Open Post

November 2021 Open Post

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

With that said, have at it!

247 Comments

  1. JMG,

    How do you manage to find the time and read and thoughtfuly reply to so many questions each month?

  2. Just wanted to say thank you for all the work you’ve done over the years, it has helped me on my path tremendously! I was curious as to what your opinion is on seated practice? I do my LRP daily, but sometimes I get into these long elaborate Rituals with a lot of modifications and I will forget to do my middle pillar. Is the middle pillar designed to compensate for the lack of a seated practice in the golden dawn tradition? Or should I be adding another technique to my practice to compensate for this? Also I typically sit in a lotus position when doing my MP( I find it personally the most comfortable) but I typically see people either standing, laying down or sitting feet on the ground in a chair. Is there any reason I shouldn’t be doing it in that position? Thanks again!

    LVX
    Stefan

  3. In this Forbes article, someone is paid to lament that unless everyone gets an always on tracking beacon, they will get hit by autonomous cars, or, if the plebs don’t wear their trackers, autonomous cars won’t work in cities.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/carltonreid/2021/11/23/tripling-bicycle-use-would-pump-65-billion-into-londons-economy-each-year-says-report/?sh=9c6818e646df

    “The more likely version of the future is deeply dystopian, says transport historian Peter Norton. Only the beacon-equipped will be spotted, he fears. Those choosing—say, for economic or privacy reasons—not to fit bicycle-to-vehicle beacons will be blamed for being hit by sensor-equipped cars, believes Norton, author of Autonorama, a new book which details the potential civil liberty issues that pedestrians and cyclists may face from the roll-out of driverless vehicles.”

    “The auto industry is interested in getting pedestrians and cyclists to transmit real-time location information because it’s perhaps the only way AVs can operate in dense cities. Lidar, 360-degree cameras, and other “smart” vision technologies cannot yet give warning of the person running out from behind parked vehicles.”

    You WILL live in the pod. You will eat the bugs. You will wear your tracking helmet.

    What an absurd vision of the future.

  4. Perplexed.
    Greetings JMG an company. I have been attending a Gnostic church which celebrates the Mass. The church is in the lineage of the Wandering Bishops and can lay claim to a clear apostolic succession. The Mass is great. And though I have only been attending via Zoom, the effects are still very powerful. I have some conundrums however. The church is split down the middle along liberal and conservative lines. Unfortunately, after Mass the conversation almost always devolves to politics. All my clergy are woke and I am not. Some of my clergy are violently woke. And our highest priest is likely an alcoholic. What I can’t seem to sort out is how Mass presented by these folk can be so utterly sublime and so much surrounding it a train wreck. I don’t get it. My guess is that I have the ability to connect with the goodness and power of Mass because it occurs on different level of consciousness than all the other nonsense in the community. JMG and all, does anyone have any comments about this?

    Thank you,
    Elizabeth on the Olympic Peninsula

  5. Hi John,

    A thought occurred to me recently, that lockdowns – whether triggered by pandemic issues, energy shortages or even climate related air pollution – may prove the policy of choice for governments as we descent down the Long Descent.

    Governments may have stumbled on a set of policies that may prove useful once the energy shortages really kick in this decade.

    I also thought Peter Zeihan’s latest book on the collapse of global supply chains and globalisation, ironically postponed due to a shortage of paper!, would prove interesting for you given your analysis is similar if very different on certain points from Peter. He seems to think that large parts of the world will see a grim economic collapse over the next 10 year or so, and certainly after 2023, due to a variety of reasons but primarily due to the Americans withdrawing from the military protection of global free trade, shopping and therefore the global supply chains that are key to export led economies like East Asia and Germany.

    I have been re-reading your Long Descent book recently, and you predicted that whilst the “real economy” would decline the world of funny money, QE and fictional and speculative wealth will see increasingly crazy bubbles.

    You stated that at some point political unrest will destroy this state of affairs. Am I correct in thinking that at some point, the free movement of capital will end once the bottom falls out of our globalised economy (likely in my opinion around 2030)?

    On that note, I have been following the Elliot theory analysts who have a great track record in predicting stock market moves. They maintain that we will see a near peak in late 2022, and likely final peak in late 2023, before the crypto and stock markets either collapse or correct going into the 2020’s. There will be a partial rally in the stock markets going into the end of the 2020’s, before an even more devastating collapse in financial markets around 2030 that will see a brutal bear market that won’t bottom until the end of the 2030s.

    And these are nominal prices, inflation adjusted, we are looking at the near total destruction of speculative capital over a 15 year time frame. If they are right, the market will price in the implosion of the global economy over the next 15 to 20 years or so.

  6. Hey JMG, I’ve been mulling over two questions that I was hoping some response for:
    1) I’ve read in several places now that, to prepare oneself for the “Long Descent”, it’s wise to pay off one’s debts. As someone who doesn’t have them, it’s not 100% obvious to me as to why that is necessary. (I’m a renter, and I’m not sure I am any “safer” renting than buying my own place with a mortgage, for instance.) General instability leading to the inability to pay off those debts is an obvious reason, but are there any others? And if financial institutions collapse themselves, how will they even be able to enforce people defaulting?
    2) You wrote in “The Long Descent” that it will be better to live in cities than in the countryside because in cities basic services will be available longest, whereas the countryside will be more at risk of criminality. I’ve read in several places, though, that a move to the countryside will be almost inevitable as collapse unfolds because, basically, that’s where the food will be. How would you balance these two arguments? Do you still think cities will be the best place to be?

  7. I should also mention that I was baptized, confirmed and initiated as cleric in cleric. We are part of Ecclesia Gnostica started by Stephan Hoeller in Los Angeles.

  8. Greetings JMG,

    There is a writer in France called Michel Drac. He has been writing for fifteen years about the civilization troubles we are in. He said recently that a central scenario for Europe is that there will be more and more policing and controls by digital surveillance, and with actual police controls (such as what we see now with covid passports).

    This is one of the only things the elite can do to prevent financial collapse.
    Basically it will look more and more like what the Eastern German government did during the communist years with the Stasi. They had pervasive and very intrusive monitoring of the population. The only place where people could speak their mind during those times was in their kitchen.

    There are many things that can go wrong with those controls, and while it may last for some years, he says that at some point all of this will break and it will be chaos. I imagine it will be something like what we see now in Venezuela and some other Latin American countries plus various wars. I find that Western countries are already becoming more like these Southern ones.

    Do you see this scenario as likely in the US or is it hard to tell which shape the next phase of the descent will take in the next twenty years?

  9. Hi JMG,

    Do you have any plans to read Eric Purdue’s new translation of Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy? I’ve been hearing good things about it and get a general sense of anticipation from people I know. So, I wanted to get your thoughts. Thanks!

  10. JMG,

    I’ve heard in different interviews you refer to chaos magic as light beer and you prefer a darker beer. I’m assuming that’s more than an analogy, so what’s your favorite style beer?

  11. @JMG and commentariat

    For those who were in their 20s-30s in the pre-computer era (at least, the era when slide rules were widely used for number-crunching), can anybody point me towards any mechanical devices that were used for plotting curves w.r.t. some other variable, assuming such devices exist? I mean, there has been an explosion of knowledge regarding nonlinear ODE and nonlinear PDE systems after WW2, and I’d hate to see that knowledge not get passed on to future generations, not to mention future civilizations, for want of ways of drawing solution curves, especially in the domain of dynamical systems.

    From what I’ve found on the Internet, there was a Russian engineer called Vladimir Lukyanov who built a hydraulic computer (to read more, here’s the link: https://www.amusingplanet.com/2019/12/vladimir-lukyanovs-water-computer.html) which was also capable of plotting graphs (albeit less capable than modern graphing programs and packages in terms of performance). So we know that such a thing is possible. The question I have is – do other such low tech ways of drawing graphs exist which don’t involve humans sketching out those graphs by themselves?

  12. Is it possible that the Divine would ask of me to give up some of my deepest held values to walk this path? I know sacrifice is part any path but I’m not willing to give up the tenets of the Constitution. And I don’t believe that America is horrible place.
    Sorry so many posts.

  13. I’m a traditional horary astrologer, I need to practice my art, and the best way is by performing horary divinations. Drop me a line at FlexOnMaterialists@Protonmail.com and I’ll do my best to answer your query using the toolkit of traditional horary. I am as discreet as a courtesan.

  14. Hi JMG,

    A very Happy Thanksgiving to you and the family. I really appreciate the little sphere of sanity that you’ve provided to all of us this year.

    Regarding your recent samurai comic post about bypassing and avoiding the craziness of the current culture, would you have any book recommendations that one could delve into over the next few months while we hunker down? Both the Octagon Society work and Eric Berne’s material have been great food for thought for me lately. But I was especially wondering if you might have particular guidance on options related to critical thinking, handling conflict or other areas.

    Tamanous

  15. Robert Bly has passed. Would care to say a few words about his career in retrospect? If not immediately now, then do you suppose you could write a synopsis of his work at some future time? I’d be interested in your take.

  16. In this last week I have come across three people actively converting from the old fossil fuel economy to the new green electric economy. In one instance someone left their job at the gas company for a lesser job at the electric company because it was the future, and in two other examples people I know removed gas appliances to make their house ” all electric”. This is all. being driven by hype and fantasy. No matter how many times I try to explain to people the energy contradictions of trying to replicate out current lifestyle with renewable electricity they fall back on the nonsense they hear on TED talks and NPR, which in many cases are outright lies. An argument I have been making lately is that few people are ready for the energy sacrifice it would take to get to an all renewable energy system in 10 years ( if it were even possible). I show them the simple math that at the current embedded energy of both wind and solar installations ( 10 years of output) we would have to redirect 100% of our entire energy budget for the next 10 years to building these systems out. Which would mean no cars, no home heating, no electric lights etc for 10 years.This is incomprehensible to them as they have been told all they have to do is buy an ev, and the market will take car of it for them like magic. Even the ones who understand the energy allocation argument reply with something like ( Elon says wind turbines pay back their energy cost in one year). This can be proven false by just looking at the energy embedded in the base of a modern wind turbine ( 1000 tons of concrete for a 1.5 MW). If you do the math ( which is easy) it shows it takes 2.5 years of output from the wind turbine to just pay back the cost of energy in the concrete, without adding in the cost of transporting it, or pouring it. Everything thing else from the steel to the rotor blades adds on to that. I am afraid we have left all remnants of common sense behind in our society and have moved on to one of pure fantasy.

  17. Dear JMG,
    I live in Oregon. I know you grew up in this area so you have a personal experience and connection to it.
    Last summer we had a couple 110 degree days.
    This seems to be the trend going forward.
    How long would you guess this climate shift is going to take to turn this area of the world into someplace much less Douglas fir?
    The Douglas fir were already (obviously) stressed last summer.
    What do you think the potential for pine and oak trees would be as general and eventual replacement species?

    Side note; olives and wine grapes now do quite well here

    Thank you. God bless.
    Travis

  18. More of a monday question.

    Did a geomancy reading on which contractor to hire for a home renovation, 4th or 7th house? I’m thinking 7th since it is a question about a contract (but wasn’t 100% since it also deals with buildings).

    I’m planning on re-reading your book on Geomancy (i keep a print version on hand for reference when doing readings so I can interpret them). One thing i do really enjoy about the Kindle eReader is that I was able to purchase both the ebook version and the audio book version of the book (i now have 3 copies of the book! Lol), and kindle will since up the audio of the audiobook to the text on the screen (i.e. As the audiobook plays it highlights the words and flips the pages). I’ve found this very helpful for a more of a meditative experience (i imported your whole series of posts on The Cosmic Doctrine into a screen reader app that functioned similarly and found that it really helped me to be able to visualize what was being described in the writing. I’m still going through the audiobook version of The Cosmic Doctrine in the same way).

  19. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone observing it!

    First, a question for anyone who can answer, because I trust the Ecosophia commentariat more than I trust any college guidance counselor:

    I’m sick of my current job, I’d like to do something “environmental” instead, and I’ve seen many jobs that I’d qualify for if I knew GIS. I have a bachelor’s degree in a humanities field plus lots of coursework in the life sciences, and I’m very comfortable with computer programming and scripting. So, besides the usual caveats about the university-industrial complex, would a GIS certificate program be worthwhile for me, and are there any red flags I should watch out for?

    Second, three items that may be of interest:

    https://www.npr.org/2021/09/02/1033541310/there-are-fears-the-taliban-will-interfere-with-the-saffron-harvest
    Liberals used to argue that supplanting staple crops grown for local consumption with luxury crops grown for export was the worst kind of colonial exploitation, but no longer. I am not the least bit surprised to see this utter lack of self-awareness coming from NPR. (Sorry, I meant to share this a while ago, but kept forgetting.)

    https://www.troop109nj.com/app/download/5843777/Sustainability+Merit+Badge+Pamphlet.pdf
    When I was earning my Eagle Scout in the late ’90s, the Environmental Science merit badge was required. It was interesting, but it didn’t really resonate with me on a personal level. I recently learned that a rising Eagle can now earn the new Sustainability merit badge instead. Looking at the pamphlet, it seems like a kinda-decent curriculum. Despite the fawning over wind turbines and EVs, there is also a lot of time spent on L.E.S.S. principals and the cyclical flows of matter. With all the heartbreaking problems that the BSA is having these days, it’s a bit of a bright spot.

    A commercial is making the rounds on YouTube for a robot called Flippy, which cooks burgers and fries. The commercial begins with stock footage of mid-century burger joints, and cuts to modern footage of all the “help wanted” signs, ($12 per hour, no less!) as the narrator says “we’re looking for our savior to take us back to the glory days of fast food … [but] not back, and not glory days, it’s about the future of fast food.” Furthermore, “workers [will be] working the kitchen, but getting trained in robotics technology at the same time, and that’s a skill they can take with them the rest of their lives.” Finally, “the things that made fast food great to begin with [were] the attention to detail and the people-focused experience.” I don’t even know where to start with this one, because it’s so hard to tell where the tongue-in-cheek humor ends and the clueless sincerity begins.

  20. Do you think that in the future the existence of the other continents is something that might be forgotten by people living on the coasts? Not necessarily the people there, or the exact distance or direction (or the number) but just “On the other side of this water there is another land.”

  21. In your semi-regular energy news…

    I think we’ll be seeing more things like this
    https://www.publicpower.org/periodical/article/developers-challenge-maine-ballot-initiative-result-blocking-transmission-project

    Again, because somehow this is a good idea
    https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-10052113/Rolls-Royce-set-huge-nuclear-power-payday-Eastern-Europe.html

    From a discussion I saw on an industry exploder-list. (This is what happens when engineers get talking about stuff.)
    I did a little research and math to see what the outlying amount of energy is required to replace our current use of gasoline. First, I used a conversion factor of 33.41 kWh per gallon of gasoline. Then I searched and found that on an average day in a good economy the US sells roughly 20.8 million gallons of gasoline per day. That means that 694,928,000 kWh per day in equivalent electric production is required to replace the energy chemically stored in the gasoline. (This does not take into account any of the various efficiencies involved in converting or storing energy) If you take the total 2020 generation of 4,009 billion kWh divided by 365 you get 10,980,00,000 kWh per day. Now divide the 694,928,000 kWh per day by that daily total and you get .63 or 63%.

    This means that to replace ALL of the energy consumed as gasoline, we would need to allocate 63% of the 2020 total generation to just that use. The energy density of gasoline makes it very difficult to replace. Even with modest EV penetration into the market, electric consumption will increase noticeably. This should be obvious by the increase in transformer size required at the homes to provide the rapid charging everyone is going to want for their vehicles. I think DOE’s load growth estimate is accurate if you only look at traditional uses expanding and a little low if you factor in EV adoption. It all depends on how fast EV use is adopted.

    This does not include the energy required to replace diesel fuel.

  22. JMG and everyone,

    To anyone’s knowledge, what are some good entry level careers into anything ecology related, or something that will last during this deindustrializing era? I am a 23 year old recent bio-engineering university graduate and cannot get a good job, despite applying everywhere for over a year now. I’m stuck working retail while I submit applications during my free time, getting interviews but ultimately getting rejected from “lack of experience.” I feel as if I was conned even with an engineering degree. I’m just lost as what to do, as someone who has been following this blog for 9 months now, and would appreciate anyone’s advice or thoughts.

  23. @ Helena #6 and renting long-term.

    My next door neighbors, Nancy and Beth (they’re sisters) have rented their half of a duplex for twenty years.

    The landlord sold the house. They MUST move out NLT 1JAN2022. They’re scrambling to find another place in Derry Township, something that’s increasingly difficult as the township becomes more desirable for a host of reasons AND, at the same time, absentee landlords are snapping up every available property to use as short-term vacation rentals.

    Their duplex, quite large, is slated to be renovated and turned into FOUR separate short-term vacation rentals. Their trees and garden will be bulldozed to provide a parking pad large enough for multiple vacationers per unit. Eight parking spaces at a minimum.

    I had elderly relatives in North Dakota who had the same experience but in their case, they were in their house for some thirty years when the property changed hands.

    If you’re going to rent longterm, you’re probably best off in a dedicated apartment complex rather than a small-time, few-properties landlord. Those landlords can be much easier to deal with BUT, when they die or sell, everything changes.

    Buying property is fraught with peril and maintenance but if you own your property and keep up with the taxes, it’s yours.

  24. Why should you pay down your debt?

    1) You’re not using scarce $$ to pay interest on some meal you bought a year ago.
    2) You’re not beholden to someone else, i.e. a debt slave.
    3) Money spent on debt servicing is money you can’t spend on insulation, emergency funds, or something else.

    I firmly believe that after the zombie apocalypse, debt collection agencies will hire zombies to collect debt.

  25. City versus countryside is too binary.

    There a lot of towns, ranging from tiny to 25,000 people or more. A small town that’s located on a river and has existed for a few hundred years has an underlying reason to exist. Small towns let you do some food production on your property, provide helpful and useful neighbors, and have at least some jobs available.

    You don’t have to choose between a house down a sunny dirt road in bear country and an apartment on the 32nd floor.

  26. Camera equipment give-away! I was gifted a box (about two cubic feet) of medium-range old-school camera equipment from my neighbors who are being tossed out of their twenty-year rented home.

    Several cameras (all film-type), lenses, camera bags, instructions, etc.

    We do NOT need or want them but I would like to find them a good home.

    Pay the shipping and they’re yours.

    Email me at tdbpeschel @ gmail.com Remove the space before and after the @ so we can work out the shipping fees.

  27. To Helena at #6; think walled villages, the way most people lived through most of history. And the walls don’t have to be real walls, a line of buildings so that entry into town is limited and therefore defensible will do as well.

    As a general note for anyone interested in how species migrate during climate changes, read your Pielou. Specifically E. C. Pielou, After the Ice Age. That covers a a 6 C temperature change as the last glaciation ended. Also note that the previous interglacial (Sangamon or Eemian, depending on who you ask, about 120,000 years ago) was warmer than this one has been so far. The earth has been there and done that.

  28. @viduraawakened,

    My father started school in the early computer era– his college was broke, so he learned programming on an IBM machine with punch cards and printouts. Teletex doesn’t do graphs, so the list of points was plotted by hand using a french curve. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_curve

    If you were working with slide rules, I don’t see how it would be different. I learned it that way with my trusty HP calculator.

    OTH, I understand that in the brief era of electronic-analog computers, which were good at continuous data, you’d have photographs of CRTs. (Notice the graphing axis on this example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analog_computer#/media/File:AKAT-1.JPG )

  29. A note on gasoline vs electric conversion, 70 to 80% of the energy in gasoline is officially waste heat. Electric motors are about 90% efficient, and the batteries are also about 90% efficient on discharge. So in principle you don’t need to replace all the energy contained in the gasoline.

    Of course in winter in the north that waste heat is very valuable. So the electric car will have to sacrifice driving range to keep the occupants from freezing, not to mention defrosting the windows.

  30. Bakbook, it’s quite simple. I don’t own a television, so I can take the 4 to 6 hours a day most Americans spend staring at the tube, and do useful things with all that time.

    Stefan, classic Golden Dawn practice included seated discursive meditation, though that got misplaced by a lot of the people who revived the GD tradition. The usual posture was however seated in a chair with the feet flat on the floor, and that matters — the Asian traditions that turn the feet up in meditation posture do it to cut off certain energetic connections with the earth currents, and GD magic works (and most Western magic) works with those connections instead.

    Justin, thus guaranteeing that everyone else will go out of their way to figure out how to manipulate the beacons to mess with self-driving cars, and young men will avoid wearing them as a macho gesture. You’d think these buffoons would learn something someday…

    Elizabeth, the power of the ritual doesn’t come from the people who perform it. It comes from the spiritual powers and entities who work through the ritual forms. The person who performs the Mass can be an utter douchebag personally, with the spiritual perception of an underdeveloped turnip and nasty opinions on every subject under the sun — and that doesn’t matter, because the priest is only opening a door. What comes through it is quite another matter.

    Forecasting, I think it’s partly that lockdowns are useful as a way of restricting economic activity, and partly that lockdowns help failing elites cling to the illusion of power — at least they can still do that! And of course there’s the flipside, which is that the last round of lockdowns here in the US, at least, helped a very large number of former employees figure out ways to survive that don’t depend on getting a paycheck from an abusive corporate employer, so it’s a relief valve for certain social tensions. The unraveling of the global economy is baked into the cake at this point, and yes, the collapse of the US imperium is an important part of that; as it goes, the vast superstructure of global capital that battens off it will go as well, and the free movement of capital will be only one of the casualties. The question is purely how it takes place, and how many wars are involved.

    Helena, (1) many debts these days can be called in by the lender, in full, whenever they want. Your “ownership” of a house won’t do you a lot of good if the lender can demand that you fork over the full value or get evicted! (2) The city vs. countryside argument, as usual, misses the middle ground. What I’ve suggested is that being in a small city or a large town in the middle of agricultural resources is your best bet, because you’ve got the advantages of both.

    Elizabeth, I’m sorry they’ve gone woke! I have a lot of respect for Hoeller’s work.

    Tony, significant parts of Europe could indeed go that way, but the United States is already basically part of the global south — we’re a third world country with an oversized military. Our route down is a more gradual descent into chaos, rather than the sudden break.

    Chronojourner, I have every intention of reading it as time permits; I read the first volume when it came out from its original press, and it was first-rate work.

    D Mekel, well, it depends to some extent on circumstances, but a good Imperial stout will always get a smile from me.

    Viduraawakened, that’s a fascinating question to which I don’t know the answer. Anyone else?

    Elizabeth, quite the contrary. The Divine may be testing you to see if you will remain true to your ideals even when that involves difficulties.

    Andrew, glad to hear it.

    Tamanous, hmm. Nothing along those lines comes to mind. Anyone else?

    Victor, I was never a fan, so I’m probably not the person to ask.

    Clay, you won’t get them to hear that, any more than you could convince a Ghost Dancer that his medicine shirt wouldn’t protect him from Wasi’chu bullets. The industrial age is ending, and taking all their certainties with it. The flight to an imaginary electric future is a desperation move meant to avoid dealing with that hard reality.

    Travis, er, I grew up in Seattle, and when I lived in Oregon for five years it was in Ashland, where the temperature gets into three digits every summer. I’m guessing you’re somewhere in the (formerly) wet northwestern quarter or so of the the state. The transition to a California climate is already in process and will probably complete itself as soon as the forests finish burning down — fire is a standard means for ecosystem transition. As for replacement species, look at central California and you’ll see your next climate; the species that do well there will do well where you are in the years ahead.

    David, people you employ are 6th house. 4th tells you how the renovation will turn out. I’m glad you’ve found a bit of technology that works for you!

    Anthony, thanks for these! A sustainability merit badge sounds like a very good idea, in particular.

    Nicholas, almost certainly not. Did you know that the ancient Greeks were well aware that there was a continent on the other side of the Atlantic? The Celts also had stories of a place called the “summer country” across the Atlantic — I think we call that the Caribbean nowadays. Since wooden shipbuilding technology has remained in use and a lot of people know how to cross an ocean using the wind these days, I expect long-distance maritime travel to remain a known phenomenon all through the deindustrial dark ages ahead.

    David BTL, thanks for this!

    Polydoros, you were conned. Universities exist for the purpose of providing cushy jobs for administrators and pushing predatory loans on the unwary, not for the purpose of teaching anything useful. That’s a bitter lesson to learn, I know! I’m going to turn your question over to the commentariat, who know a lot more about the job market these days than I do (since it’s been 25 years since I last worked for anybody else). One thing I know, from personal experience and comments from others, is that working for yourself is usually a better deal than working for an employer; what skills do you have, or could learn, that other people would pay you to use?

    Justin, thanks for this.

    Siliconguy, that’s one of my favorite books on climate change!

  31. Greetings and Happy Thanksgiving!

    I have heard from a few people recently about some odd “conspiracy theory” claims. The claims are somewhat hazy and don’t come with a way to self verify. Some of them claim that on official government documents, you are not really a person but a “straw man” and that is why your name is always in all caps. Another is that there are treaties in effect from the American revolutionary war that drive the US to still be paying Britain – and by the way, Britain is still paying Rome. And you can remove yourself from this system by filing the proper paperwork with the IRS – you say you are not a US citizen but an “American”.

    These ideas sound like distractions from the reality that force or the threat of force really governs behavior and life. It is nice of Rome to claim that other countries owes them tribute, but without real force it is not realistically going to happen.

    Any thoughts?

  32. @Polydoros #23. Rough spot. And, yes, you were lied to. My best guess is that the best “ecology” jobs of the future will be in raising food. Especially raising food with low outside inputs (i.e. without manufactured chems or chem-deep hydroponics). You’re young, so likely a small farming operation with livestock for fertilizer, field & crop rotation, water storage, and seasonal planting will not only supply a career, $$$, and great outdoor exercise, but plenty to eat. This is a serious consideration, given what’s going on in commercial farming right now (near-doubling of chem fertilizer prices, shortages, etc etc.)

  33. @Justin: I read that article and didn’t see one word about beacons. I scrolled down way past the end of it, too.

    @JMG re Glurgemas. From today’s newspaper. Above the masthead, in bold black block printing type larger than the headline below the masthead:
    “DISCOVER YOUR (in gray)
    BLACK FRIDAY DEALS (in black)
    Then, in orange, “Buy today in-store for the complete doorbuster ads package.” In tinier print, the promise that home subscribers would be spared the burden of stuffing the cumbersome thing into the paper recycling bin until tomorrow. But under the masthead, that we’d be getting lot of puzzles today to compensate for the loss.

    I know. No surprise. But blatant.

    To everybody who celebrates it – a very happy and family-centered Thanksgiving Day! And weekend.

  34. Hi JMG and commentariat, @ viduraawakened, #11:
    You may find these websites rather interesting:
    https://www.britannica.com/technology/Analytical-Engine
    https://www.computerhistory.org/babbage/engines/
    https://www.computerhistory.org/babbage/history/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Analytical_Engine
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Difference_engine
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Babbage
    I´m not that much of a math buff so I don´t pretend to understand everything in those articles, but it looks like Charles Babbage managed to design a steampunk computer.
    greetings
    Frank

  35. @Polydoros #23

    It’s a difficult choice. The “career” path – joining the techno-corporate system that is headed for collapse – still offers the greatest near-term financial rewards if you can get hired and if you can put up with the bureaucratic, er, bovine excrement and the idea that HR views you as a replaceable, expendable “resource” to be streamlined and optimized.

