically sand, and needs a tremendous amount of carbon added to it just to hold onto water. Nutrients are a whole other level! Anyway, blueberries actually like a sandy, well-drained soil, somewhat acid. The general wisdom around here is that you plant blueberries around your pine trees. And if you don’t have pine trees, you can fill up the area with pine-bark mulch, or even go the hugelkultur route and bury rotting pine logs/sticks/branches where you plant the blueberries. They seem to like it.

    You might also check out the classic book: Compost Everything! by David the Good. He also has a website that’s worth perusing. Some people are squeamish about what they put in their compost piles, but if you’re not, you can get a lot of mileage out of things like urine, animal bones, seaweed (if you’ve got access to a seashore) etc. I noticed a while back that my beans were going all yellow (no soil! It’s awful!), and I was cooking a big beef roast for company that night. The package had a lot of blood pooled in it, so I carefully collected it in a bowl, diluted it with water, and fed it to the beans. They greened right up in just a couple days! Plants are not vegetarians…

    @polecat and any other beekeepers

    I have a garden. My neighbor down the street keeps bees– many hives! It’s a small commercial operation, as we live in a tupelo swamp– the honey from tupelo season fetches a good price. We LOVE having the bees come visit. I planted a bunch of sunflowers this year, because I remembered the bees liking them in previous gardens– it’s so fun to watch them wallow around the giant sunflower heads. What they’re really crazy about right now is the pumpkin flowers! Some mornings I go out and find two or three honeybees in each flower– and have seen as many as six crawling over each other in a single bloom. It’s like a honeybee bar crawl in the garden right now. Do you have any other recommendations for things to plant for the bees? Things they like? Things that are particularly good for them? Are there flowers that can help get them through the lean seasons when not much is blooming? Trees? Shrubs? I want them to hang around as much as possible– I always forget to hand-pollinate, and they’re the only reason I’m getting any squashes, pumpkins, or melons right now. But also, they improve the mood of the yard.

  205. I’ve had the opportunity to visit Seattle twice in my life. I enjoyed both visits. On the second visit we were staying with family friends a few blocks away from the Fremont neighborhood, where during our two weeks there, I would go in the morning to get coffee while others were still asleep. There was a very large statue of Lenin pretty much across the street from some Google office space. I’m just kind of wondering how that statue of Lenin is fairing during these days of iconochasm.

    So I looked it up to see how its faring, and apparently, at the time this article was written, it still stands, even as Thomas Jefferson statues are squashed, etc.:
    https://www.ibtimes.sg/lenin-statue-seattle-how-did-it-arrive-us-how-come-it-stands-tall-amid-statue-felling-frenzy-47177

    To be fair I really liked the funky Fremont neighborhood, especially the Middle-Eastern restaurant under the bridge that went over Lake Union. The Lenin statue, I thought was a bit much, even for the microserfs of Seattle.

  206. …On a different topic. (Serial poster this round…at least until we get to our campsite for the weekend tomorrow morning…)

    JMG had mentioned on his other site that he thinks there will be a largeish conversion of people into Islam and ATR faiths. I see this as already in progress. One data point comes from the world of music. My wife and I are big fans of Sinead O’Connor, and we had planned to see her -we had tickets, and now still do for 2021- in concert this past spring, but the event got canceled. In any case she has recently converted to Islam. That’s her business not mine, but I hadn’t really thought about it in the context of a shift from Leftist to Religious.

    To be fair to Sinead she has been exploring Abrhamanic faiths for quite awhile, and is also an ordained priest(ess) in a lineage offshoot from the Catholic Church (I’d have to look it up to see if it is the Liberal Catholic Church which a lot of occultists had been in.) Her explorations also took her into Rastafarianism for awhile… itself an interesting place where you can fall through the quilt of America -even if its off the coast, etc.Though she hasn’t been mainstream for quite awhile, she is still enough of a public figure to make me scratch my head when connecting the dots. She does also seem to have an inner connection to those currents that she brings through in her music.

    For those who are interested in Psalmic magic … some of her musical versions of the Psalms are awesome!
    Here is an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_CoCepMu7k

    Question for JMG: Will your history of the occult & strange religious movements in America cover the Moorish Science Temple and how that sprouted into the Nation of Islam which of course now has its own offshoots? There seem to be a fair number of occult dimensions involved in that material.

  207. @Walt F,

    I seem to be recommending this book regularly on here now, but it is so relevant to the current times.

    In terms of elite incompetence, particularly in relation to journalists, I highly recommend Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Shari Attkisson’s book The Smear (formerly of CBS News). It’s basically a detailed breakdown of media and public opinion manipulation in America – how journalists are manipulated with access, how newspapers are manipulated with commercial interests, how characters are smeared, scandals are fabricated, astroturfed public opinion campaigns spring up, how the money is spread around to make it happen, how op-eds in newspapers are basically faked (I’ll never look at one the same way again), how journalists are driven by their personal prejudices, how opinions are labelled etc.

    None of this is new exactly – I’m sure you already knew all of the above was happening (I did too) in abstract, but it is illuminating to see it spelled out in detail. You can actually see the matrix – I can see the New York Times’ biases far more precisely now when I look at their website.

    One of her key points is that this kind of manipulation is done by both sides and neither side has any kind of moral high ground, but it is Far easier for liberals to do it because their views mesh with the political opinions of most journalists anyway. She has a very interesting mental model called the Substitution Game about whether if the NYT etc reported the same actions by a Republican, they would be described in the same way..

    For example she talks about how she had an editor who would in articles label conservative analysts as “right wing analysts”, but liberal analysts would simply be called “analysts”. To that particular editor’s credit, she accepted the point when challenged and going forward they were called “left wing analysts”.

    Attkisson’s earlier book (mainly about her personal experiences and the important stories she broke – such as the Pulitzer Prize winning investigation of the Fast and Furious scandal in the Obama administration where the ATF literally sold weapons to Mexican drug gangs) is also good, but The Smear is a better starting point. The book was written in 2017, so before the current madness, but there is a chapter at the end about how Trump beat that mega media machine to win, by changing the game.

  208. Lenihan01 said:
    “I think you mentioned in a reply to another open post some time ago that you are now living in an apartment. Is this correct and if so, how do you manage any Green Wizardry (presumably) without access to a garden? Especially at the moment I would have thought access to a garden was essential.”

    While having a garden or growing things like herbs and medicinals in containers, is certainly a part of Green Wizardry, its not absolutely essential. There are many pathways, some of which are more focused on the skills and craft side of reimagining life in a collapsed world. You can think of the “green” as meaning not just plants but a way of life that sits easier on the World.

    The “Ruinmen” of John’s stories is just as much a Green Wizard as the ones who work the garden. So are learning to use Ham radios, reintroducing older copying technology, even just learning how to bring about changes in your local government.

    What’s important is to find the circle that is right for YOU.

  209. As a kid I had to read 1984, Brave New World, and Fahrenheit 451. I reread them all a few years back and was struck by how prescient they seem to have been. At the time, I was thinking that we were more BNW and F451 than 1984, but things seem to be changing. Circulating on social media recently was this quote from 1984:

    “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered, and the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. Haistory has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which The Party is always right.”

    This was often accompanied by pictures of statues being toppled. Then just today I came across a piece of news (https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=15103) whereby students at Robert Morris University in PA have petitioned against the use of the word “freedom” on their college campus cards as it makes “minority students (black students in particular) feel like they are being dehumanized,” and this is just too reminiscent of the Party slogan from 1984:

    “War is peace.
    Freedom is slavery.
    Ignorance is strength.”

    Then I saw a tweet from British MP Andrew Adonis (great name, huh?) who wrote: “I have no bookshelves in my house, although I read a lot of books. I usually give books away after reading them. Bookshelves are clutter. You virtually never reread the books. And they remind you of yesterday not tomorrow. It was a great liberation getting rid of them.”

    I wonder if he burned his copy of Fahrenheit 451? In any case, although he does say he reads books, it still reminded me of F451 as he seemed to be encouraging others to do like him and throw out all their books.

    There are plenty more examples I could quote, but I’ll restrain myself.

    So where am I going with all this? Well, it’s got me wondering whether the fact that millions of people have read those books (even a few I have recommended to do so) and have concentrated on them, focused on them, and imagined them, isn’t actually serving to bring (at least parts of) these dystopias into being? Is that a possibility?

  210. @ Logan and JMG

    The example of cross cultural tattoos and damaged auras that immediately leaps to mind is prison tattoos. Yakuza, Russian Mafia, La Eme and MS 13 and of course the Aryan Brotherhood.

    The possible counter example of tattoos without damaged auras could be Pacific Islanders, specifically Maori & Samoan.

  211. How much do you think the death rate due to covid in NYC was due to some sort of hysteria? Currently they have 20% of the deaths in the country. It feels like something else happened there other than a bunch of people suddenly caught the flu and died within 2 weeks.

  212. @Justin Patrick Moore

    I still enjoy the memory of first catching sight of that statue and thinking “That can’t possibly be what I think it is.” When I saw it, someone had painted the hands red (Such a brave statement in the USA) and there was, confusingly, a plaque next to it that said “This is not a statue of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.”

  213. Okay. I honestly and truly wasn’t going to make any further comments today on the insanity (inanity?) infecting my one-time-republic-long-since-turned-empire-and-now-facing-the-consequences-of-that-choice, but then I saw this little nugget, which shows that just when you think it can’t go any further, it does:

    https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/why-it-might-be-time-to-replace-the-star-spangled-banner-with-a-new-national-anthem-023741108.html

  214. @Violet: “Dear Irena, luckily the radical progressive side doesn’t have popular support, doesn’t have arms, and doesn’t have much internal cohesion. I know: I used to roll with them. They simply lack the mojo to effectively make war. Even now, they still are not armed. I think that most all of us in the United States will survive these scary times and then will be free to go on and live beautiful lives in the new world.”

    Yes, you’re right. Except that I don’t think they’ll be the ones who start to shoot. No, they’ll just try to take over more and more institutions the loud and obnoxious, but essentially non-violent way. The problem is that this could provoke an armed insurrection on the right, splitting the army in two.

  215. JMG,

    I’ve noticed that Prez Trump has seemed a bit spiritless recently, maybe a little bit too personally vindictive, but without his usual entertaining flair and fire – just rather lackluster. When he got off the ‘copter at the White House lawn following the Tulsa rally, I actually thought he looked a little like one of those big saggy, leaky Trump balloons we’ve seen at anti-Trump demonstrations. I know polls are meaningless at this point – they were meaningless the day before the ‘16 election – but he ain’t doing so hot with poll numbers now.

    I haven’t checked out how his natal chart might be afflicted now, but … you don’t imagine any of this “Magical Resistance” activity is getting through to him, do you?

    Thanks,
    Will

  216. I wonder what proportion of that 9% that is SJWs will follow the already-worn path into the NatSoc end of the Alt-Right instead of Islam, or elsewhere. I think it will be a good chunk. Two reasons:
    -one, of course is our host’s sage wisdom: “what you contemplate. you imitate”
    -two, most of the people I’ve met who dare use the dread phrase “Jewish Question” came at it from the direction of identity politics. “OH, white people are so very privileged. That’s bad. But whiteness isn’t real! Can we break down the artificial category of ‘white’ to see who is most over-represented in the ranks of the wealthy and the media? Oy vey!”
    If your brain has already accepted the strange idea that such inequality represents evil (it is NOT okay to be white, after all), then it’s a hop, skip, and jump to turn anti-whiteness into antisemitism. The difference is really only one of focus.

    Honestly, all this whole brew-ha-ha — in the US, and in my own country– has got me pretty down on the whole concept of civic nationalism. If there were an orderly framework for peaceful population transfer, I think I’d happily relocate into an ethnostate at this point. I don’t know how many others are exhausted enough to feel the same way.

  217. Bridge:
    Dr. Russell Blaylock wrote a good article about the hazards of mask-wearing:
    https://www.fort-russ.com/2020/05/dr-blaylock-face-masks-pose-serious-risks-to-the-healthy-hypoxia-and-hypercapnia/
    Most alarming is that masks will trap many viruses or bacteria you happen to exhale – even if you’re not sick with symptoms – forcing you to re-breathe them over and over.

    Citizen of Ingsoc:
    New Hampshire is very nice, it has the added virtue of no state income tax and no sales tax – that’s why we usually go there to shop since the stores are about the same distance from us as driving to Rutland, VT, with the advantage of saving a few cents. The real New Englanders (not the newcomers) are terrific people, but stay away from the big city transplants who’ve brought a lot of toxicity and self-righteousness with them.

    Scotlyn:
    Mashed potatoes with butter and salt. Cheesecake. Not necessarily in that order.

    Stephen D:
    Re: tomatoes and calcium. The general suggestion is to put a handful of crushed eggshells into the hole when planting your tomatoes. However, since that encourages skunks to dig up your plants at night over and over looking for eggs (ask me how I know), I’ve started liberally spreading crushed eggshells over all the garden beds in the fall, then covering the beds with cardboard I’ve saved all summer. On top of that I put a layer of compost/manure to hold down the cardboard and protect the soil while we have snow and ice. Works really well. It helps that we have chickens and, therefore, great quantities of both eggshells and manure.

    There’s an old saying that snow is the poor man’s fertilizer, meaning that covering your soil during the winter increases fertility. Somewhere or other I read of an experiment to test this and, indeed, covering your garden beds with anything, even non-nutritious stuff like cardboard or newspaper, did boost the fertility of the beds. So, start setting your corrugated boxes aside for the fall!

    Lathechuck:
    The Babylon Bee has morphed from satire to prognostication.

    Chris:
    My sincerest condolences to you. We buried our oldest cat last Friday. She was almost 19, deaf, but spunky as all get-out right to the last couple of days. She is sorely missed, because she slept between the pillows on the bed with us every single night; we can’t help but notice that she’s gone. She was always a tiny cat and believed firmly that any lap was hers to sit on, friend, relative or total stranger. Godspeed Whiskers.

  218. Yesterday I threw out my back while weeding. Ow. So today I’m not doing much of anything. If it had to happen, I’m glad it happened on Wednesday. At least I have something interesting to do while I wait for improvement.

    This is not to say that, overall, I do not spend far too much time on the Internet —for some strange reason, always on Mondays and Wednesdays…

  219. @Christopher Hope,

    I don’t think Biden’s opposition to bussing means he’s a racist; it just means he was opposed to a bunch of randomly selected children being sent out of their own communities in order to satisfy some far-off official’s thirst for abstract equality. There’s a reason why public support for bussing in the 1970s (as per Gallup) was only 9% among blacks.

    Though like you I believe Biden is a warmonger, and I’m not going to vote for him in November.

    @Phutatorius,

    Seeing as sea levels in the world of Star’s Reach have risen about 200 feet over their present location, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that the Embarcadero Freeway does not exist.

  220. Kevin, why would an interstellar planet be disruptive?

    Arkansas, the problem with monarchy isn’t what happens once you find a just king. It’s getting there that’s the problem. Look at the history of any monarchy you care to name, and you find a few good kings, a moderate number of bumbling duffers, and a really unpleasantly high proportion of psychopathic maniacs. That’s why democracy is the best of a bad lot: the separation of powers keeps a bad president from doing limitless damage, and the habit of selecting leaders by election means that you can get rid of a bad president without having to fight a civil war.

    Cliff, apocalypse is the only hope they’ve got at this point. I honestly believe that a lot of people in the salary class are desperate for the coronavirus to keep society shut down because if that doesn’t happen, they have to go back to the dreary lives they’ve made for themselves.

    Ramaraj, that’s an important factor! There’s a particular strain of faux-green ideologues — I’m thinking here especially of Daniel Quinn, the author of Ishmael — who are lifelong urbanites, and whose rhapsodies about living in the bosom of nature are pure fantasy. Their ideas are fairly widespread — and now they’re getting a sudden encounter with the clucking, odoriferous reality of life outside the urban bubble.

    Brian, the UK has a lot of soap opera of the same kind just now, so I’m not sure that’s your best choice.

    Tussey, very likely the community colleges will have a better chance at survival. Far more of them provide actual job skills — as opposed, say, to degrees in critical theory — and they charge a lot less.

  221. JMG, it’s been a while since I commented here (I have been living off-grid and pretty caught up in my gardening and building), but I saw that our Kickstarter had a referral from Ecosophia, so I came to check it out. The passive greywater greenhouse that David Huang commented about is actually something I’m helping to build at my current home, and I’ve been helping to design it and launch the Kickstarter. I’m really excited about the project, and it was really cool to see it pop up here, so I just wanted to drop a line.

    Warm regards,
    Jen

  222. Dear Irena,

    You’re absolutely right: that is the real risk. If the right lost its common enemy, the left, it would become divided on itself and horrors would breed. Not only Loyalist vs. Insurgent but Libertarian vs. Authoritarian; Christian vs. Secular, etc. The right has very profound divisions, and if they were to lost the unity that the crazed sjws provide, if they were to fall upon each other with an open awareness of the radical differences they have, I imagine the United States would plunge very rapidly into failed state status.

  223. @ Scotlyn

    Re comfort foods

    Wide slices of my hand-kneaded, home-baked sourdough-from-starter bread, well-soaked with butter.

  224. JMG: “There’s a particular strain of faux-green ideologues — I’m thinking here especially of Daniel Quinn, the author of Ishmael — who are lifelong urbanites, and whose rhapsodies about living in the bosom of nature are pure fantasy.”

    Quinn? Hmm. It’s admittedly been a while since I read _Ishmael_ and his other books, but if I recall correctly, his big thing was that humans needed tribes, but he insisted that those didn’t have to be hunter-gatherer tribes. One of his examples of a tribe was a circus, which is quite urban, of course. He also insisted that humans (and anything produced by humans) was a part of nature. So, a city is also a part of nature. Another thing he repeatedly said was that what evolution produces is not perfect, but is extremely difficult to improve upon. Sounds decidedly Burkean to me.

    To be honest, I’m a bit puzzled that you dislike Quinn. As far as I can tell, his opinions are fairly close to yours. I know he had some, ahem, interesting fans. But fans are fans, and Quinn is Quinn.

  225. Re: Vikings are always relevant, a “You see, that is not so” story from the This Day in History column in yesterday’s local paper.

    “The first recorded sight of North America by a European – John Cabot, 1497.”

    Uh, no, fellows, you’re, like, half a century off. Some dude named Ericson? OK – it was only recorded in Iceland*, but those records have been available for decades, now. At least.

    *And probably Greenland, but IIRC, in 1497, nobody lived there but the Inuit.

  226. Wesley, philosophers don’t create worldviews, they simply bustle around cleaning up the construction debris and making things look neat and orderly. The Apollonian shape of time emerged in Greek popular consciousness in classical times, competing with the older Hesiodic shape of time (which Herodotus still used), and didn’t become standard until the Hellenistic period. Virgil gave it its final form. Similarly, Augustine drew on several centuries of Christian and pre-Christian thinking about linear time when he penned The City of God.

    Ramaraj, my guess is that the media and pundits are panicking about the immigration freeze because they know it’ll cause joblessness to drop, improving Trump’s chances in the election.

    Mark L, thanks for this. I’ll read the posts when I’ve got a spare hour.

    Patricia O, interesting. Thanks for this.

    Sunnnv, because the whole BLM thing is simply a stalking horse for the Democratic Party. (Check out where donations to BLM go.) It’s not interested in causing change — simply in generating headlines and perpetuating the status quo.

    Andy, I hope that sentiment spreads. It would be very beneficial for the US.

    Christopher, interesting. It’s happened every summer since I moved to Rhode Island, and I thought it was just a local custom.

    Irena, that’s unpleasantly plausible. As for revitalization movements, this three-part series — Part 1, Part Two, and Part Three — covers that among other things.

    Yorkshire, that makes a fine metaphor for our civilization. The problem, of course, is what happens when the elephants decide to turn en masse on those particular lions…

    Denys, I think that may just be the best analysis of the current business I’ve seen yet. Thank you.

    Joy Marie, that’s why I’ve always been entirely public about who I am. It’s too easy to shut down someone who worries about being exposed.

    David BTL, thanks for this.

    Your Kittenship, good question. I’m still trying to figure that one out.

    Joy Marie, I never found it helpful, but of course your mileage may vary.

    Patricia M, that makes a good deal of sense.

    David BTL, that also makes a good deal of sense!

    GP, interesting. Thanks for this.

    Justin, you should record that with a drum track. I’m quite serious.

    Forest Hermit, thanks for this!

    Tony C, you might find my books The Long Descent and The Ecotechnic Future worth reading, as they discuss these points in quite some detail.

    Goldenhawk, thank you for this. “The Valley of the Black Pig” is one of my favorite Yeats poems.

    Justin, yes, we’ll be talking about the Moorish Science Temple. I’ll have to dig out my back issues of Gnosis for the details, though!

    Reloaded15, you know, it just might be.

    Drakonus, thanks forthis.

    Matthew, oh thank the gods. The sooner those get scrapped, the better.

    Denys, most of it was the result of an edict from the governor that forced nursing homes to accept patients without testing them for the coronavirus. That caused a high death toll in the nursing homes, of course.

    David BTL, of course it can go further. As an ideology implodes, its remaining followers become more and more extreme.

    Will, my guess is that he’s just tired. It’s been a harrowing few months, and he’s in his seventies, after all.

    Dusk Shine, I could see it.

    Jen, thanks for this. I’m glad to hear it.

    Irena, I only read Ishmael, and it was basically a rehash of the Book of Genesis with hunter-gatherer tribes as Eden and the invention of agricutlure as original sin. It left a sufficiently sour taste in my mouth that I never went on to any of his other books. I’m glad to hear that he changed his views.

  227. Brian,

    Ireland might suit you because it’s a mini Silicon Valley and extremely socially liberal.

    On the other hand it’s a mini-Silicon Valley – complete with homelessness, stuff on the streets, insane rents, traffic, multiculturalism, mass immigration etc. Our economy is a tax haven dependent on globalization. Our rents and property prices have been deliberately inflated to farcical levels to ‘recover’ from our last housing crash. One of the mechanisms was an influx of foreign tech workers who can afford to pay far more than those earning local salaries. We’re about to get hate speech laws, but if you’re socially liberal that may not bother you. We don’t have much in the way of political drama, but that’s a function of the fact that there’s effectively no opposition to the privileged progressive agenda here.

    This isn’t personal, but the last thing Ireland needs right now are any more well paid tech workers who intend to join the bidding wars in our overcrowded cities, or any more social liberals to add to the existing monoculture and obsession with American politics.

  228. @David Trammel – THANKS! That’s a marvelous picture of Coyote; have saved it to My Pictures and will be printing it out.

  229. Cliff:
    We heard on the radio that there was a surge of corona virus cases in Vermont, looked into it and could only find one confirmed new infection. One. Sure, we’re a small state, but that word “surge” is doing a lot of heavy lifting there.

    Our governor has press conferences three times a week for a couple of hours and manages to disseminate precious little actual information in all that time. He does, however, talk a lot about ‘opening the spigot a quarter turn’ to allow businesses to reopen; he’s been turning that spigot for many weeks and it’s still not fully open. I’ve never heard the word ‘spigot’ so much in my entire life.

    Arkansas and Booklover:
    I did see the report of the man who threatened to loose his bees on rioters. Not sure I’d want to trundle my hives off to some big city to make a point, but otherwise good for him.

  230. Comfort foods – tomato soup and cheese sandwiches.

    In the middle of the night, hot chocolate milk. IF hungry, instant cream of wheat.

  231. Onething,

    That’s the part which really bothers me about these lockdowns: keeping families apart. I find it very hard to think of any circumstance where forcing families apart is justified. This is especially true if someone is ill or dying. I find it truly disturbing how despite isolation being considered a cruel punishment, here it’s being sold as the only loving thing to do.

    I sincerely hope you will recover from your cancer, and that you get to see your children and grandchildren again. I also hope this isn’t too hard on them, but I think you’re right about it scarring young children.

    Methylethyl,

    Thank you for the support! I know how to cook quite well, so I’m not too worried about that: I currently cook dinner two nights a week for my family. I have plenty of recipes which I like and are quick and easy, as well as a few which hare really good but need a bit too much work to be a regular meal.

    For now, my meal planning will be fairly rigid while I figure out what’s a really good deal on something. I have a cookbook from decades ago when it was still necessary to eat at least somewhat in season, and so I’ll be eating in season for the most part: this should help save some some money too. In a month or two once I have a good idea of what a good sale looks like, I’ll start being more flexible, but for now I think I need to be rigid.

    Patriciaormsby,

    You’re quite welcome! I don’t feel like I’m adversely affected by my cell phone, but I’ve had it for six years now so I’m not sure, plus a lot of the effects are not ones which would be obvious right away! I’ve stopped bringing it out with me, and so far it hasn’t been a world ending change, but I’ve come to realize I really, really need a watch if I’m going to ditch the phone. You’re quite right about the shock and adjustment factor, but I’ve decided I have no choice but to shock myself and adjust to getting rid of these sorts of things soon.

    If you don’t mind me asking though, what kind of effects does it have on you?

    JMG,

    In one of the Cosmic Doctrine Posts a discussion of comets came up, and there was talk of how the weirdness might relate to the two newly discovered interstellar bodies. I also figure that an interstellar planet would be disruptive since it doesn’t participate in the intricate patterns of the solar system: it comes from beyond, and then travels through before quickly leaving.

  232. DuskShine,

    I’ve seen quite a few civic nationalists moving in that direction lately. Maybe, in theory, a society composed of every ethnic, cultural and religious group on Earth could be successful (although I very, very much doubt you could even call such a Frankenstein a society).

