Open Post

June 2024 Open Post

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

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

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

* * * * *

Before we go on, however, I’m delighted to announce three books of mine that are now in press and available for preorder: two new titles and a reprint.

First up is The Earth Mysteries Handbook, available in September of this year.  It’s a companion volume to The Occult Philosophy Workbook, providing meditations and exercises for a year of occult practice, but its theme is the field of earth mysteries — the study of ancient sites, old legends, and unusual phenomena from an occult standpoint. This is hands-on stuff, and expects students to research the legends, lore, and strange sites of the land on which they live. The third and final volume of this set, The Life Force Workbook, is in preparation now; these three are part of the Golden Section Fellowship system, but can be used with any system of occult training. It will be available in paperback and hardback. Interested? If you’re in the US, go here; if you’re elsewhere, go here.

Second, out in October, is The Philosophy and Practice of Polarity Magic. This one’s been in development for a good long time; based on the teachings of Dion Fortune and John Gilbert, it provides a complete guide to polarity workings: magic, in other words, that uses sexual energies but doesn’t involve sexual activity. This book covers the history, theory, preparations, and a practical method of polarity work in beginning, intermediate, and advanced forms, with sample rituals. It covers a lot of ground that hasn’t appeared in print before.  If you’re interested, you can preorder it here if you’re in the US and here elsewhere.

Third on the list is Retrotopia, which will be back in print in November of this year. My bestselling work of fiction, at least so far, Retrotopia is set in a future North America in 2065, decades after the civil war that tore the United States apart forever. Most of the small nations born out of the crisis are struggling to survive, but the Lakeland Republic — centered on the Great Lakes coast and the Ohio River valley — is thriving. Peter Carr, an emissary from the Atlantic Republic, travels across the newly reopened border to find out why. What waits for him in the Lakeland Republic will shake all his beliefs about progress and the future of humanity — and yours as well. If you’d like a copy, it can be preordered here if you live in the US and here if you live elsewhere.

With that said, have at it!


  1. Good day to everyone here!

    (1)One common topic on Open Posts is how should people invest in order to prepare for the post-industrial world.

    What if you were to invest in salt and/or honey?

    Sometime in the future, refrigerators will stop functioning due to lack of electricity, then salt will again be sought after in order to preserve food. Now, salt is cheap, so cheap that we throw it on the roads during Winter, so you can buy a lot, plus it doesn’t go bad, ever.

    One other thing that doesn’t spoil is honey. Might be a good idea to stack some shelves in your pantry with the sweet stuff.

    Whatever you buy, make sure no one knows you’re sitting on valuable stuff, wouldn’t want to become a target for thieves.

    (2)What is the possibility that the future hungry and desperate masses will drive to extinction many species of animals in order to feed themselves? And how severe will forests be damaged by people too cold to care about anything else other than a warm fire?

  2. Do you have any occult book recommendations for someone learning latin? If you know of any weird bookseller that specializes in non English occult books and ships to Canada that would also be swell.

  3. Here is a really good example of the absolute corruption of politics by money. This race was for long time Oregon Senator Ron Widen’s seat. It was between a newcomer ( a doctor in real life) and a prominent county commissioner. The huge last minute influx of funds was so late, the source was not disclosed before the election. The election was tipped to the unknown candidate . This also shows why the US so steadfastly supports Israel, even beyond the voting demographics. ( this site has a paywall, but if you click twice you will get through).

  4. I’ll ask an obvious one: Do you share Chris Martenson’s current concern that the US and Russia are going to be lobbing nuclear warheads at one another before the end of the year?

    In case anyone is interested, German-speaking soothsayer Egon Fischer claims to have had a vision where Russian cruise-missiles destroy US military bases in NATO countries later this year, and for a while it will seem as if World War 3 is a fiat accompli, but the world will be spared from a nuclear holocaust after that somehow.

  5. Hi JMG,

    I hope all is well with you.

    I have been waiting for this open post for a month, writing frantically, having “diarrhea of the mouth” or rather, of the pen/keyboard📢. Reading with a critical eye, I see that my scribblings are not even close to concise. By the time this open post is available to comment on, I am all written out, which is good, because some of it was bitter🤐, personal, cathartic working-throughs. So I listen👂…

    💨Northwind Grandma💨👵🏼🤐
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  6. Readers might be interested in a 3-part interview series I’ve posted between me and Claire Schosser, who has been a frequent commenter here and on other JMG blogs over the years. She hosts our local Greer discussion group and is very well read on all of our esteemed JMG’s work. She has led very well by way of example with her “Living Low in the Lou” suburban homestead, which is the subject of this series. Here’s a link to a list of all 3 parts:
    – Quitting your day job well before retirement and living a simple life according to your own values
    – Homesteading on the outskirts of a major metropolitan area
    – Rainwater cachement, root cellars, gardening for the most food in the space you have, energy efficiency, permaculture pitfalls
    – Our Greer connection and magical/spiritual practices

  7. I’ve been searching for an answer to this question for a while, so maybe you can shed some light on it.

    Why hasn’t Christianity made a comeback yet? All the conditions are right: prolonged rationalist culture, increase in despair and mental illness, breakdown of support structures, breakdown of traditional societal structures, craving for meaning in daily life. Either I’m missing something or we are due for a spiritual revival. Maybe I’m predicting it too early?

  8. JMG- Is Math Magic? Mathematics seems to fit Dion Fortune’s definition of magic quite well: “the art and science of causing change in consciousness in accordance with will.”

    I’ve reposted this from Quora because I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject: Mathematics has a similar structure to certain conceptions of magic. It requires years of studying something entirely incorporeal, it seems to exist independent of the physical realm, it’s very powerful and has the ability to predict and influence the world around us, and it’s practitioners are BIZARRE. One of the founders of modern algebraic geometry, Alexander Grothendieck, wrote a number of multi-thousand-page, hand-written tomes detailing brilliant advances in the subject that took years to fully disseminate. This is what he looked like:

  9. Good Morning JMG,
    What do you think will result from Saudi Arabia’s refusal to renew the treaty Henry Kissinger made in 1974 to sell their oil only for American dollars?

    I have started wondering if the government of the USA will go to war with Saudi Arabia on some pretext or other. I see this as the end of the petro dollar and it is not being mentioned on any mainstream news.

  10. Mathew Crawford has been researching Theosophy and writing about it on his Rounding the Earth (RTE) substack (here is his latest: A catalogue of his writings on that topic can be found here:

    In his own words: “During the first three years of writing at RTE, I found myself reading and researching deeper and deeper into the web of connections surrounding Theosophy and related occult groups. The connections to major events in world history, global organizations, military intelligence, and mafia are so vast that the effort now subsumes the larger project of Rounding the Earth. I will try to organize a guide to my writings and research here. ”

    Unfortunately he is a kind of a researcher that tends to assign a lot of meaning to what are probably superficial connections. He is also a kind of writer that does not express his ideas systematically (one the most infuriating things about his essays is “it will take a book” to explain something, leaving the reader hanging.)

    What do people here who have deep knowledge of Theosophy and/or its history think about its role as a secret organization behind a lot shady world-level activities?

  11. Hello again Mr Greer. I’m interested in Christian occultism, do you have any suggestions on where to get started?

  12. Yesterday the US ambassador to Russia was called into the Foreign Office because of the latest attack on Crimea using US supplied and aimed ATACMs that killed several civilians and injured ~150 including babies and small children.

    Our Ambassador was told that a state of Peace no longer exists between the US and Russia. This is not a casual description of current events but a formal legal diplomatic message that we are on the precipice of War with the one country in the world that can kill every American. There are rumors that the Russians have already shot down a US global hawk drone over the Balck Sea, and a promise that Russia will be suppling weapons and maybe training and funding for anyone who wants to kill American soldiers. Give the 800 bases the US has all over the world the Russians have plenty of targets.

    And of course, none of this is being reported in the West.

    The Doomsday Clock should be reset to 15 second to midnight.

  13. An offer open to everybody:

    I perform a formal blessing each Wednesday for everybody who has signed up for it. This helps me to improve my blessing skills, and to work with the energies for larger groups of people (or, in other words, you’d do me a favour by signing up!).

    The info and signup page for next week‘s blessing is here:

    JMG, do you happen to know what caused the major delays with the delivery of the Four Seasons? I pre-ordered mine ages ago, and it only arrived end of last week – and the bookseller contacted (or tried to contact) Aeon a couple of times after the book was out to get a delivery date, with not much luck – or at least that‘s what they told me. I can of course not say for sure if the problem really was on Aeon‘s side or on the bookseller‘s… (But then your author copies also took awfully long, so… maybe on Aeon‘s side! 😉 ).

    I‘m wondering if Aeon got their delivery process sorted by now (or what the issue was in the first place), and if it‘s worth pre-ordering again, or if I‘d get a copy faster if I wait until the books are out and try my luck then…


  14. I just wanted to say thank you to Peter and Chiara for hosting the annual potluck. It was so nice to meet you, JMG, other readers and have a nice evening of good conversation and good food.

  15. Rafael, why not invest instead in learning to keep bees, and if you’re anywhere near salt water, learning how to make sea salt? That turns you from a target for theft into a community resource everyone has a reason to support.

    Marilyn, a good solid knowledge of Latin grammar is essential; Wheelock’s Latin by Frederick Wheelock is a fine old course that will teach you what you need to know. I also recommend reading some Latin translations of books you know in English — Magus Mirabilis in Oz, Winnie Ille Pu, and Hobbitus Ille are among the many options. Then all you have to do is download something Latin on magic from and translate it a little at a time, until it gets easy.

    Clay, well, yes. Spengler pointed out a long time ago that democracy always becomes plutocracy the moment people figure out how to buy votes, which rarely takes long.

    Mister N, no, for reasons I’ve discussed at length elsewhere.

    Northwind, thank you; I’m doing fairly well, all things considered. Writing is useful that way!

    Brunette, many thanks for this.

    Jason, give it some time. The Second Religiosity is in its early stages yet; it’ll be a while before it really starts hitting its stride.

    Joshua, all human sciences, including mathematics, started out as branches of magic, and went veering off in their own specialized way. I’m sure you know that chemistry started off as alchemy and astronomy started off as astrology! What happens, though, as such sciences specialize, is that they lose their spiritual dimension and their capacity to integrate the self, and become one more specialization. When math schools start teaching meditation, we’ll know that math is on its way back to its magical roots.

    Cyclone, funny…but true. I think we’re in for it at this point.

    Maxine, I’ve seen very mixed reports on whether this actually happened — some say it did, others that it didn’t. Do you have a link to a Saudi government website confirming that it happened?

    Phil, oh holy gods, here we go again. H.P. Blavatsky probably did work for Russian intelligence at some points in his career; Aleister Crowley worked for British intelligence, and some other occultists had various connections with the intelligence scene. Spying is one way that occultists have often picked up a little extra money, since they’re familiar with secrecy. I promise you, though, that if Crawford applied the same logic to the Girl Scouts and related organizations he could find just as grandiose a pattern.

    James, I recommend Gareth Knight’s Experience of the Inner Worlds as a fine starting point for Christian occultism; Knight was a devout Anglican as well as a first-rate occultist.

    Dobbs, I know. I wonder if it’s occurred to the drool-spattered morons in Washington DC that the Russians could very easily equip Hezbollah with hypersonic missiles…

    Chuaquin, I’ve had no contact with them so don’t have an opinion.

    Milkyway, I wish I did. I still haven’t gotten my author’s copies!

  16. Travis (offlist), nope. You asked the question twice already and I gave you the only answer I have to offer. Asking it over and over again isn’t going to change that; it’s just going to annoy me, and possibly get you banned.

  17. Your post titled “The Worlds that Never Were” is one of the best essays on the course of science fiction and its various tropes I’ve ever read and really changed how I see the genre. I’ve always particularly enjoyed your articles that talk about sci fi and I was wondering what your thoughts are on modern day space operas and superhero media since the two so often intersect. I confess that ever since I read your article the differences between fantasy and science fiction has imo become mainly one of aesthetics given how foundational and yet unrealistic FTL is.

    On a completely unrelated note, you’ve talked before about how a fatal mistake empires and other hegemonic organizations make when confronted with a crisis is doubling down instead of recognizing that new methods or ways of thinking are required to deal with the problem. But I think the reason the mistake is so often made is because up until that point, doubling down (applying more elbow grease/brainpower/material resources) has worked. So in your experience are there any telltale signs that a crisis needs new methods instead more intensive application of tried-and-true actions?

  18. @Jason

    I think Christianity has seen a few awakenings already in the last century, at least in the US. And from what I can tell, those awakenings have lost quite a bit of steam; evangelicals getting bogged down with zionism and dispensationalism craziness, pentecostals creating a lot of churches that are more akin to freak circuses, many people are also uninterested in becoming Christian if it means becoming a push-over with a victim mentality(their view). All of this is putting people off. This is my perspective.

  19. “Why hasn’t Christianity made a comeback yet?”

    Too many people have actually read the Old Testament?
    Leviticus 20 has a detailed list of who must, of course, be killed.
    Leviticus 25 “44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.”
    So non-Israelites are to be freely enslaved, but Israelites get a better deal.

    That’s entirely consistent with the racism of Numbers 25, and led nicely to Numbers 31. After they killed every man; “Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.”

    And that is still a better deal than Amalekites got, 1 Samuel 15 (recently invoked by Netanyahu) “3 Go and attack the Amalekites and completely destroy everything they have. Don’t leave a thing; kill all the men, women, children, and babies; the cattle, sheep, camels, and donkeys.”

    Is there a version of Christianity that renounces the Old Testament? Then you might get some traction. Certainly the Jesus of the book of Mark was not a psychopathic lunatic, but that didn’t stop the Church from multiple atrocities in the name of The Lamb of Peace.

  20. Hello all, I have a personal question of a health variety, and would appreciate any insight or suggestions for further research. Of course I don’t consider this medical advice etc. etc.

    I am a mother of a 16-month old, who gained an extra 40 pounds in the process of bringing this little guy to life. I know multiple methods for losing weight and don’t believe I will have a problem with that when the time comes. However…

    In order to produce as much milk as possible for him (I have low supply) I forced myself to eat a big, heaping bowl of oatmeal every day for roughly 15 months. I felt terrible eating it, but covered it in chocolate and nuts to be able to force it down. Lo and behold, what did I discover a few weeks ago but… that oats are regularly doused in glyphosate during their processing. And the brand I ate – Quaker Oats – is absolutely off the charts in glyphosate content, something like 500% of what the FDA thinks is safe (!!).

    So, I am wondering if whether a goodly percentage of this new adipose tissue is something my body formed to absorb and hold safely all of the poison I forced myself to eat… one of the many possible reasons for weight gain. Which means that if/when it dissolves, I could get an enormous dose of poison dumped in my bloodstream – and it could also pass to my little guy, who still nurses 2 or 3 times a day…

    Obviously I’m concerned about this possibility, both for him and for myself. But the 40 pounds doesn’t feel good to cart around and I’d like it gone sooner rather than later. Any thoughts? Suggestions on where to find advice? It seems like glyphosate toxicity is something that’s just starting to be on the radar even of the crunchy types – I’m honestly not sure if even your average naturopath would necessarily know how to advise me, or what symptoms to expect/try to counteract.

    Anyway, just another exciting symptom of the age for your contemplation. All thoughts welcome.

  21. Hello All!

    A personal thank you to BeardTree and Mary Bennet for insights last Magic Monday (and always to JMG as our host and esteemed teacher).

    My thoughts on these –
    BeardTree: ” Modern science is based around the use of non-living instruments to detect and examine forces and materials so the life force is not directly detectable by these instrument.”

    Eureka! Of course! Hatha yogis use their bodies as the instruments of life-force perceptions – generating it, moving it, working with its powers. (Mages too!)

    Next, Mary noted that Yoga philosophy was something she had felt a Westerner might not be able to comprehend.

    Which led me to think now, thanks to so many good works, including, I hope, my own efforts, this is changing.

    Which brings me to my excitement over the soon to be released JMG The Philosophy and Practice of Polarity Magic.

    Dion Fortune from Through the Gates of Death
    “The human body is a machine, dependent for the integrity of its parts and the supply of its working life, like any other machine, upon the fuel. It is a machine for generating energy, the energy which is employed by the personality in the process of spiritual unfoldment; for it is by means of the experiences undergone when in the body that the soul gathers together the raw material which it works upon in the process of evolution. The occultist is thereby not sentimental over the physical body but endeavors to keep it in good repair while they have it, because good work cannot be done with a bad tool”
    Jill C YogaandtheTarot

  22. Maxine Rogers @ 11 For what it might be worth, I suspect KSA may live to regret that decision. Washington would surely have been open to a renogiation, with new terms more favorable to the KSA. It would appear that China might have made the KSA a better offer? Hmm. I have no personal knowledge, but I have seen it written that when you make business deals with the Chinese, negotiation begins after the contract has been signed.

    We in the USA can live on our own resources. It would be painful, but we could. Can the KSA? Furthermore, a progressively poorer USA will, will have to, restrict, if not disallow altogether, immigration from overseas. (I personally favor immigration preference for folks from our own hemisphere, with ID documents issued by their home governments, and demonstrated competence in the relevant languages, application being made in advance from within their own territories, this to follow upon a 5-10 year moratorium on taking any new residents. And an overall annual restriction on the numbers allowed, no lotteries, first applied, first admitted.)

  23. @Jason re: where’s the Christian re-awakening?
    It’s happening– at least here in the US– but you have to be in the right place to see it.
    Started 2-3 years ago and is ongoing, but being still in the thick of it, it is very hard to get a grip on the real numbers. What is happening is a very marked *consolidation* within Christianity: people who were never really serious about religion have been leaving for decades and continue to do so– covid seems to have accelerated this. At the same time, those who *are* serious are leaving the mainline denominations and (not exaggerating) cramming the naves of the more liturgically-conservative churches: TLM Catholic, regular novus ordo-but-doctrinally-conservative Catholic, Eastern Rite Catholic (I hear that’s where all the hipsters have gone), and the more convert-friendly segments of the Eastern Orthodox church are all growing like wildfire right now.

    We are doing surveys to build a new parish hall right now, as our parish has nearly doubled in size, in 2 years. Our current hall was totally adequate for fifteen years. Now it is bursting at the seams and overflowing into the churchyard (we’ve bought new picnic tables)– and not everyone who comes to liturgy stays for coffee hour!

    The last (Orthodox) church census was in 2020, and all of this has happened *since then*. I think we are not due for another count until 2030. It is nuts that we are all watching this thing happen, and we don’t have numbers on it. I think it is not a big blip on the national, pan-Christian aggregate numbers. I fully expect that if you surveyed the whole country right now, you’d find a net decrease in the number of people who self-identify as Christian. But if you sliced up the data and only looked at people who attend one *or more* services per week and pray daily at home (with family?) that number (while a very tiny proportion of the overall population) will have grown exponentially in the last 3 years. If it keeps going at this rate, it’ll be visible to absolutely everyone (Christian or not) within another 3 years. Right now, you kind of have to be *in* it to see it, but from inside: it’s wild! We baptized/Christmated like 15 people over Holy Week, then a couple more in the following weeks, then four more this past weekend. There was a time when we waited and did all the adult converts once a year, in a group. There are way too many now.

  24. Hello, JMG. I really enjoy your posts and thoughts on political and economic culture, in particular your series on lenocratic societies and their eventual decline and fall. Based on your observations, what is the fate of, say, a mid-level lenocrat, when things really start falling apart? Asking for a friend.

  25. JMG, oh dear – but then the pond between you and Aeon is wider than the channel between them and me… 😉

    Sigh. Waiting weeks and more for books to arrive is not my strongest suit, in case you couldn‘t tell… 😉


  26. Dave, glad you liked it. As for your question, repeated failure is usually a pretty good indication. When pursuing the same policies as before yields worse outcomes and a weaker position, it’s time to change!

    Shinjuki, I wish I had any suggestions to offer. Anyone else?

    Anna, the first thing that happens is that the mid-level lenocrat loses her job and has no prospects of getting anything else in the same field, since mass layoffs of lenocrats are normal in such times. Thus the essential step for such a person to take right now is to learn skills that provide goods and services that individual people want and will pay for. I’ve pointed out for years, for example, that learning to brew good beer is a classic survival skill: if Attila the Hun rides up to your front door and you offer him a cold mug of beer, you’ve got a friend. That specific skill may not be up your friend’s alley, but she should figure out something she can do that provides goods or services for people, and get to work right now picking up the skills and tools she needs to do it. That way, when your friend’s lenocratic job falls out from under her, she’ll be able to transition to a less vulnerable way of getting by.

  27. Hello JMG and friends, I have a few questions for you… Can you recommend methods and books about survival, self-help and community building that can help us in a world that is close to collapse, just two or three steps away? Also, it would be very useful to know how to turn a city flat into a castle, so to speak, without causing any chaos… Apart from these, I would be happy if you could share the Afternoon Religiousness and the events related to it in your environment. Good day to everyone !!!

  28. @Shinjuki
    Quite a lot depends on your overall metabolism, your age, and the fact that you are still nursing. We’re all different and not all things work for all mothers.
    Obviously, I can’t give medical advice, but I’ve had three kids, and I will just reminisce a bit about my own experience.
    For me, the main factor in milk production was not carbohydrate, but protein. I just needed way more protein while my kids were nursing. Otherwise I was ravenously hungry ALL the time. I didn’t figure that one out till kid 3, so with the first 2 I gained more weight while nursing babies than I did while pregnant. I didn’t have a toxic oats thing to worry about, but I did not eat healthy when I was young, and I was aware that toxins get stashed in fat cells to keep your body safe from them… so I did not ever try to lose weight while nursing. I just waited until the kids were weaned before trying that, to stay on the safe side toxin-wise. After weaning, it was really dang *hard* to lose weight. But I did manage a tolerable loss using a low-carb diet. To this day I do not know if this works for me because it works generally, or if it’s the only thing that works for me because I am diabetic. What I did notice was that the same diet that helped me lose 35 pounds in a year, pre-kids, was (frustratingly) much slower and I had to be much stricter at it, post-kids. But it still worked, eventually. If anything, I would theorize that the same approach might work *better* for people who don’t have a serious carb-tolerance issue like I do. But don’t think the study has been done!

    Anyway, best of luck with the baby and the weight, and if it were me, I would just not think about the weight until after weaning.

  29. Howdy all,
    I hope your summers are going swimmingly, and if for some reason you live in the southern hemisphere, may your winter only be going swimmingly if you enjoy a nice, cold dip!

    To Share: An interesting example of folks out on the fringes starting to find their own way through the madness: . While the themes and ideas won’t be new to most folks here, I thought they’d at least make interesting data points for the kinds of withdrawal that might not be so obvious to the elites.

    To Ask: In Seeing Like a State, James C. Scott talks about a concept called “legibility,” which is basically the ability of large, impersonal organizations (like government bureaucracies) to understand and control phenomena and processes. Simple example: having a mailing address makes finding a house or business more legible. Legibility can be helpful, but it usually comes at the cost of bulldozing nuance, depth, and local variation.

    I’m trying to find or come up with an opposite to “legibility,” because I think there are wider implications than just politics and governance. Do you, JMG, or anyone else here, happen to know if there might be a word for such a thing? I’m thinking of the quality of things that are local, immediate, specific, and organic. To some degree, this is captured by the concrete vs abstract ways of thinking you’ve talked about here at length, but I feel like there’s some other helpful concept there.

    I’m half hoping that this is something that has been written about extensively by Anglo-Saxon monks or German dilettante philosophers or something, and I just haven’t been able to find it yet. If not something already-defined, I’d welcome any recommendations, again from JMG or anyone else here, on what might be useful works or thinkers to check out.


  30. Mr. Greer: no questions this month, but thank you for your advice last week. I’d been overthinking the solstice gathering and just needed to relax and ask for the appropriate help. I got out of it exactly as much as my level of practice would support, which turned out to be more than I expected.

    What a beautiful time the solstice is. I am grateful to be alive beneath these great heavens. Cheers and many blessings!

  31. a) I’m still slowly working on the esoteric effects of scuba diving, and once I have a chance to test a few things and some books I have on hold finally show up plan to do a lot more with it. There are a lot of interesting anatomical and physiological effects occur with scuba diving, and I am hoping to link them with possible effects on the inner planes, which requires linking physical anatomy and physiology to our anatomy and physiology on the inner planes.

    Do you know of any good sources on anatomy and physiology written with occultists in mind? If it doesn’t exist, then that could be a good project for me to work on after I wrap up my current one on the internet as a system of dark magic.

    b) I’d like to thank you for your encouragement that we should do research into topics whenever someone suggests something as a hypothesis, or asks about a topic which you know nothing about. In theory I should have gotten some experience with research as part of my ill fated Master’s degree, but in practice I have learned more from going off on tangents on material discussed here, combined with the suggestions and feedback, than I did as part of my formal education, if it even deserves that word now.

  32. Shinjuki @22
    If I may, many people I know have had great success with Dr Jungers CLEAN program. However, I also know finding the proper eating regimen is highly individual and unique to each.
    Best to you !

  33. Hi JMG, what did you make of the recent attack on Stonehenge. Seems like a very odd target, especially for carbon output.

  34. OK John, I understand your answer…I’m not a Brahma Kumaris member, but I’ve had some contacts with them since some time ago. People I know are divided about them: some people think they’re a cult, some others think they aren’t. I understand that you don’t have a formed opinion in this topic, but thanks for answering to me.

  35. @jason and @methylethyl, I would add the Anglican Church of North America to @methylethyl’s list, and the ACNA bears many resemblances to the others he mentioned: specifically intensely liturgical, doctrinally conservative, growing extremely rapidly, and (for the present at least) just a tiny part of the pan-Christian world, although I expect that may change.

    My own parish was a new church plant ten years ago, has seen annual growth rates of 10% or more every year (as high as 22% coming out of Covid), and is in multiple other ways showing very healthy growth. I came from a more mainline Protestant denomination, which is clearly getting close to needing hospice care; it’s been an eye opening contrast.

  36. Yiğit, you can find far more information on that subject than you can use on any of the hundreds of prepper forums online.

    Bird, thank you, but no — I’m strictly a political astrologer at this point. You can find my political and economic predictions here:

    Jeff, well, you could always repurpose “illegibility.” I’d be careful with your assumptions, though, because not all things that are local, specific, immediate, and organic evade legibility in Scott’s sense, and there are plenty of things that are nonlocal, diffuse, mediated, and the product of clever artifice that do a very good job of escaping the notice of the state!

    Leo, you’re most welcome and thank you.

    Taylor, well, have you checked out Manly P. Hall’s Man: The Grand Symbol of the Mysteries? That’s the first thing that comes to mind. Its bibliography is extensive, and worth checking out. You’re most welcome, btw.

    Patricia M, thanks for this.

    Jeff, at this point I’m pretty sure that the protesters are like the spoiled rotten two-year-old who can’t get Mommy to give him attention, and so goes right into the middle of the party, drops his trousers, and takes a crap on the carpet. They want attention, and they’ll do anything to get it.

    Chuaquin, I try not to pass judgment on any group unless I know something about them!

  37. Hi JMG,
    Just a comment. When Isaw that the Boeing space capsule could not, currently, leave the ISS, I thought of some of your writing. I don’t think you ever addressed such a situation, but as someone once said about history, your work rhymes with it.
    As usual thanks for all the good information and writing.

  38. >I’ll ask an obvious one: Do you share Chris Martenson’s current concern that the US and Russia are going to be lobbing nuclear warheads at one another before the end of the year?

    So, if you take as a starting point that Ukraine is lost, that the Russians are winning. Logically, the Murican deep state (let’s all be honest about who’s behind Ukraine) has two responses – one, take the loss, tell the Russians well played and make a deal with Easy Vladdy and his Payment Plans (the first thing that struck me when I actually got a chance to see him talk was, he’s a car dealer). Or two, escalate to WW3.

    You tell me, based on what they’re doing (not on what they’re saying, god no) which choice they’re making right now. The darkly amusing thing about their escalation to WW3, is how OBSESSED they are with looking like the good guys in all of this. Hey. Guys. It’s WW3. Nobody’s going to be the hero. Nobody. If you’re going to start it, just get up and start it.

  39. Hello Mr. Greer, Archdruid. I hope all is well with you, or as well as it can be, since losing your beloved wife.
    I wanted to ask you if you knew of a good book to teach myself Latin? There are so many teach yourself Latin books out there and I have limited funds so don’t want to be buying lots of books and finding them not very good. Right now I am studying my Catholic prayers in Latin, it’s a start anyway. Any suggestions you can make would be most welcome!!
    All my best to you and thank you for this wonderful, sharing space you have created for us. It has changed my thinking on so many things, and has enriched my life immensely by reading other people’s thoughts. Thank you!!

  40. >I’ve pointed out for years, for example, that learning to brew good beer is a classic survival skill

    I think Weihen Stephan goes back to near 1000AD? I mean, just think about it, over those 1000 years, the world has burned several times over, armies marching, people starving, buildings burning but all throughout it, someone was tending a wort kettle and keeping tabs on a fermenter.

    Although an ethnic German said something to me about German autism and German stubbornness probably mattered more than the beer being brewed.

    I’d just say the more things you can do for yourself, the better. You can’t do everything yourself, but give it a try sometime. And if you’re going to brew beer, do it because you like beer, not because you want to prepare for Teh Apocalypse(tm).

  41. Shinjuki, Certified organic oatmeal has no glysophate. If it does, it doesn’t get the organic certification. Yes, it is more expensive. Drying down of grain crops is used to make harvest easy and cheap. At that time, the oak berries are still in their husks, so the glysophate might possibly not cling to the grain. Or so it is claimed. I like oatmeal and buy it in bulk, organic, at a health food store.

    If your baby is now on solid foods, which you can easily make yourself from safe vegetables and fruit you get from trusted sources–your or a friend’s garden, farmer’s market, etc., he might need less nursing. Start with carrots then others that can be boiled and mashed. . Veges from the solanum family, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers should probably be added last.

    Various kinds of full body cleanse are recommended for ridding oneself of glysophate and other chemicals. You might want to put that off until the baby is no longer nursing. In the meantime, if it were me, I would switch to organic oatmeal, or maybe substitute organic brown rice, and a clean if not all organic diet.

  42. @Roy Smith: Thanks for the datapoint! It’s a phenomenon I’m keenly interested in (and have been blindly feeling around for more intel on) and suspected that some branch of Anglicanism might be involved, but had no contacts to ask about it 🙂

  43. >Is there a version of Christianity that renounces the Old Testament?

    If there is, let me know too. Here’s my Modest Proposal. Dump the Old Testament, just get rid of the whole thing. If there’s parts of it people like, tell them to write their own version of it and get people to vote on it being included in the New Testament. The formerly New Testament becomes the Old Testament. And paw through all that Apocrypha again and explain why it can’t be included in the New Testament now.

    I’m not holding my breath but weirder things have happened. Like Russia going capitalist.

  44. @JMG #41 re: “Illegibility”

    Fair enough, and you’re likely right that I should examine the concept I’m trying to nail down through the lens of how it breaks down and/or leads to its own troubles – Vico’s contrast between the barbarism of reflection vs the barbarism of sense comes to mind. I’m less interested, though, in the specific case of evading state notice/control and more interested in what it is about the local, immediate, and organic that is in common between the kind of things that make subsidiarity work, is best grasped by gnosis, and is pretty much required for producing creative work (caring about this brushstroke, or that turn of phrase, that kind of thing). Legibility just gave a fairly straightforward example to explain the kind of thing I’m trying to get at.

    It might be that it takes more than a comment, or string of comments, to get at. I’m working on a blog post to explore some of the wider implications and associations, but so far, the word I’ve come up with is “nearbyness.”

    At any rate, thanks much for your thoughts!


  45. JMG and Maxine,
    I think the issue with the “reports” the KSA refused to sign the treaty enabling the petrodollar system is that there was never any treaty of significance creating the system. I think it was more of an ” understanding” enforced by US power that all significant exporters of petroleum only trade it in US dollars. In its heyday this was followed by countries as diverse as Norway and Mexico. There is rumor that the downfalls of both Sadam and Kaddafi were caused by their intentions of selling oil in currencies other than the US dollar.
    Even if there was a treaty it ,in all practicality, ended when Saudi Arabia agreed to sell oil to the Chinese in Yuan a few months ago. Also having the worlds largest oil producer ( Russia) in open dispute with any and all US trade and currency agreements ( real or implied) obviously overshadows any token treaty with the Saudi’s.

  46. The link in your reply to Mr. Novato above sent me down a rabbit hole of Archdruid Report links until I finally found myself rereading the posts of “Adam’s Story.” Have you ever considered turning those posts into a novel? I think they contain some of your most evocative writing and the world you created there would be well worth revisiting.

  47. Hi JMG,

    I hope you are having a lovely day and week.

    I discovered your blog a few months ago and have read many of your posts since then, but this is the first time I have commented. What finally made me do it was the fact that you mentioned earlier that Europe is in decline and recommended that people get out of there if possible. Well, I live in Brazil and things here have always been difficult, but recent governments have made leaving the country seem like an extremely attractive idea, Lula is doing such a good job of it in fact that emigration has broken records recently with 45% going to North America and 32% for Europe. Furthermore, a recent survey found that 67% of Brazilians between the ages of 16 and 35 would leave Brazil if they could (rising to 85% among those aged 15 to 19). My questions for you are: What is your perspective on the future of Brazil and South America? And is it a good idea to leave or is it better to stay here?

    I ask this because I’m young (but I can’t and won’t leave due to sick parents) and all my younger cousins ​​ask me if they should study something at university that will help them find jobs abroad and if it’s worth leaving.
    I’d love to read responses from anyone willing to chip in.

    Thank you.

  48. Dear John Michael Greer and all readers,
    Since a long time I have enjoyed reading your books and blogs. Originally I became interested in your work about collapse and peak oil, then because, your wisdom made so much sense, I started studying the occult. By now you have inspired me, doing some minor work in druid magic, meditation and divination.

    The reason I am finally writing you, is that I am interested on your current take on commercial sail.

    I know you wrote before about Capt. Erikson and his fleet of windjammers, in the 1920’s-1940’s, he was of course way ahead of his time.

    In my personal life I had somewhat of a career in commercial sail so far. Starting trading in Carib in the 1990’s, as a crewmember on the schooner “Avontuur” with Capt. Paul Wahlen. In 2001 I designed and helped building a small engineless cargo sailing ship in South-haven Michigan, with the aim of carrying cargo and keeping the traditions of boatbuilding, rigging and engineless sailing alive.

    In 2007, I was co-founding, and was involved as designer, agent, captain and director.

    After that, in 2018 I founded, with the aim to scale up, and really use ships of the size Gustaf Erikson was using. It proved very hard to find the financing to make that a reality… Last year I had to hand over my directors role to a new leader.

    It feels like there is huge potential. Although there is definitely interest on a larger scale for wind propulsion, see:, I still feel like the current companies are struggling to continue.

    1). With the current global situation do you see a market developing for large (or small) scale wind transport on the short term (or are we talking decades)?
    2). Do you think it is feasible, with the large financial stakes (to purchase/built/operate ships), to start investing now in cargo carrying tall ships?
    3). With your recent words about the lenocracy (and I know the amount of middlemen involved in the shipping world), it almost feels like the only feasible way, in the short term, would be to be so small that one would be totally outside the conventional shipping world. And even longer term, that is probably were it all will go. Does that sound right?

    Thank you very much for your time and insights.

    Fair winds,

    P.S. A year ago, I could have answered above questions with certainty. Now I am still sure that using wind is the only sensible way to transport goods over long distances, however the timing seems off… and I lost a bit of the certainty.

  49. Christianity, imo, is already back, but its Christian lite. I know a number who have gone back into the revival tent, but they all seem concerned, from my take, with having the right beliefs and most, but not all, seem lacking in actually having spiritual experiences. But it is a bastion against chaos, and maybe for some the experience will come later. I am heartened that some of the Christians here are looking into combining it with the path that abides. I hope that the ecumenical spirit may prevail among new converts, but many I’ve encountered think it is the only truth, and the Bible the final word on life, the universe, and everything.

    The more interesting question, to me, is what are people intuiting and having the first glimpses of, with regards to what might become the next great religions of the Aquarian age?

  50. “I hope journalists and editors and publishers everywhere realize the danger of the US case against Julian that criminalizes, that has secured a conviction for, newsgathering and publishing information that was true, that the public deserved to know.

    “That precedent now can and will be used in the future against the rest of the press. So it is in the interest of all of the press to seek for this current state of affairs to change through reform of the Espionage Act,” — Stella Assange

    It seems that the release of Julian, despite the truity of the above, is another blow to US hegemony as far as public image of this decaying empire.

    Another readon to unwind the empire: less embarassments and ethical failures to have leaked in the first place.

    Interesting times. It was interesting how the hacker scene turned for some of the leaks.

  51. Hi, have you ever heard of someone getting good results going to an “animal psychic” to find out what’s going on with a pet that is behaving aggressively? The person’s background includes reiki. Thanks – hope you are well

  52. Hello Mr Greer, I have two questions.

    In the last week’s discussion, you mentioned discursive meditation. I had never heard about the practice before and found it absolutely fascinating. Is there a similar meditative practice meant to be used for personal matters (for example, questions like “Why do I have a particular problem and how to solve it?”) rather than for spiritual development?

    The other question is related to literature. In Bulgakov’s “The Master and Margarita”, Woland does a reading for Berlioz (no relation to the composer) in the following manner:
    He looked Berlioz up and down as if he were going to make him a suit, muttered through his teeth something like: “One, two … Mercury in the second house … moon gone … six disaster … evening – seven …” then announced loudly and joyfully: “Your head will be cut off!”
    I was wondering whether the reading sounds plausible to professional astrologists, or if Bulgakov was taking artistic licence in this passage.

    Finally, I would like to thank Mr Greer for graciously answering questions from me that I am sure had been answered already in earlier discussions. In case they are reading, I would also like to thank Scotlyn and Scotty for valuable clarifications on my comments on “The Flight from Prediction” article.

    Many greetings!

  53. I have been finally tackling seriously the 2 volumes of Spengler’s The Decline of the West. Before this, I had to take it out of the library and read a little,and then take it back. One day I went in to get it again, and they removed it from the shelves. So I decided to splurge and buy the new paperback copy. So now I can read carefully and really think about what it says and how that relates to the present. It’s pretty amazing how much does relate to our present time of real change in the world. It’s thanks to you that I am reading it and trying to understand it. I really wish we could go through these two volumes the way that you have with other books. I would love to hear and would learn a huge amount from the input of people who write comments to this site. Just a suggestion. There are some deep thinkers who are wrestling with similar concepts, who are writing about the decline of our empire (Alistair Crooke on Strategic Culture, etc.) Kathy Halton

  54. John:
    A thank you for your work over the years.
    I first encountered your writing with The Long Descent and your weekly blog on peak oil back around 2007. In recently reviewing some of this work and considering its profound effect on my life, I realized how I have put in place many of your suggestions:
    1. Accept the reality of peak oil/decline.
    2. Crash now and avoid the rush.
    3. Find creative work-arounds to survive the challenges of decline.
    4. Maintain hope via embracing your chosen path of a life’s work and a personal spiritual practice.
    Anything I’m missing that you would add to this list?
    Thank you for your recent blogs regarding the lenocracy and last week’s on the path that abides. Please know that you have made a significant difference in my thinking for many years. I hope we have the opportunity to meet in person someday.
    Sincerely, Jeff from Missouri

  55. Okay, I have an easy question for you. Why are some commenter’s names black, and some are green? Thanks.

  56. Hi JMG,
    If this is an inappropriate question, please feed it to that adorable hungry black hole named Fido. 😉
    I’ve seen advertising online for antibiotic kits, shipped to one’s address, complete with instructions for use. My inclination is to dismiss this as fear-mongering clickbait, but I could be mistaken. No doubt there are/will be shortages of antibiotics, and a whole lot of other things we take for granted. Is there any reason you or the commentariat are aware of for me to reconsider this?
    In the meantime, I’m adding to my homemade collection of tinctures for this and that, and making sure our OTC medicines have expiration dates well into 2026 and beyond. The few prescription meds we have we keep about 3 months’ supply on hand. I appreciate that some folks don’t have that option. We may not at some point, either. We took a first aid class last month, and based on that information assembled our own “custom” first aid kit. I hope we never need the tourniquets, chest seals, or Quik Clot gauze, but better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.
    Thanks as always!

  57. A thought occurred for Rafael, not just honey, but yeast!

    The honey made me think of mead, and that led to yeast. Figure out how to preserve and maintain not just bread yeast, but all the varieties of beer and wine yeast. Relying on wild yeasts is very hit and miss, a supplier of reliable yeasts could become very popular.

  58. Hey JMG

    I have recently come across a writer named William Ophuls who seems to write about the decline of our civilisation using similar themes as you, have you by any chance heard of him or maybe corresponded with him at all?

  59. Dear JMG, et al.:

    Thank you again for hosting this open post forum. I asked my question pretty much at the last minute last month, and it was suggested in the comment section that I ask again to keep the conversation going. So if permissible I would like to do so while the getting is good. My question: “lately I’ve been receiving encouragement from family and friends to go back to school in order to become a librarian. This profession would certainly suit a bookish introvert on the autism spectrum like me. As a contemplative, spiritually driven intellectual there are very few jobs I can imagine being happy with. (Anything that can enable me to be an independent scholar-priest, who’s also the village wizard). Yet, I have to ask if going back to school is worth it, considering the sad state of things today. I’m currently leaning towards it, but would deeply appreciate feedback on the issue. Thank you all in advance.”
    A month later and I’m still contemplating if this is my best course of action, and if the financial investment is worth it. Are there other means of becoming a librarian, as a day job, that don’t necessarily require returning to academia? Once again, any advice is sincerely appreciated. Let me know if I need to clarify anything. Thank you all in advance.