    Outside the corporate career path, there are plenty of places where an engineering-oriented mind can come in useful and can enable you to become valuable to your community. I don’t think my path is particularly great advice to others, but I graduated with a PhD in bio-engineering at age 28, after an undergrad focusing more on the ecological dimension of biology. Not wanting to play the academic game, I signed on with a local organic vegetable seed farm – mostly hard manual labor producing a real product that I found to be much more rewarding than days of pipetting and sterile culture. Being an engineer by nature, I ended up designing the farm’s irrigation system and building a simple machine to improve our manual seed winnowing process. Other similar farms wanted one of these machines, so I started a business building them that is now supporting me on a modest-but-sufficient income at age 36.

    I would not have been able to follow this path if I had graduated with a large amount of academic debt. If you need a high-paying job in the near term to pay back college loans, then your options may be more limited.

  36. @ Polydoros , One suggestion to your career problem is to get the additional education needed to get your wastewater treatment plant operators license. This can usually be obtained cheaply at a local community college and with your engineering education it should be easy. This may not sound glamorous or ecological but the pay is good, job openings are plentiful and once you get your foot in the door there are opportunities to move in to more interesting work in the growing field of Natural Treatment. As the energy intensive industrial methods of treating wastewater become unaffordable those with knowledge and experience in using nature to remove pollution will continue to prosper. Be choosy for whom you work for as many agencies are stuck in the past, but more and more are ecological sensible approach to return out wastewater to our streams and rivers without killing ourselves and other creatures in the process. Many of the folks in this operational side of this industry are just ” button pushers” but if you can leverage your education to really understand what is going on biologically then you can prosper in a declining industrial world. We can lose the internet, cell phones and many other things but until we are back to a pre industrial population level wastewater (sewage) treatment is one of the things we have to hold on to as long as possible

  37. @Siliconguy #32

    Internal combustion engines are ~25% efficient and electric motors are ~90% efficient, but there are a lot of other factors.

    Combustion is inherently inefficient, so if the electricity is generated by combustion of any fuel there is a minimum 50% energy loss at the power plant. It’s not as bad as an ICE because power plants can optimize for efficiency rather than power vs. weight, but this gain is then compounded by transmission losses (~5-10%), battery charging losses (~5-10%), and the very significant embodied energy in an upgraded electrical grid to handle the load and in the battery itself.

    All in all it is at best a modest improvement from ICE vehicles, which pales in comparison to a redesign of transport to favor lighter, less-powerful personal vehicles (e-bikes and velomobiles) coupled with functional public transit.

    My biggest beef with electric vehicles is that they are cost-externalization engine, allowing for “green” cities powered by dirty and ecologically-damaging generation and toxic mining and battery production/recycling elsewhere.

  38. With the burning of so many sequoias this year I was wondering what their future prospects look like. How long do the California groves have left? Could they somehow survive with the rest of the forest gone? Does anyone think groves will be started in Oregon or farther north? Also what about the redwoods?

    Will O

  39. @ SiliconGuy #32

    So in principle you don’t need to replace all the energy contained in the gasoline.

    The relative efficiency of the electric motor is negated by the inefficiencies of the grid, and besides (as alluded to above) there’s no way the grid will ever sustain any significant increase in demand driven by EVs or anything else.

  40. Ecosophian’s of Camberville & Boston Unite!
    When: 1pm on December 11th, 2021
    Where: Somerville Public Library, 79 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

    You’re cordially invited by a long-time reader (and biker and DIYer) to mix and mingle. Dress appropriately, I’ll be there rain or shine (or hail or snow) with a pastel scarf.

  41. @ Tony C #8

    there will be more and more policing and controls by digital surveillance

    Digital surveillance will become increasingly untenable given it’s extreme complexity. Even if it doesn’t break down regularly all by itself, people that don’t want to be surveilled will break it for them.

    All these things cost money governments no longer have, and the honeymoon period of printed money is quickly fading.

  42. Sharing a recent thought experiment of mine – in terms of how we might appear from a planetary perspective as an antidote to the current all-consuming crises.

    https://dendroica.substack.com/p/a-letter-from-earth

    Some excerpts below.

    —-

    Dear humans,

    You have been behaving rather oddly of late. I have been following the evolution of your species with great interest, as you are in many ways unique among the forms that have lived upon me over my long life. I am wondering if it might be helpful to see how you appear from the perspective of a planet. Your planet. Earth, as you call me in one of your languages.

    My “heartbeat” – the living rhythm of my life – is my orbit around the star you call the Sun. For you, this “year” is a long time. For me, it is but a second. Imagine then that each year is condensed into a single beat of your heart – that time appears to pass 42 million times faster. Then perhaps you can begin to understand my experience, and the way that you appear to me.

    By this reckoning I am one hundred and eight years old, and I expect to live for another hundred years before the dying, expanding Sun dissolves my substance. You live, on average, for one minute. Perhaps that is longer than you expected; you imagine that you are only an eyeblink in deep time. The one you call Jesus lived 25 minutes ago. The last ice age ended two hours ago. Your species has existed in its present form for seven days, and earlier species of humans first appeared three weeks ago.

    You have mined most of the accessible iron laid down when those cyanobacteria first oxygenated the atmosphere. You have discovered the traces of decayed life buried in my skin – you call them fossil fuels. It is not so much energy really – equivalent to the solar energy that reaches my surface over a month or two of your time and less than a heartbeat of mine – but it has been enough to power your factories and energize your fantasies of a techno-industrial space-traveling future. Those fuels were laid down in my skin gradually over nine years of my time – 360 million years of yours – and you have mostly burned through them in the past three minutes. Whether or not you burn the rest in another minute or two is of little consequence to me.

    You have discovered the fuel that warms the core of my body – the unstable element you call uranium – and realized that if you concentrate and compress it you can release all of its energy at once. You call these Armageddon weapons, and they terrify you. To me, they are like those little fireworks you toss on the sidewalk and they make a little flash and pop. Even if you were to set off all fifteen thousand of them – in a war that you believe would surely destroy your species and your planet – the energy released would still be one hundred thousand times less than the asteroid impact that is still in my recent memory – and that your burrowing ancestors and millions of other species survived.

    I am saddened that your species has declared war on the rest of Nature, but I am not afraid, because I know that it cannot last much longer. Everything that you build decays from the moment it is made. My systems rebuild and renew themselves continuously. Your systems move resources from mines to factories to landfills, from wells to fires to the atmosphere. My systems recycle resources indefinitely. This is a war that you cannot win, because you are not actually separate from Nature. The power of your industries pales in comparison to the great thermal engine that converts sunlight into wind and weather, into rainstorms and rivers, into forests and grasslands – all of which nourish you – and the fuel for your industries is rapidly running out.

    Many of you who have turned aside from Progress and who would call yourselves environmentalists still believe the story. You believe that you are separate from Nature and that Man has the power to conquer Nature. But rather than seeing this as your destiny, you see it as an evil that must be stopped. You see yourselves as destroyers, as sinners who must repent. So it is that you insist that your fellow humans must be controlled in the name of stopping climate change. So it is that you mourn endlessly those species whose extinction you have caused, or you attempt to resurrect them. So it is that you seek to “restore” nature to a state from before you “degraded” it – a state that can only be maintained by relentlessly poisoning “invasive” plants into submission.

    Allow me to reassure you that you cannot destroy this planet, any more than you can transcend it and blast off into space. Your planet-destroying Death Stars are just a fantasy. You see yourselves as a cancer upon my body, but to me it feels more like a skin rash and a mild fever. You see the change you cause as bad and control as good. From my perspective there is no such morality. Change is inevitable and control is temporary. Whatever harm you have done will heal, in just a few minutes or hours of my time. Carbon dioxide will be absorbed by the oceans and precipitate into limestone, and the climate will cool again, resuming cycles of ice ages and interglacial periods. Those species that you have moved and that have thrived – that you call “invasive” – will become native to their new homes, just as you will become native to the land you inhabit.

  43. Hi JMG.

    Coud you post the sources about about Greeks and Celts being aware of The Americas? I’m keen on it.

  44. Just a few thoughts that grew in my mind as I read this week’s comments. Thank you, John, for hosting a forum that allows us to converse honestly and politely.

    On the conversion to electricity as a “green technology”:

    This is based on the misconception of electricity as a totally renewable non-polluting energy source. The truth of the matter is that while much is produced renewably by hydro dams and solar & wind farms, these sources do not produce enough for current consumption rates, and the difference is made up by burning fossil fuels in conventional turbines. The drive to make all retail-level energy consumption electric as opposed to fossil-fueled is motivated by greed: it puts the electric utility into a middleman position between the fossil-fuel producer and the energy consumer, thus guaranteeing them a minimum share of all energy consumed. Their platitudes over concern for the environment are just a sales pitch for this rent-seeking agenda.

    On the future of the economy:

    America is now has the same condition, both politically and financially, that Russia had in the 1980’s and that Germany had in the 1930’s. Since exactly similar causes bring exactly similar effects, that which is now to befall us should come as no surprise.

    On education for employment:

    Industry is screaming out for workers, they can’t get enough of them. (Most governments have responded to this shortage of workers in characteristic style by taking workers out of the economy – that’s got a lot to do with why they have been so belligerently strict about lockdowns.) But industry wants more workers not more managers, and therefore advanced education of any kind isn’t really worth much. What industry wants is zombies to sit at a bench all day to put pegs in holes at minimum cost (or less, if they can swing it). The only education worth much of anything in the years to come is that best obtained from joining an Amish community.

    On coping with frustrating eccesiastical behaviours:

    Faith and religion are two different things that, sadly, don’t always mix well. Faith is your own personal relationship with your Creator, is worthy of all your devotion, and will reward you in kind. Religion is human interaction, usually within a rigorously defined social structure, and is therefore fraught with all manner of human baggage. Remaining at all times aware of this distinction is one of the secrets to godly contentment.

  45. Hello Mr. Greer,

    You mentioned in a recent podcast (I believe it was the one with Gary Caton) that you were expecting an economic shock coming in early 2022. I noticed that several major food distributors started talking about raising food prices early next year by as much as 20 percent over the last week or two. Is this the sort of thing you were thinking about, or is your conception of a market shock more along the lines of a stock market collapse?

    I ask because more inflation seems to indicate more stagflation unless things get completely out of control and we go full fledged Weimar Republic. On the other hand, a stock market crash could send us careening into deflation very quickly and probably procure even more government spending.

  46. All–

    I thought I’d relate some experiences/realizations that have come to me (no doubt as a part of my continuing daily practices and plodding work on the Spiritual Alchemy curriculum) with the notion that they may be of use to other going through something similar. The core component here is the contrast of who I am (or can be) versus who I thought I was.

    Not uncommon for someone of my personality type, I have largely grown up with a perpetual sense of “being behind” and generally falling short of the (unobtainable) standards I set for myself. Think: straight-A student who’s mortified with getting a B, a 95% on a test means 5% failure, lamenting that I wasn’t that kid who got his first PhD when he was 17, that sort of thing. Standard over-achiever kind of stuff.

    As I’ve continued this inner work, however, I’ve been able to see that the sense of being behind is a direct product of those unachievable expectations. Moreover, those expectations are something I can control. Reframing my expectations of myself recalibrates (and lessens) that sense of perpetual “behindness”.

    To some extent, too, this is simply accepting reality: I’ll be fifty next spring and there’s no way I can ever be that kid who got his first Ph.D. when he was 17 because I was 27 when I got the only one I’m ever going to get. More importantly, however, this also involves reframing expectations to acknowledge that other things are important, such as learning how to crochet and subsequently making throw blankets for others. That which the world judges as important are not necessarily the truly important things. (As my patron deity has told me: “You’re not here to do Great Things. You’re here to develop your soul.”)

    Interestingly, the concept of reframing expectations came up in my more recent performance review at work, as I’m having to transform from the “techie” who borrows into his hole, does his thing, and brings out the answer before diving into the next problem into an interactive, multi-tasking project management type who has some leadership potential. This means recalibrating what I think my workday is supposed to look like and how my time should be invested.

    So for what it is worth, these are some things that have clarified a bit for me recently. There’s much, much more to be uncovered, of that I am sure!

  47. Hi John

    Happy American Thanksgiving, for all the evil in the world these days, there is still a lot of good to be thankful for.

    To Polydorus: I truly feel for you; I recently retired from a career as an environmental geoscientist. For ten years after I graduated I despaired of ever finding stable employment, although I had a string of short term jobs. My suggestion: approach people who work in the fields that you are qualified for and ask them if they know someone who is busy/hiring these days. From my own experience in environmental investigations and clean ups, I saw that the future was going toward bioremediation and other in situ techniques for which your education in bioengineering should prepare you. Also, be prepared to move, smaller centres might have opportunities not currently available in the larger ones. The suggestion about forming your own firm is a good one, once you have a reputation in the business.

  48. SpaceX has fired off NASA’s DART towards the asteroid Didymos and a collision course with its moonlet Dimorphos which is about 525 feet in diameter (for comparison the Tunguska bolide was estimated at 160 – 200 feet. I think the rendezvous isn’t until next September so we’ll have to wait a bit.

    I see one of two things happening: first the collision will indeed alter Dimorphos’s orbit around its primary, leading NASA officials to engage in much celebratory back patting or, second, have absolutely no affect whatsoever on the motion of said moonlet leading to much spin involving ‘well, it was experimental.’ or ‘we’re going to need a bigger satellite’.

    All of this is based of course on the notion that when a dangerous object does approach Earth, that we will still have the resources to deflect it or even detect its approach in the first place.

  49. Hey jmg

    Lately I’ve been rereading “Filters against folly” by Garrett Hardin, as well as another of his books. I have enjoyed reading him.

    Something I want to ask you about is his theory that there are 3 filters people can use to understand reality. The literate, numerate and ecolate.

    1-do you think he got anything wrong about this theory, or that there are implications he missed?
    2-Garrett theorised that other filters could exist or be created in the future. I think a filter based on psychology could be one of them, can you think of other filters?

  50. A lot of people read the Ace through Ten Minor Arcana cards of the Tarot of Marseille by combining two things – attributes of the element associated with the suit, and qualities of the number on the card. For example, looking at the 4 of Cups, one might think “Cups symbolize water, representing emotions” and “the number 4 is associated with stability” and therefore interpret the card to be about “emotional stability.”

    People generally seem to agree that the number 1 signifies unity, individuality, or a beginning. 2 signifies duality or relationship. 3, creation, growth, expansion. 4, security, stability. 5, change, instability, disorder. Then we get to numbers 6, 7, and 8, on which there is no general consensus. I tend to associate 6 with peace, balance, harmony… 7 with boldness, self-directed action… 8 with structure, organization… then we get to “the ninth inning” and then ten is the end of something, which makes space for a new something or other.

    Do you associate particular qualities to the numbers 1 through 10? if so, I’m wondering how you developed your associations. Most numerology websites attribute seemingly random meanings to the numbers, and then the author reveals that they received the meanings from angels or fairies or their mother-in-law’s hairdresser. I’m interested in how a mathematician might read cards Ace through Ten. Perhaps there’s a book you could recommend?

    Since my question is sprawling all over the place, I’ll get specific. If you had to give 3 “key words” each for numbers 6, 7, and 8, what would they be? Thanks.

  51. Viduraawakened #11:

    There were a number of devices, and I don’t know them all. Many seem to have come out of woodworking and metal etching. Most are used to create specific types of curves, so each has its own uses and limitations. The ones I know about are as follows:

    Spirograph — this is best known as a child’s toy from the middle of the 20th century, but seems to have had its origins in engineering and bank note printing.

    Cyclograph — this is used to create curves for circles whose diameters are too large to use a protractor. In other words, circles whose center points are inaccessible because of their size.

    Geometric Lathe — this is used to create ornamental patterns, usually very ornate, on the metal plates used to print bank notes and postage stamps. Its purpose is to prevent counterfeiting.

    Pantograph — this is used to create a larger sized version of an existing image. It’s basically a mechanical linkage that lets the user trace the original image while the device draws it larger. I think the linkage can be changed to adjusted the output image size.

    These are the ones I know, but I’m certain there are others.

    The thing to remember is that, because they’re based on geometric parameters, each device will be limited to the parameters the deal with, do you can’t have a single device that does all kinds of shapes and circles.

    I hope this helps.

    Cheers!

  52. As part of my finally getting serious about spiritual practice/occult studies, I was thinking it a good idea to take up some form of alternative health care. As this is something I see people advocate for here a lot, where are some good places/good books to learn about cell salts? I remember you doing some experiment with cell salts for improved overall health, did that turn out well? I might be interested in taking it up if so.

  53. #8 The problem the Stasi had is their surveillance could be very effective at picking up a load of trivia, such that the people back at Stasi HQ could have quite a detailed list of whether the person of interest is having a bacon roll for breakfast or a bowl of porridge, and whether they took a different route to work on a Friday. Clearly however it didn’t prevent the collapse of the GDR state. Contemporary digital surveillance would seem to suffer from much of the same problem.

    Their system of surveillance was rather labour intensive, so I’m not sure something similar could be viably deployed in a Long Descent scenario.

  54. JMG, I’d like to ask a question (or possibly a series of questions, depending on your answers) about what you experience when you watch (or attempt to watch) video. It’s possible that some of the non-neurotypical individuals for whom I provide care and companionship experience comparable sensory issues, but they cannot verbalize answers to questions about their experiences and preferences. If it’s too personal a question, feel free to disregard or delete.

    The basic question is, how much of the “problem” (a loaded word that assumes one would want to watch video, which you don’t, but you can see what I’m getting at) is due to the video format itself, such as the nature of the screen (two-dimensionality, intrinsic illumination, shape, etc.) and the duration of attention required, as opposed to how the moving images are typically composed?

    As a reference example, consider a video recorded by a camera mounted on the front of a real-world moving train, looking forward (like the driver’s view) as the train runs, played back in real time. (I was surprised to learn, a few years ago, that there are scads of these at online video sites, ranging from a few minutes to many hours long.) There’s no music or narration, just (usually) the ambient sound of the train engine and wheels. The only motion is that which results from the movement of the train along the track and whatever else in view might be moving; no pans, zooms, or cuts, no sudden turns or accelerations (because it’s a train), and no noticeable (to me) shaking or vibration.

    Putting aside any question of whether or why you’d ever want to watch such a thing, would you be able to, without undue discomfort? Would you perceive it as a realistic depiction of a passage through a three-dimensional landscape, or would it still tend to resolve (as you’ve described for other types of video) as just moving colored shapes?

  55. Hi JMG,

    I haven’t commented in a while but have been following your writings which are more important than ever in these strange days. Thanks for all you are doing.

    I finally got to _Overshoot_ by William Catton from the Deindustrial Reading List. I have a growing collection of collapse and peak oil volumes on my shelf by this point, but I was still totally electrified by Overshoot.

    Below is a passage that was both chilling and prescient. It follows a summary of what happens within communities of other mammals such as monkeys and rats when their colonies exceed their carrying capacity. Their social order breaks down, they become violent, inept, and filled with fear and hostility:

    “…when human behavior shows these same characteristics, various other explanations have been put forth which have obscured the significance of population pressure itself….with resource drawdown becoming significant, man went to war. He rioted in the streets…His political attitudes polarized…A generation gap widened and deepened. In spite of earnest efforts by humane activists to inhibit racism and rectify economic inequality, disparities between people remained and animosities became more virulent. Standards of decency in behavior toward others and expectations of considerate self-restraint were eroded and degraded in many places.”

    This was published in 1980 but it seems like a fair summary of recent history.

  56. Happy Thanksgiving 🦃 Americans! Two of the things I am thankful for are JMG’s 2 sites, because of the hardworking host and the many wonderful people who submit to both sites. Here’s to all of you! 🥂

    —Princess Cutekitten

  57. If you live in the greater St. Louis, MO metro area and want to join occasional discussions with other people who read JMG’s books and blogs, drop me an email to get on the list to receive notices of the discussions. The next one will take place in late January or early February, on a Saturday morning at a local coffeehouse. The email address to use is my Internet name at the top of the post, followed by the usual sign and att.net.

  58. Re Camera Equipment:

    I’ve had two takers already for the camera equipment so thank you!

  59. Viduraawakened #11:

    Also, I forgot to mention the whole plethora of curve and drawing templates that were (and are) available, though I don’t know if they are within scope for your question.

    Go to your favorite search engine and look up “drafting templates” and “french curves” and you’ll find bunches.

    Cheers!

  60. I’m following up on a MM conversation regarding our role in assisting the demonic realm in it’s return to evolution. Studying the lover card last night I clearly saw a demonic face hidden in the sky just above the angel, but this morning it looks more human. This expansion of awareness has hit a very personal note. I live in a beautiful part of the world with strong energy and a history of demonic activity, like a lovely garden polluted with some junk cars rotting away on top of a mass grave. I also made a bargain with a demon when I was a child, and it seems like we are still tied together even though my magical practice has helped me draw on stronger sources of power and turn my devolution around. With my newly enhanced senses I now regularly notice “him”, sitting in the corner of a darkened room sulking and frustrated. He seems so lonely and suffering, but I know better than to try to help. It’s like a wild animal in a cage and if I stick my finger in the bars I’m going to get bit.

    Your message gave me great hope, however. We who will become the Lords of Will can help the fallen Form Lords remember who they really are by setting a good example. That’s such an inspiring story even if it is not totally accurate. When I close my eyes now it is like a hurricane of images flying by as the gods are on the move reshaping reality, so it’s good to have a mission to hold on to in the storm.

  61. Dear JMG,
    I haven’t read all the comments yet, but I was wondering your thoughts on where the vax passports / digital IDs are going in the near-term. Australia, Austria, and soon Germany are making them mandatory if you want to do anything, even grocery shopping (if you don’t have a phone, they’ll give you a card that shows you’re compliant).
    The powers-that-be want to make this the global norm in the next couple years, even in the USA (probably delayed hear biz we have a 2nd amendment for now).
    I’ve decided I’m not crossing that line in the sad, and I have places / people I can go to if forced QR codes are made into law. If this seems farfetched, remember it was close to two years ago when they told us we just needed “two weeks to flatten the curve”.
    I’d suggest others be thinking of this very real possibility and plan accordingly.
    Carl

  62. I’m having an ongoing discussion with a intelligent, curious, and rather ‘technology will save us’ oriented person right now. We’ve gone round and around over the years, and decided to each describe what we expect the world to be like in 2035, and see who’s closer.

    I know what direction I think things are going in – basically, limits to growth, catabolic collapse in the West, and loss of Empire in the USA, but guessing speed is harder. The long lead time is so that short-term events don’t skew the data too much, but still short enough to not be waiting thirty years.

    I’d like to crowdsource some ideas from the people here. What do you think things will be like by 2035?

  63. Will Oberton,
    I’ve seen a handful of sequoias here in sourth-western BC, Canada. They can grow here, though I don’t think they can grow as big as in their home range.

    I suspect someone on the west coast north of California will see value in not letting the world’s largest tree species go extinct.

  64. Matt, oddly enough, I’m going to be discussing a certain conspiracy theory in next week’s post, and my comments should be applicable to these also. There’s more going on here than meets the eye.

    Patricia M, oog!

    Ecosophian, okay, that’s genuinely funny.

    Will, they’ll need human help to move further north. The sooner somebody starts planting groves on the Olympic Peninsula and Vancouver Island, the better.

    Mark, thanks for this! A needed dose of perspective.

    Quinshi, I’d have to look them up. The one specific Greek reference I recall is in Plato’s discussion of Atlantis, which he says was not far from the continent on the other side of the Atlantic, and you can cross to the continent easily by going past a few islands.

    Stephen, my guess at the moment is serious stagflation, but I could be wrong.

    Chuaquin, I’ve been scratching my head over that for a while now. I suspect there are things going on behind the scenes that aren’t getting any media play.

    David BTL, thanks for this. It’s been really rather an inspiration to watch you walk the Path!

    Jeanne, it’ll be interesting to watch.

    J.L.Mc12, I’ve always hated Hardin’s garbled coinage “ecolacy” — why not “naturacy”? Doubtless more filters will be evolved eventually, but I’m still stuck here in 2021… 😉

    Jason, I don’t use keywords in my tarot readings, as I find that produces much less useful results. As for the numbers themselves, again, they represent transrational principles — boil them down to keywords and you miss most of the value. Why not instead meditate on each number until you get its essential feeling and state of consciousness, and then work from there?

    Clever, fortunately all the good books on the subject are long out of copyright. Here is a good introductory book, and here is a more detailed manual — these two were the foundations of my cell salt practice for the first twenty years or so that I worked with them. Here is the most complete repertory I know of — good for more advanced studies.

    Walt, it doesn’t cause discomfort to me, it’s just dull. A video of the kind you’ve suggested would be even duller than usual, and it would still be colored blobs on a flat surface pretending to be a scene.

    Samurai, ouch! Yes, that’s very, er, familiar just now…

    WP, glad to hear it.

    Karl, I’m aware that there may be attempts to force that sort of thing through, especially in Europe, where it’s the natural endpoint of the EU’s corporate-bureaucratic system. I look forward to seeing people hack such systems, with colorful consequences.

    Pygmycory, I’d start with most people getting by with around half the energy per capita they have now — though you won’t hear that on the media!

  65. JMG,
    Quick question because I’ve noticed a slight pattern.

    Is it astrologically abnormal for two people who were born the same day and the same year, to hate the same person for no reason? I used to have 2 friends of the same birthday and out of nowhere they decided they didn’t like me anymore, after having done nothing to them. They don’t know each-other, so i figured that couldn’t be the reason, and live completely different lives, so I interact with them semi differently. I’m not ruling out that it could totally just be me who is the issue, but I also didn’t do anything to provoke either of them, and got the same result.

    I noticed this is not the same case for ex-friends and friends I have who were born on the same day but in different years, which makes sense considering the stars weren’t in the same place.

    Thanks!! 🙂

  66. Hi John Michael,

    Very few of the current batch of civilisation scaled dramas worry me. As a side note, I do worry about things from time to time, they just don’t happen to be the same issues that most people worry about – if you believe the media (which incidentally I do actually see those concerns being reflected back at me (and to further digress, I believe that is the correct terminology to use) in my conversations with all sorts of people) anyway and it’s a sad desire to set a narrative, as if that is all that needs doing. If only it were that easy.

    So, yeah, few worries. Except the recent various fertiliser export bans (and a large scale producer up in Queensland picked this time, of all times, to announce that it will shut down production due to high natural gas prices – hmm possibly rent seeking? Dunno) are an issue of concern to me.

    Agriculture as it is currently practised expects so much, for so little, from so few, that the whole thing looks like a precarious set of expectations which may possibly not be able to be delivered upon in the future.

    And as a civilisation, we are basically not set up to produce – on a return of minerals back to the soils – basis.

    The other thing is that as soil fertility and soil minerals decline (and Liebig’s law of the minimum applies here), calories will stay high in the food produced, but proteins and other minerals will decline as they have been for decades. Forget about the health subject which dares not be named, this will impact upon peoples health more fundamentally than that issue. And in fact probably already has.

    I realise this is a huge topic, but I’d be very curious as to your thoughts in this matter. Is it blog essay worthy material? 🙂

    As a side note, the growing season here looks like it will be another very short one. The good thing about that is that when things are bad like that here in this mountainous region, the surrounding areas do quite well due to the addition precipitation. So that is one thing to be grateful for.

    Cheers

    Chris

  67. For those who are interested, a new edition of ‘The King in Yellow’ by Robert W. Chambers, has been published by Last Word Press in Olympia, WA (www.lastwordpress.com). Just bought a copy yesterday. Not the entire set of stories, but these four: The Repairer of Reputations, The Mas, In the Court of the Dragon, and The Yellow Sign. Came out in 2019.