    But trying to create one in the context of an almost universal religious belief in Equality certainly can’t work. If you start from the dogma that everyone is equal, and therefore all groups and all cultures are equal, of course you end up freaking out when you get unequal outcomes. And people being what we are, the faithful then go off on a witch hunt to sniff out the cause. The miasma of systemic racism or whatever must be to blame.

    Of course even in a mono-ethnic society you’d still have that problem with disparate life outcomes by class, or gender, or religious groups, or even just subcultural identity groups, but at least you’d have one fewer sphere of life for people to get all Robespierre about.

  233. @LunarApprentice: It was The Uncles: Uncle Hugo’s Science Fiction and Uncle Edgar’s Mystery Bookstore. Uncle Hugo’s had been the oldest surviving science fiction bookstore, in North America if not the world.

  234. Lady Kitten,

    “You are in my prayers. I thought you were doing better for a while?”

    Well, yes, I was. As for now, I am not sure. I feel mostly okay. I keep tweaking my program. Do I see progress? Do I see regress? It is rather funny how difficult it can be to answer that. People compliment me on how good I look. Don’t know that that means much.

    My husband is the best man on the planet and we are discussing incarnating together. Except right now I don’t know that I would ever want to return to this place.

    Meanwhile, I’d like to say how much I enjoy your humor. So different from my serious self. I wish you lived next door.

  235. So we should consider the possibility that the eclipse had nothing to do with the PMC flipping out, it was just a coincidence? I don’t like that idea, it’s comforting to be able to say “It’ll go away in a few months,” but I guess we have to.

    More reassuringly, it is also possible that SOME eclipses have the Flipout Effect and others don’t, because of some factor or factors we don’t know about. More research is needed (the story of mankind), and JMG will no doubt meditate on the problem. 😊

  236. Cliff,

    According to the New York Times, we’re heading into Covid 2: Apocalyptic Boogaloo, with dramatic resurgences everywhere across the country and certain death sure to follow. It’s half of the front page coverage, with the riots being the other half. MSNBC is following suit, with some yammering about all the foreign nations conspiring to rig our elections for good measure.
    One think I have wondered about is how does a people, say Germans pre WW2, get into a collective nightmare together. But your above paragraph certainly explains our current one.

    What are brainwashing techniques? Well, relentless propaganda – repetition, repetition, repetition. That is one.

    And then trauma. Traumatized people are much more easily brainwashed (mind controlled). Fear porn is trauma induction.

  237. JMG: Iconochasm… with a drum track. I can accomplish that. I’ll add it to the list. All the practice from poetry readings over the years should help. Thanks for planting the seed!

  238. @Kevin

    “Do you think it’s possible the disruptions and instability we’re witnessing are the emergence of an interstellar planet?”

    Maybe, but my money is on the Kuiper Belt object discovered in 2005 named Eris, goddess of chaos and discord.

    She’s currently sitting at 24′ 30″ Aries, closely square Pluto/Jupiter/Saturn in Capricorn.

  239. I looked up where donations to BLM go and it said that they go through ActBlue to the actual organization, and do not go to the DNC or any Dem candidate, but that the dems also use ActBlue to fundraise.

  240. I’ve been thinking more about the future of the religion of Progress, and I wonder whether it will become more and more fixated on one thing, a vaccine for COVID. Especially if the social justice scene implodes, the COVID vaccine will be the one thing left for them to try to use to restore the church of progress to glory.

    I stated in a comment on the other blog that I thought technological progress ran deeper than the social justice scene, but I’ll clarify that I see the particular subset of technological progress that is medical progress as being the most important tenet of the church of Progress overall. Vaccines are increasingly portrayed as the largest pillar of medical progress. Already, I’m seeing more and more talk of some places extending restrictions “until a vaccine”. People are being asked to basically put their lives on hold for an invention that may or may not come to fruition, and if it does, especially if it is rushed, could cause more harm than the virus.

    I can only see this fixation on a vaccine increasing in the coming months, and much of the fate of the religion of Progress could lie in what happens. If no vaccine comes, or one does that causes enough nasty side effects that can’t be ignored, that may mean the end of the church of Progress as a significant force in America (not sure about other countries). If a vaccine does come along that’s at least decently effective and any side effects are able to be swept under the rug, the religion of Progress may at least temporarily regain some momentum.

  241. Re: the fireworks

    I’ve been hearing about this from all over. Something’s up. At first I guessed someone local must have gotten ahold of a truckload and was selling them cheap and fast, but that doesn’t seem to be it.

    I live in a neighborhood in NYC where it’s customary to hear fireworks most nights from Memorial Day to Labor Day; this is something else. It’s randomly throughout the day and literally nonstop from dusk to 2am. I would guess we hear six or eight hundred a day. They’re not the cheap ones either; some of them shake the walls and vibrate your chest. This stuff costs money. This is every single day since for more than a month, since before the protests began.

    It’s only recently I’ve realized this is not just in NY. Maybe a whole lot of illegal stuff got moved during the lockdown and people are just making their money now, but I’m not sure it’s just that. I’ve seen theories and there are rumors; I don’t know. But if someone’s idea is to keep people vaguely confused and on edge, this wouldn’t be a bad way to do it.

    Jonathan.

  242. Arkansas, if I may: It is funny how the ten young people waiting for the end of the plague in the Decameron elect a king or queen for each day, whose word they all obey for that day. They don’t decide by vote like we probably would!

  243. “A question: Is the situation with regard to coronavirus infections really that much worse in the United States as compared to Europe? I ask, because that is what was repeatedly asserted at Naked Capitalism, and I’m not sure how reliable are official and mainstream statistics.”

    Covid has become so useful politically that I have begun to discount nearly all media about it. Official and mainstream statistics? How about that book, How To Lie With Statistics? If the mainstream opens their mouths, assume they are lying.

  244. Denys,

    “They are unlikely to ever get a decent job again and maybe get put on the no-fly list or its equivalent. ”

    They might get prosecuted.

  245. @Chris: my condolences as well, and blessings on his or her journey. It’s been a year since my eldest cat had her final stroke and was put to sleep. I’d had her since Christmas Eve 2002, and she was a character and a half; I still miss her. If anyone dares say to your face “it was just a dog, get over it,” tell them on my behalf they should get stuffed. As inelegantly as you like, too.

  246. Those who think, barring something utterly far out and unforeseen, that Trump could lose the election are dreaming. Therefore, if Biden wins it will certainly have required cheating. I doubt Michelle is as strong a candidate as many think. Therefore, the civil war scenario might actually be tenable. Although, in that case, I’d have a hard time not taking their side as we Americans are in fact enjoined to retake our republic in the event of a tyrannical takeover.

    It would not be a revolution, as all the right would want is a restoration of the republic and the constitution.

  247. JMG, (Re: Wesley) I think you did a post on the shape of time a while ago. I can’t remember the Apollonian shape of time. Could you kindly give the link, or a quick summary?

  248. @Denys

    The NY death rate seems to be a combination of over-reporting (i.e. anyone who died of any cause, including car accidents, and who also tested positive, was counted as a covid death, per CDC guidelines), AND NY mandated that nursing homes take in covid patients in order to make room in hospitals or something. With the predictable result that the people most vulnerable were guaranteed to be exposed. FL took the opposite route and forbade any patients to be re-admitted to their nursing homes after leaving a hospital (for any reason!), until they had tested negative, despite the initial 1-week lag in test results. We seem to have done a lot better on nursing-home infections as a result, despite having a crazy number of nursing homes! The people I know who work in the homes are sick to death of being tested all the time now, but it seems to be working.

  249. Re “at this point my political astrology has turned into my single largest income source” I wonder if you’re willing to explain how this happened, John. Many years have passed since I did horoscope readings for money, so I have no pecuniary interest. It’s the social nexus between astrologer, politico, & crowd that intrigues me.

    Why the crowd? Well, cultural transmission of wisdom is vital for future generations. Astrology is a seriously flawed vehicle for that – yet a talented practitioner who achieves rapport with clients will impress them sufficiently to produce positive effects down the time stream. The cultural problem is compounded by the private business format, however, so disseminating gnosis becomes extremely rare.

    I realise you may not mean interpreting natal charts of politicians for money – since you do ingress readings here perhaps it’s just that sort of thing. I discarded that technique back in the ’80s since comments in the astromedia never validated it. Astrologers are ever so reluctant to match their predictions with the ensuing reality! I still routinely run political event charts as a hobby though – only those with exact times reliably sourced. I had to overcome my bias against traditional astrology when I read Joan Quigley’s book explaining how she elected the times/dates for Reagan/Gorbachev summits. Since they ended the Cold War her technique obviously worked!

    I presume you are aware that in his autobiography Reagan informed us that the prominent Hollywood astrologer Carroll Righter was “an old friend of the family” – presumably from the 1920s/30s when he got into acting in the movies. In the mid-’80s I compiled a series of profiles: Famous Astrologers Throughout the Ages, ended up with 50/60 or thereabouts who achieved huge political influence in their cultures at the top level. Never got around to publishing that – still in the archive somewhere. Thrasyllus, for instance, was so good at it that the Emperor Tiberius made him the equivalent of prime minister – according to the classics professor who did the research (Wikipedia doesn’t have that bit).

    Incidentally, I used electional timing in a political context myself in the early ’90s, when I led the consensus process within our Green Party to get the standing orders & constitution adopted. Took a couple of years of redrafting lengthy documents on my computer, then posting them to the others at the right time. I’ve used an astroclock for optimal timing since it was first introduced by Rob Hand’s software company in ’88. We now have three Green ministers as part of our triple-party govt – so my practice of astropolitics did work, insofar as it generated consensus via catalysis, establishing the party on a sound operational basis. A sequence of acts of magic! Well, if you define magic as transforming collective reality…

  250. @Violet,
    I think the craziness has really blown up in the last week.

    Protesters tore down a Grant statue in San Francisco because 1) he was deeded a slave, whom he later freed, but apparently not soon enough; and 2) his wife’s family owned slaves. Ooh boy, wait ’til they find out about Lincoln. Did they know he spoke disparagingly about blacks and his wife’s family owned slaves?

    Oh, wait, in Washington DC and Boston they want to tear down statues of Lincoln showing him standing next to a kneeling slave. (The Boston statue is a replica.) The kneeling slave is a sign of subservience. Never mind that the statue was commissioned by Frederick Douglass and paid for by former slaves. The slaves were well-meaning, but obviously misinformed.

    In Milwaukee, they tore down the statue of a Union abolitionist soldier. Did they mistake the uniform? And they say people in Florida are stupid.

    The state of Rhode Island is considering changing its official name from “The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations” to just “The State of Rhode Island.” Plantation is a trigger word. I’m waiting for a boob in the Massachusetts legislature to submit a bill to rename Plimoth Plantation.

  251. As an environmental economist who works on Ostroms findings for hid PhD, and also is reading The Fundamentals of Esoteric Knowledge by Jean Dubuis due to your recommendation, your reference to the tragedy of the commons and trolling made my day. thank you! Aside from Dubuis, any other recommendation? I have also been learning some divination through tarot, but I would be happy to do some more applied work there too.

  252. @ Christopheer & JMG about fireworks:

    It is a local custom.

    We moved to RI in 1967; the custom was going strong then, as it still is.

    It’s part of something larger here, namely, widespread disinclination throughout most of the state to take the whole idea of laws vs. crimes very seriously, let alone to follow the laws’ demands. RI has been a colony and state of outlaws ever since its founding in the 1600s.

    Of course, the locals don’t like this to be all that widely known outside of RI. Lawlessness benefits from flying under the radar of high-faluting privilege.

    Sometimes local customs do go away. Back in 1967, there would be a lot of bonfires set ablaze in the streets at Hallowe’en. Not for a few decades now …

  253. Kevin, fair enough. Within the metaphor of the Cos.Doc., an interstellar planet would likely have the same sort of effect as a comet — an indication that a solar system on one of the other planes was coming close for a while.

    Your Kittenship, ask me again after I’ve delineated a dozen more eclipses and seen how they played out.

    Reloaded15, what you contemplate, you imitate…

    Justin, excellent. I’ll look forward to hearing that “Iconochasm” has become the next big YouTube sensation.

    Isaac, funny, that’s not what the fine print looked like when I read it.

    Kashtan, you know, that’s entirely plausible.

    Aidan, thanks for this.

    Lunarapprentice, I’m having trouble finding the post. The short form is that in the Apollonian (classical Hellenistic and Roman) view, time begins in chaos, and then a benevolent despot arises and imposes a just order on the cosmos that remains forever. Think of Zeus pounding the stuffing out of the Titans, the Roman Empire conquering the world, the conscious self imposing the rule of reason on the passions — it’s all the same shape. What shattered the classical world was the horrifying realization that the order of the cosmos had a pull date.

    Dennis, I cast ingress and eclipse charts and post them on my SubscribeStar and Patreon platforms, and people pay me $5 or $10 a month for access. My ingress charts are accurate enough that I have some hundreds of subscribers/patrons. In contrast to your experience, I find that ingress charts that are interpreted according to traditional methods — Raphael and H.S. Green are good sources here — are quite accurate, sometimes astonishingly so. All that’s necessary is that you discard modern, post-Dane Rudhyar personality-centered astrology — useful as a tool for psychoanalysis, but useless as a means of generating accurate predictions — and return to the more straightforward methods of Llewellyn George, Ivy Goldstein-Jacobson, et al. (These two are among my main influences in astrology).

    Eolus, well, what are you looking for? There are a lot of study programs in esotericism these days, fitted to various interests. As for Ostrom, I thought her work was excellent — I encountered Hardin’s Tragedy of the Commons back in the early 1980s in my first pass through college, and I thought she did a fine job of building on his thesis to show how the tragedy could be avoided.

    Robert, thanks for this! Maybe it’s just that the Rhode Island spirit is starting to spread more widely…

  254. Hi JMG and others.
    A clip from Finland: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22uUmgiVOJA

    That girl says that its year 2020 , complains about racism, and thinks that Blacks have “a right to destroy the buildings they have built (in Finland)” Ok. Im certain she knows very little about history in general.
    I suppose she is a Somali. They kept slaves until 1930s or so. Bantus were and propably still are seen being lower race by them.

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

  255. You all are forgetting the obvious pressure point: Mohammed (the one who needs no introduction) was a slaveowner. The Quran lays out restrictions on slavery, requiring Muslims to not enslave other Muslims, and to treat their slaves reasonably well, which is irrefutable evidence that the Quran is okay with slavery.

    (I realize that most Muslims alive today reject slavery, and I bet if you took a poll of Southerners you would get the same result)

  256. Aw, thank you, Onething! ☺️ I wish you lived next door too. Heck, I wish we all lived next door to each other, although that would probably be illegal in modern America—we’d get ticketed for having too much fun, or for first-degree curiosity, or some such taboo violation, and then the Wokesters would probably tear down our statue of John Michael Greeg, and it just wouldn’t be the same…

  257. I didn’t include data to my NYC hysteria question – the fatality rate is around 8% for Queens, NYC coronavirus https://bao.arcgis.com/covid-19/jhu/county/36081.html
    Whereas (picking random midwest city) Tulsa, OK is 2.4% https://bao.arcgis.com/covid-19/jhu/county/40143.html

    It’s a pretty wide gap of percent of people who die. Maybe it is in the coding of “with covid” vs “from covid”. I just feel like there is something else science doesn’t track going on in NYC in particular. Thought maybe you felt it too.

  258. I would really like some advice in understanding the dream world more than I currently do. I have very high dream recall and have to let them go myself. I am a lucid dreamer, can fly at will (only while dreaming) and also suffer from sleep paralysis. The sleep paralysis is not frequent and due to the lucidity, I am now able to recognize it and deal with it fairly well. It is still terrifying. I tried to confront the “entity” once and it tried to kill me. I don’t do that any more. My dreams are never happy ones, there is always a problem to be resolved and these are often thematic. Occasionally, I am able to dream of encountering hidden doors or rooms in houses that are full of wondrous things. These are the only pleasant dreams that I am able to have and I wish for them.
    Anyway, If anyone could point me in the right direction, I would be grateful. Thank you .

  259. @Goldenhawk – I’m also suspecting Eris has something to do with it. She was considered briefly a maybe-10th planet following her discovery in 2005, and was demoted in 2006 at the same time Pluto was.

    Which means, following the example of Ceres, if JMG’s postulate of a Saturn spin-up cycle pre-discovery and spin-down post-demotion holds true, is that Eris is currently in the same situation Pluto is – it’s still an active if waning influence until 2036, and it has been since about 1975 (a period she has spent entirely in Aries) in the same way Pluto has been of influence since 1901.

  260. Esteemed Archdruid and often-intriguing commentariat: my wife and I just journeyed out and back from SoCal to Wyoming to attend the wedding of a niece; what follows are some observations from that journey.

    In a small Utah town along the Interstate, I phoned to find out if we could get a room at the Motel 6. The lady on the phone assured me we could. When we arrived, she was behind a plexiglass partition, deep weariness sagging her down into her chair. As we booked the room, it became obvious that she, the manager, had had to lay off almost all the staff and was doing pretty much all the work, including laundry. In that motel of 70-some rooms, that night there were only three other cars in the parking lot. She called us to make sure all was OK with our room. It almost brought tears to my eyes.

    Arriving in Wyoming, my wife was able to get her hair cut, something neither she nor I had been able to do in California without multi-day-in-advance appointments.

    We noticed at stops along the way an odd characteristic: the more upscale the business, the more likely it would have elaborate employee shields, extensive signs on the door specifying masks and expected behavior, and limits on numbers of patrons. Wow, it was almost like Covid-19 was out to get the affluent class but could care less about working-class deplorables!

    On our return to California, we did a bit of a tour through a landscape I love, the Mountain West and Desert Southwest. Policies for parks and other public places were all over the map: some parks had closed their campgrounds, some had made them multiple-days-in-advance reservation-only, some campgrounds were open but had selected things closed (like half of the toilets), some were completely as before the pandemic. Some museums and visitor centers were closed, some were open.

    We also noticed that among our fellow travelers, a certain group stood out, what I started to dub “PH’s” (Privileged Hipsters.) Said PH’s would ostentatiously don their high-end black sculptured face masks that reeked of wealth (really, do those face coverings cost $100 each? Our home-sewn masks made us look like paupers in comparison) long before any sign requesting them. Some would step out of their expensive powerful luxury vehicles already wearing their masks! We started to claim “points” if we saw a couple in a Mercedes/Audi/Tesla driving with their masks on. Points were scored!

    I later, after hearing conversations from some of the PH’s along our journey, decided that they should actually be dubbed PW’s (Privileged Wokesters) instead. And the “P” sometimes got a different label: Posturing, Pretentious, Presumptious, Pampered, and so forth. Nome of the PW’s we saw had children. Many had obvious signals of status; Ivy League colleges like Yale and Harvard were often called out on their clothing.

    One restaurant in Colorado where we ate lunch had a sign stating you had to wear a mask to enter the building. We chose the outside seating in the patio before the entrance, so I didn’t don my mask. “Sir” cautioned one of the staff, “you need to wear your mask.” Huh? I put it on while we walked to our table. After our meal, the former editor in me rose to the surface and I told one of the staff their sign should leave off the last two words and just say “must wear a mask to enter.” They informed me they could not alter the wording, because some government entity had dictated that EVERY food establishment had to have the SAME wording on their sign by their entrance. Sheesh.

    Face masks seemed to make everyone, young or old, hard of hearing. I’d be asked what name the restaurant servers should call for our order; pretty much every time the Scottish “Brrr” at the beginning of my name would be stripped off, so I became “Ryan” on the trip. Talking to my daughter recently, she said her Japanese-derived name has now become “Sarah” in the Covid-19 soundscape. “Mmmrrbb buhh” “Huh?” “Mmmmrrbb buhh!” “Oh, Okayyy…”

    At one restaurant I looked around for napkins and a stick to stir our coffee; couldn’t find any. The staff apologized, said they couldn’t put any things like that out, then grabbed the requested items and handed them to me. This makes no sense epidemiologically!

    A bottle of Tabasco sauce? So sorry, can’t do that, but then they’d bring a little plastic cup with Tabasco in it that they’d poured. A bit of waste for an illusion of higher protection.

    As we drove into California, the number of RVs and passenger cars on the freeways diminished and the number of 18-wheelers increased.

    An enjoyable and memorable trip, with some very odd class undertones.

    Cheers to all!

  261. @jgregg78 – well, Rhode Island could stand to have its name shortened. And yes, the term ‘Plantation” meant something quite different back when New England was settled, but the Southern economy – well established by 1776 – changed the meaning to what it has today. So the term is misleading just by the meaning sliding out from under the original meaning. Just as a man who referred to Mrs. Gotrocks as “my mistress” would result in social media reporting that he was her sugar daddy.

  262. JMG

    An unpleasant notion has occurred to me concerning the possibility the “Left” under its various banners has, unwittingly or otherwise, created an malevolent egregore that is accelerating the current chaos.

    What do you think? Am I going whacko, or what?

  263. John Michael Greer says: I have to hold the line against creeping kittens!

    What about cute little puppies??? Those big loving eyes, floppy ears, lolling tongues, just waiting to love on ya! Maybe kittens once a month, and puppies once a month!

    Lathechuck says: As the US approaches a demographic point at which “white” people are less than 50% of the population; do you think the category will be re-defined? For example, rather than “one drop” of Black blood making a person Black, suppose one drop of White blood was enough to make a person white? There’s a book “How the Irish Became White” (1995); if my Irish ancestors could become white, why not people with Asian, Hispanic, and/or mixed ethnicity?

    There has been talk on how the Asians are already honorary whites, and debate on how long it will take for Hispanics to become white. Actually, being white no longer means “someone who is descended from Europeans” but is caught up with a complicated system of what you believe about economics, politics, Western culture, and probably other things that I haven’t figured out yet. I also haven’t figured out how this defines people like Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele, Walter Williams, etc. Maybe they are honorary whites?

    patriciaormsby says: Anything you’ve done to alter your body from the form that your parents gave to you is frowned on.

    What is the attitude in Japan regarding transgendered people? Do they face a lot of discrimination?

    Joy Marie

  264. Does anyone else think we’re seeing the first steps in the breakup of the U.S? And if so, shouldn’t the 2 sides start negotiating NOW, not ten years from now when the actual separations are taking place, on what to do about places like Austin, Texas, and Yellow Springs, Ohio?

  265. Mark L,

    71 batches !!! By Zeus, that quite the production you’ve got going. A business venture ? If not, maybe consider starting one. Mine is for home consumption .. or on offer to friends and acquaintances .. or .. to any local warlord, as an ‘inducement’ to be kept in good favour when things get really hinky. ‘;]

    methylthyl,

    My sigil is the much benighted cranefly. But I hold an almost religious reverence towards the Honeybee. To me, it represents a manifestation of nature’s will, in spite of many of my fellow human’s neglectful actions.

    As an aside, I had an empty hive, to which I added 2 full comb of house bees .. which happened to include a partially formed queen cell .. back in May, whilst inspecting another vigorous colony of mine. Today, when I opened it up for a looksie, I noticed a mighty plump & active queen scurrying around in the frame I was holding. I closed things up right quick, so as not to disturb things further.. So it looks like I now have 2 viable hives going.
    Still have to couple of empty hives to fill …

  266. Jmg, another thing I want to mention is this library book I got recently called “Backout” by Matthew warren.
    Published last year, it is a stunning expose of some serious issues concerning The Australian power grid.
    Essentially what has happened is that through some very badly thought out interventions by the government, motivated by politics rather than understanding what it takes to run a grid , there is no longer enough firm power generation, and the large amount of solar PV and wind has been integrated in such a way as to cause problems with the grid such as oversupplying electricity to the point that it causes voltage to surge beyond the limit of 250v.
    There’s more, but I’m going to write about it on my GW account once I’ve finished taking notes.

  267. @Scotlyn, re comfort foods:

    Mine is crescant rolls stuffed with chicken and cream cheese. My mother always made this for me and several of my siblings on our birthdays when we were children, and it remains my comfort food to this day.

    @Kashtan,

    Like you I’ve noticed the insanity of so many otherwise-rational people insisting, with hardly any thought on the matter, that of course we can’t let things go back to normal until somebody develops a Covid vaccine, and not really caring that people have been trying to vaccinate against various members of the coronavirus family for decades without figuring it out. Early last month I wrote a post on my own blog about how this insistence is one of the plainest pieces of evidence that our society’s collective judgment has been clouded by the Myth of Progress: https://www.twilightpatriot.com/2020/05/covid-vaccines-and-myth-of-progress.html

  268. Hi Walt,

    During President Clinton’s terms, our rulers decided it was a good idea to educate fools. You are now seeing the results. I fear that to get things back to normal you’d have to shut down all college courses except for the ones that are really needed in order to learn a necessary profession: doctor, architect, engineer, lawyer, that sort of thing. (Cue jokes about whether lawyers are necessary.😄). Then, after the rot has been mostly excised—my best guess is that would take at least 20 years—cautiously start re-introducing the humanities, if there’s anyone left who’s literate enough to benefit from them.

    The above is about as likely to happen as JMG changing this site to All Cute, All The Time.