    Sanctuary of the Rose and Chalice

  60. Greetings JMG!

    My father in law is having heart trouble and undergoing tests to see eligibility for a transplant. Is there anything from the occult perspective to be concerned about?

    Thank you!

  61. Rafael (#1) : A friend of mine hosted a European visitor, and was complaining to her about the annoying white-tail deer that made it practically impossible to grow a useful garden. “Do you have deer in ?”, he asked? The reply “No, we ate them all during the Wars.”
    I asked my father, born in 1935, how his mother was able to grow such a productive garden in rural Michigan, without the deer taking too much. He said: “There were not enough deer in Michigan to worry about. If you ever saw deer tracks, you’d also see hunter’s boot tracks right behind it.”
    As for forests, try searching for “medieval English forestry management”. I found this informative piece: In a nutshell: the Forest belongs to the King, and taking a deer could be a fatal mistake. Gathering fallen branches for firewood may have been permitted, but not felling trees for lumber. So, if you want to protect nature, be prepared to apply state violence.

  62. Jeff Russel: you may want to look at the concept of subsidiarity, not exactly the opposite of legibility in this context, but a related concept

  63. Mac, it’s a classic example of the collapse of America’s technological capacities — think of it as Twilight’s Last Gleaming in space.

    Other Owen, they have hundreds of other options. So do the Russians. One of the reasons so many people make so many flawed predictions is that it’s so easy to get stuck in this kind of false binary.

    Heather, it really depends on your own personal learning style. I learned via Wheelock’s Latin, a classic American textbook, and so that tends to be what I recommend, but for all I know there are other options. I wonder — does anyone else know of a site that reviews Latin textbooks?

    Other Owen, German autism is also a survival skill. Given what Germany’s been through in the last thousand years, any less autistic culture would have collapsed completely!

    Jeff, fair enough. “Relocalization” is how you’d translate that into Latin roots, btw. 😉

    Clay, the fascinating thing is that there has been a cascade of stories in alternative media insisting that the Saudis refused to renew a specific treaty on a specific date — I think it was June 13 of this year. Whatever’s behind it, it’s an intriguing example of media culture at work.

    Roldy, thank you! The thing is, I don’t find it credible at this remove. It implies far too fast a collapse — I wrote it to illustrate five specific points about the process of decline, not to make a prediction. But I’ll take a look at it down the road a bit and try to figure out if there’s something that can be done with it.

    Cesar, I’ve never been to South America and all I have to go on is what little I can get from English language media. Thus I’m by no means sure I can offer any good advice at all in the short term. In the long term, I think South America has a great future ahead of it, with a very high likelihood of a major new culture rising in the River Plate watershed sometime in the next two thousand years…but I suspect you want something a little less distant than that. 😉

    Jorne, thank you for this! Lenocracy is a huge issue in any transport-related industry, and so is the simple fact that as long as bunker oil remains affordable, petroleum-powered shipping is going to be cheaper and more reliable than sail. When will petroleum price itself out of the market? That’s a very good question to which I don’t know the answer. If you can find some way to make commercial sail make sense outside the conventional shipping market, that’s very likely your best bet — but sudden spikes in the price of oil could prove me wrong in a matter of weeks.

    Gorbachev, it’s not something I’ve looked into. Anything else?

    Soko, (1) first of all, you can certainly use discursive meditation for that — simply choose a relevant theme. Another practice worth exploring along these lines is journaling. Get a journal and a pen, write down some question or issue, and then let yourself write down the first thing that comes into your head, without censoring or editing anything. Read the response, and then ask yourself a question about it. Go on, making it a dialogue between your conscious self and whatever boils up spontaneously, and see what surfaces. (2) I’ve never seen an astrologer do anything even remotely like that, so it’s probably artistic license, but you never know!

    Kathy, the thought of a Spengler book club series is daunting — it would require vast amounts of additional reading! — but I’ll consider it. What troubles me is that your library took it off the shelves. Not that this is surprising — censorship by libraries is becoming increasingly common — but it’s upsetting.

    Jeff, thank you! That strikes me as a good basic summary. The one thing I’d add is “distance yourself from the collective groupthink of the time.”

    Slink, I have no idea at all. Anyone else?

    OtterGirl, antibiotics are becoming increasingly irrelevant as microbes evolve resistance to them. I’m not a doctor, and I don’t even play one on TV, but I prefer to rely on other means of infection control.

    J.L.Mc12, I’ve read one of his books and thought it was interesting.

    Gary, I think it means that it was a slow news day and somebody wanted to liven things up a bit!

    Sanctuary, if you’re in the United States, I can’t recommend going to university for any reason at all. The price is too high and the quality of education too abysmally low. I don’t happen to know what the options are for getting into a librarian’s position without a degree — maybe one of the librarians who comment here will be able to discuss this — but if things keep going the way they’re going, there will be a lot of librarians out of work in the decades ahead, so it’ll be a very tight field.

    Grover, or are the Discordians a Theosophical sock puppet? Or both at the same time? 😉

    Matt, nothing that prayer and blessings won’t fix.

  64. Can anyone explain to me why NATO is not cutting Ukraine loose, with the words “Membership has its privileges. You are not a member.” It seems to me that this would highlight the importance of all other NATO members maintaining a membership “in good standing”, providing for their own defense as per negotiated spending. NATO governments could turn to their people, and say “we need to tax you to prevent that result from happening here (not from happening THERE).”

    Trump could turn to the other NATO members and explain “THAT is what happens to even our friends, if they don’t pay their dues. You’re going to pay your dues, aren’t you?” I don’t believe that Trump ever said that NATO should be broken up (as our MainStream Media insisted), but rather that a NATO in name only, without investment, would not survive a challenge.

    (Before ya’ll object, that Euro defense spending just puts money into the pockets of American defense contractors, I’ll grant that it’s true to some extent, but Europe has its own defense industries, or should, and would, if their governments would support them.)

  65. In my comment #68 above, I tried to use inappropriate punctuation, and a couple of words in brackets got dropped. I meant to write “Do you have deer in (your country)?”

  66. @Sanctuary of Rose and Chalice #65:
    It’s a very long shot indeed, but our host has mentioned in the past the concept of private libraries, owned and sponsored by their members to suit specific needs, such as libraries of tomes that might not be particularly popular, require intensive study, and are rare/expensive/etc. You might consider whether or not you could find a niche in either creating and operating these sorts of libraries (likely you would need to be part-time at more than one in order to actually make ends meet) or in establishing the sort of private society to justify having one (in which case you might find yourself a full-time director and part-time librarian, among many other hats). Perhaps something along those lines could be worth considering as these sorts of arrangements strike me as more in line with the likely future of libraries in the Western cultures when economic realities start to bite harder than they already are.

    Just a thought, but if you show yourself resourceful, sufficiently educated (and continuously self-educating), and exceptionally responsible/accountable/scrupulous, you may well not need any sort of academic qualifications at all for such a position or set of positions. You might take a page from our host’s fantasy novel series and set your sights on being caretaker of certain eldritch restricted books collections, too. But that would require some very diverse practical and intellectual skills indeed, especially if you’re not secretly a lizard person yourself. 😉

  67. Clay Dennis–in the current climate of allowing corporations to be considered as persons for the purpose of free political speech my ideas don’t have a chance. However, I have long maintained that it should be illegal to contribute to political campaigns outside of one’s are of residence. After all, it is illegal for me to travel to Ohio or Montana to vote for a congressional representative, senator or governor there. What is the practical difference between casting a vote directly and supporting a candidate with funds? I personally abide by this belief. It isn’t illegal, but is IMO immoral so I ignore pleas that our democracy depends on me sending money to help the Republocrats control Congress or a particular state legislature. The national office of President is obviously not included in this.

    Siliconguy–actually it is the belief of some Christians that Jesus overthrew the Mosaic law–not the obviously necessary for any sane society laws such as those against murder, theft, adultery, etc. –but the laws about diet, circumcision, wearing mixed fabrics, etc. Paul was responsible for some of this, as he turned what would become Christianity from a small Jewish sect to a religion that sought converts from all populations. As you might imagine, the demand for circumcision of adult converts caused many Gentiles to turn away, as did the rigorous and strange dietary laws of the Jews. Christians dropped the requirements for animal sacrifice (common to most religions in the area) on the grounds that Jesus had been the final sacrifice on behalf of all. There are clear differences between religions based on tribal affiliation such as Judaism, Shinto, and indigenous beliefs and religions that are regarded as suited for all humans and whose practitioners are encouraged or ordered to convert everyone.

    For those considering beekeeping–conventional beehives rely on fairly precise millwork which might become unavailable in troubled times. There is a style of hive designed for developing countries which is easier to make. The Kenyan or top bar hive. Designs are available online. If you are particular about the breed of bees buy from a local beekeeper. If not, in many areas you can list yourself as willing to pick up swarms and get your bees free. Don’t volunteer to remove bees from buildings unless you know what you are doing–it is complicated and messy. Be sure to check your zoning, although if you live in a city you may be able to lease space for beehives outside of town–or trade for honey.

  68. >what’s going on with a pet that is behaving aggressively?

    Animals pick up on your emotions. Don’t want to get personal but are you having personal problems?

  69. Slink and JMG,
    I now suspect the website connection might be right in front of me, since at the bottom of the Reply textbox are the textboxes Name, Email and Website.

  70. To any and all:

    It seems rooted in a conspiracy theory but I heard recently that the most powerful families in Italy today trace back to the leading financiers and traders in 16th century Florence.

    Do you, and if so, how, do you consider different levels of institutions in your thinking about long-term socioeconomic changes? How might institutions like powerful families, clans or others types not completely aligned with governments better navigate the long descent?

    Thank you

  71. @The Other Owen – not churches I know of, but I’d suggest keeping the Psalms. And remember, the Old Testament isn’t a Book per se: it’s an anthology. As someone else said, I forget who, it’s as if you made an anthology of everything from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle on through Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and for some reason it survived a Dark Age. Another writer, again, I forget who, called the Old Testament “A biography of God.” (that is, the Lord God of Israel.)

  72. I’m sorry, I thought this would be an easy question. That’s why I didn’t do the two minutes of research it took to figure it out. Sorry, I should have done that first!

    Green Names are actually links. Well, Duh. just like all the other links people post are green. If you click on a green name, it takes you to their “page”, or whatever. Seems obvious in retrospect.

    I feel bad for taking your time now. But hey, now we know!

  73. @Justin Patrick Moore #55: Julian Assange;s case is the living proof of something the authors of Fourth Turning wrote: that the whistleblowers Woodward and Bernstein were considered heroes in their time,a tile of social unrest, but their equivalent would not be 40 years down the road, in a time of secular crisis similar to the Great Depression/WWII period., probably with emphasis on WWII.

  74. So you’re not concerned, then, in the same way the author of the article is? If so, fair enough.

  75. J.L.Mc12 #63,

    I really like Willam Ophuls. I first came across “Ecology and the Politics of Scarcity” (1977) in about 1990 (I was only 9 when it was written). I found it very enlightening and one of the first steps that has led me here to this blog today. I re-read it about 10 years ago and found it holds up really well. His arguments have stood the test of time.

    I also really liked “Requiem For Modern Politics: The Tragedy Of The Enlightenment And The Challenge Of The New Millennium” (1997) which I read about 2001.

    But I think “Immoderate Greatness: Why Civilizations Fail” (2012) was a masterpiece! It’s only 69 pages (with an additional 39 pages of notes, references, and even an index) but it is DENSE. I can’t believe I am recommending books to JMG, but I think you would like this one. And hey, only 69 pages!

  76. #22 Shinjuku
    I haven’t read through all the replies yet, so someone may have addressed this.

    You might explore information on keto and carnivore diets. These are both essentially elimination diets that aid the body’s recovery from toxins of various kinds. Many accounts of people ‘s health improving dramatically, as well as healthy weight loss. Both diets are suitable for breast milk production, as well.

  77. I was wondering if anyone had any experience or advice regarding addressing the distressing ideological capture of one’s local library? My local library I note has hundreds and hundreds of books about obscure gender identities and Aboriginal activism, but seems to lack any text you might find on the St John’s College reading list.

  78. Jason #7: “Why hasn’t Christianity made a comeback yet?”
    Several interesting answers from the commentariat, but I’d like to add my own theory: it has, only in the form of “social justice activism.” In the summer after the death of George Floyd, I kept noticing similarities between the Catholicism of my youth and the various “protests.” To name a few:
    1. Genuflecting (while wearing cloths that resemble priestly stoles):
    2. Statues and icons:
    3. Ritual confession of sins (only of “white privilege” instead of the traditional ones):
    4. Demanding that people raise their fists and say “Black lives matter” ( – this reminded me of inquisitors demanding that people make the sign of the cross and recite the Nicene Creed. In short, the protestors re-invented medieval Catholicism.
    My thought through all of this was that if I was going to have a religion, I’d go back to the Church – at least they’ve produced some great art, architecture, and music.

  79. JMG, is any edition of Wheelock’s Latin to be preferred? Is the7th dumbed down from the first?

    I bought a sturdy wooden rack for drying clothing and fabric from Lehman’s. The wood is perfectly smooth, well sanded. Do I need to put anything on it such as oil or paint? I do like to dry my clothes outside when the sun shines. If so, what products can be used to protect the wood which won’t leave stains on my clothing or, more importantly, new fabric which has been shrunk?

  80. #61 Ottergirl
    Antibiotics are wildly useful under certain circumstances, and can mean life or death in some cases. Herbals, oils etc also have a place. No reason not to have as many backup modalities as you can.

    Keep in mind that most medications kept cool and dry can easily last a decade or longer past expiration dates. Years ago, a military study was done. Meds were left in a metal shed, hot in summer, freezing in winter, for 10 years. The antibiotics were tested for efficacy and found to be literally the same effectiveness as fresh batches — with one exception. Penicillin had weakened over time and required a higher dose to get the efficacy against bacteria.

  81. @jeff Russel #33

    You might also enjoy Lucy Lippard’s book, ‘The Lure of the Local’ which is from an American perspective and available as a pdf download here:

    Its a long time since I discovered these ideas, and remember I loved discovering them the first time round. I might go and reread this myself…I wonder what on earth happened to the copy of the book I used to have?! It was back around many of lifes corners that I used to have it!

    Free Rain

  82. @Siliconguy #21, @The Other Owen #48, on The Cancellation of the Old Testament…

    You know, being Christian in this time and age is a lot like being fat. You never stop running into well meaning people who would go out of their way to look the other side for most personal shortcomings in others, but nonetheless feel entitled to pester you with obvious remarks about your body size, and even more unwanted and self defeating advice on how to get fit in a short while if you only put your mind to it.

    Have you ever read the Iliad? If the Olympic Gods were human characters in a Netflix show, would you not agree they would be petty, callow, vindictive and downright murderous? Still we have a number of modern pagans, some of them in this very forum, who worship those very Gods and their lives are better for it. They read the Iliad, and probably a number of other divine texts unknown to me, and unpack wisdom from those by the tools of prayer and meditation. Trying to judge the Divine in human terms is just Pride to the utmost degree; make those human terms thousands of years distant from the cultures who wrote down those divinely inspired texts and this is when prideful circles back to ridiculous.

    So, instead of cancelling the Old Testament, maybe you are intended to *think* about it, and ask why those massacres took place?
    1. Maybe the Israelites were not very good at discerning the spirits back then, and a demonic message went through? 2. Maybe the Israelites were polytheistic back then, and later scribes just wrote down “the Lord” in place of each gods’ name? 3. Maybe it was a test of character, and the Israelites failed it? 4. Maybe the Amalekites were devil worshipers, and lacking modern exorcism techniques, the only way to release them of their misery was… to release them of their misery? 5. Maybe an Eternal God who sees past, present and future as a single simultaneous experience did decide that the path of least destruction was to finish off one side of the conflict, instead of creating a situation of perpetual war between neighbors? 6. Maybe we humans can only perceive the Divine up to the degree that our own astral bodies vibrate, and the proto-historic Israelites were a pretty debased people? 7. Maybe Joshua lied and said “God made me do it”? I could keep going, but that shall suffice.

    What actually happened is beyond the point. What matters is how those hypothesis illuminate our own moral dilemmas, and what does it say about us?

  83. Dear JMG:

    Thank you for the rapid response, and I do look forward to what the librarians among the commentariat have to say. Sadly, I think you’re right about the low job prospects for librarians. I’ve been contemplating about every profession I’ve ever wanted throughout my life: paleontologist, anthropologist, teacher, librarian, proofreader, priest in a mainstream church, National Park Service; and all or most of these are entrenched in ivory tower intellectualism (which as an Aspie I’ve always identified with). I’m coming to the sad conclusion that’s there’s no sustainable future for autistic, introverted bookworms who suffer from people-related anxiety such as myself. How did mystically/intellectually inclined people survive hard times previously? My apologies for venting like this, it’s just difficult to not be black-pilled at this time. Thank you for your time and patience, I do sincerely appreciate it.
    Sanctuary of the Rose and Chalice

  84. @shinjuki,
    It has been over 25 years since I nursed my daughter, so I’m sure some of the recommendations have changed since then, but back then I was told that trying to lose weight while nursing was not a good idea. Whatever nutrients your body needs to produce breast milk are going to come from you. If you don’t have enough in your diet, your body will pull it from you. (So if you aren’t getting enough calcium in your diet, it will pull the calcium from your bones. Not good.)
    As far as what to do when you are no longer nursing, you might consider researching the benefits of sweating. I have not found any studies related to glyphosate, but I will link to some other studies about toxins found in sweat at the end of my comment. (If you search online, you will also find people who claim sweat doesn’t release toxins. But then research how long people have been doing saunas. 😉 )

  85. This video shows an instructor demonstrating phases of the moon using a light source (laser?) and a mirror.
    Does anyone know what kind of light source creates a visible beam without having some kind of particulate in the air?
    (I learned the hard way that particulates in the air to show a light beam also set off the fire alarms at work…)

  86. A while back you teased an upcoming post or two on the Dune novel(s). Can we still expect to see this post?

  87. @Slink: The green ones link to the commenter’s website, and the black ones don’t. When you comment, there are three fields below the comment box: name, email, and website. Website is optional, and if you fill that in with a web address, it’ll link it in your commenter name.

  88. JMG,

    Hail Eris, full of grace,
    Discord is with thee.

    You got me, boss. All I know is that someone with the initials H. C. is behind it all…

  89. I just wanted to tell you I’ve started working through your series of posts on The Doctrine and Ritual of High Magic. I’m a little late to the game, but enjoying the ride. I recently read the chapter when mentioned toads, and I just saw one in my garden while watering my plants. It made me smile to see it. Thank you for your generous spirit.

  90. @OtterGirl:

    I have no opinion on whether they’re helpful or not, but my family has never had any trouble sourcing emergency backup antibiotics from an ordinary family doctor, by the simple expedient of making an appointment, going in, saying we are going on a hiking trip or traveling overseas to the third world (we weren’t lying!), and needed a prescription for relevant meds, including emergency antibiotics, for our first aid kit. We had no trouble getting Cipro, Azithromycin, the oral typhoid vaccine, and antimalarial medications this way (and if you requested the whole shebang together, I’d bet you could acquire a popular antiparasitic/dewormer as well!), along with some basic guidelines about when to use them. I’d call up your doctor and ask the office staff if the doc does that.

    One thing that doesn’t require a scrip, that I *always* stock in my first aid kit, since traveling in the third world, is Oral Rehydration Salts. I make sure to get the WHO formula (glucose not fructose, tastes like armpit sweat), they come in foil packets, and they last a very long time in the cabinet. It’s what they use for cholera out in the hinterlands, and even for ordinary gastrointestinal distress and food poisoning type stuff, used according to the instructions they have saved us a couple trips to the ER (way cheaper than an IV for dehydration!).

  91. Concerning the lenocracy.

    I’m sure I’ve told this story here before, but some years ago my local federal Member of Parliament, one Simon Crean (a federal Treasurer like his father Frank before him,, showing the aristocratic aspects of democracy), had a little booth out for a “meet the people” sort of thing for the local street festival. When I met him, I said, “A question on income tax, which I’ve just had to fill out. There are so many rules and deductions, because of which the actual tax paid is never the listed amount. Let’s say the official rate is 20%, but in practice because of deductions it ends up on average 15%. Why not simply abolish all deductions and just charge people 15%?”

    Still holding my hand which he’d been shaking, he looked thoughtful for a moment and then said, “But what would all the tax accountants and lawyers do?” and turned to greet someone else.

    This came to mind when I read today that the country’s highest-paid barrister represents people on tax affairs, and for this service charges $50,000 a day. Truly a lenocrat, standing between the money streaming between public, corporations and government, and grabbing some of the cash as it passes by, while himself producing nothing of tangible worth whatsoever.

  92. @Sanctuary: I did respond to your private email to me… feel free to write me back if you wish to discuss library matters any further. That said, I think JMGs comment stands well. I know lots of people with the degree who can’t find an open position in the library because if competition
    On the other hand, I was able to get to just “beneath” a librarian position without the degree. In the city, unless you get in the catalog dpt, you will have to work with the public quite a bit, some unruly, some with mental health problems, many great interesting folks too, but keep that in mind as part of your equation.

  93. Hey jmg

    Out of curiosity, do you remember which book of his it was? So far I have only read a sample of “immoderate greatness.”

  94. Jason wrote, “Why hasn’t Christianity made a comeback yet? All the conditions are right”

    That would be kind of similar to a Roman citizen asking why a great revival of Jupiter’s cult wasn’t yet flourishing, as the Roman empire lurched towards its inevitable disintegration. Naturally, there were in fact various kinds of revival movements that took place as Rome fell; they just all paled in comparison with the rise of the altogether different religious worldview that Christianity offered to the chafing throngs of that tumultuous time.

    We too will get all sorts of earnest revival movements, most of them vainly hoping to somehow jostle god-the-vending-machine in just the right way to get him dispense more goodies. That distractingly marketed desperation will be on tap in Christian, Muslim, and Buddhist flavors, to name but a few. Real devotion and spiritual enlightenment will also make a comeback in all those same flavors, but will likely remain a decidedly minority taste until much further into this collapse cycle.

    We also will likely get to witness the naissance of a wholly different religious worldview, one that will have on offer only spiritual enlightenment, instead of any unattainable material goodies. Will that trend express itself as one great new religion this time, or will various different regional religions give birth to markedly different worldviews in response to the crisis of Progress’ implosion? Will any of those brewing religious worldviews manage to integrate into themselves all of the extraordinary mythological insights that Progress’ high priests did succeed in uncovering, or will they simply reject all those insights for the role they played in bringing on the coming chaos?

    What would a feudal dark age feel like were it somehow able to synthesize together all the mythological treasure troves of the various ages that preceded it, rather than needing to reject and suppress them as containing enthralling toxins too threatening to its own fledgling mythology? What if we could holistically consider whatever benefits and heals, no matter how complex its mechanism, rather than allopathically trying to destroy whatever threatens, no matter how thoroughly misunderstood?

    Well, I guess that’s my answer — I’ve already singled out one enthralling toxin too dangerous for inclusion in any perfected worldview — the excommunicable sin of allopathic practice. Holy wars have been fought over less! What fun it is to watch history dutifully repeat itself, all within the confines of one’s own limited little mind. Tragic heroes each of us, unable to escape the bindings of the Fates, even in our most exalted moments of personal hubris. My deepest apologies to you all!

  95. Sanctuary,

    How woke are you exactly? What’s your tolerance level for pure, unadulterated horseradish? (Excuse my blue language.)

    In our local library system you need a MLA to be a branch manager, (plus no personality, multi-colored hair, and a reliable supply of N95 face masks.) My family members will literally ignore any employee wearing a mask or a dial-a-gender nametag (OMG), and go find someone else to talk to. The great American library is becoming a second-hand Barnes and Noble, as they purge reference collections and any book that was published more than 5 years ago, and beef up their David Baldacci selection.

    However, my wife’s best friend is a branch manager in the system to the north of us, and she doesn’t have a degree at all. Total class act, but no degree., not even an AA. So it’s system-specific, and credentialing seems to be relaxing a little as budgets get tighter, at least here in Georgia. But even branch managers aren’t making enough money to justify investing your time in an industry that’s imploding. JMG is right. Unfortunately. I hate it, but that’s where we are right now.


  96. @Slink (#60):

    If you click on one of the green names, it will take you to a website run by that person. If you click on one of the black names, nothing happens.

  97. Reflections on the Old Testament — pardon me if I’ve said something like this before…

    First of all, there are some horrific things to be found in the Tanakh/Old Testament. Most of the Jews I know also find them horrific. Thousands of years of Rabbis’ commentaries also demonstrate similar concerns. But there is an ocean of thought and history and of stories and symbolism that make it necessary reading even for those who would like to chuck out all the naughty bits. Like passages advocating eliminating the Girgasites and Hivites and Jebusites, etc. in various ways, or the Amorites. Figuring out what was actually going on helps a bit, too. I may be wrong, but archaeology at least hints that Hebrew and Israelite-ish people settled the highlands of Canaan, in patches. And all those maps of swaths of land dedicated to the Tribe of Dan, etc., were not reflective of more than an aspiration. The more fertile lowlands were for the longest time occupied by other folks, often of Phoenician origin. If you advocate reading the Iliad and the Odyssey, and actually do read them, you should also read the OT.

    Bear in mind that hyperbole is not just a Greek word but something all the ancients practiced in their storytelling. And the story-creators of the OT definitely practiced it. When was the last time you heard of a Jewish son or daughter being stoned to death for disrespecting their parents? A lot of those homicidal punishments you read about were quite possibly simply putting a bold line under how important the misbehavior and corresponding good behaviors were. The most horrifying stories I know of recount the behaviors of a tribal people, and aren’t part of the divine voice. Like what the brothers of Dinah did to avenge what happened to her when she wandered off the reservation a bit. Then there is the grand Oriental pageantry of Jacob meeting his brother Esau after decades. Rich stuff, and pretty good strategic thinking, too. Art of War level stuff.

    Like it or not, many of the foundational ethics of the West (and not just the genocidal ethics some cited here) come from the OT. Treating neighbors well is at least as often spoken of as the slavery thing referenced here earlier. See Leviticus 19:18. I believe that sentiment is repeated about a chapter later. Heck, even treating slaves well is foundational. Compare the lot of a slave in an Israelite household to the lot of a slave in Rome or Virginia…I know which incarnation I’d choose. Treating animals with consideration is strongly advocated. The idea that all laws apply equally to everyone, unlike in the Code of Hammurabi. The prophets are big on denouncing hypocrisy and the habit of favoring the rich over the poor. It teaches not engaging in generational feuding but trying to figure out a proportional response to crimes done to a person or the community (which is what the “eye for an eye” passage is really about). There’s more.

    Finally, I don’t think the authors of the OT can be held accountable for the misrepresentations made of it by later Christians. God of anger and revenge and killing = OT vs. lovingkindness in the NT? Have you read about Moses in the cleft of the rock, when God announces his qualities? The “thirteen attributes.” Look it up. It’s a big library, the OT. There’s a LOT there, good, bad, and indifferent. And if you ACTUALLY read the NT, you’ll find some pretty scary stuff there, too. Jesus is not all meekness and light, you know.

    Bottom line? Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Er, and by the way, I’d like to underscore my belief that we all live in glass houses.

  98. @J.L.Mc12 #63: William Ophuls. I remember Jerry Brown promoting Ophuls’ book, “Requiem for Modern Politics,” (or something like that) on his show on KPFA, in Berkley, back in the 90s. I read it. I liked it.

  99. @Lathechuck #71: I do remember Trump saying essentially that. It was one of the things Trump said that I agreed with, but then he seemed to have a short attention span.

  100. Mary – I bought my two wooden clothes racks 25 or more years ago and have used them steadily since then. I have never put any oil, stain or paint on them. The wood has discolored a little but the racks have never stained any clothes, unlike some of the metal clothes hangers in our closets.

  101. Lathechuck, because the NATO countries have no future at all if they don’t succeed in their long-term plan of defeating Russia, breaking it into a collection of weak successor states, and absorbing those and their abundant resources into the EU. That’s been the admitted goal of a very large share of the Western elite for many years now, and for good reason: as the global south rises and economic power shifts back to south and east Asia, Europe faces a return to its pre-1492 state as a bleak economic backwater on the fringes of the civilized world. Once Russia defeats the NATO proxy army in Ukraine, it will be clear to the whole world that Eurppe no longer has the power to defend its outsized share of the world’s wealth — and it won’t take long for the sharks to stop circling and close in. So for Europe, and those US interests that want to keep Europe propped up, this is existential; once Kiev falls, so does the entire post-Soviet architecture of power in Europe, and so does another large part of the US imperium.

    John, hmm! Thanks for this.

    KAN, and thanks for this.

    Daniel, I’d want to see documentation for that claim.

    Gary, nope. Every year or so some firm that’s trying to puff its stock price announces some lurid breakthrough or other, and if the media picks up on it, people in conspiracy culture announce that the end of everything is nigh. Usually it turns out that the “breakthrough” is vastly inflated and so are the fears, but it all makes great copy. My guess is some biotechnology firm is gearing up for a semi-fraudulent IPO.

    Synthase, I haven’t yet heard from anyone who succeeded at it. Anyone else?

    Mary, I haven’t looked at any of them later than the third. In all probability, earlier is better.

    Sanctuary, everyone I know who’s thriving right now — and in particular, every autist I know who’s thriving — works for themselves and has carved out an independent niche doing something peculiar. I’m an example, of course. Have you considered writing, blogging, or doing something else like that, using Patreon, SubscribeStar, or Substack to monetize it?

    Joshua, it’ll be a while. I reread Dune a month ago and will be rereading it several times more; in the meantime, though, I’ve got some other projects to get through.

    Grover, it’ll certainly turn out to be Howard Canvera. 😉

    Late, glad to hear it, and glad to hear about the toad! Toads are cool; we had one in our garden in Cumberland and I miss his surly company.

    Warburton, talk about truth in advertising!

    J.L.Mc12, it was Immoderate Greatness.

  102. @KAN #69 re: Subsidiarity

    Thanks very much for this, that is also one of the concepts I’ve looked into! In fact, thinking about “why does subsidiarity seem to work so well?” was one of the main things that got me wondering about this quality of stuff that is not necessarily “legible,” but can be handled, and handled well, due to things like implicit knowledge, familiarity, and small scale.

    If you have any particular sources on subsidiarity you especially recommend, besides E.F. Schumacher’s Small is Beautiful, I would gratefully welcome the recommendations.


  103. @Slink #60 re: Black vs Green Names

    I’m pretty sure that it’s usually whether or not the person provides a “website” in the comment fields – if they do, their name becomes a link to that website and turns green, if not, it’s text and stays black.

    At least, that’s what I’ve observed, but who knows if there might be other things going on in the depths of the wordpress code.


  104. @Free Rain #83 and #91 re: Local Distinctiveness and “The Lure of the Local”

    Thanks very much for these, I look forward to checking them out, and from what little I’ve skimmed so far, they look to be exploring exactly the semantic space I’m interested in!


  105. @Mary Bennet #89

    Dont treat it. I have been using the same wooden drying rack for about 25 years now, and it is still going strong. Untreated. You did well buying a good one, it will last

  106. @ Mary Bennet #89

    I forgot to say, I used my wooden drying rack indoors for the past 25 or more years. Outside on occasion, but predominately indoors. The wood rack and the clothes will last longer when out of direct sunlight.

  107. Daniel @ 79, I believe they have done so in two ways. First by maintaining private armies, who must receive pay and honors sufficient to ensure their loyalty, and second, by offering protection to persons with useful skills.

    Sanctuary, have you considered doing research? A thing which is badly needed right now and not being done well, if at all.

    Thank you, SLClaire.

  108. @RandomActsOfKarma #95, the light source is a laser. It’s not just passing through the air, though, it’s skimming along the solid surface of the blackboard and being reflected off of that surface. The laser appears to be designed for that purpose; for instance its beam probably isn’t round in cross section, but elongated instead in the direction perpendicular to the board, so its trail across the board remains visible for a longer distance.

  109. elkriver #90
    Thank you! I did not know that meds can last up to 10 years after their expiration date. Should we find ourselves in a time when aspirin and etc aren’t readily available, I’ll stress much less about expiration dates.
    methyethyl #100
    That’s a wonderful story about your family stocking up on first aid antibiotics courtesy of the family doctor. It never would have occurred to me to even ask if I were in a similar situation. But hey, it does now! I found a source for that fabled anti parasitic/dewormer online during the thick of the coronamania. Never needed it, or its partner. But they’re still up in the cupboard. And, thanks to elkriver, they can stay there for a good long time!

  110. Hi JMG and everyone,

    I was hoping to ask two questions about plants.

    1) Some plants are daylight sensitive and will only flower after the summer solstice has passed e.g. choko/chayote. To me, this is amazing, as it suggests that they are recording the length of each day somewhere (otherwise, how can you tell if today has less daylight hours than yesterday?). Is this possibly evidence supporting the idea of ‘morphic resonance’ and that the plant is tuning in to information out in the universe rather than storing this information internally?

    2) I found Herb Robert was not included in your ‘Encyclopaedia of Natural Magic’. Does it have any magical properties associated with it?

  111. Mary Bennet: re Wheelock’s Latin, there is a good companion book by Dale Grote called “A Comprehensive Guide to Wheelock’s Latin” which is a great help at filling any gaps and reminding you that Latin is a foreign language

  112. JMG,
    Your prediction of the collapse of higher ed seems to be playing out more quickly all the time.

    As is the case with things in the late stages of empire institutions put on a rosy face and pretend everything is fine until abruptly closing. Such is the case with Wells College in central NY that was founded by the Wells Fargo namesake and operated for over 150 years in the small quaint town of Aurora NY before closing down last month. No-one outside of a small group of administrators were aware of his dire circumstances until the doors closed for good.
    It seems to me that this will be the case for many of the institutions of our time, and not just higher education. Extend and pretend, along with delusion thinking has seemed to be so ingrained in the behavior of the managing class that many things that might have been salvaged will meet the wrecking ball due to dreams of skittles and unicorns instead of realistic thinking.

  113. Jeff at #33, I have two possible areas of exploration for you. The first is what I have heard referred to as ‘a kenning’, which I do not know if that is a particular people’s term or a more general English language term. Example: “I shall write to you care of my Brother in the brown robe.” This, of course, means that I will write to you via this website, and requires that you know certain identifying information about our host here and about me to discern the meaning of the phrase. Someone who overheard would not know of whom I spoke, and might quite annoy the local Fransiscans, who of course would be equally perplexed.
    I had this term and concept from someone who speaks most respectfully of ‘Old One-Eye,’ it is useful for both discussing those who might pay attention if you call their names, and that which you wish to conceal from unwanted listening ears. I believe ‘ken’ is a form of the verb ‘to know’, thus it would be ‘a knowing’, and one uninitiated would remain unknowing.

    Another thing that might be fruitful to investigate is, as far as I know, unnamed, but might be called ‘country directions’. “Turn south where the bycycle shop burned down, go to the old egg farm turn and turn west: we’re two miles out on the crik side.” The bike shop’s been a vacant lot for twenty years, the old egg farm’s been a wealthy subdivision of McMansions for fifteen, but at least the creek still flows!

    In keeping with the general spirit of obfuscation, however, perhaps you might consider not naming the overall concept. We might all need to practice this art against the would-be central micromanagers of the world, indeed, have we not been, to avoid censorship these last several years?

  114. @Shinjuki

    It’s best to delay weight loss or detox regimes until your child is completely weaned because the easiest way to eliminate toxins, especially fat based toxins, is through breastmilk. That’s also a clue to increasing your milk supply. Getting enough good quality polyunsaturated fats is key: ground flax or hempseed; fish is good too but it’s hard to find an uncontaminated supply (you have to eat the skin to get the fat.) Whole foods are always better than supplements but whatever works. There are also herbs that can help with milk supply but It sounds like you are past that point now.

    I would encourage you to seriously consider Milkyway’s suggestion; switch to organic foods as much as possible so you aren’t actively increasing your toxic load. You may also want to think about other sources of toxic exposure in your household. Cleaning and laundry products and even body care and cosmetics can be culprits. If you have synthetic exercise clothes strip them off as quick as you can when you are hot and sweaty so you don’t absorb out gassing plastics from them or reabsorb the toxins that have come out in your sweat as you cool down.

    If you are right about your body storing glyphosate in the adipose tissue you might find the extra fat doesn’t come off as easily as you hope. There is a product called “Fucothin” by Garden of Life that specifically targets that kind of fat but it does release the toxins back into circulation. You may need to do more than one round of detoxing.

    This is not medical advice. I’m not a doctor, just a lifelong “crunchy type.” 🙂
    Best of luck.

  115. I’m currently reading Gregory Shaw’s Hellenic Tantra: The Theurgic Platonism of Iamblichus and was struck by a quote at the start of chapter VII:
    “We are fully human and fully divine, but the latter only because of the former, homeward bound only because fully exiled. And we engage that paradox precisely through ritual and revelation, not reason.” – Charles Stang
    That ‘homeward bound’ immediately evoked for me Dion Fortune’s The Cosmic Doctrine.
    From what I’ve read so far, I highly recommend the book.

  116. OtterGirl,

    You may find this very long article interesting:

    The Century of Evidence Putting Light Inside the Body Is A Miraculous Therapy

    How Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation treats severe many severe Cardiovascular, Infectious, Obstetric, Autoimmune and Neurological Diseases

    It was a successful technique for treating a variety of illnesses with no side effects until the AMA killed it. The Soviets and the Germans kept at it though.

    To be clear, I am not advising or advocating doing this yourself instead of seeking proper medical treatment. But, if I understand the theory, then it could be done in the field with as little as two needles, some flexible tubing, a quartz glass (normal glass blocks UV), sunlight, and the necessary sterilization and sanitation kit (distilled alcohol and sterilized bandages). Again, this is not medical advice.

    The article is a comprehensive treatment of the history and it links to a ton of medical papers on the topic. Two curious details stood out for me. One, nobody has any idea why it works. The UV dose is too low to be sterilizing and it works best when only a fraction of the body’s blood is exposed. Two, simply removing and reinjecting a person’s own blood had a therapeutic effect, although it was small in comparison to the UV treatment. Again, no one knows why.

  117. Hey JMG and Gary

    It just so happens that I have been meaning to mention Organoids in many past open posts, but always forgot. My main interest in the whole thing is that it reminds me of the “great brains/4th race” of Stapledon’s “last and first men” novel. I don’t know if such beings are really feasible, let alone worth creating, but it is amusing to think that some prediction of stapledon may come true. Would they be worse than our current intelligentsia?

  118. @JMG
    Thank you for the insightful answer! It’s funny because I was just thinking and looking up this past week salt making from sea water in Japan.

    Interesting suggestion.

    That’s disheartening. Hopefully in the future there will be a period when nature can recuperate whatever it lost to foolish humans, especially in the fauna category.

    @Rita Elizabeth Rippetoe
    I’ll keep that in mind, about beehives.

  119. Hi John,

    A few questions;

    1) what would you do, e.g. to 5 policies, if you were elected US president in November?

    2) I’m reading lots of articles about unprecedented heatwaves and droughts across north Africa and the Middle East. If this trend worsens will we see mass migrations into Europe within a decade or so?

  120. In a recent video from Gaza I noticed that everyone — men, women, and children — was looking rather thin. I believe that mass deaths from starvation will be starting soon.

    Netanyahu’s name will be listed alongside those of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot etc as among the cruelest and most despicable mass slaughterers of humanity.

  121. because the NATO countries have no future at all if they don’t succeed


    Their failure is inevitable, of course, but until then they’ll desperately flail about trying almost anything to save their own skins.

  122. Mr. Greer, do you think we will see the extinction of several animal species because of excessive hunting that will be the norm when food will be very scarce? Could it hopefully be only the regional presence of some animals gone and not their worldwide presence?

  123. @The Other Owen #45 and JMG:

    German autism is an interesting concept! Not sure I can see that for Germany as a culture – I’ll need to think about it. Do you know if anybody has written more about this?

    @shinjuki # 22:

    I have only my own experience to go by, so please don’t take this as expert advice. Here are some random thoughts, though – if they help, fine, and if not, just discard them:

    1. I wouldn’t deliberately attempt to lose weight while nursing, for two reasons: First the concerns you mentioned, that the baby might be harmed. And secondly because nursing is tough physical work, and losing weight can also be tough for the body. Attempting both at the same time might be too much, and you might end up harming yourself.

    2. While nursing one of my kids, I ate an obsessive amount of two foods: oatmeal (har!) and yoghurt (cause nursing uses up calcium and hurts the mom’s teeth, and everybody knows eating yoghurt will prevent that).

    I ended up with some nasty health issues which I think were at least related to this food regimen, if not partically caused by it. (Of course, the physicians didn’t think that was the case, as everybody knows oatmeal and yoghurt are healthy! 😉 ).

    My hard-won lesson from this is to not eat any food which my intuition firmly rejects, just because somebody else thinks said food is good for me.

    Translating this to your situation (again, this isn’t medical advice, just my personal experience!): If your intuition should tell you this amount of oatmeal isn’t good for you no matter which brand you use, I’d be looking for other ways to increase milk production and flow. There are e.g. herbal teas, and probably other things as well. A good midwife or lactation consultant will be able to help you there – or try any of the internet forums run by midwives to find other options.