  68. Matt #34,

    Thanks for bringing up the question about the all-caps social security number “theory”. I have a friend who has succumbed to conspiracy culture and I didn’t realize how pervasive that story had become. My guy frames it as a “corporate fiction” the government uses to “monetize” individuals. He claims to have a friend who has designated himself as a sovereign citizen, and not only does he not have to pay taxes, the IRS now pays him! Details are scarce for how to file the right paperwork. It strikes me as a fantasy of using legal maneuvers to get wish fulfillment and to become “an elite”–the people he says he hates.

    I’m very curious to hear what JMG has to say about this if it is coming up next week. My friend is an intelligent person who has been successful in business and it is just so preposterous and crazy I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out how he could get himself into such a thing.

  69. Hi Karl,

    It is not all as bleak as you’d imagine down under. The hype exceeds reality by a considerable margin. I’m living with this stuff day to day, and I can tell you this for sure: The systems look inept to me as if they require a level of compliance from the public and integration from the powers that be, that basically goes against human behaviour. And bizarrely, the federal government appears to hold the records (and are not handing them over), whilst the state governments appear to be the ones left with enforcement. Now what possibility does that suggest to you? Of course things may be different in your country.

    Sure, some people and businesses are hyper vigilant and that is life, you have to expect that. The problem with the whole thing is that it is basically a giant patchwork operation – if they were really serious, things would look very different again and probably be quite scary. But I’d have to suggest that they’re talking a big game whilst delivering a mediocre result, so try to chill out a bit mate.

    Cheers

    Chris

  70. Will (#43)

    Both species of sequoia (giant and coast redwood) are fire-adapted and not likely to disappear from fire. In fact, Giant Sequoia requires fire for its seeds to germinate.

    Which is not to say something else couldn’t push them out of their home range, like drought. The range of Coast Redwood is nearly identical to the areas inundated by “coastal stratus” (i.e., fog) in the summer. If the fog goes away (which has been predicted and seems to be happening), it’s going to be tough for them. I’m guessing the long-term, high severity drought in the Sierra is stressing out the Giant Sequoia.

    So, I wouldn’t worry about fire taking them out. We can save that worry for most of the other tree species. But heat and drought could do the job. It can’t hurt to plant some elsewhere. They are great looking trees!

  71. The sequoia is such a famous species that it will have spread aroung the world by now. I know of several examples in the UK alone. Total extinction seems unlikely, although creating an ecosystem that includes them may be more tricky.

    Less famous species will be less fortunate.

  72. @Will Oberton #43

    The coast redwood is naturalized in New Zealand as they grow them in plantations there.

    https://redwoods.co.nz/about/californian-redwood/

    They actually grow faster there than in California because the rainfall is more steady.
    Wikepedia reports successful plantings in Great Britain, Italy, Portugal as well as
    other places, so all is not lost. Unfortunately, where I live is too far north and too cold
    for them or I would try planting a few myself.

  73. for Clay Dennis: I agree with you about the delusionary nature of most of the “solutions” to our warming climate. It’s really frustrating to talk to people who refuse to look at the idea that we will all have to drastically change our ways of living. I read an article in the Sunday New York Times about cobalt mines in the Congo, and it really hit me that all the new “green” energy ideas/solutions to global warming really involve more colonialism and resource grasping from places like the Congo. These mines will, or have already, left huge places that are uninhabitable for the local people.

    to pygmycory about 2035: I think there are many ways in which we see the signs of the future. In the town where I live now, there are many more homeless people than there ever were,and as winter sets in, they are more desperate. There are programs to help them, but many of them have mental health issues and drug problems that make those solutions unfeasible. So their population grows. The stores are being robbed quite frequently and so they look to closing ones that are losing money. It goes on.

    Other things like health care (I am a retired nurse) seem to be not working well for most people. There is no preventative care, so the chronic diseases continue to rise until they are life threatening, and treatment becomes very expensive. there are other areas of life too. I just see a lot of dysfunction with people getting more frustrating. It’s not a nice picture.

  74. Hello JMG (and commentariat)

    I seem to recall that many years ago you wrote a lovely riff on “hope”, an essential human condition. Not baseless optimism but a deep faith that things can be better, which in turn drives effort to overcome. I think that it was in one of your “Long Descent” – “End of Empire” series of books (I have them all) but I have been unable to find it again.

    If anyone recognises this riff from my poor description and can point me to the book I would be most obliged. Thanks.

  75. Elizabeth Skewis , I’m a wandering bishop myself, and am happy to provide my two cents on your predicament. (I assure you that it is worth every penny!)

    It is unfortunate that religious communities, even liturgical ones, often devolve into in-groups and out-groups due to political concerns. Clergy ought to be addressing this sort of thing by sticking to what we are SUPPOSED to be doing, namely leading liturgy and worship, offering the sacrament, and offering spiritual care.

    Decent clergy (and decent people) ought to understand that members of a congregation come from a range of political and social beliefs and direct community conversation appropriately. Alienating worshipers is not the right way to do things.

    That said, I think you have identified a possible way of dealing with this: Focus on the sublimity of the mass, experience the act of worship and leave the rest. If you don’t feel comfortable fellowshiping under current conditions, don’t. Experience the mass and leave the rest.

    Another option is to tell your clergy how you feel. It may be that they are making some big assumptions about how attendees regard political discussions. Letting them know about your experience could perhaps persuade them to steer discussion to other topics.

    I wish you well.

  76. @ pygmycory #71

    The future? Colder in the winter, hotter in the summer, more work, and less choice in everything.

    That is, eat what you have and be grateful for it and get back to work!

    As for temperatures; rich people are cool in the summer and warm in the winter. For poor people, it’s the other way around and I don’t expect that to change at all.

  77. Hi JMG,

    Thank you for the book, “Paths of Wisdom”. I am taking a long time to get through it, but it is a great addition to my collection. In one place, you describe the Star of David as a triangle pointing up and a triangle pointing down, which is obvious enough, but you assign the color blue (air) to the downward pointing triangle, which seems to want to be green (water). Would you explain the color choice to me? 🙂

    Second and perhaps more confusing to me is the assignment of Hebrew letters to the “tree of life”. Yours is, of course, in agreement with Dion Fortune, and I have no doubt that you have faithfully given the Golden dawn teaching. But if you examine the structure of the tree you can see that there are 3 horizontal lines, 7 vertical segments and 12 oblique, suggesting a different arrangement. Can you comment on this, or perhaps recommend a book to me?

    Thanks, Ben

  78. Helena (no 6.), some materialist philosopher from the Carvaka or Lokayata school controversially recommended dying while owing money! (Most other schools of Indian philosophy believed that karma would follow such a person into the next life.)

    There’s a subreddit called “Student Loan Defaulters” where one regularly encounters borrowers floating various schemes to borrow large amounts without ever paying it back. I suppose the same thing is done with credit cards, but the credit card companies are a bit more on the ball, and the fraud is less obvious if you (say) get three Ph.Ds in basket-weaving and then move overseas, than if you use Visa to pay MasterCard.

    ———————————————–

    Polydoros (no. 23), have you thought about Peace Corps? A lot of people find that a good way to transition to government or NGO work, and living in a second- or third-world country might be a useful experience.Sectors include English teaching, youth education (think YMCA / summer camp type activities), community health, and agriculture.

    Drawbacks: (a) They recalled all their volunteers last year, and still haven’t sent any back. It’s not clear when they will resume. (b) The application process is a big pain, with lots of hoops to jump through. (c) The organization is very woke, and very controlling. They’ll make all your medical decisions (yes, jabs are required), set you up with host families that you’ll be required to live with, and can kick you out at any time for things like smoking pot, riding a motorcycle, or failing to let them know where you are. Or just for being too sick.

    I fantasized about joining the PC when I was younger, but they wouldn’t take me. (In their defense, I was pretty useless at 20.) Now that I could probably get in, I’m tied down and can’t do it! I do, however, hold out hope of one day participating in the Armenian Volunteer Corps–which come to think of it, you could do too (and there are a lot of other, vaguely similar aid / volunteer groups out there).

    —————————————————-

    Matt (no. 34), these ideas are examples of “Sovereign Citizen” beliefs. They’ve been around for decades:

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

    For example, since legal documents often spell names in all-caps, some geniuses have attempted to avoid being charged (for example) by objecting that the name under which they were charged, is not really their name. Needless to say, such arguments are supported by neither the courts nor the IRS.(The actor Wesley Snipes was jailed for failing to pay taxes on some such grounds.)

    —————————————————–

    Mawkernewek (no, 62) Meanwhile, the CIA, after all those years of Soviet-watching, completely failed to anticipate the fall of the USSR, or make many useful suggestions about what the US response should be after it occurred.

  79. @Bakbook

    Isn’t it obvious how Greer finds the time to “read and thoughtfuly reply to so many questions”?

    He’s an occult Freemason sorcerer. He simply looks into the future to see what the questions are and comes up with answers ahead of time!

  80. Question for Greer and the board here.

    So as a pet project, I’ve been trying to write a constitution for an imaginary society. I’m trying to make the constitution as realistic as possible so I’ve been heavily reading the US, Australian, and Canadian constitutions to use as a model.

    I started out with a unicarmal legislative branch but eventually, I realized the importance of bicarmalism and the usefulness of a upper house to represent regional governments, like the US Senate does.

    HOWEVER, I don’t want to have indirect election by local legislatures, like the US had before the 17th amendment. That didn’t work out in the original constitution, it was kind of a disaster actually.

    I also don’t want the upper house to be directly elected, because I think that removes its representatives from local affairs too much. I also

    What I’m thinking of is having the governors of each state appoint senators to an upper house with the consent of each state legislature. The governors could also remove senators any time they want to with the consent of each state legislature. I think putting this power in the hands of the governors would increase the efficiency of the appointment process and increase accountability, which was the real reason the 17th amendment was necessary.

    My question for Greer and the board: What are the pitfalls of this idea? What’s the worst scenario that could happen and what can go wrong?

  81. Its Wednesday and we have a new main post over on the Green Wizards website. Check out “21 Stoic Quotes For Green Wizards To Live By”.

    Stoic Philosophy is something everyone should read up on, but for those walking the path of Green Wizardry, it compliments the emphasis we have on understanding your own mind, family and community involvement, as well as self sufficiency and a appreciation of Nature. You’ll be surprised how familiar the concepts are when you read them.

    Over on the Green Wizard forum we have a couple of topics to check out. First a post from last month has gotten some discussion recently. If you garden, check out “Tricks For Handling Small Seeds”.

    Our recent post, “Your Pets and Emergencies”, has everyone there asking “Can you walk a cat on a leash?”. Post your own observations.

    And for the writers among us, check out Green Wizards Bill and Teresa Peschel’s post about themselves and their website. They are owners of a small publishing house and indie authors as well. Their book “Career Indie Author” was reviewed in August, and is highly recommended for both the beginner and the experienced writer. It will teach you the business side of your craft. It would make a great gift for the holidays for the writers in your circle of friends.

    Speaking of gifts, now is the time to order that copy of “Green Wizardry” by our host, John Michael Greer if you don’t already own it. With the delays in shipping and the Mail, order it early so Santa can get it to you by Christmas. If you don’t, you might get a visit from Krampus instead.

    (You can get a free copy by writing a guest post for the Green Wizard website. Contact me for more information.)

    Already have that book, then check out some of Greer’s other works. You are bound to find something of interest. Check out his books at Bookshop dot Org.

  82. David BTL,

    “You’re not here to do great things. You’re here to develop your soul.”

    Thank you! Love this.

    Since retiring from my job last month, I am reflecting more on how much of my sense of self I have outsourced to family, school, job, and religion over the past 62 years.

    That outsourcing, in and of itself, may be a requirement to participate in life with other people. We are social primates, after all. Fair enough. No man is an island, and all that.

    But:

    Perhaps if I am lucky, and curious, and try to accept rather than flinch and retreat when confronted by myself on myself, my soul will get the nourishment it needs.

    That part of myself that was outsourced, it seems, can certainly be called back. And that part likely has previously unimagined and helpful stories to share. I just need to be brave enough to listen. Life is better when I do!

    Best to you,
    OtterGirl

  83. viduraawakened #11 You may want to investigate some of the devices that were used for industrial automation and control in the days when it was done with pneumatics. I’ve seen a pneumatic master controller for a power station boiler and it is a maze of bellows, links, levers, flappers and nozzles and is doing complex analog functions to give an output from multiple inputs. These were superseded by analog electronics before being replaced by digital.

    Pygmycory #72 One change I expect to see is increased fuel costs will mean most people will commute shorter distances. This will mean people will seek employment closer to home, possibly cycling distance and employers will have a smaller pool of people to choose from.

  84. @WeirdLibrarian

    Very cool!!! I stumbled across here “randomly” today while looking for music on bandcamp. On the bandcamp page they have a feed of all the music that is being bought by fans in real time, and sometimes I go there and cIick on a few album covers that look interesting. The title of her “Golden Loam” album piqued my interest. I had no idea about her music before today, but it is very much to my taste. It was a great discovery and I’ll be happy to share it with others as I can. I played it for my wife tonight while she was making cashew topped toffee bars,and I was getting a big old mess of greens ready for tomorrow.

    I thought her version of “I am a Pilgrim” perfect listening for Thanksgiving. I wish her much luck and success on her musical journey.

    @Chris in VT:

    I’m glad you gave the music I shared a spin and that it was just what you needed tonight. I’m really digging her music and am planning on buying one of her albums (just not this Friday).

    I just can’t help sharing good music with family and friends! I count the community here at Ecosophia that John has built to certainly be in the friends category. This community is something I am truly thankful for.

    So much good music out there. Like reading its a constant journey of discovering new wonder and beauty, from new voices and old. Many of the old voices, in books and music, are still in the “new to me” category, so there’s always territory to continue to explore.

    @JMG:

    Since last months open post I’ve really been contemplating a Hindu influenced second pseudomorphosis, as was a topic under discussion then. It seems very plausible. I can definitely see it happening somewhere like England, but also here in America, for a number of reasons. In a way there has already been a bit of a Hindu influenced pseudomorphosis through the influence of Indian Classical Music (Hindustani and Carnatic) and on composers here and the influence of the spiritual traditions brought over from the Indian subcontinent to England and the U.S. This week at work I cataloged a newly released album of some devotional music recorded by Alice Coltrane that brought that point home to me again. & while I know you are not a fan of the minimalist school/style of music most of the people involved at it’s beginning had instruction from the Indian singer Pandit Pran Nath, some becoming his bonafide disciples (La Monte Young and his wife Azeela, and Terry Riley are the biggies there). But there was a whole circle around Nath, what I call the Nath Constellation of musicians. So yeah, I can see minimalist music as perhaps a precursor to a later fuller flowering of a second Hindu influenced pseudomorphosis. We’ll see of course, but it’s fun to speculate on this and think about.

    I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing the influence of ayurvedic medicine sprout further flowers on this soil. & there is so much more & many ways it could happen.

  85. One last comment here. Reading the US constitution, I’ve noticed very interesting trends looking at the amendments to it AFTER the Bill of Rights.

    The first trend is that amendments don’t come evenly spaced, they come in waves. I think that, if you exclude the earliest amendments, the US had three big waves of amendments, the first being right after the civil war, the second being the 1920s and 1930s, and the third being the 1960s-70s.

    Interestingly, we passed 11 amendments between 1913 and 1971. That’s one amendment every 6 years for a 60 year period! But for the past 50 years, we passed ZERO amendments.

    I feel like that really says something about society. Maybe not much has changed since the 1970s?

    Now, taking a step back, each of these amendment waves were related to shifts in the economic fabric of society. The first wave (amend. 13-15) happened after the Civil War, which was related to which agrarian economic system would dominate the newly expanded terrority the US had gained from Mexico. The second wave (amend. 16-22) happened when industrialization became the primary economic driver of society. The third wave (23-26) happened as the US became a service based economy.

    Each of these amendments are related to these macroeconomic shifts. For wave two, for example, industrialization drove urbanization, which resulted in a lot of social problems (ex: alcoholism) which drove amendments like the 18th amendment. You also saw a massive increase in government control of society. The Federal government gained the right to tax income (Amend. 16), and because of FDR, the government gained massive power during the Great Depression, which resulted Amend. 22, to limit the power of the president.

    ****************************************************************************************************************

    OK, so here’s the point of the post. I think that there’s a connection between 1) the complexity of society, 2) the powers the central US government assumes, and 3) increases in representation to legitimize the increased power of government.

    I don’t think it’s an accident that the 17th Amendment (direct election of Senators) was passed right after the 16 Amendment (Federal government can directly tax income). Just imagine the outrage if unelected Senators could take people’s paycheck money!

    Likewise, in the 1960s, we had to pass the 23rd amendment to give Washington DC representation in presidential elections. Why did we pass this amendment in the 1960s and not the 1860s? Because by the 1960s, government has become so complex that it could support a giant city of people! And what are these people doing? Well….. they’re fighting the Cold War and administering government programs. Accordingly, we expanded voting rights to teenagers (who can fight in foreign wars for the federal government), and to poor people and minorities, who would get access to increased government welfare.

    So….. if you break the amendments to the constitution down by time, you see a trend of 1) Problems society faces become more complex. 2) Federal government becomes more powerful and complex. 3) We increase the ways people can vote to ensure this power and complexity is (in theory!) responsive to voters. And this process happens in waves brought on by underlying macroeconomic changes.

    Anyway, thoughts on this Greer? This sounds right up your alley.

  86. @Nicholas Carter & JMG

    I personally wonder if in the future, certain coastal areas will actually have more connections with those across the oceans than to parts of their own continent that aren’t nearly as far away. It all depends on the level of shipping technology available and the political realities, but water transport can be much more energy efficient than land transport. I could see a future in which, if you were in coastal New England, you’d be more likely to meet someone who’d been to England than someone who’d been to the Ohio or Mississippi valley. With a warmer climate, there’s be more people in places such as Newfoundland and Labrador, Greenland, and Iceland as well, so there could be busy shipping lanes all around the edges of the Atlantic.

    If climate change warms things enough to allow significant populations around the Arctic Ocean shores, that would connect the continents of the northern hemisphere even further. They’re not that far apart at that latitude, even with some loss of land due to rising sea levels.

  87. Anthonyduclare, I’ve been doing GIS work for twenty years now, and I think getting a certificate in GIS might allow you to find the job you’re looking for, particularly if you are very good with Python scripting or SQL. Anyone with GIS experience who knows Python or SQL has no trouble finding a job, because those programming languages are highly utilized in the GIS world. There are regular GIS users like myself, as well as GIS developers, which it something you could also probably do. Definitely look into it though. There are lots of free GIS courses you can find on youtube or through ESRI.com. The only thing is you’d need to have access to ArcPro or ArcMap in order to do the hands-on work yourself. That’s where taking an actual course would come in handy.

  88. Jmg, considering that he used the term ecology in a broad way that did necessarily restrict itself to nature I think “Cyberticalacy” May have been more appropriate!

  89. Hello Ecosophia community,
    I have been chilling out in the shadows for several years while reading Mr. Greer’s work on here, his books, and listening to all the interviews I can find. I am currently reading the updated edition of “The Wealth of Nature”, and seeing that this week is an open post, I wanted to write in and thank Mr. Greer for his wonderful insights, humor, truth, and clarity in a world gone to #2. Back in 2018 my partner and I decided to look for a piece of land to start growing food and building skills. After a year of searching, we found some affordable land (land that a Millennial couple could afford in these inflated real estate times).
    To make a long story short we sourced three 20′ shipping containers to try and make into a tiny house. Reading through “Green Wizardry” at the time (summer 2019) I was inspired to look into traditional ways of cooling. and discovered the long narrow shape of a shipping container was identical to the historic Shotgun Houses of yesteryear. This design was implemented, and has proven to be wonderful in helping to circulate air through our small house offgrid. This is just one of the many applications that Mr. Greer’s work has helped us to “crash now and avoid the rush”! We have had a lot of challenges to work through like- condensation troubleshooting, house construction, soil collapse from the previous conventional ag land owners, and some are still ongoing such as meth addict/drug running neighbors and a local culture of collective narcissism. Regardless of these challenges, life goes on and we are actively working on building skills and emotional resilience as the country rolls down the hill into histories dumpster.
    Grafting, Permaculture design, food growing/preparation/storage, soil building through humanure composting, compost tea, chicken tractoring, washing clothes by hand, general construction, edible plant propagation, herbal medicine, and so much more.
    I say all of this to not only thank Mr. Greer for his dedication in helping all of us grow mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, but to also show what Mr. Greer advocates is necessary and completely possible for anyone now more than ever.

  90. Roe, it’s not abnormal at all. The two of them will have very similar horoscopes, and so they will be undergoing the same set of transits at the same time — thus they’re likely to have similar reactions to life experiences.

    Chris, I’ll consider a post on that. It’s certainly an issue, as part of the broader collapse of the basis of our civilization.

    Jim, thanks for this.

    Alan, I don’t recall which book it’s in, but the post is available here.

    Cat, good heavens. That strikes me as a very good omen indeed.

    Benjamin, in the Golden Dawn tradition blue, not green, is the color of water — green is the color of earth. As for the Hebrew lettering, there are at least a dozen different ways of assigning the letters to the paths, and they all work. As Dion Fortune notes, the spheres are objective but the paths are subjective, and that means you can use any set of correspondences that work for you — including the version you’ve mentioned, of course.

    Patricia M, but of course!

    RustheRook, it’s an interesting proposal. I have no idea how it would work out, though.

    Justin, we’ve had the foundations of a Hindu pseudomorphosis here since the end of the 19th century and the first wave of Hindu teachers to come to the United States. Just remember that the aftermath of a second pseudomorphosis is usually a forceful rejection of the foreign influence!

    Augusto, it’s a later edition of the same work — https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.515731 is the URL. I’ve fixed the link in the comment earlier so it should work. (I chose the later edition because it’s black on white, thus prints out better.)

    RustheRook, it’s an interesting pattern. The question is how it will respond as the US government contracts, now that our age of empire is over.

    Kashtan, that’s very common historically, all things considered — think of the ways that Mediterranean cultures interacted with one another — so yes, it’s quite possible.

    J.L.Mc12, ugh. Maybe, but it clanks.

    Offgridchristopher, thanks for this! It’s always a delight to hear from someone who’s taken up my challenge and done something about it — and the shipping container shotgun house is frankly brilliant.

  91. Anthony (#20)

    GIS is an amazing tool and a very good thing to know how to do. That said, I’m not sure about getting a “Certificate”.

    I learned (on the job) how to do GIS when it was all command line prompts back in the 90’s. As a programmer, you would have been a natural! I happened to be back in school (long story) and decided I might as well get a GIS Certificate while I was there since it would be so easy. Well, it wasn’t that easy, actually. Everything was changing to GUI with icons and pull-down menus and I couldn’t find anything and actually continued to do most things using commands I would type in.

    My professor didn’t seem to know much. Because I was already quite proficient, when I had a question, it was a really good question to which he had no answer. He talked a good talk about theory during the lectures, but when it came to the labs he was way over his head. I learned next to nothing, and I suspect most of the recipients of a GIS Certificate at my school learned very little as well. I think we can all agree that just because you have a piece of paper, doesn’t mean you actually know anything.

    So, practically speaking:

    Get GIS skills if you can. It’s amazingly useful and powerful.

    Learn on the job if at all possible from someone who knows what they’re doing.

    If you have a school in mind, seek out recent graduates and see if they think it was useful. I’m sure all certificate programs aren’t as bad as the one I went to. There’s got to be smart professors somewhere?

    Not having any experience, and then not getting hired because you have no experience is super frustrating. I wish you well.

  92. offgridchristopher please contact me at greenwizard dtrammel @gmail dot com. I run the Green Wizard website and I’d love to get you to do a guest post over on the site about all you did on your property.

  93. I am embarrassed to say that I don’t print much stuff out so that didn’t occur to me. I prefer the yellow ones for screen reading as the sepia is easier on my eyes than white. That is one thing I should fix though, at least for some important stuff like this one.

    Another thing. I think I read somewhere a while ago that you said you do a different dosage for Bioplasma different than the 6 daily tablets. May I ask what are the benefits of this increased dosage and what is the dosage? Do you also increase it for the ones when the Moon passes over your natal sign?

  94. Thank you everyone who responded with job advice! My end goal is to be able to work for myself honestly, possibly have a small farm and use whatever knowledge I learn from my first jobs along the way to get there. I am unvaccinated and dont ever plan to get it so many jobs are closed off to me. Honestly as time progresses I don’t see how I can participate in the modern world and have a “career” in the traditional sense. Luckily I have zero student debt. Thank you to JMG, elkriver, Mark L, clay dennis, Lunar Apprentice, and Bei Dawei for your responses. Happy Thanksgiving!

  95. @Chris,
    Glad to hear things aren’t do bad in Auz. I have a friend on FB who’s not vaxd and lives in Victoria, and she still seems to mange to get out to restaurants and pubs on the sly.
    Austria and possibly Germany seem to be playing hard-ball, but we’ll see if it’s all a bluff come the Feb. deadline when 3 million people haven’t gotten the jab.
    I’m in California and our Gov. Newsom is covid / power crazy, he’d would love implementing some type of mandatory measures on the population using Apples new digital ID software.
    There’s no way in hell I’m losing my freedoms to this madness, and luckily in far north California and the western part of the USA there’s like minded people who will stick together and weather this storm. Hope for the best, but plan for the worst has always worked for me.
    Karl

  96. Re: Sequoias
    There’s two types in California, the ones that live near the coast from sea level to about 1,000 feet, north of about Monterey to the Oregon boarder. They grow fast and tall (world record tall) and are called redwoods. They get most of their water from winter storms, but also from dripping fog in the summer. They’re not under threat of going extinct unless we get more severe droughts, but they can survive droughts as some are up to 1,000 years old. So far this winter our rainfall is above normal after a big storm in Oct., but it’s hard to say how much more rain we’ll get this season.
    The other type of sequoias grows only in the central Sierras from about Yosemite to where the range ends at Sequoias Natural park. They can only grow at higher elevations typically around 4 to 5,000 feet. These are the ones that get massive in size like the General Sherman tree and can be several thousand years old. They can withstand fire as long at it stays near the base and not into the crown (their bark is fire resistant). I don’t know how many were lost in the last fire, but I imagine the fire fighters were protecting them as it was a slow moving fire. They are also drought tolerant to have lasted thousands of years and I believe they’ve been around since the time of the dinosaurs . They’ll probably out live us.

  97. Polydoros,

    I was in your shoes. Finding an entry level position as a fork truck driver, especially on second or third shift, is pretty easy right now. From there you can work your way into machining or assembly given your background. It won’t be easy, but you can earn a decent living. Also consider truck driving for a period (but I wouldn’t want to do that job for decades… the lifestyle can wear on the body).

  98. @Greer

    I feel like, IF we collapse as you think, (and I’m skeptical about collapse) this pattern is going to end up with democracy failing.

    Global warming + energy shortages would drastically increase the demands on government. US government would respond by centralizing power.

    Then, in order to retain legitimacy and responsiveness to the public, we would increase democracy, perhaps by decreasing some undemocratic part of our government. For example, if the power of the presidency had to drastically increase, then we might try to remove the electoral college.

    However, I think that if the government centralized power too much, it would eventually outstrip its ability to satisfy everyone through democratic elections.

    Infinite power would require infinite representation, and I think the amount of power governments would demand in response to “collapse” would increase faster than representation could keep up.