    Are divinity schools necessary? I don’t think so. The clergy of the old polytheistic societies did fine without them, and none of the Apostles had a doctorate of divinity. I do not count less pretentious, everyday religious schooling such as Torah academies, by the way. That sort of thing is a whole other kettle of religious fish. (You can tell the religious fish, they’re the ones multiplying alongside the loaves. 😄)

  269. @JMG, @Robert M

    Insofar as I grew up, I grew up on the CT shore, and the fireworks thing was always, well, a thing. It built up through the entire month of June – the evenings crackled with fireworks, and when I was a kid I could look out my bedroom window towards the beaches and see the colored sparkles above the treetops. Of course, it all culminated on the Fourth. What a show! I do love me some fireworks!

    In fact, I actually worked for a couple of summers in the mid-70’s as a pyrotechnician – maybe the most fun job I ever had in all my years. We would ‘requisition’ a couple of shells from each show that we did (baseball games, grand openings, etc.), and by the time the Fourth rolled around we would have quite a good show’s worth. When we finished our last paying gig, we would speed down to Our Beach, set our mortars, and give the home crowd something to cheer!

  270. Violet,

    FWIW, I agree with your take pretty much completely. (I just hope it comes swiftly and in unmistakable quantity…)

    Grover

  271. JMG,

    Fair enough! I’ve always respected your ability to admit that you might, in fact, be wrong.

    On another note…

    I’ve been seeing Jesus Christ quite clearly in the North, when I call on Uriel for the last week or so – sharper than any of the others have ever been. To give you some idea of my aversion to this, I just recorded the phenomenon in my journal tonight, which makes it all the more unmistakable. Maybe it’s all the Dion Fortune I’ve been reading lately. I feel like she gives me permission to embrace the religion I grew up with and am surrounded by, but also to continue to practice the Cabalistic Magic I’ve gotten comfortable with, and invested so much energy in, over the last 13 months.

    But where does that leave me? Is it possible for Him to hold down the Earth corner while figures from other traditions take up residence, one-by-one, in the other three? Do I need to explore assigning the other directions to other aspects of Christ’s makeup? (This is pretty much the generic Christ I’m seeing.) Should I just roll with the three remaining archangels plus Jesus, the way it’s going, and see what happens next? There’s no getting Uriel back; I’ve tried. Uriel has left the building.

    This is the first time I’ve had a conscious being impose him/herself on my circle – basically uninvited, but not unwelcome. I know my dad would say that He’s trying to get my attention to save my soul, but I’m not interested in that stuff. I don’t believe in eternal Hellfire, nor the need to be saved from it.

    I will meditate and do divination on the subject, of course, starting tomorrow, but just wanted to hear your take. Or the take of others here, for that matter.

    Thanks in advance for your advice.
    Grover

  272. @Stephen D and Methylethyl (If I may) regarding blueberries,
    I have had success even with clay soil in a former rice paddy, using peat, which I know is a non-renewable resource, but if you use it as an initial amendment in poor soil, you can use renewable resources to maintain it after that. I run off to the mountains now and then and collect pine needles. Fruit scraps and coffee grounds are welcome. No lime–use fish bones and entrails run through the blender. If your spouse is applying lime nearby like mine is, you may need to take steps to avoid too much alkalinity. I keep the plants I value most at the center of the patch. If the leaves start turning pale and nothing is working, find a rusty piece of iron like a nail and stick it in the ground near the roots. Bog plants are adapted to high iron content.

  273. Simo, there you have the myth of progress in its final, debased form. “It’s 2020, so we get to trash everything.”

    Justin, you’re assuming that the people you’re addressing are going to think about what you say, and not just scream “That’s racist!” at you. I’m far from sure you’re correct.

    Denys, something’s going on, no question. Deliberately or accidentally, though, New York saw to it that the virus got to the people most likely to die of it.

    Wyrdsister, I’m sorry to say dreamwork isn’t something I know much about. Anyone else?

    SMJ, I have no idea. We’ll have to see.

    Bryan, interesting. Thanks for the data points.

    Morfa, thanks for this.

    Klcooke, you’re not going whacko. This kind of debased group consciousness is quite common in mob scenes, and plays a large role in whipping people up to extreme actions. The thing that makes it dangerous is that it’s not under anybody’s control, and can turn in random directions — the recent flurry of statue-topplings of abolitionists shows how this can happen. The media and politicians who are feeding it may want to be careful, as it could turn on them next…

    Joy Marie, “The Creeping Puppies” sounds like a sort of cutesy Lovecraftian story, in which the main character ends up devoured by cute baby dogs.

    J.L.Mc12, California’s made the same kind of mistakes over here.

    Sgage, so noted!

    Grover, have you asked him? He’s better suited to advise you about that than I am.

  274. @ JMG – i know many of them fled to Canada, so what’s your point? Lots of confederates fled to Brazil and Argentina after the civil war. Here’s an article about their descendants:

    : https://www.businessinsider.com/photos-us-confederacy-americana-brazil-2017-5?amp

    You even said the middle ground is more monuments, so if we are handing out monuments like they are participation trophies, then the loyalists should have more than a few statues standing around on the grounds of various state capitols, courthouses and municipal buildings.

  275. Archdruid & Company,

    As I describe my observations of current events I’m purposefully going to be avoiding going into too much detail for the purpose of brevity, and avoiding definition to allow you to meditate upon what you observe.

    Lets start with the near total lack of leadership in the country. We are facing a crisis of leadership at nearly every level of government. Take for example our reaction to the recent pandemic, did anyone else notice that we managed to be the only country to politicize the response to a virus? Even if the virus wasn’t as deadly as expected, the fact that the response to it turned into a political minefield, with people choosing their actions based on which party they supported is a stunning level of absurd. One wonders how high does the body count actually have to be before our leaders manage a unified response?

    The fallout from the response to the virus will be felt the next time we have a major outbreak. If it’s more deadly and people don’t respond wisely, the body count is going to be extremely high. A problem that could have been neatly avoided if our leadership had simply chosen a course of action and rallied us all in support.

    We have three categories of leadership statesmen, demagogues, and technocrats. The former two are what appear during times of crisis and change, while the latter thrives during times of stability. Statesmen, simply put, add complexity to an ecosystem, and create more ecological niches for an expanding management aristocracy to populate. Demagogues simplify and reduce the number of ecological niches. Technocrats get things done within any stable system, they are fantastic at navigating the complex relationships that already exist, but not at forging new ones.

    Trump is a demagogue, we have no statesmen that I can see, and our technocrats are flailing because the system is no longer stable.

    In a best case scenario we have people whether they are statesmen, demagogue, or technocrats is irrelevant, that are capable of responding to problems on the horizon through planning and adaptation. Notice that NONE of our current crop of leadership at any level thought to make plans to help 40 million unemployed men and women. No one even realized the extent of the damage that stopping the whole economy would cause. Think about that for a second. We literally stopped the economy, and no one had a plan on how to deal with the fallout. Two weeks into the lockdown, and how many of our leaders actually came up with a viable plan to deal with the aftermath? Three weeks? Now?

    Meanwhile our demagogue instead of creating a sense of unity of purpose, a painfully missed opportunity for any would be nationalist, added to the doubt of the instruments of state. Not that he’s entirely at fault here, since there is plenty of blame to go around. However, his deconstruction is hitting its mark since we suddenly find ourselves in the middle of a conflict of aspirants.

    This is the second major problem; we have a conflict of people aspiring to enter the higher levels of our economic hierarchy, while the number of positions are shrinking. Notice that BLM’s leadership is all college educated, and have deep ties with the younger factions of the democratic party. Left leaning white aspirants haven’t noticed that their PoC companions have placed them in a subordinate position.

    One of my close friends, also Indian, is an old school anarchist and has medical training from his time in the service. He was at the Seattle protests in the first few weeks offering medical aid to people, but in the second week of the establishment of CHAZ, he left. He told me that the same thing that happened to occupy and other movements had happened in Seattle, the democratic activists has moved in and taken over the movement. This, as we know, is standard operating procedure. These activists are earning their place in the remaining hierarchy, the cause of the working classes be damned.

    They’re also furiously attacking any possible points of weakness, opposing voices, to open up niches for their own. Of course all this noise leaves an ocean of unaddressed problems.

    This is where it gets personal, and I apologize in advance for the anger I’m about to put down upon this forum.

    But there are currently 40 F**king million of unemployed. The cops are an under trained and over equipped security force for the rich, and exist as a barrier between the poor and their throats. There are 40 million unemployed people and the government does nearly nothing to help them.

    The anger and disjoined rage we’re all seeing? Yeah, it’s that. Not really that complex. Huge numbers have been abandoned by the people we elect to protect us, instead of helping they manipulate. The problems with police brutality, and I don’t care about racial differences here, with under or unemployment, with the never ending streams of s*it that seem to come down upon us is the source of this rage. A rage built wholly of pain and hopelessness.

    So, final point. Is this planned, is this an insurrection, or is it random? The answer is all of the above. People are grabbing at opportunities created by the utter incompetence of our leadership. We have radical factions infiltrating and lashing out, we have angry mobs on the street driven by nothing but their passion, we have organized insurgents, and a whole lot more. Figure out who is in your surroundings. I know, as a matter of fact, that the mobs that tore down Col. Heg’s statue aren’t an insurgency. None of the patterns match up, this is a mob with no direction.

    You know what we haven’t had? A mass casualty event from either side. If someone wanted to ignite something, that’s what has to happen. I guarantee that the pentagon is whispering into the ear of every governor “DO NOT OVERREACT.”

    All the potential opposition leaders? Well when two rays of opposing energy meet, they cancel each other out. In the center is a subjective silence. Just because you can’t see those thousands of tiny new leaders, doesn’t mean they aren’t rising. Their motion seems like stillness in contrast to the frantic movements around them.

    Regards,

    Syfen

  276. Onething:
    And then trauma. Traumatized people are much more easily brainwashed (mind controlled). Fear porn is trauma induction.

    I think that’s an excellent point. I think people in this society have layers of trauma we can barely even recognize, and the incessant media bombardment probably ignites the trauma into a rolling conflagration.

    @Beekeeper in Vermont:

    To be fair, it looks to me like the overall infection rate in the U.S. is still fairly high. I’m not sure how to square that with the dropping fatalities, though.

  277. Lady cutekitten and everyone

    The wokesters wouldn’t find our statute and topple it. We would put a glamour spell on them saying ‘this isn’t the statue you are looking for, move along.’ 😉

  278. @Arkansas

    “The problem, as Orlov put it pithily, is how to keep democracies from turning into oligarchies.”

    To my mind, democracies falter in the face of out-of-control economic inequality, which almost inevitably increases over time. If that is true, the solution would be to incorporate economic checks and balances into a national Constitution, to prevent this from happening.

    @Denys et al. re: Covid in NYC

    I have three hypotheses for the high death rate in NYC (aside from the issue of discharging patients into nursing homes):

    1. There is reasonably strong evidence from animal flu studies that disease severity is related to the viral dose to which one is exposed. NYC is fairly unique in the US in its extremely dense packing of humanity and near-universal reliance on its packed subway system, which in the last pre-lockdown weeks could easily have exposed many people to higher doses than were experienced elsewhere in the country.

    2. This density also meant that once a critical number of people were infected, the disease spread extremely rapidly. The highest antibody-positive rates are around 25%, but some studies have indicated that many people who experience no or mild symptoms don’t produce antibodies, so the actual exposure rate was likely much higher. The death rate was not, of course, 8%. In all likelihood it was around 0.5% or less among those who were exposed. That frightening statistic simply reflects the fact that testing missed a vast majority of cases during the peak of the outbreak.

    3. Finally, there is evidence that disease outcomes are worse in areas with high levels of particulate air pollution, and central NYC would certainly qualify.

  279. I had an interesting experience today which I think provides a useful data point about the craziness that has so rapidly spread throughout the culture. I’m an elementary school teacher and am currently working on a Master’s in Education. I’m fortunate that my school is paying for me to do this, otherwise it would absolutely not be worth the cost. I’m halfway through the degree and so far every class I’ve taken has been more focused on Critical Theory than anything else. We’ve spent far more time discussing whiteness than we have discussed teaching students. As much as I would love to speak my mind, most of the time I don’t. I’m time-starved as is and I’m really just trying to earn the degree. However, in my final paper for one of my classes I had had enough and I politely and respectfully laid out a case for why this way of viewing reality distorts things and is dangerous. Much to my surprise I received 100% on the paper and the professor gave me better feedback than she had on any of my other work. She said that she appreciated the perspective and felt that I had made valid arguments. Honestly, she seemed relieved. This is a professor who just taught an entire course that was based on viewing everything through the lens of intersectionality. I’m beginning to think at least a large minority of the people espousing this view know that they are selling a bill of goods but are too afraid to acknowledge it.

  280. Hi Everybody,

    Last week in the comments section I suggested creating a new religious society for Druids. At the risk of shifting gears away from our ongoing national nightmare, I wanted to talk about that for a moment, in case anybody missed the discussion there or at the Dreamwidth.

    This is the perfect time for a new Druid church, and not just because of the collapse of ADF and other pagan organizations into fratricidal Leftism leaving many former members spiritually homeless. As we all know, the United States and much of the Western world are descending into chaos, violence and spiritual warfare. We have the opportunity to create something lasting and beautiful that can stand against the madness of the age.

    This is obviously early days yet, but there is already clearly a lot of interest and enthusiasm for this project. Where the project currently stands is very much at the beginning phase. Review, research, and reflection, as JMG said last week. It’s obviously too soon to have any kind of timeline, but I wanted to share that this is definitely happening, and extend an invitation to anyone who wants to get involved!

    @ JMG– I’ve been working on a reply to your email for the last few days…it will probably be long and may ramble more than a little. I will do my best to keep it to a readable length.

  281. Your Kittenship,

    I don’t think a planned partition of the United States is possible at this point, and it seems to me like the people who talk up such a scenario are imposing a false sense of geographical division on a nation that’s actual divided by class and by urban vs. rural.

    In 1860, you could (try to) split the country in half, because not a single person in the North voted for Breckenridge and not a single person in the South voted for Lincoln. Nowadays, you haven’t got that – in 2016, for instance, in 37 out of 50 states, neither Clinton nor Trump got more than 60 percent of the vote.

    So an orderly partition based on which party outnumbers the other by three to two is a nonstarter. When the division comes, I don’t think it will be a controlled division, and I don’t think that ideology will drive it. It will simply be a matter of the regime in Washington becoming too weak to keep order, after which someone else – either war band leaders or revitalized state/local governments – will have to fill its place.

  282. @ Kevin Taylor Burgess – Ah, memories. I moved out of home, the morning of my 18th birthday. I had an apartment ($49 a month), a job ($1.25 per hour) and a room mate to share expenses. So, we spent the day moving and settling in. It was late. It was dinnertime. We had a can of tuna, mayo, bread. What we didn’t have was … a can opener. As you can probably gather from the above stats, this was way before “24 hour everything.” (1967). We adapted. Opened the tuna can with a screw driver and a boot. 🙂 . Best tuna sandwiches I had, in my life.

    Welcome to the great adventure! Might want to consider keeping a bit of a journal. Lew

  283. @JMG,

    “Philosophers don’t create worldviews” – no question there! I was just curious about where in classical literature the Apollonian shape of time first shows up in its enduring form; if it reached maturity with Virgil, then Virgil’s the answer.

    Also, I had an interesting thought recently about two of the other neo-Spenglerian culture-forms, viz, that America probably has such a strong tradition of glorifying entrepreneurs because both the Faustian and Tamanous worldviews have an important place for them.

    In the Faustian worldview, the hero is often a creative individual who works hard to follow a lifelong path of adventure that nobody else is following alongside him (and with no authority figures to tell him how to follow it). Because of his perseverence, he creates or discovers a great new way of doing things which will soon be adopted everywhere – and that’s why if you work hard and innovate, you too could be the next Thomas Edison or Col. Sanders or Steve Jobs or whoever.

    The Tamanous version starts in much the same way, but it doesn’t need to end with the hero’s new creation zooming out to infinity as everybody else rushes to adopt it – and dropping that detail makes the story fit the actual experiences of a much greater number of real-life entrepreneurs!

    And that also might explain why (today’s) American culture is at such a loss as to what to do with Johnny Appleseed. After all, his life story didn’t end with thousands of his followers going out to plant orchards just like his across the known world. But in the Tamanous framework, John Chapman makes an an excellent saint – a man who followed a path all his own, had no interest in winning immitators, and yet left a trail for good in hundreds of communities across the new republic.

  284. Dear JMG,

    The mexican economist Carstens said something very accurate which I think has a wider scope that he thinks it does. He said: “If the US economy gets a cold, the Mexican economy gets the Spanish flu” (no pun intended…). I think this is happening culturally as well. Though here in the US there has been a lot of panic as well as a lot of pushback towards the panic of the covid situation the projection of that in the mexican society has been the most mindless I have seen since I came into incarnation. As in people would actually be very hostile to you if they found you in the streets. I think it is something of the sort of “The big guy is panicking, we should panic even more just to be safe!”. As a mexican by birth and an romantic by nature, I find this situation very troubling and I also see, as the close neighbors that the US and Mexico are that there could be a beautiful relationship between the two countries should the situations be right. Do you have any suggestions of what would such situations be? What would the solutions that satisfy the needs that the current “bad habits” palliate? The two that come to mind are of course, stopping the promotion of illegal immigration which is bad for both countries. As two different economies, the american economy gets unbalanced by the need for money, even if it is little by the mexican immigrants and the whole wages comes down, but they also loose because they get treated very poorly, they flee the country were much help is needed. The other is the policies like the free trades that allow for all the mexican goods to be exported at unfair prices and the local economy to be disrupted.

    An earthquake happened just recently in Mexico and the morality seems to be really low. There was a solar halo on the next day. To me it would mean as don’t give up hope, better things are coming. Do you happen to know of the symbolism of solar halos? I hope I am right as I share the views that the polish sculptor Stanislav Sukalski had of both countries as a unified an harmonious relationship of the fusion of the American engineering and wit blessed by the wisdom of the old sages that once inhabited this whole “New World”. I am sharing his sculpture for the curious. https://ibb.co/kHCpVmJ

  285. @ Joy Marie

    I have been meaning to ask the commentariat what they thought of that book for awhile! I picked up a copy of Love Does Not Condemn: The World, the Flesh, and the Devil According to Platonism, Christianity, Gnosticism, and A Course in Miracles by one Kenneth Wapnick at one of the used bookstores in town on a strange whim just before the lockdowns started in my neck of the woods, and it has been slooooow going. The Course in Miracles is the very end of the book, so I haven’t got there yet, but I mostly wanted to read it for the background on Gnosticism, Platonism and early Christianity which has been very interesting to track into Dion Fortune’s Cosmic Doctrine and the Golden Dawn Cabala, and God is Red that I am reading simultaneously.

    I got to a point yesterday in the author’s summary of how the destruction of the Gnostic literature “must remain as one of the sadder elements in Christian history”:

    :”To believe that the destruction and obliteration of a thought system different from one’s own is to one’s benefit, or that such attacks protect truth and advance God’s plan for the salvation of His children, is part of the same ego insanity that leads one to believe that destruction of a people different from ones own serves a “noble” or “holy” purpose. Religious fanaticism and political demagoguery are but different forms sharing identical premises.”

    I can skip ahead to the Course and look forward to book club with you in the comments 😉

  286. @Wyrdsyster

    Go here and begin doing this practice every day for a full 45 days if you do it twice a day or for 90 days if you can only do it once per day.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ug8OoFAFfZ0&list=PL3uDtbb3OvDMd3kUaU7uJgujVpsURetBm&index=5

    Look for the one titled Yoga for Joy: Nada Yoga

    Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev says when anyone comes to Isha Center who suffers from nightmares, night terrors and things of that nature the very first thing he puts them on is AUM – the same practice offered for free in the above video. They don’t let the practicer do anything else because that problem needs to be resolved first.

    You’ll still be able to do lucid dreaming. But using the cosmic sound will have a healing effect on your body, nadis and mind. The key reason why I’m suggesting you try this is that you said those lucid dreams are seldom happy ones. Make a serious attempt at it. Even if you do fall off the wagon, as soon as you can get right back on it again. Persistence pays off. There’s a good reason why it’s titled Yoga for Joy. 🙂

    Once the “tone” of those lucid dreams routinely change to one of joy and wonder I doubt you will need anyone to teach you more about dreamwork though a thought did just pop up in my head just now. Have you ever tried to do the Sphere of Protection while inside your lucid dream? I don’t particularly see why it wouldn’t work but then I am not an experienced lucid dreamer. In the meantime I definitely suggest you check out the links listed.

    If you want the science behind what AUM is and what it’s actually doing watch the following before you begin.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBFyrKYI6TU

    If you want more info on AUM beyond the links provided send me an email to my Dreamwidth account.

  287. To Wyrdsyster:

    I have made a video on preventing night terrors you might want to check out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxDd_HD5Qus

    My dreams are a great deal like yours, except I’ve been able to raise the general vibe since taking up a daily Druid Sphere of Protection two+ years ago, which I mention in the comments of my blog:

    https://kimberlysteele.dreamwidth.org/1051.html?view=16155#cmt16155

    I also made a programmatic album of original music in 2009 called The Dream of Flight from a melody I dictated from a flying dream:

    https://music.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_l31F8aCSIbGJSHzkZIU00v6YkqPtAoB4M

    Hi Christoper L. Hope,

    Yes, the firework thing has been out of control. I am in Aurora, Illinois. I believe excessive fireworks are a male reaction to the lockdown. Gun sales were up 80% above normal in May and have stayed high. In my neighborhood, there is always the “gunshots or fireworks” question because the sounds are similar. I would argue the fascination with both guns and fireworks comes from a similar place. Target shooting and DIY fireworks displays are ways in which American males blow off steam and push the boundaries of the establishment’s rules. The black guy with a wife and two kids and grandma living in the house across the street from me shoots off fireworks almost every night. He’s so obsessed with fireworks, we heard him detonating them all winter, and now it is even worse. Take all sporting events away from American males and you end up with lots of guys in hot rods revving and rage-weaving through traffic, dudes buying and using legal and illegal guns (Chicago’s shootings have been through the roof), and the more staid dad types shooting off fireworks.

  288. Lady Cutekitten

    “…you’ll be able to get a great deal on unused stationery soon…”

    I’ve read the members of the musical group The Dixie Chicks, in the spirit of wokeness, have dropped “Dixie” from their name and will now be known simply as The Chicks.

    However, it’s well established that the term “chicks” for young women is highly sexist. If they were truly woke that would drop that too, and simply call themselves The.

  289. Denys –
    JMG –
    re: NY (City) deaths questions, nursing homes

    Here’s this on nursing homes in New York:
    https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/ap-count-4300-virus-patients-ny-nursing-homes-70825470

    While there were a lot of deaths in New York nursing homes, the _percentage_ was less than in Louisiana that didn’t allow sending recovered patients to nursing homes. Note shortages of PPE for nursing home workers, many of whom are poor, so can’t stay home when sick, plus lack of training in proper isolation techniques, plus all the asymptomatic infections…

    Then there’s this – a properly run isolation ward in a New York nursing home took hospital released recovering covid-19 cases and had no deaths:
    “There were nursing homes that realized that there was a void,” said Sarah Colomello, a spokeswoman for Thompson House in Rhinebeck. The 100-bed facility set up an isolated unit where affiliated hospitals nearby have sent at least 21 patients. It has reported no deaths.”

    Note that New York is not only densely populated, it is/was a world travel nexus, and so many imported cases from travelers, who contact a lot of people (airport workers, taxi/transit, hotel/restaurant, clients, …) once the traveler hits town.

    Also, many residents are poor and of color – malnourished, under educated and likely suffering from co-morbidities (diabetes, COPD, heart issues, etc.), and also due to darker skin color, likely suffering (more) from vitamin-D deficiency (more below). Many of these people cannot afford to stay home and isolate, so they’re out working – and getting infected at high rates, and thence spreading at high rates.

    Denys – good to see someone using some actual (and applicable) numbers – the _rates_. Thank you.

    The case fatality _rates_ in/around NYC aren’t _entirely_ unusual. Tulsa seems to be in line with many medium cities in the central U.S. Large cities on the coasts are more applicable, though density is a factor. Then factor in when they went into isolation – time matters. California was the first, beating NY by a few days.

    https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/us-map
    One has to select “fatality rate” at the bottom of the map, then scroll/enlarge and click on each county.
    Warren NJ 11.78 percent case fatality rate – note this and other counties higher than NYC
    Bucks, PA 9.95 %
    New York NY 9.09 %
    Bronx NY 7.88 %
    Kings NY 9.15 %
    Queens NY 8.33 %
    Fairfield CT 8.29 %
    Middlesex CT 14.06 %
    Charlotte FL (Tampa) 12.32 %
    Palm Beach FL 4.18 % (but note that Floridada has been playing fast and loose with numbers)
    Baton Rouge LA 12.55 % (Banroo Bay will have lots of space for settlers 😉
    Los Angeles CA 3.58 %
    King WA 6.39 %

    US case fatality rate currently 5% from the numbers at:
    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries

    This guy has a lot of good info, this particular video is about vitamin D.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyMFsLFAE5o

    The link to the Indonesian pre-print given in the video notes didn’t work for me, but this does:
    https://emerginnova.com/patterns-of-covid19-mortality-and-vitamin-d-an-indonesian-study/

    Down in the video’s notes:

    Adjusted for confounds
    Vitamin D insufficiency, 7.63 times more likely to die
    Vitamin D deficiency, 10.12 times more likely to die
    P less than 0.001

  290. Re: Fireworks. Just so ya’all can keep up with the latest conspiracy theories…

    http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2020/06/firework-summer-2020-conspiracy-theory-police/613450/

    Waiting for a vaccine. Some of the loons I live with, have already declared that they won’t take the vaccine, when (and if) it becomes available. Why? Because George Soros or Bill Gates (take your pick. One, or both) is going to slip a microscopic computer chip in it to … here, it all gets a bit vague. Oh, well. All the rest of us will protect them, from themselves.