    3. As parents, and especially as moms, we want the best for our babies while nursing. However, there is a tradeoff here: Our kids will not be healthy, happy and thriving if we are neglecting our own needs too much. To some extent, this is inevitable while taking care of smaller kids, but there are limits.

    You have nursed your little one for 16 months and done him a lot of good that way. If both of you want to continue that, and you’re both happy and healthy that way, that’s perfectly fine – no reason to stop. However, if there are health issues on your end (and I consider your excess weight as a something amounting to a health issue in this case), there might be a time where it’s better for both of you if you wean him off and find other ways to connect with him, and to do him good.

    This time doesn’t have to be now – it can be at any point. I.e. I’m not saying you should do that now (that’s entirely up to you, only you can decide what is best for both of you!). I just wanted to point out that this is an option at any time. Whenever you realize that “this is it, I can’t go on with this excess weight, this is harming myself”, you have the option to wean him off and put more focus on your own health and well-being. This is a slide with a tipping point, and it’s up to you to figure out where and when your tipping point is.

    4. Finally, if your intuition is right and your body has indeed stored some nasty stuff to protect the little one, don’t forget about that when you lose weight – all these things will be sloshing around in your own system then. There might be ways to mitigate that effect, and it might be worth looking into them.

    Again, just a few random thoughts. 🙂


  124. Shinjuki – From my reading on the subject, the risk of glyphosate exposure is not to our “selves”, that is, the cells that share our DNA, but to the micro-organisms that we carry and depend on in our guts. The first part of that statement is used to justify the high residual levels in our food (“It doesn’t harm you”), but the second part explains how glyphosate disrupts your digestive system (which harms you, indirectly). So, if you tentatively test losing excess weight, monitor your digestive health for feedback. It may also be useful to consume probiotic foods: kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, etc. as well as paying attention to an otherwise clean diet.

    I’ve been eating rolled oats (uncooked in the summer) soaked overnight in milk with pumpkin and sunflower seeds, and topped with fresh fruit and kefir, for many years. It’s all organic, and varying the fruit with the seasons keeps it from getting too boring. (Dried fruit in the winter.) Oats aren’t just good nutrition, but a crop rotation that includes a year of oats is better for the soil than one which doesn’t, so help support the market for oats. I pay $2/lb. in bulk, and ferment my own kefir, so it’s very affordable.

  125. Tothe commenters about libraries I can say that jobs in libraries weren’t, and probaby aren’t, abundat in Germany, too. Even while I studied library science in the 90s, I found that most of the classes consisted of nothing which is really relevant to libraries. There was quite a bit of academic goobledygook about information science, categorizing things and so on. And later, as I tried to find a job in a library, I found that most of the job ads listed requirements that were quite specialized, requirements impractical for me or both. Lastly, I ended up in an atiquariat, in which I’m now for more than a decade. But antiquarian bookshops, too, are going extinct with their owners retiring.

  126. Sanctuary #65

    If I may, it strikes me that if you have – or are prepared to obtain – funds to invest in education, and are drawn to the theme “library” – it would perhaps be better to invest the equivalent funds (or perhaps you’d get away with much less)in the venue, the books (perhaps starting by “rescuing” the culls from public libraries), and etc to follow VOG’s advice (#73) to establish a private, subscriber type library.

    As has been mentioned, one of our host’s posts was on this very topic, but I have not been able to locate the exact post, perhaps someone else will link to it.

    Still, the general “collapse now and avoid the rush” advice is ALWAYS to try to marry what you love to what you do (and eventually teach to others younger than yourself) so that the skills required to preserve what you love into the future will not be lost. I am certain the skills of cataloguing in the old way, using card files, would not be that difficult to learn from others (this would be the biggest benefit offered by a library course), and after that, if you love it, you may well be able to shine a small beacon in the dark and dessicated reading landscape that public libraries have become. It would not be easy, but may be worthwhile. Many decisions we are all faced with these days have that quality.

    Whatever you decide, and should you wish to receive it, I offer my blessings.

  127. Lathechuck #68

    “In a nutshell: the Forest belongs to the King, and taking a deer could be a fatal mistake. Gathering fallen branches for firewood may have been permitted, but not felling trees for lumber. So, if you want to protect nature, be prepared to apply state violence.”

    Your summary here does conflate two meanings of the word “forest”. “Afforestation” as practiced by the Normans (who some contemporaries appear to have experienced as a simple gang of armed bandits who turned up to record – in the Domesday Book – everything that was not nailed down, so they could take it), was a way for them to claim as “taken” everything that WAS nailed down.

    As the article you link you says, both “afforestation” and “deforestation” were political terms, which only occasionally overlapped with the term “forest” as we now understand it – old woodland ecosystems defined by the presence of multiple aged trees. When the Normans first “afforested” a place, they were often directly stealing a commons which had been managed by local people since (also a legal term) “time immemorial”, and using severe punishments – removal of hands, eyes, lives – to enforce their claims against the normal commonage uses to which people had been putting these lands.

    The Forest Charter (referred to in the article you linked) signed in 1217, and seen as an extension to the Magna Carta, brought about various types of “defforestation” (again, a political term consisting of a renunciation of some of the original “afforestation” claims), in order to decriminalise peasants and other poor folk who had continued (at great risk) to assert – mainly by covert and stealthy action – their older commonage claims through all the intervening years. (It is my humble contention that it was this specific arena of contention between nobles and commoners that fuels the “Robin Hood” story cycle).

    Also, it may be argued that the biggest ACTUAL deforestations (ie – destructions of woodlands) in England were not carried out by peasants or poor people shooting the odd deer or felling the odd tree, but at the hands of the selfsame royal elites who in succeeding centuries developed such an endless hunger for the timber to build their empire-extending ships.

  128. Further to my above comment to Lathechuck #68, here is another “look” into the question of “afforestation” and the history of the “Charter of the Forest” (1217).

    And here

    This history may be of particular interest to those who object to the idea (ostensibly on environmental preservation grounds) of establishing new “no go” areas from which to exclude humans and “preserve” the wild. It is thought by many that such areas would simply become the playgrounds of rich people for hunting and recreation, while punishments as severe as the old maimings and killings might once again be used to keep commoners well away, regardless of their former familiarity with, love of, or use of these lands.

    Perhaps, 800 years later, it would be worth paying special attention to this chapter of history, and, indeed, to the Robin Hood story cycle…

    Because they may, in fact, be more topical that it might appear.

  129. @ Mary Bennet,

    We have been drying our clothes on such racks for over 30 years. I don’t think you want to put anything on the wood – I never have, and the wood is fine. Just dry it off if it gets wet. (If it gets wet, you’ve left your laundry out in the rain 🙂 I’ve never had it stain clothing.

    The only problem with these racks outdoors is if it’s windy, they’ll blow over. Not only does your laundry end up on the grass, but it can possibly crack one of the joints. If it’s breezy, I have a heavy mat that I lay over the lowest rung that stabilizes it. If it’s really windy, your clothes go flying off!

    These things work really well indoors in Winter, especially if you heat with wood. Good way to get a bit of humidity into the air!

  130. #7 ‘Why hasn’t Christianity made a comeback yet? ‘

    Why Christianity in particular? There are a great number of religions available now, why would that of a Middle-Eastern storm god who somehow managed to convince a sizeable chunk of humankind that he’s THE god, the original creator of everything and etc., have a greater claim of a comeback than, say, the old Roman or Germanic gods?

    The Catholic church lost 600 000 members in Germany in the last year and I doubt those people are converting to Islam. This Christian revival seems to be US-only phenomenon from over here.

  131. Hi John

    That date you referenced for the Saudis’ refusal to renew the contract is a curious one: 13 June 2024 is precisely the 90,559th day (one orbit of Pluto, less a day) after 04 July 1776. Not sure if it means anything, but there it is.

  132. Hi JMG. Recently I’ve been reading a lot of Neoliberal Feudalism’s Substack. What do you think of the idea of central banks being the root cause of the two world wars? The conventional explanations of the cause of the world wars (especially WWI) never made any sense to me, and this thesis seems more plausible. This is probably too big a subject for an open post, but I’m curious if you have any thoughts on the topic.

  133. For those who enjoy the medium of radio, here is a homage to the radio shows I’ve known and loved on WAIF and some of their flavor:

    In Imaginary Stations shortwave news:

    On Sunday 30th June 2024 at 0900/1300 hrs UTC on 6160 kHz and then at 2000 UTC on 6160 kHz and 3975 kHz via Shortwave Gold and beaming to Europe we’ll be bringing you a touch of COOL.

    It’s now the shortwave summer so over the airwaves they will be supplying some surf, sun and tunes to chill you out. So find the sun tan lotion, bring the cold drinks and shortwave radio out to the back garden no matter what the weather is like and listen to COOL. Never mind what the neighbours think, you’ll be feeling COOL!

    Then via WRMI and beaming to North America on Wednesday 3rd July 2024 at 0200 UTC on 9395 kHz there’s a transmission brought to you on four wheels called KBUS. If all goes well they’ll be a bus timetable number station, numerous bus driver’s classics, conductor’s sing-a-longs and a suprise appearance of a ticket inspector. Step aboard and enjoy the trip, we’ll get you there as fast as we can as long as the roads are clear. Tune in and as they said “It’ll be just the ticket!”

    We now have a Patreon page for our regular listeners here:
    Monthly memberships are available for exclusive audio and zines.

    For more information on all our shows, please send your collection of words with spaces in between to imaginarystations [at] gmail [dot] com and check out our old shows online here:

    and here:

  134. …and a final comment…

    While looking up material on the “Charter of the Forest” I came upon this, which may interest those who want to learn, or have already learned, Latin.
    This page links, and gives context, to the original, in Latin, of “Robert Grosseteste’s letter [which] gives you a sense of the anger people felt against the forest system. He refused to install the royal forester Robert Passelewe to a clerical living at the church of Northampton, because his “illicit function” [as a forester] disqualified him to provide pastoral care. Passelewe was (predictably) hated for his zealous service as a forester, but Grosseteste seems especially upset that he had punished both clerics and laypersons indiscriminately.”

    So, if looking at English history through Latin interests you – have fun! 🙂

  135. Hello everybody…Well, I’ve read some messages about why there isn’t a comeback of Christianity in the Western world. I’d like to comment it from my subjective point of view from my comfortable seat.
    I don’t see the Christianism return to spanish society in the short term yet.
    There’s been a lot of secularization and “de-Christianisation” in my country in this last 40 years of “democracy” here in Spain. Catholic bishops like to say that the guilty is the Socialist Governments that ruled my country in the ’80’s and after that. However, I think they have a cognitive bias against these politicians, to them they look like the red devil(excuse me the bad joke by a non native English-writer!). Governments can help with the social changes, but cannot lead the deep tendences, I think it.
    Really, I think the real culprit for the big secularization in this country is the elephant in the room that Catholic bishops and a lot of believers cannot see…It’s the long and cruel dictatorship in the past century. Francos’s regime was officially Catholic, there wasn’t separation between Church and Government. Even the dictator said sometimes that this country was the “western spiritual reserve”…
    So, when “democracy” returned in the ’70s, people identified christianism with the half-fascist system. In my country Catholicism has identified with the whole Christianism and the “religion” par excellence, so “laicism”, separation between Church and government; and secularisation is equal to “De-Christianisation”.
    So, nowadays, most spanish people use to be in their beliefs indifferent or even hostile to Christianism. Mass attendance is low. A lot of people think that if you aren’t Catholic you must be an agnostic or an atheist.
    Second Religiosity? Well, It’s interesting that spanish Gypsies are very religious as a whole, they have been evangelised by some Evangelical/Pentecostal cults. And Latin Americans and African Black migrants are very Christian too. Oh, and we have a lot of Magreb migrants that haven’t left their faith in Islam. I agree with John: when Muslims grows in number in the long-term, there could be a reaction by the native Spaniards going again into the Catholicism/Christinity. Maybe we are witnessing the first signs in the political party Vox, whose members doesn’t hide their islamophobia and nominal Christiano-phillia (I’m witnessing these people attitude a-morally, with no ethical approach, only confirming their bias).
    I suppose the situation is similar in the other “Catholic” European countries, except in Poland, of course…

  136. @Patricia Matthews: Good point about how this would have been seen after WWII and how it is seen now. I just saw this quote from Julian Assange that I quite like:

    “What are the differences between Mark Zuckerberg and me? I give private information on corporations to you for free, and I’m a villain. Zuckerberg gives your private information to corporations for money and he’s Man of the Year.”

  137. Hello Mr. Greer,

    I have heard you talk about your daily mediation practice, banishing ritual, and divination. I have also heard you talk about numerous other kinds of rituals, but I rarely hear you talk about lucid dreaming. This intrigues me because you mentioned in a post from a couple weeks ago how dreams impact your thinking (I am speaking of the dream you mentioned about three women working on a craft and how it related to your upcoming Masonic talk). I also know you journal about your dreams. But do you ever become self conscious in your dreams and decide to take control of them, whether that be via flying, talking to deceased loved ones, mediating, or what have you? Do you think lucid dreaming should form a major part of one’s spiritual practices?

  138. @methylethyl, you’re welcome! I too am very interested in this phenomenon and am attempting to wrap my head around why it is manifesting itself in the pattern that it is, so far with limited success. I would love to converse more with you on this topic – if you’re interested, drop me a line at roysmithedmonds(at)protonmail(dot)com

  139. Visited Newport RI recently and got to sit on George Washington’s pew for a minute. I know he is a historic figure but you might as well be telling me King Arthur prayed there. So fascinating to think of what kinds of legends will be passed on to future America and how they’ll relate to us

  140. Shinjuki, this article explains why your reservations are well founded:

    If your baby (son?) is 16 months old, he should be well into solid foods by now. Is it perhaps time to consider weaning?

    For a young adult, losing weight shouldn’t be too difficult. Increase vegetables and fruit in the diet and add exercise to your schedule.

  141. Jeff @#33,

    With the caveat that I haven’t read ‘Seeing Like a State’ and so am probably misunderstanding its concept of legibility, this feels to me less like a concept with an opposite, and more like a matter of scale.

    Using your mailing address example, one the one hand there’s the State scale of standardized addresses and a national postal service. On the local scale there’s addresses like “the old Baker place” wherein the Bakers sold and moved 40 years ago but everyone in town knows where they used to live. Those kinds of address are completely legible to someone intimately embedded in the locality and totally opaque to an outsider. The kinds of reference points could even vary depending on place – a mountain dweller might give directions specifying the numbers of hollers and creeks you have to cross, while a plains dweller might make reference to the direction of the wind and the single visible tree.

    Sorry if that’s not useful for you – it’s just the direction my brain went.
    Squirrelly Jen

  142. ElkRiver @ 90

    I tried to find the original research about Defense Dept sponsored studies on drug longevity 10-20 years ago. I found several articles that said the contracted pharma companies did the research, but contractually prohibited publication. Source was unclear, but details were not found on the defense dept or USDA websites, with hours of searching. Several lay news articles mentioned a few specific drugs, with surprisingly good maintenance of function. A second round of studies looked at function about 15 years later, with negligible functional loss, even without temperature and moisture protection. One study suggested that expired Tetracycline became toxic (?case report), but the study was later retracted after later studies showed no toxicity.

    Recently, when I wanted to review the topic, almost all prior references found were no longer online. By recollection, nitrates (for angina) lose effectiveness quickly, within months, and insulin within a few years. Most pharmaceuticals, like 85-88%, were fully or nearly fully effective 15 yrs later. I do not recall any details regarding penicillin, so if you have a reference, please provide. Any additional references, especially with details, would be appreciated.

    To me, keeping (and using) older/expired drugs makes sense. Prevention (especially of metabolic syndrome – by avoiding processed foods, excess sugar, pesticides and endocrine disruptors/plastics, as feasible) is better. Breaking the addiction is hard, but cravings fall off substantially within a couple weeks, and continue to fade over months. Older research about the pluses of real food, written before Big Med and Big Food were so powerful, are readily available. Newer research has improved understanding of harms from processing and additives/pesticides/antibiotics in our food.

    Drug shortages continue to rise, and discarding functional drugs often contaminates the environment. Just like some pesticides and additives, many drugs (or their metabolites) are still metabolically active when eliminated from mammals. At some point, the pharma/pharmacist groups revised the expiration policy to say most drugs expire after a year (though no testing was done). Sorry I have lost my references.

  143. Dear Mr Greer

    Things are hotting up over here in the UK. Since Nigel Farage has come back as leader of reform they have been shooting up in the polls. A number of polls show reform now overtaking the Tories and coming second in terms of the number of votes. One poll from Matt Goodwin showed them at 24%. This poll may well be an outlier, but I would not be surprised if they did score something like that in the election.

    Because of the way our electoral system works the Tories will still end up with more seats than Reform, but the Tories are potentially heading to a crushing defeat. Parties like reform have a zero seats campaign for the Tories. There was a time when the Tories could claim that they were the less worse option than Labour when it came to things like immigration. This is something they can no longer claim. In 2010, 2015, 2017 and 2019 they promised to bring immigration down to the tens of thousands and this they failed to do. In the last 3 years immigration has risen from an average of about 300 000 per year and has doubled to about 600 000 to 700 000 per year. This is more than double what it was under Labour before 2010. Many on the right have decided to show the Tories that they cannot get away with lying on this kind of scale and are out to punish them.

    Some of the people voting for reform are racists. However, many others are mathematicians. They can see that if we are not building enough houses for the people already in this country, then how the hell will we be able to house the new immigrants. And how about our other infrastructure like the NHS which is falling apart under the strain. If they were bring over 40000 doctors and nurses then that might be a good thing, but this is not what they are doing.

    If things carry on going downhill then Reform could become a strong electoral force in future elections.


  144. Russell, (1) plants are much smarter than our culture likes to pretend — they just think much more slowly than we do. (2) If it isn’t in the book, that’s because I wasn’t able to find any magical lore on it.

    Clay, yes, I’ve been watching that. If some absurd turn of events ever makes me obscenely rich, I’ll buy up one of those disused campuses and turn it into an institution for occultism and appropriate technology.

    Kerry, hmm! Is this new? I hadn’t heard about it before now, so thank you for the heads up.

    J.L.Mc12, oh, they could be worse. Our current intelligentsia can’t even excel in their awfulness.

    Forecasting, the gods help this country if I ever became its president! But I do have five simple policies to put into place. (1) Enact a strict balanced budget amendment, and cut outlays to within current tax revenue. (2) Remove all federal guarantees from student loans, so anyone who wants to borrow money to go to college has to show that they’re getting a degree that will enable them to pay it back. (3) Make a list of all Federal bureaucracies that are not authorized by the Constitution, shut them down, and lay off their staff. This will help with #1, as the list will include more than half of the entire federal government. (4) Enact a bill of health rights which permits people to use whatever kind of health care they wish, including alternative health care, and forbids government from prohibiting alternative modalities or mandating pharmaceuticals. (5) Bring the troops home and reorient our defense activities to the defense of the country, rather than interfering in everyone else’s affairs. Simple as that! 😉

    As for mass migrations, those are already under way. It’s just going to get worse from here on, and yes, climate will be part of that.

    Martin, it’s a long, long list. You might look into some of the famines that the British government helped cause over the last two centuries…

    TJ, yep. The question is simply how long do they have before they get overturned, either by their own people or by manufactured risings funded from abroad.

    Rafael, it’s impossible to say until we know how things will play out in other dimensions of the decline.

    Eagle Fang, true enough.

    Old Steve, fascinating.

    Blue Sun, I’d have to see what evidence they have to offer. It seems unlikely to me, but I haven’t researched that angle. Still, the cause of both wars was quite simple: the British empire was in freefall by 1914 and the question was who would get to replace it. Cataclysmic wars break out in such situations.

    Justin, thanks for this.

    Chuaquin, thanks for the data points!

    Stephen, I’ve had three or four lucid dreams in my life. I’m not especially interested in having more, because I don’t want to control my dreams — I want to hear what they have to say for themselves, and listen to their messages, not tell them what to say to me! Of course your mileage may vary, but that’s my attitude.

    Trustycanteen, thanks for this. I’m planning a visit to Newport sometime, maybe this fall.

    Jasmine, thanks for the data points! I’m going to be watching your election with great interest. Just as Labour ousted the old Liberal Party back in the 1920s and consigned it to permanent minor party status, Reform might be about to do the same thing to the Tories…

  145. @Siliconguy: “Is there a version of Christianity that renounces the Old Testament?”

    Yes: Gnosticism, specifically Marcionism. In Marcion’s view, Marcion taught that the Old Testament scriptures were the product of the Demiurge, a lesser and malevolent deity, distinct from the true, supreme God of love and mercy described by Jesus in the New Testament.

  146. Something I have increasingly noticed is that the affluent middle-class people’s desire for post-retirement pensions is a big part of the force that keeps the industrial world running. They want to be paid a steady flow of money after retiring, and to do this they must invest a portion of their salary every month in profitable assets. This assures a steady influx of money in the market, and likewise demands profitability.

    If the investments in general are not profitable, things are going to get terrible. I think the intense pressure to yield profit from investment. This has led to all the trouble with immigration, multiculturalism, and the raving bubbles around hot new technology (such as Artificial Idiocy and the Lazy Literature Machine. The need to keep the market growing is a desperate decision for the US economy, and this is adversely impacting people’s quality of life.

    Have people in the USA considered the older method of assuring oneself retirement – living with one’s children, and having an explicit agreement that they will take care of us in our late age? Most people did have such an arrangement in the past. I have suggested this to some people online, and they claim to find the idea of having children look after their elderly parents immoral and exploitative. I wonder what this community – and especially JMG – have to think of the social arrangement of looking after elderly parents after their retirement. Most cultures have something like that anyway.

  147. I have a question about feudalism. On the one hand, you’ve noted that as civilizations break down, feudalism (in the sense of customary exchanges based on personal relationships) replaces the more formal economy. On the other, you’ve noted that if firearms remain a viable technology feudalism (in the sense of a lord and knights controlling peasants) cannot exist. How do you see these reconciling, i.e. what’s a possible dark age future that involves firearms?

  148. Rajarshi, that’s an important factor, and yes, the end of profitable investment is going to be a tremendous shock to that aspect of our system among others. As for your question about living with children, that only works in intact families, and we don’t have too many of those any more. Nor does it help when the old expect a standard of living the young will never have, and get angry if they’re expected to provide free childcare or other services in exchange for shelter and food!

    Roldy, I’ve been over that many times. Obviously deindustrial feudalism will be different from the kind we had during the pre-gunpowder days. I touched on some of the details in the last part of this post.

  149. @Boysmom #124 re: Kennings and “Country Directions”

    Thank you for these! I hadn’t ever considered kennings for opsec purposes, but that’s quite interesting! As a follower of Old One Eye and an aspiring scribbler of poems in the old Germanic style, I well-know kennings as a kind of creative and devotional expression, but of course they have wider potentials as well.

    As for “country directions,” hah! That’s wonderful, and is entirely dependent on the kind of deep contextual knowledge I’m talking about.

    Hmmm, I hadn’t considered the idea of obfuscating the concept itself, though insofar as its about evading state clampdown, that might be wise. As I mentioned to JMG above, though, I’m not only interested in how states clamp down and how to avoid that, but more fundamentally, why is that such large scale, big picture projects so consistently fail (or “succeed” in excessively messy and costly ways)? What makes them look so good to the folks planning them, but is, in fact, missing from what they’re considering? I feel like understanding that would be helpful, and one of the benefits is that knowing the concept exists doesn’t necessarily render it un-usable for the ends you suggest. Take your country directions – even if someone knows such a thing exists, it would still be really hard to “crack,” since it’s so flexible and local.

    Anyhow, once again, thanks for sharing these!

  150. @Squirrelly Jen #154 re: Scale of Legibility

    Hmm, interesting, and thank you for this, that’s an excellent point. You are, of course, quite correct that those are great examples of what would be “legible” in the sense of “understandable” to the folks you mention. I think Scott’s choice of word, though, has a slightly different implication built into it – namely the large-scale/universal, is assumed. “Legible” literally means “can be read,” and a core assumption of reading is that anyone who has learned how to read can read anything written in a language he knows. If you raised a kid in some horrifying skinner box, but taught him to read English, and then handed him Dr. Seuss, or Noam Chomsky, or whoever else, he’d be able to at least know what words were written (whether he would understand them much or not is a whole different question). Point being, I think that Scott intended this kind of implicit universalism, and that’s certainly what I’m getting at by referencing the term. Your examples of smaller scale legibility require a certain amount of context and embededness, whereas the kind of legibility Scott talks about assumes that any interchangeable bureaucrat ought to be able to look at and understand a situation in the same way, just as easily. Obviously, there’s usefulness in some of this universalizing (I like being able to have packages shipped to my house from far away, for example!), but I think most of our culture takes the usefulness for granted and doesn’t acknowledge what it’s displacing, and what trade-offs might be involved, hence my interest in trying to get a handle on what that thing being displaced might be.

    Thanks again, and Cheers,

  151. Thanks JMG. Well, I must say in this case I *hope* you’re wrong that cataclysmic wars (always? usually?) break out in situations where there’s a question of who will replace a falling empire, seeing as how the US empire is currently in freefall itself….

  152. @JMG (#157):

    Anything by Gregory Shaw on Iamblichus is probably well worth reading: Shaw seems to be one of the few who actually “gets” that ancient theurgist-philosopher. His “Theurgy and the Soul” is magisterial. His “Hellenic Tantra” was just published last February; I haven’t seen it yet.

  153. @Rajarshi:
    I would like to be able to count on my own children to take care of us in our old age, but when I think about the possibility of caring for my boomer parents and inlaws… I have a recoil response. There are some prerequisites that need to be in place for that to work well, in a society-wide kind of way, and there’s a lot lacking right now in practical terms, and in a cultural sense of roles, mutual obligation, intact multigenerational families… We’d need shorter generations, for starters. I was born when my mother was 30. I didn’t have kids until after 30. Spouse’s parents are even older. In practical terms, this means the older generation really can’t help much with young kids, even if they wanted to (they mostly don’t). They haven’t got the energy or the mobility. What they do have is houses, that they own, with extra space– the houses we grew up in! We’re looking at a market right now where we will never be able to own a home, and there seems an obvious solution there… but they *like* their independence, don’t want people touching their stuff, don’t want to downsize, and don’t want kids being loud and getting underfoot. The “Dawdy Haus” is not a concept that computes with most Boomers, but we could sure use something like that!

    With our parents as a model, I think people of my generation reasonably shudder at the thought of imposing ourselves on our own children– because if/when our own parents do so, it’s not going to be pretty. On the one hand, I think it’ll be necessary in a contracting economy, and I work hard to maintain good relationships with my kids (for that and many other reasons!), and think hard about how I could best be useful to them, in a household where they are in charge, not I. But I also feel like a total hypocrite for even considering it, when I cringe at the thought of taking on my own parents. I sincerely hope my own kids marry and produce grandkids while I’m still young and agile enough to be helpful! Current marriage and family-formation trends are not looking good, but perhaps by the time they’re old enough, we’ll see the pendulum swinging back.

  154. Rajarshi at #159,
    We are one family that does that, and I have some friends who do that. (Off the top of my head, all these are Masonic families, which either says something about my social circle, or about values imparted and practiced.)

    The general assumption is that the younger generation are failures who need the older generation’s support. In the cases where the younger have moved into the older’s home, this is often half-accurate, as the paid-off older generation’s home is rarely in a place that’s currently booming with jobs, but rather in a place where jobs were good thirty or more years back. (We’ve been here nigh thirteen years, my father has passed, my mom will see four score in a matter of weeks, my husband has had seven employers and never broken $40,000.) I’ve come close several times to yelling at friends of mine and my parents that it’s not that we aren’t willing to work, it’s that there’s very little available, and when one job ends it might be a year before you can get another. But the housing price is right, and we get by with odd jobs in the between times, so we make do.

    Most people who do have children, their children live very far away, where they could find employment. The elderly must leave their social support and move thousands of miles to where they have no community. Those I know who have done this are very depressed and often express desires to return home.

    And US birth statistics hide a curious little detail. The average children per woman is a little more than one, yes, but the women who are having children are mostly having several children, while other women are having none at all to reach that average. I’m not sure how much of the population is childless, but it’s a considerable percentage. They don’t have the option of having a child live with them later.

  155. @ J.L.Mc12 #128
    @ John Michael Greer #111

    My issue was more along the lines of what (or perhaps ‘WTF’) does it mean to be a quasi-disembodied brain– ok, sure, ‘organoid’ for now– cultured in a lab and made to do things it was not originally meant to do…

    I mean, IOW maybe, what if the brain was you?

    …Maybe you’re suddenly ‘conscious’ (whatever the hell that would mean in that context) and what kind of consciousness would it be and would it be some kind of nightmare? Apparently like some factory-farmed animals in a way maybe?

    John, sure I get the IPO/economic/corporate/pump-and-dump things, and even the ‘It’s only a cellular structure and can’t really think or feel, bla bla…’, but, still…

    The issue had a different impact/context/thought-provoke for me. We don’t even know what consciousness even means exactly, do we?

  156. I was struck by the following comment you made in the comments section of your essay a month ago on music: “I said that if I ever decided I was tired of having anybody read my blog, I’d devote a multipart series to Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen and the “fifth Ring opera,” Parsifal, exploring them as a mythic expression of Western society’s trajectory and future .” I see Parsifal as THE pivotal work of the last two centuries; the teasing out of the links between sexuality and religion (something that can ultimately be done only through music) and the exploration of the tension between male groups dynamics and unbridled desire is without parallel in the history of art.. I am planning to write a book on the subject. Is there a way I could correspond with you on the subject? (You might have seen one or more of my articles for Compact one of which is on the threat to classical music; that one does not require s subscription to read.).

  157. John (JMG), speaking of your name’s acronym, JMG, have you or any of the readers ever heard of John Michael Godier, another JMG? He has a show on You Tube that is pretty good. He tells a good story well and seems to have a head on his shoulders to boot.

  158. Rajarshi, Americans tend to think that our parents already did their jobs and ought not to have to spend their later years as unpaid babysitters and cleaning staff. I would not have dreamed of imposing myself and two girls on my parents. I help my own daughters when and how I can, but I have made it clear I am not living with them.

    Forecasting: there are things an American president can do and things they cannot. A President can send legislation to Congress for that body to debate, amend and approve or not. A President can issue orders to the executive branch. The much in the news Agenda 2025 appears to be a plan to increase presidential powers so that Trump can give a basket of goodies to his corporate backers. Congresspersons like Bowman would have surely voted against, which is why the otherwise fractious progressive movement has united in its hatred for AIPAC and Israel. It is early to say, but I can’t help thinking that AIPAC finally went too far.

    If I may have a whack at the 5 priorities, keeping in mind that I have NO qualifications and not the temperament for the job: IMHO

    The first thing a new president must do is force AIPAC to register as agent of a foreign government. I think there are patriots in the FBI who would love a chance to raid AIPAC offices and go through their records.

    Second is send legislation to congress which would force media to offer free coverage to all candidates for national office, outlaw or strictly regulate campaign advertising, and restrict campaign donations to persons who reside within a candidate’s district.

    Third is order the Sec. of the Treasury to audit the Federal Reserve, results to be made public.

    Fourth, order the Sec. of Defense to request from the Joint Chiefs a plan for orderly withdrawal of American troops from overseas and redeployment of the U.S. Navy to defend American shores. And send to congress a plan to use young American soldiers, airmen and women, marines, and sailors within our country wherever needed. Disaster relief, fire fighting, teaching and healthcare in underserved areas would be some examples.

    Impose price controls on housing and food and ask congress to outlaw foreign ownership of American real estate. Reimpose the old system of commodity price supports for farm products, which doesn’t cost the taxpayer any more than the costs of administration and keeps speculators out of the commodity markets.

    I don’t mention immigrations because there are two things which administrations of either party could and should have been doing and both won’t hear of it. One is to demand that any government office, and any private company which applies for government contracts must use e-verify for all their hiring. Including temporary hiring. I think such a policy would not require legislation and could be done by Executive Order of the President. Another would be a nationwide task force to investigate and prosecute identity theft. Do I really need to point out that ID theft IS NOT a victimless crime? I once listened to a PBS interview with a woman who said she does what everyone does, they buy SS cards because “We just want to work”. The rightful owners of those cards would like to work, also.

  159. @JMG #162 so there are two social issues at work here which prevent a family ethic where the young look after their elderly – the dysfunctional nature of most families, and the irritability of the older generation, which makes them terrible company, and bad at playing the role of retired old men in the family.

    The entire situation is very sad. Not only are very ordinary emotional ties between the generations cleaved asunder, but people genuinely feel that it is immoral to have those ties. I feel that this has something to do with the ideolatry of Freedom in the USA. People with children simply breaking their family because “it didn’t work out”, or cheating on their partner, that kind of behavior has to be a very poor trade-off between Freedom and Responsibility. I wonder if people’s judgement in matters of mutual obligation and social cohesion have been brutally mutilated by two-and-a-half generations of economic boom and suburbanization.

  160. Don’t want to cancel the OT, not for everyone, just want to deprecate it. It’s obsolete, frankly. And good chunks of it are just irrelevant to anyone living in this era. Vital statistics of some nomadic Bronze Age tribe? What relevance is that to 99.9999999% of us these days? I’m sure someone will pop up and say something about how Special and Precious all those begats are to them, but be honest – most of us could care less. Even seminary students I bet find studying them tedious. I wonder if anyone will find the BLS GDP statistics to be Holy and Inspired 2000 years from now? Now there’s an idea whose time has come – if you’re going to cling to all those begats, how about adding some economic statistics from the BLS into the OT?

    And then there are all the (to us) barbaric practices that would’ve seemed perfectly normal to those nomadic Bronze Age tribes back then. The real reason all of this has stuck around is nobody actually reads that stuff. So nobody really knows what is or isn’t in those OT books. Except for the clerics. Across all the different Christian sects. And they’ve been keeping their mouths shut on all of that. I wonder why.

    Which gives me an idea. Maybe the right answer isn’t to get the laity on or off board on any of this, but to convince the cleric class that it’s time to chuck some of this stuff overboard. They are, the only ones actually reading that stuff still these days (except for maybe SiliconGuy, then again maybe he’s studying to be a pastor?).

  161. >Enact a strict balanced budget amendment

    Sigh. Graham-Rudman-Hollings once thought as you do. You don’t know the power of the system. The reason the federal gubmint runs deficits and has these ballooning debts has to do with the dollar being the reserve currency. You can’t just declare balanced budgets, the problem is deeper and systemic than that.

    At this time, there’s no point in fixing something that’s about to come down soon due to rot. I’ll close with, if you ask the Chinese whether they want to be the reserve currency, you will find them strangely unenthusiastic about the idea. Almost like they don’t want someone else to do to them what they did to us.

  162. JMG

    From Secret Teachings of all the Ages Page 51:
    What the sun is to the solar system, the spirit is to the bodies of man; for his natures, organs, and
    functions are as planets surrounding the central life (or sun) and living upon its emanations. The solar
    power in man is divided into three parts, which are termed the threefold human spirit of man. All three
    of these spiritual natures are said to be radiant and transcendent; united, they form the Divinity in man.
    Man’s threefold lower nature–consisting of his physical organism, his emotional nature, and his mental
    faculties–reflects the light of his threefold Divinity and bears witness of It in the physical world. Man’s three bodies are symbolized by an upright triangle; his threefold spiritual nature by an inverted triangle.

    From Dolmen Arch Vol1 page 174) referring to telluric current:
    “Its primary symbol is the triangle” [which is upward pointing].

    Q1. In considering sacred geometry where the tetrahedron and its dual form a stellated octahedron, is it correct to map the 2D upward pointing triangle to the upward pointing tetrahedron – i.e. as an expression of spirit below ascending where the downward pointing tetrahedron is an expression of solar / spirit above descending?

    Q2. In Taoist meditation practices males and females flow energy in different directions for certain things – for example in something similar to ‘the fountain of light’ males project energy up out of the body, around, down and in through the feet whilst females use the reverse direction.
    In relation to clockwise and counter-clockwise flows, do your studies indicate solar energy as flowing clockwise and earth energy as counterclockwise (symbolically speaking)?

    Thank you.

  163. Offer: My second copy of “Witch of Criswell” – (clicked the wrong icon on the bookshop site!). Will mail anywhere in the U.S., email me at mathews 55 at man dot com.

  164. Clay Dennis #123


    Wow‼️I had no idea colleges are shutting down at such a high rate.

    For elementary-to-high school, it is time Muricans brought back the old-fashioned one-room schoolhouse, which went out of vogue in the 1950s. Those one-room schools would be neighborhood schools in the beginning, probably in people’s homes. Later, they would have their own building along with a central wood-burning stove, like in old days, with lots of windows to catch a cross-breeze. I bet there are a lot of unemployed teachers around.

    “The trades,” vocational schools, and apprenticeships are hot commodities. (The trades are absolutely fascinating‼️)

    There do NOT exist enough of several categories of skilled labor and for home/building improvements: plumber, carpenter, electrician, heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC), sheet metal, roofer, glazier, insulation, flooring, cement/concrete, logger, cask-maker. Although the lack of workers is different locally, generally, there are way more potential customers than skilled workers—meaning there is demand⬆️, even HIGH demand📈for skilled workers, and this will not change anytime soon.

    If one builds up a clientele, returns and tracks phone calls/text messages/emails, keeps one’s word, gains a good reputation, is sober,—plumbers, electricians, and carpenters make ‼️BIG‼️ money. One local highly-skilled plumber “John,” about 65, nobody to replace him, says he doesn’t want an apprentice, but if a motivated teen presented him/herself as a possible apprentice, I bet John would accept him/her as apprentice. Years’ ago, John’s son, apprenticing for him, got into a car accident that left the son brain-damaged, where he had to stop apprenticing. I hate to think that we will lose a highly-talented John when he retires—I get depressed about this. I wish I could do something.

    I would be less depressed if I knew *(I could die happy)*, overall, that young-uns (young ones) are opting to go into the trades. If I were a young-un, I might very well apprentice as an electrician. One of my grandfathers, my husband’s father and grandfather were electricians—they had no problem supporting wives and kids. Then again, one son-apprentice, second cousin, age 19, 1920s, got electrocuted and died, so one must learn real fast how not to die. If one doesn’t mind slime, plumber is good. If one likes power-tools, carpenter is good—there are at least five major categories of carpenter.

    The tide🌊is turning from “college” to “the trades,” and it is a long time coming. It is past due. Colleges are too expensive, hire crappy teachers, and have a plethora of hanger-on do-nothing administrators. We may miss colleges initially, but later feel relieved that they have been “goned.”

    💨Northwind Grandma💨👵🏼📚🏫🏡💡🪠🪓🪵🌬️
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  165. @Russell Cook #121: on a purely biochemical level, plants have photoreceptors not too different from our own ones, but they are not clustered behind lenses because plants don’t need crisp images (I’m prepared to be surprised by some exception, though). They work more like reptiles’ “third eye” on top of the skull.

    It is indeed fascinating that plants have a memory for days growing longer and shorter. Many people work on deciphering those signaling circuits. There are plant hormones involved with beautiful names like Florigen.

    Of course, biochemistry is not the whole story, any more than it is for human brain biochemistry.

  166. Hello JMG,
    You’ve mentioned the Piri Reis and other controversial maps a few times in various posts. Do you know of any book or other source, which describes and evaluates early maps of the known world – say, pre-1550?

  167. Mary,
    I’ve been using a sturdy wooden rack for years to dry clothes outside. Unfinished, I bought it from a Mennonite.. I handle it with clean hands and don’t let it get rained on. It should last as long as you need it to.

  168. Martin Back #131

    > Netanyahu’s name will be listed alongside those of Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot etc as among the cruelest and most despicable mass slaughterers of humanity.

    My thinking too.

    However, it goes beyond that. Whatever Netanyahu (“Bubba”) does regarding Palestinians will be reflected back onto world Jewry. Murican Jews are the only people on earth who can stop Bubba from genociding Palestinians, and they are doing doodly-squat. Murican Jews will have pulled a clueless-standing-by-watching-Palestineians-die-in-droves. If Palestines die by the hundreds of thousands (of starvation and thirst, and of other causes, like lack of shelter), I believe it will be the end of world Jewry. Jews all gone, no more Jews.

    💨Northwind Grandma💨👵🏼🇮🇱
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  169. I just had to wash my hands and do another banishing ritual. Ray Kurzweil has a new book out. “The Singularity is Nearer, When We Merge with AI”.

    As the great J.R. “Bob” Dobbs is fond of saying, “Eternal Salvation — Or TRIPLE your money back!”

    I think I’ll be getting some money back from this digital version of salvation.

  170. JMG, If you ever do buy a defunct college and start a school I’d like to go ahead and apply for a job as custodian and groundskeeper. Re: Mass migrations: Based on historic examples are there regions in the US least likely to be affected (I realize nowhere will be completely immune)

  171. Sanctuary of Rose and Chalice #65


    A few weeks ago, there was a discussion about book sales here. I seem to recall someone from our commentariat mentioning either themselves, or someone else, selling used books from their home. Something about an entire basement filled with used books (likely no mold) and they did a mail-order business. Maybe the basement turned into something of a library. Maybe where people came and bought books on site. I don’t remember when this discussion was, in 2024 sometime, not all that long ago.

    If I have this wrong, blame my memory.

    💨Northwind Grandma💨👵🏼📚📮📫
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  172. Maybe Eugyppius is reading JMG? “The pervasive belief in the eternal progress of mankind has been a crucial, driving element of Western liberalism for generations. It is starting to break down.”