    ***************************************************************

    By the way, there is a thought I didn’t mention in my original post. I think democracy is dependent on undemocratic features of society in order to succeed. Free speech rights, for example, are undemocratic. The entire point of free speech is that a majority can’t vote to censor a minority. Likewise, rule of law depends on a independent judiciary that is isolated from the majority. Same with separation and delegation of powers. A minority make the laws and administer the government, but we elect that minority.

    I feel like that that has some connection with my original post. But I probably need to think about it more (It’s too late at night for this!).

  99. @ JMG – A while back you opined that if Kamala Harris were elevated to the Presidency, she would likely prove to be an American Ceausescu. Did you mean in her style of government, or the ultimate outcome for herself – or perhaps both?

  100. @anthonyduclare (#20)

    Ian’s advice (#102) is good. There are many books out on learning GIS with Python. PostGIS is also very powerful, as it’s based on the Postgresql SQL engine.

    With your skill set, learning SQL should be easy, and here are a couple of books that can help with GIS:

    PostGis in Action, 3rd edition
    https://www.manning.com/books/postgis-in-action-third-edition

    Learning Geospatial Analysis with Python – Third Edition
    https://www.packtpub.com/product/learning-geospatial-analysis-with-python-third-edition/9781789959277

    These tech publishers have sales all the time, so never pay full price. Also check the sales on Udemy and other video sites.

    Lastly, go to job sites like Indeed, Monster, LinkedIn jobs and do searches on GIS jobs. Get a feel for the market. Search country-wide as a lot of jobs can be done remotely. If you are deep in debt for that degree, well, learning this and some python data science could help you extricate yourself. Go through books, do a lot of projects, post them up on github, and sell yourself. Then warn kids not to follow in your major. If there are no jobs, the teachers should warn you, but we know that will never happen.

  101. @Chronojourner, JMG, Frank from Germany, team10tim, Dusk Shine, KJL

    Thank you very much for your replies. The steampunk devices of the older times described in the links provided were surely interesting. My favourite was the ‘tide predicting machine’ that team10tim spoke about. I read the wikipedia article, and it does have some interesting info on how the graph was plotted, with time on the x-axis and the dependent variable on the y-axis. Stuff like this gives me hope that reworked versions of these devices could be used to teach students about, say, the famous Lorenz equations and their corresponding time series plots, in a low tech setting.

    Also, if anyone has any additional information about the Soviet hydraulic computer which I mentioned in my above comment, I’d be very grateful if you could share it here, as the article I posted was literally the most detailed article I could find online regarding the same. If there are any Russian readers of this blog, I would appreciate if they could point me towards a more detailed source of information regarding this machine.

  102. (Apologies for making this a separate comment)

    @Justin Patrick Moore

    By any chance, are you a fan of the santoor maestro Pandit Shivkumar Sharma? I asked because you take interest in Hindustani Classical Music. As a classical music aficionado belonging to the younger generation (among whom it is fashionable to mock HCM without having listened to it or even read about it), my own experience has been that if anyone non-acquainted with HCM comes to me and shows interest in it, I encourage them to start by listening to SS, and then gradually, I’ve seen a significant number of them move onto other instruments in addition to santoor, and then finally, vocals. But Panditji’s music has a special place in my heart, so to speak, and it truly is sublime, IMO.

  103. Every so often, Rod Dreher gets a mention here in this blog. In general, I have a lot of time for Dreher, particularly his analyses of the spiritual condition of the West, and what Christians can do in the face of it.

    However, I think he is getting sucked up in the mass psychosis of our time. Here is his latest:

    Call The #WaukeshaMassacre What It Is

    A relevant quote:

    “Six people are dead in Waukesha. They happen to be white. The alleged killer — a black man — posted anti-white, pro-Hitler material online. Though a violent criminal, he was out on ridiculously low bail thanks to a squishy-liberal white Democratic DA who believes in “bail reform”. Some things are so obvious that even a liberal reporter should be able to see it. In France, when a Muslim terrorist drove through a crowd on the promenade in Nice, they called it terrorism, because it was. Why not this attack in Waukesha? Why not at least explore whether or not Darrell Brooks’s open racism had anything to do with this mass murder?

    Why manage the news? I’m asking rhetorically, because I know perfectly well why they’re managing the news. It’s for the same reason that Catholic bishops covered up sex crimes by pedo priests: to control the narrative, avoid responsibility, and manage the anger of the rubes. …

    They hate us. They really do.

    UPDATE: Because some of you ask, “us” = normal unwoke Americans.”

    Either Dreher has been sucked up in the mass psychosis himself, or he is deliberately whipping it up. In either event, I think I am going to have to stay away from his blog until further notice.

  104. JMG et al

    You’ve probably read or seen reports of outbreaks of “flash mob” looting in California. I wonder if this is the beginning of war band culture that has been discussed here as an inevitable product of decline.

    The current targets are stores featuring high-end, easily fenced luxury goods. As these prospects harden through increased security measures, I assume the focus will shift to less lucrative but softer opportunities, such as residences.

    One mob in San Francisco was eighty strong. If a war band is large enough, even wealthy, gated communities will not be able to withstand the onslaught without a very powerful Praetorian Guard.

  105. Morning John,
    I’m working my way through the Manly P Hall papers which analyse the Bible, that you gave a link to. His approach of comparing the myths of the various religions to identify the commonalities between them and in turn identifying the mysteries they contain is very insightful. I have gained much from these papers and I can’t thank you enough.
    Regards Averagejoe

  106. @anthonyduclare #20

    You can always become an entrepreneur of some kind, be your own boss in a possible application not yet thought of or paid attention to. Peacecorp is a decent place to start too like mentioned above, however its not for everyone and would advise to study into the program more. Can develop an app that challenges users to be more green, something that reminds and encourages them to do things differently, kinda like a cbt , physical activity, planner type program, but towards being more self sustainable and healthy in say a city type setting where being green is perhaps not as easy for some because of the every day hustle and bustle, the simpler and easier the better.

  107. @David Trammel – if you could print these up on paper, I would very grateful for a copy, and pay you for the effort.

    Pat, whose printer only works as a copier for some arcane reason connected to the fact that Cox Communications is a cable company.

  108. I have two very serious questions here. The first is that, doing the Middle Pillar exercise, I’m fine until the step of bringing the energy down to my feet. My legs feel like two thick pillars of obstruction, full of crud, which no energy can get through, or only a trickle. I know the medical reason: lymphedema, and the need for support stockings, but what’s happening on the etheric level and what can be done about it?

    The second is that if you asked me, under a total Truthspell, what I’m grateful for, it’s that I’m living in a sheltered environment in which all my needs are provided for in comfort and safety. This, knowing what an enormous level of privilege it represents. And that guilt doesn’t cook up any grits; also, that I feel I need this accommodation at this point in my life (and, yes, I could cheerfully do without a lot of the rich-old-folks’-home bells and whistles like Executive Chefs, but am grateful for the fact that I can sit down at the dinner table and be served my food.)

    Now, the usual way to use privilege well is to give generously. The Christian “10% of one’s income” won’t work because I’m already drawing down on my savings to pay for this (and expected to at this point.) The Islamic idea of a 5% annual tithe on one’s wealth would give me 20 years before being penniless, but there are an amazing number of residents here who actually are 100 years old.

    BTW, I’ve tried all my life to be independent and self-sufficient and to develop survival skills of all sorts, and have had some temporary successes that never lasted. The Gods have repeatedly let me know that living by my own strength successfully for any length of time was never an option for this life, which was meant to teach me what it was like to need help and accept it. (And presumably, then, to have patience with others needing help.)

    anyway, please advise, knowing I’m probably putting this in a very muddled fashion right now, not to mention an imagined chorus of jeers of “Gee, we should only have her problems!” Fellows, try to imagine being an elderly indoor cat who could never get the hang of hunting and whose claws don’t work very well any more. And is only grateful for being able to make it to the litter box right now.

    Anyway, a happy Thanksgiving Day to everybody, and yes, I expect to have one at my daughter’s house today. I need to ask her what time of day it’s going to be.

  109. @Rus: that looks rather like the selection for the upper chamber of German legislature, the Bundesrat. You could look at its successes and shortcomings.

  110. Anthonyduclare #20 & Polydoros #23:
    Maybe you could look into getting a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) for a total cost of $500 – $1,500 U.S.? The classes are usually 10 weeks total, or sometimes two weeks residential on-site. The PDC is recognized in the marketplace of Australia, the US, EU, and UK. Most people with PDCs are self-employed, but it also enhances a resume for horticultural or agricultural, or water treatment jobs. The focus is designing perennial systems that enhance the soil life and help pollinators while producing human food with little to no external input. The classes are specialized by the experience the teacher has, e.g., one PDC class will focus on designs for a 4,000 acre cattle farm, and another PDC will focus on production of food on urban high rise balconies. With your underlying degrees in Bio-Engineering and Life Sciences and computers… you would have a super-charged resume. Some designers only do the design & plant selection–others also do the shovel work. You could start your company in the evenings & weekends while still doing your day job to pay the student loans off. There are many online courses as well as many in person courses. If civilization fails, you will be better equipped to grow food, no matter where you are. Many people and corporations will not do business with any landscape architecture or landscape design company that is not PDC qualified. Many old gardeners in bad health will let you do whatever you want to their yard, as long as it produces some perennial food for you & the homeowner to share. Many PDC people design their relatives’ yards first, then use those designs and pictures for their portfolio to market. Just a thought. Good luck!

  111. @JMG

    Of late, research in most fields of STEM is being increasingly focused on the computational approach. Indeed, many call it a ‘third paradigm’. While I have immense respect for the power of mathematics in investigating various areas (while being mindful of its very real limits as well), including things that are not part of the ‘hard sciences’, I have, over time, come to suspect one thing – that the increasingly loud focus on computational research is a red light that experimental research in almost all fields save relatively obscure ones like entomology (which only ‘freaks’ go for; the ‘cool’ folks go for molecular biology or genomics or systems biology, for example) is deep in the region of diminishing returns, if not already in negative returns, as evidenced by the huge investments of resources required to do the research (eg: molecular biology). What’s your take on this?

  112. Here in Canada, all of the dyed-in-the-wool Progress types (especially those who describe themselves as progressive) are obsessed with everything indigenous. Even most people who aren’t for Progress in the technological sense get all gooey eyed when Indigenous People come up. I get the impression the same thing is happening in Australia and NZ as well.

    It seems bizarre, though. Here you have people who are otherwise obsessed with The Future and keep falling for the fusion hoax and buying a new iPhone every other week. People who absolutely despise any and all traditions from their own cultures as racist, sexist, et cetera. Then they go and ‘appropriate’ (their word) another set of traditions elevate them to the place of highest good in their hearts.

    It has long struck me as paradoxical, but now I think I know what is going on: deep down, they have realized the failure of modernity. Subconsciously, I think they know it isn’t working, that they’re killing themselves and the planet chasing ‘the future electric’. So that leads to a psychotic break, of sorts. Their subconscious looks for the total opposite of progress, which is the stable stone-age traditions of the indigenous peoples. (Or at least, that’s how they marketed themselves until recently.) That then gets elevated to The Good.

    Which leads to endless self-flagellation and possible national suicide, but that’s another story.

    The depressing thing (aside from national suicide) to me is that these traditions are relatively useless here and now. That’s not being disrespectful: I believe in tradition. I believe it evolves to solve the problems of its environment, like an organism– and that evolution is incredibly powerful. The problem is that grafting the stone-age (well, chalcolithic in these parts) traditions of hunter-gatherer tribes onto a complex urban society is going to work about as well as putting a shark onto the savanna or a lion into the ocean. Both are highly evolved and incredibly effective in their environments they just can’t swap. Indigenous traditions in the city are lions in the ocean.

    The worst part is that we did evolve traditions — some in Europe, many in Asia — for living in complex urban societies within ecological bounds. It’s just that those are too recent and to adopt them would require, heavens forbid, actively thinking about them. Unconsciously driven adulation of all things indigenous is much easier.

    Okay, that was rant, not a question– but it is an observation you may find useful, JMG. Any comments? Do you see this happening in the USA? From your media, it doesn’t seem like America’s upper 20% are nearly as obsessed with with the myth of the noble savage, preferring to focus the urge for national suicide on their African-descended minority instead.

  113. @Ecosophian

    Mercy, so many possibilities!

    Evil JMG be like.

    Go ahead and do the spell.
    Don’t bother asking their permission or doing a divination.

    Don’t bother preparing for decline.
    It’ll be Mad Max or else the space bats will arrive to save us.

    Struggling with a mental issue?
    Don’t journal. It’s just a waste of time.

    Always remember…
    The opposite of a bad idea is always a good idea.

    Sure all empires in history have collapsed,
    But this time is different.

    You can get infinte resources from a finite planet.
    You just gotta push harder!

    Magic is just wanting, really hard, for something to be true.
    So, go ahead and summon that demon.

  114. Can anyone give some insights into the situation in Lebanon? Seems like things are steadily deteriorating, but it doesn’t show up in US news very often.

    From this article:
    The Lebanese pound has lost 90 percent of its value, as three-quarters of the country’s population plunged into poverty. Hundreds of thousands of families are struggling to cope with alarming price hikes, medicine shortages and an electricity crisis – all the while being locked out of their life savings. And in August 2020, the explosion at Beirut’s port killed more than 200, wounded 6,500 others and flattened several neighbourhoods in the Lebanese capital.

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/10/15/beirut-armed-clashes-rattle-distressed-residents

  115. JMG, I’m embarrassed to say this but I ran into job uncertainty (aka totalitarian vaccine mandates) and let myself get stuck on the last OSA lesson for the last ~1.5 months. Before that I was keeping up week to week. Anyway, I just did the first two steps of that lesson and hope to have my request for examination to you soon.

    Everyone,

    I think I may be observing some early Tamanous culture in the independent media movement. Two figures that come to mind are Tim Pool and Joe Rogan.

    Tim Pool:
    -starts his career as a high school drop out who couch surfs, saves money, and pays for his own travel to cover tumultuous news events.
    -gets hired by trendy News outlet Vice (before it went woke years ago)
    -quits when journalistic integrity degenerates and does the same at another company
    -Now he’s completely independent living in a mansion with a bunch of employees in the woods getting more viewership and $ than corporate media outlet shows do.

    Joe Rogan:
    -starts doing 3 hr podcasts with friends pretty much just goofing off
    -somehow this attracts more serious guests, podcast explodes, gets acquired for 100 million by Spotify
    -refuses to get vaccinated and goes head to head with the corporate media on a bunch of stuff

    Anyway I find it interesting that these two and people like them are basically just “doing their thing” and end up very wealthy without being owned by the corporate media. Please let me know if I’m butchering the concept of Tamanous. There are a bunch of other people like this. After I typed this up it seems pretty clear there’s some serious overlap between Tamnous and Individuation, but I don’t know the exact details at this point.

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

  116. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

    I have a question or two for the druids and those of the commentariate interested in Celtic studies in relation to interactions with Christianity.

    Background:
    My soon to be Father in law bought my fiance a really nice bible for his birthday from a church/tv bible study show under the name Shepherslds Chapel. A couple weeks later, we recieved essentially a list of books and CDs of many different bible studies they’ve done and recorded readings of the different books. I noticed , much to my astonishment that there were books on Druidry, bibical mathematics, the Apocrypha etc. I was excited at the time and wanted to get them. I actually enjoy listening to Shepherds chapel on occasion, better than many services I’ve attended irk. All they do is read and give context rather than pick a verse, book hop and cherry pick, and blow **** out of their *** like so many Christian leaders today do.

    Now: I did a little digging into the list and the church and one of the things I ran into was the modalism vs. Trinitarianism debate, yeah yeah one of many minor disagreements blown out of proportion, but I stumbled across the potential issue of Christian Identity. I have to admit that it made me feel uneasy, it should, because it essentially assumes that the celtic people’s are one of the lost tribes of Judah, and a whole bunch of legitimately racist stuff. I didn’t want to get the books from then on and wanted to verify the legitimacy of some of the titles and authors found on the list through those who have more extensive knowledge and know what to avoid first, before buying. All I know, albeit vaguely, is that people move and take their ideas and culture with them. Some very early Christians attempted to escape persecution moving towards the North and East and that there was some interaction before, but not a lot due to geography and maybe technological restraints. I cant speak on behalf of what the Ancient Druids did before, but I can imagine that they moved around and interacted with foreign cultures as well. The last thing I will tolerate from anyone is the true appropriation of not one but multiple unique cultures to suit ones narrative of “we’re among the chosen ones!” as if it matters.

    E. Raymond Capt. Is one of the primary authors listed as well as I.H. Elder, and R.W. Morgan.

    Some of the titles included in order of author listed:

    Stonehenge and Druidism
    Scottish Declaration of Independence
    Traditions of Glastonbury

    Celt, Druid, & Caldee

    St. Paul in Britain

    With that I’ll be sticking to Celtic Mythology for now.

  117. About technology and all that bother.
    I take my clothes to a public laundry. I put my quarters in and do my laundry. Nothing to see here.

    They have set up a laundry app so that people can pay and start the machines using their smart phones. Most of the time, the people ask me for quarters since they can’t get the phone app to work.

    Meanwhile, my quarters work just fine.

  118. Disgruntled people – younger than 40.
    I am noted as the woman with the big stick who takes long walks around the neighborhood. People see me so often that they feel they know me. So they tell me things.

    Things like – I don’t believe the vaccine really works. I voted for Trump, who told it like it is. I am not sure about all these homosexual books in the schools. I think Biden is a boob.

    The common denominator in all of these people is that they are between 20 and 40 years old. There appears to be an underground of people who talk to each other (actual conversations) about things that bother them. It would appear that the Progressive agenda or Progress agenda has played itself out.

  119. Good news / Bad news from today’s news.

    Bad news (NPR): The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade today will feature Disney+’s Baby Yoda (paid-access pop culture) and a new version of Ronald McDonald (promoter of fast-food to children) in helium-balloon format. Both are precisely what we need for the official kick off of Buy Nothing Season.

    The good news? “Birdwatching festival ending because of climate change” (Wash. Post). The organizers of an annual birdwatching festival suddenly realized that bringing exhibitors in from 80 different countries “does not now fit well with our own strategy towards tackling the climate crisis.” It wasn’t just the travel to attend the festival, but also the fact the some of the exhibitors were promoting global travel to see birds.

    I heard the parade balloon story on the radio while making a pie for today’s feast, and had the urge to share it, but held off until I could find something like good news to balance it.

    And more good news: despite changing environmental conditions, corals of the Great Barrier Reef appear to be having an excellent spawning season (which lasts for just a few days every year). Another reef, near Hawaii, is showing signs of regeneration, after the pandemic-related pause in human activities.

  120. Mentat Wanted: In the “science & health” section of this week’s Wash Post, is a story which says that the temperature of the Thames River in London has risen by 0.19 deg. C, on average, every year since 2007. Ther reporter “helpfully” converts Celsius to Fahrenheit as “32.34 deg”. Now, if the water temperature had actually risen by 32.34F every year, it would go from solid ice to boiling in less than six years. If that had actually happened, I think we’d have heard about it! (When I saw this error, I sent an email to the author, and it is correct in the on-line edition. Now, that’s kind of weird, because the on-line edition has a date stamp of Nov. 11, while the print edition, with the error, was delivered on Nov. 23. I suppose they print those special sections well in advance of delivery.)

    However, this rise of temperature may be considered a feature, not a bug, for the engineers who built a system in 2014 to take heat OUT of the Thames to provide heat to homes and a hotel. A project representative proudly points out that they’re not burning gas or wood for heat: “As a result of that there is zero carbon emissions on this site.” [My emphasis added.] It’s not enough that this heat-pump system uses 20% of the energy of a conventional heating plant, he has to go all the way to ZERO at the cost to his integrity of ignoring off-site emissions for electricity generation.

    https://news.sky.com/story/river-thames-is-used-to-heat-homes-10408819

    Put both of these stories together, and the temperature rise could be cancelled by well-regulated heat pumps where heat can be used.

  121. “Is it possible that the Divine would ask of me to give up some of my deepest held values”

    Huh? Not really. The Constitution was designed ground-up to be in line with the Divine and Natural Law. I mean as far as it’s imperfect and we are executing it…well as if it doesn’t exist at all and contradict it at every turn by every means…then yes, of course God is the greater. But you’ll find as the Bible and Religion it’s universally the man who’s making the fault with misunderstanding and interpretation and failure by open self interest.

    Some day we’ll go beyond it, but not until we enact it first. –We’ve fallen short since day one. Ask Washington and Adams.

    Speaking of, Senators were not unelected. Ever. They were presented by the state who was elected. When they changed it, they created a SECOND House of the people, two identical houses run on popularity and mob that were easily swayed by pop fashions and pop wars directed by rich newspapers, and ended Congressional stability and representation of the States. In that sense, they were vital for a federal taxation as they wiped out State’s rights as a counterweight to oppressive centralization and therefore erasure of all national diversity. As we see today. So my read is the Constitution was hard and a good idea, and generally all Amendments were bad ideas, only some of which (Prohibition) we’ve reversed. And we feel that daily as centralization puts our owners far away, extracting more, golfing safely with their employees, U.S. Senators and Presidents.

    “entry level careers into anything ecology” This is strange on the face of it, since “Ecology” doesn’t pay. Anything “ecology” would be using less, buying less, doing less. As there is no energy gained in EROEI, there’s no energy called “profit” to pay you. So unless they change the laws of thermodynamics or you consider it a charity, pick an industry that succeeds, has positive EROEI and therefore “profits” they can pay you with. Other than that, jobs everywhere, although small business will only ask “what can you DO for me?” Like, gain, work, profit. So if you can DO something for them, like smart practical people, they may not care about your certs at all. …That’s saying what are you doing/building/making besides resumes?

    Strong premonition your French writer is right, their badly-invented system will fail, and slowing/diverting it instead of facing it so they can keep power a day longer would dissolve like that. We will be different as surveilling a country this large and empty is an idea only people this stupid would believe.

  122. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

    A writing question for you, JMG: any guidance about outlining? I’m always impressed in your nonfiction writing by how well you manage to organize and sequence complex sets of ideas into a narrative.

    I’m working on a pretty ambitious book project and am struggling long and hard to work out a narrative structure for it. I’m dealing with a constellation of ideas that are all interconnected, and I find that whatever section I work on I end up overwhelmed by the interconnections and realize that I’m trying to say everything all at once.

    I realize that the process of thinking it all through clearly enough to get to an outline is the hardest part of the work. But boy am I working for it! And I’m not convinced that I’m not going in circles. Any advice?

    Thanks!

    Jonathan.

  123. Regarding the term ‘sequoia’, many mistakenly use that interchangeably as a common moniker for both Sequoia sempervirens AND Sequoiadendron giganteum. Drives my speices nomenclatural dial wayyy beyond 11!

    The Sierran species most likely are also suffering from too much human love .. as in incessent tourist draw as much as anything else … causing continual root zone compaction around their driplines – not a good thing for the tree’s feeder roots OR the symbiotic mycorrhiza which inhabit the soil where they both evolved to thrive.

  124. @kashtan, in colonial times the northern part of what is now Brazil was better connected with Portugal than with the southern part, due to the prevailing currents and winds. It was its own Vice-Kingdom of Grão-Pará e Maranhão

  125. Also, even though fire is necessary in perpetuating the species, it doesn’t follow that they can’t go extinct, as have countless other past lifeforms. All we schmartypantsed apes bearing touchscreens think only in the short lifespan of ‘NOW’ .. and thus make feeble attempts at freezing ‘the thing du jour’ .. to be maintained in some misguided version of a stasis that does not exist. That, in large part, forms the basis for much of the contemporary eco-movement and the public who are misguidedly swayed and played into believing a guilt-free Green Gospel .. as they forever hoof it, crunching that delicate decomposed granite horizon!

  126. Polydoros #23–
    Re: Ecological/Biological career–

    What about farming, Joel Salatin style? This is a very ecological style of farming that actually builds up the soil with each successive year, and does not require the use of fertilizers or giant farm machinery–and you can make a living at it.

    You may be able to start as a farm-hand in a Salatin-type farm and then sharecrop until you can acquire some land yourself. Your bioengineering degree and training may even give you some ideas on how to develop this practice in ways that no one else has yet discovered.

    Here’s a link to one of many useful Salatin videos; See what you think about it

  127. @AV

    I like these. Here’s another one.

    Evil JMG be like: Aleister Crowley did nothing wrong. His is an example of what a life dedicated to magick should look like.

    (Evil JMG would spell magic with a “k”).

  128. @David BTL #52:

    I’m currently doing the preliminary lessons of OSA and I’ve experienced something similar.

    From a very early age I’ve had the idea that what I was doing wasn’t any good. For example, I remember looking at a drawing I created and thinking: “well, that’s not good enough, it looks like a child’s drawing”. Not surprising for a drawing made by a child, but not up to my standards.

    I haven’t found out where this came from (yet?), but I’ve learned to accept that something I make or do might actually be quite good. It’s taken me the better part of half a century, but I’m getting there.

    Reading your quote “You’re not here to do Great Things. You’re here to develop your soul.” really touches me. Thanks for that.

    Fuzzy Gnome

  129. I’ve recently been reading a book on hypnotism. The book, while quite good, is also a bit dry – so I opted to include a dose of fiction in my reading, the Sea Priestess by Dion Fortune.

    I’m only a few chapters in, but was interested to note the narration used a number of the methods of hypnotic induction I’d been reading about (e.g. changes in tone of the narrator). This leaves me with the strong impression that Ms. Fortune is deliberately trying to induce altered states in the reader (aside from the fiction writers traditional goal of drawing the reader in.

    I was curious whether you’d view this as reasonable speculation- and if so whether there are hazards in reading books of this nature?

  130. Those among the commentariat who are into mundane astrology and have also been keeping an eye on the Russia-Ukraine situation might be interested to look at the Capricorn ingresses this year for Kiev and Moscow (which are both almost the same in terms of houses). Baleful indications indeed…

    I’m not sure if you’ve looked into this yourself JMG but it certainly looks as though the situation over there has a very high chance of going kinetic.

  131. Chris at Fernglade
    I’m watching the fertilizer export bans and factory closures with concern too. I just talked with my Mom about it, actually, and we discussed likely impacts on the price of organic soil fertility inputs, and whether we both have enough to get us through the next couple of years without buying any. We do. I also collected a lot of leaves and mulched almost everything that hadn’t been mulched yet, as well as adding to the compost bins. Now I am sore.

    I don’t grow everything I eat, far from it, so I’m expecting higher food prices again next year, and a bigger jump than we’ve seen this year.

    This topic is very much worth a blog post!

  132. @Katherine,
    I’m seeing many of the same things. One of my predictions is going to be a fall in life expectancy in W. Europe, Japan, and North America north of Mexico as compared to 2019.

    And homelessness is getting worse where I am too. They keep throwing more money at the problem, but it provides only temporary relief. Then it gets worse again.

  133. Augusto, oh, granted, the sepia is easy on the eye. I’m just old-fashioned enough that if I want to keep something, I print it out. As for the bioplasma, no, I take the standard dose, 6 tablets under the tongue once a day. It’s with the mix of salts for the Carey protocol that I’ve experimented with varying doses — one dose every 12 hours (thus 5 doses during the lunar period), rather than one each 24 hours. I haven’t noticed a significant long-term difference.