    My eyeballs are sore from rolling. Lew

  291. Hi John,

    I’m quite interested in the new Great Mutation coming up and I thought I’d share my own thoughts on the matter and see what your opinion is also.

    Well from my research into the subject, it seems that the previous mutation was actually Earth based. We can see this that from 1840 – 2020, life as we know it has been pretty much about expansion and opening up the entire world. From the great rail roads that started to span the world to the advent of flight and eventually the internet, it does seem that everything has been about just that key word you have mentioned, “progress”, which in itself has brought about liberalism as the winning order.

    However the next sign we are entering is the Air sign. Now the obvious leftist astrologers predict the usual. It means that expansion is going to continue at a faster pace, the world is going to unite into one and happily Humanity goes off into the stars seeking new adventures. Yet I see something else at play here and it isn’t more progress and liberalism but quite the reverse.

    What I have noticed recently and in particular in 2020, the world is starting to close up again. Covid itself is starting to make people realise that the open world we once took for granted cannot be continued in its current form. Then you have obviously the rise in dissident thought that could obviously help steer society into a new direction. The only caveat is that all of the main dissident thinkers are of the right wing category and not at all left. They favour closed borders, more focus on national based economies, a return to more traditional family values, etc.

    I had a debate with a left astrologist a while back and told him that is what the dissidents want to achieve and that you cannot keep going left anymore, you have to go more towards the right. He absolutely refused to believe this, telling me all progress that is made is left wing and that “the left always wins history”, which I think is a fallacy.

    I think also dwindling resources is going to play a big role in this reverse push also. If there simply isn’t the easy to get available resources, naturally the world is going to shut up shop and start to close down even more. I don’t think we are at that stage yet but what we are seeing now is just the beginning. Like how 1840 really was the start of the transition from feudalism to industrialisation, this period is the beginning of that slow retreat once again.

    On a side note, it seems that in the BRICs, the incoming mutation is mainly focused on democratic and liberal ideas. I know the main opposition here in Russia are liberals. The main argument, as I have mentioned before, is mainly to do with money and improving the quality of life. The problem is though with the current Russian thinking is that right now the opposition is focused on the Western model, not realising that those days really have passed.

    I know that Russia’s economy is mainly centred around oil but due to environmental concerns (and I presume geopolitical reasons too) the West is wanting to phase out oil based engines, which obviously is going to hit Russia very hard in 20 years. Russia therefore is in the unfortunate position of having missed out on the great capitalist expansion and has to change course, quickly.

    Based on Spengler and your own thoughts, I think that we could start to see the birth of Sobornost sometime around 2050 – 2070. Not it’s full fruition of course but Russia is going to have to heavily change course and I think this will be the time when the seeds are planted, so to speak.

    Anyway my question to you is this. I feel that ultimately the previous epoch of the earth sign was centred around easy to access resources (oil, gas, coal) which powered up civilisation and opened the world. However if the world is closing up now and we are entering the air sign – what does the air sign really stand for? This confuses me quite a bit.

  292. Hello John Michael,

    You have previously spoken about some of the things that make male/female relationships more difficult in the times we live in (eg. taking in media from different authors and how that creates misaligned roles, the natural ways that women prefer to unite, while men prefer to receive). But I do not understand how these differences can cause such destruction.

    My question to you is this: Why are so many men in my circle of friends and acquaintances making choices that force their female partners into hard corners?

    I thought I was alone in this, but more and more women are sharing their stories with me now. Firstly, the women I am speaking of are not martyrs or victims. We know that we are not perfect, we have made mistakes, and we need to continue to improve ourselves so that we can be better partners and mothers. We accept that we have taken on the responsibilities of motherhood and home ownership and want to do the best we can. And our male partners had said that they were in this with us.

    But now we find that these male partners have fallen into a particular pattern of behaviour. They lie about their willingness to help with the kids and the property, dropping out when it’s time to help. They claim that because they earn the most income that they should not have to help with anything else, even if they said that they would. If we try to have a friendly conversation with them (not yelling or nagging, just talking) they accuse us of harassing them. From their point of view, any problems we women have are our problems, not theirs. This goes on for years.

    Us women find ourselves saying the strangest things to each other, for example, if only this was a domestic violence relationship we’d know that it’s ok to just leave. But because the problem is not life threatening, just increasingly stressful, the answer is not so easy. Do we stay and try to manage the kids and the property and all the other responsibilities while our partner plays computer games, goes to the gym, etc., or do we decide that it would be easier without him and seperate the family?

    My partner and I separated five months ago. My quality of life has improved dramatically. Being a single mother is not easy, but it is so much simpler that living with a partner who constantly lies to me, ignores me, and thinks that this should be ok.

    Many of the other women in my life are in various stages of leaving or trying to stay, and all of us have different circumstances that make some corners harder than others (especially economic class).

    Where are the men coming from? Do they really think that being married means not having to listen to your wife, help her with the house and kids, and solve problems together?

    Thank you for all that you do.

    Live from Tidal Reach,
    Chris

  293. JMG, Re stone circles – thanks for your response. You’ve encouraged me to look more in G Hawkins work. Yes, I’ve heard of the druid revival, but my understanding of the people known to us as druids is that they represent later Indo-Europeans who came in and pretty much wiped out the megalithic culture that preceded them. Burials, weaponry, dwelling styles and it seems language and genetics all changed after IE influx into Britain and Ireland during the early bronze age. Megalithic sites also seem to have been abandoned or repurposed by this process also. Can you say that the modern Druid tradition claims to attempt recovery of a lineage going back to the megalith builders? Would this not be a little like Mormons or similar American religious movements belonging to people with European heritage claiming lineage with Native American traditions?

    @Methylethyl – thanks for the link, I’m enjoying the blog!

    @Goldenhawk – thanks also, I agree about the modernist Newgrange facade, they got a bit carried away there.. Margaret and Ron Curtis have done a lot for Callanish.

  294. @ Devonlad , @JMG

    For what it’s worth:

    Back when I hung with a transhumanist, technophile crowd, their technological predictions were by no means false – everything they imagined was usually well calculated and technologically feasible. Yet they never mentioned any realistic way of generating the necessary energy to achieve such things. Plans were made to cover the entire moon in solar panels, then beam the generated energy back to earth. Technically possible. However, the creation of said solar panels needs to be done in closed gas atmospheres in very high-tech facilities. Their solution was usually to send all missing materials up – thousands of tonnes of gasses, rare earth metals, etc. etc. Tens of thousands of rocket launches. And this is where I became very skeptical – the economic and energetic requirements were never realistically explored, only the technological feasibility. Every such statement could be prefaced with “assuming limitless resources and full societal cooperation” – neither of which is likely to happen, as I see it.

    What usually dictates the rise and fall of civilizations seems to be, from my studies, ecological and social factors. Almost every societal collapse I’ve studied fell because of rising social inequalities or ecological mismanagement, or a combination of both.
    Even when it happened due to, say, foreign invasion, those foreign invasions were usually triggered by social inequality or ecological changes in those cultures – say a recently independent minor border-kingdom, assaulted by it’s former master, seeking to expand outwards to gain a hinterland, or crop failures driving a culture to raiding more fertile lands, and so on.

    To my understanding, access to energy seems to decide the maximum complexity of a society, but it’s rise and fall are socio-ecological in nature.

  295. @Lady Cutekitten,
    My husband and I get a kick out of your fluffy offerings each month. This month’s reminded us of our itty-bitty Mee–just a bit fluffier. That kitty brought us both so much joy, and I used to be terribly allergic to cats, and still have to be careful.

  296. John, everyone–

    Another crack in the crumbling status quo. Saw this in the financial news this morning.

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/trump-wants-federal-hiring-focus-214410872.html

    Cannot say that I care for the man personally, but I cannot deny that he’s doing things that desperately need doing and that he is, for whatever cosmic reason beyond my understanding, the needed catalyst of change this nation has been needing. Can you imagine Biden doing such a thing?

  297. Re the link I just posted

    That is, of course, also a subtle but significant move toward the dismantling of the current academic complex, a topic that has been discussed upthread.

  298. Kimberly and Kevin, regarding Anger – I don’t know how relevant it is to your personal situations of course, but the exhortation ‘make good art’ comes to mind. Anger has a lot of energy and is particularly useful for overcoming the fear at the beginning of an ambitious project. I think even if one doesn’t feel affected that way by what’s going on, creating is the best way to spit defiance anyway.

    Clark, you ask what you are missing about the belief in Progress – I think you are missing just how seriously New Thought is taken in circles like the ones you referred to. I don’t believe in Progress because I’ve seen evidence for it – I have, but I’ve also seen evidence of Decline. I believe in Progress because I’ve seen evidence for the power of positive thinking.

    A major criticism of the belief in Progress raised in this community is the ‘single utopia’ view of the future. But as someone seeking to be as conscious as possible in my worship of Progress, I would say that is a Pseudomorphosis left over from a long Monotheistic Era with no real connection to the ethos. Progress, ask any devotee, is a god/ess with enemies. Decline and Stagnation are always waiting in the wings, the only guarantee Progress offers – as best I can verbalise it – is that if your vision of a better future is genuinely better than the alternatives, you’ll receive help in your quest to realise it. It says nothing about whether that help together with your own effort will be enough.

    A reasonable objection might then be that Schmachtenberger’s simile of the butterfly is overly optimistic, and that no amount of help would make so ambitious a project possible. I don’t necessarily disagree, I think ‘how ambitious should we then be?’ could end up being our own version of the angels and pinheads debates, there are deep questions of competing virtues locked into that question and I could easily take the other side of a debate from Schmachtenberger despite the respect I have for him. But I would speculate that people like Weinstein, Schmachtenberger, Et. Al, who lived through the cold war without a single nuclear weapon being used on civilian centres, might be inclined to believe Tee Ess actually Dubya’s, and more so when the stakes are high enough. That’s what it looks like to me at least.

  299. @Patriciaormsby
    I thought I’d chime in on the no cell phone list. I’m a long time reader of JMG but very rarely post here. I too have never had a cell phone. When they first came out I got so annoyed at all the fear marketing (what will you do if your car breaks down or your kids get hurt, etc.) to make people feel they needed them that I just refused to consider getting one. These days they no longer need to market them through fear but I’ve still resisted ever getting one for all sorts of reasons.

    Lately I find when I mention to someone that I don’t do cell phones it seems to be more common to hear about someone else they know who doesn’t use them. Perhaps this means going without one is slowly taking hold as a growing trend? I can only hope.

    I’m also someone who tossed out the TV decades ago, with no regrets. I’ve definitely observed those who don’t do television becoming more common. It’s still rare to find another like this, but not nearly as rare as it used to be.

  300. @Kevin Taylor Burgess,
    Cell phones and long prior to them, other forms of non-ionizing radiation were having effects on me since early childhood from the electric meter outside my bedroom window, though I had no clue until 1996. The main effect was immune dysfunction, but also mental unease (frequent nightmares) and depression. In the 1990s in Tokyo I began experiencing vertigo for no apparent reason. In 1996, a friend in central Tokyo had a five-month flu with odd symptoms and her doctor told her it was quite common and probably due to a new pollutant. She wanted me, the greeny, to identify the new pollutant, so I started snooping through journals.
    Initially, the effects from digital cell phones on me were light enough that they would be hard to distinguish from a nocebo effect and could be masked by caffeine, for example. But the delayed effects were of concern, and included arrhythmia, memory loss and immune dysfunction. Also chronic irritability dating from my time in the Air Force. But knowing about that cause and effect relationship turned my life around. I was no longer “a grouch.” Every time I began feeling irritated, I could look around and spot the cause, apologize for feeling out of it, and not bite people’s heads off anymore. Smart meters added severe brain fog and palpitations, and 5G even more so. I’ve passed out a few times. Very strong 4G signals can be just as bad.
    A friend in Australia contacted me today and said you can buy a $70 analog phone that allows voice and simple text messaging, and it might be a good halfway point for people trying to free themselves. The analog signal is less bioreactive.
    A couple of people here last month, I think Lady Cutekitten was one, mentioned the failure of 17-year locusts to emerge. I hope they have managed to emerge since. There is a small temple in Numazu with a small park, and every July when we’d dive through the cicadas were so noisy you couldn’t shout over the din. Last July they were absent. I managed to find a remnant group not too far away in some cherry trees along a ditch by rice paddies next to an apartment complex. I had a look at the complex. All the smart meters were on the opposite side from the trees.
    However unpleasant this is for humans, we have the advantage of being able to identify the cause and do quite a bit to remedy it. My biggest concern in this is what we are doing to Nature, and this is also why Firstenberg is so adamant about people quitting cellphones.

  301. John–

    Another skirmish in the battle of approved exerts versus everyone else.

    Press release:

    Committee Leaders Submit Comment on EPA’s Proposed Rule on the Review of the National Ambient Air Quality for Particulate Matter

    Washington, D.C. – Today, leaders of the Energy and Commerce and Science, Space, and Technology Committees submitted a comment to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler for the proposed rule on the Review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Particulate Matter (PM), which was released on April 14, 2020. The Chairs urged EPA to delay the finalization of the PM NAAQS until the Agency can ensure the appropriate independent scientific advice is considered in setting protective standards that meet the statutory requirement to protect public health with an adequate margin of safety. The letter implores EPA to consider the findings of the original Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) Integrated Review Panel (IRP) on the PM Integrated Science Assessment and Policy Assessment, which was developed independently last fall.

    The letter was signed by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations Chair Diana DeGette (D-CO), Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Investigations & Oversight Chairman Bill Foster (D-IL), Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change Chairman Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Science, Space, and Technology Subcommittee on Environment Chairwoman Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ).

    “EPA has repeatedly sidelined independent scientific advice in developing a policy proposal with such far-reaching consequences for the American people,” the Chairs wrote to Administrator Wheeler. “The PM NAAQS is perhaps the most consequential single-pollutant regulation that EPA can promulgate from a human health perspective. In September 2019, EPA’s own draft Policy Assessment for PM NAAQS concluded that the incumbent standards were too high to protect public health and should be lowered by as much as one-third. Despite this finding and an overwhelming body of supporting scientific evidence, EPA is proposing to retain all PM standards at their current levels. These actions are particularly dangerous during a global pandemic that attacks the respiratory system.”

    Link to full letter:
    https://energycommerce.house.gov/sites/democrats.energycommerce.house.gov/files/documents/06.25.2020%20NAAQS%20Letter%20EC%20Science%20to%20Wheeler.pdf

    Perhaps a more suitable headline is: “House Committee members throw tantrum because an independent agency has the audacity to act independently.”

  302. @ Brian

    Let me start off by saying I do care for my country deeply, and I’m grateful to have been born here.

    The Netherlands is in a pickle. There are no starter houses anywhere near the cities, and nearly no work outside of the major cities. There are no starting jobs either. Mortgages are unobtainable for many, and the house market is insanely inflated, far more so than any of the surrounding countries. If you are wealthy, you can probably find housing. There’s English education at all levels, but not speaking fluent Dutch will cause one to be left out somewhat. The Universities are still better off than the US ones, and less hideously expensive, but the degrees used to be state-funded, now they’re financial loans. The vast majority of degrees is absolutely pointless and will not net a job. Even scientific degrees offer no certainty – I know people with masters degrees in biomedical sciences that work in footlocker. It’s very hard to “make it”, it’s a struggle all the way with no guarantees. I know someone else with a science degree who netted a job at an oil company doing research. This consisted of half year contracts, then being fired for half a year, then more half year contracts, since working at the same place too long they are forced to give you a “real job” (i.e. a proper contract). So despite making significantly more than average wage, he was utterly unable to get a mortgage because he didn’t have a “proper job”. There is a great deal of burnout and depression amongst millennials, especially as they’re entering their thirties with no steady employment, no chance at homeownership, and basically no faith in the future. People don’t want to have kids and get married whilst still living at their parents.

    The social systems are overburdened. Social housing waiting lists can take decades of waiting. Getting disability or unemployment benefits is nowhere near as easy as it once used to be. Public transport is also overburdened and overly full, and getting more unreliable. Our care systems are also visibly deteriorating year by year, and we all know it. Everything is getting more expensive and covers less every year.

    As a country, we’re liberal, economically minded, and relatively sane. Removal of statues is ongoing, and protests abound like most of the Western world, but at least we’re not toppling anything yet or getting in massive riots or vandalism. There’s a certain cultural sober-mindedness not unlike the Germans. The Dutch aren’t typically optimistic. They tend to be extremely practical, hard-working, and serious. Humor is often rather dead-pan. We deal with trauma and shock by joking about it, which is our national form of stand-up theater (cabaret). It’s cathartic in a way.

    On that note, some of the more leftist-minded people might not appreciate American sentiments too much. America is seen by some as a comedic country, a failed attempt at being a proper European country, a sort of overly-wealthy third world country with no proper healthcare and rampant violence. American patriotism might not go over too well amongst those groups. On the other hand, you should also really google Geert Wilders and Thierry Baudet.

    At the moment, I’m honestly not feeling confident that there’s much of a future here for your children, unless you can pay for everything for them as well. I’m not seeing how the Netherlands is going to be pulling itself out of this slump. I’m still hoping to be surprised!

    I understand there’s plenty of work in IT though, and with good pay as well. And we certainly have cities! Just less concrete skyscrapery, and more old brick houses with historic brick facades.

    And I think it’s likely very much easier than Switzerland to move to, which is incredibly expensive, and incredibly hard to get in to – they are very, very conservative, and becoming a fully naturalized citizen of Switzerland is hard for people who married Swiss people, let alone immigrating outsiders. As in: “In order to be approved for a residence permit, you have to have a job offer and it has to be for a job that cannot be done by a Swiss national.” That’s just a residence permit, you have to live there for 12 years before you can even apply for a permanent passport, and they still aren’t easily given out at that point.

    The Netherlands is way easier to get into, and the government and Universities are very welcoming to Americans.

    This is not to dash your dreams! Just want to be helpful by being realistic, and point out that there’s isn’t a “good place” to move to where these issues aren’t playing out in some form or other. Moving away from the US probably won’t prove an easy solution, and if you want to move away I’d encourage you do it out of overwhelming love for the country and culture you’re going to, not because you want to flee from where you are now. The chances of accidentally running into a group of people that are as much alike you as the people you are around right now are actually very low. The countries with close-knit stable communities are so because they don’t readily accept outsiders – this is sad but true. If you want to live somewhere stable, are you sure it won’t be easier to build something like that locally with like-minded folk?

    All the best to you, whatever you choose to do.

  303. JMG, in a reply to Anonymous, you mentioned something about “plant-like intelligences,” but Anonymous’s question never came through. Can you elaborate?

  304. I actually have two comments today. One is that I want to thank the person who wrote about being so upset with all the litter on the walkways that he/she traveled. And someone replied that one way to deal with that is to take a plastic bag and pick up whatever you see on your route. I took that to heart and finally remembered to take the plastic bag, and I ended up cleaning up about 1-1/2 miles of my morning walk. And I have noticed that it hasn’t gotten rellittered as much. Someone saw me doing it and said “Thank you.” So thanks for the advice. I enjoy the walk so much more.

    The other thing I have wanted to write for a long time is that I have been struggling with Spengler’s “Decline of the West” tomes for a while, probably since I started reading this blog, especially the concept of “pseudomorphosis”, which is pretty central to the book. But now the library is still closed, and I wish I had taken it out before that. He writes in a very broad way, and is obviously a real Renaissance scholar, so sometimes I have a hard time following, but it’s definitely worth it. Another gift from reading this blog.

    But the reading that really affected me the most is your (JMG) “Mystery Teachings of the Living Earth”. It’s one of those writings that makes everything look different after you are done. I have given several friends that book, and wait to hear what they think. It just seems that at this point in our society’s lifespan and coming deterioration, we should look for a new moral code to guide us, so we can work together. And there it is. Thanks for writing that, and making those laws of nature so clear.

    That’s it.

  305. @Dot

    I think you misunderstood me. I’m socially liberal in the 20th century sense. I believe in absolute freedom of speech and the marketplace of ideas. I don’t care what people do in their bedrooms, who they marry or what drugs they use, as long as they’re not imposing on anyone else. In modern terms, I’m a social libertarian. I’d also like functional public transportation and a health care safety net, as long as my taxes aren’t well, French. It’s old fashioned, but I still think of this basket of values in my head as “liberal”.

    Believe it or not, Democrats used to hold socially libertarian views before they flipped and become thought police. Back in the 1980s, Republicans were the ones trying to ban books, music and impose harsh sentences for marijiuana use, etc. @JMG probably remembers this era very well.

    The Democrat’s transformation into the Cancel Culture party really caught me off guard and left me feeling politically homeless, to the point where I voted Libertarian in 2016. Because of the Electoral College, it was a meaningless vote of course. The 2020 election is even more depressing.

    If there’s any chance for Ireland to resist these trends, do it with all your might! As for high paid tech workers driving up home prices there, I think those days are over though. I’ve taken a big pay cut and we’re all remote now. Coders in Eastern Europe are very good and culturally simpatico enough with Western Europe to drive down wages much further. I’m thinking of an exit strategy, but it’s really hard to replace this income source.

  306. @Wyrdsyster,
    I am a lucid dreamer too. I have a ball every night. The last time I had sleep paralysis, it was a smart meter. Scared the holy living tar out of me. If you can get hold of a radio frequency radiation meter it might help you identify a problem that you can resolve and pacify your night demon. See LessEMF.com for that. If you can’t get one of those, you can use a hand-held AM radio to help you identify areas with EMF problems by the amount of static. Move your bed away from those. Worst comes to worst, shut off the circuit breaker to your bedroom.
    Another good thing to do is get a good banishing spell. I have Shinto/Buddhist ones, but other people here might be able to help you in more familiar ways.
    Emotional Freedom Technique is also very useful It can help you harness mind over matter through your body’s own energy and ability to heal itself. You can focus on what inside you is causing the bad dreams, chase it down, examine it and resolve it

  307. @Joy Marie,
    Actually, the Japanese are quite fond of transgendered people. Cross-dressing in the arts has a long and respectable history with loads of fans. I know a very gifted transgender person. We don’t use pronouns as such in Japanese, so I’ll just go with “she” because that’s how she comes across initially. Very gifted lute player with a magnificent voice. She came to the last Shinto training retreat I attended last year, but I didn’t stick around long enough to see how she fared and have not heard since. I reckon no news is good news, and I hope she will practice with priesthood at Asakawa Kompira Shrine in Tokyo. Regarding surgery, if the parts of you you choose to alter are not publicly shown, I think they would consider it your own business.

  308. JMG – Re: from BLM to the DNC, via ActBlue. I’ve seen assertions that donations to BLM are routed through ActBlue and end up at the DNC. However, I’ve also seen an explanation (https://www.factcheck.org/issue/black-lives-matter/) that ActBlue is simply a “financial services social welfare organization” which provides IT infrastructure for a variety of liberal operations. Having just dipped my toe in the water of making a BLM donation, I was able to “read the fine print” at ActBlue, and (barring outright fraud) I’m satisfied that they probably prevent mishandling of funds. One of our neighbors, a Democrat politician, uses ActBlue for her campaign. ActBlue supports 501-c-3 charities, 501-c-4 social welfare groups, and political campaigns. I suppose that it’s something like a bank: a facility for transferring funds. Can you track every dollar?

    There’s a similar organization for Republican campaigns: WinRed.com. (I don’t see any indication that they also handle charity and social welfare funds.)

  309. Hi there, JMG,

    I am in a green wizardry quandary. I have been working to lower my household energy usage for years but an illness seems to be getting in the way. I have MS and a flare up that started last year in the summer heat has led my temperature regulation capability to suffer. The issue seems to continue into this year. On hot days I am down and out, but just this week where I live the weather moderated and what should have been a fantastically pleasant day left me shivering.

    A cold shower or jump in a pool helps temporarily. A wet shirt is too much. Working in the basement at home also helps a little.

    So unless there are more ideas from you or the “best readers on the internet”, I’m feeling that I need to get over the guilt, turn on the AC to moderate temperature swings, and accept that I am doing the best I can at this point in my life. And also look forward to the steady heat of the wood stove in fall/winter/spring.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated!
    Thank you,
    Matt

  310. Dear John Michael Greer,

    As ever, my thanks to you for hosting such a rich and civilized comments section. In answer to your open question about books on precognitive dreams–

    @mulberry — I have had many precognitive dreams over the years, some of them seemingly trivial, others beyond freaky-weird, so I hear you. The book that has most resonated with me as something that begins to explain my experience is TIME LOOPS: PRECOGNITION, RETROCAUSATION, AND THE UNCONSCIOUS by Eric Wargo. I would also recommend an interview Wargo gave to Jeffrey Mishlove for “New Thinking Allowed.”

    P.S. @JMG “New Thinking Allowed” interviews are on YouTube, which I well know is not for you, however, the visuals are not the point– these interviews can be listened to as podcasts, just audio.

    MILLICENTLY LURKING

  311. J.L.Mc12 – Maybe this is obvious, but the name of the book is actually “Blackout” (vs. “Backout”, which might be sort of plausible as a mashup of “blackout” and “Outback”; it’s Australia, after all.)