    The idea that it’s the end of progress as we know it seems to be getting some traction which is possibly a good thing. It’ll take some time to spread, anyway: NASA Awards Elon Musk’s SpaceX $843M Contract To Bring ISS Out Of Orbit

    At least they have a proven track record for breaking spacecraft, so they possibly ARE the right guys for the task.


  173. Rajarshi: re “Have people in the USA considered the older method of assuring oneself retirement – living with one’s children, and having an explicit agreement that they will take care of us in our late age?”
    That isn’t much help for those without children, who are an increasing proportion of the population in many western countries (your cat won’t feed you, unless you like mice, and even then she probably won’t catch enough for both of you).

    JMG: Shaw’s book was published this year – I learnt about it from a discussion Gordon White had with him on the Runesoup podcast. Shaw has an interesting backstory that he tells on the podcast.

  174. @Mary Bennet,
    I used an unfinished wooden drying rack for many years. It worked just fine without any protection. The one issue I ran into was when I hung a ludicrously not-color-fast item on it (seriously, that sweater was a disaster that stained everything it touched, including my skin), and the wood got stained slightly turquoise in that one spot. I shrugged and kept using the slightly more colorful drying rack. That particular drying rack had a crack in one rung that was held together with masking tape. I don’t remember when or how it got damaged – as far as I remember it had always been that way. I think it’s still at my parents place now. They’re tough, useful things, those drying racks. May yours have as long and useful a life as mine.

  175. This isn’t really a question and it doesn’t quite fit on Magic Monday, but it’s an idea I’ve been formulating lately about the attitudes people have, particularly the vocal Social Justice left, but also the Moralistic Judgemental right, and I thought I’d offer it here for discussion and criticism.

    You’ve said that each person has a physical body, an astral body, &c. which got me thinking that we (as people in general) have no problem appreciating physicality. That is, we thoroughly understand the physical world and our capacities. We don’t seem to have the anything near the same understanding of our mental, emotional, psychic, and spiritual aspects.

    For example, I can state with confidence that at no time in my life, had I been given access to the best training and coaches, could I ever have challenged for an Olympic gold medal in the 100m sprint. I will be so bold as to assert that probably neither you, nor anyone else on this forum might have done that, either, even though, as humans we all have the same bone, ligament, and muscle structure as Usain Bolt or Donovan Bailey. I’d also observe that no one seems to be overly anguished by the fact that only a vanishingly small portion of humanity will ever come close to running 100m in 10 seconds. We are OK with that. We accept this reality with sanguine aplomb. No one gets upset and marches in the street demanding “equality” of outcome in footraces.

    Yet, people who are emotionally sensitive and have the capacity to deeply feel the suffering of people on the other side of the globe (and everyone in between), seem to get very upset at the majority of us who can’t really feel much for other humans beyond our immediate circle of friends and family, as the amount of sympathy people feel diminishes rapidly with social distance. Yeah, when I read about a tragedy in India, I feel a twinge of sorrow for the victims of a train wreck, but only a twinge and only for a moment. This is normal. Yet there is implicit and continuous criticism of anyone who isn’t out marching, demanding ‘Cosmic Justice’ for some remote and pretty insignificant group far away in some remote corner of the world.

    Likewise people who have a high mental capacity to remember and think generally seem to act as if they are somehow inherently superior to those who, say, don’t have letters conferred upon them after their names by notable institutions of higher learning. You have repeatedly critiqued many aspects and manifestations of this attitude by the Clerisy for quite a few years now. Populism is on the rise, mostly, I think, because people in general are getting fed up with failed policies, conjured up in the minds of people who are quite intelligent, which don’t achieve their purported aims and further introduce a myriad of increasingly negative social and economic side-effects. Yet there is this persistent sense of annoyance and disparagement by these people who see themselves as intelligent towards people they regard as less intellectually capable.

    Similarly, the spiritually sensitive people evince a sense of moral superiority which disparages everyone who isn’t totally on board with full support for whatever policy, group, or concept has been declared to be sacred this week. Both the right and left have an absolute sense of right/wrong and nothing in between, no graduation, no subtlety, and a need to punish the wicked (i.e. anyone who questions or otherwise doesn’t conform.) Hence the unquestionable, and therefore unquestioned, tenets adopted respectively by the Blues and the Reds. (The colours switch at the border, but it’s the same dynamic.) Anyone who tries to demur is denounced as an evil heretic. The opposition is inherently evil and must be destroyed.

    Same thing when dealing with the psychic realm: we easily condemn obvious physical violence: war, bombs, destruction, riots, but then pretend that psychic violence either isn’t real, is irrelevant, insignificant, or even acceptable. Just as long is it doesn’t become physical, according to Dr. Gay, and her fellow academics.

    What I have come to think is that, just as we have a Gaussian distribution of physical abilities, there is a similar distribution of other abilities, and that they are independent variables. Intelligence does not confer spiritual sensitivity which says nothing about susceptibility of the psyche to be subsumed into, or remain separate from, a group egregore, or anything about ones emotional balance or fragility.

    I assert that this increasing failure to accept all these various and varied aspects of individuals is playing a large role in the current degeneration of our social and political structures, as more and more people, the majority in fact, who don’t measure up in one way or another are gradually dismissed from public discourse and discouraged from participating in public life.


  176. @ Jeff Russell, re “legibility”… and finding words for differentiating contrasting phenomena…

    This may not help with the search for a specific word, but I think that the contrast that is “teasing” at you, has a lot to do with “quantity” vs “quality”…

    Whereas, it has often struck me that even when the most massive, intrusive and detailed surveillance system succeeds, it still cannot *know* who you are. It may know how often you buy underwear, whether you often type swear words, how much you earn and what you spend it on, who you phone and interact with online, but it cannot know *you*. The things that are tracked, that comprise your “legibility” for the system are quantitative, not qualitative. Whereas the “country directions” mentioned by another commenter, and such, rely on qualitative knowledge that is gained HERE, and among THESE people, and not THERE, and not among THOSE people.

    Your legibility is “readable” to those who see you as one interchangeable “unit” out of many (eg. tax payers, or citizens, or voters, or consumers), but it is something else entirely that renders you *known* and *knowable* to your real-life family, friends and acquaintances, who each know *who* you are, and also know that there is *no one* like you in all the world (as the Little Prince averred in relation to the one rose that grew in his home garden).

    So… quantity vs quality…

  177. Rajarshi #159

    > Have people in the USA considered the older method of assuring oneself retirement – living with one’s children, and having an explicit agreement that they will take care of us in our late age?

    In my opinion…

    Here in the USA, one has to be very careful about making such a promise to an elder in the family. It totally depends on the family and the people involved, the default being the ability to opt out at any time. Never promise. Study gerontology for a couple years. There should always be inherent “maybe’s.” Elders change personalities as they age. I speak from our personal experience of the last year. I limit the story to one paragraph. It is about my mother-in-law, “KomodoDragon,” 80-something. She used to be a nice person:

    KomodoDragon lived in Arizona, being partially disabled for 20 years. My husband and I (“we, us”) invited her, and she came to live us. We gave up the master bedroom so she could have it. After a happy marriage for 43 years, she interfered with our marriage so extensively that we nearly divorced. She was impoverishing us, where she interfered with our ability to make a living at our small business. She was rich yet made us pay for everything. She treated us like servants where she was the only worthy person in the house. Everything was about her—we didn’t exist except as her go-fer (“go for this, go for that”). She lied, cheated, manipulated, and undermined to get her own way. Unless we obeyed her, she threatened my husband with dis-inheritance. She was unwilling and unable to change her behavior to even marginally act like a decent human being. After five months, things became CRITICAL where I insisted she find another place to live. Thereafter, she bad-mouthed me even more. For a month, she dug in her heels, refusing to leave. She eventually made arrangements to take an apartment near my husband’s sister (her daughter), a thousand miles from Wisconsin. For three months, she spoke in every way possible to incite violence in the household. She reveled in causing contention where none had existed. I practiced Buddhist “speak no evil.” We agreed on mutual-avoidance where she and I did not share meals, nor even pass in a hallway. I speak the truth here, no exaggeration, that the situation could have ended in homicide.

    You get the idea. Things were not merely “not working out.” She left on February 1, and my husband and I have not fully recovered.

    So, there you have one family’s experience. I would advise people to not even contemplate making such a promise: always leave yourself an out.

    💨Northwind Grandma💨👎🏼🏠
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  178. Blue Sun, the first two of the post-American wars are already under way, in Ukraine and the Middle East. More will follow. All I can say is “brace yourself.”

    Robert, Theurgy and the Soul has had a place on my bookshelves for decades. I’ll be grabbing the new one as soon as circumstances permit.

    Gary, one of the reasons I think it’s a pump-and-dump is precisely because brain science is nowhere near far enough along to do that sort of thing.

    Tag, well, you and my other readers are going to be reading a lot more about that, because I’ve decided to go ahead and do my series on The Nibelung’s Ring and Parsifal; the first post will be up next month. As for correspondence, please put through a comment marked NOT FOR POSTING with your preferred email address, and I’ll be in touch.

    Gary, no, I haven’t. Hmm!

    Rajarshi, I think that’s exactly what’s happened — nobody’s had to learn to be good at human relationships, because we had all that material wealth. Now that it’s ending, we’re very poorly prepared to deal with real life.

    Other Owen, that’s why I specify an amendment — as in, to the Constitution — so Congress can’t just ignore it. I freely grant that it’s too late to do much before the crunch hits, but I figured I’d answer OP.

    Earthworm, (1) you could use that symbolism if you like, yes. (2) I haven’t noticed that myself but it wouldn’t surprise me.

    Robert Morgan, the best source — and it’s frankly not that good — is Charles Hapgood’s Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings. The whole subject calls for a new and more thoroughly researched study.

    Justin, laughter is a very effective banishing, and Kurzweil has earned a good loud horse laugh. He’s doing exactly the same thing as every other failed prophet who just keeps on doubling down. On the other hand, his writing is bad enough and his logic sufficiently, er, odd — are you sure he hasn’t merged with an AI, so that there’s nothing left of his personality but a vast amount of random internet chatter? 😉

    Croatoan, if that ever happens I’ll be advertising for a lot of positions, and custodians and groundskeeper will certainly be among them. As for migrations, it’s hard to tell, but my guess is that New England is a pretty good choice — it’s out of the way of just about everything.

    Nachtgurke, delighted to see this. The sooner people let go of the monomyth of progress, the more we’ll be able to save.

    Kerry, thanks for this and duly noted!

    Renaissance, that strikes me as an utterly sensible idea. Thank you!

  179. @Rajarshi and JMG re: living with your children in your old age. Mine have a much higher standard of living than I was raised to, so that’s not an issue. What is, is that whatever I choose to do, my daughter knows a better way, and stuffs it down my throat; she’s always right whenever we differ, just ask her; and I need more solitude and privacy than her chaotic and open-plan house can provide; and her pseudo-green wokeness vs my ‘thrift’ (Why don’t you just return it if it doesn’t fit?) is put down to being cheap…..and so on and so on…..she’s bossy and I’m a born maverick.

    About “If JMG were president” – just read the last chapter, the Coda, to Twilight’s Last Gleaming, readers. And remember, Bridgeport put that one over when the investment classes had lost everything already.

    Straw in the wind: courtesy of Reuters via the Gainesville Sun: “Health of the economy a likely debate topic” “Are you better off than you were 4 years ago?” Here’s the sample of who they asked and their answers:

    From the American Enterprise Institute: “Yes.” From Harvard University, a qualified “yes.” From KPMG Economics, “Yes, bu tin a much more volatile world.” From the Economic Innovation Group: “Ys, with a few caveats.” And – from the other side of the fence –
    From an Uber driver in Florida: “I don’t think either one (Trump or Biden) did a thing for me.” He’s been on the low end of the economy all along. And from a small business owner in Michigan,”Much worse off. ”

    Note: 2, count then, two, outside of the intelligentsia-on-up. “Who you gonna believe? The experts? Or your own lying eyes?”

  180. Northwind Grandma, from my own limited experience, old books don’t exactly sell like hotcakes. There may be people who have success with such an endeavor as newcomers, but, as I wrote earlier, antiquarian bookshops are dwindling (at least in Germany), and online selling is a big part of what keeps antquarian booksellers afloat.

  181. Hello John,

    I’ve enjoyed reading previous posts on which you discuss “the long descent” we face over the next century or two, as well as speculations on the far future of ecotechnic society’s further down the road. I find myself wondering about that time in the middle, say a millenia hence, what my part of the world (southern U.S) will look like.

    Will my descendants in 3024 likely live in what can be considered “strong states” or do you expect that there will be many small “kingdoms” still not having unified? I can see both an American identity surviving and promoting unity, and also divergence making my North Carolina and Tennessee as different to each other as was Mediveal France from Scotland!

  182. methylethyl #160

    My mother had been raised Methodist, my father Roman Catholic. After World War II, they mutually declared that God was dead.

    I grew up as a nothing religiously. In school, I did not understand Christian metaphors and became a void-person, alienated inside and out, and could not relate to myself or society. I didn’t know where I had gone wrong. My parents both grew up some sort of Christian, had rejected it, and I wanted the opportunity to reject it too. I wanted to know enough to knowledgeably discard it, if need me.

    As it turned out, being that Christianity disallows meditation (“closing the eyes”), meditation won out cuz of the good it had done me in my 20s. Meditation was my only solace to me for ten years. It kept me alive and nourished. Christianity insisted that I give up meditation, and I was unwilling to do that.

    Fast forward to 2012, 60-something, I had figured out that I didn’t understand my society cuz I didn’t know a thing about Christianity. It wasn’t my fault that my parents brought me up as a nothing. It wasn’t that I might become permanently Christian in the end. The question I had all along was, does Christianity allow ANY sort of meditation, and if so, what sort? And was Christian meditation compatible with my expectations of meditation?

    After reading dozens of books on Christianity, the answer was No. For different divisions and sects, it was No but the reasons were different from each other. Not one sect that I found allowed one to simply close the eyes and spend a half hour like that. Every single one of the types of Christian meditation required that I insert “Christ” in there, and to me, that was non-sense. I was not going to be blackmailed into short-circuiting my meditations. Christianity would not allow me to meditate my own way to finding Christ, if that be the case. As soon as I would not insert “Christ” into my sitting meditations, Christianity deemed me “evil,” and I was having none of that. I KNEW meditation was not evil, and no-one was going to tell me otherwise.

    The closest I came to bumping into a particular division of Christianity that maybe allowed one to simply close the eyes and spend a half hour in empitness, was Eastern Orthodoxy (“EO”). They had monasteries that seemed to accept meditation. But was the meditation generic enough for my liking?

    By the time I found this out, I was burnt out by all the labor I had had to do to discover this. No-one came out and said this. I had to deduce it over years. What also turned me off was that each of the regional EO churches was its own ethnicity, like Greek. It seemed one had to be Greek to fit in. Same thing with Russian. The whole EO scene didn’t feel welcoming to a lone 60-something white-anglo-saxon-protestant type who had self-studied Christianity.

    Closing the eyes and being still for half an hour doesn’t seem like a big hurdle. But Western Christianity does not allow it in any shape or form. Doing such closing the eyes is an affront to Christians’ existence. I learned enough of Christianity to figure out “the problem.”

    It is the issue of will. Christians insist that one goes 100% by God’s will. I had already experienced what God’s will which means God’s will sucks. All one had to do was look at the world, AND look at the Christian attitude that as long as one has been baptized, it is okay, for example, to kill.

    It isn’t that I feel particularly “willful.” It is that I am a person who has free will, and no-one is going to take that away. Christians imply that I am a nobody. Oh yeah? Not on my watch.

    So these things are why Christianity and me parted ways. Christians make an ultimatum, that I give up my humanity, and I would not agree to that.

    I feel that Jesus was one heck of a guy. He made a ‘good’ impact for the last two-thousand years. Who else did that? He deserves to be famous. I studied the day he died on the cross in depth, and what that day was like. I can honestly say that I have felt like that, not over a few days, but over 70-odd years. But I cannot see Jesus as a ‘christ’ (a god). Men made him a god so they could have power over people. Jesus was a human guy.

    Christianity is GROUP religion. Christianity has no place for individuals. Individuals tend to get uppity and the Christian overlordship cannot allow uppityness, particularly when the uppity ones are female. Maybe I should be more specific: Christianity has no place for individual uppity females. Or more than that, Christianity has no place for individual uppity crone females.

    Buddhism doesn’t mind individual uppity elder females who close the eyes and experience emptiness.

    💨Northwind Grandma💨👵🏼✝️☸️
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  183. As an aside from Shinjukis concerns. Anyone that has used glyphosate products knows just how insanely anti life they are. The smallest mist of it drifts and suddenly plants will start dropping within hours.

    Of the many farmers I have spoken to over the years about this stuff, it is clear why they started using it – “it just works so well!”. But almost universally they have all manner of cancer problems now from exposure to it. Eatting it, not the smartest idea our civilization ever came up with.

    I get having to manage what is growing in your field but it just feels like most modern “solutions”. Take the quick short cut figure out the problems later. By the time we figure it out it is too late.

  184. @Scotlyn #192 re: Quality vs Quantity

    Thank you, this is an excellent point! It certainly seems like reading more on that distinction might help me find some relevant and useful thoughts, even if I don’t /think/ I’m only talking about that distinction (but who knows, maybe such reading will convince me). Maybe it’s time to pick up a copy of Guenon.

    Thanks again!

  185. @JMG and others re. Nato/Russia

    JMG wrote upthread: “because the NATO countries have no future at all if they don’t succeed in their long-term plan of defeating Russia”. If this is indeed the case, doesn’t that mean a terrible escalation is all too likely, since our elites might feel they have nothing to lose and/or have their backs against the walls and will try any option to stave off that defeat, no matter how dire? Especially when we take into account all the ways they’re disconnected from reality, convinced their opponents are passive, sure they’ll win because they’re the Good People, etc etc, as you’ve adeptly described at length over the years?

    I really, really hope I’m wrong, but this seems like a WW1-style perfect recipe for disaster. On a personal note, I was only five when the Soviet Union collapsed, so the threat of nuclear war always felt more like a part of history than a current reality for most of my life. It’s been very unpleasant to suddenly realize how it must have felt to live with that through the Cold War, and it’s hard not to feel some real anxiety around that at times.

    @Sanctuary #93

    Maybe this isn’t too helpful since it’s not actionable advice, but I just wanted to say I can recognize a lot of my own lifelong struggles with figuring out professional life in your comment, so I know how you feel. I also get the feeling that the future will mostly belong to the practical people rather than ones like me (and you, if I can judge by an internet comment). That’s a hard truth to accept, and I’m still not sure what to do about it.

    Our host’s advice about skills and providing services people will pay for on the downslope is absolutely wise, but as far as I can tell, when the crunch really hits those will come down to a rather short list of housing, healthcare, food/drink and clothes/shoes. If I’m honest with myself, there’s very little on that rather short list that I’d be a) suited to do well enough to ask for money, b) enjoy doing in their own right, or c) be able to learn and then live off in the here and now, while the industrial consumerist system still stands. Naturally, the whole system is much more geared for training and socializing people into the lenocracy than deindustrial trades.

    As for your question: “How did mystically/intellectually inclined people survive hard times previously?” Apropos discussions in earlier weeks here about monasticism, I suspect the answer would often have been “they went to a monastery”, or alternatively, became priests.

  186. @Sanctuary of Rose and Chalice #65:

    “I don’t happen to know what the options are for getting into a librarian’s position without a degree — maybe one of the librarians who comment here will be able to discuss this”

    I happened to stumble into my position as a librarian. I have a degree, but it’s in a STEM field. I moved back to my tiny rural hometown, and after a few years noticed that the local library had an ad in the paper for an assistant. I applied and was hired.

    I suppose my advice would be:
    1. Look into impoverished rural areas, a lot of which have experienced a “brain drain.”
    2. Don’t expect to make a lot of money at it.
    3. As JMG says, don’t bank on this being a long term proposition.

    As a fellow spiritually-inclined introvert (and possible borderline autist), I also fret about how things will look for me here in a few years.

  187. Some googling results on 2023 Federal budget which ran around a 23% deficit, expected to be close to 30 % in 2024
    2023 spending categories and their % of the budget
    Social Security 21%
    Medical payments 24% Medicare and other programs to help various groups, like Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act
    Economic Security programs 8% again to help people
    Veterans and Federal Retirees 8%
    61% went to payments help and support people. All this would be hard (impossible) to reduce or even to freeze the amount spent. So budget cutting would have to come out of the rest. I read a quip once that the Federal government is a combination Insurance/Pension/Charity organization with an army.
    Debt Service – 10%
    Now we are up to 71 % so any budget cutting would have to come out of the remaining 29% and with a deficit of 23 % only 6 percent of the remaining budget could happen to balance the budget. Basically Americans want more government spending they are willing to be taxed for. Sweden with its higher tax rates has a much lower debt to GDP ratio
    The rest-
    Defense – 13%
    The rest – 16% national parks, national forests, education, roads, infrastructure, space program and so on, a bunch of different items
    This year the debt service is equal to defense spending. It seems we are locked into perpetual deficit spending. The above statistics may not be exactly on, but they are close.
    I let you all make your own inferences on how screwed the USA is.

  188. Hey JMG and Gary

    Well, at least between the 2, the great brains could fulfil at least some of the things that our so-called intelligentsia keep failing to provide. 😊

    But more seriously, do you suppose that the creation of a great brain is possible at all? I don’t mean just with our Current technology. I am personally uncertain if one could reliably sustain a brain in vitro long enough to matter, especially when you are doing it in a energy poor future with no functioning antibiotics.

  189. @The Other Owen, #175
    Special and Precious here, thank you for engaging in the debate.
    The first thing I have to say is: if you do not want to be a Christian, nobody if forcing you to be a Christian (and if you could not care less about our divine scriptures I think you shouldn’t; likewise for the seminary students you seem to be hanging with, the pay is not even good and it’s not worth it). If you want to be the kind of Christian that accepts the NT but rejects the OT, there are Gnostic Churches whose doctrine is compatible with your values (as pointed out by William Zeitler, #158). But that would imply foregoing the opportunity to thrash-talk Christianity from the inside, wouldn’t it? That is precisely why I make the comparison with fat-bashing. What is so wrong with Christianity that people who do not belong anyways feel entitled to criticize us for the same stuff any other group of human beings does?
    As for whether the Scripture is obsolete or not (being honest, their names should be the Oldest and the Older Testament by now)… myths are the stories that never happened but always are, according to our host. Please let me give it a try…

    Cain makes an offering to God, and so does his brother Abel. God accepts Abel’s and rejects Cain’s. Instead of figuring out what Abel did right and trying to emulate him, Cain gets overwhelmed by envy and claims he is victim of “systemic oppression”. He rejects God’s preferences and claim that Abel’s success is the fruit of “unearned privilege”. Then he takes “affirmative action” and “cancels” his brother… like, permanently. In the aftermath, God points out that Abel is missing and asks Cain about it. Our little killer is obviously in a bad mood, because deep down he feels guilty and he is trying to repress that feeling. But he lashes out, double down and even after his crime comes to light he’s incapable of acknowledging his shortcomings had anything to do, as if a veil would stop his mind from perceiving the chains of cause and effect.

    Does that sound like it ever stopped happening in the last few centuries?

  190. Thank you for the suggestion, and once I get back home I’m going to see if I can get a hold of it through one of the libraries I have access to. I rather hope there is something which will meet my needs I can find through there, but much of what I’ve read thus far in terms of subtle anatomy has not done as good a job of discussing the physical side of things as I need. Of course, a lot of it is more recent work, and I’m beginning to think that this is likely a major part of the problem, given how much more intellectually impressive the average person was historically…

    I’ve had another thought that I think could be worth discussing here, but I know it might be skirting one of the rules, so I’m going to ask before I post it: are discussions of non-LLM AIs permitted?

  191. Northwind Grandma #193

    I had a similar experience with an elder cousin who came to stay with me and my family. She lied to us, telling us some sob story to get us to take her in (that her friend had kicked her out of their shared house; this was a lie). She stayed with us for 14 months. The first four months or so, she was really nice, and then she gradually became more and more mean-spirited, rude, etc. She also did the “go-fer” thing you mentioned. Stress levels in the house hit the roof, and we were always walking on eggshells.

    Finally, we told her that she had to move out. Not that very day, but soon. She actually called the police, twice in the same day, about it. Both times, the same officers showed up, and told her the same thing (this is a civil matter) and each time, they told us where we could go to get the process started to evict her from our home. It didn’t come to that, as she called up the friend who supposedly kicked her out, and the friend came within a couple of days and moved her out. We haven’t heard from her since, and I hope to never hear from her again.

    Be very cautious about offering someone a place to stay.

  192. #155 Lazy Gardner
    Thank you for doing all that research. The meds longevity study was one I came across somewhere between 2006 and 2013, when I worked in a statistics lab. It was off some research search engine. Naturally, I saved it to a zip disk, one of perhaps 200 I still have from that time period — and cannot open now, lacking a zipdisk drive. Technology is great, isn’t it? Nevertheless, the critical info stored in my brain files, which are not as complete, but easier to access!

    About the same time, I came across two other studies. One, from the 1990s, I think, had demonstrated that some virus could be controlled by antibiotics — different antibiotics for different virii. That was a shocker, since my entire medical education was that virus is untouched by antibiotics. Funny thing, when I prescribed antibiotics for people with seasonal flu, they always got better rapidly. Coincidence, huh?

    Another piece I found was was a microscopic comparison of various human vaccines, with vaccines prepared specifically for livestock. Big name pharma companies, too. The gist of it was another shocker — the human vaxes were laden with what was described as ‘burnt trash.’ Bits of various microscopic metal fragments, blood cells, debris from shattered proteins, dirt, you name it. The livestock vaxes, though, were utterly devoid of extraneous crud. Baffling, unless we understand that drug companies had no liabilities for human vaccines — but could still be sued if a million dollar race horse keeled over from a toxic shot.

    All on my useless giant zip disks. Patiently awaiting a zipdisk drive, or perhaps a short ride to to the round file 🤔

  193. With discussion here about Old Testament and it’s relationship to the NT, this little sideways info might be helpful.

    Maurio Biglino was a Vatican translator for ancient texts. His premise was that the ancient authors wrote what they meant, and therefore the translation should be exact, without interpretive overlay.

    For example, the term Elohim is used multiple times in the OT, but different translators altered the translation to Lord, God, Yahweh, Jehovah, Almighty, and other variants. Biglino pointed out that we have no idea what an Elohim actually might be, although it is a *plural* term (meaning ‘more than one’).

    Anyway, the Vatican took issue with these and other unconventional concepts and binned him after several years. He wrote a book, “Gods of the Bible”, that lays out his translation approach, and the astounding change it leads to in understanding the OT.

    After reading it, I was staggered at how obvious some of the things he pointed out were — which had been obfuscated by tortured religious interpretation over the centuries. And how many passages and books have been pretty much ignored (like all the focus on how to burn fats for the scents that the Elohim demanded).

    Worth a look-see.

  194. David, a thousand years is a long time. A thousand years from now it’s anyone’s guess who will be living in what’s now North Carolina, and what their political institutions will be like — well, that’s anybody’s guess.There will probably be something claiming to be the American presidency, just as there was somebody claiming to be the Roman Emperor a thousand years after Rome fell, but the presidency will probably have about as much in common with our version as the Holy Roman Emperor in 1476 had to do with the Roman institution! So all I can say is “nobody knows yet.”

    Kim, the problem is that NATO has almost nothing left to escalate with. Our allegedly superior weapons have proven hopelessly inadequate to the rough treatment of high intensity combat and none of our societies are prepared for mass mobilization and a war economy. I don’t expect a nuclear war partly because that’s the one scenario our elites know they will not survive, and partly because it’s by no means certain that the US nuclear arsenal at this point is in any better shape than the rest of our military…

    BeardTree, nope. We can’t keep spending money we don’t have indefinitely — that’s one of history’s reliable lessons — and that means that business as usual has to end. We will default on our debt soon enough anyway, so we might as well get it over with. Social security is begging for means testing, and so are federal pensions, Medicaid, and the rest of it. Then there’s the fantastic amount of useless overhead that pervades all federal programs. A 50% cut in staffing would be a good start, and could be followed by more cuts as needed.

    J.L.Mc12, probably not, and certainly not with the level of neuroscience we’ve got now.

    Taylor, nope. No AI discussion at all, please.

    Dashui, I bet! Thanks for this.

    BeardTree, of course. Twenty million years from now, when human beings have been replaced by the distant descendants of chipmunks, fusion power will still be 30 years in the future!

    Elkriver, interesting. Thank you for this.

  195. Hi John Michael,

    I always wait a while these weeks, mostly because of the deluge of early comments, which you manage exceedingly well.

    Tell ya what, I got a massive belly laugh when I read your reply to Rajarshi! In particular: “nobody’s had to learn to be good at human relationships, because we had all that material wealth.” Man, that is so true and is a major recurring theme of my own blog. Living in a small rural community kind of focuses the mind on such issues! 🙂 There are times I find myself thinking: Gawds, it’s a small mountain range! Then I have to figure out how to navigate the social situation, and what all the consequences will be. Reputation is a thing. Hmm. I’ll tell you a funny thing I’ve observed too, the old timers seem to have a sort of grudging respect, but the newcomers, they can be a problem with their ill fitting city views. Far out dude! It’s complicated…

    Wagner! So it’s gotten to that point, huh? 🙂 Mate, I’m just mucking around, I’ll be interested to see where you take us with this topic, although I know little of such classical works, mostly because I identify such art forms with a social stratum that’s hell bent on the act of exclusion. If that’s how they want things… Still, I’ve got an open mind and am prepared to learn.

    Thought you might be interested in this. It being a week past the winter solstice, I tell you what, this winter has been cloudier than any previous winter that I’ve experienced here – and I keep daily records. The solar power system records the peak sunlight, and so far for the month of June, only four days have generated enough solar power derived electricity to fully charge the house batteries. And it’s been calm. The energy authorities have noticed, thus perhaps the nuclear option? A new low perhaps? 🙂 Trying to stay one step ahead of the curve is err, difficult, and we’re discussing how to further reduce the meagre amount of natural gas we do use here, or at least the cost for the stuff. In this corner of the world (other more northerly states have better supplies), demand appears to have exceeded supply, and costs are err, expensive. Anyway, we can act quickly when required to do so. I tend to believe that households are deliberately being held in fixed positions in all sorts of matters, even when the costs for doing so mount up way beyond the abilities to pay. It’s an impressive achievement for the policy makers to back people into a corner, don’t you reckon? What would Sun Tzu suggest? 🙂



  196. Hi John Michael,

    I read in our news the other day the unmentionable… The Russians are out producing all of nato in terms of armaments. If you read the history of the Battle of the Bulge, well there’s the answer as to how that story will play out. And that was reported on the day a land of stuff big wig popped over down under to say hello. That lot appear to be dumping EV’s at unusual prices in this country due to trade wars with the US and Euro. Well done. What a great idea to add further strain to the electricity network down under…



  197. @JMG,
    ‘ Twenty million years from now, when human beings have been replaced by the distant descendants of chipmunks, fusion power will still be 30 years in the future!’

    I can just imagine it:

    Flash forward 20 million years…

    “chip chip squeak whistle squeak whistle chip etc. etc. etc.”


    “If you just give my team 10 billion more acorns, in 30 years we will have unlimited free power!”

  198. Sanctuary: Current public librarian here. The intellectual- bookish part of it is largely fading. Definitely do not spend money getting a “library” degree. Libraries are trying all kinds of gimmicks to “stay relevant.” Public libraries are mostly social work. An archiving position might be interesting if you can find an entry level position.

  199. Hello everyone,

    Rafael, thanks for bringing salt into the discussion. It reminded me that we wanted to attempt to make sea salt.

    So, being just a mile from the ocean, we’re gonna try it! My son and I need some summer projects. I’ll let everyone know how it goes. And if anyone out there has made sea salt, maybe you can write of your experience. This should be fun!

    Ellen in ME

    P.S. JMG, I’ll have my sister tune into your Ring Cycle and Parsifal essays. My dad took her to the Ring Cycle when she was 10, same year she was Brunhilde for Halloween. And as a Waldorf teacher, she studied Parsifal.

  200. Elkriver #211
    “Biglino pointed out that we have no idea what an Elohim actually might be, although it is a *plural* term (meaning ‘more than one’).”

    Um, that’s not really correct. My overpriced undergrad degree was in theology, and that included a fair amount of the latest Biblical scholarship. Elohim derives from “el,” which is itself easily translated as “god.” Cognates existed in other Semitic languages from around the same time period, and they are references to a pantheon of deities. Elohim in the Bible is a remnant from the time when the ancient Israelites were polytheists.

    Isn’t Biglino one of those ancient alien theorists who see aliens in the Bible and other sacred texts?

  201. @JMG
    You have spoken in the past about the relationship between Nazism and the occult. I am wondering if you have studied of heard about a similar connection regarding Marxism/Communism. Please let me share the reason I am asking this now.

    Yesterday, I listened to an interview conducted by Jordan Peterson to Professor Paul Kengor, with regards to his book “The Devil and Karl Marx”. The premise is that, in spite of being an atheist, young Karl got hooked in the history of Dr. Faust. He wrote poetry inspired in it, and the life-inimical pledge of Mephistopheles seems to have driven Mr. Marx life and works in a sort of parallel way that Mr. Funny Mustache was driven by the Ragnarok myth.

    In the past you have pointed out that Communism is a secular sect of Christianity and Dr. Kengor seems to agree on that, with the caveat that he would perceive such sect as having an antinomian streak (aka, secular Satanism). Now, Mr. Marx was too high-functioning to have suffered demonic possession or even obsession, but IMHO his personal life (as depicted in the interview) sounds too much a stinking mess as to be the results of being all too familiar with goethia.
    So, I am wondering your opinion on this one.

  202. @Northwind Grandma, re: The Trades
    My eldest is 12, and homeschooled. We are already, together, gaming out possible routes to viable careers, via the local trade schools (there are at least 3), which will take students as young as 16. So… we’ve got four years to choose an entry point, if he isn’t already running a successful business by then 😉 (he’s recently discovered that people outside our household, will *pay* him to mow their yards. Imagine!). Anyway, if we do the trade school thing, he could easily be starting a career that supports him by the time he’s 18– plumber, electrician, aircraft mechanic, etc– and would still let him continue to college, if he wants it and if college is still a thing in another six years (I have doubts!). What better way to go into an electrical engineering or aeronautics program, than with prior hands-on experience in a related field? This is traditional if you go back a hundred years or so, right?

    And that’s just my kid. I recently met another homeschooling family with two sons who’d already completed that track: started vo-tech at sixteen, and graduated as electricians’ apprentices when the rest of their cohort received useless highschool diplomas.

  203. JMG, in your reply to Beardtree: “A 50% cut in staffing would be a good start, and could be followed by more cuts as needed.” Having worked for the feds for a stint, you are dead over target, if not being a bit measured. While cross-training for redundancy of crucial functions, and staffing levels that allow for real vacations reduce burnout and turnover are laudable. There was *A LOT* of dead weight, a lot. The protection of staffing levels and budgets by managers was darkly amusing to behold, even when half their staff was already working on total BS and phonin’ it in.

  204. On the subject of the Old Testament: the only group that I know of who completely rejected it was the Marcionites. This group is sometimes called “gnostic,” but it wasn’t really. Marcion taught that salvation was by faith, and doesn’t make any references to gnosis (none that I’m aware of, anyway). He did think the god of the Old Testament was different from the god of Jesus Christ. That’s dualistic, but not necessarily Gnostic. His canon was a version of St. Luke’s gospel, and some of Paul’s letters.

    The different Gnostic groups had more nuanced approaches to the Old Testament. Valentinian writings paint a clear picture of a flawed, but not evil, demiurge, and also a belief that the true god had spoken through some of the Old Testament prophets. Even the Sethians, who more closely resemble what many modern folks imagine the Gnostics to have been like, still had a more nuanced approach than total rejection. The Secret Book of John, for example, makes multiple references to the stories in Genesis, giving them a decidedly Gnostic interpretation. The Secret Book of John is essentially a Gnostic commentary and expansion on Genesis. It isn’t the only one.

    No one would accuse me of being an orthodox Catholic these days, but even I wouldn’t support removing any of the books or even just passages of the Old Testament. I’d consider that whitewashing the text to suit the preferences of the modern cultural milieu. I might not have a lot of uses for genealogical lists or ancient law codes, but I’ll pass on revisionism.

  205. Another weird phenomenon in the cubie-land of the PMC: being assigned to real, maybe even meaningful, work was used as a reward or recognition. Yeah, if you were favored, you actually got to do something that wasn’t just obviously total BS busywork , like cranking out TPS reports that no one ever read, or the Excel/SAS version of toddler game “bring me a rock” (no, not that rock, a different rock)🙄

  206. Hey JMG

    On to another topic, related to biology also…

    In Australia, one somewhat contentious topic is the predation of native wildlife by feral and pet cats. Currently there are already laws In someplaces that encourage people to keep pet cats indoors as much as possible, and there are also hunters going after feral cats too, but of course it’s not enough for some people. Quite a few think cats should be either illegal to own or at least strongly discouraged.

    I have given the topic some thought, and it’s clear that while cats will never go away and definitely not be banned, we should still try and protect wildlife from them. But we must do it in such a way that our wildlife has enough exposure to them that they will be forced to adapt/evolve to be less easily killed by them. Do you think that is a sensible middle ground?

  207. Otter Girl, well, I didn’t hit send, so this is now being posted after somebody else mentioned tetracycline — but in case it’s worth looking further into it, here’s my original comment.

    “I recently came across an anecdotal assertion that some antibiotics degrade into toxic compounds when past their expiration date (I think the one discussed was tetracycline, but don’t recall for certain). I didn’t follow that trail any further, but be sure to research the necessity of tossing anything that expires if you’re anything like me and take some of those expiration/best-by dates as mere suggestions.”

  208. The ah “presidential”, you should excuse the expression, debate just ended. A pair of semi-sentient boomer goofballs, both doped to the gills, were pushed onto a stage by their handlers. The current pres. thinks it is still the Cold War, and that Russia is about to roll right through all of Europe if we don’t stand in their way. No foreign govt. should make any agreement with either one of this pair. I can feel some sympathy for Biden because two of his three children are now dead, and the survivor is a corrupt fool who allowed himself to be used. Joe should have been given a prestigious university position somewhere where he could write his memoirs and mourn in peace. No questions about farm policy, and the only foreign policy topics were Ukraine and Israel/Hamas. Nothing about managing the relationship with China, the increasing tensions between China and India, or repairing our relationships within our own hemisphere.

    About making oneself useful in future times, I think there will be a great need for honest professionals, including attorneys and physicians, as well as engineers, cartographers and the like.

  209. So … I didn’t watch the ‘debate’ spectacle tonight, but what I just gleaned from the intertoobs, variously .. has me wondering what epic word-smithing ol’ H. .J Kuntsler might be conjuring up about now, for his next post? ‘Keyboard go Whrrŕr’

  210. Re: caring for the elderly.

    I think part of the problem is the long-running personality conflicts that are unavoidable between parent and child. As the saying goes, your parents know how to push your buttons because they installed them. Solution: parent swap! I’ll take in your moderately cranky elder, if you take in mine, and each pair can more easily tolerate each other’s annoying habits.

  211. All jokes aside, it looks like we’re going to have to get better at cooperating with each other … at a time when people are going batshale crazy in large numbers. If physical distance from other people’s dysfunction will be less of an option in the future, what are the alternatives? Anyone from a more collectivist culture have any suggestions?

  212. Hello JMG,
    A little more on the coming UK election. Some recent polls put ReformUK in second place in terms of votes and the Lib-Dems second in terms of seats which would make them the official Opposition, a position of significant constitutional rights which third-ranked parties don’t have. Whether either of these things will happen is too close to call and probably will remain so until at least the exit poll predictions which come out when actual voting ends next Thursday evening. The current polling percentages predict a large number of two- and three-way marginals which will be decided by tactical voting and what Don’t Knows do. Otherwise, Martians landing is more likely than any result other than a Labour landslide whether the majority is 150 or 250, though there are many predictions it could be even higher.
    One thing non-UK observers may not have noticed, is that a couple of days ago Farage uttered a blasphemy – the Russian military operation in Ukraine was not totally unprovoked. Both Tory and liberal press factions have piled on to him for that, calling him a Kremlin appeaser, Russian stooge, etc, etc. Opinion seems to be that this will have some cut through with older voters who were adults when the Cold War was still ongoing and still have an instinctive fear of Russia, but younger people who are considering voting for Reform will not be swayed.

  213. Hi all,
    I have a history question for older readers. Recently I came across some archival footage of “Jesus People”; the vaguely hippie adjacent forerunner to the 1980’s Televangelist movement. Like a lot of things I’ve seen from that era, it had a very sinister cast, but somehow it was more than I expected. Happy ditties about loving Jesus and then screeching about fire and brimstone for the unworthy in the same sentence. Reminded me of tales of the Weathermen or other leftist assemblies of the period except instead of Social Justice and killing enemies of socialism it was Love of Jesus and the wrath of a furious God upon the unbelievers. I’m not a Christian, or a member of any organized faith (having an interest in theology is how I describe myself when pressed) but reading scripture regardless of what tradition it comes from is an interesting and quite often a spiritually uplifting experience. These sermons though had an almost demonic feeling to me, which I did not expect. For those who were there, did the American counterculture during the convulsions of the 1960’s and 1970’s particularly it’s spiritual dimension feel sinister at all or am I reading too much into it?