    Rus, democracy is almost always an early casualty of times of crisis, though the forms are sometimes preserved in a mummified state. If we’re lucky and work hard at it, we may be able to maintain some degree of local democracy while the national government lurches through various forms of de facto oligarchy and dictatorship on its way down the slope to collapse.

    Kevin, quite possibly both, though it’s not a certainty. If she realizes just how unpopular she is and how fragile the current US system has become, and decides to do something constructive about it by throwing her support to populist reforms, she could be our Gorbachev. If she acts the way she’s done in her earlier career, and tries to maintain the existing order by force, she could be facing a short and disastrous term, with an ugly ending.

    Michael, I saw that, and chuckled. Is it really the first time he’s realized that there are angry, violent people who hate him just because he falls into some category or other? He should hang out with occultists; we’re used to it — and some of the people who hate us, and would happily hurt or kill us, belong to his religion…

    Klcooke, San Francisco has a hyperliberal district attorney who’s refusing to press charges for most crimes against property, including shoplifting. The shoplifters have responded accordingly, and so has organized crime. The city could shut that behavior down in a matter of a few weeks by the simple expedient of arresting people, trying them, and throwing them into jail — but current woke ideology insists that no one except white men should ever be held accountable for their actions, and the DA is a true believer in those notions. Could it eventually turn into warbands? Sure, but right now stores are easy prey and there’s no penalty worth worrying about for knocking them over, so people are taking advantage of that.

    Averagejoe, you’re welcome and thank you! Hall’s lessons are well worth close study — I recommend, once you’ve read through them, going back through them at the rate of one per month, reading them repeatedly and thinking about them. You’ll learn an enormous amount.

    Patricia M, (1) that’s a very common experience; the human etheric body routinely gets blockages like that. Relax, and imagine the energy going through even if you can’t feel it; the astral flow will gradually and gently unravel the etheric blockage. (2) Your karma, your destiny, and your choices have brought you to your current situation, and so you’re there for good reasons. Rather than trying to express your gratitude for that in some fixed way, involving (say) handing out cash that you don’t have or can’t spare, simply open yourself to the divine and ask that you be given opportunities to be of benefit to others. See what happens. It’s likely to be unexpected!

    Viduraawakened, I think that’s an important part of it — all the inexpensive experiments were done a long time ago, and computation offers a way to do research, or pretend to do research, without the same expenditures. There’s another factor, however, which is that computational research keeps you at a safe distance from the data, so you can keep it from misbehaving and violating current paradigms. The explosive growth of “metastudies” — for those who don’t follow fashions in research, these are studies that take the data gathered by earlier studies for their raw material — is fed by the same two forces: on the one hand, it’s a lot cheaper to crunch numbers with existing data than it is to run an original experiment; on the other, since you get to pick the underlying studies, you can be sure of coming up with whatever result your funding source or the prestigious figures in the field want to see.

    Dusk Shine, the US went through that in the 1960s and 1970s, and we’re getting some of it now, though not so much as you are. The whole point of stealing and glorifying indigenous traditions is precisely that they’re useless here and now; the privileged don’t face the nightmarish prospect of being expected to walk their talk by giving up the markers of their privilege, so they can keep on living lives of absurd extravagance while babbling about the wonderful lives of hunter-gatherers. If they glorified the lifeways of Canadians from a century or two ago, somebody could point out that they could always live that way right now…

    Hattie, I haven’t been keeping a close eye on it, as there have been too many other crises of late! Very clearly a number of nations in the Levant are in deep trouble — the collapse in the value of the Turkish lira is another such sign — but I don’t happen to know why. If anyone else has something to offer, I’d like to hear it.

    Youngelephant, take the time you need. There’s no prize for rushing! No, you’re not butchering the concept — and it’s precisely those people who do their own thing and end up thriving that are the harbingers of the future I foresee.

    Copper, good heavens — now there’s a blast from the past. My wife’s maternal grandfather was a Welsh Israelite of the old school, who insisted that the Welsh were one of the lost tribes of Israel — I forget which one — and made a living during the Depression preaching at Welsh-language churches in upstate New York. I didn’t know the movement was still around. Raymond Capt is a name I know from a different context: he wrote a book purporting to prove that Stonehenge was built by ancient Freemasons, which most Masons find very funny. As far as I know, there’s zero basis to any of it — a lot of European cultures have fringe groups claiming “We’re the Chosen People, and the Jews aren’t!” I’ve always put that down to a kind of spiritual status envy.

    Neptunesdolphins, thanks for both of these! The quarters story is as telling as it is funny…

    Lathechuck, thanks for all of these. Yes, the WaPo could use a mentat or two, or perhaps they could borrow that ordinary ten-year-old that the Evil Overlord uses to check his plans for obvious absurdities.

    Jonathan, I don’t outline. When I write, I sit down with one part of the project — one concept I want to explore in nonfiction, one scene I want to write out in fiction — and focus on that alone, setting everything else aside for the moment. I do this over and over again until I’ve got a good chunk of prose, and then I put it together in an order that makes sense and try to figure out what else is needed to connect the pieces. Then it’s back to more focus on specific details. Only when most of the writing is done do I sit back and look at the whole thing, rearrange as needed, and put in what else has to go in to give the whole thing a good narrative flow. Will that work for you? I have no idea, but it works for me.

    Paul, good. Fortune admitted that her novels are magical workings meant to bring about certain changes in consciousness. I recommend reading some of her nonfiction to decide if you want to let her work magic on you!

    Mr. White, I’m working on the UK Capricorn ingress just now, having finished and posted the US one last week. I’ll take a look at the Moscow ingress as time permits.

  134. Jmg, another thing that I want to was about Garrett Hardin is why people say he is a eugenicist.

    I have not read all his books but what I have read has nothing that I would call eugenicist in the strict meaning of the word, which is the selective breeding of humanity to improve it.
    The closest he gets to eugenics is suggesting that our current willingness to support and medically treat a lot of chronic disabilities may not be ecologicaly sustainable in the long run, and that is not really eugenics so much as understanding how much energy and resources are needed for modern medical care and how much they will be affected when we no longer have the energy to support it.
    I also know that he talked a lot about overpopulation and the flaws of foreign aid as well, but again the reasons for why he worried about them had nothing to do with eugenics or even racism.

    Can you tell me why people say he is a eugenicist?

  135. Polydoros – look into mycology. It’s a field with a long history of citizen scientists turned pro (see Paul Stamets) relatively simple lab requirements, and one of the most exciting fields of environmental restoration. Fungi that eat styrofoam or clean up mine tailings could realistically help remedy some of the problems created thru our silly industrial systems. Meanwhile learn to grow the edible & medicinal kind to sell. Just a thought.

  136. All – The article on fusion energy developments is rather long, and does reveal a certain amount of skepticism about the timetable promised by the developers. “Private companies say they’ll have it working in ten years, but that’s just to attract funders,” says Tony Donné, programme manager of the Eurofusion consortium which conducts experiments at the state-run Joint European Torus, established at Culham in the late 1970s. “They all have stated constantly to be about ten years away from a working fusion reactor, and they still do.”

    But then it ends with this ringing endorsement: “The vaccines showed ‘what you can do if you have the resources’, says Windridge. ‘If we had that kind of commitment in energy, I think it would be incredible to see what can be achieved.’ As with the vaccines, too, society desperately needs more clean, carbon-free sources of energy. ‘This is an existential challenge,’ says Mowry. ‘Fusion is the vaccine for climate change.’

    Right. We just need a greater commitment in energy? Why didn’t we think of that sooner?

  137. Happy Thanksgiving to JMG and all those who participate in the comments.

    Without question this is the best place for intelligent, thoughtful and civil discourse on the web! It’s a credit to JMG that such a place exists in this crazy world, and I’m especially thankful today for both.

  138. @Michael + Martin,
    I’m not seeing what Rod Dreher wrote about the Waukesha car attack on a Christmas parade by Darrel Brooks was wrong. Darrel had dozens of rap videos up on You Tube (before they conventiently took them down) about killing White people and the police. He had a post on Face Book about punching White grandmas in the face (all this was saved on secure servers before being deleted by Big Tech).
    Luckily, an alt-media journalist, Erik Striker, started doing research on the suspect right after the incident, so the truth could be known about his anti-white / Black Hebrew supremacy hate in his rap lyrics.
    A few news organizations in Europe (UK Mail, RT) ran this info as well as Charlie Kirk, Steve Bannon, and Joe Posobec mentioning it. So the truth is slowly getting out before it gets white-washed and memory-holed as a “traffic accident by an SUV” as wikipedia and CNN are calling it.
    If Blacks do anything that doesn’t fit the mainstream narrative of “peaceful protestors” and “victims of systemic racism”, either you won’t here about it, or it will be twisted so bad that they’re actual the victim.
    Don’t forget White, James Fields, who drove his car into a group of protestors as he was being chased by Antifa in Charlostville, got 465 years in prison for one person dying and hate crime charges as a “White Supremest”. Kyle Rittenhouse was immediately labeled a White Supremest by MSM and Joe Biden with no evidence, and about half the country still thinks he’s one even though he says he supports BLM.
    You can’t make this stuff-up.

  139. Thanks JMG.

    Paul, I’ve read The Sea Priestess twice and that’s definitely what she’s doing. I think she’s trying to sync the reader with various ebbs and flows (tidal, lunar, relationship polarities). All of her novels are quite literally a trip of sorts. If you do read them and find yourself in a negative state (mild existential brooding for me) – just read the next chapter or so until you come out of it! There’s a hypnotic solve et coagula going on.

  140. Got it, thank you that makes sense, I had garbled up the original comment.

    Regarding printing, I’ve got a fancy triple backup hard drive array with a program that does the backup part when I bring in a new file to it but it would be as useful as a rock if the power infrastructure becomes brittle enough. I think I’ll have to go on the look for a big printer to print a book every now and then.

    Oh and I almost forgot! I contacted PRS about the Knapp-Hall deck and they told me that they haven’t released the new edition of cards because the haven’t found a printer that does the job right. I talked to William from Mortlake library since he is in the business but he didn’t have any particular suggestion. I know your sacred geometry oracle had delays but eventually found a printer to do the job. Do you happen to know their name or way of contacting them? That’s one deck I would love to see back into print.

  141. @klcooke,
    Warband type home invasions are already happening in LA. This year there’s been 114 home invasions in wealthy parts of LA. Crips and Bloods gangs have found this criminal activity lucrative and they’re rarely caught. Last week a good Samaritan was killed trying to help a woman in an invasion. The police just now are starting a task force.
    The rich and celebrities being targeted, are the same group that took a knee to BLM, want to defund the police, and release criminals from prison early. Plus they elected a DA that won’t press charges against these thugs even if they’re caught red-handed.
    They made their bed, now they get to lye in it.

  142. “The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good”, is a book that I’ve been reading lately. It’s by William Easterly, published by Penguin, 2006). The author, a recovering economist, gathers data on world “economic development” and tries to correlate it with the “benevolent” actions of western institutions (e.g., World Bank). He finds negative correlations, if any. (From time to time, I find myself wondering whether he’s failing to consider that an “aid” project may simply be exploitative colonialism in disguise. Perhaps he was young and naive when able to make first-hand observations.) His writing style is engaging enough to be read for entertainment, but how does this analysis engage with those of us reading this blog?

    As context for issue of international aid, he’s talking about how societies thrive or decline. What can we learn from him about resilience in our currently (temporarily) prosperous societies? As should come as no surprise, Easterly explains how corruption discourages ambitious people from applying labor to materials.to provide goods for others and profits for themselves. The Rule of Law, it turns out, is actually pretty important, whether it’s a written legal code or a socially imposed understanding that cheaters will get kicked out of the game. And so, our own Utopian projects need to take criminal justice issues into account, whether at the level of family farm or continent. Imposing someone else’s laws on a society that cannot fairly implement them can be worse than no laws at all (because every society has some existing self-regulation.)

    And if there should come a time when a person from far away offers you a big loan (or grant) to “jump start your enterprise”, it might be good to know how often this sort of things has ended in tears. Or, perhaps, when you’ve accumulated some capital of your own, a friendly banker might offer you an opportunity to help the less fortunate (with periodic payments of interest accruing to you both). Beware.

  143. @Matt #34, et al.

    Back in the 1990’s I looked into some of these “sovereign citizen” ideas. My motivation was my outrage at the events at Waco and Ruby Ridge.

    Most of that literature struck me as the ravings and word salads of schizophrenics. However, there is one aspect that actually does have a historic basis, and that is the argument that “wages are not income” and thus do not fall under the 16th Amendment.

    Back in the Progressive Era, when the 16th Amendment was proposed, it was sold to the people as a tax on the idle rich. The idea was, that economic rentiers were parasitically sucking the economy dry (just like today), and that economic rents need to be punitively taxed.

    For those unfamiliar with the concept, economic rents (of which what you pay to your landlord is only one example) are streams of income that you collect just by virtue of the fact that you own something or sit at some economic node which enables you to skim off money while not contributing anything. In other words, it is the idea that “I own this land, or infrastructure, etc., so you have to pay be while I sit on my rear end, because I have a piece of paper I can wave in your face.”

    Classical economists, from Adam Smith to Marx, thought that to the extent that economic rents existed at all, they should be punitively taxed, to discourage it. When the 16th Amendment was passed, most people thought that that was what it was. In fact, in the 1920’s there was apparently a U.S. Supreme Court case where the justices ruled that “wages are not income” for purposes of the Amendment.

    Well, FDR was elected, the New Deal was enacted and the Supreme Court was packed. The Court duly reversed itself on the above point, and so we have the situation we have today.

    Anyone who tries to take that argument to court nowadays will be shot down in flames, with a smoking crater where they, themselves, used to be. So, don’t try to run that argument today.

    However, if we ever do get a Constitutional convention such as JMG hopes for, perhaps that old understanding could be revived and set in stone in a Constitutional amendment or even a new Constitution, much as the crime of treason is explicitly defined in the Constitution (Article III, Section III).

  144. So, this little query is totally unrelated to what we usually talk about here, but I have zero activity anywhere else on the internet. So I thought to ask the folks here; a fun Thanksgiving break from the serious stuff.

    For years I’ve been trying to find an old country music song from the early 80s. I don’t know the artist and can’t remember enough of the lyrics to pull it up on a search engine.

    Any old country fans here? Here’s your song challenge 🙂

    Male singer, somewhere between 1980 to 85. He sings about old flames of his, but only refers to them by their eye color… “green eyes, brown eyes, blue eyes”.

    That’s it. That’s all I can remember. Its been perplexing me for more than 30 years. Can anybody identify this song?

  145. Greetings again John,

    I know that your predict a dark age in the coming centuries but I wonder if there may be prolonged stasis inbetween period instead of either a dark age or Mars and the stars. A dim age if you will. My frame of reference for this would be the Chinese and Indian examples. They had a formative period, a peak and then a decline but not into a dark age. Considering that the multicultural effects to come will include the religions and worldviews of those civilizations will the modern landscape perhaps keep things together by adopting the some of the approaches of those civilizations?

    PS I asked this in the last open post but it was the last comment that you might have missed.

  146. Hi John Michael,

    I hope that you and Sara had a pleasant Thanksgiving day.

    Thanks for considering the topic. Many issues of decline can be worked around, and/or talked around accompanied by much bluster and ballyhooing, but that fertiliser issue cuts to the very heart of the present arrangements. If I begin to notice a marked increase in articles upon the subject of regenerative agriculture or organic agriculture, I’ll really start to worry. And I have noticed more than a few of these of late. The thing is, it is difficult to reinvest in the ecosystem whilst attempting to strip mine it.

    The belief systems of the great god of progress is leading its followers off a cliff. One must be forgiving of such errors as it is only a young god after all, and probably needs to make a few mistakes here and there.

    Speaking of which, it brought to mind a very minor and inconsequential incident which occurred over the past year. All I can say in my defence is that the times down here are strange, stressful and the lock down here has been the most extreme on the planet. Anyway, I said something stupid to someone, and it wasn’t directed at them, but it was just dumb and fairly innocuous. And then it got really strange and I was cancelled. I moved on with my life as it was a fairly minor incident, but I have pondered the meaning of it for quite a while.

    I’m guessing that the lack of the tenet of forgiveness in the belief system of the worshippers of the great god of progress is all part of that story. If events can only move in but one direction, what the heck happens to people who don’t want to move in that direction? I much prefer my gods to be messy, make mistakes, learn and grow. That other one, well, it might not yet realise that circular firing squads are no way to attract and/or retain followers. What do you reckon about that?

    Cheers

    Chris

  147. @Dusk Shine:

    White Southern Appalachian chiming in, as I suspect the view of Native Americans probably differs geographically:

    The “fetishization of the noble savage”, as aggravating of a meme as it is, doesn’t really necessarily seem to be one that I associate with the upper echelons of American society. It is definitely present though, particularly among white, “liberal” whatever that means, “spiritual but not religious”, “environmentalist” types.

    From an environmental standpoint: while I’m super there are many exceptions to the rule, by and large the initial waves of inhabitants of this continent did do a fairly decent job of not trashing the place or leaving huge amounts of unmistakable remnants behind. A burial mound here, some arrowheads there…I mean future archaologists are going to be baffled by the discontinuity between them and the “plastic people”. Exhibit A would be that famous 70s PSA with the crying native (YouTube link is “j7OHG7tHrNM”). Though ironically he was played by an Italian guy.

    Perhaps it’s where I grow up and who I grew up with — East TN, and a mixture of your textbook salaried white liberal types and a whole host of people who actually took various Native traditions and beliefs and practiced them seriously (my mom used to host educational workshops about various legends, the meaning of totems, symbology of the 4 directions, etc) — but the general attitude towards the native populations was one of a mixture of pity and respect. Pity, because of the trail of tears and similar atrocities, though the impact of Smallpox was almost always glossed over for some reason. And respect, because of the aforementioned perception of being seen as better stewards of the land and more “spiritually in tune” or whatever.

    Overt racism towards natives was always rare…at least in my bubble. Most *white* people I know — myself included — who have even a drop of Native American heritage are usually proud of it. I mean I’m 1/16 Shawnee and via marriage am distantly related to Chief Logan of WV. Other than my uncle (ironically 1/8 Shawnee himself) going on a randomly timed rant about Indian Savages once at a holiday gathering, I can’t recall any particularly negative views.

    But that’s “North American Natives”. As in the ones that most people think about. After all, isn’t the blood line of most Central American Mestizo populations pretty significantly derived from Native populations? But culturally, that seems to be completely ignored by the same classes that romanticize Native Americans. Is it the fact that there’s a pretty significant Spanish imprint on the culture? The fact that rosary beads don’t quite have the folksy cultural cachet that making dreamcatchers does? Is it where there is no real myth of the “noble savage” that can be realistically imprinted on a population that’s genetically such a blend of American and European heritage? The fact that there haven’t been very many open attempts to eradicate large pockets of the USA from central American influence? The fact that Mestizos are descended from the native populations of a DIFFERENT part of the Americas?. Cultural perceptions themselves? It could be my outsider status, but most people I’ve met who’re from places like Mexico or Honduras or something typically identify more with their initial nationality than the genetic specifics. Surely there are pockets that exist. And this is from the perspective of a Tennessean white guy — blind spots galore.

    Food for thought I guess.

  148. A question for JMG and the commentariat,

    In the CGD theres a lengthy discussion of Phi (1.61803..) as an important ratio in sacred geometry.

    For example, it’s stated that “the shell of the chambered nautilus is structured according to (phi), for each chamber within the shell is (phi) times as large as the chamber immediately behind it”

    I have vague memories of Pi (3.1459…) and “the Fibonacci sequence” (the way pie is derived?) Being somewhat related to growth patterns in nature, but I’m not sure if or how that might be related to phi.

    If anyone is willing to take the time to illuminate If/how these concepts relate I would appreciate it a lot!

    -WindMan

  149. @ Kevin and JMG:

    I think the only way Harris gets to be president is if Biden steps down before his term is over. Her polling numbers are even worse than Biden’s and so are Buttigeig’s, who is the other one that has been mentioned as a possible replacement candidate for Sleepy Joe in 2024. Recent polls have shown that if the King in Orange or someone like Ron DeSantis runs in 2024 against any of those three clowns, they would win handily. It’s been reported that Democrat pollsters and political operatives are getting really worried about the 2022 and 2024 elections.

  150. @ Patricia Mathews,

    Have you considered donating some of your time? Look into nonprofits in your area and see if any could use a volunteer. You may find volunteering improves your own quality of life while it also improves the world.

    Sincerely,
    Jessi Thompson
    anotheramethyst

  151. Hattie (no. 129), Lebanon is suffering from the perfect storm of

    * nearly a million refugees (for a country of about 7 million people)
    * a currency that has lost 90 % of its value in the last couple of years (Iran has a similar problem)
    * a contracting economy–its GDP is about one-third of what it was 2 years ago (this usually only happens during war)
    * insolvent banks, people can’t withdraw funds they theoretically own (there are complex, retroactive rules)
    * triple-digit hyperinflation (the Lebanese pound used to be pegged to the USD, but the government had to borrow money to sustain this)
    * super-high unemployment (50%?)
    * widespread, rising poverty
    * chronic shortages of water, gasoline, medicine, and other goods; electricity blackouts
    * a need to buy water and other necessities from Hezbollah–a combination political party, militia, and mafia
    * a crumbling infrastructure, of which the port explosion was only the most extreme example. The government is broke / incompetent, and nobody is willing to invest
    * an entrenched, corrupt (think Panama Papers), dysfunctional government, based on a power-sharing agreement that the various ethno-religious groups entered into at the end of the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990). The international community has supported these politicians. (France is now talking about backing the army instead of the government)
    * Covid-19

  152. Just wanted to say thank you JMG for all the discussion over the years and for giving me the confidence to finally make some life changing decisions.

    As I said last week, I finally ended a job of 13 years after it became far too grueling. It only took 4 days to find a new job! It pays 20% less (no big deal really), but it is a much closer and easier job. It is a small locally owned and family run cheese maker. You know, a genuine skill that one can use for decades to come. It may still be a part of the daily grind but it is a huge improvement and a continuation into the retro future.

    Through all the noise of the world – life is good.

    I figured I would just leave something for everyone to enjoy here. A brilliant performance of Suite No 1 by Moondog (The Viking of 6th Street).

  153. I am in a blue, dark mood today, and… shall I not speak ill of loved ones. Suffice it to say, prayers and goodwill you can spare are very welcome.

    Given that it is an open post, and since I find myself unusually impatient with the current crusade against masculinity, please allow me to gift you with a corrido: This is the kind of stupid things men do, and we love them for it. This true story did happen on November 7th of 1907, in the town of Nacozari, Sonora. The names of the heroes were: Jesús García, (the brakemen) who died, and José Romero (the stoker), who jumped out of the train in the last minute to switch rails and survived to tell the story.

    The lyrics here…

    Title: Engine No. 501
    Author: Unknown

    Engine No. 501,
    the one that ran through Sonora.
    Is why among the brakemen
    the one who doesn´t sigh, weeps.

    It was a Sunday, gentlemen,
    about three in the afternoon,
    Jesús García was hugging his mother:
    “Within a few moments
    Mother, I shall have to go,
    I can hear the train’s whistle ,
    my future [livelihood] is near.”

    When he arrived at the station,
    a train was already whistling
    with a car [loaded] with dynamite
    very much on fire.

    The stoker tells him:
    “Jesús, let make ourselves scarce,
    look at how the rear railcar
    is already burning”.

    Jesús García tells him:
    “I think very differently,
    I don’t want to be the cause
    of so many people dying”.

    He reversed his steam engine
    because it was uphill,
    and before the sixth [kilometer],
    his life ended on the spot.

    Since that unforgettable day,
    you have earned the cross [of honor]
    you have earned the palms [of victory]
    You are a hero, Jesús.

    Engine No. 501,
    the one that ran through Sonora,
    Is why among the brakemen
    the one who doesn´t sigh, weeps.

    Slightly corrected version from the one at https://lyricstranslate.com

  154. JMG what are you paying per month in rent? How do I find an apartment for less than $850, no roommates? In New England…..

    My read of the situation is we are fast approaching pitch fork and guillotine territory. Who can pay rent anymore? No wonder why they had an eviction moratorium in 2020…. Like this whole Covid thing was planned and to skirt the fact that the system is busted beyond repair and they needed an excuse to break the shock to people slightly less brutally.

    Another thing I’ve noticed…. All these Baby Boomers who have mortgaged themselves to trying to keep up unsustainable lifestyles using their houses as piggy banks….. That can only end really badly. Part of the motivating factor to find my own apartment……

    Good luck with Black Friday shopping tomorrow everyone. There isn’t much in stock. And you’re not going to find quality of life on the shelf anytime soon. Enjoy the decline. Watch it all come unglued like cheap junk made by slave labor over seas.

    You can’t build nice things with slave labor. (IE you’re not the one building anything.)

  155. Joe Biden further reinforcing the image of himself as an out-of-touch liberal hypocrite, spending Thanksgiving at the estate of a hedge fund billionaire while prices skyrocket and shortages continue to be a serious problem in American grocery stores.

    https://www.newsweek.com/joe-biden-thanksgiving-home-billionaire-businessman-1652793

    What is even more entertaining is he and his flacks pitiful attempts to put a positive spin on rising inflation rates and growing food shortages.

    https://nypost.com/2021/11/24/biden-spending-thanksgiving-at-private-equity-billionaires-home/

    https://patriotnewsusa.com/2021/11/26/pathetic-joe-biden-brags-about-grocery-stores-being-well-stocked-for-thanksgiving/

    Is that the sound of tumbrils I hear faintly in the distance? Let’s Go Brandon!

  156. Speaking of Brandon, there are no fewer than four “Let’s Go Brandon” themed hip hop songs at the top of the charts, yet another sign of just much anger and discontent there is right now.

    https://nypost.com/2021/10/29/4-versions-of-anti-biden-rap-are-now-charting-on-itunes-top-10/

    https://www.westernjournal.com/unbelievable-multiple-go-brandon-songs-shatter-itunes-stunning-hip-hop-chart-takeover/

    Check out the size, energy and enthusiasm of the crowd at a recent Loza Alexander concert.

    https://youtu.be/9YMmAqmTyCc

    Between scenes like this, the rise of populist candidates like DeSantis and the Orange Julius, and other signs, I think we are seeing the emergence of a mass movement in its early stages. More and more, when I look at America these days, I am reminded of France in the late 1780’s or Russia in the years leading up to 1917. Like William Lind pointed out on one of his blog posts, we are awaiting our Augustus or our Fred Halliot. Which one will it be?

  157. J.L.Mc12, of course Hardin wasn’t a eugenicist. That’s one of the buzzwords people on the leftward end of the political spectrum use to smear someone they dislike. (Of course the rightward end has its own set of comparable buzzwords…)

    Lathechuck, yep. Of course all they need is more funding — just as they did in 1955.

    TJ, thank you, and thank you for contributing to it!

    Augusto, my Sacred Geometry Oracle is a very simple print project, with black and white line drawings; I have no idea if the printer can do something as complex as the Knapp-Hall deck.

    Lathechuck, interesting. Thanks for this.

    Mother B., I don’t think I’ve heard it. Anyone else?

    MLW, au contraire, China and India had repeated dark ages. Let’s take China for an example, as I know its history fairly well. The Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods between the Zhou and Qin dynasties qualify; so do the Three Kingdoms and Jin periods between the Han and Tang dynasties, and most of the long era of instability between the Tang and the Ming. All of those had the standard markers of a dark age — sustained economic contraction, political fragmentation, constant wars, infrastructure collapse, and general lawlessness, usually lasting two to five centuries. The dark ages got shorter in the latter part of China’s history because the necessary adaptations were in place — primarily a very stable agricultural system, fortified monasteries as centers of cultural preservation, and woodblock printing to allow books to be copied efficiently — but they still happened. Could we do something similar? Well, potentially, but it’s a little late in the day to build those monasteries, and our agricultural system is anything but resilient.