    According to the book, excess power from rooftop PV systems can force the grid to excessive voltages (because the base-load generators can’t be throttled down quickly enough to compensate). That’s a surprise to me, because I assumed that the PV system would be prevented from injecting power into a saturated grid. I had also assumed that even a coal-fired plant could be tweaked on a daily basis (if the PV power was predictable), but I’ve just now learned that ANY adjustments to a thermal (coal, oil, nuclear) plant’s output makes the equipment wear out more quickly due to the mechanical stresses of temperature cycling. It’s not just that they take time to respond to changing loads; it actually damages them to do so (in the long run).

    This also helps explain why you might see only a fraction of the wind turbines in a farm turning. It doesn’t matter whether or not the wind is blowing, if the grid already has enough power. It’s easy to let a wind turbine go idle when it’s not needed.

    Thanks for prompting my investigation.

  312. I stand corrected on the Lincoln statue controversy.

    This is from the Wall Street Journal on 6/25/20.
    “Funds for the memorial were raised entirely from freed slaves, including black veterans of the Union Army, according to the National Park Service, which controls the park. But the organization in charge of the commissioning and purchase of the statue was a charity in St. Louis, the Western Sanitary Commission, which was run by whites, according to the Park Service.
    At its dedication, Frederick Douglass, who had escaped slavery to become a venerated author and abolitionist leader, delivered a historic oration about the fallen president that praised Lincoln but grappled with what he and others believed was his slow embrace of abolition.
    Other published accounts note that Douglass also ad-libbed an observation that prefigured the current controversy. Douglass, one attendee wrote, criticized the statue for depicting a kneeling black man, rather than a standing, free man.”

  313. Dear jgregg78,

    This is all very very sad for me and makes me frankly feel very much older than I am. I can remember when those folks tearing down the statues now were part of the same Dionysian world, where we put on masks and took them off and worshipped beauty and love. To see my old comrades turn into brittle, humorless, doctrinaire fanatics really breaks my heart. I may affect anger, but that’s just a thin covering for the great sorrow that this transformation causes in me. My former friends, my scene have been so obviously degraded and deranged by the evil spirit of these times. I’ve lost dozens and dozens of friends over this craziness, as they’ve become the sort of people who no longer want to take off their mask and stare with love into my eyes, but rather they want to convert me to their hateful and joyless way of experiencing the world. Again, this radical change really does break my heart.

  314. (Unsurprising) News from the Climate Change front (if anyone remembers that). In today’s Washington Post, the page A4 headline reads “Most Americans want government to do more on climate change, poll says”. Supporting the headline, “Pew has found that 60% of the U.S. public now views climate change as a ‘major’ threat – up from 44% a decade ago”. If you stay with the article to column 5, you get to these insights:
    fewer than 4 in 10 said they believe that tackling the problem will require them to make major sacrifices” and “most are unwilling to pay for it on a personal level“. To be precise, less 75% said they were unwilling to pay an extra $10 per month on their electric bill. “Clear majorities say that they would prefer that climate initiatives be funded by increasing the taxes on wealthy households and on companies that burn fossil fuels.”

    Compare these cheerful expectations with the estimate that “locking down” the whole world for covid-19 cut CO2 emissions only back to 2009 levels. https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-52485712 The “shutdown” of New York City cut CO2 emissions by a mere 10% (vs. 72% +/- 15% for Paris, which has little industry and heats most buildings with nuclear electricity).

    The Post article notes that there’s a vast difference between Democrat and Republican opinions on climate change. I wonder whether it has to do with different degrees of reality in assessments of the impact? To achieve the level of reductions needed (according to the BBC article) doesn’t mean maintaining the travel bans forever, it means maintaining the travel bans forever and find new ways to cut emissions year after year after year.

  315. The other blog just hit the front page on Hacker News. April 10 2018.

    There will be a bit of a surge in visitors I should think.

    Andy

  316. @Dot,
    I am sorry to hear what’s happening to your country. Iceland deserves better. Hopefully the next economic downturn sends the tech people all scurrying home.

    As for civic vs ethnic nationalism– yeah, the Terror didn’t have an ethnic component, so an ethnostate is obviously not a sufficient condition for stability. One might say “Necessary but not sufficient”, but I wouldn’t even go that far. (Multiethnic polities have lasted for centuries under the right conditions, so I have a hard time declaring ethnic nationalism ‘necessary’ to national stability.) At the same time, multiculturalism introduces an extra (and very messy) failure mode, and for what? Its much-touted benefits are, near as I can tell, nothing but horse manure. I’m sorry, but fancy restaurants aren’t worth risking the Yugoslav wars and associated ethnic cleansing. Not in my mind, anyway.

    If we could disentangle, do the ‘velvet divorce’ thing without conflict? Oh, I’d gladly sign up for a population transfer. Even if it meant losing my hometown. I don’t care about territory. I don’t need to send anyone ‘home’. I don’t hate anyone. I’m just tired. Very, very tired.

    All I want is a land where I’m allowed to feel at home, and where the phrase ‘its okay to be white’ isn’t considered hate speech.

    Maybe that’s white fragility, but I think wanting to feel at home is something anybody can get behind. I wish I saw a path to that that didn’t involve separation, but right now I don’t.

  317. Daily Kos is trying to make a case that “It’s different this time”.

    Why Biden’s Polling Lead Is Different From Clinton In 2016
    https://tinyurl.com/y92h838h

    Polls showed Clinton leading in 2016, yet she lost; so the progressives have to convince themselves that Biden’s lead won’t come to the same end. Regardless of all the “hip hip hooray for us” cheers from the left, I.think they’re really worried.

    Joy Marie

  318. Dear JMG and ecosophia readers,

    Thank you again fot maintaining a breathing space for rational thoughts in this time of blind mob behaviours.

    My question is not only about the coronavirus situation in particular but rather nations’ crisis management capability in general.

    Vietnam against all odds have swiftly managed the outbreak with minimal cost and hassle despite being right next to China and being considered as a ‘frontier market’ in Wall Street language with limited infrastructures, especially health care. The country avoided a national lockdown and hence the paralysis and related damages.

    Meanwhile in Western Europe, I remember Boris Johnson has bragged until late March that the UK’s ‘world-class’ health care system and government would protect the country. Some days later, only chaos and confusion, like the rest of the western world. In some rare moment of admitting the shortfall in the way they handled the outbreak and the need to learn from other coutries. Vietnam was hardly mentioned. China, South Korean or Singapour are admired for their expensive ‘big-gun’ approach, national lockdown, high tech contact tracing, etc . Ironically these latter are still battling new resurgences. I was left confused. Is it something to do with idealogy, that the country is to poor to provide any meaningful lesson?

    I noticed as well the country is likely a winner from the China-USA trade war as investments are redirected.

    What would be Vietnam’s outlook in the Long Descent?

    Thanks for your insights and always a pleasure to read you.

    Ps :
    https://www.zmescience.com/medicine/vietnam-coronavirus-success-15062020/

  319. @patriciaormbsy
    Thank you for that info, I will look into it. The flying is fun, except when it is against my will, which is usually how my sleep paralysis manifests. I am dragged from my bed and tossed into the air and thrown around, in some sort of slow motion. I don’t usually see the “entity” , only twice. I confronted it the second time, never again. Now I am able to realize what is happening, due to the lucidity and I just let it happen. Still terrifying though.
    Interesting about the radio frequencies. I usually wake after each dream cycle and often I hear a radio . Sometimes it’s talk, sometimes music. It’s odd though. the song or conversation just goes on and on, never changing. I sometimes wonder if my bedroom is on the edge of a parallel universe or something, sometimes time seems to move strangely in that room.

  320. Various (you know who you are 🐶🐱), I figured that in these trying times twice-a-month cute might be appreciated. A while back, I did a few sketches of the Puppy of Tindalos; if I can find the paper—I may have tossed it once I satisfied my curiosity as to what she looked like—and since the Hounds are always relevant, I’ll see if I can encourage our host to let me post the sketches. (They may run afoul of the prohibition on marketing.). I’n hardly a great artist, but in my completely unbiased opinion, the Puppy is cute!

  321. David, by the lake – Re: federal hiring. My 20-year old son, with learning disabilities but a solid high-school record, saw an ad from the National Archives for a “document scanning technician”. As far as we could tell, the job involved putting old paper documents on/in a scanner to create digitized versions, and no education requirements were specified. (I mean, what could they REQUIRE for a job like that?). “It looks pretty boring”, we told him, “but it’s close enough to walk to work, the benefits are good, there’s no degree requirement, and it could be a stable position. So he applied, through the government jobs web site, and was told “No, no, no! This job require a Bachelor’s Degree (minimum).” We never did find out why, or how they expect to hold educated staff for such routine work. (Two years later, he’s managing delivery drivers for a FedEx contractor, as well as driving deliveries himself. Good, honest, essential labor.)

  322. Here in Rhode Island, we have an excellent example of the problems with mail ballots. In 2016, the most powerful elected official in the State, speaker of the RI House Mattiello, trailed his opponent by a thin margin after the in person votes were counted. Mirabile Dictu! Everyone who voted by mail from an elderly housing building all voted for him, allowing him to eke out a narrow victory. To seal the deal, the Election Commission “found” another 200 ballots two weeks later, adding to the margin.

    The fireworks have been common since we moved here 40 years ago, but there’s more, and for the first time since we lived here (behind the Charles Dexter Ward mansion) someone shot them off at the nearby high school field in the middle of the wealthy PMC neighborhood.

    A group has been trying to get a statue of H.P. Lovecraft erected in Providence. It’s fortunate we haven’t succeeded yet, or it would be an obvious target. Lovecraft despised Blacks. He also despised almost everyone equally, but misanthropy is no excuse for thoughtcrime. Columbus was craned to be removed to an undisclosed location here yesterday, to cheers from the neighbors.

    @ Brian Those searching for a new home could do worse than read Hal Freeman’s blog. He married a Russian woman, and after a number of years living in the US, they moved to Russia with their children 4 years ago. If nothing else, it’s a corrective to the MSM’s “Russia Russia Russia” shrieking.

    OTOH, I’ve mentioned here that I bring up that in 1988, no one could have bet on the collapse of the USSR, and we should be aware it could happen here. Fewer people insist it’s impossible now. It’s a way to weed out the true believers in Progress™ from those whose minds are not a steel trap.

  323. JMG said:
    Joy Marie, “The Creeping Puppies” sounds like a sort of cutesy Lovecraftian story, in which the main character ends up devoured by cute baby dogs.

    The fantasy and scifi writer Glen Cook does a series of fantasy detective novels about a private investigator living in a Tolkenish world with elves, dwarves, wizards and other assorted races and fantasy classes. Very good stories in the Phillip Marlow tradition of pulp novels.

    In one novel, a young priestess is being chased by priests of a rival god. Her own god manifests as an avatar of a bucket full of kittens, which when more attentive, puts out more and more kittens. Rather unique and funny, especially when the priestess runs into a gang of mafia type criminals. Per her Ladyship, no one wants to be bad, when holding a cute kitten.

  324. Matt said:
    So unless there are more ideas from you or the “best readers on the internet”, I’m feeling that I need to get over the guilt, turn on the AC to moderate temperature swings, and accept that I am doing the best I can at this point in my life.

    Matt by all means use the AC.

    I’ve lived for the past 4 years without using my AC, and I’m in St Louis and can tell you its damned tempting when the temp is at 95F like today and with high humidity. I first did it when the AC went out and the landlord took a week to fix it. Since then its been a kind of Collapse test of mine not to use it.

    Work arounds include sleeping in the basement (is cool even on hot days), cold showers and less clothes, as well as a big fan blowing air on me while I sleep. Doing that doesn’t make me a better Green wizards though.

    I’ve always thought that Green Wizardry meant using the available tech if you needed to, but making the conscious choice to “try” to lower your footprint on the World. It doesn’t mean virtually signaling your specialness while endangering yourself.

    Use the AC and stay safe.

  325. Agreed with @David Trammel on use of the AC and the general approach to reducing one’s footprint.

    Random, unrelated comment (please discard if not relevant to this thread): Contemplating William James’s distinction between the “spiritual” aspect of religion and its formal (institutional/dogmatic) aspects, was thinking about late Roman “mystery” cults (Orphism, et al.) Were these cults, arising during a period of change and cultural ferment, an attempt by adherents to return to the spiritual roots of the (mostly) Greco/Roman traditions vs. the “hardened,” fossilized rituals of state they had given rise to?

  326. @ Lathechuck

    Re degrees and employment

    Good for your son! I wish this move would have been made earlier, but at least it looks like it’s going to be made. Having been in a political position (albeit at a much, much smaller scale), I’ve come to understand how things take time and have to be prioritized.

    At the utility where I work, the previous general manager often insisted on degrees where I thought we should allow options for equivalent experience. Does one absolutely need to have an associates in accounting to be a front desk cashier? I’m hoping our new GM, who is cut from a very different cloth, will be open to relaxing some of those requirements.

    Personally, I think if a person has the necessary skill set, then a degree is irrelevant. Obviously, for some positions, a degree *is* necessary for regulatory reasons beyond our control, but we have many jobs where one is not and should not be.

  327. Ben, you might want to tone down the attitude a little bit. Participation trophies? Hardly. It’s customary to have statues of people who played a significant role in history, so yes, statues of Loyalists would be entirely appropriate.

    Varun, thanks for this. That seems like quite a reasonable analysis.

    Aidan, you know I don’t do videos. If you’d like to write something, I’ll be happy to read it.

    Kevin, fascinating. That doesn’t surprise me at all. One of the things to be expected as a failed ideology comes unglued — again, the twilight of Communism is a great example — is that a vast number of people end up giving lip service to the ideology long after they stop believing in it. Then the system cracks, and nobody steps up to defend it.

    Steve, I’m delighted to hear this. As I recall, several people asked for an opportunity to talk more generally about what they’d like to see in a Druid religious organization. Would you like me to put up something on Dreamwidth in a few days to invite that discussion?

    Wesley, and now you know one of the reasons that I put some effort into reviving the memory of John Chapman…

    Hopeful, my take for many years now is that Mexico has a splendid future ahead of it. Wasn’t it Porfirio Diaz who said “Poor Mexico — so far from God, so close to the United States”? As the United States finishes its imperial era and settles down to become a nation among nations, to my mind, working out a healthy modus vivendi with its southern neighbor is quite literally the most crucial task in US foreign policy. An end to illegal immigration is an important part of that; decriminalization of drugs is another important part of that; and steps to help the Mexican economy get on its feet are also crucial. I look forward to a time, though I don’t expect to see it in this incarnation, when the relationship between the US and Mexico is not unlike the relationship between the US and Canada, and becomes a source of strength and prosperity for both countries.

    Lew, people are frightened and have lost faith in the official authorities — and not without reason. In such times wild rumors and crazy theories become very popular.

    Ksim, yes, this Grand Mutation moves the trigon of conjunctions from Earth to Air, but of course there’s more to it than that. The 1842 Grand Mutation chart had the Moon on one side of the chart and literally everything else on the other side; as I’ve noted in my delineation, that signaled among other things the triumph of democracy during the 178 years governed by that Mutation. (Compare how many nations were ruled by elected governments in 1842 with how many are governed by elected governments today.) The 2020 Grand Mutation does not have that same configuration.

    Thus one thing I expect to happen during the 199 years before the next Grand Mutation is a general trend away from democratic governments. Those countries where democracy’s indigenous will likely retain it, but those where it’s a foreign transplant, where people go through the motions of democracy, will give up that charade, in many cases with a sigh of relief. Your left-astrologer friend is quite wrong to say that the left always wins, of course; it’s precisely because the Left has failed so catastrophically over the decades just past that so many people are freaking out in the US and western Europe just now.

    As for the role of Air in the next Grand Mutation and the era it ushers in, air governs the intellect, not engineering or space travel. I would expect to see an era of great intellectual syntheses, of philosophies and ethical theories, of mighty works of literature. My guess, though as yet it’s only a guess, is that as the political impact of the West on the rest of the world finishes fading out, its intellectual impact will accelerate; some of the best works of English language literature are already being written in India, and I see that as a straw in the wind. I imagine creative syntheses of Western and non-Western ideas, resulting in the rise of great schools of thought that will occupy the same central role in culture that the great philosophical schools did in Roman times. It’s an autumnal period, drawing heavily on the legacies of the past, but that also has its place.

    Chris, that’s a fascinating question, to which I don’t have a straightforward answer. I’ve been doing the majority of our housework, as well as earning nearly all our income, since my wife’s health got very difficult several years ago. If I had to guess, though, based on my conversations with men I know, I’d guess that in at least some cases, the men in question have given up on trying to maintain the relationship because of other, unrelated issues which they have tried to bring up, to their own serious cost.

    James, that view of the Druids is still standard in some academic circles, but the archeological evidence simply doesn’t support it. There are sites in the British Isles where identical ritual practices — for example, the deposition of weapons as offerings in a specific body of water — continued without a break from the Neolithic to the brink of the Roman conquest. Of course there were changes, and the subsistence collapse that followed the megalithic era marked a significant change, but the evidence as I (and many other Druids) read it suggests that the historical Celtic Druids worked with a tradition that blended some Indo-European material with some indigenous material dating back to megalithic times — roughly what sources such as the Irish Book of Invasions would suggest.

  328. I want to thank everyone who has joined in naming of “comfort foods”, in the midst of a thread full of worry and trouble. I’d like to invite everyone, in passing, to pause a moment here by this table, which I have imaginally set at the side of any path you walk today, upon which I have spread your favourite comfort food, set a comfy chair for you, and at which I offer a wee moment of respite, rest and reflection to steady you before you continue on your way.

  329. @patriciaormsby

    I’m always glad to see people beating the EMF drum! I am EMF sensitive, and have lost a fair chunk of the last couple of years to pain and discomfort from it. I didn’t know that cell phones themselves were harmful; I thought that turning off all WIFI, Bluetooth, and putting it in Airplane mode was enough to avoid problems. Do you have any tips for dealing with EMF sensitivity besides avoidance? I still have a very hard time navigating the world of my city because the omnipresence of WIFI and cell phones causes me a lot of anxiety, tension, and palpitations. Energy work helps, but it only mitigates rather than eliminates it.

  330. To JMG and all who have been reflecting on various aspects of anger, as the eruptive and disruptive emotion of the present time. I myself was literally woken with a bang at around 7am as a particularly well-aimed hammer of Thor landed just outside my window.

    I offer the following reflections which have arisen while meditating on Five Element correspondences in Traditional Chinese medicine. Anger is the emotion most closely connected with Wood energy, which manifests in Springtime, which is naturally a time of birth. As I was meditating, this phrase came to me… “Nothing new can be born in a world in which what is old won’t die.” (This obviously bears further meditation).

    However, I suddenly saw that the “where” of where we might all be just now in this social/cultural cycle, is in a birthing/labouring room, in which a birthing woman is frustrated and angry at the slowness and difficulty of this birth. Her birthing has her energy all “knotted” in ways that TCM practitioners understand can afflict Wood and increase Anger. She cries out, she rages, she is not (just now) thinking straight.

    But if the business she is engaged in is birthing, then what she benefits from most, just now, is the calm, skilled attention of a good midwife. One who knows where she has gone inside of herself, and won’t let her get lost there, one who will gently keep her focussed on the process and on her innate power to carry it through. One who also deeply understands her duty (per various strands of folklore and old wives tales) to loosen all her clothing and remove any knots or fastenings before approaching the birthing bed, in order to help the birthing woman “loosen” her own knots and bindings and allow the child to be her gift to the light.**

    If it is a help to anyone wondering what prayer or working is appropriate to this time, might I suggest that something midwifely might be just the thing. Something new strives to be born, and the birth pangs afflict us all.

    **A direct translation of my favourite phrase in Spanish to describe birth – “dar a luz”.

  331. @ Chris

    This seems to me to be a very old pattern, one that’s been going on for many, many generations. Women and men alike have contributed to keeping it in place.

    LIke our host, I have always done a lot of the work around the house, and I have always greatly delighted in the process of raising our children. But I have always been the odd man out in this, as in so many other respects.

    My own mother, during my college years, would remark disapprovingly, “Robert, you’ll make a wondefrful wife for some lucky woman!” So even women will raise their sons to disengage from everything that they regard as women’s work. Yet at the same time, my mother and almost all the other women in my family complained that their men didn’t do enough with the house and the children.

    And the men reinforce the pattern. When I first came to my university, our department meetings were always scheduled for the family dinner hours. After a while, I suggested changing the time, and said that I’d like to be home with my family for dinner. One of the older men looked genuinely puzzled and said, Why would anyone want to be home with his family when he could have any excuse not to be?

    To make shared responsibility and engagement go smoothly, my wife and I discovered that we had to share deciding how things should be done. That took some doing, as she (like many women, I think) had been socialized by her parents to think that women were the designated experts at home-making, and men should just always obey their directions as to how things should be done. And I had been socialized to think that men should not blindly obey anyone, not even a wife. But we worked it all out, because we could always talk with one another easily about whatever was bothering us, and we always listened to one another carefully as we talked.

  332. Today – I just finished my weekly reading, or declamation, of Johnny Appleseed. If your working is over, I’d like to send it to my brother, who is 75 today and who has a special devotion to Francis of Assisi. And a fine sense of humor. I racked my brains thinking of a present for him, and it just feels right.

  333. Hi Lathechuck,

    Many Federal agencies have required all applicants to have a degree (in some agencies, a degree relevant to the job; in some, can be in basket weaving) since the Civil Service test was eliminated, in the early ‘90’s if I recall correctly, because not enough people in the preferred ethnic groups were passing. The tragedy is the government once had quite the ethnic mix—of people who were smart enough to pass the Civil Service test. As they aged out, they were replaced by people who had the time and money to sit in classes for four years, but not necessarily any brains. So now you have a government that indeed “looks like America “—PMCs clutching their magic pieces of paper, many of them pig-ignorant and not knowing what they don’t know. A lot of America’s problems come from wanting the government to “look like America “ when “looking like America “ = looking stupid. There are still intelligent people in America but they tend to avoid the large bureaucracies, whether business or governmental. And we’re just talking about people who have to pass some type of employment screening. We see on the news what the political appointees are like.

  334. As well as the Roman schools of philosophy there are stories of people who would brave a pirate-infested Mediterranean to study at a famous school of logic or rhetoric. What do you think would be good subjects of study at similar great schools, now and into the future?

    One thing I’d include is Crew Resource Management training – https://www.paradigmhp.com/high-performance-teams. As well as its utility in teaching something people are not naturally good at, it looks so much fun – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43g0Ba1lBRQ. I’m really looking forward to doing it myself, as long as things work out.

  335. Lew:
    I’m not anti-vaccine by a long shot. My children had their immunizations on time when they were little and I make sure that I’m up to date with my tetanus because I work mostly outside and seem to cut or snag myself on old or buried hardware, fencing, etc. frequently.

    That said, I don’t know if I’d rush out for a corona vaccine. I’m not entirely sold on the safety of something that is being developed at breakneck speed and wonder if there’d be an advantage for labs to overlook unwelcome data. For the record, my dad was a doctor of microbiology (retired in the 1990’s), worked in research and sterilization for one of the biggest pharma companies around. He was a man of principle; on several occasions he was asked to sign off on something or other that he felt did not have sufficient data supporting its efficacy and was being rushed for economic reasons. He would not comply and was demoted to a make-work position until the company needed his expertise again. He used to joke that the longer his official title, the smaller his authority. I’d be naive to think that doesn’t still happen.

  336. @Arkansas

    I have been around the Internet long enough to remember when the “Don’t feed the troll” phrase was a new thing. Many communities were self policing back then, with very hands off moderation. Then, barriers of entry dropped, new comers could not be bothered to give a glimpse to the unwritten rules, and every forum that did not implement a strong moderation policy went down the drains.

    Reflecting on your question to JMG, I’d say that Democracy is a high-yield, high-maintenance political system. You can get a lot out of it, but the majority of the people has to invest lots of effort for it to remain functional. Autocrats are not needed when the people know how to handle themselves with a modicum of civic sense; it is when the people have forgotten how to behave when strong men become a necessary evil.

    @ Patricia M.
    Thanks a lot! You have made my day.

    Please let me add this, though. Mask are but one hammer in the toolbox. It is more important, to wash your hands frequently, and to train yourself to not touch your face. The SARS2 virus remains seconds/minutes in the air, but hours in surfaces where people can pick it up with their hands.

  337. Matt – I have no idea how this applies to your medical condition, but have you tried running a dehumidifier in your living space, rather than a full-on air-conditioner? Just taking moisture out of the air allows your body to cool itself with perspiration (which doesn’t necessarily require beads of sweat running down your face).

  338. Woke science fiction writer John Scalzi::

    https://whatever.scalzi.com/2020/06/25/when-friends-fuck-up-and-so-do-i/

    (Sorry about the unDruidly language in the link)

    I read Scalzi because he photoshops sunsets and some of them are of unearthly beauty. Blogs being blogs, he’ll also put up an eye-catching headline from time to time.

    I was not interested enough in whatever problematic action the friend took to look it up, so I don’t know if the guy micro-aggressed, barbecued live puppies while cackling maniacally, or something in between. What interested me was Scalzi ‘s thinking, relating to someone ‘s (Kimberly’s?) observation that leftists are depressed. After reading this, I can see why. Responsibility for the behavior of everyone you know would be a heavy burden. A normal person in Scalzi ‘s situation would say, “My gosh, I just found out Mr. Friend is a real jerk! Steve, take him off the Christmas card list, and make sure we’re not able to come to anything he invites us to,” and think no more of it, and certainly would not take partial responsibility for whatever Mr. Jerk did that Normal had not known about. Scalzi has shown us not only why leftists are depressed, but why they are so ferociously intent on forcing everyone into their Procrustean bed.