    Best, JZ

  214. ElkRiver – thank you for your response.

    I recall a few studies about metallic fragments and also DNA fragments found in Covid vaccines, and have been following talk of compensation for the Covid-vaccine injured in a few countries. Your comments about litigation protection are not surprising, and I am sympathetic for lost references. Now, i copy chunks of important research for retention, and keep a decent library.

    I have also seen research about limited and variable anti-viral effects from many medication types, including antibiotics and antiparasitics. IMO, antibiotic harms to the gut biome, and subsequent health effects, are more serious than most viral infections. Repeated brief rounds of antibiotics, or ongoing low-dose (like in feedlot-raised meat), also promotes resistant bacteria.. Not medical advise.

    The more I research, and observe the state of US medical care, the more I tend to prioritize prevention. R Lustig, in his 2021 book, Metabolical, suggests that cost savings from improved diet could markedly cut medical expenses while improving our health and environment. For a quick overview, his interview with Nate Hagans is quite interesting. Maybe I am too eager for actionable optimism, but non-industry sponsored research seems to consistently confirm this conclusion.

  215. A few rambling comments about books, libraries and jobs, in answer to other comments here, Northwind Grandma #187, and Sanctuary of Rose and Chalice #65.

    Why should we struggle and beg to enter into a system that is failing on so many levels? I worked 5 years in a library and agree with comments here that libraries are moving away from a strictly literary endeavour to a social services centre. Please feel free to go out and do something else if you prefer the former! Over the years, JMG has mentioned subscription libraries and private libraries. I now own and run a used bookstore.

    I remember in high school, which was in a little village in Eastern Ontario, there was a private house that was also the village library. The owners converted part of an old house into the most charming little library and was run by a couple of older women. They must have had some funding because they did not charge a subscription, but I can see the value of having a subscription to a similar but private library. Also, the push to centralize everything to very expensive buildings in the bigger cities, with very expensive people in charge, has gutted small neighbourhood and village libraries run by booklovers. Perhaps if you (Sanctuary) approach the local council in a smaller centre without a library and propose they give you some modest funding, you could operate a library like the one I visited during high school? You would be completely free to run it as you wish and if you don’t charge the salary demanded by a librarian with a Master of Library and Information Science, they won’t insist on one. And your acquisitions budget could be next to nil if you run it using donated books. And bookcases.

    I sometimes get people coming into the store asking if we loan books out. Perhaps in the future, that might be an option if things get really bad. Perhaps they can pay for a subscription with a chicken or something.

    In the meantime, book donations keep pouring into my store. Yesterday 130 boxes of great books came in. Today, we are off to start transporting 500 boxes of books that were part of a bookstore in a larger city that had to shut down because of overhead and which are destined to be binned and sent to the landfill if we don’t come get them (I estimate between 10,000 to 15,000 books, possibly more if there are a lot of paperbacks). It’s usual for a couple hundred boxes to come in weekly. This is so much more fun than working in a library in a city!


  216. @Northwind Grandma – I think the Quakers do allow meditation. Correct me if I’m wrong, anybody. But I do hear you. And, yes, official Christianity is a group religion.

    @ those who asked: There is a place for old books, mystically inclined people, and autistic scholarly types in dark ages societies. It calls for vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, alas. (I could never hack the ‘obedience’ part, but in later maturity realized how very much depended on the sort of abbot or abbess you had). One good go-to book with plenty of humor is “How the Irish Saved Civilization.”

  217. Banishing with laughter is pretty good stuff. The musician Laraaji teaches laughter yoga on the side, which a friend of mine, who is a disciple of the late Meher Baba, also was talking about recently. I think you are right about Kurzweil arleady having merged, because “The Singularity Is Nearer” is the kind of title I’d expect from ChatGPT. I guess the rapture is also nearer. Go figure.

    Anyway, normally I wouldn’t post about the plethora of self-help books that I see cross my desk in any given week here, but this one does look good, and it is of a different stripe than many. It’s called “The Systems Thinker: Essential Skills for Solving Problems, Managing Chaos, and Creating Lasting Solutions in a Complex World” by Albert Rutherford. The thing that got me was a discussion of the collapse of the Roman empire, and his statement that the collapse of empires is not unique. If nothing else it is an interesting inject into the world of self-help literature.


  218. @Northwind Grandma #198,

    >Not one sect that I found allowed one to simply close the eyes and spend a half hour like that.

    The World Community for Christian Meditation do apophatic meditation – simply close your eyes and clear your mind.

    I do not know if cataphatic meditation is your thing (it is not mine), but I read two books by Anselm Gruen (a Benedictine) where he mentions visualization exercises. And all sorts of Christian denominations embrace the Lectio Divina.

    >Every single one of the types of Christian meditation required that I insert “Christ” in there

    Unlikely. The WCCM recommend mantras and suggest “Maranatha”. But you can use whatever suits you best.
    And Jesus himself was quite clear that it does not matter what you say during prayer, since God will know what you are really thinking anyway.

  219. @Walt F,

    Ahh!!! Thank you so much. I will see if I can find or construct something similar. Thank you!

  220. @shinjuki
    I recently saw this comparison of US vs UK products. The comparison between US Quaker Oatmeal and UK Quaker Oatmeal is disturbing.

    I’ve read that 25% of Gen Z is obese. Based on the eating habits I see at work, I think a lot of it is poor nutrition–but not all. I see more obesity in young women, and I speculate that medication plays a role. Which medication? I don’t know.

  221. If anyone is interested in learning Latin online, Duolingo has a short introduction to the language. You will gain a familiarity with using some of the cases. I enjoyed it for the repetition but also for getting a sense of the structure. It’s free.

  222. JMG,

    As far as I know there is no manual for operating in a degraded state as in there is no manual for operating in a workforce that has degraded skill sets, or using degraded resources to create same/similar final product, or working within a degraded logistics networks, etc…

    Is there such a thing as a “Scavengers Guide for a Declining Society”?

  223. Understood, I will make no attempt to discuss AI of any sort here.

    On a different, but still technologically related note, I know you’ve mentioned cell phones seem to function as surrogate talismans before, but I had a fairly creepy thought last night: isn’t it possible that they actually are functioning as talismans? Every time someone uses them to maintain their social media life, it would be getting a small charge of emotional energy; and the way that they have transformed into extensions of the self for so many people would provide an etheric link as well; it is a somewhat crude and inefficient way to charge a talisman, but I see no reason why it wouldn’t work to slowly charge these devices with energy. This could easily play a role in explaining why people use them so obsessively, and get so weird about them in general; as well as explaining the rapid and dramatic rise of Safetyism over the last 15 odd years, because the cell phone only makes sense in a Safetyist worldview, and so the vast number of smartphones being turned into accidental talismans are symbolic representations of Safetyism.

  224. This was a good article on NATO “escalation”, and how it is that this simply will not happen, because they are not capable. My favourite and simplest example is the 750,000 or so foreign students in the UK who, on the outbreak of a wider war in which the UK might be targeted, would want to get home immediately, along with all the foreign tourists – thus clogging airports and railways just as the government would want to be using those to transport troops and materiel.

    “Now I mention this deliberately trivial example because it is one of literally dozens for which no preparation will have been done and no plans exist, and about which governments will need to take quick decisions. Unfortunately, the mechanisms for putting these decisions into practice mostly no longer exist. […] Put simply, a “just in time” society cannot wage war in any relevant sense of that word.”

    Those of us who were in countries suddenly shut off during the pandemic will recall certain levels of chaos, with all sorts of oddness like oil prices briefly turning negative (ie they’d pay you to take it!), container ships stranded at sea, and even from 2022 on, people having to wait up to 18 months to receive a vehicle they’d purchased – even though it was sitting at the dock for them.

    The West is just not very good at organising things any more. Normally the thinking would be, “well, everyone’s a bit muddled at the start of a crisis, look at Britain in 1939-40, but they pulled themselves together after a year or two.” But the West hasn’t, not even for what is, by historical standards, a not very large pair of conflicts in the Donbass and Gaza.

  225. @JMG

    Even a constitutional amendment wouldn’t work, I’d claim. Or it might actually bring to light the real choice to be made – let go of the dollar as a reserve currency and regain control of the public debt or hold onto the reserve currency status and ride the debt tiger wherever it decides to go. We all know what choice the people running things prefer. It’s Grrrrreat!

    But as long as the dollar is THE reserve currency, you can’t square that circle. It’s math. We should’ve never taken the reserve currency status on, Bretton Woods was a mistake. But I think the people doing it, they knew they’d be gone long before the consequences hit. Basically, we get to clean up the messes our grandparents made.

  226. >I don’t expect a nuclear war partly because that’s the one scenario our elites know they will not survive

    I’m not at all certain they are that rational. They have gotten rather – deranged – lately. Death cult, you know.

  227. That living with your children will be the primary kind of retirement ,in the not too distant future, is not really up up for debate. Once corporations and investments no longer make a profit, nor savings collect interest there will not be much of a choice. Once private and public pensions, along with social security, become things of the past there will be very few alternatives to living with offspring.
    A few trades will be viable well in to old age, some people may. own just the right type of farmland, herd of animals or windmill that will give them enough income to live independently in their old age but most will not.
    The reason the concept of retiring under the care of one’s children seems so difficult to most people is that to be successful it is a lifelong system that unfolds from birth to death. Parents take a role in making sure their children have a viable trade or career. As distasteful as it sounds to modern folks, parents take a greater role in approving who their children marry ( after all a bad spouse can doom them in old age). Then as the children attain adulthood they are given much more of a helping hand economically than is common today. Places in the family business, a helping hand in to dads line of work ( think of big city firemen) or a starter home near their parents. The change in family authority ( and the master bedroom) also shift with age.
    This obviously relies on intact families that are now scarce, but I think it is inevitable because as Margaret Thatcher would say, ” There is no alternative”.

  228. @Northwind Grandma

    Sorry that was your experience with Christianity, and with Orthodoxy in particular! We *do* have a really gnarly problem with ethnophyletism (a heresy!) here in the West. The Greek church is notorious for it. I don’t know how long ago you were making inquiries, but I’ve been in for over 15 years now, and I’ve seen a definite shift in that. The elderly Greeks look like they are gonna hold onto that “this isn’t a church, it’s the local Greek Cultural Society” thing until the bitter end… which is why most of the converts seem to be heading for the Arab, Russian, and OCA parishes, while Greek parishes are dying (yeah, the Russians aren’t immune, but it’s less marked there). I reckon that’ll sort itself out over the next 10 years or so, because those people’s kids don’t go to church. That grieves me. They had custody of the biggest treasure in Christendom and they buried it under the parking lot because they didn’t want to share.

    On meditation: You might find some interesting reading in Vladimir Lossky’s *The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church* and the writings of Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, on the apophatic vs. cataphatic approaches to prayer and the knowledge of God. Agreed that we don’t talk enough about that stuff… but also beginning to understand why (it gets the rash and impatient in trouble!) (…so like a lot of things, it’s a one-to-one discipleship thing that gets taught mainly in the monasteries and may get neglected in a busy parish).

    I agree that the concept of total self-abnegation is terrifying! I had, weirdly, come to that realization long before I encountered Orthodoxy. It was obvious just from reading the New Testament. What frustrated me was that nobody talked about it in the churches I grew up in: there was zero acknowledgement that this was even a *thing*, and certainly no roadmap to pursue it. But there it was, in the story of the rich young man and Jesus: go, sell everything, give it to the poor, and come follow me. Take up your cross… prosperity-gospel protestants compete in the Rationalization Olympics to avoid that one.

    But, that realization in my back pocket, it was such a relief to encounter a church that not only acknowledged that truth, but had the how-to manual for how to get there. It’s still terrifying. Also the most worthwhile pursuit in the universe.

    I lack your hangups about Orthodox meditative practices, because I approached it from a rather different direction. I have some lifelong issues with serious pain and weird neurology, so I have always fallen into trance states easily (the trick is *not* doing it when I need to be present and accounted for!), and cobbled together a way to use that, to deal with pain. It was pretty ramshackle and haphazard, and Orthodoxy gave me, for the first time, a way to do it in a disciplined way, with a roadmap, a goal, and some tools to navigate that weird, wild, space that I had been visiting all along. It is quite nice to have some guidelines and basic protections now. That other space is not altogether safe or friendly…. and my childhood protestant church didn’t even acknowledge that it existed. I imagine my guardian angel as a frazzled, overworked, chainsmoking sort of fellow…

  229. Chris, thanks for this. I think you’ll enjoy the Wagner series. Oh, and we’ll be talking about barbarians. Lots of them.

    Sgage, it’s inevitable.

    Ellen, glad to hear it.

    CR, I’ll have to look into it. I’ll see if the local library system has Kengor’s book.

    Selkirk, I’ve heard that from many other people who’ve had experience with the federal bureaucracy.

    J.L.Mc12, I have no idea, not having any real understanding of ecological relations on your continent. From the perspective of the next ten million years, it’s clear that there will be a galaxy of future predators descended from Felis catus — according to the best figures I’ve found, there are more than twice as many feral domestic cats as there are pet cats in the world today (480 million vs. 220 million). So it may be far too late to make any significant difference.

    Mary and Polecat, there are many reasons I’m glad I don’t own a television, and last night’s debate is one of them.

    Robert, I heard about Farage’s utterance of blasphemous names from the eldritch darkness. He does know how to get attention, doesn’t he?

    John, nope. It was a very strange movement. Recall that the counterculture was in the middle of its terminal collapse, and a lot of not-quite-former hippies were in the process of working their way back to the society they’d claimed they were rejecting forever; no small number of them were also pretty well brain-addled by heavy doses of drugs.

    Justin, hmm! Anything bringing systems thinking back into the mental toolkit is a good thing.

    GlassHammer, not that I know of. Anyone else know of one?

    Taylor, hmm. It’s certainly possible. Whether or not they function as talismans in the strict technical sense, they certainly have a fetishistic dimension, and clinging to them as a way to ward off Bad Things is certainly a form of fetishism.

    Warburton, I saw that. I read Aurelien pretty regularly; we disagree about some things but I think he’s dead right here.

    Other Owen, the dollar won’t be the reserve currency for much longer anyway, and once that goes a great many problems will go with it — admittedly, so will about 80% of the American standard of living, but them’s the breaks. As for derangement, well, there’s that; the question is whether we actually have a viable nuclear arsenal at this point, or whether it’s as effective as a Boeing spacecraft…

  230. Given that many of our current problems stem from a paucity of imagination, I propose a magical working. And since the best magic has always been art, I think it’s time to request story submissions. Here’s the prompt:

    50 years after the Gaza armistice, the state of Israel is now the state of Palestine, a country with a roughly 75/25 Palestinian/Jewish population. They have learned to live together, and things are at a stage where you can see real bridges between the once-warring peoples as well as old wounds that haven’t yet healed.

    What stories can we tell about life in that community? How do the victors get along with their former oppressors? What new art forms, religious movements, and philosophical ideas have arisen out of this cultural melange?

    SF, alternate history, fantasy, space opera, romance, and any other genre welcome. Your stories can be comic, tragic, or any mixture thereof.

    As these are compiled, I am going to post them on a Substack blog with full credit to the author and a link to their site. At the end of our 90-day submission period, first, second, and third place winners get a $75, $50, and $25 prize. Everybody who submits gets a story critique and a 90-day free paid subscription to my Substack.

    I want to get people thinking about the inevitable outcome to this conflict, and from there to start envisioning a world where the warring sides learn to live amongst each other in a multicultural Levant. (Which, incidentally, is the default state of affairs for the region.

    I will announce this publicly in a day or so, but figured that there was no better place to start looking for good writers than JMG’s commentariat.

    Also for those interested: here’s an interview with JMG from our podcast. Thanks again to JMG for gracing us with his wit and wisdom: may he live long enough to see fusion reactors give us energy that’s too cheap to meter.

  231. “Social security is begging for means testing,”

    It already is sort of means tested. Above some level of total income 85% of SS is treated as ordinary income. The calculation is overly complicated like the rest of the tax code, but the threshold is not inflation adjusted. So as usual when the current law went into effect almost no one crossed the threshold. Now many people do, and in a few years nearly everyone will.

    Google “Social Security tax torpedo” for more.

    Chris down under, a Quick Look at the globe shows you somewhere around 30 deg. S latitude? I’m at 47 N so your winter days should be longer than mine. How the opacity of the clouds compares I can’t say.

  232. JMG,

    Thanks for your reply; the notion that they were former hippies who were trying to feel their way back to “square life” makes a whole lot of sense. It got me thinking, is that what happened to the environmental movement as well? By that I mean how it’s fixated on vague things like “climate change” instead of actionable issues like pollution from excessive use of pesticides and plastics, or groundwater contamination from mountain top removal mining. The latter have a chance of being addressed and mitigated through public policy, the former just seems to generate endless conferences. By being vague and noncommittal are they trying dilute the message so as to not be threatening to the ruling castes? With an eye towards getting a seat at the table eventually, like the former counter culture types going back to work at an office.


  233. JMG,

    Maybe this is why falling down is so destructive, all written instructions are out of sync with the present scenario.

  234. “I have given the topic some thought, and it’s clear that while cats will never go away and definitely not be banned, we should still try and protect wildlife from them.”

    One of the friendlier local feral cats was eaten by either the local red-tailed hawk or the heard but never seen owl. Usually it’s the coyotes that get them. The Australians need their marsupial wolves back. I take it the local birds of prey are not up to the task. Or maybe they don’t know kitties are tasty.

  235. #218 Brenainn Griffudd
    Thank you for your thoughts.

    One interesting thing Biglino asserted was that there were many El (hence, Elohim), and that specific El chose or were given portions of the populace – he quotes Chapter & verse, which I don’t recall off hand. He also named multiple El, of which Yahweh was one.

    There were indications this division of the human populace set up animosity among the El, who then set their people out to battle the other El’s tribes. Thus, giving us the OT history of groups killing off each other down to slaughtering every living thing of their opponents.

    Biglino suggests the idea of being a “chosen” people arose from those times. However, he takes the text as given — there were Elohim, many of them. They liked consuming alcohol (sacrifices daily of wine/beer) and the odor of burning animal fats. No one was permitted to look at them as it could cause immediate death. Priests had to be scrubbed and washed and doused with aromatic oils (as if bacteria or human body odors were repugnant to them). They had a mode of travel, cherubim and seraphim, and moved from place to place, suggesting corporeal rather than spiritual beings.

    This is not the way most dogmatic OT scholars read the books. However, after Biglino, I did go back to various translations and discovered that his insistence on precision leads exactly there.

    Certainly, any ideas that disturb conventional dogma will be challenged and associated with Flat Earth or Aliens or Nazis or whatever is perceived as silly or outlandish at the moment to discredit them. Rigorous academics, though, will go directly to the source himself, and judge the work on its own merits. Right now, if you have Amazon Prime, his book is free to read with their Unlimited service.

  236. Ellen in ME #217


    I just looked on the big South Murican River, and there are several books on the world history of salt. Into one book I glanced, which wrote a bit about the process of what salt goes through to become what we call edible salt. Something about panning for salt. Something about pits. One or the other of these books likely would be a good start what it entails to make salt. Learning something new, I always start with a book,—to gain a modicum of what others have experienced.

    I did not, however, come across any book on how to make salt, per sé.

    Sounds fascinating.

    I love the Maine coast. Good luck‼️

    💨Northwind Grandma💨👵🏼🧂
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  237. Kfish #229

    At some point, I would estimate, within the next twenty years, people will die off more like age 60 than age 80. As an amateur genealogist, prior to World War II, Muricans lived until age 60±5 years. Sixty is a much more reasonable age to keel over. Having viewied thousands of original pre-1940 Federal censuses, it was rare to see a family member over 60.

    💨Northwind Grandma💨👵🏼😑
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  238. In previous posts I have speculated, based on a rudimentary economic analysis, that operating fast (less than an hour) public EV chargers are not economic as a business, based on the very low revenue per hour compared to capital cost. Of course when I brought this up on any site ( not here of course) populated with financial and technological utopians they scoffed and said obviously Tesla figured it out. To them, Elon and his brilliant engineers had figured out how to deploy these ” Superchargers” profitably and if no-one else could they should just get out of the way and let Tesla do it.
    As you may have heard recently Tesla laid off the entire group of 500 people that made up it’s Super Charger business unit and drastically scaled back it’s pace of Supercharger buildout. There has been crickets on this from the ” EV’s Rule” crowd except for those super fans who insist Elon is playing 4D chess and this is just a move that will foster innovation and decrease costs.
    I think in reality, Tesla realized these chargers were a money sink, and they had enough out there to satisfy the early adopters snapping up their battery buggies, and Tesla needed to be able to show a profit to keep the EV. narrative alive so they ditched the continued high capital build out and just kept the existing revenue stream having probably written off the cost of many of those Superchargers back in the money burning past.
    By the way my analysis did not even include the cost of replacing the charging cables when stolen by copper thieves, and increasingly common occurrence.

  239. @John Zybourne (#231):

    I spent my ‘teen years and earlier twenties in Berkeley, right across the Bay from San Francisco, so I lived through the events there which shortly thereafter gave rise to the hippies and the Jesus people. (In my years there, the predecessors of those eccentric people were the “beatniks,” a distinctly west-coast phenomenon only loosely connected with east-coast “wanna-be’s” such as Kerouac and Ginsberg who moved westward looking for something that was already there on the west coast.)

    I wouldn’t have used the word “sinister” to describe the ’60s (and especially the ’70s, which I knew about only from younger friends there) there, so much as “inimical to humans,” “dementing,” “polluted,” and at times downright viscerally “repulsive.” (There were also good things going on there and then, but they didn’t capture as much media attention nation-wide.) All in all, I’m glad I lived through the ’50s and ’60s in that particular place; they made me into the “radical moderate” that I have been all my adult days.

    We were an old San Francisco Bay family, with low-class and criminal-class roots there that went back to the late 1860s. So my ancestors saw a lot during the century before me, and I heard a lot about what they saw as I was growing up. The only constant in that region was perpetual change and unrest: civilization there was always as unstable and unsettled as the earthquake-prone land on which it had been built. That region tolerates the presence of humans, but it doesn’t exactly welcome them. (Rhode Island, where I have lived since 1967, has an utterly different feeling to it: both the land and the cultures feel very stable, and change only very slowly and gently. The land on which one live seems to have an enormous, unacknowledged influence on how and what one can think and do.)

    So, yes, you’re onto something real, I think, though I might use different words to attempt to capture the essence of what we’re both talking about.

  240. When you said that laughter is a powerful banisher, did you mean that literally, in the same sense that the SoP is, or were you making a metaphorical point about banishing bad ideas?

  241. Elkriver #253

    This isn’t just about orthodox OT scholars. Biblical scholars run the gamut, from orthodox religious believers to atheists and agnostics, and everything in between. So far, nothing you’ve mentioned was new to me (not even the idea that the OT is an account of alien contact with humans). The idea that the Old Testament contains memories of a time when the Israelites believed in many gods (elohim) and that the nations were divided among them (national henotheism) is not a new or radical view, even among orthodox religious scholars. Purification rituals, burnt offerings, the gods consuming food and wine, are not unusual in pretty much every religion and mythology that I’ve heard of.

    I’m sorry, but theories like ancient aliens carry a heavy burden of proof, and retroactively reading them into religious scriptures falls well short of that. I’ll check out this book you’ve recommended, though to be honest, I am skeptical its going to present truly convincing (or even new) evidence.

    I’d like to make a book recommendation for you. It’s titled “The Early History of God: Yahweh and the Other Deities in Ancient Israel” by Mark S. Smith. A very thorough scholarly work where Smith does a fine job of showing how the Israelites and their religion progressively emerged from the Canaanite peoples and their religion. Not as exciting as ancient aliens, I suppose, but still accounts very easily for things like the elohim in the Old Testament.

  242. Continuing the UK election discussion – a despatch from the deep PMC territories of London, where the mood is unashamedly triumphalist and smug about the coming Labour government with speculation that they will have the largest majority in history and get 500+ seats out of 650, with current Prime Minister Sunak losing his own ultra-safe seat (a sitting PM has never lost his own seat) and the Tories getting around 20 seats (down from 365). The most conservative expectations are that at a *minimum* Keir Starmer’s Labour will match the historic landslide victory of Tony Blair in 1997 (418 seats).

    A lot of relief about going back to good government by competent politicians after the disaster of 14 years of Tory rule.

    Some of the more perceptive PMC types are uneasy about the gains Reform is making and a few are even daring to whisper that it’s not necessarily racist to say that immigration is too high and that we can’t continue the Ponzi scheme of bringing in cheap labour indefinitely to grow the bottom of the pyramid. But mostly it’s just glee (even from former Tories of whom there are quite a few) that the Tories are getting their just desserts, since there is no chance of Reform winning this time (especially after the recent scandals).

    Personally I think there will be a Labour government but I am far from convinced that it will be the kind of blowout majority that everyone is expecting. I am not much of a Blair fan, but he was actually a competent politician, with charisma, and actual policies and people actually wanted him in a positive way vs Starmer who has less personality than a rock, and absolutely no policies, beyond “We are not the Tories”. It’ll win him this election because the Tories are so despised, but I just don’t see it as the stuff of landslide majorities, but who knows I guess I could be proved wrong next week.

    As for Reform, they have been hit by two major scandals in the last week after they started building incredible momentum – one is the Ukraine thing last week where Farage broke from the consensus on Russia (very risky – even in his own demographic there is a lot of deep instinctive dislike of Russia in the UK) and then doubled down on it, and the second blew up last night and could be much much worse.

    Basically Channel 4 News went undercover pretending to be Reform activists and went canvassing for votes in Clacton (the constituency where Farage himself is standing and one of like 3 where despite the limitations of the FPTP electoral system, they are actually likely to win), and broadcast video of it from a hidden camera on TV last night, with actual Reform activists saying some incredibly racist and unpleasant things, including racist abuse of the Prime Minister and so on (you can easily find the video on YouTube).

    Honestly, it’s so far out there that to me it almost looks like the stereotype of someone behaving the way a typical PMC Guardian reader would *expect* a Reform activist/voter to act – older white man, rough working class accent, saying incredibly inflammatory and racist things.

    This has blown up in a big way and Farage cancelled a major interview this morning (presumably to investigate and crisis manage and decide his strategy) but then went back on TV this afternoon and again tonight and he has basically pushed back hard. First he has disavowed the statements made and said they don’t reflect his opinions or those of the party etc and that the Reform workers involved have been let go.

    Second, although one of the men caught on the video is long time Reform worker (who said some unpleasant stuff, but relatively minor), Farage claims that the other one, who said all the really bad stuff was a brand new volunteer and that he was an actor who had been hired as a setup to trap Reform (no other details).

    Now there is quite a lot of evidence on social media suggesting this man is indeed a jobbing low level actor who specialises in playing bad guys (his profile on various acting/casting websites and casting videos he’s done etc are easily found), so I can easily believe he is a jobbing actor, but just because he’s an actor doesn’t mean this was a setup or that he didn’t believe what he was saying. On the other hand – who would have hired him? I doubt it was Channel 4 News.

    Anyway, so the big question is how this will play out for Reform – will it just be dismissed as “Oh well, a few bad apples..that’s not what Farage believes and it isn’t party policy”, or will it confirm the mainstream perception that Reform is the party of racists and white supremacists and most of them are like that and destroy their electoral chances? I know the media thinks the latter, but it’s not clear what the voters think..

  243. John Zybourne @ 250, what happened to the environmental movement was that it was coopted and corrupted by foundations working in the interests of their richy rich donors, incl. corporations, who decided along about the early 1970s that this movement had cost them more money than they could tolerate. I am having a bit of difficulty accepting that you did not already know this. Environmentalists were neither hippies nor radicals, nor was their movement a weird “lifestyle”, although denounced as such by corporate interests whose products were being boycotted. The sad result was that environmentalism morphed from an effective social movement to rich people’s virtue signaling.

    I will take leave to point out that our host has more than once encouraged us to look closely at the supply chains which underly consumer products.

  244. If the NATO leadership’s goal is to cause Russia to break up the way the Soviet Union broke up, then the purpose of drawing Russia into war in Ukraine would be to reproduce the effects of the Soviet-Afghan war, draining Moscow’s economic and political capital over the course of a decade. If this is the case, then might the NATO leadership’s real error lie in the expectation that they have another ten years?

  245. Speaking of libraries – I grew up in India in the 1980s and the “small private library” model worked extremely well there and it’s where I got most of the books I read. Pay a nominal fee (but enough for a small library in a modest building, often family run to be profitable), keep a few books for a week and return.

    Many of these places are still going strong – the model is perfectly viable even in the Internet age. It’s not a huge selection of books but it’s really pretty good (multiple languages of course, this being India, but typically English+local language is the most popular) and there’s some random gems to be found. The one I used to go to is now around 70 years old, run by the same family and has expanded to multiple branches. No one is trying to turn them into community centres or Internet browsing centres – you just go in and get your books and leave. Notably, the *government* libraries in India are beyond awful bureaucratic nightmares.

    Although I personally did not go there much, I should give honourable mention to the libraries operated by the British Council and its equivalent at the US Embassy/Consulate in major Indian cities. They really made a difference to many Indians’ lives and exposed them to the wider world (in the case of the latter, a much more middle class crowd). The British Council is now a shadow of its former self and the British government seems to be trying to turn it into a business or something – not sure how the USIS libraries are doing.

  246. >Anyway, if we do the trade school thing, he could easily be starting a career that supports him by the time he’s 18– plumber, electrician, aircraft mechanic

    With aircraft mechanic, you don’t even need to go to trade school for that. Here’s what you do. Go to your nearest local airport that has a maintenance hangar. Call up the front desk and ask who the local A&P is. Get his number. Then ask him (or her sometimes, not that often) if he’s taking on any apprentices. Odds are he has room for one. If he doesn’t just keep dialing other airports and asking. Then he apprentices for 2 years or so (with pay) and then takes the FAA practical. That’s the only cert that matters, degrees are useless in aviation, EXCEPT if you want to be an airline pilot and then they demand a college degree. Why? Dunno. But for wrenching on planes, no degree needed (or wanted or cared about), just the FAA cert.

    Be warned, he’ll be doing all the jobs the A&P doesn’t like doing. Like crawling up into the empennage to check cables and lubricate hinges.

    You might be able to get the military to train you as an aircraft mechanic too. Then again, they may just put you in infantry. Spin the wheel. And if a real war breaks out, one where they feel desperate enough to start drafting people and you’re a young fit documented aircraft mechanic, I can guarantee they are going to want you, whether you want them or not. Like working on helicopters? Because they love it. Who knows, if they get desperate enough, you might find yourself working on a tank because you’re all they got left alive.

    Personally, you might want to steer him towards HVAC. In this part of the world, HVAC techs are god. Next to plumbers, people NEED them.

  247. @ Northwind Grandma #183

    > Whatever Netanyahu (“Bubba”) does regarding Palestinians will be reflected back onto world Jewry.

    I think Israelis are regarded culturally and ethnically as part of the white Western world, and anything they do taints the rest of us westerners. The unstinting American support for Israeli actions in Gaza is not helping, either.

    It’s a problem for me personally because there’s a very prominent Jewish family here with the same surname as me, and many people think I look Jewish although I’m not (possibly because I’m 1/4 Italian), and I live in an area with a large proportion of Muslims. There was a large graffito nearby “ONE ZIONIST ONE BULLET” that was painted over some years ago, and someone with a stencil has spray-painted “Don’t forget Palestine” on some pavement slabs recently.

    My neighbors are Moslem and I’m friends with them. When the invasion of Gaza started I went to them and told them I’m not Jewish and I don’t approve of what the Israelis are doing. “Don’t worry,” they said, “We’re not against the Jews, we’re against the Zionists.”

    Yeah, but how do you tell whether a Jew is a Zionist or not?

    I mentioned I was afraid to shop at my local convenience store, which is very Moslem, in case some young toughs decide to avenge the Palestinians by beating me up. “Come with me,” my friend said. “I’ll sort them out.”

    In the event I didn’t go with him and I still shop there, but I’ve cut my visits to once a week instead of three or four times a week. I’ve never had any trouble, but they’re not terribly friendly either.

    Basically, the worse things get for the Palestinians the more afraid I am for my safety, and it looks like things are going to get much, much worse. We’re not supposed to curse people, so Bibi, may you float into Heaven on the wings of angels, but make it quick, please, like tomorrow.

  248. @Ellen in ME

    Definitely looking forward to your results. Be sure to write about your experience on a future Open Post!

    And God help you in your endeavour!

  249. JMG,

    You have previously speculated that perhaps as many as 7 billion humans (8 billion – 1 billion carrying capacity) currently on the planet were promoted up from the realms of less evolved spirits. Given the sad state of many of our social systems, is it possible that some of those less evolved spirits actually came from the hell realms? A few weeks ago, you got me thinking with your suggestion of the word Lenocracy.

    Partly suggested by yesterday’s “Presidential” debate, and partly by global governance in general, is it possible that we actually live in a Demonocracy?

  250. “so will about 80% of the American standard of living”

    Any guesses on what’s most likely to go, or which will go first? TV, smartphones, ubiquitous touch screens? (We should be so lucky.) Airlines, industrial medical care, refrigerated groceries? Showers, air conditioning, indoor plumbing?

  251. Dear JMG,
    You wrote : ” If some absurd turn of events ever makes me obscenely rich, I’ll buy up one of those disused campuses and turn it into an institution for occultism and appropriate technology.”
    Can we have your permission to pray that it will happen? And perhaps use a few spells for that?

  252. @Ygit #29
    “Can you recommend methods and books about survival, self-help and community building that can help us in a world that is close to collapse, just two or three steps away? Also, it would be very useful to know how to turn a city flat into a castle, so to speak, without causing any chaos”
    Well you can’t really turn an apartment into a fortress, I can tell you that much.
    As for books and guides:
    Low tech magazine guy published an article about his experience of running an apartment on solar power. The results are not particularly encouraging, but still worth a read
    “Improvised medicine” by Kenneth Iverson is great guide on how to perform medical procedures when all you have is scalpel and harsh words. But bear in mind that it is targeted at medical professionals who know what they are doing

  253. @JMG
    Thank you. If you plan to give it a look, Dr. Kengor quoted repeatedly Robert Payne’s (1968) “Marx: A biography” as an important source for his work. The argument was all from the former, but the raw data regarding the early life of Karl Marx comes from the later.

  254. Ellen at #217,

    These may or may not be useful, as they are sources used for a novel about a salt spring, not ocean salt, but the author is meticulous in her research and you could probably duplicate the salt spring methods from the novel plus experimentation alone, if you survived uninjured. The references are not all in English and may be impossible to attain affordably or locally to you.

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

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

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

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

    The novel these are listed in is White Gold and Empire by Alma T.C. Boykin. It is sixth in a fantasy series but may be easily read as a stand alone. I would not call the series high fantasy, as most of the main characters are merchants, minors, and other middle and lower class working folk, though the world building resembles high fantasy more than other genres. This particular novel is a slice of life story. I find the style and the detail remarkably refreshing. (That a fantasy novel has a bibliography probably is the most important clue that this is no ordinary tale of kingly successions and divine destanies in fantasy clothing.)

  255. @J.L.Mc12 #204
    “But more seriously, do you suppose that the creation of a great brain is possible at all?”
    We can create great brains “the natural way” pretty easily. People do it all the time.
    When it comes to deliberately engineering an artificial brain made out either of artificial or natural neurons… The problem is that we have absolutely no idea how to do that. The current approach with either artificial or organic neurons amounts to “well if we throw together enough neurons the consciousness is bound to arise”. It is clearly not working and I don’t see it working in the foreseeable future.

  256. Hey JMG

    I agree utterly that feral cats are here to stay, and have a big future ahead of them. That being said, in Australia there is a strong belief that a lot of our native wildlife is severely impacted by them, and also by pet cats, and I do think that it would be good if as much of it could survive into the far future as well. But I realise that in the past we did used to have quite a few marsupial predators that roughly fulfilled the same niche as cats and lions, of which the endangered Quolls are the few living relics, and so I do think it is possible for cats and our wildlife to settle into some kind of balanced relationship, but it is necessary to somehow ensure that our wildlife have enough of a chance to re-evolve the necessary behaviours that will allow them to not be sitting ducks after thousands of years of relative safety from cat-like predators

  257. Dear JMG and commentariat:

    Thank you all for the responses and advice.
    Justin: I just responded to your email, my apologies.

    Everyone else: while I’m not giving up the option of librarianship per say, I’m now less inclined to do so through academic channels, perhaps a part-time job through one of the “backdoor” options mentioned by the commentariat. I have considered becoming a writer/blogger, but while I love going down rabbit holes of rejected knowledge and fringe information, I don’t know what to do with that. I’d love to write on mystical theology, ceremonial magic, or occult philosophy, and while I have extensive academic knowledge of those fields, I don’t have the years of experience and practice to back it up. I’m a seeker or neophyte at best. What can I offer that a dozen more competent practitioners aren’t already offering? I have considered starting a Society for the Conservation and Study of Rejected Knowledge, which would be part subscription library and reading room, and part meeting space for folks interested in alternative spirituality and rejected knowledge. Owning a used bookstore would be a dream, but I need to learn the appropriate business skills first. I’m going to stop myself here, because my anxiety-ridden brain is preventing me from having any more coherent thoughts at the moment. However, I want to repeat how much I truly appreciate all of the advice everyone has provided so far. Thank you.

    Sanctuary of the Rose and Chalice

  258. Hi John,
    Six months ago or more it was announced in the news that the following week a list of prominent names of those closely linked to Jeffrey Epstein would be released. Nothing of the sort about it was ever mentioned again. Obviously people of power stepped in to quash the release of names but you’d think somebody, somewhere might publicly question what happened but instead the silence has been deafening. Are people that afraid to ask or is it simply that our populace is too easily distracted and quickly forgets?

  259. Hello, a practical question. Let’s say I want to buy your last books, the ones with the GSF material (never got around to doing that before, but things change). I live in Western Europe, not in the UK, so it is where doesn’t deliver.
    So what is better, ethically & financially for you as well? One-breasted female rider? Abebooks? On Abebooks, if it says “New”, does it mean that the money goes mostly to the shop, or do you still get a share of the transaction?
    I guess it could be a mixture of Abebooks and some money into the tipping jar.

  260. @Northwind Grandma #198

    Very similar background here, I’m just younger (for my parents it was Vietnam). So, now planning to homeschool my child and trying to put together curricula that will let her have some understanding of Christianity and our society even though she’s not being raised Christian. Any thoughts? (Or books I could recommend to her once she’s in high school, etc.?) Not sure I understand enough about Christianity myself (have studied the Catholic/Protestant divide since it caused my parents’ families to oppose their marriage, but…).

  261. I was reading the comments last week about young people in the US and the West in general becoming interested in Shinto and other Japanese religions via their passion for anime and manga. I’m in the middle of rewriting a book I was working on and had to set aside for several years due to my electro-allergy, on the branch of Shugendo that focused on Mount Fuji.
    I find that because the older generation in my family were nearly all dedicated rationalists, my first assumption was that my audience will need to be persuaded somehow that I am not just crazy. Obviously that is a bad assumption to start from.
    So I want to throw this question out to JMG and the commentariat in general as my first intended audience: what would you like most to learn about the Fuji Confraternities? In brief, this was a nature-worshipping sect based in and around Edo (now Tokyo), that emphasized a mild degree of physical asceticism suited to and popular among both urban and rural populations at a time of sustainable prosperity and cultural development, which the confraternities played a key role in cultivating. The most important of those practices was to go climb the mountain. The liturgy consists of standard Shugendo (syncretic Buddhism/Shinto) sutras and prayers such as Rokkon Shojo combined with cryptic, picturesque magical spells (the minuki), the latter of which still brings people together to discuss their deeper meanings in the context of their own lives. The modern age brought about its downfall, as bulldozers now climb to the peak to serve tourists and there are so many other fascinating things for people to do.
    But as we all know here, it is time to start planning how to enjoy life and find meaning in a more sustainable existence.
    Getting called away, but any ideas how I might reach out to manga readers? I find the movie “Spirited Away” providing great insights into Shinto and Shugendo. Do any of you know other Anime/Manga that I ought to have a look at to reach out to younger Westerners?

  262. Hi John Michael,

    🙂 Barbarism being the natural state of mankind and all. You’ve piqued my interest. Robert E Howard was right you know! Aren’t we currently living through the barbarism of reflection? Which gets me to…



  263. Hi Siliconguy,

    37.5′ S to be precise. You know someone on this forum years ago made an astounding claim that they had this model as to how much peak sunlight should be received here at this location, and they then went on to remark that the power system was somehow faulty because reality didn’t match their model. It was quite the pivotal moment for me, most because the claim was absurd.

    A model reveals the potential, and that’s all it does. Putting the thing to any other use is an unwise move.

    Outside of models relating to renewable energy sources, and in the real world, it can be at night, the winds are calm, and you just happen to be in the middle of a drought. My thoughts invariably begin to wonder over to the next question: So what are you going to do then?

    It’s been my experience that few if any people have an answer to that question mostly because it is an experience outside of their day to day lives. So what would you do?