    Chris, I’m also watching for the mainstream to start frantically grasping at organic agriculture! As for circular firing squads, that’s always the way things work out in the twilight of a failing belief system…

    WindMan, the Fibonacci sequence is very closely related to Phi, because the ratio between any two adjacent numbers in the Fibonacci sequence approximates to Phi, and the further you go, the closer the approximation becomes. I don’t happen to know a connection between either one and Pi, but there’s doubtless some way to move from one to the other.

    Galen, I expect Harris to become president when Biden dies in office. He’s a very old man and he’s in one of the most stressful jobs on the planet.

    Justin, yum!

    Michael, you’re welcome and thank you! Delighted to hear that you made the jump.

    CR, positive energy en route.

    Anger, my wife and I pay $995 for a two bedroom apartment in a working class neighborhood. That’s a little below current rates. Of course rents are absurd these days — one of the last gasps of the economy of growth is the frantic attempt to keep real estate prices rising no matter what. As for Black Friday, nah, tomorrow is Buy Nothing Day!

    Galen, well, yes. Hang on; we’re on the cusp of significant historical change.

  158. A few midnight thoughts, if I may:

    1. I was thinking on the similarities between the pandemic and climate change.

    In both cases we have a real problem, a bad solution proposed by experts. A demand for ideological conformity, and discrimination against all who disagree with the experts.

    I think this is the pattern by which our civilization digs its own grave.

    2. If JMG’s grisly hypothesis about the vaccines comes true, this could become a new Chernobyl. The pattern is the same, the problem is caused by the government and the experts, there is a denial that the problem exist, until its impossible to deny it. Fixing the problem is extremely difficult, maybe impossible. When the truth comes out, people lose faith in science and in government.

    3 If a lot of people die as a result of taking vaccines, what would be the socio economic impact? Europe flourished after the Black Death. Could something similar happen?

    I am interested in hearing your thoughts.

    P.S. what happened to your avatar picture on this forum, JMG? It’s no longer showing.

  159. Hi John,

    If Dementia Joe kicks the bucket before his term is up and the Twit (to use Dmitry Orlov’s nickname for Harris) becomes president, I could see things careening towards a cliff very quickly. Given her incompetence, rank stupidity, embrace of Woke politics and the fact that she widely viewed with a mixture of hatred and contempt by huge numbers of Americans, particularly in Flyover Country, I suspect we will see things hitting a crisis point in short order if your prediction comes true. At that point, we are probably talking about the American equivalent of 1789, 1917 or 1933.

    Yikes!

  160. Jmg, that is pretty much what I suspected. I guess questioning progress as well as foreign aid was more than enough to make the left hate him.

    Is there anything you think that he was wrong about though?

  161. Hi Michael Gray,

    You’ve been quiet of late. yes. And mate I feel your pain and have been there in the past. It’s hard to let go, but take to heart the words of Monty Python in the Life of Brian: Blessed are the cheese makers, for they shall inherit the earth.

    Thanks for the music, and I really enjoyed it.

    My personal preference though is for a little bit more punk:

    Cheers

    Chris

  162. Hi John Michael,

    It won’t do them any good, you know. But then, you already know.

    The funny thing about agriculture, is that yields can be sustained over the longer term. We know how to do this. It’s not some secret information known only to a few. The yields are just lower, because part of the yield gets reinvested into the future productive capacity. It’s the same principle that drives the decline in infrastructure – it’s just cheaper to ignore the future, and so we pass on the costs of the present to that distant place.

    Mate, I’m torn. Do I next re-read William Catton Jrs book ‘Overshoot’, or take a first reading of Stephen Kings book ‘On Writing’. Time is of course limited for me here, and I’d appreciate your decisive opinion?

    Cheers

    Chris

  163. I’m delighted to state my husband and I just finished a huge step in collapsing now; we sold our house in Los Angeles and used the money to buy in rural Pennsylvania near my parents. I was driving past a homeless camp to go to a job located next to another homeless camp, and this week a team of looters just did a smash and grab at the mall in Topanga Canyon around the corner from our old house. Really reinforces the decision to escape.

    I’d highly recommend Butler county PA for those readers looking for a place to collapse. Cranberry Township is the highest growth area in the state because of the huge number of people fleeing high city taxes and looking for safe, quiet neighborhoods. I have cows for neighbors and have a new favorite farm market, but can still drive 10 miles and have access to hospitals, big box stores, and all of that when I must. But I’d be just as happy never being in a city again.

  164. In answer to a commenter, JMG said: “The whole point of stealing and glorifying indigenous traditions is precisely that they’re useless here and now…”

    I just want to share some of what I am currently reading which touches on this phrasing in two (possibly more) ways.

    The book is the recently published, “The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity” by David Wengrow and David Graeber (sadly deceased).

    One of the prevailing themes in the book is this – there is nothing in any human tradition or culture (including indigenous ones) that can be safely considered “useless” in the “here and now”, because, essentially every human culture consists of exactly what we ourselves are, human beings – we are, or can be, playful, inventive, creative, adaptive and surprising, as throughout our histories we have shown ourselves to be. Also, human beings quite often choose our “ways” not because of ignorance of other ways, but with deliberation, because we find we do not “hold with” the ways of others because they would call us to be other than we see ourselves as being.

    This feeds into the second idea of “stealing” in your phrasing above. Because what is notable about so many human inventions is the way they easily and effortlessly spread. People freely imitate and borrow ideas and practices from each other, and always have. But what DEFINES a culture, what CREATES differences that mark THIS people from THOSE OTHERS, are those time when we consciously “refuse”.

    The most famous example of “cultural refusal” (at least if you hang around anthropologists much) is the Inuit/Athabaskan example. Even while living in similar conditions, even while being very familiar with one another’s technologies for adapting to those conditions through lengthy side by side living for many centuries, still – the Inuit despise, and refuse to use, the Athabaskan snowshoe, while the Athabaskans despise, and refuse to use, the Inuit kayak.

    An even better example, which the book gives quite a bit of attention to, is that of the two pre-European “culture areas” broadly defined as “Californian” and “Northwest Pacific”. Each held a diversity of peoples speaking different languages, and all traded with one another by means of coastal waters, easily traversed by their boats. However there was one major cultural “refusal” line – the Northwest Pacific people practiced raiding for the purposes of taking captives and keeping slaves – their societies consisted of household groups structured in tiers of aristocrats, commoners and slaves.

    Meanwhile, the neighbouring Californian foragers, who could not have been ignorant of this way of life, did not.

    And lest anyone think the idea here is to say Californians were “right”, and Northwest Pacific people “wrong”, there is a great deal more detail and nuance about this matter in the book, and “rightness” or “wrongness” is beside the point.

    Because the point of the exercise is this. People define their own ways, very often, by consciously refusing to adopt ways that the neighbours adopt, because when they think consciously about what those ways indicate about what a human being is, and how a human being should live, they find they cannot hold with this.

    To get back to the present day?

    Here we are, we are human. We have as much capacity to innovate, to create, to adapt to circumstances, and to create new cultures as any of those human beings who came before us. The key may be to watch, not so much what we imitate in one another, as what we refuse to imitate. Refusals are where boundary lines begin to open up between one culture and another and define new cultures.

    And, in the present moment, we still posses these qualities. Which is to say, each of us is a potential answer to TINA (“there is no alternative”) in which we think ourselves trapped. Never doubt it.

  165. I was having a discussion with my neighbor over your latest book, The King in Orange. He was not familiar with Dion Fortune’s definition of magic that you gave in the book “Magic is the art and science of causing changes in consciousness in accordance with the will.” He was, however familiar with Alastair Crowley’s definition of magic: “Magic is the science of the art of causing change to occur in conformity with the will.” The difference between the two quotes is of course the word ‘consciousness’. My neighbor, even though he is not a magician, is a self-taught mystic with experience in remote viewing, dowsing, divination, astrology and several other esoteric arts. He had issues with Fortune’s definition of Magic, claiming that thought was all that was required for him to change his own consciousness, and that magic was not required for that. Being that I am not a magician myself, my understanding of the issue is less than perfect. My impression is that Fortune was looking inwards, towards her own consciousness, while Crowley was looking outwards, towards the world at large. I was hoping that you could clear the air regarding the difference between the two definitions.

  166. @JMG

    I have two requests for possible future posts by you:

    1) Could you do a future post on the philosophical and theological basis of Druidry, and explore its parallels with Hinduism? Or at least just an exploration of the way Druidry approaches wholeness, as opposed to perfection? I’ve found your focusing on this point quite useful, and it has enabled me to look at many things somewhat differently.

    2) Prof. Peter Turchin, a mathematical ecologist, is the founder of a new branch of study he has named Cliodynamics, which seeks to use mathematical models, both of the mechanistic as well as the empirical variety to study the phenomenon of historical cycles, and more. His point is that it is time for mathematically-minded people to collaborate with historians to tease out bad theories about various questions in history, especially controversial ones. Could you maybe write a post on this initiative, and the things it can realistically accomplish?

  167. Victor wrote a couple days ago asking about JMG’s thoughts on Robert Bly. Our host, not a big fan, graciously declined, but I am wondering if he would be so kind to allow me to share a few of my thoughts about Bly. I offer these thoughts not to argue with those who weren’t fans, but to honor someone who taught me much.
    Thanks, Pierre

    I love Robert Bly. His book Iron John (though oft-caricatured, mostly by people who haven’t read it) has been especially meaningful to me. In it, he offered a compelling vision of manhood vitally connected to the heart, to the earth, and to the mythic imagination. He offered a vision of masculinity based on working with wounds consciously and artistically, neither denying them nor indulging them. His vision of masculinity was not about suppressing the feminine, but about being in balance with it and in touch with the nourishing depths of the soul. He also beautifully evoked the archetypal image of wild, divine, earthy masculinity (of which one form is Pan).

    Bly showed me how much one could learn from fairy tales and myths and how relevant they still are to my modern psyche. He had a way of making these stories seem intensely alive. He acknowledged the shadow in stories, in himself, and in the culture, and this is part of the reason his writings and teachings to me carried meaning. He didn’t see literature as separate from life.

    Bly also opened up the self-referential anglo poetry world to so much wonderful poetry: Rumi, Kabir, Neruda, Machado, and others from around the world. His translations were rarely the final word on things, but they opened the door for others. He was generous in his praise of other writers, though also not afraid to wield a metaphorical sword when called for. He, as well, penned plenty of substantial and powerful verse himself. He also gave zany, delightful poetry readings full of animation and color. In addition, he wasn’t afraid to call out unjust, wrong political actions (e.g. Vietnam and the second invasion of Iraq).

    I met Bly after a reading when I was an exuberant 22 year old. I passionately (and probably overenthusiastically) raved about things I appreciated about his work as well as my excitement for my own writing and thinking. He took no condescending attitude towards me, but offered me pithy advice and gave me a blessing in the form of a warm hug. It felt like it came from his heart.

  168. @M Carole – welcome to my father’s family’s old stomping grounds! He was from Western Pennsylvania, and had family in a town called North Apollo, probably considered a suburb of Pittsburgh now. The family scattered to the four winds in the last 80 – odd years and I’m not sure any of my cousins are still alive.

  169. @vidura re: “Prof. Peter Turchin, a mathematical ecologist, is the founder of a new branch of study he has named Cliodynamics, which seeks to use mathematical models, both of the mechanistic as well as the empirical variety to study the phenomenon of historical cycles, and more. His point is that it is time for mathematically-minded people to collaborate with historians to tease out bad theories about various questions in history, especially controversial ones.”

    Talk about reinventing the wheel! Let me recommend 3 books to you:

    John J. Xenakis, Generational Dynamics, privately printed.
    William Strauss & Neil Howe, Fourth Turning – the which we’ve been in since 2001 and have been in the climax of since March, 2020 or earlier. Or possibly November 2016. (Ave, DOnaldus!)

  170. This is a response to Elizabeth on the Olympic Peninsula on her questions about Gnosticism and the Gnostic Mass.

    Greetings!

    Putting on my academic and ministerial hat here a bit and hope to help you with you question about the Gnostic Church you are attending.

    First let’s explore some terms that are not well understood in today’s Western world.

    Gnosis – Knowledge. Unknown to most today, there were many varieties of Gnosticism. It was very specific forms of Gnosticism that was considered problematic.

    Orthodox = Ortho = right angles, the center, the straight (pretty much the same meaning as the Hebrew root YSR, which we find in the word Yisroel (the made straight by God).

    Dox =glory, praise, opinion

    Hereses = choice (that is extreme right or left of center).

    Going into Jewish Mysticism that carried over into Early Christianity and still persists in some Christian Traditions, existence was seen as a balance between a pillar of justice/dark and a pillar of mercy/light – thus the two pillars of the Temple.

    Between these two pillars is a mystical pillar of the middle – the Grey. It is this pillar that is the focus of what is called “Orthodox.”

    These pillars are represented in Modern Orthodox (both Eastern and Coptic) Churches by 2 side doors and a central gate/door that opens to the holy of holies area. These 3 are a direct reference to the 2 pillars and the center middle pillar.

    So, there are actually 3 types of Gnosticism that go along with these pillars.

    Black, Grey, White.

    What are the differences? Black seeks the concrete, thus is often associated with darker, satanic, left hand path traditions. Are all left hand path followers evil? No. But those at the extreme of the left hand will bring too much imbalance in the world and bring evil. These also tend to have little sense of mercy or fair distribution of wealth. The darwinian survival of the fittest is the general rule here. Extreme Left Hand Path ends up in what we are seeing today with the digitization of everything due to fear of human mistakes. It is strict justice with no place for the human heart or mercy. Most of the Gnostic sects were not of this order, but when we explore the White Pillar extreme, we will see some overlap!

    Now the White Pillar – this is the Gnostic type that is generally encountered in modern Gnostic revivals and in academic scholarship. The White Pillar rejects the Yetziric (spirit) and Physical worlds as the misbegotten creation of Sophia and her demiurge Yaldabaoth. Essentially all were in the Pleroma of Oneness with God and Truth. If we are in this world, we have been deceived by the illusion of Yaldabaoth and must return to our true home.

    If you imagine the image of the Tree of Life (hermetic version) The Gnostics would view anything below the 3 Supernals to be illusion and error. Thus this world can only be a mistake and Jesus Christ appeared as a man (God forbid he would actually taste what it means to be a disgusting human!) to take us back home and liberate us from this mess.

    Thus often the Gnostics are other worldly, but they end up being hateful to humanity and the creation. Since the world is a mistake, it can be abused in the meantime. Proper order is the enlightened Gnostics taking over and they can make slaves of everybody else who is just a dumb dupe of the physical world.

    So this otherworldliness also becomes a carte blanche to exploit this world. What St. Paul is condemning in his epistles is that gnostics often participated in acts they personally felt were abominable, but did so to prove that they were “above the law.”

    Even if a gnostic is “above the law,” which is true of a 7=4 (exempt adept), one doesn’t go out of the way to flout it. The reason why one is above the law is because one knows HOW the law is supposed to be used.

    In their otherworldliness, they excuse acts against others and the planet. We see this all the time in religious clergy who abuse others. It all comes from this same place. It is the temptation of one who is embracing/initiated into the sphere of Mercy, but has not yet completed its work. It is a large pitfall!

    The point is that both extreme end up being harmful to the physical well being of the planet -God or no God!

    Theravada Buddhism also is a good example of Right Hand Path, while some Tantric Sects are Left Hand and some Mahayana sects are Middle Path.

    What all three types of Gnostics (I haven’t covered the Middle yet) have in common is that they with to perfect themselves and attain the knowledge that has been hidden from us.

    A few years back I visited the Gnostic Mass locally as some former friends of mine were attending. It’s always nice to meet other initiates so I was widening my circles a bit and at the same time a particular group was trying to recruit me into their ranks.

    There came a point when I knew I would have to break with these people. It all came out that they were all very much into Transhumanism and looked at ordinary humanity as toys to be played with, as they were the gods. And there it was – exactly what the Orthodox complained about! Disdain for humanity. They really saw themselves as the new gods to rule this planet – and they would do it with digits and dna! Wasn’t this exciting?

    In my own order, this type of thing is problem the flashing sign of what we call a “black brother” – generally someone who thinks they have been fully enlightened, but is missing some serious steps.

    I knew that I would not have any part with these orders, as we were completely at odds. In fact one of them commented to me that I was too much in love with humanity and why should I care about THEM? See? That’s the point where Middle Path comes in.

    The Middle Path runs more like this – Sophia (who is essentially Eve) departed from the pleroma because it was the will of the One that to fully comprehend the Pleroma that the spirit and physical world must be mastered. What good is being in the Pleroma if you do not understand what is happening there?

    Thus Sophia willingly in obedience to the One goes into the Spirit and physical world. This Spirit World and Physical world ARE created by the action of the 3 Supernals, united with the One Light.

    See, the spirit world exists in between the Pleroma and the created world, to connect them and to interact together. There are times that we are cut off, so to speak, for both our protection and that of the rest of the galaxy. The spirit world is HOW the Pleroma acts in sound, color, sensory array – something that is ongoing in said world, but imperceptible to one who has never departed the Pleroma. Thus – to not seethe a kid in its mother’s milk, the kid is separated to make the Great Journey of Return.

    The Grey or Middle Path sees the unity of both physical, spiritual and Heavenly/Pleroma worlds. Nothing is Good or Evil in and of itself, but rather HOW it is used. This is why the Tree of Knowledge must be partaken of. Without making the mistakes of this Knowledge, we never will sit down to learn the lessons of the Tree of Life. It is in the Tree of Life that the keys to the Spirit World are given. Having incomplete knowledge of the Tree of Life and then misapplying Knowledge results in dangerous consequences.

    The spirit world is akin to a matrix – think of it as the Galactic communications and transportation network. Because the Black Pillar folks cannot understand the matrix, they are seeking to created their own version of a matrix to lock us in. We will soon have to choose which matrix we want to align with – thus my username Metamorphosis (Transfiguration) NOT Metaverse.

    Transfiguration is becoming superhuman, not transhuman. 100 Human DNA but enhanced through mystery, not science.

    The middle path blends both right and left hand paths and thus knows how to correctly apply justice and mercy to all. The ultimate manifestation of this middle path for Christianity is the appearance of Chochma/Divine Wisdom that has completed the journey united to being fully human. Yes, God wills to “step down” and limit Himself (a black pillar act) while at the same time illuminating. Similar to this is the Buddhist Boddhisattva or Buddah Himself.

    I point you to investigate the so-called Emerald Tablet of Hermes to meditate on this.

    The very thing that admits you back as a full member of said pleroma is willingly accepting that God WILLS Man and creation. Sophia’s departure was not a rebellion.

    You learn that God has a sense of humor. God is a trickster. God likes cosplay (the devil comes to mind) and all because God is Love. The problem is that we take one misunderstood aspect of the One and turn it into an idol, black or white.

    We must learn to see what IS. The blending of the two pillars, that leads back to heaven, with totally new eyes to see, that could not see before.

    Again, I see what is attractive about the Gnostics, but they have miscalculated the “daat point” of Gnosis and thus never will participate in the true bridegroom ceremony that the Gnostics were known for. Some Gnostics think that if you’ve gotten past the Abyss, you are out of the “woods” so to speak. They are deluded and thus bring forth bad fruits. The middle path Gnostic realizes there is no End, only going from glory to glory.

    May I turn your direction more to the Orthodox Church (but finding the right one is a big deal! Better no church than the wrong one). What Orthodoxy does have in common with the other two types of Gnosticism is that we do believe that it is Divine Will for Man to become God. This makes Orthodoxy radically different to Catholic or Protestant spirituality. We make the pleroma real, you might say – on earth as it is in heaven.

    In Orthodoxy, dogma is what is suitable for beginners. Dogma is the starting point – it is what you are allowed to talk about openly, rather than in secret. Origen got banned because he started to be read by neophytes and this was a problem. He was for “grad school level” and to this day is respected, although not canonized because he castrated himself. The bad side of Eastern Orthodoxy is that there was often State interference, but usually over time – sometimes even a century, the faith would prevail over the attempted reforms.

    The biggest difference between Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy is that the Orientals rejected any Church/State alliance, as they believe that said alliance is the beginning of sin itself and the origin of Egypt losing the mysteries, restored by Christ.

    If you take your path seriously in Orthodoxy (middle pillar Gnosis), you have a confessor – a mentor to guide you. Not all confessors are equal. You must use your judgement to find the suitable person. A confessor does not have to be a priest – it can even be a woman, for that matter. Many great saints of the Church had female mentors.

    It is in that relationship that you will gradually receive the Gnosis. We call this Gnosis the Acquisition of the Holy Spirit (in other words the mastery of the Kundalini Serpent). This is actually mastery of the Pillar of Justice…a Magister Templi; so it is still not complete! From your spiritual guide (who will also lead you to a relationship with your Holy Guardian Angel, at least in the Russian tradition)you will learn things that are not to be spoken and kept in secret. As you go on, you will see these secrets proclaimed openly in the ritual, hymns and iconography, but only for those who pay attention!

    Every one of us is the “lesser Sophia” – the same Sophia that fell from the Pleroma to learn more about its glory. This is why the bridegroom of said Sophia is the Great Sophia, Christ, the Logos. WE are Lucifer – and it is up to us whether we are Lucifer fallen or Lucifer risen. Lucifer has a very long learning curve, you might say! This is how Holy Wisdom gives birth…to itself, Always One, uncountable, no matter what the “number.”

    Only you can find your path, but from personal experience and more than 30 years of studying Gnosticism, I would stay away from modern Gnostic groups – for these types are the very people that are behind the changes going on today marching us to enslavement. They are selling a version of Christianity that will lead humanity into the Metaverse trap. No thank you! I suspect this is hardly what you wanted Gnosticism to be….but they see themselves as the “winners.” Sadly, I see it to be an empty and lifeless prize. Hope this was helpful for you.

    +Love and Light
    -Metamorphosis not Metaverse

  171. @JMG @Pierre

    I haven’t read Robert Bly though checking on the blog today I read your description of his works Pierre. Your experience with this text as you describe reminded me of my ongoing experience connecting with Ced, Welsh Goddess within the Druid tradition, over the last several years. Without revealing personal experiences, I believe Ced may also be a deity that serves humanity in this function you describe; beautifully evoking earthly masculinity. Early stage practises within the Druid Magic Handbook confirmed this for me, although everyone has different experiences I’m sure. Not trying to push religion or Philosophy just an interesting correlation!

    Cheers!

  172. Ecosophian, I have no idea what the problem is with my avatar picture — it still shows on the control panel as there, and selected. As for your questions, they’re very much on my mind right now, as one of my predictions — that a “new, more lethal variant” of Covid-19 would be announced right about the time that vaccine-enhanced disease is becoming impossible to ignore — seems to be coming true. If we get a substantial dieoff, yes, a failure of legitimacy for entrenched cultural and scientific ideas and the hierarchies they support, and improved conditions for many people in a less crowded world, are certainly among the possibilities.

    Galen, I’m always open to the possibility that even the most inept politician can do something constructive when it’s that or dangling from a lamppost. There are some remarkable examples in history. On the other hand, it’s by no means guaranteed, and if Harris is suddenly shoved into the presidency by Biden’s death or resignation, she’s going to have about a week to surprise us all before the knives come out. If that happens, see who gets the VP slot; if it’s someone forced on her by Congress, the way Gerald Ford was forced on Nixon, her removal may not be long delayed.

    J.L.Mc12, it’s been a while since I’ve read his books, but just at the moment I don’t recall thinking that anything in them was obviously wrong.

    Chris, by all means reread Catton. Stephen King’s book isn’t very good — but then neither is he.

    M Carole, congratulations on your successful escape!

    Scotlyn, granted, but there’s a point behind the word “useless” in my comment. The current population of Canada cannot support itself by hunting and gathering — there are quite simply too many people for the damaged Canadian ecosystems to support. The current Canadian managerial caste couldn’t do so even if the rest of the population died off — they don’t have the necessary skills, or the mentality that would be needed to acquire them. To them, indigenous lifeways are not a viable option, except as something to admire from a distance. On the other hand, they could live the way white Canadians lived in the 19th century…but they won’t.

    Not a Magician, good! That’s an important part of it. Crowley was also trying to make the point that every intentional action is a form of magic, while Fortune was trying to make the point that consciousness is the medium through which specifically magical modes of action work. Your friend, by the way, may be confusion “change in consciousness” with “change in the content of consciousness;” it’s one thing to think about something else, and quite another to change the way you think about things.

    Viduraawakened, hmm. I’ll consider those.

    Pierre, thanks for this. I read Iron John when it first came out; it didn’t do much for me, but I know people who found it very moving.

    Ian, interesting. Thanks for this.

  173. A sign at a grocery store says Due to cash shortage, only exact cash payments will be accepted. Card payments are unaffected.

  174. @ CR Patino

    Perhaps I am wrong with the conclusion I came to from reading between the lines you wrote, but it seems to me someone close to you has been dumping toxic masculinity views on you, and I felt compelled to write in answer.

    Speaking as a 60 year old woman who has gone through the feminist thinking of the 70s, 80s, 90, and more recently, and found much good in it and much harm in it also, I am at this stage of my life left with an image I would like to share.

    Ever watch a flock of Canada geese go by? They do so where I live, with abundance. Always, there is a stronger goose (probably male in my mind) at the head of the V, taking the wind. When the male is exhausted, he drops out and another strong male takes over, breaking the wind and so on, taking turns.

    They don’t do this to have the pick of the females, nor to lord it over other males, nor to establish the alpha position in the pecking order and be king Sh$t, nor to get the best of everything. They do this so that everyone can make it.

    This is how I have come to think of men. Whatever their faults may be, men take the wind so that the rest of us can make it. They go to war. They work in the cold, in the dark, in uncomfortable places. They risk their lives, put their bodies on the line, work hard, they sacrifice. I have come to see that most men get this. Most men are not demanding the pick of the females, etc., though some do. (Often, these are not the ones who actually take the wind.) Most men understand what they are doing even when many of the rest of us don’t understand. And they should be proud of what they do.

    It bothers me greatly when I hear women, in their fight against discrimination, give men in return the same thing they are trying to stop done to them. But I think we are trying to grow into understanding, even when it seems we go off the rails.

    So for what it’s worth, please know that I am grateful for all the men who willingly take the wind, and please ignore all the silly geese who don’t get it.

    Myriam

  175. Hi All.
    I have been catching up on blog posts from UK writer, Charles Stross, and he has a fun piece on algorithms that has had me chuckling on and off for days.

    https://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2021/03/lying-to-the-ghost-in-the-mach.html

    He explains why you can trick an algorithm into mis-categorising a granny smith apple by sticking a post it note with I-POD written on it to the fruit. It is the old story of humans embedding our own special brand of stupid into anything we create.

    It strikes me that a ‘demon haunted world’ might actually be the deindustrialised experience of any glitchy or hacked algorithmic processes left running. Could be a good story prompt?