    I think that’s my last meditation on lunacy for the month. Will see if I can find interesting stuff we can enjoy.

    I must have tossed the Pup, sorry. Perhaps you can discursively meditate your own cuteness. When Fastleft found her, she was about the size of a six-week German shepherd puppy and starving. She has black fur that falls naturally into spike-shaped clumps, tulip ears, and orange eyes with their own inner glow. Roly-poly, big paws, cute as a bug’s ear. Enjoy!

  339. @Beekeeper

    That article was precisely what I was talking about. I will have to stick my neck even further and say that this stinks to Ebola-Chan all over again.

    First, the website. From their about page they claim: “Fort Russ News is a crack team of freedom fighters doing journalism – reaching more than 100,000 readers a day – with a focus primarily on the trials and tribulations of modernity, and anti-imperialist struggles world-wide which signal the rise of a multipolar world.” These are not journalist, but people with a political agenda who write persuasive (not informative) prose and window dress it as “news”. You should expect everything that comes out of their keyboards to be twisted out of context, if not outright fabrications.

    As for the article, Dr. Blaylock claims that some unidentified researchers have found health care workers using N95 masks for hours at a time have developed headaches. Actually worse headaches, because many of said workers had preexisting conditions whose symptoms got worse when they began using the mask. He offers the plausible explanation that the cause of this is lower oxygen intake because it is known that N95 mask do reduce blood oxygenation. Adds another unreferenced study about more health workers feeling their work performance decrease with N95 masks on.

    Then, in all defiance of all logic, Blaylock jumps to the conclusion that poor frail elderly people are being lied to, and not informed “of these dangers when wearing a facial mask of any kind—which can cause a severe worsening of lung function”. First, he never before mentioned any mask other than N95. Second, I’d like to think that worsening of lung function has a technical definition, with the further “severe” qualifier makes even more specific. And “feeling not Ok” because you have been in an oxygen poor environment does not qualify (Otherwise, WHO would have declared ages ago that every industrial city in the world is a safety hazard).

    He makes a bunch of other claims that are factually true, but highly irrelevant to the question of whether people should use face masks or not, or how to use those safely. The most ridiculous claim is that mask are bad because they prevent people to exhale the virus. Hellooooo, that’s the whole point! If you are already infected, the expected outcome may be worse FOR YOU if you use a mask. On the other hand, if you are healthy, do not use the mask and put yourself in a risky situation, the chance of infection will be higher FOR YOU today, AND FOR EVERYONE THAT IS AROUND YOU for the next 2 weeks. It is like driving without a seat belt because of the chance that if you crash and the vehicle catches fire (and you didn’t die or got knocked unconscious in the crash), the belt will trap you and you will burn to death.

    That being said, the chance that “the virus” can enter the brain through the olfactory nerves is indeed frightening. However this claim, as every other claim in the article actually, lacks references. I am unsure this specific claim refers to the COVID-19 virus, given that he was talking about respiratory viruses in the paragraph immediately above.

  340. Hi Beekeeper,

    I quite agree. Many people do not know that, thanks to former VP Gore’s “the government is really a business “ fantasies, the FDA is financed by fees companies pay to cover the expenses of having their products tested and approved. This means that products may be approved for other than strictly scientific reasons. I suggest that, unless the alternative is death coming sooner than you thought, that people avoid new medications, especially heavily advertised ones, until they’ve been out in the world for a while and have not been seen to kill a significant number of people. And it’s not just the FDA’s funding that’s the problem. Drug manufacturers lie to them. Look up the case of Vioxx.

    I may be here to tell you about this because I observed the above precautions. In ‘05 I had foot surgery. The surgeon was probably the best in the area for Achilles-tendon surgery. He was also the greediest man I’ve ever met. He was ALWAYS trying to sell you something—expensive orthopedic shoes, inserts, vitamins, you name it. And he must have been getting a fantabulous kickback for Vioxx. Even for him, he was very aggressive about it. Office festooned with Vioxx ads, Vioxx everywhere you looked. And when I came in for my weekly cast change, he’d advise me to switch from Indocin to Vioxx. When I said I’d wait till it had been around a while, he’d lecture me on how safe it was.

    Then—I forget when exactly—the scandal broke. Dr. Greedy ‘s office looked quite bare without all those Vioxx trinkets! 😄. He and his partner adjusted their schedules so now we see the partner, Dr. Businesslike, who just wants to cure what ails your feet and get on to the next pair. We like him a lot better, although if I needed Achilles tendon surgery on the other foot, I’d still want Dr. Greedy holding the knife—but I’d want somebody else, anybody else, to handle post-operative care. All those sales pitches got tiresome! Now, when I meet some poor soul trying to sign me up for Amway, I don’t get annoyed, I know they’re desperate, but a surgeon hustling nonstop? Harrumph.

  341. To Booklover and JillN,

    I’d agree with both of you, the apathy is a problem in and of itself, and it’s also a blessing – it depends on the circumstances. This emphasis of the mediocre is, however, certainly a case of collective trauma work after the Nazis, and as necessary as it is, it has bad consequences of its own.
    I for one would like to see another Goethe, Leibnitz, Humboldt, Schiller, or Haeckel, but if it takes some time before Germany can tolerate some moving and shaking again, that’s how it is.

    These examples from Germany’s history, however, may be helpful for gauging the kinds of long-term effects that can be expected once this truly insane phase of globalisation comes to an end.
    So many countries and peoples have experienced similarly profound changes, just because they were technically possible! Think of the Indian and Pakistani workers Dubai and the Emirates, the huge number of young, adventurous Latin Americans who left for the U.S., the dictatorships imposed in their home countries on behalf of the banana and oil companies, the global tsunami of urbanisation – it will take centuries before these disruptions to peoples’ collective memories and identities will be fully worked out.

    Of course, there have always been movements of people and bizarre and despotic kinds of governments, but the oil age has surely pumped things up quite a bit.

  342. Brigyn, I remember that kind of thinking well. Back in the days when I blogged about peak oil, people would come trotting in with all these pie-in-the-sky plans, and I’d ask them, “What are the economics like? How are you going to pay for it?” I wouldn’t even get a blank look. They’d just rabbit on about how it was technically feasible, as though economics didn’t exist and as though of course I couldn’t possibly have mentioned such a thing. It was frankly eerie.

    I finally lost my temper — we were talking about the twilight of the internet, and after three posts in a row where I focused on the economic reasons why the internet couldn’t pay for itself, and most of the commenters insisted on not talking about that even when I addressed them directly in the comments — and I did the equivalent of pounding my fist and shouting, “the next commenter who pretends that I haven’t raised the issue of economics is going to get banned.”

    There was dead silence, and then some sulky comments to the effect of, well, yeah, economics, but it’s so cool to talk about technical feasibility. That’s when I realized that the transhumanist technophiles don’t actually believe a word of it. They know perfectly well that they’re LARPing and none of the things they chatter about are never going to happen, but chattering about those things is how they avoid dealing with reality.

    David BTL, that’s wonderful news. Thank you.

    Jasper, not only can it happen, it happens all the time. Vote fraud is as American as apple pie, and always has been.

    David BTL, it is indeed — and that’s one of the reasons that it’s wonderful news. And yes, I bet the experts are having cattle about now…

    Your Kittenship, the question was the one about how you determine whether thoughts you experience are from your mind or from other minds, and what the thoughts of plants are like. What did you want to have elaborated?

    Katherine, you’re welcome and thank you! I wrote Mystery Teachings from the Living Earth out of a sense of frustration with a lot of the popular spirituality in circulation, which insists that limits are always bad and the universe wants you to have as many goodies as you happen to crave. I’m glad to hear it’s been useful to you and others.

    Lathechuck, fair enough. After BLM did an ask-me-anything on Reddit and the spokesflack refused to give meaningful answers to questions about where the money goes to, I had some serious doubts.

    Matt, for heaven’s sake, green wizardry does not require you to put on a hair shirt and flog yourself for your supposed sins! Use an air conditioner if you need one for your health, and concentrate on reducing your energy footprint in ways where you can do so without hurting yourself.

    Patricia M, thank you for this! That’s an important article.

    Millicently, you’re most welcome.

    Lathechuck, yeah, that’s about what I’d expect.

    Andy, I’ve had four essays on Hacker News at this point, but this is still good news.

    Joy Marie, oh my. This means that Trump will win in a landslide. I mean that quite seriously — once the promoters of anything use the phrase “It’s different this time,” doom follows promptly. It’s like the line “This cannot be — I am invincible!” in the mouths of old movie villains of the Ming of Mongo variety; when those words are uttered, duck behind the zarkonium blast shield, because you’re three…two…one seconds from an explosion that will vaporize everything within a couple of planetary diameters.

    Foxhands, I expect Vietnam to come through the Long Descent in fine shape. The Vietnamese have had plenty of opportunities in recent centuries to learn how to deal with crises in an efficient and economical fashion, and so it’s no surprise that they’re good at it. The United States is on the other end of the spectrum; we haven’t had a real crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s, and watching how ineptly we’ve handled the current nanocrisis does not bode well for what will happen when we actually have to buckle down and deal with tough times. Britain? Their last genuine crisis was in the Second World War, and the same rule applies.

    Peter, thanks for this. Mail-in ballots are just begging for fraud.

    Varun, no; as you might notice, it’s up and has gotten a response.

    David, funny. Thank you.

    Scotlyn, that strikes me as a very hopeful way to approach this. Thank you!

    Patricia, you can certainly send the poem along, without reference to the status of the working.

    Yorkshire, I have no idea. The future is an unknown country.

  343. @ Andrew

    Perhaps ask your girlfriend to read JMG’s “In the footsteps of High John”. History is complex and this passage should give her food for thought.

    “Slavery was a normal practice in most of the world’s nations in the 15th century, and the bustling urban centers of West Africa had slave markets long before the first ship arrived to buy slaves to ship to the New World. Though some enslaved Africans were kidnapped by white raiders, the vast majority were purchased at slave markets in those port cities.”

  344. JMG, I am interested in hearing about the thoughts of plants.

    My Xmas cactus is thinking “When is she going to repot me?” 😄

    Whenever she remembers to buy a bigger pot.

  345. Dear JMG, please permit me to thank you for “A Voyage to Hyperborea”. I find it to be the crowning volume of the outstanding “The Weird of Hali” series, of which I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed all.

    One specific observation: the character Wren Kingston-Brown, or also Vrispaa, lives in my heart, unforgettably. To deeply love someone separated from you by 300 million years—this takes poignant yearning to a transcendent level.

    A question for you: in your conception of the world/universe, does every beautiful, kind, and loving deed alter, perhaps forever alter, the character and course of the world/universe. [I can’t help yearn that Vrispaa’s love so transformed her world.]

  346. @James and @JMG,

    If we examine the general religious tendencies of ancient Celtic societies in different geographical regions, we can find some common patterns as follows:

    1) Using a sacred grove (nemeton) for Druid meetings.
    2) Flexibility in adopting local practices and venerating indigeneous deities of the regions they inhabited and common Celtic deities side by side. For example, Celts of Gaul incorporated some of the Roman deities into their pantheon as well as their own deities; similarly, Celts of Galatia (Central Anatolia) incorporated some of the Phyrigian deities like Cybele and Attis while also retaining some of the Celtic deities as well.

    From these patterns, I think we can extrapolate that British Druids also practiced a similar kind of syncretism with both their original religious traditions and that of older megalithic cultures in there. However, I’m not sure whether we can conclude that they also adopted older stone circles for ritual practices. Searching the possible similarities (like similar artefacts and similar geometric layouts) between actual nemetons and British stone circles would be a fruitful line of research to test that hypothesis. If there are such significant similarities, than it may be more likely that the ancient British Druids really adopted those stone circles as an analogous substitute for nemetons.

  347. One rather beautiful observation I’d like to share here: The sky has changed. At least in that little part of the world where I live. The ongoing absence of most airplanes and their vapor trails allows for views of the sky many of us might not have seen for decades. Not too long ago, an ordinary cold front came marching in with lots of high towering cumulus louds accompanied by (and this makes the major difference) cirrus clouds which gave a very dramatic contrast to the bright blue sky above. If I have ever seen such a sky, it has to bee a long time ago. It was a feeling like coming home after a long vacation, when everything in your home has this fresh and familiar, yet unfamiliar touch. Stunning. The last few days we had hot weather and I don’t remember when was the last time I have seen a completely undisturbed deep blue sky. It’s difficult to explain the feelings watching nature being allowed to unfold its powers undisturbed cause in me – it’s a bizarre mixture of awe, joy and also of anger, of course.

    Greetings,
    Nachtgurke

  348. JMG– Thank you! Yes, I was thinking that would be the next step, once the ADF discussion started winding down (as it looks like it has).

  349. So JMG, what do you think Trump’s chances of winning are, seriously? I mean, even The American Conservative, for gosh sakes, has basically written him off.

    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/trump-end-republican-jimmy-carter/

    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-rally-that-could-have-been/

    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-fight-on-the-right-a-pre-trump-or-post-trump-future/

    The last one is really telling: the “post-Trump future”-almost like he’s going to be gone in a few months…

    Of course, we’re still five months out from the election, and a whole lot of unexpected things can (and probably will) happen. But-and I’m genuinely curious-what makes you think Trump is in the lead right now, when as far as I can tell literally everyone else believes otherwise?

  350. Chris – (and JMG)

    I will respond from my gut (being a man, and having been involved with Mens groups work). I suspect there are lot of men who are terribly confused about their role as men nowadays, how they’re supposed to relate to women, how they are supposed to relate to the world around them. Why do they lie or neglect their family duties etc? I will have to broadly agree with JMG’s assessment that they try to bring up (unrelated) issues, and are smacked down for it, and find it easier to lapse into passive aggression rather than trying to fight.

    The world of Gender equality is quite confusing for many men (and women), I don’t say this to oppose gender equality or suggest we go back to the 1950’s, but to say we live in a confusing and transformative time for the sexes.

    I will be honest, for example, as a single straight white (downwardly mobile middle class) man, in my late 20’s I instinctively often avoid women nearer to my own age. I’m remembering an observation I think Jordan Peterson made. Women are trained these days to distrust traditional masculinity on an intellectual level, yet in their bodies crave strong men, and despise feeble feminized men. The Paradoxes of this situation can make women (particularly in intimate sexual relationships) rather confusing and difficult to deal with (or trigger happy), and if we as men try to articulate this situation, we get slapped down as misogynistic etc. It is still assumed that a woman is more emotionally mature than the man (even when the reality is far more complex).

    I think what we all need is some full and frank honesty about what men and women want. the problem is, we may say things that are taboo in the current gender discourse…

  351. @JMG: regarding the fine print of ActBlue it certainly seems suspicious, but seems like there is only speculation and no evidence this is happening. If it were to come out that it happened it would be quite a blow to them as it would be illlegal, they’re using the ActBlue Charity, which is a nonprofit and can’t donate to political campaigns, and BLM is a nonprofit and can’t donate to political campaigns.

    @Varun: wonderful mini essay, bravo!

  352. This might be a slightly bizarre question. Is there any truth in the claims that Shingon monks can self-mummify by eating certain kinds of poison? I came across the claim in a popularized botany book!

  353. Grover, thanks for the link to the work from PSU on estimating COVID infection rates in March. I have looked at the cited article by Silverman et al. and it is indeed intriguing. I have often thought myself that
    – there must have been many cases in Lombardy before the first detection
    – there must have been many cases in Washington state before the first clinical detection, since the virus was present in samples from January
    – there may very well have been a lot of cases in NYC (and in Montreal, too) before the official outburst.

    In fact, my family half supposes we caught it during the last days of February, when official Canadian numbers were still very low.

    Silverman et al., of course, only estimate incidence of infection up to March, and in March the overall numbers were still low enough, even by their estimates, that deaths would have hardly stood out from background noise, so it doesn’t make much sense to estimate mortality for March from their data (and they, sensibly, don’t try do do this). For April, their guesses converge with the antibody tests in New York.

    The truly interesting question is: if infection rates up to March were indeed just as high in many other American states as in New York, then why has mortality been so much lower in those other states than in NY in April, May and June? I completely agree with you that if they are right, the baseline lethality of Covid is 80 times lower than usually supposed, and one has to search for special reasons in NY, Lombardy, Manaus etc. However, their reasoning is extremely indirect and dearly needs confirmation by direct measurements. It beats me why the other states haven’t done antibody testing on random samples of their population. Even in Brazil with its chaotic reaction, a provincial university has been able to gather donations and conduct a random samply study in all the states. In Brazil, just as in Germany and Sweden, the fraction of the general population with antibodies was 6-7 times higher than known cases, not 80 times higher.

  354. JMG,

    Did you see the news about the recent magnetic anomoly? Apparently the new solar minimum — possibly a grand one — has made things quiet enough to reveal perhaps other phenomenon about us. Any thoughts?

    Sure, we could do without the police if nobody owned a gun

    Patricia,

    You really mean “if everybody owned a gun”. Guns are the world’s greatest equalizer, especially for women; otherwise, you’re subject to anyone that’s bigger and stronger than you are. Remember, ‘an armed society is a polite society’.

  355. Hi BB,

    What THIS woman wants is an end to computerized proofreading! I’m reading a book of trivia about various religions that refers to “Saint Teresa of Uvila.” 🙄😡

    I believe John Michael Greeg has spoken eloquently of his devotion to St. Teresa of Uvila.

    Now, BB, many young men have complained in print about how young women are impossible to live with these days. Human beings are more or less herd animals, and what the herd tells a young woman directly contradicts what her common sense and 10,000 years of evolution tell her. So no wonder they’re cranky. Granted,understanding doesn’t make them any easier to be around. I have no advice other than that the short-term solution may be for you young fellows to take up with us old ladies. Most of us know how to cook and can teach you, we have, um, experience, and we cannot become inconveniently pregnant. You can entertain us late into the night, open the jars, cut the grass, and generally be the Man About The House we like to have. But that’s only a short-term solution. I don’t have a long-term solution that’ll keep the human race going.

  356. Your Kittenship, it’s a standard element of occult teachings that life and mind exist in all things, even those our culture likes to label “inanimate.” Develop your perceptions through meditation and you start to notice that a lot of the thoughts passing through your mind aren’t yours; keep practicing and you begin to notice that many of them don’t have human sources. You can learn to listen to the thoughts of plants — it takes practice, and a certain tolerance for slowness, because plants don’t think quickly any more than they move quickly. Give it a try.

    William, you’re welcome and thank you! In response to your question, remember that in the Haliverse, to borrow a bit of phrasing from the shoggoths, “the world has no eyes, but we have eyes.” The universe does not notice the lives that appear and vanish so briefly in it; it is as serenely unconcerned with the love between Toby and Vrispaa as it is with Bill Allen’s villainy or with the fate of the collared lemming Toby encountered so briefly on the tundra near North Station. As Sho the shoggoth points out in The Shoggoth Concerto, though, you and I are not the universe; a thing does not have to mean anything to the universe to mean everything to us. So each human act, beautiful or ugly, kind or cruel, loving or hateful, affects other human beings (and in the Haliverse, a fairly wide range of unhuman beings); it matters profoundly to us — but the universe continues serenely on its way and notices neither our achievements nor our stupidities.

    Minervaphilos, that would indeed be interesting.

    Nachtgurke, thanks for this!

    Steve, I’ll have something up shortly.

    Tolkienguy, The American Conservative has been writing him off all along, as far as I can tell. They’re typical old-line religious conservatives, profoundly uncomfortable with the new populism. Me? I think it’s most likely that he’ll win handily, and quite possibly by a landslide, because his opponents are consistently identifying themselves with positions that only 15% to 20% of American voters support — and doing it in ways that are breeding a great deal of resentment among the other 80% to 85%. As for “literally everyone else” — sure, the media and the pundits are all on one side. Do you recall how they were lined up in 2016?

    Isaac, did you read the Reddit ask-me-anything where somebody from BLM appeared? Her response to a whole series of questions about where the money goes was pure handwaving. That’s why I’m far from confident that you’re right.

    Tidlösa, I see you’ve heard of the mummified monks of Senninzawa. It’s not a matter of poison — it’s a matter of a very carefully designed system of fasting and special diet that does in fact, over the course of several years, end in mummification. Here’s a good article on the subject.

    Aidan, thanks for this.

    TJ, the Earth’s magnetic field is collapsing — that’s been known for decades now, though nobody’s quite sure how soon it’ll start getting really weird. This happens at regular intervals; the last one was 780,000 years ago, so our ancestors lived through it. When it happens, the magnetic field doesn’t go away completely, but there are multiple poles that form and dissolve chaotically for a period of uncertain length, and then it settles back into a new stable state with the south pole more or less where the north pole used to be, and vice versa. In the meantime, your pocket compass isn’t going to be worth much, and a lot of satellites will be fried because the Earth’s protective magnetic field won’t reach out anything like so far.

  357. Happy news: Patty Smyth, who sang “The Warrior “ all those years ago, is 63 today. 🎂

    I think Patty SmIth, who sang “Because The Night “ all those years ago, is about the same age. May the Pattys rock on for many years to come.

  358. @ Beekeeper in Vermont – Oh, I quit agree. I guess I wasn’t very clear. I won’t be rushing out, and lining up. I’ll give it awhile, see if anyone grows two heads 🙂 . Weigh the possible side effects (there’s always possible side effects) and then see how I feel about it. Lew

  359. JMG, and Eike, that is what I would suggest, too. The Federal Republic of Germany has existed barely long enough to suss out some political patterns. The pattern that comes to mind is that a single chancellor governs for quite a long time, then after a while, another comes in. The chancellors in question are Konrad Adenauer, Helmut Kohl and Angela Merkel. Another trend is that there are more parties now than in the 50s, some have vanishjed, others are more or less new, and the SPD, the Social Democrats, have markedly dwindled, sometimes locally to values below 10%.

  360. @Varun

    Thanks for the astute analysis of our current situation! I wholeheartedly agree, and I think sometimes we spend too much energy trying to attribute intent to what is really just blind rage.

    Re: COVID vaccines

    As one who earned a graduate degree by splicing DNA and genetically modifying bacteria (before I fell out of love with Progress), I can say that I’m definitely not going to be first in line to get the shot. At this point I know from a sample size of around 2.5 million people what my risks are if I get the virus – and for my age group it’s not much worse than the flu – but I have no idea what the risks will be with a rushed-to-production vaccine. No vaccine has ever been developed on this timetable. Vaccine candidates are typically injected into a fairly large test population that is then monitored for 12-18 months for adverse effects. Reasonably often such effects are observed, and the candidate is scrapped. That step is going to be skipped if they start injecting millions of people in January.

    The process by which the immune system generates antibodies is wonderfully creative and basically involves trying millions of chemical “keys” to see which one fits the viral “lock.” Once the right key is found, it is multiplied many times and circulated, allowing the body to detect new viruses as soon as they appear. Occasionally these keys also fit locks on our own cells – called “cross-reactivity” of antibodies – and when this happens the immune system launches an attack. The results – in terms of post-viral fatigue syndromes and all manner of autoimmune disorders – can be lifelong and devastating and can also take a long time to appear. That is one good reason why rushed vaccine testing is dangerous.

    One of the leading vaccine candidates often in the news – created by Moderna – would be the first RNA vaccine ever used in humans. Rather than injecting attenuated virus particles to stimulate an antibody response, the vaccine contains incomplete viral RNA which is taken up by cells and expressed as surface proteins, to which the immune system creates antibodies which then also bind to the real virus. It works in theory, in the lab, and in animal trials, but autoimmunity is a known risk, and training the immune system to attack its own cells – even if they happen to be expressing foreign proteins – seems to me like a good recipe for inducing dangerous autoimmune reactions that may not become apparent in a short-term trial.

  361. People should just do the housework they are comfortable with. My husband vacuums every week sometimes. I don’t do it if he doesn’t. If there is too much grit underfoot I might use a carpet sweeper or brush on that part. It is not my place to tell him what to do and not his to tell me what to do. If you can’t do the work willingly, don’t do it. You’re not going for a good housekeeping award. We all need enough money to be comfortable and to keep our house in a state we can enjoy.
    Relax, people.

  362. On the subject of a malign enchantment preventing the perception or belief in magic, I would say there is a strong energy associating internal perceptions and feelings as insanity which vastly limits the scope that people allow themselves to perceive. A counter movement of trusting in self would likely help.

  363. Lady Cutekitten said-

    “Human beings are more or less herd animals, and what the herd tells a young woman directly contradicts what her common sense and 10,000 years of evolution tell her. So no wonder they’re cranky.”

    Oh I absolutely sympathize with the reasons why young women might be difficult. I would say the herd also contradicts what 10,000 years of evolution tell us young men too.

    “I have no advice other than that the short-term solution may be for you young fellows to take up with us old ladies. Most of us know how to cook and can teach you, we have, um, experience, and we cannot become inconveniently pregnant. You can entertain us late into the night, open the jars, cut the grass, and generally be the Man About The House we like to have. But that’s only a short-term solution. I don’t have a long-term solution that’ll keep the human race going.”