  264. #256 It is possible, that it is not really the cost of the chargers themselves, but that once you have more than a few units, the grid connection needed starts to get expensive. I remember a local TV news item a while ago about a campsite, I think somewhere in Devon or Dorset, that had electric car charging points, but the local grid connection wasn’t adequate to allow for more than about 3 charging points. This was becoming a problem because of an increase in their guests coming in EVs.
    Sorting this out is going to be more a utility problem rather than a ‘tech’ problem so less amenable to getting cheaper thanks, to ‘Progress’. This may mean that super fast charging will be a premium product, and EVs will focus more towards lightweight vehicles with smaller batteries usually slow changed rather than the Cybertruck, which is too heavy to be driven on a standard car driving licence in many countries.

  265. I managed to miss the great debate last night (poor me). Somehow I was busy. But I watched the news today and I couldn’t miss the torrent of commentary about Biden and Trump. Everyone said what everyone’s been saying, that Biden is too old for the job and that last night his age and impairment were in abundant evidence.

    The other thing I noticed was that without exception the news programs talked about Trump’s lies during the debate. Funny that, especially since Trump’s enemies (including most of the media) are no slouches themselves when it comes to world-class fabrications, you know, the Russia collusion thing, the laptop caper etc etc. The list is too long to recount and anyway by now it’s become a bore.

    But that’s the thing, the Republicans are seeming bystanders in this contest of who tells the biggest whopper, who’s most adept at creating ‘narrative’, who’s been most effective in using torrents of words to explain some trivial thing so as to appear very, very learned.

    The Democrats are batty. But they have energy. Truly a wonder this Democrat/Progressive skill in bamboozling so many people and institutions into accepting the most outlandish propositions, for instance, menstrual products in the men’s washroom at the library.

    Is it because the Republicans are too focused on money and corporate profits? They just seem to stand around with their mouths open not knowing what to do or say.

    I mean, look at Mitt as an example. He’s reputedly a very wealthy man. What’s he about? Tax cuts? What else? And Mitch. What does he care about? Where does his money come from? What about the other Republican stalwarts? Guns?

    Don’t get me wrong, the Democrats live and die in service of monied interests. But their fogbanks of misdirection are something to behold.

    So I have a question; is Trump a Republican? Is he really? I think it’s an honest question because he sure doesn’t sound like one to me. And how did he manage to do a hostile takeover of that party?

    Joe is senile. But so is the GOP.

  266. Thank you Northwind Grandma for looking into books!

    I did watch a couple of YT videos, not a whole lot on making salt but there were a few. Most started with evaporation by simmering but I’d like to try a less energy-intensive way involving a shallow pan or restaurant bus tub in our portable greenhouse or maybe in a cold frame?
    Granted we’ll be working with a gallon or less.

    We’ll have lots of trial and error so I think it has the makings of a good homeschool introduction to scientific experiments.

    Oh, we did pick up a decent clothes wringer for $10 at a local store the other day. The 7 year old is attracted to anything with cranks. He’s already brainstorming up other uses for it!

    Ellen in ME

  267. JZ,
    My experience (n=1) was that Jesus People showed up after the McGovern debacle. Where I was (upstate NY at a flagship state university), that was the death knell for The Sixties.
    In 1972, in the Student Union, the McGovernites were at the right end of the political spectrum of the tables in the foyer, except for one table of Young Americans for Freedom or some such. Everything else ranged from socialist to communist* to Maoist. In 1973, it was Jesus People and Jews for Jesus and other such.
    (Don’t remember if there was a table for the actual CPUSA, which had basically no influence in The Sixties. There were tables for various shades of new communism.)
    The Jesus People whom I met did not seem scary, but rather pathetic. At the time, I figured that most of them had done too much acid, but looking back, some may have come from the kind of awful childhood that my middle class upbringing shielded me from knowledge of. The kind that knocked folks out of the orbit they were raised in and sent many spinning into Sixties circles.
    The Sixties pulled in two different sets of people. Folks who very solid and ready to move on to something better than what the US was then. (Vietnam and civil rights were two very visible examples of something more widespread.) The other was folks who had not made it out of childhood in one piece and often had a hard time even living at the moral level of society at large. One of the huge weaknesses of The Sixties was that both participants and opponents confused these two groups and in both directions
    My sense was that the Jesus People came mostly from the broken folks. But I only dealt with rank and file, not the leadership.
    In a way, I remember the Jesus People as being forerunners of the homeless, energetically. But it was all much more innocent. Very little of the baggage that is there now. Homelessness didn’t start (in my experience) until the late 70s. That’s when I started seeing folks walking the streets of Manhattan talking to themselves and folks pushing grocery carts full of their possessions. At the time, that was new and shocking.
    Maybe when folks who weren’t there then look back at the Jesus People, they might tend to impute many characteristics that are widespread now but weren’t then.

  268. JMG,
    Do you think Biden’s lackluster debate performance combined with several million people watching Bobby Kennedy’s answers to the debate questions will give Kennedy any kind of opening in the race to getting more widespread support?

    Also, I understand that many here don’t support him, but I am wondering why you think Kennedy isn’t getting more traction in this race.

  269. I did not watch the Presidential debate last night. I saw the first few minutes, and had to avert my eyes. Before the debate, I was doubtful that Biden would survive a second term. After the debate, I’m not sure he’ll survive his first term. But then I heard a clip of him at a rally today, and he sounded plausible again. The guy should have been at the top of his form last night, after a week in seclusion to prepare. So, I asked myself, what’s different? Two things come to mind: the energetic feedback of a friendly audience, and the teleprompter.

    The energy flows between the speaker and the crowd might be something that JMG can expound upon. But the ability of a cognitively-impaired man to vigorously read whatever text is put before him (including “wait for applause”) without any of it originating or remaining in his brain seems plausible, too. Maybe we’ve off-loaded too much cognitive effort onto the teleprompter, and it’s allowed the intellect to atrophy. It’s a lose-lose situation: it hides the weakness that it encourages.

    If any fans of Monte Python’s “Dead Parrot” sketch want to see it transformed into a “Dead Candidacy” sketch, you can find it here: You’ll need to read down to “a voter watches a debate”.

    DNC: No no this Candidacy’s not dead, he’s, he’s restin’! Remarkable Candidacy, the Scranton Joe, idn’it, ay? Beautiful plumage!

    Note: there is no praise for the Republican candidate in my post.

  270. “I have given the topic some thought, and it’s clear that while cats will never go away and definitely not be banned, we should still try and protect wildlife from them.”

    In New Zealand the lack of natural predators means cats are incredibly useful for keeping the population of rats and mice down – rats are probably a bigger threat to birdlife (though not as much as possums and stoats). Australia is probably different in that it has snakes and other predators. My sister-in-law’s cats actually do a good job of keeping the local rabbit population down too.
    All in all I think we are better off not trying to protect ‘wildlife’ from other animals – just let them sort out an equilibrium.

  271. Turns out that “clean” technology… kind of isn’t. Ahem.

    Who could have anticipated this?

    “Just recycle them,” people say, but only 10% of lithium ion batteries in Australia are recycled. And to recycle them takes cheap energy, but if energy were cheap then we wouldn’t bother with batteries, so…

  272. @Northwind Grandma (198), your claim that “Christianity disallows meditation” frankly baffles me. With the exception of discursive meditation, which I learned from the writings of our host here (thanks JMG!), literally every form of meditation I have any experience with I learned from Christian sources in the context of Christian meditation/prayer practices.
    – Lectio Divina is basically discursive meditation using biblical texts for meditation themes.
    – the Jesus Prayer (common in Eastern Orthodox, becoming more known and popular in the west) bears a great deal of resemblance to meditation using a mantra.
    – centering prayer is a Christian form of apophatic meditation, and the practice traces its roots to the practices of the desert fathers and of early Benedictine monks, as well as writings such as The Cloud of Unknowing and works by St Teresa of Avila and St John of the Cross. See this website for an explanation of the practice:
    Those are the three I am most familiar with, but there are others. Also, its worth mentioning that Christianity doesn’t actually draw a neat line between prayer and meditation; one shades into the other regularly.

    It is true that the central demand of Christianity is self-abnegation (or, to use a Greek word, which I think better captures the idea, kenosis). Truly practicing kenosis terrifies anybody who was a functioning ego, and no one (except Jesus, the divine role model) can do it consistently or completely, hence the teaching that we are all sinners, and fall short of the glory of God. However, from the Christian perspective, this is not a denial of free will, but the ultimate fulfillment of free will, and it is not giving up our humanity, it is fully living into our humanity. FWIW, it took me the better part of three decades of wrestling with these ideas and teachings to understand how and why this might be so, and it will probably be another three decades of wrestling before I am able to coherently explain it to another person. The best I can do at this point is to say that I believe that this is the truth that my study and meditation and prayer and experience point to.

    Two other quibbles:
    “the Christian attitude that as long as one has been baptized, it is okay, for example, to kill.” This is, to put it as charitably as I can, a very childish understanding of Christian teaching about baptism, repentance, and forgiveness.
    “Christianity is GROUP religion. Christianity has no place for individuals. . . Or more than that, Christianity has no place for individual uppity crone females.” It is true that generally Christianity has been understood by the Church as something we do together, but there is a long and colorful history of Christian hermits, many of whom are canonized as saints. And as far as individuality, the Christian understanding of that goes back to the understanding of our humanity; becoming Christlike is the path to most fully and properly realizing our individual human uniqueness. Also, with regards to uppity women, you might want to learn about St. Hildegard of Bingen (also qualifies as a crone; also named a Doctor of the Church, a title only granted to 37 people in the last 2000 years) or St. Joan of Arc (not a crone, as she was executed at the age of 19, but still definitely an uppity woman).

    I have written rather more than I intended, and I truly do not mean to come off as harsh or condescending, but the understanding of Christianity that you are conveying is very, very different from that which I have experienced. I hope you read this as and attempt to present an understanding of Christianity that you may not have encountered in your studies, and not as a a chastisement.

  273. John Michael,

    Other Owen makes a pertinent point about the level of derangement in our leaders. I wouldn’t make any hard and fast predictions either way about whether things go nuclear, myself. The more pragmatic approach, it seems, is learn the art of internal spiritual resilience in good times, the bad times, the radioactive times … in life and in death.

    Are there any occult practices that focus on building the capacity to face death without fear or recrimination?

  274. Kenaz, it’s an interesting project. I hope it goes well.

    Siliconguy, nope. Handing out the money and then getting some of it back in taxes isn’t means testing. Those who already have enough to live comfortably shouldn’t be getting anything — and I include myself in that category, btw.

    John, no, the environmental movement got coopted by corporate interests with the help of leadership figures in the movement who sold out. It was a much more drastic change, and much less honest.

    GlassHammer, yep.

    Clay, one more sign of reality sinking in.

    Joan, quite literally. Laugh at a demon and you can chase it away. “The devil, that proud spirit, cannot bear to be mocked,” said Thomas More.

    Yiğit, just one of many small steps in that direction.

    RTPCR, well, we’ll see.

    Joan, that’s one of their errors. Another is that it didn’t occur to them that two can play that game, and they’re being drained even more than Russia is.

    Gnat, according to occult tradition it takes very special circumstances for a demon to be born as a human, so it won’t be more than a very small number at most.

    Cliff, what will go first is the money to afford any of that.

    Whispers, you may pray if you like, but please no spells. I want to leave that wholly in the hands of the gods, who may have other ideas for me.

    CR, thanks for this.

    J.L.Mc12, granted, but you may not be able to make that choice; nature may already have made it for you.

    Peter, lots of people are asking, but the whole question is being kept out of the media.

    Neiviv-Neaj, anything but the slimy South American river. A new book from any other online bookstore will get me my full royalty.

    Patricia O, what I prefer in a book on any spiritual topic is a little history, a little theory, and then lots and lots of details about practice, preferably things I can do. But my tastes may not be universal!

    Chris, it’s certainly the natural state from which great stories emerge. More soon!

    Jacques, two good questions for which I don’t have answers. The tastes of the American public are fickle!

    Warburton, yep. And then there’s the horrific environmental cost of manufacturing them…

    Jinasiri, regular meditation has that as one of its effects.

  275. @Robert Mathiesen #257 – this reminded me of a quote pasted in one of my many notebooks. Sarah Andrews wrote “I find that California’s geology follows a negative female archetype in its personality: She is capricious, moody, given to fires and floods and earthquakes, entirely too ready to rid herself of the humans who persist in building along her shores and valleys. She is the very image of the Hindu goddess Kali as viewed through the lens of Western patriarchal culture. The geology of the Rocky Mountain province, where I trained as a geologist, seems by contrast to follow a more masculine archetype: the craggy, unchanging old man reigning stiffly over the androgynous plains.”

    Jackson Crawford, Instructor of Nordic Studies and Coordinator of the Nordic Program at the University of Colorado in Boulder bears out Andrews’ latter observation by giving us, as a personal coda to his translation of The Poetic Edda, “The Cowboy Havamal.” It’s an extremely good fit! Other regional analyses welcome.

  276. The Presidential Debate has me thinking of the talk about deals with demons and how it tends to blow up in people’s faces. Here I’m thinking of all the members of the “Magical Resistance” that did work with all manner of demons to get Biden into office, I got a feeling the hordes are pointing and laughing right now.

  277. Ellen in ME and those interested in Salt.

    IIRC, there was a longer segment on this that Ruth Goodman did in the BBC Tudor Monastery Farm show explaining the cottage industry of salt making in Tudor England. I did a quick YouTube look and found this 2 minute segment where she shows how to purify the salt after boil and discusses what the different grades and uses are.

    In googling to find this I just discovered that Ruth made some podcast episodes “The Curious History of Your Home” which I’m excited to listen to.

  278. Re: teh debate

    Kamala isn’t the president anyone wants.

    But she is the president this country deserves.

  279. @Kfish,
    As someone who has been living in a collectivist culture for 40 years, I can say that it took 10 years of immersion in it and marriage to someone who could explain the rhyme and reason of it before I could overcome quite serious culture shock, see the “method in their madness” and start practicing it. Without constant support from all around to make these changes, I don’t think a person could do it. You’re better off determining the ways in which the type of society you are in breaks down under resource pressure and preparing to deal with it. On the other hand, religious communities might provide a way and motive to achieve a collectivist culture on a small scale.

  280. @Patricia #280
    “Do any of you know other Anime/Manga that I ought to have a look at to reach out to younger Westerners?”
    I am not sure what you mean by “reaching out” here. Are you planning to illustrate your book in manga style and looking for art inspirations? Or are you looking for tips to make the book more attractive to Westerners who are into manga/anime?

  281. Well, JMG and kommentariat, I didn’t see the (in)famous debate between the two candidates for POTUS, but I’d like to make mi own opinion about it.
    As an European witness, I can say that American politics are getting each day worse, even thinking about my own horrible politics conditions. There’s an elephant in the room: candidates are both too old…
    I can say, at least, Spanish Prime Minister (or “President”) is younger and healthier than these old men seeking the Washington DC “throne”. It’s not a trivial detail.
    These old white men have are the same old as my parents, who cannot manage even our neighbour community! (Well, I love mama and papa, but I recognize their age too)
    The American show of two aged men fighting for the POTUS seat reminds me another old men show: in the early ’80s, USSR leaders after Breznev and before Gorbachev were old and sick people. I remember their names: Konstantin Chernenko and Yuri Andropov. Western mass media spoke overtly of “Gerontocracy”.
    Ominously, nowadays legacy media don’t talk about gerontocracy at all. Is it curious, or not?

  282. @JMG #162

    I reread the last part of that blog post and then I checked Wikipedia on the history of train tracks, apparently the first tracks were made of wood and cast iron. Are those no good at all for trains? Will the post-industrial world have no trains at all?

    Second question: how many years, in your estimation, before the T-Shirt and blue jeans( or global clothing culture in general) are superseded by the return of ethnic clothing?

  283. @ Clay Dennis #256

    Elon Musk does not have to worry about building any more charging stations because the government is taking over responsibility, well, sorta.

    “Congress at the urging of the Biden administration agreed in 2021 to spend $7.5 billion to build tens of thousands of electric vehicle chargers across the country, aiming to appease anxious drivers while tackling climate change. Two years later, the program has yet to install a single charger.”

  284. @Patricia A. Ormsby #280
    Hi Pat, Please post a comment when your book is completed as I would love to read it. As for which fantasy anime to research, there are a great many, apart from the Studio Ghibli classics. One can just search ‘anime…Shinto’. The important point is that they all incorporate a decidedly youthful outlook. I’ve often marvelled how a thirty something Japanese nerd in a studio somewhere can so effectively capture this spirit of childlike wonder. The mystical aspects should therefore not be downplayed at all (or overly explained). Include as many yokoi, yamabushi, and miko as you wish. How to interact with kami and some introductory kiko breathing exercises would also be good to include. I agree with JMG that focussing on practical aspects is the most beneficial approach, but also incorporating an open hearted and childlike view of magic and the invisible world.

  285. Yesterday, I saw a Tweet from Barack Obama saying that Biden should continue running against despite the fact that even the Kool-Aid drinkers in the media are saying “WTF” about Biden’s debate performance. As you might imagine, the bulk of the responses lambasted him for suggesting something so manifestly ridiculous.

    But whatever you might think of Obama, he really isn’t that stupid, and I think it’s becoming clear what the plan is going to be. Obama will replace Harris as Biden’s running mate. And even though it will at that point be obvious what’s going on, namely Obama becoming the one who takes the Oath of Office on Inauguration Day, Trump is a sufficiently polarizing national figure that even if they have to blatantly cheat to secure the necessary Biden-Obama victory, enough people in the political class and the electorate will accept this to pull it off. Either Biden will step down voluntarily after the election, or the 25th Amendment will be invoked.

    Do you find this to be a plausible scenario?

  286. Earthworm wrote, “In relation to clockwise and counter-clockwise flows, do your studies indicate solar energy as flowing clockwise and earth energy as counterclockwise (symbolically speaking)?”

    If I may, my own studies indicate that you’ve posed quite a complex question. The two primary universal balancing energy currents that we incarnates are able to experience do often manifest through clockwise and counterclockwise flows, as well as through many other polarities. Yet that CW and CCW rotation, being embodied reference points that we can physically experience, require far less symbolic speaking than the much broader concepts of solar and earth energy do.

    By “solar” are you referring to those energies that rain down from the celestial realms to the chthonic, or those energies that perpetually ascend to rejoin the celestial? Those solar currents that enter you from outside, or those that arise from within you, or those that get reflected back out or in? Those flows that move of their own accord, or those that you must guide through your willpower to their destination? Yin or yang? Up or down? Infrared or ultraviolet? Towards or away? How the myriad truths of the polarity between solar and earth energies overlap with the truths of all the other polarities, CW and CCW included, is bewilderingly intricate. Plus, the inadequate language with which we attempt to describe that complexity makes for an exceedingly clumsy tool at best.

    Each of the dimensions we dwell in manifests in its own characteristic polarity. Meanwhile, those dimensions we do not yet dwell in correspond to their own characteristic polarities, whose subtle tugging influence on our dimensions can be felt and traced out, as any worthwhile astrologist or medium can attest. Divinities, naturally dwelling in more dimensions than we can, are manifestations of more polarities (as well as trinities) than we can possibly imagine, so they are that much more adept at feeling the tugging influences of all of the dimensions that make up and emanate from the life force.

    The specific polarity of CW and CCW direction is the disorienting manifestation of a divine dimension which we do not yet dwell in, but which has considerable influence over us. Decoding all the intricacies of that dimension’s correspondences with and impacts upon the larger universal currents, which we are only able to begin fathoming once we’ve distilled them down into comprehensible polarities like solar and earth energies, is far beyond our limited capacities. That said, I can tell you that in most of my practices, what I experience as solar currents tend to flow CCW and earth currents to flow CW. However, on occasion, I find it’s the other way around, or that the great flows appear to lack any CW/CCW direction whatsoever. Thus far, I have no idea how universally applicable or uniquely idiosyncratic my experiences may be.

  287. @Joan & JMG re: #263, #293 –

    I agree.

    The dynamics are different. In the 1980s, the population pyramid was still more of a pyramid, with the Boomers in their twenties and thirties and the notably smaller Lost and Greatest Generations – who also, I think, had a better grasp of the notion that having the (perceived) moral high ground doesn’t mean you’re automatically destined to win – holding the levers of power. Now it’s the still-large Boomers (and a handful of Silents) in power, with a not that much larger but considerably less well off generation at the ages the Boomers were in the ’80s.

    Furthermore, you still had the economic options of offshoring, financialization, etc. available to you – those hadn’t been exploited yet. There were markets of size that remained untapped. Now those markets have been tapped and those options have been exploited, and unless a portal conveniently opens to Alpha Centauri or Delta Pavonis IV, where else is there to go?

  288. I must thank all the people who answered my questions on retirement and spending later years in the care of children, possibly taking care of children in return. In complete honesty, this is one of the major sources of culture shock for me when I think about the United States (and much of the West). I was wondering if there is some return to normalcy, now that there is a serious economic crunch underway in the real estate, petroleum, higher education, and job sectors.

    Even here in India, millennials from more affluent (and English-knowing) families are now opting to live far away from their parents. Part of this comes from a drive to emulate the West, since they constitute the intelligentsia. Partly, this is because the nature of upper-middle-class work today requires people to move away from their parents and live in urban centers where tech jobs are outsourced to. Partly, this is to avoid the troubles which stem from having one’s wife and one’s mother in close proximity (which is usually this – that they disagree on everything, both demand the agreement of the man, and the man is stuck picking between Cancer and Leo as he wonder’s which of the two to go with.

    But people from less affluent families still tend to adhere to tradition and live with their families. Some mercantile communities such as Marwaris, which have been involved in investing and doing business for centuries (and in the case of Marwaris, millennia), still follow their traditions of living with their parents. The more conservative among them hand over their entire income to the family patriarch, who is usually a retired old man, and then receive a kind of ‘pocket money’ from him.

    Humble families from other castes also live with their parents. My wife’s only uncle now has two daughters, both of whom have finished schooling. His parents live under the care of himself and his wife. Its also a personal matter for me – I am ambitious and want to ride the tailwind of my career, but my mother are growing old and will retire soon. She has assured herself a good pension, but I still worry. My wife is also the only daughter of her parents, and while we are both ambitious, we both realize that it is our responsibility to address any needs of her parents as well.

  289. James, whether demons were involved or not, it was apparently quite a spectacle, and one the Democrats are now frantically wishing hadn’t happened.

    Other Owen, ouch. That’s harsh. I’m not saying that you’re wrong, but it’s harsh.

    Chuaquin, I’ve been thinking of Andropov and Chernenko quite a bit lately. We’ve got exactly the same sort of senile gerontocracy in place in the US, and it’s heading the same direction — as Dmitry Orlov pointed out, of course, a good long time ago.

    Rafael, the deindustrial world will not be uniform. There may be trains in some places, but there probably won’t be in others. As for your second question, here again, that depends entirely on local factors.

    Tidlösa, interesting. I wonder if there’s a history of such charges there.

    Mister N, no, because Obama is not qualified to be President — he’s already had two terms — and therefore he cannot be elected Vice President, since that office’s core qualification is that the person who holds it must be eligible for the presidency. It’s quite possible that they’ll try to put someone else in place of Harris, but I doubt it’s been settled yet among the Democratic (sic) Party leadership who that will be.

    Brendhelm, it’s going to be interesting to watch…

  290. Thanks to all who came to the 7th Annual Midsummer Ecosophia Potluck. We had about 2 dozen people, from as far as Seattle and San Francisco, and as near as East Providence.
    It was a great pleasure to be able to continue this forum in person, and not feel that one might need to censor oneself for fear of a negative reaction. Topic discussed ranged from different temperaments in medieval music to the projected development of Martian astrology. As a side note, we will know that Elon Musk is serious about colonizing Mars when he hires an astrologer competent in Martian astrology to determine the most propitious date to land on Mars.
    With her favorite tipple, Macallan, we toasted the spirit of Sara Greer, whose company I very much enjoyed at earlier potlucks, as well as the spirit of my late sister. With the Silkie sent us by Scotlyn we then toasted absent friends, then to make a proper night of it, I opened a bottle of Redbreast Lustau. A picture of about 2/3 of the gathering is here.
    The next gathering here will be June 21, 2025, and I’m contemplating the trip to Glastonbury earlier that month.

  291. I was watching a video this morning where a commentator claimed that the amendment preventing Obama from running more than twice wouldn’t apply if he were VP because that amendment said you can’t be voted into the office of president for more than two terms. The reason I posed the question is because I was curious if you thought that legal dodge would hold water. So, no then.

  292. Hello Mr. John Michael Greer,

    I have enjoyed your articles and perspectives for a while now, and thought I would interact with the community here on the open post.

    I wanted your thoughts on the caste system, or any other analogue civilisation structure, with regard to it’s speciation/specialisation of people in many regards – even down to physiology – which is a shame.
    Surely this would be a form of daemonism (due-to said specialisation through techne – see Bernays/McLuhan types that gave methods that succeeded direct coercion), and would show that the ecumenical systems are not corresponding to some benign noumenal realm, but something pernicious for Humans. It has been under stood that civilisation is a tool of procession, and like all structures it requires a sacrifice to perpetuate it.

    Here is an interesting video clip of this neo-aristocratic/nietzschean character, who essentially affirms the point I am saying through atheistic/capitalistic framing:
    He seems to mimic Nietzsche’s that the rulers must “hold down, so they may look up”.

  293. Smith, IDK about Senator Romney, except he is for whatever the Mormon leadership is for, but as for Senator McConnell (“Mitch”), he is married into a family of Chinese shipowners, very wealthy, and, of more importance, with access to the top echelons of the PRC. We can draw our own conclusions as to where he gets the money he hands out to republican candidates.

  294. @Christophe #306

    Hi Christophe – Yes, it’s a can of roiling worms 😉

    My current thinking on it is that each individual can show a surprising amount of variation, and the important thing is not that we fully understand but we each need a metaphor or symbology that works for each person.
    One could think that not understanding/comprehending is a barrier, but the question I asked myself was:
    “Okay, accepting that I am limited how do I approach things?”
    My working answer just now is that dynamic balance and ‘wiring-up’ as far as I am capable is something I can do; and perhaps, perception might expand, but even then it would just be a reflection of something I cannot comprehend. i.e. What I perceive is the best approximation I am capable of, but that perception is not what it ‘actually is’.

    Regarding flows, my current thinking is that energy is flowing in different ways all the time aim and that anything I do needs to work to work alongside that and maintain a harmonic / dynamic balance – not stasis or static, but potential.

    I have read that unbalanced focus can lead to disharmony (e.g. focus on higher centres without grounding can get spacey) and have certainly seen such things over the years. One of things I’ve been exploring is different metaphors from energy practices and meditations I’ve learnt over the years (Taoist based) to the last few years where I’ve been thinking about those practices but using our host’s writings, Sufi ideas, and things like the Notebooks of Paul Brunton (which like the Sufis is a bit more of a mystic’s approach) to hunt for common themes.

    For example, the Three Cauldrons exercise from the Dolmen Arch is a reasonably close analogue to a Taoist exercise nicknamed ‘practising death’, and the Tree of light has echoes in Wong Kiew Kit’s exercise/meditation/practice ‘The Art of Wisdom’.

    Inspired by a Christian prayer by St Patrick – The Deer’s Cry seemed to have power, but its dynamic balance did not work for me and I ended up doing a personal version using some other metaphors:

    Christophe said: “Thus far, I have no idea how universally applicable or uniquely idiosyncratic my experiences may be.”

    I see we share something there!

    Ultimately, whether a symbolic image is given a particular direction is not the point, it is just a handy way that limited humans get by in meatworld. 😉

    For the polarity side of things, I am interested to hear more of JMG’s Polarity Magic(?), not because I have any interest in practising of ritual magic, but since everything I perceive here seems connected with polarity in one form or another, I am interested in food for thought. If polarity is how stuff manifests then it is of practical use here; other realms, maybe not so much by all accounts.

  295. Jacques, will Kennedy get any boost or increased public visibility from his alternate debate event? I wouldn’t have thought so, but, judging by the truly deafening silence (please excuse the cliche, but it is appropriate here) coming from Lame Stream Media about that event, I wonder if it might, or at least that PTB think it might. Kennedy gave thoughtful, reasoned answers to the questions asked, such as those were. He had nothing for those voters who want red meat, and less than that for the political correctness crowd. I note the absence of “gaffes” which LSM could use against him.

    If I may, I will state my bias. One Haim Sabin, an Israeli/American dual citizen billionaire and generous contributor to the Democratic Party–he was a Hillary backer–has been quoted as saying that he is a “one issue guy” and his issue is Israel. Well, if others can be one issue persons, whether for foreign nations, or guns or reproductive policies, I can as well. My one issue is I hate Monsanto, now Bayer/Monsanto, and GMOs. Kennedy was present in the courtrooms when three CA juries found Monsanto liable for the life-threatening disease, non-Hodgkins’s lymphoma, suffered by four different plaintiffs after using RoundUp, Monsanto’s flagship product. I believe all three juries were unanimous on most counts. He also blogged about the trials. For that reason, I intend to vote for him, and it does appear his name will be on the New York State ballot. Also, because I cannot imagine trusting either of the other two with defense our country or of the Constitution, a document which one despises and the other has forgotten if he ever read it at all.

  296. Dealing with intermittent power in an all electric home, that will be a fun one, for certain definitions of fun.

    In the summer it’s easy, all I really need to keep running is the refrigerator and freezer. I can do that with the inverter off of batteries and the truck’s alternator.

    Winter is a different issue. Food storage is no longer a problem, but preventing freeze damage to the plumbing is. The fireplace insert will help, but I have to get the fire burn completely out remove the ashes. For a several day outage or a week long dunkelflaute that won’t work.

    So the fallback would have to be a fossil fueled generator. Given modern gasoline does not store well I’d be looking at a propane/gas dual fuel generator. If I went up to a whole house size generator with liquid cooling I could put a radiator inside the house and get heat that way.

    Propane prices have been pretty reasonable. Fracked natural gas is “wet” by which they mean has a high amount of propane and butane. Fracked oil is “light” by which they mean has more short chain hydrocarbons including propane and butane.

    Utilities are installed large numbers of engine powered generators running on natural gas. They run cleaner than diesels and can startup and shutdown quickly, so they work well for load leveling.

  297. @ Cary # 279
    I would think you could look at Sonlight, a company that sells homeschool books and materials, for possible books to use in regards to Christianity. It is a Christian homeschool company. My youngest used their materials for the 4 years of high school, and it was very good. My youngest childs father was very anti-Christian, and we still used it. But there is a component that you can use or not use that is Christian and age appropriate for each grade level, we did use some of this for high school high school level it is of course more Christian apologetics, CS Lewis included. I did use different math, mine used Life of Fred for Junior high and High school Math until Junior your high school when took pre-calc at the community college. Like you can see on this page there is a childrens bible stories, . I did more Waldorf inspired homeschooling for the elemetray school years, so know nothing about their younger child materials. I do know how to have it cost less money. Firt, I only bought the student guide, for younger that may mean the parent guide, then I would look at the book list and buy thme used somewhere else , some were bought new, and I resold curriculumn packages at teh end of the year, so overall I did not spend too much each year. Some of the higher priced Waldorf supplier have a robust used market, even though one of the suppliers tries to get parents to sign that it is not resellable, and when I went on Ebay I also saw that many people were reselling bookpackages compatible with Sonlight

  298. Mister Nobody, I interpret Obama’s statement as showing that he actually does not have the ability to simply anoint a Biden replacement. The reason for that, likely, is that Hillary wants in again, and since she can’t win would settle for being appointed. I have that no doubt that herself and Bill are working the phones, or emails, or whatever is the contemporary equivalent non-stop since the debate ended. Two ongoing wars already must have really excited her blood lust. She wouldn’t even have to start one to achieve her ambition to be Winnie Clinton, great first woman wartime president. She would keep Harris as VP so she can tell Black voters I stood behind our first Black woman VP, and hope dislike of Trump and the antics of his following in Congress, will offset loathing of large parts of the electorate for her. And obscure the fact that she has nothing to offer working class women. I interpret support for Biden statements by the likes of Gavin Newsome as meaning they won’t hitch their career prospects to the Clinton wagon.

  299. Dear JMG you said :
    “Whispers, you may pray if you like, but please no spells..”
    Of Course. Never without your permission . And even with your permission never before consulting you to clear out details.
    Unfortunately I know very well the kind of hindrance that an non required magical working can be, even when it is done by people that only have our best interests at heart.

  300. In regards to California underlying … spirit of the land or what you want to call it.

    I live here. First, it is a very large state, you cannot paint the entire state with such a broad brush. I do live close to San Francisco, but I havent lived in that city since I was very young. I would imagine that whatever feeling the land and area originally had, it would be changed by what the people living there do and think and their spirit. I live less than 100 miles to the south of San Francisco, so that is very close given the size of California, especially the north to south distance of the state.

    There is absolutely nothing anti human, anti people or against people living here. There never has been. Before European settlers, this was a very easy living place to live, the whole San Francisco Bay area was. Ocean fish and critters to eat, acorns from oak trees, so many clocks of birds migrating thru and living in the wetlands the skys would darken. Relatively mild weather, they say the native peoples here had the shortest seasonal migration of anywhere non-agricultural, like just 10 miles or a few miles, up to the hilss to get acorns, down to a protected area to ride out winter storms.

    So, could be San Francisco city itself has developed bad vibes, I dont know, I wouldnt be surprised. I rarely feel like going there. I do know where I live the spirit of the place and the vibes are wonderful. Not anti humans living here at all. It is so pro-life and wonderful to be out in my yard, the vibes are very welcoming and nourishing. Small changes increase abundance. The place is riotous with exploding life. For whatever reason, or luck and no reason, when I moved here to this area we were another one of the 4 or 5 households on the block that were Waldorf orientated. Not planned, didnt know each other. Just worked out that way. 27 years later as households change, a new group of 3 young families Waldorf orientated moved in, one next door (again), one across the street from them, one behind me. So three in a line. Im no longer thinking it is accidental. There is something about this place

    I would think that alot of California has this still. I think the large crowded cities do not. San Jose/Silicon Valley, LA for sure, San Francisco, etc…. There is alot of stuff n the non material plane going on

  301. @Patricia A. Ormsby #280
    Just as Tengu wrote please post a comment when your book is completed. I’m sure that many of us would like to read it.

  302. #260 Brenainn Griffudd
    Thank you for your reply.

    I’m clearly not a biblical scholar and don’t care to be. Interesting that various academics through the years have looked at the things mentioned. Even so, their intrigues never made it from the lofty towers down to my mundane exposure to convention religion, though. Much of this is new to me.

    As an example, I was raised in churches that taught the commandment to “have no other gods before me” referred to the creation of idols, not to actual other gods. Because there just plain weren’t other gods. Biglino’s work pointed out to me, a non-scholar, what occurs when the language is used precisely as written, without theoretical or hypothetical dogmatic overlay. Dogma, you see, results in Protestants insisting that Catholics are idolaters for having statuary of saints “before” God. Once the twisting of concepts begins, it’s easy for it to go wheresoever it wishes.

    Its odd to me that you continue to refer to some ideas of “aliens” as the Elohim. I don’t believe Biglino asserts that, except to say that the Elohim could be anything. He does not take a side. As far as it was actually reported in the OT, they might as well have been any advanced human culture with better technology than the desert-dwellers, or even perhaps another culture of which we know nothing.

    Following Biglino’s suggestion to ‘believe what they actually wrote’, we’re stuck in a perpetual state of ambiguity. That’s a hard spot to be in — scholars and academics desperately want to fill in the void, as you noted, with the various conceptions already developed. Each different assertion likes to insist that it is correct, for “reasons”.

    The revelation in my world, was that Elohim were not divine beings, that Yahweh as reported was more like a regional governor with a taste for booze and blood, than an omnipotent, omnipresent, firm-but-loving divine being. That’s what the text sounds like, when the dogma is removed. Of course, I am adding my own analysis (and know that is what I am doing), because I live in the current era and presume the past behaved as we do today. But, if the Elohim were aliens, they couldn’t even keep desert tribes under control, so I’m not worried.

    I could be wrong. In any case, I can live with ambiguity. My profession is already full of ambiguity, so I’m rather used to it.

  303. On the topic of the presidential debate:

    I lived with my grandparents for a bit, and as part of that I was helping my grandmother care for my grandfather who was suffering from dementia. One issue we ran into was that quite often he would be functional, even almost normal at times, during the day; but come evening, he would regularly get seriously confused: a phenomena which is apparently extremely widespread. I wonder if Biden is similar: functional enough during the day to fulfill the relatively non-demanding ceremonial roles associated with being president, but unable to function at all at night.

    If so, then the fact CNN scheduled their debate at 9:00pm Eastern might have been a serious own goal, one which was only possible because they believed their own story about Biden being perfectly fine cognitively, and any talk otherwise being right-wing conspiracy theories. In any case, I feel quite bad for the man, and consider what is being done to him to keep the illusion going to be pretty clear elder abuse at this point.

  304. #269 Cliff
    and JMG

    On “what will go first” — JMG definitely hit a hot spot when he suggested money to afford stuff would be the first to go. It’s already started, and the evidence is in the drop in consumer purchasing power and increasing reliance on credit to meet daily needs.

    However, I suspect that a major contributor to the what-goes-first problem is the fragility of the electrical grid., especially to solar events and cyber attacks. Electricity is the neural net that powers everything in the western world. Along with oil, when this critical bit of infrastructure goes down somewhere, it impacts everything from banking, to food safety and delivery, cellphones, to internet, to lights and refrig at home, to pumping gas, to street lights, to ATMs, to buying and selling, keeping heat and air on, running hospitals and schools — you name it.

    There’s stops in place to cut off and shield certain areas and regional systems in the event of an EMP or recognized CME (the most current CME a couple days ago was a small glancing blow but unexpectedly strong when it hit) — but cyberattack might bypass those protections as one of its features. A competent foreign adversary might double a cyberattack on top of an incoming CME, giving them plausible deniability in case someone was later able to analyze it.

    That’s my particular paranoia, anyway.

  305. I want to say thank you again for hosting this space. There is truly nothing like it anywhere else.

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

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

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

    May MindWinds’ dad, Clem, be blessed and healed after his fall and consequent head injury.

    May Jeff H’s cat Tuxy, who ran off from their new home in June, be safely returned home to Jeff’s family.

    May Jennifer have a safe and healthy pregnancy, may the delivery go smoothly, and may her baby be born healthy and blessed.

    May Ecosophian, whose cat Cheesecake (picture)ran away on Wednesday 6/12, be safely reunited with Cheesecake; and may Cheesecake be protected and guided on his journey home.

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

    May Jennifer’s father Robert, who passed away on May 29th, be blessed and soothed, and may his soul be helped to its ultimate destiny and greatest good.

    Tyler A’s wife Monika’s pregnancy is high risk, and has now successfully entered the third trimester; may Monika and baby Isabelle both be blessed with good health and a smooth delivery.

    May Jennifer’s mother Nancy G. in SW Missouri is still recovering from various troubles including brain surgery for hydrocephaly; may she be healed, regain her mobility, and be encouraged with loving energy.

    May Erika, who recently lost her partner James and has been dealing with major knee problems (and who senses a connection between the two), be healed in both broken heart and broken knee, and be able to dance in the sun once more.

    May Doug Y of Geauga County, Ohio be supported and healed as he makes his way through the diagnosis and treatment process for prostate cancer.

    May Ms. Krieger’s hometown of Norwalk, Connecticut recover quickly and fully from the gasoline tanker fire that destroyed an overpass and shut down interstate 95 on May 2. May the anger and fire that has made driving in the area so fraught cool down in a way that benefits all beings. May all people, animals, and other beings around the highway, the adjacent river and the harbor be protected and blessed, and may the natural environment improve to the benefit of all. (update)

    May Christina, who passed away on 5/8, experience a peaceful repose; may the minor child she leaves behind be cared for, and the needs of all affected me met; and may her family be comforted in this difficult time.

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

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

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

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

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

  307. Great Khan, thanks for this. It was a wonderful time.

    Mister N, nope. It doesn’t matter how he gets in, he can’t be president again.

    Planasthai, that sort of thing is a normal sign of the decadence of a civilization. Rising civilizations thrive because they encourage talented people to rise to positions of influence and responsibility; declining civilizations fail because they allow the wealthy and influential to hoard such positions for their children, who (despite reams of rhetoric) are no more fit to hold them than anyone else, and are often less so due to the pernicious effects of a childhood of luxury. One of the reasons that America is in freefall right now is precisely that the talented children of the poor and working classes have no way to rise to positions where their talents could benefit society.

    Siliconguy, there are better options! Replace the fireplace insert with a proper wood stove that isn’t so difficult to clean out, and get a waterback attached to it that will heat water to move through your pipes; make sure your attic and under-floor insulation are at least R-50, with vapor barriers in the right place; use insulated window coverings to stop the principal outflow of heat from most homes; and of course do all the usual weatherizing things, if you haven’t already.

    Whispers, thank you.

    Atmospheric, maybe it’s different for those who live there. When I lived in southern Oregon, and traveled into California quite often, the miasma that closed in not far south of the state border was definite and noticeable, and it extended in varying but always significant intensities all the way to San Jose. (I didn’t go further by ground travel.)

    Taylor, in the nursing homes where I worked in the late 1980s, it was called “sundowner syndrome.” It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Biden suffers from it.

    Elkriver, it’s long seemed to me that the people who are waiting for the whole grid to come down at once are making a very familiar mistake: expecting apocalypse while missing the likelihood of decline. Keep an eye on rural areas where electrical power is already starting to go out quite often; they’ll begin to lose it completely as contraction picks up speed, and revert fairly quickly to the technological conditions circa 1900 or so. In the meantime, I stand by my prediction: the first thing to happen will be severe economic trouble, leaving many people (and many areas, and many local and state governments) without the funds to maintain their current standards of living.