  176. COVID-19 Response and the Civil Religion of Progress.
    While perambulating through the bright red leaves of the autumn oak trees and pondering, well, whatever popped into my head, I suddenly put together these two ideas: the ongoing and somewhat out sized response to a bad — but historically not appallingly bad, all things considered — virus which is doing as much damage to our society and economy (aka “rich people’s yacht money”) than if the virus had run its course unchecked, and joined that to the whole idea of the Civil Religion of Progress that rejects any notion that our technological society should ever be at the mercy of any natural phenomena.
    That is the purpose of our civilization project: to eliminate the suffering from the vagaries to which the natural world occasionally subjects us. We developed fantastically farming techniques to obviate hunger in general and famine in particular; we developed insanely effective industrial techniques so we don’t have to work as hard to have a creature comforts; we have created machines to allow for travel and entertainment and leisure activities. We have been very successful at these things. (The fact that we overshot the goal and are now in some weird space where this is all causing more harm than good is a classic tragedy.)
    We believe we are the ne-plus-ultra of all human achievement. This attitude is all the more curious when compared to how very quickly previous civilizations made brilliant and useful discoveries. For example, the grave of the First Emperor had steel springs for his chariot, and the Chinese were still building these thousands of years later, when the Europeans were still breaking bottoms on creaky axles jogging into every rut and dip. Not until the phaeton carriage, the first European one to use springs, did Westerners . The Greeks figured out the steam engine a thousand years before we conceived of it. Yet the Greeks and Chinese curiously stopped developing their ideas whereas we went on to build steam powered industry and transport that changed the world.
    We started very far behind other civilizations, took a extraordinarily long time to develop technologies they discovered early on, are unique in our incrementalism, and yet our continuous approach to discovery and experimentation put boots on the moon and robots around the other planets of our solar system. This sense of near-omnipotence obviously includes a firm belief that our medicine is vastly superior to all other medicines ever in use, which is hard to refute: we have vastly better obstetrics, and minimized child mortality (when we bother to do the right thing), improved longevity, and so on.
    So the idea that we, like H.G. Well’s vastly superior Martians, can still be afflicted by the humblest things upon the planet obviously offends the sensibilities and challenges the sense of security of the priesthood and true believers of the Church of Eternal progress. It occurred to me that this is fuelling much of the frantic, almost panicked response, and the frantic, violent counter-response, to this virus. This is not the only case, look at how upset people get over workplace safety, over child safety, over sports safety… as if we should be perfectly safe at all times.
    I think this may be a partial explanation of how so many around the world have behaved these past two years: we can’t handle the inevitability of our mortality.

  177. @anthony lots of good gis advice from other commenters.

    I’d say avoid a certifcate unless potential employers are being sticklers.

    Being close to data science and knowing the amount of open data out there, I say build something. Find a fun open dataset (just start googling what you’re interested in… If you want something environmental two examples I’d recommend starting with is NYC’s tree census and riverkeeper’s enterovirus data of the Hudson River.)

    Leverage as much of your existing skills as you can.

    A creative passion project you love beats a certificate that checks a box.

  178. @Mother Balance #160

    Is this the song you’re looking for?
    https://www.musixmatch.com/lyrics/Asleep-At-the-Wheel/Eyes

    (I’ll admit that although I am a country music fan, it didn’t immediately ring a bell and I found it through a carefully-crafted search query.)

    @M Carole #182

    “I’d highly recommend Butler county PA” “highest growth area in the state” “huge number of people fleeing”

    Congratulations on your move but I would advise against advertising such on a public forum. When areas become popular destinations for escapees and real estate values triple over a short time period, that has…certain unfortunate effects…on agrarian communities, and tends to inspire resentment among the long-term locals.

  179. J L MC12, in regards to your comments about “Filters against Folly”– I find it useful to restate them as the three questions:
    Does the argument make sense?
    Are the Numbers close enough?, and
    What then?

    and you must to remember to ask them first about the consequences of inaction. I suspect the competence to answer all three questions is vanishingly rare.

  180. As you go on, you will see these secrets proclaimed openly in the ritual, hymns and iconography, but only for those who pay attention! – Metamorphosis #191

    Agreed. This sentence ends in the holy grail for any spiritual acolyte. And not only seen in ritual, hymns or iconography. To one who is willing to pay utmost conscious attention to even something as simple as a blade of grass the entire universe will surrender it’s secrets. Sadhguru has always maintained there is no substitute for inner stillness because it is the gateway to all of the Universe’s most hidden secrets. All legitimate paths are trying to teach aspirants how to engage fully with the world while not getting entangled by it. That’s supposed to be the starting point. Not the end point. Humanity is suffering so much and so widely these days that square one is now being celebrated as the end goal he said.

    Peace, Love, Compassion, Equality, Equity, etc. These things only mean something to you if you haven’t realized them yet inside yourself. But they’re meant to be the starting point – not the end point. Only once one has directly experienced the truth for themself daily they’re not the mind nor body will they walk forward engaging 100% in life every day without fear of suffering. Life is ephemeral but so what? You will be so joyful and of higher clarity and perceptiveness of awareness you will laugh and play the game of life everyday 100% anyway.

    Suffering and fear of suffering keeps people from being able to do this. All Wokeness is just this – attempts to keep suffering at bay by people spinning endlessly in their own entanglements who don’t know how to keep their interior pleasant regardless of outer circumstances or outcomes. The world will never be 100% as any one wants. It just won’t. But do you want your interior to be held hostage thereby or would you rather be like the Mage or Sage who holds the keys to the kingdom of their own interior? At least in the interior of yourself you should be 100% in charge.

    But most people don’t know how to do this (you have to train for it) – hence the circular firing squad, massive finger pointing blame and cancel culture phenomenon. They have fallen from square one to square zero. Sadhguru says it’s turned out to be a shockingly herculean task to get people back to square one because so many of the world’s billions are completely invested in their own entanglements (and with it the consequences of those entanglements – boatloads of suffering). Even if you offer then a method for a way out many will refuse. But once you do take up walking the path and begin paying utmost conscious attention as that Metamorphosis sentence above mentions – Sadhguru says the universe will not be able to withhold its secrets from you for very long. Even the holiest and most hidden secrets will eventually give way.

    Or as I once heard it said:

    To the mind that is still – the Universe surrenders

  181. JMG,

    Regarding overshoot, a few months ago (April) you responded to my question with this reply: “CRC, of course we’re in greater overshoot, but we also have greater technological capacities to slow the decline, so it works out to about the same. In terms of population decline, across a very wide range of technological levels from neolithic to advanced iron age, the bottom is at worst around 5% of the top, so I’m guessing it’ll be about the same this time as well.” I’ve thought about this since and I guess it would be fair to say it could work out to be about the same on average, but there might be a lot of error around that average in terms of where the decline ends due to both positive and negative effects of technology and the associated unknowns.

    Would you agree?

    I’ll give one example that could affect the extent of the population decline that may have a lot of error associated with it. We know sperm counts are falling in the West due (it seems) to all the “wonderful” synthetic chemicals that we’ve loaded into the environment. First, there is a lot of error in knowing how far sperm counts may ultimately fall and whether it happens worldwide or is confined to the more industrialized nations. Second, whether a fix becomes available to arrest the decline in sperm counts or not. In the worst case, most of the population could be infertile while in the best case it doesn’t get much worse than it is now.

    CRC

  182. About the slash & grab gangs in California: I mentioned them to Jean Lamb, since she lives very close to the California border and gets more news out of there than I do. Here’s what she said:

    “This will stop when the home invasions are met with enough shotguns, along with the luxury shop gigs. Portland had the same problem with one gang doing invasions till some elderly people with guns and lots of time on their hands decided to lie in wait for excitement to come into their lives. Enter one gang to meet one elderly gentleman with a shotgun, who took out a couple of members of the gang. The remainder of the gang did not learn from this, and encountered a second such gentleman. I suggest that these luxury stories will contract out some security and there will be confrontations. Also, some police might dress in civvies and hang around some of these stores for fun and profit.”

    Heh-heh-heh…geezers with shotguns…what’s not to like!

    I’ve been thinking of a theme song for the Long Descent and the first one that popped up, pardon the sexism, is “Sisters are doing it for themselves!” Also, of course, brothers. Or just plain citizens.

  183. It seems well established that as an empire or civilization enters the collapse phase the quality of its leadership declines as well, or perhaps the leaderships declines first and the empire follows. But either way, is their any discernible pattern in the types of poor leaders and the order in which they appear along the declining trajectory of the empire? For instance, once decline first sets in are we first presented with a pompous and self ingratiating leader who is well loved by many of the masses but infuriates the elites, then followed by a senile and mildly corrupt placeholder who does the bidding of the elites while being mocked and reviled by the masses and then finally followed by a thin skinned, self serving naif who is disliked by both the people and the elites and damages most of the remaining credibility of the government brandishing power in a feeble attempt to salve their ego? Maybe such a lineup is just to crazy to have ever happened before, but who knows.

  184. #197 There is an argument parallel to the anthropic arguments in cosmology, for why Classical Antiquity or the Chinese didn’t get into fossil fuels a couple of millennia ago. They could have made wider use of them, but they didn’t. If they had done, the world wouldn’t be the world we live in.
    In such a world, we wouldn’t be around in our own civilisation’s form to observe that.

  185. One worrying aspect of the Long Descent: The rise of Demagogues claiming they will be able to reverse the long descent. We’ve already seen a glimpse of that with Donald Trump. His 2016 campaign slogan was “Make America Great Again”. Which means that he actually recognizes that America is in decline, but his proposed solutions don’t address the underlying issues, and in many cases aggravate the underlying issues.

    We will see more populist demagogues rising in the coming years. Since the political establishment is unable to explain why myth of progress is failing, it is easy for demagogues fill the void.

    The problem with Woke left is that they are so focused on ideological purity, that they alienate many people who might otherwise support them on substantive issues. Of course, the right also has its own forms of ideological purity.

    @JMG. The first time I posted on Ecosophia, I noticed that the post did not immediately show up, unlike on Facebook/”Meta” or YouTube. Then I realized that you review replies before they show up. I appreciate you spending time to do that.

  186. A leading British newspaper on Biden’s self destructing presidency, exacerbated by the disastrous effects of Woke policies in places like New York, Chicago and San Francisco, not to mention internal feuding within the Biden administration and the rest of the Democratic Party.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10247467/Joe-Bidens-election-meant-launch-decade-liberal-rule-ANDREW-NEIL-despairs-president.html

    At this point, I fully expect that the Orange Julius will pull off a Grover Cleveland in 2024. Wouldn’t that be a kick in the teeth for the libs!

  187. @Mark L #199

    THAT’S IT!! OMG OMG OMG!

    Thirty years of frustration solved with one quick question here! Thank you sooooo much!

    This place is amazing.

  188. Myriam (no. 195) “When the male is exhausted, he drops out and another strong male takes over, breaking the wind…”

    Phrasing!

    —————————

    Metamorphosis, not Metaverse (no. 191) “The biggest difference between Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy is that the Orientals rejected any Church/State alliance…”

    The Armenian Apostolic Church has very much entered into a church / state alliance in the Republic of Armenia. The constitution names it as the official church, and it enjoys many privileges that other religions do not. During the USSR, its hierarchs were KGB vetted, if not KGB people themselves, and the current Catholicos, Karekin II, comes from this background.

    “Going into Jewish Mysticism that carried over into Early Christianity and still persists in some Christian Traditions, existence was seen as a balance between a pillar of justice/dark and a pillar of mercy/light…”

    While the Biblical imagery and broad neo-Platonic framework are ancient, the sephirotic tree is medieval (with influence from Islam), and the pillars may even be early modern. So early Christianity is very unlikely to have had anything like this.

    “Theravada Buddhism also is a good example of Right Hand Path, while some Tantric Sects are Left Hand and some Mahayana sects are Middle Path.”

    This “left-hand / right-hand” distinction originated in India, by Hindus who tend to associate “tantra” with orgies and black magic. All the Tibetan Buddhist groups practice tantra, in the sense of rituals in which one visualizes and worships a deity such as Chenrezig, and mostly agree on ethics. Black magic is known, but not considered a positive religious act. And while I am aware of a few instances of Buddhists practicing (as opposed to merely visualizing) tantric sex, this is controversial, and often received as scandalous when done by supposedly celibate monks.

    As far as I know, every religious group believes itself to be on the side of right and good, and most try to conform to public expectations of morality (or else keep any misbehavior underground). I see no real difference in Theravada or Mahayana groups (including Vajrayana) in terms of ethical teachings or ethical behavior (you get all types).

    I agree that the term “gnostic” is problematic, since it has been applied to such diverse people and groups (representing half a dozen religions!), who should probably not be lumped together. The concept of salvific knowledge is distinct from any proposed content of that knowledge (spirit / matter dualism or whatnot), or from the proposed means by which this knowledge may be acquired (e.g. visions). One sometimes hears a distinction between traditions that see the world as evil and want to escape it, vs. those who see it as basically good, though not ultimate, but these feel like caricatures (like discussions of “dualism”).

  189. As this is an open post and I’m feeling somewhat nostalgic this evening, I’d like to share a few lines of verse that I wrote not quite thirty years ago:

    My body spread like fallen leaves—
    the breath of you, my autumn wind,
    to stir me crisply in your eddies
    until I lose all sense of me.

  190. Hi JMG. I was wondering what the agents of The King in Yellow in your cthulhu novels were based on? When I first read about how menacing they seemed in WOH: Providence I thought they might be based on Samurai or some other historical military caste.

  191. Karl @ 157, Home invasion robberies have been prevalent in CA from at least 20 years ago. There was a rash of them when I lived in not-rich Central Valley over a decade ago. They targeted small business owners on the days when those owners were bringing the week’s take home. Their information came from domestic workers. One more reason why grownups pick up after themselves. I would not be at all surprised to learn that there is similar inside information in the cases you mentioned.

  192. Maybe this is a Magic Monday question, but it also has some political and cultural dimensions too.

    On the last Magic Monday, somebody asked about the American egregiore, and you defined and egregiore as an emotional identity shared by a group and centered around a set of symbolic images-giving as an example the American egregiore with the Statue of Liberty, the flag, and the bald eagle.

    Given this, I think it would be fair to say that my own state of Virginia has (or possibly had-I’ll get to that in a minute) its own egregiore. If an egregiore is also (as you’ve defined it elsewhere) a group personality, it could best be described as genteel, aristocratic, old-fashioned, history-minded, formal, polite. I was always rather fond of it. This egregoire had its own set of symbolic images-George Washington, Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson (and his elaborate European-style plantation house of Monticello), the red cardinal, the ships coming in at Jamestown, the well-dressed Virginia Gentlemen, the Virginia Military Institute Corps of Cadets marching off to war in 1861, and the state flag, with its Roman Goddess of Liberty standing over a fallen tyrant. Seemingly the most important image though, and the one that loomed large after I first moved to the Commonwealth in middle school, was Robert E. Lee, standing in his full military uniform, looking at the viewer with an impassive expression-seemingly the picture of chivalry, honor, and virtue. Notably, Virginia chose his statue to be placed as its representative in the US Capitol’s Statuary Hall.

    With all this in mind…what do you make of the Great-Unpersoning of Robert E. Lee our political establishment attempted (and mostly succeeded at) last year? His name-and the name of every other Confederate general-was stricken off every high school in the state, his statue was removed from the US capitol, Monument Avenue-one of Richmond’s most notable landmarks, which memorialized him and several other Confederate generals-was vandalized by a mob and then torn down. This even extended to people who had nothing to do with the Confederacy-George Washington’s old church in NoVA took the marker off his favorite seat, because it “might offend people”-and closer to home, Patrick Henry Community college changed its name to “Patrick and Henry”, after the two counties it serves (Patrick Henry was a slaveowner, you see-can’t have his name on a building. Never mind “Give me liberty or give me death!”)

    To me, it feels like a symbolic slaying of Virginia’s egregiore. Does this description make any sense to you? And what might a history nerd who loved what Virginia used to be do about it? I’ve sometimes thought of starting a “Cultural Resistance Movement” to stop what the Washington DC appratchiks and NoVA commuters who’ve taken over this state are doing to its identity. It feels like something I love is being taken from me and smashed.

  193. WaterWorks, why not write the story yourself?

    Renaissance, that makes a lot of sense.

    CRC, sure, as long as you keep in mind that the window of uncertainty extends just as far to the better as it does to the worse, and like most statistical phenomena, the middle’s the place you’re most likely to end up.

    Patricia M, that’s what happened in Cumberland, MD, the little town in the Appalachians where I lived for a while. A bunch of career criminals from Baltimore drove up that way, thinking they could do some home invasion robberies. They got lucky twice. The third time, the guy on the other side of the door was a Vietnam vet with a 12-gauge shotgun loaded with buckshot. The survivors were arrested once they were in stable condition in the hospital, and since their trial took place before a local judge, they’re still doing time. That was the end of that.

    Clay, it doesn’t seem to be that predictable. Toynbee discusses the ways that failing elites get stuck in ruts, deploying their preferred solutions to every problem even when those solutions have long since stopped working, but there are various ways that plays out in detail.

    Stellarwind, that’s a very real concern, and just how far demagogues and their followers will go in their foredoomed efforts to keep progress on track is another very troubling question. (You’re most welcome, btw.)

    Galen, it’s definitely time to get the popcorn popping…

    David BTL, thanks for this!

    Justin, and “Omicron covid variant” works out to “Rot on, vivid carcinoma” and “a vivid narcotic moron.”

    Anon, I based them partly on ex-Special Forces guys I knew in the Freemasons, and partly on some reading I did about secret agents and Resistance fighters during the Second World War. I’m glad they came across suitably tough and realistic!

    Tolkienguy, yes, states can have their own egregor, though not all do. Yes, the wokesters are quite obviously trying to destroy the egregor, since it opposes the tyranny of the mob they hope to impose. I think a cultural resistance movement could be helpful; you might look into how nations under foreign occupation have preserved the memory of their history and heroes.

  194. Just a quick note to thank everyone for their positive thoughts and prayers. Our cat, Jade finally came down out of the tree 14 days after she went up. She was hungry, thirsty and tired, but fine otherwise. I know at least one commenter was asking and I was too late in the last open post cycle to answer.

    JMG, thank you so much for all your writings. I have been reading you since 2007 and my husband and I collapsed before the rush and are much happier because of it. Thank you for all you do.

  195. Hi John,

    Kamala Harris is going to face some tough choices for VP if she becomes president. It’s not just that the Dems have a razor thin majority. If Harris becomes POTUS, the Senate will be evenly split without her being able to cast a tie breaker since at that point Harris is no longer VP and President of the Senate. So she would need to pick a candidate who can attract the support of at least one moderate Republican, like Collins, Murkowski or Romney. It would basically force her to pick a moderate, which will infuriate the far left, who have gained more and more power within the Democratic Party. Whoever she picks will draw pushback from one side or the other, which could make it very difficult to gey anyone through and give a number of factions in Congress a great deal of leverage, with all of conflicting pressures that implies.

    It’s entirely likely that Mitch McConnell will try to sabotage Harris by pressuring Senate into rejecting anyone she proposes. If he succeeds, that would leave the vice presidency vacant and pave the way for whichever Republican congresscritter becomes Speaker after the 2022 elections to become president if the GOP succeeds in impeachmening Harris.

  196. John Michael, over the past week or two, I’ve noticed angry polarization infecting the rhetoric of people who had successfully eschewed the mainstream media’s hate-baiting and scapegoating for years now. “You’re either with us or against us” has taken hold of a larger portion of American society than it could previously entrance. Part of me thinks that it’s about time, yet part of me thinks there’s something very strange going on here (strange to me, at least, as I’ve never lived through the run up to a revolution before.) A threshold has been crossed that all the previous craziness somehow hadn’t been able to broach.

    Those benefiting from the status quo can pretty much always be expected to parrot whatever talking points are required of them to maintain that status. What’s surprising now is how many people who were usually able to fly above the manufactured squabbles are now enthusiastically feeding the divides. Are you getting a sense of where this newfound combativeness has sprung from?

    Plenty of people have been pushed beyond what they can tolerate, but that has been true for a good while now. Is there an identifiable, hundredth-monkey point at which growing revolutionary sentiment tips over into outright faction building? Is there a point where enough of the intelligentsia defects over to the disenfranchised side that those wannabe leaders can then begin applying their expertise in working with the levers of power to control the dispossessed like marionettes? Is there some inherent carrying capacity for gunk on the astral plane, beyond which astral gunk just starts leaking out of everyone, everywhere?

    Since cancel culture has managed to replace most news with propaganda (on both sides of the divide), I instead went to look at popular music to get a sense of just how pervasive this militant, which-side-are-you-on stance has become. The results surprised me. I found two Rittenhouse support songs that went up less than twelve hours ago — one already has 10K views; the other one has 30K. And those are just the most recent ones! Who knew that Kyle had become such an inspiration to rappers? I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the lyric “Y’all about to make me pull a Rittenhouse” goes viral. There were also a slew of songs about impending war against arrogant leaders, complete with gun-drenched videos. These poetic manifestos, rapping their warnings that a lot more people are prepared for a coming war than our leaders realize, don’t sound like the kind of songs that get written when things are going to keep chugging merrily along. Here’s a few for reference:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVMgaMSJUl0
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHAAA9gcso0
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKny9P10h2I
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHxk1Mg5n7I

    Does this long-held-back rage, welling up out of our heartland in anthems of wrongs that will no longer be tolerated, give you any sense of where we might be headed in the near term? Do these snarling cries indicate that the pressure cooker prepared for us still has a relief valve through music, or is that actually the sound that excessive pressure makes just before it’s about to blow the lid off?

  197. JMG, oh, yeah – and us 00’s teens will recall one of the the absurd cartoon villians of Futurama, who hailed from the planet Omicron (Persei 8) and whose inept leader was obsessed with the “lower horn” of the working class male protagonist of the show. You cannot make this stuff up – synchronicities like this are evidence that creative types are channeling an external reality rather than making stuff up de novo.

  198. @JMG #149

    Had a good chuckle.

    It seems the movement is still around although it’s in decline and on life support. Other than that they tend to keep to themselves unlike other similar groups.

    As For Raymond Capt. If for some reason I get books by him I’ll make sure to O.D. on salt.

    Why be envious of something someone else has when one already has everything within reach with their name on it and far more unique than ones neighbors? That just heats up a whole different stew of negativity that only to more suffering afterwards when one realizes what they have lost and they’re trying to get it back only to be held in contempt by those who picked up on the issues and distanced themselves from it in any way possible before 💩 hit the fan and/or survive the initial sacrifice/culling. But of course that’s what the human equivalent of CWD found in deer is and it’s spread much the same way.

  199. re Justin, et. al. #3 beacons for pedestrians vs. autonomous cars.

    1. I read and searched in the article: No “dystopia”, “track” or “norton”.
    The one “real” is in ‘… increasing cycling’s modal share to 14% is “realizable” …’

    Looks like the link is wrong (see below).

    2. The concept of forcing people to wear beacons so autonomous vehicles (AVs) can avoid them is just nonsense. Wild animals, stray dogs, visitors, errant trashcans and shopping carts, opening car doors, etc. etc. mean that AVs must use vision with the possible addition of LIDAR and/or RADAR. If they cannot do that better than humans, then they fail. I have never heard of any actual AV advocate talking about beacons on pedestrians or anything else. Sounds like a clueless/strawman argument.

    3. In looking further, you got the link wrong, it’s:
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/carltonreid/2021/11/06/bidens-12-trillion-infrastructure-bill-hastens-beacon-wearing-for-bicyclists-and-pedestrians-to-enable-detection-by-connected-cars/?sh=8c2dd655a3d6

    Now it makes sense – it’s part of the Intelligent/connected roads/vehicles nonsense that’s attempting to reduce congestion and pollution by connecting all road users so they know each other’s intentions. This nonsense has been going on for decades, basically empire building sinecure for some folks in government/business/academia.

    So it’s NOT “beacons for hapless, 2nd class pedestrians and bicyclists” (though that’s an attractive, click-baity headline)!,
    it’s “everybody and everything on the roadways will be connected in a seamless integrated network of transportation units optimizing pathways and interactions so we can do away with stop signs and traffic lights and eliminated congestion …..” (i.e. it will never happen, but as long as there’s money to be made doing studies, the connected vehicle people will be glad to take it.)

    People cannot even agree on what a “connected vehicle” actually is. The big fallacy for real-time universal interoperability is that _everybody_ needs to be onboard or the system can’t work – but what about a pedestrian who just drops their cell phone on the sidewalk or ran out of battery? The car that hits a pothole and the antenna cable loosens? They just disappeared… On the other hand, AVs are designed to fit in with existing traffic, and they just keep getting better.

    from the (correct) Forbe’s article:
    “The Act sets aside $4.7 billion for expanding highways (yes, more roads in a climate crisis), $1.79 billion for improving transit, and $605 million for bridge replacement and repairs.

    An easy to miss part of the Act also formalizes the acceptance of so-called “vehicle to everything” (V2X) technology that, on the face of it, promises enhanced safety on the roads for pedestrians and cyclists.


    The mammoth bill includes a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it section on “research on connected vehicle technology.”

    This states that the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, along with the Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office and the Federal Highway Administration, will “expand vehicle-to-pedestrian research efforts focused on incorporating bicyclists and other vulnerable road users into the safe deployment of connected vehicle systems.”

    Within two years, says the bill, a report will be submitted to Congress including the findings of the research along with an “analysis of the extent to which applications supporting vulnerable road users can be accommodated within existing spectrum allocations for connected vehicle systems.”
    === end quote ===

    Ahhh – I knew something was in it for Wall Street too – as if 5G didn’t make radio spectrum rare (and expensive$$$) enough, we now have simply got to buy more spectrum for “connected vehicle systems”.

    The bicycle report in the wrong article was good though. Direct link:
    https://2z30i71k4m1tu9odh1fx8yq1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/Gearing-Up-the-Local-Bicycle-Economy-London-Report.pdf

    Those interested in less space/material/energy intensive transportation may wish to peruse the youtube channel Not Just Bikes.
    This one is on the invisible bike infrastructure in the Netherlands.

  200. My wife and I have been enjoying a TV show called “Alone”, where 10 people who ought to know better allow themselves to be dumped in the wilderness to survive for as long as they can. I’ve taken some statistics from it, and I think they tell us one or two things. Deindustrialising Lessons!

    The first is that most of the seasons were “last one standing” – you keep going until everyone else has quit, though you don’t know if they’ve quit or not. Those people lasted an average of 37 days. But one season was “last 100 days and get $1 million.” Those people lasted an average of 50 days. Deindustrialising Lessons #1: It’s easier to put up with suffering if you know exactly when it’s going to end!

    As well, when we think about a deindustrialising society, we tend to think of illness and untreated injury as the main dangers, and lack of proper equipment. However, 40% of the people simply quit. And over half of those who did so, cited missing family and other people as a reason. Even if we don’t need other people to physically survive, we need them to give us a reason to survive. Deindustrialising Lesson #2: community, and willpower!

    20% were pulled from the show because they were starving and they risked permanent damage. Now, part of this was just the tough environment they were in. But having watched the show, I think some of them lacked a sense of urgency about this – they were used to always being able to have food available. It’s one thing to know how to get food from the wild or grow it, it’s another thing to completely rely on it. The same will be true for clothing, electricity and many other things. We’re used to having backups with little or no effort on our part. Deindustrialising Lesson #3: Backups may not be available.

    17% were pulled due to illness. Most of these were due to something they ate or drank, like food poisoning, worms, constipation because they only had meat around to eat, and so on. In circumstances with limited food choices, poor sanitation and so on, this is more likely to happen than it is in our comfortable modern homes. Deindustrialising Lesson #4: sanitation is key!