    Funnily enough that’s precisely what I am doing (well aside from the entertaining long into the night bit 😉 ). I work as a gardener/landscaper/laborer and quite a lot of my clients are old ladies. I find them quite good company generally, mostly pretty easy to deal with and quite grateful for the services us young men can offer. I sometimes think my life would be easier if I were gay (Actually to be honest I don’t hang out round other young men much either, though I’m not as instinctively weary of them as I am of young women), or sexually attracted to much older women, though of course neither solution would solve the problem of the reproduction of the human race.

    I will admit, I sometimes reflect that this is possibly why so many human societies choose to keep their womenfolk under tight wraps. Let (particularly young) women off the leach and they’re too chaotic to decide anything for themselves. I will stress here again I am not advocating this policy, I am just reflecting of the difficulties faced by young men like myself.

  364. BB – thanks a million for that thoughtful reply to Chris.

    You say – “Women are trained these days to distrust traditional masculinity on an intellectual level, yet in their bodies crave strong men, and despise feeble feminized men”…

    I agree very much with the picture you draw of confusion and the fearfulness of treading wrongly that characterises much that goes on between men and women.

    But I have perhaps a slightly different way to think about resolving this condundrum. The problem with traditional masculinity as I encountered it (I am now approaching my 60th birthday) was the way in which it trained many of the young men I encountered to measure their own strength with “external” measures, which most perniciously included the degree to which they could dominate a woman and achieve outward signs of her submission. There was a word for a man who could not demonstrate some woman’s submission to him. And you have used it here – a “feminised” man. A man who had given up on, or could not achieve being thought “masculine”. But is that the only direction that the wealth of potential, and the inner light, that exists in a man can go?

    Even in my time there was a dearth of models for the kind of “inner strength” that is ACTUALLY attractive, instead of the flawed models for the kind of masculinity that consisted of demonstrating that this woman (objectionably, from time to time, me) is his “thing”.

    I presume this dearth of models continues, although I’d like to bear witness that such men actually exist quite plentifully (I see and hear from many of them on this site, btw, you can too!) but perhaps are not doing it out loud, as it were. That “masculinity” seemed to mean that a man’s light could only shine if it was fit to snuff out a woman’s light, (and that “femininity” seemed to consist of being nice about letting your own light get snuffed out, so long as there were no actual bruises) was, of course, the reason young women of my generation rebelled, so as to be able to shine our own lights. I never saw this rebellion as an urge to snuff out the inner lights of men, but as a simple claim that everyone’s inner light deserves to shine and not be snuffed out.

    I’d like to propose that being dominated is NOT the aspect of male potential that women (at least women of my experience) find attractive. And that it is not even a sign of strength. Attractiveness is much more connected to another one of Jordan’s buzzwords – “competence”. and Competence in the pursuit of a chosen domain of action or knowledge, and the quiet confidence of knowing and being comfortable with who you are and the worth you have and what accomplishments you are capable of – all of these (in my very certain experience) release a man to be strong, and to know his own strength, without him needing to use another person’s submission as its measure. He is released to appreciate the commensal worth and strength of the female partner to whom he is attracted.

    THIS is what is attractive. Because the man whose flame burns so brightly that he has no need to snuff out another’s is very attractive to another flame that also wants to burn brightly. As I have found for myself. Thankfully.

  365. About those coronavirus fatality rates and NYC…..I got a lot of science answers back and frankly I’ve seen those all from the researchers on Twitter.

    I’m interested in the non-20th century science answers for what happened in NYC to make 9% of people infected die. It’s the fact so many were infected with the virus. We are seeing a lot of people infected right now and the death rate has dropped.

    I honestly think the death rate is dropping because people just don’t care about the virus anymore. They are done worrying about it. Around where I live, people put on a mask to go into a store because its required, but no one wears gloves anymore and no one wipes down the cart handles. People are relaxed and casual. They are totally over covid.

    But I believe in the placebo effect and I really believe in the power of the mind over the body. I’ve seen people literally worry themselves sick, and once sick go on a completely downward spiral. I was hoping some others in this comment community thought mind played a role in the outcome.

    And I’m not trying to start a conspiracy theory or new age explanation of events. I’m really just trying to understand why NYC was so deadly.

  366. @Lady Cutekitten of Lolcat: My original question to JMG about plant intelligences is closer to the top of this thread. I comment here from time to time under a different name, but because people I know personally may guess who I am from my handle, I post about occult topics anonymously even though there is a small chance of them doing so. Makes it hard to find my posts in the thread, though.

    @JMG: Could you add my email to the list about the Druid church? Thank you!

  367. Matthias,

    I appreciate your comments; yours is a scientific voice I definitely stop to listen to around here.

    My biggest problem with all this COVID business is the class/political factor. The reports are entirely inconsistent from one demographic sector to the next. Hence, you have extremely leftist coastal urban centers shrieking apocalyptic doom and demanding absolute acquiescence to their “solutions,” cherry-picking the data to fit their needs; and on the other, extremely rightist rural populations in flyover country mostly just going about their business, wishing things would be allowed to return to normal, whatever the actual level of virulence. (And probably cherry-picking the data to fit their needs.)

    My take, FWIW, is that those latter are the people who believe in themselves, and in their God. They trust that the hard physical work they do every day has prepared them for whatever comes; and if that isn’t enough, their faith will be; and if neither of those spare them, well, life is hard, and shale happens – I feel bad about leaving my wife and kids to fend for themselves, but maybe I can finally get some rest!

    On the leftist end, I agree with our host’s thoughts concerning the ongoing collapse of the religion of Progress. This CAN’T be how our story ends. We can’t let these backwards hicks win. We’ve got to seize control of everything before THEY destroy it. (Completely oblivious, I think, to the fact that they’ve been systematically and mercilessly destroying THEM for the past 40 years with their voting and consumer habits, and are on the verge of being crushed in retaliation, by force if it can’t be done politically. Personally, I believe we’re in for an epic smack-down in November.)

    And I still have yet to meet anyone who personally knows someone who’s died of COVID. Though I’ve talked to dozens of people who think they’ve had it, as far back as October – that it was awful, but they got over it – myself included. So I honestly don’t know what to believe about the subject. It’s too freighted, too political. And statistics are too easy to manipulate. Especially for a population educated under Common Core mathematics…

    But, as always, thank you for chiming in on the matter.
    Grover

  368. JMG, your assertion that people don’t want to return to their miserable lives in “The Before Times”, is coming true again around me. People are dragging their feet to re-start up any voluntary association group that takes up their evenings, such as clubs based on hobbies. Many of these groups clearly ran out of obligation to make them continue. Have you ever attended a group meeting where you can literally feel in the air the dread and heavy burden of those who feel they have to be there? There’s no joy, no welcoming warmth. These are miserable places to be.

    But the people who run these groups insist that they must stay and run them because no one else would do it. It never dawns on them that no one else can run it because they are squatted there giving off such a stench that it keeps everyone away.

    The virus has provided the ultimate reason to not continue the groups “for now.” The group is not allowed to transform into something else or meet in a different way, and everyone must wait until the virus goes away.

    The virus really shined a light and illuminated how things actually are for people. I’m trying to encourage people to take on the changes and play with some different approaches to handle them. It’s a great time to experiment and do something new.

    The idea that people were miserable in their old life and they are not willing to return to that life is very key for what we’ll see unfold over the next year or more. This will be witnessed in what people DO not what they say or their long list of explanations.

  369. Eike, and JMG, one point which I would like to add is that averageness and unassimungness is not limited to Germany; Switzerland, and its politicians don’t make much of a name for themselves, although Switzerland didn’t take part in either of the World Wars or in National Socialism, so a national trauma cannot be the cause there. In my opinion, it may simply be one of the consequences of the decline and fall of a civilization that outstanding personalities and original works of thought become rare.

  370. TJandTheBear – ” Guns are the world’s greatest equalizer, especially for women”

    I suspect this is only true in rare cases. If a person of lesser physical strength, lesser mental strength, subject to moral uncertainty or under another’s coercive control BRINGS a gun into a fraught situation, and then loses control of said gun to the stronger or more dominant person, then all they have done is given the dominant person one more weapon to hold against them, which will exacerbate the inequality between their strengths.

    That is to say, it is not guns that shoot (or threaten) it is people who shoot (or threaten). And vulnerability often consists of inability or incapacity to be ruthless enough to shoot or threaten effectively. A gun cannot shore up such deficiencies, in my humble opinion. The deficiencies have to be first made good within the person. Only then can one be 100% certain that the gun one brings to a situation will remain attached to oneself, and not be turned into the weapon of the most ruthless party, who may *NOT* be oneself.

  371. Hi John Michael,

    Thank you for the lovely words. And she did know no fear and despite her diminutive size, she ruled the collective of much larger dogs with an iron paw.

    I planted a flowering cherry tree over her grave, and the grave was dug at an elevation ever so slightly higher than her former mates who are resting nearby. She would have enjoyed the touch.

    Mark Twain once wrote: “The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man’s.”

    Cheers

    Chris

  372. Hi Beekeeper,

    Lovely words and thank you for writing them. 🙂

    Thanks to for sharing the story of your delightful cat, and you have my sympathies for your loss. I don’t allow the dogs to sleep in the bedroom as they snore and have occasional bouts of flatulence after consuming some unmentionable organic matter discovered on the farm. Anyway, the smartest dog I ever encountered eventually broke my spirit and scored a little sleeping arrangement on the floor of the bedroom. As he got older, the sleeping arrangement got better to, so as to accommodate his ageing bones. He was a smart dog, and somehow managed to have two other sleeping arrangements located strategically about the house. The other dogs didn’t know what to make of it, and neither did I. He died a year or so back, and like you probably do now, every time you go to bed, you wonder where is he? And so I understand the pain that you are going through right now. But then I wouldn’t not want to have them running around the farm doing their crazy canine (or feline in your case) business, so you take the good with the bad and that is how life goes and each of their personalities brightens up our lives.

    Hi Sister,

    Thanks and she was the boss dog and lived a long and proper life as befitted a boss dog. Sorry to hear about the loss of your eldest cat (and I’ve known some fine cats in my time) a year back, and you have my sympathies. Some cats can be like that can’t they? As a young adult I had a cat who thought that he was a dog, because the boss dog at the time raised him to think that. He loved the boss dog, but there were times when the feline side rang loudly and he’d sit in the hallway waiting for the boss dog to wander past. The boss dog became increasingly nervous as she got closer to the cat. When suddenly the cat would pounce on the much larger boss dog. Yet they used to happily sleep nestled up together. And when the older boss dog died, the cat died a few days later of a broken heart. Thanks, and can’t we all do inelegant from time to time when it is necessary! 😉

    Hi Patricia,

    Oh thank you. The animals that come into and out of my life are like little boon companions upon this journey, and they bring a lot of joy. So sorry for your loss. But would you have it any other way and miss out on their companionship?

    Thanks!

    Chris

  373. Just to follow up re the local act of vandalism I mentioned earlier

    Within three days, the property owner had all of his (homemade) Trump signage cleaned up and free of graffiti. I don’t agree with all of the sentiments that person is expressing with that signage, but I was glad to see it nonetheless, as he has every right to use his property in that manner. The spray paint is gone, but the memory of the incident isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and the perpetrators of that act did considerable harm to their cause, in my humble view.

  374. For you science fiction fans, here’s a list of all the accusations that upset John Scalzi’s stomach:

    https://www.patreon.com/posts/genre-grapevine-38610062 (It’s free)

    I only had time to read some of it. Accusations range from the actionable (rape in a taxi) to the mundane (unwanted dirty talk) to the incomprehensible (I was completely baffled by some of the accusations and could not tell what the guy was supposed to have done wrong). I also never did figure out why Scalzi’s so upset because he doesn’t seem to have been involved in the ones I read, nor could he have done anything about them at the time. Shrug.

  375. And also, since nobody’s mentioned it on here, CNN et al have had multiple articles denouncing Trump for referring to the Coronavirus as “Kung Flu”. Apparently this is horribly racist somehow. I mean, I can’t even process this crap anymore…

    Honestly, following American politics over the past five years has felt like watching a race between two headless chickens.

  376. Hi JMG,
    Enjoyed reading many of the thoughts on here this week, especially learning about the change of ‘working’ element the tail end of the year brings. Also thanks for your second reply a couple of posts ago – duly noted and will weave appropriately if pursued. No sign of that relaxed ale in a pub yet – think it may not be ’til the Autumn for me. Looks like we have to try and get the masses back flying about first! Can’t see the attraction of a semi-masked socially-distanced time away or in a hostelry this summer myself though.
    Plus ça change…at least short term.

  377. Returning to a recurring theme, that of “neo-liberalism,” whatever that is: I am re-reading Hesse’s “Glass Bead Game” and this morning I was surprised to encounter the term neo-liberalism on page 322. (My copy is the 1969 translation by Richard and Clara Winston.) Does anyone know what German term Hesse used in the German original? I am aware of a German form of neo-liberalism known as “ordoliberalism” whose major exponent was one Wilhelm Ropke. There’s a chapter on German Neo-liberalism in “The Road from Mont Pelerin” (2009); I guess I’ll have to revisit it. For now I’m willing to accept the wikipedia definition of neo-liberalsim, flawed as it probably is, but that does not seem to be the way the term has generally been used in this blog, including earlier in this week’s comments. From my previous reading, apparently, Milton Friedman was one of the first to use the term, in the title of an article he wrote in the 1950s. Later, however, he denied there was any such thing. Trying to define it is a little like trying to pin down a blob of mercury.

  378. @CR Patino

    I find so much conflicting information that it leaves me more doubtful than when I started. I watched a review of clinical studies on masks by Dr Shiva: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LUDjfoUZpA and I got a different perspective from it.

    Summary for those who are busy or don’t watch videos:

    Summary (starts from 25th minute, he talks a lot):
    1. Both cloth and medical masks are useless when it comes to protecting someone against your coughs/sneezes etc. The claim is that if you think of the mask as a wire fence, the virus is the size of a mosquito.

    2. Cloth increases your chances of flu like illnesses due to retention etc. Medical masks don’t.

    3. N95 gives headaches in some. For > 1 hr usage, reduced exchange of o2/co2 and increases discomfort and risk for pregnant, heart, lung diseases etc.

    What do you think of the above?

    In normal times, the “authorities” like WHO, National Medical Departments etc, would have served as the “trusted and competent sources” to save everyone time on researching everything and then concluding something sane about every issue.

    Now, more than ever, folks are not sure that they are competent or trust worthy. For example, WHO stopped its HCQ study for a while based on a fake study which was later retracted.

    The WHO spokeswoman blandly said that they cannot verify every published study (but they took action on it anyways!).

    This was so shocking to hear given the significance of a finding a solution to locked down and scared populations.

    https://uncoverdc.com/2020/06/06/politicized-science-lancet-nejm-retract/

    @jmg, re: your comment above.

    “…some of the best works of English language literature are already being written in India, and I see that as a straw in the wind.”

    What Indian literature are you referring to here?

    Thanks for these wonderful discussions.

  379. @Chris regarding marriage – some thoughts you and other smay find interesting.

    This is not intended as an attack on you or women in any way – you are clearly asking sincerely from a perspective of frustration and confusion – the important thing is pointing out the couples dynamic – indeed, many men (who are also unaware of how the dynamic works) are at fault for not understanding enough to play their roles.

    The main thing I would point out is that I just don’t see any real attempt by you at looking at any of this from your (ex) husband’s perspective. That doesn’t mean he’s perfect or faultless – just that he has a side too and you can’t understand the dynamic without it.

    I don’t know you, your husband or family of course, but let me offer a few educated guesses – I could do much better with some more details about key incidents and conflict points in your marriage:

    -He probably wanted to have more sex/more often than you, but you just didn’t feel like it/were too tired dealing with kids and house etc and it just felt like another chore you had to get to and tick off, instead of an enjoyable activity? Perhaps you felt often that your husband was another child you had to be responsible for and take care of, and manage the household and the burden was always on you? This doesn’t always have to go this way – early in my marriage we went through a phase where my wife wanted more sex than me – but most of the time it is indeed the man who wants more.

    While no one is suggesting you are obliged to sleep with your husband any time he demands it day or night – you are not his slave – it is a perfectly reasonable view that (barring medical conditions etc), you two are each other’s only sexual outlet (in a monogamous relationship) and have some level of obligation to satisfy each other’s needs – lack of sex will not kill you but it is a fundamental human need nevertheless and a core part of any marriage and relationship (both the literal sexual release and the intimacy). Without it the marriage is just a co-parenting arrangement.

    -Which brings me neatly to my next point – why didn’t you (probably – I could be way off the mark here) want to have much sex with him? This is really his fault to some extent but it is usually because the wife has lost respect for her husband – could be a lot of emotional reasons or just as simple as him letting himself go and the fit, sporty, fun 25 year old man she married has turned into a fat slob who comes home from work and parks himself in front of the TV with a beer (mind you, this can go both ways – the fun laughing 25 year old woman who enjoyed spending time with turning into a nagging shrew always finding fault with him and criticizing etc).

    -Next point, money and family responsibilities. I am guessing your husband was the primary (or only) breadwinner leaving you with the bulk of the childcare responsibilities. There is nothing wrong with this arrangement, but it requires an appreciation on both sides that the other one is working hard and making a significant sacrifice. If you didn’t fully appreciate what he was doing, and from your perspective he came home and relaxed in front of the TV after work instead of giving you a break from the kids you’d been taking care of all day – no wonder you feel he was self-centered and did not contribute. But as far as *he* is concerned, he *has* contributed, and it’s not his responsibility to come home and do 50% of the childcare after working all day to contribute 85% (or whatever) of the income. This doesn’t mean he shouldn’t do any of the childcare – the exact proportions will vary depending on the family – the important thing is that the division is a) fair (which does not mean 50/50 necessarily) b) clearly understood and therefore doesn’t cause resentment, because otherwise one party will feel they are doing all the work…

    I could go on about this – this is an area I have devoted much time to thinking about but I’lls top now.

  380. Re men and housework

    I can’t recall if I’d commented on the arrangement in my household, but as a data point, my wife and I came to a fairly “natural” split in that the things she enjoyed doing (cleaning, vacuuming, dusting) were the things I didn’t care to do and the things I enjoyed doing (washing dishes, laundry) she didn’t care to do. For my own part, I find “my” activities to be excellent meditation exercises.

  381. In “The Next Ten Billion Years” scenario, I am curious as to which monuments lasted the longest and are discovered by future civilizations (i.e. Do any contemporary monuments have the staying power of the Great Pyramid of Giza?).

  382. On voting: In addition to mail-in ballots being more susceptible to fraudulent behavior, what about privacy issues? I was always told your vote was supposed to be private, and that no one could know who you were choosing unless you told them. Mail-in ballots go to the county election office. What if someone you know opens yours, and doesn’t like how you vote? Not only could they stash it somewhere, not to be counted, but are in a position to do you harm, such as doxing.

    I voted mail-in for the first time this spring. I wasn’t going to vote in the primaries for any of the Tweedledees or Tweedledums, but there was a public question I wanted to vote no for (unfortunately it passed, more money for the failing public school system!) so requested the special ballot that was only for the question. I wonder if they really get counted properly. I only voted mail-in because for the first time, my state allowed anyone to use mail-in ballots due to the Corona virus. Usually you have to have some reason, such your age, medical condition, being out of town, etc.

    Even voting in person makes me wonder. When I started voting in the 80’s, I lived in the county and we still used voting machines. You pulled a curtain all the way around so no one could see anything. They made people in line wait a good 6-10 feet back also. Then I moved to the city, which is pretty much a one party town. They used paper ballots, but you stood at a little table with no curtain to pull around you. The tables were spaced apart, but people were always passing by behind you. At least the paper was flat on the table, so someone would really have to be obvious and lean over your shoulder to take a peek. This year, they are switching to a computerized system. (groan) I worry enough about if the system will be simple to understand, or difficult to use. They say it’s safe, because it prints out your ballot to turn in instead of saving it on the computer. What I think about is, again, privacy. Pictures I’ve seen of the system have the screens upright; much easier for someone else to see than a paper on the tabletop. Plus, there are so many security cameras around now, often at common polling places; schools, government buildings, social halls and churches, etc. They could pick up who you are voting for, if someone really wanted to review the images.

    Do I sound paranoid? Am I being unreasonable?

    Joy Marie

  383. JillN, that only works if at least one person in the household is comfortable with every kind of housework that needs to be done. That’s not always the case!

    Vidura, everything is subject to the law of diminishing returns — but where ritual passes the breakeven point seems to vary a lot from person to person. There are people who can take in a Latin Mass and think, “Oh, I wish that could have gone on all day!” and then there are people for whom even a little ritual is irritating.

    Rose, that’s an excellent point.

    Anonymous, you’re on the list.

    Denys, that makes perfect sense to me. Can I ask a favor of you and everyone else who’s so minded? Talk about this, in any context where you can do so without serious repercussions. Get people thinking about the fact that their lives have become so miserable that they’d rather hide at home with a mask over their face than go on with the daily round. That realization is one of the things most likely to spark useful change.

    Chris, I’m glad to hear it.

    David BTL, one of the things that astonishes me about the last four years is the number of Trump’s opponents who seem to have no sense of what their actions look like to anybody who doesn’t already agree with them. It’s really quite eerie.

    Tolkienguy, you know, that may be the best metaphor for our current situation I’ve seen yet.

    Jay, I’ll be posting a detailed discussion of the Grand Mutation in early December, but I figured a bit of a heads up was a good idea.

    Phutatorius, how fascinating! I suspect Hesse may have coined it in his novel; Veraguth’s party in the tale was a youthful and populist offshoot of an older liberal party, and so “neo-liberalism” would have been a logical description.

    Churrundo, thanks for this.

    Aidan, oh, for frack’s sake. I have no idea. I’ve already told you that I don’t do that kind of obsessive worldbuilding; I’m not sure why you don’t seem to be able to process that. Be that as it may, I will delete any further questions of this kind you try to post, and if you do it often enough to irritate me, I may just ban you. Please slap yourself awake and listen for once!

    Joy Marie, you don’t sound paranoid and you’re not being unreasonable. These are real concerns.

  384. @BB: I had to grin at your reply to Lady Cutekitten, but than asked myself, what about young men off the leash? But then I realized that, historically, a vast number of cultures have come up with the same answer for that: listen to what this tough, experienced older man is telling them:

    “Awright, you mama’s boys, lissen up! From now on Mama won’t be wiping yer noses and yer butts for you, so man up. Now, once again, PRESENT ARMS! And take care of yer weapons and they’ll take care of you….”

    Am I right?

  385. @ Pixelated

    Regarding A Course in Miracles, I haven’t started reading it yet. I did begin once, but that was over a decade ago! I do have several days off work this week, so I will have some time to begin again and develop my own views on its usefulness. I posted the question for JMG’s opinion just because I found the origins of the book strange. I mean, a psychic New Age medium would be more likely to channel a book than an atheist psychologist who was a professor at Columbia University! However, Helen Schucman did have some influence in her childhood that might have made her open to such an experience. Helen’s mother had some interest in Theosophy, Christian Science, and The Unity School of Christianity. Helen herself, as a child, had a spiritual experience at Lourdes, France, and eventually became a Baptist, probably because of the influence of her Baptist housekeeper.* I don’t know at what point she became an atheist.

    *Info from Wikipedia page on Helen Schucman

    Joy Marie

  386. Lady CuteKitten and anyone else who winces at providing a link with unDruidly language in it: go to http://www.tinyurl.com, where you can transform it into a random number/letter sequence link that still connects you to the desired website. It was originally developed to replace unDruidly long links with shorter ones, but it works for problem language also.

    Also, too bad you couldn’t share your puppy picture. I can still get my fill of baby animals at Land of Cuteness, Good Morning Kitten, or various Youtube videos. (I picture JMG rolling his eyes as he posts this—thank you, JMG!).

    Joy Marie

  387. Joy Marie – That’s a good arguments against mail-in voting (the threat of coercion, that your vote might be surreptitiously monitored, remembered, and become the basis for retaliation). My objection is that neighborhood “voting parties” might spring up, sponsored by the majority party, where people proudly signal their virtue by displaying their voting preferences before stuffing the envelope and mailing it off. Or a dominant spouse might do the voting for every member of their household. (Sure, Momma could report it, but does she really care enough to send Daddy to jail?) If Afghanistan can conduct in-person voting during a war, why can’t we?

  388. As to the Covid 19 vaccine: not only will it be trotted out so quickly that everyone who gets it will essentially be a guinea pig, will it even be effective at a later date? After all, being a part of the corona virus family, won’t it mutate into a different form? No vaccine is available for the common cold, and the flu shot effectiveness all depends on what strain of flu is floating around this season. I always thought a vaccine only needs to be issued once, or perhaps a booster at some time, thus is only good for a disease like measles, which pretty much stays the same (I think? I’m certainly no medical expert here….).

    Joy Marie

  389. Thanks for the replies on fireworks. Seems to be a widespread phenomenon. Not sure if that’s a good sign or not.

  390. Greetings all…
    Justin wrote: “You all are forgetting the obvious pressure point: Mohammed (the one who needs no introduction) was a slave owner. The Quran lays out restrictions on slavery, requiring Muslims to not enslave other Muslims, and to treat their slaves reasonably well, which is irrefutable evidence that the Quran is okay with slavery.”

    Dear Justin,

    With due respect to you (thrice repeated!) I have to disagree with your above statement. Please note that I am a Muslim. With a name like mine (Karim Jaufeerally is my real name and Mauritius my real home) it is as if I have part of the Muslim heritage irrevocably stamped onto my birth certificate.

    I have read a number of serious biographies of the Prophet (Peace be upon him). I am not aware that he was a slave owner once his prophet hood began or even before.