    Blue Sun, I have the best commentariat on the internet! Thank you for being part of it.

    Quin, thanks for this as always.

  308. @ JMG,

    Traveling into California.

    Well, that whole hwy 5 corridor is horrible. And we certainly did a number on the central valley, which used to be a wetland until it was drained for agriculture, and what anti life agriculture and in the latter years now, what factory farming of dairy cattle and chickens are in that corridor, and the large semi trucks moving commercial goods. Not sure why you would feel it at the area just across the border. Maybe you were tuned into an overall vibe, or overall vibe of the decimation further south on the hwy 5 corridor in the central valley and south areas. If I recall, because it isnt that long ago on was on that route, coming down 5 from Oregon you have that windy hill part, which excepting hte semi’s is nice enough, and downhill and California, California right in that region is kid of high desert, cattle ranching, so geographically it is different from southern Oregon, not as green, not as much diversity, so it is like eastern Oregon.

    I cant drive hwy 5. Driving 101 to get to and from Oregon is a better feel, well most of it. Once you get north of San Francisco.

  309. Elkriver #322

    A lot of Biblical scholarship never really filters down to the pews. This is partly because the pews are occupied by pastors, naturally, and an historical-critical commentary on the Bible has very little to do with the pastoral role of a sermon or homily. Dale C. Allison is a historian of the New Testament and early Christianity. He’s also an ordained cleric in the Presbyterian Church, but to my knowledge he’s always been a professor at different seminaries (I think he’s currently teaching at Princeton, but I’m not sure). I’ve read a number of his books (I’m no scholar, either, though I maintain a strong interest in such studies).

    He mentioned one example from his own teaching experience. For one assignment to his seminarians, he asked them to first determine (using standard historical-critical methods) whether a particular passage involving Jesus was an historical episode where the historical Jesus actually taught what was ascribed to him. Then, he asked them to write a short “sermon” about the pastoral messages that one could glean from the passage. What he found was that, whether the seminarian thought it was attributable to the historical Jesus or not, the same kind of pastoral teachings were drawn from it. That is to say, the historicity had little impact on the message behind the passage.

    So, I think a lot of the scholarship doesn’t filter down because it isn’t actually all that relevant to the spiritual life of the faithful. Now, one can imply (as some skeptics do) they’re withholding information that would make the faithful doubt their faith, but I do not think that is the case (at least with most seminary-educated pastors). I think this is so because I’ve read many orthodox scholars who just incorporate many of these findings into their beliefs, and still find ways to view the Bible as the inerrant, infallible word of God. If you think about it, “infallible” and “inerrant” can be interpreted in a number of ways.

    For example, one of my theology professors mentioned that in the ancient world, there were two ways to author a text. One was to write it yourself. The other was to have someone else write it (compare this with the modern practice of politicians using ghostwriters for their memoirs) and then “authorize” it to be published in your name. In fact, the English words “author” and “authorize” share the same etymological root. So, according to this professor, God allowed many texts to be written, and then guided the Church to picking the ones that were doctrinally correct. Now, I’m not saying I endorse that view, and it isn’t the only option available to an orthodox religious believer (I’m a very heretical Roman Catholic, and don’t really care one way or the other).

    As for the oddity of me continuing to refer to ancient aliens and Boglino’s work, I’ll admit that I’ve only just begun working my way through his book (I do have Kindle Unlimited membership, and so I’m enjoying reading it for “free” as part of the paid membership). The way the early chapters are going, I got the impression that this would be where he was taking it. If he doesn’t, and remains agnostic on that point, then his work might be more enjoyable than I thought. I don’t find much merit to ancient alien theories, but I do try to keep an open mind. If that’s what Boglino is doing, then I can’t fault him for that.

    I do, however, disagree that we’re stuck in a state of perpetual ambiguity. The Hebrew language is similar to the other Semitic languages spoken in that same area and time period, and so we can examine surviving writings from those cultures, too. A treasure trove of clay tablets was discovered in the ruins of ancient Ugarit, and cognate words for “elohim” are found there in ritual texts and myths of their deities (which includes El Most High, the deity that is considered the same as YHWH in the finished Hebrew scriptures that constitute our Old Testament). I’ve read translations of these texts, and they seem to clearly refer to deities, not advanced human overlords.

    The gods in polytheistic myths do lots of human-like things. Zeus commits serial adultery, for example, and stories of gods holding feasts are common enough. The problem of who the elohim were/are (I don’t think the gods have ever left us) is easy enough to deal with when we realize the overwhelming evidence of archaeology and textual studies of the OT reveal the ancient Israelites were polytheists who gradually adopted henotheism, and then finally monotheism in the post-Exilic period. They adapted their prior stories to their new worldview, but don’t seem to have seriously excised polytheistic elements from those scriptures. I suppose early monotheists just interpreted them much as the church you’re used to does now.

    But using this polytheistic background, we can easily enough see that YHWH-El was the national god of the ancient Israelites, and like the other chief gods in that region, stories about him were modeled on the ancient kings who ruled in or over the area. Later, as monotheism emerged, those passages had to be understood in different ways, and so metaphorical anthropomorphism became standard (when applied to YHWH) or figurative language for “idols” (when speaking of other gods). Make of that one will. I’m perfectly happy with reverting to polytheistic interpretations.

    My apologies to JMG, if this is too long. Hard to fit this kind of explanation into a really concise form.

  310. @Cary
    For the younger years, we used a Children’s History of the Church put out by Paideia Classics. It was a good comprehensive overview of early church history, from the end of the gospels. It gets recommended to Orthodox homeschoolers tolerably often, but I don’t think it was specifically Orthodox when it was written– the author was an anglican priest. It does a really good job of sticking to the history and not having partisan opinions about it.

    Haven’t decided yet what we’ll do for the highschool level stuff.

  311. Hey JMG

    I do think that you are right that the choice is no longer ours, especially when we don’t really seem to be applying ourselves sufficiently to make it otherwise.

    On to another topic, have you heard about the release of Julian Assange, who is finally back in Australia a free man (for now?….)

  312. >what is being done to him to keep the illusion going to be pretty clear elder abuse at this point

    I wouldn’t feel too much compassion for him. He’s not a nice guy, never was. Granted, he never left a trail of dead bodies behind him like the Clintons did.

  313. @Siliconguy, #316. If winter heating is a serious concern, as JMG said, a woodstove would be better than the insert. Most newer ones allow you to empty the ashes while the stove is running. You could also cook on it.

    And/or install a gas or propane heater, some of which use no electricity. Others would operate fine on your truck/inverter setup. If you have gas, you might want to add a cookstove. Heating oil could be an option too; some burners would run off the truck with a larger inverter.

  314. “The Singularity is Nearer” is such an inspired title that it is sure to become an overnight classic. With a title that profound, I think it might even deserve a privileged place on that purified shelf of patented progressive masterpieces, right beside that vaunted tome of handwaving “The Singularity Has Only Been Partially Decapitated, I Swear!”

    Whatever will a techno-gimmick-guru like Kurzweil do with himself once he gets totally vindicated by all his dewey-eyed prognostications coming to pass? How on earth could so much singular wisdom come to reside within (or at least somewhat nearer to) one mortal meatpuppet?

  315. Mr. Greer… regarding your comment about possibly obtaining a bankrupt institution of scholastic ill repute, I say go for it! In fact, perhaps you could solicit um, us fringe ‘share holders’ to spread the cost, whilst you/we add to the ‘curriculum .. however needed – a kind of impromptu maj(ic) flashmob affair. As and added plus, the monastics … along with any acolytic ‘volunteers’, could roll up sleeves .. grab those hod carriers trays and trowls .. and brick things up into a proper monastery. Ok… any stone masons and their ilk might also apply to the ‘refurbishment’ of said exterior reconstruction. Who needs acres of mod architectural glass anyway, am I right? The ancients did quite fine without all that glare .. save for the occasional stained-glass application. Whuddoyouthink? I’m up for it. Who else!?

    All I ask, is that I can prune the orchard (c’mon.. after all, EVERY Monastery needs nuts-n-fruit, no??), raise the chickens .. and, especially .. to tend to the bees; they are my personal majic temple after all.

  316. Just a Modest Proposal. Can we just skip future debates with Joe Biden altogether and have debates with um, more competent candidates? Who would rather see Trump and RFK go at it, for instance? Or even Trump and Harris?

    Trump and Harris would be entertaining, if pointless. Trump and my cat would be less cringey.

  317. @Atmospheric River (#320):

    To the extent that you are responding to my post (#257), I want to emphasize that I wasn’t writing about California as a whole, but specifically about the San Francisco Bay region. California is not any sort of “whole,” but a good number of distinct “regions,” and each one of those regions that I have visited had a very different feeling to it from that of all the others.

    Yosemite, to give a second example, was regarded by many of the Indigenous peoples as a ancient and dangerous “eating place,” that is, a place actively hostile to humans, that would kill them whenever it could. (There are a few other “eating places,” elsewhere in the state. At least one of them — at the Pulgas Water Temple — is probably no older than he Water Temple itself, which was built in 1934.)

    All the many coastal regions south of, say, Monterey, seem to me to have a quite different, much more welcoming “feel” to them than the SF Bay area and northwards, and seem glad for human presence. (Is that where you live, “less than 100 miles to the south of San Francisco?”)

    North of the San Francisco Bay is yet another set of regions, and my sense of them is much the same as our host’s (#327). Here the “miasma” feels like it extends far more inland than around the San Francisco Bay.

    So there’s something there in the northern part of California that both I and our host are picking up on, each of us in our own way and independently of the other.

  318. Mary Bennet, hi,

    I heard about his wife and her family and their business but I didn’t know about the high level connections in the PRC. Shoulda guessed though.

    So then here’s another guess. Am I wrong about this but I don’t recall Mitch making a lot of noise about Hunter’s adventures in foreign climes where he lent his deep expertise in high-end business and legal matters (for hefty compensation of course). People have used such regrettable terms as influence peddling and grift. An unworthy line of thought? Surely. This being politics so one can only speculate as to why the silence from Mitch. To avoid drawing scrutiny maybe?

    Politics is an exceedingly nasty business after all and getting more cut-throat by the day. Make accusations and then get them thrown back in your face. Without question this is a misperception on my part, drawn no doubt from disreputable sources, but it appears that the enforcement arm of the Swamp won’t bother Swamp dwellers about their money making schemes as long as they understand their place in the ecosystem and don’t rock the boat or question the status quo or challenge the prevailing myths and just keep their holes shut and just make their money. And maybe share some of it.

  319. Kind Sir,
    Which of the Dune novels are actually worth reading?
    There are so many that the wheels probably fell off somewhere.

  320. Smith, I was mostly speculating about PRC connections, but I think I am right. I also believed that the late and unlamented billionaire dual citizen who used to spend a lot on Republican candidates had made his initial money running casinos in Macau was laundering foreign money. Guess what, just that was admitted after he had died. Chinese govt. officials have been quoted saying they prefer to see Republican administrations in DC.

    Another thought about elder care in the USA: there is a long tradition in Anglo-Saxon folklore about little old lady who lives under a hill. In her own cottage. I think partly this arrangement came about as adaptation to cold winters in Northern Europe. Imagine being snowed in with 30 or so of your nearest and dearest for months of winter. Think of the disease issues, and the waste disposal problems. Imagine what it would take to stockpile 4 or 5 mo. worth of food for 30 or so persons. As someone pointed out above, in those high and far off times, oldsters did usually not linger past their allotted three score and ten years.
    I do wish folks from other countries would understand that the USA is not their country, and fantasies notwithstanding, is not likely to become so. We are not Europe, China, Mexico or India. We have our own ways of doing things, which, sure, seem weird to others. I believe the two dominant influences which have so far shaped our national character are the land itself, North America being the most violent of all inhabited continents, and our peasant heritage.

  321. This week I got a lot of unexpected work making some pretty good money and missed my final Jupiter charity. I asked SGO if I should do it today (Saturday) and got Disruption. I asked if I should wait until next Thursday and got Expansion. I asked if I should ask the wizard and got Receptiveness. Does this sound correct to you?

    Also I bought another copy of The Golden Dawn from the slimy river because I lost the previous one and it was on sale. How much should I put in the tip jar to get the unlock code?

    Trying to walk the path but still have plenty of bad habits to overcome.

  322. Re Gregory Shaw’s Hellenic Tantra. I’ve just had a chance to start looking at it today, and it looks pretty interesting. And it has a blurb on the back from Sara Ahbel-Rappe, who has done some very good (though very technical) books on Neoplatonism — and that alone is enough to recommend it to me.

    Some slight issues that I’ve noticed. First, the congruence between “tantra”, in one sense or another, and Neoplatonism and its roots and developments, has been noted before, at various levels of study. Stephen Beyer’s Cult of Tara (1978) notes parallels with Renaissance esotericism. Thomas McEvilley’s Shape of Ancient Thought (2001) goes into the ancient connections between Greek and Egyptian material, on one side, and Sumerian, Indian, and Chinese materials on the other. Then there are all the studies of central Asian cultural transfer. I mention these because these do not appear in his references. He does mention Christopher Wallis’ doctoral dissertation, but Wallis’ later works do not appear, though they have quite a bit to say about Hindu tantra that would be useful for Shaw’s project.

    Second, he rather shies away from the Neoplatonic and theurgic aspects of Dionysius the Areopagite, whose works were much more influential, and much more theurgic, than he describes them to be. Of course, there are few people who want to read sacramental Christianity as a Neoplatonic/theurgic project– either on the Christian side or on the would-be-pagan/Neoplatonic side. But the theurgic project is clearly and (to my mind) continuously present, both in the Eastern and in the Western churches..

    Nonetheless, the book looks to be very valuable in its careful clarification of just what Neoplatonic theurgy was, and just how it was done. And that in turn will make it easier to recognize how it continued to be, and be done, down through the centuries.


  323. Elkriver #322
    What (many) Christian denominations do the the OT is an affront to anyone who can think for himself. FWIW, Jews have been living with ambiguity concerning huge swaths of the OT for as long as anyone can determine. They have denominations too, so the specifics vary a lot. But I’ve never met people so comfortable with saying “There’s a gap here” and “this contradicts that” “that just doesn’t make sense,” and “WTF is up with the extermination of the ‘-ites’?

    There’s a story told about two children coming home from school. A gentile kid comes home, his mother asks “what did you learn today?” The Jewish kid comes home and his mother asks “did you ask good questions today?” Night and day.

    Every word of the OT is subject (even for the Orthodox) to at least 72 different interpretations. There are four levels of hermeneutic (interpretation) for the texts: basic story level, reference to other similar words and/or stories level, the moral sermon-type conclusions you can draw, and (fourth) the mystical or secret interpretation. It’s every Jew’s job to figure out what the texts mean to them personally. You can refer to experts, but it’s ultimately up to you. Living with uncertainty is a major part of the whole Jewish approach to the Old Testament. And Biglino’s “wild” approach to words is not distinctive: Jews always (as far as I can tell) look at the words’ literal possibilities as given before moving on to decide they probably mean something generally accepted. E.g., with “Elohim.” The sore points are never discarded, fwiw. They keep them around. The commentaries on just the first verse of Genesis are extensive and mind-boggling. They’ve written down their disagreements about this stuff for about 1600 years (Talmud) and have been actually disagreeing about all sorts of things for 3 to 5 thousand years.

    Hebrew is a Semitic language and words are based on (usually) 3-letter roots. There are a lot of puns, similes and homonyms directly relating to these roots. Arabic is similar in that respect. Most of these adjacent meanings are lost to those not fluent in Hebrew. Biblical Hebrew has about 5,000 discrete words, i.e., not enough. Many words do double and triple duty in different contexts. A couple of words only appear once (maybe twice) in the OT. Many things in Hebrew also focus on action rather than states of being (so “faith” and similar words mean an action rather than a feeling or state of being), there is no “to be” verb in Hebrew (“to be” is implicit instead), and it allows a lot of “both-and” options with which to relate to questions. Moses is a man, a mere man, with a temper management problem AND he is uniquely gifted with the most direct communication with God that is known. Hebrew logic is as a result almost violently unlike the Graeco-Roman logical frameworks that are instilled in our society–still. The OT rewards patient study, but it’s not for simplistic minds. The folks who wrote it down had little patience for purely literal thinking. So, I appreciate your experience and where it has led you. The OT, without radical eisegesis (putting your own sectarian twist on things), doesn’t fit smoothly or even very comfortably with the NT in many respects. Reasons are extensive and this post is already long enough. Blessings on your journey.

  324. Hi JMG,

    I have something light-hearted to share. There’s a UFC fight on tonight between Jiri Prochazka and Alex Pereira. In the lead up to the fight, Jiri was saying something to the effect of “Don’t do magic” to Pereira. Pereira is sort of a modern embodiment of a South American native warrior and goes to weigh ins in full headdress. Jiri was wearing some kind of protective talisman (not sure of the technical word) to the weigh in. Jiri is into Shinto Buddhism and if I recall correctly, Pereira is in with some esoteric spirits. This is a rabbit hole I’m not willing to go fully down, but I find it entertaining that there’s talk of magic for the main event of a cage fight. Of course, none of the fans and commentators are taking it seriously; I think they should.

    I hope you’re doing well.

  325. @Owen: if both parties could just field someone under sixty, that I have never heard of before, and they could stand alongside at least four third-party reps, I’d watch that debate!

  326. I had a dream last night that I was trying to attend Mass, only to be taken aside by authorities for some sort of “processing” due to denominational differences (I remember asking them, are you even Protestant? Why are you objecting?). They assured me this would be temporary, but I kept having to jump through more formal hoops (eg paperwork, speaking to clerks through mics & glass, etc), and was led into a place like a cavernous lecture hall, but with various dividers and constraints, and a sort of intercom/observation deck up front with drawers beneath. The hall was filled with people, all for more of this “routine processing”, but then I realized this was essentially a prison, and rebelled, going up to the drawers full of people’s possessions and tossing them to the owners. At this, the people joined me in rebelling, but then the guards got on the intercom/deck and tried to suppress the revolt somehow, chaos ensued, and I woke up very abruptly.
    My reading of this is that you must beware of compliance with regulations for your supposed safety, especially if religion is involved. This was a good deal more vivid and coherent than usual, and it stuck in my waking memory, so that’s why I’m sharing it here — it may be a warning.

    The Other Owen #333: Can confirm, Biden is a lifelong swamp monster, with a history of olfactory violations, among other offenses.

  327. @ silicon guy

    I have an all electric house and heat with wood and routinely have no power for 4 days or more in the winter. FIrst, I dont have to clean out ashes that often, second I can certainly clean out ashes with hot coals still present in the morning. Just move that aside, and dig out underneath. Not while the fire is blazing super hot where you cant get near it without searing your arm hairs, but the metal of the wood stove can be giving off plenty of heat, the house can be plenty warm, and you can let the fire get down to a simmering of coals.

    I also second the idea of making your house not cool off as quickly as you are indicating. More insulation, radient barriers, is there a way to add more mass inside lie tiling the floors ( distributed mass ? )

  328. Atmospheric, I also went via 101 a few times, and by train as well. I-5 is the worst but the miasma was present in all cases.

    J.L.Mc12, yes, I heard about the sudden US turnabout on Assange’s case when it happened. Interesting times.

    Polecat, you’re certainly welcome to apply for that groundkeeper position if it ever comes open!

    Other Owen, who is this “we” you’re talking about? You can skip the debates any time you want to, by turning off the electronic brain leech.

    DropBear, I just read the original one these days. Even the first two sequels are weak by comparison, and the rest just plain suck.

    KVD, next Thursday should be fine. Jupiter’s an easygoing planet. As for the book, good heavens, there’s no unlock code — I just prefer that people shop elsewhere. If you want to toss in a tip, gauge the amount based on how much entertainment you get out of my ramblings, or something.

    LeGrand, thanks for this. I see I have some further catchup to do once I finish the current deep dive into John Dee.

    Luke, delighted to hear it. Cage fights are supposed to be no holds barred, use every skill you’ve got, right? I don’t see how magic can be excluded!

    John, that didn’t take long, did it? My guess is he’ll be out of the race by next week.

    Xcalibur/djs, interesting. I also wonder whether it’s a warning about the political implications of the Second Religiosity.

  329. @ Robert #338

    Nope, I do not live south of Monterey. North of Monterey, south of San Francisco. Picking out the entire state of California north of San Francisco as having bad vibes type thing seems realy wild to me. Again, that is a HUGE area, an area I have spent alot of time in, but again, I only realy spend time in the northern CA coastal area of the state North of San Francisco. Never felt anything like what you are ascribing. I have spent alot of time in certain areas anyways, it is a huge area, I have not gone to all of it. I have never felt any bad vibes due to the land, nature, the unseen from any place there. So it was your assertion that California itself, the place had a certain anti human vibe, and I have never experienced that – not saying there couldnt be some spots that way.

    I am actually very sensitive, I would notice. What I mostly notice though is in the built up areas, the freeways, the cities, the sadness of the dead corporate farms in some areas. I dont live in a city or town. When I go to such, it is very draining. I dont ascribe this to the place itself as it was before we built it up, it is the human society and the people and how hard it is for them all, it is the way we built it up , but it wasn’t done to us, we did it to the place, that was previously a wonderful place, and to all that were there, and to ourselves, we made the places have these bad vibes . For me it is certainly palpable. Of course, the larger cities I have visited including out of state are even worse. While certainly there are places that are not friendly to use, it was not the whole or large parts of the state until we did it to the places and to ourselves.

  330. Siliconguy #316, I burn a wood stove as a sole heat source in the cold months. I clean out the ash box once a week, and could go 10+days in pinch. I burn pine, as that’s what’s here, but better wood has a higher heat content and would produce relatively less ash/ BTU. It is actually possible to clean it out without being dead out, but not preferable. Also, some designs have a dump built into them with an ash box below the firebox. One thing that also helps reduce ash is to remove all bark possible, it doesn’t add much heat, but it makes a lot of ash, and mess.

  331. Neiviv-Neaj @278. Abebooks is owned by Amazon. I don’t know if they handle royalties differently (my guess is ‘no’).

    Check out
    –Lunar Apprentice

  332. Regarding trains, I once read an SF novel set in a post industrial Australia that featured a wooden train propelled by the passengers pedalling for a minimum amount of their time on the journey.
    It also described the process of this society rediscovering analogue computers.
    Was a great book but the title and author are as accesible from my brain as the US national debt is from Joe Biden’s.

  333. Dear JMG and all.

    I would like to hear your thoughts on what is often called “American Exceptionalism”. I recall that The King in Orange sheds some light on it, but as a non-American, it’s something that I find perplexing. What is it about American culture that convinces Americans it’s okay for them to lord over the rest of the world and expect no pushback? Is this descended from European colonialism? I recall what JMG wrote in his book about how a new great culture could emerge from the American heartland, and speaking to some of my friends from the US, I feel like I share that sentiment. Most of the American culture I admire is far from the cosmopolitan one spread by the intelligentsia. The authors, the folk culture, the “myths”… And yet most Americans seem to share on this troublesome “exceptionalism”. Interestingly, it’s the opposite of the phenomenon here in Brazil: we suffer from what playwright Nelson Rodrigues called a mongrel complex” (“complexo de vira-lata” in Portuguese), which is a kind of inferiority complex borne out of comparing ourselves to other countries (especially the US, considering the similarities in size, ethnic diversity and political system; which is interesting as I believe we more closely resemble Russia than the US). It’s bad enough that people here still think America is some kind of dreamy tomorrowland and that everyone should invest on USD otherwise you will never amount to anything (I suspect a lot of people here are going to lose a lot of money once the USD collapses… Not unlike what happened with our coffee producers following the 1929 crash). But this is a topic for another time… I am curious about this American mentality at the moment. Do Americans just not realize how dangerous this is? Or that this could be the reason why most of the world hates the US?

  334. Hey JMG

    Do you have any opinions on Julian Assange, or why he has suddenly gained freedom? In Australia opinion is a bit divided on whether he should be considered a hero or a criminal, but most agree that he should not have been trapped for years, and instead should have come home to Australia to be judged appropriately.

    Also, can’t help but share this from “The Chaser”, Australia’s equivalent to “The Onion.”

  335. Greetings to the host and the rest of the wise commentators.
    I would like to ask any of you for advice that you can provide me with.
    I have been diagnosed as pure obsessive OTC for over a year, basically my head is a hell of intrusive thoughts and my compulsion is more thoughts.
    Does anyone know of anything I can do? The psychologist hasn’t been of any use to me
    More than to lose money that I don’t have.
    I think I’ve been like this all my life but it wasn’t until a few years ago that things became uncontrollable.
    So I appreciate any good advice, but I would like you to keep in mind that I am a Christian (I have recently resumed my practice and I am trying to obtain the gift of the faith).
    I’m not asking for medical advice, just the advice that friends could offer me.

  336. Bit late in the comment cycle but I wanted to highlight several major cases decided by the US Supreme Court this week.

    The most important was the case (Loper Bright v Raimondo) overturning a seminal 1984 case about Chevron. The 1984 case set down a doctrine called “Chevron Deference”, which (simplifying) basically says that the courts have to defer to the opinions of federal agencies when they are sued in court. It doesn’t mean the courts can’t rule against federal agencies, but effectively means the bar to win against them in court is very high, because if there is any ambiguity in the law, the default position is that the agency are the experts and their opinion is presumptively correct and the courts should defer to it unless there is a very good reason not to.

    In practice, this doctrine is one of the foundational sources of power for the growth of the federal bureaucracy and administrative state because it easily allows agencies to grant themselves vast power and discretion.

    You can google the details of this particular case, but in essence the Court overruled Chevron and said from now that the courts should not defer to agency expertise but instead treat both parties as equals before it and interpret the statute for itself. Eventually, Congress itself will have to write more details directly into the laws – it can’t just pass laws giving too much discretion to bureaucrats.

    This is a *huge* blow for the power of the bureaucracy and will hopefully be a real check on their power going forward (or if you are of the liberal persuasion, it means that the authority of the government has been gutted and federal agencies will no longer be able to protect us against pollution, the water will no longer be clean, the medicines will be contaminated etc).

    Some examples may help. For example, the SEC has been using authority allegedly granted under laws from 1933/1934 to try and regulate cryptocurrency and try to ban it. The FDA has been using laws from the 1960s and early 1990s to all-but-ban home genetic tests and there are many more examples (nuclear power for eg). Now you personally may not like cryptocurrency or nuclear power yourself – but IMHO, genetic testing didn’t exist when the laws empowering the FDA were passed, and cryptocurrency certainly didn’t exist in 1933, and it’s not right for federal agencies to simply announce they are going to be regulating these areas from now – if Congress wants them to do it, they should pass a law.

    There was also another case by the SC called Jarkesy where they ruled that the SEC cannot keep fining people for civil securities law violations and taking them to “court” in its own tribunals (ie, the tribunals are within the SEC and the judges are SEC employees) as it has been doing, and that people accused of civil offences still need to have their cases heard by a truly independent judiciary (amazing that this was allowed to go on for so long).

    In less good news, the Supreme Court reversed Murthy v Missouri – the major First Amendment case about the Biden administration interfering with speech by telling social media companies what to censor. Although the government lost twice in the lower courts, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the government – but they sidestepped the substance of the issue and did not rule on whether the government’s actions were unconstitutional or not – they simply said the plaintiffs didn’t have “standing” to sue – a narrow technical point, because in order to bring a case, you have to prove that you have personally suffered harm as a result of whatever you are challenging, and of course if you are the target of a secret government program, you have no way of proving that (for that reason, “standing” defences are a favourite of government lawyers, not just in this case but also older cases about warrantless surveillance and other matters from the War on Terror era).

  337. Hi John Michael,

    In a truly shameless act of self promotion, I must announce here to your good self and all the other readers that I’ve begun a YouTube channel: Land of the Wombats.

    Man, I got sick of getting on my soapbox decrying how weird things have gotten lately, cough, cough, incoherent leadership public elderly abuse, and why would anyone put either forward as the best we got? Hmm. Instead in these trying and difficult times my lady and I decided to go even more super practical and just show what we are doing and producing week in, and week out. Others may talk a big game. Some may not even be able to complete sentences in any meaningful way. Others, well who knows what they’re talking about. But we are making stuff happen, as we’ve been doing for eighteen years. Well worth checking out.

    Here’s the channel link: Saving Money Quick and Easy Anzac biscuits ep1

    Please do feel free to subscribe too as it helps us produce more content.



  338. Dear JMG and commentariat:

    The recent Presidential (?) debate encapsulates a big part of the US problems in a nutshell; two old men (one senile), arguing. The MSM have been swearing Biden is as sharp as a tack and now they are shocked, shocked that it isn’t so! Zerohedge is quoting articles on mainstream websites that whether Biden drops out is a family decision, with his wife a main influence. But the Democrats are protecting democracy! (All the while working hard to stop third party candidates and Democratic challengers to Biden.) How can the YS promote democracy when we have so little of it? And Trump is the answer to Biden??

    I think we have answered Ben Franklin on the type of government: A Republic, if you can keep it (we couldn’t).

    All the while we can’t produce enough weapons for both Ukraine and Israel, and our “wunderwaffe” don’t work very well (on the other hand, neither did the Gaza pier).
    We are coming up on our Suez Moment. Well, at least it isn’t our World War I moment; I agree with JMG and Aurielian (cited earlier in the discussion); we just can’t do that sort of thing any more.


  339. Although I wonder if Joe Biden wasn’t being prescient when he stated “We finally beat Medicare”. Perhaps he’s not demented but just seeing the future.

  340. JMG,
    I think you can explain the Miasma upon entering California via a historic legend that is popular among us long time Oregonians.
    When the settlers on the Oregon trail made their westward journey they came to a fork in the trail after crossing the continental divide. At the fork was a crude signpost pointing out the choice for the bedraggled travelers looking for a new home. Pointing to the north and the potential green and fertile homesteads of Oregon it just said , ” Willamette Valley”. On the southern pointing arrow which would lead the settlers to California there were no words just a small chunk of gold ore fastened to the signpost. To us Oregonians that explains everything else.
    Keep in mind, this is more of a folk allegory not based in exact historic accuracy, but explains why Oregon and California are different.

  341. JMG; Patricia@294; Atmospheric River@320, @328
    If I may, fascinating views regarding the characters of California. I live in SoCal and have given some thought to this now and then myself. IMO, I would say that considering California’s fractured and faulted terrain it has more than a few different regions with different personalities. The Kali characterization may work, but only west of the Sierran crest and north of the Tehachapis. Central Coast has a quieter youthful female feeling (and great wines). Southwestern California seems like maybe a cocky young male on roids?
    Mojave Desert has a certain serene mature male character. The eastern Sierras seem to have a playful female nature. While the Great Basin (home of ancient bristlecone pines) seems more Saturnian – old, dry, harsh, does not suffer fools and the otherwise thoughtless and unprepared; one best pay attention – stupidity has rather swift and dire consequences there. Of course, these are kneejerk characterizations – my two cents. Maybe Mr. Rorschach would have some interesting feedback.

  342. Luddite, interesting. If you ever think of it — or if anyone else remembers it — it sounds worth a look.

    Thomas, you have to remember that my nation was in large part founded by religious fanatics. That’s the great difference between the US, Australia, and the UK — all the religious fringe groups came here, all the petty criminals were shipped to Australia, everyone else who wanted to improve their lives went somewhere else, and the UK is inhabited by the ones who were left behind. The religious vision that guided the Puritans, the Quakers, and all the other odd sects that came here in droves ended up morphing (as sociologist Robert Bellah pointed out many years ago) into the civil religion of Americanism, which borrows most of the rhetoric of the Old Testament but recasts it in secular drag to proclaim Americans the Chosen People and deck out our usually idiotic foreign policy with an epic range of messianic delusions. That’s part of our cultural heredity, and one of the things that makes us so serenely clueless in dealing with the rest of the world. No doubt it’s an important part of why so many people hate us — it’s one thing to exploit the rest of the planet, as we’ve done since 1945, but quite another to do it while putting on holier-than-thou airs and pretending to be a lighthouse of hope and freedom for the world.

    J.L.Mc12, that’s simple enough. The Democrats have realized that they’re likely to lose the upcoming election, and they wanted to cut a plea bargain with Assange that would force him to keep some of the most damaging stuff on the Democratic Party out of the public eye. If Assange had been pardoned by Trump, and had then been free to splash around all the ugly data he got from Seth Rich about just what the Democrats were up to, that would have been an absolute disaster for some very, very famous and influential Democratic politicians.

    Achille, I wish I knew of something that would help, but anything I know how to do would probably be against your religion. Sorry.

    Beagle, thanks for this. Yes, I’ve been watching all this closely.

    Chris, ha! “Land of the Wombats” sounds like someplace Edgar Roce Burroughs would write about. I hope it goes well.

    Cugel, what you’re seeing is an empire in the late stages of collapse. It’s going to be a wild ride.

    Dashui, that again? Sheesh. You’d think that they’d come up with some new shuck ‘n’ jive to pretend that we can get limitless energy from a finite planet…

    Adara9, unfortunately it’s going to have to wait until somebody is willing to pledge a few million dollars to the cause. The purchase price of the property is only one of the expenses that would have to be met, and it’s by no means sure that such a project would be self-supporting, so an endowment fund will probably be needed. Bjut we’ll see what happens!

    Siliconguy, ouch.

    Clay, I think it’s more than that, but the cultural differences are certainly important.

  343. > the ancient Israelites were polytheists who gradually adopted henotheism, and then finally monotheism

    American politics seems to be moving in the opposite direction, from rule by an elected president, to rule by a small group of very wealthy individuals, to rule by a shadowy diffuse group of multiple power centers called the Deep State.

  344. Luddite, interesting. If you ever think of it — or if anyone else remembers it — it sounds worth a look.

    I believe the books are the Great Winter trilogy by Sean Mcmullen an Australian author, I haven’t read them in some time but do remember a pedal powered train.


  345. Atmospheric one,

    That is indeed a limitation of my fireplace insert. To fit into the existing fireplace opening the ash door and grate had to be deleted from the design. Pulling hot ashes out of the fireplace is a great way to start a fire in the living room. There is also the matter of the cloud of ashes swirling through the air currents into the room.

    A proper wood stove would be better, but it won’t fit without major demolition and reconstruction, or sacrificing a good bit more of the living room. Should the house burn down (most likely from the 1950s good old boy wiring) I will install a proper wood stove. In the meantime the insert puts out a decent amount of heat and uses 1/3 the amount of wood as the original fireplace which had the same problem of ash removal.

    Oh, the insert also leaks much less heat up the flue when not in use.

  346. Correction,

    One of the Peter Principles is that every bureaucracy will reach the point where it can no longer succeed in spite of itself.

    I don’t know why I didn’t catch that error that before I sent it, unless it got mangled on the way. It wasn’t intended as commentary, though I suppose it works as such.

  347. Pat Ormsby, you might look for the anime with the English title, “Your Name” – basic story is about the chance dream meetings of a city boy and a country girl, with a Shinto twist.

  348. >Another item for the “We used to be able to do this” list.

    What’s scary is that isn’t government failing but corporations failing. You sort of expect government to fail at doing things in-house but this whole program was outsourced. Granted, the contracts could’ve been written such that the contractors were guaranteed to fail but whose fault is that?

  349. The mixture of polytheism, henotheism, monotheism, Yahweh as the personal tribal God of the Israelites found in the Old Testament is also quite apparent in the English translations unless you are blinded by a theological interpretative system. It may be more apparent in the Hebrew, but when this stuff was presented to years ago I said, “Yep”. just from my knowledge of what is said in English. For instance a one point shrines to various other gods were set up on the Temple Mount around Yahweh’s sanctuary, totally clear in the English. The personal name of Israel’s god Yahweh is written as LORD in English translations so its use is easy to track.

  350. @Elkriver, @Brenainn Griffudd, @Clark aka Gwydion (an possibly others), #many

    Thanks for continuing the discussion on the OT. I am afraid I would have little to offer, so I will say thank you for sharing your knowledge. I will be looking more on Ft. Biglino as time permits, he sounds like someone who adds lots of nuance to the dogma.

    If I may broaden the topic to that of scripture in general… what is your take on extending this status to the works of more recent mystics? My rebuttal of “Oldest and Older” was kind of tongue in cheek, but only a little. I think the Jews did the right thing, historically, when they decided to embrace the Rabbinic Tradition of writing down the Talmud and the Das Torah.

    Of course, there’s the direct command to not add or subtract even a letter to the Scripture (See Deuteronomy 4:2 and Revelations 22:18-19). I still think that great care must be taken into non making changes that would invalidate previously and generally accepted dogma. But if we consider those passages literally, that ship did sail centuries ago for Christendom. Not only we do not agree in exactly which books are to be included in the Bible, but on the books we agree we have taken those from different translations of the Hebrew scriptures (a previous violation attributable to the Jews, since many meanings are not directly translatable to other languages, like the Greek of the Septuagint).

    Furthermore, the whole NT is a huge addition, derived from the same forces that pushed the Jews of the 2nd century to start putting in writing what eventually became the Talmud. The problem being that Christians stopped doing that when Emperor Constantine imposed a One True Bible on all his empire. But if you read, say, St. Paul’s Epistle to Romans, it does not read as if he is conveying a verbatim message like the prophets of the OT, but an authoritative teaching coming from his own, personal mind. In other words it does not read as if he himself was aware that, twenty centuries after his death, his writings would be understood as infallible God’s word.

  351. Straws in the wind – for what they’re worth. From Pocket:
    HuffPost notes the “Millennial Gray Homes” – the habit I noticed back in Albuquerque of painting everything gray, even those that, by their architecture, should have been earth-colors. The article asks about the mental health of the Millennials. I’m posting this while waiting for my first load of laundry to get washed and haven’t read it, but my first impulse was “They’re the first generation to face the reality of not and never having the good life their parents and grandparents had and expected them to have. ” And often enough, from memory, kept insisting “Well, if you just….(do what I did)…..)” Because I hit the job market in midlife.

    “The Ringer” wants to know what happened to the serial killers we used to hear so much about. Again, my guess is, “they’ve been replaced by the mass shootings so prevalent today.”

    More later

  352. @Luddite, @JMG

    _Souls in the Great Machine_ Sean McMullen.

    Wooden trains, duelling librarians, and a workable design for a digital computer based on slave labour. What’s not to like?

  353. CR Patiño #375

    That’s a very good question. The first thing I’d like to comment on are the two Scriptural passages you mentioned. Deuteronomy 4:2 warns against adding to the commands that YHWH has given. If this means no new Scriptures at all, then anything written after Deuteronomy in the OT and all of the NT could not be considered Scripture. So, I don’t think that passage prohibits new Scripture. One might argue it prohibits adding to the Law of Moses, but even that might not exclude the possibility of future law codes.

    As for Revelation 22:18-19, I’ve always understood that to mean one should not add to the prophecies of that particular book, not to Scripture as a whole. Here is the passage from the NIV, “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.”

    It appears to be referring specifically to adding or subtracting from the text of Revelation itself (“this scroll”). Amusingly enough, the two men behind the “Left Behind” novels added a whole heck of a lot of detail to those prophecies. Pretty much everyone trying to map out how the book will play out is doing so. I take a Preterist approach myself, and see it as all fulfilled (or most of it, anyway). Hopefully, no plagues are on my way!

    But getting back to your question, I would not be opposed to adding more books to the canon. I actually think a case could be made for the Gospel of Thomas. For one thing, it isn’t nearly as gnostic as sometimes claimed. It is more mystical, along the lines of St. John’s Gospel. The other factor is that I think a case can be made for apostolic authorship. That would be an addition to the New Testament itself. I could also see adding works written after the close of the apostolic age (supposedly when new divine revelation ended).

    Honestly, I’ve been developing my own personal “canon” of texts that I find either authoritative or at least so inspirational to me that I read them with devotion and reverence. The Gospel of Thomas falls into that category, but so too does the Book of Mormon, the Aeneid and other Greco-Roman works (I freely admit that I am quite heterodox). Now, I don’t think many of those works would be added to any currently existing canon of a Christian church. But it is interesting that Protestants sometimes treat as near canonical certain confessions and writings of their founders (I once knew a traditional Lutheran pastor who quoted Luther’s works more than the Bible itself).

    I don’t know how things will ultimately play out, but I have come to the conclusion that the god of Christianity (at least of historic Western Christianity) is doing something new, and adapting his church so that it can survive and even thrive in the centuries ahead.

  354. Would anyone here know anything about this?

    In the USA, copywrite protection lasts far longer than it should. That came about because theDisney family does not want anyone else using Mickey Mouse, et al, and keeps bribing, (excuuse me, persuading) Congress to extend copywrite. They ought simply to have written a special exemption for Disney characters as unique American heritage or something of the sort. My personal view is that in most cases, CW protection should be limited to the creators and first generation of heirs, and then only while they own the content.

  355. To continue: “The Ringer”s article on serial killers vs mass killers merely says, in detail, that real serial killers fly under the radar because they look and act like anyone else, then the media turn them into the masked demons or whatever, but mass killers are a real threat and can’t be relegated to the “monster” category so easily.” In other word, serial killers are still out there, but who notices?”

    The article on the Millennial taste for shades of gray noted “The color reflects how millennials went from non-sense happiness, looking at cartoon network and Nickelodeon in the ’90s to Inflation and depression in the early 2020’s.” (i.e. when the plant food hit the fan bigtime.”
    Then, “It’s a rebuff of their parents’ shabby chic, maximalist design sense.