    10% only were pulled due to injury, most commonly with tools, like cutting a tendon with an axe. Deindustrialising Lesson #5: be practiced in using your tools safely!

    Only 4% or 3 of the 70 people were out due to problems with tools – 2 lost their firestarters, and 1 set fire to their tent. Given that they were only allowed to take 10 different items with them, this is actually pretty surprising. Deindustrialising Lesson #6: a few well-chosen tools is sufficient!

    This left 10% as “victors”, lasting longer than anyone else. However, in an deindustrialising society, you’d have to last indefinitely. So it’s tougher. It’s one thing to do it for a few months, it’s another to do it for the rest of your life. Which is probably why most people in our society deny this stuff is an issue.

  201. @Patricia Mathews

    Thank you for your reply.

    I downloaded the book Fourth Turning, but I was disappointed to see that, no, it did not contain any mathematical models. This is not to say that mathematics is somehow supreme or all-encompassing, but cliodynamics is somewhat different from the approach used in the books you cited. So I think it’s probably a safe bet to say that Peter Turchin is indeed doing something new, by building quantitative models of historical cycles, and testing them with empirical data. This is not the same approach as the authors of the books you cited, as well as other giants of historical theory like Spengler, Toynbee and Vico, used.

    The reason I find Turchin’s approach interesting, despite the fact that he’s almost certainly at least a ‘soft’ rationalist, is that a great many arguments used to attack the concept of historical cycles (no doubt from the usual suspects) can be simply stopped by way of mathematical modeling-cum-analysis. For all its faults, mathematics doesn’t care about anyone’s feelings, or biases, for that matter. That makes the mathematical approach extremely powerful for countering BS allegations. I have come to think that maybe, just maybe, if Spengler and/or Toynbee had mathematised their models, they (especially Spengler) wouldn’t have been relegated to the pariah status that they now occupy. Or perhaps, it might be true, as Spengler said, that history may be best written in a language not yet invented, just as physics and chemistry are written in mathematics.

  202. Hi John Michael,

    Well that was a surprising answer, and whilst I respect your opinion, here I feel I cannot in all good candour endorse your stated position. I read for enjoyment, and if enjoyment be provided, who I am to argue with the vehicle? Recently I read Mr King’s epic tome: ‘The Stand’ – the extended version (with an additional 400 pages original cut by the editor) and rather enjoyed the story. Despite being in excess of 1200 pages, the narrative held me throughout. And it should be mentioned that the book was weighty enough that it would make a tidy adjunct to my hand as it clobbered some miscreant over the head whilst they were visiting some nefarious act upon my good self. Mate, ah the language is fun, but what to do, and so here I have to out myself as having read quite a bit of my favourite author (yes, you’re a favourite author too, so we must not play favourites here): Jack Vance, of late. He has such a fun way with the English language, and it all works without sounding overly verbose. I cannot but only achieve a glimmer of any such hallowed estate.

    And Mr King, like yourself, is a confirmed fan of Mr Lovecraft! You have your reasons, and as I wrote, I respect that.

    And speaking of miscreants. If someone turned up here and tried to pull that sort of stunt being discussed above in the comments, they’d get a response all right. And they might not like it, and most likely possibly also wouldn’t appreciate it. Best they don’t attempt such mischief in the first place which is always a sound philosophy. Had an incident along those lines at 4AM one evening maybe a year or so back. The person decided on the spot that I was bad news – for good reason – and they went away. The thing is, the constabulary eventually caught up with the person, and that person eventually ended up with something like sixty charges, presumably for separate incidents. I alerted the bush telegraph as to the goings on.

    Mate, I read the news today, oh boy! So, I read the website comments here. Then I read the good Mr James Kunstler. Then I read the news. Frack me, is there no end to this bout of madness? Fortunately, we are set for both state and federal elections next year, and from what I’m observing in the population, and I speak with all manner of people, the mood is candidly not good. I take heart in that mood, but then the problem is that I understand history well enough to know that the national socialists came to power because the middle ground had been abandoned, and not because the more extreme kooky national socialist ideals resonated with the population. When the folks who were previously on the fringes begin making more sense than the folks in power, there is a serious problem going on. Oh well, as I’ve said to you before, I accept this fate, and I guess it will probably just get crazier. It needn’t be this way.

    Cheers

    Chris

  203. @JMG, @High Magic Readers:

    So I was gazing at my Tarot deck of the Magician card again. One of my tarot books said that the Magician card is often associated with the Greek god Hermes (Mercury to the Romans). Here is the list of things I’d forgotten about this god. He is the messenger god wearing winged boots and a winged helmet. He is the god of speed, communication, salesmen, orators, tricksters and thieves.

    Upon re-reading that I was thunderstruck as to what that list was saying – Hermes/Mercury is a deity that has completed total mastery of the Udana vayu! Yes, the same vayu played up in countless Chinese Wuxia movies like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

    Udana vayu practice does the following:

    1. Turns the interior of the body’s cells from a slight negative charge into a slight positive charge. The ordinary human body’s cells carry a slight negative charge compared to the environment. Udana flips that. The positive electric charge build up contributes to your sense of weight being lost. You don’t actually lose the weight but it will be carried much better. Your physical urge to eat will also significantly drop (which might actually contribute to losing weight as a side effect but it won’t be due directly to Udana).

    2. Because of the slight positive charge inside the cells it builds up for a bit before transmitting to other cells. The lipid wall around each cell also becomes thinner as Udana builds up in the cell interior. As the lipid layer begins to thin out the body becomes more sensitive in a pleasant way and light.

    3. The buoyancy changes the aerodynamics equation for that person. The more Udana, the more buoyant. The pull of gravity on the body becomes less. If you build up too much Udana in the body one repercussion is you will lose a large capacity to sense your bodyweight accurately.

    4. Building up Udana within one’s cells allows birds who shouldn’t be able to do so to still fly. Birds, overall have lots of Udana vayu. Ditto for humans who jump higher, farther and faster beyond what aerodynamic says the max their body should be able to achieve.

    5. Udana also grants that OTHER extraordinary power – the power of speech (thus communication and messages). It’s the vayu associated with the throat chakra, Visuddi. And of the superpower known as Vak (ie Vox) Shuddhi. The power to utter sounds and speech in such a way that the sound vibrations directly contribute to your and other’s physical and mental health and wellbeing. Sadhguru said look at how far away on the evolutionary scale birds are from humans. Yet there are birds who can repeat human vocabulary while our nearest evolutionary relatives, the chimpanzee cannot. This is the power of Udana vayu being developed in homo sapiens far beyond what any of our nearest evolutionary relatives have. The only other species that have significant portions of Udana in their makeup are birds. There are certain species of birds who will perform a very brief exercise prior to takeoff to get their Udana up. Without that preliminary they can’t fly.

    6. Since Udana is the vayu of speech get it up far enough and one can become renown for powerful oratory (a Hermes specialty). Or used for things like drumming up lots of sales or conning someone with convincing, sly speech. All of this is possible via Udana vayu.

    7. Because of the slight positive charge inside the body cells life everywhere will feel the slight attraction to the person who carries such a charge. They’ll literally have a “positive vibe”. In other words, it’s a vayu that helps grant that elusive quality, charisma.

    There is much more to this but I don’t know why I didn’t recognize that list until today! Clearly the ancient Greeks and Romans had accomplished yogis and magic adepts in their midst to accurately ascribe Hermes/Mercury with the powers of complete Udana mastery. Since it’s also associated with the throat chakra I’m now wondering if myth says anything about whether Hermes had a blue aura? I don’t recall reading that but I don’t remember the Greek myths as well as I wish I did. Anyway, anyone who is interested in one of the Udana schools of martial arts might also consider Hermes/Mercury as a possible patron deity as well. He’s got some serious Udana chops!

  204. Greetings all!

    JMG wrote: “a very stable agricultural system, fortified monasteries as centers of cultural preservation, and woodblock printing to allow books to be copied efficiently. ”

    Although late in the day, and admitedly much that depends on local circumstances, (1) what kind of centers of cultural preservation and (2) what kind of printing technologies would you consider worthwhile pursuing right now?

    I have pondered a lot about ways and means to transmit culture to the next generation in a declining civilisation possible prone to violence and I must admit that beyond having a vegetable plot, a small home library and some modest experimenting in sustainability I haven’t gone beyond much.

    I have tried to elicit interest in my country on sustainability and the decline of modern industrial civilisation but with little, if any success. Nobody seems really convinced that our civilisation is on the decline because they are all entranced by the wonders of technology, especially now about Artificial Intelligence. (may we have a post on AI one of these days? Thank You!)

    I am thinking about opening a small bookstore but beyond that I am at a loss concerning the type of strategies to pursue. Nothing seems to gain traction anywhere, its like shouting in the wilderness…

    Many thanks.

  205. Oh…quick word of warning.

    Udana vayu is never to be practiced by itself. It’s one of the 3 (of 5) pancha vayus that you can seriously mess yourself up from doing DIY – even death. Sadhguru says take that warning seriously. You can mess yourself up very, very bad. You’ll be flying high as a kite like Icarus (figuratively) then suddenly plummet just like in the myth – with possibly the same consequences. If you want to get serious about Udana vayu practices he says you absolutely must enroll in a proper school with a legitimate, responsible guru to closely oversee your training.

  206. @Tolkienguy #214
    Thank you for bringing up the egregore of Virginia. I used to tell people that I have a latitude and longitude where I belong and it is in Virginia. I’ve lived other places, but I belong in Virginia. You said it better, because it is the egregore that gives me the sense of belonging and yes, I have been feeling that they are destroying it day after day. And yes, all those men who shaped our country who came from Virginia, lived in Virginia, should be remembered and honored for the good things that they stood for, while always remembering that they were mortals, living in a certain time and a certain culture. You have put a name on what I have been feeling and it helps me understand and think of ways to fight back. Celebrating our history is one way. Talking about it and finding public ways to honor our history is another. Let’s bring back our egregore! Thank you again.

  207. @ JMG – to be sure. IF all that “indigenous lifeways” means is an economy based on hunting and gathering, THEN it is appropriate to speak of “uselessness”. No question.

    But the question then is – why would we restrict ourselves to that simplistic equation: “indigenous” = “hunting and gathering”? What would we gain from this? By reducing various peoples’ existences to their habits of food-getting, we rob ourselves of the prospect of gaining understandings of whole dimensions of their thought, of their worlds of meaning, that is comprehended in “culture”.

    It is not a stretch, I think, to say that many among us still, in a very real sense, go to hunt at the singles bar, and go to gather at the mall. That we engage in hunting or gathering activities says precious little of importance about who we are, how we see/construct our worlds in story and meaning, or what we may deliberately choose to include in, or exclude from, our ways to “culture” with one another.

    The major problem that WE – Faustian civilisation sense of “we” – have (as you yourself have helped me to see) is being trapped in a single story, and from this single story, we are told, and too often believe (whether we will or not) that There Is No Alternative (TINA).

    If we wish to exercise our imaginations and discover paths of possibility, it is hard to discount the contribution that can be obtained by cultivating habits of seeing in every human culture the work of the same kinds of imaginative and adaptive human being that we ourselves are, and to know that the steps away from here, for us, may be plotted in many, many directions.

    To know that there ARE many, many, many alternatives. To know of other people’s ways, both past and present, is to know how large is our human storehouse of possibility.

    And to know that studying how other people have lived, thought, worked, arranged their lives so as to work with and/or around one another. to understand HOW THEY THOUGHT about it all, can be a way to broaden one’s own potential store of stories.

    Of which, as you have said, to have many stories is to be better placed for whatever our futures have in store, than to be stuck in a single story.

  208. PS – Just to say, I do get the specific point you are making – at least on further reading, I do… 😉

    That is to say, your point is that it is easy to contemplate adapting current economic ways of getting food and surviving by “retropy-ing” back, say, 100 years, to mixed [economic] ways that the various new mixes of Canadian or American inhabitants were using then, and this is more practical than a “hunting and gathering” aboriginal fantasy, if conceived of as a sort of “garden of Eden” mythical existence.

    And, granted. This point makes perfect sense to me, and I have nothing against it.

    But, I do think there can also be a lot lost from the picture of what the future paths onward from here for those of us who live HERE and NOW, might consist OF, if it is not appreciated that indigenous ways of thinking (as opposed to ways of getting food) have anything useful to teach.

    I do also appreciate that current dialogues on the matter (in both directions) are probably not helping much, just now. As usual, they suffer from the extreme polarisation that every other dialogue is currently pushed into – to the great loss of all of us.

  209. Myriam (no. 195) “This is how I have come to think of men. Whatever their faults may be, men take the wind so that the rest of us can make it.”

    Women do this too, in their somewhat different ways. Ideally, we cooperate, support each other, and do whatever has to be done.

    “Most men are not demanding the pick of the females, etc…”

    Well, I got to pick one female! (There may have been others in my wicked youth.) And joking aside, this was the most consequential choice of my entire life. Probably most men feel this way.

  210. @ Viduraawakened #11:

    I don’t know about a machine to draw curves, but I do know a machine to measure the area under a curve, or in fact any closed shape — the planimeter.

    It’s two linked arms with a graduated wheel on one of them. You plant the instrument firmly on your drawing, check the reading on the wheel, carefully follow the outline of the shape with the pointer, and check the reading again. The difference between the two readings tells you the area.

    I never understood how it works, but I know it does, because in my former career as a pen-and-ink draftsman for a consulting engineering firm I must have drawn and measured thousands of cross-sections to calculate earth-moving quantities for roadworks.

  211. 80% of Chinese groundwater is polluted:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2cseicEu84

    I fear that even the deepest pools of water on the earth will be polluted forever. And there is no way for such toxins to be cleaned up by nature.

    I think Industrial Society may have permanently damaged the earth. Especially deep underground.

  212. Anthonyduclare,

    I am a little late answering your question about getting a GIS certificate, but here is my 2 cents worth. I completed a GIS certificate at a small state university 10 years ago, and it was an excellent move for me. (Although since then my career path has moved away form GIS.) My background was using AutoCad for landscape architecture, so I was good with spatial concepts and weak on IT and coding.

    The good thing about a certificate is that it covers the whole breath of GIS – spatial projections, map graphics, statistics, and analysis techniques. I noticed that a lot of self taught people were often missing some basic concepts, although they were very good in the area they focused on. The exception was some of the county GIS Coordinators who had started when the field was young and very energetically studied to keep up with developments.

    I am not sure how to advise you to select a certificate program. You may be able to find a local GIS user group or a state chapter of URISA and ask for advice.

    Best,
    LandLizard

  213. Following on from my earlier Udana post…I now have a hunch Adolf Hitler must have had a larger than normal share of Udana in his makeup. Say what you will about him but I don’t think anyone will deny he had that ‘something extra’ to his oratory. Enough to whip up the masses into unthinking adulation and support for his policies.

    In fact…it’s a good warning about how just because someone might have a lot of Udana in their system doesn’t necessarily mean they’re to be trusted. I note that Hermes is the god of thieves and tricksters too. The power of charisma plus oratory is not something to be dismissed lightly as a superpower. You could be saying one thing but the power coming through on the subconscious level (Vak Shuddi) could be conveying the ‘real’ message which might actually contradict the actual words. Which also makes me wonder if people with Asperger’s might have a bit of natural protection against the power of such charismatic oratory.

  214. @Patricia P. and Mary B.
    The 100+ home invasions in the West side wealthy part of LA, have been “follow home” invasions. The criminals watch for people leaving nice restaurants, clubs, or shopping centers, then follow them home and force their way in to rob them.

    As far as protecting your property from criminals with a shotgun, good luck with that if you’re a white male as we’ve seen in the Rittenhouse and McMichaels cases recently. Kyle was only found not guilty because there was so much video evidence that showed clear-cut self-defense against a violent mob, and he raised a lot of money for competent defense team.

    The McMichaels were not so lucky, and got life sentences for what looked like self-defense when Aubry grabbed for their gun. The police didn’t file charges against them until video went viral and started running non-stop on CNN, and even then they had to go thru a few DA’s to get a charge.

    When self-defense with a gun or other weapon becomes illegal for white people (that’s what Kyle’s case was really about), you’re on your own trying to protect your property. Cops in big cities know this too and just watch stuff going out the door, why brisk it? Hopefully the tide is turning with many recall elections against activist DA’s in San Francisco, LA.etc..

  215. Polydoros,

    I don’t know how feasible this is for you as a start-up career, but I fell like there is a market for propagating native plants, especially regional varieties. There is probably room for development of soil microbe innoculents for soil mixes to help the plants grow better and restore healthy soil life.

    This book is very detailed on how to start a small operation, and made me feel it was something I could do.
    https://indigescapes.com/nativepropguide

    If I were going to get started, I’d think about getting involved in local native plant societies and Audubon chapters because those people may form an initial market.

    Best,
    LandLizard

  216. Hi John

    In this article one man show us how to oppose and manifest let’s say “disconfort” with a tyrannical mandate in a crude but clear non-verbal way:

    https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-11-24/lafd-investigating-firefirefighter-accused-of-despicable-act-vaccine-mandate-protest

    “The LAFD member responded to receiving the noncompliance letter by dropping his pants and wiping his buttocks with the letter, leaving fecal matter on the document, before dropping it to the ground, according to the Stentorians of Los Angeles City, a group representing African American firefighters.”

    The laptop caste is fuming, but sorry, this is an example of the first ammendment in its finest.

    Your regime is approaching quickly to its “Ceaucescu momment”

    Cheers
    David

  217. @Info re: 233 “And there is no way for such toxins to be cleaned up by nature.”

    What makes you think this? The simple fact that the toxins don’t exist naturally? The fact that nothing has yet evolved to handle them?

  218. Catlover, glad to hear it, on both counts!

    Galen, I’m pretty sure that the GOP will allow a VP pick, but yes, it’ll have to be a moderate — can you see them holding out for Kyrsten Sinema or the equivalent? I can. 😉 Something like that would be a smart move anyway — whether Harris finishes the term or not, it would guarantee that the Democratic primaries will be an absolute bloodbath in 2024, leaving a hopelessly vulnerable candidate to face the GOP nominee.

    Christophe, welcome to pre-revolutionary America. I don’t know if anyone knows how to measure where the tipping points are, but it does look as though we’ve passed one. It would take a competent and charismatic leader in the White House to navigate the resulting crisis — and, er, we don’t have one of those. One of the things that makes prediction difficult in such situations is that so much depends on who become the spokespeople for the rising tide, so I’m not prepared to offer any predictions at the moment — just an indication that, yes, this looks like what happens when a political system is about to implode.

    Justin, funny.

    Copper, keep in mind that the whole British Israelite/Christian Identity business was born among people whose minds were saturated with Biblical narratives. They grasped that those narratives apply just as well to them as to anyone else, including the Jews — like all other mythic stories, the tales of the Bible are archetypal narratives that reflect essential human experience in archetypal form — but they made the mistake of understanding that insight in too literal a fashion. It’s a common error.

    Hackenschmidt, thanks for this! Those are useful points.

    Chris, well, de gustibus non disputandum est, and all that. I read The Stand when it first came out and thought it was labored, heavyhanded, and rather dull. Not unlike your current political leaders. Oh, and the ones over here, too…

    Panda, fascinating. Have you been able to attribute the other vayus to tarot cards?

    Karim, where you are, a fortified monastery with a printing press might work! Here in the US, we’ll have to wait until the current crisis is over and the rubble stops bouncing for a while before we have the option of doing anything of the kind. In terms of printing, letterpress technology is certainly sustainable, but I have no idea whether you can get the necessary hardware. More broadly — well, I wish I had answers to suggest. Your country and your situation are so different from mine that I’m far from sure anything I could suggest would be useful.

  219. @Will M: Thanks for sharing your tune! I like it! I like the subtle accordion or squeezbox drone that weaves in and out and with the guitar and your voice. I’ll be following you on bandcamp now so I can keep up with your releases and I’ll be giving this whole album a listen this week. I really like this kind of stuff.

    Heading out in a bit to Lexington, Ky for my great aunt’s 90th birthday. She’s a guitarist herself, as was my late grandpa -who was mainly a bass player but also played dobro, a little lap steel and fiddle. His other brother played mandolin, my uncle played drums, and another great aunt also played guitar. I remember at Thanksgiving’s in the past with them, that they all used to set up in play in the basement wherever we were. Mostly country & western stuff, but a little first generation rock and roll type stuff too. I feel like my love of music came in part from them. I hope some of my relatives might be playing music tonight!

    @JMG: Regarding Chapter 6 of the Eliphas Levi book:

    “Our acts modify our magnetic respiration.” — does this also mean our acts modify the quality of the aether we absorb?

    @Chris at Fernglade: I’m a big King fan myself. I haven’t read everything of his by any means, but I count especially all those works that relate to his Dark Tower cycle as favorites. (That includes The Stand, and his other epic doorstopper IT. IT is one of the best evocations of childhood I ever read. A number of his other books such as The Tailsman with Peter Straub tie in to that world. There are bunch more that do, as you may already know). I just re-read the last three novels in the Dark Tower cycle because I just love being with Roland De Schain, Jake, Eddie Dean, Susannah and Oy so much. I don’t know how many times I’ve read those, the first four at least four or five times, and the last three at least three times.

    I feel like in some of his books, he is really tapping in to some universal things from behind the veil and bringing them through into a material form, and that’s one of the ways I think about magic. Or a definition of magic. “Bringing gifts from the other planes down to this plane.”

    I did like On Writing -especially the memoir part of the book. I haven’t really looked at the technical/craft section of that book in a long time. Here I tend to agree with JMG and kind of steer clear of “how to” books on writing, and writing groups. Looking back I realize that my participation in some of those things, was more harmful than helpful.

    There is another writing book I like though, and that is from another author I know JMG isn’t a fan of, Samuel R. Delany. It’s called “About Writing: Seven Essays, Four Letters & Five Interviews”, Still when I read that book, it might have scared me off a bit from writing what I could at the time, so I’m not sure if I’ll re-read it again. All that being said, I haven’t really cared for Delany’s more recent work, but pretty much like everything he wrote from the 60s through the mid 80s.

    And I still find King turns out the unputdownable novel reliably. I don’t pay attention to whatever his current political opinions may be so those don’t bother me at all.

    Still, we all like what we like, and don’t like what we don’t like and that in itself is all good!

  220. Hi John, happy holidays.

    Are you familiar with the genre of music called American Primitivism? Robbie Basho is its most prominent figure, and he’s one of my most favorite musicians ever, I believe him to be one of handful who in one way or another are paving the way for shaping the character and aesthetic of the future deindustrial culture of North America. Such a mystifying man, please do check his work, I especially recommend his ‘Visions of the Country’ album.

    I’ve also been gradually interested in the history of small towns in the US, mostly Gilead Maine, it all started with a film I watched as a kid called ‘The Spitfire Grill’, where the story takes place, it’s a very evangelical film but I like it nonetheless. It’s a curious thing to observe how the most Western of all nations have such zeal and attachment to Christianity. I’d appreciate it if you can recommend any source that tackle and analyze the psychology and history related to these topics.

  221. Is there available in English a good, comprehensive history of the various Gnostic communities in late antiquity, preferably one which takes account of cultural and geographic factors? Before anyone mentions Elaine Pagels, I tried reading one of her books some years back. Maybe I was missing something or many things, but I was shocked to find that someone I had thought was a reputable scholar seemed to me to be little more than a superficial polemicist. Does any community or strain of thought styled ‘Gnostic’ predate the rise of Christianity?

    Galen Diettenger @ 217, First, I doubt Biden will die in office. Medical science has found ways to keep VIPs alive long past the time when they ought to have departed, for example, the ever shrinking Alberich, Henry Kissinger. I suspect that Harris’s unpopularity and incompetence ensure that every effort will be made to keep her out of the White House. Refusing to hold hearings for a VP nominee is exactly what Mitch would do, and I think it would be a bridge too far that could seriously affect Republican chances in the next few election cycles. Right now, those chances are looking good and so-called ‘moderate’, that is, careerist, Democrats, who care for nothing except their personal wealth and perks, are digging in wherever they can.

    Right now in the USA we have, as you know, two major political parties, one of which is funded out of Beijing through various back door means and the other of which is funded out of Tel Aviv, excuuse me, Jerusalem, by means of various dual citizen billionaires. You will have noticed the curious reverse of policy by which the Republicans have become mostly peaceniks and the Democrats are now war hawks. Both parties have their dissident elements who don’t appreciate being treated like a colony by their respective party’s funders. McConnel, et al, find Trump and the MAGA crowd to be a major embarrassment, with their talk of tariffs and closing borders. For the careerist Democrats, what I will call the Sanders wing of the party is more than an embarrassment, it is an existential threat. A group called Justice Democrats, managed to recruit some smart, attractive young folks with good work ethics to run for congress. When a junior high school principal–remember, that is not an easy job, and competence and credentials are both needed–of whom no one in the political world had ever heard took out powerful Zionist Congressman Engels the battle lines were drawn. The bought and paid for media, to which almost no one pays more than cursory attention, might be full of wokesters, but the Democratic Party is not. What I hope is that massive Democratic losses might, at last, persuade the DSA, Justice Party, et al to ally with the rural sustainability movement (telling the “but our jobs” immigrant organizations to deal with it or go elsewhere) and form a new party.

  222. Scotlyn, granted. I’m not suggesting that it’s a bad idea to learn about the many other ways of being human. I’m suggesting that the Canadian managerial class is engaging in a cheap counterfeit of that.

    Info, this habit of treating nature as a passive presence who can’t do anything by herself is a source of much human stupidity. Before assuming that natural processes can’t do anything about human pollution in aquifers, you might want to look into the many ways nature does in fact sequester and neutralize toxic materials — the plants that gather up heavy metals and lock them up in inert compounds, the fungi that break down chemical toxins, and so on. None of this is to say that polluting groundwater is a good idea, or that people and other living things won’t suffer dire consequences from it — but “forever” is a very long time…

    Panda, Hitler’s known to have studied occultism during his Vienna years, and then again after he got taken under the wing of the Thule-Gesellschaft in Munich. He’s a great example of the catastrophic downsides of a mastery of occult techniques unaccompanied by a grasp of the philosophy and spirituality that informs them.

    Patricia M, a lot of people use faux-kindness and faux-morality as a way of being one-up on everyone else. Genuinely kind people don’t get the reaction the article is discussing!

    DFC, I heard about that. It struck me as a very sensible thing for him to do!

    Justin, exactly.

    Aziz, no, and I’m going to have to toss your question to the commentariat because it’s not a subject I’ve studied.

    Mary, I wish there were. Bentley Layton’s The Gnostic Scriptures is a fine collection of original texts with very useful introductions and notes; it’s the best single volume I know of on the subject. As for Elaine Pagels — well, I wish I could disagree, but I don’t. The question of whether Gnosticism predates Christianity was last I heard still one of the hottest points of debate in scholarship on the Gnostics; if it’s been resolved, I haven’t heard that.

Courteous, concise comments relevant to the topic of the current post are welcome, whether or not they agree with the views expressed here, and I try to respond to each comment as time permits. Long screeds proclaiming the infallibility of some ideology or other, however, will be deleted; so will repeated attempts to hammer on a point already addressed; so will comments containing profanity, abusive language, flamebaiting and the like -- I filled up my supply of Troll Bingo cards years ago and have no interest in adding any more to my collection; and so will sales spam and offers of "guest posts" pitching products. I'm quite aware that the concept of polite discourse is hopelessly dowdy and out of date, but then some people would say the same thing about the traditions this blog is meant to discuss. Thank you for reading Ecosophia! -- JMG

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