    On the contrary, when once he was offered an Egyptian slave girl as a gift, he offered her to (1) either set her free immediately or (2) to embrace Islam and accept to become one of his wives. She chose the latter option.

    You are quite correct in that the Quran does lay out restrictions on slavery but please note it also enjoins Muslims to free their slaves at every available opportunity.

    Given the above I am of the opinion that it is unduly harsh to argue that the Quran is OK with slavery.

    I wish you well.

    “Je vous salue bien bas M. Justin” (And yes,french is my mother tongue)

  391. @ Kevin Taylor Burgess –

    You mentioned that your family considered themselves ‘middle class’, in spite of evidence of being wealthy. An old friend came to mind. She told me that her father, a very wealthy widower at the time he passed away (in the ’60s), left about $10 million to each of his three sons, but a ‘mere’ one million to his only daughter (because, after all, she was expected to marry a rich husband would provide for her). She always considered herself ‘poor’. In her circle, an annual income of a million or two was ‘getting by’, five to eight million was ‘comfortable’, ten to fifteen million was ‘well off’, and so on. I’m not sure at what level one was considered rich, and surely inflation has come into play, as these figures are at least two decades old.

    Of course in many ways wealth is relative, and, even these days when the average American family is not as well off as one some twenty years ago, the average family is still better off than many others throughout the rest of the world*. Wealth can also be collective, for example, public libraries, public education, interconnectedness in transportation and communications, etc. And there are different forms of wealth (material, social & familial, intellectual (books over diamonds, any time, IMO), spiritual, etc.). Different questions come to mind: what is true prosperity?; how is justice related to accessibility to wealth?, and so on. Topics for other discussions.

    Best of luck.

  392. Sorry, Mr. Greer.

    I assumed because “The Next Ten Billion Years” wasn’t narrative fiction, I could ask you some questions.

    May I still ask questions about near-future speculations or alternate reality counter-factuals?

  393. Aidan, George R.R. Martin’s your man! Really! Instead of new novels, he publishes large, lavishly illustrated volumes of background material on the old ones. They’re genuinely interesting, too, if you’ve read the novels. You’ll love him.

    Somebody asked about Trump’s “Kung Flu” jokes, which reminded me of some trivia. Carl Douglas and his band made up “Kung Fu Fighting “ on the spot when they realized they didn’t have a B-side for whatever now-forgotten song they’d just recorded. And somebody played it and their impromptu B-side was a hit and what was intended to be the A-side is lost to history. I had the 45, and played both sides once as I always did, and even I don’t remember a thing about it.

    If anyone is baffled by this talk of A and B sides, speak up and we oldsters will be happy to explain.

  394. Hints about what will survive from Western Civilization and what not are contained in the book “The world without us” from Alan Weisman. According to him, there are many things that will vanish quite quickly, but some will endure for hundreds of thousands or millions of years.

  395. Denys:

    I’m interested in the non-20th century science answers for what happened in NYC to make 9% of people infected die.

    …I was hoping some others in this comment community thought mind played a role in the outcome.

    I think mind played a role in NYC becoming the epicenter for Covid deaths.

    It seems likely to me that a large percentage of the people who live there are suffering from significant stress. The group mind may be especially vulnerable to a plethora of malefic influences, including a highly contagious novel coronavirus about which very little is known.

    FWIW.

  396. I suspect this is only true in rare cases.

    Scotlyn,

    No, statistics bear it out as does common sense. The MSM only focuses on criminal shootings, whereas they universally ignore those instances of common people defending themselves against criminals that occur almost daily. Note that both circumstances continuously drive home the point that the police are never there when the SHTF.

    [Also note that rioters aren’t looting suburbs because they know they have a better than even chance of getting shot.]

    You choose to defend your life and those of your loved ones. If not, those left behind (if any) can call the cops to clean up the mess afterward.

  397. @JMG

    Indeed, Ostroms work is really well substantiated, and you can really see it in some communities highly dependant on narural resources. I’m working with some of those (mangroves, fisheries, and fishermen). With regards to what sort of side I would like to explore? Well I am enjoying the Dubuis book right now (although haven’t gone into the meditation work), and some practice with Tarot cards… I would enjoy something that complements that and builds upon it.. I guess that although over the last years I have read a little on Qabala, a little (a little more tho) on astrology.. but it is quite recent that I committed to learning more and got my first tarot deck.

  398. I wonder whether there is any undercurrent of Islamic intolerance of images of the human form, in the movement against monuments. Obviously, those that were erected in the early 20th century to remind Black soldiers returning from WW-1 that they were fighting FOR whites, not for their own freedom, need to come down, but as the list of targets gets longer, I start to see more parallels with the Bamiyan Buddha figures blasted down by the Taliban.

  399. Aidan, for frack’s sake, please do as John says. It’s because of you that I know to read Musa al-Gharbi, and I look forward to any new articles from him you point to. Before that the only African American voices I knew which weren’t toeing a mainstream party line were those of Tommy Curry and R. L. Stephens. The more Black voices we give ear to that drive wedges into established ways of thinking on either side of the American political divide, the better, in my opinion. We need diversity of thought, and thoughtful conversations.

  400. @Chris, Re: men helping

    Chris, not sure what I have to say adds any value after others have chimed in, but I offer this in the sincere hope that it will help.

    You ask “Where are the men coming from? Do they really think that being married means not having to listen to your wife, help her with the house and kids, and solve problems together?”

    imho, the problem is that men have no conception of how hard housework is, nor do we understand much about child rearing. We are socialised to ignore these things and concentrate on our careers.

    Housework never ends. Men’s work typically has a point at which it can be said to be done.. The lawn, for example, was mowed Saturday. It may need to be mowed again next Sat., but meanwhile, it is done. So called “women’s work” never ends. You did laundry today, but the clothes you and your family are wearing today go in the hamper tonight. There were 3 meals to prepared today, and will be again tomorrow. The dishes need to be done 3 times a day, and 3 times tomorrow. The kids need attention now, and an hour from now, and the hour after that. There is no “done” point, except perhaps when the kids are finally asleep. By that time you’ve had it.

    Another aspect is that we men are really good at concentratiing on one thing with single minded purpose and seeing it through to completion. We are really bad at juggling 4 or 5 demands on our attention. We’re doing “A” right now, and we’ll take up “B” when “A” is done. You can’t juggle kids and housework by concentrating on “A” to the exclusion of everything else.

    Finally, we have (most of us) been habituated to do “men’s” work, and avoid “women’s” work. It’s really that simple. To borrow a current and overused phrase, housework is not in our wheelhouse. Our moms didn’t teach us to do housework, and our dad’s didn’t do much housework, so we’re going to take care of the “men’s” work and leave the “women’s” work to you. This is what we grew up with and what we expect to continue. It really is, I think, mostly a systemic problem.

    Obviously there are individual differences, and I’m painting with a broad brush, but I suspect there is a lot of truth in these observations. Nature vs nurture. Not sure where the line is exactly. Some of it has to do with the Y chromosome, some doesn’t.

    So, solutions? I’d suggest a new form of feminism that concentrates less on glass ceilings and more on teaching men to be helpmates. I don’t know what economic class you belong to, but salary class women don’t care so much about men helping because they can just hire a wage class woman as a housekeeper. Working class women aren’t going to catch a break untill their men learn to do housework and help with the kids. This could take a few generations. It will have to be spearheaded by women because men are unlikely to suddenly realize we aren’t pulliing our weight at home. I’m not sure whether housework should be shared or “genderized”. Maybe laundry, should become a male thing? Some types of housework, dusting?, should remain “women’s work”.? I don’t know. What I do know is that boys who are allowed to avoid housework and child care are not suddenly going to jump up and help their wives with these tasks. We have no training, we have no experience, and we have no conception that it’s in our sphere of responsibility.

    Sorry for the ramble.

  401. Hey JMG!!!! Did you hear about Trump signing an executive ordering federal agencies to prioritize skills over a college degree? This seems like a GIANT warning shot across the bow of college campuses.

    If it is followed to the letter, it would mean we go back to the old way where becoming a lawyer meant passing the bar exam without having to go to law school. (Supreme Court Justice Jackson who prosecuted at the Nuremberg Trial didn’t finish law school.) Teachers used to just have to pass tests in their subject areas….

    How do you see this executive order playing out, if Trump is reelected, and he gets a majority/super majority in both houses? It’s good for Americans everywhere except those in the college system. (BS required, masters preferred, is just downright elitist in my opinion.)

  402. KCS,

    Thank you for that. Sounds an awful lot like some logic I’ve been trying to insert into this conversation from the beginning…

    How can wearing a mask be good for you? Boggles my mind.

  403. John—

    Re the mania and myopia of Trump’s opponents

    I think that the inability (I might go so far as to say “refusal”) of many to understand what occurred in the 2016 Republican primary—namely, that a populist demagogue managed a cunning and brilliantly-executed hostile takeover of the GOP, tossing the Republican establishment out on its ear—has hindered their actions since that time. The Democrats seem to insist that he’s just some kind of particularly bad Republican, so bad that even the Republican Old Guard would rather support Biden, as opposed to what he actually is: a fundamentally new creature in the present political scene, with a wholly different power base that cuts across the divisions of the previous factions. In essence, they’re playing by the rules they’ve spent decades studying, while he’s upended everything. It’s not that he’s playing 11-dimensional chess—his genius is cunning, not intellect—it’s that he’s playing a different game altogether, where pawns move like queens and rooks teleport to the far side of the board.

    So, in a way, I can understand how they can’t see their actions from any perspective other than their own. They’ve forced their lens to show them a world as they think it has to be and not as it actually is, perhaps in part because they have no playbook for this strange, new playing field. But retreating into delusion can only result, in the end, in defeat, so I remain hopeful that the lesson will eventually be learned.

  404. Denys,

    There was another commenter here not long ago who was promoting the “Undiet,” I believe he called it. Basically, his assertion was that worrying about your diet did more damage than basically any food you really wanted to eat. I tend to agree with that, and apply that attitude toward COVID even more thoroughly.

    FWIW, I believe the mind plays a GIGANTIC role over matter. And every time I see someone donning their useless mask I can’t help but wonder what it is that makes them feel so weak and helpless.

  405. How likely do you think it is that the current mental breakdown is being driven in part by some sort of demonic entity or entities?

  406. Mark L,

    And thanks to you also for your thoughts on a rush-job vaccine! Especially one proposing to use novel immunological approaches to immunization. No, thank you…

  407. I came across this in The Wild Hunt – 25 most influential pagans in the world today.

    https://www.patheos.com/blogs/panmankey/2018/08/the-25-most-influential-living-pagans/?fbclid=IwAR2iihEWaGwpnLtpRts_b2AdUy5sUCK3YfZ-BGBgBafKKRI5AANSN_yEA1E

    You don’t even get an honorable mention like you did before. Did you ever make the top 25?

    I am shocked that so many lightweights get a mention but not you. I guess it’s because you’re not a Neopagan / Wiccan with fashionable SJW views.

  408. Karim, thank you for this. Identity politics is dumb, and the extent I’ll engage in it is to use Rule #4 from Rules for Radicals (Always make your enemy live up to its own rules). In this case, my enemy is are the woke Market Bolsheviks that currently have uncomfortable levels of power in Western countries, not Muslims, and even before you corrected me, no, Mohammed owning slaves wouldn’t count as a reason for cancelling Islam in my book anyway.

    Christopher L, when the traditional ‘Men’s work and women’s work’ was formulated, men’s work was often a **** of a lot harder and more dangerous than it used to be. I’d certainly rather scrub a floor and wash clothes than go down in a coal mine or work in an 18th century factory, but I’d also rather sit in an air conditioned office and do computer stuff than scrub a floor…

  409. @someone, or anyone else, you can find some more intelligent, intellectual black voices going against the madness here. Refreshing conversations and not at based in any one ideology. There are all sorts of people out there speaking up, but the media isn’t listening or elevating their voices
    https://bloggingheads.tv/programs/glenn-show

    I thought I would also share an essay that delves into some of the themes of this blog, especially cancel culture (that he has suffered from) and media propaganda
    https://cryptogram.substack.com/p/conspiracy-or-mass-delusion

    @violet, just wanted to reply to your comments about what’s happening with the “underground scenes” for lack of any better term. I have similar feelings to you, and it makes me very sad. I feel like I have no “group” I relate to in any way anymore, not that I was ever someone who fully fit in anywhere. But the punk community in the 80s in many ways saved my life, and allowed a true misfit like myself a place to feel listened to and appreciated and figure out who I was. I actually thought it was really cool that there’s a new scene that calls themselves “punk” but plays folk music. I was so excited to see what I thought was a real, organic movement using the old punk movement and continuing with the creativity. The last few months I’ve witnessed horrible “antifa” left-wing violent cancel culture within that community. Is this because of social media, where people can project whatever they want, and are speaking behind a screen? Because people are learning things not through real experience in most cases, but a virtual reality and propaganda more than ever? It’s depressing.

    As always, thank you JMG for this forum. And your books! I’m finally on book 7 of the Weird of Hali. The series has been my 2020 fiction reading. Love it.

  410. Joy Marie, you’re welcome. That’s exactly why I strictly regulate the number of cute animal pictures on this blog — otherwise it would be flooded with them, the internet being what it is.

    Aidan, thank you. As for speculations or counterfactuals, please don’t; I’m not greatly interested in such things and the response you’ll get will pretty reliably be “I have no idea.”

    Booklover, that’s a helpful resource. Thank you.

    Eolus, in that case you might consider Dion Fortune’s writings or those of Israel Regardie.

    Lathechuck, that’s an excellent point. Antifa really does have some of the features of an American Taliban.

    Citizen, I did indeed see that, and it’s a huge shift — and one that’s long overdue. The current system is meant to reserve well-paying jobs for the well-to-do classes irrespective of competence; going to a skills-based system will break that, and also help raise the exceedingly low standard of bureaucratic competence in the US. This move also shows that Trump or someone on his team understands, much more clearly than I’d expected, exactly what he’s fighting against, and why.

    David BTL, I think that’s an important part of it. There’s a rawness of emotion, though, that goes beyond cognitive dissonance. I think it’s not just that they’ve bought into that playbook, it’s that they
    have a massive emotional commitment to the role which that playbook assigns them, and can’t bear the thought of having it taken away from them.

    Anon, I’m not sure whether it’s driven by such entities or whether they’re simply gleefully going along for the ride. It’s true, though, that a great deal of the Neopagan scene over the last decade or so has abandoned worshiping Pagan deities and taken up demonolatry instead, and if you’re dumb enough to do that you basically hand yourself over to malign entities as a chew toy. Since so much of the Neopagan scene is on the far left, that can’t be helping.

    Bridge, got it in one. I’m not a Neopagan, I’m not a liberal, and a lot of people like Jason Mankey started treating me like a nonperson (in the best Stalinist style) once I refused to join the chorus bleating “Orange Man Bad!”

    Tude, you’re welcome and I’m delighted to hear it!

  411. Hi Joy Marie,

    Thanks for the info on how to fix unDruidly links! I have been known to cut loose with unDruidly language myself on occasion (I do tire of overhearing teenagers who use it every other word), but I also want to follow JMG ‘s rules, as he has the best sites, presumably because of his rules. I do agree with the rumblings of More Cute!, as it would be hypocritical not to. 😄

    This whole housework brouhaha baffles me. Maybe it’s a PMC thing. Down here in Peasantville, both spouses often do hard physical work, and split housework as a matter of course, and it’s been that way since at least 1948, when my parents got married. But it gave me the rare opportunity to use the word “brouhaha,” so I’m glad it came up.

    Mail-in voting: any time either party proposes a wonderful new voting method, it’s because they figured out a good way to cheat using that method. I was living in Ohio when the owner of the Diebold voting machine company promised to “deliver the state for President Bush [Jr].” He did, and nobody, even the Democrats, much minded.

    Hello Citizen of Ingsoc,

    As above, I know the system’s completely corrupt, but I may vote for Trump just to indicate my approval of his executive order. It’ll go a long way towards relieving the government of the expensive burden of educated fools.

  412. JMG, was there a particular reason the Neopagans abandoned the good old gods for demons? Those gods were worshipped for millennia, presumably for good reasons, whereas, what did demons ever do for anybody that didn’t have a HUGE asterisk attached?

  413. Grover – I’ve worn masks for years, when I’m creating wood and/or paint dust in my workshop. I know that if I don’t do that, I’ll spend the next few days coughing, and the long-term effects are very serious. I had an ample supply of N95 masks before the pandemic hit, but I bought another box in January just because I knew that they’d be scarce (and I gave some to my clueless friends). Since the N95s don’t last very long, I also sewed a few masks from flannel cloth. When I could no longer get into the fabric store, I sacrificed an old flannel shirt with a worn-out collar. I typically wear a cloth mask whenever I am at risk of meeting other people, as most of the people that I see do. I don’t expect that my mask will protect me, but it supports the legitimacy of expecting everyone else to wear their masks, and it’s their masks that I expect to protect me from flying globs of their infectious fluids.

    What makes me feel “weak and helpless”? It’s largely the experience of seeing my father-in-law die, in the hospital, in a far more “weak and helpless” condition than I’ll ever be outside of a hospital. It’s hearing a friend (40, and in otherwise fine health) describe being sicker than she’s ever been before, and still feeling too weak, months later, to take a regular walk in the park. It’s knowing that my county hit a peak of about 40% “excess mortality” in March (IIRC), which tapered off to only about 15% excess mortality at the beginning of June. (“Excess mortality” is the total deaths of all causes, plotted weekly, and averaged over several years. When it surges, the accuracy of coronavirus tests is moot.) Dead is dead, and you don’t need a fancy and expensive test to recognize pneumonia. Is it just coincidence that people are dying around me in greater numbers than in any recent previous year? (I’m highly skeptical about the official COVID-19 test results, by the way, and any figure derived from them.)

    Taiwan, and other parts of Asia, have widespread acceptance of mask wearing, and they have much lower rates of “death due to respiratory illness” in the last six months relative to countries where masks are a novelty. Maybe there are other factors, but in the absence of knowledge, I’ll follow their lead.

    I (and my wife) do what we can do. We can buy, make, wear, and wash our masks (to keep them sanitary). We stay home (most of the time). We take vitamin D supplements. We eat a balanced diet with lots of fruit and vegetables. I expect to get COVID some day, and expect it to be mild, but want to delay my infection until the standard of care settles down to things that really work. Ventilators? Not so much! Steroid anti-inflammatories? Probably. Prone-positioning in the bed, rather than supine? Probably. Am I living in fear and anxiety? Perhaps, but not as much as if I wasn’t doing all of these things.

    Do you do anything to protect yourself, or are you just hoping that you’ll be fine regardless?

  414. Well, JMG, here’s a consolation prize: you’re on the prestigiously unknown Lady Cutekitten List of Sensible Internet Users. As is everyone else here. Give yourselves a round of applause!👏

  415. In fond memory of the poignant love between Wren Kingston-Brown (Vrispaa) and Toby Gilman of John Michael Greer’s wonderful Haliverse novel “A Voyage to Hyperborea”, I offer the following music

    David Gilmour’s setting of Shakespeare’s beloved Sonnet 18, “Shall I compare Thee To A Summer’s day”:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S8Osse7w9fs

    and Ferrucio Busoni’s concert piano transcription of the J. S. Bach Chaconne in D minor BWV 1004 for unaccompanied violin; speculated to have been written as a tombeau when Bach returned from a trip to discover his wife Maria Barbara had passed away; played by the French pianist Hélène Grimaud:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sw9DlMNnpPM

  416. Great comments this week. Thanks to all.

    My $.02 to all this:

    1. Breeder power (or whatever it’s called) may or may not be viable but should we find a new and cheap way to expand our power consumption we are well and truly down the chutes. It’s more about habitat than anything when you talk about environment. That’s the big idea, habitat. As we encroach we reduce the viability of all the life giving forces that we need even if we do not understand their importance. More cheap power equals more destruction of the world.

    2. Covid; I’m reminded of an old fable from India of a village where the revered elder saw a woman in black enter his village and he asked her who she was. “I am the plague”she replied. I shall take 10 of your villagers. A few weeks later as she was leaving the same elder said: Hey, we have had 50 deaths since you came here.WTF?” She replied, “I took my 10. The rest died of fear. (for you Denys, with much gratitude for your insights).

    3. Back to the very 1st comment: Art theory: As an artist I can attest to the fact that we just want to do what we do. Make what we make. It’s not about some theory! Actually, those who espouse such nonsense are probably what we in the production mode of the art world call parasites. They suck our energy our from us so they can be art supporters. Want to support the arts? Buy some art. Even better, make some art. Simple.

    4. Grover, I’m thinking like you about how the riots will be stopped. At some point those who are as frustrated as any about being locked down will just say “enough” and the bullets will start to fly. In the aftermath I’m not sure who will be seen as the heroes. Probably neither side . But it will create a rebalancing of the culture. Let’s all hope we can gain a bit of perspective before such actions take place. (I’m not sure here what I want. Like most, senseless deaths seem to be wrong. But will a number of deaths be wrong as far as the culture is concerned. I’m hesitant to say. Death seems to be the big wake up call in situations like this.)

    5. Overall, I’m an optimist. I have a small farm where I grow food for me and my family and a few neighbors. In the midst of all this turmoil I find my own soils improving every season. Productivity continuers to climb. Frogs croak here for the first time in 3 years. (Result of a no-spray policuy.) More worms than I have ever seen in the soil. More moles too! My cat loves it!.

    6. So overall; it’s most important to keep a sense of humor. My very first Mantra as I began to meditate came to me one day. It was: ” HA, HA, HA, HAAAAAA!

    May all be blessed with whatever it is that you may need from this life….

    Stumbling towards the light, Aged Spirit

  417. @ KCS

    “The WHO spokeswoman blandly said that they cannot verify every published study (but they took action on it anyways!).”

    This is a key point and is a huge problem not just in the sciences.

    We have seen a massive shift in the institutions of society from what could be called ‘Filterers’ to what are now known as ‘Aggregators’. This is the case in science, media (social media), music, literature etc.

    Filterers vouch for the quality of what they make public. Aggregators don’t. Aggregators simply make anything public. They make a few pennies each from millions of items while the Filterer needs to receive a higher price on a limited number of higher quality items. Unfortunately, the Aggregator’s business model won.

    This has created huge problems. Want to find a good new book, good new music, factual truth about what is happening in the world, factual truth about some scientific question? It is now much more difficult and time consuming than it once was. Most of our institutions are not ensuring quality. They are just aggregating and leaving it up to us to sort through the rubbish.

    JMG’s comments policy is, of course, a great example of a filter. We desperately need more of them.

  418. When I was in high school, my psychology teacher showed us a home video of his trained dog. He would take a dog treat, dramatically inspect it, and pronounce it “poison!”. Then he’d balance it on top of his dog’s nose. The dog would sit still, patiently, until the man waved his hand over it and said “All better!” In an instant, the treat would vanish, never having hit the floor. I am reminded of this here, near Washington DC, where the public health authorities presented their statistics and said “Stay home. Danger!” Bars and restaurants, barbershops, shopping malls, shoe and clothing stores … all closed. Danger! But, of course, the food stores stayed open. The mom & pop hardware store in the mall was closed, but Home Depot was open (because you might need to repair the plumbing, or put in some landscape flowers, or some other ‘essential’ activity). Then George Floyd was killed, and it’s as if the Mayor said “All better!” And people flooded out into the streets, blinking in the early summer sunshine, and a few of them at the edge of the crowd broke windows, burned buildings, and looted. No danger at all. Have a nice day.

    The dog never stops to wonder what makes the “poison” safe, but there are plenty of people asking what the point was of shutting down for commerce, but opening for protest. Now, I wonder how many marchers are going to be too embarrassed to tell their doctor that they don’t feel so good, until their cases get serious? We’ll know in a month or two, I guess.

  419. @ JMG – on an unrelated note; are you familiar with Carlos Castaneda? Have you read any of his books? Is he a new-age huxter?
    I read one of his books when I was about 14, but it didn’t make a lot of sense to me at the time. I now wonder if that’s because his writings are garbage, or if I was reading it without any real foundation in the thought processes that go into life-energy manipulation? Your thoughts?

  420. JMG – “25 most influential pagans”?!? How the frack would they measure “influence”? Maybe by the dollar value of pagan “merch” ordered through their web sites? The number of “likes” on their Facebook pages? (Or is that a Twitter thing?) Maybe it’s the number of views of their YouTube videos? Something tells me that it’s a club you wouldn’t join if they invited you on a gilded parchment.

    And, it’s a hoot that his list of “25” has more than 25 names on it, and that he shrugs off his lack of discipline to cut the roster to the legal size of the “team” as “never very good at math”. His problem is not one of mathematics, it’s being careless about internal consistency. (Too much of that could give pagans a bad name.)

  421. In regards to A Course In Miracles, I have not done it, but some of my friends in the spiritual group I’m a part of have found it useful. It seems especially helpful in finding a way out of fundamentalist christian thinking and allow a deeper spiritual practice to unfold. Here’s a podcast that one of my friends did with somebody who gained alot from the Course in Miracles.

    @Violet, Tude: yeah, being in that same scene since 2011, it has been hard to watch the groupthink tighten. As I still have a lot of friends in that scene and on fb, I have been attempting to post content to show that there are ways out of that groupthink.

    @JMG regarding BLM donations: I’m sure its entirely possible that they are funneling donations to the Dems, but I don’t see any proof so for me that can only be speculation and conjecture.