    If you grew up in the ’90s, your parents’ design taste was probably a little much: There was shabby chic aesthetic, with its lace and gingham and thrifty flea-market sensibility. Or the Tuscan-villa, Old-World “luxury” style we saw modeled in Tony and Carmela Soprano’s home. Then there was the Southwestern aesthetic, with its salmon, turquoise and beige colorway, geometric patterns, and powdery terra cotta lamps anywhere you could fit them.

    After all that, millennials want simplicity in their homes, said Marissa Warner, an interior designer and owner of the Home Narrative in Ontario, Canada. “The shades of gray trend really accommodate our desire to move away from the overstimulating chaos of our childhoods and towards a more serene environment,” she said.

    In all those ’90s aesthetic trends, the through-line was beige. In many ways, millennials’ embrace of gray as their neutral of choice is just a repudiation of beige.

    “There was an over-saturation of yellow ‘builder beige’ in the ’90s when most Millennials grew up,” said Loren Kreiss, a Los Angeles-based interior designer and CEO and creative director of Kreiss, a luxury furniture brand.

    “I think it’s a natural reaction for Millennials to be allergic to warm colors as a result,” Kreiss told HuffPost. “Furthermore, the rise of Restoration Hardware over the last 10-15 years has shoved the ‘all gray everything’ aesthetic down everyone’s throat.”

    And finally, back to the real nitty-gritty, “Millennials tend to be an anxious bunch, and gray has a calming effect.

    Psychologically, it’s not so much of a leap to see why millennials gravitate toward neutral and muted tones in their inner sanctums, said Jennifer Chappell Marsh, a marriage and family therapist in San Diego. From weathering two major economic collapses, climate anxiety, a student loan debt crisis and a housing crisis, millennials have sky-high stress rates. They want their home design to be streamlined and safe, even if it is a bit staid and overly West Elm-y.

    “On the whole, millennials are looking to create a calm and stable environment,” Chappell Marsh said. “They’re big on minimalism and mindfulness.”

    Given the outside chaos of the last decade or so, “an uncluttered house done up in palatable, neutral tones can provide a sense of stability and control,” she said.

    “It’s like having one less thing to worry about in a world of uncertainties,” Chappell Marsh told HuffPost. “Keeping things simple can really help reduce stress and create a sense of order.”
    A neutral color scheme makes sense if you prioritize environmental sustainability.

    Many millennials value sustainability in their purchases, especially big-ticket buys. A 2023 Deloitte survey found that 60% of millennials are willing to pay more for sustainable products and services. Neutrals like gray play well with any passing trend, which means you won’t have to replace the items or paint your walls all that often.”

    Yup. Makes perfect sense. I also note: historically, the post-Civil-War period, unlike either the post American revolution or WWII, went straight from the “Greed is Good” Gilded to, when they finally appeared, the “sheriffs and schoolmarms” and would-be farmers who tamed, or tried to tame, the Wild West. And social reformers following in their wake. Theirs was an internal crisis era; the other two were external crises one could rally around and solve. What we’re in now, of course, is the great-grandmother of all internal crises, “not with a bang, but a whimper.” Kipling’s twilight of the British Raj has touches of the same: not only his Recessional, but the “Little black sheep who have lost their way,” song, which later became a collage drinking song here in the States, don’t ask me why.”

    To Will 1000, #366 – thanks for the region-by-region analysis of California!

  356. @Northwind Grandma I think you single handedly solved the problem of how to cure the toxicity social media has become. I’ve done similar things and also tend to decline to post something (many times here or on dreamwidth!)

    Sometimes yo have to let your own mind lead you to the resolution you seek.

  357. Here´s another Biden analogy. If Trump is like Domitian, Biden is like Nerva. The problem? There is no Trajan! And Domitian is apparently coming back…

  358. @Silicon Guy and Owen,
    I think probably the real problem with spacesuit manufacturing here in the U.S. is not just a corrupt defense industry bureaucracy, but the nearly complete off-shoring of the garment industry. The original Apollo spacesuits were made by a team of the most skilled seamstresses at a US garment manufacturing company. They were entirely custom made to the astronauts dimensions and custom sewn, with just a pair of the gloves taking 100’s of hours of labor.
    We simply don’t have that skillset here anymore, and I am guessing these two companies thought that some combination of cnc cutters, and robotic glue dispensers would allow them to do it in a ” high tech” way. But I am guessing that effort was a failure and the first one backed out while the getting was good.

  359. Hey Luddite

    You may be referring to one of the short stories set in the “Rynocerros” series by Terry Dowling, but I’m not completely sure. I also recall another book mentioned in this blog but I also can’t recall its name.

  360. @ Silicon Guy

    I also do not have an ash grate or special door. My last wood stove did, but this new one does not. I take out ashes in the morning, yes there are still hot coals in there, the ashes are hot. I shovel them out carefully and into the metal bucket. I just had to redo my floors in the last year, I do have 18 inches of tile in front of the wood stive opening, and I have a wool throw rug that I push up against the tile edge to protect the floor past that 18 inches. I have a Lopi Endeaver with a fire brick lined fire box.

    I do second the idea of making your house hold heat better so that you dont mind the fire being down to hot coals by the morning. And, nothing wrong with shoveling out hot coals along with the ashes into the metal fire bucket. One of my children even shoveled out a live fire in the evening, carefully, back when we had the hot water loop going thru the firebox and our backup power turned out to be broken ( meaning no power for the pump) and I wasnt home. If something rolled wrong or got away from her, it could have burned our flooring, but it would not have caught the house on fire as she would have just put that one errant piece of wood out in place with the fire extinguisher or water. But she was careful, one piece at a time into the bucket and out the door into the storm. If I were to do it again, I think it is a good idea now that I think about it to have a bucket of sand by the wood stove, in addition to the fire extinguisher which was across the room. But, knowing her, she would have moved the extinguisher to be at hand before removing the fire.

    I am further south than you, but insulation, radient barriers, and spray foam do alot to reduce heat loss. I wish I had more interior mass and have been adding some distributed mass, ie., tile floors, tile shower surrounds and still need to make covers for my skylights

  361. CR Patino 375 “… that pushed the Jews of the 2nd century to start putting in writing what eventually became the Talmud.”

    Did you mean the Talmud, the Torah or the Tanakh? Please clarify.

  362. Re: Biglino’s work;

    There seems to be a trope or meme making the rounds, stating that the “Elohim” are malevolent space aliens, and that ALL religions on earth are their invention.

    One man in particular is really pushing this idea. He goes by the name of Clif High. I don’t know how many people have heard of him. He briefly shot to fame 20 years ago with his “predictive linguistics” (which forecast 100 of the last 3 crises!), and he is still at it.

    I smell a psy-op. Like JMG, I don’t believe in “space aliens.” I have read the works of J. Allen Hynek and Jacques Vallee, and I am persuaded that all UFO’s are of Earth origin. They are either artefacts of military counter-intelligence (as JMG says), or are what we Orthodox would call, quite simply, “demons” (malevolent spirits).

  363. I overheard a bit of the CBC radio show my grandmother was listening to this morning, and they seemed to be moving in the direction of saying it was a fluke, and that Biden’s performance was, well less than ideal, not actually that bad. Given that on issues affecting the US, the CBC usually moves in lockstep with the American corporate media or sometimes gets slightly ahead of them, I wonder if the Democrats might be planning to double down on Joe Biden despite his debate performance. If so, then I wonder just how badly the election will go for them.

  364. J.L.Mc12 #224 & JMG #247: I meant to comment on this earlier, but I came across a study on feral cats in Australia evolving to become much larger and more powerful —
    (there’s also a youtube video, but I find text-to-speech narration to be rather grating)
    I do hope that Australia’s unique wildlife can be preserved into the future, but given that the ecosystem there has long since been disrupted and brought off-balance by humans killing off native marsupials, the die may be cast. As JMG explained in an earlier article, invasive species are actually a good thing, as they are nature’s response to our destruction of ecosystems. So, I don’t think there’s any stopping the super-cats, or the camels for that matter, since fighting invasive species is a losing battle. Maybe Tasmania can become a holdout, who knows.

    JMG #350: Yes you’re right, there are some definite tangents to the Second Religiosity there! If so, we can expect a clash between Church & State, with repressive measures attempted (key word attempt; persecuting religion, much like political counter-insurgency, rarely seems to work). That’s another reason why I dream-logged here, for help in interpretation, since this was not an ordinary dream. oh btw, a detail I left out — when I was giving possessions back to the people from the drawers, one drawer I investigated had some sort of ancient Greek coinage, possibly Hellenistic? Its appearance morphed, in that dream sort of way (so that I couldn’t read it), but I’m sure it had a Greek inscription and was minted in the ancient style. Not sure what the significance of that might be…

  365. @Siliconguy #370

    We have a similar issue. Our fireplace is 14.5″ D x 33″ W x 26″ H. We’re trying to figure out how we could improve it.

    Seems like there were way more recommendations for stuff that small 15 years ago vs. now. I’ve seen old recs for like the Jotul 3, which with the short leg package is still 1/4″ too tall. (Plus it’s discontinued, but could look for a used one if it would fit.) The only currently manufactured one I’ve seen that might work is the Lopi Answer insert. The stove is too tall. (Even then, the hearth is not deep enough and would have to be redone, which is tough because this old house had a carefully laid pattern of hardwood boards all around the hearth…)

    How big was your fireplace and what insert do you have?

  366. JMG wrote, in reference to the current USA President (checking news first to be sure it’s still JRB): “My guess is he’ll be out of the race by next week.” Gakk, when our enemies foreign and domestic can set their “Now” alarms to 2300 UTC, that points to a much more destabilizing/dangerous problem than just the choice of the Demo party candidate…

  367. The concept of a supreme patriarchal creator sky god was by no means limited to the Abrahamic religions but was found all over the world. From the Encyclopedia Britannica

    “High God, in anthropology and the history of religion, a type of supreme deity found among many nonliterate peoples of North and South America, Africa, northern Asia, and Australia. The adjective high is primarily a locative term: a High God is conceived as being utterly transcendent, removed from the world that he created. A High God is high in the sense that he lives in or is identified with the sky—hence, the alternative name. Among North American Indians and Central and South Africans, thunder is thought to be the voice of the High God. In Siberia the sun and moon are considered the High God’s eyes. He is connected with food and heaven among American Indians.
    Though the pattern varies from people to people, the High God usually is conceived as masculine or sexless. He is thought to be the sole creator of heaven and earth. Although he is omnipotent and omniscient, he is thought to have withdrawn from his creation and therefore to be inaccessible to prayer or sacrifice. Generally, no graphic images of him exist, nor does he receive cult worship or appear in the mythology. If he is invoked, it is only in times of extreme distress, but there is no guarantee that he will hear or respond. His name often is revealed only to initiates, and to speak his name aloud is thought to invite disaster or death; his most frequent title is Father. In some traditions he is conceived to be a transcendent principle of divine order; in others he is pictured as senile or impotent and replaced by a set of more active and involved deities; and in still other traditions he has become so remote that he is all but forgotten.”

    It can be argued that the primal deity of the Chinese culture was a variety of this type of high god.

  368. Martin, that’s normal. Power diffuses over time from a monarch or dictator to wider and wider circles of more and more power centers, until finally it’s too diffuse for any constructive action. Then somebody seizes power and the cycle begins again. Polybius talked about this more than two thousand years ago.

    BeardTree, I’ve certainly found that to be the case. (Yes, I’ve read the Bible, rather more than once.)

    Patricia M, thanks for these.

    Andy, got it and thank you!

    Mary, I’m perfectly happy to have copyright protection last for the lifetime of the creator, plus some brief extension to benefit the spouse and dependents if necessary; Disney should lose the copyrights on all their classic stuff. though, was buying books en masse and then making them freely available to anybody irrespective of copyright issues, claiming to be a public library. They were doing this with books by authors who are still very much alive. That’s why they got whacked in the courts.

    Tidlösa, yep. Apparently the Democratic leadership’s in a blind panic now, trying to shove Biden out, so all of a sudden the media’s talking about the obvious.

    Michael, not all the spirits who claim to be space aliens are actively malevolent. Some are simply playful, and apparently welcome a change from pretending to be somebody’s dead Aunt Mabel.

    Taylor, some of the Dems are doing that, others are frantically trying to push Biden out. What a flustered cluck!

    Xcalibur/djs, every species everywhere on earth is an invasive species. All ecosystems change over time. The attempts by human beings to prevent that from happening just show how detached we are from ecological reality.

    Bryan, well, there’s that! The thing is, I’m quite sure every other government on earth is perfectly aware that Biden’s a senile puppet being run by a little circle of family members and advisers…

  369. I’m so happy to see Ecosophia come back into print. It is one of my favorite books of all time. I like the new cover, The other cover seemed dreary, and in my opinion, did not reflect the story well at all.
    I think you have addressed this already, apologies if you have, but the storyline is intact from the the original version, correct?
    I liked the difference in the two versions of Twilights Gleaming, I think you really improved the story by including more back ground from the Chinese characters. You really are a gifted writer and thinker, and I will remain a lifelong fan.

  370. @Achille
    If your particular iteration of Christianity allows it, you might try asking St. Therese, or the Archangel Raphael, to intercede for you.

  371. BTW, to take up an earlier thread, my delicates are now drying on a lightweight folding wooden rack indoors. I love that rack and have never regretted buying it.
    I have never seen so much as a towel drying on one of the balconies the larger apartments have, but then, I think, if anyone were to do so, this place’s Appearance Police would be on their case within the hour. And anyone who has a balcony anywhere but Lake House also has washer-dyers within the apartment. However, subtropical Florida is not the best climate for outdoor air drying anyway. New Mexico’s high desert climate is.

  372. Biden is said to be holed up with family, that is, his wife, at Camp David. She is sure to be demanding a great deal more than pension and book deal for him.

    The Democratic Party has a lot more to lose than in 2016. Then it was incoming administration jobs. Now, this year, this is existential. Every voter who can’t stand Trump, for whatever reason, and anyone who feels injured or even insulted by Republican policies is going to exact revenge on the Democratic leadership. I wonder if the party as a whole can survive. Should Trump win a 2nd term, democratic and leftist voters will be expecting to see activist opposition from their congresspersons, no matter what the donors want.

  373. A bit of an aside with the talk of the hippies. Folks should also look into things like the Lebensreform folks in the early 20th century. They are now considered the forerunners to the hippies so 60 years before they even had a name, but seemed to be much more in line with actually living their ideals. Many Indian Americans seemed to really like them because they actually wanted to live the back to nature life style rather than just act it out. People like Eden Abhez & William Pester are great examples of these folks. There is a good little book on this called “Children of the sun” by Gordon Kennedy (1998).

    @ Other Owen “Trump and Harris would be entertaining, if pointless.”

    One thing I remember from the run up to 2020 was just seeing how much more lucid the communication from Harris and Pence was. I didn’t agree with most of what either was saying but it was at least good to see debate in which they could try to deliver their ideas with some semblance of clarity.

    That debate this week, it is like staring at the sun. Don’t do that! But I did like how even left leaning shows like ‘The Daily Show’ were not apologetic and realized just how lost the whole situation is.

  374. After the dumpsterfire debate debacle, and the ensuing MSM demands that Biden step down, and then the walking that back by several top Dems, a thought occurred to me. A terrible thought nonetheless feels right. I don’t know if it’s just because it is symbolically appropriate and a fitting end for 2024, or if I really expect it to happen, but my guess is that Biden isn’t going to step asside…

    I think that Biden will remain the presumptive nominee and get the formal nomination at the DNC. The reason being that politically, it will be far cleaner and easier for the Democrats to replace him after. If he withdraws before, then there will be a contested convention, or at least the appearance of one. But, if he withdraws after the convention then the Dems can just appoint someone.

    However, Wisconsin doesn’t allow the nominee on the ballots to be changed unless the candidate dies. Nevada requires either death or ‘adjudicated as insane of unfit’ and several states don’t have a process on the books. So the DNC will wait until after the election for Biden to withdraw.

    The biggest problem is that everyone on the short list has drawbacks that have polled worse than Biden. The Democrats are in a sort of strategic paralysis at the moment and I expect that their cluelessness, incompetence, hubris, and reliance on less than legal methods will keep Biden at the top of the ticket through the election…

    ..or until a few weeks before the election when his health declines rapidly and he dies in office. At which point the DNC will have a serious conundrum. Do they risk appointing someone before the election, warts and all, or do they leave it unresolved, hoping that the idealized notion of a Democratic candidate does better at the polls than anyone they have in the bullpen. Again, strategic paralysis strikes and they wait, and millions of Americans go to the polls to vote for Trump or a deceased placeholder for Not Trump.

  375. John Paul, I’m assuming that by Ecosophia you mean Retrotopia, right? The new edition is unchanged from the old one — I didn’t feel a need to add even as much as I did to Twilight’s Last Gleaming. Thank you for your enthusiasm!

    Mary, it’s definitely a time to go long on popcorn futures.

    Michael, funny about that. Before Lebensreform, and ancestral to it, was the pre-Marxist socialist thought of Ludwig Feuerbach et al., which we’ll be talking about briefly next week, and in much more detail down the road a bit further.

    Team10tim, the question is whether the Democratic party pulls the plug on him via the 25th amendment, which would solve the ballot problem in some states if they do it soon enough…

  376. My insert is a Quadra-fire. Its firebox is 17 in deep, 16 in wide, and 11 in high. The front of the firebox extends out 8 inches from the former front of the fireplace. It has its own set of fans on a variable speed drive. They are pretty loud though.

    The original fireplace has a heatilator insert. I’m not sure how big it is anymore. But the air intakes are 50 in. apart center to center. The air outlet is 39 in above the bottom of the intakes. Depth is a mystery. I used to cut the wood 30 in long to feed it, but it wasn’t that deep.

  377. @JM & Mary “I’m perfectly happy to have copyright protection last for the lifetime of the creator, plus some brief extension” … “ though, was buying books en masse and then making them freely available to anybody irrespective of copyright issues”

    While ideal of as a library to backup everything digitally, they acted completely recklessly in doing stuff without thinking and then try to act all innocent when things back fire on them. The intent to share stuff with others is a very good thing but you should not forcefully do it to others without consent.

    I suspect the law suits for hosting openly distributing those books will only be the first of many. The amount video games you can openly grab for free regardless of legality is obscene. And Nintendo/Sony have a habit of suiting these places into oblivion and most businesses just shut down before it even gets to that stage knowing they can never win.

    I will be amazed if is still around by 2030. I think years of blatant arrogance and complete disregard to copyright law will catch up to them.

    As for copyright, I shall propose a reasonable middle ground. What if copyright law could be 20 years from publishing but can be renewed by the original author for another 20 years each time it expires. This would also allow to the work rights to be transferred to another publisher/distributor at the same time. Add an one time additional extension by a spouse for after death to account for that as well. This would allow for authors to keep works in their control but also can let older works go into public domain if the author has no further interest in it or they have been dead for 20-40 years.

    I say this because there are a lot of works out there that are now stuck in copyright limbo. Still in copyright but with no legal means to access said works with no intent for them to ever be distributed again. Many that will not be available again in our lifetimes and authors who are probably forgotten they even exist. For example the ‘Delphi 3 Super Bible’ by Paul Thurrott only makes him about $3 a year at this point last I had heard.

  378. Mary Bennet, hi again, it seems that the Democratic Party went from being supporters (at least rhetorically) of the working class to disdainers of the working class and they somehow survived the transition. Now they’re especially the party of college educated women and racial minorities and the LGBTQ gang.

    But they lie like the blazes about everything all the time. To my eyes what they REALLY are is the party of the billionaires. And this seems to be ok with Democrat supporters. I don’t get it. .

    Never mind what’s the matter with Kansas, Kansas stopped buying Republican bushwah a long time ago. My question is what’s wrong with people that vote Democrat? And so my bet is that the Democratic Party will survive.

  379. Oh, I know. The 25th amendment is the smart thing to do. It’s also the ethical and responsible thing to do. That’s part of the reason I don’t expect to happen. Honestly, when was the last time these guys did something that was smart, responsible, and in the country’s best interests when they could choose a poorly conceived, disingenuous, own goal instead?

  380. Yes. Retrotopia! I read Ecotopia because of you, and loved it as well. I grew up in the PNW, in a logging industry family. My father believed in sustainable forestry, and was deeply saddened by the greedy eighties rush to ship our forests overseas.
    I have probably read Retrotopia a dozen times, maybe more. I’m glad it exists. That, and JHK’s World Made By Hand series, are comforting to read, in that people will survive and adapt, and maybe even learn to thrive.

  381. This well-articulated post touches on many themes that overlap with discussions here.
    I don’t agree with all he says but many of the same thoughts have crossed my mind. The direction that he points in, for good reason hesitantly, is the one that I think things will go. He seems to be holding out some hope that this can be done gently, but I expect the process to be quite rough and overdone. The correction to an overshoot is often as overshoot in the opposite direction.

  382. @Brenainn, #378
    Thanks for the clarification. It makes much more sense to consider the prohibitions are meant to preserve the integrity of the existing (possibly specific) books, but I have seen the same passages used multiple times to arrest any challenge to the Canon. As if the Canon itself had been handed down directly from the Heavens…

    @Phutatorius, #387
    Not being a devote Jew or ah Abrahamic Religions scholar, I might be using the term in an imprecise way, but here’s what I meant.
    By Torah, I originally meant the historic books of Hebrew/Judaic religion that more or less correspond to what Christians know as “The Old Testament” (give or take a couple of books). After checking the definitions I am now aware that such concept would correspond to the Tanakh, of which the Torah is the first part (the five books of Moses).
    By Talmud, I mean a set of doctrines that comment and expand on the themes of the Torah in greater detail; those originally were an oral tradition, but after the destruction of the Second Temple began to be put into writing for the sake of their preservation; and which continued to be expanded by later Rabbis.

  383. Hey JMG

    Ok, here is a question that has been confounding me for a while.

    How should Ebooks be priced compared to physical books? While the price of both should be the same in regard to royalties and the cut given to the distributer it’s the question of manufacturing cost that things get interesting. With physical books you can accept that they should be more expensive if they are made with better or expensive materials, or made with better craftsmanship, but this aspect of pricing can’t really be applied to Ebooks since they are made using the same material, though some are better formatted than others. I started thinking about this when I came across some ebook edition of a title by a university that was over $200. If this was a physical book that was made as a limited print-run, funded by a modest grant it would make sense, but for an Ebook it seems ridiculous to sell it so dearly. So, how do you think pricing for ebooks should work?

  384. Dear Mr Greer,
    Last March, you wrote “For what it’s worth, I think the European elites are going to be clobbered in the elections, since so few Europeans want a war with Russia.”
    I wasn’t sure. I wrote that Macron was hyping the risk of war with Russia, in order to create again what got him re-elected in 2022: the nation instinctively supporting the chief of the State in time of crisis. I was afraid it might work.
    You replied: “Well, we’ll see. The old tricks don’t always work, especially if they’re done in a sufficiently tone-deaf manner.”
    And that’s exactly what happened… The old trick didn’t work. The nation supports the chief of the State in time of crisis, except when said chief is looking for a war with Russia, the first or second most powerful military in the world.
    Macron got clobbered in yesterday’s elections, his supporters (who don’t mention his name anymore in their manifestos) got about 20% of the vote, far behind Marine Le Pen’s party (33%) and the coalition of the left (28%).
    Macron is finished, he will be a lame duck president for his remaining three years in power, for, unlike an American president, he can’t do anything without his party being the majority in the parliament (like a British Prime Minister).
    He had taken the decision to call for a snap election alone, not even telling his ministers. But he did tell Ursula von des Leyen, the unpopular European Commission president, who is German, several weeks in advance.
    It is quite likely that no party or coalition will have a clear majority after the second round next Sunday, and France will be ungovernable. I’m not sure what it will mean in practice. Maybe nothing in our daily lives, maybe some degree of social chaos, time will tell.

  385. @BeardTree #393
    The king of the gods, the monotheistic creator deity, and the divine sky are fairly similar religious forms, but as far as the history of religions is concerned they’re different phenomena. There’s also another quite common and specifically non-personal form; buddhanature, tao, heaven etc.

  386. Very pleased to hear Retropia will be back in print in November as that work has been very much on my mind on a daily basis. I suspect if Zones were enacted (allowed) as Retropia described, a good many persons would elect to live in 4 or 5 right about now. The national collective energy is easy to sense – even with BNSF rattling by 40x day – sign wave flows of silence caused by holding one’s breath interupted by manic bursts of FF yard tools and clamouring noise as if That will hold back what’s coming. The oscillation of uncertainty vs demand to normality is palpable. Many Blessings.

  387. Economics was not impressed with the hydrogen powered aircraft even though Physics said it would work.

    “In March, Fast Company listed Universal Hydrogen among its “Most Innovative Companies of 2024,” and just last month, Aviation Week reported that the startup was preparing for ten new flight tests and was busy with propulsion-system testing behind the scenes.”

    “However, in a letter to shareholders on Thursday, Universal Hydrogen Chairman and CEO Mark Cousin announced that the board had formally decided to wind up the company after unsuccessful attempts to secure additional financing.”

  388. I just wanted to mention a data point regarding the ongoing decline, viz., a shooting incident that is not quietly going away from the papers, but getting bigger by the day.
    Late last month, a certain Mr. Arash Missaghi and his associate Ms. Samira Yousefi were shot and killed in their North Toronto office by a Mr. Kat, who then committed suicide.
    In the fallout from this event, it turns out that Kat had been conned by Yousefi into taking out an over $1 Million mortgage and investing the money in a fraudulent financial scheme run by Missaghi. Kat lost everything, including his mind, hence the murder suicide.
    What has come to light since, is that the now deeply-indebted Kat tried over several years, every legal remedy to recover his money, to no avail.
    Moreover, Missaghi and Yousefi have been running this scam on dozens of victims for over 20 years and have never effectively been held to account. The victims have all lost their money.
    Missaghi had put hundreds of millions of dollars in funds offshore where they couldn’t be touched, was able to thus afford sufficient high-end lawyers, who have since suddenly been disbarred by the law society, to keep his case out of court, while the Crown prosecutors and courts for years and years were well aware of his frauds, but have been unable and unwilling to do anything about it.
    Missaghi and his shell companies have been charged on multiple occasions by various police services across the province over the years, but has only once ever been successfully convicted in court, and, because of his offshore financial finagling, no funds were recovered. Several other cases were dropped for various reasons. Others, including Kat’s, were never prosecuted at all.

    Basically, the court has managed to hamstring itself to the point where it no longer functions even vaguely as a trustworthy system of justice. (Quite apart from the ongoing efforts of Foucault-inspired Maoist Social Justice Warriors to destroy our polity from within.) Thus I offer you a perfect example of a legal system, so in the rarefied upper reaches of intellectual abstraction and obsessive concern for perfection that it no longer performs its primary function of effectively providing justice and thereby maintaining social order, that it is now in the early stages of falling apart. Too few prosecutors with a too detailed system means cases can take years to come to trial and a time-limit imposed by the highest court means even violent assaults are being dismissed ‘because they take too long to come to trial.’


  389. Dear JMG and all,
    In answer to Daniel @ 79 (please forgive me if something sounds ‘odd’, I’m still learning english language.)
    Yes, there’s a secret for a rich family to be rich through different generations. It was widely used in Europe, it has many names and many local adjustments but I will use a frequent name ‘ blue-blood’.
    If you’re of blue-blood you will always be better than the rest.
    How does blue-blood, really, works?
    An example :
    You’re a great warrior and win some great battles for your King/Ruler. The King/Ruler grants you some land. Now you have a house, lands enough (or more than enough) to cultivate and feed the house dwellers.
    Time goes by, if you are not blue-blood upon your death the land will be divided among your sons and daughters, and if the house survives again it will be divided between grandsons and granddaughter( make the math).
    But if you are blue-blood, the house and the land that maintains it, will go only to your heir.
    The heir (blue-blood) gets all intact (not a smaller plot of land, no debt to pay to brothers/sisters).
    It works long term. Of course there’s much more to say on the subject.
    I know it’s important for many reasons, one beig that Catolic Irish were forbidden by law to name a heir. They had to divide the inheritance in parts to every son and daughter’s.
    I’m interested in the subject, accounts of business (agricultural or otherwise) that have stayed in the same family for 3 generations or more. If someone wants to recommend a book with raw, concrete facts (by preference located at south France or Spain, but I remain open) I will greatly appreciate it.

    Mary Bennet @ 118
    You need to feed those armies, and you better feed them from your own land if you don’t want to go bankruptcy quite fast. Maintaining soldiers is not cheap.

    JMG you agree? Want to add something?

    Tired21 from Barcelona

  390. JMG,

    You know I think each of us is going to co-author “A Scavengers Guide for a Declining Society” but it’s going be via “word of mouth” for several years.

    Currently I am trying to put down my thoughts on the viability of single family homes, a four year degree, and the all the typical middle class trappings. Doing so because I don’t think those trappings are viable anymore and I can’t in good conscious tell my kids to pursue a non-viable way of life.

  391. ! @Clay Dennis
    OMG! Well’s shut down. I’m from Ithaca area, my mother taught a few classes, met & worked with a former Well’s student for 8 years revitalizing areas of Afghanistan (her native country), and spent many a day on the campus. No lie – we knew it was coming 10 years ago, just weren’t sure how long they could stem the $$$ bleeding. Very aware of entrenched politics & power plays but that doesn’t help the sting of another small beautiful campus gone because they couldn’t drop the narative, SEE what’s coming and adapt creatively. Wow.

  392. >The original Apollo spacesuits were made by a team of the most skilled seamstresses

    You know what NASA should do? They should contract Berndette Banner to make the spacesuit ( They’ll never think that far outside the box though.

    My advice about anything Artemis related: Get as far away from that project as possible. It’s a deathmarch. It’s going to fail.

  393. Michael Gray @ 403: Twenty years is the time allowed for PVP, plant variety protection. PVP pretects the rights of the breeder who introduces a new hybrid or open pollinated, but usually hybrid plant into the marketplace. I would guess the reasoning here is that if your new creation doesn’t make you a fortune in 20 years, that fortune is not going to happen. Application for PVP is not inexpensive, so the main beneficiaries are not breeders but the companies which employ them.

    I would favor copywrite lasting maybe twenty years after death of an author. BUT, I also think copywrite should expire automatically upon sale of the product. No person or company should be able to buy a competing product and withhold it from the marketplace. I hope all authors make good livings from their work. I am afraid I am deaf to appeals that JMG should be able to fund retirement in Monaco and a new yacht by selling his books to billionaire Mr. X.

    It would appear that failed to get some proactive legal advice.

  394. Smith @ 405, I parted company with the Democratic Party over food and farming issues. The turn against working class voters came in the 1970s when President Nixon, who had himself grown up in poverty and understood the humiliations of having to seek assistance, at the urging of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, proposed a guaranteed annual income program to Congress, or was about to do so. The proposal was shot down by Democrats!, because the welfare agencies were their jobs program. Not smart enough to make it in law, engineering or medicine, become a social worker.

    In my mind, because of painful personal experience, I am afraid that the Republican Party, for me, is the party of bossy cows who demand abject social conformity to whatever makes money for business. Talk about personal being political! The latest fashions, with matching cosmetics, crippling high heeled shoes, the pesticide drenched front lawn, which uses more water than a swimming pool, the latest useless gadgets etc. etc. all being must haves to show your support of our wonderful free enterprise system. Leave me out. Please.

    (If our host will allow the vulgarity) I call them Dumbocrats and Rethuglicans. I think Dems are mostly the party of PMC functionaries, a group of incompetents I refuse to dignify with the term ‘educated’. Minority support is grudging at best, and with good reason. If Democratic social spending, meagre as that is, is popular with women voters, that, I would submit, is because it is us who usually get stuck with care and support of indigent relatives.

  395. Ellen in ME re: Salt:

    Solar may be a good approach for your home school experiment! If you can get several non-metal cafeteria trays and put them into a cold frame or solar cooker, it will not take long to get a salt slurry, and further dry it to sea salt. To get very pure sodium chloride, your son may want to try growing cubic salt crystals from the slurry by sticking coarse Kosher salt to strings and suspending them in a jar of slurry. Sodium Chloride will crystallize onto the strings. This is similar to one of the ways to make rock candy from sugar.

    An additional description of solar energy vs. coal or wood in the making of salt appears in Augustin Mouchot’s book, “Solar Heat and its Industrial Applications” 1879 2nd ed, pp266-267 (English Translation published as “Steampunk Solar: Solar Engineering from the Age of Steam):
    “…Since the last century, the processes of salt extraction have been considerably improved at the same time as the importance of this object of consumption has been increased. Nevertheless, it seems that there is still great progress to be made, thanks to the concentration of solar rays, in a branch of industry which has been able to take advantage of this calorific source. It is, in fact, mainly because of solar heat that salt marshes can provide 1,000 kilograms of salt at the nominal fee of 6 to 25 francs depending on the region and the state of the atmosphere, while coal-fired evaporation produced in this circumstance would cost 234 francs with coal at 30 francs per ton. But as the second operation would be much faster than the first, it may be possible to find a middle ground between these two extremes. Even if the use of solar receivers would not extract the seawater salt very quickly and inexpensively, it is still an experiment worth trying. We also know that a square meter of firewood in a graduation building evaporates 30 kilograms of water in 12 hours, which corresponds to a consumption of 22 calories per minute. A reflector of two square meters collects at least 30 calories per minute in hot countries, so it could render the same services. But what an economy there would be if we substituted a solar apparatus for the graduation buildings as well as the paraphernalia of their pumps and the waterwheel that drive them! There is more; The direct use of solar heat would remove the necessary expenditure to extract salt from the concentrated liquors, since, even if we operate at the same time on smaller batches of liquid mass, as is the practice in Avranchin, nothing would prevent making the slurry and salting in the sun. This too is therefore a question for study. “

  396. “Rising civilizations thrive because they encourage talented people to rise to positions of influence and responsibility; declining civilizations fail because they allow the wealthy and influential to hoard such positions for their children…”
    Reminds me of a story. Some years ago, a relative of mine had a temporary job for four or five months in Singapore. Now, Singapore has one of the lowest birth rates in the world, and has for decades. To maintain current population levels, the government is trying to brain-drain China by offering scholarships at Singaporean institutions of higher learning to young citizens of the PRC. My relative worked with a guy who had been one of those Chinese scholarship students. This guy said that when he was growing up, maybe ten years before, China had been a great place for ambitious and talented young people, but by the time he graduated, it was all nepotism. Talent didn’t matter, only connections.

  397. Thanks to all who responded to my question! I feel well-warned against trying to lose weight while still breast-feeding… for many reasons, it probably wouldn’t be good for either me or baby. My current plan is to focus on strength training at the gym, as building muscle and losing fat are things one can’t do at the same time (biologically), and having more muscles would hopefully help me feel better, and carry the weight around a bit easier for now. Also, I’m completely taking over both the cooking and the finances this summer – step by step – and will take the opportunity to buy/make clean foods for the family to eat. (I’m learning the very complex job of being a housewife after a misspent youth where my parents assumed getting A’s on school essays was sufficient preparation for real life… pray for me!!)

    My little one eats pretty much everything now and doesn’t need breast milk for any nutrients. But since he’s my last baby, I fully admit I’m hanging on a bit to the nursing. He and I will have to work out the weaning schedule going forward.

    One of the links offered above suggested that glyphosate exposure can lead to “non-alcoholic fatty liver disease” and this rang some uncomfortable bells. Ever since the baby’s birth, the right side of my abdomen has extended about a half-centimeter farther out than the left, and I am pretty sure this is from the size of my liver. Also, I’ve had an especially hard time drinking alcohol or taking any liver-affecting medications such as Tylenol (I feel immediately that I should not take more, intuitively, after a very minor dose). Once the weaning is done, I think that’s going to be the next health concern I focus on, maybe even before the weight loss… I hate to ask for more non-medical advice, but if anyone reading this far down has dealt with this sort of liver issue before – what path did you follow for healing? I am thinking a naturopath might be the right place to start with this one, as it’s unfortunately pretty common, but anything more specific would be good to keep in mind…

  398. @Rajarshi #174/#159 Thank you. I will address pensions first because the subject is sans emotion. As a GFC survivor I make it my bizz now to pay attention. As I write this PE (private equity) is dumping Millions of $$ of toxic real estate assets into pensions & 401k’s across the US. The public has no stomach for bank bailouts and the PE’s know this, but who can deny Grandma from being bailed out when her investments go south? Yes government entities and banks know this too which is why the backdoor bailout is in progress now. Powell’s stance is to flush out the shadow banks not subject to regulations, call the offshore USD (euro) bluff, and bring USD home. He wants to see how many malinvestments were made at zero% borrowing. His opponents are Yellen & Davos/Eu crowd in DC. JP is rich, doesn’t need the money, got tricked by the ‘transitory’ groupstink at the Fed and is an 8th generation Virginian.

    Regarding multigenerational families as a commonsense widespread fact of life in the US, I’m genuinely sad to say we will have to be patient (40yrs) and wait for the nuerotic self absorbed consumerist rubble to stop bouncing. Lets say those who understand dissipative systems And human psychology successfully marketed Freedom as a conversion from citizen to consumer and promoted Atomization of the family to increase GDP and the upward flow of $ into the hands of a few. Nothing new under the sun as empires go. You understand; a broken family needs 2 washing machines and 4 cars now instead of 1/2-1/4 of those items to be independant of course (wink). Appeal to a person’s longing, then use it against them. Feminism follows that path, largest group of potentially homeless is women over 55. Those who shared negative stories have wide open hearts and in a very sick society, as others have expressed, discernment at this time is called for. I wish the best to everyone as this isn’t easy and it will be ok. Deep respect to you JMG for all I have learned so far and your much needed voice in the wilderness.

  399. CR Patiño #409: Yeah, I think that’s right. I’m no Hebrew scholar either; just a mere gentile, raised Methodist. From what I’ve read, however, the Talmud is a real “can of worms.”

  400. Mr. Greer @ 350.. Well alright then! ‘;] Unfortunately, all my references* have been sold-off or were donated when the domicile went on the real-estate chopping block as a result of my marital ‘crack-up-boom’..

    *I still hold in my possession my beekeepers hat/vail .. along with the honeycomb press. “sigh”..

  401. Brenainn Griffudd #378, and others:

    I second the suggestion to add the Gospel of Thomas to the Christian scriptures. For what it’s worth, there are some good reasons to believe that it is historically no less accurate than the canonical gospels (in my humble opinion it is actually more reliable than the Gospel of John), and it adds an important angle on Jesus that is generally neglected, and sometimes outright denied, by the currently accepted New Testament. Then again, as our host has often reminded us, the historical truth of claims about Jesus of Nazareth and the spiritual validity of rituals and myths linked with Christ are two different things. Still, I would like to see the Gospel of Thomas preached and proclaimed from pulpits.

  402. Hello JMG, I was wondering if there were any pieces by Wagner I might listen to in order to better understand your upcoming posts on his work?

  403. @Ty, @Andy the Macmullen book was what I was thinking of. Thanks, now I can read it again too. I’ve literally been trying to remember for years now.

  404. @Sheila Grace,
    My knowledge of Wells was that of a Male Cornell Student in the early 1980’s, when Cornell’s student population was very top heavy with men. Made many a trip up and down the lake ferrying Wells girls ( it was an all girls school at the time) back and forth from parties and such. I still hold a dreamy bucolic image of Aurora and Wells in my mind, as whenever I was there it was dusk and shrouded in mists coming in off the lake.
    The tiny college was probably doomed when all-girls schools went out of style, but it is still sad, and many other less useful institutions deserved to have gone first.

  405. @Achille

    In my understanding, obsessive-compulsive behaviours are an idiosyncratic (and not entirely successful) way of dealing with anxiety. A skillful psychologist would be able to suggest better ways of coping, but I guess it is not easy to find a good one, and their services are expensive. However, there is a lot that you can do to help yourself.

    You could work on whatever is currently causing you anxiety, and I find that this very site offers many useful strategies for doing just that every week (plus Mr Greer and the commentariat offer advice on specific issues when asked).

    A lot can be achieved by lifestyle changes – regular sleep, some exercise and healthy nutrition can do wonders. “The Anatomy of Anxiety” by Ellen Vora provides a lot of advice on how to implement the changes, and I am sure that there are many similar books on the market.

    I wish you good luck in dealing with this problem!

  406. On the feral cat is Aus thing.

    The reason certain European predators have taken off in Aus is because of changed conditions and a niche that wasn’t being filled. The big changes are in habitats and the flow of nutrients up the food change, with more phosphorus and calcium around than were before colonisation. (As a side note, this is why pollen counts are so high now, all the new phosphate). This allows for the growth of bigger predators than the original Quolls, but there is also good evidence a native medium size predator may have existed at settlement but quickly went extinct (look into the Queensland cat). So this niche was waiting to be filled.

    The predators get blamed for a lot extinctions, but the extinctions are always a combination of predation and a catastrophic loss of habitat, with the cats or foxes coming in and finishing off a small and weakened population. The Australian bird life has mostly adapted to cats by now because there is still sufficient habitat for them and they are smart and adaptable. The Bettongs and other small mammals were decimated because their habitat had been destroyed first by intensive livestock grazing and then conversion into croplands.

  407. @JMG “Before Lebensreform, and ancestral to it, was the pre-Marxist socialist thought of Ludwig Feuerbach et al.,”

    Oh fascinating, I am looking forward to that one. There is something about the Deutsch psyche that allowed them to peel back the layers of the world in a thousand weird ways.